28 March, 2008

The Mac of My Eye

I really enjoy my computer. After years of using a clunky desktop PC, I finally made the switch back to using an Apple – an Apple laptop what’s more! It is sleek and very hip; it could be added to a checklist Jordan Jolliff once made for me:

[X] Sexy Jeans
[X] iPod
[X] Good Haircut
[X] Hipster Bike
([X] Great Computer)

-Why don’t you have a girlfriend?-

Good question to be assured, but not what I’m here to talk about. The other day my computer almost went to the great digital heaven in the digital sky.

I take for granted that my computer like me. I’m very fond of it! However, we began fighting two days ago when it decided to stop working on me – it gave up the ghost (or at least its Finder). While this was not as large of a betrayal as my PC insisted on (it died on me three times – the first after a mere week of owning it), it still hurt me greatly.

I’m glad to see all of my files safely returned and my programs running at maximum efficiency, but it appears as though all of my playlists are gone forever. Most certainly it has been a time of struggle.

A moral to the story? A betrayal of trust from a computer is like taking a battering RAM to your heart, but after all, love hertz.

25 March, 2008

I Should Have Gone Sailing

“You’re like one of those clipper ship captains – You’re married to the sea.”
“Yes, that’s true. But I’ve been out to sea for a long time.”

When you’re a salty, old sailor, you know a thing or two about the world. Sometimes you don’t need to keep house to have a home. Sometimes a drop of Nelson’s blood won’t do you any harm. A swig of rum is nothing to scoff at.

It has long been a dream of mine to return to the sea. When I stand upon the ocean shore and look off to the horizon, I feel a part of me set sail for adventure; however, that part is never my body.

Tall ships have always fascinated my father. He loves reading old naval tales and running his hands over polished wood ship wheels. I believe when he sits alone staring off into space he hears the billows of sails filling with wind. Any yare vessel can grab his attention and send him into a swarthier time when men were men – men with poor hygiene and even wore grammar. They were different days, but days they were! The point (assuming I can ever make one) is that that my blood flows a little saltier than normal, for I have long desired to return to the sea.

When I was in fifth grade my class went on an overnight fieldtrip at the end of the year to San Francisco where we would join the crews of the C. A. Thayer and the Balclutha. I was named mate of the galley (that’s the kitchen for those of you who haven’t earned your sea legs yet) and soon realized any romanticized views my father had about these tall ships were entirely fictitious! Not only was I brazenly reprimanded for the incompetence of my crew, but I never got a chance to sleep because I had to bring the captain a fresh cup of coffee every hour. Oh, and one of my crewmen used salt instead of sugar to make our coffeecake for breakfast. Nuts to that!

The point is, I don’t want to sail tall ships. I’ll leave that to manlier men than I (thank you Ryan Downs for handling that one). I also don’t think I could handle joining a fishing trawler despite my one time plan to flee to Alaska and do so – they would just make fun of me.

No, it is the sailing life for me. Alone on the sea. Sailing from port to port with my bicycle (Her Majesty) stowed bellow. That’s the kind of carefree lifestyle I could get behind! However, (as there usually is a ‘however’ with me) I have never been sailing. It has long been an embarrassing thorn in the side of my lovely, seafaring dreams. They have always been a little to grand for me (a child taunting a mutt at the foot of a table). However, (yet again!) this has all changed.

In recent days I have become friends with Mount Hermon legend, Ron Demolar. Ron, aside from being a good man, also apparently is the part owner of a ship. I knew nothing of this until one day a couple of weeks ago when Ron and I were going out for lunch together. Just as we were preparing to leave he turned to me and said, “I know this is last minute, but would you like to go sailing?” My heart went aflutter and I felt like the prettiest girl at the dance. Yes-yes-a thousand times yes! Half an hour later we were aboard the tiny vessel and setting sail for a brighter future. The ocean breeze whipped through my hair – I silently smiled at the waves rolling ahead of us. This was it. I was out to sea. My mind raced to old maps – sirens and mermaids dancing amongst grotesque monsters.

There is great beauty in being out to sea or in the air where man does not naturally go. I was free.

Eventually we returned to shore. The moments onboard were brief but intoxicating. I have been back out since, and each time signals some new, childlike elation I have not known before.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh was correct – there is a gift from the sea.

24 March, 2008


Easter is the biggest feast of the year. What about the resurrection of Christ doesn’t scream “PARTY!”? So, naturally I took it upon myself to rejoice and cast off the nighted color of Lent.

The day began with prayer (hardly a solemn endeavor on this hallowed morning) and followed it up with a waffle breakfast with my family. I wish there was a great theological message to be taken from waffles, but in truth they are just really tasty and the king of all breakfast foods.

After we had all packed ourselves into the car, over 17 we went in search of church and sand – both of which we found in abundance. Beautiful service. Beautiful Eucharist. Beautiful Santa Cruz, CA. Food. Rejoicing. Laughter. History. Beach. Ice cream. Wine. Skipping rocks. Finding shells. Loving life.

What a glut of words. What happiness.

I finally returned home and found my roommate Mark, whom I made have a beer with me. “Drinking beer on Easter: at Redwood, that’s what we’re all about.” I commented, and he agreed. Walking, laughing, considering, ruminating. Making dinner with Bob. Mark slips, “I believe in an all-powerful Bob.” “Eric, I hope you get that in your blog.” I hope Omni-Bob is appeased.

And as John Ames observes, “Ah this world—this life.”

13 March, 2008

The Best Defense

Santa Cruz is a mythic place ruled by its own pantheon of gods. I would even venture it has a Hades and Olympus filled with crème de la crème of Santa Cruz society. I mean who can forget the time Hippicus brought his ambrosial grass to the mortals and gave them a godlike state. Or when Dudeiderous caught some awesome swell and created the ocean. Or there was that time Hipsterious rode his great fixed-gear bicycle around town and made the streets safe for all pedestrians.

And, oh, the pedestrians! These are minor deities – demigods who complete mighty tasks here on earth. However, they mostly just jaywalk with impunity.

I tell you all of this to make my real point: in the face of excessive dangers on the roads, we must remember what we learned in our driver’s ed classes about the importance of defensive driving. Hands at ten and two, or three and nine, or (as they tell us now) eight and four. Always check your mirrors and blind spots. Be aware of where all the cars are around you and potential hazards on or around the road. This is all good advice, and it is wide to heed it; however, what if there is something more to consider?

Dear reader, in my study of twentieth century history, I heard this maxim time and time again: The best defense is a good offense. Since I lack higher reasoning and take everything in the most literal fashion it can possibly be interpreted in, I have directly transposed this idea from military history into my defensive driving tactics.

Sure I check my blind spots, but I also destroy my blind spots, thus no longer making them an issue. Yes, I am aware of hazards in the road so I can obliterate them, thus removing them as hazards not just for me, but also for everyone else! I not only place my hands at ten and two, but I grow ten other hands to cover the rest of the hours on the steering wheel!

Finally, there are the pedestrians. They may have semi-divine status in Santa Cruz, but I will soon bring about a Götterdämmerung where these pesky, little deities will scatter and hide themselves from sight. I will unleash such a holocaust of fury upon the streets of Santa Cruz that they will be safe, for fear of me, for a thousand years!

Oh wait… I don’t own a car.

09 March, 2008

East Coast Bred?

Dear readers, I will use this rare opportunity to make an announcement... but first a journey in pictures.

I went to school here:

However, then I:

But now I've been accepted here:

Yes, dear reader, I have been very recently accepted by Princeton Theological Seminary. What does this mean? Good question, and I have six weeks to figure it out. I know we're all disappointed with this entry, but I think this means I'll have more time for wit in the future.

Note: it is apparent to me that it is a bad idea for me to use different picture alignments. Many apologies.

06 March, 2008

Gnomes are a Dish Best Served Cold

I can hardly sleep anymore at nights for fear of the vicious Wichtelmenschen vandalizing my chattels! Dear readers, if any of you are Gnomes, I highly suggest considering a species-change operation.

Let’s face it: Gnomes are little punks. All they’re good for is posing for mass-produced garden art and botching up people’s estates. I see your incredulous looks… Either you don’t believe in Gnomes or you are dirty, dirty communists who think it is okay for anyone to abuse private property!

An army of Garden Gnomes

“Hold on their, Eric… Where’s the fire?” you most condescendingly ask, “Couldn’t it be that we just think that you’re a little batty?”

I’ve considered that, dear reader, but I find it unlikely.

“I’d consider it again.”

I will not be silent even in the face of your pro-Gnome propaganda. No, dear reader, I must be heard! Gnomes are not just the mythical underground dwellers of folklore, nor are they a free desktop operating system; Gnomes are beastly little saboteurs who ruin send your electronic devices on the fritz, unplug your alarm clocks, hide your homework, pee on your books, steal your children, and eat your dogs. There is no end to their fiendish hostility toward mankind. You don’t want to mess with these guys. They totally suck.

Would you trust this Gnome?

“Why exactly is your anti-Gnome rhetoric so vocal today?” you deign to ask.

Despite your patronizing attitude, I am glad you asked. It all starts several weeks ago when… (Hazy flashback effects).

It was the first week of February, Punxsutawney Phil had recently seen his shadow, and I returned from my tour of the Great North West. As I waited in the airport to receive a ride home from parents, I caught the avatar of femininity making funny eyes at me. Not being accustomed to such forward advances, I fool-heartedly (albeit debonairly) strolled over this seductive lady in the corner.

“Come here often?” Granted, I am not very good at this sort of thing.

She laughed. “No, it has been a while since I flew last.”

At that moment we knew that we were in love; however, we had to keep our passion secret because apparently her father and mine were engaged in a terrible blood war that had started back on the streets of Sunnyvale when they were boys. They forever forbid their children from wedding one another.

Over this last month we’ve had several secret rendezvous, and were making plans to flee the country together in one final, desperate romantic act to rid ourselves of our parents’ unfeeling control. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Last night she sped over Highway 17 from San Jose to pick me up so we could forever be free with one another; however, this was not in the Gnomes’ plans. A group of listless Gnomes in search of mischief cut my love’s breaks. She never made it over the hill. I will never love again. And no Gnome will be left alive by the end of 2008.

I consider this my prime directive!

Does this look like the face of a man who will take Gnomish treachery lying down?