Monday, September 29, 2008

The Return of Dexter

Season 3, Episode 1: “Our Father”
Thanks to the season premiere of Dexter last night, I think I may be re-instating/reviving ye Dexter blogs of olde.

So last night after Status, Leslie and I barely made it back to the house after a Chipotle run in time to make the opening credits. I am glad I didn’t wait around for a fresh batch of pork carnitas, because we seriously would have missed the beginning of the episode. (Good call, Les).

Okay, anyway, this is the first time I’m watching Dexter in real-time and not in DVD or Showtime on Demand or illegal websites. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked.

So here we go.

The title “Our Father” for the season 3 premiere seems quite apt, as one of the main emerging storylines seems to be the juxtaposition between Deb and Dexter and their relationship with Harry.

Deb’s daddy issues have worked themselves out in a variety of ways: her relationship/break-up with Lundy, sporting a new ‘do, and the talented, relentless force with which she tackles her job.

At the end of season two, it appeared that disillusionment with Harry appeared to have catapulted Dexter into a new direction, in which he is no longer the student, but the master, capable of quite possibly hammering out his own code of ethics. The close of season 2 seemed to suggest that Dexter was more than ready and willing to abandon Harry’s stringent code.

However, in the light of what Dexter calls his first “spontaneous kill”—in the heat of the moment and arguably in self-defense, he killed a man, although he was not sure of his guilt at all. And of course the deceased just happens to be the brother of one of Miami’s biggest, most prominent prosecutors. And so Dex realizes the pragmatic benefits of the code, despite his own desire to rebel against Harry, as he himself is no paragon of ethical integrity.

I sort of had mixed feelings about this episode, but then again the premieres of Season 1 and 2 didn’t necessarily grab me right away. I was actually relieved that Matsuka or whoever didn’t find Dex’s tooth, because this might seriously be a repeat of Season 2 with Dex trying to constantly evade the law.

I was kind of bummed that the show didn’t really give any kind of nod to Doakes or the Bay Harbor Butcher business of last season. I think some things are unresolved. But I’m sure all of those threads will come together in time.

I think it’s hilarious that Dex is going to be a dad…I was seriously wondering what was up with the overabundance of scenes with Dex/Rita getting it on, but then I guess they were just trying to show where Baby Dex came from…

The issues that Dex thought he could put aside with Harry are definitely going to resurface again as Dex contemplates his own impending fatherhood. Definitely looking forward to that.

And the kid has GOTTA be a boy. I am calling it right now.

Okay, I can’t remember any specific quotes so I’m gonna let those go for now. I am SO bringing my Macbook next time so this blog can be a bit more informative. Sheesh.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Okay, I honestly don't remember what triggered this recent obsession with the Myers-Briggs personality types (possibly the MyType application on Facebook), but lately my friends and I have been analyzing our personalities up the wazoo. In fact, this is what entertained us for nearly an entire car ride home from St. Pete Beach to Orlando.

If you're not familiar with Myers-Briggs, the personality types are broken down into four categories:
  • Extraverted/Introverted (where you draw your energy from, either people/activities/things or internal reflection)
  • Sensing /iNtuitive(how you process information, whether through concrete fact or abstract patterns)
  • Thinking/Feeling (how you make decisions, whether on logic or value-based systems)
  • Judging/Perceiving (your lifestyle, either structured or open-ended)
Not that any person is confined to any one description, but in Myers-Briggs, a four letter combination of these different functions result in your "personality type." I have this book that they gave me at work that breaks down the 16 personality types, giving descriptions of each type.

To see oneself utterly eviscerated for all the world to see in neat, tidy bulletpoints is both liberating and disconcerting. Brings equal amounts of incredible normalization and humiliation.

And it kind of makes me want to crawl into a hole with my inadequacies.

But what the heck, it's time for a blog about it. Might as well.

My personality type is INFP, a.k.a. "the Idealist." Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. The description is fairly spot on, although I think I've become more of an extravert in recent years. And I've become more of a logical (more Thinking, less Feeling) person. The cold, cruel world is squelching all the emotion out of me...;)

A short description of an INFP:

Quiet, reflective, and idealistic. Interested in serving humanity. Well-developed value system, which they strive to live in accordance with. Extremely loyal. Adaptable and laid-back unless a strongly-held value is threatened. Usually talented writers. Mentally quick, and able to see possibilities. Interested in understanding and helping people.

And this part was scarily accurate, if you have any interest and time to read... it's kinda long. But I was actually disappointed that I was so predictable in my INFP-ness.

Anyway, do you all know your personality type?

Someone posted on facebook the more "negative" description of the personality types, which I found pretty entertaining. According to this website, I am a "Fanatic." Mwuahaha...

Friday, September 19, 2008

recording update

So despite the fact that I have been a proud Macbook owner for a couple of months now, I have only recently been putting said Macbook to productive use in recent weeks via Garage Band. I recorded a couple of newer tracks recently, which I've uploaded to my myspace at So if it strikes your fancy, please check it out. Lately I've been uploading and deleting tracks like crazy, so pardon me if my myspace seems a little ADD at the moment.

I am a novice recording engineer and I'm learning as I go, so my tracks are rough at best. I intend to enlist the help of older, wiser people who are old hands at this when I'm further along.

Also, I'm forgetting how spoiled I was when I had lovely Martin guitars an arm's reach away last time I laid down guitar tracks in David Lipps' Spareroom Studios. I need some new guitar strings for my Breedlove, and even then, I'm not really a fan of how Breedloves sound in a recording session. Ah well. There's just something about Martins that sound so sweet. The Breedlove is a bit too treble-ly. But I guess I gotta work with what I got.

I must confess I've gotten a bit crazy with the recording, perhaps even obsessive. The other night, I came home quite late and my sister was already sleeping, but I just HAD to record. However, Miriam gives me room and board at a fair rate and as I did not want to awaken her from her slumber, thereby jeopardizing our favorable financial dealings, I had to find a way to muffle the sound...

...So I closed my bedroom door, stuck a towel on the crack to block out sound, went inside my closet, shut THAT door and stuck ANOTHER towel on the closet door to block sound, plunked my Mac down on the laundry basket and recorded some vocals in there. On the laundry basket. In the closet. Oh yeah.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to blog about my recording misadventures as they occur. So keep a look out for more updates.

The newest tracks are:

The Chain: My cover of Ingrid Michaelson's song. Since it's not available anywhere (Ingrid hasn't even released a recording of it yet), I thought it would be fun to record it myself. Hope she doesn't sue me. I've already changed the lyrics to her "The Way I Am" and re-recorded it for all of cyberworld to see...I bet she's regretting letting me sing with her. haha.
Caution: My newest song. I recently took it down, but I will be uploading it again fairly soon.
Hello, Daineal: This is the first song I've written on the ukelele, which I am way excited about. Also, this one is kind of an inside joke, which, if you really use your noggin, I'm sure you could figure it out (Hint: read the lyrics). I ain't gonna spell it out for ya.

And for the record, the lyrics are "Hello, Dai, hello," not "Hello, die, hello."

I am not telling anybody to die.

That would just be rude.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thoughts on Passion Week, the True Vine, etc...

Ever since I read the "Temptation" chapter of Philip Yancey's book The Jesus I Never Knew a couple of weeks ago, I've once again been catapulted onto this journey of rediscovering the humanity of Jesus.  

Since January, we've been going through a series known as "The True Vine," this nine-month saga of going through Scripture and trying to understand Jesus and discovering the implications of His life and how that affects us.  In many ways, the sheer length of the series has prompted a whole gradient of emotions and reactions from me over the course of nine months.

I remember feeling refreshed, overwhelmed and staggered by things I was learning.  I remember journaling about truth I was learning, facets of Jesus' personality I'd never considered, familiarizing myself with first-century Greco-Hebraic culture and making those historical connections that breathed life into the story of Jesus in a new way for me.  I remember coming to some very specific conclusions about the way I was choosing to live my life, and desiring to surrender in deeper ways.

The length of time also allowed for a season of neutrality.  Maybe even indifference.  Cynicism, for sure and maybe a little boredom.  Nine-months of anything seems like an eternity in our culture of instant gratification.  So the sheer length of time meeting my own frailty and undisciplined self--and also the fact that at the end of the day this series is still a program run by imperfect people with all our limitations--all this together was an inevitable recipe for a bit of hard-heartedness on my part.

But since reading that "Temptation" chapter, something has reawakened within me.  Yancey describes how Jesus responded to each temptation of the devil in the desert with Scripture.  It almost seems like He passed the first two temptations with flying colors, quoting Scripture left and right and resisting marvelously.  But the third temptation to come and and establish His identity, refusing to worship the devil by simply settling the matter of His divinity once and for all "struck a nerve" with Jesus and He responds with force, saying "Away from me!"  

The forcefulness with which He says that never really occurred to me before.  That something could actually strike a nerve with Jesus.  

I hate how we've anesthetized Jesus' humanity sometimes and we act as if Jesus coolly and effortlessly resisted every temptation flung His way.  The passion with which He yells "Away from me!" to Satan or  rebukes Peter with a harsh"Get thee behind me"  or agonizingly cries "Father, take this cup from me" and realizing how interwoven all three reactions are never really clicked in my mind before.  In each of these three moments, He wrestles with His divine ability to simply do away with the hard road and take the easy way out, in which He could choose to act out in His divinity and escape pain, escape suffering, and demand worship by simply revealing Himself to be God in the flesh.  

Instead, He chooses to fully embrace the humanity and all the terrible, messy emotions and limitations that come with that condition.  He resists so forcefully and passionately because this is in fact the greatest temptation... to empty Himself of divinity and all its privileges and powers and actually choose the way of suffering and of love.

Since reading that chapter, I've been seeing everything through that emotional, extremely human lens.  Hearing stories on Sunday night of people's lives that have been truly transformed through an intellectual, experiential and emotional journey of following Jesus; getting up early on Tuesday to enter into a time of meditation and contemplation; hearing Cole give a spontaneous and creative rendition of the incredibly human thoughts that might have been racing through Jesus mind on the day before His arrest, knowing what He was about to face; sitting in a darkened room tonight around tables covered with bread and wine; even being unceremoniously jolted from reverie by a fire alarm in the middle of hearing Scripture read; all these moments have created an increasingly tangible experience for me.

And His resistance and subsequent choice to embrace suffering and love completely and totally exposes my utter failure to follow suit.  I identify with these disciples who still don't totally get it and come across as dumbfounded, defensive, arrogant and bumbling--yet somehow lovable--idiots.  

The cross is not merely an obstacle or hurdle to get through to the kingdom.  It is the way of the kingdom.

That's a heavy statement.  And one that I don't fully comprehend, even after all these years...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Free IQ Test - Free IQ Test

Hmm... somehow, I do not believe this is accurate.