Easter and Scope
I'm not going to feel bad about not blogging, I'm not going to feel guilty. I owe this blog nothing more than what I put into it. I owe its readers good content when I do publish, but otherwise this blog cannot live up to its blog-every-weekday byline. Why? Because I've put my creative efforts into more fruitful endeavors. I think it doesn't take long to see how the blog's content declined as I began focusing on my YouTube efforts.
In short, making video is a long and tedious process. Blogging, according to Tony, takes ten minutes a day. But I like to spend more time than that. Looking through my archives you'll find that I try to craft something more than "look at this." At least, I tried. From stories of my past to my current outlook, I took a lot of joy in writing them.
Now I take a lot of joy in participating in the Magic community. I'm a card game nerd at heart, and there is no greater joy to me right now than the response I get in that community. It's fun and thrilling to work so hard at something and see such a fantastic embrace from the culture.
So I'll update here periodically. Not every day, but not once a month. I won't forget about ya. Just subscribe the web feed, load it up in your Google Reader (if you aren't using it, you haven't tried it--trust me), and I'll bold myself with a little (1) next to me before ya know it.
Annie is in straight-up sneaky mode. The girl wants what she wants and she's going to stop at nothing to get it.
The latest has been an obsession with using the large plastic eggs she and Abby have gotten over the past few weeks to hold water. Yes, the eggs that split in two, like you find at any Walgreens in the country, filled halfway with water, and closed up. You'd be surprised (at least, I was) at how water-tight those things are.
"Annie, what is that sloshing?"
And then, of course, she gets in trouble with lying to me.
You know, if there is one thing that religion can provide for your children, it's free fear. "You keep lying and you're going to go to hell!" Where there is only fire, pain, and liars.
Of course I don't believe in such nonsense, so I discipline Annie the best way I know how. She still lies, of course, just like the kids threatened with damnation, but I'm hoping that she'll grow out of it.
A part of me knows that this lying will probably get worse, not better. But fingers crossed, okay?
Abigail, bless her heart, is a troublemaker. She's also Annie's ultimate scapegoat. Whenever something goes wrong, "Abby did it." Sometimes Abby did do it, but most times not. So that leads to very interesting parental investigations.
Such as, for example, the girls pouring ashes from the fireplace bucket onto the floor, coffee table, and rug. Then adding water. Then rubbing it in.
Which surprisingly did not make Ericka explode into a thousand rage-filled pieces. She stayed in one piece and busted butt accordingly.
Reality Check Moment: Annie is going to meet her teacher(s) and sign up for Kindergarten at the end of May. I am such a dad.
Easter and Scope
It's time for Easter. When Christians turn a blind eye to their paganism, hide their eggs, and try to sum up the day with "And remember, this had something to do with the brutal murder of the messiah." It works somehow, I swear. They call it faith.
I recently found a fantastic video of Carl Sagan narrating his famous Pale Blue Dot essay. I suggest you check it out:
It seriously brings a tear to my eye. It also lets you see how small we are in this universe. Beyond small. Like we think of atoms as unreal things, things that don't really affect us. Yet on this small world, there are a myriad of beliefs. A smorgasbord of faiths. Huge groups of humans, all believing that they have the ear of God. They have the answer. They know the truth.
And it's exhausting to think about. And pointless to bicker.
I've come to the realization that there is only one thing that people use religion for: Comfort.
It's comforting to think that there's somebody out there who really, really loves you.
It's comforting to think that there's some nice place you go when you die.
It's comforting to have a community of people believe something for no reason than they heard it from somebody else, was raised that way, or read a book about it.
It's comforting to have a support network, to have something to pray to, to have an out for your fears, frustrations, hopes.
It's comfort I don't really need. It's comfort I can live without. You want to talk to yourself and tell the imaginary guy how you're feeling, who you're thinking about? I'm cool with that. We're human beings, we don't do rational things all of the time. It's not "rational" to believe in a God, but it sure is comforting.
In our time of need? "Oh God, oh God, oh God..."
In times of thanks "Thank you God, thank you God..."
In times of uncertainty "Give me strength, Lord..."
And on it goes. And it's all very comforting. And it's all very nice. And it's a fine way to live your life. But it's also psychologically taxing to children, it's power than can corrupt absolute, and it's a little silly in the scheme of things.
Whenever you want to think of it as something beyond comfort, just remember Carl Sagan.
"We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there ? on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."