Thursday, June 28, 2007

Innovations in shopping

I'm into fashion and shopping. Not crazy into it, but I keep up with the trends and happenings. Since I came to work at the Khaki Khonglomerate, I have been reading Womens Wear Daily and have been keeping everyone up on the latest trends in design and fashion, etc. Companies are trying desperately to get us to spend our money on their stuff and they are all trying to come up with the coolest ways for us to do it, basically distracting us with shiny objects so we don't notice that we're spending ridiculous amounts of money.

Before I get into what's happening now, let me give a shout out to Liz Claiborne. Ms. Claiborne passed away this week after a long battle with cancer. She was truly an innovator in ready-to-wear. When I was in high school, it was pointless to show your face on campus without a bag covered in the signature triangle. Even though she'd retired in the late 80's, she played an active role in the designs that bore her name. She will be missed.

On our internal website, the CEO has started blogging about our company and what it means to be creative in this business and what our competitors are doing. He invites employees to comment and make suggestions about what we could be doing better. One guy came up with what I think is FREAKING COOL! Of course this will never happen, but just imagine it: a basics vending machine. That's right - a jeans/t-shirt/tank top vending machine. Maybe gift cards too. Wouldn't that be fantastic? You could pop in your card and out comes that white t-shirt you've been meaning to pick up but didn't want to wait in line for. I think it's brilliant. I hope someone doesn't steal it.

From the theoretical to the actual: Ralph Lauren's London flagship has debuted 24 hour Touch-screen window shopping. That's right. You're out, the pubs have closed, and you realize that you need socks or a polo shirt, or perhaps a cashmere sweater. You just happen to walk by the Ralph Lauren store and there is your chance. View the entire catalog, add items to your cart and even get tennis tips. Seriously. Tennis tips.

Monday, June 25, 2007

On the Move

Life is change. We all know that. However, this seems to be a season of great upheaval - not in a bad way, just in a perpetual motion way.

Here's all the moving that's going on:

1. I'm moving on Sunday
2. My friends Kristen & Joshua are moving 2 weeks later
3. My pastor Bruce and his familiy are moving
4. One of my co-workers is moving at the end of July
5. The girl in the cube next to me is moving mid-July
6. 2 (TWO) of the attorneys in my dept. here got engaged over the weekend. Needless to say, I'm now bringing my own water. However, they're both moving next month as well.
7. My mom just got a new job, but still with the state, so she moved offices.

The biggest thing in my world now is that my office is moving in September. They say September, but it will most likely be later in the fall. Khaki Khonglomerate (KK) is leasing our building to Massive Viral Video (MVV). We're moving across the street to the other building that KK owns but the big bad news is that we're losing our gym. I hope and pray that MVV will have pity on our pants-related plight and let us work out there still, but that is highly unlikely. I am trying to focus on the fact that we're re-locating to save massive amounts of money and while I'm losing a gym, I'm keeping a job. There still is some grieving, however, as I love the place, love my yoga class, love the convenience of working out at lunch. Big picture: there are people starving in the former Yugoslavia. I'm ok.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

My Secret Shame

I've decided to come clean. For years I have kept hidden my irrational love for '80's spy dramedy Scarecrow & Mrs. King. Whenever I would be asked what my favorite TV show of all time has been I would avert my eyes, shuffle my feet and say "thirtysomething." Now, I love me some thirtysomething - it's definitely in my top 5.

Scarecrow & Mrs. King
was on from 1983 - 1987, which puts me ages 11 - 15, which would be part of my excuse, but I still watch it. I love the Cold War-era drama, uber-80s wardrobe, Amanda King's sassy station wagon, Francine Desmond's hair wings of death, Billy's stern scowl at all of Scarecrow's unorthodox crime-fighting methods, the cheesy sets, horrible stunts and over-the-top acting.

But most of all, I was in LOVE with Bruce Boxleitner. The WASPy, tall, feathered hair-edness of it all. I was mesmerized by him. I also love that Kate Jackson was the one that solved all the cases, even though Scarecrow fancied himself the superior agent. Granted, she did so as a ditzy, rambling den mother to two Junior Trailblazers, but she still always figured it out.

I have recently discovered that AOL Video has a channel called In2Tv and in their Drama section, they offer many of the 88 episodes for free, so I've been watching them as I pack and move. It's been total heaven, and I've decided not to hide it any more.

My name is Tiffany, and I love Scarecrow & Mrs. King.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Pen is Mightier than the Pokey

Baby neice Chloe - who isn't much of a baby any more - just got a haircut kind of like Dora the Explorer's, which is what she calls it, and it's very cute. Cuter still, however is how freaking smart she is. I know, I know. I'm crazy, doting Auntie Tiffy.

My parents have the kids every Tuesday night and so this last week, Chloe had a piece of paper on which she had drawn Leo from Little Einsteins, cactus, and a tricycle and she had made some scribbles that were supposed to be words." She folded it in half and came to my mother and said she wanted to read her the story of Leo. So, she told my mother a tale of Leo, riding his tricycle, minding his own business, when he fell into a cactus and got "pokies in his skin." He had to rest and rest and rest and then he felt better. The End. Cute, right?

When my brother and sister-in-law got home, my mom was telling them this story and Lisa (sister-in-law) said that that had happened to her as a child and she had just told that story to Chloe a few days before. So, my little Chloe Capote had taken that story, drawn it, and re-told it about Leo. Do you realize what this means for our family? We are all going to end up in some horrible dysfunctional family novel that will one day be turned into a Lifetime Original Movie. At least someone in our family will profit from the crazy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Calming the hell down

OK - so the last post was a bit angry. I was venting on behalf of friends who have been hurt and also re-living some of my own hurt at the hands of those who use their powers for evil. In the interest of equality, I will point the spotlight on to my own shortcomings, and believe me, they are legion.

I was meeting with my Spiritual Director, Maggie, a week or two ago, and she said a couple of things that challenged me. Just because I pay her to do it, doesn't mean I like it. The first thing she asked me was, "Do you love people?" Of course, my answer was no. Who does? Kidding. A little. I first asked her what she meant by that, because "love" is a robust word. Love. I don't know. I have compassion for, I listen to, I help, I encourage, I challenge. Do I love?

The second thing was that she thinks I need to get over a lot of hurt. Duh. Who doesn't? I have been pondering that and the specific situations to which she was referring and have done some praying and processing, and those loads are definitely lighter. I tend to hold on to things way too long and I know that I have some stuff to work out before I get into pastoral ministry, not that I'll ever be perfect on that. But, I do have some time, what with the care process and then having to somehow finish my MDiv in all of this.

What a process all of this is - this "life" & "call" thing. Sometimes it seems to have no point, and sometimes it couldn't be more relevant. I walk around most of the time balancing on the fine line between recognizing and being grateful for my gifts and feeling wholly inadequate. An obvious human condition, to be sure, but not one that's easy to acknowledge. I'd love to have it all together, and, more importantly have people think I have it all together, but I don't. There it is. Do we have to hug now?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hey, White Male Pastors...

stop being freaking a--holes. I'm a little tired of it. I am fortunate to not be in a situation where that's an issue (Thanks be to God!). However, I have had a number of experiences with the WMPs and there are very few good stories, and recently, I've had two very dear friends be recently screwed over (yet again) by such folks and it really needs to stop. Let me just put a few thoughts out there:

1. Women, people of color, etc., basically anyone not white or male, is not necessarily trying to usurp your historic seat of power, or take your tee time. For many of us, it's not about power; it's about being the body of Christ, which is kind of supposed to have a lot of different parts.

2. You are not the Holy Spirit. God gives gifts and calls people and you don't get to say who gets to exercise your gifts and who doesn't.

3. If you are trying to make some huge statement about valuing women in ministry and then are given a hiring choice b/t an equally qualified woman and white guy, and you pick the white guy, any previous statements you made are null and void. And you don't get to play the "experience" card. White guys get hired as pastors right out of seminary all the time.

4. Wearing sandals and a fauxhawk doesn't make you post-modern. Valuing stories over structures does. Hyper-programming of an event that is supposed to be somewhat fluid while wearing sandals and a fauxhawk makes you modern in post-modern drag. Hyper-programming an event where all the leaders just "happened" to have books just come out makes you not only modern, but very close to being "The Man."

Now, go do your jobs and stop screwing over my friends. Let other people into your club, and stop making all your big ministry decisions on the golf course.

Monday, June 11, 2007

What's on your mind?


1. Your ‘ex’ and You: should remain exes

2. I am listening to: Indigo Girls

3. Maybe I should: work

4. I love: my family

6. I don’t understand: why there is no number 5. and math.

7. I have lost A LOT: of time

8. I last ate: an apple

9. The meaning of my display name is: my name

11. Someday: I will be an adult

12. I will always: drink coffee in the morning

13. Love seems to: create a lot of confusion

14. I never ever want to lose: the fork

15. My myspace is: embarassing

17. I get annoyed when: people have loud, personal phone conversations in public

18. Parties: are better when they're small

19. Simple Kisses: don't exist

20. Today I : got up early

21. I wish: I could go home


01. is your hair wet?: no

02. is your cell phone right by you?: No

03. do you miss someone? yes - my babies!

04. are you wearing chapstick? no

05. are you tired?: yup

06. are you wearing pajamas?: nope

07. are you mad? no

09. are you upset? no


01. recently done anything you regret? no

02. ever lied? unfortunately, yes

03. ever stuck gum under a desk?: no

04. ever kicked someone?: probably my brother when we were kids

05. ever tripped over your own feet?: indeed I have


01. have you cursed?: did the sun come up? then, yes

02. have you gotten mad at someone?: no


is there a person who is on your mind right now?: Chloe

severalQ: do you have any siblings? 1 brother

Q: do you want children? no

Q: do you smile often? I try

Q: do you untie your shoes every time you take them off? no

Q: do you like your handwriting? sometimes

Q: are your toenails painted?: yes

Q: are you a friendly person?: sometimes

Q: who’s bed other than yours do you sleep in?: usually just mine

Q: what color shirt are you wearing?: blue

Q: what were you doing at 8pm yesterday?: cleaning

Q: I can’t wait to: get this move over with

No Reason

Ever have one of those days where it's tough to be motivated to even blink? Totally having one of those right now. I have work to do, yet not totally into it.

I watched the Hollywoodland movie last night - not bad. Not great, but not bad. The performances were pretty good, especially Ben Affleck and Diane Lane. I've always been a big, big Ben Affleck fan, beginning with Chasing Amy, one of my favorite films of all time. I think he's a very good actor, just picked some crappy films. Diane Lane, I also love, particularly in Unfaithful. Adrian Brody, however? Almost cartoonish attempt at a Humphrey Bogart impersonation. He salvaged it at the end with the whole "drunk dad" scene, but overall, not my favorite.

I am attending an event tomorrow that I'm anticipating will have some cringe-worthy moments. I'm very seriously considering live-blogging it, so I don't forget anything good. I thought about going in with an open mind, but I've gone the other way. I'm looking forward to find creative ways to mock in the cyber world while keeping everyone's identities on the DL. Is that wrong?

Saw a great movie the other night - Waitress - excellent, well done film. The story of Adrienne Shelly, who wrote, directed, and plays a supporting role in the film, is a tragic one and makes its story of hope all the more poingnant. I highly recommend.

Last night, I was cleaning and organizing in preparation for the big move and I popped in season 1 of Grey's Anatomy to entertain me. Such good TV. After a fairly hit-and-miss season replete with off-screen drama, it was lovely to remind myself of what fun brain candy TV can be.

I've watced this video of Tom Wilson again recently, and I have to say, the man is funny. Go Biff!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Faith & Values Forum

Last night a few of us from MBCC gathered to watch the Faith, Values & Poverty forum broadcast on CNN and hosted by Sojourners. It was interesting to hear the leading Democratic candidates address these issues, as much as they had time in this short forum. A few thoughts:

1. The format sucked.
Each person was given 15 minutes to answer random faith-related questions. No two candidates got the same questions and they were up on the platform individually so the viewers didn't have the opportunity to compare their views.

2. Soledad O'Brien is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
She actually asked John Edwards what the biggest sin was that he'd ever committed. Seriously.

3. The media is, in general, ridiculous.
Of all the things put forth - Edwards' plan to eradicate poverty, Obama's desire to pair experienced nurses with inexperienced parents and to deal with the minimum wage, Clinton's desire to create dialogue between pro-Life and pro-Choice leadership - the only sound bite that has been circulated is Hillary Clinton's discussion of how her faith got her through her husband's infidelity. GET OVER IT.

I'm really glad that Sojourners and the candidates did this, and I'm looking forward to when they do the same thing with the Republican candidates. Most people there were surprised at Obama's strong pro-Israel stance, which is understood, given his church background. John Edwards said he had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ about 80 times and Hilary used enough "Christianese" to please even the staunchest of Conservatives. I want to not be cynical and say they were prepped well, because realistically, they were. That, however, does not mean that they don't believe what they said. I'm hoping this is only the beginning of this conversation and that we'll hear more from these candidates on both sides.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Red, White and Pentecost

Last weekend I went home to play with my babies and I went to my brother's church b/c he had coordinated the music. The boy did a damned fine job - I think he's gonna make it ;-) It was Memorial Day and their church, handled it half ok. The pastor got up and acknowledged that it was a day of honoring those who've died for our country and talked about how his family lost several people around Memorial Day so it was a way for them to remember them as well. Basically he acknowledged it, but talked about the importance of remembering everyone we've lost that we've loved. Not bad. Of course, there was no mention of Pentecost, b/c it's an Evangelical non-denominational church - which is why he handled it half ok.

Then, we went to my parents' church. It was, in a word, horrifying. I am usually not offended at their church at all. It's a white, suburban, middle class mega church but it's pretty decent most of the time. They have the occasional gaffe, but otherwise, ok. I happened to be there on the day of what I consider a gaffe. I attribute it to more of a theological thoughtlessness than anything else. They're good people who mean very well. Here's how it went:

We began our service with a medley (MEDLEY) of patriotic songs. Such a peeve of mine, the patriotic songs in church. Not the patriotic songs - I'm fine with them - just not in a worship service. I think that's inappropriate. Then we had a very weak segue between the patriotic songs to actual church worship songs with a correlation b/t our freedom as Americans and the freedom Christ purchased for us on the cross. ACK! The worst was the song was "That's Why We Praise Him," we were basically praising God for being Americans. It was nationalistic and creepy. I did not participate.

Here's why I'm so opposed. It was Pentecost. PENTECOST. Traditionally when we celebrate the beginning of the church. We were in church. Do you see where I'm going with this? It seemed like such a great opportunity to not only be grateful for those who have sacrificed for us in this country, but to focus on the fact that scripture tells us that we're not citizens of this world, but merely travelers and Pentecost was the beginning of the community that gives us our real identity. To draw a correlation between the freedom Christ brings and the freedoms we have in this country is no different than those in Jesus' time who wanted him to be a political Messiah. Jesus constantly stressed that the kingdom of God is in people's hearts. It also seemed like such a missed opportunity to show how God speaks to people in ways that they can hear the best and it's a lesson to us not to have a prepared script when we speak to people about Jesus, but to speak to them in their own "language."

At my brother's church, they'd let the youth guy preach, which is rarely a good idea, so I started reading Malachi, and I thought a lot about it later as I sat amongst people who were equating their faith with their patriotism. Malachi details the reasons that God is disappointed in Israel's performance as a nation and it gives a pretty detailed list of what God is looking for in God's people.

God was unhappy with Israel because:
1. The priests were corrupt
2. The sacrifices offered were sub-standard
3. Divorce was rampant
4. They were robbing God by withholding their tithes from the community storehouses where everyone got their food
5. They were withholding justice from the poor, the laborers and the foreigners among them

Sound familiar?