September 26, 2009

I found the Ulster Chipotle. It is called Boojum and it is three minutes’ walk from campus. Praise be to God.

I just finished Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, and previous to that read Life of Pi. I heartily recommend these books; just excellent.

I have three friends with dangerously similar names here: Jer, Jem, and Jun. Jer is from the Republic of Ireland; Jem is from Turkey; Jun is Japanese American and also happens to be in my program.

If you’re watching a soccer game here, and people find out that you’re American two things will happen. First, they’ll be surprised you’re watching and liking it. Second, if there’s an American on the team they’ll ask what you think of said American. This happened to me most recently when I was watching a Carling Cup (A Tournament) game at the bar on campus. It was Leeds United against Liverpool. With about ten minutes left in the game an American named Mike Grella came on for Leeds. About two minutes later the Leeds fan next to me said, “How do you rate Grella?” “Well, you’re a Leeds fan; I was about to ask you that. I never get to see him play. He any good?” Turns out, yeah. He’s pretty good. In a couple of years he may have a place at a bigger team.

That’s another thing: I suspect it would be very different were I in England, but here they have no hangups about people calling the game soccer. In fact, about half of the people around here call it that. Reason? Gaelic football is one of the most popular sports on this island, and it gets the honor of being called football.

I just got back from being the only Fulham fan in a bar of Arsenal fans while the two teams were playing each other. Never will a person feel so isolated as when they are the solitary supporter of their team in a bar. Since Fulham lost, I had to take a lot of grief from the Gooner fans.

The week was pretty uneventful, to be honest. I got used to the campus and the city, bought food, got all registered for classes, had my program convened, opened a bank account. Yep.

I’ve been reading blogs rabidly recently, which is where most of the links I’ve been passing on have come from. I started looking through some blogs related to religion in the last couple of days, most specifically a whole host of blogs written by Christians. You know what I said yesterday about academic fights? A lot of what I’ve read on these Christian blogs feels like an academic fight to me. Maybe it’s the way they’re framing it. I don’t know. Whatever it is, the things that get argued about seem so petty and unimportant that it makes me want to tune the whole thing out. That said, there’s been a fairly interesting exchange in the past couple of days between several blogs about “pirate Christianity.” I’ll link to Pete Rollins’ blog; it’s a good jumping off point for understanding the debate, as Pete links around to other people who are talking about the whole thing. Oh, nevermind. Here are a bunch of links.

Richard Sudworth Prompting the Dialogue
Pete’s First Response
Sudworth’s Response
Pete’s Second Response

Ok, I think that about does it for me.


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