Welcome to Summer On My Own

Welcome to life on your own. For the first time in my life, I think I can really say that I’m on my own. This weekend I moved into my home-for-the-summer at Judson College. As I’ve said before, I have an internship with Real Media Group in Elgin, Illinois. I’m living in the dorms at Judson College just a few minutes down the road. As of today I don’t have a roommate, although that will probably change.

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Celebrating Memorial Day

Seventeen boats of drunken people, lashed together in the middle of a river. A blood red moon rises in the east and fireworks explode overhead, a celebration for Memorial Day. While the brilliant colors flash across the sky, someone comments that you could see this every night in Serbia. This is how we celebrate our independence.

Driving 55, Living in Chicago and the Moon

I have devised away that the state of Illinois can save millions of dollars every year. All they have to do is stop posting speed limit signs. I learned today that the residents of Illinois don’t follow them anyway, so why put them up? Think of the money they could save! Why, the could get rid of that wretched toll system!

While driving through today I noticed that the speed limit was 55. Let’s just say I was driving slightly above the posted limit, although only in an attempt to keep up with traffic. And I do mean keep up. Half the cars went flying past me like I was sitting still. They had to be doing at least 75. Now why won’t drivers do that in Michigan, where the speed limit is 70?

I moved into my home for the summer at Judson College, near Chicago, Illinois today. And then promptly left for the weekend. I’m in Green Bay, Wisconsin right now. I get around, don’t I? Now I just need to find a paying job.

Did you see the moon tonight? Wow, it just lit everything up. I hope you took advantage of the silvery light of the moon to play on the swings or ride the seesaw.

Doing Nothing Means Dumb Blogging

You know what? I’ve determined that sitting at home and doing nothing is not very conducive to pondering. But don’t worry, tomorrow I pack up to head to Chicago, and starting Saturday I won’t be sitting around anymore. And that’s a good thing, cuz my brain is just not up to par right now. We all could use a break sometimes, but too much of a break doesn’t do any good.

More intelligent ponderings, coming soon!

Climb the Trees

We kids go through a lot these days. I wonder how many of us really understand what this life is all about. We’re assaulted with so many images and sound bytes and things to believe in. It’s hard to know what to believe. It’s hard to know who to trust. What others think becomes way too important. What I think becomes way too unimportant. We feel insignificant. But we’re not. We only need to realize our potential. And rise above the crap society throws at us. We need to climb the trees.

Michael Moore as Jesus

The road is straight and narrow. Black as night. The double yellow line slices down the road, accented with white lines at the road’s edge. My headlights cut into the darkness as I course into the future. In my mirror I see the airy and hazy mistakes of the past. What lies beyond the coming bend? Where am I going? Where are you going?

I don’t want to throw up my arms in despair and join the quitters brigade. I want to press on. I want to dirty my hands. I want to roll up my sleeves. What do you want to do?

I saw a portion of a documentary by Michael Moore today. He’s the man behind TV Nation, the documentary Roger & Me that exposed GM, the book Downsize This!, and a new cable show the Awful Truth. I doubt the man is a Christian, but I can’t help but see him as a Christ figure. The man is the champion of the underdog, a man of the people. He stands up for the down trodden. Roger & Me exposed the practices of General Motors in the mid 80’s that put thousands out of work. He goes straight to companies with his film crew, and asks to talk to the CEO. He knows his facts. Your company has made $6 billion in profit in the last six years, yet you’ve laid off 13,000 people. Why? He confronted the CEO of Nike about unfair labor practices in their plants in Indonesia. He begged the CEO to open a plant in Flint, Michigan, a city where 67% of the children live below the poverty line. A city that was the center of the General Motors downsizing. In the beginning of this book Downsize This!, Moore compares the Oklahoma City bombing to the destruction of a plant in Flint. A photo is shown of both buildings, and they looked identical. The caption read, ‘What is terrorism?’ Is it terrorism for a company to put people out of work and ruin people’s livelihood just to make a few more bucks? You get my point. Michael Moore isn’t afraid to stand up to corporations and speak for the people. I can’t help but see Christ in his actions. Perhaps the church should consider this approach.

Church, Quitting and Baseball

Closing the door to my truck, I scan the grounds. Everything is still and quiet. I am late, and everyone else is inside. Walking towards the building, everything feels strangely eerie. It feels like I’m walking into a war zone. I open the door, and strange faces greet me. No smile. No warm handshake. I round the corner to find the warmth of familiarity shattered. My usual row is empty and cold. I find an empty seat and my eyes look across the room. Few familiar faces smile back at me. The songs seem forced and hollow. The message seems empty, airy, and beyond me. But was I really listening? Welcome home. Welcome to church. Where unity is stranger.

The American Way. We hear a lot about this great country of America and our character. The protestant work ethic has often defined America. It’s the land of opportunity. Roll up your sleeves, dirty your palms, and you will prosper. But is that still the attitude of America? An NBC special on Jesse Ventura tonight showed a period of Ventura’s announcer days when he claimed that cheating was the American way. I think that pessimistic slide is on the right track. I’d like to claim that quitting is now the American way. When the going gets tough, the American goes walking. When things get hard, we quit. We throw our hands up in the air and call it quits. We don’t want to work anymore. We don’t want to dirty the brow. Divorce, jobs, friendships. It’s everywhere. What a great country.

Well, I can’t be all negative today. Some friends and I played some ball today. Ah, the great American past time. It’s pretty obvious it’s not my past time. Yet still, there’s nothing like feeling a bat in your hands as it connects with the ball, and you watch the ball sail through the air. It flies higher and higher, arcs beautifully, and falls just beyond the infield: My best hit of the day. Kevin D. Hendricks, baseball legend.

Random Thoughts During a 12-Hour Drive

And 600 miles later I’m home. Whew. What a trip. Too many sights, too many thoughts, and too many miles.

A 12 hour drive is pretty boring, and you have to find someway to entertain yourself. I think I managed nicely. The 6-disc CD changer helps too.

Way-too bright, fluorescent, spandex pants on a guy in the bathroom of a rest area in Michigan and free donut holes at a gas station in Wisconsin.

In Chicago, express lanes mean just that. You always thought a meat wagon was an off color name for an ambulance? Nope, in Wisconsin that’s the truck that drives along the shoulder of the freeway picking up the road-kill deer.

Eerie fog tinted red with brake lights and lightning so heavy in the distance it looked like a strobe light.

Kevin, the navigation wonder, makes a blunder and tours parts of downtown Chicago. I should get lost more often, downtown Chicago looks like a fun place.

People fighting in Target over a shopping cart, you consider doing something, but what can you? They were acting worse than 5-year-olds.

And if you really want a thrill, try driving through Chicago-rush-hour traffic while playing the soundtrack to the new Star Wars movie. That’s freaky.

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