Angels We Have Heard
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Cavalcade of Bad Nativities
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The Passion of the Tchotchke
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Stations of the Kitsch


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Saturday, August 28, 2004

and there was morning and there was evening, on the first day

First day of Skool down! I was kind of groggy, since for some reason I couldn't get to sleep last night, and chapel starts at 7:45 a.m. on Saturdays, so I was up way too early. Then I had three hours of Christian Mythos, then lunch, then three hours of Bible Study I, then an hour and a half of Opening the Prayerbook, followed by evening prayer, followed by a mixer. The mixer had a Fiesta theme and I got to be the first one to have a go at the pinata. I am so not a Jedi Knight, but I did manage to connect with it a few times.

Of course, all of the first-years were equally punchy, since none of us slept last night. It's nice to remember than anxiety is universal. When I finally did get to sleep, of course I had one of those oh-no-I-forgot-to-study-for-the-final dreams. But, really, I'm just fine with being back in school, and with the fact that I have a crapjillion papers to write already, and more classes to attend tomorrow.

I'm going to go pick Dennis up from work, and we are getting Indian takeout, and then I am putting my monkey ass to bed.

[edit] No Indian takeout! Our favorite joint got a rave in the Chronicle yesterday, and now you can't even get through on the phone. Waaah! They're good people, so I'm really happy for them, but I wanted my palak paneer, dammit.
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Friday, August 27, 2004

saint jack of lanterns

Leigh's prizewinning pumpkins have FINALLY been posted on the PumpkinMaster's site. She has first prize in the lettering and animals categories. Click on the pumpkins to see a bigger photo.
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the devil is in the remodeling

We have a major remodeling project going on at St. Ned's right now. We're moving the sound booth from it's center-back location to a side-back location. The new booth is built and it's lovely and so much less intrusive than the old one, which prevented you from seeing who was on the other side of the church. The old booth got knocked down on Monday - if you invite people to come to church and hit things with sledgehammers, you're pretty much assured a good turnout. Especially if you promise them pizza and beer. If the beer doesn't have twist-tops and you don't actually bring a bottle opener, you won't even be out that much beer at the end of the night. The person in charge swears that was not intentional, though.

There's a big hole in the carpet where the old booth was, so we ordered a piece of carpet to patch it. Something got garbled at some point in the process, and a roll of hot pink carpet just arrived. Which would be fine if the old carpet wasn't blue. So that's back on the truck and we'll get the right one next week. We briefly considered redoing the church in hot pink, but it wouldn't be ready by Sunday in any case, so we'll just put down a throw rug for now.

[edited for horrible grammar/spelling - I swear they didn't give me the leftover beer!]
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Thursday, August 26, 2004


I got the computer to be happy again.

Today hasn't been at all what I expected. The technology detour ate up most of my day, and I was already behind. Grrrrr.

A woman I'll call Patty stopped by the church tonight as I was trying to wrap up; she's a not-quite-street-person, living perpetually close to the edge, and I usually can gather up some food for her out of the kitchen when she stops in. She goes to church, although not at St. Ned's, and is actively working on getting her life pulled together. She comes in and sits for a while and we talk about how good God is to us. Seeing her tonight was a good antidote to yesterday's phone unpleasantness, and I told her that I really appreciated her coming and ministering to me. If you're of a praying sort, pray for Patty tonight. God will know who you're talking about.
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[primal scream]

What I really fucking need today is for the hard drive in the main fileserver to start fucking fucking up. Yes. That's exactly what I need. If you're looking for me, I'll be up to my elbows in hell.

Also, my underwear is too big and is falling off me and, until the computer started giving me guff, that was the worst thing about my day.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2004


I got an ad in the mail for bar code readers, because apparently bar codes are the future of the church office.

I'm sort of disappointed that they're just talking about using them to keep track of pledge envelopes, and not parishioners.

"hey, haven't seen you around much!" "what do you mean, I was here on Sunday!" "that's not what the GodScan says!"
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All you want to do is something good

I suppose every church has this little fringe of dysfunctional people who sort of hang around the edges and try to get what they need and get really mad when they don't get it. It isn't like the people who just want food or money and will tell you what they need; these are the people who think we're obligated to be nice to them no matter how they behave.

Most of the time, it's a phone-based relationship for me, because they don't actually come to church all that often, they just call and want me to listen to them. The first call is usually ok, but then it works out that I don't give enough, and then they start getting angry on the subsequent calls. I just got bitched out by someone who didn't think I was responding to her appropriately when she started listing what was wrong with her life and the inadequacy of the church's response to that.

I put her on hold when another call came in, because one of the things that actually IS my job is to answer the phone here. So she hung up and called back on another line.

Clearly, this is going to have to be a big part of my formation over the next three years, because it pushes every single one of my buttons. Right now, I'm pissed off, while also feeling totally inadequate because part of me actually thinks I should have been able to do something for her.

The hardest thing for me to grasp is that the church can't fix everybody. We can't. We're not in the business of fixing, of propping things up so you can make it another day and keep doing the same old stuff. You want to be totally changed, we can do that, but it's gonna hurt and you have to be on board for it. We can't just make your kids call more often, or make your marriage better, or give you peace with a wave of the hand. Those things might happen eventually, but we can't just hand them out like candy.

It would be cool if that's what I was called to be, like one of Santa's favorite elves. But it's not. I'm called to...well, I'm not really sure, but I think part of it is that I have to point to God and to Jesus and say, look, here's the way to go. It's not always the easiest, and you're really going to hate it at least a couple of times, but you don't have to go alone. Here's your cross, let's go.

TheRev puts this as, it's not our job to be nice, it's our job to be good, and I think I'm going to get that as a tattoo. On my forehead. Backwards, so it's there when I look in the mirror.
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Monday, August 23, 2004


I'm almost burned out on scarves, I think. So, it's time to start an actual sweater: Flower Girl by Monkeysuits:

I just got a bunch of pink Goa cotton/acrylic yarn by GGH (thank you, ebay), so I'm doing the main body in light pink, and probably doing the petal part in a darker pink, or maybe another color, like apricot or lime. I don't have to decide right now, since that part happens last, and also because this yarn is a pain to track down and I may not get a lot of choices. I'm making the 24 month size, even though BabyK is 11 months, so hopefully she'll get to wear it for a while, maybe with the cuffs turned back at first.
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My books for classes are starting to show up. I got most of them via Abebooks. If you don't know that site, it's pretty much the ultimate use of the internet, a way to search used bookstores all over the world. Sometimes it's cheaper than used copies at Amazon, and sometimes it's not, but the selection is usually better. Whatever you've been looking for - it's there. I was able to get one of the allowed editions of a required bigass book on the Old Testament for $12, shipped, and the new one is $66 at Amazon, or used for $40. Yay. Thrift is to be applauded in training for the diaconate, as it's one of the few courses of study where you're actually expected to be poorer after you graduate.

Disorientation on Saturday was good. The other people in the Class of 2007 seem like they're going to be a lot of fun. We got copies of the giant Chapel Playbook, which contains instructions for all of the liturgical roles.

The Lay Eucharistic Minister fakes right, and then runs around the Deacon to grab the lavabo bowl, and passes it to the Lector, who dodges the Acolyte and slips back behind the altar, tackling the Celebrant....
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how many exhausted Saras does it take to change a lightbulb?

I've managed to get good and sick...some kind of flu thing where my entire body hurts and my brain isn't working right. Sigh. I wish my immune system function and my stress level weren't so closely related.

So, since I can't actually form rational thoughts, here is a repost of something from my Skool for Deacons mailing list:

The other correct answer to "How many Episcopalians does it take to change a lightbulb?" is:

1 Celebrant to bless the new bulb.

3 Acolytes to sit around and make faces.

1 Organist to write a hymn to praise the new bulb.

1 church secretary to make up the special bulletin insert with the bulb-blessing ceremony.

15 Choir singers (minimum) to sing said hymn.

1 Junior Warden to remove old bulb and replace it with new bulb.

1 Assistant clergy to give eulogy on the old bulb.

100-200 member members to answer, "We Will" when the Celebrant asks: "Will you who witness this do all in your power to support this new light?"

5-10 people to form a new congregation using the old bulb.
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