Friday, December 24, 2010

the blue colored week of advent

I was so touched by this email from my friend Kara (a Presbyterian minister in Minnesota) tonight:
"Oh, I meant to tell you - our poignant and wonderfully honest blue Christmas ritual was the other night. We put our prayers on these balls and lit candles for people. I posted other pictures of it on the church's FB account, but I wanted you to know you and your church were held in prayer that evening. For courage to stay with the grief."
Yay for Christmas and hope!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

my husband will be on NPR

That's fun to say! David's short story "Things We Knew When The House Caught Fire" airs on NPR's Selected Shorts over the next week! Here is the schedule.

Nashville, TN WPLN-AM 1430 Sat Dec 18 5:00 PM
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX KERA-FM 90.1 Sat Dec 18 7:00 PM
San Francisco KQED-FM 88.5 Sat Dec 18 8:00 PM
San Luis Obispo, CA KCBX-FM 90.1 Sun Dec 19 6:00 PM
New York, NY WNYC-FM 93.9 Sat Dec 18 10:00 PM
New York, NY WNYC-AM 820 Sat Dec 19 1:00 PM
Austin, TX KUT-FM 90.5 Sun Dec 19 5:00 PM
San Francisco KALW-FM 91.7 Sun Dec 19 5:00 PM
Seattle KUOW-FM 94.9 Tue Dec 21 10:00 PM

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1954's house of the year, and "who you finna try?"

Drooling over this house in Portland. It was 1954's house of the year, I guess.

Cracking up at this poor guy just trying to watch tv. He did handle the situation effectively.

an irishman tells it like it is

Monday, December 13, 2010

yerger house

This house makes my mouth water. I have that response to certain inanimate things and it's weird, but my mouth will water over wedding dresses and diamonds and mid-century design. The portfolio of this house is one of my super happy places!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

the pain spans the atlantic

My internet friend Hugh (whom I know through my blog) lives in England - he has grown children and his church that he's been at for 30+ years has recently made changes weirdly similar to the ones my church is making. The parallels are very strange, but it's nice to have someone who understands even if they live across the ocean. I got this email from him today and it warmed my heart, I wanted to share it and also have it here for archiving purposes so I can go back to it and remember.

Stephy, I was just on Facebook looking at nothing in particular when my thoughts turned to you and, this is the freaky bit, I felt your pain! I don't know how or why but just for a minute or 2 I felt it and it was like being crushed inside. It didn't stay with me because I suspect it's not mine to keep but at least I can now share just a tiny bit of it. When I pray I can now pray about that pain. I don't think I'm nuts (depressive - yes, nuts - no) and I do know that sometimes I hear things from God that I know can't be from me. This, however, was a first, totally out of the blue and, oddly, something to treasure. God bless you and, as always, prayers from across the pond.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

i want a yacht and really that's not a lot

I told Judah the other day that I didn't want anything for Christmas (him: "Why not?" me: "It's how I'm rolling." him: "You roll terribly.") but I think I lied. On second thought I think I want this necklace

and this dining room table would be nice too.

And maybe an electric kettle. And that's all.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

my xmas 2010 mix

Almost all the songs are retro, hope you like it. Click the picture to download. xoxoxo

Monday, December 6, 2010

sadness update

The waves of grief over church come and go. Today I felt new grief after a few days of feeling better. TheRapist says this sort of thing is cyclical. So at least I know it's normal. But I've been crying so painfully I've had to pull the car over, and stop and walk when I get to thinking about it when I'm out running, and lock myself into a bathroom stall while I'm at work for five measured minutes doing the the kind of sobbing where your mouth is just open in the ugliest possible way and your stomach convulses from dry heaving/hacking and tears are running down your face but you can barely make a sound. The grief feels like it's right under my skin over my heart. This is the part where I feel my heart kind of shrinking and getting small and hard. I have this cartoony visual of slushy liquid concrete pouring into my chest to protect my heart from this happening again because this is the most painful thing that has happened to me since my parents disowned me. I want to fight against my heart getting hard though. I have to feel this pain and believe it will be redeemed because if I don't do that, I believe I will have to kill off a vital part of myself and I think I have to hold out this hope. The most painful part could be that my young children are asking why this has happened. This church has been their family as long as we've lived here. So I'm holding this while I'm feeling this crazy pain in my chest cavity, me peritoneum or pleura you could say (I see those words all day at work) and trying to grieve this well and with heart and hope.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

things david said while watching the SECOND oprah's favorite things giveaway

Look, she’s wearing her favorite color, that Penis Shaft Beige.

Man, look at some of these haircuts.

That lady looks like she’s in pain. Did you see that? That woman has a giant horse mouth! She’s got like eighteen extra teeth. Was Oprah laughing at that woman who was in physical pain? Do you see that?

Oprah's yipping and circling around that iPad. Maybe she’ll go poop in a corner and bury it.

Those people don’t even know what an iPad does, they just know it’s an iPad.

Gross. I don’t want to hear her talk about how her Oprah app moves and grooves.

Oprah: I got a Scrabble score of 384! *cheering* David: Those people don’t even know what that means, they just respond to her tone.

This is such a mockery. You know what I mean? There’s nothing relational, nothing family, but there’s a giant Keebler elf mascot high-fiving people who just got a bunch of shit from Oprah.


Oprah: This is the third show in 25 years that Stedman has been to. David: Yeah, he’s usually too busy laying around in his underwear and investigating his mustache.

Oprah: My best friend Gayle is here! And Stedman’s in the control room watching. David: Because he doesn’t trust Gayle!

Oprah: You know that I am passionate about the power of a good bra. David: Oh Lord God! *pinches bridge of nose and squints*

An herb saver! We'll cheer for anything!

Ugh, that lady’s eyebrows. It looks like her face is under attack.

Diamond earrings, audience! You’re going to make your ex-husband wish he never divorced you!

(Oprah gives away a book on how to have the life you want by someone named Mark Nepo) Mark Nepo backwards is Kram Open!

Oprah's just a disgusting combination of Buddhism and retail.

Oh, they’re diving into those croissants. I want to see Horse Teeth get on those. She could take a whole tray down.

(Johnny Mathis comes out.) His hair went away a long time ago. I guarantee you that’s not real hair on there. It’s like packing material. What race is he? (Josh Groban walks onstage singing.) Oh goddammit.

Look at Johnny Mathis’s cd cover. He’s looking longingly into that horse’s eyes and massaging its snout.

Oprah: I call it my VW Bug my Toodle Car because I toodle around town in it. David: Yeah, as if.

That lady’s hair is just...dynamic.

Shoot me in the face PLEASE.

Monday, November 22, 2010

things david said while watching the first oprah's favorite things giveaway episode

Oh God. Did you see that black man leaping? That’s the gayest, blackest man.

Are these like, homeless people, or…?

I think if Oprah asked them to eat her out they all would right now. But she has Gayle for that.

Look at all these giant people. I hope she’s giving away treadmills.

Are these people selected cause they like, need stuff? It would be better if it was random cause you know how grace is random.

Yay. You get a diamond watch. Now you can get mugged in broad daylight.

Two little O’s on the face! Also, the sun has an O. That’s because of me.

Retails for $2500? You’re all going to make a killing on eBay 3 hours from now.

Thora Burch? I like Thora Burch! Oh, Tory Burch. Who’s that? Ha, they just got unwearable shoes.

Oprah: Guess who took these photos. I did. David: Obviously.

Did you see that lady’s shirt? It said “cancer”!

This is a good way to get this crowd exercise for once.

Why are the elves wearing purple hats?

Oh my god. They have medics standing by. Those poor medics. Have to give mouth-to-mouth to a retired teacher who eats hamburgers all day.

She picked that color because it reminds her of her dog Sadie? That’s the color of a penis shaft, that’s what it is.

Those earrings are the color of yellow snow.

I’ve never seen more ugly people in one place at the same time.

Did you hear the clip-clop sounds? They’re making horse noises!

Ew, did you see that lady’s eyes? They’re swollen shut from crying.

Where do people put this stuff each time the elves come out? Do they put it under their seats or do they whisk it backstage during commercials? Is it just for effect?

I hope that the medics have to be used and they go into the audience and pump somebody’s chest.

The Black Eyed Peas are coming on? That should be funny.

Ew, they’re talking about Oprah’s Love Sandwich? That’s gross. That’s like saying Oprah’s Love Pie.

Why are they cheering wildly? It’s a brownie pan! I don’t like the edge, I like the middle. How about an edgeless brownie pan? Seriously, that’s the worst part of the brownie.

She’s giving away a book on weight loss? I hope it comes in a syringe. That’s the only weight loss plan they’re gonna follow. “Hey fatties, here’s a brownie pan and a weight loss book.” Yup, here they come, trays of brownies.

That lady is saying “thank you” and crying over Netflix? Please.

They go through this full range of emotions, from surprise to disbelief to comatose to hungry and back to comatose.

They have raised over $100 million to lift people out of poverty? That’s like 1% of her fortune.

EW gross, ew so yucky! Look at those models wearing that Oprah shirt and those dumb pants! Ew!! Those are the worst colors too. EW! Those pants cut your butt in half? Oprah needs a pair that cuts her butt in quarters. That’d be a start. She needs different fractions.

Free Nikes! Start jumping, fat people!

Yup, here come the elves again. Seriously, where are they putting this stuff, in the aisle?

What if Oprah’s favorite thing was “I’m setting you all on firrrrrrrre!”

Her cleavage is like a big buttcrack.

That cruise ship is a menace to the earth. It’s just like taking a dump in the ocean wherever it goes.

They’re not going to have the time of their lives, they’re going to be puking the whole time. Really though, that’s these people’s life goal, to finally get on a cruise ship.

I think it would be funny to name a cat Dollop.

(The Black Eyed Peas come out.) There’s nothing more honoring to Jesus than the Black Eyed Peas and a pitch-correction vocoder Christmas.

This audience is all old women and an occasional gay man sprinkled into the crowd.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

things organized neatly

This site pleases me. I find it very pleasant indeed.

Monday, November 15, 2010

wanda sykes prank call

How had I never seen this one before? "Oh, I love America." hahahahahaha

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

adam carolla at his most brilliant

I'm having a hard time today, my heart hurts so much that relationships at our church are negotiable and referred to as collateral damage. Church is supposed to be the place of all places where people are not disposable to one another and relationships are fought for and strategy and business and such pale, PALE I SAY, next to community.

Since this is not the case much of the time on this stupid planet, Adam Carolla's rant on the underpants fire/dignity waiver distracted me nicely for about seven minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

letter from nikki visel

My friend Nikki wrote this letter to the leadership of our church to explain to them why she's leaving the congregation. She said she considers it to be public domain and gave me permission to post it here. She expresses so well the struggle against literalism that goes with faith and how that struggle is worth fighting, and reading this gave me a lot of comfort while I'm grieving this so hard.


To the Session of Grace Seattle,

Over the course of the last four weeks, I have decided that the time has come for me to leave Grace Seattle. While I’ve never pledged my membership at Grace, I have called it my home for over 10 years and feel compelled to share the reasons behind my decision.

In my experience, worship is not a place of escape, but rather a place of reality. A place where the seen and the unseen mingle. A place where the rough edges aren't smoothed out; they’re explored. A place where we don’t have to hide. Difficult ideas aren't simplified so that we feel better, but are allowed to stand openly in their complexity. To worship is to engage both imaginative thinking and concrete thinking. It is both formulaic and intuitive. We must practice worship and also wait for it to happen. Worship is demanding.

For most of my life, I've had to shut down my "intuitive knowing" in order to sit in church, because my intuition can smell untruth about 30 miles away and while technically every intellectual idea and construct presented may be true there is also a falseness, a shallowness that makes itself known and unsettles me.

By intuition I mean that my physical perception interacts with a "felt" inner sense of something: its truth, its presence, its beauty. Thoughts arrive on my peripheral awareness, and I feel the edge of an idea, but can't find the whole thing – like trying to recall details of a dream. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, since we all rely on intuitive thought in one way or another. For me, intuition is essential. It’s how I relate to the world, how I process ideas, how my creativity emerges.

For years, the only way I could make it through church service was by turning off my intuition and sticking with the facts, which is pretty depressing for someone like me. In fact, it’s debilitating and maybe even spiritually deforming. But since that was the only way I could worship, I sort of thought that must be what God wanted me to do.

When I came to Grace over 10 years ago, I slid into a pew and was stunned by the fact that the music awakened part of me with its truth. A song written in 7/4 time might not be the easiest to sing, but its structure acknowledges that we live in a broken world. A tune in a minor key might feel dark and scary, but that's how my interior life feels much of the time. The lyrics we sing are sometimes simple and sometimes difficult to understand, but their poetry is honest and has often withstood centuries. So there I sat. ALL of me fit into that pew, and I felt the corset on my heart begin to come unlaced. For the first time in my life, I took a full breath during church. Years passed, and over time I decided it would be ok to let some people at church actually know me. My relationship with God deepened, and Grace became my home.

After my last letter to the Session, I have hesitated to speak again, because I believe that the Session has the best of intentions. I hesitate because leading a church is difficult, and I have watched members of the Session rearrange their lives to help individuals understand and process the decision that has been made. I’ve witnessed the Session taking ownership of the ramifications of their leadership. These things are the marks of good leaders, but my heart aches and that sick feeling I get when I "know" something that I don't "know" won’t leave me.

I have spent a great deal of time reading and re-reading the Worship Vision and new Worship Arts Director job description. I do not use hyperbole when I say that they made me nauseous and I wept over them for days. The very format of these documents is of rigidity and their language demands conformity – but not a conformity to God, a conformity to human made power structures. And suddenly my intuitive knowing became very concrete and with those documents I felt my heart’s corset begin to tighten again.

I am heartbroken that Phil is gone. But that's not what is eating at me. I don't want to see the worship music dumbed down so that people can sing it while mentally mowing the lawn. But that's not what it is either. It's the part of me that spent the first 30 years of my life trying to squeeze my head and my heart into a pew and not die in the process that has reared her head. It is the part of me that reads the new "Worship Arts" job description and sees a church using the word “Art” and then describing a technician who will create only a world that the Session can see, thereby minimizing the gifts God has given the artist. I suspect that we are now a church moving in a direction where efficiency is key and effectively reaching goals is the primary objective. And I cannot ignore my intuitive knowledge just to fit into the new Grace paradigm.

I beg you to consider one thing as you move forward. Is a nine-page outline, lead by a “goal statement” the best way to describe how Grace will approach worship? The way we frame ideas shapes the way we respond to those ideas, the format will play a large role in determining how the document “works on us.” How would a contemplative approach the same task? What would it look like if Annie Dillard wrote it? Luci Shaw? Thomas Merton? Perhaps the issue of “format” seems a small issue to you, for me, it’s huge. I cannot have a “goal statement” govern the way I worship God. I do not want business language, linear measurement, footnotes, or technical textbook language coloring the way I approach the Creator of the Universe. Nor do I want those elements to impact the person who is helping to lead me into worship.

Some of you have encouraged me to stay at Grace, and while I am grateful for your expressions of hospitality, the truth is that in order to implement the Vision at hand, you need me to leave. You need people like me to be part of the collateral damage that comes when a church body makes changes to integral parts of its DNA. Perhaps God has called Grace to a bigger, broader future, but I suspect that He has prepared me for small things. For the places of God where people who have a hard time sitting in a pew might find a place to worship and be transformed.

As I leave Grace Seattle I ask you to please pray for me; pray that God will use me and that he will not let me go. In turn I will pray the same for Grace – and I will always be grateful for the home that it provided me all of these years.

Blessings on us all,

Nikki Visel

Thursday, November 4, 2010

by the powers vested in me, i digested mc's

It's that time again! An onslaught of what I've loved on the internets today.

Haunting version of "Creep" with equally haunting dolls acting out my high school years.

Creep (Radiohead) - Scala & Kolacny Brothers from Alex Heller on Vimeo.

I like this New York Magazine article on the best rap lyrics.

Here is how Taiwan saw the US midterm elections.

Don Draper says "what" a lot:

Here's an introduction of a mobile phone from 1978, and here is my Joel McHale telling Hoda and Kathie Lee why their show sucks.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

holding pattern

I'd like to post my thoughts on the stuff that's going on at my church because that part of my community is huge for me, and also because people have said they don't know what to do with their grief over this and that it helps them to read they're not the only ones grieving. We need a fallout shelter of some sort. One thing I'm glad about is the pace at which this is going. It's been a month since the firing and the first congregational meeting (aka town hall) about it will be on Sunday. Then we'll know more. But since I consider my group email correspondence to be public domain, I'll share what I've sent the leadership of my church since the firing and introduction of the new worship vision. I want to share it because it sums up what I'm feeling and the core questions I have about what is actually going on. I hope it helps some people. I feel the need to talk about this out loud and on purpose for the same reason many people would choose not to. So anyway, here is the first email of Oct. 18.

Hey guys,

I just want you to know that my heart is heavy for you and I can only imagine what you're feeling, and I'm sorry you have to go through this. This bullshit has been happening since Acts, so know it's nothing new and is in the grand tradition of the ancient church. The ancient church was a mess and it still is a mess but God pursued it and cherished it then and he's doing it now.

So I just wanted to say to you I guess, that there's nothing new under the sun. God has given me things to say and it's scary, and I have an idea you have the same feelings, that it's scary to do what God is calling you to do. But God will protect us through it all and he hasn't given us a spirit of confusion but of a sound mind and I've been praying that for Grace Seattle as we're muddling through this.

You are dealing with so much and the powers and principalities are unfortunately all too real but I like what George MacDonald did when he saw a demon sitting on his bed, he said "Oh, it's only you" and went back to sleep.

I've been feeling for almost exactly a year now that I'm on the cusp of a big change, that something big and huge is coming up like a swelling wave and I don't know what it is but that it's going to be good. And I think that this church stuff is part of that big change. I just want you to be encouraged and to have rest in the midst of this somehow. I will pray this for you. CS Lewis said in Letters to an American Lady, "Underneath are the everlasting arms, even when it doesn't feel like it."

Love you, dear brothers!!

Here is my second email of Oct. 29.

Hey guys,

it's me again. The situation at Grace that's unfolding from the new worship vision has been weighing so heavily on me but I haven't been able to put words to my feelings beyond what I sent to you guys a week or so ago, and then last night I was reading something by Eugene Peterson and came across these three paragraphs that describe my concerns for Grace Seattle so well, I thought I'd send them along to you.

"Americans talk and write endlessly about what the church needs to become, what the church must do to be effective. The perceived failures of the church are analyzed and reforming strategies prescribed. The church is understood almost exclusively in terms of function — what we can see. If we can't see it, it doesn't exist. Everything is viewed through the lens of pragmatism. Church is an instrument that we have been given to bring about whatever Christ commanded us to do. Church is a staging ground for getting people motivated to continue Christ's work.

This way of thinking — church as a human activity to be measured by human expectations — is pursued unthinkingly. The huge reality of God already at work in all the operations of the Trinity is benched on the sideline while we call a timeout, huddle together with our heads bowed, and figure out a strategy by which we can compensate for God's regrettable retreat into invisibility. This is dead wrong, and it is responsible for no end of shallowness and experimentation in trying to achieve success and relevance and effectiveness that people can see. Statistics provide the basic vocabulary for keeping score. Programs provide the game plan. This way of going about things has done and continues to do immeasurable damage to the American church.

This way of understanding church is very, very American and very, very wrong. We can no more understand church functionally than we can understand Jesus functionally. We have to submit ourselves to the revelation and receive church as the gift of Christ as he embodies himself in this world. Paul tells us that Christ is the head of a body, and the body is his church. Head and body are one thing." — Practice Resurrection, Eugene Peterson, p. 118

Here is my third email of Nov. 2.

One more thing I thought I'd pass on. Our friend Pete is a Presbyterian pastor in Oregon and he told me this recently:

"I told Eugene in August that his books annoy pastors. He was surprised (which surprised me). But his books annoy pastors who want to create their own little empires — even while being completely self-deceived into thinking that they are really wanting to build the kingdom of God. But as Jesus showed us in his parables, the kingdom of God is already all around us for those who have eyes to see a mustard seed and a wedding and a field and a guy playing cello. But pastors and pharisees are too busy looking at stats and charts and wishing for a better demographic."


So for whatever all that's worth, this is where I am and these are the questions I'm holding. Very much in a holding pattern and trying to let myself feel all my grief and fear of what will happen. You know, the usual.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

the revival of hammerhead theater

Ten years ago I had a vexing coworker and to cope I wrote down what she did and emailed it to voyueristic friends (this was before I had any idea what a blog was) and called it Hammerhead Theater. I called her Hammerhead in these emails (HH for short) because the same week I started working with her there was a Dilbert cartoon that featured Hammerhead Bob, who would bound into your cube and say "Did you know I'm an expert on whatever it is you're talking about?" which is basically what this lady said all day. Here is a candid picture I took of Hammerhead one time with my extremely-primitive-but-then-new digital camera:

I just found a rash of old Hammerhead Theaters and will post them here for your reading enjoyment, or maybe whatever the opposite of enjoyment is. Feel my pain.


Hammerhead: Hey, did you get the email that I sent you? The one that had a poem about a guardian angel watching over you?
Me: [through clenched teeth] Yes. Thank you.
HH: I love those poems. Whenever someone forwards them to me I print them out. I have stacks and stacks of them!

Boss: I’m going to get a pedicure tomorrow.
[Everyone oohs and ahhs in a congratulatory brown-nosing fashion.]
Hammerhead: Well, once I went to get a pedicure and the lady refused to touch my feet because of my snaggletoe! And on my left foot the bones stick out!
[Conversation stops short.]

Two doctors just came into the office looking for one of the managers.
Doctors: Where is Cheryl?
Hammerhead: WHAT?
Doctors: Uh, Cheryl? Is she here?
HH: OH! CHERYL! Well…I don’t know. I don’t think so. No, probably not. Well, I don’t really know. She worked yesterday but I’m not real sure about her schedule –
Doctors: [cutting her off] Well, can we leave a message for her?
[HH hands them a notepad decorated with wolves.]
HH: I just LOVE wolves! Look at my calendar! It has wolves on every page. I just love their eyes. That’s what gets me about them. My kids got me a wolf bath towel for Christmas. And also a wolf throw pillow. And a wolf cup.
Doctors: Okay, thank you for your time. [They edge towards the door.]
HH: And they said they wanted to get me a wolf shower curtain! And I have lots of wolf figurines.
Doctors: Okay, thanks for your help. [They are in the hall by now.]
HH: [shouting into the hall] And I got a little wolf doll from the gift shop and when you squeeze him he goes “Arooooo!”

HH: We’re getting a family portrait done on Sunday.
New Lady: Are you going to get your hair done?
HH: NO. I don’t do that! I do NOT get my hair done!
NL: Oh.
HH: Well, I might go to my friend’s house and have her perm the back.
Me: Just the back? [visions of mullets dance in my head]
NL: What are you going to wear?
HH: Clothes.
NL: Well, I KNOW. What kind of clothes? Aren’t you all going to get coordinated?
HH: No. I’m just worried about what my son’s going to wear. He’ll probably show up in his mover’s uniform.

Boss: Stephanie, do you want to go to a conference next week?
Me: Do I have to?
Hammerhead: Why does everyone get to go to conferences except me? I’m starting to feel LEFT OUT.
Boss: We’ll find a conference for you to go to.
Boss: We’ll know it when we see it.
HH: You’ve been saying that forever!
Me: They’re not all that great.

HH on phone: How many people have you got working over there, anyway? 500? There can’t be that many! You have transferred me so many times that I’m beginning to think you’re running a racket over there. What I want is to hang up and for you to call me to see if the call comes through. Yes. I’m very concerned about my cell phone because the date and the time disappear and all it says is “Verizon.” I don’t care about the word Verizon, I need to know the date and time! Not that my phone is Verizon! I KNOW my phone is Verizon! All right, all right, listen here. I’m going to hang up and you’re going to call me so I can PROVE to you that my phone isn’t working. YES, I RECHARGED IT!! JESUS CHRIST!!

Anne the British nurse: Hammerhead, we can talk without shouting. Do you understand this? We can discuss without shouting. People may be walking by in the hall.
HH: Yes, but I'm just VERY ADAMANT about my country!
Anne: Do you understand what I'm saying, though?
HH: I don't think I'm shouting though. We just shouldn't allow ANYONE from other countries over here. It's not right.
Me: Anne's a foreigner.
HH: Yes, but Anne can speak English!

Hammerhead: Lott's was having a car sale so I went on down there and got me a 2002 Chevy Tahoe pickup truck!
Me: Wow, a brand new one?
HH: Yup! But after I drove it home they called me and said that the financing didn't go through that that I would have to bring the truck back. And I told them, "You won't be getting your truck back, you'll be hearing from my lawyers!"

After months of radio silence from Hammerhead, I encountered her last night. I went into work super late and she was there doing her night shift.
Me: Did you have a good birthday?
HH: Yeah, my daughter took me to the Drift On Inn for breakfast and she bought me some Mount St. Helen's ash earrings! They're made out of the ash from Mount St. Helen's! Then we went to the Cheesecake Factory and I picked out four flavors of cheesecake I wanted, but my daughter said she was only buying me one. It's okay though, because I stole a menu and now I can check off which flavors I've tried.

Last night I stopped by work and Hammerhead was there, brewing coffee on her desk.
Me: When did you get a coffee maker in here?
HH: A long time ago! Where have you been? I drink a whole pot every night. And look in here...(she opens an overhead cabinet)...I got a full-size microwave too! Except the management said that I can't use it because they don't want cooking going on in the office. And I said, "It's not cooking, it's REHEATING!"
Me: (taking note of a fountain on her desk that runs water through it) When did you get that fountain?
HH: Oh, I just love it! It relaxes me. Well, it also makes me have to pee, especially since I drink a pot of coffee each night. I'm telling you, since I had my hysterectomy, I can't hold number one OR two!
Me: Oh my.
HH: Well, I only had a partial hysterectomy - they took my uteruses [sic] and my cervix out. And ever since then I can't hold nothin'. So when I feel the urge, I gotta RUN! Because more than once it's gone past the point of no return, if you know what I mean!

Today HH is wearing a knee-length blue skirt made out of t-shirt material, with a white satin slip with lace edging hanging way below it. She has on socks and tennis shoes with no stockings, leaving her bumpy, veiny legs to flap in the breeze, and an orange t-shirt that said I LOVE MY ATTITUDE PROBLEM. She and the new lady were discussing their new favorite show, "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here."
New Lady: I just love that Downtown Julie Brown. You'd think she'd be a wimp because she has a British accent, but she completes all her missions!
HH: And Melissa Rivers wore a diaper full of maggots!
New Lady: Yeah! She groused about it, but she got the job done!

Hammerhead: I'm exhausted. I just got back from our union meeting in San Francisco.
Me: How was your trip?
HH: It woulda been a lot better if they had told me not to lock the locks on my luggage. Security ended up breaking all of them! I found this out when I got off the plane in San Fran. So I marched over to the counter and said "If you don't want the whole airport to hear me yelling, you'd better take me someplace private." So they took me in a little room and I explained to them that one of the locks had been my mother's and it was PURELY ORNAMENTAL. And it was missing! Then I found it later in my bag. Whew.

Hammerhead: Did you hear about the big wreck on I-5 last night? Well, my daughter was in the middle of it.
Me: OH MY GOD! Is she okay?
HH: Yes, she's fine. She's real heavy. She's got a lot of padding. They got in the wreck cause they'd been drinking. And I asked "Did you have your seatbelts on?" and she said "We did by the time the cops showed up."

HH: I was supposed to be out of the office an hour ago but I GOTTA FIND THIS DOCUMENT ON SHARON'S COMPUTER!
Me: Actually, you don't need to fill out that document - I just send an email. It's a lot faster and easier that way.
HH: But I NEED the document! And I gotta pee so bad but I GOTTA find it.
Me: Why do you feel like you need to find it?

Me (talking out loud to no one in particular): Crap, I can't find the code for this diagnosis.
Hammerhead: What's the diagnosis?
Me (wondering if I should even bring this up with HH): Um, black stool.
HH: Maybe he ate a bunch of spinach and artichoke hearts. That always makes MY stool black.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

two things. no, three!

My heart is torn up about what is continuing to happen at church. If the people who made this decision at church could hear people (grown men, even) crying in such a gutteral way from so much grief, I wonder if it would change their minds.

On another serious note, here is this wonderful clip.

On a happier note, David gets back from Japan today! He just texted that he landed. This is what he was filming there.

Big in Japan Teaser from John Jeffcoat on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

15 authors

My answers to that thing going round on Facebook.

Name fifteen authors (poets included) who've influenced you and who will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

1. Roald Dahl

2. CS Lewis

3. Beverly Cleary

4. Ann M. Martin

5. Flannery O'Connor

6. Dave Eggers

7. David Dark

8. M. Scott Peck

9. John Kennedy O'Toole

10. David Sedaris

11. Lorrie Moore

12. Marva Dawn

13. Aimee Bender

14. Walker Percy

15. Eugene Peterson

Token poet: e. e. cummings

Friday, October 22, 2010

kitties in sweaters

Yesterday I emailed this picture to Jona, Carrie and Simone, and their responses cracked me up.


Simone: "AHHHHHHH! Who can be sad after they saw a kitten in a sweater? I keep telling Gregg that I feel like Marnie needs clothes. She's too much of a lady to be walking around nekkid."

Carrie (who has no link because she deleted her blog to the detriment of society): "IT HURTS SO GOOD! This reminds me of my cat I used to stuff into my 'Hot Looks' doll clothes. They were supermodel dolls and their clothes fit cats PURRFECTLY, even the socks and sunglasses. That cat was so pliable!"

Simone: "We use to put our cat in Cabbage Patch clothes. Their fat arm holes were perfect for a cat, though Tootsie shouldn't have been wearing dresses because he was male."

Jona: said "We used to put our cat in the mailbox. Not to be mean to the cat, to be mean to the mailman."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

the acts 29 philosophy on church planting

This is unfortunately all too true. This is their formula.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


1. The most messed up Craigslist ad I've seen in awhile.

2. I am going to watch this today if I can get the kids to stay quietly in another room, it's a 1973 movie John and Yoko funded and it was banned for 30 years, just got rereleased in 2007. My friend Nathan said it was at the peak of the psychadelia movement, before everyone started slouching towards Bethlehem.

3. I can't wait for this to come to Seattle! It contains my beloved Neil Hamburger.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

fun with foster

Here is a recent IM conversation with Mike Foster. He said he took screenshots too and asked if I would post them, and I will, but he hasn't sent them yet. Anyway, I'm posting this because if anyone thinks I'm a mocker and a scoffer I want them to please let me know. I need people to call me out on that kind of thing.

screenshot from facebook chat today

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Our church is really dear to us. It's 12 years old and our head musician has been there the entire time. His official title is artist-in-residence and he's a genius visionary with prodigy-level skills on cello and is a great producer and arranger. He takes old hymns and gives them new music sometimes, or makes his own stuff, or just uses old stuff, all with an orchestra and rad combinations of instruments and he refuses to use video projection or be corny. I've always loved so much that our church had a position on staff for someone just to make art. It has helped redeem church for me after all my church trauma.

Well, three weeks ago he was fired. The reason we were given is that the leadership "wants to reach a broader demographic" and they have written a new job description for what the next music worship leader should be like. Our church has about 300 members and we're all absolutely heartbroken. The congregation wasn't told about this beforehand or consulted so it's all a surprise. The lead pastors consulted the elders, which are 4 men whom we all have known pretty well for years, and we're told the elders weren't happy about it but they finally relented.

We've talked to two elders and one pastor and they say they feel God is leading them in this direction. I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to grow a church but when you cause harm to people already in your community, that's a sign to me that you're going about it the wrong way. The leadership just have a seemingly-empathic head nod for me and their minds are set.

I can't describe the grief David and I are feeling. I'm frightened because this church has been my community for 12 years and I see it unraveling. I don't know what to do with how sad I am. I've been crying hard daily since I've heard the news.I can't believe this is happening. That's all I can say.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

maybe i'm horrible, but

Funniest unintentionally funny tweet I've ever read:

Departed's beloved horse was graveside w/ us today. When I read Vov's "Resurrection" prayer, the horse whinnied. It was AWESOME

(by @jaredcwilson)

Monday, October 4, 2010


I've survived a decent amount of church-related trauma. I've loved our current church community for years now, and in the past two weeks something happened that is threatening to pull that community apart. So I'm preoccupied with that and grieving and trying not let my hope shriek and die. It's so hard because with as crazy as all our lives are church was a reprieve from that in so many ways and now there is a lot of unrest in that space. I'm grateful though for the ways the community is banding together against the threat of disruption and maybe something really beautiful will come out of this.

Well, at least we have this wonderful, incredibly thoughtful review of Brett McCracken's Poser Christianity, I mean, Hipster Christianity.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

rad thought from my friend pete

My friend Pete is a pastor and he sent me this today. I liked it a lot and asked if I could post it and he said sure.

"I took Eugene Peterson's class on Ministry and Spirituality about four times. Once as a student, the other times as a teaching assistant. But it took me that many times to get what he was doing. He was trying to teach us budding pastors not to mess up the churches we serve. The novels he had us read all had they lame pastor figures in them. And we kept trying to turn them into heroes, kept on trying to find the redeeming qualities they had (and they all had them). But that wasn't his point. His point was: Look at all of these new opportunities to sin. Pastors have a wider range of sins to work with than anyone else, because we've got all of these spiritual sins that others don't have (well, I guess parents have them, too). So, he had us read Graham Green's The Power and the Glory, Walter Wangerin's The Book of the Dun Cow, George Eliot's Middlemarch, Aldous Huxley's Grey Eminence, and so on. When the penny finally dropped for me, I thought, "Oh, crap! What am I getting into?"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

shark jumping

Simone and Gregg had this extremely entertaining conversation about the episode where Fonzie jumped the shark. The guy who coined the phrase wrote this article and Gregg said "Funny! He's sort of clueless. His only defense is that the show continued on for several more seasons. But I remember watching that episode the NIGHT IT AIRED, and it definitely SUCKED!" Simone said "Yeah, that's exactly what I thought. The whole point of jumping the shark isn't to do with the subsequent run from that point but the decline in quality. I love that you saw it the night it aired and thought it sucked then. Not me. I was in the womb!" Gregg said "I remember it really well. There was just something really wrong with seeing Fonzie in such bright sunlight, in shorts. And that whole storyline was so BORING. I think sitcoms work best when the action is relegated to a handful of claustrophobic sets. I think the womb was the better place to be."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

what in the sam hill is going on here


I was walking to my bus after work yesterday and saw a cd lying on the sidewalk, next to the grass. I walked a few more steps and saw another cd on the sidewalk. It said "56478" on it. I thought "Maybe someone is trying to get people to listen to their band so they're just putting cds strategically on the sidewalk" and I walked a few more steps and saw another cd that said "56479" and a few steps later another one that said "56480." I thought "they're going up in numbers. They're really trying to work some kind of gimmick here. I bet it's hiphop" (because I was kinda near the ghetto. Just being honest). I saw a dozen more and then I realized that they were metal discs drilled into the sidewalk and were some kind of city electrical or plumbing markers.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

betty butterfield and thei vietvanese doctor

When I worked at a clinic in Texas so many people who came in there were just like this. There were a lot of doctors at that clinic but most of the patients were suspicious of Dr. Yap when they heard his last name. True story. And they griped exactly like Betty Butterfield does. "My complaint is that y'all take too long and you cost too damn much. That's my complaint. And yall's secretary is ig'nrnt." This is so dead on!

sad and yet good

My friend Scott in Ohio sent out this message today to people who are part of his poverty advocacy group. It broke my heart for the family and kind of broke it again for the fact that Scott and his group help these strangers and put so much work into them, it just seems like for as horrible as the world is something beautiful is coming out of the brokenness. Here's what Scott said:

Thanks to all of you who gave towards the needs of another. We reached our goal this morning and we were able to work out taking care of the security deposit for our most recent ARM client. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

It was a hard "move" to do today. A single mom with four girls from 3 different fathers. Not one of the fathers is present. There's a tremendous amount of brokenness in this family and just such a lack of support for them.

So a lot of fighting between the sisters took place all day and the mom just hung her head from being worn down. We had to break up the fighting several times and try to speak words of life into this household. Sometimes it is so overwhelming that I want to just cave in but I can't help but look at the little 7 year old blond haired girl and think who will fend for this little one? Who will give her some worth?

I wish I could have a happy ending kind of thing to write to you all, but the fact is that there is just so much pain out there. But whether things go well or not we are still there and still willing to continue to respond to our neighbors in need.

I know nothing but Christ and Him crucified. Sacrifice.

Peace be with you all,
scott budzar

i like that peter rollins

I just listened to this interview with Peter Rollins at a megachurch. I love so much what he had to say (and the Irish accent doesn't hurt either) I was writing it down. One bit that I especially like: "If you want to start engaging in this life of faith, the very first thing you're going to have to give up is the idea that there's some answer you can grab. This is a journey into transformation, into a life of belonging and shared belief and ritual and transformation, and if you're looking for 'what is the right answer?' you're kind of missing the point." And also "When we hold onto the notion of God [while suffering] without going through the mourning process we treat God like an idol, just an object, an idea we have to hold onto in order to cope with life. Let us have a community of broken people suffering together, and in that space God is manifest."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

safe people superhero

Today my counselor was talking about Kierkegaard's theme of curiosity and generosity and how it informs safety in relationships. I said "I have to write this down" and she said "I'll write it down for you" then she drew me as a superhero with safe people guidelines! That may be the best $85 I ever spent.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

throw out fifty things

I'm hella into this website called FlyLady. It seems to be directed towards the midwestern-midlife-crisis-cat-sweatshirt-wearing demographic, but I care not; I psychotically love it. I vastly prefer her to Martha Stewart, that smug cunt, and she's helping my house be all beautiful and organized and I'm super happy about it. It probably also helps that I'm reading this book called Throw Out 50 Things and I'm really getting off on it. FlyLady says "you can't organize clutter" and I'm like "you're right. I'm throwing out 50 things." Yee haw!

Yesterday my counselor was saying that spiritual abuse isn't nearly as popular a topic as most other forms of abuse. I said I wished there were a story group for that like the ones I've done before with other people who have been through similar situations to honor their stories and share them so you don't have to bear it alone. She said she only knows of a couple other people who would be interested. Do you know anyone who would be interested, besides me? Lemme know.

Here is a Judge Judy especially for Ryan and Simone. Have at it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

chess grandmaster vs. a flying wiener

I saw this a long time ago and the Grapes of Rad linked it at their site today. It just never gets old!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

gordon fee & baby hedgehogs

This was David's favorite professor at Regent. I want to go there and take a class from him, if he's still there. I could listen to him talk all day.

I just looked at my YouTube history and it's filled with Judge Judy, Peep Show episodes, Richard Dawkins, NT Wright, Christopher Hitchens, Eddie Izzard, and Gordon Fee, cute baby hedgehogs swimming, and wiener dogs on skateboards.

Here is Peep Show, my new favorite show and soon to be yours. Maybe.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

jack kerouac & people of wal-mart

I don't come here too often, do I. My other blog has me too busy for which I damn it, but when my contract is up then I'll be back here with a vengance! Vengance is mine!

I'm almost done with On The Road. I read it in college and am "reading" it again, on CD. I was delighted by this bit here:
The car belonged to a tall, thin fag who was on his way home to Kansas and wore
dark glasses and drove with extra care. The car was what Dean called a "fag Plymouth."
My friend Bill in Oakland got special glasses with a camera in them so he can go to Wal-Mart and take furtive pictures to send to Here's my favorite he's gotten:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

wiggly tooth & charlotte bronte

Lolly got out of bed the other night and we were like "What are you doing out of bed, young lady" and she said "My toof is wiggly!" We were immediately like "Oh! Let me see!" and her bed-night (as she calls bedtime) vacating was of course forgiven and we both looked at her toof, her front right one, which wiggles so slightly it's almost imperceptible. But when the tooth is in your mouth of course you can feel the tiniest wiggle. Her first loose tooth! Judah heard the commotion and got out of bed too and came into the hall and said "Oh wow, let me see!" and he looked at her tooth and wiggled it a little and he said "Yay Lolly, your first loose tooth!" and my heart went pitter-pat and my eyes went tear-tear.

My friend Sarah sent me this email today, so lovely and just what I needed.

Charlotte Bronte wrote this in her preface to the second edition of Jane Eyre. Her words are a little different, but her spirit is the same. Funny how the wheel never stops turning.


Having thus acknowledged what I owe those who have aided and approved me, I turn to another class: a small one, so far as I know, but not, therefore, to be overlooked. I mean the timorous or carping few who doubt the tendency of such books as Jane Eyre: in whose eyes whatever is unusual is wrong; whose ears detect in each protest against bigotry – that parent of crime – an insult to piety, that regent of God on earth. I would suggest to such doubters certain obvious distinctions; I would remind them of certain simple truths.

Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns. These things and deeds are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them: they should not be confounded; appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ. There is – I repeat it – a difference; and it is a good, and not a bad action to mark broadly and clearly the line of separation between them.

The world may not like to see these ideas dissevered, for it has been accustomed to blend them; finding it convenient to make external show pass for sterling worth – to let whitewashed walls vouch for clean shrines. It may hate him who dares to scrutinize and expose, to raise the gilding and show base metal under it, to penetrate the sepulcher and reveal charnal relics; but hate as it will, it is indebted to him.


Stay strong in the struggle. Fight the good fight.

Friday, August 6, 2010

email from damien

Damien Jurado sent me this email today about this Mars Hill Church blog entry.

i wish they would realize that God doesn't care. he is well pleased. ..and there is nothing that we can or can't do to change the way he loves us. unconditionally.
we don't lead straight and narrow lives to please him. if we are with him and love him, this comes naturally. love is not forced. someone should really tell this to the mars hill congregation.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

santa cruz & ashland

We just had a family reunion in Santa Cruz. I heart it there. It was the best time.

The kids, David and my brother at the ocean

The kids and me were the only pasty white Seattle people on the beach


cousins under a redwood tree

legs for sale

my sisters-in-law

David transporting cookies

My kids loving on Uncle John while PopDad (granddad) looks on

On the way down we stayed in Ashland, Oregon with Uncle Richard, our favorite salty aged-hippie displaced New Yorker, unapologetically particular yet somehow laid-back, Mensa uncle who consumes only lox, Pepsi and medical marijuana. The kids picked cherries in his backyard and he and I did sudoku inside and he complained about Sarah Palin and asked me a lot about how twitter works. It was so fun.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

the hot hot heat

It's going to get over 70 degrees today in Seattle and everyone is EXCITED. The highest it's been all summer is like 55 or something. On the bus today I was talking to this guy I always talk to, he's a teacher who has grown kids and he said he's painting today and it's going to get hot, and when I was getting off the bus I told him "stay cool" meaning "don't get too hot" and immediately felt so stupid. Stay cool! I still feel stupid.

I just cannot get enough of Betty Butterfield.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

r.i.p. supergrass

I think I'm still in shock from Supergrass breaking up last month. A big part of me feels silly for loving a band so much and I'm trying to figure out what's under that feeling, so I think it's this: that a lot of people would think it's mental or at the very least dumb to mourn a band. But whoever would say that really doesn't get it. When I first heard Supergrass in 1995 I super liked them and then started to love them in 1998, but when I saw them play in 2003 I was gone. It was very much like meeting someone and hitting it off and thinking that you're cut from the same cloth. When I first heard Supergrass I just felt like I'd found old friends who were cut from the same cloth as me and who inspired me somehow and I couldn't listen to them enough. I first heard them in the movie "Clueless," you know, 1995, and I was watching it at my then-boyfriend's parents' house over Christmas break and we thought we were too cool for that movie but his parents wanted to see it. At the end he said "You have to see this video [for "Alright"] at the end of the tape, this band is really good but really ugly." I thought they were very non-ugly and so I had to break up with him. (Kidding, he broke up with me, but I don't think it was over that.) Then a couple years later I read an interview with Dave Grohl saying that Supergrass were the best live band he'd ever seen which affirmed me as I was in my Dave Grohl phase. That was around the time "In It For The Money" came out, 1998, and it's still my favorite album of all albums to this day. When I met David I put Supergrass on my first mix tape to him and he already loved them which I took as an excellent sign. In 2003 we saw them at the Showbox in Seattle and I was undone. My Supergrass fever peaked then and when they came through again in 2006 on their Road to Rouen tour I waited for them outside KEXP when they did their in-studio. I gave them all these presents (pressies, they called them) and beer (a bit of brew, they called it) and they asked us into the studio and I got this picture of Mick playing for our then-13-month old daughter.

Lolly & Mick at KEXP

Fast forward to 2008, Simone and I saw them in Seattle, Portland and LA and then in New York and NJ with our friend Kate. We are excellent stalkers, either that or Supergrass is really, really nice. We'd emailed with them and built a little rapport and they put us on the list at each show and took us backstage and to the afterparties and they're just such lovely lovely English gentlemen. Kate was saying the other day, as she and Simone and I are trying to process this, that we aren't crazy for mourning this band because they've put us in touch with the sublime. Here is how Kate very eloquently put it:
"My own opinion is that this thing we have each done has connected us to the transcendent; the sublime. This (music/experience/love) is -- for atheists, agnostics, and believers alike -- something that has transported ourselves outside of (for me at least) EVERYTHING. Remember all the times your heart just took off when a song started up? Your brain expanded? Everything alive? I think it's spiritual. To lose it is a gut-wrenching."
We fell in love with everything about their band, their music and style and writing and generosity of spirit and it's all affirmed in the way they've treated us, their rabid fans; they've been so so gracious. My abridged photo history with Supergrass is here and here are some of my favorite videos of theirs. I know they'll be back someday so I can't be too sad.

my feet with Danny & Gaz's backstage at Key Arena

"Richard III" (1997)

"Sun Hits The Sky" (1997)

"Mary" (1999)

"Kiss of Life" (2003)

"Grace" (2003)

"Seen The Light" (2003)

"St. Petersburg" (2005)

"Low C" (2005)

*See also "Pumping On Your Stereo" (1999), "Bad Blood" (2008), "Diamond Hoo Ha Man" (2008) and "Mansize Rooster" (1995) which had no embed codes but are each freakishly delightful.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

the grapes of rad read aloud from mark driscoll's book "porn-again christian"

on this episode, at about minute 1:28:30.

magic bus

Riding the bus takes up a lot of my time and it's fixin to take up a lot more because they just cancelled my community transit route due to budget cuts. How rude! Why does everything have to revolve around the budget? That's my philosophy. Anyway I get to take a different bus now and it adds a full hour onto my commute each way but I actually don't mind and I kind of like it, I get to listen to music and read and on this bus I always get a window seat. I LOVE the window seat. I've had two bus adventures in the two days I've ridden my new route, on Monday I was waiting for my first bus and this girl was at the bus stop with me saying she was freezing and she'd been up all night at a party and she had to call her parole officer and get downtown to meet him or else she'd be in big trouble. I let her call him on my phone and she told me she's 17 and just got out of meth rehab and her mom hates her boyfriend so her mom doesn't talk to her anymore, but she lives with him in Olympia and he's 25. I blurted out "Don't get pregnant. Take your birth control every day, okay? Your life is hard enough" and she said "Oh I have one kid but he's in Mexico. He's three." AHHH! That poor girl, and that poor boy. We got on the bus and she told me she had her GED and she wanted to go to college. I told her she could totally do it and she can have a good life. She said her boyfriend tells her she can't go to school and I was all "don't listen to him, he is lying to you. You can absolutely do it. You can do whatever you want. You can make your life really great." I was starting to feel cheesy but she was seeming to perk up. I wanted to tell her to read Judge Judy's book "Beauty Fades But Dumb is Forever" but managed not to, I just love that book though. So we got off the bus and I gave her a hug and told her she can do it and all that. Then today she wasn't on the bus but another guy was and he said to me "can I ask what you do?" and he said he was wondering because he heard my conversation with that girl the other day and he said he's a teacher and was glad I talked to her and he said "I could tell you and she didn't run in the same social circles" and I was glad for that. We talked the whole bus ride and he eventually asked "are you a Christian?" and I said yes and he said "that's the missing piece. It all makes sense now." That was interesting. He said he teaches at a Christian school and that he's especially sensitive to troubled kids because they all look so good on the outside but he can tell when they're doing poorly in school that something is going on at home. We talked about all that, the tendency of Christian families to want to look perfect and not be transparent. Then I had to get off the bus. My new route is turning out to be rather chatty.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

chocolate + horses + eating disorder = judge judy win

I love Judge Judy like an elderly person and I think horses are hilarious so imagine my demented delight over this case. My favorite quotes:

"We go through great lengths to put my horse in the best light possible."
"I have an eating disorder!"
"My horse looked deformed!"
"We ship semen all over the country."
""It's a reflection of the horse. If it looks deformed that's because the horse is deformed."
"Don't irritate me, this case is irritating me enough already."

Monday, June 7, 2010

mysterious whispers, part 4

(written by me:)

My throbbing calves carried me back to my apartment where once inside I shut the door and collapsed on my Q-Bert bean bag chair. It was a tender relic from the past I refused to give up no matter how it clashed with my Rachel Ashwell shabby chic decor. I'd lost my innocence on that bean bag chair and no one could take that away from me. Maybe Jovan would be the next man I would lose my innocence to. What would I wear? Glaring at the Wii Fit, I stalked to my closet and threw open the door.

(written by OfficeGnome:)

"Egads! what are you doing here?!?" I squealed at the intruder, like a wild boar approaching his prey. I hurriedly shut the door in a panic. How could this have happened to me, on today of all days? I took a long deep breath, and tried to pull myself together. It was just a spider afterall. The daddy long-legs had made my closet its new lair and I was going to have to face my fear if I was going to put on my perfect sexy tube dress and make it to Jovan's show in time for the royal procession.I flipped through my mail looking for the appropriate weapon. The magazine issue I had been waiting for had arrived, but there was no way I was going to use it to bludgeon the bug. Ahah! My new Vermont Country Store catalog would do the trick. I hated that crap anyway.I flung open the closet door and then like a medieval warrior, I smashed the critter with all my might. The catalog was a lance and the spider was the black knight that I had sworn to assassinate. I was a murderer. And now it was time to get dressed to kill.

(written by Carrie:)

I tossed the be-smeared catalog aside and flipped through the fabulous fashion file of my closet. My evening looks and club wear were nestled in the back corner of the closet, a plush treasure trove of crushed velvet, ruched satin, cubic zirconiae, and draped tencel. Regularly adding new looks to my twilight repertoire was a fulfilling and healthy hobby of mine, no matter what my financial counselor said. Where was my perfect sexy tube dress?? I was starting to panic and sweat heavily as I swatted aside several polyester halter tops. This couldn't be happening. Not tonight. I could feel my stomach plummeting like a barrel over the Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon. It wasn't there! My brain suddenly screamed with the partial memory of that wild night at Coka Cabana's. I had been wearing the tube dress when we took that baking sheet, can of hairspray, and lighter fluid out to the steep hill behind the club. Regrettably, my memory ended there. I was going to have to both improvise and compromise with my fashion choice.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

eugene peterson on love

These are from his book, Christ Plays In Ten Thousand Places...

"But love is one of the slipperiest words in the language. There is no other word in our society more messed up, misunderstood, perverted, and misused as the word "love." Complicating things further, it is a word terribly vulnerable to cliché, more often than not flattened into nonmeaning by chatter and gossip. It is all me-directed. It is all self. The largeness of love is reduced to the mouse hole of ego. It is often used by the same person and in the same conversation in self-contradicting ways - seriously and frivolously, soberly and sentimentally, thoughtfully and teasingly. It is used in the worship of a holy God and as a euphemism for loveless sex. It is used to reveal heart intimacies and commitments and as a cover for telling every sort and variety of lie. An incalculable amount of violence, both emotional and physical, occurs in relationships begun in love. In no other human experience do we fail so frequently, get hurt so badly, suffer so excruciatingly and get deceived so cruelly as in love. Still, we continue to long for love, dream of it, attempt it. Walker Percy titled one of his novels Love in the Ruins, an epitaph far too many in our community can claim for their own. So when the men and women of the Christian community are given the responsibility for telling one another that God loves them, that he commanded every one of us to love one another, and when we assume responsibility for giving guidance and instruction in the life of love, we know we have no easy task. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a more formidable, seemingly impossible, task. Because of the enormous importance this has for the way we live, it is important to get it right. We need to listen attentively to every conversation, read discerningly every book, if we hope ever to discern the truth and implications of the love word." (310 - 311)