Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I am currently serving on a Jury. It is quite possibly the most important thing I have ever done. I cannot talk about anything due to a court order, but I will fill you in once I am authorized to speak.

My best friend is moving home this Friday. We are currently roommates and it makes me very sad to see him go. It is highly likely that his job search will bring him back in town, there is no certainty. He won't be that far away once he moves back home, but the dynamic of our friendship will change and it will be very strange. I am excited about my new roommate, but he is very different than my current one.

My other best friend (she recently got re-upgraded from close friend) is also having difficulty finding a job. All three of us have lived a rather "pink champagne" life for the past four years, and it so strange to see them struggle. She bought Banquet TV dinners the other day, something I thought would never happen (please forgive the absolute arrogance of the example, it is for illustrative purposes only).

I have not been as consumed with thought lately. I have slowed down the pace of my reading and am working towards stressing less and making the most of each day.

I have determined that Add to the Beauty (lyrically) is the best cd I own. I know I already mentioned this, but it's in my car right now.

Life is good. There are many other things rattling around my head and I will be sharing them shortly. Until then, have a great life.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I am aware that I have been posting a lot lately and that the rapid pace does not leave you enough time to comment about my witty observations and deep thoughts. I suppose I can live without the validation created by blog comments.

Earlier this week a friend decided a group of us should go to the drive-in. What a splendid idea! It's a double feature and will be just like the good ole' days. WRONG! I was eaten alive by mosquitoes (I forgot the bug spray). As I killed one that was lingering in the car, the napkin I used was covered in blood...my blood! I had 25+ bites. Additionally, it was 90 degrees and extraordinarily humid. Needless to say we did not stay for the second feature. Lets hope I don't have West Nile.

The purge has stalled somewhat, but I do have a load of shoes to get rid of. I plan on attacking my dresser and bookshelf in the near future. I also need to decommission my shoebox filing system. It is woefully inadequate.

I have been working to simply my life in other ways besides the purge. I am attempting to buy less crap (as you know) and it's working out okay. I still have a long way to go. My book buying fast is holding strong and I have decided not to renew any of my magazine subscriptions besides Time. I no longer feel compelled to keep up with Business Week and The Economist. Also, I have realized I get entirely too much e-mail and have decided to start unsubscribing from all the lists I am on. Why on earth do I get weekly e-mail updates from PETA, Toys R Us, Papa John's, and Dominoes anyway?

My car is going to be in the shop this week and some of next. When she is done, she will be Rhonda 2.0. Expect a post about this to come.

Well, I should really get to bed. Good night.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Random Thoughts

Tonight I saw The Dark Knight. It was amazing, but I am sure you already know that. The theater was of course packed, and before the show started an usher, a real live usher, pretty much threatened everyone about not texting or talking during the movie. When his speech ended, it was met by rather loud applause. Needless to say, I did not see a single cellphone screen piercing the darkness with its obnoxious brightness. Hooray for old-school ushers.

Last night I went to the local theatre to see a production of Pride and Prejudice. As some of you may know, one of my life goals is to become Mr. Darcy. Seeing the play only reinforced this.

With the passage of the new house buying bill (not actual name), I have once again become obsessed with buying a home. I can see myself in a shiny new condo with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. I would have friends over for dinner parties and game nights. Visitors from out of town would have a great place to crash. I could decorate with an antique or two and art from the galleries downtown. My home would greet me warmly after returning from two weeks out of town. Alas, I really can't afford it. At least not for another six months. Even then, is this what I want? I have visions of moving into a struggling community and investing my time and resources there. I may go to graduate school. I want to live abroad. Should I really tie myself down?

I will confess I have been careless about talking about this with my friends. Two of them are still working to find jobs, and here I am chatting incessantly about buying a home. I often forget how extremely fortunate I am. I have an amazing job, especially for someone so young. I work for one of the largest and most well regarded companies in the world. I have the opportunity to travel North America while meeting a wide range of people. I get paid very adequately with a ton of potential for advancement. I am gaining skills, certifications, and exposure to the corporate world. Also, there is a very good chance I could end up living abroad as an ex-pat somewhere down the road. It's phenomenal. I don't deserve it at all. I did work hard to get the internship that in turn landed me the position, but to say it was all my own doing is extraordinarily arrogant. What should I do with what fortune has lent me? Should I squander it on shiny things and possessions that impress people? How vain! Where do I draw the lines between fulfilling my wants and gorging myself on material possessions? I suppose I will find out as time passes. In the meantime, I will work to waste less and give more (money, time, and energy to things that matter).

I think I have found a new church. They don't believe in the doctrine of biblical inerrancy and care more about modeling the life of Christ than having you believe the unbelievable. They run a hostel, free trade store, bike repair shop, and much, much more. They pray for victims of war (something I realized I had never heard done before) and strive to be grateful everyday. It excites me.

Well, I had a list of things I meant to mention, but it is downstairs and I am lazy. This lethal combination means you will have to wait.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On the Market

Greetings. I will warn you this will be a bit long, but I plan on making it worth your time.

First some life updates. My brother is doing fine and insurance will cover most of his possessions. My mother has calmed down tremendously which is excellent. Last night I had to drive out to the house so I could dial his host parents and ask for him. My mother does not speak Spanish and was afraid. I love Skype.

Tonight I helped Dottie change a light bulb. I always love going over to chat. She has a lot of stories from her time as a social worker. Some are heartbreaking. I must never forget to be grateful for the life I have.

I talked to a friend tonight who just got back from Austin. She could not stop RAVING about it. It is now officially on my top 10 U.S./North America destinations. It is as follows:

1. New York City
2. Prince Edward Island
3. Portland, Oregon
4. Seattle
5. San Francisco
6. Austin
7. Denver

Well, I only have 7 right now. In all honesty, I am always game for a trip somewhere.

Today I felt that old ennui fading away. I hope it keeps receding. I love when joy appears and hope pops up in random places. I have been in too somber a mood thinking about how much pain and conflict is in the world. For so long I didn't care as much as I should have because I couldn't seem to get over myself. How shallow! Now I have the opposite problem and care a bit too much and keep feeling guilty for what I have.

So, as the title of this post mentions...I have decided to put myself on the market. If I meet someone worth dating I think I will take a chance and go for it. As I strive to live more authentically and with more integrity (shout out S.) this is next step for me. That said, I do not plan on getting into a relationship due to fear (been there, sort of done that twice) because it causes too much damage. Also, I am still a bit of a cynic when it comes to relationships and I must confess I am hideously selfish. Still, if someone right comes busting through the door I am going to give it a shot.

As I was mulling this over today I started to wonder what qualities I would like. Here is the list (more may be added later):

Intelligence: 29+ ACT score please (If you aced the Reading or English section the other numbers don't matter as much)

Interest in Theology (I am crushing on Reformed Judaism these days)

Non-Fundamentalist (I suppose that's a no-brainer)

NY Times Aficionado

Must have an appreciation, yet, ability to mock the HSM series. Must also be willing to go see HSM 3 on opening night.

Willing to travel abroad at least once a year for vacation/humanitarian work

Interest in eliminating global poverty

Vegetarian acceptable (Vegan might be too much)

Ability to talk about subjects such as existentialism, globalization, media conglomerates, and Tina

Slight interest in theatre is desirable

Slight interest in sports is tolerable (note: only college basketball and tennis)

Cute (but not so attractive I will get jealous, haha)

Bonus Traits:

Second Language (Spanish preferred, but Arabic and Mandarin are most definitely acceptable)

Nobility (like a Prince or Czar, but no despots or dictators)

Near perfect grammar (this might actually be a requirement)

Similar size so we can share clothes (must be a sharp dresser too)

Right amount of nerdiness (Sci-Fi interests me, but we will not be dressing up for The Hobbit)

This being said, I will probably toss the list out the window if someone I'm attracted to comes into my life. Also, if you fit all of the above criteria, please feel free to fax me a resume and headshot. I do accept applications for love. Just kidding.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Darn it, Jay

Okay, so as I was typing I got a call from my Mom. I don't usually ask for prayer, but please pray. My brother was robbed at knife-point tonight in a foreign country and lost his computer, phone, and several other things. Luckily he is unharmed. I am certain he is shaken.

Update: My brother is okay. We are working things out logistically and it's all going to be fine.

Haha, I feel I am being forced out my recent respite by Jay's latest post.

I spoke with a friend recently about sin/temptation. She said that whenever she thinks she has beaten something (like drinking a little too much) and declares herself free of it, she ends up struggling with it. Why is that? I find it's so true in my own life. My main struggle is materialism, but I also deal with looking at things I shouldn't be looking at online and many other "sins".

I have been watching the Suze Orman show lately. FYI, she is AMAZING. I had the great privilege of meeting her and her partner in person and they are wonderful. Anyways, I was convicted. My income has nearly tripled since I started my new job, yet I find myself making little progress on curbing my spending habits or working to invest my time and money in the lives of others. I want and want and want. A weekend in Chicago, Thanksgiving in Mexico, Spring in Israel and Turkey. I spent hours obsessed about if I will have enough segments to gain elite status with the airline I fly with. I log into my Hilton account trying to gauge when I will have enough rewards points for a long weekend at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC. I shop at the upscale supermarket with my canvas shopping bag (as if not using plastic is the most pressing issue on the planet) and spend 1.50 on one tomato. I am online looking at condos and houses EVERYDAY. I calculate and recalculate possible monthly payments, seeing where I can live and when I can upgrade. It's just more and more and more. This must stop.

However, this is not all I am. I want to volunteer in the community like I used to. I want to stop writing off the poor. I want to be a good friend and neighbor. I strive to love people, and not just the people that are easy to love. I want to know peoples' stories and work to improve their lives. I live in a city full of hate and poverty. There are churches here with wealth beyond your comprehension, with 150 foot cross flanked by two 120 foot ones. It is unbelievable. Yet people go hungry.

I have accidentally fallen in love with Jesus Christ. Yet, the more I know about him, the less I feel like a "Christian". Still, I can't help but think this crisis of faith does not really matter. I have a lot of questions and I am still skeptical of a lot of things...but I can't stand here idly, waiting to hash out my doctrinal beliefs before I get off my ass and start changing the world.

I have been given life and I don't know why. I am here on this Earth with a hell of a lot of questions and not nearly enough time to get satisfactory answers. Still, there is one thing I DO know. When I die I want it said that I left this place a little better than it was before I got here. Since I could die tomorrow, I better act fast. The status quo is no longer an option.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I am going away for awhile.

Today I got back from spending some time in the Ozarks. I also changed a car battery with the assistance of my roommate. I feel a great sense of accomplishment.

See you in a few weeks.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


I am going to be leave you with a rather weighty post for the week. I will return next weekend.

Tonight a friend came over and we watched Toy Story. I forgot how hilarious it was. I also forgot how much I love the score. I'm a big Newman (Randy, Thomas, and David) fan. In fact, for my 15th birthday I went to see Randy Newman in concert. It's true that I have the soul of a 40+ year old.

Anyway, Buzz Lightyear is an amazing character. He gets dropped into this world completely believing that he is a Space Ranger. He believes he can fly and speaks with strong conviction and authority about his quest and purpose in life. It's only towards the end of the movie that his world comes crashing down, what he believed his purpose to be was completely false. After a brief period of insanity and confusion, he realizes a new purpose more important than the one before.

As you know, I have questioned my faith many times. I have dabbled in atheism, but keep coming back to Christianity. It's an inclination. However, this time it is not as easy as before. I realize that every time I come back it is still with a pocket full of doubt and this time I am determined to conquer some of it.

I have never shared my faith with anyone. I have also never been concerned for the souls of my non-Christian friends. One of my best friends is Hindu and the other Sikh (not practicing). Oh yeah, another is Muslim. I suppose I have never been able to evangelize because I have never been able to believe. Telling someone about Adam and Eve, the Book of Joshua, the Great Flood, are all things that don't sit well with me. Right now I don't even believe in a three-tiered heaven, earth, hell system. I don't even believe in the "fire and brimstone" hell that is so pervasive in evangelical culture. If anything I believe in Sheol. I'm also not really sure I believe in immortality. It does seem a bit far-fetched, doesn't it?

I had a great conversation with my parents this afternoon. We still don't talk about gay related themes that often, and I have not shared the depths of this crisis of faith with them. Still, my father told me today that I should enjoy life and that life should not be miserable, despite the mentality of many Christians today. I definitely agree, Jesus did not come to make you trade in your joy for martyrdom. Right now it feels like I am watching my life go by, a silent observer to the passing hours. This is not 24/7, but it is somewhat frequent.

Today at communion I had a difficult choice. Like last month, I was unsure of whether to take part. I had at first decided not too because I felt like it would be a lie. However, I closed my eyes and decided to take the sum of my experience and knowledge and decide whether to proceed. I pictured a scale in my mind. On the left was faith and the right doubt. In this mental picture faith won out, but just barely. I decided to take Communion. Peer pressure sadly factored in too.

I am going to be very honest and say that I feel like I have seen God move in my life and I even feel like I have heard God speaking to me. I know this may sound crazy, and I feel silly even mentioning it, but it is one of the major things that has kept my faith intact. Maybe it wasn't God, maybe it was my subconscious working to avert my self-destruction. All I know is that despite evidence to the contrary, I still believe there is more to life. I also know that my new faith is going to be a hell of a lot less orthodoxy and instead a lot more orthopraxy.

I have much more to say, and it will come later. I was going to read a Tillich book this week, but I have decided to bump it back another week as I snack on some Catholic mysticism. May I remind you once again of my new found respect for Catholicism and Judiasm?

Okay, it's time for me to leave. This is a mess of a post, but I hope you enjoy reading it.

Oh yeah, many of these thoughts have been shaped by some books I have recently read. Reading sure does cause a lot of thought.

Overall, I am well. I know I will look back on this time as imperative to my growth as a human being and person of faith. In the meantime I'm just Travelin' Thru.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


My hood has a dent in it! I think it happened at the dealership. It's not a huge deal, but it really makes me upset. I don't know how I can prove it happened there. I am mad at not noticing it before. I am not made of money to keep taking the car in for repairs. Maybe my car is just mad at me for not treating her right. She does need to have some scratches buffed out and I need to have some work done where I hit a parked car. I also need to get new windshield wipers.

I just had to vent. I have a tendency to obsess about little things. I guess I will be paying yet another visit to the dealership when I get back in town. Arrrgggghhhhhh.

In other news, Wall-E was great. You can always count on Pixar for a good movie and Thomas Newman for a good score.

Thank you for listening.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!


Today feels like a Saturday...but it's not! I love thinking it's a Saturday when it's not, it means I get a bonus day for the weekend.

So, I am most definitely excited about my self-imposed rule to alternate serious and fun posts. Here's to fun!

Today I have been cleaning out my closet. I definitely have over 130 shirts (including some jackets and sweaters) and I am going to say 45 pairs of shoes (ballpark). I will let you know more stats as they come in. I do know that I have a bunch of hangars free. Oh yeah, that 130 does not include shirts in the laundry pile. That probably pushes it to 150+ quite easily. I will be so glad when I drop off the bags to Goodwill.

Looking around, my room is a disaster! I have junk everywhere. I cannot wait for the great sense of order that will come once I put everything where it belongs. If only we had a Container Store...

I am happy to report that my credit card debt will be below 4000 in the next week. It's so exciting. I hope to be credit card debt free sometime this fall. Hooray! Now to tackle those student loans...

Next week I am going to be gone again. I am sure I will post again before I leave.

I find this entertaining, enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rauYr-8vvoA

Cleaning and paying off debt are fun to me. I thought I would let you in on the joy. Haha.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Weekend Approaches

I know the three day weekend is still a couple of days away, but I am terribly excited. I can't wait to take a day and make some time for myself. There are quite a few things I keep meaning to get done, and Friday I plan to do them!

I have decided that I am going to start alternating posts between serious and light-hearted. I suppose I am overly concerned about appearing morbid and severe in my posts.

I have been wondering lately what I want out of life. Apologies if what I write is a repeat of something from a previous post. I don't think it is. A few weeks ago I was shopping in an upscale grocery store in town. I meandered down the aisles with classical music in the background, and placed arugula and kumquats in my basket. Then it hit me! THIS is what I wanted! I clearly remembered a younger me, imagining the life I am currently living. I am living in a nice part of town, have a great job, am planning on going to lots of exotic places in the near future...yet, I don't feel like I have "arrived". My life is wonderful and I have more than I could ask for or deserve (well, I can always for more) but I don't feel like this is what life is supposed to be like. It's pleasant, but there must be more.

I often try to determine what I want out of life, but keep coming up empty. I suppose after spending so much time striving to attain a wife and kids, the vacuum left from that goal's disappearance has not been filled. The strange thing is, even if I were attracted to women, I don't know if I would be dating. When I really step back and look, I like where I am now. This will not suit me forever, but that's okay. I know I am still working things out and "it's all in the journey".

I cannot help but think that the society we live in is terribly damaging. It keeps reinforcing the idea that possessions, sex, status, a partner, kids, etc. are what life is about. It seems to me that people are working to fabricate happiness. I know I was in that boat for quite sometime. Madame Bovary is an excellent example of this (although she is fictitious). Also, I am so saddened by the way fear, anger, and selfishness rule peoples' lives.

I will work to hash these thoughts out further in a future post. It's weighing quite heavily on my mind.