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I'm just saying hello cos I'm bored witless.  It's raining outside so there's nothing to do but my much-needed housework.  Ugh.

Somebody say Hi and tell me something to cheer this gloomy day.  Please? :wave:

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Hi Twinky,

Something in this mess may cheer you up…an idea for a Halloween costume and some You Tube videos:

My idea for a Halloween costume - Frankenstein 2020: all the surgical stitches will be replaced with Velcro.

 

I love this SNL skit because it's so ridiculous - there is no real difference in how each character says the line "oh man, I'm all outta cash" - I drove Tonto nuts when I found different ways to insert this line in a conversation 

Del Taco commercial shoot on SNL

That idea of no big differences reminded me of another SNL skit - in an acting class Phil Hartman explains the nuances of acting

SNL acting class - this is something - this is nothing

 

 

We recently watched Gremlins with our daughter who never saw it - afterwards our son sent me this You Tube video link; here's a fun fact from IMDB - Howie Mandel is the voice of the main gremlin Gizmo

Where did the Gremlins go?

 

This video never fails to make me laugh

Jack Sparrow – SNL digital short

Edited by T-Bone
revision
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T-Bone, you have a wacky sense of humor!

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Hopefully something cheered you up...I thought Rocky's post of the cat that thinks it's a dog was so funny - I love animal videos but it never occurred to me to post something like that even though I know you're gaga about cats...my bad. 

 

what's a subgenre of horror films that feature cats?

category

alternate spelling: cat-A-gory

British spelling: categourie

 

Cats who want to pay their own Vet bill should go directly to the fee-line.

Edited by T-Bone
revised from a cat-O-tonic state
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This probably won't cheer you up. Maybe, though, it will inspire you to consider those who are all too familiar with that feeling of isolation that finds us all at some point.

 

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You're right, not cheerful.  Loneliness among the elderly is very common but in no small measure self-imposed - some older people lose confidence at going out.  On the other hand, some older people are so interested in everything that you lose sight of the fact that they're housebound!

I wasn't feeling lonely, just bored.  Today I think I will actually go to church, in person - not to the very good online service that I've attended since lockdown in March.  We have to be masked up and we are not allowed to sing, and we have to keep 2m apart, but (if I go) it'll be nice to see real people.

And then I will come home and play in my garden, as despite the rainy forecast, it looks as though a sunny day is going to happen.  Strange, ennit.  I earn my living by tending other people's gardens.  And then, to relax, I come home and tend my own.

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Church yesterday was really nice.  I was astonished at how much I'd missed all these awesome people that make up our small congregation. 

It was harvest festival and people had brought generous amounts of fresh, tinned and dried food, for the more needy people in our parish.  There were also bunches of flowers, one of which was given to me.  I have a big orange pumpkin which I am supposed to carve with some Christian symbol - a cross, a heart, something else - to put outside the church next weekend as our alternative to the "spooky" halloween type of carvings.  And I have a butternut squash, which I can turn into something delicious to roast or to make into soup.  Yum.

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9 hours ago, Twinky said:

Church yesterday was really nice.  I was astonished at how much I'd missed all these awesome people that make up our small congregation. 

It was harvest festival and people had brought generous amounts of fresh, tinned and dried food, for the more needy people in our parish.  There were also bunches of flowers, one of which was given to me.  I have a big orange pumpkin which I am supposed to carve with some Christian symbol - a cross, a heart, something else - to put outside the church next weekend as our alternative to the "spooky" halloween type of carvings.  And I have a butternut squash, which I can turn into something delicious to roast or to make into soup.  Yum.

:love3:

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16 hours ago, Twinky said:

Church yesterday was really nice.  I was astonished at how much I'd missed all these awesome people that make up our small congregation. 

It was harvest festival and people had brought generous amounts of fresh, tinned and dried food, for the more needy people in our parish.  There were also bunches of flowers, one of which was given to me.  I have a big orange pumpkin which I am supposed to carve with some Christian symbol - a cross, a heart, something else - to put outside the church next weekend as our alternative to the "spooky" halloween type of carvings.  And I have a butternut squash, which I can turn into something delicious to roast or to make into soup.  Yum.

Twinky, I always enjoy hearing about your outgoing church - so community-minded...very inspirational!

 

makes me want to dust off my old catechism ...

...btw a cat-A-chasm is the profound difference between a house cat and a feral cat...but if they can’t work out their differences - you’ll have a full blown cat-A-schism on your hands (or paws).:rolleyes:

 

all joking aside - I love hearing about what you church does - I think it's so cool! :love3:

Edited by T-Bone
a Cat-A-strophic revision...I think I accidentally channeled an old episode of the Batman TV series "Holy Catalonia, Batman!"
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@ T-Bone in particular:

At present, the churches (HTCD and StACC) are providing holiday support for kids in half-term holiday.  Obviously Holiday Club will be a little different this year but there'll be plenty of activities for kids.  Also, they're preparing for "Glitz'n'Glow" for younger children, as an alternative to dressing up as ghosts and ghoulies and going out trick or treating (the latter isn't really a very Brit thing or tradition, it's something that's crept in in recent years).  So the little kids have a party with glow sticks and wearing their sparkly dresses (girls, presumably) or what-have-you, and they sing and dance and eat a few cakes or sweets.

Since the spring, our church partners with others in the locality, and with some supermarkets and the local Foodbank, to produce a Food Club.  Impoverished people can join for a nominal amount and can then choose various fresh and tinned foods, which they can then buy at significantly reduced cost.  I think toys etc are also available.  (This is in addition to what is available from the local Foodbank, which has restricted access.)

A lot is being done to support those who are isolated for whatever reason: they're old and shielding; they're single-parent families with kids who have been sent home; families that are in self-isolation (so need meals or food sending in for them) (the city council also has schemes to help such people).  

Right now, the council is proposing to refurbish two blocks of flats less than a mile from the church.  They will do this by moving the tenants into another block of flats that's already been refurbished.  This is going to be very disruptive for some of the tenants, who may not have very stable networks, or have other things in their lives that make them particularly vulnerable.  So my church is reaching out to those who'll be moved (perhaps against their wishes) and saying, "We're here for you, how can we help/support you? What do you need?"  Few if any of these go to any church and probably don't have much time for what (they think) we do.  They may be surprised when they find out what a warm, friendly, welcoming and helpful bunch we are.

There are also plans afoot for another "StAction" day (St Andrews Community Church  StACC + Action = get it?), when my church hires a huge skip or two, and people from the local housing estate can bring their junk and toss in.  Some of the estate inhabitants don't have cars or can't take their junk to the tip.  Idea is to keep the estate clean and tidy, no junk in yards, abandoned mattresses in alleyways, etc, and thus raise the "wellbeing" feeling on the estate.  Members of our church will also go to people's homes to collect junk if the occupants are unable to deliver.  Originally, the skips were paid for entirely from our own church funds; however, the local social housing provider has realised what a good thing this is, and how much it helps the community, so now they give us some money towards the skip hire.

The hiring of the skips is often done in conjunction with a jumble sale in the church, and tea, coffee and cakes are also on offer to make a nice social occasion.  That's not going to happen this year because of the requirement for social distancing.

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Holy cow, Twinky - the refurbishing and clean up projects are huge undertakings! :love3:

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Not bad at all for a congregation of 40-50 adults, many of whom are working, so a lot falls on the younger-retired group.  Other adults help out a lot at weekend and evening events.

I feel awed to be a part of this group of people.  They are all very humble, not one of them is self-seeking or self-promoting, they just get on with whatever's necessary.  But what they've done in the past... missionaries overseas, doctors overseas, great outreach works in various parts of the UK; or they selflessly help underprivileged or vulnerable people as a paid job.  Some are in "ordinary" jobs, but their cheerful demeanour and open kindness gets them noticed and people ask why or deliberately come to their workplaces just to be greeted by them (and so that often opens the door to give a little gospel at the same time).  Two people support to a small extent a slum community in Kibera, where a little money goes a very long way to schooling the kids, and they get us all involved in fundraising to send over to a Christian support group over there.

We have doctors, teachers, an architect, a judge at the High Court, a nurse or two or three, lots of other highly educated and professional people, as well as people working in shops, carehomes, or (like me) self-employed doing anything (mostly caring for people!).  (To be honest, I don't know what most people do to earn a living; it's just not something that seems relevant.)  But all of us choose to work in this underprivileged neighbourhood, where there is a great need to see the gospel lived out and practised as fully as possible.  As well as which, church meetings are laid back and a whole lot of fun :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome back, Onion Eater.  Things here are a little slower than they were at one time, but occasionally something flares up and we all get a bit excited.  Do throw in your 2 cents-worth :wave:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Okay, I'm bored again.  Spent a fortnight self-isolating with my Mum, who is now living with me (temporary, I think).  I have been severely overworked this year (despite lockdown!!) and am tired and needed a rest and there are soooo many things to do things in the house.  What did I do?  Injure myself painfully and badly, then lounged about reading novels about things that really don't matter.

Self-isolating now over.  Went and did a bit of work today (oh, how I enjoyed that!).  

Now I am at home with a box of red wine, a sick mother in bed (thinks she is dying; perhaps she is, though I hope not), I'm stressed to the max with looking after her, so am tuning out as much as I can (thanks, box of shiraz) (tough, they were out of cab sav when I went shopping) and am feeling bored.  Cheer me up, guys, or it's back to thriller novels and other such junk.

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4 hours ago, Twinky said:

Okay, I'm bored again.  Spent a fortnight self-isolating with my Mum, who is now living with me (temporary, I think).  I have been severely overworked this year (despite lockdown!!) and am tired and needed a rest and there are soooo many things to do things in the house.  What did I do?  Injure myself painfully and badly, then lounged about reading novels about things that really don't matter.

Self-isolating now over.  Went and did a bit of work today (oh, how I enjoyed that!).  

Now I am at home with a box of red wine, a sick mother in bed (thinks she is dying; perhaps she is, though I hope not), I'm stressed to the max with looking after her, so am tuning out as much as I can (thanks, box of shiraz) (tough, they were out of cab sav when I went shopping) and am feeling bored.  Cheer me up, guys, or it's back to thriller novels and other such junk.

Novels aren't meaningless, even though the plot and characters might seem like it. Humans (you included) are all about storytelling. Pick stories by the storytellers you like best and you're bound to learn something about telling your own stories in ways that will interest more and more people. :love3:

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Great points Rocky ! That got me thinking of how much I like to read…and often enjoy a good novel…makes for a nice break from Bible study, or something on history or philosophy. I remember the enjoyment and thought provoking ideas of watching sci-fi movies with my Dad – how we would philosophize afterward. I still remember my thoughts from reading one of my first grown-up type novels  – The Invisible Man. A major theme of that novel is power corrupts. But as a young boy my thoughts on it were not as refined. My takeaway at the time was no human should have the ability to sneak around undetected and spy on people or steal from them – an invisible man does not become a god but a monster.

Inspired by Rocky’s post I did some searching on the Internet for the value of fiction. And found a cool article by  Keith Oatley   who is a novelist and professor emeritus of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto. In the article   A Feeling for Fiction  , he says

“Books, movies, and plays are more than just entertainment…They train us in the art of being human. He explains how fictional works nurture empathy and enhance our social and emotional lives…We tend to think of movie watching or book reading as passive activities. That may be true physically, but it’s not true emotionally. When we watch a film or read a novel, we join ourselves to a character’s trajectory through the story world. We see things from their point of view—feel scared when they are threatened, wounded when they are hurt, pleased when they succeed. These feelings are familiar to us as readers or viewers. But our propensity to identify with characters is actually a remarkable demonstration of our ability to empathize with others…

…When we examine this process of identification in fiction, we appreciate the importance of empathy—not only in enjoying works of literature, but in helping us form connections with those around us in the real world. The feelings elicited by fiction go beyond the words on a page or the images on a screen. Far from being solitary activities, reading books or watching movies or plays actually can help train us in the art of being human…These effects derive from our cognitive capacity for empathy, and there are indications that they can help shape our relationships with friends, family, and fellow citizens.”

End of excerpts

== == ==

I started watching the X-Files on Hulu – the series revolves around 2 FBI agents Fox Mulder (his character has a degree in psychology and believes in the existence of aliens and the paranormal) and Dana Scully (her character is a medical doctor – and a skeptic and is assigned to scientifically analyze Mulder’s findings) – together they investigate marginalized unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena – furthermore they have discovered a hidden agenda of the government to keep the existence of extraterrestrial life a secret.

What intrigues me about the show is how both characters resonate with me being a person of reason and of faith. For me following the trajectory of these two characters is not about being a big believer in UFOs and the paranormal .  It has more to do with how I try to process my little world.  . There’s a tension inside –  I believe there’s a lot more going on around the world and in my own life than what I can perceive with my senses, I mean I study the Bible, I pray, I hope, I try to be of service to others. And sometimes I just get caught up in the nuts and bolts of the daily grind - and I don't see much past the next thing to do...2020 has been a hell of a year!

Stay hopeful Twinky – relax and enjoy a good story.

Love and peace

T-Bone

Edited by T-Bone
typos & formatting
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I do like reading good novels.  Sometimes they can set the scene for something better than anything else.  For example, Ken Follett's classic Pillars of the Earth series, set in the middle ages, explains a lot about cathedral building and medieval life generally.

What I'm reading at the moment is a book by Meera Syal, a British Asian comedienne.  She's very funny to listen to.  This novel (Life isn't all Ha Ha Hee Hee) is about three 30-something young Punjabi women, one just married, one married with a couple of kids, and the other married to a white British male.  Syal is quietly looking at the lives of the women, how they differ from males' lives, the normality of their younger years and the reality of their lives now.  She presents her book very "straight" but happily points out cultural norms, the ridiculousness of some aspects of this culture, double standards, etc.  Her book has this very distinct overlay of what is permitted (or not) for these modern women in a restrictive British Punjabi setting.  So I can learn a bit about how others live and the pressures on their lives that perhaps (if I knew anyone from this culture) no-one would discuss openly, or they take for granted, or where my own experiences might be quite different.

Before that, I read a Kathy Reichs book.  KR is herself a forensic anthropologist and she sets out a lot of how causes of death can be ascertained from fresh or badly decomposed corpses.  The stories she writes are page-turners (but ultimately pulp fiction, not great literature) and I find her descriptions of what can be discovered from bones and fragments of body quite fascinating.  Perhaps that's my legal mind at work.

 

It passes the time.  :anim-smile:

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1 hour ago, Twinky said:

I do like reading good novels.  Sometimes they can set the scene for something better than anything else.  For example, Ken Follett's classic Pillars of the Earth series, set in the middle ages, explains a lot about cathedral building and medieval life generally.

What I'm reading at the moment is a book by Meera Syal, a British Asian comedienne.  She's very funny to listen to.  This novel (Life isn't all Ha Ha Hee Hee) is about three 30-something young Punjabi women, one just married, one married with a couple of kids, and the other married to a white British male.  Syal is quietly looking at the lives of the women, how they differ from males' lives, the normality of their younger years and the reality of their lives now.  She presents her book very "straight" but happily points out cultural norms, the ridiculousness of some aspects of this culture, double standards, etc.  Her book has this very distinct overlay of what is permitted (or not) for these modern women in a restrictive British Punjabi setting.  So I can learn a bit about how others live and the pressures on their lives that perhaps (if I knew anyone from this culture) no-one would discuss openly, or they take for granted, or where my own experiences might be quite different.

Before that, I read a Kathy Reichs book.  KR is herself a forensic anthropologist and she sets out a lot of how causes of death can be ascertained from fresh or badly decomposed corpses.  The stories she writes are page-turners (but ultimately pulp fiction, not great literature) and I find her descriptions of what can be discovered from bones and fragments of body quite fascinating.  Perhaps that's my legal mind at work.

 

It passes the time.  :anim-smile:

Indeed, it passes the time, productively I believe. We (your readers here at GSC) know of you what and how you have shared of yourself. We know that you engage in meaningful ministry to people who might seem hard to reach for many people. Reading what an anthropologist has to say about how people die may one day (or many) inspire you on how to reach into the heart and soul of the people you meet. Same when reading about the customs and practices of Punjabi women.

That you enjoy those authors and their writing only makes it seem like entertainment. It's active learning. I think about the blurb I wrote for Charlene Edge's book.  

“Undertow is a gift to young people and their families who want to understand the inner workings of fundamentalist cults. Charlene Edge’s experience parallels much of my own twelve years as a follower of Victor Paul Wierwille’s ministry. Undertow sheds light on the decisions, questions, and longings that she encountered, and ultimately worked her way through. In the words of Canadian author Matshona Dhliwayo, ‘Books are kinder teachers than experience.’ May Undertow be a kinder teacher to you than Charlene’s seventeen years in The Way International were to her.

Couple that with insight from T-Bone's comment above and you've got lots of benefits to reading books, whether memoirs and fiction stories. 

 

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Oh, and immediately before the abovenamed books, I read "Tsotsi" by internationally renowned playwright Athol Fugard.  "Tsotsi" is Fugard's only novel, written, abandoned, and re-written carefully over a period of years.  It explores the life of a young African - thug, basically - how he got to be like he is, what his life was, why and how it changed, and how at the very end he remembers who he is and what he really is like (ie, not a thug, but a kind and compassionate young man).  The book explores the huge injustices under apartheid South Africa in Soweto, how the very young boy's life was shattered by the unjust rules and regulations and routine round-ups; how he survived; the fear of and hatred towards such tsotsis (thugs) from others in the township; and so much more.  (A movie was made of the book in 2005 or thereabouts; there are significant differences from the book upon which it is based; in fact, it's another story altogether.)

All in all, the book is a sympathetic and unjudgmental tour de force from a renowed white author, who strongly opposed the apartheid regime.

 

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23 hours ago, T-Bone said:

“Books, movies, and plays are more than just entertainment…They train us in the art of being human. He explains how fictional works nurture empathy and enhance our social and emotional lives…We tend to think of movie watching or book reading as passive activities. That may be true physically, but it’s not true emotionally. When we watch a film or read a novel, we join ourselves to a character’s trajectory through the story world. We see things from their point of view—feel scared when they are threatened, wounded when they are hurt, pleased when they succeed. These feelings are familiar to us as readers or viewers. But our propensity to identify with characters is actually a remarkable demonstration of our ability to empathize with others…

…When we examine this process of identification in fiction, we appreciate the importance of empathy—not only in enjoying works of literature, but in helping us form connections with those around us in the real world. The feelings elicited by fiction go beyond the words on a page or the images on a screen. Far from being solitary activities, reading books or watching movies or plays actually can help train us in the art of being human…These effects derive from our cognitive capacity for empathy, and there are indications that they can help shape our relationships with friends, family, and fellow citizens.”

Totally cool article (and excerpts).  They train us in the art of being human! Obviously our parents are the first models/teachers we have for that training. I think of one of the valid points that Wierwille made in the PFLAP class, about needing a center of reference outside of ourselves for learning. We (even introverts) are intensely intensely social animals. If the only reference points we have for how to behave and interact with other humans ends up being our parents, how sad and limited we would be. No matter how wonderful or monstrous our parents were.

It also highlights the dangerous aspect of twi and other cults that find something, in our case the bible, to misinterpret when to justify establishing a closed social subculture that allows and encourages dependence rather than autonomy as the guiding principle for interacting with each other.

 


So, thanks very much T-Bone for sharing those excerpts. :love3:

Edited by Rocky
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