Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Insomnia, German, the Book of the Year, and Hockey

~ It is one thing to have baby twins who wake you up in the middle of the night. It is another thing entirely to find yourself lying in bed sleeplessly insomniac in between those wakings. Tomorrow is not going to be pretty.

~ I'm beginning to learn German. I need to get a German Bible so I can open to John 14:6 and translate Ich bin der weg, die wahrheit, das leben. That will feel good. Most of the time I just feel overwhelmed so far.

~ I just read chapter seven of NT Wright's Surprised By Hope. Not only am I convinced this will end up being my "Book of the Year" winner, but I am also convinced that NT Wright is the most important theologian in the church today. This book not only sheds light on why I feel so distant and disenfranchised with so much of evangelicalism today, but it also deepens my conviction that the answer is not leaving the church, nor falling for the latest church-strategy-trend---it is a theological renovation which gets back to ancient roots while addressing the most contemporary questions and insights. When I pop my head into books like this one I am inspired and reminded that a theological renovation is not only needed, but is possible---and, in parts of the Church, is happening. What is so great about this book is that it is not only theologically adept and researched, but is accessible. Anyone in the church (or disenfranchised with it) could, and I'd say should, pick it up and read it.

~ Despite not watching a game all year (or for several years), I am getting caught up in hockey playoffs, mostly because the Canucks are into round two. Of course, by "getting caught up" I mean I'm catching 10 minutes of it here and there and am checking the highlights and scores most nights. The deeper the Canucks go my interest will accelerate. The Canucks winning the cup would do things for my soul.

That said, my current outlook on hockey is still probably best summed up by the following snippet of dialogue on the West Wing. I couldn't find a video clip so the teleplay will have to do:

SAM: You wanted me?

JOSH: You guys go out?

SAM: Toby had Capitals tickets.

JOSH: Good game?

SAM: You know what I'd do if I... No, it wasn't. You know what I'd do if I owned a hockey team? I'd hire a sumo wrestler. I'd give him a uniform, transportation, 500 bucks a week to sit in the goal, eat a ham sandwich, and enjoy the game. My team would never get scored on.

JOSH:Your team would get scored on constantly.

SAM: Maybe, but we'd sell a few tickets.

JOSH: Yeah, 'cause sumo wrestling sells out all the time in big hockey towns.

. . . . (a little later) . . . .

HOYNES: I heard you had Caps tickets.

SAM: Yes, sir.

HOYNES: How was the game?

SAM: Not very good.

HOYNES: Have you ever seen a good hockey game?

SAM: No.

HOYNES: Me neither. I love sports, I just can't get next to hockey. See, I think Americans like to savour situations. One down, bottom of the ninth, one run game, first and third, left handed batter, right hand reliever, infield at double play depth, here's the pitch. But scoring in hockey seems to come out of nowhere. The play-by-play guy is always shocked. LePeiter passes to Huckenchuck who skates past the blue line. Huckenchuck, of course, was traded from Winnipeg for a case of Labatts after sitting out last season with... "Oh my God, he scores!" So, what's going on?

.... Anyway, I'm going to try to get some sleep.

Go Canucks. Read Wright. Gut nacht.


Tony Tanti said...

Nice. It saddens me to see that this sums up your view on hockey these days. I guess if savouring a sport is what someone is looking for then baseball would be right up their alley, maybe golf too.

Growing up with hockey makes me (rightly or wrongly) judge all sports against it so to me baseball is mind numbingly boring, basketball is too simple, football is ok and soccer is the only close comparison. There is no better playoff in all of sports than the Stanley Cup though.

Nice to hear you're keeping up with the nucks, I hope they get to the 3rd round just to bring you back to your roots and getting into the best sport again.

Colin Toffelmire said...

Think of your insomnia as training for your doctoral studies. As I have reminded myself repeatedly this year, sleep is for the weak ;).

I'm starting with German this coming Monday, so I'll soon be sharing in your linguistic torture.

joel said...

Cool beans, I am thinking of specializing in Phenomenology for my philosophy masters and so I will also have to learn German. My grandparents will be proud but I doubt my girlfriend will.

Tony Tanti said...

congrats on picking a school Jon, I know it was a tough choice. Time to start planning our trip to Scotland.

jon said...

Colin: "Sleep is for the weak". Nice. I used that line today.

Joel: What your girlfriend doesn't appreciate the way Das Berliner rolls off the lips? Philosophy Masters in Phenomenology? Yeah we gotta get together someday!

Tanti: For the record I'm neither into basketball nor baseball, but I get the American fascination with situational sports, and its the NFL's perfect mix of that with gorgeous play and great athleticism that has won me over.

And to be honest I don't quite see it the way the West Wing writers did. They sound like people who've never played it. But the flow of the game has bored me lately, with some exceptions, I won't deny.

Truthfully though it might be more that it has taken a backseat to NFL and euro football, and I only have so much sporting in me.

Go nux.