hermionesviolin: young black woman(?) with curly hair and pink sunglasses, facing away from the viewer (every week is ibarw)
Way to make me feel so nervous about what you're going to ask me!

I was getting tea this morning, and one of the faculty members was getting coffee and said he'd noticed in my email signature that it says "please refer me to use the pronouns she and hers" and asked, "as opposed to what?"

In fairness, I felt way more nervous while actually answering the question than I did in the lead-up but still, I do not recommend, "I hope you don't take this the wrong way" as, well, as something to say probably ever really. (Certainly I've said things like, "This is going to sound meaner than I intended, but I can't think of a better phrasing," so I'm not saying you shouldn't acknowledge when you think something will be taken more negatively than you intend, but...)

I started with saying that people's genders aren't always clear from their names, that some people have gender-neutral names & warmed up to saying that not everyone uses binary pronouns and so sometimes people will volunteer that in their email signature, asking people to refer to them as "they" or "ze" or whatever and that it feels important to me to normalize that practice of volunteering one's pronouns rather than leaving it as something that's only done by people with unexpected pronouns -- "Does that make sense?" He said yes and seemed placated.

Hi, I'm your resident radical queer, I'll be here all forever.

(At coffee on Monday, some folks were talking about the Stanford prison experiment and whether it would replicate today and I literally chimed in with, "police brutality -- people are given power, in a system that dehumanizes certain people, and they abuse that power," and I had never felt so out-of-place far-left at work -- not that anyone pushed back, I don't even remember what got said next, but I just had this sense of total non-engagement.)
hermionesviolin: (light in the darkness)
Sun. Dec. 2, 2012

Last night I read the d'var Torah that Velveteen Rabbi offered that morning at her shul on this week's parsha, "Vayishlach."

She talks about Jacob wrestling with the angel and says:
Having received a new name, Jacob bestows a new name: he names that place, that bend in the river, Peni'el, literally "the face of God," saying, "For I have seen God face-to-face, yet my life has been spared."
(which is really interesting in and of itself, given the multi-vocality of Scripture on seeing the face of God -- e.g., God to Moses in Exodus 33:20 "you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.") and then talks about Jacob's encounter with Esau, where he says:
No, please, if I have truly found favor in your sight, take the offering from my hand; for to see your face is like seeing the face of God.
She closes with the bit from the Talmud about each individual human being being created in the image of God but each of us are unique -- unlike identical imperial coins each stamped with the mark of the secular leader.

This all seemed quite a lovely connection to Molly's "Light Gets In" Advent theme. But then she closes the post with her 70 Faces Torah poem on this parsha, which ends with such a downer:
For one impossible moment Jacob reached out.
To see your face, he said, is like seeing
the face of God: brother, it is so good!

But when Esau replied, let us journey together
from this day forward as we have never done
and I will proceed at your pace, Jacob demurred.

The children are frail, and the flocks:
you go on ahead, he said, and I will follow
but he did not follow.

Once Esau headed out toward Seir
Jacob went the other way, to Shechem, where
his sons would slaughter an entire village.

And again the possibility
of inhabiting a different kind of story
vanished into the unforgiving air.
***
The theme for this year’s Advent is Light Gets In. No matter what walls we throw up, what boxes we climb in or that circumstances put us in—Light gets in. Light will have its way.

This Sunday in worship, I’ll be preaching on the walls humans throw up that block out Christ’s light. We’ll begin building an actual wall in the sanctuary, that will grow each week up until Christmas Eve, when the Light will get in. Will you bring cardboard boxes to church anytime you show up, and leave them on the chancel, and help us duct-tape them together to build our Babel-wall up toward heaven and obscure the cross?

-Molly in This Week at First Church
To my mind, Advent is about the light slowly breaking in (we light first one candle and then a second, and so on), so I don't love this theme.

(The Meditation in the bulletin was Robert Frost's "Mending Wall," so of course I was trying to remember what mt said about that poem. Allie?)

+

Pre-service lectio divina happened in the Parlor, and as a result we could hear the pre-service choir rehearsal. I heard "Emmanuel, Expected Jesus," and fell into Advent.

...

To my surprise, 9am lectio divina was not just me and the facilitator (Bobby); Tom arrived before I did, and Leigh came a little late.

We did Luke 1:5-25.

I was struck by Gabriel's statement, "I stand in the presence of God."

(The second round, when I read, I was struck by the piece about Zechariah being overcome by fear -- because of Reasons. And the third round, nothing struck me.)

+

Before service, I picked up a hardcopy of Molly's Advent calendar.
December 2
First Sunday in Advent: Put on your sparkle cream. Glow.
+
Unison Prayer of Confession

Light-Bringer,

We offer you our repentance.
We replace holy days with holidays.
We hurry past opportunities to give the gifts of kindness and honesty.
We do not listen to angels in our dreams, forgive those dearest to us,
Or welcome into hearts and homes, the poor and the stranger.
If all sin is separation, forgive us for all the walls we throw up, and let your Light in.

-Maren Tirabassi, adapted
...

Molly preached on Jeremiah 33:14-16 -- and her Advent theme of walls and also touched on the theme of Recovery (it being a first Sunday of the month -- no, I had not realized we were continuing this theme after we'd been through the 12 Steps).

She opened with talking about Israel and Palestine, but also talked about other walls -- the Mexico/USA border, gated communities (Trayvon Martin), and other walls we erect. She talked about healthy boundaries -- "calm contact works better than walls."

She said that contrary to popular belief, prophets don't tell the future -- they tell the present.

She said, "our God is not a safe God," which of course reminded me of "Aslan is not a tame lion."

She said God "doesn't call us to safety but to radical love."

...

During Prayers of the People, Missy lifted up prayers "for all those who feel restricted by the gender binary." ♥

At Coffee Hour, Jonathan told me about Tufts' Hamlet the Hip Hopera, which Cate and I tragically missed out on in our attend ALL the Shakespeare.

FCS does a thing where you can pick a kid's name out of a hat and buy them a gift. Harold said that one of his friends at another church got a 10-year-old boy and she only daughters, so she asked what 10-year-old boys like. Harold's response: "When I was a ten-year-old boy, I liked Wonder Woman. Hope this helps." ♥ (And it's trufax. I mean, he also liked e.g. dinosaurs, but this makes it no less trufax.)

+

Jamie facilitated an Advent Devotional Workshop, which I attended.

I was starting to investigate the art supplies when the horde of kids who had been playing war or something all came in and decided to do art (well, Simon was like, "Guys, can't we go back to what we were doing before?" and got ignored by all the kids wrapped up in doing art, so he compromised by making pictures of e.g. ninjas) so I stepped back from the chaos and worked on poetry.

Sue D., to her husband, later: "I was looking for the kids, and I found a craft fair, so I sat down."

Having ~skipped class last week and the next two sessions being review for the final and me being so checked out, I had been undecided about whether I wanted to bother going to the remaining class sessions, and in the Parlor this afternoon I definitely felt like I wanted to go to Art Night.

...

Brandon asked if I'd seen Tongues United, apropos of World AIDS Day. I had not, but given that we barely acknowledged World AIDS Day at church (though in her sermon, Molly told a story she had recently learned of 25 years ago, when there was still so much fear and unknowing, this church volunteering to be the church to host a healing service) I loved that he brought it up.

He also talked about Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (Christmas movie, what? see also: Batman Returns), The Avengers, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (which fandom has been expecting for 5 years).

***

I really liked the Call to Worship we used at CWM tonight:
[One] How shall we prepare God's house for the coming of the Promised One?
[Many] With fragrant branches of cedar, the tree of excellence and strength.
[One] How shall we prepare God's house for the Christ child?
[Many] With a stable and a manger where in the weeks to come, the mystery of the Advent story will be revealed and where the entire creation will welcome the Promised One.
[One] How shall we prepare God's house for Emmanuel, God with us?
[Many] With garlands of pine and fir, whose leaves are ever living, ever green -- symbols of our faith in the living God.
[One] How shall we prepare God's house for the prophet of Galilee?
[Many] With sprigs of holly and ivy, telling of Jesus' faithfulness, even unto death and resurrection.
[One] How shall we prepare our hearts for this revelation of God?
[Many] By hearing again the words of the prophets, the stories of the ancestors of Jesus, and the promises of God.
[One] For in the story of Jesus we see revealed the transforming power of God, and we are reminded anew of God's vision of wholeness, justice, and peace for all creation.
[Many] Thanks be to God!
...

Marla preached on Isaiah 11:1-9 and 1 Samuel 16:1-13. I was mostly meh, but she closed with talking about the fact that we ignore the parts of the Biblical stories that don't seem "proper" or "dignified" and inviting us to think about, if Jesus were to come as a baby a second time, what unexpected places that baby might show up in -- and her shocker suggestion was: born to a Wall Street executive (I thought of the Buddha).

***

At 8-something this morning, it was 32F and a predicted high of 59F. I wore my sparkly purple short-sleeve shirt, because when am I gonna get to wear short sleeves during Advent? Except I basically never took my hoodie off. (Though Jeff B. did ask me whether an email had gone out about wearing purple or if we just knew 'cause Advent. I said I'd worn purple for Advent because I do and it's not like one is required to match the paraments or anything.)

After I left morning church after 1pm, I went to Trader Joe's and it was hazy and still hoodie+gloves weather.

When I left evening church at 6:30 or whatever, it seemed to have rained recently (20% chance of precipitation, this morning's forecast said) and now, hours after sunset, it felt warmer than it had all day.

Weather, what is it?

***

"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-[livejournal.com profile] mylittleredgirl [more info]
Hail full of grace, the Lord is with you
Worlds without end depend on you
Bless'd is the one whom you bring forth
Whom no one else can bring
-"Say Yes," Bob Franke
joy sadhana )
hermionesviolin: an image of Buffy from the episode "Once More With Feeling," looking to the left away from the viewer, with flames in the background, with orange animated text "I want the FIRE back / so I will walk through the FIRE" (fire)
On Friday I posted a link to "We Are Young" by Fun, featuring ft. Janelle Monáe to facebook, saying, "I don't really love this video, but the chorus has been recurrently playing in my brain for some time. (Happy almost Pentecost?)"

We are young / so let's set the world on fire...

It felt too warm today for a long-sleeved shirt, and I don't love the one short-sleeved red shirt I have (plus, I'd rather be wearing a red shirt with black pants, but my weekend usual is blue jeans) so I decided to wear my red dress* and maroon tights ... and I wasn't wearing my rainbow Pride heels** to bicycle, so I wore my black ~Vans with the ~glow-in-the-dark stars on them (they're not actually Vans, they're just laceup flats in that style -- they were on like closeout sale at Berks for $10/pair or something).
*When not worn with black knee-high boots with ~3-inch heels, this dress totally doesn't feel like a hooker dress. [No one has ever called it a hooker dress to me, I just frequently think of it as such, b/c of aforementioned footwear pairing.]
**I got an Urban Outfitters email this afternoon which included these shoes [Jeffrey Campbell Rainbow Starlight Eva Sandal marked down to $99 from $139].


***

(from the FCS bulletin this morning)
Unison Prayer of Confession

God,

We confess that we find Christmas and Easter more exciting than the urgency of Pentecost.
We confess that our worst nightmare is sounding drunk or folish.
We confess that this birthday-church isn't always a party.
We confess that we rarely listen to the speakers of other languages, and almost never try to learn their words ourselves.
Holy One, we are heart-cut and frightened by strong winds.
Make us new, and ready for Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

-Maren Tirabassi, adapted

+

Meditation [a longer piece was printed in the bulletin]

I believe the church can have an integral role in the development of the self, but also of the self in covenantal relation to others. I believe the church should always adapt and change and grow with each person; in other words, to a certain degree, when a person becomes a part of a church community, that church should never be quite the same as it was. And as change happens to the church, I should change, too. I want church to help me to be me, to help me figure out what that means as a child pf God, and to help me figure out what that means as a citizen of God's green earth with neighbors all about. I want church to help me to understand what it is to be loved, to feel loved, and to love. I want church to help me to recognize God around me and others, to see God at work in and through me, to assure me of my place in God's grace.

-from Rev. Kaji Spellman, Yale Divinity School Reflections Fall 2009
***

"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-[livejournal.com profile] mylittleredgirl [more info]
And those chapters, again, must be read in the context of the entire book of Acts, which begins with Pentecost — bringing together people “from every nation under heaven … Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to the Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs” — and continues inexorably outward to include and embrace European tradeswomen and African eunuchs and anyone else the author can imagine the reader otherwise being tempted to exclude or reject. The book reads like an after-school special on celebrating diversity.
-slacktivist
Read more... )
hermionesviolin: (gay patron saint)
FCS's Advent theme this year is "misrule" -- about holy upside-downings, "turning our ideas about power and privilege upside down," to quote from Molly's Advent and Christmas 2011 letter.

One of the themes of Advent is that Christ doesn't come in the way we expect.

I've told just about everyone about my best friend's lesbian Christology, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised to encounter something like it in my Pauli Murray reading.
Back in 1973, in my first interview with the suffragan bishop of Massachusetts. the Rt. Rev. Morris F. Anderson (known as "Ben"), in charge of candidates for Holy Orders, made a comment to me, and he repeated this comment at the time of his retirement in his reflections "On Being a Bishop" (Massachusetts Episcopal Times, November 1981, 7). He writes:
At New Orleans I made my first speech in the House of Bishops. I followed [Bishop] Kim Meyers [who has died since then], who was at the time speaking against the ordination of women. I said just as I envisioned the Second Coming of Christ in terms of a person of a different race, in order to proclaim the fullness of God and his love, I could envision the Second Coming of Christ as a member of a different sex. Therefore we should have priests appropriately ready to recognize and accept the Son of God when he returns as a daughter. This is a bit radical for the House of Bishops in those days.
-p. 49 of Pauli Murray: Selected Sermons and Writings, selected and edited by Anthony B. Pinn; from a sermon Pauli Murray preached on September 12, 1982, at the Church of the Holy Nativity in Baltimore, Maryland (located in the Pauli Murray Papers, box 65, folder 1106, Schlesinger Library, Harvard University)
hermionesviolin: (dead (sexy))
GMA this morning had a segment on letting your teen have sex inside your home. I didn't watch the whole segment, but right around the point I tuned in [~4:30 in the video embed], a teenage female commented that if your boyfriend (or whomever) knows that your parents allow you to have sex in their house, you lose a huge way to say no. She literally asked, What am I supposed to say if I can't use the "no, I can't, my parents would kill me"?

edit now that I'm watching the embed [btw, ~3:50, there's a "slut" trigger; I was horrified]:
Interviewer: "If your boyfriend knows that you can just go home and it's allowed in your home, does that put more pressure on you?"
girls: "Absolutely... definitely..."
Girl1: "If your boyfriend knows, or whoever knows, that there is a perfectly open, available house, I think that takes away one of your big--"
Girl2: "Yeah, like how do you say no? Like a lot of times if they're saying, "Let's do it, let's do it," like, "It's time," you blame it on your parents. You're like, 'No, I can't, my parents would kill me.' But if that whole thing is gone, like what do you say?"
I, of course, muttered on the treadmill, "You say you don't want to. You always have the right to say no. Stand in your own power."

I reminded myself that saying No can be difficult as an adult and can be far moreso as an adolescent; I remember trying to use "my parents won't let me" as an excuse to get out of my then-best friend pressing me to I think go to the mall (knowing my parents as she did, she did not buy it at all). I was still sad that none of the grownups at least mentioned as a response to that question the unapologetic "I don't want to."

My primary takeaway is that we need to be better at raising children who can and will say no -- who can and will own their desires (including their desire to NOT do something).

[I also got kinda ragey at the wrapup back at the anchor desk -- particularly when one of them raised the issue of, "So if you do allow this, is it something you can take away as punishment? Like taking away the keys to the car?"]

***

My best friend and I had a conversation about the story of the baby named Storm whose assigned-at-birth-sex the parents aren't disclosing.

From the Yahoo! News article:
Because Jazz and Kio wear pink and have long hair, they're frequently assumed to be girls, according to Stocker. He said he and Witterick don't correct people--they leave it to the kids to do it if they want to.

But Stocker and Witterick's choices haven't always made life easy for their kids. Though Jazz likes dressing as a girl, he doesn't seem to want to be mistaken for one. He recently asked his mother to let the leaders of a nature center know that he's a boy. And he chose not to attend a conventional school because of the questions about his gender. Asked whether that upsets him, Jazz nodded.
We had mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, we support not presuming someone else's self-identity. On the other hand, correcting people on such matters is a heavy thing for anyone, so that seems quite a load to lay on a 5-year-old. (We hoped that we were correctly inferring that the mom did indeed abide by Jazz's request that she inform the nature center staff.)
hermionesviolin: (Aslan)
I would like to tell you a story.

This story begins with a well. Read more... )
hermionesviolin: (andro)
At the gym this morning, after working out, I was changing out of my gym clothes and into a towel to shower ... and I felt like I was flaunting the fact that I had smooth underarms/legs; and I felt very weird, like this is not how my body is usually, there is something off here. I've talked before [e.g., here and here] about the fact that I prefer the look and feel of hairless skin on myself and others regardless of gender, but apparently I've internalized sufficiently that that is not how my body looks/feels. (I still want to get the hair on my face lasered, however; apparently that started growing in after I had at some level solidified my sense of who I am and how I experience my body -- or something.)

***

I'm not entirely caught up on my personal Internet, but I think I am mostly caught up on work Internet (and am acclimating to Windows 7).

In catching up on all that:
The St. Sebastian Review is an LGBTQ Christian literary magazine, founded to give voice to a community often disenfranchised and unheard.

We exist as a forum within and from which LGBTQ Christians of any denomination can engage both critically and compassionately the culture in which they find themselves.

We are purveyors of fine poetry, fiction, nonfiction essays, and visual art from among the LGBTQ Christian community and its allies.
The first issue just came out and is available (PDF) on the website.

And next week's Sacred Eros:
Sacred Eros: "Eros Outside the Box"
Monday, March 28th at 7:00pm in the Perkins Room
Arlington Street Church, 351 Boylston Street, Boston MA
Entrance next to Parish Cafe, meeting downstairs in Perkins Room

We all have ideas about sexuality and relationships, from convenient labels to assumptions about ethics and pleasure. How can we learn to think and look “outside the box” and embrace the full diversity about us. Come and join us in spiritual discussion, and bring food or drink to share.
hermionesviolin: (love one another as i have loved you)
[FirstChurch Mailing List] This weekend at First Church Somerville
Sent: Fri, May 7, 2010 12:13:22 PM

Dear Beloved,

Mother's Day! My Last Sunday! Molly in Service!

Our service on Sunday will be about all these things, but more importantly than all these things will be our praying, singing, and speaking together of our longing for God. We will praise God for her willingness to match our longing, and to love us in ways we are able to recognize. I pray you, join us for worship.

In addition to our worship, we will practice the spirit opening discipline of caring for others and ourselves. We will take two offerings this Sunday, our regular offering, and also a special offering for the Holy Bible Baptist Church, our Haitian sisters and brothers in Davis Sq. Members of this congregation will be going to Haiti on May 24, with a ship container of necessary things. Our offering will help with this.

Myriam Piervil, from that congregation will join us for worship, and will say a few words to us, a mission moment, during the announcements.

Also joining us will be the Rev. Merrie Allen. Merrie iis the Clerk of the Metropolitan Boston Association of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ. Merrie will lead us in our litany of Farewell. In this litany, Merrie will ask you to forgive me, and then she'll ask you to release me to my new ministry. Then Merrie will ask me if I will forgive you, the congregation, and then she'll ask me if I'll release you to the ministry of ourselves, you and Molly. We will say, "We do," and "We will, with the help of God."

I'm preaching a short sermon, Althea's the liturgist, Tim's leading the praying of a Psalm, Dibbie's helping me with the benediction. Molly will read scripture and participate in others ways. Lots of folks are playing lots of instruments. Joe's promised something achingly beautiful. Thom will lead our singing, which we will do as if our lives depended on it, please?

One last thing, in the past, it was the habit of the church to bring canned goods and non-perishables every Sunday of the year for folks who are hungry. The Deacons have asked that we resume this act of compassion. There will be a basket at the back of the church for these non-perishable proteins and pasta every Sunday. On Communion Sundays, these food gifts will be presented, with the offering, to be blessed for the use in the community.

Oh, yeah, there's a party tomorrow night, 6-10. I'm bringing a CD mix of R&B music (such as "Brick House," oh yes!). There will be food, skits, and dancing. I've not been reading the emails, so I can't wait to see what will happen. Will I need a rain coat? Meck will come with me. Thanks, y'all, in advance.

If you can't make it this weekend to worship and the party, I know you're with your moms and in necessary places of rest and responsibility. Please, know I understand these necessities. I feel your love and kind regards, and I send you my prayers and blessings.

Love,
Laura Ruth



Laura Ruth's Bye-You )




I Am Going Away )

When I told Scott this morning about how I had cried a lot but I hadn't felt painful grief or anything, he said that I was sad but I wasn't grieving -- which he thought was a good thing: that I'd had this good process and I'd done what I needed to do and all that.  When I was telling Ari this tonight, she commented that it is true that, thinking about the Kübler-Ross stages of grief, I've been able to experience a lot of those already as part of this process.

Edit: From Molly's email to the listserv Tuesday:
It was so good to be back with you on Sunday--to feel not a million miles away from my church family in the midst of my medical labyrinth (no dead ends, right?), to see the tears shining in your eyes as you said goodbye to Laura Ruth, as you recognized the truth of Althea's words in your own lives, as you let the feelings that were set free that morning, begin to free other feelings and griefs in you, griefs both present and past. What an amazing gift, just to have a place to feel your feelings, whatever they are; to sit beside people it's ok to feel things with, who won't be ashamed of you or themselves when feelings get out of their tidy boxes, when nose and eyes runneth over.
hermionesviolin: (in a gen way i swear)
One of the readings at Simple Shifts tonight was Romans 12, and at "Do not be conformed to the world," I thought of Ari, because we routinely invoke that exhortation when we see Christians buying into paradigms of the dominant society which we feel are in conflict with God's Will.  (For example, when someone at a church meeting says, "I can eat this cookie because I didn't have dinner tonight," and one of us comments that skipping meals is unhealthy and the first person says they don't care about whether it's healthy, they just want to lose weight.  This is where we silently scream, "We are called to be in the world but not of the world!  When Paul said, 'Do not be conformed to the world,' this is what he was talking about!")

And I thought of how yeah, it is trufax that we build each other up in faith.

Earlier, I had read aloud from Genesis 2 (we read the second Creation story) and I said "God" where the Inclusive Bible said "YHWH" because Ari won't pronounce the Tetragrammaton and I've come to feel similarly.  I'm much less comfortable with gendering Jesus as male because of her and much more comfortable gendering Jesus as female because of her; because of her I think about lesbian christology [addendum: bookmarking for my reference] and transgender eschatology; because of her I think about how it is particularly problematic to gender the (post-Easter) Christ and about how the disciples didn't recognize the risen Christ and about how resurrected bodies (Christ's and ours) are transformed and perfected and how that could mean so many different things.  And she thinks about stuff like "kin-dom" language because of me.  We push each other.  We talk for hours about church and liturgy and theology and worship and what we believe and how that comes out in the language we use and how that is or should be reflected in how we live our lives.  We tell each other, "You are a bright, brilliant, beloved child of God -- and you are beautiful to behold."  Theology and Scripture is the language we use to talk to each other.  (Also fandom, and probably other things.  We are a cunningly multi-lingual people.)

Ari and I were talking on Sunday about how our standard for romantic partners is the way we interact with each other.

I talked about this some in therapy on Tuesday, about how the woman who hit on me last week is really really into me and I'm just not that into her, and therp asked me why I'm not that into her and said it back to me that I didn't feel like this woman was deep enough, and suggested that I maybe don't need a romantic partner to be really passionate about the same things I am so long as they have things they are deep and passionate about.  I am willing to entertain this possibility, but I do think it would work much better if my partner loved Christianity the way that I do.  Yes, if there is stuff of substance that we can connect about, I have an Ari (and other people) for talking about liturgy etc.  And if I could have conversations with my partner about gender and ableism and language that marginalizes and all that, even if they weren't engaged in church, maybe that would be fine.  But I love church so much -- and it's what I do with so much of my time ... I think I would feel really disconnected if I was all talkative about church two or three or five or six days a week and my partner just nodded indulgently at me -- maybe if they were really engaged with Christianity academically it would be okay if they were non-practicing/non-believers ... but I'm growing in appreciation for the power and value of community, plus this is real to me and there's a profound disconnect if it's not real in that way for another person (though obviously plenty of Christians differ as to which things are True Myth and which are True Fact).  And of course I know that lots and lots of interfaith couples work just fine (hello, my parents) -- I'm just talking about figuring out what I think I need.  And I'm not setting up any first-date dealbreaker ultimatums anytime soon (I don't think).  But I told Ari the other day, that I was so excited that this woman loves her church like I love my church -- but I don't think she loves Christianity like I love Christianity (and I think maybe it would be more accurate to say: she loves her church like I love my church, but she doesn't love church like I love church -- though that's still not exactly it).
hermionesviolin: black-and-white image of a church in the background, with sheep of different colors in the foreground, text at the top "Religion is a Queer Thing" and text at the bottom "Cambridge Welcoming Ministries" (religion is a queer thing)
my facebook status: "successfully preached a sermon, out loud, in front of a congregation.  (We about doubled the size of the congregation.  If I'm remembering correctly, there were 13 regulars, 2 returning, 12 just to hear me, plus me.  And I communed EVERYONE by name.)  Scott [redacted] gets almost all the credit for my good pacing."

I have since thought of at least 3 people (2 who came just for me, and one newbie-regular) whom I forgot to count.  [Mike R. commented on facebook: "I stand in awe of the Elizabeth fan club. :) And I stand within it!"]

We sang "You Are Mine" at morning church, and I wished I had thought to request that for tonight.  But Cassandra did "Wade in the Water," which was so so good ("If you don't believe I've been redeemed...").

We did all 4 lectionary readings -- I think Marla revised the Isaiah a little bit to be less enforcing the gender binary (Ari, I thought of you) -- and Marla asked me to do the Luke reading, so I was already standing at the podium to start my sermon.

I felt so so nervous, but I spoke slowly as I'd practiced with Scott (he stopped me like 2 lines in and made me start over 'cause I was going too fast -- said, "when it feels painfully slow to you, then it's just right for the people listening"), and when I could feel my breathing shallow I took a conscious breath between paragraphs (hey, it's a sermon, it can be a meditative pause, and it's a sermon so no one's going to think I'm done and interrupt) and I know from years of lay reading to look out at the congregation and make eye contact and I was really glad that I was able to do that so smoothly -- the only time I looked back at my text and couldn't immediately find my place I apparently knew the sentence well enough that I could seamlessly continue saying the sentence from memory and had found my place by the time I finished the sentence.

Afterward, Melissa jokingly asked if I wanted an Ativan next time, but she interacts with me on a daily basis and is a trained professional therapist.  Everyone else used words like "poised" and "professional" and "calm."  And there were people who were surprised that this was my first time doing this.  (I said I did have a lot of experience doing lay reading.)

I was the first person to lift up prayers (I totally waited to see if anyone had anything pressing), and as Tiffany was saying them back to me she dissolved into coughing (she's been sick and overdid it today) and Annie had to jump in and be Emergency Backup Minister (TM some friend of Melissa's).  When Tiffany and I were talking after dinner, she said that she was so sad to have to let Annie take over, said she'd had a beautiful prayer in her head.  ♥  (Earlier at dinner, my dad had applauded Annie for doing the pastoral prayer wrap-up, and she said that she had learned it from the master, aka Tiffany, who has made it a habituse for this congregation -- which is trufax.)

During Passing of the Peace, Kristy(sp?) who had come with Michael Z., thanked me for my sermon, said it was one of those instances of the right message at the right time.  I was really touched and thanked her for letting me know.  In retrospect, the message that "You are a Beloved Child of God" is a message that it's hard to go wrong with, so the praise for the content of my sermon doesn't necessarily say a lot (though I do totally think my sermon was on par quality-wise with the previous 9 I've written), but that is also arguably the most important message there is, so I'm okay with my preaching debut being this.

Communion included an invitation to water or anointing oil, and after we'd communed everyone and Marla and I had communed each other, I communed Tiffany and she anointed me and then I anointed her.  She has a supply of vials of oil (from RMN -- they have a rainbow tree on them that says, "One Family Tree") which people were encouraged to take home with them.  Ari, I took one for me and one for you.

And there was dinner that wasn't pizza.

And lots of the visitors said very kind things about the community and the welcome and the atmosphere.  \o/

My parents got to experience my church, and meet both the pastors I care about before they leave.  And both of those pastors got to hear me preach before they left.

Tiffany said she hopes she gets to continue reading my sermons, and asked if I'm going to go back and catch up [the last sermon I posted was, belatedly, for Advent 2] and I said I planned to try and she said she suspected as much.  She said that pastors often think they can go off lectionary and no one will notice "because who reads the lectionary?" but of course I do and so whenever she goes off lectionary she knows that I'll notice and she has to acknowledge it in her sermon.  She said that when she's writing a sermon there's a little me in her head -- that there are lots of people in her head when she's writing a sermon, but that I'm always there :)

Oh, and before service Laura Ruth said, "I have been praying for you all day," and [livejournal.com profile] cadenzamuse and [livejournal.com profile] wisdomeagle both lifted me up in prayer at their morning churches.

Edit: After dinner, Tiffany was reiterating her suggestion that I'm Called to ministry -- pointing out that God doesn't usually speak in such clear signs as the heavens opening but rather in ways like the people around us.
me: "But we're called to be in the world but not of the world, to not necessarily listen to the majority voices around us."
Melissa: "Are you two arguing by quoting Bible verses back and forth?"
me: " ... A little. Which possibly proves Tiffany's point more than it does mine."

[We did agree that preaching/teaching sort of ministry, not pastoral counseling kind of ministry.]

Edit2: Near the end of our conversation Saturday night, Scott said, "Remember to have fun. I know that you have the souls of everyone in the congregation in your hand for those minutes, but remember to have fun," and, "You get to make them be more righteous."

And I did remind myself, as I was feeling nervous as the room was filling up and throughout the day, that everyone was here because they love me. ("They want you to succeed," Scott had pointed out.)

And a couple people did say things like that the Holy Spirit was moving when I was preaching.

There is something really wonderful about so many being so loving and affirming (and I didn't get to everyone during Passing of the Peace because there were so many people and I was having so many hugs and conversation), and I'm feeling more positive about the experience with some distance -- though I am also understandably hesitant about the idealizing effect of distance.
hermionesviolin: (light in the darkness)
Morning prayer Scripture was Isaiah 11:1-9 and Hebrews 13:7-17.  (We are in Hebrews AGAIN.)

I did both readings (from the NRSV, natch).

I announced that I would be reading the Isaiah text with feminine language for the divine, because I really don't want all this masculine language.

When I did the Hebrews reading, I just swapped in "Christ('s)" for "he" and "his" -- and once I said "the divine name" because I honestly wasn't quite sure of the referent for "his name."

***

After I got home last night, I emailed Jeff and Laura Ruth to tell them I was sorry I wasn't able to make it to the re/New service because I was at CWM Bible study.  Today, I got replies:
'sall right with me, except that I missed you. Oh, wait, I get to see you tonight! And Wednesday! I'm a lucky sister.

Laura Ruth
and
Me too Elizabeth. ...I missed you, but am glad you made the CWM Bible Study. That sounds great.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Peace,
Jeff
In my response to Laura Ruth, I told her that I didn't think I would make it to the Longest Night service because I was having dinner with [livejournal.com profile] marketsquare.  However, he was meeting a friend for ice cream after our dinner, so I made it to the second half of the service.

When Laura Ruth communed me, she grinned at me and said something like, "Elizabeth, this is the bread of life given for you tonight, that you might have life abundant."  Which I think is what she was saying to everyone.  And Tiffany offered me the Cup of hope.

There were healing stations (afterward), and I was seriously considering going to one, but then I realized I would have to pick between my clergy.

excerpts from the service )
hermionesviolin: (hipster me)
Monday, Jason and I went to
dance on down the rabbit hole
WONDERLAND
Join Sexy Alice as she journeys through a world of bondage cards, naughty bunnies, coked-out hatters, and fabulous queens!  Flesh, music, drinks, and desire...a special one-night-only engagement sure to titillate, tease, bewitch and amuse.
Jason's verdict: "needs moar plot" and "get more naked."  (Yeah, it kind of failed at being burlesque.)

But it was worth the price of admission for the Red Queen killing all the Alices to Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" (which song I don't even like [YouTube link] -- though, as with all Lady Gaga, it is indeed catchy).

+

Scott's gf's dad works at Brandeis, and someone told him about a production some Brandeis folks were doing that was "an Alice in Wonderland story."  They went last Sunday, and apparently "an Alice in Wonderland story" meant "a female character ends up in a strange world and has bizarre adventures."  Scott does not recommend it.  [Play is "Reckless" -- which I think I read about in the metro, but I can't find that online so instead I found boston.com]

+

Friday I went to Singspiration.

I saw John P., whom I haven't seen in ages (apparently he's been doing Awana, but he was filling in for Don T.), so I gave him a serious hug.  He asked what I'd been up to, and I talked about various things and also said, "In January I'm preaching at my radical, queer gay, progressive church."  He was like, "Really?" and I said, "Yeah.  You're invited, once I get my act together.  I thought: 'I want to invite the people who loved me at my old church that is now so conservative.  They'll hate it, but I want to invite them.' "  He didn't really know what to do with that, but to his credit he just asked what I was preaching on.  (I said, "Well, it's Baptism of Jesus Sunday, so I'm talking about baptism, and the lectionary texts are a lot about the Holy Spirit, so I'm talking about the Holy Spirit.")

I've mostly been leaving my theology at the door recently at Singspiration, but Ari and I have been talking recently about feminine language for the Divine, and so when the first hymn was (iirc) "He Lives," I found myself singing "She" for "He," and did that for all the pronouns re: the Divine for the entirety of the evening (though I still sang all the "Lords" -- though I sometimes whispered "Queen" when it said "King," and I did sing "Child" for "Son" and "Mother" for "Father").  (Though in "O Come All Ye Faithful" I was tempted to leave "o come let us adore him" because saying "adore her" in that context made me think of Marian Adoration.)  I was really startled at how it helped make these familiar words new (I kept wanting to use the word "reclamatory").

Introing "In the Garden," Pastor Bill talked about how the author had a dream and he started by saying that he saw a figure of a woman; I thought, "It's Jesus!" and was really surprised that this guy was going the Julian of Norwich route or whatever; but it was Mary (at the tomb, and then John shows up, and then Jesus comes out of the tomb).

Every time I heard someone say "Merry Christmas" I thought, "Happy Hannukah" (which had started at sundown that night) and "Blessed Advent," but I didn't actually say anything to anyone (I don't think anyone said it directly to me except maybe like as they were leaving).

There wasn't anything that outright offended me.  Oh, except Joe F. talked about MC'ing Stacie's Black History Month concert and how he was like, "You know I'm white, right?" and he said that honestly he doesn't think she sees that and isn't that great, that's how God is.  I internally facepalmed.  A metaphor that occurred to me today was: Nobody says, "Look at this wonderful garden," wanting the viewer to say, "Oh, I don't see roses or tulips, I just see beautiful flowers, isn't that great?"

+

Waiting for the train at Montello on Saturday, I heard a guy say to another guy: "Survivor Series -- Stephanie and Shane sold WCW and ECW to Rick Flair.  And Steve Austin came back and took out Kurt Angle and became a face again.  I don't know how he did it, he just did."  I haven't watched WWFE in years, but oh, my heart.
hermionesviolin: (light in the darkness)
Last Sunday morning, Tiffany's facebook status was "Tiffany is journeying through the wilderness to the water's edge."

She preached (sacred texts: Baruch 5:5-9, Luke 3:1-6, and an excerpt from Three Dreams in the Desert by Olive Schreiner) about preparing the way and those who go before us and talked about CWM's founding and the people in those very first weeks who had such a profound impact on how CWM is today and invited us to recall those we remember who no longer worship here with us, and then she segued into saying that her path is diverging from ours and we will continue to do great things and the stones that have helped build this path will always be there -- and one day someone else will be preaching in this pulpit and will invite the congregation to remember those who went before and they will name us :)

I had known since Tuesday's Charge Conference that her last Sunday as our pastor would be February 14.  (Her appointment as Dean of the Chapel at Syracuse begins March 1.)  But it wasn't to be public knowledge until she announced it in person to the full congregation, which was really hard for me.  I expected to feel grief all over again at her announcement, but the only thing I felt was relief that I could grieve publicly now.  (Admittedly, I was also spent from the week.)

***

We're doing Advent Bible Study at CWM, and last Sunday we did the Canticle of Zechariah (Luke 1:68-79).  In talking about light in the darkness and preparing the way and all that, Tiffany mentioned that Mary Daly often asks her why she stays in the church, and Tiffany's response is to invoke the story of Plato's Cave -- the church is in darkness, and so she feels called to go back and dwell in the darkness to tell people of the light.  But in talking with us she talked about how leaving the darkness of the cave the light is overwhelming and so maybe we want to go back into the comfort of the darkness.  I thought of Ian's concern about my playing it safe re: my career choices.  I still stand by all the things I have said in pushing back against his concerns, but I also continue to think about his concerns.

Transforming worship space into fellowship space before dinner that Sunday (Bible Study was after dinner), Carolyn and I were carrying a table and then realized there was stuff on the floor in our way and someone joked about "make the paths straight" or something, and Carolyn said, "Prepare the way for Elizabeth -- oh wait, we can't say that until she answers her call to ministry."  (I was like, "Hush, you -- what are you, the Metatron voice of God?")

Monday morning before prayer service, there was something FCS-Ian couldn't find in the chapel, and I said there might be some in the pulpit 'cause I knew there were some the Friday before the first Sunday of Advent -- I explained that I knew because I'd been helping to decorate the sanctuary for Advent; "I forget why I was in the pulpit..."
Ian: "Getting a feel for it...  Is that still funny?  Is that obnoxious now?"  (I assured him it wasn't obnoxious.)

At SCBC Adult Ed last Sunday, Owen said they got my invite and are looking forward to coming to hear me preach.  I referred to Borg and Crossan's The First Christmas during Adult Ed at one point and afterward, Betty asked me for the title again so she could write it down, so I handed her the book.  (She was surprised that public libraries have books on religion -- because of the separation of church and state? I dunno and I didn't ask.  I am amused that my ILL copy is from Norwood.).  I said, "I can't believe I'm inviting people to hear me preach at my radical, queer, progressive church."  (Yes, I said all three of those words.  \o/  )  Betty said she's looking forward to it and said she's going to ask Margaret if she wants to come.

***

At morning prayer service on Monday, I said I wanted to do one of the readings (which is an optional/encouraged way for attendees to participate in the service), and FCS-Ian asked which one, and I said I didn't know what the Old and New Testament readings were because I hadn't read the daily lectionary because I haven't finished my sermon for yesterday and so in my head I'm not allowed to read the next week's lectionary yet, only I forgot that of course I'll read it at morning prayer because we're doing daily lectionary.

The texts were Isaiah 40:1-11 and Romans 8:22-25.

I liked them both, but I chose Isaiah because I liked it better and because it's longer (and it's more important that it be read dramatically).
And after I finished I said, "The word of God, for the people of God.  (Thanks be to God.)"  Because I have turned into that person.  I did the Old Testament reading on Tuesday, and I almost prefaced it with "Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church" -- which is what we say after the Sacred Text reading at Rest and Bread.  (Later in the week I was rewriting the Scripture I read to use gender-neutral language.)

At CHPC last Sunday, we started our three-week Advent study on Borg and Crossan's The First Christmas, and Karl wanted us to start with actually reading (aloud) the Matthean and Lukan birth narratives (Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1:5-2:40), starting with Matthew.  "Are we really going to read the entire genealogy in Matthew?" I asked, looking at how it took up an entire column of text.
Karl said to just read until I got tired and then someone else would read some.  I am of course am stubborn (and love lay reading), so I read the whole Matthean genealogy.  (I think some people clapped after I was done.)  After we'd finished Luke, Karl said, "Luke 3:23-38 -- that's all you, Elizabeth."  So I read that aloud.  It's actually much harder to read aloud than Matthew's, despite being shorter -- the "son of" repetition meant I started to stumble over the vowel in "son;" plus I think Luke's names are harder to pronounce than Matthew's.

+

I told Ari about Annie's Year A liturgy proposal for CWM.

Ari: "I assume she's doing this for seminary rather than for fun" -- because it is totally the kind of thing we would do for fun, because we are crazy Those People.  I assured her that Annie's doing it for her D.Min.  I was telling Jason about this Monday night, and he goes, "demon?"

At Charge Conference, the D.S. [District Superintendent] asserted that pastors really value getting to create worship
Apparently the Book of Discipline says the pastor is responsible for worship.  I was telling Ari this and of course found myself wanting to look up exactly where that is and what else it says.  Apparently I need my own copy of the UMC Book of Discipline?  [I assumed one would just order a copy from Cokesbury, but apparently it is also available in ebook.]

+

Ari and I were talking about the Creation Museum woman at the UCN church fair, and I said that after my brain stopped being stuck on "I believe the Bible is [a creationist]" being such bad grammar, my next thought was, "But there are two Creation stories in Genesis."  Ari pointed out that there are also Creation stories in Job, Proverbs... "Almost as if it weren't a factual history, but expressing the idea of God's powerful, creative, generative, love for all creation."

She talked some about mothering love and whether that was problematic terminology because not everyone has a good mother (so not everyone would have positive associations with the term "mothering love") and immediately she thought, "But everyone has [a good mother in] Jesus."

Jesus as Mother of course makes me of Julian of Norwich which makes me think of my mom (and [livejournal.com profile] sk8eeyore).

In talking about gendering Jesus, Ari mentioned the historical Jesus as being "read as male," and because I've been reading Borg and Crossan I thought, "Yes, I suppose that is more accurate -- since we are getting the Biblical author's understandings of their experiences and their attempts to articulate those experiences, rather than literal historical fact."  It wasn't until we were talking later that I consciously registered that she had posited Jesus as trans.

We talked about how "Away in a Manger" is problematic because the statement about baby Jesus not crying at the disruption implies a supernatural creature rather than a wholly divine human one.  I said to Ari, "I don't know if that makes my Christology higher or lower [because my instinct is to say it's a higher Christology, but that can't be right because I'm emphasizing the "fully human" aspect rather than the "fully divine"]."  She provided the word I was looking for: "orthodox."

So I am becoming more orthodox at the same time as I am becoming more radical.  Ari said, "Because orthodox Christianity IS radical."

This reminded me (from Latin 1 class) that radix=root, and yeah, digging into the texts (and the traditions) to find what is at the root, to clear away what has been built up over it which is obscuring our view, to try to be transparent to the Ground of Being.

I hadn't realized (or had forgotten) that I don't actually like "Away in a Manger" until we sang it at morning prayer service one day the first week in Advent this year.  I also think we shouldn't sing Christmas carols during Advent.  Rev.S. had mentioned a piece from Working Preacher about how singing Christmas carols during Advent is legit.  We think she probably meant the David Lose piece rather than the Marc Kolden, but they are both rather failsome.
hermionesviolin: (Ainsley Hayes)
I cannot deal with people talking about having lost weight as if it's an inherently good thing.

I wince every time someone colloquially says "you guys" or "lame."

Today was the second day in a row I had almost nothing to do at work.  (I have a Project for tomorrow, though.  \o/  )  I worked on my sermon and did a lot of blog reading/skimming -- esp. lots of disability blogs.

One of the things I read was "What We Talk About When We Talk About Language" (by meloukhia on FWD/Forward).  I have posted about this before, but she says some really smart things I hadn't quite thought of in that way before but which really resonate for me.
when we talk about language, we don’t talk about what it used to mean, or what it is supposed to mean, or what you think it means. We talk about how society uses language, right now.  [...]

One of the most common defenses I see of ableist language is “well, it doesn’t mean that anymore.”

So, my question is, what does it mean?

One of the things I like to do when I am illustrating why language is exclusionary is I plug in a commonly-known original meaning of the word in question into a sentence. Let’s take “lame,” which is generally taken to mean “has difficulty walking” or “limps,” although the original use was actually just “broken.”

So, if someone says “this television show is lame” and you turn the sentence into “this television show has difficulty walking,” it doesn’t really make sense, right? Just like when you say “this social activity which I am being forced to do by my parent is a homosexual man,” it doesn’t really make sense. And this should tell you something. It should tell you that the word you are using has an inherently pejorative meaning.

Which means, actually, you’re totally right when you say a word “doesn’t mean that anymore.” In fact, it’s gone from being a value neutral term used to describe a state of being to being a pejorative. A pejorative so universally accepted that you can expect users to understand exactly what you mean when you say it. When you say “this television show is lame” you mean it’s bad, not worth your time, boring, etc., and here’s the trick: People understand that meaning and they derive it from the word that you have used, because that word is universally accepted as objectively bad.

[...]

Using inclusionary language is actually fun. You get to explore the roots of words you use, you get to find new and exciting words to use, and you get to learn more about the structure of a language you speak every day. It constantly amazes me to see how quickly exclusionary terms trip to my tongue when I’m in a hurry, because they are so ingrained as appropriate pejoratives. I’m actually relishing the process of eradicating them from my spoken and written language, because I love words and language play.

And I loathe essentialism. I loathe “well, it’s a value neutral term.” No, it’s not. If it was value neutral, it would not be in use as a pejorative. I loathe “no one really means that anymore.” Yes, they do, because if they didn’t, they would use a different word. Just like no one calls a “train” an “iron horse” anymore.
It makes me cross when people make fun of the UCC's "God is still speaking (never place a period where God has placed a comma)."  (And ironically, given my next point, my reaction is: "Don't you understand the kinds of Christian church they are reacting against?")

It REALLY bothers me when people talk about their progressive faith congregation as being a Speshul Unique Snowflake because it explicitly states that Communion is open to everyone or whatever.  I know, I know, I should honor people's lived experiences and the fact that many people have been hurt by the church and so Church X is a really important healing, affirming, etc. experience for them.  But srsly people, we are in the Boston area.  There are progressive churches of every denomination.  And there are things that some of them do better than your church.  And my churches aren't perfect -- I am WELL aware of that -- and I WANT people to tell me what we're doing wrong, how we're failing to live in to the claims we make.  If we are hurting people I want to KNOW so that we can stop that (or at least so we can warn people so they can try to keep themselves safe).

I have turned into that radical feminist who notices that we don't use any gendered language for the Triune God except for all the times we talk about Jesus -- which with a Reflection on the Gospel plus Communion is A Lot -- and the "Our Father," and thinks this is a Problem.  I understood why that woman in the story that Marla tells found it so powerful to hear a Bible story told with no gendered pronouns, heard herself in that story for the first time.

After service was over I turned to Chris who was standing next to me and ranted to him.  He knows how to receive my criticisms, which I appreciate.  (I had really wanted to go up to the presider and say, "So, Communion really offended me.  Would it be best for me to tell you why in person right now, in email, or not at all?" but it was probably better that I just told Chris and not him.)

I went to Transcriptions Open Mic but left after the open mic part (well, I stayed for the ~15-minute intermission chatting with people) because it takes me an hour to get home and I get up at 6am and I enjoy not operating on a sleep deficit ... and I wanted to blog.

Jeff was one of the people I talked to during the intermission, and we talked about personal growth and what's been going on in our lives and etc. and I talked about how I've been trying to critique in a more generous and kind and loving manner, and I referred to myself as a "bitch," like I do.  Jeff said, "You're not a bitch; you just have a bitchy way of saying things; you actually have a big heart."

In other news, when I left work today the women's room at my end of the hall was occupied, so I decided, "Fuck this noise," and used the men's room.  I mean, they're both single-stall bathrooms, so we could make the signs say "bathroom" or something and it wouldn't make a difference (and if I were more of a radical/activist I probably would).
hermionesviolin: (self)
gym )
Yup, having sufficiently distracting tv really helps.

vh1:
Beyoncé's "If I Were a Boy" is interesting (and points to her for correct use of the subjunctive!).
I am not a fan of Fall Out Boy's "I Don't Care."

I spent much of my workday today catching up.  And I will get to do that all over again on Wednesday.  Tuesday holiday = weird.  Though it means I have a real day to prepare for RED class, so I can't complain.  And extension school has no classes (though the b-school does have classes) so I can have coffee with L.

I went grocery shopping after work (I forgot some stuff on Saturday) and omg Shaw's has egg nog (and sparkling cider and Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes).  Hai, it is holiday season.

***
via maechi: FOX's midseason schedule.
On Friday, Feb. 13, FOX presents a thrilling new action-packed lineup featuring the return and time period premiere of TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) and the highly anticipated series premiere of Joss Whedon's DOLLHOUSE (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT).
And more not-optimistic news about Dollhouse.  [Fox's scheduling guru claims the less-competitive Friday timeslot will give the show a chance to develop an audience.  I don't know how that plays into the logic of moving The Sarah Connor Chronicles, now in its second season, from Monday night to Friday night -- though I said since the fall schedule came out that putting SCC up against Heroes was a stupid idea for both networks, since the two shows had such similar target audiences. edit: Heh, Heroes' two-hour season premiere totally threw me and I failed to register that its usual timeslot is 9pm -- even though that's what it was in seasons past. /edit]  (I think the Dollhouse premise has so much potential for badness, so while I'll definitely be watching it, I am not saddened about the FOX curse this time around.)  Apparently Jonatha Brooke is doing the theme song? [via whedonesque]

In doing "blue drinks and dancing girls" planning ahead for WriterCon 2009, I GoogleMapped strip clubs around the Radisson.  My vote is for Augies Bourbon Street Cabaret.  (Other people should research dance clubs, since that was one of the acceptable interpretations of "dancing girls" last time.) Edit: *facepalm* I have a bad habit of forgetting that I have flisters who, y'know, have actual experience with Minneapolis. Please do chime in. /edit

[livejournal.com profile] secret_slasha signups are open.  I am undecided as to whether I want to play, in large part because I don't even know what I would request.  (You request two same-sex pairings and one "pair with any same-sex character" character.)
hermionesviolin: (hipster me)
gym )

***

Use of gender-specific language on Facebook.  Thoughts?

Impromptu going-away party today at work at like 4pm.  I was wrapping up some work stuff, but Greg and Katie pulled me in (not that I needed much convincing).  I had a Sam Adams Summer Ale and when I left around 5:30 I could feel it -- not like I was unsteady on my feet or anything, but I definitely didn't feel like actually doing work.  At Davis T Station about 45 minutes later (I did errands at Staples and CVS) I felt fine.  I am such a lightweight.

Did I miss an announcement about changes to LJ voiceposting?  'Cause there used to be a whole slew of local U.S. numbers (and no international numbers -- though I know that was in the works) but now there are two toll-free numbers, a Canada and a Japan number, and two UK numbers.  I had a local number programed into my cell and was gonna voicepost on Monday 'cause I pay for texting, but I kept just getting a busy signal, and today I was finally a computer when I remembered that I wanted to look it up.  (The last time I phoneposted was February of last year.)


joy sadhana - cut-tagged because I feel like the way I format it it takes up an inordinate amount of space )
hermionesviolin: (step into the light)
Yesterday morning, Ian e-mailed me (in response to something else): "I'll be in in about 20 minutes.  I'll have a surprise for you."

He actually didn't get in for more like 40 minutes, and I never did get anything, so I e-mailed at the end of the day:
> I'll have a surprise for you.

Why does that frighten me?

(However, I was still hoping I'd get a toy surprise* or something.)

* From BtVS 3.20:
GILES: You did good work tonight, Buffy.
BUFFY: And I got a little toy surprise.
This morning he walked in and handed me a large hot chocolate.  Which had marshmallows.  Which led to an extended conversation about gelatin and what products contain it.  [snopes on JELL-O]

[I'm extra-amused because I prompted a comment thread about the use of miniscule amounts of dead cow in McDonald's french fries on one of Amy's filtered entries last night]

I'd forgotten about photo emulsion and pills.

Cosmetics, lozenges, and ointments.  Okay, this makes some sense, though it had never occurred to me to check.

News to me: Salad dressing?  Sour cream and cream cheese?  Cake icing and frosting?  I've always thought the frosting on store bought cakes was gross anyway.  Though cream cheese?  My mommy's awesome frosting is cream cheese based.  *pouts*  (I guess after my yogurt issue I shouldn't be surprised by all this.  Wikipedia also suggests jelly and ice cream and, oh, good grief, "Gelatin is used for the clarification of juices, such as apple juice, and of vinegar. Isinglass, from the swim bladders of fish, is still in use as a fining agent for wine and beer."  Oh and then there's fun stuff like "Gelatin is closely related to bone glue and is used as a binder in match heads and sandpaper." and "As a surface sizing, it smooths glossy printing papers or playing cards and maintains the wrinkles in crêpe paper."  *facepalm*  Also: "Used as a carrier, coating or separating agent for other substances, it, for example, makes beta-carotene water-soluble, thus imparting a yellow color to any soft drinks containing beta-carotene.")

Theater lights?  I'm unclear as to whether this is still true.

***

Yesterday, Laura put up (blinking!) multi-colored Christmas tree lights around her desk.  They subsequently showed up on Rich's and Katie's desks as well.  They actually don't bother me as much as I might have thought they would, but I remain a white light girl (as well as one who's not particularly into seasonally decorating, at her workplace in particular).

This afternoon she asked me, "Do you want some lights?"  I said no politely, and she said, "Okay, if you want to be a scrooge."  I said I was fine with that.  She said she was just teasing, and I said I knew that, but that I was still okay with that identification.

In other news: The other day, Katie said the ice wouldn't be so bad if only people put sand out on it.  My immediate thought (unspoken) was: Nah, if it doesn't melt the ice (like salt) then what's the point?  However, recent commutes have convinced me of the error of my thinking.  Traction is awesome, people.

I got my hair cut at Salon Cu tonight.  (And checking my tag, I'm comforted that it's been about a month since I last got it cut, so it's not quite as ridiculous as I had feared.)  It goes down to my ears, which takes a little getting used to (it's only about two inches shorter, but at that length everything feels a little dramatic) but I think it's what I want.  The woman who cut my hair, Christine, basically didn't talk to me at all, which as I've said here before is fine by me, though it was weird to me that she didn't even make any effort to engage me (I mean, I don't think I sounded that stand-off-ish or anything when I answered her question about what I wanted done to my hair).

If only I could pull off butch short hair.  Really my life would be easier in so many ways if I were a boy (hello finding dress shirts and pants that fit, and no bras, and pants with pockets, and on and on goes the list).  Not that I have any actual desire to be a boy.

***

I was browsing Reason online today and read "Why The Right Shifted on Immigration" (Steve Chapman), which was interesting.

Later, reading the comments on a post by Megan McArdle on needle exchange, I learned the term "negative externality."  I used the term "opportunity cost" in conversation this morning, and I've started jokingly using the term "human capital" (as in "building human capital").  I need a quippy tag for my budding usage of business school terms.  [I'm not entirely sure what to do with my "it's the economy stupid" tag.]




Advent meditation: Matthew 11:2-11 (NRSV)
     Tom did the meditation, in which he mentioned (re: Jesus): "Maybe the important thing is not so much who he is or what he does, but the effect his presence has on those around him."

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joy sadhana for Advent (17)

"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy." -[livejournal.com profile] mylittleredgirl [more info]

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before our God to prepare the ways, to give knowledge of salvation to God's people by the forgiveness of sins.  By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
-Luke 1:76-79


Five good things about today:
1. Strawberry yogurt parfait, still making me happy.  (I didn't have breakfast, and after the gym I was hoping to have one, not quite feeling in an omelet mood, and indeed they had some.)  And while I really wasn't into the Alsace GlobalVeg for lunch, dried cherries turned out to be pretty good.
2. Tomorrow's CHPC Bible Study got canceled, so now I can go to the Blue Christmas Longest Night service at the UCC.
3. I got my hair cut.
4. Dear Ari: Your card came today.  You referenced one of the greatest fics you've ever written, so no worries about the general plotlessness or whatever of the ficlet.  I am envisioning Charlotte having made a collage card and am trying to decide whether she went traditional skin mag or suggestive combination of pictures and text from like Good Housekeeping or something in her collage selection.
5. Southland Tales graphic novel Volume 2 had some interesting bits to it, and I'm liking Our Lives As Torah a lot.  (Supposedly -- meme at the bottom of this entry -- I've already read the latter, but I don't actually have distinct memories of it, so I'm discovering it anew.)

Three things I did well today:
1. I did ~15 minutes in the weight room.
2. I purchased (and wrapped) a Christmas gift for Nicole.  (I had the idea on a whim based on recent chance incidents.  I really do like doing nice things for people, but obligatory gift-giving occasions do not agree with me.)
3. I made myself dinner and washed dishes.

Two things I am looking forward to (doing [better]) tomorrow:
1. HBS holiday party
2. Coffee with Tiffany.
BONUS: Longest Night service

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hermionesviolin: an image of Alyson Hannigan (who plays Willow Rosenberg) with animated text "you think you know / what you are / what's to come / you haven't even / BEGUN" (Default)Elizabeth (the delinquent, ecumenical)

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