Friday, March 31, 2006

Another Field Report: Chico

From sis-in-law Glo:

Mark got the job at Sungard Bi-Tech here in Chico. Actually across the street from where he works now. His last day at Flight Link is April 12th, and his new job starts April 17th. We are all very excited. It offers matching 401K, health benefits, etc. with lots of room to grow. They have over 200 employees.

Here's a pic of Ry last weekend. It's so cute how much he still likes to make believe and dress up.
[Here as George of the Jungle.] His hair is getting so long. I'm curious to see how long he'll let it grow. He's starting to say he wants a trim. He hasn't had a cut since last May.

Woo, go Bro'!

*****

I've been visualizing numbers lately. Lower weight. Higher salary. More square footage to live in. Maybe an extra half carat thrown in for good measure. Can't hurt, right? Though after learning the results of a recent study which showed that prayer didn't help heart surgery patients, I'm not sure that visualization matters (though look what happened when I kept thinking of driving a Cadillac! It's just what I had to go through in order to be tooling around in the Monster Mobile that's the painful part).

*****

Like Nancy, I'm so glad Jill Carroll has been released. But on a tangentially related note, I'm upset that tapes from 9/11 emergency calls are being broadcast. People should have access, but putting it out over the airwaves with so little warning…I feel defenseless.

*****

God's been calling lately:

We had a long-winded local volunteer leave a message on our answering machine a few weeks ago, inviting us to his church, offering to come over to chat and drop off bibles, assuring us that no collections are ever taken.

Last week, Scientologists flaunted postal regulations and placed questionnaires in our mailbox. No assurances about lack of collections were on the questionnaire and I would have to expend my own postage to return the completed list, but I'm most curious. Some of the questions are so strange. To wit, a sampling for those of you not yet blessed by a visit from your friendly neighborhood Thetans:

- Do you consider the best points of most people and only rarely speak slightingly of them?
- Could you allow someone to finish those "final two words" in a crossword puzzle without interfering? [Whose puzzle is it?]
- Do you bite your fingernails or chew the end of your pencil?
- Does an unexpected action cause your muscles to twitch?
- Could you agree to "strict discipline"?
- When hearing a lecturer, do you sometimes experience the idea that the speaker is referring entirely to you?
- Do you consider the modern "prison without bars" system doomed to failure?
- Is your voice monotonous rather than varied in pitch?
- Would it take a definite effort on your part to consider the subject of suicide?
- Do you ever get disturbed by the sound of the wind or a "house settling down"?
- Are you a slow eater?
- Are you perturbed at the idea of loss of dignity?
- Would you use corporal punishment on a child aged ten if it refused to obey you? [Love the reference to "it"--and why the emphasis on ten year olds?]

Oddly, the question of monetary support was never raised.

I'm tempted to answer each question untruthfully, just to see what the results would be. Wish I hadn't recycled M's questionnaire, I could do a truthful/untruthful comparison. I am assured that "There is no obligation whatsoever. A test o this kind would normally cost you $500 and up. It is offered to you here free of charge [I typed, "free of chard" J] as a public service [!] by Scientology of Sierra Nevada. Whether or not you are happy with your life, you will find out why you are the way you are."

And then today we received a (postally legal) card from the local Lutheran church inviting us to an Easter party. Hm, skimming through it…"Join us for an Easter Celebration…We'll have great music, a free breakfast buffet, activities for the kids, plus an inspiring Easter message to breathe new life into your holidays. [Awesome riff on "He is risen," kudos to their marketing writer! More props:] So if you aren't sure church is all it's cracked up to be…" There's a graphic of an egg with rays of light beaming from a break in the shell…get it? Maybe Garrison Keillor's loving skewering of Lutherans has given them a little extra courage to be creative. Then again--why isn't there any mention of God or Jesus? It is a church after all. Perhaps they don't want to offend anyone or put anyone off.

*****

Happy April Fools Day and Daylight Savings tomorrow!

1 Comments:

At 10:51 AM, April 07, 2006, Blogger Nancy said...

I'm envious - I wish I'd gotten a questionnaire from the Scientologists! Will you send it in? It seems dangerous to encourage them, but at the same time, the curiosity . . . Yes, those were very weird questions.

 

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