Sunday, October 31, 2004

What Candidate is 4U?

This link is a quiz to help you discover what Presidential Candidate you agree with most. I've taken a lot of these quizes and I think this one is the best. It takes quite a bit of time and you have to read quite a bit, but the results are interesting. My final results showed that I agree with the candidates in this order:

Peroutka 13 (constitution party)
Bush 12 (republican party)
Badnarek 9 (libertarian party)
Kerry 3 (democratic party)
Nader -2 (independant)
Cobb -2 (green party)

Saturday, October 30, 2004

5 Shows That Ended Too Soon

My taste in TV shows must be relatively unique because I quite often find my favorite new shows being cancelled after 1 or 2 seasons. Below is a list of 5 such shows in alphabetical order:

1. Andy Richter Controls the Universe- If you're a Conan O'Brien fan then you may remember he once had a side-kick, namely Andy Richter. Andy left the show a while back to pursue his acting career. He has since been in crappy movies like Scary Movie 2, My Boss's Daughter, and then was out-acted by the Olsen twins in New York Minute. Scary Resume. BUT....In my opinion Richter hit a homerun with the TV show baring his name. The show is about Andy's life as an employee to a huge company, his relationships with his fellow employees, and his creative imagination. There were only 14 episodes aired before cancellation in January of 2003. I have been watching them re-run on Comedy Central (which, btw, advertised the airing of a never before seen Andy Richter this Monday).

2. Boston Common- I think one of the better casted shows I've seen was Boston Common. Every character had a distinct personality that added to the show's watchability. The show is about a brother (Boyd) who instead of simply dropping his kid-sister (Wyleen) off at college in Boston ends up getting a job as a handy-man for the school. Boyd quickly falls in love with Joy, a mature student who is dating a snobby teacher. So basically you get 32 episodes of Boyd wooing this girl, Wyleen struggling to adjust, Joy being confused, the snobby teacher being snobby, etc. Good cast, good comedy, bad decision to cancel it after only 2 seasons in the mid-90's.

3. Ned and Stacey- From September 1995 to January 1997 there was a very funny show called Ned and Stacey. Ok, the premise was a little strange...a guy and gal who hate eachother get married b/c it helps their current life scenario. The marriage is just for show (to her parents and his boss). Obviously, most of the humor is built around that situation, but the show is funny to me b/c the two lead characters are excellent, especially Ned. I hated him in the show Wings, but he's very funny in this one. Stacey (Grace from Will and Grace) is also very good. It was cancelled, wrongfully, after 35 episodes.

4. Sport Night- Ok, many of you know I'm a huge sports fan. In fact, one of my favorite shows is SportsCenter (a daily 1 hour show re-capping all the latest sports scores and headlines). Well, Sports Night was a show about the crew of a show like that. Instead of spending an hour watching their show, viewers spent half an hour watching the behind the scenes lives of the shows employees. It aired for 2 full seasons (45 episodes). I guess it was the combination of sports, comedy, and a well written script that kept my attention.

5. Working- Do you like the kid from The Wonder Years? Well, he grew up and had another good show called Working. He plays an idealistic college grad who just got his first job at a big company. Only 35 episodes aired from 97-99. This is your classic office comedy where every employee is up to their own hijinks. This show was kinda goofy and somewhat similar to Andy Richter Controls the Universe. I wish some station would show the re-runs.

Okay, so everybody that reads this blog...send emails to cable stations asking them to pick these shows back up. I'm not gonna send any emails, but I'd appreciate it if you all did!

Friday, October 29, 2004

The Great Wall

Tonight I'm the substitute Bible study leader for the International Students Chinese group. I've done this a few times and always enjoy it. They are so eager to learn about God. Sadly, I don't' usually get that impression from many Americans. I think I'm going to China again the Spring, but I doubt I'll be going back to the Great Wall, so here's my pic from the last time. Posted by Hello

Thursday, October 28, 2004

My Election Prediction

The Democrats could have won this election, but they simply picked the wrong candidate in John Kerry. His politics are too liberal. His wife is too annoying. His positions are too fickle. His campaign is too patronizing. His character is too questionable. His past is too controversial.

George W. Bush is not a great President. He is not fiscally conservative. He is a bad public speaker. He is a worse debater. But he will be elected because of his character. He is more conservative. His wife is not annoying at all. His positions are concrete. He comes across as genuine. He is likeable.

Originally, I thought this was going to be an extremely close election. I'm starting to think otherwise. My prediction for the Presidential Election in 2004 is:

Most Likely
George W. Bush 317
John F. Kerry 221
*This scenario will happen if people take terror seriously

2nd Most Likely
John F. Kerry 315
George W. Bush 223
*This scenario will happen if people take Michael Moore seriously

3rd Most Likely
George W. Bush 269
John F. Kerry 269
*In this scenario George W. Bush would most likely be elected based on a vote in the House

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Waiting 86 years

As I type this first line, Keith Foulke has made his first pitch of the night. Strike. It is the bottom of the 9th. The Red Sox are three outs away from their first World Series championship in 86 years. Ball. Strike. Foul. My emotions are mixed. Part of being a Red Sox fan is being a loser. Part of my identity could be minutes away from disappearing. Hit up the middle.

With a man on first and no outs, it's hard not to think of 'the curse.' Something has gone wrong for 86 years now. Is the curse really over just because we beat the Yankees? Strike. Strike. Ball. Pop-out.

2 years ago the Syracuse Orangemen won the NCAA tournament. Of all the teams I cheer for, they were the first to win. Is my luck changing? Does a Red Sox win mean the Sabres will win? The Bills? Strike. Foul. Strike. Strike Out. One out away from it all!

Ball. Bouncer to the pitcher. Foulke throws. GAME OVER.

The Boston Red Sox are the 2004 World Series Champions!!!

I'm not sure what to think. I feel feelingless.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

That Step

When I was in High School, I was very very shy. This is a poem I wrote in 12th grade about a girl I liked for a lil while:

So many times I looked at you
Momentarily alone
And I stopped to think what I could say
With you all to my own

But as I took that first step
At least I did in thought

Another came and stole away

The chance that I had sought

There were others in the meantime
I thought could take your place
But something more was missing
Than just your smiling face

As we became good friends

I thought perhaps its time

But time became the enemy

As I waited for a sign

I didn’t seize the day

I worried through the night

Without a forward step soon

Would you be gone from sight

And on that final day

The enemy rolled by

I didn’t say a word

I couldn’t even cry

I hope I never see you

Walking down the street

Or hear about your life

Lest I feel incomplete

But if you see me someday

And wonder if it’s fate

Give me a staring glance
Perhaps that step I’ll take

Monday, October 25, 2004

Top 20 Movies

It's hard to make a list like this for a couple of reasons. First, it's hard to rank comedies and dramas on the same list. Second, some of the rankings are pry influenced by mood or which film I saw most recently. But here's a pretty good indicator of my top 20:
  5. SEVEN
  9. BEN HUR

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Fake Debate

LEHRER: Do you believe you could do a better job than President Bush in preventing another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States?

KERRY: Yes, since September 11th 2001 there have been 3 other September 11ths. There was one in 2002. There was another in 2003. And I believe there was a third just a few weeks ago. This is simply a fact. Check the calendar. The President did nothing to stop these. As President I will remove September 11th from the calendar completely. Heck, I already pretend it didn't happen anyways.

LEHRER: What colossal misjudgments, in your opinion, has President Bush made in these areas?

KERRY: Well, where do you want to begin! The President should have gotten our good friends to help us. But he spat on them and stole their coke. We are alone in Afghanistan and Iraq. My records show that we have minus 2 allies. The President only has 17 troops in Afghanistan right now. 17. And that's not even counting the minus 4 allies that are there. So there's really only 13 troops. But in Iraq we have 350 million troops. And Iraq isn't even in the Middle East!

LEHRER: As president, what would you do, specifically, in addition to or differently to increase the homeland security of the United States than what President Bush is doing?

KERRY: Jim, and by the way Jim, I'm going to continue to ignore the American people and solely talk to you until my closing remarks if that's OK....Jim, this President has cut budgets for policemen, firemen, doctors, nurses, all first responders, taxi-cab drivers, pilots, McDonalds employees, football players, etc, etc, etc. He has cut fire protection in this nation by, oh I don't know, 345%! That's amazing. Why didn't I make that up before?

LEHRER: What criteria would you use to determine when to start bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq?

KERRY: Jim, I would bring US troops home in 6 days. But I could only do that b/c I have provided them with 6 dollars worth of armor so that they can get the job done completely that quickly. I call this my 6 dollars/6 days program.

LEHRER: You just -- you've repeatedly accused President Bush -- not here tonight, but elsewhere before -- of not telling the truth about Iraq, essentially of lying to the American people about Iraq. Give us some examples of what you consider to be his not telling the truth.

KERRY: Jim, I've never used the word lie. I mean, this President has wrongfully killed thousands of people. But lie is too strong a word. He has lied 94.5% of the time. He lied about creating a coalition. He said he'd create one, but we have...oh, I can't remember what I said before, minus 5 allies. And I still haven't used the word lie. By the way, have I mentioned Ronald Reagan yet. I claim that name. Oh, and throw in JFK.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Blame Bush

President Bush did not comment Thursday regarding his role in the hurricanes that have been relentlessly attacking Florida. Republican bias in the media has been on full display this week as no one has dared to ask the daunting, although completely legitimate question concerning the connection between the Bush administration and the terrible storms.

The Republican scheme is far clearer than the Floridian skies these days. Hurricanes destroy the homes of low-income families. Low-income families tend to vote Democrat. While democratic voters are hard at work rebuilding their Bush-whacked lives, the November election will take place without a hitch. Rich republicans, having no trouble recovering from the devastation because of the tax breaks Bush gave them, will flock to the voting booths. Bush will win hands down while democratic hands are hard at work.

As icing on the cake, Gov. Jeb Bush will come out of this smelling like Roses. He will use his relationship with the President to acquire federal aid that is sure to attract undecided voters. Jeb gains popularity in preparation for a 2008 Presidency. Bush wins Florida and a 2004 re-election.

Speculation continues as to how Bush has gained control of the world’s weather. Some believe he is utilizing global warming to produce a unique atmosphere in the southeast air. Others theories are more provocative, up to and including the possible use of satanic powers. Democrats, meanwhile, have remained bipartisan by admitting they do not believe Bush is actually the anti-Christ.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Jesus in the Genesis

I'm working on a book. I finished my initial draft of chapter 1 last night. It's long for a blog, but if you're interested give it a shot and let me know what you think. Many believe early Christianity unnaturally created the emphasis on Jesus and His sacrifice for our sins, but I believe the entire Old Testament points to Christ. Below is chapter 1, Jesus in the book of Genesis.


When mankind fell (Genesis 3:6a) and sin began spreading (3:6b) God’s plan to defeat sin and Satan through His Son Jesus was already prepared (3:15). God said to the serpent, ‘I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.’ The Apostle John made reference to this passage when he said, ‘the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work’ (1 John 3:8). Even from as far back as Genesis 3, a divine response to the fall was foreshadowed. The rest of the Old Testament serves the purpose of pointing to that response. The response was Jesus, and, more specifically, His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.

After Adam, the next key character in Biblical chronology is Noah. By Noah’s day, sin had spread so rapidly that a new beginning was necessary. ‘The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time’ (Genesis 6:5). Only Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord (6:8). So God judged mankind for its sin(s). He judged seriously and severely. Sin was no laughing matter to God. Noah and his family made refuge in a large ark. Only those within the ark survived. The only way into the ark was the door. Jesus would later say, ‘I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.’ Only eight were saved in that day, all who enter through Jesus can be saved today. As the waters of judgment buried sinful mankind, they also raised the ark to safety. Jesus would later say that He, ‘when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.’

It didn’t take long, however, for man’s pride to provoke further intervention from God. At Babel mankind united in foolish disobedience (Genesis 11:4). God scattered them (11:8) and selected one man to bring about His redemptive plan. God promised Abram that he would become a great nation and a blessing (12:2), but Abram had no heir (15:2). When God finally did provide an heir in Isaac (21:2), He baffled Abram (Abraham at this point) by asking that he take Isaac and ‘Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about’ (Genesis 22:2). Abraham was willing. God recognized his willingness. He stopped Abraham from sacrificing his only son (22:16) and provided a ram to be sacrificed in Isaac’s place. Centuries later, on a different mountain, God once again provided a sacrifice, this time His only Son (John 3:16). God had spared Abram’s only son, but did not spare His own. Instead, He gave Him for us all.

As the chosen line extended from Abraham through Isaac to Jacob, God affirmed each man that His original promise to Abram would be kept. Jacob had twelve sons. His favorite son was Joseph (Genesis 37:4). Joseph was loved by his father, but rejected by his brothers. He was unjustly sold (37:28), unjustly charged, and unjustly suffered (39:20). Eventually, however, Joseph was crowned with authority (41:42) and was the only means to salvation from physical starvation. When Jesus came, He was loved by His Father (Mark 1:11), rejected by His family, sold (Matthew 26:15), charged and punished unjustly. He too, however, was crowned by God (Hebrews 2:9) and was the only means to salvation from spiritual starvation (John 10:9).

To many Christians, the first book of the Bible has very little to do with Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. But to me, the whole of the Old Testament is thirty-nine fingers pointing to the cross of Christ. In Genesis alone there is much of Jesus. The ark is a type of Christ. Only those who placed their faith in a crude wooden ark were saved. Today, only those who place their faith in a cruel wooden cross are saved. For Abraham God saved Isaac by providing a ram. At the cross God provided His own Son to save us all. Joseph saved His family from certain death despite being rejected and wrongfully treated by them. Jesus offers something far more fulfilling than grain.

All of these events point to a person, not a way. They are types of Christ, not Christ-likeness. They point to an event, not a path. Genesis describes salvation from God’s flooding judgment, His demand for a sacrifice, and His cursing of the land. Jesus bore that wrath, was that sacrifice, and as His blood trickled down the cross onto the dusty ground, the curse was removed. The head of the serpent was crushed. It was finished.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Prison Cell Phones

My title is supposed to be like one of those 'before and after' dealios from Wheel-of-Fortune. I hate cell phones. I think they have dramatically and negatively impacted American society.

Earlier this week I read that some big churches are now installing cell phone blockers in their worship centers in order to prevent the tune 'Oh when the saints' from marching its way into prayer time. As the week went on I watched baseball constantly. And what did I see? Fans who had paid hundreds of dollars to watch a great baseball game...not watching a great baseball game. Instead they were talking on their cell phones waiting to get on television. When I discuss my hatred for cell phones with people they usually mention how important they are in case of an emergency. Ummm.....what did people do the other 7,000 years of history?

The only good thing to come from the cell phone craze is we all get to see a lot more of Catherine Zeta Jones on TV. The negatives are far more numerous and important. People walk past eachother now w/o even looking b/c they're so engrossed in their vital conversation. 'Can you hear me?.....I just got done shopping....I'm coming home now....I'm in the parking lot.'

Cell phone advocates seem to relish the fact that they can be reached at any time. THAT IS NOT A GOOD THING. People need to be free from that always possible interruption. Do yourself a favor, cancel your wireless plan and get out of the Prison Cell Phones.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

World Series Bound!


The Boston Red Sox have come from three games down to beat the NY Yankees in the 7th game of the ALCS. Tonight, I am a happy Matthew.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I Get Ideas

"When we are dancing and you are dangerously near me.....I get ideas, I get ideas."

My mom used to use that song to chear people up. It almost always worked. But that has nothing to do with this 'blog' (my brother reminded me that I can't call my posts posts, I have to call them blogs) except for the last word: IDEAS

I have been thinking for the last 52 seconds about some ideas to keep this blog interesting. Here's what I got so far:

1. When I see a movie, I'm gonna review it for ya'll (which at this point is pretty much just me)
2. I will occassionally tell you about some of my favorite things to do on the web
3. I think trying to interpret popular songs would be fun
4. Book Reviews!!! (for boring people like me)
5. Updates on my failure to sleep
6. Updates on my failure to find a girl
7. My thoughts about some of the things I've been reading/teaching at church
8. Quotes on a particular topic relevant to that particular day
9. Lists of my 10 favorite anything (teams, songs, shows, actors, ideas for blog content, etc)
10. YOUR SUGGESTIONS!!!!! Feel free to comment and tell me what you'd like to see :)

Monday, October 18, 2004

Let Your Light Shine!

I can even post pictures on here because I am extremely powerful. This one is of the USA at night from way high up. Canada is up there too, but they haven't really learned how to make electricity yet. Posted by Hello

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Desperate Housewives

Is anyone else intrigued by this show? I am. I am not sure if I should be embaressed for admitting it or not. Maybe it's the fact that Teri Hatcher is in it. I had a huge crush on her when she was Lois Lane. She still looks cute AND her character on the show has the most likeable personality. Or maybe it's the red haired one that acts like a computer. There's something about that girl. Dreams of a 'perfect' wife? I don't think that's it though, I'd get sick of it. I really like Felicity Hoffman thouogh (the one with the devil children). I liked her a lot in a show called sportsnight.

I'm not sure what it is.....but while I'm not quite ready to 'plan' to watch it, I am pleased when someone turns it on when I'm in the room.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Yankees 257 Red Sox 7


That's the last time my beloved Boston Red Sox won the World Series

I barely remember it

Being a Sox Fan is its own reality.

They are losing right now 17-7

For me, the Red Sox are never wrong. It might have been a bad call. Maybe the other team just got hot. An injury. An unfair economic environment. And even though I don't believe in them, perhaps even a curse. I always think Boston is the best team on paper. I always think there's hope that this, finally, will be the season of all seasons. And when the season ends, it's a quick transition to hope for next year.

Now it is 17-8

Maybe they still have a shot!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Church Bulletin Mistakes

Some of you may have seen these before....but I picked out my favorite twenty-five. These were typos/mistakes found in actual church bulletins:

In no particular order....

25. This evening at 7 P.M. there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

24. Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM, Please use the back door

23. Mrs. Johnson will be entering the hospital this week for testes.

22. A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

21. Don't let worry kill you. Let the church help.

20. For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs

19. The rosebud on the alter this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Belzer

18. Thursday at 5:00 PM there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All ladies wishing to be "Little Mothers" will meet with the Pastor in his study.

17. The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement Saturday.

16. At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.

15. The eighth graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the church basement on Friday at 7:00 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

14. Weight Watchers will meet at 7:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use the large double door at the side entrance.

13. The Associate minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday - "I upped my pledge - up yours!"

12. Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on Oct. 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in school days.

11. Due to the Rector's illness, Wednesday's healing services will be discontinued until further notice.

10. The church is glad to have with us today as our guest minister the Rev. Green who has Mrs. Green with him. After the service we request that all remain in the sanctuary for the Hanging of the Greens.

9. The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.

8. Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to Church secretary.

7. The sermon this morning: Jesus Walks on the Water. The sermon tonight: Searching for Jesus.

6. The peace-making meeting scheduled for today has been cancelled due to a conflict.

5. Barbara C. remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack's sermons.

4. Missionary from Africa speaking at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Name Bertha Belch. Announcement: "Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa."

3. Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the school recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.

2. "Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don't forget your husbands."

1. Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM.
All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Drama Queens

"I walked a thousand miles while everyone was asleep. Nobody's really seen my million subtleties"
~Ashlee Simpson

Okay, I've been listening to a lot of teenage girl music. I admit this. And one thing I've noticed...these gals take themselves WAY too seriously. They all think nobody could possibly understand their complex emotional state. They have a 'million subtleties.'

Well, I was once a teenage girl.....ummm....wait....nevermind

Well, I used to think I was pretty complex too. And in a sense, we are all complex people. But that's a limited sense. Nowadays I try to remember that EVERYONE has things they're struggling with. Everyone sometimes feels like their problems are the worst. We're all wrong (except maybe one person).

One of the best tools to get through life is to learn to laugh at yourself and to realize that things aren't really as 'complicated' as we FEEL they are.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Matthew Never Knew

After minutes of indecision, I have decided to become a blogger. I should explain my title: 'The Matthew Never Knew'. Read it like...the Matt-you never knew. So it's kinda a dumb play on words

But secretly I don't think it's dumb at all. And that's what blogs are all about, right? Being honest. Saying things you're afraid to say in real life. It's kinda odd that people feel more free to be genuine when the whole world can watch, eh? (sorry for the Canadian lingo)