Saturday, May 28, 2011

Compendium of Links #9

Look at this! The last compendium was compiled late April… and in that seemingly short month, I’ve gone to my grandpa’s funeral, graduated from college, finished a week at my first after-college job, and rediscovered how to relax and kill time. (It’s called watching the TV series Doctor Who.)

As a consequence, I’ve not read much in the way of Internet nonfiction. But I do have a few enjoyable links for you this afternoon.

Five things you can tell from this guy’s iPhone custom dictionary – He’s a writer for the Atlantic, and his iPhone can tell you a lot about him; but on the flip side, I suspect there’s a lot you won’t learn, either.

To stay on the Atlantic theme, they’re coordinating a worldwide Twitter-based book club called 1book140. It’s a neat idea, and the first book chosen is a book I read last spring for my contemporary lit class: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.

20 unusual (and fun!) date ideas – for the poor souls with no imagination. Or just for people who like this sort of thing…

2. Go to a major chain bookstore and leave notes to future readers in copies of your favorite books.

4. Create photo evidence suggesting that you went on an adventure that didn’t really happen.

6. Build forts out of furniture and blankets, and wage war with paper airplanes.

And it goes on… quite fun.

A friend of mine with a great Southern twang read me the Cajun Night before Christmas one evening before graduation. It’s not something I can imitate but it’s highly entertaining.

On a more serious note, a New York Times writer highlighted how modern pop song lyrics reveal a growing narcissism among young people. Granted, it’s qualitative sociological type stuff—thus open to interpretation—but it’s fascinating nevertheless.

Now, after a computer analysis of three decades of hit songs, Dr. DeWall and other psychologists report finding what they were looking for: a statistically significant trend toward narcissism and hostility in popular music. As they hypothesized, the words “I” and “me” appear more frequently along with anger-related words, while there’s been a corresponding decline in “we” and “us” and the expression of positive emotions.

And finally, the amusing video….

Admit it. You used to spend at least half an hour a day playing the game—just like I did.

Thoughts from the week

It so happens that I started my first job out of college this week. Pretty exciting—especially since, gracias a Dios, this is a full-time job in my intended career field, and I got it straight out of college.

One consequence of getting a full-time job is that I am too busy during the week to write things for which I’m not paid. But, that’s what weekends are for!

Thought #1: Last Sunday, I was made a witness to the wonders of modern technology and its potential to further missions work. My church’s associate pastor coordinated a Skype call with a missionary out in Russia, and lo and behold, we were able to transcend thousands of miles to learn about a tentmaking-type ministry being launched there, info coming straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

I know this next phrase is cliché, but “something stirred in my heart” while hearing the pastor-missionary speak on the big screen up front. Since going to college I’ve not had much money to do anything besides pay school bills. So, my church and missions giving dropped off precipitously about three and a half years ago. Even though I was a college student, I did want to give… but it happened only sporadically.

All that to say, hearing about God’s work in Russia moved me to renew my regular giving, in addition to praying and otherwise supporting my friends in their missions endeavors. And the first paycheck I got yesterday served as a good reminder of Sunday’s lesson!

Thought #2: Oh yeah, I graduated last Saturday.

  • The key of a college education, for me as a Christian, was to learn to serve God more effectively. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure the college succeeded.
  • But the fun of going to college was meeting some of my best friends and spending late nights watching movies or playing games with them!
  • And just for the record: May 21 was officially not the end of the world. Just sayin’. Smile with tongue out

Thought #3: Sitting in the front pew at church is pretty fun. No distractions from in front of you. I know some people get paranoid about the people sitting behind them, but that’s never bothered me.

Coming up: your weekly does of interesting, random, and funny links.

Friday, May 13, 2011

“Passed on to glory”

DSCF0536

Thank you, Lord, for giving us the years we had with Grandpa. We’ll look forward to the reunion.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What a novel idea…

I know I know, cliché pun. But it gets the message across.

I’ve been drafting a novel this semester in my creative writing class, and the professor has strongly encouraged us to continue writing after the end of the class—and to post the continued excerpts online for our fellow classmates to read.

He’s started a blog for the purpose, to serve as a hub for links to all the class members’ blog sites. While I’d rather not start a whole new blog, I’m thinking of devoting a small section of this blog to the project.

After all, since I’ve learned to write creatively, I’d rather not get out of practice!

My novel is called Erica Cory and three chapters (roughly 30 pages) are already drafted. Once I get through a few more pages I’ll try to post short excerpts regularly.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Hah! Take that, senior year!

Saturday and Sunday…

  • I helped get the last issue of the campus newspaper to press (seven hours in the Mac lab)
  • I played my little part in The King and I, twice (roughly ten hours)
  • I went with the cast to an after-performance Steak N Shake run (roughly four hours)
  • I slept, some (six hours Sunday morning)
  • and then went to Sunday School
  • I spent the rest of Sunday wearily finishing a ten-page paper due Monday
  • then relaxed by watching Oklahoma! with a couple friends, and taking a walk (roughly four hours)

And tonight, I pulled together a 37-page portfolio. Don’t worry; I only had to write five or so pages of it. The rest was a matter of finding the pieces… and formatting them… and making up the cover page… yeah. I’m tired. But I’m glad to be (nearly) done.

Oh, and yeah… I got a job, and will start right after I graduate. Full-time reporting job, and not too far from home so I can still see my sister from time to time. Talk about a blessing from God.