Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Oscar notes...

Yes, I watched the whole thing and asked myself why? on more than one occasion. Anyway...

Ellen’s opening gig wasn’t as impressive as I thought it could be, but I was impressed for the first five minutes when there was no jab at the White House. I don’t think the administration or President Bush is no-joke territory, but I would like to see, once and for all, a Hollywood that can celebrate itself without making a jab at the right. However, I will be the first to admit it; the American political landscape is some of the best real estate for comedians and laughs all-around.

In the beginning of the show there was a lot of talk about the international flavor of these Oscars. There were nominees from Spain, Germany, Mexico, and Djibouti, okay not the latter, but that would have been cool. The host, guests, and a few presenters were eager to celebrate Mexico’s presence at the ceremony. I mistakenly pinned this as an ongoing theme throughout the night; Hollywood’s show of support for Mexico and immigrant rights. The international presence faded to the background and global warming moved to the forefront. Of course it would. With the former Veep in the house, and An Inconvenient Truth a nominee, how could it not be Hollywood’s issue this year? The highlight of Al Gore’s appearance was when the writers actually made the man funny. He was going to announce a very serious something about his future but the music was queued, and off the stage he went.

Alan Arkin might have received the first pity award of the night for Little Miss Sunshine—at least that is what I thought. He was great in it, and I didn’t see all the other nominees’ performances, but it just had that feeling of this guy is old, great, and has never won before, let’s give him the Oscar. Wrong or not, I was a little worried that this meant Forest Whitaker wasn’t going to take the Oscar home for "Best Actor", and instead the Academy was going to give it to Peter O’Toole who looked like he was about to croak at any moment and slump out of his chair. The man doesn’t look healthy.

I haven’t heard any of the songs that were nominated from Dreamgirls, but there were three, and they all lost to a song from Gore’s movie. I just don’t know. Did the Academy really award the best song, or was it just another tip of the hat to Gore? I will say that Melissa Etheridge does look better with hair.

My favorite performance of the night was when Will Ferrell and Jack Black sang a tune on stage about how comedians never get honored for their work. The rest of the nearly 4 hour-long ceremony was pretty boring, but I thought it ended well. The best actor and actress awards were given to the most deserving people.

The roar of the night came when Martin Scorsese won for “Best Director”. He deserved an Oscar more than anyone there, even if The Departed wasn’t his best movie. I love The Departed, it is quintessential Scorsese, so I was happy it won. Plus, that the movie with the most explicit language, homosexual insults, sex, and violence, won, is a testament to America’s return to a goodhearted, wholesome, innocent culture that we all like to pretend we had in the good old days.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I would have gone with "The Rocketeer"

I found this at Andrew Sullivan's blog. I know not all of you go there so I put it here.

Mr. Bryce responds again

I find my continuing dialogue with a user at another website agonizing because it all stemmed from the Anna Nicole letter, but it has continued without much talk of Anna. Click here if you need to be reminded about the start of this debate, or whatever you want to call it, before you read on.

"Judge not, lest ye be judged. Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.' I'm sure Anna has already made her peace with the Lord. Did you ever think for a second Mr.Bryce, that God Almighty might have already known the kind of life Anna would lead, even before she was ever conceived? Don't you think for a second that the Lord might have already known the date and time her life would end, and how it would end? The people whose lives you claim she left in pieces, don't you think that God had planned it to be that way? Don't you think for a second, that there might just be a bigger picture to all of this than meets the eye? We all have different journeys. We all take different paths. Nonetheless, we are all unique and special in His eyes. Let's find ourselves and not be afraid to be ourselves."

"The answer to your questions of me follow in the order you asked them. Yes, yes, no, and yes. I am glad you have faith that might let you see the bigger picture and the inherent value in it. However, the picture is not always the prettiest and clearest because God so lovingly granted us free will. Because God may bring good out of a situation doesn't mean it was the best ending that we could have had."

"It may not always be the best ending, but it's always God's ending. And by the bigger picture, I mean God's picture, not ours. "

""'s always God's ending." Do you mean that this is the ending God wanted?"

"Exactly!!...wanted, needed, planned it to be,destined it to be. Whatever you want to call it. Things unfold the way that they're supposed to unfold. He allows things to happen.His Picture has already been drawn. And I emphasize, 'HIS PICTURE'."

"I understand that what we see through the lens is not necessarily what God sees. However, I must disagree with your opinion that the end is "always God's ending." This is to say that the Holocaust was God's ending, or that Hiroshima, 9/11, the bombings in London in '05, and the Iraq War were God's endings as well. I don't feel I am belittling God's will or master plan by believing those were not the endings God wanted."

Terry's Condition

Maybe after watching the video of Terry getting kicked you were as curious as I was about his fate. You can read about it at the BBC, but if you just want to know, or if you have no interest in reading more than two sentences, Terry is fine.


Chelsea Captain, John Terry, gets the boot.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Response to Mr. Bryce

One of the things that prompted me to write about Anna Nicole Smith was the shocking praise of her from, it seems, the most random people throughout the country. I snagged some of that praise, and some laughable criticism, in a user comment when I posted the letter to Anna at YourHub. The comment is below. My response is at the bottom.

User's comment:

"Well Bryce, with all said, seems to me you will never be as great as she was ... yes,she may have done all the wrong things, but who are you to judge? At least she was real, and she was herself... that's what has America going crazy right now. That's what everyone is missing and will forever miss. We need more genuine people like her in the world, and you're certainly not one of them Mr.Bryce. Rest in Peace sweet Anna. Shine your light on the world. We love you forever!"


Nicole: Is it because I judge Anna's life that you think I am not being myself? Possibly. Either way Ms. Nicole, if you take a closer look at the situation, you might see how Anna's life has left the lives of many others in pieces, not because she died, but by the way she lived. You say Anna was herself and she was being real. In this case, that meant a life full of greed, self-worship and feeling good, no matter who or what was going to be affected. By your definition, I'll gladly pass.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Letter to Anna Nicole Smith

Dear Anna,

You died on a Thursday afternoon in your hotel room in Hollywood, Florida. The news of your death smothered the media. Until that Thursday I never knew that you meant so much to Americans. People paid tribute to you with emails to news networks, blogs, stories, photos, and videos on YouTube. I watched the news for a little bit from my couch that Thursday. No news in the rest of the world was more important to the media than your death that day.

It has almost been two weeks since your death and I still read headlines about it in the papers and see the talking heads gaggle on about you for hours like you were an ex-president or the UN Secretary General. To my knowledge you really didn't do much in your life that warrants all the press. You were a high school dropout and married a cook at Jim's Krispy Fried Chicken when you were a teenager. You worked at Wal-Mart. You showed yourself to the world through the pages of Playboy. The world liked you for that. You met and married an oil baron 60 years your senior. He died. You went to court for some of the inheritance and won some money. Along the way you had a couple of kids and participated in a false advertisement campaign for TrimSpa.

What did you do with all the time in between? Why does America care so much? I liked the way The Daily Show covered your death. They called their segment on you "Death of a Person". That is what your death was to many of us.

There were certainly people who died on February 8, 2007, that did much more worth celebrating and paying tribute to, than you did. I suppose this isn't your fault at all. You knew where the gaze of American media was and you threw yourself into it. Perhaps you knew exactly what America is about, more than any of us because we gobbled you up and fell in love with the show without asking ourselves what you had done to deserve all the attention. I can't blame you for wanting to be famous; it is what you did, to become that way,which disgusts me.




Sam Harris, author of Letter to a Christian Nation, has been exchanging letters with Andrew Sullivan, author of The Conservative Soul, about the existence of God, divinity of Jesus, and such. Anyway, their arguments are interesting to digest.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Longmont - 30 April 2006

The month that saw me in London, Israel, and saw my return to the other L-town is coming to a close in a few minutes. I am impatient. It has been two weeks and I expect too much. Thought, too soon. My adjustment to home has taken place, but not without some bumps and snags along the way.

A major adjustment is not traveling somewhere completely new and exciting every day. I didn’t realize it until today, but this has given me some light bouts of depression in the last couple of weeks. Graduating has only complicated the problem while contributing additional stress.

I realize I came straight from paradise; a new world opened before me everyday, to a world of routine and menial tasks. The transition has not been carefree. Seeing family and friends has been wonderful. There really is nothing like being reunited with the truest of friends. Even better, it is such a high when you see how happy people are to see you. This moment can make you feel so special; it made me feel special and blessed to have such strong and faithful friends. Time stretches the bonds of affection so thin that they snap back with so much joy at the reunion of two people that any coming together after that might seem for a while joyless because it is measured by that hallmark reunion. I know people are still happy to see me, and I them, but it is a little sad when you take notice of the reactions changing. When we are next door to each other we don't seem to care as much about one another.

This is my most prized journal in the house. Memories of London are the hardest to hold on to because everything that is so different back home works 24/7 at eroding away the environment, city, and lifestyle that I was immersed in during those months. However, my love for that time fights back and engraves London and the reasons why I love it deep into my memory. What a wondrous time it was.

Stuff on the last page of the journal…

… A sticker from Patisserie Valerie, est. 1926. It is a French pastry shop a few blocks down from Piccadilly Circus. Everything in the store is absolutely delectable. See picture of gigantic jelly-filled doughnut above.

…Short Hebrew phrases or words and their meanings. The very basics:
Makore = what’s up
Toda = thanks
Hawksomare = happy holidays (loosely)
Kem = yes
Tove = okay/yeah
Lo = no
Yahle = leave, or lets go

…Some British lingo or words that the British use more frequently than Americans: proper, footy, lorrie, Oi, Posh and Becks, blimey, bloke, chap, trainers, bloody, carriage, coach vs. bus, treble, I can’t be bothered, no worries, that’s brilliant (this isn’t slang, but they use it so much), extraordinary, and wicked (same story as “brilliant”).

That is it. No more London entries. Probably not all of you have taken the time to read these ones but that is okay. I needed to finish them. I don’t really have much of a reaction to what I wrote on April 30. I enjoyed visiting the pages of this journal. The journal is inestimable in its value to me. I can remember London without reading the pages, but the words can bring back the smell of the Tube, the grime of the city, rush hour, and cold walks through empty streets on Sundays.

Upon my return I found that I had another journal about my experience in London. My parents printed every email I sent to them (a stack of them) and put them into a binder for me. Don’t worry. I am not going to put them on the blog.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Some very long days and wedding plans have kept me from my writing and blogging for a few days. Good thing I have tomorrow and Wednesday off at the Bucks. A couple more days without writing something, anything, and I would have developed a twitch. I couldn't go to bed tonight without sharing a quote from a customer tonight. It went something like this...

Bryce: How's it going tonight?

Customer: Great. We are just here to see her. [points to another employee]

Bryce: Oh. You aren't getting anything?

Customer: Nope. I love this place, I really do. But you know what? You guys just give too much money to the Democrats.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Israel - 17 April 06

I don’t even know how many hours into the flight I am, but it is not enough. The travel last night was fine except one problem. I didn’t make it to the Tube station before it closed. I had to take two buses to get home, but as I think about it now I realize that taking two buses was actually cheaper than taking a ride on the Tube and a bus ride.

I didn’t see my host family because I got in late and left early. I basically came home for a nap. I am running on five hours of sleep starting at 1 am MST on Sunday. I am supposed to get into Denver around 6:30 pm tonight. I like numbers and statistics so since I woke up on Sunday morning in Tel Aviv to the time I arrive at DIA it will have been 41.5 hours.

I must state my excitement once again regarding my arrival at home and being reunited with all that I left behind. I remember writing to my parents in an email that seeing them again, seeing something that I had never left behind like this, will be one of the more memorable experiences from this trip. I don’t know how to describe what I suspect seeing my parents again and returning home will be like, but I know it will be memorable. This is probably why I can’t write about it now and I will have to sit down at a computer or at a table with this journal and write about it later.

I am returning with just over 600 pictures from this trip. I looked at some London shots while I was in Tel Aviv and they saddened me. I miss the sights, or rather all the times I saw London for the first time. This trip was a short one, time wise, but immeasurable in personal growth on all levels. The time abroad has given me a lot to think about and I know as the days, weeks, months, and maybe even years pass, these three and a half quick months will continue to feed my being as I am absorbed into my country’s grandeur and shortcomings once again, but not without forgetting all that I have learned. Even now I don’t know what “all” is, but I hope that later in my life I can grasp fully the meaning of this time and the consequences of it…the welcomed consequences of it.

I don’t sleep much on planes. I arrived in Denver on time, but hadn’t slept more than two hours on my flights from Tel Aviv, London, and Chicago. I wasn’t tired though when I got to Denver. The anticipation of seeing family, friends, a nice, disgusting American freeway, and fat people once again, frighteningly kept me awake. Being picked up by my parents at DIA was more nostalgic for me than memorable. That doesn’t mean I can’t picture what they looked like when I saw them that day. I spotted my dad from fifty-yards away. He was sauntering toward me with a big grin on his face, happy to see his son again, and me, happy to see my dad again. We clumsily carried my luggage downstairs and mom pulled up in the Yukon. She got out, walked around the car, and hugged me wearing a smile that was full of excitement and curiosity for the journey I just had and the stories I had to tell.

I want to return to London. I have almost been home for 10 months and the pull of that great city hasn’t lessened and my love for it has grown. It is not going to be easy to find my way back there, but I want to; Kate wants to. Somehow we will.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Wal-Mart Supercenter? Yes, please.

One can only hope that Longmont officials approve another Wal-Mart Supercenter. I want the sun to rise on another concrete park, bright lights, and a boxy Supercenter. I hope they put one in the proposed lot off of Highway 119. I hate when I am driving down to Denver in the morning and can see the sun rising. Dang it, I think, the sunshine is in my eyes, now why isn’t there a Wal-Mart there to block the beautiful view?

Often when I am driving into town I would love to stop in and buy some kitty litter for the cat. I can’t. The lack of a Wal-Mart on Highway 119 is keeping me from doing exactly that. Until there is a Wal-Mart there I can’t buy new kitty litter. The house is rank with dander and whatnot. Wal-Mart’s mission to give me the convenience of a Supercenter at every corner with kitty litter, and everything else you can buy on the face of the planet, is failing me.

I cry out in pain when I drive by that grass field on Highway 119. The City of Longmont put that beautiful park there, why don’t they bring the city out to the countryside? Maybe this Supercenter can have a McDonalds in it too, that way I can unleash on a 400-calorie double-cheeseburger instead of packing my own, healthy picnic at home.

Not enough mom-and-pop businesses have closed down in Longmont. Another Supercenter is exactly what we need to shut those places down. Have you looked at Main Street between 3rd Avenue and Longs Peak Avenue lately? What an eyesore. What were those people thinking back in the day when they put everything so close together, had aesthetics in mind, and an architect on the payroll? Wal-Mart is the superior business model. They build stores in two sizes, small and excellently obese, thus, allowing for no confusion. They save money by not having an architect on the payroll. And, they conveniently place their stores far away from everyone, making sure we can’t walk there and burn some calories like they did in the old days. How annoyingly primitive would that be?

Longmont is just too large to only have two Wal-Marts. The city is growing. People are making babies, I know, I have heard them. We must prepare for the future and cover what green fields we have now with pavement, tar, and potholes. The future of America is being born today and they will need a place to shop tomorrow.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Candidates...

I am not yet old enough to remember many presidential races, and for that I am grateful, but there comes a time before every race that there is an unfamiliarity with some or all of the candidates; a time when you don’t know who you would vote for, or if you will even have the desire to vote for any of them. Indeed, there is a time when the future President of the United States is nothing more than a last name followed by a year so ridiculously far into the future that it makes you think, they can’t possibly be running for that election, can they?

The politicians, bloggers, and talking heads can never bolt to the next election quick enough. As soon as one is over they start thinking about the next one. I don’t know about you, but today is too early to spend that much time getting to know all the potential candidates. Even when “getting to know” them only means reading impersonal, murky accounts of the future president in the paper, magazines, and on the internet. Before November 4, 2008, I will do the best I can to educate myself on the candidates, but for now this is what I know or presume about the 2008 options from my own experience, reading, and observations.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York
I don’t know too many Republicans that like this lady’s husband. Those people found their reasons to dislike Bill Clinton long ago, but somewhere along the line their distrust of the former President Clinton enveloped his significant other. Honestly, I don’t why. Hillary strikes me as a pretty intelligent woman. She loves the power and attention, but if that bothers you tell me of a politician that doesn’t enjoy that. Maybe there is something that the throngs of right-wingers know about Mrs. Clinton that I don’t know. Maybe I should dislike her for some heinous act. Maybe I shouldn’t trust a word that comes out of her mouth because she married Bill Clinton. It would be foolish to think it a good idea to never pay attention to Senator Clinton just because her husband once lied to the nation. Everyone in Washington has their faults, dark secrets, and something in their past that they are ashamed of. We all do, and I wouldn’t say that having a last name that starts with “Clin” and ends in “ton” is one we can hold against her.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 President Bush enjoyed an approval rating 50% higher than his current rating. Not surprisingly, the man strutting beside him in the weeks to follow 9/11 rose in popularity as well. It was President Bush that tried to lead the nation in the wake of an unthinkable attack, but Giuliani had the intimate duty of leading the people most affected by the tragedy through it. While he had to comfort, console, and promise action, the actions ultimately taken weren’t his decision, they were Mr. Bush’s decisions. It is safe to say that if the decisions fell upon Giuliani then, and we were in the same, wonderful situation in Iraq as we are now, he would not be able to ride the wake of 9/11 into the White House. By all appearances that is what a successful Giuliani campaign will need to do, but this isn’t September 12, 2001. Regardless, the man is wildly popular, a political hero born from the ashes of the World Trade Center.

Senator John McCain of Arizona
Quoted in TIME last week, McCain said on Iraq, “I think we must succeed in Iraq. We cannot fail. We must do whatever’s necessary.” In response to this I would ask Senator McCain, “What will success in Iraq look like?” I am not sure what his response would be. Actually, I am not sure of McCain in general. He has disagreed with President Bush before, but I get the impression that he would many times over if he were truly being honest with himself and the voters he hopes to win over. I remain hopeful about the Republicans, at least hopeful enough that whoever ends up running for the presidency in 2008 will not wait until they are in the Oval Office to be an honest person. I hope McCain would be more transparent regarding disagreements with the current administration. We do not need one of those politicians who think criticizing Bush is unpatriotic. Likewise, we don’t need one of those politicians who will critique Bush only when it is the thing to do. Thusly, I remain hopeful that whoever wins the Electoral College in 2008 will not hide his or her intentions. I feel McCain might be hiding his own intentions a little in order to keep the far right. That may not be a good gamble for McCain because as Iraq continues to descend into chaos the convictions of most on the far right, that thought this war was a good idea, are being shaken loose, and moved a little to the left.

Senator Barack Obama of Illinois
Barack is not seen on TV without legions of fans lining up for him, cheering him on, and asking for his autograph. Truly, I don’t know that much about him at all. I know as a politician he doesn’t have a tremendous amount of experience under his belt. Actually, he has just as much as Lincoln had before he became President. Most would agree that lack of political experience didn’t hinder Abe. However, Lincoln’s story is not enough for me to put faith in a similarly experienced candidate, hoping that he would turn out like an Abe Lincoln. There is no doubt about it, Barack has legions of fans, but I feel like most of his fans couldn’t give me any political proof for their devout following of him. That makes me a little worried. I don’t really understand what people are all so excited about, maybe that is because I haven’t heard Barack speak. Back in the day lots of people didn’t become fans of Jesus until they heard the man speak. So I might do well to hear the man speak, and since The Daily Show told me that his theme song is “Jesus Christ Superstar”, he shouldn’t be hard to find.

Former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina
This guy has a good smile. Every time I see him in a magazine, in the paper, or on the TV he strikes me as a nice, honest fellow. I like that he hasn’t been a formal politician since he ran in 2004. Healthy, the practice seems, for politicians to get a little more in touch with Americans. Considering the fan base Edwards has, it seems that he is in touch with quite a few Americans. I don’t feel in touch with him yet. I need to be able to look at John Edwards as a 2008 presidential candidate, and not as Kerry’s 2004 running mate. In order to win the votes of an influential number of Republicans, Edwards will have to campaign like he never was John Kerry’s snuggle bunny on the stages of their 2004 campaign; if he doesn’t, he won’t win enough of the right to win the election, that is, even if he gets the Democratic nomination. Like all the Democrats running, he has his work cut out for him, especially since Jesus II made it official today, February 10.

Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska
Chuck is a presidential long shot, but if you saw him on C-SPAN a couple of weeks ago then you might know why I have him up here. Senator Hagel was ranting and raving about Iraq, how politicians get nothing done, why politicians are out of touch with the people of America, and how being a politician is a tough job, and if you don’t like it, leave. A politician telling it like it is? Hard to come by these days, but so is a politician who doesn’t say things for show. If Hagel keeps that rant up he will not win anything. I want him to keep it up though. If he drops that routine it will quickly become evident that he wanted his fifteen minutes of political fame, and cares more about winning than being honest with his colleagues and constituents. I couldn’t hold it against him though. You might laugh after the first few seconds of seeing him on C-SPAN, but then you might ask yourself, is this guy serious? I wish politicians could win and still come off as enthusiastic and honest as Hagel did on C-SPAN that day.

*More 2008 hopefuls (possibly): Former Vice President Al Gore, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Former New York Governor George Pataki, Sam Brownback, Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo, Christopher Dodd, Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Tom Vilsack. In the interest of not taking another month on this blog I chose six possible candidates, but thought I would include the names of others that could have easily been written about.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bon Voyage

I helped Erik and Chris create their blogs last night. They plan to upload photos and share stories about their semester in Christchurch, New Zealand. Anyway, they both have their initial posts up. Check them out. to enjoy Chipotle with those boys for perhaps one more time as a single man.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Oh dear, 10 centimeters

I love it when it snows in England. Heavy snowfall of 4 inches is clogging public transportation and making travel dangerous. People aren't going to work, schools are closed, and the extreme weather is to blame. A highways spokesman said, "If the weather is severe, don't travel unless your journey is essential."

Read. It's funny.

Monday, February 05, 2007


I am at the end of a 15-hour day, with of course a couple hours off at home for lunch. I have two more of these days before I get a break. While having two jobs I have found out that I am not the least bit cut out for the 12-hour workday. In fact, I really hate it.

I realize at times it might be a necessity for me (working a 12-hour day), but the reality is that it won't be a necessity for me too much longer. I don't know why it won't be that way exactly, but I know if it was, I wouldn't be happy, and I like being happy so I probably won't end up with two jobs again, or at the very least with one more than an hour away.

Through all this I have realized once again how fortunate and spoiled I am. Millions of people work the 12-hour workday for most of their lives. Knowing this makes me reluctant to complain about facing three of them in a row, but I still do, because no one should have to work 12 hours in a day if they don't want to.

Don't expect anything else on here until Thursday.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

That must have been very spiritual for you...

The bit about the airport in Israel reminded me of the duty-free shops. I think I already wrote about them on the blog, but I will say again, they are everywhere in airports over there. Guy told me more than once to buy something at the duty-free because it is so cheap. I didn’t. By the time I was leaving Israel I was broke. Guy would say, “Israelis will fly somewhere just to shop the duty-free.” I love that.

I spent Holy Week in Israel. When I tell people this, or when I tell them that I went to Israel at all, they smile and nod and say something like this, “Oh, that must have been very spiritual for you.” If by spiritual they meant I cried on several occasions, dropped to my knees, froze in place, or felt the sudden urgency to pray to God, then it wasn’t a spiritual experience for me. The Israel trip expanded my world view, challenged my faith, and it was a great time with friends.

I walked the Via Dolorosa on Good Friday. I touched Mary’s grave. I stood in the Garden of Gethsemane. I didn’t feel Jesus’ presence there anymore than I felt his presence in London. It struck me, on occasion, that Jesus walked the same paths I did that day, or at one point, I could have been standing right where Jesus stood over 2000 years ago, but I didn’t do much more than say “cool”.

The Holy Land is dotted with a multitude of significant religious sites, but I believe Jesus is no more in Jerusalem than He is in Longmont right now. When Jesus ascended into Heaven He became omnipresent. He took a more powerful form than ever before; a form that allows us to meet Him wherever we are in the world.

I guess the reason “that must have been very spiritual for you” rubs me the wrong way is because I never knew Jesus to be the kind of dude that would deny me His presence or spiritual enlightenment until I made the pilgrimage to the homeland, and that comment implies that a trip to the Holy Land has the possibility of being more spiritual to us than going to church on Sunday. This is a gross underestimation of Jesus’ presence and ability to reach us at any moment. His spirit was not captured by a rock that touched Him. Jerusalem does not encapsulate His Holiness. No city, place, or object holds within it the God that I know.