Monday, June 14, 2010

The Weekend Account of Firefly, Tennis, Beer, Church, Shoes, and Avatar

WARNING: A LONG POST BE AHEAD.

Keisha left for a week on Friday at noon o’clock, heading down to Daytona with her family while I stay here in beautiful, warm and humid Kentucky.  My friend Adam came over Friday afternoon and we hung out until last night.  It’s always enjoyable hanging out with friends you don’t see too often.

We drove up to Evansville on Friday night.  There are two nice used bookstores up there that I had a coupon for and wanted to look for some graphic novels.  Sadly, neither had what I was looking for, though I did get Keisha an Anne of Green Gables book for her collection.  When we were done with that we came back to Owensboro and stopped by the comic store, spending an hour basking in the glow of geekery.  I fully admit that I’m a geek.  I’m weird.  I’m odd.  But walking into the comic store on a Friday night when there are different role-playing games and Marvel Clicks events unfolding on the tables makes me feel a bit more normal than I normally do.  Though, honestly, I think I could relate to those people more so than I could to the other end of the social classes.  I’ve never really been one to fit into a clique.  Cliques are scary.  Anyway, I picked up the latest issue of Star Wars Legacy (#48) and we headed to Stewartland. 

At home I wanted Adam to watch Firefly, as he’d never seen it before and I just got my blu-ray in the mail.  So we started the ill-fated, beloved show that night and wound up staying awake until 3am watching Mal and the gang.  I still don’t understand why the show got the axe, just like Arrested Development, and I never will.  Nevertheless, Adam enjoyed it.  At some point Stella started yelping and barking in agony and it scared me pretty bad.  At first I thought Sofie had bit her, then we thought she might have been stung or bit by an insect.  She was limping and quite pitiful.  So I rubbed on her leg and she finally calmed down after several minutes of tenseness.

Saturday morning I woke up early and decided to play Heavy Rain while Adam slept.  I wound up beating the game and was mostly satisfied with my performance.  There are a few things I’d do differently, but overall the game was fun and the story was certainly intense.  The temperatures soared to the hundred degree mark and over with the heat index around lunch time, but that didn’t stop us from playing a little tennis and disc golf.  I think this was my first disc golf outing since January or February, and I pretty much sucked the entire course.  Still, it was fun.  We watched some more Firefly that evening and wound up talking about different things.  I had never had a beer or an ale before, and Adam wanted to take me to a bar and buy me one.  I agreed, but if I didn’t like it he was going to drink it.

The bar was nice.  Very clean.  Well-lit.  Excellent decor.  Beatles music was playing.  Charlie Chaplin was on the big screen.  He picked me out a drink (he wanted me to try Blue Moon, but the bar didn’t have it, so instead I got Indian Pale Ale) and the bartender put the foamy beverage in front of me.  I have to admit, the smell was much more pleasant than I was expecting, something akin to apple juice and white wine.  Unfortunately, the flavor tasted like drinking carbonated water, of which I am not a fan.  His drink also tasted like crap, though again the smell wasn’t that bad.  I sampled one other thing, some sort of really dark-like-Coke drink, and did not like it either.  I guess I’m just a wine and liquor kind of person if I’m to drink.  I wound up just drinking water, something much tastier than all that other junk I tried.

We were getting ready to leave when Adam struck up with a loner sitting beside him.  The man was from New Zealand, currently living in Kentucky working for a farm entrepreneur.  We wound up talking to this guy for three hours.  The man, Matthew, was hilarious.  We talked about the differences between New Zealand culture and American culture.  Differences between words we use.  Life in the country and life in the cities.  All in all the conversation was fun, funny, and pleasant.  Plus, I’d never met anyone from NZ before, so that was cool.

After midnight we headed home and finished off disc two of Firefly, finally falling asleep near 2am.  Stella had another incident like Friday night, though this time I was watching her when it happened.  The dogs were playing and Stella moved somehow that popped her knee out of place.  (Her other back knee used to do this, but it never pained her.)  I’m guessing this knee joint is tight and the thing is hurting her more than the other leg did.  I put the thing back in place and he immediately quit yelping, though she walked timidly.

Sunday morning Adam went to church with me.  Our normal pastor, Bro. James Dean, is gone on vacation right now, so the youth pastor led service.  Bro. Will preached a strong message on faith and church and the mediocrity of most American Christians.  It was an exceptional and challenging message.  At the end of the service he untied his shoes and placed them at the altar, telling the congregation that Christianity is a challenge to be active.  He was walking out without his shoes and invited the rest of the congregation to do the same.  The shoes would be collected and taken to the local shelter (which happens to be the one me and Alex lead worship at). 

How many pairs of shoes do we have and how many do we need?  How many people walk around without them, or with shoes that are held together by a thread?  It’s odd.  That morning, before church, I actually took the time to think about wearing my favorite New Balances or just some simple sandals.  I opted for the tennis shoes.  And then during the service I remember crossing my legs and thinking, I like these shoes.  They’re in good condition and look pretty good.  Then we get the challenge at the end of the service and I put my shoes at the altar.  Truly, how many pairs of shoes do I need?

Worship at the shelter was a bit disheartening.  No one showed up, music practice was rough (I forgot my thin pick and had to use some horrible thick thing), and it was hot.  They were thankful for the shoes, though.  Three garbage bags were collected.  That’s around 50 pairs of shoes.  In some ways that’s impressive, that fifty people would remove and give away their shoes for someone else who needs/wants them.  On the other hand, there were between 200-300 people at the service, and the 50 pairs is rather indicative of our good ole American Christian Culture.

Sunday night service was equally impressive and more moving.  Instead of a normal song-prayer-preach formulaic church service, we had a time of prayer and worship.  We played music continually, lifting up songs and praising God for His majesty.  We prayed with purpose, with passion, with determination, with faith.  I felt worship, in my heart.  It’s hard to play and pray and sing and keep an eye on the worship leader.  The service lasted around an hour, and I loved every minute of it.  To me, that is what church is.  Desiring God, longing to bring Him glory and honor, desperate to give Him praise.  He is worthy of it all, and I don’t think our church (or many others) truly worship Him on Sundays.  We get into familiar patterns and repeat familiar songs and pray familiar prayers.  This is not worship.

After the night service I went and ate with Alex and Rachael and then went home.  I was exhausted.  Staying up late like that is something I rarely do.  I’m usually in bed by eleven or midnight, so I guess I was just groggy over the lack of sleep.  Nevertheless, I had my final season of Avatar: The Last Airbender to start, and I couldn’t go to bed without watching at least one episode.  I popped in the DVD and snuggled up on the couch with the dogs.  Episode One, “The Awakening,” was great, and I’m eager to finish the series.  It’s definitely joined the ranks of being one of my favorite shows.  Hopefully the show ends on a positive note, but I’m expecting dark things for the future. 

So the weekend was long, but it was fun.  I was busy, but in a good way.  Throughout the days we worked several crossword puzzles, watched some good television, played some humid tennis, and glorified God.  All in all, a very good weekend but for one thing.

I miss Keisha.  Her absence hit me Saturday night when I lay down with the dogs.  I couldn’t begin to imagine not having her in my life.  I love her more than I love any other living person, and I know I don’t tell her enough.  She truly is my best friend, and I’m ready for her to get home again.  Of course, with her gone down to Florida, I can play all the video games I want to and not worry.  Woe is me.

4 comments:

Crystal said...

I love Firefly! It makes me happy when people are introduced to the series :)

Blue Moon and IPA are great beers. Too bad you didn't enjoy them.

That's cool about the shoes. I'm sure that was a very inspiring message.

Enjoy the long hours of video game playing while Keisha is away!

logankstewart said...

@Crystal: Amen. Firefly is awesome, and I like introducing people to it.

Yuck, and hopefully always yuck.

Aye, quite inspiring.

If I can find the time. It looks to be a busy week.

Carl V. said...

What an absolutely fabulous weekend. Anytime watching Firefly is good, but it is one of those very special shows that makes one euphoric when you can share it with someone who has not experienced it. I'm happy you got that opportunity.

While I don't understand why the show got axed, I also do understand. Fox never liked it, they showed the second episode first, leaving audiences with no context for who these characters were, they didn't play other episodes at all and they did everything to kill it. Why? That I don't understand, but that is television execs for you. It is a real shame that the show didn't get a chance to develop a long legacy.

Glad you finished your game and had fun. I'm getting very close to the end of Mass Effect 2 and I'll be sad when it is all said and done, despite knowing there is a Mass Effect 3 (to complete the trilogy) coming at some point in the future. I saw a trailer for the newest Madden NFL game the other day. It has been years since I bought a Madden game so it is about time, and I'm not sure I can resist the temptation this year. It looks good!

The church service sounds great, but I had to laugh. I am a guy who does not own hardly any pairs of shoes at any one time. I have one pair of black dress shoes, one pair of brown, one pair of hiking boots and one pair of good tennis shoes. And I have a ton of old, grass stained shoes that I wear when mowing the lawn, etc. I could have easily been on the receiving end of that blessing! I've never liked to spend much money on shoes. Not sure why. My father, on the other hand, fits the stereotype of a woman when it comes to buying shoes. He is always getting a new pair.

Hope your dog gets better soon, that sounds miserable.

I know just how you feel about missing your wife. While I enjoy 'me' time tremendously, when we are apart for any tiny length of time I get a bit maudlin and melancholy and cannot imagine trying to go through life without her.

logankstewart said...

@Carl: Ooh, a long comment. Yeah, I remember reading about Firefly getting shown out of order and FOX generally just not caring about it. It's like the people just weren't thinking clearly.

Ha, yeah, I don't have very many shoes either, just my nice tennis shoes (which I now no longer have), my actual "tennis/gym" shoes, a black pair of dress shoes, work boots, and sandals. Still, even that seems almost superfluous to me.

Thanks for the comment. Take care.