Angels We Have Heard
Are High

angelic kitsch...from Hell

Cavalcade of Bad Nativities
it came upon a midnight weird

The Passion of the Tchotchke
holy week kitsch-o-rama

Stations of the Kitsch


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Saturday, September 06, 2003


Greetings from a lovely Saturday. Of course, any Saturday which begins with a spinach/mushroom/jack omelette from Mama's Royal Cafe in Oakland is already on a track to greatness. Don't even get me started on the potatoes that came with it. The ones with the sour cream.

This is me not stressing about work. Really. I'm not.

What I'm doing right now: trying to figure out how much stuff to buy for the pirate party next Saturday, which will probably involve around 40-50 people. How much two-buck Chuck wine is too much? I freakin' loves me some Chuck, so if I have a ton of merlot left over, I'll still be a happy chick. I'm just doing beer, wine, and sodas, and Margaritas, maybe? Hmmmm....how many blenders can I borrow...

I still have to figure out what I should serve in the skull cups.

There is a huge trip to Costco and another to Trader Joe's in my future. As always, I am happy that Ryan has a station wagon, because the bug? Not so good for this sort of thing. Square box in round car.
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Thursday, September 04, 2003


I still feel completely lousy today. Ecch. I didn't sleep well at all. I'm going to have to cancel my fun social stuff tonight, 'cause I'm just not up to it. I will be like unto the pirates that don't do anything.

One amusing thing - when I gave the newsletter to people to proofread and edit, they found that I had put html tags in the text of one of the articles. Not an article that would ever go on the parish's site. I was just thinking in html again, so that's how I did my italics. <not the sign of a sane person>

Real Live Preacher is in fine form today and I highly recommend you go read that instead of my whining.
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Wednesday, September 03, 2003

stupid shrimp

Tonight, I'm sick after getting shrimp cooties in my no-shrimp paella at church. I have a shellfish allergy - not the dying kind, just the, "hey, all that stuff you ate today? buh-bye" kind. I should not have been eating food prepared alongside the full-shrimp version. That was stupid. It's totally not the kitchen's fault, I should just know better.

Ryan came over tonight after dinner to help with a costume I'm making for my oldest niece, but I started feeling horrible about twenty minutes into the project and it had to be abandoned. Sigh.

I'm getting a bit overwhelmed at work again, too. As much as I enjoyed having Monday off and spending part of the day with Dennis, cramming everything into a four-day week is a challenge. I keep forgetting what day it is, and the realization is never of the happy variety. Tomorrow is bulletin day already, and based on the way I feel now, it's going to be a rough one. I'll be stopping for a Jamba Juice on the way in to the office, and then if I'm lucky, maybe I can work up to solid food by lunchtime.

Ok, is that enough about my digestive system? Look for my spin-off, GutBlog, coming soon.


A fine shanty: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything

The ladybug costume I will be making for youngest niece. I really liked the duck and the sheep when I picked the pattern, but she saw the ladybug and said the ladybug is IT so I'm going with the ladybug. The little antennae are so cute. They're bumpy chenille stems.
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Tuesday, September 02, 2003

If someone asks, this where I'll be . . . where I'll be

One of those complaints you hear all the time about why people don't go to church is that they're afraid that they'll be pressured into doing stuff. You know, teaching Sunday School, being on the Altar Guild, making coffee.

Yes, there are some churches where it's all about arm twisting and getting warm bodies into open slots on whatever committee or group needs more people. Often people in them can tell that there's something off, but it's hard to name what it is.

St. Ned's isn't that kind of place, and I'm very happy about that. There's a policy of, if doing something doesn't give you joy, do us a favor and don't do it. We need servant leaders who serve gladly, not people who resent what they're doing. The people who wash dishes after the parish dinner need to be happy to be together and washing dishes. (and, from all appearances, they do seem to be having a fine time) That's a top-down kind of thing, and I really give TheRev credit for growing that kind of culture.

The reason we can get away with this is that we put a lot of effort into discerning spiritual gifts, mostly in the context of our small groups. We use one of the standard spiritual gifts inventories, and then discuss each person's results, including ministries that might be a good fit. Since everyone knows their gifts, they're more free to say, "you know, that's really not my bag...how about if I do this instead?" and really be heard. I don't think we get the kind of widespread ministry burnout I've seen in other places, where you just can't do something another minute because you should never have been doing it in the first place. I'm not sure what all has gone into it, but I do feel like we've created a healthy place for lay ministry.

There will always be people who will say that they were pressured, but I always wonder if that isn't more about needing to feel Important and Sought-After. It's comforting in a martyr-ish way to think that you are the only person who can solve a problem, that you ride up to every meeting on your big white horse, that you must do it even though you would rather be doing something else. I hate being on committees with those people. I hate it even more when I am that person. I'm getting better about it, though.

As I've mentioned, I didn't get a set of gifts with immediately obvious uses. I topped out on Creative Communication and Craftsmanship. There's my top two. I think Hospitality may have been right behind. As for where the parish admin came out on Administration, let's just say there's a reason why I have to periodically excavate my desk with a backhoe.

I've been looking for an online version of the spiritual gifts system we use, and I'm just finding a bunch of dead links, so I think the copyright police have been through. I think there are some other systems online, but I don't know anything about them. I think we customized ours to take out Speaking in Tongues because we don't see a lot of it these days in our church. (I think we use this one)

Speaking in Tongues is, however, the name of a good Talking Heads album, although I like Little Creatures better overall.
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