Monday, March 30, 2009

Blog Topic Stew

I so want to write to you! But I have too many other computer-oriented issues, and writing-oriented projects, to do much blogging at present. Actually, I haven't blogged in more than a week since the last ones were done in advance.

Laptop: My laptop's ability to access the Internet has been hijacked, and whatever is doing it is wreaking havoc in other ways as well. A clever 18-year-old of my acquaintance - classic programming nerd - got it cleaned off a week ago. Or so we thought. But the machine has managed to get itself reinfected so I guess we didn't get it all. Working on that. And using a desktop machine at the office.

Editing: Got to keep our ezine rolling along. There's a new edition every week after all. Last week was the one I was responsible to actually compose, and it took quite a few hours to actually come together and feel like a graceful composition. Now I need to work on this week's, which came to me this morning for editing. It's supposed to go out April 1. (Do you suppose people will believe all our stories are serious?)

Website: We're building a new website for our team at the office, including of course the ezine. The plan was to launch it at the beginning of April. We're close. Oh, my 300+ pages of Miss Cat archives will not make the first rollout. But today I got all the 2009 pages into the new system. The upgraded site will allow some blog-like functions such as RSS feed. I have been feeling bad about being the only news source on the block not to have that! I'm working on the additional pages and architecture. It's coming along. Stay tuned.

Weather: And yeah, we did get quite a snowfall at the end of last week. About a foot, and it came down about an inch an hour for a bit there. We were only snowbound about 24 hours though. The roommate and I marked the ocassion with a Don Knots Film Marathon. Yes. She got four of his movies for Christmas. Bad movies (2.5 stars all around) but good times. We started with "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken." (That one is part of her family lore; seeing it as a third-grader gave her nightmares. But that was 40-some years ago. I'm pleased to announce, no nightmares this time!)

With the weather and the computer problems, I've been stuck between being unable to work and trying to find ways to catch up on work. I didn't have any evening commitments last week, either. So it turned out to be a pretty antisocial week. I worked out a few times, I read a lot, and had some good times of prayer and stuff, but I didn't have a lot of interaction with people.

Milkshake and Movie Night, and Musings: Saturday I really had to get out. So I went with a couple coworkers to a "milkshake and movie night" at the home of a woman who has started an orphan ministry in Zimbabwe. We watched War Dance. Good stuff; intense, though. It's about a group of kids from Northern Uganda, all victims of war, who find solace and purpose in music and dance. Tells their stories as well as the story of their efforts to get to a big music competition in the capital.

What touched me as much as the movie was the time, beforehand, when some of the people involved with the Zimbabwe ministry shared about their recent trips to Africa. The folks they work with haven't been through all the same things as Rose, Nancy, and Dominic (the main characters in War Dance) but some other pretty big challenges. Many are starving, and the economy has been devastated, and AIDS is extremely widespread.

I've heard it all before. But this time I struck anew by what they, these Westerners who were trying to make a difference in Zimbabwe, said about being willing to put yourself out there, relationally, to take risks and reach out to people, even when you feel like an idiot and don't know how they will respond. In some ways it's easier cross-culturally, at least it is for me. But I've been realizing lately how prone I am to back off when I'm scared or don't know what to do.

I guess we're all scared of at least a few things. I'm not scared to talk to people who are different than I am. I'm not afraid to travel around the world. I'm not afraid to get up and talk in front of a group of people. Instead, I'm afraid of things that even to me seem rather silly. I'm kind of afraid of small children - not that I don't like them, I just don't know how to endear myself to them, and it hurts to be rejected. I'm afraid to pick up the phone and make calls. And something in me pulls back from being close to people, generally, I think. After all these years, I'm still shy! I want to see that change. Or at least, to recognize and work around it.

1 comment:

Dean Smith said...

We've been having computer issues. Jennie's macBook (my cast-off) wouldn't boot. I ended up completely erasing the HD and re-installing the OS. First time ever for a mac (for me). Fortunately we had everything backed up. (Thanks Time Capsule!). I tell people, "If you depend on a computer for your livelihood, budget for a new one every two years. Keep a backup handy, and buy macs. You'll have a lot less trouble.