The Mundling Zone

Thoughts, rants, and raves from the desk of Michelle Mundling

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Trolls Among The Internet Community

It's amazing how a couple of people can get in a chat room or on a message board and manipulate and bring out the worst in those around them. So much mortibo being expressed! Why do we as human beings resort to hurting others to feed a need to say, "I'm right; you're wrong?" Enflamed passions collide as each defends his/her own viewpoint as he/she would an endangered child. It's one thing to express a viewpoint and inadvertantly hurt someone by doing so. It's another thing to express a viewpoint with the dominant intent and purpose to hurt or anger someone; there lies the crime.

Friday, March 19, 2004

A True Story of God's Healing

Note: My sister Pamela, who lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin, e-mailed me yesterday. I thought I'd share the e-mail with y'all. She's not one to exaggerate. The following is in her own words.

Michelle



Greetings all!
Just a little note to anyone whose heart could use a smile.

Tuesday nite I was gathering some tools in my basement to use for a project at church on Wednesday. I was in house slippers, after all I wasn't working, just getting things ready. I bumped into and knocked off a table vice (you know real heavy) onto my right big toe. Do you have the picture, can you imagine what that would feel like? After icing my toe for 20 minutes or so I knew I would need something l little stronger than Motrin for a few days, so I drove (left footed) to the base emergency room (20 miles away).

X-ray revealed a thru fracture of my toe, it looked like an extra joint had been added. I could barely move / wiggle it, nor did I want to. The nice doctor gave me several Vicadin and permission to use them which I did as soon as I drove home in the snow.

On Wednesday I woke up to a nice swollen, bruised all over and quite painful toe. Took my drugs and went to church to help out (taking my tools, ice packs, house slippers, and of course Vicadin) I also used a cane to keep some additional pressure off my toe. I was a fairly good girl, staying off of my foot, keeping it up and iced as much as possible. It's important that you have this picture even though it isn't a pretty one.

On Wednesday nite I went to Bible study. My limp and cane attracted attention so before class began, I showed off my toe, everyone was impressed. My leaders began to pray then praise God for my healing. I couldn't believe my eyes at first, the purple began to fade, they kept praising and more purple faded, I could only whisper amazement (picture Pam speechless). After about 40 minutes of prayer and praise, mostly praise I could curl my toe (couldn't wiggle when we started). About 90% of the bruising was just gone! About 90% of the swelling was just gone! Most of the pain was just gone! I could touch the area where the fracture was and not cringe. I started walking, then jumping up and down. I was walking briskly around the church to show off my new toe, 'cause that was not the same toe I limped into church with that morning!

This morning, Thursday, I woke up, my foot felt a lot better than yesterday morning. There is still some residual bruising and aching. God spoke to me and said that's two weeks worth of healing and asked how I liked it, I love it!!!!!

I took a couple of aspirin, I'm still being good (for me) but I am so thrilled about my toe, I'm curling it as I write this. (yes, I am easy to entertain)

Just wanted to share this smile with my friends and remind you that our Lord is still in the miracle business these days, if you could use one, just begin to praise Him for the miracle you need, be willing to invest a little time to do this and expect him to come through.

Well I'll stop now, but He wont!

Hugzzz in Jesus

Pamela Mundling

Thursday, March 18, 2004

All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet?

A few weeks ago, I ranted on the Green Screen about being charged extra the last two times I got a buffet-to-go from a local Chinese restaurant. Monday evening, I thought I'd give them one more try and made it a point to put less in my container. The lid closed easily as I made my way to the cash register. The cashier opened up my container and looked at the contents. I was still charged extra: $8.98 instead of $7.90. This was the same cashier who rang up my purchases previously. I probably should have asked why, but I was too tired and too hungry to argue. I have no one but my self to blame for paying it and walking out with my food.


I e-mailed some of my friends about my experiences, and a couple of them suggested that I call the manager and express my grief. It had not occurred to me to do that, but once I read that suggestion it made perfect sense. Another friend whom I e-mailed my experiences became miffed because the cashier opened up my container to see what I had and then charged extra. I even had a co-worker tell me that it looked like I was being discriminated against because of my body size (I don't want to go there). My supervisor told me that a restaurant shouldn't offer "all you can eat" if they're going to charge you extra for some of the contents.

Anyway, I called the manager yesterday afternoon. He was extremely friendly and took the time to answer my questions completely. As long as the lid can be closed on the container, the cost is $7.90. If the lid has to be bent to be closed or if it cannot be closed, then they have to charge extra; that has always been the policy. Also, if there is an excess of seafood items, they need to charge extra for that because the seafood items are much more expensive. Admittedly, I had a lot of braised shrimp in my container the last four times.

I explained to him how it seemed that the extra charges were added to my dinner cost coincided with the new cashier that works during the evening, that I had not seen the other two cashiers in a while. I'm embarrassed to say I did not understand everything he said in his answer, so the following is an assumption on my part based on what I could understand: in recent months, he had seen an increase in the amount of food being placed in the containers, and the restaurant was losing money. The other two cashiers I had referred to earlier apparently were not charging extra for customers overstuffing their to-go containers. When the new cashier started working in the evening, the manager started to reinforce their posted policy about being able to close the lid on the to-go containers, plus start charging extra if the customer had a lot of seafood items.

He was very apologetic about my dismay and confusion about being charged extra and not knowing why. He further stated that he did appreciate the repeat business I had given him and hoped that he was able to adequately answer my questions. I told him that I did understand and that I appreciated his taking the time to answer them and explain why.

On a final note, the restaurant is one of the few in town that are not charging their buffet-to-go by the pound.

The above entry was originally posted on the Green Screen. Since that post was made, several responses were made, perpetuating a "spirited" debate. A couple of posters disagreed with me and referred to me as a cheap glutton, but a large majority understood my viewpoint and felt the same way I did. Will I continue to patronize this restaurant? Probably, but not as often as I used to. Until I spoke with the manager, I was ready to completely write the establishment off my list.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

It's Only A Dream (I Hope)

I've been having some weird dreams having to do with the end of existence as I know it. The theme is the same ... something runs out: electricity or food or gasoline or air or sunlight or whatever. The feeling is the same: hopelessness and anxiety. What I currently have is all I have, I cannot get any more of it, and I can't continue to exist without it. When it runs out, well, that's when I ask the million dollar question: then what? It's like I am too terrified to acknowledge what some people would believe to be the obvious answer. In these dreams, I look around, anxiously and repeatedly asking myself, "What am I going to do?" Usually, there are a few others in my presence who are in the same situation I am. We're all existing and asking each other questions about how to handle our situation. The dreams end there.

It's those kind of dreams that hang with me and make me think. I've seen two movies in the mid-80's in which the storyline was about a community grappling with the aftermath of a nuclear attack. The very things the characters took for granted were gone and would no longer be available in their lifetimes. Both movies ended the same, leaving the viewer with the understanding that there is no happy ending and there will be no happy ending.

Think about it: let's say (for the sake of the argument) something happened to the planet in which electrical current has been neutralized. Planes can't fly, cars can't run, buildings and streets go dark, and refrigerators and freezers have been rendered useless. This same force that neutralized all electricity has also poisoned the soil so nothing can grow.

Now, imagine sitting on your front porch and looking at your neighbors and/or their homes. They are in the same situation you are. You no longer have access to medicine, food, batteries, candles, matches, clothing, blankets, or other supplies you find yourself in need of stocking up on. What you have is ALL you have. You have to make due with that. One day, you're going to run completely out. You won't be able to turn to your neighbors for help because they'll be in the same situation. What's even worse, you might have to defend yourself, your family, and your supplies from thieves who will, in time, become bolder as they become more desperate for supplies.

Unnerving feeling, isn't it? What will you do when you run out of medicine ... candles ... food? You need food and some need medicine to stay alive. Everything you thought would be there is no longer there. Would you become a thief? Would you starve until you died? Would you become a cannibal? Would you terminate your life since you figure you're going to die anyway and want to avoid the pain of starvation? What personal values would you have to compromise to be able to survive? These are the hypothetical ponderings I have to make sense of these dreams.

Last night, I did have one of those dreams again, but this time it ended with some hope. In my dream last night, our "resources" were depleting quickly. We only had a matter of months before the "resources" would be completely gone. It was dark outside because the sun died. I remember wandering through an abandoned home and finding a couple of boxes of cereal, clutched by the hand of a corpse laying on the floor in the kitchen. I found two live children and a teenager hiding in the pantry for safety. Then a guy in his late 20's came in the house. We all talked about the pending situation and decided to travel together. We started walking outside until we got to my house. In reality, we don't have a basement, but in my dream, we had a basement. A strange man had a LARGE aquarium with an air chamber underneath it. Somehow, walking through the air chamber created static electricity, and the strange man was able to collect the charge and use it as a "resource." I remember walking out of the house and looking over the horizon with a feeling of hope and relief because the strange man found a renewable resource that would replace what was depleted. Of all my dreams that follow this theme, this was the first one that ended with hope.

When I was younger, I dreamt that my sister and I were in the living room with our parents. My sister and I were to be placed on the shuttle, and she and I were protesting it for reasons I don't remember other than we didn't want to go. Mom yelled at and argued at us; she would not relinquish her plans nor her decision. Suddenly, my sister and I are in the shuttle, and I remember looking down at the planet and feeling homesick. Then the earth explodes! My sister and I are then looking out the window into space where Earth used to be. Again with the million dollar question: what do we do now? After all, we can't go home, and we don't know of any planet, moon, or asteroid that could support life. Eventually, we're going to run out of supplies ... and air.

Such pleasant dreams from my twisted mind! No wonder I haven't been sleeping well!

Sunday, March 07, 2004

I Have a Creative Dad

I thought I'd take a break to make this journal entry. I've working on Dan's web pages.

I walked by my parents' bedroom just now and saw the cart he made for my mother so she can wheel things from room to room since she can't carry anything with weight anymore. He made this cart from pvc pipes and joints. He attached wheels to the bottom of this three-tiered cart. She can roll it around the house with stuff on it, giving her more independence.

He's done extraordinary things when I was younger. He made a set of doll-sized bunk beds for me when I was six years old. He used spare wood and thin plexiglass for the bed part. I thought it was especially amusing when Snoopy (our beagle at the time) adopted the bottom bed for his own bed. I remember waking up on weekends to find him laying there looking at me.

Dad also made a rocking horse for me from an old sawhorse. No, it didn't exactly look like a horse, but I didn't care. I had an imagination. I played with that rocking horse for years until I grew to be too large for it (kids do that, you know).

His creativity never ceases to amaze me. Thanks, Dad!

Monday, March 01, 2004

Behavioral Results from "The Passion"

EVERYBODY is talking about Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of The Christ." I don't remember there being so much God-talk on the television and on the internet. This movie has, if nothing else, got people talking about God. That can be a good thing.

But then, the nut cases come out and ruin it for everyone else. These are the people who get off on a tangent and take the subject to the extremes. There are those who are declaring that those who view the movie will become anti-Jewish (puhleeze!) OR people who choose not to view the movie are going to hell (get out of my face with that bullsh!t!!!). Geez people! Granted, it's about a highly-revered biblical figure, but it's just a movie!!! Even though it is supposed to be an historically accurate interpretation of the scriptures, it is still a movie based on the vision of a man.

Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, and I will respect those beliefs. I do expect the same courtesy. However you may feel about the movie, remember that there are those who may or may not share your views. Please don't try to shove your views down their throats, even if you think the movie has moved you to warn people that they're sinning or unsaved or going to hell. We are all sinners and fall short of the Glory of God. We cannot judge who goes to heaven nor hell. Only God can make that judgment. And for those of you who feel the need to correct me because this is how I believe and you don't agree with it ... stay out of my face; I've had it with y'all.

I am choosing not to view the film at this time. My reason is simple: the part of the movie in which Christ is brutally tortured would be too upsetting to me; I couldn't take it. It doesn't matter if it was Christ, a thief, a child molester, an animal ... it doesn't matter! To witness a living creature being make to suffer horribly is too much for me. Even if someone were to break into my home to harm my family, I do not believe in torture. Instead, I believe in killing the @$$hole and putting him out of my misery, pure and simple.

Does it seem like I have an attitude? Yeah, you're right. I have a low tolerance for other people's bullsh!t ... other people's hidden agendas to their self-serving existance under the guise of "I'm dedicating my life to helping people in the name of God." Puhleeze! You want to help other people? Stop trying to help them so darn much; you're being too pushy. Live by example and let people come to you. Actions speak louder than words.

Lord, let me get off my soapbox ...