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Showing posts from April, 2008

conspiracy #2

i wrote recently that i have discovered that i am the holder of several consipiracy theories. this was hidden from me until the last couple of months. i guess i am becoming more self aware. as you may have read, our son caedmon recently had a minor "routine" surgery to put some tubes into his ear canal to allow fluid to drain into his sinuses, since he was living with almost constant ear infections that antibiotics were not touching. at least that's what we were told . i mean, the kid cried alot. but that's what kids do, right? they cry. so he cried alot. we have nothing better to do than to sit around and wonder, "hmm, i wonder why this kid is crying so much." and it never occurs to us that he is crying because he feels like it, or that millions of children before him have also cried their way through their first years. no, our instinct is to rush him to the pediatrician who shoves a blunt instrument into his ear and pretends to look into it. as

now playing: how does a duck know?

now playing: how does a duck know? artist: crash test dummies about: okay so this is a really weird song. i don't really recommend it, but if you want to read the lyrics, they're here . the thing is, i don't really love this song as a song per se , but i do like to listen to it because it takes me back to another time in my life. crash test dummies big hit was mmmm mmmm mmmm mmmm; perhaps you rememer it. but i got the album (i think it was 1994 or so) and i listened to it a bunch my freshman year at college. i thought i was pretty cool listening to such avant garde stuff with lyrics like, "How come all my body parts so nicely fit together?All my organs doing their jobs, no help from me!" anyway, when it comes on the ipod shuffle, it takes me back to another time, when i had left high school and was forging a new identity in a new world for me. so these are good memories. and the song if filled with good questions, too. i mean, how does a duck know what

some shawshank questions

in my monthly gathering reel life: discussions on film and faith which meets this coming friday, we'll be watching the shawshank redemption. in my mind, this is one of the best-told stories in modern cinema. it is masterfully done, in my opinion. and, i think, ripe for discussion among people of faith who will move past the R rating and the rough language. as i prepare to facilitate a discussion on this film, i just wanted to hear from some of my readers about your overall impressions of this film. 1. have you seen it? 2. in general, did you like it or not? and then, if you want to, tell me what you did/did not like about it. thanks for your help, greg.

laptop freedom

i'm watching the today show . right now, i'm watching matt lauer talk about the netherlands. and i'm blogging. let me go back a bit. i got up this morning and took an aerobic walk. when i got home, shannon was on our computer. let me go back a bit further. shannon owns her own business, on paper designs . it is a graphic design business that designs logos, brochures, postcards, letterhead, business cards, invitations, ad journals, and much more. and let us not forget that she is also a stay-at-home mom to our two boys, which takes so much of her time and energy. and yet most of her work needs to be done on the computer. so that means that when i am home from work (morning, night, and my days off), whe is often on the computer, which makes sense, but it also means that i often don't get much of a chance to use the computer. this has been frustrating for me at times, as i would just like to write a blog entry or check my email, but don't want to interfere

as for me and my blog

i have been asked to be a part of a group or collaborative blog, called 'as for me and my blog .' i have already posted a couple of times, and invite you to check out what some of the other writers have to say as well. the founder of the site is one of my roommates from college, a deep thinker and passionate guy who i have always respected. check it out...

happy first birthday

we had a wonderful weekend here at the milinovich homestead - a first year celebration complete with family and friends and cake and ice cream and singing and laughing and music and decoration. there was joy all around, even, i dare say, for the newest member of the one-year-old club. he seemed to have a blast this weekend. here are a few pictures... we had a farm theme for the party, so shannon made a modern impressionistic 'cow' cake, using fondant for the outside. she had to mix a lot of food coloring to get the desired color, and she ended up with red-stained hands. here is the food table for the party. my extremely creative wife takes great pride in designing things like this, and she always does a tremendous job, so i thought i would show you how great it looked. (oh - and believe me - the pulled pork/fried chicken/cole slaw/baked beans were awesome!) here's the birthday boy with his hat, as we sing happy birthday to him. like i said, he really seemed to enjoy

shad fest

well, its saturday, and i have a few things on my mind this morning, not the least of which is that a couple dozen people will be here today for cade's first birthday party. we're not really into the big birthday thing, but we figured that the first one is kind of a big deal, so we had a big one for friends and family for jack, and now here we are with cade. but birthday is not the only thing on my mind. there are other things as well. like: i have to remember to go pick up the fried chicken. oops i left the grill cover off last night. i've got to remember to put that back on. not now, i'm blogging. the nfl draft starts today. the steelers better make a good pick at number 23. i like this song (let down by radiohead). its cold in here. i wonder if shannon needs anything else at the grocery store. i wish i had time to get down to the shadfest (see the website here ). shadfest is a local art/food festival in lambertville, nj, not very far from here. art loca

an open letter to my one year old son

we're having a great end of the week here. my mom and dad are here visiting for cade's birthday (which is today - more on that below). last night we ate out at this awesome bbq rib place, and i raised my cholesterol a good 450 points in one sitting. awesome. after dinner we went to this ice cream/farm market place that has goats that the kids can feed and a ball pit to play in. here's jack having a good time... but the weekend isn't about jack. this is cade's weekend, though he doesn't know it. he is one today! he has been carried and bounced and burped around this crazy world for a full year. he's tasted all four seasons, all kinds of weather. he's seen the whole calendar get turned and a new one put on the wall. and yet he barely knows what he's getting into. last april, just 3 days before he was born, i wrote this letter to caedmon. now, a year later, i feel i should write again... caedmon charles, you are one today. you've g

throwback thursday: triceratops

oh yeah. its throwback day. here is my 10th birthday. i'm rockin' the football cake and the sweet triceratops shirt. the friend on the right is brandon cowell. the friend on the left is jofie ferrari-adler. i'm not lying.

general conference: part 1

as i sit in my parsonage (read: house for pastor) in new jersey, i have just finished watching the proceedings of the united methodist church's general conference in forth worth, texas. nearly one thousand voting clergy and laypeople representing the united methodist church from around the globe have convened this very day and i was able to sit in my own little corner of the world and watch it on my computer. for all its baggage, technology sure has some pretty cool litte tricks up its sleeve. i love general conference. the general conference is the official body of the united methodist church. it is the only one with the authority to make any statements "on behalf of the united methodist church." and it only meets every four years. in 2004 it was in pittsburgh and i got to attend as a visitor. this year it is fort worth, so i'm watching from afar, from behind my monitor. i feel like i should take a minute just to describe my love for general conference, if only becau

name change?

so here's the thing: i've had some questions about the name of my blog recently. people are wondering, "what does agentorange records mean? why use the name of a herbicide? or a record company? weird...." well, i hear you, so here's a little bit of history to explain (kind of) the name. first, the orange part. when i was in high school, i had an orange hat that was extremely orange and that i wore all the time. it was a florida gators hat. i still have it, though its more brown than orange now. anyway, i began to become known and recognisable by this hat. orange began to become a bit of a trademark for me. and, quite simply, i fell in love. at first it was just infatuation: i thought orange was beautiful. but soon it grew into something more. i began to see orange as the color of the underappreciated, the unlikely, and the underdog. i mean, in general, orange was an underrated color. everyone's favorite color was red or pink or green or blue,

now playing: perdido

here's a little something new i'll be doing from time to time: i love music. i am listening to it almost constantly (more than i should probably). usually if i'm on the computer, i tunes is on shuffle in the background. it is like my own private radio station that has a playlist of over 7,500 songs, and i like them all. its awesome. so anyway, i thought from time to time i would just write a quick post to say what is playing on my ipod, just to give you a sense of the soundtrack of agentorangerecords. so, to inaugurate, this fun new feature, here we go... now playing: "perdido" artist: dave brubeck about: this is a nearly eight minute long jazz piece that i got from a dave brubeck boxed set. i love jazz, but not all jazz, only certain kinds. the problem is, i don't know how to describe what i like. i just know it when i hear it. i know i love brubeck. so i have lots of his recordings. there's something ethereal about jazz for me that kind of takes me out o


well, we're 20 games into the baseball season for the yankees, and it seems as good a time to reflect on things so far as any. here are my thoughts so far: -dang, i love baseball. -i'm nervous. i'm not freaking out because there is a ton of season to go, but when your pitching is just okay you are going to need incredible offense to have a chance. and while the yankees have incredible offensive players, they have not, by any stretch of the imagination, had an incredible offense over these first 3 weeks. more inept than incredible. -the american league east looks so good that i don't know if a wild card can come out of there because the red sox and yankees and orioles and blue jays and even the improved rays are going to beat up on each other. someone will win the division, but the wild card will probably come from the central or west. so i think the yankees have to win the division to make the postseason. can they do this? not playing like this. -and i'm m

the butt of the joke

i love eating take-out chinese food. but i hate the way my stomach feels afterwards. i love new shoes. but i hate the credit card bill. i love staying up late to watch a west-coast baseball game. but i hate the alarm in the morning. are you getting the pattern here? good. because here's the point: i love spring. i love the warmth and the smells and the sounds. i love the growing hum of life, the colorful palette of growth, and the smell of the not-too-cool night wafting through the window. i love spring. but i hate the bees. and they are everywhere right now. bumblebees and wasps and yellowjackets and hornets and bees that i've never even seen before. i guess they are all buzzing about looking for a summer home, but in the meantime they think its funt o divebomb whatever humans are withing their crazy insect sight. i have blogged before about my fear and loathing of las abejas, so i guess i don't need to go through it all again, but suffice to say that if you

throwback thursday: inadequate

so i'm starting a new feature here agent orange records: throwback thursday, in which i will post either an old picture of me or something i wrote a long time ago or both. it is a little trip down memory lane. the above picture of me was taken by my dad in the first house i lived in, on woodland avenue in waynesburg, pa. i think i was 11 in this picture, but i might have been 10. that is morning sun warming the right side of my face. and here's a little "poem" (i use the term very loosely) that i found that i wrote in april of 1995, 13 years ago. inadequate i am the parasite that i thought you couldn't stand and would have left, had you the chance i am the fool that i thought embarassed you when he did his foolish dance i am the leech that you felt attacked you and drained your life at a steady pace i am the monster that i thought made you squirm at the sight of his frightful face i paint the pictures that i thought you ripped up without a care i write the poe

conspiracy #1

i have recently had a self-realization that i am the holder of several conspiracy theories. i never thought of myself as a conspiracy theorist, but recent events have conspired against me to reveal this previously hidden truth. and so, having come to terms with this shady part of my character, i intend to share a few of these very plausible theories, starting today. conspiracy #1? my kids are determined to keep me from sleeping well. now listen, i realize that they are all of 4 and a half years old, combined , but i am pretty serious about this one. whether they consciously intend this or are only acting out of pure devilish fallen human instinct is up for some debate. what is not debatable, however, is the outcome: sleep deprivation for daddy. we all know how this starts. they pop out of their warm fetal-positioned nine-month nap and start screaming immediately. nobody ever asks the obvious question: why couldn't they get all their screaming out in the womb? i mean, if

five days later

i cleaned the garage last thursday. a winter’s worth of leaf bits, spider webs, and other assorted varieties of dirt had collected in corners and turned the home for our minivan into a den of detritus. it was time. so i took everything out: the van, the bike, the boxes of stuff to donate, the bin full of tarps, and all the other essential items being stored in the garage. i took it all out and hit it hard with the shop vac. by the time i was done sucking the crap out of it, you could have seen your reflection in the smooth, cold concrete floor. okay, maybe not. but you certainly had a much clearer view of the oil spots under the van. anyway, that was thursday. today is tuesday. as a point of reference, that is five days after thursday. when i went home for lunch today (which by the way is one of the best luxuries of my job – i get to go home for lunch everyday! today my 3-year old son saw me at the top of the driveway and ran – ran – to embrace me), my wife had the van out of the garag

rules to parent by

i found this list of parenting rules over at catapult magazine , and really liked them. now if only i could follow them... A baker's dozen of the top ten rules for parenting by Reverend Lawrence W. Farris 1. Have as few rules as possible but stick by them. 2. Do not have the television in your main living area. Limit television (and video games, if not utterly excluding them) to one hour per day and find a show the family can watch together and discuss once per week. Parents must adhere to the one hour per day limit as well. Make exceptions only for fine films. 3. Start allowances at age five and require 10% be given to church, 10% saved, and match the saved amount annually to encourage stewardship. 4. Expose the children to all sorts of possibilities—art, music, museums, sports, dance, history, travel, wilderness, foods, people—and encourage them in whatever grasps them. 5. Make clear that worshipping every week is a nonnegotiable, no matter what went on Saturday eveni


"precious" paper collage on canvas board gregory a. milinovich here's a collage i made in the last couple of weeks. have a great weekend. greg.


o wow was it ever gorgeous over here yesterday. thursdays are my day off so i spent almost the entire day outside, de-wintering the yard. i got rid of piles and piles of leaves that winter winds had deposited on our roof, in our bushes and in between every possible crevice. i did some spring cleaning in the garage, and just generally enjoyed the fresh air, blue skies and warm sun. it was good for me, body and soul. we went out to dinner last night, so here i am with the boys before we left. notice the whole in my khakis? yeah, jack noticed, too. he told me that my pants were broken. i told they are ripped. he said i need to needle them. he recommended a good needler, too: nena (that's shannon's mom). here is another picture of the little stinker. see him? there he is in the back - behind all the books. all the books that he removed from his shelves when he was supposed to be sleeping. he created a "big mountain" of books and puzzles. we've been ha

oh say i can't wait!

so i was reading to jack last night in bed. we read a couple of books to him each night before bed time. its really cool because we've seen him take a very strong interest in books recently. many times he would rather look through his books on his own than play with toys. it is nothing for him to spend 30 minutes quietly "reading" his books. this makes me happy on a variety of levels, not the least of which is that he is being relatively quiet for 30 minutes rather than playing tarzan on his curtains or pushing his brother around the house. anyway, last night i was reading him this little dr. seuss gem, which i love, o say can you say. it is a book of really fun rhyming tongue twisters. its just fun with words, basically, and i love it. we had never read it before, and jack really seemed to enjoy it. i read the tongue twisters at normal speed and then i read them as fast as i can and it really made him laugh. one of the last pages looks like this: on any nor

i am america (and so can you)

i have to admit that i have been a bit of a stephen colbert fan ever since i used to watch him do the most insanely hilarious interviews on the daily show many years ago. once he got his own show i didn't really follow him all that closely, but since his book came out i've been wanting to read it. and so i borrowed a copy (something he explicitly demands his readers NOT do - he shamelessly and hilariously pleads for people to buy, not borrow), and i read it in a couple of days. one of the nights i was reading it, i was sitting up in bed, and shannon was already asleep next to me. until the quake hit. not an earthquake, but a fit of unsuccessfully restrained laughter that resulted in my body shaking - no, convulsing - and the bed following suit. my sleeping wife was irritated. i was entertained and amused. but that's about the end of it. and that's my basic review of the book: its funny. but i don't think its particularly poignant in terms of accomplishing a


as many of you from reading last week, i am elated about baseball season finally being here. the yankees have made it tough on me this week, struggling against some good pitching by toronto, and then looking outmatched for the first two games against tampa bay, but they have won two in a row now and are in kansas city now for a series there starting this afternoon. being back in baseball land, so to speak, has sparked in me an unquenchable fire to go see the yankees this year at the stadium in the bronx, the last year they will play at this stadium where they have played since 1923. so i got online to look for some tickets. the only problem? everyone else in the country has apparantly had the same idea, and tickets are pretty hard to come by, especially on a reasonable budget. i mean, if i had $1200 to spend, i could have picked up a couple of average seats. but alas, i don't have that kind of bank. but i did find some coupon codes online and was able to get these seats at stubhub.

freak show

i am 32 years old. and i am soon to be ordained as an elder in the united methodist church. now that might not seem like a big deal to many of you, but in some circles it makes me a bit of an anamoly, or worse, a circus freak. i don't know what the most recent figures are, but a quick look at the research done here will show you that in 2005 the united methodist church had about 18,141 elders around the globe. of those, only 850 were under the age of 35. 850! that is less than 5% . in 1985 it was about 15%, so you can see the fairly rapid decline in young clergy. now all of this puts me in a position that feels very strange to me. when i am in the local church doing ministry and living out my call, i never even think about it, and my age is very rarely an issue. but when i am in united methodist circles, like district/conference events, i suddenly feel like i am a caged freak, for people to poke and prod and say things about like: "how did we get him at such a you

not alone

i heard this week that one of the young people from my former youth group in toms river has cancer. again. a second time seems like doubly bad news, and i found myself emailing him, almost instinctively, not even considering how he might have a chance to read it. it didn't even matter though, because i wanted, or even needed, to say one thing: God is with you, brian. a resurgance of cancer and a second round of treatment might seem like the valley of the shadow of death, but God is with you! Lord, i believe it. help my unbelief! this sunday we are looking at the story of the travelers on the road to emmaus. i found this painting online today: it is a painting from around 1516 or 1517 (500 years ago!) by altobello melone. it is oil on wood. it is at the national gallery in london. jesus is the dude on the far left wearing the easter hat and the miniskirt showing off his chicken legs. i don't quite imagine jesus looking this eccentric, and yet luke does tell us in his

life everywhere

there is new life all around, it seems, as the calendar keeps urging us forward. yesterday was absolutely gorgeous here in new jersey, so i took the new camera out into the yard and got some shots of the redbud tree that is just now starting to live up to its name. as you can see, the fiery little berries of bloom are arching their colorful backs against the blue blackdrop, just happy to be alive, it seems. these rattling sticks have been beating out their sorrowful rhythm all winter, like old dead bones, but here they are bleeding life again, bursting with scarlet naked hope. there is resurrection! there is life! just yesterday my brother and sister-in-law (shannon's sister) had their third baby, a healthy baby boy named eli jacob. what a perfect time for a newborn, you know? with a whole creation of newborns to journey with - life is bursting at the seams. the life in my house is always bursting. the other day i walked into cade's room to find both jack and cade in

opening day, 2008

so last night the yankee season began. it was the final home opener in this version of yankee stadium, which has been open since 1976, which is really just a revision of the old one, which opened in 1923. next year they will play at the new yankee stadium which is being built across the street. yankee stadium is incredible. i mean, as far as stadiums go on their own, it isn't that great. it is clearly a product of the 1970's. it is uncomfortable for watching a game, and there are quite a few areas that have obstructed views. but it is incredible for another reason: the same mystique i talked about yesterday. how many greats have played there? ruth, gehrig, dimaggio, berra, whitey, mantle, rizzuto, howard, munson, and reggie just to name a few! the place really does feel like a bit of a hall of fame where the greats actually played. and so there will be a bunch of lasts this season for the yankees. this was the last home opener at this stadium. and they won it! they