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This is gonna be about a lot more than MySpace, but I guess I'll start with that...
For the last time, Tom, I DO NOT practice astrology!!!
It seems like the MySpace administrators are really into the zodiac, because they don't give their members the option of removing it from their 'details.' E-mails asking about this go ignored (or maybe user e-mails in general go ignored). Fortunately, as a geek who knows his way around a search engine and HTML code, I didn't need the option to... I just did.
This code hides the automatically-generated details column on the left side of MySpace pages... involuntary horoscopes, vagaries, bad text formatting and all.
This code lets you put it all back however you want, albeit manually... which is a long process if all you wanted to do is take out one thing. If you know HTML, then the process will be simple enough but a little time consuming. I highly recommend opening your 'before' profile in a separate tab/browser before starting, that way you can copy and paste the hyperlink URLs, etc. as needed.
My religion: "Christian - other"... wait a minute, other what?
I remember when Christianity was just a religion to me... when I was a kid and couldn't sit still in church and found the maps in my Bible more interesting than the scriptures. If I had taken a "What's your religion?" survey then, then I would definitely have checked "Christian." Today, I am born again... I don't go to church because my mom wants me to anymore, nor do I because directing cameras there looks good on my resume or scores points with "the man upstairs." What was once my religion has become a full-blown belief system... the MySpace page now reflects that.
BTW, "Christian - other" means non-catholic. The first time I saw that on someone's page, I thought "What the heck is 'other'???" Then when I signed up I noticed the drop-down box summing up Christ's love for me with two whole options.
Darn it, Dabrowski! What have you done to me?
If you haven't read Overexcitable? Moi? from last month, this may be a good time (it's still current).
Well, it was the Holy Spirit, of course, not the polish dude... nevertheless, I have a name for the "software anomaly" that's been running in my head for the last ten years. Just as the dust began to settle from this new self-awareness (of my own self-awareness, LOL), it went and intensified on me... like pain from a paper cut you just found out you had. The ground trembled, a few buildings collapsed (that were getting kinda run down anyway), and I found myself with a new drive to expand my spirituality. This is normal stuff during a "great shift" of the identity.
From Star Trek to Shortwave to Dragon Slaying
In reality, my identity is quite stable, thank you.
In fiction, however, I've determined that I love alienated protagonists/characters. Sliders, Star Trek: Voyager, Doctor Who, Stargate SG-1 (and, to an extent, Reboot and Lost): All on my Top 10 list. Recently, I've discovered the common thread running through these series: Our heroes (who we the viewers relate to) keep getting thrown into one alien environment after another... be them parallel universes, unexplored planets, or anyplace else carrying its own set of rules, which the main characters must continuously adapt to, grow by, overcome, or set right. Alienation!
Long before I made the identity-connection and merely knew of my overactive imagination, I went ahead and ordered a book about space-time beyond three dimensions: Hyperspace by Michio Kaku. Hyperspace was written to make science fiction into science fact: Sliders features parallel universes, so how might they really exist??? (BTW, Sliders was how I found out about the book) What I got out of it had little to do with sci-fi... it was training my various overexcitabilities to think multi-dimensionally! Well, God's plans over my own...
Heh, the best things can come from the most unexpected places.
In comes a preacher named Dr. Gene Scott, who during 2004/2005 I listened to on shortwave every Sunday afternoon to make up for my absence in church. I don't think that I ever heard one live, but the tapings ran like crazy all over the band (he went to be with the Lord early in '05, but you can still hear his taped sermons easily enough by tuning around). Anyway, his messages seemed to go where normal church services didn't: he would analyze translations from Hebrew and Greek a lot, for example. One week, he preached about human beings' unique classification as "animal-spirit hybrids." Cool.
This was the first "great shift" of the identity, if you will. My mind ran with the hybrid idea and I found myself identifying with things spiritually.
I didn't have a spirit. I was my spirit, what I had (temporarily) was an earthly body.
Fast forward to Florida: A real job, back in church, really living it up... now I've dabbled in Dungeons and Dragons (the fantasy role playing game). Understandably, D&D has a bad rap: Like tuning a cable-connected TV to scrambled porn, D&D can easily be made unsavory to the Christian gamer (so to speak). The role-playing aspect alone makes it a lot better than some card game, most of all for my, eer... overactive imagination (see where I'm going with this yet?). Fiction comes naturally to me and I had no problem playing as and interacting with non-human characters, but, of course, there was the magic this and that which made certain decisions necessary. I had already accepted magic as a plot device or shortcut in works of fiction, so long as I wasn't looking at sorcerers or hearing chanting, etc... Magic would equate to a directly manipulatible force (like electricity) and that's all... a tool of the imagination not to be taken seriously.
Finally, we get back to the paper cut, err... WikiPedia article telling me I'm overexcitable . Boom... second "great shift."
Secondary Integration and Beyond!
The cards were laid out on the table, I knew what it was, my definitions became clear. God flicked a switch in me and suddenly there was room for more stuff. More Bible stuff, I've been reading it three times as much lately, dang... I've also been spending a lot of time at answersingenesis.org as a result. Furthermore, the general need for knowledge (like those languages I've been meaning to learn for-like-ever) has also increased.
I'm different than I was just two weeks ago. More spiritual, a step closer to whatever the Lord wants to make out of me. Just to think, he used a science book (still have it), a fantasy RPG (still play it), and an online encyclopedia (probably goin' there in five minutes) to get me there. Oh yeah, and I suddenly felt like removing the zodiac thing from my MySpace page... there, full circle.
Interesting times ahead! God bless.
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