Wednesday Hodgepodge: 1-2 November 2017

The Wednesday Hodgepodge appears (a little late) courtesy of From This Side Of The Pond.   

1. What does/did Halloween look like at your house this year? Did you decorate? Pick pumpkins? Carve pumpkins? Expect trick or treaters? Wear a costume to a party or event? Make a costume? Feel glad you didn't have to come up with a costume? Cook a Halloween themed treat? Eat all the leftover candy?

We didn't do any decorating ... too busy with other tasks.   As for trick-or-treaters ... we're an odd house in an odd spot that rarely gets visitors.   So, for the last several years, we've participated in our church's "Trunk Or Treat" event ... my wife and daughter do face painting, and my son and I hand out candy from our trunk.   We bought too much, of course, so we'll be set with snacks for many months to come.

2. What are you waiting for? Elaborate.

This is a hard question to answer than it seems. 

Does it count if you're waiting for something that you don't really expect to happen?

Because there are a number of people in my life that have promised to do things for me that haven't done them, and it doesn't look like they intend to do them, either.  So I'm waiting for ... I don't know what, really.

Maybe I'm just Waiting For Godot.

3. Do you wish you were friendlier, braver, more creative, more athletic, or something else? Explain.

Right now?   Professionally creative.   

I know for many of you who know me, that may seem like an odd choice; I do a number of creative things, both personally and professionally.

But right now, my scholarly pursuits are stalled.   I'm trying to start some things up, but those efforts simply aren't working, no matter how hard I've been trying.

Edison is reported to have said that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.   I'm willing to put in the perspiration.   But I need some inspiration in order to know where to focus the perspiration. 

4. When it comes time to paint are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone? What was the last paint job completed at your house? What room most needs painting now? How do you feel about wallpaper?

I dearly love my parents, who love doing household improvement projects.   Virtually every paint job in our house has been done by them as a labor of love to us.   The only exception is the paint job in our dining room/kitchen area, which was done by the contractors who remodeled our kitchen a decade ago.

I think our bathroom probably needs the paint job the most right now.

Wallpaper?   I can take it or leave it.   My sense of artistic style is ... well, I'm pretty pleased when my shirt and pants match when I leave the house in the morning, so ...

5. What is one specific thing you felt gratitude for in the month of October?

October was the beginning of a semester here at Kettering.   With the beginning of the semester came the return of a small group of students that have "adopted" me into their little clan.   On the first day of the term, when I happened to be sitting alone in my office, they all independently found there way there, greeted me, pestered me with details about the class they were taking with me, and then proceeded to re-arrange their schedules so that they could take another class with me.    It is immensely flattering and heartwarming.

In the words of the great Sally Field: "You like me!  Right now, you like me!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

It has been fascinating over the last couple of weeks watching the frenzy of media stars who are being brought "down" (whatever "down" means) because of accusations of sexual harassment.    It seems like every day brings yet another story of someone else losing their position of fame and/or power.

My reactions to these phenomenon are only starting to coalesce.   In no particular order:

a.  I'd like to have a smug reaction to this.   But then I remember the words of Paul: 

"if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."  (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

b.  Having said that ... it's amazing how much less trouble I get into by choosing to live the Christian life.   I simply don't understand how anyone could justify to themselves that this sort of lifestyle is ethical; that sort of reasoning is completely alien to me.   And for that, I am glad (and sad).

c.  Moralizing aside ... what I find the most fascinating is this question: why now?   The common thread in all of these stories is that these powerful people have been committing these acts of aggression for years --- in some cases, decades.   Their victims have been voicing their complaints, but have been almost universally silenced --- by being ignored, discredited, threatened, or bought out.   Why are these stories all coming to light now?   Perhaps more importantly, why are these stories being believed now, when they haven't been for so many years?   What's changed?

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