Superman Returns

Good times! Found the teaser for the new Superman movie, Superman Returns -- June 30, 2006. Doesn't really show much, but enough to get me hoping (I guess that's why they call it a "teaser")...fingers crossed.

Click here. Or there. Wherever you'd like.

This is hilarious -- talk about an "Oopsee!" Any public speakers nightmare (but mostly preachers).

...would you call this a Freudian Slip?!

We all rise and fall.
Beloved (Us), Rise and Fall

Life is so big. There are so many details, so many ups and downs, so many twists and turns, so many happy things and sad things and things that don't seem to be so easily categorized. Some days are great, others not so much. Some times I feel in control, and others I feel very much like "I'm just a ship lost at sea" (Matthew Good). It's funny how polar life can be.

This semester at school has got to be the most difficult so far. It's hard to explain why that is. I suppose there are a lot of reasons, and some make it more challenging than others. Being so far away from someone I love very much is at the top of the list -- it is amazing to me how overwhelming it can be, how frustrating it is to be unable to be with the person you want most of all to be with. What's that old saying? "Distance makes the heart grow fonder?" I can attest to its truth. Still, what they don't tell you is, "Distance makes life suck."

This semester is also the most busy. With five regular classes, as well as one Directed Studies and one correspondence course, my semester was already going to be lots of fun. But to make things more interesting, as of this past Friday I started interning at a church, working with one of my best friends, Geoff, who is the youth pastor there. I think this past Saturday I was starting to feel a wee bit stressed out, wondering how I'm going to get through it all, when I also need to find a part-time job. I had all sorts of thoughts of dropping out of school, throwing in the towel, just taking off and sticking it to the consequences. That happens to me every once and awhile you know, when life gets overwhelming. I experience all sorts of crazy thoughts. A few times in my life I have actually seriously considered dropping everything and becoming a hermit in some random wilderness, building a fort and eating berries and trying to grow a full beard. It's sort of funny to think about now, though. I wouldn't make too hot of a bush-man -- I love camping, but long term, I'd be the guy who steps between the mother and her cub, I think.

See, in my life, I hit these peaks of stress, these climaxes, these "crises", where I can very literally feel, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, calisthenically, philosophically, hypothetically, etc (I've run out of "ally's" to use), a choice needs to be made - to either give up and spend my life miserable and immature, or to hang on a little bit longer, to just surrender to God and let Him do what He wants. I can't say I've always made the right choice, and I think I've made the wrong one far too often. But every day is a new day, and every choice is a new chance to do what needs to be done.

I like the word "crisis". I think it's a pretty accurate word for what we face in life, which includes the every day stuff. It doesn't have to be a "big" ordeal, like going bankrupt or having one of your kidneys sold on the black-market. The dictionary defines a 'crisis' this way:
an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; a situation that has reached a critical phase; the decisive moment.

It reminds me of the "Fight or Flight Response" (aka "acute stress response"). It describes the way people (or animals) react to situations -- they either face it or they run from it. I can feel inside myself, pretty much all of the time, the push to take option b -- to run away from situations that are difficult or challenging or stretching or stressful or not-so-pleasant, instead of standing my ground, facing things head on, taking the uncool as it comes and trying my best to learn from whatever it is in front of me. I know that is what God wants -- He uses crappy things to teach us good things. That's how we mature, how we grow up. But we've got to be willing to trust Him. And I find that supremely difficult.

I remember reading a few quotes not too long ago about courage and fear that encouraged me a great deal. I try to think of them whenever I feel that push to "run away" from things. Perhaps they'll also come in handy for you too, whenever you face those "fight or flight" feelings. Heck, I could be the only one -- but I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say that if Mark Twain dealt with it, most everyone probably does also.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
Mark Twain

Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.
Mark Twain
I have not ceased being fearful, but I have ceased to let fear control me. I have accepted fear as a part of life - specifically the fear of change and the fear of the unknown; and I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says, turn back, turn back, you'll die if you venture too far.
Erica Jong

Well. School has begun. Again. And I really don't want to be here. But I've gotta get it done. I just gotta. And it will be so. Because it must be so. That's why.

I went and saw The Exorcism of Emily Rose last night. I didn't go voluntarily, that's for sure. I had suggested going to a movie to my roommate and his brother, and that was what they wanted to see. I told them I didn't want to, but by the time we got to the theatre, I didn't really have much choice. So I went.

To tell you the truth, I was impressed. I won't lie -- I got scared. I closed my eyes many a'time throughout. There were a few moments where all I could think was, "What the heck am I doing here?!" But I made it. With my bladder intact. And I have to say, it was actually a decent movie.

After the movie I was telling my roommate (who, by the way, didn't find the movie very scary, for some odd reason) that movies like that disturb me, or affect me, more than other "horror" movies because they involve something I believe very much in: the supernatural, angels and demons, good vs. evil, God and Satan. Whereas with other horror movies, the plot is so ridiculous I don't give it much thought. I think I was affected a lot by this movie for the same reason, or in the same vein, as I was affect by The Passion of the Christ -- there were moments where I really didn't feel like I was watching a movie. At least, not in the traditional I-pay-my-10-bucks-and-get-entertained-for-a-couple-of-hours sort of way. It was much more real and believable than that. It felt, at times, very personal, like I could relate to what was happening (not that I've been possesed by six demons recently, or anything). It didn't help that this movie was based on actual events (though they are no doubt still in question).

Of course, I had some 'theological issues' with it. It was very Catholic (which is obvious, considering the emphasis on Exorcism -- duh!). But with that came the emphasis on Mary and on iconic props (such as using the Crucifix to physically affect the demons). I'm not a big fan of that stuff. Must be the Protestant in me or something...

But I think the movie did a lot of things right. I think it did a good job of showing the reality of evil, that Satan is real and alive and active. I think a lot of people will leave the theatre with much to think about, simply because the film was done well enough, and handled the topic seriously enough, as to give the idea of the supernatural credibility. That really impressed me.

I also really liked how they talked about why it is our culture wants to explain away everything with science/medicine, while other cultures still very much hold to the idea that some things can't be explained away.

I was disappointed, though, that they didn't really show God's power over evil very well. Granted, the point of the story, as the film itself stated, was to show that Satan is real. But it was discouraging to see the priest "lose", or fail at, the Exorcism. Though now that I think about it, this verse pops into my head:
After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting."
(Mark 9:28-29)

Anyway. Interesting movie. Made me think. Still, not for everyone -- much as The Exorcist wasn't for everyone, either (although, just so you know, this one is a lot less graphic than The Exorcist was).

As for other aspects of my life -- school is alright. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm not feeling very excited about it. I want to be done with it. It doesn't help anything either that I would rather be in Ontario with Ashley than in B.C. without her. That is definitely no fun. None at all. Nadda. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Sigh. Life is stupid sometimes.

Good Grief!

It is ridiculously depressing how long it has been since I've written a post. I mean, one would think nothing has happened/is happening in my life right now or that I fell down an abandoned mine shaft and despite screaming at the top of my lungs for hours, days, on end, to no avail, I decided to settle down and build myself a home and, through the powers of evolution, bypass my reproduction short-comings and create offspring to populate the underworld with me. But really it's just that I've been too busy.

The last little while has been filled-to-bursting with all sorts of crazy (and in some cases, unexpected) events in the Life of Kyle. My family hit the road last week, leaving for Edmonton (their new home) and leaving me in their wake, alone in an empty (or relatively empty) house, with nothing but some paper plates and the giant spiders that find their way into my room to keep me entertained (believe me, paper plates can be very entertaining, given the right circumstances). Oh yeah, and having random realtors bring strangers through the house while I am sleeping can be amusing. Creepy, sure. But fun too. Especially when you sleep naked. Oh, what good times...

Another big deal was in the purchasing of a girlfriend. Ok, ok -- I didn't purchase her. Believe it or not, she came of her own accord. That may seem hard to believe, I know. But I lie not. It is all rather great. Unexpected and great. She is great. In fact, she sometimes even shows up around here. And leaves comments. When she feels like it. Her name is Ashley -- and she too has a blog. You should read it. Because if you do, she'll be pressured into writing more. And that is my goal.

Ashley is an amazing girl, and I feel quite overwhelmed by the fact that she's decided to take a chance with me. It is a very new experience for me to meet someone who I feel so connected to, as if we've known each other for years. And on top of that, meeting someone I have so much in common with, who shares a lot of the same thought processes, and even shares some of the same struggles, though with our own personal twists, is all quite wonderful. And exciting. I'm like a little kid on Christmas Day. A perpetual Christmas Day.

It always amazes me how life never seems to go the way it is planned. I can't say I went into this summer expecting my family to move again. And I can't say I went into the summer expecting to have a girlfriend by the end of it. I think that was probably the last thing I expected. But when things happen, you've just gotta embrace them and go with them. There's no use standing around worrying about one thing or the other, because life is going to happen whether you want it to or not. And when good things happen -- grab them and enjoy them and go with them. And when bad things happen -- well, grab them too, learn from them, become a better person because of them. Life is too short and too important to passively watch it go by.
And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time.
(Death Cab of a Cutie, What Sarah Said)

I feel like I have so much more to write, to say, to tell, but I have no time to do it. Tomorrow I fly back to B.C., in a last ditch attempt to get something out of this school. In the meantime, I have boxes to pack and people to spend time with. This blog must, therefore, take a backseat. For now. But I'll be back. Oh yes. I will.

the sounds of music

the reading rainbow

  • A Generous Orthodoxy
    Brian McLaren
  • Brave New World
    Aldous Huxley
  • Catcher In the Rye
    J.D. Salinger
  • Smoke & Mirrors
    Neil Gaiman

motion pictures

people i spy on

internet tourism

recent gibberish

ancient history