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Things I’d like to do in the future

February 15, 2009

I guess there are a lot of things I’d like to do in the future. I’d like to live (not just visit, but live) in another country. I actually have two ideas…Switzerland because it’s just so cool (and because so many cool people live there), but also China, because I’m learning Mandarin. I guess I could just as easily pick one of the many languages that are “official” in Switzerland (I started learning French twice actually, but never got very far…it’s not that hard of a language, I think…but then again, I haven’t gone far enough to care about serious conjugations, so maybe I’d think twice if I did) and enjoy some of that liberal European sensibility (and I guess it would help me well in comparison to some of the surprises I might see in such a vastly different country like China).

I dunno. That’s one thing I’d like to do. But really, that’s not what this topic is about. Because that’s far, far, far in the future and gives me very little to work with. Perhaps I could talk about something that I can grasp a little closer — I’d like to write a novel and get it published. Even more immediately, I’d like to get an internship for next spring with my accounting program. I’d like to raise enough money for Fencing Club nationals by this April. I’d like to finish my Accounting Information Systems homework by tonight (in fact, I’m postponing that to write this very message.)

No, what I wanted to talk about was something I’d like to do in the future that really isn’t for any practical purpose like the others. I’d really like to read through all of the scriptures again. Particularly with focus on the New Testament.

See, I must admit that I’m not that much of a reader. It’s hard for me to get absorbed in much, so I like to stick to internet articles, nonfiction, and things that are practical and tangible. Fiction, with all of its explanation and description, kills me to sleep.

I think it was The Lord of the Rings that destroyed me. What a terribly written novel. J.R.R. Tolkien should be ashamed of himself and all the people that actually like that style of writing should also be ashamed.

I’m getting better though. I’m reading through George. R.R. Martin (what’s with the double Rs?)’s A Song of Ice and Fire. And although the fourth in the series is painful to read (geez, he decided to focus on all the characters I don’t care about)…and although I’m seriously worried about George’s healthy (he seems to be taking a long time with the next book…and I mean…he’s a fat old dude…he could die any time. I mean, look at Robert Jordan. He was on 11 out of 12 for the Wheel of Time!)…anyway, beyond all those “and althoughs” I would say that I’m enjoying it.

But that’s fantasy. I guess depending on who you’d ask, people would consider the Bible and Book of Mormon to be fantasy as well, but I’m not going to say that because I’m not 14 and angsty. Anyway, I must admit:

The Book of Mormon drives me to sleep.

And I must admit:

The Old Testament sickens me.

And I must admit:

I’ve never even considered the New Testament seriously.

This puzzles me, and it makes me wonder if there isn’t some Mormon culture-y reason why. The church constantly tells its members to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover, and while they insist that the BoM is just “another testament”…I think it’s clear that they emphasize the BoM. I mean, certainly there’s a year of seminary for the NT (which I missed — oops!), but I think people in the church and people out of it would both think (generalization AHOY) that Mormons aren’t up to speed on the New Testament.

I wonder why this is? I mean, I guess the New Testament is different, so I should check a look at it. It is the backbone of Christian thought, so in a predominantly Christian world, people should be familiar with it (especially Christians — I have a suspicion that many Christians are nowhere near as familiar with the book or Christ’s teachings as they should be).

So, I’d like to read the NT in particular. And what I’ve realized very recently is…because I’m not necessarily attached to the Church’s hip…I need not feel obliged to look at particular passages through church-tinted lenses. If I want, I don’t even need to read the King James Version. It’s an open field!

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  1. You fence?

    I did too for about 5 years in 1990s over at Utah Valley Sport Fencing. Never managed to get ranked because I’d always stink it up in pools and then turn on the heat in eliminations. So I fenced great in eliminations, but due to poor pool results, I’d get seeded low and end up fencing someone too far above my skill level. So it didn’t tend to matter how well I was fencing.

    Julie, who ran the fencing center said if I could manage to fence in pools as well as I fenced in eliminations, I could have been at least a D rank easy.

    I haven’t been able to fence much though since I left law school (and the nearby college club).

    I’m still hoping to get certified to referee though at some point. I’m actually pretty good at it.

  2. yep, I specialize in epee, but I get just far enough in DEs to face someone really good and then get trounced (whether it’s from poor seeding or just meeting my match), so I’ve never been ranked :(. But I’m going to change this soon! I just have to get far enough in a tournament with multiple ranks awarded to slip to a ranking…

  3. I read “A Game of Thrones” and found it very well written and gripping.

    But I ultimately decided not to wade into the next book. I think it was when I came to the realization that every last female character in the series is probably going to be raped and humiliated at some point, every single major character in the plot is going to be horribly betrayed, half the people I like are going to die, and in general, life is going to royally suck eggs.

    I didn’t need that kind of mojo in a fantasy novel.

  4. I favor sabre myself.

    I keep at foil though because I think it guards against some of the excesses you can slip into if you only fence sabre.

    I’ve played around with epee before, but never got serious about it.

    I just like right-of-way I guess.

  5. Re: GoT comment.

    I guess I can’t blame you, since GRRM is very gritty and graphic…but I dunno, I don’t think books are rated, so I don’t know if my Bishop would “counsel me” against reading such books.

    But yeah, that’s about the right classification of it. The moral of the story: don’t get attached to anyone because they all will be jerks (sometimes lovable jerks or pitiable jerks, but still jerks)…and most will get axed.

    But I like that much better than novels where the main characters are too sacred to die.

    I liked sabre, but it was just too hyper for me, I think. I didn’t like foil because I’d always hit off target, even when I *knew* to go for the lame. I’m just bad at that kind of thing though. I haaaate right of way though. If my light goes off, I should get a point!

  6. Totally come to Switzerland!!!

    Not only would I love to meet you, but you could meet Wry Catcher and Sabayon, who are both two orders of magnitude cooler than me. 😉

    As for the Bible, it’s very useful to have a basic grasp of what is in it. As far as Christians are concerned, the four gospels that open the New Testament are the key, and they’re not that long, so they’re a good place to focus your energy if you don’t feel like reading the whole thing.

    As for the Old Testament, it’s interesting if you’re motivated to dive in (and read some historical commentary to go with it). If you’re not, it’s still useful to have a general outline. I don’t have a particular summary to recommend, but it’s probably not too hard to find one.

  7. WhutzNekst permalink

    I love the GRRM series for its unpredicability. In response to Seth R., I gotta say it is the fact that no character is safe in that series that I like. I get so tired of fantasy and SF books (fiction in general I guess) where the main characters dance through the series without ever being in any real jeopardy. (LOTR anyone? Boromir dies cuz he’s a turncoat, otherwise everyone ends up back home in their beds. Snooze.)

    When I first read “Thrones” and a certain MAJOR character gets beheaded midway through the book I was taken aback. This continued through the series. GRRM would spend 600 pages introducing and building a character and BAM! they are gone without a hint of hesitation. It’s bold. I love it. Finally, major characters experience real risk.

    As for the rape, yeah, its a bit much – but not as bad as Stephen R. Donaldson’s notorious hate for his women characters.

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