Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

grocery marketing sucks

what on earth would possess you to attach this sticker to a food product? Honestly.

They were good, though.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

the dumbest blog entry ever

the guy on pushing daisies is really really cute. Or in some mysterious way riveting, because he isn't that cute, looks-wise, and yet I cannot bring myself to look away.

And it's an annoying show! At least intermittently. It's got Kristen Chenowith, who, despite the fact that Aaron Sorkin thinks the world of her, despite her Tony-nominated work in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown is routinely the most annoying person in the entertainment industry.

On the other hand, Mike White's in this episode, always a plus.

The pie guy on Pushing Daisies is an actor named Lee Pace.

He may be even more fascinating than this guy:

Jake Weber, the husband on Medium.

Honest to God, I don't watch that much TV. It's just the Advent run-up, and I've got nothing left but the List of Boys Who Are Cute (Not Exhaustive.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

o hi. i m in yr chrch, critiqng yr sermon

okay, so by popular demand, I'm going to write about my experience delivering my sermon on Sunday.

I really wanted to take time and write in my real journal (you know, that paper and pen business, where I write the stuff that I don't want googled) but I did not take that time today - I spent most of the day playing in the leaves and feeding the seagulls with the kid.

By the way, the kid is leaning English from TV, like the mermaid in Splash. He walked up to me yesterday and said "I'm a love machine!"
(There's a commercial for a party game, see, and that's the phrase everyone is figuring out. And it's on cable, so if you watch 20 minutes of something, you'll see this damn commercial 4 times. )

But I did want to capture it, my experience from yesterday, because it was really really good. It was a pleasure. And I want to point out that, at this moment in my professional life, one cannot take that for granted.

This is how I have come to preach.
Of course I do announcements, and I get to introduce communion pretty frequently. It's clear to me that that's the most valuable thing I can give people; as it happens, on top of all the beautiful and significant things that it really is, its also a wish-fulfillment thing for me, since 'priest' was the very first thing I ever wanted to be. Even when I got older and wanted to be other things - novelist, television producer, set designer, college professor - the 'priest' thing never really went away, but was always unattainable. (So when I wanted to write a great novel or get a Tony award, I was, in fact, 'settling'.)

Anyway, I have ended up in a job where I get to do a priestly function, and help train and equip other lay people to do it, and that's pretty much the best thing I can imagine. I get the best of all worlds, really - sharing Jesus with people, and getting paid for it, and not having to navigate a professional religious hierarchy. (I'm a cradle Epsicopalian, as I constantly mention, and the polity of 'my' people is damned daunting, on every side.)

So I was asked to do a God In The Movies, and I picked this radically inappropriate movie, because it was the only movie I could think of that I could get excited about - the only current movie that I had seen that was dense enough, rich enough that there was anything to be gained by discussing it.

But it was a tough choice, because our congregation has shown itself sensitive to rough language in our God in the Movies movies. And Little Miss Sunshine is distinguished by some exceptional language. I mean - with good reason. It's not lazy writing, or added in for contrived effect. It's excellent dialogue for revealing character - I personally wouldn't change a word.

But many of those words that I wouldn't change are words that our congregants have told us they do not want to hear in church.

So there was that. Plus there's the whole gayness part - one of the characters is gay, and is doing everything he does in the movie as a result of a badly broken heart. Last year, when one of our staffers discussed a movie with a gay character, it derailed some people entirely - they fixated on what the filmmaker was saying about gayness (admittedly, a major point in that movie, though far from the focus of the sermon) and were unable to concentrate on anything else about the movie.

The heroin subplot - I think I mentioned it in my first draft, after which it went to BackspaceLand, never to be heard from again.

That all sounds like I was walking on eggshells. I wasn't - mostly. I would be lying if I didn't admit that I had lots of misgivings about this movie, and this sermon, for this crowd at this church. I tried to bail on this movie 3 times - I could always talk about Kiki's Delivery Service! I'm sure I could say something insightful about Stop Making Sense! - but the pastors encouraged me to stick to my original thing, and that seems to have turned out to be the right decision.

I was able to relax BECAUSE my very very good friend Michael took many hours to rip the commercial dvd onto a Mac, and edit down the scenes for me in iMovie, and pull out the sound in places where the sound really needed to be removed. That enabled me to talk over sections, so people could get a feel for the movie without having an hour-long sermon; it also allowed us to get all the ticklish parts out before the day, so that I didn't have to be up there hoping that the booth crew could get the dvd paused or muted at EXACTLY the right time. (Not that they're not capable of it - I have really good people in the booth, and I have to say we've done a great job in this series. But it was so so so so great not to wonder.

I feel like I should have thanked people in the sermon - especially Eric, for plowing though those early drafts, and for writing me a 'hook' which really made it come together; and then also Micheal, and Patsy and Sarah for the encouragement. I feel like I should have had an acknowledgements page.
So maybe this is it.

Anyway, I was nervous - I was really well-prepared, and it had not occurred to me that I would feel nervous on Sunday morning, but man. Was I ever. Plus the Godfather was there, and Mrs. Godfather, who is no slouch in the sermonizing area. (I believe my loving Christian greeting to my good friends was "Holy crap, Brian's here." Yes, I said it out loud. I couldn't help it, it just jumped out of my mouth like a frog.)

And people completely swamped me with hugs and high fives and kindness - This is the part that I wanted to record in my private journal, because I know how it sounds. (which is to say, either embarrassingly immodest - Why yes, I am awesome, thanks for noticing - or like I think people were 'just being nice' about my substandard work.)

I think it was pretty good.

And it's not every day that you have a big crowd of people standing around telling you that you're awesome.

So - if there's any way I can have this without becoming a complete ass - I'd like to keep that day inside me for the rest of my life, please.

Thanks for asking.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

If you want to, you can watch my sermon here.

Because I took the afternoon off, but Russ Dulaney, who's a major unsung hero at Cedar Ridge, did not. He shot, edited and uploaded the talk already! While I was eating onion pakoras and taking a nap. So, go Russ.

It's about half an hour long, and it makes a decent amount of sense even without the movie clips.

I am pleased. Also exhausted.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I joined Ravelry! I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, except maybe track down someone who wants to sell me some discontinued Lion Micro-Spun. (This is my best-loved discontinued yarn of the moment. It's what the dinosaur is made of.

Speaking of the dinosaur, I spent a good deal of this holiday knitting away at the freehand, top-down rugby-striped brontsaurus in the round. I have been lovingly paring decreases o.n the torso. (I went a little crazy with the increases and the short rows and now have to take drastic action to keep it from turning into some demented beachball with a sock sticking out of it.)

ACK! By this time tomorrow I will be DONE PREACHING my first official grown-up big-church sermon. I think it's good, and yet I want to barf a little.

Here's a classic Betsy concern: I don't know what I'm wearing! (to preach, I mean. I know what I'm wearing now.)

Friday, November 23, 2007

It must be the night after thanksgiving, because we are home watching White Christmas. We do this every year (more than once, usually) and in fact I think I blog about it every year (I have some recollection of a comments discussion with Stacie, focused on Rosemary Clooney's midnight blue gown in the engagement party scene.)

Hooray for us, we survived Thanksgiving.
4 weeks til Christmas.

I am down to about the solar plexus of my knit dinosaur.

My husband is googling patents. He is looking at a monkey-shaped camera bag.

I don't think he'll be doing any of the Christmas shopping.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

greetings from a darkened, silent motel room in southern maryland.

If anyone has any ideas about how to make cheap travel with a toddler suck less, please tell me.

Aside from the mild but annoying deprivations associated with sharing a motel room with someone who goes to bed at 7, we're having a lovely trip.

I got to listen to most of Turkey Confidential on the trip down, which we really enjoyed. (I'm a little in love with Lynn Rosetto-Kaspar.) This had the added advantage of dazzling my husband with my cooking knowledge, as I shouted out the totally correct answers to the callers' questions - precisely the same answers as the assembled food experts, but a moment earlier. I totally rule at Home Ec.

(Wow, there's a sentence I never would have expected to write.)

After the ridiculous Officers' Club buffet (excellent desserts, by the way, as always), we stopped at the Cedar Point beach to let Ian run off some energy (to little avail, as it turned out, but it was fun and relaxing. There's a playground there; plus, in the 70 degree weather, we were able to slip off our shoes and walk down to the bay.

My brother - the man who can clean a kitchen like Rosie the Robot Maid on the Jetsons - can also skip stones like a world-champion stone-skipper. It was totally amazing.

I'm about to launch a campaign to get my husband to change the TV channel to anything other than THE FANTASTIC FOUR (to which I say AU CONTRAIRE.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My husband: Hey, ask Ian what a turkey says.

Me: Okay. Hey Ian, what does a turkey say?

Ian: Gobble gobble!

Me: Hey, good job! Isn't that cute!

Ian: (clears his throat, as I have interrupted him. He squares his shoulders, looks me in the eye and says:)
Gobble gobble, don't eat me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

i can has a cleaning service?

The good news: we have some household help.

The weird news: it's my brother.

As I've mentioned, we're trying to do the Clean Sweep/Clean House/Mission Organization thing at our house. With a 2-year-old and a new business in the house, not to mention my couple hundred boxes of...stuff, this is pretty rewarding, but pretty difficult.

My brother (world famous author. Of BOOKS. Not to mention magazine articles and geez, really way too many letters to the editor) sometimes finds himself between assignments. So occasionally my husband hires him to do stuff - errands, computer work, sorting and hauling, and recently, housework.

My brother is GREAT at housework. Those of you who have shared housing with my brother may be surprised to hear this, but this man cleans a bathroom like no one I have ever seen. It's a miracle. (It's especially miraculous for me, since there is little I hate more than cleaning a bathroom.)

(Except cleaning a kitchen. He did that yesterday.)

I was sitting in the living room with Ian. My brother, smelling of Ajax and old raisins, came in carrying a dishpan full of soapy water. He leveled his gaze at me.

"I am cleaning your knobs," he announced.

We held it together for a good 20 seconds before beginning to snicker at how spectacularly dirty that sounded.

I am sad that I have no appropriate photo in my computer. I was dying to make an LOLSandy.

o hi. I m in yr kitchn
cleaning yr knobs.

Monday, November 19, 2007

This is one of those handful of times when I feel relieved and lucky to be feeling rotten, because I felt SO much rottener recently.

Yesterday was really crap. I haven't felt that bad in a very long time. Yet I want to give myself credit - I did a good job on the service, and the annual meeting (Happily, I was not called upon to speak or present anything at the annual meeting, and a dear friend slid in behind the sound board and helped out with that - all I had to do was format some unreadable slides and cue them, which allowed me to not work too hard but to continue hide out in the booth.)

Church is in a time of transition, and we really wanted this to be a place where the congregation could speak their minds. Several did. I'm sure that if I was in a better place, hormonally, I'd be appreciating the kind of openness and authenticity that we've engendered, the fact that we have a place where people can cry or yell or hug in a business meeting. Instead, I am just relieved that no one yelled at me personally, and that I did not say any of the clever things that crossed my mind (which would not have advanced the discussion or raised the tone, believe me.)

Anyway, it was a really long day of work, followed by some caring for a sick kid in a bad mood. And I did it. I did it all, without bursting into tears or curling into a crampy heap on the floor or smacking anyone. I rose to the occasion.

And my rewards are significant. Eric brought home steaks last night, which were delicious (and which I cooked while watching Hank Hill cook his) and today, I am still in my (crusty) pajamas while Eric has gotten my brother to watch the kid, run errands and do laundry. I slept until 10:30.

I usually hate it when people say stuff like this, but seriously: Praise God.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fill in some joke based on 'The Peasents are Revolting" here

My body is in full revolt. Two major systems (digestive/reproductive) are fighting it out around my navel. The one who survives gets to kill me.

We all have mild colds (Ian's, in fact, isn't so mild - his cough is downright frightening, though not to the pediatrician.) and normally I would be complaining endlessly about that. But I can't even bring myself to care about the daily gallon of snot our family generates.

Dang, I hope I feel better by Thursday.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


have a cold. Have cramps.
Having ice cream.

Had a surprisingly awesome day - took the kid to Baltimore for a slice (the usual: yarn shop, slice of pizza, boats, dogs, pigeons, pastry, home for a nap, with one detour. We stopped in to visit this gallery where they were super-nice, especially to my doesn't-yet-understand-about-private-property kid.

The woman selling there actually made him a perfect little gift. They have a few of the images printed on their business cards. She asked him if he liked dogs or cats better. He shocked me by saying cats, and she made up a little magnet with this little guy on it.

Ian loved it and showed it to everyone he ran into on the street; in the car, he sat gazing at it and smiling. I think he's in love.

He also made a pun. One of his favorite books is Dr. Suess' Cat in the Hat, which he calls, in his Scooby Doo venacular: "CAT?!?!??? HAT?!?!??"

In the car, I pulled off his baseball cap, dropped it in his lap, and flipped in the magnet. "What's that?" I asked.

It completely blew his mind. He GOT that there was wordplay, and his future glittered bright, complex and beautiful before him.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Go, me!

Finally finally finally selected and identified the movie clips I want to show with the looming sermon. I think that with these selections, I will dodge the 'people storming out' bullet. Probably.

It's a pre-Advent sermon, because I'm talking about incarnation - not so much about Jesus as God's Word made flesh, but about us, putting flesh to our words. (My working title, NOT for official publication, NOT A TITLE SANCTIONED BY MY EMPLOYER but just my kicking-around-my-brain title:)

God in the Movies: Little Miss Sunshine: Shut the F*** Up.

Anyway, I plan to have a next-to-last draft cranked out tonight, then I'll rehearse and see where I need to cut.

Oh, Lord, please please please let this thing be your thing.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

don't feel like posting. Feel like knitting.

I am knitting a dinosaur.

I am knitting a top-down brontosaurus, on dpns, using short row shaping.

Pictures later, along with pictures (ILLICIT PICTURES, as one is not allowed to take pictures inside) of yesterday's wonderful trip to the American Visionary Museum in Baltimore.

I didn't take pictures of the galleries. I took pictures in the gift shop. Of little plastic things, and hand-lettered signs.

I am nothing if not consistent.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

a moleskine sketch

my debut as a cartoonist. I probably don't need to tell you that this was done during a meeting at work. (Everyone from the meeting has seen it already.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This just in:

Our culture is retarded.


I'd better hurry because my husband is OBSESSED with going to bed on time, and on time is when 'House' is over, and it's 20 minutes, so I'd better write fast.

Dinner was quite decent, Ian knows all the words to Jesus Loves Me (yeah, Ian and Karl Barth), my husband has a new computer (we thought about getting a mac; after long analysis we decided to stick with a pc, but he got one that looks like a mac, so maybe that counts for something.) I am eating ice cream.

I finally started working on my freakin' sermon, which I was able to work on for a whole freakin' fifteen minutes before a friend called and wanted to talk about the whole Episocpal mess (the big international Episcopal mess that's been in all the papers for a year, not any sort of local intrigue.) And then my husband came home with the new toy (did you know they give away color printers these days? Like key chains! Or logo-stamped liscence-plate frames! They gave him two printers! We already have one on each floor! This is ridiculous!) and then suddenly it was time for 'House'.

Anyway, despite the lack of progress, I am feeling encouraged about the sermon.

There was an escaped convict running around our town this morning. Yes, that's my town, on the national news. You know, where George Wallace was shot. (At the Mall!) Where Mohammed Atta, famous Sept.11 hijacker, lived. (In the Valencia Motel. Where my husband lived briefly as a pre-schooler, while his dad served at Fort Meade and the family waited for their house to get built.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

What I'm reading:

This is perfect for this moment in my life - little page-and-a-half mini-sketches, reminiscences about meals and snacks, from the singer from Franz Ferdinand. He's a Glasgwegian, and had worked for years as a sous chef, and now he's touring the world, singing and eating. I think these appeared in his hometown newspaper.

Anyway, it's perfect for whipping out in the car or standing in line, which there is a lot of. Plus, these days, cooking and grocery shopping is a serious creative outlet for me. We eat at home practically every night, and I'm the one who's cooking. We're knee deep in new recipes and weird ingredients. (There's one good thing about eating in restaurants for so many years - even yuppie groceries seem like a bargain.)

Anyway, tonight we ate a Rachel Ray recipe here that actually does come out looking like this:

and is very tasty. And not ridiculously unhealthy.

Except for the PORK CHOPS.

This is tomorrow night's recipe. I'll let you know.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

another cheap quote-n-link post.

I kind of suck at this daily posting thing.

(my daily conversation with myself: "Dude! I thought of the BEST THING to write about!!! (pause) ...what was it again? (pause)....well,crap."

but am trying to have reasonable goals. There are certain things in my life right now for which showing up at all is a decent discipline. Like this one.

So once again, I'll share something salient from some stranger's blog.
This is, I think, a defining aspect of my experience as a father who doesn't "work" but spends all day with his daughter. Every morning we select a mutually-agreeable destination, and I try to find something to do there that will interest her on one level and still engage me on another. It is as though all day I am of two minds, one on par with hers, aware of what she understands and enjoys and appreciates, and another ready to capitalize on every distraction, every second of silence, a second mind ready to wrestle with ideas and thoughts that may have nothing to do with my daughter but do engage my own curiosity. I usually don't like calling myself a stay-at-home dad (that connotes a sort of militancy I don't have the energy for). Instead I have become something of a professional daydreamer.

In doing this, I am never all that distant. But let's be honest: it doesn't take that much to keep a constantly-babbling 2-year old engaged. It's pretty much the same amount of engagement my law school professors expected (eye contact, head nods, and the occasional astute follow-up question). And toddlers, like law professors, are easily fooled. Sometimes you can just phone in this whole parenting thing, and man, they don't even know. I can have a full-on conversation about fairies or owls or fairies riding on owls, and at the same time I am trying to imagine what life is like for the fucked-up-looking guy we just passed walking down the street, or what that street looked like in 1926, or what an artist is trying to say with a particular work in front of me. And Juniper still believes I'm like this total expert on owls and fairies and shit. In her mind, I have a PhDs in Ornithology and Folklore Studies, specializing in Wee Folk/Owl relations.

That's a big chunk of text to lift, but I just love it. from the great sweet juniper, in a post which happens to be about taking your kid to art museums.

And also mention owls. World's Cutest Little Boy (because there's some awfully stiff competition for World's Cutest Baby, so I think mine should just step up to the next rung and leave that designation to the up-and-coming kids. It's the dignified thing to do.) As I was saying, WCLB is going through a period of owl fascination, because UnnnCKKKLLLE??? SCHANDYYYY??? brought over one of Andy Runton's Owly comics, and he loves loves loves it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Several fairly bad ideas.

it is a bad idea to go to a discount optician in a large regional shopping mall on a Saturday afternoon.

It is a somewhat bad idea, or rather a naive one, to imagine that bifocals will be included in the "2 pr for $99" special.

Or that you can get them in one hour.

It is a bad idea to take a 2-year-old with you.

It is a bad idea to assume that your 2-year-old will be able to play in the enormous indoor play area at the children's store, since the store might have dispensed with the play area in the last 6 months and replaced it with a shoe department.

However, when you are waiting at the discount opticians, and your child has taken a much-needed break from RUNNING AROUND SCREECHING and plopped himself down in front of the TV;
and when a promo for "Family Guy" comes on the TV;
and when your 2-year-old LEAPS TO HIS FEET WITH EXCITEMENT and run up to the TV for a better view, it is probably a better idea to chuckle ruefully than to hold your head in your hands and moan in humiliation.

Friday, November 09, 2007

But other people write so much better than me!!

There’s an article in the New Yorker from a couple of weeks ago, about classical music, and the effects that the web is having on its popularity.

In it, Alex Ross (I suspect we're related) quotes a beautiful blog post by a pianist named Jeremy Denk. Denk is writing about playing piano in a piece called Quartet for the End of Time.

….because the performance was totally overwhelming for me personally, for mysterious reasons. Was it exhaustion, or accumulation, or release? Daniel Phillips (one of my favorite musicians) was playing the last movement, and I felt that I was going to lose it on stage… i.e. burst out crying. This is rare for me… After some polite goodbyes, I decided to “celebrate” by walking home alone, away from cars and people; I ambled down quiet Church Street, and tried to give my brain its own time.

It is a piece for the “end of time,” and yet the pianist (yours truly) has to be time. In the cello and violin solo movements, I simply play chords, awkwardly slowly, marking moments which are much slower than seconds, and marking (with my harmonies) a larger, really time-free, arc of meaning under the melody. In no other piece do you feel such a tremendous strain between something achingly large (something that only eventually will be expressed) and the snail’s steps you must take to express it. But he (Messiaen) manages it; not a note is out of place in the last movement; every harmony is extraordinary, an essential step, a grammatical and striking word of the holy overall sentence… somewhere toward the middle of the last movement, I began to feel the words that Messiaen marks in the part, I began to hear them, feel them as a “mantra”: extatique, paradisiaque. And maybe more importantly, I began to have visions while I was playing, snapshots of my own life (such that I had to remind myself to look at the notes, play the notes!): people’s eyes, mostly, expressions of love, moments of total and absolute tenderness. (This is sentimental, too personal: I know. How can you write about this piece without becoming over-emotional?) I felt that same sense of outpouring (”pouring over”) that comes when you just have to touch someone, when what you feel makes you pour out of your own body, when you are briefly no longer yourself — and at that moment I was still playing the chords, still somehow playing the damn piano. And each chord is even more beautiful than the last; they are pulsing, hypnotic, reverberant… each chord seemed to pile on something that was already ready to collapse, something too beautiful to be stable… and when your own playing boomerangs on you and begins to “move yourself,” to touch you emotionally, you have entered a very dangerous place. Luckily, the piece was almost over… When I got offstage I had to breathe, hold myself in, talk myself down.
The Well-Tempered Web by Alex Ross, from the Oct 22 New Yorker

Thursday, November 08, 2007

this absolutely exceptional bit of prose...

...graced my inbox today. I normally don't even OPEN spam (scared as i am of viruses) but I could not resist this subject line:

Beat her womb with your new big rod, so that she knew who wears the pants!

Do you believe in miracles? We dare say you're likely to say "no".

We hadn't believed, either...until the moment MegaDick was introduced!

What this wonder medicine does to a human phallus cannot be called otherwise than a Miracle!

Only fancy, that your meat stick suddenly becomes longer and thicker and makes women tremble with excitement!

It's fabulous!

So, don't miss it out, accomplish a miracle in your life with this unexampled preparation!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Questions people asked me today:

does the pie taste funny to you?
He's going to preach about THAT?
A Llama? Really?
Did you knit those yourself?
It's not too spicy, is it?
Why does that upset you so much?
Wait - he was serious?
Well, you know what this means, don't you?


Jesus? Loves? ME?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

posting from work (makes Baby Jesus cry, I know) but I had to share this. Several of my friends were involved in this project, and I finally sat down to listen to it today (yeah, I'm a great friend, ask anyone) even though I've had the download info for about a week. You can buy it now, here.

But watch the video. I really like the whole thing, but if you watch all the way to the end, you'll see an especially precious few moments of April, playing the harp with one hand and holding the sleeping baby with the other. And smiling.

Monday, November 05, 2007

what a break

Don't look back. Just go ahead. Give ideas away. Under every idea, there's a new idea waiting to be born.
Diana Vreeland, quoted in Andre Leon Talley's biography ALT, 2002

Hope is costly, but not as costly as giving up.
Anne Lamott, paraphrasing Augustine in a Salon essay, 2003

I am exhasuted from trying to believe unbeliveable things.
Stephen Wright, said on The Late Show with David Letterman, Feb 21, 2003

The worst thing you can do is make your mistakes slowly.
David Sedaris, Speaking at Lisner Auditorium, GWU, April 9, 2003

If you saw my hometown, you would understand everything about me.
Rickey Smith, American Idol contestant, in his biographical film on Fox TV, March 2003

If you dance, you might understand the words better.
David Bryne, in the self-interview portion of the Stop Making Sense DVD

Walking on water wasn't built in a day
Jack Kerouac, in the film The Life and Times OF Allen Ginsburg

If I had a mind, it got covered in love.
Allen Ginsburg, in the film The Life and Times OF Allen Ginsburg

Crede qua absurdum est. (Believe in that which is absurd.)
On the bathroom wall, One World Cafe, S. Charles St, Baltimore MD, Feb 12, 2002

I have come to believe that falling obsessively in love is one of life's necessary assignments. It cracks you open.
Rosemary Sullivan, in Labyrinth of Desire: Women, Passion and Romantic Obsession, 2002

The softest thing in the world will overcome the hardest.
lao-tzu, Tao-te Ching

I'm alive! Holy shit, what a break.
Frank Cross in Scrooged, screenplay by Micheal O'Donahue and Mitch Glazer

It's going to get even weirder
You will do something stupid again today.
two fortune cookies, quoted in Salon's online forum Table Talk

Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule overall.
Apocrapha, the Gospel of Thomas, fragments attribited to Didymos Judas Thomas, about 200 ce

Sunday, November 04, 2007


so I was poking around on my hard drive, in search of this essay/rumination that I wrote several years ago, so I could post it.

And I must roll my eyes up to heaven and ask:

If it isn't here, WHERE THE HELL IS IT?

I do have: a single page of a sermon, and some text from my LiveJournal blog (perhaps I'll have to bust that out, but it's only the 4th; I'm not quite that desperate yet.

My husband has jet lag from the time change. He was just telling me. I'm totally not kidding.

We did indeed go to the New Trader Joe's in Columbia, and my child was a raging terror. We got out with a loaf of bread. (Okay, 2 packages of cookies for the worship music team, and a loaf of bread.)It's good.

Also mysterious - I played miniature golf today. My legs are as sore as if I had run a cross-country match. (I IMAGINE.) Why? I mean, the course was on a hill, but honestly.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

getting things done

1. order 5 pizzas for tomorrow for the miniature golf tourney.
2. see if the new Trader Joes is open.
3. buy some trophies/ribbons/whatever (see above)
4. Call miniature golf people and make reservation.

5. GO TO THE ^%$#@?@!!@#$ BANK MACHINE because #$@#%$&??!! mini golf place is cash-only. (Glad I called!)

Friday, November 02, 2007

The grandparents visited today, and they are indeed grand. After lunch (at which my child was somewhat angelic) we walked over to the lake to say hi to the ducks.

Well, the ducks have migrated. What we found was a flotilla of seagulls and this rather lonely guck. (Or perhaps dooce.)

There was one lone waterfowl, unafraid to come up onto the playground and check out the breadcrumb possibilities. It had a duckish face and shape, but was huge for a duck, at least for the ones we see here; at the same time, it was small for a goose. Its neck was not long, but it did have a noteable bend in it.

It walked right up to us, and stayed - most of the ducks at the lake, though they get fed by people every day, maintain a constant distance of a few feet. I could have touched this one, easily. It didn't approach in an aggressive way, though.

It was a fascinating color combination - white and a light creamy brown, alternating, like a mosaic. Perfect camoflage for being on the playground, which is covered in wood chips.

I took a few pictures of it, but I'm afraid to download them until I get some of the photos off my hard drive; I'm right at capacity now. I will say that I've been looking at pictures of duck and goose breeds for quite a while tonight, and nothing is even close to Playground Duck.

And of course, I'm worried about Playground Duck - its nutrition, its safety, and of course I'm worried that it's lonely. Eric (or perhaps one of his parents) suggested that neither the ducks nor the geese would have him, which made me sad; it also occurs to me that, if he is some sort of cross-breed, he's sterile, and what place could he have in a duck family then? I don't think they have Maiden Aunts. Or Confirmed Bachelors. Or Boston Marriages.

Anyway, as well as photos of duck breeds, I was looking for a poem I somewhat remembered from Brit Lit.

Alison Bechdel remembers it.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

under the wire

well, that's a way to start strong, eh, a one-paragraph post at 11:25?

Here are some things that happened to me in the last few days:

Thing the first:
I watched someone hit a deer (more like, get hit by a deer) in their SUV. It was extremely dramatic, involving, as it did, a smashed windshield, and a deer flying - absolutely not kidding - like 15 feet through the air.

And then getting up and walking away.

It would have been me (and the deer would have done significantly more damage to my Prius than it did to their Expedition) had I not been paying attention to the deer leaping dementedly through the field beside the road.

Thing the second:
I worked a funeral for the niece of a friend today. She was in her mid-20s, mom to 3-year-old twins. She was murdered. I spent the whole day yearning to go home and hug my kid.

When I (FINALLY) got home, and hugged my kid, he yelled "NO!" and writhed as if my hug was torture. It was NOT a scene from the Waltons.

Thing the third:
We've been singing to Ian - camp songs mostly, Raffi's Baby Beluga - and he has been requesting "Jesus Loves Me". Which, of course, chokes me up.

Well, Ian enjoys listening to music - recorded music, as opposed to his parents' well-intentioned caterwauling - and so Eric downloaded "Jesus Loves Me." He ended up, through the magic of the 30-second sample, with some weird Music for Airports ambient version: kids singing far away, drum track, various electronic bleeps and bloops. Plus a British kid chanting scriptures extolling Jesus' DEATH: "this is how we know what love is, that a man would DIE for his friends, DIE for his friends." I am totally not kidding.

Ian immediately became obsessed and wanted to hear this over and over and over.

Happy Halloween.