dear diary

It's been nose to the grindstone here, or nose in the books, or however you want to say it.  Work.  Noses.  It's all the same.  So here's an update on a bunch of miscellaneous things.

I've been reading Go Ask Alice and Cloud Altas, both of which are excellent.  And I'm still going to the gym, for the most part.  I've taken a few sporadic days off recently due to the aforementioned nose issue, but I don't plan on stopping any time soon--it feels great.  I keep looking at my arms and being amazed that I can actually see a hint of muscle.

My seedlings are growing leggy for lack of light.  N did all sorts of research on it yesterday (including some Matlab computation) to figure out if we needed to buy different lights for them.  He decided we did, so we went out today for that.  I'm thinning them out and replanting them in the same containers, just deeper, so they stop falling over (cabbage, I'm looking at you).

What else?  I was released from my calling at church just to be re-called to the same thing--one of those leadership shuffles.  Kinda wigged me out, I must say, since they emailed me in the middle of the week to schedule a meeting for Sunday.  I haven't had a formal meeting time set for a calling since I can remember, so I kept wondering if I was in trouble for something (a.k.a. corrupting the young'uns with my blasphemous ways), or if they wanted me to do something crazy.  N kept saying they were going to call me as prophet.  But no, it was nothing special.

Funny thing though: I was teaching a lesson to the young'uns the day I was recalled...and I was talking about the good things prophets tell us to do (e.g., praying), the bad things they tell us to avoid (e.g., gossiping), and grey-area things where they give us some council but don't straight-up tell us what to do (e.g., who to make friends with).  When I asked for examples of bad things to avoid, one of the teachers came out and said that Hinckley warned us not to attend raves.  In response, I told her that I used to go to raves.  It cracked me up to hear all the kids gasp.  Regretting that re-calling now, eh?

But, it was a good segway into the grey-area bit, saying that parties are something that we need to be careful about, blah blah blah.  With Go Ask Alice on my mind, I warned them against drugs.  One kid pretended to offer drugs to another, and I got to tell them that people actually do that.  It's real.  I've been offered drugs at parties by complete strangers, I told them (and it's true).   Drugs aren't a joke.  They make people to crazy things.  Betcha nobody was expecting to have that conversation.  Good times.

Another thing that's been on my mind of late is the line between constructive criticism and destructive criticism.  In particular, I've been thinking of how it relates to improving a religious organization like the LDS church, wherein the whole purpose of said organization is supposedly to bring constructive change to people's lives.  On some level, I criticize an organization or its members for my own sake, usually to justify my feelings on various points.  On the other hand, if I feel negatively about some aspects of the organization, do I have an obligation to help change it?  How about if the struggle for change is personally painful?  How about if that struggle brings unwanted personal change?

Lots of random thoughts.

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