Random Event Update, Mid-May 2006

While I have for a while been promising certain academic ponderings and/or Whitney summaries, these are not immediately forthcoming. Meanwhile, I thought I’d share (in a mood particularly inspired by the new caramel Bailey’s and friends) my satisfaction with certain recent Events. Said Events are three. (Actually, there are more, but there has to be some kind of limit)

Event 1: On Thursday, I went to an Over the Rhine and Hem show in San Francisco. I have loved and followed Over the Rhine for years. Karin’s (the singer’s) voice is like magical, sensual, chocolate and wine-filled lovemaking. I think. I have never had magical, sensual, chocolate and wine-filled lovemaking, but it is at least how I would imagine it going. The show was at the Great American Music Hall–my favorite SF venue, where I have seen most if not all of my favorite artists over the past 6-7 years. After Hem’s flawless opening set, Over the Rhine kicked things off with “Latter Days”, possibly my favorite song of theirs. From then until the end of their hour-plus set, I was in a world of enchantment which I can’t coherently relate. Many things rose up in me and got stuck in my throat that I wish I knew how to remember. Times of such beauty are rare.

Event 2: Last night (Saturday), my housemate Trent’s fiancee and friends were all out for some “bachelorette party” or something. Not to be outdone, many of us non-women had an “anti-bachelorette fiesta” of sorts. While the real anti-bachelorette celebration will take place in Mexico in a little while, we settled for much pizza, beer, the viewing of a movie, and some “drunken frisbee golf”, as we like to call it, on Stanford’s campus. This is one of my favorite events. Indeed, it does consist of a certain amount of frisbee golf, but the “drunken” adjective is not as accurate as might be feared. There is, it is not to be doubted, a good amount of alcohol which is consumed beerly. However, the primary attraction to “DFG” is not any actual state of drunkenness (which, as good Christians, we studiously avoided), but rather a state I like to call “playing frisbee golf with a cigarette and pulling a cooler of cheap beer behind us every once in a while drinking some”. For some reason the image is just plain titillating. Beer or no, I had one of my better rounds on the Stanford course, finishing like 10 over par or something.

Event 3: Tonight (Sunday), I went to church. Gasp! It has been a while. But I had ulterior motives. Not, surprisingly, to ogle at hot church-going women (though that may or may not have been a previous ulterior motive). In fact, his greatness himself, the fabulous NT Wright, deigned to speak at MPPC’s “Postmodern” evening service. Candles and big TV screens in full effect, NT gave one of the better talks I’ve heard inside the walls of a church in a long time. I’m not at the moment in a position to sum up the talk, but suffice it to say it scratched my itchings. I haven’t read much of Wright’s considerable bibliography, but am now planning on it. I also find myself wishing the man hadn’t decided to get involved in the church. If he had opted to stay in academics, for instance, I would have been easily persuaded to travel to Oxford and study under him (such was his facility with history, philosophy, and theology).

Apart from these events, there were also two amazing birthday parties (at Tiburon and Half Moon Bay, respectively), and three amazing games of Ultimate Frisbee. Today at our third game session, I felt a magically-increased ability to read the disc, to run to wherever it was, and to just generally be happy with my performance (a relative first for me in the realm of sports). I suppose I have always underestimated the power of practice to actually make better the thing practiced. Maybe it is because I’ve always quit things when the practicing got slightly difficult–but Ultimate has kept my attention quite well, and I am happy to call it my favorite team sport. (And no I am not a hippie). Also, not to be forgotten, I held a CD release party for Splendour Hyaline’s latest offering. A good number of my friends showed up and we rocked out to my music. Apart from the ego-stroking, it was a very meaningful time and I was glad to celebrate the completion of a new art project with many of those I love.

In other news…I am planning on reading The Da Vinci Code. God help me and my literary (in)sensibilities.

By Jonathan Lipps

Jonathan worked as a programmer in tech startups for several decades, but is also passionate about all kinds of creative pursuits and academic discussion. Jonathan has master’s degrees in philosophy and linguistics, from Stanford and Oxford respectively, and is working on another in theology. An American-Canadian, he lives in Vancouver, BC and has way too many hobbies.

3 replies on “Random Event Update, Mid-May 2006”

I would love to hear a summary of Wright’s talk when you get a chance and your thoughts on his work when you get into it. Much of my semester (which ended yesterday) was given to digging deep into Wright and his critics. It was a wonderful ride, and I find myself appreciating him more and more the further I dive into his work. For class I had to critique his work, which was tough for me because I (like everybody else) am so enchanted with him. But it was a great experience, forcing me to really think about what’s at stake in the justification debates.

I think “Latter Days” is among my favorite OTR songs as well, Jonathan, though I don’t own all the albums (sadly).

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