Thursday, March 02, 2006

Parisian Webcams and Weather Pixies

Yesterday a friend came in my office and noticed that I had a picture of the Eiffel Tower for wallpaper on my pc. It's from a webcam in Paris. I told him I change it every so often and then the subject changed. The truth is, I do change the wallpaper, but mostly to another shot of the Eiffel Tower. I didn't realize how odd it might look until I turned on my computer this morning. Why this place? Why this picture? I'm not French. I don't have a love for tall buildings. But I do love Paris. I've been there three times. The last was my honeymoon almost 15 years ago and in my heart I hope that I will visit that city again. I'm not sure why I love Paris, but I think that there are three good reasons. 1) Paris makes me feel smart. I get to use my four years of high school french to order food and make reservations. And people actually know what I'm talking about. This makes me look smart to the rest of my family who can't speak french. 2) Paris still looks like it did in the movies I watched as a kid. The city looks the way I imagine it should look. It's like a dream come true. Not everything turns out that way. So Paris makes me feel like the fantastic things of my imagination are possible. 3) Paris smells good, tastes good, looks good, sounds good, feels good. And I've never met a Parisian who was genuinely rude to me. If you make an effort to say please and thank you in the language of the place, most people will make an effort to understand you as best they can. I love Paris and so my wallpaper remains a Parisian webcam shot and my blog has room for both a Philly Weather Pixie and a chic little number from Paris.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Eustace, Dragons and Lent

Tonight my pastor, lovingly known as "Interim Jim" because that's who he is and what he does, gave a great sermon using imagery from C. S. Lewis' The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. He talked about Eustace Scrubb who arrives in the magical land of Narnia and finds it to be rather annoying and unpleasant. (Go figure!)

After being a total pain in the neck for weeks, Eustace is stranded on an island with the rest of the Dawn Treader crew. He takes a walk on his own and discovers a dragon lair filled with treasure. He falls asleep on the treasure and finds that he has been transformed into a dragon.

Time passes and gradually Eustace finds ways to give and receive kindnesses, all while remaining a dragon. His heart softens. He repents. He wishes to be of service to others. One night while all alone, he meets Aslan, the lion and Christ figure of the Narnia chronicles.

Aslan tells Eustace that to become a boy again he must bathe in a pool, but first he must "undress" himself. Eustace tries in vain to peel off the layers of dragon skin, but he finds that he can't dig deep enough. Finally Aslan undresses Eustace, which is both painful and relieving. Eustace is tossed into the water and emerges a new boy. Reformed. Redeemed. Forgiven.

IJ's sermon dealt with the notion that on our own, we can't dig deep enough to remove all the ugliness from ourselves, no matter how hard we try. We have to turn to God. It may be painful, incredibly painful, but the Lord can peel off that dragon's skin and help us to be new people.

I haven't done IJ's words enough justice, but it was thought provoking and a good reminder for this Ash Wednesday. If we would be changed people, then we need to turn our will over to God. We cannot do this life alone.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I like this better than the Simpsons Personality Test. But of course, I didn't come off too bright in that one!

You Are Scooter

Brainy and knowledgable, you are the perfect sidekick.
You're always willing to lend a helping hand.
In any big event or party, you're the one who keeps things going.
"15 seconds to showtime!"

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Timothy the Cat gets time on the keyboard.

In response to Whistle and Fish, here are my answers to their meme.

1. What's your favorite food? Yoghurt or ice cream off the spoon that my human is using.

2. What is your favorite toy? I'm not really into toys. At least that's what I tell people.

3. What is your best trick? Getting my morning beverage by licking off the walls in the shower.

4. What is your favorite human trick? Getting them to turn on the bath tap by standing in the tub and crying at night.

5. What human rule do you break often? Sleeping on the clean laundry. Honestly, though, I don't know what the big deal is.

6. What do you wish your human knew about you? I wish SodaChick would stop picking me up to make me "dance." I do not dance on two feet. I am a cat. Cats dance on four feet. But she's young, so I don't bite her.

7. What are you glad your human does NOT know about you? Although SodaChick named me Timothy Lutheran Church when I first came to live with the family eight years ago, I'm really a Presbyterian.

Signed, Timothy