20 December 2009

This damned year is almost over. Merry Christmas!

Well folks, this year was a weird and troublesome one.

It started with my wife unemployed and me recovering from the brain-melting travesty that was the Alpha Course.

Work was busy and made needlessly complicated by numerous architects, government agencies, and architects working for government agencies, but I did manage to design several structures that are starting to be constructed in the local area. I haven't crushed anyone to death in a pile of steel and concrete. Yet.

My father-in-law suddenly passed away, leading to much hardship for my wife's family. This resulted in a horribly busy summer for me, filled with constant commuting back to my hometown to visit my wife, zero help around the house and less time to do it in, and a guargantuan overgrown garden out back.

In the fall, my wife was back so things resumed a bit of normality. Highlights of this time include a trip to Las Vegas, a trip to Pittsburgh, accidentally breaking a girl's nose in a rec league floorhockey game, and getting my fingernail crushed at another floorhockey game.

So things are starting to settle a bit as the year wraps up. Not only that, some good things are starting to happen: I just got a sweet raise, so I now make significantly more money than my brother again; he just defended his masters thesis, mostly successfully, so the end is in sight for a 3+ year nightmare of absentee profs and lack of money; I just won a nice door prize at the company Christmas potluck; and we just took the plunge and bought a Christmas tree.

Fake Tree. Pretty sweet - it's almost like we're real people now.

One thing I have noticed is that I'm getting older. It wasn't that long ago that what I wanted for Christmas were big fun things, like TVs, computers, video games, etc. My big list item this year: new bathroom faucets. And I'm damn excited about getting them, too.

Man, I am getting freakin' old.

So things are looking up, other than the "getting old" thing. However, the year ends with the prospect of further dread. My mother-in-law will be moving in with us for the next few months (that means no more walking around in my underwear). My wife's still unemployed. And that fingernail I mentioned earlier in this post is going to come off soon.


So have a Merry Christmas and we'll talk in the new year, m'kay?


13 December 2009

The Purpose Driven Life for my Wife

Given all the talk on Pharyngula and elsewhere right now, I had to reflect on Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life. Unfortunately, my life, purposeful or not, is not immune to his dreck. My wife has recently started working through the book with her sister. Both of them are currently unemployed and feeling listless right now so I guess they figured it's a good time to do it.

I've tried to stay out of it as much as possible - a year later and I'm still burned out from attending the Alpha Course with my wife. Any more immersion into the loony Christoworld and I fear my brain will collapse (and with it, any bridges I'm currently designing). So any analysis I have on TPDL will be superficial by necessity.

Based on simply the book cover, the damn thing is almost certainly preying on the boring housewife demographic. Purple background, gold accents, elegant flowing scripts, definitely for the "feeling" crowd. Then again, I'm very surprised it doesn't have the typical "photo of the author smiling in a suit" cover that most self-help books have. So kudos to Warren for that.

Overhearing my wife and her sister talking about it, it is certainly very God focused. You can't go a paragraph in it without encountering a bible verse or a statement about how God wants humans to behave and think.

Last year, another one of my wife's sisters read TPDL and for some damn reason she was telling me about it. So I asked her, having just finished the book, what the purpose of her life was. She said "It's a great book, it explains how God has a purpose for everybody." So I asked again, what God's purpose for her was, and she said "God has different plans for everybody and has gifted us with different skills and abilities to serve that purpose." Great, I said, and asked again what skills and purposes she has. She said "all these skills are what God wants us to do." This went on for a minute or two until I gave up. So my conclusion is a) my sister-in-law has terrible reading comprehension, b) Rick Warrens book is mainly religious fluff that doesn't actually address its topic beyond "do what God wants you to do", or c) a little of column (a) and a little of column (b).

If I hear anything else from my wife, I'll let you know, but just a warning, I'm not going to torture myself over this.

Labels: , ,