Friday, July 29, 2005
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
The Loch by Steve Alten - Marine biologist Zachary Wallace must uncover the mysteries of Loch Ness in time to save his father who is accused of a loch related murder. Weaving together elements of Scottish history and new theories about "Nessie," Alten has spun a tale that is a brisk, fun read. Of course, I'm a sucker for a story about monsters...but that's just me.
Arthur and the Minimoys by Luc Besson - 10 year old Arthur must find and save the world of the Minimoys, a race that is only 3/4 inch tall, in order to discover the fate of his missing grandfather. This book was written by Besson, director of such films as The Professional and The Fifth Element. I wanted to enjoy this but it's very elementary. I'm sure it's a very good little adventure for kids (for whom it was intended) but I found it flat and dull. Oh well, guess I shouldn't read kids books, huh?
The Stand by Stephen King - A plague reduces the world's population while an ancient evil grows to challenge the few people who are left. I put this book down after getting 3/4 through it. It was a struggle to read. I know it's supposed to be one of King's best but I just couldn't get into it. I much prefer Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon as far as this genre is concerned.
Friday, July 22, 2005
ANTJUAN ODEN - THE MYTH OF CAPTIVITY AND THE TRUTH OF CONSEQUENCE
In the fall of 2000, in what can only be deemed as unjust circumstances, Garde Rail Gallery artist Antjuan Oden began a 15 month jail term. Even as Antjuan's art was used against him in his trial, his spirit to create could not be broken and he continued to paint while in prison. This exhibit will feature work completed while in captivity, as well as compelling new pieces Antjuan has completed since his release. Self-taught artist Antjuan Oden has shown with Garde Rail Gallery since he moved to the Pacific Northwest in the summer of 1998. Born in Birmingham in 1972, Antjuan quickly flooded the scene with his powerful, energetic, vibrant works on paper and wood. His mixed media assemblages captured the attention of galleries in Atlanta, and he was soon featured in Art Papers. After a flurry of activity between Birmingham and Atlanta, Antjuan sensed that he needed a change and landed in Tacoma. Antjuan Oden is considered one of the brightest talents of the next generation of self-taught artists. Creating with the same intensity and compulsion as many of the African-American vernacular artists of the South, Antjuan incorporates a modern awareness and urban iconography into his widely varied works. Over the last few months, Antjuan has established a new lexicon of imagery to work with that you may see often in these new paintings; a birdcage, a lotus plant, missiles, horses and elephants. This body of work also showcases Antjuan's painting style, and promises that his new work will be heading in exciting new directions. While in prison, with no access to art supplies, Antjuan still completed nearly 200 works. Of these, 75 tiny paintings were completed with tissue paper as brushes and coffee as paint, using scraps of paper salvaged from prison regulation sheets and drink mix sachets as his canvas. It is this body of work that exemplifies the commitment to create that resides inside Antjuan. "I have to paint. I can't stop - it's ridiculous!" - Antjuan Oden, July 1998
I read this quote a few years ago and it gave me an idea for a story. I record it here so I won't forget to write that story.
I also have ideas for other stories that could become novels. I'm also going to record them here so I won't forget.
- Midnight Madness
- Warlock Country
- The Spider Tree
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Friday, July 15, 2005
Every once in a while, I am going to highlight an artist that I like. This week, it's Gary Baseman. To the general public, he's the guy that created Disney's Teacher's Pet cartoon. Well, he's been around alot longer than that. I like the way he blends cartoon art with fine art. Pretty amazing and fun stuff. You can learn more about him at www.garybaseman.com.
Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer - Seemingly benevolent aliens land on earth and are treated well until there's a murder. What ensues is the first trial involving extraterrestrial life. I don't usually read sci-fi but Sawyer does it well. The characters are not overshadowed by the technology. He's more about character than weird space stuff.
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison - Second in a series about a bounter hunter/witch who operates in a post-plague America where regular citizens mix with supernatural creatures like vampires, werewolves, and pixies. I'm much more into fantasy than sci-fi but I prefer fantasy set in the modern world rather than Lord of the Rings type stuff.
Vigil by Robert Massello - A fallen angel released from a fossil wreaks havoc on New York city. I didn't enjoy this one as much as I thought I would because the author chose the low road and not much happened. He did leave it open for a sequel but I'm not sure I'll go there.
Fragments by James F. David - This is a re-read. It's immensely enjoyable. Scientists use computer technology to join several autistic children together to form a new entity, blending their various skills into one new creation. Of course, something goes wrong and chaos ensues. Wouldn't be a good story if it didn't. I highly recommend this one.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
NEW YORK (BP)--I literally was birthed into Southern Baptist evangelicalism. Both of my parents are in the ministry. Recently, my father became the vice president of evangelism at the North American Mission Board. Before that, he was a Southern Baptist pastor for longer than I have seen the light of the sun. I write this on lunch break in my corner of an office of The 411, a New York City church (on 42nd street, sponsored heavily by Southern Baptist churches from the deep south) who are embracing a radical, risky and eternally rewarding way of life described in the same book that calls the homosexual lifestyle sin. Romans 12:21 reads, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."Overcome evil with condemnation? Overcome evil by shaking our heads, refusing to go see the Disney movie "Tarzan"? No. Overcome evil with GOOD. Today the staff of The 411 hauled hundreds of water bottles to a dancer's call audition for the revival of the Broadway musical "A Chorus Line" (infamous for being the first successful musical to openly deal with and affirm homosexuality in the arts). We walked into a room full of hopeful dancers and nervous producers and said "Hey, this water is free for you guys. We're from a new church called The 411 and we just want to say that God loves you." The man running the audition looked at me with a blank stare and then said, "Wow, that's ... well ... that's just ... wow ... that's ... amazing!" Then he announced to the entire room, "Hey these church people just brought you guys all free water!" I then heard him turn aside and mutter to himself, "Wow that is just amazing."Yes, it's amazing. The goodness of God who sent His only Child to be brutally murdered on behalf of a human race who rebelled against Him is amazingly GOOD! In no way should a person who claims to follow Jesus Christ advocate a lifestyle that so clearly is spoken against in the Word of God. However,we trust that by meeting the basic needs of lost people, doors will open to share with them the hope of a new life in Christ. I have caught a dangerous trend arising in my generation, which "loves Christ but not the church."Not all of this is our fault. We are crying out for our elders to step back and allow us to step up. We are crying out for them to fund relevant college ministries even though most of us cannot drop as much as they can in the offering plate. However, we are crying out immaturely, like a 2-year-old throwing a tantrum in a grocery store. Abandoning or "taking a break from" church is neither the right thing to do, nor is it any kind of solution to the problem. The SBC needs a new generation of leaders from us 20-somethings to do what Christ commanded before he ascended into heaven. He said, "GO therefore ..." not "Runaway therefore ..." not "Condemn therefore....""Go therefore and make disciples...." [Matthew 28:19] With everything in me, I believe that is the heart of what Southern Baptist evangelism was meant to be. Whether your hair is gray or streaked with purple, if you claim to follow Jesus Christ you are called to go directly into a bleeding, slimy, hurting, desperate, dying world, and defeat the inherent evil of people's souls with the good of the Father. I love Jesus. I believe every word of the Bible and I believe we should live it by sharing it with the lost. I am gay-friendly.
Monday, July 11, 2005
"So Ana and I did a super cheesy announcement today that I think you (THE Ultimate Cheesy Announcer) would be really proud of.
Ana: Hey Alina, did you hear about the great sale on merchandise?
Me: Yeah, Ana, all gardening merchandize is 60% off!
Ana: Is that what the girl with sandwich board was talking about?
Me: Yeah, you can find great savings at the seasonal department and the front vestibule!
Ana: Get these great savings while they last!
Me: AC MOORE ROCKS!
This is played on rotation and Big Paul is coming tomorrow... I wonder if he'll appreciate it....If you hadn't guessed already, Sheri was the one walking around the store with a sandwich board."
Big Paul is the VP in charge of that area. When he visits, it's a tense, "quaking in your boots" kinda time. It was fun working there. For a job with little pay...it was pretty cool. I miss those guys.
Far from home
Near my love
Far from loved ones
Near the edge
Far from safe
Near to pain
Far from joy
Near the water
Far from sky
Near the rocks
Far from soaring
Near to chaos
Far from order
Near the chasm
Far from a bridge
Near the waves
Far from shore
Near to tears
Far from laughter
Near to empty
Far from full
Near the fire
Far from warm
Near the void
Far from God
Copyright 2005 Marty Gordon
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Friday, July 08, 2005
Thursday, July 07, 2005
"God gives us the vision (to be a catalyst of change in the church) then He takes us down to the valley to batter us in to the shape of the vision. And it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we have patience. The vision is not a castle in the air but a vision of what God wants you to be. If you have ever had a vision of God, you may try as like to be satisfied on a lower level but God will never let you. He is after you, Marty! Because He loves you! He believes in you! So do I! I love you!"
I am trying to believe this but it's difficult due to the things that have happened to me. I'll keep trying. That's all I can do.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
"Jessica Simpson is a ho - ee - i - ee - ooooooo!" Wow, she's come a long way from teeny bopper Christian singer. When I was with The Company, she was on program with us at the Texas Youth Evangelism Conference. She was thirteen and was doing the Christian circuit. Seemed like a little diva to me running around with her entourage of thirteen year old girls. She would stick her butt out when she sang. I guess that part of her hasn't changed. Have you seen the "Boots Are Made For Walking" video? Man! Yes, she has changed. From little Christian wannabe sexpot to full blown pop ho. Well, God Bless America! Land where even a young Christian girl with a prominent backside can make it big. Hope everyone remembers you among all the Xtina's and Jlo's and Brittany's running around out there. (I'm just jealous of her success...really. If I had a prominent backside, I might too be making videos and starring in a remake of an old TV show...except mine would be Andy Griffith. I figure I could make Ernest T. Bass into a sex symbol. It could happen.)