less than a month!

Myst V end of ages comes out September 20th. Visit the site, the intro is cool and the site proper is even cooler.


a link during hard times

I'm trying not to post too much on the situation in the south right now. I think it's better left to people who are either there or acutally have helpful information to pass on.

With that in mind, I thought I'd provide a link to NPR's Katrina Weblog which was apparently intiated just today and already has plenty of posts. Its purpose is to... help readers stay up-to-date on the various strands of this developing story.

Posted to:



Brandon at Bad Christian has written what, to my mind, is a beautiful post about the nature of the church. It may be my favorite of his posts since I started reading his blog a couple of months ago, and that's saying something.

I think he pretty much nails it with this one. If you struggle with the idea of church (I do, I don't know about you), read it please. It will at least make you think and maybe touch your heart.

Favorite line: "I mean, a group of people living in community together, being love to the world. The idea kicks ass."

UPDATE: I had planned on writing more here about the idea of the church as community but was waylaid by dinner. Then I had band rehearsal, so I'm just getting around to it now.

The church as the continuation of the ministry of Jesus in the earth is an idea older than the four Gospels. The writers of those books didn't invent the idea, that got it from the man himself. The Gospel of John expresses the idea quite clearly any number of times, for example, Jesus is recorded as praying that his disciples (not limited to the twelve but including "those who believe in me through them") would be "perfectly one." He speaks of having life in himself and of putting that life into his followers. It really is pretty explicit. I don't know if Brandon has studied John but he certainly writes as if he knows it cold.

Somewhere along the line the Church became an institution (some people actually do claim that Jesus consciously founded an institution, but I find that argument laughable) and that was bad news, not Good News. Robert Farrar Capon does a pretty concise job of charting the decline in his wonderful little book, The Astonished Heart .

More recently, Randy Frazee, a pastor of a rather large church in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, has written two very good books, The Connecting Church, and Making Room For Life, both of which try to offer practical and workable suggestions for embracing the idea of community in a world that fights tooth and nail against it. Frazee wrote something in the introduction to Connecting Church that has become my working definintion of community:"Community is the life of Christ on Earth..."

By choosing to offer a personal and heartfelt meditation as opposed to a theological treatise on the church, I think Brandon has shot straight for the heart of what community/Church/Christianity was always intended to be by its "founder." He has approached faith relationally instead of programmitcally, though I'm not sure he would describe it that way. Whatever, it's refreshing. May his type increase.

I share his love affair with the Church. It is that love that compels me to keep at this incredibly difficult job of pushing little bits of the Church toward their true mission. If enough of us push (and this entails a refusal to leave the church when it treats us like dirt) maybe some progress will be made. Or maybe we'll get squashed, that could happen too.

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Posted to:


she's gone!

Julie's gone and left us.

I take solace only in the fact that the last words of that post are... "More later."

Here's hoping.

Posted to: blogging

war of words

Well not a war actually.

Yesterday during the simultaneous tagging and discussing of books that was going on around here, Educat sent me a comment (which came via my blogger comments email notification, I don't know how she pulled that one off). It said in part "I just so admired your unabashed use of the silly word meme..."

She is referring to the presence of that word in many of my posts. I do like that word. But I wonder why she thinks it's silly? Unlike the en vogue use of "impact" as a verb, which reflects deep and ingrained silliness on the part of the speaker/writer, use of the word "meme"is actually an indicator that one is committed to the proper and elegant use of language, as I believe this definition from dictionary.com will prove. Of course, any word can be misused. Unrestricted and wanton use can blow perfectly good words off their foundations like houses in New Orleans during Katrina's raging. But I don't think that's any reason to call them silly.

The word was co-opted by Kalle Lasn in his book Culture Jam and though one could argue that his argument was too vitriolic for its own good, he did give a legitimate explanation of the concept. And even though the blogosphere has fallen in love with, and perhaps weakened, the word I don't know that it's sunk to the level of silliness yet.

One of the purposes of my blog is to habitually engage in proper use of words of all stripes. In this way, I hope to postively impact the blogging community.

Posted to: words


it's tagalicious

I'm discontinuing the Jannotti tags. I'm going to use del.icio.us for my categorization from now on. This is something I picked up from Strangely Warmed. NBR's doing some interesting design things with that blog.

Anyway, almost immediately after creating the del.icio.us tags, I started getting hits from them. And should I have been surprised to find that an overwhelming majority of those entered my blog through a post titled "electric sex gleaming in the window"? Incidentally, that is a quote from the G rated film, "A Christmas Story." And so it goes.

Posted to: blogging

the meme that won't die

1. Number of books you have owned: uh. Why is this question in here? I have no idea. A lot, okay. A whole lot.

2. Last book I bought: Uh, just wait right there a minute. I have to go check... Okay, I'm pretty sure it's the book I'm reading now, The Body Artist by Don DeLillo.

3. Last book I completed: I just finished Waxwings by Jonathan Raban a few days ago. A brief review is posted in my recent reads section.

4. Five books that mean a lot to me: (in no particular order)
A Prayer For Owen Meany -- maybe my favorite novel. Everybody seems to be talking about this one all of a sudden. I have to read it again but I keep on sticking other books in front of it on the pile. Ah, life.

Lonesome Dove. So great. Gives Owen a run for his money.

In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen.

Messy Spirituality by the late Mike Yaconelli. I miss him.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, especially The Horse and His Boy.

Thanks to Educat for tagging me. Update: Looks like Zalm tagged me too, sort of.

I can't tag five people but I can tag one, Mr. Stephen Shores.

Posted to: psyche | books


seriously, i'm okay about it

Not that anyone is counting, but yesterday I received the first rejection of my book proposal. Sigh. On to the next round.

Jannotti tag: writing
Posted to: writing


more pat robertson

Jimmy Patterson wrote this.

Jim Jannotti laughed out loud reading it. Go on, go read it. Laugh.

I'm sure God is laughing too, at Pat.

Technorati tag: remarkable stupidity
Posted to: remarkable_stupidity


Dearest Pat, do us all a favor please and...


You're giving those of us who actually love Jesus a bad headache.

UPDATE: Oops. His remarks were "taken out of context." Happens all the time, he said. It would stop happening if he would just SHUT UP!

Jannotti tag: remarkable stupidity
Posted to: remarkable_stupidity


side of the road

You know how, when you're on a trip and you see some poor soul standing by the side of the road peering hopelessly at the inner workings of his non-functional automobile with one hand holding up the hood and you think, "I'm glad that's not me"?

Well today it was me. I'm home now, but earlier today at the exact moment I crossed into Pennsylvania from Ohio, as if by magic, my check engine light came on. I hate car problems. If there is something less than perfect about the way my car is running, I get nervous. I have even bitten my nails at such times. I bit my nails today. The check engine light stayed on for a couple of hours. As I was in the passing lane driving up a huge hill near Donegal, PA while surrounded by, I don't know, eighteen million trucks, the car started to hesitate, and then to buck or lug (whichever you prefer). It never did stall but I pulled across three lanes of tires that were half as big as my whole car to get to the shoulder.

I stood there for a minute in the aforementioned posture of desperate automotive ignorance before proclaiming, "Screw the engine. Let's go!" So I drove over the top of the hill, bucking all the way, and coasted down the other side to the Donegal exit of the PA turnpike. After a brief meeting with the epitome of unhelpfulness at his so called repair shop, I drove another eleven miles in my VW Bucking Bronc convertible to Somerset.

In Somerset, the folks at D&B Auto Sales were infinitely more helpful than Mr. Pleasant back in Donegal. They actually fixed my problem, temporarily. The found the diagnostic codes and cleaned the plugs and intoned some weird sounding chant over my car while dancing around it in black robes and smacking their foreheads with wooden planks.

Okay, they just cleaned the plugs and took it for a test drive. It worked fine...

...Until I crossed Sideling Hill just east of Breezewood. The "check engine" light came on. "I'm not even thinkin' about stopping, you..." I said to the engine light in my most insistent and paternalistic voice.

It stayed on the whole rest of the way but no rodeo riding was needed. I'm home now and planning on bringing the bugger in to my favorite mechanic tomorrow.


Posted to: things_I_know_nothing_about

look out diddy, there's a new brutha up in this piece

Last night I had the unexpected and always cherished opportunity to chill with a few of my peeps. Sam and I met our friends Morg... I mean Steve, and Careshley (that's two people) at Crocker Park.

An aside about Crocker Park: It's one of those new outdoor shopping communities you see springing up in certain places in the east. But you can also live there among all the upscale chain clothing stores and not inexpensive bistro style restaurants. I may have to write more at a later time about the "new urbanism" trend in architecture and civic planning. It's promising but only if it's done right. I'm not sure about Crocker Park. But Sam, Steve, Careshley, and I had a good time nonetheless. Woot.

So, as I was saying...

We decided to meet at a place called Champps, a restaurant and sports bar. When the bill came, Carrie noticed that extra "p" in the name emblazoned on the front of the vinyl check folder. "What's with the spelling?" she asked. And then she said something that has provided me with much needed inspiration for my next career.

In this world of ever changing stage pseudonyms, where the letter p gets unceremoniously and capriciously dropped, I will stand out among the hip hop crowd with my new name, not to mention my righteous rhymes. I will be the cure for alphabetic elision! No more rock or contemporary worship music for me. In keeping with the long and storied tradition of hip-hop, my friends and numerous fans shall now refer to me as... Superfluous P.

Thank you, that is all.

Jannotti tag: what-ever
Posted to: what-ever

Thanks Carrie, Steve, Ashley, and Sam for a great visit! See you soon, I hope.


le chambre d'humilite

The chamber of humility is my name for the vocal booth in a recording studio. Tony Congi spent most of today discovering just how hard it can be to record lead vocals.

Now, Tony is an excellent singer. His pitch is great, he always sounds like a pro. But that can actually work against you at times. The producer, Bruce, must have asked Tony twenty times to "stop singing it." Meaning he wanted him to "feel" it, to put some emotion into the lyrics of his songs.

It was an interesting three days, but we all survived intact. And Tony's next CD, for those of you who have ever heard of him, is going to be great. It's probably a few months away from being completed, but when it is, if you have any interest in Christian music, it will definitely be worth a listen.

My role in the project is finished, at least for now. I'm going to spend Monday just hanging out, enjoying a day in the forecast sunshine after three solid days stuck in an almost windowless basement.

Jannotti tag: music
Posted to: music


if you're from Slate, follow the link

Jared at Thinklings has written a very funny (and sad) piece about Nickelodeon's Teen Choice Awards show. I'm linking to it but I'm not going to provide any commentary because the last time I wrote about something at Thinklings, somebody from Slate came by and linked me in their article but not them. Their blog is better, it is the Walrus of the Intellecutal Universe, so if you're from Slate link there.

Jannotti tag: blogging
Posted to: blogging



Since moving to PA, I have been unable to participate in one of my favorite slightly-more-than-a-hobby type things: music production.

But I've been sent for. See, a couple of years ago I sort of accidentally wound up being the producer for a CD by the name of Real Love by Tony Congi. For those of you who have any exposure to youth ministry, Tony Congi wrote this song. And this one.

Tony's heading back to former hometown Bay Village, OH to record another CD. And so I'm also off to BV to help out. Exciting, ain't it? I knew you'd be thrilled. This time Tony's actually got a real producer, a good one. So I'll just be helping out in my usual capacity as chief gofer. Though I might get to contribute a guitar chord or two to the project. S'all good.

So who's in the Bay Village metroplex right now? Would love to see you if you are. I'll be there from Friday through Tuesday early morning. Friday evening I'm hoping to catch a little of these guys playing at this place.

Jannotti tag: music

now i've done it

Obscurity and I have always gotten along just fine. I was never attracted to blogs because I thought all bloggers were insecure, attention seeking so and so's. Some are. Who would want to get involved with a crowd that has such a compulsive need to be noticed? Of course, I needn't have worried: since I started writing here, I have managed to remain virtually unknown. But today I am having a most likely brief brush with non-obscurity.

I wrote earlier today about how I enjoy getting linked by new blogs. Well, yesterday I got linked by the online magazine Slate; the writer actually quoted me in a "blog chatter" kind of article. Who knew?

Apparently a lot of people. I have had more people visiting this blog in the last twenty four hours than I've had in the last three weeks combined. I'm not used to double digit numbers in my sitemeter stats, let alone double digit numbers higher than my age.

So, if you linked here via Slate (and you actually make it to the index page to see this post), welcome, welcome, welcome. Come back anytime. I'm sure I'll have something you can waste your time reading.

Jannotti tag: what-ever
Posted to: what-ever

i'm that kind of movie

speaking of searchblog, I found this on a past post and... well, it's a meme. You know how it is.

This one surprised me...

rogue wanderer on the winding river of life... sounds like Cain.

Jannotti tag: psyche
Posted to: psyche

linked in

It's nice when people link to me.

Because I'm the kind of person who likes to be liked, or at least to have their existence acknowledged.

But also (and perhaps more importantly depending on the day), an incoming link to a blog I've never read gives me the chance to discover it. This happened the other day with Strangely Warmed, which I mentioned in the linkapalooza post.

And it also happened later that same day with searchblog. That blogger linked to the 3 Type humor test post. The "perceptive, rhapsodic, and brainy writer" (a claim which I account as true based on the posts I read) over there, who signs posts "W," can drink through her nose, and has a deep connection with the works of Walker Percy--what, you couldn't tell just from the blog's title?-- also put up a 3 dimensional picture of her test results, which I thought was very cool. It looked sort of like an annotated Rubik's cube.

The reason I'm posting this here is that, for reasons all her own, W doesn't do comments. So, thank you for the link. And for the good writing. My apologies for dissing Woody Allen.

Jannotti tag: blogging
Posted to: blogging


old words (but still good ones) about work

A few weeks ago I posted this about what work really is in which I wrote:

From personal experience back in my advertising days, and even more so since entering ministry, my most productive moments almost uniformly occur when I am doing something that probably would not be perceived as actual work: when I was in the middle of reading (maybe your blog, maybe a novel), writing (not a sermon--perhaps a blog entry or a letter), cooking a meal, or even doing 'nothing.' It is at those times that the insight into the problem the parishoner is having, the ideal question for that survey project that I was stuck on, the perfect sermon illustration simply presents itself.

Not too long after that, Lifehacker (H/T) offered up a link to an article entitled What Business Can Learn from Open Source by Paul Graham. It wasn't until this morning that I finally got around to reading Graham's article; been working too hard ;-)

It's a well writtena and fascinating essay, one that has application not only for business (take this for example which jibes with my own quote above)...

The other problem with pretend work* is that it often looks better than real work. When I'm writing or hacking I spend as much time just thinking as I do actually typing. Half the time I'm sitting drinking a cup of tea, or walking around the neighborhood. This is a critical phase-- this is where ideas come from-- and yet I'd feel guilty doing this in most offices, with everyone else looking busy.

...but also for the Church, and for ministry generally. As Graham writes,

The third big lesson we can learn from open source and blogging is that ideas can bubble up from the bottom, instead of flowing down from the top. Open source and blogging both work bottom-up: people make what they want, and the best stuff prevails.
I worked for a pastor once who was trying desperately to begin a homegroup ministry by fiat. At the same time, three or four homegroups (whic weren't led by pastors but by schmoes from the congregation) were starting up without the pastor's knowledge or 'permission.' They each looked quite a bit different than what this pastor had in mind, but those groups still exist and one has even spawned other groups.

The article is worth thinking about whether you're a cog like me (that's not entirely true, I actually do get to work from home most of the time since there is no internet availability at our church office, though I'm not sure how the board feels about me doing that), or an employer, or self employed. Read it. If you have thoughts, feel free to slap that raindrops button below.

*('pretend work' refers to the 'facetime model' in which employees must be in the office 8 hours a day in a sterile looking office appearing to work. In Graham's words... "The sterility of offices is supposed to suggest efficiency. But suggesting efficiency is a different thing from actually being efficient."

Jannotti tag: community, theology
Posted to: community | theology

google ahead, make my day!

What if Google wanted to give Wi-Fi access to everyone in America? And what if it had technology capable of targeting advertising to a user’s precise location? ...evidence gathered by Business 2.0 suggests that the company may be trying to do just that.

The quoted article is at this moment the number one linked article on blogsnow.

Who knows? I know I wouldn't be surprised. What was that Google share price again?

Jannotti tag: technology
Technorati tag: googlenet
Posted to: technology


mailman, bring me no more blues

Despite the grey dreariness of today, look what the mailman brought for me! It's my major award from one of Eric's blogathon contests. Isn't it a beaut?

I love bubble wrap. The coaster's pretty sharp too.

Jannotti tag: what-ever
Posted to: what-ever



Did anyone notice that yesterday was a really slow blog day? Well, today is different...

Eric is getting rained on.

Cowtown Pattie is poeticizing. (UPDATE^2: verbage unnecessary, CP has put the [revised] poem back up!)

Ramblin' Educat is giving herself a pop quiz.

Bridget (Meg) is counting heads.

Stephen is blue.

Zalm qouth Duncan.

And Strangely Warmed has ingratiated himself to a fellow blogger (*grin*)

Jannotti tag: blogging
Posted to: blogging

"electric sex gleaming in the window"

I guess we should have known this, but it turns out that sexual imagery temporary blinds one. So says this article.

The new study by US psychologists found that people shown erotic or gory images frequently fail to process images they see immediately afterwards. And the researchers say some personality types appear to be affected more than others by the phenomenon, known as “emotion-induced blindness”.
Clive Thompson, who gets the H/T for this entry, ruminates...

When you're zooming along at 60 miles an hour, being blinded for even a fraction of second could get somebody killed. And man, would it ever suck to get killed because of a Hooters billboard.

... or perhaps, one of those new Dove ads that are getting the attention of guys everywhere. (h/t to educat for that one).

Jannotti tag: science
Posted to: psyche

i'm that kind of funny

I just stumbled upon the 3 Variable Funny Test (warning, some offensive content in test) and immediately took it. What did you expect? Moi? Pass up a meme?

So here's what kind of funny I am...

your humor style:

(57% dark, 26% spontaneous, 26% vulgar)
You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer.

Your sense of humor takes the most thought to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

For the record, I think Woody Allen is a severely overrated filmmaker and I don't even know who Ricky Gervais is. Other than that, it's got me down.

Oh, and in my heart, I know I'm funny. Just ask Brett.

Last laugh to: Larry Hnetka Goes HMmmm

Jannotti tag: what-ever
Posted to: psyche

i think that all those... wait, what was i going to say?

"Kimberly McClain started worrying that her memory was beginning to slip..."

"It was little things. I couldn't remember what I had for dinner the night before. I had to check to make sure I'd paid the insurance that month. I'd walk into a room and realize I had no idea why I was there,"

The article quoted discusses research into the effect of differing forms of long term mental activity in delaying or preventing senility.

Several large projects have found that people who are more educated, have more intellectually challenging jobs and engage in more mentally stimulating activities, such as attending lectures and plays, reading, playing chess and other hobbies, are much less likely to develop Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. ...people may benefit most from engaging in a rich diversity of stimulating activities. New experiences may be far more important than repeating the same task over and over..
People are always wanting to lecture me about stuff. Does that count? The article is fascinating, really. And the more ways we can find to inhibit or prevent dementia, the better.

But I'm not sure Ms. McClain's symptoms had anything to do with dementia. I've been forgetting why I entered the room I'm in since I was a teenager. It may be that the amount of thinking one does can serve to so fill the mind with information (useful and otherwsie) that remembering the more mundane things is, well... mundane. As for me remembering what I had for dinner last night? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Jannotti tag: psyche
Posted to: psyche


operation orchard storm

Uh Oh!

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, patent applications that cover much of the technology associated with the iPod were submitted by Microsoft, which has been on a patents tear recently filing thousands of patents.

If the patents hold up on appeal, Apple could be accountable for royalties on the spectacularly successful iPod. [links are from the quoted article]

This could get interesting.

Jannotti tag: technology
Technorati tag: ipod,
Posted to: technology


how to bash a movie

I just linked over to the Thinklings' and saw this post, which excerpts a larger "article" (it's actually more like a linked index) by film critic extraordinaire, Roger Ebert.

It's his most hated movies. Ebert is simply splendid at bashing bad movies. Sometimes he even bashes good ones, but it's okay because he is soooo good at it. You laugh anyway, even if it's your favorite movie of all time he's panning, or at least, I do. Go check some of them out.

My personal favorite Ebert barb is not in one of the reviews' mentioned in the article. It's this one from his review of the John Cusack/Kate Beckinsale flop "Serendipity":
Years pass: Two or three in the movie, more in the theater.

Jannotti tag: movies
Posted to: movies

"...but I'd never try that in real life!"

Two girls who were in his car said they were terrified and yelled at him to stop before he finally slowed and ordered them to jump out, then sped off. [ed. - The two girls were ll and 10 years old]


Oops, I forgot: H/T to Obscure Store.

Jannotti tag: remarkable stupidity
Posted to: remarkable_stupidity

don't you want to get tipsy?

Okay, all you lurkers out there, both of you. Don't you want to comment on the tips post below? Perhaps you thought you were exempt, or maybe you're ashamed of your tipping practices. You can comment anonymously if you want and I promise I won't attempt to deduce who you are (yes, I'm talking to you, alum of that school in Satan's area code) from the sitemeter stats.

Thanks to those of you who weighed in with your comments so far. I'm actually hoping to make some observations based on them and on the original post at waitterrant. I will say that the comments so far have been edifying and have affected a change in my tipping.

So reread the post and comment if you haven't already.

Posted to: what-ever


"be a winner, eat to get slimmer..."

This article is entitled People Try to Lose Weight at McDonalds. It's about people who don't like Morgan Spurlock's Supersize Me. I mean, after all, McDonald's is just a nice company trying to make the world a better place and all. Poor McDonald's.

Somebody criticizes them for hawking 'food' with almost no nutritional, aesthetic, or taste value and they and their fans get all huffy.

Now, I have a confession to make. Last week, as I was rushing to New Jersey to be with my mother, I actually stopped at the drive through of the local McD's and bought two cheeseburgers (ironic, considering my mom was in the hospital with chest pains). I still can't believe I did it-- I must have been in shock. Man, I wasn't right for the next two days, IYKWIM.

So, it should be no problem losing weight at McDonalds since the food is so bad as to be unconsumable. Someday, somebody's gonna figure that out.

Jannotti tag: food
Posted to: food

i'm having a moment


Okay. thanks for putting up with that.

Jannotti tag: what-ever
Posted to: what-ever


a little tipsy

Today, the waiter is ranting today about a piece in the NYTimes calling for mandatory service charges on restaurant tabs rather than voluntary tips.

I've never been a waiter, but the way things are going at my church it could soon be my next career. My wife waited tables for a time in the distant, hazy past. Her tips were the essence of her wages, the meager hourly rate she earned was the gravy. The few people I knew who are or have been employed as servers would say the same. I think they would look at the Times proposal as a wage cap.

But hey, that's beside the point. What I really want to know is, and you can choose to remain anonymous in the comments if you like, what is your standard tipping practice when you dine out? I want the whole deal. If you tip at all, whether or not you give a percent of the bill and what percentage scheme you use. Do you do the old school "tax times two" method? Inquiring minds want to know.

Here's what I do: I default to twenty percent. If my server is good, I tip more. Only if the service is really poor, or if the server is just a jerk, do I ever tip less than twenty percent.

You can leave your tipping schema in the comments.

Posted to: community



Don't know if you're aware of this, or if you care, but I've started posting capsule review of books as I finish them. I've just finished Larry McMurtry's latest and the review is in recent reads.

Jannotti tag: books
Posted to: books

better late than never


Jannotti tag: world events
Technorati tag: space shuttle
Posted to: world_events


church model meme

Hey! This meme is floating around out there and has recently landed at the parish.

The questions are thought provoking but the results (at least in my case) seem a little non-specific.

You scored as Sacrament model. Your model of the church is Sacrament. The church is the effective sign of the revelation that is the person of Jesus Christ. Christians are transformed by Christ and then become a beacon of Christ wherever they go. This model has a remarkable capacity for integrating other models of the church.

Sacrament model


Mystical Communion Model


Herald Model


Servant Model


Institutional Model


What is your model of the church? [Dulles]
created with QuizFarm.com

Jannotti tag: theology
Posted to: psyche | theology

bookmark meme

Eric posted this bookmark meme and asked if anyone would respond. No one did! We'll fix that.

The way the bookmark meme works is, to qoute Mr. Fire Ant himself:

list the last bookmark in your collection, move up the list ten places and list the next one, move up another ten, and so on. If you keep all of your bookmarks in folders, (1) just go to the next folder, if you need to, as you move up the list, and (2) get a life. Do you really need to be that organized?
So here are my long awaited answers to the bookmark meme. Full disclosure: I'm skipping over two bookmark folders in my list. One is the mozilla default links folder that appeared when I installed firefox, another is the Dell folder. I'm skipping them because they don't contain bookmarks that I myself installed. Aren't you glad I clarified that?

1. The Bridge Avenue School website. I've posted about this place before. A street school started in Cleveland by a friend of mine.

2. Upper Room Book Proposal Guidelines. That should be self explanatory.

3. Lonely Planet -- 'therefore i travel'.

4. wifi freespot -- because I travel.

5. metrofreefi pennsylvania page -- because #4 was in the wrong folder.

6. wild olive branch -- a blog I read.

7. shizuka blog -- another blog I read.

8. lone prairie blog -- you guessed it, another blog.

9. Bridget Jones goes to seminary -- blog.

10. Bloglines -- a feed reader because I have so many blogs bookmarked.

There, I feel better now.

Jannotti tag: memes
Posted to: psyche

on with the nothingness

Okay, now that the blogathon is over, the rest of the b'shpere can get on with their oh so useful lives. That includes me.

It does seem, however, that the blogathon aftershocks will rumble even over here at serotoninrain. That's because during the 'thon, Eric had to go and put up a meme. I'm sure he knew I wouldn't be able to pass it up. I'm sure he also knew that he would be forcing me to sit on my hands due to my self imposed moratorium on posting (for which you are grateful I am sure); after all, he does claim (despite the fact we've never met) to have insight into my (SUPPOSED!) tendency toward the deadly sin of envy.

By the way, if you refrained for some reason, from exploring either Eric's blog or Julie's during the blogathon, well, I'm sorry you missed it. But really you didn't since all of their posts are still up! So what are you waiting for. Go peruse them; you really shouldn't miss Julie's presentation of "Of Rats And Men." It is a phenomenon in itself.

When (if) you come back I'll have the meme and my responses to it.

Ouch! Are tattoos supposed to hurt this much?

Jannotti tag: what-ever
Posted to: blogging | what-ever


suspended blogimation

I hereby suspend all posting until after the blogathon. This will allow me to check up on

Julie (who is blogging for Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree Project)


Eric (who is blogging for Midland Fair Havens, a charity in his hometown)

Eric has set up a very helpful faq if you'd like to figure out how to pledge.

Jannotti tag: blogathon
Posted to: blogging

this post is for my wife

Dear Joy,

All you need to see is the title on Educat's post.

Jannotti tag: what-ever
Posted to: what-ever

a ha ha ha ha, a ha ha ha ha

Another politico postures pompously.

Okay, former politico. And former cast member of the original Dukes of Hazzard TV show. He's Ben Jones (Cooter in the show) and he's posted an open letter on his website that has this statement in it...

Our show is a hit right now! Very young children have fallen in love with the "Dukes" on CMT, just as their parents did 25 years ago. They love the positive values of our show, its wholesome friendliness, and the fact that Bo and Luke are heroes who always make the right moral choice.
Right moral choice? Give me a friggin' break. Even the theme song from the show doesn't agree with old Coot(er). Remember the last line folks? "Makin their way the only way they know how, and that's just a little bit more than the law will allow." The essential plot of the show involved the many creative ways you could run moonshine, making sure to jump your ugly red car over everything in sight while avoiding the police and throwing in as many cleavage shots as possible.

I'm sure the movie sticks to the tradition. Family Values my a.. eye. Okay I'm getting carried away. Breathe. 1, 2, 3, 4,.... it's only a movie.

I'm better now, but hip hop journalist Jimi Izreal is worked up. Check out his rant with the super high profanity content (hence it won't be quoted here). Or you can listen to a cleaner version at NPR

Alas, this intrigue hilarious as it is, is still not enough to make me see the movie.

Jannotti tag: what-ever
Posted to: movies

yet another reason to avoid the theatre

Not a movie I plan on seeing.

A. O Scott says the film is:
the latest evidence that, for Hollywood studios at least, there can never be too much of a mediocre thing.

Kenneth Turan says:

The Dukes of Hazzard is a film that is not there.

I won't be there either, Ken.

Jannotti tag: movies
Posted to: movies


pillow talk

Wow. I'm zapped.

I was going to try and post something (though I guess I am doing exactly that right now, no?) but I can barely keep my eyes open. I think I heard a cool story on NPR today about something or another. Or was it yesterday?

Did I mention that we bought new pillows a few nights ago... I think I hear mine calling...

Jannotti tag: what-ever
Posted to: what-ever


There is nothing wrong with Mom's heart. A "shadow" turned up in her stress test results yesterday but the doctor found nothing in the catheterization today. No blockage. They didn't even find signs of the congenital heart condition that her father had. Her ticker is ticking fine, thank you very much. And after being carted back to her room but before dozing off, she made sure to let us know that she told us that from the beginning.

Of course, we don't know what was causing her pain on Monday, so she will be seeing a doctor next week to check that out.

You should have seen the look of relief on my dad's face... and, I'm sure, on mine as well.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. I've just arrived back home and now must be off, I have to go do the grocery shopping.

Posted to: family


bad news

Looks like I'm off to New Jersey again. They found a blockage. Mom is very upset.

Posted to: family


interesting day

I now know what it will be like the day the dreaded message comes.

After moving all my usual Tuesday work to Monday following the morning and early afternoon funeral related activity, I decided to take today off - mostly. I still had a meeting to attend this afternoon and band rehearsal tonight.

I spent a leisurely morning reading McMurtry and commenting on some of your blogs at the Lionville Starbucks, my favorite haunt. I dallied on the way home. Did you know you can get a perfectly good Perry Ellis Portfolio, all wool sportjacket at Goodwill for $7?

I walked in the house and there it was in red letters on the message board.


Your mom is in the hospital. She had chest pains.

I felt strange, but not fearful. I've actually wondered many times how I would react when I got that kind of news about one of my parents. What I actually did was leave messages expressing my regret for not being able to attend the meeting and rehearsal before hopping in my car for the one and a half hour trip to the hospital in New Jersey. I did manage, before I left, to discover that it was my sister who had called with the news and that mom was apparently 'okay' and was going to have 'tests' done. Whatever that means.

So I drove to New Jersey, the radio off, listening instead to my thoughts which were all over the place. I didn't replay scenes from my life with mom (okay, there were a few of those). Mostly I thought about how each parent would cope if the other parent were to pass away first. Then I thought about whether I should offer to go to my parent's house to cook dinner for dad and my brother and sister after visiting at the hospital for a while; and shouldn't I have taken a change of clothes, and how late was the Kohl's near my parents' house open. The human mind is a strange, strange thing sometimes.

At the hospital, the first thing out of my mom's mouth was "Jimmy (yes, that's what she calls me), I'm fine. You didn't have to come. I'm fine!" Mothers. I looked at my Dad who gave me the look that said, "Wives."

Apparently, it was the acid reflux condition mom has had for some time. All the bloodwork EKG, echo, show no cardiac involvement. However, mom's pain (which was significant and getting worse on Monday-- she was admitted on MONDAY!!! and told my dad not to call any of us. Once we realized mom was okay, brother, sister, and I had a little chat about this with both parental figures), anyway, like I was saying, mom's pain did respond almost immediately to nitro. However, it is not unknown, according to the cardiologist, for acid reflux pain to respond to nitro tablets too, especially when three doeses of Zantac has been consumed. So a stress test is scheduled for tomorrow, and I am more than a little relieved. Mom was up and around with the blessing of her doctor, feeling good and looking forward to being released after her stress test.

She told me that her plans for the weekend include teaching my sorry butt how to make a quilt sqaure.

Posted to: family



I like memoirs. One of my favorites is this one by Jonathan Raban, and this one by Larry McMurtry, which is not really a memoir so much as a travel book, is lovely as well. I've mentioned the book, Men For the Mountains and its author Sid Marty in a previous post. And one of my favorites of the genre is Family, by Ian Frazier. Not to mention some of Frederick Buechner's and Kathleen Norris' books that really are memoirs dressed up as something else.

So I'll need to get involved with a couple of the memoirs mentioned in this story at NPR. Incidentally, I share Nancy Pearl's opinion that there are too many memoirs out there (though there are not enough good ones). A good memoir is not only well written but has a story that touches your own somehow, even though it remains personal to the author. I've always felt that writing well actually requires a good degree of selflessness, of humility. But I'll leave that soapbox for another time.

Especially intriguing to me among the books Pearl mentions: "Floyd Skloot's In the Shadow of Memory is a collection of essays detailing Skloot's experience of losing his memory after being infected by a virus. Gracefully written, the book also chronicles Skloot's struggle to regain memories lost to the illness." (quoted from the story page at NPR).

In the portion of the audio story pertaining to Skloot's book, Nancy Pearl says,

"This is a book that is so gracefully written... I wondered, I don't see how his dementia, his brain damage, has had any impact on him as a writer and then he says in the book that each essay in the book took him between a year and two years to write."
If you are into memoirs like I am, perhaps we'll find some good ones in Pearl's list. If not, then read something else, but by all means...read!

Jannotti tag: writing
Posted to: writing

after the funeral

Things went well, if I may be permitted to use that word to assess a funeral. The family wept, prayed, and laughed with their friends. They honored their mother's memory well and took comfort in the scriptures and prayers that were offered. Three family members surprised me with their well composed eulogies.

The deceased woman's daughter and two sons both seemed to experience a sense of peace, even through their tears. They also told me they thought the service was lovely.

So thank you for your prayers; I believe they were heard and answered.

Jannotti tag: theology
Posted to: theology