Tuesday, December 26, 2006











...'one'?

Merry Christmas, dear people.

You People Scare Me



Did you know about this? I certainly didn't.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Greatness

Look at THIS!

The raging wonderfulness of Flickr never ceases to amaze me.

Dream Girl Indeed.

In my dream last night, I met Twisty Faster.

Twisty is the nom de blog the creator of I Blame the Patriarchy. She is the best writer on the internet, or at least currently active in the blogosphere.

(I do miss getupgrrl, especially now, around Hanukkah.)

In my dream, I was in Austin (which is indeed the home of IBTP), leaving some sort of a conference or summer camp or something, and needed to use a phone. I stopped at a smallish house, really a cottage, with the door standing mostly open. I knocked and stuck my head in, and there in a mudroomish sort of area were 3 women, laughing and talking, relaxed and happy, doing something like potting up seedlings. 2 had garden gloves and one was potting with her bare hands. She didn't speak while I was there, just smiled sort of shyly, distractedly. She had cropped brown hair, a face that was both long and broad, high cheekbones and a big bold handsome nose.

I don't know how I knew it was Twisty, since she and I didn't speak, and no one introduced anyone (and of course I've never seen her IRL) but in the dream, I felt abashed and a tiny bit starstruck - honored, even - to be standing in someone's mudroom with Twisty Faster.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In other news, Christmas shopping is practically accomplished. I kicked ass, I took names, and, to paraphrase Stephen C, then I kicked the ass' names. It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

for all your candlelight family service needs:

It's the Questionable Christmas Children's Word Find!

IF you go looking for printable children's Christmas activity sheets on the internet, you'll find that 80% of them focus on Santa, elves, penguins (trendy, sure, but Christmassy? Hmmm...I guess they live at a pole.)

Another 18% are designed for 8-year-olds who have a year or two of seminary behind them. 'Naphtali'? Really? In a children's circle-the-word puzzle? I had never seen that before. Perhaps the brand name for myrrh? In fact, it's an OT guy, who had land and lakes named after him, which figure in the Isaiah prohesy. So there. It's probably in the Messiah and I just never heard it.

And then, finally, you find a nice simple nativity-oriented word search, with some cute clip art and some words you're pretty sure that little kids will recognize.

Including for that one in the second row.

The kids will be coloring on Sunday night. And that's all.

(honestly, I am ashamed at how long and hard I laughed at this. I carried it around to other staff offices. No one is quite as immature as I am, but they did all snicker.)

Monday, December 18, 2006

me again

I am still alive.

I do not have a novel for you. Perhaps next year.

Though I am usually the family's designated Christmas shopper (because I love it, and because I am one of the world's most effective and efficient bargain hunters)I have not purchased ONE SINGLE PRESENT for ANYONE.

We do have the most beautiful tree ever; it's a small one (we chose to do a 5-ish foot tree on a table, to keep most of it away from the kid) and it is fragrant, perfectly shaped, and somehow just uniquely precious. I guarantee you that I will cry in January when we have to haul it out to the curb.

Unbelieveably, I am watching an old episode of Extreme Makeover because I am too lazy to get up and find the remote...even though I know House is on.

I should be designing our Christmas card.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Almost as good as Beth's


You are The Hierophant


Divine Wisdom. Manifestation. Explanation. Teaching.


All things relating to education, patience, help from superiors.The Hierophant is often considered to be a Guardian Angel.


The Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess between her two pillars deals with realms beyond this Earth, the Hierophant (or High Priest) deals with worldly problems. He is well suited to do this because he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of a crisis. The Hierophant's only problem is that he can be stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.



via my bff, bww.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

and now this



from dethroner (viewer discretion advised: drug references)
via sweetney.

Our new office motto


I am so sad that this isn't available in my size.
buy one.

Incidentally, our other office motto.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sorry, we're closed.

Thanks for stopping by. I am taking a break from blogging for the month of November. You can probably find me here, should you be so inclined.

If you're withering away without your daily dose of ME, you can check my archives here and at:
Flickr and
my baby blog.

See y'all in 50,000 words.

bon voyage

I'm going on blog vacation! (Ah, would that I were going on an ACTUAL vacation, but that's not in the cards at the moment. In church, as in retail, we're just barrelling into nutty season.) But I will be snubbing you all, turning my back on the blogosphere for a month, while I concentrate my energies on something really crazy.

Husband and I enjoyed Halloween. Our 10-month-old did not, particularly, until he could get home and peel off his lovingly-selected bunny costume and run around the living room in his diaper.

I heard this guy on the radio the other day; I think I'll be reading his book (at least one) in December.

Nobody do anything interesting for a month, okay?

Friday, October 27, 2006

the power of art direction -

I've declared my intention to write a novel in a month with NaNoWriMo, but I would be remiss if I didn't point out that NaBloPoMo has a really really really good logo.

And an even better motto.

couldn't possibly be lovelier:

I did not write this, sad to say. Unbelievably, it's a recruiting pamphlet from a college.

AT THIS VERY MOMENT, somewhere in the world. . . .
a woman is reading a letter from her son, announcing his engagement to a girl the mother has never met; a five-year-old boy is sitting in a Laundromat in front of a large commercial dryer, reading a comic book while a pink stuffed rabbit tosses around and around; it’s spring somewhere, and somewhere else it’s autumn and the papermakers go down to the railroad tracks to collect the dried milkweed stalks; a movie star is eating Chicken Vandalia out of a white cardboard container in a hotel room while watching a TV program about typecasting in ancient China; a large number of people have the same cold; a man writes a love letter, carefully shaping the letters on the creamy white paper, imagining his beloved’s face as she reads the words he is writing; an artist is loading slides into a carousel as he prepares to give a lecture about Japanese washi; a baby has just said his first word (doggy) and an old woman has just said her last words (Don’t forget–); a young graduate student is sewing together an Ethiopian style book, and humming to himself; a small group of women are sitting on a porch in a rural village watching a meteor shower, and a man in the same village watches the same cascade of meteors, and writes a poem about it; a man and a woman stand on opposite sides of a bed, smiling at each other; a third grader makes his first sheet of paper; books are burning; printing presses are churning out tomorrow’s news; at this very moment, somewhere in the world, you are reading these words, holding this slender pamphlet in your hands and thinking about the things you want to make, the ideas you haven’t turned into reality yet. Somewhere in the world there’s the perfect place to work on these ideas of yours; that place is here, at the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts. Wish you were here.

The Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts


Good Lord. A college brochure made me cry.

It even has an excellent URL: http://bookandpaper.org/

via Notebookism



LINK

Monday, October 23, 2006

Something is badly wrong with me.


Just signed up to write a novel.

In the last 12 months, I have sewed 3 seams and knit not even 10 rows. I don't journal regularly, and as we can all see, I don't keep up on any of my blogs.

Here's what the website says:
The stylish icons immediately communicate two things: 1) I am a serious writer now, and, 2) As a serious writer, I will not have time for household chores until December.

It's the little things.

I've mentioned that I like the band Killers a lot. (I like all those effeminant neo-new-wave bands - Scissor Sisters, Panic at the Disco.) I knew I loved their song Mr. Bright Side, and I knew that one of the lines - "Open up my eager eye.." - was very evocative and might make a good blog title.

But it's even more than that.

It's a homage.

In the English version of 99 Luftballons (as I was reminded when I heard it on the radio yesterday) Nena sings that the war machine 'opens up one eager eye'...

AHA! HA HA HA HA HA!

God talks to me through the TV

We end up watching Inside the Actor's Studio rather regularly, since it comes on Bravo Mondays after The West Wing, which is perhaps the only real addiction my non-smoking, non-gambing, never-even-been-tipsy husband has ever had. He leaves his body in the ass-groove on the couch and goes to live with CJ and Josh for a couple of hours a week, and that satisfies him for another 7 days or so.

I have mixed feelings about ITAS - on one hand, it's more tiresome celebrity worship dressed up as culture and education; on the other hand, it's occasionally educated people talking about ideas without shouting, so we'd want to encourage that, right?

Even when I have no interest in the guest, I'm always riveted by the questions at the end - the Bernard Pivot questions. Since everyone knows what they'll be asked, they have plenty of time to think up sparklingly clever and self-aggrandizing answers, AND YET I feel like the answers they give are (I think unintentionally) incredibly revealing.

So tonight Dan Castelanetta - Homer Simpson - was asked "if heaven is real, what do you hope to hear God say when you arrive?"

And he replied "'Eh! What were you so worried about?'"

Friday, October 13, 2006

I did it -

the thing that good hosts and good cooks never do. I invited someone for dinner, and prepared a recipe I had never made before. From a magazine. Can you imagine?

In fact, I've never made a pork dish before. At all. I had to ask our guest how to tell when pork is cooked. (Luckily, he knew.)

I also bought a $10 bottle of wine based soley on the recommendation of a liquor store employee who admitted that she had never tasted it, and in fact, didn't like wine much. It had a pretty label.

Everything was absolutely excellent.

The dinner:
Pork Chops with Sweet-Potato Salad

The wine:

According to the terribly exciting Red White and Rose list of great wines under $10 (I just found this site while looking for an image of the wine label! I really am terribly excited! We may spend the next several months in a mild, delicious haze! You should be really nice to me and see if you can't get invited over! The house smells a little like cats, but I figure enough 'great wine under $10' will probably mitigate...)
)
Promessa Rosso Salento ... a blend of 85% Negroamaro and 15% Primitivo. This very spicy, rich wine has notes of plum, violets, anise, tobacco, and licorice. The tannins compliment the spicy nature of the wine.
Price and quality earn this wine one star (out of a possible three.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I guess not everyone enjoys a ride in a convertible


from the very weird bunny yawn website. Via Sweetney.

Words Fail, and things get interesting.

Just saw Little Miss Sunshine, which is an very rewarding film, mainly about the limitations of language.

Please note: If you happen to be going through any sort of personal rough patch – family bickering, career disappointment, parent/child sadness, romantic loss – I might suggest that you wait for the video. This may not be the ideal film for you to see.
(On ‘date night.’)

(I’m just sayin’.)

But if you brave it, if you can hang in through some undeniably uncomfortable moments, you may have a fairly lovely and cathartic experience. It’s a bit like Napoleon Dynamite – words fail, and that’s when things get really interesting. There are no weak performances; Steve Carrell especially distinguishes himself, and especially with his physical work; it’s really excellent.


I’ve also been watching Studio 60 on The Sunset Strip, which I have begun to suspect is not excellent. I wanted very much to like it – I’m fond of Sorkin, my INSANE LOVE of Sports Night is well-documented. This show has theatre history jokes. Fatty Arbuckle jokes. (And not the obvious ones!) Gilbert and Sullivan parodies!

Really, I am the target market for this show. Me personally.

What’s good: well, the fact that there’s a show on TV that wants to make a non-dirty Fatty Arbuckle reference. The female characters seem smart, and when male characters who treat them otherwise, it’s evidence of untrustworthy character and bad judgment.

But by far the best thing – here’s the best thing about Aaron Sorkin. Sorkin understands something important.

He understands that work is more fun than fun.

This is the best thing about Sports Night, and it’s by far the best thing about this latest show. It’s a beautiful artistic tribute to adrenaline, to that moment when you’re working hard and surrounded by stimulating people who really care about what you’re doing and you are fairly confident but if we’re really honest NOT REALLY 100% SURE WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE NEXT 60 SECONDS….dude, that’s when you know you’re alive. Seriously.

When Sports Night was on broadcast, I used to cry every week as I watched it. Because someone got it.

So that’s good.

Here’s what, so far, seems pretty bad – one of the characters is a comedian and a Christian, not to mention a beautiful smart woman and a romantic lead. So far, I kinda like her, and I like that various men admire/love her. But honestly – I am in the God industry, and I don’t have as many conversations about Christianity in a week as this woman does. It is too early, for me at least, to tell how this peculiar bit of writing is going to work out.

And here’s what’s really bad already. The show is about the producers, and production, of a late-night sketch comedy show on a broadcast network. (But not Saturday Night Live! And you can tell its not about SNL, because people refer to SNL, to actual events in SNL history, by name. Matthew Perry’s character namechecked Wayne’s World on Monday. SNL is the competition for the show-within-a-show.)

If you’re going to have a show about a comedy show, and you’re going to make the very risky decision to include parts of the comedy show in the script….honestly, it has to be funny.

The parts where the producers are arguing about ratings are funny. The parts where the comedy writers are struggling to write jokes are funny.

The parts where the comedians are telling jokes on TV should be at least a little funny.

If they’re not, then nothing else makes sense. All the talk about the ratings, the focus groups, the switchboard lighting up, even the long (long long) montage of the studio audience laughing and applauding…complete nonsense.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Devotional Object


Man, all I can say is, thank God for Oxy-clean.

A couple of months ago, Husband bought a gigantic tub of this stuff, at which I scoffed. "Pshaw!" I guffed,"Isn't that the stuff in the (ugh) infomercial?" (I pride myself on my sales resistance; it makes me feel entirely superior to Husband, who, though kind and quite hot, has very little.)

He was right about this stuff, though - it's brilliant! It has saved us at least a gazillion dollars in professional cleaning and new clothes, as I have undertaken "Project Closet".

I was getting quite sick of my closet; sick, mostly, of opening it and finding nothing to wear. I knew for sure that I had bought clothes, over the years, that were attractive and fit well and went together into outfits. And yet, for the last several months, I've been throwing open the closet doors every morning, re-creasing my already-creased brow, heaving a sigh, and reaching for the same pair of jeans and dodgy black t-shirt.

And feeling more and more dowdy, as if having the World's Cutest Baby back in December had stolen my mojo.

And feeling really really fat. Now, I've been fat all my life, and, with some exceptions, I haven't really minded it much. I've always been healthy, had many more cute days than hideous ones, and it doesn't seem to have ruined my social or romantic life.

However, I am used to seeing myself in a certain shape. You know, round. I am quite used to being round. But since having the kid, things seem to have...shifted. Interestingly, they've shifted UP. Didn't see that coming, did you? Me either, believe me. But my roundess has shifted up, forming a mound above my belt that was never there before my pregnancy.

So, to recap: though I am 20 pounds lighter than I was pre-pregnancy, I look about as pregnant now as I did this time last year. At the start of my 3rd trimester. All my clothes still fit, technically, but they look entirely different. And by different, of course, I mean crappy. I've been walking around in jeans, black loafers, and something from my large collection of completely plain black t-shirts. Since about March. No jewelry to speak of(Grabby Baby), no accessories, my usual home haircut.

Why on earth would I feel dowdy?

So last Saturday, I flung open my closet doors and took out everything. I sorted through it all, even shoes, even those 200 wire hangers that say "we love our customers smileyface smileyface". I dispensed with a small pile of unflattering things, traded the very summery fluttery things for the turtlenecks and wooly tweedy things. I filed the cotton t-shirts in the drawer with my shorts and sports bras. I hung everything by type and then color.

And ended up with the spotty pile.

You know that pile of clothes, the ones that looked fine when you hung them in the closet but have apparently developed a weird dark spot (or 6) while hanging there?

Honestly, my life must be pretty uncomplicated, because the mysterious appearance of the weird dark spot is one of the most supremely frustrating things in my life.

I ruthlessly threw all the spotty things, all the mysterious things into one pile, the greying shirts, that camisoles with the little bits of soy sauce. There are some shirts in this pile that I absolutely love, some that are practically brand new.

I am rehabbing the clothes. I am completely committed to tossing whatever doesn't come clean, so that whenever I reach into my closet, I'll come up with something that fits and flatters and is decent enough to wear in public and are, you know..clean. Undamaged.

The first round - the white shirts - was a raging success. Everything from the first round has survived to return to the closet! Because of Oxy-Clean! Last week, I wore two white shirts that I haven't worn in months! Because of Oxy-Clean!

I'm soaking the brown shirts right now.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Now this is a church service:

Go read this, about a presentation that the Ikon community did at Greenbelt (what's Greenbelt?) this summer.

If you scroll down through the comments, there's a brief description of the service from Pete, and also the text of the short 'sermon' by Ian Paisley. You can read that first and then read the main entry, which talks about some of the motivations/goals/thinking behind the design of the service.

Sometimes the work I do - liturgy, the alleged 'work of the people', thinking about my own and hearing about others' - gives me room spins. I once wrote in my journal that people seem to expect God to affirm what they're doing by making them feel solid, grounded and comfortable...but in my experience, it felt more like standing up in the back of a moving pickup truck. Offroad.

Honestly - despite what I say, I have not loved every second of my job.

But right now, I love my job.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How am I?

Let me tell you how I am.
I have a head cold and my period at the same time.








Every time I sneeze, I have to do laundry.

That's how I am.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

liveblogging the project -

Laura:
Good Lord! Laura has gone from hmm, these tailored pants are a bit tight to DUDE look at that extremely PREGNANT woman.
I do admire her designs (plus she endeared herself to me - this is kind of counterintuitive - when someone expressed shock that she was having a 6th child, and she said she'd just 'throw it on the pile with the other 5.'

Kayne:
I feel protective about Kayne - a little like I did about Andrae. I want to smack people when they say mean things about his dresses.
His evening dress came out fabulous! I ADORE the assymetrical corset lacing! (I wonder if it was on purpose.)


Jeffrey:
Oh, just shut up. In the dictionary, beside the word 'tiresome', there is a picture of you.


Michael:
My choice to win. (Not too brave a prediction - it's kind of obvious.)
You'll notice, when Jeffery and Laura are standing in the corner of the work room, analytically abusing the other designers and coldly dissing everyone - including one another - like they're the cool kids in the cafeteria....Michael just keeps draping. Even Vincent and Uli are cracking on the other designers! I'm sure the producers encourage them to, but that's just vulgar.
Michael's dress for this challenge came out excellent, (The judges do not agree!) but I kind of assumed it would (which is the trouble with having distinguished yourself already.)
Plus he just said he was 'sweatin' like a whore in church'!! Extra points from me for that.


Vincent:
I'm very fond of Vincent. His dress looks nice, but I think he'll be out this week, on account of all the glue holding the gown together.


Uli:
all her dresses look alike. I'm bored. Though I must give props to her plus-sized outfit from 2 weeks ago.

I'll publish this now before the winner is announced...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

blog title envy

But when you're a middle-aged woman who just got six hours of sleep because it's obviously Catastrophe Week at your church and you didn't get the memo with the dates, and your have purple rings under your eyes and your hair is flat and greasy because you just didn't think it was worth the fifteen minutes it would take to wash and blow dry it, you don't want your fun, diversionary beauty magazines to just LIE to you and tell you that this fresh-scrubbed "look" is flattering. Or that it's even a "look." Most of all, you don't want these fun, diversionary magazines to LIE EVEN MORE and list fourteen products that, if you purchase them, will help you achieve this "look," when you know very well that all it really requires in real life is a tub of Vaseline, a set of lights, a genius photographer, and a professional art editor.


Why didn't I think of this?

Beauty Tips for Ministers.
His death is especially tragic when you consider how many people there are on TV who deserve to be attacked by stingrays.


The Crocodile Hunter's death - very shocking. Trust Harry to say the only thing left worth saying.

Harry is also the author of a blog post titled:
"People who like football should be put in boxes and bulldozed into the sea". He doesn't write nearly often enough.

vialaid off dad.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Thursday, August 31, 2006

These Go to 11.

ten notes to myself (and you)
1. www.xmarkjenkinsx.com
2. I get headachey at my computer at work. I think I need to get my eyes checked.
3. I need to figure out what kind of glasses look cool - and will continue to look cool for several years. If indeed it is time for me to get glasses.
4. I must have done all right with the sermon last week, because the boss had me prepare something - a little half-a-sermon thath follows on what he'll be saying - for this week.
5. I think that Chuck Levin's would be a great setting for a reality show.
6. I am so exhilerated by what we are doing at work that I had to go outside and hop around and squeal for several minutes today.
7. This house looks like raging crap. Someone should clean it up.
8. How is it possible that I lost weight while I was pregnant and have gained it since? This is a mystery, and blows.
9. I want to figure out how to post 'behind the cut', as we used to say over at Live Journal; then I could let you all see the text of my sermon without creating the world's most ridiculously long blogger page. So if anyone knows the code for this, please tell me.
10. To heck with this - I'm going to bed.

Bonus: 11. When I say that a certain thing that happens around our house is "driving me crazy", this is NOT a figure of speech. I actually mean that it is effecting my (already rather sketchy) mental health.

Monday, August 28, 2006

How did it go?

Well, a lot better than this.



via Ship of Fools, the excellent british church humor site. A significant source of infantile giggling.

In fact, my sermon went just about perfectly - I could not possibly have had a better experience on my first (only?) try at preaching.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

This made me LOL

Which reminds me of the story of this evangelist who came up to someone and said,
"Have you heard about Jesus?"
And the guy replied
"Oh no . . . what's He done now?"


from tall skinny

Thursday, August 24, 2006

How do you keep blog readers in suspense?

Sorry.

Because I'm preaching the sermon on Sunday, that's why.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My Hair, again,

Yep, changed it again.

I buzzed and bleached last month, as I mentioned in an earlier post. I picked up July's Vogue a few days later, which showed Stella Tenant, looking super-fabulous and hip, with close-cropped hair aggressively peroxided and dark-rooted.

Again and again, I showed this photo to my hair, trying trying trying to convince it to behave and lay properly and look fashion-forward. With about a pound of product, it would occasionally comply. Most days, though, the combination of platinum, roots and shortness just looked unhygienic and possibly crazy.

Oh, how I wanted to like this haircut. Oh, how I wanted this haircut to be the answer, to become my signature style. So easy to maintain! So fabulously minimalist and European! The people in Vogue look great with dark roots! Linda Evangelista! Debby Harry!

Not me. It is not to be.

So I calmed it down with some dark golden blonde dye, something that bridges the gap between my medium-brown natural color and the 40-power rocker-girl white-blonde that I keep coming back to, again and again, for the last 26 years. I'm sure I'll be back to it again, but not just now.

And do you know why? Do you know why I am trying to look a little less crazy and a little less dirty?

I'll tell you tomorrow.

Our new filing system

I was looking for the orange roughy in the freezer.

Interestingly, it was behind the orange sherbert.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

August 11, 2003

...now I'm a Live Journal user. This seems auspicious, although I can think of no logical reason why. But I'm staking my claim in cyberspace.

...My official cry to the universe: the ovulation window is opening soon! I need DNA! DNA, and some new cargo pants.


I missed my blog-aversary. I had thought it was August 22, but I was mistaken.

I got cargo pants later that month, which I still wear. The DNA took a little longer, but, as we all know now, I ended up with precisely what I needed.

So, what do I want to universe to know I need today? Well, my official cry to the universe, three years and 9 days later: I need cash. Babysitting is kicking our ass. Cash, and also sleep.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

my cats are On! Notice!




Seriously, girls. Your asses are mine.

Monday, August 14, 2006

stunning



via fluid pudding (also routinely pretty stunning.)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Blogging the Project (just a little bit.)

Regarding Project Runway, I cannot possibly top the analysis of The Manolo from Aug 10:

"Speaking of the Laura, the Manolo is now waiting for her to show up one day in the coat made from the fur of the 101 dalmatians."

Friday, August 11, 2006

Doing Things is what I like to do

Church Marketing may indeed Suck , but donut marketing rules!
TMBG has also contributed five original songs for Dunkin' Donuts TV commercials, including "Things I Like To Do" and "Pleather".

where else?

This made me yell "Ah Ha! I knew it!" but that would not be strictly true. What I guessed was that Dunkin Donuts (blessed purveyor of my Sunday lattes) had hired some band to make some jingles in the quirky retro style of They Might be Giants. But it is them, for real.

And ever since I first heard the first of the Dunkin Donuts commercials, I have been thinking about the
Ween jingle story.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

'Selah' meant "Doors Closing"

http://www.btinternet.com/~smallritual/movies/psalm_of_boredom.mov

The Psalm of Boredom
, from Grace London, via http://jonnybaker.blogs.com/

I love Jonny's blog (yes, as if we are on a first name basis. Sure.) and his Worship Tricks, which I have used exactly one of but which I have many conversations about. (That's the beauty of the blogosphere, right? Most of my best stories did not actually happen to me. Some happened in countries I've never even been to. To people I've never met, or barely.)

The worship tricks to which I am most attracted have a strong sense of place, you see, a strong literary urban vibe, a strong British accent. The place I serve in is not that place. We would need to create our own versions, with our own language, our own venacular.

Anyway, watch the movie. It pierced me.

Friday, August 04, 2006

design advice from Seth Godin, via the Church Marketing Sucks blog. Convienient, for me at least, since I just downloaded a gang of great free fonts from the fabulous Chank.

I need some design training. So far I've depended on instinct, 'taste', and seat-of-my-pants experience. (Husband suggests that it's genetic, coming as I do from a newspaper family.) Suggestions?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

to remind myself/to show you

http://whipup.net/

This site rules. I can't wait to look into it further.

via this quilt blog

which was recommended by my bestest girlfriend.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The fruit of the Spirit is not self-conscious misery that gets more self-righteous with every bit of extra attention it gets.

As near as I can tell, and I've put some thought into this, Dylan's a genius. (I thought that even before she wrote the essay above.) Frsnkly, I'm a little bummed about Dylan - like another fascinating woman that I got to know not-well-enough, she's moving away. Sigh.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Blogging the Project

yes, and getting a late start. Sorry.

[Dear readers: I AM NOW GOING TO WRITE ABOUT PROJECT RUNWAY, A CABLE TV REALITY SHOW ABOUT FASHION DESIGNERS. This is definately a taste thing - either you're in, like I am, and you are the perfect target market for this sort of thing, and find yourself obsessing about it; or you're out, and cannot imagine a worse piece of TV than an hour every week about the drama of fabric shopping and industrial machine threading. Feel free to skip ahead. Seriously. Because this entry is Talkin' PROJECT, BABY!]

First of all, I agree with Tim, who said in the audition special something to the effect that this group was clearly far more qualified - consistant, experienced, skilled, trained - than previous groups.

I'm not sure it's as interesting, interpersonally. But then, thinking back, it's hard for me to recall whether I was really invested in Andrae, Nick et al by this point in Season 2.

That being said, I was SHOCKED BEYOND BELIEF when Malan was cut. He was so obviously primed up to become the supervillan, the Santino of Season 3. I also...well, didn't LIKE the gown precisely, but thought it showed both imagination and skill. Dude, he was good TV.

However, it does make rather teh statement: this season is already less predictable than one might have, um, predicted; one is not safe just because one is cultivating a character, trying to be 'good TV'.

It also opens up the floor for a new supervillan to emerge. Will it be The Archetect, with her hyper-perfect look and her hands far too clean to touch a dog?(I feel she really set herself apart with that little moment in last night's episode.) Spazzy Self-Trained Angela, who clearly Didn't Come Here To Make Friends? Neck-Tattoo guy?

Keith also rather distinguished himself last night, as a designer and as potentially Good TV, Bitch Division. Could he win?

It's too early to have a favorite yet, though I was impressed with the many of the designs last night, especially Keith's, and Alison's. I also very much liked the flowy layered gown from the beauty queen challenge, which I think was Uli's? Can't recall.

In terms of a favorite character, so far I'd most like to have lunch with Bob, or perhaps deliacte lamb Vincent, who I fear is not long for the show. No one has so far inspired the kind of attachment I felt for original lamb Andrae, though.

And I was disappointed that Katheryn was cut last night, as she was the one I could most identify with - a short, one-of-the-boys, alt-ish sportswear girl, who would spend time way too much time making a hoodie for the dog. First, before starting the dress.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Baby Jesus Story

This is something I did - something that happened to me - several years ago, before I had a blog to spread it around with. It was the first of January, 2003.

Even at the time, I had to admit it was pretty hard leaving Baby Jesus in the dumpster.

It was my day off, of course, but I had made an arrangement to stop by the church where I work and unlock the doors for a recovery group, so that they could have their weekly meeting. (I thought that, if you were working hard not to get high anymore, New Years Eve and New Years Day could be pretty trying. So giving them a place to meet seemed little enough.)

Some friends of ours have a New Years open house every year, and Eric and I had been there for most of that afternoon. When we drove up to the church, of course the porch was swarming with the formerly chemically-dependant; when I walked up, the crowd parted.

On the cold porch, between the glass doors, was a fiberglass baby Jesus from an outdoor nativity. Someone had tattooed him with permanant marker - kind of a skeletal "KISS" look on one cheek, a pentagram on his forehead, a fairly nice tribal design on one leg, and anarchy A on his back. A random 666 - on the back of his arm, if I recall correctly.

The recovery people were just scandalized, deeply offended; I was not, particularly. It did seem a little creepy, but mostly just annoying.

(Or funny. I was a little embarrassed to let on, in front of the angry recovery people, but to me it seemed creative and kind of witty. I have a fairly high threshold for sacrelidge, suspecting, as I do, that God's big enough to handle a little grafitti.) I said that I felt bad for the church that the culprits had robbed - we just had a stray defaced Jesus, after all, but some church nearby had a manger with no baby, no focal point.

It was obvious to me that the best thing to do with Baby Jesus was dispose of him. I told the outraged people that, if they wanted, they could pray for the person who did this (since it's clear to me that this kind of creative energy and attention to detail could be put to better use.) I grabbed the Newborn King by the hard hand and swung around to face the dumpster.

He was pretty big - about the size of a 2-year-old, I would guess - and, marking pen aside, quite pristine, not chipped or cracked. It had clearly been Jesus' first Christmas. He was heavy, too; with his arms stretched up, just the way you'd picture, the easiest ways to carry him were on my hip, like a football, or hugged to my chest, like a baby. I cuddled him across the parking lot and laid him - not too carelessly, but not too carefully - in the empty dumpster.

We talked about it on the way back to the party. It seemed like such an evocative image - not symbolic or metaphorical, since it was hard to nail down exactly what the image would mean. I was glad Eric was with me - driving back though the foggy rain, alone with that image, might have been a little creepy.

I felt something different, though. Instead of creepy, I started feeling something harder to shrug off. I started to feel...tender.

Back at the party, I had a few party conversations, which all ended up being about the Baby. ("You just left it there? Really?") I had to admit to my mixed feelings, to feeling a little weird attachment to the fiberglass kid; I also realized that our maintenance man would find it there, and I thought the experience would be pretty upsetting for him.
I ended up telling the story to a roomful of people, and, after a couple more glasses of wine, my sister and I hatched the rescue mission plan.

By the time we got back to church - still Jan 1, but just barely - it was just drizzling, and the very biggest puddles had begun to drain away. We'd been singing in the car - worship music, an unusual choice for me and my sister - and we were singing
when I climbed into the dumpster.

Eric flipped open the top of the dumpster and took a picture of the babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in about 4 inches of freezing water. You'd be reaching up with both hands too. I hit my head climbing out with him.

Jesus was consigned to the trunk; my sister was deeply disturbed by his decorations. We tried a few different things to clean him, settling on nail polish remover and paper towels. I had dispaired of getting anything off him; C just wiped the 666 off his arm with a cotton ball, saying over and over "Look at that. Look at that. Look at that." We took on the blasphemous stuff first, and worked until we ran out of solvent. I was a little too enthusiastic, and wiped through the paint on his forehead, through the black marker and the peach paint to gray, as if his skull was showing. "That's right where his third eye chakkra would be," said my sister.

We wrapped him up in some mufflers and put on a Santa hat, and set him on the kitchen table. I wrote in my journal that I slept beautifully that night, and had every night since, with Baby Jesus in the kitchen. We decided to leave the knotwork tattoo on his leg and the Anarchy symbol on his ribs. I also wrote that I had no idea what we would do with him - perhaps advertise so that he could be reunited with his (fiberglass, Holy) family. "But I do feel attached to him", I wrote that March.

When I told Brian this story, he marveled. "You saved Jesus!"
I had shrugged. "Seems fair."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Obviously an honest mistake. Could happen to anyone.

There is nothing in life that I enjoy as much as a blooper. I'm sure this reveals my shallow turn of mind at least as much as my hair obsession, my Hello Kitty collection, or the stack of Vogues by my bed. Nonetheless:





Friday, July 21, 2006

all true

If You Ruled the Land . . . by wackyweasel
Your first name:
How you gained your rule:
Your title is:Great and Merciful Ruler of All the Land
Your symbol is:the tiger, for that cool stripey don't-mess-with-me-ness
You rule from:an ice palace - cold, but so, well, cool!
At your side is:your unicorn steed, Sparkles
Your enforcers, troops, and guards are all:ex-dancers who can still shake it at parties
Your most popular law is:Free alcohol to pretty people if they sit with ugly people
Your least popular law is:Hot people register for draft; hey, your guards get old
Your worst enemy is:a poorly-chewed pretzel
Your popularity rating is:: 77%
Your chance of being overthrown is:: 4%
Quiz created with MemeGen!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

inch all over


inch all over
Originally uploaded by funky fat girl.
I cut off my bangs. Yes, on purpose.

My subtitle really should be 'art, craft, liturgy, theology, bitching and MY HAIR', since that seems to be the one topic in which my fascination never flags. (Age cannot wither, nor custom stale its infinite variety. At least to me.)

This was an interesting compositon when I saved it originally, the two ends (photos of my head with its new crop) in halftone, and my clippers and a wasted tuft in glorious Technicolor in the middle.

The colors got a little more, um, Techni, when I saved it as a psd and uploaded it to Flickr.

Wish list: ACTUAL PHOTOSHOP CS (not Elements, ad NOT LE for Lord's sake.)

Monday, July 17, 2006

And speaking of Flickr...

http://theonlinephotographer.blogspot.com/2006/06/great-photographers-on-internet.htm

It is entirely possible that you won't find this funny. (may be a just a Flickr thing, or maybe an arty thing.) I think it's BRILLIANT.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Look!


something still holds me
Originally uploaded by antimethod.
Please take a moment to look at these exceptional photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/antimethod/sets/474147/

A guy named Cole Rise tool them, and manipulated them; I think they're mind-boggling. I think they're full of truth.

This one is was used for an album cover, so you may have seen it around - all kinds of people have been commenting 'Hey! Saw it at the Wal-Mart!' and "Hey! this was on Jimmy Kimmel!' Which I can imagine being both exciting and deeply unnerving.

Cole, incidentally, is a really nice person, and was very gracious about my slobbering fauning.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Monday, June 19, 2006

Congratulations; it's a tomato!

My family has a bad track record with fruit and vegetables; my father, the complete genius about roses and gladioli, once tried to grow a crop of strawberries. We got 11. (They were delicious.)

Is it because we're soft on varmints? Because we're inattentive? Both are true....Also, we have somehow purchased a house that gets full sun on all sides all day long. It's rather mysterious. We're thinking of charging admission. I did have a nice crop of basil-y things a few years ago, in containers on the deck; some dried out, but a lot was actually edible.

Both of the tomato plants are decorated with tiny green Christmas balls that may just grow up to be .....(quietly now, let's not freak them out.....) tomatos. That a person could eat.

We'll see.

Friday, June 16, 2006

"The Renaissance Faire may not be the source of all your problems, but it sure as shit isn’t helping any."


This advice is entirely too vulgar to read. Please do not click the link. Nothing good will come of it.

Chortle.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I adore this photo


Sep01595
Originally uploaded by funky fat girl.
which I took, and I realize from the stats that almost no one has ever seen it. So look! Look at this nifty picture!

Friday, June 09, 2006

don't you put me on the back burner

A little slice of my life:
When Father M said he wanted to use a music video in the service, of course I was excited. When he said it was a Killers song, even more so.

So this was the soundtrack of my day yesterday, mine and that of a web genius friend who came in to help me.

I love it. But then, I love Big Country.



Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Humor for churchy types

Q: What are the seven deadly sins?

A: The seven deadly sins are smoking, drinking, dancing, card-playing, movie-going, baptizing babies, and having any creed but Christ.

Enjoy the The Semi-Pelagian Narrower Catechism.

Via the great maggi dawn.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Not On A Plane

So it's a Monday recently, my day off, and our little family is leaving the house to go run some errands together. The World's Greatest Husband is carting The World's Cutest Baby, and I am disorganizedly bringing up the rear.

As I come out the door, Eric freezes on the front rim of the porch. 'Bets?' he calls rarily, 'why don't you go back in...'

At the same time, I'm looking down the sidewalk, thinking 'Why would someone have left those two big garden hoses lying across the sidewalk like tha/hey wait a minute, that's not a gAAAAARRRGGGRRRRAAAAAGH!"

I FLY into the house, screaming. Not content to have a door between me and the snakes, run through 2 rooms and flatten myself against the back wall in the kitchen.

I'm not proud of this. This is a little like the time I saw a mouse - a cute little baby mouse - in the kitchen of my Baltimore apartment and found myself standing on a chair. Yeah, like the shapely torsoless housewife legs in Tom and Jerry.

Anyway, husband deposits baby inside (YES, I LEFT MY CHILD TO BE EATEN BY SNAKES.) and reports that they look like black racers, about 4-5 feet long. One had already slithered off, but the larger of the two was still sunning on the walk. And he goes back out there, where he's joined by a friend.

Minutes go by, as a pace around the kitchen trying to shake the RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRg out of my head and upper body. With the friend coaching, Eric gets a broomstick under the snake's middle and tosses it into the woods. I collect myself (about 20 minutes) and we leave, for real this time, scouting carefully with every step.

Later, I learn two things: first, that Eric had initially tried to pick up the snake with his hand behind its head - "They're helpless if you grab them right behind the head!" Oh, of course, that's a good plan, let's put our fingers as close to its face as possible. (I'm not sure which is more disturbing - the possibility of a bite or just, you know, looking closely enough at a live snake to identify its shoulder area.)

"But then it was coiling to strike(AAAGH)so I used the broomstick (good) and it actually ended up in a tree (AAAAAAAAGGGGH) and you know, it seemed fine, just slithering from branch to branch (AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABLECHYUKBRRRRRAH!)

Fabulous. Now I can never leave the house again. That's just great. A couple of other snake sightings have come up in conversation, but I could ignore those with just a breif blrrrhg - that, by the way, is the sound of skin crawling. But now that I've seen some in person - we'll just have to move.

I say to Eric, 'I'll call the realtor, and set things up so we can move. You know, away. From Snakeland.'

'Oh really?' he asks. 'And where shall we move?'

'The city, of course. No snakes in the city. The urban environment is famously hostile to snakes.'

'Yeah?' says he. 'What is it that snakes eat?'

'Rats,' I murmur, disgusted. It's clear where this is going.

'And what were those snakes just lying on?'

'Sidewalk', I reply, barely audible. Okay, fine. Fine. The city is the perfect place for snakes. I'm sure Baltimore's teeming with them. Now, as well as looking up in the trees and out across the walk whenever I leave the house, I'll have to scout among the cobblestones downtown. Fabulous.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Pimp my Church

well, it's not there yet, but soon you can go here and see a video of last night's panel discussion. It featured The Godfather as well as Diana Butler Bass and Alan Jones. The presentation's called Here Come Everybody.

It includes one thing I've already seen - a 5-minute film about our church, which I believe they created to use as part of Brian's intro. I met Paul Brubaker several weeks ago, when he was at church shooting, and he sent a preview copy to us yesterday, so we could make sure everyone's name was spelled right.

The film is absolutely lovely - the filmakers, being from NYC, were positively smitten with our pastural setting. Not being an outdoorsy sort, even I have to admit that our property is unusually nice in the spring.

And the interviews are lovely; everyone talking about how they love the community, they feel right at home here, how blessed we are with the new pastor and the fabulous land and the great ministries. It makes life at church look like a little slice of heaven. The slice where white, 40-year-old suburbanites gather to hug one another. (I SWEAR TO YOU, PEOPLE OF COLOR DO ATTEND THIS CHURCH. ALSO PEOPLE UNDER 30. And I know Paul interviewed some, but they didn't make the 5-min cut.)

I know, I know - why be hatin'? I'm definately not hating. It's a terrific piece of tape. I'm proud to be part of the community that Paul saw, and that he made a film about. If I ever meet someone who first heard of us from seeing that film, I'll feel good about it.

I just have to say - working in a church (on staff, or as a volunteer), you get to see everything - teamwork and lifelong friendship but also the conflict, spiritual growth but also some terrible behavior and deep, deep hurts. We're not unusual in any way - it's just that loving people is hard. And we fail at it. Constantly. And disappoint people horribly.

And it takes a lot of time and effort, all this screwing up. Things that are working out well usually get a quick nod in the hallway, so that crises can have our undivided attention.

So it's a little weird, this 5 minutes of hugging and smiling. It's true - seriously, this stuff is true about our church, no one was faking or struggling to put a good face on thing.

It's just weird for me to see, all that sweetness, all compacted together like that.

Usually, it's interleaved with the Other Stuff.

quilt in mouth


quilt in mouth
Originally uploaded by funky fat girl.
this is a test of the photo posting function. It is only a test. This is the quilt that Beth made (along with crib bumpers and a valence - okay, Beth didn't make a valence, I draped a big scrap of the fabric with the circles over a curtain rod. If Beth had made it, it would be nicer, and have perfect quarter-inch seam allowances. Pressed. )

Anyway, if you can see a photo, the test was a success.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Test

and retest.

Hey, kids! I'm back!