Monday, April 30, 2007

A Neighborly Joint

Yesterday my neighbor invited me to smoke some marijuana with him and another neighbor. That's the first time that's happened in a few years, so I was a little rusty as I politely declined. Back in college I was better at saying no without making the situation awkward.

I've never smoked marijuana, but I've been around it plenty -- dorms, hockey games, construction jobs, and armchair intellectuals. It's never been a temptation for me, because I value my sobriety at a basic aesthetic (vs. moral) level. That surreal feeling of spacelessness is the worst part of any fever for me, when I get sick.

So when B___ asked if I'd like to join him and F___ for a neighborly joint I scrambled for excuses, stuttering my way to a simple "No Thanks".

When I moved to this neighborhood a year ago, I really wanted to sink roots; to get to know folks. So I consider the offer of a joint a measure of success. Because after college, you don't just offer a smoke to anyone. Really, it was an offer of hospitality.

My question to myself this morning was: what would be the best way to move forward in friendship with my neighbors from this point? I suppose by reciprocating: by extending hospitality of my own. Maybe I'll start grilling in the front, as opposed to the back, and offer some less toxic gifts. Wisconsin has a drugs problem: many people in the state need alcohol to have a social life.

One of my goals with Blessed Are the Uncool has been to start a conversation about how Christians can live more naturally with their families and neighbors. I'd love to hear about other people's stories.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wearing Antlers is Chic

The New York Times feels that the hot thing this year is to wear antlers.

this is not a joke. Today's fashion review explains:

Judging by the direction of fashion ... you might mistake Manhattan for Montana.

All this suggests to me just how isolated NYC is from mainstream America. Hunting Chic is a contradiction in terms for the vast majority of the country. Certainly nobody in a region where hunting is a normal passtime would think of a Viking helmet as refined.