Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Stupid Tax

Here I sit on the eve of my 35th birthday and am apparently no wiser for my efforts. I was home Friday morning perusing my calendar when I came upon Thursday, May 24th. I couldn't help but notice an entry made there about 2 months ago regarding a worship gathering of Presbyterian pastors at MBCC that I have committed to lead at 7 PM. Sounds good, you say. Yes, it does. However, there is a tiny hiccup: I am flying home to visit my babies for Memorial Day weekend and it seems as though I booked my flight for Thursday, May 24th at 3:30 PM. See the difficulty? With great trepidation I called the airline and pleaded with the lovely woman who was working a night shift in India, but she would not be persuaded. I must pay an additional $150 to change the ticket. That, my friends, is a stupid tax.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I said the words "I Do" in a church...

for the first and hopefully last time.

Last Sunday two other fine individuals and myself became members of Mission Bay Community Church and apparently, part of that process is to answer these questions about what we believe. I knew we were supposed to answer questions about what we believe, basic doctrinal stuff, but that's it. We get up there and Bruce tells us that we have to answer the question by saying "I Do." I had a minor internal freak out. This was followed by a week of nightmares of being railroaded into getting married to various people to help them get their green cards. Seriously.

My commitment phobia is monumental and my cluelessness regarding relationships is legengary. I have a recurring nightmare that my high school boyfriend shows up in the present day and announces that we are going to get married. He's a nice guy and all, but the reason we broke up was that he was older and wanted to get married when I graduated high school (HIGH SCHOOL) and I wanted to go to college (silly me). The dream is that after his arrival all of my circles, friends and family, are swept up into the frenzy of wedding planning and no one listens to my protests. I keep telling people that I don't want to do this and they just keep patting me on the arm and assuring me that it's all going to work out fine. There's one part of it where I'm following this guy around and in frustration trying to reinforce the fact that this is a bad idea b/c we don't know each other anymore and I am quizzing him on the last 17 years of my life to prove my point and he just ignores me.

If any of my readers feel the urge to share some pro-marriage platitudes or any "when you stop looking" stories, resist. This is really just a state-of-the-union post, not seeking any help or advice.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Things I Love Right Now

I accendentally bought these last night at Aliana. LOVE THEM!! I have been looking at them for weeks now and wanting them. I was going to order them from Piperlime because they were on sale there (and to support the team), but they ran out of my size. When I went into Aliana, they had them, but they were still full price. When I told them that they were on sale elsewhere, she knocked the price down much closer to Piperlime's sale price, so I went for it. How cute are these?

2. Laurell
Those who know me will find this ironical (that was on purpose, for those who don't know me), but Laurell is a fantastic singer/worship leader person from Canada. In my soul, I am Canadian, so my love for another Canadian will not be a shock. What will be a shock, however, is the fact that she was a contestant on Canadian Idol, and yet I'm willing to love her. We'll all get over that, I'm sure. She may be coming through the Bay Area in July, so keep an eye out, b/c I'm going to be trying to get her in to some local venues. Go to her website and you can listen to her two latest albums (one pop, one worship) for free. You'll definintely want to buy them. Track 2 - Dream, is my favorite.
3. Trader Joe's Finds
a. Trader Joe's Salted Old Fashioned Blister Peanuts.
According to the package: Generations ago folks soaked peanuts in water to remove the red skins prior to roasting. This caused the peanuts to "blister" during roasting, resulting in an incomparable crunch.
Who knew? Whatever the process, these things are delish, and they represent my only level of participation in baseball season.
b. Double Rainbow Soy Cream Very Cherry Chip
Another Trader Joe's find - don't judge until you taste! I'm not a fan of soy substitutions in general, but damn - this stuff is good. Huge chunks of actual cherries and semi-sweet chocolate chunks. I would lodge one important complaint, and that is that the chocolate is a bit crumbly, but otherwise - quite the tasty treat.
c. Cinamon Raisin Swirl Bread
Sweet fancy Moses! There are no words in the English language to describe the wonder of this bread. You have to taste it for yourself. Toast it up with a little bit of butter and you're in heaven. I'm told it makes a marvelous french toast as well, but I haven't tried it yet. I'm sure it would be divine.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Peep show

The madness continues. The Washington Post conducted a Peeps Diorama contest, thinking they might get a few entries for laughs. They got 350, from all over the world, and the finalists are brilliant. The creativity of humanity is always inspiring.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Thoughts on the Mandatum

Last night we had our Maundy Thursday service and finally my internal scurrying was brought to a screeching halt. Better late than never, I suppose. As a community, we read the following Mandatum poem and then the questions following are courtesy the RevGalBlogPals blog.

Had I been present at the last supper, I would have joined Peter in protest of having my feet washed by the Master. As a frequenter of the nail salon, I have my feet maintained by others in real life on a regular basis. However, I'm paying them, and it's not necessarly of spiritual significance. I just can't stand having my toes look nasty. The bigger idea of the foot-washing concept is that of receiving. Allowing others to bless us is part of what makes us the church. We use our gifts to bless, but we also allow others to bless and be blessed by giving them opportunities to minister to us. Sounds like I know what I'm talking about, yes? Not so, says the Type A Control Freak.

I'm not so much with the receiving. I hate being the recipient of attention, compliments, gifts, and ESPECIALLY surprises of any kind. Hate. It. There's a real relinquishing of power and even sometimes dignity involved in allowing oneself to be served, and I'm not a fan. I do a lot of the serving and I'm great with that, but I recognize the lack of balance. So, I'm taking this Easter Triduum time to focus on allowing my feet to be washed (metaphorically) and on Jesus as the sacrificial lamb, not me.

Jesus, I would like you to wash my feet
I’ve come a long distance to ask you this
Although I’ve frequently gone from my house to yours
With my boxes of fragrant ointments and my tears
Sincerely believing that this was the best I could offer you
That it was my love which mattered
I was eager, but I didn’t know much about discipleship
Or the true nature of love, and you, always gentle
Never told me I was wrong, but patiently waited
For me to grow in understanding
It has taken a long time, Lord,
But now I fling open the door to my house
And invite you in to cleanse my feet
Of the dust of many wanderings
I will not feel shame to have you kneel before me,
But will gladly receive the mastery of your love
For in receiving I learn the truth of giving
And I become your servant in being served
Lord Jesus, please I would like you to wash my feet.

How do we love the Jesus within ourselves and in others this week?

Have you let Jesus wash your feet? If not will you?

Try taking some time away to think of your love of Jesus, Jesus love for you, and your love for others.

Try not to be the sacrificial lamb this season, instead remember who is the sacrificial lamb.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Random thoughts brought on by pop culture

I get to drive to and from work every day down the Great Highway. Gorgeous. Tonight I was coming home a bit later than usual b/c I had stopped to buy groceries and the sun was setting over the ocean and the sky was all pink and orange, waves crashing on the rocks, etc. I live in the best place on the planet. As I was watching the ocean this morning I was thinking about a book I just read - The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I recommend - an excellent read, beautifully written. It's about a boy who grew up in India where his family ran the local zoo and his own spiritual journey and his life amongst the animals. When Pi is a teenager his family decides to move to Toronto and they board a ship with their animals, who will be taken to other zoos in North America. Along the way, the ship sinks and Pi is stranded on a lifeboat with a bengal tiger. The majority of the book chronicles his time at sea as he struggles to survive until he is rescued. What I was thinking about this morning was the corrosive effect of the ocean - it's beautiful to watch, but if you're not designed to live in it, it can severely damage and even kill you.

I watched The Prestige the other night. Excellent flick. I had that and The Illusionist at the same time - last year's magician movies. I am told that The Illusionist is better, so I saved it for later. I have to say, though, that I did enjoy the Prestige. Obsessive vengeance is an interesting and blinding thing. I can't imagine spending my whole life trying to see to the downfall of another person. Seems like such a waste.

Tomorrow morning I have a meeting at The Mother Ship aka Corporate Behemoth Headquarters downtown. Such an interesting world, this corporate thing. The sheer volume of acronyms boggles the mind. The bureaucracy is mind-blowing.

Here's something else I'm watching right now, and I can't figure out why. SoapNet is re-running Another World from 1991. I started watching Another World in 1984 during the summer and was hooked. Of course, I wasn't allowed to watch soap operas, but that never stopped me. I was so excited when I discovered the re-runs and I've been watching it ever day for weeks now, and I have to say, it's awful. The sets are so janky, the acting is wooden (except for Anne Heche, of course) and plots are thin as tissue paper. I really like the cheesy synth music behind the crazy people - just to let us know how creepy they are. Hilarious. It's just nostalgic and funny. I love it.

Fine (pronounced fee-nay - going for an Italian musical thing here - go with it)

It seems as though I've given up Choir for Lent, although it's starting now and ending this summer. I wonder if that counts. I've been thinking and I'm just stretched so thin that something's got to give. I have started two jobs at once (big Corporate America job and part-time church job), both with steep learning curves and both with (no disrespect intended) prececessors with slightly different organizational systems than I would consider helpful.

Choir is like going to the gym for my voice. It's really good for me. The conductor, who was one of my seminary professors, is amazingly good. Forget music, anyone who wants to be a leader in any field should sit in on one of his rehearsals. He's got the gift. He's structured without being inflexible, strict, but manages to do so while remaining warm and is rarely stern, and is extremely encouraging. He does that thing where he shows you some musical thing that you think is impossible and then he takes you through some seemingly un-related vocalise and by some miracle you are then able to effortlessly perform what once seemed out of your grasp. He's got the most well-equipped teachers "toolbox" ever - an exercise, tip or trick for any occasion. (I'm speaking about him as though he's died. He hasn't - I'm just singing his praises because I think people's praises should be sung before they die).

And here I am giving all that up for a few months. I have every intention of going back in the fall. I know I have to do this right now for my own good, but I am still a bit sad about it. As I said on another blog, choir is the icing on the cake that is my life, but right now, the cake is all crumbly, so the icing is just making a bigger mess. I want to be able to go back and be fully present, because that is how anything is done well.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A Prayer for Holy Week

Lord Jesus Christ,
in this sacred and solemn week
when we see again
the depth and mystery of your redeeming love,
help us to follow where you go,
to stop where you stumble,
to listen when you cry,
to hurt as you suffer,
to bow our heads in sorrow as you die,
so that, when you are raised to life again,
we may share in your endless joy. Amen.