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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Thursday, October 02, 2003

sara vs. her brain

Hey, you know what's a really good idea? Being awake and worrying about life and money after midnight. Yes indeedy, you do some of your best thinking about financial matters at that time. You're all rational and shit. Yeah.

Ok, it's not really money that's stressing me out. See, I really need to find another place to live. I grabbed the first thing that came my way after Dennis and I split up last April and I had to move out, and now I'm in this weird House of Tension with two to three other people (one is moving out, but since I haven't actually seen her in three months, I'm not sure why this matters. Except apparently the toaster oven was hers, and its disappearance cuts into my taquito habit). I have my own bathroom attached to my room, so I don't need to venture out all that often, but, really, the suckiness sort of permeates the place. This is not a house where happy people live. I don't belong here. I can't relax. Something is just off and I think it was off long before I arrived and it's nothing I can fix.

I think I can make it through the end of the year, but after that I have to find something else. And that is going to require money. Fortunately, 'tis the season to find retail work, even in this craptastic economy, and I can probably earn enough to have a security deposit in hand by January. So, my plan is to sell off my evenings and weekends for the rest of the year in exchange for not having to live here anymore. I'm going to go on a massive application-filling binge on Friday. I just want something stupid that I can leave behind when I clock out. I'm thinking maybe a Pottery Barn or a Restoration Hardware kind of deal...someplace where I don't have to wear their clothes, and I like the merchandise enough to sell it but not enough to want to buy all of it.

I secretly enjoy doing retail at Christmas, but shhhhh don't tell anyone.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2003

let me go put on something purple

Babies are so little when they get here. I went to see Kaya twice today. She's so beautiful! I held her and she wiggled around and her little knit cap wouldn't stay on. It's a silly thing, like a ski cap with a big pompom on the top.

Yesterday really felt like the best part of Advent. All those people, waiting for one moment to happen, that moment when something huge and miraculous would come into the world. Waiting to enter into the mystery of a birth.

Here's the thing that is blowing me away...the way that this baby's newness is bringing a sense of newness to the world.

All I know is that we're all going around grinning like a bunch of idiots.
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I just wanted to be Bavarian for one brief, shining moment...is that so wrong?

I'm going to try to be all financially responsible and stewardship-focused in October...really...but Archie McPhee has Wind-up Hopping Lederhosen and for some reason it is just cracking me up. And I still need a Dashboard Jesus for my car, to match the one on my monitor at work. Must be strong. Must resist.
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Monday, September 29, 2003

just shining pieces of a dream

So, yesterday I mentioned how very very pregnant Maggie was. Well, her water broke during staff meeting this morning, and Kaya Elizabeth arrived at 7:07 p.m. She was born almost two weeks before her due date, but is perfectly large and healthy. Maggie and her husband were both ready to not be pregnant any longer, so it was rather considerate of Kaya to get things rolling, really.

The official word for today was, "anything?" I had people calling the office, skipping hello and going directly to "anything?" I considered just answering the phone "Thank you for calling St. Ned's! Nothing!" It was such a cool day. We put up a sign on the front door which said, "we're having a baby!" and spent all day on pins and needles, waiting for the call to get our butts over to the hospital to see this new miracle.

It took bit longer for her to get here than we expected, based on how quickly everything was going at first. There were several hours this afternoon when we didn't have any updates. I picked up Maggie's dog (the one who writes Bible studies) and took him out for a walk in the park which is conveniently located between St. Ned's and the hospital, and ran into a bunch of people from the parish who were all hanging out with their cel phones on, waiting for news.

I look forward to the day when we can all tell her just how big of a deal her birth was, how many people were waiting to welcome her into the world. She's going to get a lot of ogling through that glass window tomorrow.
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Sunday, September 28, 2003

everything I've ever let go of has claw marks on it

Another really great Anne Lamott piece in Salon.

It was like being in the Twilight Zone. It was a nightmare. It was clear that the pastor, Veronica, was speaking directly to me. She said that Christians have a very bad reputation in the world, because we have earned it, with our hate and self-righteousness. We speak in reverent terms of grace, justice, equality, mercy, and then we despise people who were also created in God's image, who are Her children too. She said that if George Bush had been the only person on earth, Jesus would still have come down and died for him.

This drives me crazy. That God seems to have no taste, and no standards. Of course, by the same token, on most days, this is what gives some of us hope.

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just a simple glimpse will keep you simply standing there

Godly Play was so much better today!

I spent a good chunk of yesterday afternoon practicing the Creation story at Dennis' place while he was at work. So, this morning, I rolled out my black felt and said, "in the beginning there was...not very much," except, you know, a bunch of white cat hair from Madame Clyde, who was being helpful while I was rehearsing. The kids didn't notice, fortunately. Note to self: check to see if felt needs to be lint-rollered before class starts.

My friend Maggie*, who put together the Godly Play program for St. Ned's, sat in today to help me out if needed. She is very pregnant, since her due date is two weeks away, and one of the kids was very concerned that the baby doesn't have a name yet, at least not publicly. He wanted us to immediately start making lists of possible baby names since Maggie seemed to have overlooked this vital step. Which is still better than the very small child who wanted to pull up Maggie's dress during the children's sermon last week, to see where the baby was.

My doorperson today was Jane. I love Jane. She's one of the two grandmothers on my folding team - every week they come in on Friday morning and fold all the bulletins. I didn't have the main one finished in time this week (the less said about that...) so I had to fold 250 of them myself on Friday afternoon. I now double-super-appreciate Jane and Gretchen and their faithful service. Also, they crack me up. One day, they started singing Proud Mary for no good reason. They're both Godly Play door monitors and Jane works in my room. She did stretches with the kids outside the door before class started, just to get a bit of their extra energy out, which helped a lot.

The door monitor is basically the other adult in the room. She helps with getting the kids into the room so they can join the circle at the beginning, and then helps out during response time, while the kids are doing artwork or working with the story materials, and during the feast she helps the kids serve the drinks and snacks. It's a slightly less intense job than storyteller, just because they don't have to memorize anything ahead of time.

I had 5 kids today instead of 8, which made things easier. There were still interruptions during the story, but not as many as last week and the kids weren't as intent on playing with the materials while I was telling the story. I think it really helped that I talked about the day's schedule, and what I expected, before I dove in. They must have been listening, because I talked about getting a rug out of the basket to define a workspace during response time, and when response time came around...they all did it. They went and got rugs and worked on the rugs! After last week, this feels like a huge triumph! Cause and effect!

Maggie had to take one child out for a few minutes, but he came back in and handled the rest of the time pretty well. I really like him; he's one of my two Asperger's Syndrome boys, so it's harder for him to stay with the program and not be disruptive, but I'm glad he's there. I pulled him aside today during response time (there was a Situation developing over the church year puzzle) and asked him to tell me about the Ten Commandments. He unpacked the tablets from their little box and told me what they meant. He has this TV Preacher voice that he uses when he's talking about God, and he uses a lot of biblical language. God is very alive to him.

Next week is going to be fun - we're doing Noah and the Flood, which uses our beautiful arks. One of the other parishioners made an elaborate wooden ark for each of the four classrooms, complete with jigsaw-cut animals and a little gangplank for them to go up and down. I think he also put a little kid-magnet in the bottom of it, because it's often the first thing that gets taken off the shelf during response time. It's a really seductive object.

Someone else is rotating in as storyteller after next week...it's going to be really hard to let go, even for just the few weeks until I'm back on again.

[* For reasons I can't actually explain, I feel weird identifying St. Ned's people by name, so I'm making up really lame pseudonyms, at least until they tell me it's ok!]
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