Sunday, August 23, 2009

Poets Have Day (or Night) Jobs, in which Holdinator blogs about The Undertaking

The chapter in The Undertaking was about children and parenting.

And death.

Because the book is about death, and being a funeral director, and being a poet, and living in a small Michigan town, and life.

It is a much better book than Stiff.

At least, in my opinion.

And I would imagine that most people who are in the temporal proximity of losing someone dear to them would agree.

It's sufficient to say that after having read this book I am appreciative of the work of someone who embalms rather than abhorred by it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fodder, in which Holdinator graciously answers a question from his older sister

Who is Dan Belnap?

Don't feel too bad. There is at least one of his fellow faculty members who doesn't know who he is.

But I'm pretty sure the BS (Biblical Studies, is that abbreviation accidental? I have no definitive answer for that; however, our club at BYU was abbreviated thusly: SANE [Students of the Ancient Near East]) graduate students and PhD's on the Bloggernacle know who he is.

I've left the Bloggernacle behind, mostly.

I think my departure coincided with my departure from Saturn, which also coincidentally (not so much really) coincided with the end of my days sitting in front of an internet-limited-but-blogs-still-allowable-computer all day.

He, Dan Belnap that is (this is all off the top of my head), is an assistant professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU.

His PhD is in Near Eastern Languages, University of Chicago. His dissertation was about the ritual use of liquids in the Old Testament and other ancient Semitic cultures (Ugaritic and others). ... I think.

I know he has at least three children. He taught Seminary for a while.

He is an expert on the seating postures of Latter-day Saint men and boys.

He prefers large print scriptures, not a quad but separate Bible and Triple Combination.

His class exams offer the students an opportunity to really demonstrate their grasp of the issues in the texts.

Thus we have spilled my memory.

Completion, in which Holdinator tells some of the rest of the story

I still have five songs total on my iPod. The playlist called "Jack's Sedatives."

Some may say I'm not a very practical man. I may not be. I may be.

The five songs are lullabies, in their own way, for Jack. I mostly only use two of the songs.

My iPod could do its job with only two songs.

One would probably work too. But then I would have to change the name of the playlist to "Jack's Sedative."

The soothingest song for Jack, when I'm in charge of getting the little guy to bed, is "Hope" by Jack Johnson.

And that is why my night, the other night, started, as usual, with Jack and Jack.

Jessica works nights, and on rare occasion I stay up most the night too--just at home. Ideally it's because I'm doing something really useful.

Like working on the library.

You know, categorizing and alphabetizing books.

We have:

Four book cases of fiction, two of those are fantasy, two thirds of one we consider Classics, and the rest are just ... fiction.

One book case of General Inspirational, whatever that is.

Two book cases of Old Testament and Near Eastern Studies. I got stuck here, that night, happily remembering my days at BYU. It was from Dan Belnap that the term "Near East" first struck a chord.

Two book cases of New Testament and Christian History

One book case dedicated mostly to scriptures: different versions of the Bible, and older versions of the Book of Mormon, and a copy of the Koran, two of the Bhagavad-Gita, a collection of the teachings of the Buddha, etc.

One bookcase for biography. It was here that I stopped to read a chapter from The Undertaking by Thomas Lynch, a poet/funeral director. Jessica was the one who suggested I make a bookcase specifically for biographies. I was surprised to see it fill up.

Then there are the Book of Mormon/Doctrine and Covenants/Church History books. They take up the rest.

Jack joined me for part of the night. That's usually about the time that I go full circle and end the night with Jack and Jack.

I wasn't planning on getting much rest anyway.