Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bah...

...but not Humbug.

It doesn't feel like Christmas. Maybe it's because I had to work yesterday and today. Maybe it's because the high today is supposed to be close to 80. Maybe it's the work crankiness. Who knows?

Church tonight was good. Our interim pastor has a real appreciation for liturgy and music. And, after seeing the high school students play their instruments at the Sunday School Christmas program a couple weeks ago (which happens every year on the 3rd Sunday of Advent and drives me crazy because of that every year), she asked them to play for Christmas as well. I'm so pleased by that. Our former pastor, who was wonderful - don't get me wrong, didn't believe in letting the high school students play like that at Sunday services.

~~~~~~~~
I'm really glad that I never had a pastor who was...less than pure, if you know what I mean. I realized tonight that I am really, really bad at saying, "No, thank you" to clergy. I got to church tonight and the pastor greeted me and asked if I was spending the holiday with anyone. I said not, it's just me this year. She invited me to dinner at the home of one of our members (she had their permission ahead of time). I didn't really want to go. I don't mind being alone on holidays. I was going to make a really yummy sounding pasta dish I found on the internet this week. But she seemed so concerned about me being alone, and so excited that they would be having lutefisk, that I couldn't say no. I'm not eating any lutefisk, though. I don't know who thought putting whitefish in lye was a good idea, but whoever it was wasn't German.
~~~~~~~
So as I was driving home from church tonight, a weird thought popped into my head.
Could a female-to-male post operative transsexual be ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic Church?
I have no idea where that idea came from.
~~~~~~~
Well, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it. I'm going to go watch some of the latest obsession I have thanks to iTunes - Top Chef.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I've been meaning to blog about Sunday...

...all week. Unfortunately, I've also been sick all week. Sigh.

So it will have to be a few more days that I leave you in suspense about the long, painful congregational meeting I mentioned on my Facebook page. And when I do, I plan to be fairly vague. While I need to process, I don't need to air our dirty laundry.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

One week ago, it snowed...

...today it hit 80 degrees.

WTF, weather? WTF?

Even though changes in weather supposedly have nothing to do with getting sick, I currently blame my (not) illness on the stupid changes in the weather.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let it Snow...

Seriously, if you want to see something really funny, watch a bunch of people who have lived in the deep south their entire lives (and haven't really traveled outside it, especially in winter) confronted with snow. It was the topic of conversation at work today. Nearly everyone came in really late today, because they were afraid to drive with the snow falling. The roads were only wet and slushy, not slippery at all (though the bridges and overpasses pretty much all iced).

Oh, and I got my hair cut in the dark. I got to the salon, and they had no power. They said I could reschedule for tomorrow (which I can't because I have an all day meeting) or next week (not an attractive option because the company Christmas party is tomorrow), she could wash my hair and cut it by the windows (it was pretty light out), or she could dry cut it by the windows. I opted for the last. It was the best cut she's ever given me. She actually paid attention to the length I wanted this time.

I'm at the laundromat now. I hope I have power when I get home. If I don't, I swear I'm going to go sleep in the office.

Anyone here watch Torchwood

Probably not, huh? Then this is pretty much meaningless to you. I always fancied myself more like Tosh, so this caught me by surprise.


Which Torchwood Character Are You?
Your Result: Ianto Jones
 

You most resemble the team's composed, sarcastic general support. Passionate but excellent at hiding it under a reserved exterior, you care deeply about people and have a hard time letting go. The downside of keeping such a tight leash on your external emotions is that sometimes you lose control and have to let it all out. Competent and hard-working, you like to be on top of things.

Toshiko Sato
 
Gwen Cooper
 
Owen Harper
 
Captain Jack Harkness
 
Which Torchwood Character Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

My Moment of Grand Stupidity

So, last night I was working late in the office, alone. I had my laptop playing Doctor Who episodes for company.

Around 11:45 p.m., I went to the ladies room. Keep in mind that I didn't have my shoes on - the bathrooms had been cleaned (they clean them very well every night), and I was pretty much the only person on the floor.

Well, I finished with what I went in there to do and realized...I had taken my car keys into the bathroom, but not my ID card, which is how you gain access to the suite. I was in the hall in my stocking feet, but my laptop, my purse, and everything else were still at my desk, and I couldn't get them.

I banged on every door that belongs to our company on every floor we occupy. I was the only one in the company still in the building. What could I do?

I could go to my car and drive home. In my stocking feet. In the rain. In 40 degree temperatures.

So, that is what I did. Ruined a pair of socks, and I couldn't feel my feet when I got into the apartment, but everything seems to be fine today.

Oh, and it is snowing in Baton Rouge. The heavy, wet snow that doesn't really make things slippery. You wouldn't know that, however, if you went by Baton Rouge drivers. Five miles an hour on the major roads. I'm not exaggerating. And they were merely wet, not even slick. Nobody who is usually in the office by now is here (although I found one person to let me in before she had to go pick up her kids from school. EBR schools, in their infinite wisdom, decided to cancel school after most of the middle school and high school kids had arrived. And did I mention that it is only about an inch of snow?).

I wonder if I'll still have my haircut appointment this afternoon...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Yeah...

that thing I said about ministry yesterday?

Never mind.

Something happened today to make me realize the hurts from my time at the CCC are still too close to the surface. I had forgotten how much my experience there wounded me, to my soul. I will never understand how churches who are supposed to be preaching the Good News can hurt people so badly.

And for the record, it's my issue, not my current congregation. My hurt is causing me to read stuff into a situation that isn't there. But if something relatively minor was enough to tear open something I though was a scar now, not merely a scab, well...then I still have more healing to do.

Meltdown partially averted...Here's the good stuff

Though the end of the day was a real letdown. I really wish work wouldn't intrude to harsh my mellow when I'm in a good mood.

First of all, the news on our first fundraiser - we made a little over $1300 today. That's incredible. People were so generous - having this fundraiser on the 50th anniversary really worked.

Now, the 50th anniversary...it was wonderful. The liturgy was absolutlely beautiful. LP, you would have been thrilled. It was pretty much as high church as I've ever seen our little congregation get. Although I have to say, it still takes me back to see a woman in a chasabule. Our pastors traditionally only use them on feast days, and the important feasts at that, so this was the first time I've seen our interim in one.

Anyway, the sermon was awesome. The preacher was a pastor who is one of the supply pastors in our area. Her "real job" is as CEO for the largest non-profit hospice in the area. She presided for us a lot this summer when we were completely pastorless, and everyone loves her - especially the kids. She has real gift for giving children's sermons. I think that, if she wanted to do it, we would call her in a heartbeat. But she has three little children, and a fourth on the way. I think she wants something more...regular than being a pastor right now, especially since her husband is a pastor (at the Disciples of Christ church down the street).

Anyway, she preached about Chronos and Kairos, and it was a message I needed to hear. I've let myself be dictated by Chronos for so long, that Kairos has been virtually absent from my life. There have been times in my life when I have felt so close to the Big Guy that He (and I use that generically) has been almost tangible. I haven't felt that much lately. Oh, we are conversing, unlike when I went through my "dark night of the soul" period after the St. Al's CCC debacle. But it hasn't been the intimate, soul-baring prayer I've had at times in the past. I need to find that part of me again.

What I really need is a spiritual director. Because beyond that, I think I have some discernment to do. I made just a quick announcement at church this morning, and I had a bunch more people, including two retired pastors, tell me I should be preaching. Now, how they made that determination from me taking just about a minute to remind people about the fundraiser today, I don't know. But over the course of the past two weeks, about a dozen people - three of them pastors - told me that I should be preaching. And, like I said last week I don't know what to do with that.

Honestly, a part of me always said that if I had it all to do over again, I would have majored in theology, gotten my advanced degrees in Scripture, and taught at the college level. But the idea of being a pastor, of getting to celebrate the Sacraments and preach the Word, was an avenue that was closed to me until very recently. And to be honest, I don't think I'm truly called in that direction. I think it would exhaust and drain me, and I don't know that I am capable of working with people who are sick and dying. The experience I had taking care of my parents at a young age had a profound affect on me in that regard, and not positively (but y'all don't need me to expound upon my guilt tonight, do you?).

At the same time though, I love reading, teaching about, and talking about Scripture, and I have a more Sacramental bent than many in my congregation, and probably in my denomination. But what do I do with that? I'm pretty sure St. Al's ruined me for professional ministry, but is there something I can do on the lay/volunteer level that will use the gifts I've been given? And what would that mean for the scabs that are still there from St. Al's?

Add to this something that happened to me in college that I've never shared with anyone and probably never will. It's incredibly private and intimate, but it crops up in my mind every now and again and makes me question the path I am following.

When you put all these things together, I really think spiritual direction is the path I need to take to work these things out, and to find some Kairos time in my life again. But the majority of the spiritual directors here are Catholic, and I don't want to go down that road for a lot of reasons. There are some who are Episcopal, but most of them have close associations with the CCC, and while I know intellectually that they would keep confidences, I have a hard time trusting anyone who has any associations with that place.

Oh, the rest of the 50th anniversary celebration was wonderful, too. The hymns sounded wonderful - as bad as a bunch of white folks with midwestern roots sound on gospel and spirituals, they sound that good on the old standard hymns. Plus, we sang a hymn composed by our interim pastor that was just wonderful. The whole thing gave me an insight into our little congregation, and the tremendous potential we have, if we just stop holding ourselves back and start trusting God to guide us through change that needs to happen if we are going to survive.

And in completely unrelated news, I left my coat at church this morning. It was in the low 30's when I left the house at 8 a.m., but by the time I left church at 3, it was in the high 70's. Ya gotta love December in Louisiana!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Remember how happy I was earlier?

Well, my mood had done a 180, thanks to work.

Just got back from church...

...and it was good. Really, really good. And not just because we raised about 1/3 of the money we needed to raise.

I will share later because now I have to leave my office to go to a meeting at someones house. It would have been spiffy if someone had called me and told me it had been moved, as I was right down the street from it when I was at church..

Sigh.

Saturday, December 06, 2008



So I think I mentioned that for our first fundraiser for the National Youth Gathering, we are doing a stock sale. This is the certificate I put together.



I printed it on a parchment-y card stock. They look really good, if I say so myself.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I have the urge...

…to write something on my body with sunscreen and go and lay down in a tanning bed.


TMI?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Doctor Who? No?

Well, then, let me tell you that The Planet of the Ood was a fantastic episode.

Why does American TV have to suck so much?

God has a weird sense of humor...

...and he's exercising it at my expense, I think.


So I said my bit about fundraising and youth ministry this morning. Apparently, I didn't suck. In fact several people complemented me, and several others asked if I've ever considered ministry. Including the pastor.


I was a little dumbfounded. I know I'm a good speaker when I put my mind to it. And I am a theology geek - especially when it comes to Scripture and church history.


But I come from a tradition where that was never a possibility that was open from me. In fact, until I got to college, I didn't realize that a woman in the Catholic church could do something in professional ministry other than teaching, nursing, or social work (Thank you R - my campus minister - for showing me otherwise). And while I appreciate women in pastoral ministry - especially those serving as pastors - it isn't a role I ever saw myself in.


I stumbled through my answer to my pastor. I think she saw that I was uncomfortable a little, and she suggested I should consider the Associates in Ministry program. For those of you who are Catholic...well, I can't think of an analogy. You can read about it here. Apparently, we have someone in our congregation who is currently doing this.


The problem is that I work more than full time, in a job I really, really like (usually). I don't have the time or luxury to travel (she's taking most of her classes in Texas), so that method wouldn't work for me.

Plus, I have the issues left over from my miserable time at the CCC. I don't know if I really want to do anything like that ever again.

I'm really torn, but I guess it gives me a lot to think about.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

So I have to talk about fundraising for the 2009 National Youth Gathering tomorrow at church.

I hate asking people for money. I hope I don't completely suck.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'll be glad when November is finally over.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cooked the chicken. It was good.

Now, I try to be very tolerant of the fact that the majority of the people in my building are younger and don't really work for a living. But I have issue with the girl in the apartment next door setting up a karaoke machine - with a microphone - outside. At night. (It's quite warm tonight - The Weather Channel says it's currently 72).

It's still early, but if it goes on after 10, I think I might be brave and tell her to stop. I have to be at work at 8 a.m. tomorrow. Since I'm the only person in my department not out of town this weekend. The joys of being single and utterly without family.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I got a flu shot at my doctor's appointment today. My arm started to really ache about 8 hours later. Never had that happen before.

Tomorrow I'm cooking a chicken, assuming the flu shot doesn't give me the flu.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh, and this is kind of exciting: when you type "groovy title" into Google, this blog is the first thing to come up.

I'm sorta kinda famous, except not really at all!

blerg

I'm so tired. I think Thanksgiving dinner this year might consist of rice and broccoli, and I'll just sleep the rest of the day.

Sigh.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I have a huge and evil project I'm working on at work. If Iwere you, I'd expect most of the rest of my entries this month to be very short.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Funnies

So today I was talking about fundraising for the ELCA National Gathering with my high school students. I was trying to get them to give me some suggestions so that they had some ownerships in the process (didn't work so well, if you are interested).

One of my kids pops up and says, "We could sell indulgences after services!"

After we recovered from the minor earthquake caused by Martin Luther rolling over in his grave, I was actually kind of pleased that they remembered that from our discussion on Reformation Sunday. And they all remembered, because they all immediately started laughing.

I have a good group of kids.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Slow Saturday

So, I'm sitting here in CC's, a local coffee house chain that is popular enough that Starbucks was forced to close the majority if it's stores in South Louisiana. I'm working on a project for work and watching Season 2 of Torchwood. I couldn't do laundry today because the laundromat was closed due to the LSU game.

Only in Baton Rouge.

Friday, November 21, 2008

So I bought a winter(ish) coat...

...and it pained me to do so.

See, it really only gets cold enough here that I need more than my sweatshirt with a couple of layers underneath to be warm for about three weeks out of the whole year, and those days are spread between late November, December, and January (with maybe an outlier or two in February).

But I'm not sure about this year. We're expecting a freeze tonight, and it's awfullly early for our first hard freeze of the year (that usually comes sometime in December). So I gave in and ordered something a little bit heavier. Really, it's just a heavyweight sweatshirt. But combined with my regular sweatshirt, it should be enough to get me through the winter.

Oh, and I've decided not to go to Pittsburgh in January. I'm going to buy a sewing machine and a card table instead.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Critical Decision

And no, it's not whether or not I should go to Pittsburgh in January, for those of you who are also my Facebook friends (for the record, the jury is still out on that one). No, I have to decide what to wear to the company Christmas party in December. It is the one day out of the year when I get all girly and stuff.


I am wearing a black skirt (I have 14,000 of them - roughly speaking), and I'm trying to decide between these tops:














I like this one a lot, but it is very different than what I typically go for. Also, it is red, which scares me. I look good in it, but it seems to me that it is too attention grabbing.













I like this one, too. It is different, and it is sparkly, which is always good for Christmas. I just don't think I have an appropriate bra to pull it off, and I don't want to buy a bra that I am going to wear exactly once.




















>










This is kind of casual for a semi-formal event, I think, but I really like the color.







































I like the neckline and the cut of this, but it might be too casual a fabric.
































I would totally pick this one if I were a little bit braver. But again, I have a fear of red, and I still have the bra issue.



































I love blue velvet. That's why this one is here.









.

















I thought the cut of this one was interesting, and it's in a plesantly Christmasy color














.





















Same shirt, different color. I'm partial to neutrals






























Any preferences among the fashionistas of the blogosphere?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I had pizza for dinner tonight...

...just thought you should know.
 
So sleepy...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Enjoy...

...this cat riding a Roomba while I read a 350+ page RFP.


Monday, November 17, 2008

I had something to say....but I forgot what it was.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

So this morning I decided I was going to make beef stew. Actually, I decided it yesterday, because if I hadn't, I wouldn't have had anything to make it with.

So I cut up the potatoes, counted the baby carrots (which I don't actually eat, but they give good flavor), put in the rest of the ingreditents, turned the Crockpot on, and went to church. The stew was supposed to cook for 10 hours on low.

So I got home from church about 5 hours later (Sunday school, service, and shopping), and was surprised I couldn't smell the stew cooking when I came in the house. I went into the kitchen, looked at the stew, and it hadn't cooked at all.

I forgot to plug in the Crockpot.

Fortunately, it was a cold day here in BR, and I turned the heat off before I left for church. The stew got off to a late start, but it was worth it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Loveys

M. Giant, one of my favorite recappers at Television Without Pity, wrote an entry in his personal blog about his son's loveys. It made me all nostalgic.


I had three loveys when I was a kid. One was a stuffed Snoopy with a music box in his tummy that played Brahm's Lullaby. I loved that thing literally to death. He got to the point where they music box wouldn't play anymore, his fur had been rubbed off from petting, and his ears were all frayed. It took a lot for me to finally give him up, but I really couldn't justify holding onto what had become a moldering pile of foam and furless fabric covering a music box that didn't work.


Then there was Jon-Jon. Jon-Jon was a fabric bear that was about 2.5 feet tall that my aunt bought at a flea market for a quarter. I think he might have originally have been vaguely patchworky, but I honestly can't remember. Once the fabric started fraying (which didn't take long, considering the bear was alreay used and I dragged him everywhere when I was three), my mom made him new pants and a new "shirt" out of polyester double knit. It took a lot to destroy that fabric, which is why our landfills are filled with fashion mistakes from the 70's. Anyway, Jon-Jon lasted with his polyester duds (brown pants and a weirdly patterened top - that actually covered the back of his head as well) for a good long time until I decided in college that he needed to be restuffed and needed a makeover. I opened up his seams and restuffed him (and honestly, his original stuffing was really gross), and made him new clothes with fabric from my mom's stash, which...was polyester double knit. She sewed a lot of our clothes in the 70's, you see. Jon-Jon got lost in my move south, sadly. I had him when I moved (he was looking outside the back window of the van that didn't go over 35 on the interstate all through Kentucky and Tennessee), but somehow or another he never made it inside my apartment.


Then there was Teddy Roosevelt. I have no idea how I came up with that name. Teddy Roosevelt was a little brown bear who was very soft and fuzzy. I slept with him all the way into adulthood (blushes). He was my big source of comfort, and made me feel safe. He was also the very first gift my dad bought me, the day I was born. When I was little, I used to stage weddings between him and a pink teddy bear I had that was not very soft and cuddly. Her name was Eleanor Roosevelt. I have no idea how I came up with that name, either. Granted, I was a precocious little kid, but I wasn't that bright. Unfortunately, Teddy Roosevelt was lost in the move south, too. I think that hit me even harder than losing Jon-Jon.

I had other stuffed animals I loved, and I still like to buy little stuffed animals every now and then when I need a pick-me-up. But none of them have ever compared to these three.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Church and State

This article and the actions of this priest make me mad.

No letters like this were sent during the Clinton presidency, and by all accounts, he was as pro-choice as they come. If we had elected a white, pro-choice Democrat, would this letter still have been sent?

But the thing that makes me most mad is that this priest has no idea what the disposition of these people's hearts is. He doesn't know why they voted for Obama. For that matter, he doesn't know why people voted for McCain. It's entirely possible that some of the people who voted for McCain did so out of sense of hatred for Obama's skin color, and that those same people are pro-choice. Isn't that worse than someone who voted for Obama because because of his stance on the war or healthcare, and is against abortion?

There is a reason why we separate church and state in this country. And I know that it is more so the government doesn't interfere with churches, but the churches need to stay out of government, too. I have no problem with individuals using their faith as part of the criteria of how they vote. It is - or should be - impossible to set aside that part of your personality. But I don't think clergy should have the ability to judge the disposition of a person's heart based on how they voted.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quick Post...

I was feeling under the weather today, so no real post. Instead, enjoy this interview with David Tennant from a British morning show the day after he announced he is leaving Doctor Who. My little geeky heart broke when he announced that, even though I knew it was coming.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Post 1001

And I wish it were just frivolous.

It is the 21st century. We have just elected the first ever non-white man as President of the United States. And yet, this kind of crap still exists in Louisiana (and a whole bunch of other places). And look at the ages - all under 3o, except for the leader.

This is just so depressing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Under construction...

...I had a weird blue line on my old template that I can't figure out where it came from, and I can't find anything in the code that would make it appear - not that I've been monkeying with the code or anything - I haven't.

I downloaded to take a closer look, or to get someone who knows more code than I do to take a closer look. Enjoy this temporary view in the mean time.

I'm so excited!

Season 4 of Doctor Who is finally coming out on iTunes, and they finally have the Christmas specials from the other 3 seasons up! And, best of all, I'm off tomorrow! I can have a Doctor Who marathon!

Yes, I'm aware that I'm both a major geek and very mood swingy today. But it's Doctor Who! David Tennant! Cap'n Jack! Who wouldn't geek out a little bit?

OK. A lot.

If you think this is bad, you should have seen me back in high school when Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered. Oh, and back then I had all the Star Trek novels, too - original series and TNG.

And I wonder why I don't have a man in my life.

Monday, November 10, 2008

in other depressing news...

I'm totally bummed by how fast Mama Cat abandoned me when she realized that I can't feed her anymore. She scratched at my door all night last night into this morning, but when I came home tonight, she didn't even put in an appearance.

I hope she didn't die that fast.

I know - I'm pathetically attached to a cat that doesn't belong to me, and to whom I was just an easy source of food. I just want to be loved, even if it is as a glorified vending machine.

School thoughts

So, after reading an article and doing a little digging, it appears that all of the schools the Obamas are looking at for their children appear to have tuition in the $30,000 range. That's per child, per year.

During my college years, that was about 3 years of undergrad at Gannon - including room and board.

As much as I liked Obama (though he wasn't my first choice among the Democrats - I liked Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd), I have an issue with this. I know the DC schools suck, as do most of the public schools in all the big cities, but think what a statement it would make to send your kids to one of them. If you claim you support public education, then your actions should reflect that - even if you are the President.

Here in Louisiana, most white, middle class parents send their kids to private schools. And, as a result, our public schools are among the worst in the country. When you don't have to care about issues facing public schools because they don't impact your kids - you don't.

That drove me crazy when I worked at the CCC. The kids who went to non-Catholic schools (about 10% of the total in the parish) got the short end of the stick all the time. Everything we did reflected a bias toward the kids in Catholic school. And every time I'd try to change it I heard, "Oh, they are such a small minority. We just can't accomodate them." It drove me up a wall.

So, Mr. President-elect (and Mrs. First Lady to Be), you have a choice. You can put actions to your words about supporting public education, or you can spend $60,000 a year to educate your children and show that it's all just lip service for you, too.

Brr...

I think I must have adjusted to Louisiana weather. How else to explain why I thought it was cold this afternoon when it was 65 degrees? I had the heat on last night, and it didn't get below 45. There was a time when I wouldn't even think about putting the heat on until it hit 40.

Have I become a weather wimp? Possibly. It may be 59 degrees outside right now, but I'm freezing.

When I first moved down here, it amused me that the kids I worked with would beg not to do anything outside when it was in the mid-60's in November or December, when the kids in PA would be begging to wear shorts in that weather.

It's taken 6 years, but I get it now.

I don't think I will ever adjust to the heat, though.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Oh...

...and I'm watching Torchwood at the laundromat, one of my very favorite episodes, and realizing that an image of two men kissing romantically probably won't play well at the laundromat on a Sunday afternoon in South Louisiana.

Sunday Observations

  • I've said it before and I'll say it again - middle class white folks of northern European descent with Midwestern roots should not sing gospel or spirituals in church. We try, but we do not succeed.
  • If you would like to see a really good documentary, I would suggest Sister Helen. I found this movie entirely by accident when I was looking for a movie to show to my Sunday school class. It was a very long week, and the suggested Bible study for this week was all about the election. We accidentally covered that last week, even though we were supposed to be talking about saints, talk vs. actions, faith (and lost faith), etc. Anyway, I clicked on it in iTunes because I initially thought it was about Sr. Helen Prejean. When I saw what it was about, though, I was intrigued. I watched it last night (staying up until 3), and was really moved and fascinateds. We watched the first half today, and the kids were ethralled. There is some rough language, though, so think high school age or older.
  • I thought I was ready to take on ministry again. I thought I had recovered enough from the St. Al's CCC ordeal. I was wrong, I think. At least as far as youth ministry is concerned. I think the CCC damaged me permanently in that regard. I like teaching, and I'm willing to consult in developing a comprehensive youth ministry at my congregation, but I think someone else needs to do the heavy lifting after this year. I'm ready to be a grownup.
  • I was going to cook soup today, but it's already 4:19 p.m., and I'm still at the laundromat.
  • I got bitten by something, and I don't know what.
  • Now the hard news, news I was waiting for, but it makes me sad nonetheless. The building maintenance person asked me to stop feeding the cats that don't belong to me. He wants to keep them around for rodent control, and he thinks they won't hunt if they get a handful of food a day. I'll listen, but it breaks my heart, especially when the mama cat scratches at my door. I bought some citronella candles to try a little aversion therapy because I read that cats don't like citrus scent. It kills me, though, because I love petting the mom cat (though I don't like forgetting I petted her, touching my eyes, and having the itch and swell). I've been a little depressed since Thursday as a result. I know it's stupid.
  • Oh, and last night I had the realization that I tend toward insomnia because I am terrified I will die in my sleep and no one will notice until the notice the stench. That was a cherry thought at 3 a.m.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I don't feel the least bit guilty about backdating this entry and cheating on NaBlo. I haven't slept yet, so it's still Saturday.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Here is my obiligatory post for today. I'm still at work.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm still at work and don't have time for a real post. So go look at the post Sweet Juniper made today instead. I found it funny (mostly because I have a book just like that for teenagers from that era).

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Now that the Country is Sorted...

...I can concentrate on what's really important - figuring out what to wear to the company Christmas party this year.

I'd kinda like to wear some color this year I think. I was thinking I would just buy a new top to wear with one of the 70 jillion black skirts I have. The only problem is that all those black skirts are too big, and they have hurry-up tucks in them that I made to make the skirt fit. I guess I could take one of them to the tailor to get the alteration done right, but I don't want to.

Sigh. I was never cut out to be a girly girl. Though I do enjoy the handbags....

If anyone feels the need to send me flowers anytime soon, I really like this arrangement.

I'm just sayin'.

Just in case...

...I don't get back here today, enjoy this bit from the Muppet Show.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

You know, I never in a million years thought that we would see an African-American (or female, or Hispanic or Asian or fill-in-anything-other-than-a-white-man-here) President in this country. Even though this country has become increasingly less white, I never thought we would overcome that last hurdle.

Now I truly believe that anyone - ANYONE - can grow up to be President. It isn't just lip service anymore.

Amazing.

I Voted

And unlike 2004, I can say I am happy (or at least satisfied) with my choice.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I've just spent the past 15 minutes watching the live webcam feed of the pile of Shiba Inu puppies. The one with the yellow collar it is a troublemaker. Both yesterday and today all he/she wants to do is play, and keeps waking up the others to do it. The one with the green collar is almost as bad.

One of our incumbent Senators, Democrat Mary Landrieu is running for re-election. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee has been running ads against her for months now, and most of the ads accused her of corruption. Despite that, she opened up a commanding lead over her Republican opponent, John Kennedy (who has not played on his name at all during the campaign - I sure would have).

This week, the RSCC has started running ads that literally say, "Not only is Mary Landrieu corrupt, she's LIBERAL!"

I guess someone finally clued the RSCC in to the fact that here in Louisiana, we can deal with corrupt if the politician is doing good work for the state (which she mostly has). But liberal - that's an unforgivable sin.

Sigh.

I'm on a soup kick lately, so I made some corn chowder tonight.

I don't know what it is, but it is missing something. Again.

The only thing from the original recipe I didn't add was the Worcestershire sauce, and that's because I refuse to buy it when I will only ever use it in corn chowder.

The only other thing I did differently is that I didn't fry the potatoes and onions in bacon fat, because the last time I made it it was too greasy. Maybe it isn't greasy enough now? Who knows?

Next weekend I'm making cream of mushroom. Wish me luck.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I think I need to mention to my endo when I see her this month that my hormones seem really out of whack. Today I cried in church because an old man whose wife died earlier this year (I didn't know them, as they don't typically come to church because they are really old - his son brought him today), looked really sad when he came back to the pew after lighting a memorial candle. Then when I got home, I cried when I clicked on to the Project Linus website to see if they had a chapter in Baton Rouge yet (they don't for what it's worth, and I have no intention of starting one - I think. No, I really don't have time. Sigh), just because the idea of sick or scared children makes me sad. And just a few minutes ago, an ad for Alzheimers medication brought tears to my eyes.

That can't be normal, can it?

Someone, somewhere in my building, is playing some kind of horn (maybe a trumpet, but I can never identify brass instruments by sound, except for saxaphone). They aren't playing very well, which is how I know it isn't a record.

Weird.

In other news, I should have known better than to discuss anything remotely controversial with my high school students so close to the election. One of them doesn't want Obama to be elected, even though he thinks Obama is the better candidate because, "some right-wing, crazy whacko is going to kill Obama and then there will be riots."

Ah, the reasoning of high school students.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I've felt really miserable this week. The combination of cramps, migraine, hormones, coming down with a cold, and an awful proposal have me just on the edge. For example, I went to Whole Foods tonight to get a sandwich because I couldn't face cooking anything. The kids were there, trick or treating, and they had games and crap for them all through the store. When I walked in the store, in the fruit section, was a woman dressed like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz playing the guitar and singing "Polly Wolly Doodle" while little kids dressed up as bunnies or Iron Man or ballerinas walked around with their trick or treat bags. I almost started crying, and I have no idea why. I wasn't having a biological clock moment, and I wasn't ticked off with them. I just felt like crying.

I'll be better if I can get some sleep this weekend, I guess.

Sigh.

Happy NaBloPoMo!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

If you ever need a little bit of a pick-me-up and can stream video, go to this site. It's just a live cam trained on a pile of puppies doing what puppies do, but it is so incredibly sweet.

I missed 6 questions. I bet they were all in music, though that section seemed pretty easy to me...


Your result for The 80's Test...

The Master of the Universe!

You slapped a radical 24 out of 30 High-Fives!


Bodacious, you are truly the Ferris Bueller of 80's quizzes. Take this opportunity to lay back and drink your cherry cola, flip down your mirrored aviator sunglasses and listen to your favourite beats on your walkman - you deserve it!



If you enjoyed this test or have any suggestions at all on how to improve it, or even if you spotted a question thats just plain wrong, please let me know! My website is http://www.chimpwithalimp.com or you can catch me on OKCupid as "chimpwithalimp". I love to get messages of any kind so feel free to contact me.


Thanks,


Anthony (Proud child of the 80s)


Take The 80's Test at HelloQuizzy

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Updates

I started writing a long post about church stuff Sunday or Monday at the laundromat (I can't remember what day I went). I have the draft saved, and I'll finish it and post it sometime.

Yesterday I had a migraine, but I didn't realize it until this morning. I only get them once or twice a year, and they aren't the debilitating kind that I know other people get, so I don't really do anything about them. But the one I had yesterday, combined with really, really bad cramps was enough to send me home from work. I know it's TMI for the fellows out there, but every now and then the first day of my cycle hits me really hard. Guess I was due.

Anyway, like I said, I didn't realize until this morning that it was a migraine. For a little while, I thought I was having a stroke or an aneurysim (I bet I spelled that wrong). One side of my head hurt, and 600 mg ibuprophen wasn't touching it. But then I realized that the pain wasn't all that bad, and not even the worst I'd ever had (that would be when I had an almost 105 degree fever when I had a staph infection that I didn't get treated in a timely fashion because I didn't have insurance). So then I decided I had a sinus infection on top of the monthly unpleasantness. That option is still on the table, actually, but for other reasons.

So this morning, when I was coherent again, I put all the pieces together - headache, sensitivity to light, sound, and smell, hormones - and realized it was a migraine. When I get them, it's always on the first day of my period. Just thought you should all know that.

But that's not the reason I've gathered you all here. I want to share my plans for November, seeing as it is only three days(!) away.

Yes, I am doing NaBloPoMo again. So you may reliably expect a post of some sort from me every day in November.

But I have also decided to get serious about The Great American Novel. I really think I have something that could be publishable someday. But if I keep putting someday off, it will never come. I'm not going to go crazy and do NaNoWriMo, because I hate quantifying things. So what if I haven't written 1500 words today if the 500 I did get down are good? But I am going to commit to actually putting pen to paper - or pixels to screen as the case may be - on a regular basis during November.

November is also looking crazy at work. One of our junior writers will be out on paternity leave the first two weeks, and the rest of us will have to pick up the slack. I also have a feeling the guy I wrote about before who drives me crazy may be saying goodby this month. I could be completely wrong about that, however.

So that's my November. Just wanted to keep the world apprised.

Huh.

Yet another person I went to high school with died. I didn't know him well - just recognized the name. But that makes 6 that I know of from my graduating class of 221 who have died.

That seems like a lot, considering we are all only 37 or 38.

What's up with that?

Just to prove to you all just how much of a geek I am (as if there was any doubt in your minds), I am having to fight with myself to keep from buying the Face of Boe action figure from Amazon. I just think he would make a fantastic addition to the collection of crap on my desk.

And yes, I am aware that the fact that most of my readers don't know Doctor Who from Doctor Spock (the pediatrician, not the Vulcan) makes me an even bigger geek.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I have a longer post in progress, but I feel the need to tell you all that I have had "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" stuck in my head since yesterday morning. It won't go away. I thought for a moment that "Enter Sandman" had replaced it when I heard it on the radio this morning, but no, it's back.

Who knew Martin Luther wrote earworms?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Here's a fun little meme...



It's an oldie, actually, but I ran across it reading someone's archive today. I did this once before, but I don't think I posted it.




1. Go to this site. The first article title on the page is the name of your band.




2. Go to this site. The last four words of the last quote on the page form your album title.




3. Go to this site. The third picture on the page is your album cover. You may have to refresh to find one that you can copy, but you should not refresh otherwise.




4. Put it all together in the graphics program of your choice, and the results are your album cover.




I used Paint Shop Pro, which can't hold a candle to Photoshop, but is much cheaper.




Here is what I got:






This is the original photo, just to give the photographer, mevsim1, credit:


Friday, October 24, 2008

Interesting...

I do like Impressionism - and the description isn't too far off, either.


Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

13 Impressionist, 5 Islamic, -1 Ukiyo-e, -10 Cubist, -4 Abstract and -9 Renaissance!


Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.


People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

Saturday, October 18, 2008

So, I'm just finishing what amounts to a 35 hour shift.

I'm not happy.

See, it all started earlier this week. The three junior writers in the department don't have any proposals of their own to work on at the moment, so they are supposed to help the senior writers. So one of them, dutifully, asked me on Tuesday if I had anything he could do. The answer on Tuesday was no. I was waiting for inputs from our technical people so I could prep for a review team, I was waiting on inputs from another company, basically, I was just waiting.

Well, all three of the boys apparently decided that that meant that I would never need any help, ever. On Thursday, when I could have started to use some help, one called off because his wife had the sniffles, and he didn't want to pass it to anyone else. Mind you, his wife was sick, not him. The other two were helping another one of the senior writers who had a proposal going out first thing Friday morning. One thought he was helping by printing the resumes, but they hadn't been reviewed yet, and they were incorrect. Another one took two hours to write a three paragraph letter, and another two hours to put together a box. Just to give you some perspective, I put together two boxes in five minutes today. Then he couldn't figure out how to print labels to put on the tabs for the binders, even though I have shown him more times than I can count. Then he decided he had to go home because his wife had the sniffles, too.

I try to be patient and tolerant of people with families and kids. I do. But sometimes I feel like the single among us really get the short end of the stick.

Anyway, I stayed and helped the person who had a Friday morning deadline, putting off my own stuff, which I now had in droves. If I hadn't, she wouldn't have made the deadline. She ended up working all night on Thursday. Yeah, she's single, too.

She gave the two junior writers who were "helping" her on Thursday a simple list of about 7 things. Nothing complicated, nothing that required research or writing (except for the three paragraph letter that took two freaking hours), but little detail things that had to get done for her proposal to meet deadline. With two of them working on it, it took them all day to accomplish what should have been the work of about 3-4 hours, at most. It would have been 3-4 hours for any of the senior writers. And the didn't finish everything!

So on Friday, needless to say, the person who had the proposal going out that morning did not come in at all. I wouldn't have either. And one of the junior writers decided he was going to take the day off because he had his 80 hours in for the week. No big loss - if it takes you 2 hours to tape up a box, I really don't need your help, thanks. The other senior writer had to leave early because she had a contractor coming to her house to see about post-Gustav repairs.

Now, that should have left two of the junior writers. But what do they do? They decide to take the day off because there wasn't anything for them to do.

Did they ask me if I had anything for them? No. Did I have anything for them? Oh, you betcha.

So that left me, by myself, to wrap this proposal. I had to make all of the review team changes (there were 134 comments that had to be addressed) because all of the technical people were either off, at a customer site, or traveling. I had to rewrite all of the input from the other company because it reached a new level of sucking (seriously - I would be ashamed to send writing of that quality to a teaming partner - let alone someone who has been and might be again a competitor some day). I had to make 16 tabs for each of 8 binders, I had to write a cover letter, and I had to do a hundred other little detail things that someone else could have done quite easily...allegedly.

But no, I was left on my own.

Oh, and did I mention that I woke up with a raging staph infection? I called my primary, but since I am a new patient to her, they wouldn't make any effort to get me in on Friday (the earliest she could see me was Wednesday, according to whoever answered the phone), and wouldn't prescribe antibiotics for me over the phone even though I knew what I had. So I called the dermatologist who has treated me for multiple staph infections in the past. She wasn't in, and because I haven't had one on over a year, she wouldn't prescribe over the phone either. I ended up having to take time out of my day that I could ill afford to go to the urgent care center, where the doctor looked at me for all of 30 seconds and prescribed the antibiotics I needed. He also charged me $30 more than either my primary or my dermatologist would have.

So yeah, I'm sick, I have a metric buttload of work to do, and all I want to do, frankly, is go home and get naked because whenever I have a staph infection, my clothes feel like sandpaper on my skin.

TMI. I know.

Instead, I worked in the office until 8, then worked at home from 9 until 6:30 this morning when I took a shower and dozed for about an hour and a half. Then I came back in. I wrapped my proposal at 4:40 p.m. Production alone took me almost 3 hours, because I had to do it myself.

I'm really, really frustrated. I've helped all the junior writers when they've been on deadline and were in danger of missing it because they messed something up. I'll pretty much bend over backwards to be a team player. Isn't that what you are supposed to do when you are part of a team?

For two of the junior writers, I blame it on their age. They are both in their early-to-mid 20's, and I'm discovering that that generation just thinks differently about work. They don't think twice about taking time off whenever they feel like it, sometimes they work kind of haphazardly, and honestly, they are just kind of immature. They have room and time to grow, however.

The other junior writer, though, is in his 40's. He is the one who takes very, very extended lunches almost every day, who disappears to go socialize around the building several times a day, can't tape up a box without help, and will never, ever manage to make tabs on his own. I feel for him, with a wife and a baby at home (though she is a nurse, so it isn't like he's supporting them all on his own). But it is really hard to be sympathetic toward someone who slacks off as much as he does.

I don't know what to do about it, though.

Sigh.

Well, I'm off to buy new glasses (I'm apparently even more blind than I was 18 months ago), and then I have to go shopping for baby gifts for one of the young guys who is about to have his first (well, his wife is about to, at any rate).

Have a lovely Saturday.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Food for Thought

A meme about food floating around. Someone came up with a list of things you should eat before you die. If you want to play, bold the ones that you've eaten.



1. Venison. Like it, but don't love it.
2. Nettle tea.
3. Huevos rancheros. - I'm not a fan of eggs, though
4. Steak tartare.
5. Crocodile. - No, but I've had alligator
6. Black pudding/Blood pudding/Blutwurst. - Yes, but I didn't like it at all.
7. Cheese fondue.
8. Carp.
9. Borscht. - Beets. Eww.
10. Baba ghanoush.
11. Calamari. - I've also had pickled squid. Can take or leave both
12. Pho. - Tried it, but didn't like it..
13. PB&J sandwich. - Every day for two straight years in 5th and 6th grade. I haven't had one since.
14. Aloo gobi.
15. Hot dog from a street cart. In New Orleans
16. Epoisses.
17. Black truffle. - Got to try a teeny, tiny piece at a food tasting for charity here. Yum.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes. Manechewitz Blackberry Wine. Cheap and full of alcoholy goodness.
19. Steamed pork buns. - At our Christmas party last year. It had this weird Asian/Louisiana theme.
20. Pistachio ice cream. - Don't eat nuts ever.
21. Heirloom tomatoes.
22. Fresh wild berries. - Elderberries. Yum
23. Foie gras. I will eat muscles from animals, but not organs. Except for chicken hearts.
24. Rice and beans. - Yes, but I pick the beans out. Just like I pick the pecans out of pecan pie.
25. Brawn, or headcheese. - see organ comment above.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper. - I can barely handle jalepenos.
27. Dulce de leche. - Heaven.
28. Oysters. - Not my favorite shellfish, though.
29. Baklava. - Heaven, despite the nuts.
30. Bagna cauda.
31. Wasabi peas. - Didn't know what I was eating. WAY too hot.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl. - Highlighted because I have had both clam chowder and soup in a sourdough bowl. Not together, however.
33. Salted lassi.
34. Sauerkraut. - I'm pretty sure they would take away my German membership card if htis wasn't bolded. Honestly, though, I don't like it. I should, because I like cabbage and I like pickled thing, but I don't
35. Root beer float.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar. - Yuck, to both
37. Clotted cream tea. - Not a fan of clotted cream. Guess they'll be taking away my British card now.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O. - Is it possible to make it out of your 20's without having at least one Jello shot? I think not.
39. Gumbo. - At least weekly.
40. Oxtail. - My dad used to buy this all the time. He liked Oxtail soup. It's OK, I guess.
41. Curried goat. - UGH! Not a fan of curry (though used judiciously, it's OK), and I could never, ever eat goat. They are too cute!
42. Whole insects. - Not on purpose, anyway
43. Phaal.
44. Goat's milk. - Not a fan at all.
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$130 or more. - Don't like whisky, and wouldn't waste my money on something like that.
46. Fugu/Pufferfish. - Can't see this without thinking of The Simpsons. Wouldn't eat it, though.
47. Chicken tikka masala. - One of few Indian dishes I can stand.
48. Eel. - Tried a friend's when we went to a Japanese restaurant. Didn't like it. I had tempura shrimp.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut. - Of course. I like Mary Lee better. In fact, Krispy Kreme had to close several locations here because they couldn't compete with Mary Lee, a local chain. Go local guys! (Starbucks faced the same thing here. Go CC's!)
50. Sea urchin.
51. Prickly pear.
52. Umeboshi.
53. Abalone. - Food tasting again.
54. Paneer.
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal. - Seriously. I can't stand the sauce.
56. Spaetzle. - YUM. We used to put spaetzle in soup instead of noodles.
57. Dirty gin martini.
58. Beer above 8% ABV. - Don't like beer. Yet another threat to my German cred.
59. Poutine. - All of the components of this are wonderful, but the thought of putting them together creeps me out a little.
60. Carob chips. - Blech.
61. S'mores. - I've been camping.
62. Sweetbreads. - See organ comment.
63. Kaolin.
64. Currywurst.
65. Durian.
66. Frogs' legs. - Food tasting again.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake. - Deep fried dough and powdered sugar. Does it get any better?
68. Haggis. - Organs, again
69. Fried plantain. - They're OK, but not as good as I thought they should be.
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette. Is andouillette the same as andouille sausage? If so, then I've had that, but not chittterlings. No organs.
71. Gazpacho. - Not bad.
72. Caviar and blini.
73. Louche absinthe. - The literary part of me would like to try this, but the idea freaks me out a little.
74. Gjetost, or brunost.
75. Roadkill. No, no, no, no...
76. Baijiu.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie - Used to get those in my lunch box, too. Haven't eaten them since, either.
78. Snail. - Food tasting again. Yuck.
79. Lapsang souchong. - Didn't care for it. Too strong a smoky taste.
80. Bellini.
81. Tom yum.
82. Eggs Benedict. Don't like it.
83. Pocky. - Eh. I'd rather have traditional shortbread.
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. - HAHAHAHAHAHA.
85. Kobe beef. - Tiny piece at the food tasting.
86. Hare.
87. Goulash. - It's OK. Not a fan of tomatoes and meat in the same dish, though.
88. Flowers.
89. Horse. - Blerg.
90. Criollo chocolate.
91. SPAM. - Yeah. Yuck.
92. Soft shell crab. - Fairly inexpensive around these parts.
93. Rose harissa.
94. Catfish. - Duh. I do live in Louisiana.
95. Mole poblano.
96. Bagel and lox. - Don't like lox, though.
97. Lobster Thermidor. - Never had lobster, but I've had crawfish. Those are like tiny little lobsters, right?
98. Polenta. - Not a fan at all. Don't like the texture.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. - I don't drink coffee.
100. Snake. - People have tried to convince me on this one, but no one has succeeded.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Regardless of how you feel about the war, or anything else, I defy you to watch the video Andrew Sullivan embedded in this entry and not cry.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

This news story was sent to you by request

post-gazetteNOW A news story has been electronically sent to you by Sheryl

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Read this column by Tony Norman. I couldn't put my finger on what bothered me about Sarah Palin (beyond the obvious) before, but he nails it. I'll comment more later.
Click here to access the story:
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08281/918018-153.stm

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

I'm glad I don't believe in reincarnation...

...because this is really, really scary...



Your result for Reincarnation Placement Exam...

Lol Cat


After much consideration, we have decided to make you a LolCat.



Actually, there wasn't much consideration at all. It was the easiest decision we've made all day.



Why? Because, according to your answers, you want to have your good times, but don't seem too interested in all that "other stuff." You know... civilization, adventure, that sort of thing.



We hope you like being fluffy.



I don't know... Can you has cheezburger?

Take Reincarnation Placement Exam at HelloQuizzy

I really regret the fact that, in one move or another, I managed to lose almost all of my teenage writings.

Because, seriously, I wrote some angst-ridden poetry that would be perfect for an event like this.

One of my "poems" ends with the following three lines. Thankfully, my brain has spared me from remembering the rest of it.

The destruction of joy
The absence of hope

The Death of a Dream.


I had a tendency to be a wee bit melodramatic over really, really tiny things back then. I don't remember exactly the circumstances under which I graced the world with that...dreck, but I do remember that it was my freshman year of high school (and isn't 14-15 the best time to write angst filled poetry?) and I was convinced that every dream I had ever had in my whole entire life had been shattered by...something. I wrote in on the back porch of the house in Pittsburgh, in my pink calico print journal, probably while waiting for the sun to set - just to make sure the mood was right.

If I can say nothing else about my college career, I am grateful to the professor TG called "The Taskmaster" in a comment to a previous post for convincing me when I took her creative writing class that I was not a poet. Not even a little bit. Not even for pretend.

Ohio Readers...

Michelle Obama wants me - personally - to reach out to everyone I know in Ohio and tell them to vote for Barak Obama on November 4th.

So, Tim, TG, and other-Ohio-reader-who-appears-in-my-stats-every-now-and-then-and-who-I-think-I-know-who-you-are-but-I-respect-your-anonymity...consider yourselves reached out to.

Seriously, though, vote for who you think is the best candidate. If it's Obama, fine. If it's McCain, fine. If it's Barr, fine. If you decide to write in your high school ceramics teacher, who you are pretty sure was high three days out of five, that's fine, too (what do you mean, I'm the only one who had one of those?).

The important thing is taking part in the democratic process, even when your choices suck.

I guess.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Prosperity?

Just read this article from Time.

There are a lot of churches down here in the Bible belt that preach the prosperity Gospel. You see them all the time if you flip through the channels late at night or early in the morning. And it always makes me mad.

I don't understand how these "churches" can be tax exempt. They prey on their congregants, and the pastor lives the high life. But the congregants are all for that (the high life part, not the preying) because it is an example of God's largesse. But that largesse is coming from their pockets, which keeps them down while they are waiting for their miracle. It's a twisting of the actual Gospel message, and it makes me mad.

And yes, I know I have been cantankerous for a few weeks now. I guess it's the post-hurricane, early fall blues. I'll get over it eventually.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I just ate a turkey sandwich that tasted an awful lot like ham.

It's a good thing I'm not Jewish or Islamic, because I'm pretty sure it was ham.

Sigh.

Regular readers and folks who know me outside of the internet probably all know where I stand politically, which is on reason I avoid talking about politics on my blog. The fact of the matter is, that I have political views that are probably to the left of most of my readers, though how far to the left is debatable.

Still, I have to share this little slideshow because I found it really, really funny. Plus, it really encapsulates how a lot of people on my side of the political aisle are starting to feel about the VP candidate from the other side.

And I'll let you try to figure out who is who in that comment.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I was reading this entry at a blog I look at on occassion.

I don't understand all of the deadly food allergies that are suddenly around. In my elementary school, we had one kid with a nut allergy (he happened to be my neighbor - I babysat him on occassion). And that was it. No one was going to be on the verge of death if they looked at a carton of milk. No one was going to explode if they ate a piece of bread.

And that one kid with a nut allergy? His parents didn't expect every kid in the school to go nut-free because of him. He ate his lunch alone during the actual lunch-eating period, then all the kids washed their hands and they went outside or to the gym for recess. The parents in his classroom were asked not to send snacks with nuts for birthdays and the like, but that was the only real accomodation that was made.

Now, all of a sudden, everyone has deadly allergies to some food or another. And parents expect the whole school to change to accomodate their kid. Why should I not put cheese on my kid's sandwhich because one kid on some other classroom has an allergy? It's ridiculous.

Sorry if I'm offending the parents out there. I admit I'm not one, and my perspective may be different because of that. I was a teacher, though. And if we had a kid with allergies at the school where I taught, the snack rule I mentioned above was in effect, but parents weren't told they can never give their own kids peanut butter sandwiches, or bread with gluten in it, or milk or whatever because one kid in the class was allergic. It was that kid who sometimes had to make sacrifices. Because you know what? Sometimes in life you have to sacrifice. I don't like amusement park rides that go upside down. Does that mean I ask the park to suspend operations of those rides whenever I go so I don't feel left out? No, it just means I don't ride those rides. Food with blue dye in it makes my stomach do unpleasant things. Do I require that the cakes people at work bring in for birthdays or whatever never have blue icing? No, I just don't have a piece of cake that day. See how it works?

Is it a hard lesson for a kid to learn. Sure. But it is a lesson all of us need to learn someday.

And I firmly believe that the reason we have so many allergies, and "sensitivities" and whatnot popping up these days is that kids aren't allowed to get dirty any more. Parents are always on the lookout for the slightest bit of dirt and standing by with hand sanitizer, wet wipes, etc. When I was a kid, we were outside in the dirt all the time. I probably ate my weight in dirt (and lead paint, to boot) by the time I was five. And aside from some ear infections and some upper respiratory infections (that were most likely caused - or at least made worse - by my mother's smoking), I made it through kidhood unscathed.

OK. Cranky time is over. Back to your regularly scheduled...internet.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Go read the last two blog entries from TG.

I rather enjoyed the one where she summarized our whole economy in the form of a loose tooth.

Tomorrow, I will share with you the latest Sunday School adventure, in which I gained three more students this week. I am amazed that we have so many already confirmed teenagers still coming to Sunday School.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I listed my status on Facebook today as "sad and frustrated." And I am.

The sad is probably 75% hormonal. I go through that every now and then. And it magnifies everything else that is going on around me.

Like my office mate taking a 3 and a half hour lunch today. It frustrated me to the point where I was close to tears. Of the 6.5 hours we overlapped today, he was only at his desk for two of them. Other than the lunch, he roamed the building for 25 minutes one time, came back to his desk for 15 minutes and then roamed for another 35. It makes me mad that they rest of us work like mad to get things done, and he takes off whenever he wants (seriously. I can't figure out how he does it considering he has the same number of sick and vacation days as I do.), wanders around the building, takes 3 hours to do one resume (it should take no more than an hour). I know my boss is aware, so I'm not going to tattle or anything. But it is still frustrating.

I have tried being patient with all this. He has a baby at home and his wife is a nurse. It's harder for her to take time off than it is for him. And honestly, if it was just the time off, it wouldn't bother me. The extended lunches, however, and the socializing around the building when we are on deadline, those kind of things just tick me off.

I don't even feel guilty about eating Raising Cane's while watching The Biggest Loser.

Monday, September 22, 2008

When I fantasize about getting my book published (of course, that would mean I actually have to finish it first - in my fantasies, that isn't an issue), I don't have any grandiose thoughts about being given multi-million dollar advances, multibook deals, or seeing my book turned into a major motion picture starring...well, I can't think of anyone famous who would fit in the lead role.

Anyway...no, I fantasize about three things.

1. Handing over a check to pay off my student loans

2. Being interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air

3. Going back to my high school reunion and saying to all the popular people who made my life a living hell at times, "Bite me, Bitches!"

I'm not particularly proud of that last one, even in fantasy, but it would feel sooo good when I did it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I wish Oprah would stop endorsing books. I really, really wanted to read this one, but I made a vow to never read any book she picked for her "book club." I just don't believe that celebrities should be telling us what we should read, and I especially don't think that Oprah should have so much influence on the tastes of the United States that as soon as she recommends something it becomes a best seller.

Oprah is not the second coming, folks. (At least I assume she isn't. Somehow, I think the Big Guy would choose a less consumerist person for His reappearance on the third rock from the sun).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I bought a piece of what was advertised as pumpkin pie at Whole Foods tonight.

It has pecans in it.

And it doesn't say it has pecans in it on the ingredients list.

First of all, who puts pecans in pumpkin pie?

Second, with all the nut allergies out there, how can anyone sell anything with nuts in it without saying "Hey! There are nuts in here!"

How disappointing.

My alma mater's student newspaper is finally online.

I didn't write for them when I was in college. I was too shy as a freshman to go to their offices, and, truth be told, not all that interested in journalism. One of my regular readers did, though, so she'll appreciate this.

Monday, September 15, 2008

On the first day of Sunday School, Jesus gave to me...

...a much bigger class than I was expecting.

Based on the estimates I was given, I was expecting somewhere between 4-6 ninth through 12th graders yesterday morning. I ended up with four high school students, 3 eighth graders, one sixth grader, and a 20 year old who can't bring herself to sit through the adult forum, where the youngest participants are more than twice her age (I feel her pain...)

The eighth graders will eventually be taught by the interim pastor for confirmation when she arrives. I suspect the 6th grade will join them, even though she is too young for confirmation. She already made her first communion, so asking her to sit through that class with the 5th graders isn't fair.

I wasn't expecting to have such a wide age range, and the high school kids weren't really happy about it. They were even less happy about the "opening ceremony" which is planned for the opening of classes each week. It's intended to get everyone together to pray together before class, but the problem with that plan is that it is absolutley impossible to plan prayer for a group of kids from preschoolers through 12th grade. The middle school and high school students absolutley don't want to jump up and sing, "Allelu, allelu (Praise ye the Lord)" or "Jesus loves me." The preschool kids can't dig deep into prayer like the older ones can. It just doesn't work.

I told my class yesterday that if they didn't want to sit through that every week, they didn't have to. I can't subject them or myself to that every week. The problem is that the woman who is organizing that is a pinnacle of our congregation, well respected, very...outspoken, etc. She is also a first grade teacher who, I think, just doesn't get how...offended middle school and high school students are to be asked endure that. And it's not like they are being asked to plan, or read, or anything else, which I could get behind. They are just being asked to sit in the pew like good little boys and girls and jump up whenever the song calls for it. Blerg.

Oh, the supply pastor we had this week (who we've probably had more than any of the others) had an awesome stole for the Feast of Holy Cross. It consisted of patchwork crosses in different shades of green, but at first your eye only saw the darkest ones. It's very hard to describe, but it was very cool.

And the children's sermon was awesome yesterday. It was only three preschoolers up front with the pastor, but they were really listening and interacting, and climbing all over her. It was really fun. To see those little kids with so much energy and enthusiasm really gives me hope. I just hope the world doesn't crush it out of them down the line.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'll write about our first week of Sunday School later (in which I'll tell the tale of how I ended up with a class of 9 that ranged from 6th grade to college sophomore, when I was expecting 6 - and two of those didn't make it this week!).

But first, here is part of what is wrong with FEMA.

I understand requiring states and local governments to pay their share of disaster response and recovery costs. But there has to be some kind of sliding scale. East Feliciana is a small, rurual parish. They don't have a big tax base, and they don't have high property values. I belive the police jury there (a police jury is kind of like a county council) when they say they don't have the money to pay their share.

Yet, in terms of damage, East Feliciana was one of the hardest hit parishes. Gustav itself didn't do a lot of damage there, but the tornados it spawned sure did. I counted about 15 separate tornado warnings for East Feliciana - and those are just the ones I heard.

I'm not enough of a libretarian (and I probably mangled the spelling of that) to believe that we should abolish the federal income tax and let the states handle these things for themselves. But I do believe that if we are going to pay taxes to the federal government, they need to be there in times of need, regardless of whether a county or parish or whatever can afford to match at 25%.

Also, it's pretty wrong of FEMA to tell the police jury after the fact that they would have to reimburse FEMA for the blue tarps issued to residents. In the heat of the moment, when people have holes in their roofs and are desperate to protect their homes, no one should be thinking of how much this is going to cost the parish down the line. Will it make small counties and parishes less likely to accept that kind of aid later on down the line? What will they do then?

And Ike...ugh. But it's good to see that the media is generally not treating this as such a big deal either. I don't feel quite as left out now. All those downtown skyscrapers losing windows? Who cares? A couple million without power long term? Not sexy. Very few deaths? We're ready to move on. At least they are consistent.

I have to say though (on a slightly unrelated note) that I'm really, really glad that one of the Longs (and I have no idea which one - they all run together) declared that East Baton Rouge Parish couldn't have any buildings that were taller than the state capital (which is the tallest state capital in the country). We don't really have any skyscrapers as a result. That's a good thing in hurricane country.