Category Archives: General

Mark, και, και ευθεως, and my week.

The gospel of Mark has an interesting little structure. A whole bunch of the verses start with και, which is often translated “and” but can be, and often is, left untranslated since it’s just there to keep the story going from point to point. So, it’s something like “…and then they did this, and then they did that, and then they did the next thing…” Occasionally you’ll see και ευθεως, which is “and immediately”. Overall, in Mark you get the sense of a very fast moving narrative.

Well, I thought I’d give my week’s highlights in Markian prose:

Last week I went out of town
και I needed to get back for a funeral
και the winds were high so taking a small plane back began to look iffy
και ευθεως we decided I should fly commercial
και there was a flurry activity getting me on the flight
και I got back that evening
και I showed up at church in the nick of time to set up for the funeral
και I went home and slept
και ευθεως in the morning I was back at church doing sound checks
και the funeral was lovely
και so was the rest of the afternoon
και we were all getting hungry so we grabbed a bite to eat
και, despite reassurances, my Spidey-Sense noted peanut oil, so I didn’t eat the fried food
και we took the kids to get our Christmas tree (a week later than usual)
και I lost my company iPhone somewhere
και ευθεως we called the restaurant and they found nothing
και ευθεως I searched in the dark tree lot and I found nothing
και I reconciled myself to buying a replacement
και we left the tree lot
και we realized that in our distraction we’d not paid for our Christmas tree
και ευθεως we went back to the tree farm
και taking one more look for my iPhone, a teen came up and asked “Is this yours?”
και I could tell it pained him to return it
και ευθεως we went home
και after a jam-packed Friday at work, the weekend came
και we awoke to snow
και the yard wasn’t ready for snow, so I got the yard ready
και one then another kid got something like the stomach flu
και ευθεως I did, too
και I spent 18 hours in bed
και I missed church (which is rare)
και Helen got it later on Sunday
και I’m tired

It’s been a fast moving narrative.

Monster

Apropos the “season,” I donned a hideous monster face last Friday evening. I regret that I didn’t have a camera.

I didn’t do it on purpose. I was just eating dinner. But it turned out that the meatballs contained something which caused one of my legendary allergic reactions. There was nothing on the ingredient list which appeared dangerous, but there was something in there. I’m suspecting cottonseed oil, but I have a hard time believing that considering the metric tons of potato chips I eat.

A couple of hours later my hands started to tingle and feel hot. Then my face began to swell and turn red. Within an hour or so I looked quite hideous. The kids stared at me with a quiet, cautious, wondering smile.

A friend drove me to the local ER because even though I was having no difficulty breathing, if I began to I wanted to be near help. (That’s when my allergies can be truly dangerous.) I went through triage, then I sat in the waiting room and watched part of an entirely unedifying movie. About an hour and a half later, I decided to go home. I was still puffy, but the redness was gone. The reaction was fading before I’d ever made it into a room.

I was exhausted the entire weekend. I’m just starting to feel back on my game today.

So there, I broke my blogging silence. Thrilling, eh?

Sleep

The following is from [WinstonChurchill.org](http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=226):

In the breakfast conversation, observed by Walter Graebner, the London representative for Time-Life, Churchill related how he was able to maintain such a rigorous schedule. “You must sleep some time between lunch and dinner, and no half-way measures. Take off your clothes and get into bed. That’s what I always do. Don’t think you will be doing less work because you sleep during the day. That’s a foolish notion held by people who have no imagination. You will be able to accomplish more. You get two days in one-well, at least one and a half, I’m sure. When the war started, I had to sleep during the day because that was the only way I could cope with my responsibilities. Later, when I became Prime Minister my burdens were, of course, even greater. Often I was obliged to work far into the night I had to see reports, take decisions and issue instructions that could not wait until the next day. And at night I’d also dictate minutes requesting information which my staff could assemble for me in the morning—and place before me when I woke up.”

Churchill continued: “But a man should sleep during the day for another reason. Sleep enables you to be at your best in the evening when you join your wife, family and friends for dinner. That is the time to be at your best—a good dinner, with good wines…champagne is very good…then some brandy—that is the great moment of the day. Man is ruler then—perhaps only for fifteen minutes, but for that time at least he is master—and the ladies must not leave the table too soon.”

We’re all fine…

…and we were thankfully not nearby, but the [35W Mississippi River bridge collapse](http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1338294.html) is just stunning and horrible. It’s just unbelievable. There were no known problems with the bridge. No interesting or extreme weather. Just a second of shaking and then it fell; 64 feet down to the river.

Host unlimited photos at slide.com for FREE!

Here’s a [quick map of where it happened](http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?client=safari&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&t=k&om=1&msa=0&ll=44.975546,-93.233843&spn=0.035277,0.071411&z=14&msid=116932682035456861521.000436ad14ad2d7984cc4) compared to how I get to work.

**UPDATE:** A good friend came by this afternoon. Late in the afternoon she was planning to head home over West River Road. Guess where she might have been at 6:00? It’s in green on the map I linked to above. Yep. Directly under the collapse. She stayed for dinner. (The aroma of fresh rosemary from our garden drew her to the table. Yeah, it was the rosemary… If “rosemary” is the new word for divine intervention!)

**UPDATE (next morning):** I’ve always liked [James Lileks](http://www.lileks.com). [Now I like him even better](http://www.buzz.mn/?q=node/2171).

**UPDATE:** From [Wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-35W_Bridge): “The 35W bridge shares the same mile of the Mississippi as two of Minneapolis’ other spectacular catastrophes: the explosion of the Washburn “A” Mill in 1878 and the collapse of the tunnel under Hennepin Island in 1869, which nearly destroyed St. Anthony Falls.”

**UPDATE:** Yes, there’s (http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1ab_1186054443&p=1).

**UPDATE:** I’m having a previously arranged “work at home” day today. I’m sitting outside on the patio on a warm, sunny, beautiful day. But it’s kinda spooky. I live about 7 miles from the collapse, but nevertheless I can hear the city abuzz. It seems like there’s a lot more small aircraft overhead (I live just up the bluff from a regional airport). I hear emergency vehicle sirens on I-94 over and over and over. It’s unsettling. Of course, I’m thankful that I’m only unsettled.

**UPDATE:** I heard from a friend that a friend of his was expected to be in that area at that time, and that he and his daughter are still missing. Prayers coveted. Sounds like they’re OK.

**UPDATE:** Here’s the [current traffic camera shot of the bridge](http://www.dot.state.mn.us/tmc/trafficinfo/metrocams/cameras/628.html) (with reference images of what it used to look like). With everything having fallen, a lot of the photos we’re seeing now don’t really show how high the bridge was like I think this one does.