Saturday, March 11, 2006

Oh no. Oh Sweet Merciful God, no!

I ran into this item over at BoingBoing, and I died. From laughter. I've sent my spirit, my anima, back to earth to post a link to this, that my friends and colleagues may also perish from hilarity and join me in the Land of Wind and Ghosts. So we can start a volleyball team.

Okay, this is from Rahoi.com, from his post of March 2nd (May I Take Your Order). A hideously translated menu couldn't be that funny, could it?

Exhibit A:

http://www.rahoi.com/2006/03/may-i-take-your-order.php

Exhibit B:

http://www.rahoi.com/2006/03/may-i-take-your-order.php

I'm not trying to say I've never created hilariously bad translations with internet language dictionaries. Quite the opposite. I am, however, trying to say that things are damn funny.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Spilling the Beans...

Last night was a hard night. Actually, the whole day was kind of the pits, which is why we went hiking in Muir Woods.

I'm a little sick of thinking about it, so here's the short version: the Balazs Committee, which is sort of in charge of Starr King's visiting Transylvanian scholarship program, decided to offer a program next year that would send an American Starr King student to Transylvania for six months to experience the life of a Taransylvanian village minister. Sarah and I applied and felt really really good about our chances.

The committee met yesterday morning, and we couldn't take the tension of waiting around to hear the news so we went for a ten mile hike. We met with one of the selection committee members last night, and got the bad news: they awarded the internship to a third-year student at school. A big bummer, but it could be worse! And there may very well be a next year.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

PS!

Muir Woods is where, on May 19, 1945, leaders from all around the world met to sign the charter that created The United Nations! This (in my opinion) incredible salient and significant bit of triviana is totally absent from the website I linked to below, and appears only scantingly in the official US Parks Services website. Go figure. Sign of the times, or accurate reflection of the UN's political significance? I leave it to you, gentle reader, to determine the truth.

Visit Muir Woods?

Don't mind if I do!

Sarah and took the day for a hike in beautiful Muir Woods National Monument, just a bit south of her old San Rafael stomping grounds. I don't have any Wednesday classes, and we both needed to blow off some steam. Seriously.

We started in the old growth at the trailhead--really crowded for a Wednesday. We had to park in the overflow lot, and I've heard it's incredibly zooey on the weekends. For what it's worth. We were feeling saucy, so we hiked to the end of the paved main loop, and crossed a bridge over the river to the Ben Johnson trail. It was a gorgeous, slightly hazy day, but we still got a lot of sun (so cloudy and rainy the last few days--really lucky to get nice weather when we could enjoy it). When we started out, it was chilly enough for longsleeves, and we could see our breath. Steam rose off the trail and the trunks of the trees at the occasional patch of sunshine. Every cranny and gully seemed to have a stream running through it, and the whole countryside is much greener than I've seen it before. The clean smell of the air, the breeze and the little spots of sun, and the sound of the running water were such a contrast to all the city noises in Oakland, the dry dusty air, the traffic and stress. I feel like I've had the same low-grade cold/allergies for months, the same wheezy feeling in my chest. Yuck.

The trail met up with the Dipsea trail at the top of the ridge, and the forest cleared out so we could see Oakland, Berkeley and Richmond on the far side of the bay; Angel Island and all the shi-shi burbs huddled at the feet of the Marin Headlands; past the headlands we could see San Francisco itself, and then the Pacific off to the west. We could see it all, and it was really stunning. After a half-mile through the scrub the trail dipped back down into mixed Redwood, Doug Fir, and California Bay Laurel (whose leaves make the most incredible spicy, gummy, sweet smell between your fingers). We walked down hundreds of steps into the canyon, alongside small waterfalls and through soggy patches of trail. In an open area above Stinson Beach we saw a Kestrel kiting, or trying to--it was really gusty out, and the kestrel seemed to be having trouble figuring out where the wind was coming from. The trail was dotted with coyote scat, gray and fuzzy with fur. Some of the fumets had broken apart a little, and you could see the jumbled architecture of tiny mouse bones poking out.

We were going to eat lunch on the beach, but the wind was getting stronger and the clouds rolling in, so we retreated to a picnic bench. Simple lunch: bread and cheese. It's nice not to eat fancy when you're out and about.

On the way back we saw two guys up the hill from us, clambering to the top of a outcropping carrying what looked like small red surfboards. Getting closer we realized they were each toting a radio controlled sailplane. Before we hiked past their aerodrome we got to watch one of 'em try his luck in the bluster: I really thought he was going to eat it at one point, but he pulled it out at the last second. He landed it during the next pause of the wind--didn't want to press his luck, I guess.

The hike back seemed a lot quicker--similar scenery, but in reverse and cloudier. We got really chilled coming back into the Redwoods, but were soon in our car and up and over the nauseatingly winding headlands road and into traffic on highway 101. {sigh}.

Sarah is washing dishes at PSR tonight, and I will go over to retrieve her soon. Then the two of us, Zsolt, and KT are going to get blastoid, Transylvanian-style, somewhere in San Francisco. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 06, 2006

What Garrick just sent me:

mattbors.com
Thank you, Garrick! And expecially thank you Matt Bors, for this awesome comic!

Maybe I meant to say refresh...

And that earthquake last hour was weak! We didn't even feel it up here! Weak earthquakes are worse than no earthquakes at all!

Hi Shauncito!

Welcome to my blog. Of course, you won't see this unless you hit reload...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

And if you were curious...

All my friends in California have this website linked on their bookmarks. A neat way to keep up on the latest earth-shaking action!

Trying to flex my brain.

It's a windy, rainy, chilly, funky day, and Sarah and I are parked at The Temescal Cafe, the best coffeshop in our zone. When we got here, a trio of guitar and banjo playing women were singing and playing bluegrass songs, and the joint was crammed with people. The music was a great counterpoint to the weather, and the energy in the room was really reinvigorating. We worked at a luncheon yesterday at CDSP (Church Divinity School of the Pacific,the Episcopalian/Anglican school in the GTU), walking there and back from our house in Oakland, and watched the first two Indiana Jones movies in the evening. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was maybe the most exhausting thing we did all day--not the chill-out space-out we'd been hoping for. Just a boring, shrill, senseless, racist shell of a movie. I'd heard that the Indian gov't refused to let Spielberg and Lucas shoot on Indian soil, and after watching the terrible banquet dinner scene (Snake Surprise? Chilled Monkeybrains? Come on!) I could understand their reasoning. Just preposterous and unnecessary, and fundamentally insulting.

I've got to write a sermon for class tomorrow, and I'm kind of spinning my wheels. I want to write about anomie, and how community seems to be dying, or at least taking on a new form and a diminished status in our country. I'm thinking of talking about my experiences building decks in the exurbs, and how the neighborhoods felt like dead zones in so many ways, and then move on to cars and how driving (and internet chat rooms) lets people behave in ways they never would face to face. Okay, fine, but where to go from there? How do you bring back community after it's been exiled?