Thought #1: I was re-reading my initial, introductory post this weekend and came to the startling conclusion that I really came off as a jaded cynic. As such, I have created The Anonymous (Pipe)Dreamer's Rule #1 for Blogging, which reads as follows:
If you are not normally cynical, but are for any reason whatsoever in a cynical mood, do not...I repeat, do NOT begin a brand new blog. If you already have a blog and feel the need to make a cynical post, more power to you. But make damn sure your first post is an accurate reflection of who you are, not just your mood on that particular day.
Don't worry...it's a long rule, I won't make you memorize it, and there won't be a test.
What I didn't write in my first post that I realize I ought to have, is that while there are areas of my life and interests that I have not tended to and need to be more conscious about, on the whole I am incredibly blessed. I have an amazing family, amazing friends, a job that is fulfilling, makes a difference in the lives of others AND pays the bills (my personal triumvirate of job criteria), AND I have the opportunity and choice to pursue those interests that are enjoyable. Everyone has interests...not everyone has the chance to explore those interests. I am lucky to have the CHOICE--if I'm not being the person I really am, it's nobody's fault but my own.
Not everyone is so lucky.
So when I said in my introductory post that if you were to ask me tomorrow for a description of myself, that it may change...turns out I wasn't kidding. I think that's why I like the name I go by on here. I'm a dreamer--anyone who's known me for any length of time knows that. And I'm aware that many of those dreams can never become reality. Hence the pipedreams. But I put the word pipe in parentheses for a reason--to subordinate it. I'm a dreamer first. Not all dreams are impossible ones. Hey--I'm a Red Sox fan...I experienced 2004. If coming from behind 3 games to none against the Yankees to beat them in the manner my Sox did that year to win their first championship in 86 years isn't an example of that, then what is? (A quick aside...I know they still had to play the World Series after that...but it was a mere technicality, a formality...after that come-from-behind, a bunch of Cardinals weren't gonna get in the way of destiny!) I'm Charlie Brown running to kick the football. 999 times out of 1000, Lucy may pull it away at the last minute, but surely there's BOUND to be a time where she waits a little too long, or is thinking about something else, or...
...has a change of heart.
Thought #2: Ever seen the show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC? It's one of the few positive examples out there of what "reality" television could be like. Basically they find a family in need of a new house, send them on a week's vacation, build them a dream home during the course of a week, then bring them home to their new house, which they see for the first time in a very public unveiling. Well, last week, the design team was right here in my hometown. There were Ty Pennington sightings everywhere, the local newspaper ran updates on the construction progress and related "human interest" stories every day...the whole town had a buzz about it all week. Amazingly, there was more talk of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition than of the upcoming Nebraska-Missouri football game which would for all intents and purposes decide the Big XII North race. That's saying something.
I have a confession to make. I went to the "move that bus!" unveiling. Having been a casual viewer of the show in the past, and knowing that I had Friday off, my curiosity got the best of me. So I drove to the site, parked a few blocks away, and walked to where there were well over a thousand people milling around behind guardrails up and down the block (I hope ABC compensates the neighbors for having their lawns trampled on for a week by the faceless hordes of onlookers). I found a place and waited. And waited. And waited. The paper had said that the family would be arriving somewhere between 1 and 2 pm.
So by 3:20 the crowd was getting a bit restless. Chants of "Go Big Red!" popped up here and there (okay, so the game wasn't TOTALLY forgotten). Finally, the big limo carrying the family showed up, Ty met up with them, they moved the big bus out of the way, and there was much yelling and screaming and hugging and falling down in joy for the family. In all honesty, setting aside all cynicism about the non-reality of "reality" TV...it was pretty cool.
But I couldn't shake this thought: wouldn't it be amazing...if every time a new house was built with Habitat for Humanity...that there was this kind of response? The newspaper reported that over 3,000 people signed up to be volunteers during the week. Businesses went out of their way to help the family, help the TV crew, and help the volunteers. The general public came out in droves all week to check up on things. If a city can band together to help what seems to be a good, deserving family when there are TV cameras and celebrities around, why can't we do the same without the cameras and tanned faces? Imagine what would happen if Habitat had so many volunteers for a project that people had to be turned away...if the general public took such a vested interest in the project's progress...if there was a huge party for the family when they took possession of the house, with thousands of people taking pictures and cheering and chants.
Thought #3: I was in a play at church last night. It had nothing to do with Christianity, religion, or faith. Ever seen the movie Clue (if not, you really should...one of the funniest movies EVER)? This little one act play was very much like that movie. A whodunit that takes place in a mansion where nobody can leave, and one by one people begin to die...or at least that's how it seems. And some incredibly silly humor:
"What is it?"
"What does it say?"
(holding letter to ear, listening) "Nothing."
But while the play had nothing to do with religion, it had everything to do with church. 10 parishoners spent 2 months rehearsing together, having fun, building trust and friendships, and last night about 100 other churchgoers showed up to be entertained and spend some time together. In good Lutheran fashion, there was of course homemade desserts and coffee (decaf, because it was in the evening) for all afterwards. And when everyone was done talking and eating, those who were able stuck around to take down all the chairs and the set, and put it all away so the election commision could set up the room as a polling place for tomorrow's elections.
So it had everything to do with church. If the church is the body of Christ gathering, growing, and serving, then we had church last night in our little murder mystery.
Plus, I got to carry a harpoon. That was true coolness.