Monday, July 16, 2007

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Jennifer (the woman who hates you).

So last night I was up late trying to finish an uninspiring story, and plodded through until it was about 95 percent done. Then I knew I wouldn’t be able to write anything more that night, so I e-mailed the documents to myself at work and set my alarm clock that I could go in a little early, finish the piece and still have time to do all the other Monday things so the paper can go to print next day.

Now here’s a rundown of my glorious Monday morning.

Pain-in-the-ass one: worse-than-usual traffic, so that I leave earlier than is customary but arrive later.

PITA two: at work, spill entire cup of sugary, milky coffee.

PITA three: directly into open purse.

PITA four: leaving the newsroom toward the bathroom, I exit at exactly the right time for my boss (whom I suspect, but cannot prove, already thinks I’m odd), walking down the hall, to see me hold purse in front of me with an apparent left-armed fascist salute, while frowning, muttering curses under breath and stomping into bathroom.

PITA five: fifteen damned minutes, is how long it took to go through my purse, toss what was ruined, and wash what was salvageable.

Mitigating factor one: the discovery that one reason my purse was so damned heavy was no doubt the eleven dollars’ worth of loose change at the bottom of it.

MF two: I had more than enough desk space to spread out paper towels on which my recently laundered money could dry.

MF three: also at my desk I just happened to have an empty black shoulder bag, because four weeks ago the copy editor (who quit to move to California) brought over a bunch of stuff she wanted to unload and I snagged the purse but kept forgetting to bring it home.

PITA six: after finally decaffeinating my old purse's contents and getting a fresh cup of coffee, it was time for me to put my completed story into the system so I could focus on the one I still needed to finish. But every time I tried to do this the system froze and crashed, thus turning a two-minute task into a half-hour ordeal.

Conclusion: if God wants me to stop being an atheist and resume worshiping him as I did in childhood, he needs to quit being such an asshole.

31 Comments:

Anonymous smartass sob said...

Pain-in-the-ass one

Ooooh! What a cool handle that could make for someone! Of course, it would not be suitable for yours truly - just not apt enough a description. ;-)

You have things all backwards: mankind is supposed to be blamed for all the bad things that happen in the world, whereas God gets the credit for all the good. Have you never noticed that?

BTW, the reason there was more traffic on the way to work was precisely because you did leave early; that's when everyone else leaves, too. See what happens when you follow the crowd?

10:47 AM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

Jen,
That ain't the way it works.
Once you realize that on your own, life is futile, forlorn, and frustrating; you turn to God for help.

You got to believe there is a carrot before you can have it. Until then, expect more of the same of old schtick.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

First reaction: See what happens when you neglect us cyber Jennifer worshippers and ignore your Blog for long periods of time? Just be glad you slipped something in the other day, or it would have been much worse. You have been warned...

Second reaction: (whom I suspect, but cannot prove, already thinks I’m odd), Why is it that only women think like this? At least, only women verbalize it?

Third reaction: with an apparent left-armed fascist salute... Would have been much better with an extended societial finger.

Fourth reaction: Conclusion: if God wants me to stop being an atheist and resume worshiping him as I did in childhood, he needs to quit being such an asshole. I keep hearing Gene Wilder in his "Willie Wonka" outfit saying "Wait...strike that, reverse it..." don't know why. I tend to be of a taoist bent myself.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Fifth (delayed) reaction:

You got to believe there is a carrot before you can have it.

But sometimes if you turn around quickly (to head another direction) you end up with it shoved in your backside.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

...mankind is supposed to be blamed for all the bad things that happen in the world, whereas God gets the credit for all the good.

I guess that depends on what God (or god) you are referring to. As I recall, there have historically been an awful lot of Gods that were worshiped specifically to keep them from doing (yet more) bad things to the worshipers in particular, or the world in general.

Just for a big-name classical example, what "good things" do you think people typically attributed to Pluto/Hades?

Therefor, Jennifer, maybe bad things are happening just to remind you that you haven't "paid up" your divine "protection-money" worship-quota, lately.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

Jennifer,

If you're occasionally having problems coming up with meaty-enough article-concepts, why don't you nudge us a little?

We may not actually come up with any good ideas for you, but we'll try - and it could be amusing for its own sake to see the kinds of drek we suggest... ;)

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Things to be thankful for
1) you have a car
2) you had a cup of coffee (even 2)
3) you are still employed
4) you have a new purse
5) you found $11 in change that you did not know you had

Smile - things are looking up and God wants you to know that.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

You know, Moose, I was thinking I could blog more than I've been doing lately, only it would be more "my day sucked" stuff rather than "something of presumptive political or societal importance" stuff.

On the other hand, even that would be better than "too busy to write here's a link to something from my job" stuff, I suppose.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Whoops! Forgot to answer all the other questions.

Second reaction: (whom I suspect, but cannot prove, already thinks I’m odd), Why is it that only women think like this? At least, only women verbalize it?

I don't know. I only typed it, rather than verbalized it. Dunno about other women, but in my case it's probably because it's true.

You got to believe there is a carrot before you can have it.

I've got to see evidence of a carrot before I can believe it.

you haven't "paid up" your divine "protection-money" worship-quota, lately.

I thought God came out looking pretty damned good in my phone sex story. Were he a just deity, he'd consider that sufficient payment for the rest of the decade.

And HELL yes, I would love ideas! Toss 'em this way, or better yet e-mail me.

By the way, thanks for the comments on my work stories! God knows I need them.

The one story I have coming out this week isn't particularly strong, though.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

You know, Moose, I was thinking I could blog more than I've been doing lately

As they say down south...Ayup...

Subjects don't come to mind at 5am when I've had only 5 hrs sleep. I'll have to get back to you on that.

2:21 AM  
Blogger Anj said...

Oh, don't blame God...blame my friend Danny. It's all his fault anyway! And he knows it too. So, whenever it appears God or the devil or whatever is causing a problem just say, "Damnit Danny" and you are blaming the person who is truly responsible!

11:39 AM  
Anonymous *** GOD *** said...

Conclusion: if God wants me to stop being an atheist and resume worshiping him as I did in childhood, he needs to quit being such an asshole.

That's not my Job.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous *** God *** said...

"Job," get it?

AH HA HA HA HA HA! I kill myself sometimes.

(But only after I assume human form, of course.)

11:55 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Y'know, God, if you put into my boss's head the thought "Jennifer deserves a big fat raise" followed by the desire to act upon it, I'd seriously reconsider my belief in your non-existence. I'd even capitalize pronouns like His and Your in reference to you. I mean You.

6:02 AM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

Jennifer,
It is wondrous and amazing how much more money I have since I started tithing. Earlier this year, I told God that if I got a raise I would give all of the first months increase to my church.
Two months later, I got a $400 (take home) per month raise. I kept my promise and I increased my subsequient monthly giving by $60.

It all comes back to the parable of the talents. The better steward you are of the resources God gives you, the more He will give you.

In other words: I upped my giving, now up yours.

(Couldn't resist the cheap joke. Sorry)

NoStar

8:43 AM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

I tithed regularly (even "religiously") for several years. All it did for me was make me poorer.

Of course, my church actually does some wonderful and very worthy things with that money (and we, the congregation, both get to look at the books, and have a major say in how the church's charity is allocated). Thus, I don't by any means consider my tithing to have been "wasted".

I'm just saying I've never seen any evidence of direct (or even reasonably-causal indirect) benefit from tithing.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

I'm just saying I've never seen any evidence of direct (or even reasonably-causal indirect) benefit from tithing.

It is said that charity begins at home.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

Jennifer,

I know you're mostly a "local angle" reporter (and I'm not from your locale), so I don't know if you can use this for a story or not. But, I'll dump it on you anyway - spurn it or steal it as you will.

===============================================

In the last 10 years, we have lost approximately 3000 people to airplane-related terrorism in this country. In that same time-period, we have lost over 300,000 people to influenza. That would seem to make influenza 100 times "more important" to Homeland Security.

TSA Budget History:
-------------------
2003: 4,648 Million
2004: 4,405 Million
2005: 5,297 Million
2006: 5,561 Million
2007: 6,299 Million
-------------------
Total: 26,030 Million over 5 years

NIH Spending on Influenza:
--------------------------
2003: 57 Million
2004: 113 Million
2005: 164 Million
2006: 207 Million
2007: 222 Million
-------------------
Total: 763 Million over 5 years

So, we spent 34 times more money on a condition that has 1/100 the fatality rate.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Anj said...

"You got to believe there is a carrot before you can have it.

I've got to see evidence of a carrot before I can believe it."

So, when your in the midsts of a really profound orgasm do you yell out, "Oh, carrot"?

Just had to ask:)

3:43 PM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

I bet that depends on how impressive the carrot is.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

Anne 'O said:
"I'm just saying I've never seen any evidence of direct (or even reasonably-causal indirect) benefit from tithing."

Learning to live on less than you make teaches discipline, saving, as well as charity.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

@Nostar: Learning to live on less than you make teaches discipline, saving, as well as charity.

I stopped tithing when I lost my job, couldn't find a new one for over a year, and when I finally found one (I do like it), it paid $7,000 less per year. Really bad, because my Significant Other is unable to work, due to chronic illness.

Living on less means that I can't quite meet my mortgage payments - I'm losing about $100 a month. That's after economizing everywhere we could, for a year (and we just kept on economizing after I was re-employed). Not as bad as the year of unemployment, but still not a workable long-term arrangement.

Fortunately, We had established a Home-Equity Line-of-Credit (HELOC) before I lost my previous job. Spending down the equity in our house kept us alive, and is still what keeps us afloat (that and juggling introductory 0%-on-Balance-Transfer credit-card offers).

It may have taught me some things, but saving and charity are not among them.

12:37 AM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

*** God *** said:
I kill myself sometimes.
(But only after I assume human form, of course.)


I thought You left that to the Romans and their puppet governments...

12:55 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

... and when I finally found one (I do like it), it paid $7,000 less per year.

I know kinda the feeling. I wasn't put out of work, but the beginning of this year I took a job where I had a life. It cost me around 35% of my previous salary, which in dollar figures is something I don't want to know.

The payment cycles don't reorganize themselves that quickly. Charity in my case consists of keeping myself from being a burden to others at the moment. Tithing isn't something I would consider.

Then again, I guess you'd have to believe that giving your cash to a religious group is a good thing, and that they'd do good things with it. I am not so sure about that, other than perhaps the Tibetian Buddhist guys up on the mountain near me.

3:04 AM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

@a moose: other than perhaps the Tibetian Buddhist guys

I know nothing of your Tibetan Buddhists, but the group near me is incredibly active in community-support services (mostly for Tibetans, of course, but whadayawant?). I haven't seen any evidence of any "church officials" living high on the hog (not even the two lamas and three rimpoches I've been honored to meet), so I think the vast majority of any donations go directly to relatively well-organized charitable works.

My church is officially an American Baptist - although I didn't know that when I joined (they just call themselves Lake Street Church). The minister bills himself as more of a "Zen Baptist", and is a proponent of Christ rather than Jesus (some very interesting sermons and discussions about the distinction). He was the first President of the Council of the Worlds Religions, and promotes a very tolerant and inclusive view of religion in general.

At any rate, as I said earlier, the allocation of all church moneys (including salaries for staff and ministers) is very transparent, and ultimately decided in an annual meeting (and series of votes) of all church members. So I felt pretty good about where my money was going, at the time.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Subject Matter...Here is the NYT article on Ron Paul.

Quote of the article: But his is a less exuberant libertarianism than you find, say, in the pages of Reason magazine.

That ought to be worth a comment blog...

4:34 AM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

Ron Paul seems to be experiencing some e-politics overload. An email I sent him was bounced:
-----------------
This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of
its recipients. This is a permanent error. The following addresses
failed:

quota exceeded:
mail@ronpaul2008.com

7:12 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Ron Paul seems to be experiencing some e-politics overload.

But at least you tried

3:06 PM  
Anonymous *** GOD *** said...

Y'know, God, if you put into my boss's head the thought "Jennifer deserves a big fat raise" followed by the desire to act upon it, I'd seriously reconsider my belief in your non-existence. I'd even capitalize pronouns like His and Your in reference to you. I mean You.

LO! It is done, my daughter! When you go into work tomorrow, you will see that your boss's face is suffused with the inspirational fire of the Holy Spirit! And when you least expect it, he shall give unto you a big -- wait, did you say "raise"? Or "tase"? (As in "taser.")

Hmm. Oopsie. Well, you're going to have an interesting day at work tomorrow, anyway. Also, you'll get to go home early.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous *** GOD *** said...

Hey, have you guys ever had a Gregorian chant stuck in your head that you just can't rid of? Drives you crazy!

I know what you're going to say: "Well, can't you just make it go away? After all, you're God!"

Well, it's not that easy. Because I'm also the inspiration for this religious music, and you know the conundrum -- "Can God inspire a piece of music so catchy that even He can't get it out of His head?" Well, now you know the answer: Yes, I can.

*** SIGH ***

Oops. Typhoon, sorry.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

*** SIGH ***

Oops. Typhoon, sorry.


Aw crap! That really blows. ;-)

9:42 AM  

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