Saturday, March 31, 2007

San Antiono Trip Pt.2

So sometime on Sunday morning we woke up and eventually had breakfast. I played with Jamie and Destiny for a while before we headed downtown to see the Alamo. Ever since I was a little kid I've been taken with the story of the Alamo. I once cut the illustrations out of a Scott County Public Library book about the Alamo when I was a little kid. My favorite Christmas present is still the Alamo that Daddy made for me when I was a kid. The American version of the story is pretty compelling with heroes like Mr. David Crockett (as Jamie called him), Bowie, and Travis and their brave band of 180 facing a villain like Santa Anna and his 4000 Mexican soldiers and fighting to the death. It was interesting to see it the day after seeing the 300 and it's retelling of Thermopylae. The comparison was even made at the Alamo. A small band of "freedom fighters" facing the hordes of "tyranny," makes for a stirring story. Of course, Mexicans probably remember the story differently and I couldn't forget a remark by my American Church History professor at Trinity about the Revolutionary War, "Just think, if we'd lost we might have been as tyrannized as Canada." Still, politics aside, it's an amazing place to be. We entered the compound from the back. It was pretty and peaceful with flowers and cacti and such. Due to the cool, rainy weather the crowd wasn't large and it was nice just walking around the grounds. Eventually we got in line and made our way into the chapel. There are reminders on the doors that it is a shrine and should be honored by silence and no photography. At least there was no photography. One of the more moving parts was the presence of the flags of the birthplace of each of the men who'd died there. There were fifteen Kentuckians. After leaving the chapel we walked around some of the exhibits and looked at the various cannons. Jamie had recently done a school project on Davie Crockett and was suitably excited by the many Crockett relics. On the whole the most amazing thing for me was the size of the Alamo. It was so much smaller than it's myth. I've heard that before but it's another thing to stand outside the chapel and marvel at how small it is. We had a good time, even if we were rained on.

After the Alamo we headed back past the big boots to Jenn's church, the San Antonio Vineyard. We got there just after the praise time was ending. We heard a good sermon on stewardship and letting Jesus be lord of all from Matthew 6:18-34. The speaker was the pastor of a different Vineyard and finished early so we took some time for silent reflection and prayer based on the message. One of the things that had convicted me during the sermon was the idea that by not taking better care of my body I was denying Jesus' lordship. I resolved to go to the doctor about my cough and to get a check-up when I got home.

After church we went back to Jenn and Rachel's for some leftover pizza and chicken noodle soup. I got to meat Rachel and she seemed fun and nice. We left the kids with her and went back to downtown San Antonio to go the River Walk. The River Walk is a part of the stretch where the San Antonio River flows through the city. There are shops and restaurants with paved walkways and lots of charming little bridges over the river which doesn't look to be much larger than the Elkhorn Creek back home or the Des Plaines River here. There's even a neat terraced fountain/waterfall across from the Alamo that flows through a big hotel and down to the river. I'd first heard about the San Antonio River Walk back when I was looking for colleges and it was mentioned in the literature that Trinity College in San Antonio sent me. I remember walking on the paths by the Cannon River in Northfield while I was in college and wishing I was in San Antonio to see the real River Walk. it definitely lived up to my expectations. It rained on us there as well which was good for mine and Jenn's colds but not for us. Still it was a lot of fun and a beautiful stretch of river. We pretty much turned in after getting home with plans of waking early to head to Corpus Cristi and the beach the next day. To be continued....

p.s. for them what are curious. I finally went to the doctor this past Monday. He diagnosed me with a sinus infection and prescribed some antibiotics and a nasal inhaler. I think I'm finally getting over the cough and cold. It feels weird not to be coughing or sniffling all the time. I was very happy with my doctor since I'd just picked him out of a book with no references. He was funny and his treatment seems to be working. Once I'm done with my medication I think I'll go back for an overall check up.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

San Antonio Trip pt.1

It's been two weeks now since I jetted off for my very first trip to St. Antoine. Armed with cough drops, kleenex, some books, a disposable camera, a bag full of shorts and t-shirts, and miscellaneous other stuff, my cough and I flew off from Midway airport for San Antonio and a short visit with Jenn, Jaimie, Ziggie (and Destiny and Rachel). The travel down was peacefully uneventful and I made great progress in Black, the first book in Ted Dekker's Circle Trilogy (incidentally, it was also the book that was stolen with my backpack in Florida). Jenn eventually found me in the baggage claim area at the San Antonio airport after being thrown off by my new look--goatee and very short hair. We left the airport and headed to a theatre for a hoped for IMAX viewing of the 300, the new movie about Thermopylae. With the theatre location firmly in mind, the movie not starting until 12:30, we detoured to Whattaburger for a welcome supper and some milkshakes. One of my co-workers from Texas had talked up Whattaburger and I was excited to try one though it turned out to be nothing to blog about. The milkshake was mighty thick and provided a solid cheek workout. Pleasantly fed we returned to the theatre and discovered that the Persians had overcome the defenders and flooded the IMAX showing we were hoping for. The bodies of Spartan ticket sellers littered the box office. There was a second showing at 2:45 a.m. but we decided that was too late for us. As a backup we chose to see the 11:45 showing in a regular [sic] theatre. We had a short wait in a long line before settling in for the show. I included the "sic" because despite not being an IMAX it was still a large screen in a big theatre with stadium seating and seats that kind of reclined. I'm a bit jealous, I live in the 3rd largest metropolitan area in the U.S. but I've now been to theatres in Wisconsin, Louisville, Rochester, and San Antonio that are way better than anything around here. The cinema in San Antonio also had a bar which is pretty cool. Anyway I really enjoyed the movie, though Jenn decided it might have been too intense for an IMAX anyway. It's a great story, well acted, very bloody, there's lots of flesh to ogle if you're into that sort of thing, the cgi backgrounds were incredible, and the music was good. The subtlety was extremely understated and if you have the equipment you could probably edit together your own version of the film from Braveheart and Gladiator, but I liked it. I love stories of brave last stands which is why it will surprise no one that we went to the Alamo the next day.
To be continued....

Friday, March 23, 2007

Look! A Post

Actually it's many posts. I've even done some of that kind of posting. When I lived at the synagogue we had to replace some posts for the split rail fence in the back. We also had to do some sign posting.

Anyway, now I've posted at least once in March. Will there be more?

Steve and I recently saw a great classic Simpsons episode; Homer the Beer Baron. Springfield discovers that the town has had a prohibition law on the books since 1793, punishable by catapult. They begin to enforcing it again as a result of St. Paddy's Day celebratin' that got out of hand. Speakeasy's and bootleggers quickly spring up. The town fires redoubtable Police Chief Wiggum and hires tough Rex Bannen to clean stuff up. He cuts off the booze flow but is then foiled by surprisingly clever Homer who becomes the Beer Baron by sending homemade liquor packed in bowling balls to Moe's through a network of underground pipes. Even Marge is impressed, "This is the cleverest thing you've ever done." My two favorite quotes:

"Going bowling. Don't return, avenge death." Homer
"Here's to alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all life's problems." Homer