Friday, June 30, 2006

Revgalblogpal Friday Five: Inevitable Fourth of July Edition

1) Do you celebrate 4th of July (or some other holiday representing independence?)
Sorta. I grew up with amazing firework displays over bodies of water so the ones here in "i miss the ocean, and these ain't mountains, united states" don't exactly get me excited. If I am going to fight traffic and be so sticky hot on a summer night that I am sweating for the person next to me as well as myself then I want a long display, set to music, over water.

2) When was the first time you felt independent, if ever?
Grade School:
Being allowed to go to the candy store on my own
Middle School: Going to the movies on my own with friends... you know, after one of our parents dropped us off of course.
High School: Driver's license
College: Spending the summer between Junior and Senior year in Chicago. It was the summer I turned 21. Best. Summer. Ever.
Now: Ironically I could really use my Mommy right now...

3) If you're hosting a cookout, what's on the grill?
Ribs, grilled veggies, steaks, portabellos, shishkebobs...

4) Strawberry Shortcake -- biscuit or sponge cake? Discuss.
If my grandmother is making it, biscuit; anyone else - sponge cake.

5) Fireworks -- best and worst experience
I don't remember this but apparantly as a child I would cling so tight to whomever was holding me when the fireworks started that my Mom would bring a towel so there was something between me and them. Best experience... Fourth of July's on the river with my family are entrenched in the nostalgia portion of my mind so they all seem perfect.

Um... I hate to interrupt but...

Mrs. Jones-Reynolds... Ms. Walters... you do recall that there are starving children through out our world, right?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Do As They Say, Not as They Do

If you mill around the revgalblogpals or the presbyterian bloggers then you may have taken note that the governing body of the PCUSA has met and now while some are busy with their planned reactions to this and that others are soaking up the info and the commentary and watching the dust settle.

Over 390 items came before the commissioners and three of those have bubbled to the surface of Whiny Lake. (Why Whiny Lake rarely has boats carrying food for the hungry or clothing for the poor is a subject for another post). If you have read some of the other blogs that I associate myself with then you have heard the phrase PUP report and you know that the angst over it is sponsored today by the number 5. In non-technical language - that does not hold me accountable to any nuances that are incorporated into the official language - we are inviting folks to put on a visible level what people have been doing of their own accord for years.

That's right folks, we are now inviting people to say out loud what they really mean before agreeing to the standards of ministry. For instance, instead of just keeping to yourself your issues while promising to uphold the peace, unity and purity of the church you can actually say, "I do... except for that guy" (pointing remains optional).

Interestingly enough - might I even say ironically - I think those who are packing their bags right now are using their own 'local option'. Before #5 was voted on other numbers had their due which included recommendations like these (loosely translated):

1) Quit your bitching and stop blaming everything on mother church (passed 459 to 41, 7 abstentions... I'll never understand the abstain thing but I digress)

2) Take time to figure out stuff together before you reach to get that splinter out of your fellow Christian's eye... might want to take the time to figure out where that log came from too (459 to 41, 7).

3) Study the report... don't just skip to the back to find the parts that piss you off. There is no answer key back there either (459-41-7).

4) If you are leading a meeting try the discernment process rather than trying to ram your agenda through... although you could use the log from your eye as a ramming tool (459-41-7) .

5) Pick a pcusa blog, any blog, and you'll find out about this one (298-221-1) .

6) Can we quit arguing about this now? (298-221-1)

7) Seriously, quit it (298-221-1).

I'll finally get to my point with this question:
If you voted affirmatively for 1 thru 4 and then once 5 thru 7 passed you decided you want out because you didn't get your way... aren't you exercising your own local option?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

All Good Plans...

So I thought the title of today's post was going to be: He Left Me.

TDH and youth group were supposed to leave very early this morning for a Christian Music Festival but the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down and the dadgum thing got cancelled.

Did you check out the link? Their exact wording is: Christian Music Festival 2006 Northeast schedule for June 28 - July 1, 2006 has been postponed until June 27-June 30, 2007.

Um dudes... if the date of an event is pushed to the next time said event is scheduled - the following year - then we English speaking folk like to call it by its real name: C-A-N-C-E-L-L-E-D.

Look, I know the weather is what it is but they had to move this thing a couple of years ago for the same reason - the farmland where it takes place is in a low-lying, easily flooded area. I think it is time to come up with a different location somewhere in this quarter of the country.

In the meantime - in the interest of full disclosure - the REAL reason why I am upset is because I had movies we had not watched yet in the mailbox ready to go back to Netflix so that I could watch some stuff that TDH might not enjoy. When the festival got cancelled he went out and actually retrieved the unwatched movies from the mailbox.

Stupid rain, now I can't watch Sweet Home Alabama.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Missing the Second Point

In one week two columnists missed the point... here is the second one.

Not two days after the 'oink oink' column (see below post) our church member was not mentioned by name but was called out for his actions by another columnist, same paper. This columnist had a bone to pick with the various things that teachers sometimes do in order to motivate their students.

In his case he had worn a pink dress through the day and shaved his legs in front of an assembly of sixth graders. Why? I am glad you asked because the columnist did not mention it in the paper so the readers don't know either. He did this because the sixth grade class of less than 200 students raised over $10,000 for their first ever Relay for Life - a fundraiser for cancer research.

This woman stated that when teachers do things like that they lose the respect of the students. Teachers should be professional and dress professionally at all times basically because back in her day that is what they did.

In my humble opinion she could not have been more wrong. Especially in middle school and high school you can wear a tuxedo or you can wear a bathing suit and a hula shirt - the students will respect you if you can run your classroom well (don't let the bullies & loudmouths take over) and if you treat them at a level they deserve (whether that's good or bad). From my own experience I worked far harder for the teachers I liked and respected than the ones that I didn't.

I have been around town with this guy and kids of all ages call him Mr. Lastname. He is the one who organized the entire school district into this fundraiser and as I stated one grade alone raised over $10,000.

I think she missed the point.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Missing the First Point

I live in a pretty rural community outside of mid-size college town. We have a newspaper. It is terrible. Just across a natural divide is mid-size city. They too have a paper. Rarely does the city paper have anything relevant to contribute to our rural life.

That is why it was all the more odd that in just one week our church and a church member were mentioned in two separate columns in the mid-sized city paper. In both cases I thought the columnists missed the point.

The first columnist was obviously desperate for column fodder when she drove by our rural, country church and took objection to our sign which at the time was advertising a popular fundraiser in these parts, the pig roast. The sign said: Come to our pig roast! Oink. Oink.

Now in the interest of full disclosure you should know that TDH does the church sign since neither one of us can stomach the standard: What's missing from ch--rch? U.R. - or - Life is fragile. Handle with prayer. - OR my favorite one that I wonder if it means what they think it means - Give God what's right - not what's left!

But I digress... apparantly the words 'oink. oink.' reminded the columnist of childhood friends like Wilbur and another talking pig buddy that I cannot remember now and she reprimanded us for using the phrase and suggested we try something else.

All meant in good fun I guess, but here is my problem with it. She used our church's name and our location yet she never called us for comment or to ask for permission or even to tell us it was going to be in there. WTF?

To me that's rude; not to mention that as a writer she should have gotten the double entendre of oink, oink being the sound a pig makes AND being an invitation to come pig out with us.

I think she missed the point. I'll post the second one tomorrow...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Revgalblogpal Friday Five: Ice Cream Edition

Summer is here with a vengeance. We took the family out to Baskin-Robbins to celebrate. I have a special affection for B-R because it was my first job during high school. People told me I'd get sick of ice cream working there. Puh-leeze.Without further ado:

1. Ice cream: for warm weather only or a year-round food?
Year Round. Clock round.

2. Favorite flavor(s)
Chocolate chip mint, cherry vanilla, heath bar crunch, a really good cookie dough not the kind that is all vanilla with a smidge of a dough-type product

3. Cake cone, sugar cone, waffle cone, cup?
Cup. Don't want to waste tummy space on cardboard tasting ice cream holders.

4. Childhood ice-cream memory
Well... I remember family trips to the Carvel and my father offering to help me keep up with my soft serve treat since - of course - in the summer heat it was dripping faster than I could keep up with it. He would then proceed to chomp down on the ice cream and make a good half of it disappear. This is probably why I often echo Joey's line from Friends when people attempt to take my food: "Will Smama doesn't share food!"

5. Banana splits: discuss.
Haven't had one in a long time. They remind me of the boyfriend-I-had-before-I-met-the-guy-I-married since we once shared one at one of those places where they give you a huge plate of ice cream for the soul purpose of sharing. I knew things wouldn't work out between us because although I hate it he ordered a coconut flavored ice cream insisting that it was on his side of the plate. Had he not considered the eco-issue of coconut ice cream run off? Apparantly not and soon enough my own side of the plate was contaminated.

Bonus: Baskin-Robbins used to make ice-cream sodas. During the 18 months I worked there, I think I made about 3 tops. They're no longer on the menu, but you can still order them. Question: What are the ingredients/steps for making an ice cream soda?
I could venture a guess but you can find the real answer here.

ESSENTIAL ADDENDUM: How could I have forgotten peppermint ice cream. It is seasonal so when I was pregnant in November we stocked up because WOE BE TO THE MAN WOMAN OR CHILD WHO GOT BETWEEN ME AND MY EDY'S PEPPERMINT!!!!

Overheard at the Softball Fields

Speaker #1: Irritated female softball player frustrated at getting pounded (in softball) once again by an all male team that represents a denomination similar to her own but apparantly stopped reforming and just got stuck on the decently and anal part. Their best player continued to show off his skills by hitting it to where our youngest girl was (he was a righty hitting to right field - a big bad sportsmanship no-no when you can obviously hit it anywhere you want and your team is leading by 15+ runs - even his own teamate finally told him to take his skirt off).

Speaker #1 notes that there are a number of women on the opponent's side of the field in chairs wearing the team's colors and she decides to jog by on her way back to the bench (incidentally after making the only out she made of the night having batted 5-6).

Speaker #1: Hey all... you've got the jerseys how come you are not out on the field?
Reformed and Repressed Woman #1: What?
Speaker #1: Well I see you have the uniforms, why don't you grab a glove and come on out. We have a great time.
Reformed and Repressed Woman #2: Well, we're not allowed to play.
Speaker #1: (feigning shock) WHAT?
Reformed and Repressed teenager: Yeah, it's not fair.
Speaker #1: Sounds to me like those boys need to either move up a division or you all need to switch churches!

Any similarities between Speaker #1 and the author of this blog are right on the money.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Like, Oh my Gaw...

I really, really, really, REALLY wish this were not the case but as I am listening/watching the PCUSA's General Assembly I can always tell who is a Youth Advisory Delegate before they declare themselves to be just by the inflection of their voice (read: valley girl). So far there have been no exceptions. I will let you know.

UPDATE: I by no means caught all of the debate but from what I saw two YAD's - one from Cayuga-Syracuse and one from Milwaukee - broke the trend

And a special thank you to reverend mother who turned me on to the GA's video livestream which is a very specific mind-numbing, torture device... and yet I can't turn it off.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Rev Gal Friday FiveZzzzzz ('cause I am in my own time zone)

friday fiveZzzzzzz....

Well, it's 9:00 p.m. on Thursday night, and I'm posting the Friday Five a little early, then going to bed. Yes, I'm really that tired. Which brings me to this week's Friday Five: sleep!

1. In what kind of environment do you sleep best? (e.g. amount of light and noise, temperature, number of pillows, breathe-right strip, sleeping in the buff, etc.)
Cold because I like a sheet and a comforter, dark (sometimes I put a pillow or one of TDH's t-shirts over my eyes), body pillow between the knees since I sleep on my side and (get ready for the sexy) - a mouth guard because I grind my teeth at night.

2. How much sleep do you need to feel consistently well-rested?
How much can you get by on?
What are the consequences when you don't get enough?

8 hours. I can do less, but when that becomes a habit Little Miss Instantly Irritable comes out to play and that is not good for anybody.

3. Night owl or morning person?

Night owl if anything. I often remind myself of that Jerry Seinfeld riff where he talks about our morning selves being mad at our night selves for staying up so late.

4. Favorite cure for insomnia
I try to remember the first time I met TDH and then run through our dates (that I remember) up to our wedding and the....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

5. To snooze or not to snooze? Why or why not?

I used to snooze but for 16 months now I have had a baby alarm and he does not like it when I go in and hit him on the head in order to get 9 more minutes of sleep, then 8, then 7, then 6....

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Saturday Diary

6:00 AM - Up pre-baby alarm. I have two weddings today. The first one is in the morning in our un-airconditioned Sanctuary so while it is still cool out I cross the parking lot and open up the building. This includes opening the windows of the Sanctuary and putting in the old, falling apart screens, turn on the fans, notice that the pulpit flowers have not been replaced and wonder if the flower place will come right in the middle of the morning wedding. Must keep my eye on that situation... make a mental note.

7:00 AM - Bring down The Boy and feed him breakfast. Ants all over one of our living room window sills. Remind myself that I am in the north therefore these will not eat through my flesh with their acidic bite (rm, st. casserole - I think you hear me!)
Rummage through sink cabinet find two ant traps, email Mom quickly to ask her to bring more. Clean up what I can - makeshift barrier to keep The Boy away from new mini-toys/snacks - not sure which he would choose.

8:00 AM - Work on sermon while The Boy plays. Ignore him as he places book on my lap and sqwuaks when it falls on floor; finally cave when he throws said book at my face and waves and says, "bah-bye". Glad to know the Jewish Guilt gene came through just fine from his great grandmother.

10:00 AM - Rehearsal time for the first wedding which is supposed to take place at 11. I am doing this wedding because it is what Jesus would do. Their six month old baby is already here. Truth be told they would rather be at the Justice of the Peace but NOW their parents intervene (where those parents were while they were making said 6 month old I couldn't tell you). They know I have another wedding in The City at 3. I have just been informed they are running late. grrrrrrrr.

10:40 AM - grrrrrrrrrrrr

10:55 AM - I stop the organist from going into the Sanctuary because the bride is not dressed yet and still has someone working on her hair. Good thing too because he is good but improvising for 30 minutes isn't good for anybody.

11:15 AM - Still awaiting bride, flower girl and one bridesmaid to emerge from the bathroom I ask a group of twenties to please move their smoking to the parking lot and away from the vestibule where all smoke is drifting into the Sanctuary.

11:25 AM - Direct quote from me (dressed in robe) to man/boy that I had already asked to move his smoking to the parking lot and he had given me a look and was now standing in threshold of Sanctuary doorway smoking. That's right, he was technically outside but in the doorway:
WHOA! Are you KIDDING me? You're smoking right in the doorway of the church?! REALLY?
He puts his arms out shrugging his shoulders and flinches at me as if he is trying to run me off. Nice try. I actually stepped towards him and then one of the groomsmen got in the middle of us and says, "She's right dude. Show some respect." and pushes him towards the parking lot.

I swear to you I would have thrown down right there - robe and all - I was just. that. pissed. And yes, that is also what Jesus would do.

11:35AM - Wedding ceremony (the flower people do not come in the middle of it or they read my note).

12:25 PM - All are gone. All evidence of them is gone. Church is straightened out.
There is lunch to eat, little boys to play with and lecture to about smoking and surliness (not to mention being willing to "throw down" when you are 36 and robed to officiate a wedding because you are clergy. When does that lecture come? My What to Expect from your Toddler book doesn't say.)

ETD for the next wedding is 2pm. Stay tuned...

10:25 PM Update - Just returned home from wedding #2 and seeing
A Praire Home Companion. The wedding was uneventful. It was an interfaith wedding with the main challenge being my rusty pronunciation of Hebrew. The setting was beautiful and the reception was fun.

So why the movie you ask? Because TDH doesn't dance so what is the sense of sitting around staring at your now empty water glass and your cake crumbs with a group of strangers who occasionally look at you and wonder why the pastor is still there. So instead of ending up the evening in a fight with both of us feeling like we are back at the 6th grade dance (me because the boy I like didn't ask me to dance and him because he didn't get the nerve up to ask the girl he likes to dance... or me - ha, ha). So this time we stayed until after cake which is the etiquette appropriate time to leave a wedding and we went to see the movie.

It was a lot of fun. We hardly ever go to the movies. The last one we saw in the theater was Madagascar. The one before that was Elf. So this was a fun treat and the theater was pretty full which adds to the atmosphere (as long as it is full with adults who don't talk and have their cell phones on vibrate - they didn't and they did).

So now we are home and I have a sermon to print out and a bed to get into.

Have a blessed Sunday.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Oh, if only...

Thanks to Following Frodo.

Miracle Max

Which Princess Bride Character are You?

Oh, if only this were true here are the miracles I would perform...

- Immediately snuff out all redneck attempts to burn trash with a thorough drenching of the materials to occur if there is plastic in the burn pile... or at the very least create a constant breeze around my house so that the smoke does not just sit in my living room and watch tv with us.

- Odorless spread.

- Winning the lottery without buying a ticket.

- Oh yeah and end world hunger and peace throughout the world... whatever - the smoke and spread are a good start.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

RevGalBlogPal Friday (errr, Tuesday) Five: Rain Edition

The challenge: In my little corner of the world, it has been a very, very, very rainy spring. It is hard to think of anything else. Today's Friday Five asks, then, five questions about rain, all intended to help us look on the bright side of life. Let a smile be your umbrella!!

1. Favorite way to spend a rainy day
Sleeping in, flavored coffee, catch up on some magazines, catch a movie, out to dinner, snuggles

2. Favorite song about rain

Stormy Weather- Lena Horne

3. Favorite movie featuring rain
Shawshank Redemption - Awesome!

4. Favorite piece of raingear, past or present
On me, my LL Bean duck boots.

On kids, those cute rain slickers and hats and boots. Back in seminary we lived right down the road from the daycare. TDH and I were in the throes of yet another 'discussion' about having children and all of the sudden we saw the kids marching down the street - hitting ALL the puddles (of course) - and singing, "Quack, quack, waddle, waddle, quack, quack, waddle, waddle..."
After that, he never had a chance...

5. Favorite word for rain

schmutz - It is unofficial Yiddish for a day that has that heavy mist in the air. At the national spelling bee the sentence they used was: "My fathah was going to take out the gahbage but decided there was too much schmutz in the air and it could wait."

Monday, June 12, 2006

Cute Dentist

Got me some replacement fillings today. It wasn’t too bad especially since I now know where Cute Dentist has been hiding.

Not too long ago TDH – more frugal than health concious as he is – told me that since we have dental insurance we should probably take advantage and go to the dentist. I responded that I would indeed make an appointment as soon as I was done carpeting the garage and air conditioning the shed (my Mom used to say the former, we don’t even own the latter).

The mature adult won out and off to the dentist we went. The dental hygenist was nice enough and then the dentist came in to check her work. He obviously was a child prodigy because there was no way he was older than 16 and he was very cute. I even forgave him when he pronounced that I would need a filling or two… and when I stood up and realized he was short.

I joked, I teased – okay I flirted – and I made my filling appointment.

Cute Dentist told me to bring some music I would enjoy listening to in order to make the process more bearable so I did. Now I still do not own an ipod, but three years ago most people did not own one either. My portable cd player was broken so I did what any good child of the 80’s would do and I dug through our random electronic paraphenalia box and dug out the portable cassette player and the headphones that matched.

Laying in the chair – mid-fillings – my tape stopped and I had to flip it over. With that Cute Dentist said, “Wow, is that one of those Walk-mans?”

He said ‘Walkman’ as if he remembered studying that in his Judeo-Christian history class. He had the same smug look on his face that I had when I told my Dad we were studying the Beatles in my 8th grade music class. And when I told my younger sister about it (she who owns an ipod) she too laughed at me and told me that they actually have a Walkman in the Smithsonian Museum.


After that incident I didn’t see Cute Dentist again although with only twice a year appointments I really didn’t think too much about it. I just figured he had left for another office. Until today when lo and behold there he was with long needles in hand. Their office now has satellite radio that usually plays the 80’s so I left my walkman at home.

One more thing I like about him, he said thank you just about every time the assistant, Flourine (I kid you not), handed him the various things he needed during the procedure. She is conservatively 40 years his senior so I like that he appreciates her experience and is polite about it all.

I think my experience with him gives me a little glimpse into what it is like for folks in the church to have me as their pastor. For many it is the first time their pastor has been younger than them. I guess that is a little weird and may take some getting used to, but at least I haven't relegated the outdated carillon to a museum!

So... where exactly have I been?

Turns out - as exciting as the uber computer desk is - it does have a major drawback. Since that area is now my husband's office he has literally "cornered" the use of the computer in the evenings.

Hmmm. I will have to figure something out (his and her laptops?) because this not posting thing simply will not do.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Why I'm holding my breath...

The Good News: The Boy is walking!!!

The Bad News: When outside he insists on walking ONLY on the hot asphalt driveway and ONLY while carrying sharp, pointy sticks.

Yesterday afternoon I aged ten years.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Really George?

With ALL that is going on in our community right now - local, country, global - is constitutionally banning the union of two people who want to make a public committment to one another REALLY what we need to be doing right now?


UPDATE: Read this.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

RevGalBlogPal Friday Five: Summer Blockbuster Edition

This week's questions are inspired by the various summer films currently in the theaters or soon to be released. Here's your large popcorn and blue raspberry Icee--would you like Raisinets or Goobers with that? Silence those cell phones please, the show's about to start:

1. If you were a mutant, what ability would you like to have? (think superpower)
My first thought was invisibility but really, would I actually put that to good use? No. I would use it mainly to hear what other people are saying about me (Hello neurosis!). So I am going to stick with flying.

2. Tell us about a memorable road trip you've experienced.
Hmmm... I guess these would be the numerous ones I took from my home in the northeast to my college on the west coast of Florida. I remember making that trip one time in an obscene amount of time, waiting two hours before I called my parents to say we had made it and my Mom still saying, "Already!"
One of these trips back home was also when the honor student next to me turned west towards Alabama instead of east towards I-95. When I told her we needed to turn around she told me that I was just confused because we were in the south. Uh. Huh.

3. Do you enjoy solving riddles and working on puzzles? If so, what kinds?
I enjoy problem solving in real life, but do not particularly enjoy sitting down with puzzles and riddles.

4. Take two of your phobias and combine them to make a campy horror/disaster flick. What would it be called?
Actually the movie I think this question is referring to pretty much nails it on the head: A locked, confined space at a ridiculously high altitude filled with slithery, poisonous companions otherwise known as... Snakes on a Plane!

5. Just how batsh*t crazy is Tom Cruise, anyway?
Seriously... he gone.

I have refused to go to this movie because I don't want to put even ten cents into this man's pocket. Although we don't go to the movies often this actually is a sacrifice since I consider the Mission Impossible series nostalgia since I used to watch the tv series with my Dad all the time. And I hear the third one is the most true to the tv format meaning no betrayal (Jim would have NEVER done that) and working as a team (could we have relied more on plastic masks and less on teammates in the second one?).

Bonus: Name each of the five movies that inspired these questions.
1) X-Men
2) RV
3) Davinci Code
4) Snakes on a Plane
5) MI3

Anwers are here. DOH! I was so close.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Coolness Meme

I have been tagged by purechristianithink to give you the five reasons I think I am cool.

1) Sometimes I trace the outline of my left hand and where my ring finger should be I write in "wish you were here" and then send them to my nieces and nephews.

2) In a softball league where the majority of teams have no women playing and those that do have only one woman playing I am batting 12 for 16.

3) I am married to a man that insists on playing all of the women who show up to play on his team (sometimes up to five on the field at a time). On Monday we beat a team with no women... badly (23-9).

4) I hang with people whose names make it sound like we are in a slightly feminized motorcycle gang and can say stuff at the local bar like: "Yo Songbird, bring me and reverend mother a be-ah before we give this fundamentalist a verbal Bible thumpin'."

5) Have you seen my son? Seriously... the little man is CUTE!

Tag Thyself. The less cool you think you are, the MORE you should do this meme!