Angels We Have Heard
Are High

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Cavalcade of Bad Nativities
it came upon a midnight weird

The Passion of the Tchotchke
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Stations of the Kitsch


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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

sara, sara, you are blathering about many thngs

I went to the doctor yesterday, and got all kinds of good stuff, like pro-grade cough syrup (which made me kind of loopy last night), and an inhaler, and some antibiotics. I'm not contageous anymore, so I'm going to attempt half a day of work. We'll see how this goes. My voice is pretty much back today, which is a big relief. Although much less entertaining for the Dennis.

I thought I was being all clever when I went to the ghetto Walgreen's to get my presciptions filled, since they are right across the street from one of my favorite yarn stores. But there is no yarn on Mondays, because they are closed. I was seriously disappointed. There I was, dressed and everything, and no yarn for me.

I still had some energy after the pharmacy experience, so I went up to Stonemountain, the fabric store which also carries a bit of yarn. Not what I had in mind, but they did have some gorgeous colors of Cascade 220. Mmmmmmm. While I was standing there trying to decide if I needed yarn, someone slipped up to me and handed me a postcard she had gotten and wasn't going to use - it was a coupon for 20% off one's entire purchase. Well. I'm not made of stone. So I got a really fun combination of pinks and oranges to make the Mary Mary Whatcha Knittin'? cardigan from the Yarn Girls book for the fairy godchild. And then I went home and collapsed.

It was fun to have someone slip me a coupon, since I'm always doing that to people and most of the time I get really weird looks for it. Sometimes one goes to Michael's or Borders with a good coupon, but one does not find the item one came to buy, so why not make someone else happy? Or at least freaked out and suspicious?

Monday is Dennis' day off, and he was a good sport about having Mme. Sick and Needy around. He went and did our laundry, which was very nice. One could tell that he is not the designated laundry guy, though, because he put clothes he likes on the top of the basket. This is madness, because the instant the laundry basket enters the house, there will be a cat in it. Fresh, still slightly warm laundry will have a Clyde. This is why pajamas and lounging clothes go on the top of the basket.

I was so stir-crazy yesterday that I was jealous that he got to go to the laundromat. I actually kind of enjoy it. Of course, I would rather have our own washer and dryer, but, barring that, two hours of laundry processing is pretty satisfying. And Moe's Books is within walking distance, so I can browse for half an hour while everything is in the washing machines. I enjoy the enforced downtime while I'm monitoring the dryers, too. It's kind of like airport time - you have absolutely no control over how long anything is going to take, and no real ability to leave or be productive, so you can just relax into it, read something trashy or knit, and just be.
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Sunday, November 28, 2004

life in flannel

Happy First Sunday of Advent!

My lungs are still dysfunctional. Dennis has been taking care of me today, and I'm determined to get better through sheer force of will. Which will probably work as well as such things always do.

I didn't go out at all today because I'm probably a virus fountain, which means that I've probably spent a total of eight hours in real clothes since Thursday, if that.

I'm trying not to freak out about skool/Christmas/various projects, but me sitting around without enough energy to do anything, but enough energy to worry about the stuff I'm not doing is...well, it's a recipe for disaster. (not to be confused with the Death by Broccoli recipe, which is now posted at Braisin Hussy)

It's really good to have your brain engaged while reading the old testament, or else you get bogged down in the names and then none of the words make any sense. I tried to write something, but...yeah. I also tried to knit and just counting to five got to be too complicated. So I'm not really accepting my illness with any obvious grace.

What I have managed to do is play Poppit over at pogo.com. Like a crack monkey.
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Saturday, November 27, 2004

Sick! Again!

Grrrrrrr. I think it's my annual bronchitis go-round. I have a brutal cough and a serious phone-sex voice. And my brain isn't really working very well.

We had a great Thanksgiving, which involved Chinese food, pajamas, The 40 Most Awful Metal Songs on VH1, and general laying-about. Dennis is now deep in Retail Hell, so I'm glad we didn't have a lot of stress on his one day off.

Today I'm hanging out with the kitty, coughing, and offloading old Joan of Arcadia episodes from the TiVo to videotape. I have my schoolbooks nearby in case my brain kicks in and I can crank out some papers, but mostly I'm just useless.

I didn't manage to fully observe Buy Nothing Day yesterday, because I needed gas to get to Ryan's house, where we watched MST3K and worked on projects and ate really tasty Thanksgiving leftovers. When Sarah posts the recipe for Heart Attack Broccoli, which she has promised to do, you must make a note of it. It involves Velveeta and Ritz crackers, but in a good way.
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Monday, November 22, 2004

Does this make me look fat? Or just dorky?

Hilarity: The KFS Sweater Project. This is why you should clean out your closets regularly.
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Saturday, November 20, 2004

mars needs women

The principal of deacon skool told me something interesting today - out of 2-3,000 deacons in the Episcopal church, around 150 of them are under 40. Is it possible that maybe the church isn't doing a great job of identifying and supporting young deacons? Just a thought.

Today's earworm: the phrase communion of the saints maps really nicely onto the Duran Duran song The Union of the Snake.

My dad took me and a friend to see Duran Duran on that tour. Of course, I didn't want anyone to think that I had 'parents' since I was really a cool 12-year-old with her own apartment and car and robot maid, so I made him get a seat two rows behind us. Which was pretty shitty and self-absorbed, but he went along with it, and spent most of the show in the back of Cobo Hall, talking the security guy out of a pair of earplugs. If anyone ever asked me to point to a time when my dad loved me even though I was being pretty unloveable, I think that would count.

I've heard that now there are parent holding pens at shows with high levels of pre-teen fandom, which is a kindness. I'm still looking at major Crap-Pop Karmic Payback at some point in my life.
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Friday, November 19, 2004

kitty update

The Clydelet is fine. She went to the dr. this morning (oh the pathetic noises of the kitty in the carrier!), and she just has some kind of annoying feline head cold, but no infection or anything. Yay! We took her to a new vet, and Dennis said that they were very nice and that Clyde didn't get hostile the way she used to with the old vet (and Dennis didn't either - I never met the old vet, but I guess she was kind of prickly). Clyde needs to go in for shots and bloodwork as soon as she is done sneezing. She's getting up there in years (she's 11 or so), and they just want to give her a workup to make sure everything is operating according to spec.
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Thursday, November 18, 2004


I so wanted this to be real.

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hi mom

So, the problem with having your mom read your blog is that if you don't post for a couple of days, she gets worried.

I'm fine, mom.

I've also become obsessed with elves. The weird ones with the plastic heads and folding legs that we had all around our tree back in the 70s. Of course, in my stupid 20s, I told my mom that she could get rid of them when they sold their house. Ach! Stupid!

So, now I'm looking at them on ebay and planning to do a little thrift store shopping, because I've decided that the key to having a good Christmas is a metric buttload of elves. Or something. I have ten little elf heads already, to reproduce the wreath from the cover of Merry Kitschmas. Be afaid.

There was one Christmas when our cat, EB, was going through a weird post-fixing phase where she thought that the elves were kittens, and she carried them around the house and hid them in various places. I don't think this will be an issue for Clyde.

Clyde has been a big ball of sneezing this week, so tomorrow morning we're loading her into the Carrier of Doom and taking her to see VetMan. I'm hoping she just has something minor; her eyes are clear and her appetite and energy level have been reasonably good up until today. Dennis thought she was getting a bit sluggish and not attacking her tuna with her usual enthusiasm, so it's off to the stainless steel table for her.

I'm all over the place emotionally this week. Like a ferret. Over here! Over there! Still dealing with losing my grandmother, and tomorrow I'm taking the fairy godchild and her mom and her cat to the airport so they can go to their new life in Montana (dad and the dog are already there, trying to figure out where we packed certain essential pieces of the desk), which will mean that they're really actually leaving. Also, I have skool this weekend, so I'm stomping down the ol' fear response there. I've gotten some papers written, at least, but there will be groveling. The thing that rocks, though, is Dennis. Dennis is a rocking thing. He's been so good to me this week.
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Monday, November 15, 2004

all over the place

A collection of random and disjointed paragraphs.

I'm back from my retreat. It was good, although I spent a good chunk of it in my room, getting caught up on my skool reading and journaling and working on papers in bursts which lasted as long as my laptop battery held out. My room didn't have a grounded plug, so when the battery died, I had leave the laptop in the ladies' room, which had modern plugs, to recharge.

I'm still processing my grandmother's death, and fighting off these weird ideas I'm having, that my grief is inappropriate. I don't know where that is coming from. Maybe it's the sense of relief that we're all feeling that is making me feel guilty. Her last months were pretty awful, for her and for everyone around her. Mostly I'm thinking of her as the rabid golfer who would take very young me out to the drugstore to sit in a booth and eat chocolate donuts and would listen to all my babbling with great interest. She had some kind of fever when she was young which made her hair turn pure white, and she used to wear it pulled back in a ponytail with a scarf. I remember that my cousin and I would go through her drawers when she wasn't around, and we were always really intimidated by her Serious Bras, which seemed so architectural.

My official favorite book right now is Merry Kitschmas, which I actually bought to give to Ryan for Christmas, but I think I'm going to give it to her early for the clever fruitcake packaging ideas and the entirely questionable drink recipes. Because, see, I have to show it to her NOW. From the description:

Rejoice in the gaudiest gifts of the season with Merry Kitschmas, a glorious inspirational guide for Santa's hapless and hopeless little helpers. Sure to awaken fond memories of a tackier, spanglier time, the dazzling decorating ideas in these pages put the ho ho ho (or the oh, oh, oh) back into the holidays. Send tastebuds tripping on a sentimental journey with the delicious Yes You Can! straight-from-the-can-to-the-table Kitschmas feast. Dee-licious! Save a tree, and set the house aglow with a glittering aluminum White Trash Christmas Tree. And finally bring those nagging carolers that Frigging Figgy Pudding they've been yapping on about for decades. Merry Kitschmas provides a sleighful of holiday inspiration for anyone itching to craft with fruitcake, frolic in a tree skirt, and wow the neighbors with a spectacular lawn lighting fantasia. So, don you now your gay apparel -- it's beginning to look a lot like Kitschmas!
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Friday, November 12, 2004


The meeting with the principal (that's not his real title, of course, but it amuses me) went well this morning. Worst case, I will get an incomplete in a couple of classes and have to finish some things up over the Christmas break, but I should be able to catch up before then. I'm taking my books and laptop with me on the retreat, so I should be able to bang out a couple of papers this weekend.

The moving truck came for the fairy godchild's family's stuff yesterday. I helped them pack earlier this week. Packing with a 13-month-old is fun. She was especially fascinated by the bubblewrap. I made one stupid mistake, though - I could have slipped a couple of cases of those damn St. Ned's mugs in with their stuff and they never would have noticed until they got to Montana, at which point the mugs would be their problem and not mine. Sigh. I really missed an opportunity there.

I'm really looking forward to the first weekend in December, when Dennis and I are taking a little trip south to get away and go see the great white shark at the aquarium. Hotels on the coast are cheapo in December, and our 6-month anniversary is next Monday, so we're having an escape. I haven't had enough chances to just enjoy the fabulousness of the Dennis lately.
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there's a train leaving nightly called When All is Said and Done

I got the call this morning - my grandmother died. It certainly wasn't a surprise, and my grandfather and my mom and my aunt were with her, which was good.

Mom said that she's probably having a golf game in heaven now, but I had to correct her, because of course the first day is Orientation. My anxiety-addled brain can't imagine that they'd just throw you into heaven without some kind of orientation - what if you got lost? Or showed up with your angel-alb on backwards? Nope, there must be an orientation, and a Welcome to Heaven binder with maps, an FAQ, and the words to the Sanctus, because according to the eucharistic prayer, it's forever sung to the glory of God's name. Hopefully it's easy to get a tee time, and she can get in a round or two of golf later.
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Thursday, November 11, 2004

I will get by...

I really didn't expect things to be this hard...the problem is that every little coping mechanism that I've pieced together over the past 34 years just isn't working all that well anymore. It feels like I'm being stripped back down to my 7th grade self, the one who didn't have any way to cope. And this, I have to say, is quite a shitty place to be.

Yes, I can accept that God needs this to happen to me, that we need a serious reduction in bullshit in order for me to be effective, but it's really quite terrifying. There's a lot of stuff I haven't dealt with, stuff I've just sort of paved over for 20 years or so, and honestly? I'm not that excited about poking back through it. Not even a little bit.

I'm feeling kind of weird. But I'm grounded in love, the love of God and the love of everyone around me who is being amazing. So it's going to be ok.

I'm really glad I have the retreat coming up this weekend. My fabulous roommate isn't going to be able to go. This cuts down on the potential for causing mayhem, but it also gives me a room all to myself, which will perhaps be useful. My general approach to retreats is that it's my retreat, and I will participate in what I want to and skip the rest. If I want to sit in my room and knit and journal and pray for two days and emerge only for meals, well, that's what will happen.

I have a meeting tomorrow with the principal of deacon skool, to try to figure out what I should do about the fact that I am Massively Behind and apparently not dealing with the emotional component as well as I expected to. I can't be the first person to have a rough first semester, so I expect that we'll come up with a good plan, even if it means dropping a class or taking an incomplete for something. There's a way out of where I am right now, and it's altogether shocking that I'm willing to let other people help me find it.
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Saturday, November 06, 2004

prank monkey

St. Ned's women's retreat is coming up in a week. I have a cool roommate and we need suggestions for pranks we can play on people. Last year I tried to get a short-sheeting thing going, but it was kind of lame. Any ideas?
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There's an old joke that if you put two Episcopalians in a room together, they will immediately try to build community.

I've started to look at my own behavior in community lately, and I'm just not that impressed.

It seems like I always perch myself on the edge. There are always plenty of things I use to justify that, but the truth is, I'm the one putting myself there.

At St. Ned's, of course, the separation is that I am Staff, and therefore perhaps Part of the Problem. As I've written before, it frequently puts me in difficult and awkward positions when people don't agree with something that's happening at St. Ned's. So I am in the community and outside of it at once. I think that's one of the reasons why I am so sad about the fairy godchild and her family leaving - her mom has always been the person I could talk to about the weirdness of church staffness, since she has worked at churches a lot longer than I have. But it's easier to talk about missing the baby, you know?

Skool is all about community, too, but again I'm finding myself on the edge. Ok, so maybe I'm not the typical student - I'm way younger, I have the sense of humor that I have, I come from a parish that doesn't really do the traditional liturgy we're being taught, I just got married, my life isn't all that settled, and maybe my identity is a little more in flux than some other people's are. See, I told you I can find ways to justify being on the edge.

I love my classes, and am genuinely jazzed by the stuff I'm learning, but I dread the rest of it - for example, we're all supposed to eat lunch together, which is just the middle school cafeteria all over again for me, and I feel defective because by the time lunch rolls around, I've burned a big chunk of my People Calories for the day and I just want to set up my laptop at the free DSL cafe up the street and write, or just sit and read one of the free weeklies at the taqueria. Skool is making me feel sort of defective in general. I'm trying to pinpoint what's causing that so that I can see what can be done to change it. I think I'm going to demand my solo lunch at least on Saturdays, because otherwise it's ten straight hours of People and I just can't deal.

So, yes, I am depressed. Today is retail therapy day - I'm going to a sample sale with Ryan and I always feel better after I hang out with her.
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Wednesday, November 03, 2004


This is exactly how I DON'T feel today.

That's the fairy godchild in the warm sweater and hat I knit for her because she's moving to Montana in a little over a week. I'm trying not to think about what that's going to be like.
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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

'cause your devices are not working for you anymore

I'm a fucking mess, people. Seriously.

Skool is really bringing out some of the most unappealing parts of my emotional life. Namely, I'm this walking anxiety bomb with a tiny little fuse in it. The vast majority of this anxiety really doesn't intersect with reality in any meaningful way, but it's still there, making me act like a Complete Nutjob. I'm on meds, which help, but I think they've been overpowered and knocked to the floor by the force of my current anxiety-fest.

Naturally, my preferred thing to do would be to find a way to avoid these feelings, but it's kind of looking like avoidance isn't compatible with deacon skool. If I want to go forward, I'm going to have to accept that part of the ride is going to be finding a way to make peace with the anxiety creature. Which will, um, suck, quite a bit, for an undertermined length of time.

It has been a while since I've had that really intense, skin-rubbed-raw inside-out feeling that is often part of the Christian experience, when the comfortable things aren't comfortable and the new things don't really fit yet. It looks like I'm in for another round of that, though.
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I don't know how to break the news, but it's pretty clear you'll be asked to choose between what you lack and what you excuse

St. Ned's is a polling place today, and at times the line has gone out the door and snaked around the courtyard, and people have been waiting an hour or so to vote. It's pretty sweet. I put out airpots of coffee and pitchers of water this morning when the lines were at their longest. Also a stack of our 50th anniversary mugs, with a sign inviting people to take them. Which they won't, because these things are a freaking curse. We ordered waaaay too many of them, plus they're not all that attractive to begin with (I can say that because I designed them), and we still have cases of them a year after the anniversary celebration. Right now there is a sign on the boxes which says, "Lo, I will be with you always until the end of the age."

I cast my ballot, I mean, played the Voter Video Game, in Oakland this morning on my way to work. Smooth procedure overall.
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