What An Opportunity!

As I approach the end (don’t remind me! I’m loving this season of my life!) of the second-to-last semester of high school, I am very aware of the opportunities and privileges I’ve been given.

  1. I am dual-enrolled in a Stats class at our local state college.
  2. I finally made it to Advanced Band as a (mainly) mallet percussionist.
  3. I help lead worship once in a while at our synagogue and church.
  4. I’ve already been accepted to both of the colleges I applied to, Covenant College and The King’s College.  I pre-qualified for a $18,000 scholarship from TKC, which makes actually going there a realistic possibility.
  5. I am eligible for a full-ride scholarship from both colleges, but I have to write some essays and jump through some other hoops first. But praise God that I had a high enough ACT score to actually qualify!

But that all fades away in light of the world-wide opportunity for ALL Christians that Adam Ford breaks down brilliantly for us in his latest CDRticle.

If you’re not familiar with Mr. Ford’s work, he’s the guy who started the Babylon Bee.  Sometime last year, he sold that lovely website to the other guys who were helping him with it so that he could work full time on his newest project, the Christian Daily Reporter.  He makes podcasts and comics as a part of CDR, and they’re always insightful and hardhitting. socialism-doesn't-work

But if his political commentary is brilliant, his Christian encouragement and admonitions are even better.  His latest CDRticle is called What an Opportunity We Have as Christians Today

I hope it strengthens your resolve as much as it strengthened mine.  For Narnia! 🙂


In today’s exceedingly polarized and angry political climate, what an opportunity we have as Christians.

As warring factions fight in the streetsbombs are planted in mailboxespoisons are mailed to government officialsrocks are chucked through office windowsracist robocalls are circulatedpoliticians and their families are chased from restaurantsand parts of cities fall to manic mobs, what an opportunity we have to season our convictions with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

As social media and click-bait websites intoxicate the masses with fleeting dopamine hits as rewards for “owning” one’s foes, what an opportunity we have to care deeply about policy and social issues not out of resentment or self-importance, but as a outgrowth of our love of neighbor and care for our fellow man’s physical and eternal well-being.

As political camps, drunk on ideology, proceed to hate, curse, and wish ill upon each other, what an opportunity we have to be willing to discuss our beliefs in a civil manner, attempting to persuade using reason, logic, and grace; firmly, yet with broken hearts and love in our eyes.

As politicians and their armies on all sides will increasingly do or say anything — anything — to accrue power, what an opportunity we have to refuse to compromise truthfulness or bear false witness.

As groupthink-fueled tribes and their echo chambers become more deeply entrenched, what an opportunity we have within the body of Christ to exhibit our dedication to each other as paramount by disagreeing with one another on politics with care and affection — not as the world does, but as fellow members of the royal priesthood and siblings in God’s eternal family, in a way that might manifest Christ’s words in front of unbelievers: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

As our culture increasingly worships politics, what an opportunity we have to show that our politics are subservient to — and an overflow of — our worship of the One True God and the life He has called us to live in Jesus Christ.

These are unique and furious times, and you and I are not here by accident.

What an opportunity we have.


Squid

Ultimate Satire

A couple weeks ago, I had to write a sports paper.  So I read a chapter of a book on sports writing, but then I also read the next chapter: humor writing.  With both of those influences being tossed around my mind, this paper emerged.  As soon as I told my sister Carrie about it, she brought up Paul.  She was totally write right; as soon as I realized I wanted it to be sarcastically funny, I subconsciously channeled my inner Paul

So, this is for you, Paul


Ultimate Frisbee, commonly shortened to the creative “Ultimate,” is an increasingly popular sport among both millennials and their parents.  Scientists are investigating how this unique phenomenon exists, and advertising agencies are altruistically pouring millions of dollars into the research—for the good of the cause, of course.

I’ve only played Ultimate twice, and that was many months apart, so, in reality, I’ve simply played for the first time twice.  For this reason, you can rest assured that I know everything that there is to know about the game and never get confused during changes of possession.  Ever.

I played most recently with a group of people who ranged in age from twelve to mid-fifties, but the most influential players were surprisingly the young men in their teens to mid-twenties.  The rest of us merely blocked and distracted the other team to the best of our abilities, occasionally catching the frisbee in a complete and honest accident that had a good chance of helping the opposing team.

Understanding Ultimate is really quite simple: it is the monster that emerged when your buddy Jared rolled over the group’s only football in his Mack truck but then tried to pretend you could still play football with the flattened remains.  Of course, with those guys in charge of coming up with the rules, nobody should be surprised that we’re left playing an anarchist football in which you can only run if you don’t have the ball, and where downs have been exiled to the frozen wasteland of the hearts of NFL coaches.  Thus, you still want to get a touchdown, but you have to make approximately 17 ½ passes between the same 4 guys to get it downfield, which can take upwards of 10 minutes or less.

Of course, the defending team enjoys this new and improved football: to claim possession of the frisbee, they don’t need to intercept it with skill and dexterity and suspense, but instead merely need nimbly hit it out of the air with as much brute force as possible, accompanied with macho yells intended to terrify their victim.

According to the UORTDE (Unofficially Official Rulebook That Doesn’t Exist), from the moment the defending player (who now goes on the offensive in the name of disgracing consistency and order and all things holy) touches the frisbee again, it is in play and must be thrown frantically in five seconds by the other team’s count.  For this reason, the possessing player often merely hovers over the downed disc, letting his teammates get in a better position as the opposing team circles him hungrily, waiting for its moment to strike and then probably howl at the moon.

As this explanation has probably inspired you to join your local Ultimate league as fast as humanly possible, I will leave you with the wisest, most universally applicable advice ever screamed at the top of a player’s lungs in pure terror during the game:

“Watch out for Eric!”

-Squid

Things I Have(n’t) Learned About Driving 

  • Parking space are suggestions that you should usually follow, unless you’re in a hurry.
  • The same applies to speed limits, except that nobody actually follows them everyone’s in a hurry? 👀
  • Headlights in the rain are optional and are totally not the law in Florida…
  • Blinkers are optional, and pretty useless, especially when you’re only changing lanes in the middle of an intersection. 😒
  • City vehicles don’t look like cops at all, especially when they follow you for an entire mile. *pffft*
  • Pedestrians are *always* aware of their surroundings when they try to cross the road.
  • Cyclists aren’t vehicles and it is therefore perfectly legal for them to drive travel against traffic in the same lane as cars.
  • Vehicle drivers have no problem seeing people dressed in all black at night, therefore, people who wear reflectors are just wasting time.

Disclaimer: This is all satire. Please do not think I am this bad of a driver. 😣

On Hurricanes

A hurricane is about to hit my house.

I usually don’t comment on current events, but this one is a little different.

A hurricane is about to hit my family.

A hurricane is about to hit my community.

My family moved to Florida about a year after Hurricane Charley pretty much destroyed the very town we were moving to.  The town was (is?) still rebuilding.

That was the last real hurricane to cause any actual destruction.  In the 10 years inbetween, we’ve had Isaac, Whilma, and maybe two others that gave us some wind and a lot of rain, but we lost, like, a shingle from each.  

So, most Floridians don’t take hurricans seriously. 

However, deep down inside me, I’ve always wanted to be in a life or death situation (camp doesn’t count) with my family and come through it together.

Now, as Irma barrels toward (through?) my hometown — with Jose not too far behind, I’m not even going to be there.

I’m in Ohio.  

Go figure.

Today (Saturday) originally was the day that we were going to start heading home. But, you know, that tends to seem unwise when everyone is leaving the state you would be going back to.  

I’m not sure how to feel.  

On the one hand, I’m relieved not to be in the middle of 150mph winds and likely power outages.  

On the other hand, my family isn’t evacuating!!  My family is right in the path of a Category 4 (think, really destructive) hurricane.

I’m actually really scared for them.  I want to be there, surviving with them.  I want us to be a family.   But here I am, powerless to anything but watch from the sidelines and, oh wait, pray!  

Please join me in praying often for the survivors of Harvey who have the difficult task of rebuilding their homes and lives, and for the soon-to-be survivors of Irma who will, God willing, be picking up their own pieces.  

They need our support.  Let’s give it to ’em.

Aaaannndd I still have some memes I wasn’t able to fit into the post, soooo:

Some public safety announcements:

And the rest… 

Alright guys, stay safe, and please keep Floridians in your prayers!!

-Sydney

P.S. The reason for all the memes is because (why not??) humor is often a defense against fear and/or uncomfortability.  It helps me look at the bright side (we’ve got some pretty funny people out there), and helps lighten the mood a bit, even though I’m kinda freaking out.

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIT’S TIME FOR MAIL IT NEVER FAILS!

On July 26, 2016, Paul wrote a post announcing that he was going to write letters on his blog to anyone who requested one.  Mine was suuuuuper far down on the list, but I waited patiently.  For over a year.

BUT THE DAY CAME TWO DAYS AGO HAS COME

His post is here so you can go read through it via that lit link, but I’m also going to copy and paste parts of it here so my reply makes sense and so I can laugh a lot.



Dear Paul,

First of all, let me say, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA thank you ever so much for your amazing letter I will cherish it forever!

Now, onto your first questions:

  • Do you like calamari? Do they have it in Florida? Or should I say Flo-Rida like all the cool kids? No need to answer that. The answer is “NO”.

I have had calamari once in my life, and it was at Carrabba’s.  As my nickname has been Squid since I was, like, 8, I felt cannibalistic kinda bad about eating it… However, I did like it.  Battered and fried… mmhmm.  However, seafood (except for gilled fish like tarpon, tilapia, cod, etc.) isn’t kosher, and my family tries to stick to the kosher laws (my step-dad being a Messianic Jewish rabbi and all), so I haven’t had it since.  *sigh*

That’s not how you pronounce Florida?!? #livingalie The answer to that is always YES! 😀  I’ve always wanted to say Flor-idi-a myself, but rappers seem to gain more prominence when it comes to pronunciations…


As to your confession… Surprisingly, you’re not the first person to genuinely think that my name could be Squid.  I knew a guy who heard my mom call me ‘Sydney’ at our synagogue and was totally flabbergasted that Squid wasn’t my actual name.  I guess it didn’t help that I introduced myself to him as Squid when I first met him… XD

Don’t even get me started on camper names!!  One of my cabins this summer had very little even remotely-normal names, which added more difficulty to learning all of them. XD


Magnetodebut

The X-Men are a group of Marvel superheroes created in 1963.  They are all mutants, meaning they were born with their powers and not, um, mutated (?) by radiation or anything.  Don’t ask.  I’ve always been a fan of them and have watched most of the movies and read a lot of the old b/w comics.  However, totally fine that you don’t know of them; I know next-to-nothing about sports. 😛

I want to see a Y-Men movie!  Parodies are amazing, and that one is very creatively clever.  Even a political documentary about Yemen could work.


  • You like summer camps, eh? So do I. They make me feel smart. Kids know absolutely nothing, yet they know everything. Know what I mean? / They don’t know facts or historical information, but they can tell when you sneak an extra lunch for yourself, or when you talk to other counselors more than others.

OK, I totally forgot that I mentioned summer camp in my letter request.  I had just gotten back from my first week of camp ever in my life, as a camper at a Teen Week.  This year, however, I have just finally readjusted to life after working at a camp as a JC.  Veeerrry different perspective.

So, yo, I totally know what you mean!  This being my first year at this camp meant that a lot of the campers knew a lot more than I did about everything because they were returning for their 3rd, 4th, or 8th year, but they still couldn’t grasp that you need shoes to leave your cabin, your Bible to go to chapel, or that you should listen to the person giving the announcement so you don’t have to ask your counselor later. *sigh*  They are also extremely perceptive.


  • What is your favourite part of camp? Mine was the bus ride to the pool.

YOU GOT A BUS RIDE TO THE POOL???  OK, we didn’t actually have a pool, we had a lake, but we had to walk there!  I mean, it was just across the street, but still… Whoever had the cleanest cabin in the morning would get a golf cart ride there or back that day, but that was it.  I’m quite jealous. 🙂

Back to the really hard question.  I loved:

  1. Playing frisbee during canteen/oasis time with the campers and counselors.
  2. Leading worship with the rest of the team.
  3. The giant volleyball games.
  4. Having a camper come up to me and say, “I’m so glad God put me in your cabin.”
  5. Last but not least, I love the family I gained.

  • I never went to camp as a kid. I had video games that needed attention. / I credit video games for giving me my cat-like reflexes, which are sometimes panda-like reflexes, but who’s keep tracking? [????] / Also, video games helped prepare me for the technological world we live in today.

Truth!!  Video games do increase hand-eye coordination and teach you menu navigation skills like nobody’s business. 😀


*stops laughing for a quick second to gasp out words* Your fandom mix-up is completely and overwhelmingly hilarious!!  LotR, Harry Potter (which I know next-to-nothing about except for the fact that calling someone a muggle is an insult?), and Star Wars from one Yoda question.  *claps*

Shopping cart.  Buggy is what a horse used to pull back in the days of horse slavery.  Now we pull them.  Go figure.  You extra “u” people………

Heard of Yoda, you probably have.  Talks like this, he does.  Makes fun of it, people do.  Makes Yoda sad, it does.

As for the actual interaction, he’s probably not used to people not knowing who he is.  People are usually all like:

Fangirl: *fangirl squeal* Master Yoda, can I have your autograph??

Yoda: *whacks them with his stick* Fangirls, stop it now.

He probably actually appreciates the fact that you didn’t know who he was, but he was too surprised to show it.  Hence, grumpy.


I’ve been blogging for about 4 years now, so I’ve been following your blog for about 3 (if not more) years.  I’ve enjoyed every minute of it!

A consequence of my sister following you is that she reads your posts before I do sometimes and then tells me all of the funny parts (consisting of going back and rereading most of the post out loud).  She has done so on many occasions, so we have a little bit of a rivalry now. 🙂

Despite your celeb status in our house, I think my parents still are confused when I simply quote “Paul” instead of “Paul, that funny Canadian blogger I’ve been following forever and who I told you about like 3 years ago.” XD

Fairly Local – Twenty-Øne Pilots

The irony is that you’re a whole continent country away from the people who talk about you, so you’re almost the opposite of a local celebrity… an internationally local celeb?

Thank you for making my day with your letter!

-Squid

P.S. The title of this post comes from a super serious and boring song from a little-known TV show.  The mail song from Blue’s Clues.  I know, you’ve probably never heard of it.  We sang it at camp every. single. day. at lunch.  We would hold the “I” for a long time to prolong the suspense and then sing the rest as loud as we could… The counselors always got really into it and the kids looked at us because like we were weird.  That’s the point of camp, right?