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Einstein killed science. That bastard.   
03:54pm 23/12/2010
  catachrestic, aka Peddler of the Mundane, asked me:

I'd be interested in an entry about the central themes from your study of religious studies that you find most intriguing, which inspired you to pursue the field, or which you are focusing your own work or thoughts in. How has your view of religion been shaped by certain facts you have learned? Which dilemmas are Kristen's brain wrapped around?

A grad student would probably have quicker answers to these questions; I don't have a specialized area of study. Maybe I can convey my interest in religious studies with an analogy to folk music. I used to find folk music really boring, and it all sounded the same to me. I didn't see the appeal, and yet, it was so freaking popular. Was it the case that fans of folk music had bad ears? Probably not. In good faith, I eventually started listening to more folk music. It took me awhile, but I steadily began to enjoy it and appreciate it, different as it was from my long-time favorite genres. You can probably see where this is going... In my experience, it is better to assume you are missing something rather than dismiss someone else as an idiot who has "bad ears." That guess has yet to serve me wrong.

Want some more? Yeah?Collapse )

I don't think I answered these questions very directly, so to sort of sum this up, here is what I'm interested in:

  • religious faith and the umbrella of faith in general

  • the differences between faith, belief, knowledge, wisdom, etc.

  • functional aspects of religion (the ways anything can act as religion is defined-- which is in a multitude of ways, some of which consider the matter of a "higher power" liberally-- enabling anything from consumerism to Star Wars to function as a religion)

  • validity

  • the "yin and yang" of science and religion

  • spirituality, whatever the fuck it is

  • objectivity and subjectivity

  • how religious concepts such as sacred, holy, good and evil apply to the secular world

  • postmodern bracketing for the sake of ontological cluelessness

( 26 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

Response to johnnyfavorite's questions   
08:56pm 24/11/2010
  apparently you finally got the college thing worked out, after a near-infinite number of fits and starts. what changed? what is your major? what do you plan to do with the degree, when you get it?

Two events locked me onto school, I think. #1 was bumping into Religious Studies, my major. I took a class called "Life After Death" for an elective and it interested the fuck out of me, as well as shifted my understanding of various religions and what religion is. That interest has fueled my undergrad years since--before that, I was unhappy with school, pretty much using it for financial aid until I could figure out what else to do. #2 was finally getting away from my parents. Pursuing school on my own terms instead of on theirs completely changed the experience.

I don't know what I'll do with it. I picked a major that interested me, figuring that was better than picking one for mere practical purposes. Who does cooler shit, people passionate about their studies, or people just plodding along? The answer is "duh, the former." I don't think I'll be starting a religion, becoming a pastor, or teaching any time soon, but I still like the mental workout, and I'm eager to apply it in some way, if not in an obvious, direct way. I also think a degree in itself opens up some opportunities.

there have been little hints here and there that you have an idea of what you're going to do with yourself, post-college. this calls for elaboration.

Not grad school. Maybe at some point, but for now, I'm eager for something different. And I'll continue to be a bookworm, I'm just tired of not having enough time outside of school for things besides reading, music in particular. Time management has never been my strength. For every hour of homework or reading that I do, I seem to need another hour of pure dawdling.

My aforementioned plan does call for elaboration, but I don't really want to share the details just yet. The idea grows in my mind on a daily basis, but it's still in vague territory, and sort of far-off from happening. In the mean time, I'd really just like to have a hands-on job, helping people. I'm not quite sure what that is going to be exactly. I don't want to be a social worker or anything, but I'm tired of feeling like I'm on the sidelines, watching sad shit go down. I'd feel slightly more comfortable watching people become crackheads and zombies if I was actively fighting the trend, somehow.

I just want some kind of experience that can... mature me in some ways. I'm not the most organized person, or the most leader-y person, just a fiery person. I want a job that can open my eyes in a way a book doesn't and inform my "bigger" plans.

at one point you were supporting yourself playing poker. still true? if not, what replaced it? i've read blogs of a lot of people who formerly played poker for a living, and the reasons why they quit sound awfully similar. i'm wondering if you'll fit that pattern as well.

I didn't have a bankroll. I was spending most of my winnings on things I needed, so there was no safety net if I ever had a few bad days. I never had a "huge" day at the casino, not the way pros do. I played too carefully for that. Basically, after a few bad days, I had to stop. By the time I had enough to play again, I pretty much lost interest. Poker is a lot of fun, some of the time, but the atmosphere of the casino gets old afterwhile (and skeezy), and playing online is harder and not nearly as fun. So, that's pretty much why.

( 10 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

06:01pm 24/11/2010
  Posts from over a week ago are still on the first page of my friend's list. The lack of activity does not inspire me to write. Some external muses and the promise of interaction would help, and did in the past. I've never actively looked for friends on livejournal, and I don't know how I feel about starting now. At least today and the past few days, I've had little desire to write here, maybe for those reasons. Something is also different somehow-- I just don't know what would best go in this box.

Maybe you guys can give me some writing assignments. I guess this is an invitation to be nosy, too.

( 17 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

So, I've been surveying some abandoned buildings...   
03:24am 17/11/2010
mood: bummer.
I may be romanticizing LJ in retrospect, but seeing its present state (ghost town!), I feel like something very special has been lost. Most people seem to have moved on-- I'm hoping to greener pastures, but I suspect Farmville and WoW may have played a part.

I think I took the quality of conversation here for granted while it was happening. It's one of the only popular e-bastions that not only allowed substance but made it so easy to find, and here it is... pretty much lifeless. I know there is still some life here, but it may just be rigor mortis brought on by nostalgia. Can't tell...

The internet has so much potential (like most technology) to be a powerful source of learning and progress. Instead, it's just a suffocating void of LOLcats... cute at first, just the same old shit after awhile. Like an endless one night stand. (I've actually never had a one night stand. I'm kind of happy about that.) I know there are pockets of gold here and there, but... that's not good enough.

This seeming tragedy has re-focused me a little on my goals, reminding me how important it is to have a space like this around, motivating me to make it happen. Without spilling into great detail (not that I usually venture beyond Vague Land), my "big dream" is to construct a venue that engages minds in good conversation. Not necessarily with words alone, though those are swell!-- I also mean dialogues through music, art, recreation, you name it. I mean for this venue to exist offline, but I encourage similar online forms as well. So, it's almost an affront to me to see LJ like this... and I feel guilty, since I have appointed myself to be a convo-savior of sorts. Swooping down with a cool cape, rescuing people from boring bullshit? Something like that.

I plan to update frequently, at least for awhile. Every few days = frequent. We'll see what happens, but LJ may be dead.

( 21 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

Dear LJ   
03:20am 15/11/2010
mood: bouncy
Hey! It's been so long. I was wisely coaxed back here to give you another go. Are you dead? Prolly. I miss you, though, man. I had some good times with you. I chronicled my some of my angstiest moments on you, and you never really objected. In fact, you were pretty cool to me. Your people rallied around me, giving me humble advice, telling me I rocked, even when I repeatedly whined about my adolescent struggles against boring adult trends. I still whine sometimes, but you could say I'm more resolved at this point to make life the best I can, for me and for everyone else who understands that I am right and should be Philosopher Queen. (80% kidding)

Graduation is nigh, and I am somewhat afflicted with anxiety over what to do next, but I'm filled with a lot of optimism, too. Looking back over the years, and even at you, I can see the bricks being laid, stacking and interlocking, rivaling the architecture of... Gondor. I reference Lord of the Rings a lot. I don't know why. Kind of strange when there are plenty of this-world examples of fine architecture. Oh yeah, I still ramble. I'm not actually trying to stream consciousness here, I just have a broken filter. Anyway, I'd like to start updating again, every now and then, between school, music, and being awesome. It's a burden sometimes, the awesomeness, but it fortunately requires little upkeep.

! <3,

( 15 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

08:02am 12/07/2009
  LiveJournal, it seems I've left you behind, but I wanted to let you know that you're 80,000 times better than any of the current social-networking trends.  

( 25 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

01:13am 05/01/2009
mood: super
I'm 24!

I haven't forgotten you, LJ, I just be busy.

Happy new year, all. Time to go on the South Beach Diet, wear Nicotine patches, and totally change your life! If you wait until the 10th, the magical "new year" buzz will wear off, so go, git!

Oh, and lol: Pre-Game Coin Toss Makes Jacksonville Jaguars Realize Randomness Of Life

( 10 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

02:16am 03/12/2008

There is some mermaid out there that is going to be very annoyed at my edit. I'm going to make it my homepage so I can keep changing it back.

( 7 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

06:57pm 25/11/2008
  This week has sucked major donkey balls.  

( 4 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

11:38am 04/11/2008
  I am bizarrely nervous about today and have decided to start drinking early. Here are my "take a drink" terms/phrases:

One sip: socialis[t/m], grandmother.
Two sips: Joe the Plumber, Reverend Wright.
One big gulp: voter fraud, disenfranchised.
Two big gulps: assassinate, Founding Fathers.
Half a bottle: 'nucular.'
Whole bottle: vagina, penis.

Edit, 12:12am: I haven't watched this much network news since 9/11.

I am very happy Obama has won. His acceptance speech is so humble but powerful at the same time.

( 7 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

01:04pm 31/10/2008

( 38 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

09:41am 22/10/2008
  An Examination of Obama’s Use of Hidden Hypnosis Techniques in His Speeches

This is really long, but just browse it. It's recockulous.

"Obama is not just using subliminal messages, but textbook covert hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming techniques on audiences that are intentionally designed to sideline rational judgment and implant subconscious commands to think he is wonderful and elect him President."

"Almost nobody realizes what Obama is doing. These techniques are nearly impossible for an untrained person to detect."

And I have pharyngitis. It blows.

( 2 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

Check out my ride... and stop the war! Don't know what it's for!   
06:54am 20/10/2008

You must watch this video past 3:10. That's when it gets righteous.

( 5 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

A poll for my maties   
10:16am 15/10/2008
  1. Would you feel safer on the road with a
a) tired driver,
b) drunk driver,
c) stoned driver,
d) texting driver, or
e) new driver?

2. What are three online news sources that you check regularly?

3. What is the best song or album you've heard all year? (It doesn't have to be new.)

4. What is one online trend you haven't fallen prey to? (re: MySpace, shorthand English)

5. Are you emotionally moved by the Raining McCain video? (Have you seen it in Slayer style yet?)

6. Do you think there should be eligibility requirements for voters, other than age?

7. Would you rather play chess, Zelda, D&D or Dream Phone?

8. Do you think Paris Hilton is hot?

9. School is...

10. One thing you should be doing now instead of this?

( 11 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

Before I went to bed, I was thinking about how much abortion rules...   
07:14am 13/10/2008
  Okay. Weird dream. It was WW3-- but men versus women. By the time I woke up, it seemed as though the women were winning.  

( 5 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

06:15am 25/09/2008
  My parents have decided to stop paying for school after this semester. Probably a wise choice on their part. But this does mean I may never finish school. Without structure, I... try to chase tornadoes, and stuff.  

( 7 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

09:21pm 05/09/2008
  I may, in time, kill my mom.  

( 2 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

why. why?   
05:18pm 19/08/2008

( 3 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

04:18am 10/08/2008
  How Plastic Surgery Can Give an Older Woman the Face of a Baby  

( 2 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)

Things that make you go "hmmm"   
10:20am 06/08/2008
mood: shiny
I present to you guys a sexy, sparkling acoustic jam that will leave you wondering, "What??":

"Shiny Vagina (In My Face)"

( 5 chunks of Kristen's mind blown | Blow my effin' mind)