November 10th, 2007

Sri Yantra

Diwali

Yesterday I'd been tagged to drive my parents to a Diwali celebration.

The plus side was that I got to spend several hours at a fascinating mansion of a house surrounded by a happy, colorful group of people, and munching on some pretty fantastic food.

The down side was that I had my dad in the passenger seat for the round trip to Fremont from their place in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Apart from an hour here and there, I didn't wake up yesterday until 3:30pm, which, given me, means I didn't make it to my parents to pick them up until well after 6:00pm - mostly because I had completely forgotten what 880/17 traffic would be like around 5:30pm.

No matter. We got to the party late, but Indians are only a tad prompter than QST, so that went fine. Apparently, all the food was from a particular region (whose name I can't remember), so none of it seemed all that familiar. But it was good stuff. The downside was that (1) I hadn't eaten yet, and (2) I didn't realize that the first wave of food was merely the appetizers.

So I didn't have room to eat any of either the main course or dessert.

Such is the fate of the glutton.

It was rather fascinating - I swear that all the participants over 20 not only were married, but had children - frequently several. There were scads of cute kids in amazingly cute outfits everywhere.

There was a "performance" part of the evening, where kids would get up, and do something traditional, either a dance, or an accompanied song, or a poem. There's something about a little 5 year old doing a dance that's just almost painfully cute.

About 10:00pm, my parents ran out of stamina, so by 10:30pm we'd said our goodbyes and were ready to leave.

I survived the trip back.

My dad has always had an intense need to be in control. This of course involves a certain amount of self-delusion (none of us are really in control of much), but in his case, the need at least took the more positive path. Where he felt the need to know more than everyone else, he damn well learned his material. And in driving, he became a very good driver.

All the time I was growing up, if he was in the car, he was the one driving it.

And now he's in no physical condition to drive, and has to sit as a passenger.

I have to keep reminding myself of all this as I drive him around. It helps me avoid patricide.

What makes it worse is that some of the advice/instructions are perfectly valid, so I can't just tune him out. Others are just silly. Some are downright insulting.

Anyway, I got them home, then zipped on down to Ken B's for what was left of his party - which turned out to be an excellent group of people sitting around and watching Tootsie. I got myself a glass of Bleh™, and fidgeted around, like I do with movies containing lots of embarrassing moments.

But it was fun. Then we all said goodnight, and headed home.

I was up for quite a while more, of course, largely wasting time reading the reviews in the Beyond the Groovy Age of Horror blog. It's addictive - to me, at least. There are reviews and summaries of terrible, terrible trashy novels. It's great for me - I get the experience of the best parts of reading trash without losing all that pesky time.

Then some attempts to sleep while still digesting heavy Indian food. And some fascinating dreams. The only one I remember was something about working for a company that was selling dinosaur-raising ranches on Mars. It was only a semi-scam. We owned the land, we just didn't know really how much space it took to raise a herd of dinosaurs. We were throwing around the concept of a round 64 acres per when I woke up.

Also something about shipping an Australian dinosaur specialist off to Mars to promote the scheme.

I haven't been up for all that long now. I need to get myself cleaned up, then I'm probably going to find myself a place to eat in the City, pre-Bootie.
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Earth

Continued From Last Rock Part 3

Yet another personal copy of a post to 365jesus.

This is the third part of a response to this discussion started in this post. The first part is here, and the second here. When greeneggsandtam started responding to this, she found that she had to break up her response into 6 fragments, and so suggested we continue in this community.

This particular section is a response to her comments in part 4, items 6 and 7. It makes a lot more sense if you read her items (and maybe some of the back discussion), and then follow here.

6) Well, yes, I think that if God had said "OK, my bad, let's start over," that there would have been a larger effect. Can you imagine the effects of, say, every person in the world having the same dream at the same time? And that's just an off-the-cuff example. As far as "dying for our sins" is concerned, the latest Jesus and Mo puts it better than I ever could:

Let's just stop here and consider a couple of things - things brought up very effectively by that comic. We're told God had a change of heart because of Jesus' sacrifice. So he changed his requirements for his people, and "opened the club," so to speak.

Except God is supposedly omnipotent, omniscient, and sent Jesus here for that purpose.

So, rather than just doing the right thing in the first place, He (being omniscient) decides it would be good to screw up, then change direction after, quite effectively, slaughtering his own child.

This is not the behavior of a sane being.

My whole "water into wine" comment was mostly for fun - especially poking fun at the sects that substitute grape juice. Some quick research points out that wine was indeed less potent then - about 3-5% alcohol, or about similar to beer.

Getting drunk was quite a possibility - and likely happened, especially since the wine was supposed to be served starting with the good stuff, because no-one would be able to tell the bad stuff later. I find it amusing that churches that don't believe in the partaking of any sort of alcohol are based on this individual.

7) There are many reasons why people lie to start a religion, and continue to lie to maintain it. The most common seems to be a feeling that everyone else's story is true, so why not make it even more believable by adding in one little lie?

Not only that, but from far better scholars than I, there's the question of whether Jesus ever existed at all. A nice little summary - Religious Tolerance does its best to present all sides of an issue.

I'd complete the series, but I'm just about finished with dessert, and my battery's giving out.

And then I can get started on the response to your response!
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