Thursday, May 24

Question: which is better: Macs or PCs?

Answer: PCs. They are the computers employed by Dunder Mifflin Scranton.

Tuesday, May 22

It’s good to stay the color you are

When my brother Wendell was about 4 years old he made an observation while watching a basketball game on TV. He noticed early in life that most African American players were better than most white players. According to the logic of a 4-year-old, he must have thought that trading your skin color for the ability to play better basketball was an option, but concluded that it was an option he would pass on. “It’s good to stay the color you are,” he remarked. We still laugh at this story, and the sentence has entered the family canon of frequently used phrases. I even use it when no one else will know to what I am referring. On Sunday afternoon my roommate donned her sunglasses and took off her shoes. “I’m going outside to try to get dark,” she announced. “I’ve decided to stay the color I am,” I replied.

Staying the color you are is good advice. I really have decided to give up trying to get tan this summer. Don’t get me wrong—I love being in the sun, and I don’t have a skin cancer phobia, but trying to get tan has always been a hot, headachy and unprofitable ordeal for me (except for the summers I worked at Twin Lakes). It will be much easier to let the chips fall where they may: If I get sun, fine. If not, that’s fine too. Just as going green, being energy efficient and recycling have all become cool, I predict that being white (or the color you are) will eventually come back into style. It may not be until I’m in my fifties, but when it does I’ll be ready.

As with many things that children say, “It’s good to stay the color you are,” hides a profundity beneath its funny exterior. It’s not just the paleness of my skin I need to accept, but so many other things about the way God made me and the culture and location in which he’s placed me. After my parents’ attack we got word from the Hambys that their children were praying for us. “Why does the dog bite?” 2-year-old Simeon said. And I thought then, in the midst of all the chaos, as I hovered back and forth between my parents’ hospital rooms, that Simeon had grasped the core of what was going on. Why is there evil in the world? Why does the dog bite? The effects of Adam and Eve’s sin have stretched out to touch everything, and because of their disobedience my mom’s left arm will be shorter than her right. God has been very good to us in the midst of this trouble. He’s brought my family, which was already close, even closer to each other and to him. He’s shown me that he is real and can be trusted. He made me the color I am for a reason.

Monday, May 14

Rereading Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix

In preparation for the release of the final Harry Potter installment, The Deathly Hallows, this summer, I’ve been re-reading the series. After finishing The Order of the Phoenix for the third time, these are my conclusions.

J.K. Rowling knows how to end her books well. Even though this book drags at times and is need of some serious editing (I remember reading a quote where she admitted the same thing), at the end I can’t put it down and even wind up a bit teary over things that never moved me before. The more time I spend with these characters, the more I come to care about them.

For example: Neville. The “Christmas on the Closed Ward” chapter, his hard work with the DA and brave fighting at the Ministry of Magic show us that there is so much more to him than would seem. What I want from book 7—more than Voldemort’s downfall even—is for Neville to do something really cool and for Bellatrix Lestrange to die a painful death after seeing her lord destroyed. Oh dear, did I just say that? Is it okay to want revenge on a fictional character?