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Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

How I got the wife to watch The Doctor

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I’ve been trying to get Charis to sit down and watch Doctor Who ever since a friend loaned me Series Three.  She’s been less than enthusiastic.  So, building on the idea that marriage is compromise, when she asked me to watch the premiere of The Bachelor last night, I saw an opening.  And I took it.

I promised her I’d watch The Bachelor if she’d give the Doctor a chance. 

She screwed her face up in that look that says she knows she’s been defeated, and she caved a few moments later. 

Last night, I endured all 90 minutes of that shallow and insipid vision of romance, and by the end of the ordeal, Charis was just as disgusted as I was.  So you could say that two good things came out of this—Charis will have to watch Doctor Who (a deal’s a deal, after all), and I’ll never have to watch The Bachelor again. 


Written by taj

March 18, 2008 at 8:50 am

A Project in 12-point Courier

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It’s probably time to let you all know why there haven’t been very many posts lately.  So…

The short of it: A while ago, a friend of mine and I started toying around with the idea of entering one of the screenplay competitions this summer, and we decided to go for it.  I’ve spent the last six weeks hammering out a first draft.

The long of it: Last summer, after a largely uninspiring season of television, we just sort of asked the question to each other, “Well, if we could do a show, what we create?”  We’re both writers, so the dots aren’t that hard to connect.  We started developing characters in July and let the plot grow around them.

We ended up with was an ambitious little idea that, after finishing the draft last week, has started giving me cold sweats.  I’ll write a little more about that as things develop – lots can change between the first and second drafts of a story, and I really want to give this the kind of attention it needs.

All of that to say two things.  One: blogging may be very sporadic over the next several weeks. Lots of reading to do before I start cracking on the second draft.  Two: I’ve added the link to John August’s web site in the sidebar.  John August has written for film (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and television for years, and is gracious enough to share some tips and techniques, as well as a few of his scripts, via his site.

Now, I have to go and endure an hour of The Bachelor.  More on that later.

Written by taj

March 17, 2008 at 7:11 pm

It appears we’re not so turned on by sex.

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Perusing the Point the other day, I noticed this little post about a 30-day challenge the pastor of Relevant Church in Tampa Bay posed to his congregation:

Married couples in the church are encouraged to have sex once a day, for 30 days.  Single men and  women are encouraged to abstain.

Reaction to the post in the comments doesn’t exactly reflect enthusiasm — more the opposite.  “Lack of discernment,” “misguided” and “wrong-headed” summarize the general trend.  One fellow even called sex within marriage a sin, just not as bad as sex without (?!).

You can find my response in comment number 10.

Written by taj

February 23, 2008 at 10:44 am

Posted in Life, Marriage

A Question of Time Travel

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Last night, watching the Journeyman finale, I asked my wife, if she could travel back to any time and place in history, where would she go?

She thought about it for a moment, looked at me and said, “I’d want to go meet Jesus.” 

There are times in a marriage when you feel eleven inches tall.  I was thinking I’d like to go back to Oxford in the mid 1950s, try strike up a student-mentor relationship with C.S. Lewis.  In the wake of her answer, I felt a little silly. 

I told her she’d have to learn Aramaic if she were to do that.  But then my imagination took over.  This is the Son of God.  He’d see her strolling down the dirt lane, and though the people on the road would look at her clothing 2000 years removed and assume she must be a wandering gypsy from south of Galilee, Jesus would likely pull her aside, smile in that knowing way of his, and say something like, “You’re not supposed to be here, are you?”

My wife would hear this in English, of course.  If Christ could heal the sick, give sight to the blind and raise Lazarus from the dead, performing a little work on her tongue and ears allowing her to speak and understand Aramaic would be such a small matter. 

She’d witness that part of Christ’s life that never made it into scripture; that part we can only interpolate from the evident traits available in the four accounts we have of his life.  She would witness his humor, his patience, his compassion, his humility.  I always imagine Jesus had a stellar sense of humor.  You’d need one, dealing with the likes of Peter’s pride or Simon’s zeal.  She’d see his fearlessness in the face of opposition.  Witness his cunning.  And his grace. 

There would be precautions, obviously.  Someone would find her a robe so she wouldn’t look so out of place.  She’d have to bury her shoes—the fabric of the space-time continuum is rather fragile, you know.  Although I’m sure the Roman’s would have appreciated Nikes. 

Written by taj

December 20, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Posted in General, Marriage

Another One Rides the Bus

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Someone tells me at least three times a week that my life will change when my baby is born.  It’s only Monday and I’ve already heard it once.  But my lovely wife and I are taking whatever proactive measures we can, one of which entails me riding the bus to work.  We only have one car, see, and she’ll need it to cart the little guy around once she returns to school in the fall.

What I know of public transit comes mostly from Hollywood—the crowded hordes of business men standing in the isle, clinging to little ropes hanging from above, and whatnot.  And while I know a Los Angeles city bus would never make a fifty foot jump over a gap in a freeway overpass, it’s still fun to watch on screen. 

I stepped on board, and thankfully, I was not greeted by the stench of the cleaner they must use to scour public school buses.  The seats on public transit, I discovered, may still cause the caboose some discomfort, but at least they’re upholstered. 

The small crowd I encountered this morning seemed well acquainted with each other.  I actually felt a little out of place.  Most of them knew each other by name.  I don’t why that surprised me—you don’t think of finding community on a bus when you’re not usually the one to hitch a ride.  This crowd did quite well together.  I sometimes wish I could find such fluid chemistry in church. 

I know this isn’t a problem with all churches.  Many churches have community nailed down to a science.  They recognize that building relationships and earning the right to be heard does not entail leading a person to the altar as quickly as possible.  I’m happy to finally be a part of a church that is starting to take that particular ride.   And some of us feel out of place, but we’ll get over it.  Those riding the bus can be my teachers for a while, I really don’t mind. 

Written by taj

April 23, 2007 at 4:54 pm

I’ve been tagged

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By tagged, I mean that someone, somewhere, found in their creativity the compulsion to make a thing vaguely similar to chain mail—this one having to do with listing six weird things about one’s self.  After passing through an untold number of bloggers, it has finally reached me by way of the Neophyte Pundit.  And while there’s a part of me that saw my being tagged as merely humorous, there was that tiny voice way down deep in the subaudible that proudly squeaked, “I am somebody!”

Seriously, these things detract from the monotony when get to I read them elsewhere, so I’m happy to participate for a change.  Here, then, are the “rules” which state that I am required to let you see before going on…

“Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”

Now, on to the list…

One: I own the Thriller album from Michael Jackson.  And I like it.  If you think that’s just too strange, you really ought to scan the shelf at my father-in-law’s place.  He owns a copy of the video. 

Two: I know how to moonwalk. 

These will no long feature anything to do with Michael Jackson.  Promise. 

Three:   I met Richard Simmons once, and he made me cry.  (I was four years old, gimmie a break.)

Four: I try to watch Jaws every Thanksgiving.  It’s one of my favorite movies and remains one of Spielberg’s best.  And what better time to watch a movie about something that lives to swims, and eats, and makes little baby sharks than that one day out of the year when we have the most in common?  Yeah, I know; sharks don’t watch football.  Get over it. 

Five: I once arranged all the movies in my collection alphabetically by director.  From memory.  I did not have to look at the back cover for any of them.   I only had about 14 or 15 films on the shelf at the time, but still, it is a little strange. 

Six:  I have to think of something really good to finish this off…I could say that put peanut butter in my oatmeal, but that isn’t near the level of weird this calls for.  Hmm…I can give a pretty good recitation of Jack Nicholson’s speech at the end of A Few Good Men.  The only time this has ever been a hit at a party was during the Thanksgiving I had asked my wife to marry me.  We were having dinner with a family in Idaho, and visiting was a close friend of the family from the Air Force.  He and I regaled those gathered at the table with our nerdiness by delivering the speech in unison.  It was the first and only time I’ve been able to do so in front of my wife without receiving a blow to ribs from her elbow. 

Now comes the part of the show where the rules dictate that I am to pass this along to six others.  OK…I know you all live very busy lives, so if this comes and an inconvenience, annoyance, or both, please forgive me.

My good friend Darth Vertigo
Me papa, the Gelatin Guerrilla
Julie at Observations from the Roof of a Building
The Dude himself at CalvinDude
The man who shares my name; Travis at Restless Reformer

Thanks for following me down amnesia lane.

Written by taj

February 9, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Something I read today…

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“I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago, because a mind was made to figure things out, not read the same page recurrently.”

— Donald Miller, Through Painted Deserts. 2005. p. x

Written by taj

February 3, 2007 at 6:15 pm

Posted in Books, Life, Marriage