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Showing posts from January, 2007

super bowl XLI

there is supposed to be some kind of football game played this sunday. i was hoping that you could leave a comment with your prediction. my prediction? bears 20, colts 17


thank you, designer, for symmetry, for lines and angles, for the intersection of lines; for the cross. thank you, infinite one, for the never-ending nature of numbers and points and questions, for finite minds and chaos theories, for tangents, and for this physic life. thank you for this mysterious now and the science and math that keep us in it.

the immanent threat of frostbite

monday morning we had all of 3/4 of an inch of snow. in this age of global warming, the only inconvenient truth is that such a small bit of snow amounts to a whiteout. it was our first snow of the year. and it was the first snow we've had since jack has been old enough to play in it. so, we put on the coats and hats and gloves and boots, so as to avoid frostbite, and headed into the winter wonderland. well, actually, it was equal parts grass and snow. jack got a new sled for Christmas, so i cleverly sprayed a liberal amount of wd-40 on the bottom of that sucker, and we made a ski slope out of our front yard (do you think that will kill the grass in the spring [at least i will have to be careful there when mowing the lawn]?). jack loved it for about 10 minutes. he was warm and cozy in his snow-wear. but it wasn't long before the gloves became uncomfortable and cumbersome to him. so he begged us to remove them. he cried and whined, and, against my wishes, his mother,

ecstatic songs

walt whitman wrote, in a poem called "beginning my studies": beginning my studies the first step pleas'd me so much, the mere fact consciousness, these forms, the power of motion, the least insect or animal, the senses, eyesight, love, the first step i say awed me and pleas'd me so much, i have hardly gone and hardly wish'd to go any farther, but stop and loiter all the time to sing it in ecstatic songs. when i read this poem last night i felt like whitman was saying what i am always trying to say in this blog, and in pretty much everything that i write: that i am in love with this thing called living. that i am enamored with the breath of it, and blue of it, the being of it. that i love mashed potatos and guitar solos and van gogh's insane art. that i love watching nature shows and sunsets and independent films. that i love eating and sleeping and staying up late and getting up early and playing and working and moving. that i love shrimp. that i love intelle

its a birthday party, its YOUR birthday party, happy birthday, darlin'! we love you very very very very very very very much.

well, the celebration is finally over. we had two birthday parties, a trip to chuck e. cheese, two cakes, several episodes of icing in the hair, garbage bags full of wrapping paper, a small fortune in batteries, and enough digital pictures to fill a hard drive. but we had a blast. being a parent in 2007 is challenging, loud, and a complete blast. thanks for all your birthday wishes. the following is a personal thank you from jack: to all my friends, acquaintances, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents and general well-wishers, i would like to extend my utmost gratitude for how you thought of me during my recent milestone. turning two is a huge step for me, as it is the only time in my life when i will double my cardinal numeral in one day. i have made some major changes in turning two, including a commitment to work on my vocabulary, which, as you can tell, is a bit immature. but i vow to change. anyway, thank you all for your love and support, and especially for

happy birthday, jack

it's a thursday in january, which means that it is crisp out. don't let the bright sun and spring-blue sky fool you: the air's got teeth, like sharp dead-of-winter teeth. its the 25th day of january, which means it's been about exactly a month since Christmas. a month of paying bills and remembering that there is still no peace on earth. a month of playoffs and broken resolutions. a month of remembering "i have dream" speeches. its a thursday, the 25th day of january, which means it's jackson's birthday. our son celebrates two years of life today. or, i should say, WE celebrate two years of his life today. actually, we celebrated last week. we celebrated today. and we will celebrate again tomorrow. today we took him to chuck e. cheese's for some serious game-playing. shannon and i were disturbed from the get-go because chuck looks an awful lot like a rat. once we were inside, we realized he IS indeed a rat who robs you of your coinage so he can giv


this is a collage i made a few years back. i called it dimly. i happen to know that it is one of my mom's favorites. in the upper right hand corner it has the words from 1 corinthians 13 that i was referring to yesterday. i guess one of the things that occurs to me is that as beautiful as this world is, as much as i am sometimes just prickled with the sensation of light and animation and spirit and soul and song, i am only seeing things in a very blurry way. i long for the day when i can say, like jack nicholson responding to tom cruise's question, "is that clear:" crystal. it is also interesting to me that this verse is written specifically in context of paul describing what love is all about. love is all of this and love is not this. you know, you've heard it at practically every wedding you've ever been to. basically paul is saying: love is incredible. and then he says, "we can see now, sure. but it's not clear. it's more like lookin
as i look ahead to my sermon this week, i am meditating (much like chewing, quite active, really) on what paul means when he says in 1 corinthians 13 that we see only in part now, as through a glass darkly. i remember when i was young, probably about 5th grade, and i really needed glasses, but i didn't know that yet. i just thought the world was blurry until you got right up to it. once i got glasses, i realized how much i hadn't been seeing all along, and how clearly. but i didn't know that then. or how about the example of children...our son jack doesn't know, well, jack . i mean, he knows what he wants sometimes, and what seems pleasurable and comfortable. but he doesn't know what is best for him. he doesn't know what happens when he goes to bed at night. he knows that the oven is hot, but he doesn't even know that we turn it on and off. his knowledge, his sense of what is real, is extremely limited. in 'the great divorce' c.s. lewis writes about
the new man and so it has begun. a new era in steeler football. again, i recognize that if there is even anyone reading this, you probably couldn't conjure up enough care to fill a chinstrap, but this is a big deal for me: a new coach. at first, when i heard the reports on saturday, i was shocked and surprised and even a little disappointed. i was sort of hoping it would russ grimm, former washington redskins offensive lineman, and current assistant head coach for the steelers. i thought, in some ways, that he deserved the job. however, after leaving work early yesterday to get home and watch the press conference on the NFL network, i have changed my mind. i just have so much faith in the rooney family to make wise decisions, and, perhaps more than that, the man clearly has some charisma. he has a presence that i am certain russ grimm does not have. he had a great deal of skepticism shadowing him as he approached that podium yesterday: i think most pittsburgh football fans wanted
thank you, maker, for these moments carved out called today; for the air between things. thank you for the lines on trees, creeping all over the bark; for space. thank you that there is some kind of nothing in my lungs that keeps moving this thing called me; for the grass which points in every direction, but always up, up, up: creeping with questions. greg.
happy birthday, Dad! yesterday, january 20th, was my dad's 50th birthday! it is a milestone day for him, and for our whole family, really, as we celebrate his 50 years of life. i won't get to see him until next weekend when mom and dad come out for Jack's 2nd birthday, but we certainly celebrate with him across state lines. dad is a united methodist minister, a father of three incredible kids (especially the eldest), a bit of a science nerd, a loving and adoring husband, a master of divinity, a lover of ancient music, a project guy (at any given time he's got several different projects going usually involving some combination of astronomy, geology, theology, and of course, technology), a younger brother of three older brothers in a catholic-croatian family, a musician, a lover of pentel mechanical pencils (0.5 leads) and giant candy canes, a keeper of messy cars/offices/dressers/etc., a tolkien fan, and an awesome dad. happy 50th birthday, dad. i love you. greg.
i've whistled in the dark a poem by gregory a. milinovich "celebrate the children" i've whistled in the dark. i've looked over a fiery sea of autumnal glory, with freezing fall in my lungs and unspeakable beauty all under me. i've been deeply loved in my darkest moments. i've given my supper to a homeless man who said with golden words, "thank you so much." i've stood on a hillside with some 50,000 people and acknowledged with them that there is something, someone, bigger than us. i've eaten more chocolate than i dare to imagine. i've officiated weddings - such joy - and funerals - so many tears. i've stood in the front of a country church as she walked in white - my bride, my beautiful bride. i've watched my favorite teams win the super bowl and the world series. i've seen an old sunken ship while snorkeling off the white shores of the dominican republic. i've graduated from college. and kindergarten! i've hiked
this is a collage i made about 5 years ago. i called it 'in her sight.' as is my custom, i don't prefer to offer any explanation as to how i came to the title, or what it has to do with the collage itself. it is simply what i have chosen to name it. i like naming things, by the way. except for children. i get completely overwhelmed by the prospect of naming a human being. but thats a topic for another time. anyway, i have made many collages over the last 7 or 8 years, and most of them are sitting in a large bin creatively labeled, "collages." so they sit there through seasons of joy and pain, through summer and winter and summer again. they just sit there. every once in awhile i drag it out and look through them, taking a little trip through the events that inspired these collages, but, for the most part, they just sit there. art in the dark. buried in a bin. recently i pulled out the big blue container, a casket of collages, and looked through my creations. some
so i'm preaching this week (that's right, i'm a preacher. you know, in some ways its weird to say that i'm a preacher. i don't normally introduce myself that way. i tell people i'm a pastor or a united methodist minister. i don't often say that i'm a preacher. the title 'preacher' sounds antiquated to me, like some sweaty revivalist threatening people with menacing scriptures about sin and hell. and yet, i absolutely am a preacher. i preach weekly. and i love preaching. its one of my favorite parts of being in ministry. as you may know, i love words, and so being able to connect with people through the ministry and mystery of words is an absolute joy for me. and so, back to main topic of this post: joy) on joy. there have been approximately 45 trillion sermons delivered on this particular topic, so i'm not sure what i am audacious enough to think i am really going to add to the canon of joy sermons. but i'll give it my best shot. i spent
so its been kind of a sad week for me. last friday, almost a week ago now, bill cowher announced that he was resigning as Steelers head football coach. now, i’ve been wanting to post about this, but i kind of haven’t been able to talk about it till now, not to mention i got a little distracted by the gators showing the world how much better they are than ohio state. but now i am ready to talk about it. here’s the easiest way for me to say it: bill cowher has been the coach of the steelers since i was 15. i mean, at 15 i was just starting to really get into pro football as a fan. so, for my whole career as a fan, this man has been the coach. i have known no other. i have seen players come and go. i have seen assistants come and go. i have seen pretty horrible years and i have seen them win a super bowl. but every year i knew it would be bill cowher leading the team from st. vincent college in latrobe, pa., to three rivers stadium or heinz field and, hopefully, into the playoffs. every y
swamp king wow. most of you probably don't care, but my favorite college football team won the bcs championship last night over the #1 ranked ohio state buckeyes. not many expected the gators to win. in fact, most picked the buckeyes in a rout. but that was not the case. florida absolutely cracked the buckeyes 41-14, resulting in many sweet smiles in front of my tv last night. thanks to rick durrance who, along with one infamous orange hat, started me out as a gators fan.
how. and happy birthday. so, this is my sister, mary, dressed like some kind of indian for thanksgiving last year. she'll probably want to pierce me with a quiver-full of arrows for posting this picture, but i thought it would be a fun picture to share. its all her anyway. i mean, notice the absolutely straight face. mary is for real, i mean, when she does something, she really does it. here she is getting into character, and there is nothing in the world that would stop her. but she has more talents than impersonating indigenous peoples and being single-minded about it. she is also a really amazing artist. she chose to make most of her christmas gifts this year, which i think is awesome, and one of the things she gave me was a bunch of paper that she made! this is one of the sheets. i love the texture. and of course the color. saturday was mary's birthday. epiphany. so, today, i post in celebration of my youngest sister, who, when she was born, i so wanted to be a little bro
Christ the Lord one of the best things about my Christmas break was that i got to do some reading. someone had recommended to me that i read a book by anne rice entitled "Christ the Lord." So, i borrowed a paperback copy of the book and starting reading it, somewhat skeptically. i knew that anne rice was a kind of popular fiction writer, who has written a host of popular novels about vampires, including "interview with a vampire." i wasn't really into this thing, and tend to disregard most popular novels as airport and beach fare. but the person who recommended this book to me (one of my church members named j.b. wilcox) told me about anne rice, and about how she is famous for doing extensive and exhaustive research before she writes her novels. when she writes a vampire story set in 18th century england, she meticulously studies 18th century england so she can get the clothing and the food and the speech and all of the details as true to life as possible. this
show and tell here are just a few of the things that i got for christmas this year: i love this show! yankeeography seaasons 3 and 4. now that football season is over (for me) i can start preparing for baseball. this guy is weird, but awesome. classic. a guilty pleasure. i haven't had a band t-shirt in a long time. radiohead rocks. this band is freakin' awesome. very raucous. poetry. smell good. a modern-day prophet. jazz to live to. haven't received this yet...still in the mail. a baseball legend. already used this and didn't lose any appendages! a novel about the apostle paul by the famous man in black. and i received many, many more things, including homemade gifts from my sister mary, who is quite the artist. it was a wonderful christmas, a time again to realize and reflect on just how blessed i am, not because of my stuff, but because of those who love me. i am loved. greg. (ps. if anyone can tell me how to use html to get rid of all this space here after this