Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Most Baffling Thing I Ever Witnessed


I've been baffled by many things, but there is one thing that still baffles me to this day, which was especially very strange and eerie.

Without identifying this person, there is some background information I will also share that may or may not have something to do with the incident.

The incident took place in my college dormitory. I was a senior and I was engaged to be married to a fellow student. One afternoon I was in the dorm room of my fiance, and through the paper-thin walls of the room we would often hear her next door neighbor snoring as she took a nap. But one day it was not snoring coming out of her as she napped, but something that was like ritual chanting - specifically Native American chanting is the closest I could describe it as, and it was done in a language I could not identify. It was not a recording of any sort, because her voice was distinct, yet the ritual chanting was done as if it was a professional doing it without interruption and without any hesitation and as creepy as it sounded it was done quite beautifully. It was constant, loud, and went on for at least an hour.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

How I Won a $50 Gift Card To a Local Restaurant


Last night I received a message informing me that I won a $50 gift card to a local restaurant.

The contest to win the gift card came from a local movie theater on social media, who asked a question, and said the best answer will get an undisclosed prize. The question was: "What two movies from two different time periods, preferably one classic and one modern, would make a great double feature?" For fun I submitted an answer, and out of over 300 responses my choices won.

It's sort of by a combination of circumstance and reflection that I gave the winning answer. Here's the story.

A few weekends ago one of my favorite local theaters, a cinema that dates back over a hundred years, reopened after many months, and their first weekend they showed Casablanca, so I went to see it. It's a classic great film that I usually try to see on the big screen whenever I get an opportunity.

Monday, April 5, 2021

An American Boy With His Greek Communist Uncle

 
A few weeks ago my uncle Niko, the brother of my father, passed away, as I mentioned in my last post, and today I learned another uncle of mine, Philipa, the husband of my father's sister, died in Athens. Like my uncle Niko, I had not seen nor spoken with my uncle Philipa since 2001.

My uncle Philipa was an interesting character. Most of my stories with him go back to the summers of 1991 and 1992, when I spent some time with him.

What was interesting about my uncle Philipa was that he was a Greek communist, whose every fiber of his being was deeply political. And of all the members of my family, all his anger at both the government and ecclesiastical system was projected onto me. He wanted me, though I was only a fifteen year old American, to understand his perspective on politics and the Church. Why? I'm not sure. My thinking at the time was he either wanted me to believe things like him, because I seemed to be the only intellectual in the family, or he wanted someone like me to understand him and justify his thinking.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

A Summer With My Uncle

A photo from a few years ago of my uncle Niko (left) and my father Panagioti (right).

Yesterday morning my father woke me up with a text message in Greek informing me that my uncle Nicholas, known to me as Theio Niko, had died in Greece. The text simply read, with my dad's characteristic spelling errors: "Γιαννη ω θιος πεθανε", which basically translates as "John your uncle died". He was 81 years old and simply died of old age, having lost his ability to walk about a month ago. I felt bad hearing this news for two reasons: first, I felt bad for my father who lost his only brother, and second, because I had not talked to my uncle since I last saw him twenty years ago in 2001. And as I began my day hearing this news, my thoughts primarily went back to the summer of 1991, which is the only time I really spent any significant time with him, and it is because of him and a few others that summer that I probably had the most formative period of my life, and it could perhaps be said that it was because of that summer that the Mystagogy Resource Center exists today.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Self-Written Hagiographies

 
In Joe Biden's inaugural address, he said that people tell lies for profit and for power. This reminded me of the type of President that should never be trusted. These are the one's who insert themselves into stories of truly heroic people to make themselves look worthy of an office that is beyond their worthiness.

I can remember in 2008 being disgusted with Senator John McCain, when he basically plagiarized Solzhenitsyn's story about when he was in prison and drew a cross in the sand, which was an inspiring moment for him and a fellow prisoner, but then had to wipe it out quickly before the prison guards saw it. Having known of this Solzhenitsyn story since the 1990's, when McCain stole this story for his autobiography and used in the campaign in 2008 as a tale to inspire future voters to vote for him, I knew that I could never vote for such a person who tried to make himself into someone he wasn't, especially when I'm sure he had enough true stories to tell. Him stealing this story unnecessarily made me believe he was just a typical lying politician who will say anything to get ahead.