Angels We Have Heard
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The Passion of the Tchotchke
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Stations of the Kitsch


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Monday, May 30, 2005


Poor Mad Peter tagged me. I think I'm doing this right:

A: Total number of books I own: I have no idea. I've pared back significantly in the past few years, but it's still a lot.

B: Last book I bought: Style Your Own Kid's Knits.

C: The last book I read: Freakonomics (ok, I listed to the audio - last book actually read on paper is Plan B by Anne Lamott).

D: 5 books that mean a lot to me: Traveling Mercies, Anne Lamott; Book of Common Prayer; Amazing Grace, Kathleen Norris; Can You Drink the Cup? and The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen;

E. 2 major books when I was a kid that I kept on me all the time: a weird book (now out of print) called Little Leftover Witch, about a witch child who is taken in by the whitest family in whiteville after a broom accident. She learns not to eat bat soup and wear black all the time, and thus becomes loveable. Thank you for not over-analyzing this. I was also a huge fan of the All of a Kind Family books.

F. People I want to tag:

Sarah the Braisin Hussy
That Dennis fellow at denniscook.com. I have a mad crush on him. It's a secret, though, so don't tell him.

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when liturgy and craftiness collide...

For the high-church tyke: Crochet a Thurible. Or maybe for a klutzier School for Deacons student who can't be trusted with real incense.

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Sunday, May 29, 2005

He turned to me as if to say, "Hurry boy, it's waiting there for you"


My back hurts. I think I massively overdid it yesterday. But! I got the two remaining bookshelves built and populated with books. They look good. A wall full of matching cheap bookcases looks much more intentional than the former wall of random cheap bookcases.

I also got some stuff out of my life via freecycle, so go me. I send useful things to our diocese's inner-city ministry, but that still leaves a lot of crap to dispose of. I love freecycle.

We have a new radio station here which plays mostly 70s and 80s, with some 90s thrown in. We listened to it on the way to church this morning and it was hilarious. I can't believe that I can still sing along with Naked Eyes, but it seems I can. Whitesnake. Hall and Oats. The Cars. Prince. Toto. If it had a crappy video, it is on this station.

I remember reading something once (PJ O'Rourke?) that the way to ensure a successful party is to play music which corresponds directly to the brain damage (teen/college years) of the majority of the guests. Based on the amount of silly hand gestures and altered lyrics going on in a certain green bug this morning...yeah, that works.

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Friday, May 27, 2005

hello, weekend

Do you have a fork? I need to be poked with it, because baby, I am DONE.

Having the worship & technology conference at St. Ned's was good, but ex-haust-ing. I didn't really participate; I suppose I could have, but I was feeling all shy and dorkified, so I stayed at my desk. On Wednesday, TheRev asked me to put together a video/slideshow thing for that evening's service. I pulled it off, but just barely. I mean Just. Barely. It was for the offertory and I ran into the church during the prayers of the people and jammed the USB drive into the projection computer and got it loaded just in time. It was just ok, nothing great. Although I did slip in a picture of the dancing yeti from my wedding cake in amongst pictures of people dancing. That was fun.

It looks like I'm going to get to do a lot more graphic and video and multimedia stuff from now on, which is exciting. I need new things to learn to shake me out of my funk.

Tomorrow I'm going to futz around the house and try to get some organization going.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

phone booth

Ok, somewhat less fun post.

I'm starting to realize that I may not actually be a superhero, and this life of mine may well turn out not to have just been a secret identity, lived in obscurity to hide my vast powers. I'm thirty freaking five. This is my actual life.

I've noticed a distressing tendency to want to just hurl things about myself at people right away, to get across the idea that I only SEEM like a frumpy and not especially interesting church secretary. I could be doing totally different things if I wanted to! Which I don't! Because I am deep and spiritual and don't care about STUFF like everyone else and, hey, have you met Larry the iPod? Of course, I have Larry for deep spiritual reasons because I'm so deep and spiritual that I have a long-ass commute! I'm sassy poor, not pathetic poor! Did I mention that I am NOT STUPID even though I'm just an admin?

And then the backing away. Slowly.


I realize that this comes from the same reptilian part of the brain that makes other people buy Hummers so that people will think they're cool. Or, you know, assholes. But they're definitely not invisible, and at some point that's all that matters.

I guess I just worry that I will become invisible, or that I am already invisible. This is all about me and my ego and my endless need to be seen. Also my sense that I have somehow failed to live up to some potential that was supposed to be in me, that I have let other people down by my choices.

I'm worrying that part of my push towards ordination is also coming from the reptilian section. Like getting clerg-i-fied is somehow going to make all of this ok or justify what I've done. It may or may not be true, but I think I'm going into one of those really, really unpleasant purification stages where I'm going to be digging out a lot of ugly things and hopefully getting rid of them, or at least putting them back in a more orderly manner. Bleh.

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Monday, May 23, 2005

today's forecast: partially cloudy with a strong chance of glorg

I finally have a good picture of the highlight of my bad nativity collection. I got this at a dollar store. It has space in back for a votive candle; I put white paper behind the glass so that you can read the text. The horrible, mangled text.

Hey! Mary! Pale redheads don't tan, they burn! Put some sunscreen on that baby before he heats up like a Ballpark Frank under the harsh red sun.

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Sunday, May 22, 2005


Preliminary photos of The Cake from last night are here. Zombiefest was quite smashing. One of the guests was a not-quite-two-year-old who had been coached to respond to, "and what does the zombie say?" with "braaaiiiins." Of course he only did it when he felt like it.

The presentation yesterday was...eh. We had five people show up, which was good because the freaking portable projector didn't work. We ended up just running the presentation and videos on my laptop and TheRev's laptop and crowding everyone in around them. A very low-tech talk on technology.

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Friday, May 20, 2005

our hard drive which art internal

Here's a scary set of words: Office Cleanup Day.

We had one today, because, well, it was needed, but also because St. Ned's is hosting a Worship and Technology conference for the national church next week, and it would be best if we didn't have piles of random stuff everywhere. The office is sort of a crossroads; stuff gets left for people, maybe it gets picked up, maybe it doesn't. Maybe a box of Godly Play supplies never gets unpacked until, say eight months after it arrived. It's that kind of place.

So, I can see the top of my desk again, which is moderately exciting. And wooden.

I'm feeling a bit frazzled here lately; mostly I'm just really acutely aware of the fact that my desk is in a big open area, which means pretty much constant environmental stimulation. I'm reasonably skilled at selective attention, but sometimes I just want to see if there's a nice cave I can move to.

A few weeks ago I had to physically leave the office to keep from just bursting into tears. The phone wouldn't stop ringing, there were children running through the office and yelling and climbing on things, someone was having computer issues and needed my help, and meanwhile I was trying to do fifteen or so projects at once. Which, yes, all of these things are part of my job and I have no right to whine, but that was just more than I could take at that moment. Seriously, I think Jesus would have escaped to the deli with me.

Tomorrow, a bunch of us are going up to the city for the Diocese of California's ministry conference, where we'll be presenting an exciting workshop on technology and parish life, or as I call it Computers On Ice! because everything is funnier when you add On Ice! to the end. Try it. I'm doing the part about how to use them internets to make your life easier. I am trying to remain chipper in the face of the fact that exactly six people have registered for our session. They will outnumber us only slightly. I know we'll get walk-ins, though. Maybe we should have just billed it as Worshipping Technology, and then I could have gotten everyone to paint icons of St. Steve Jobs or something. For he doth giveth us our iPods...

Not that any of this really matters, of course, for tomorrow night is the most magical of all nights, Zombiefest. There will be another cake.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

sara whines

CBS cancelled Joan of Arcadia. Wah.

(but there will be more Arrested Development, which does make me happy!)

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

there is no emoticon to express what I feel

Happy one-year anniversary to us!

(recreation of wedding photo created with this little timesuck)

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

oxygen is your friend

Highlights from this afternoon's liturgy class:

We practiced censing the gospel book. Swinging a brass container of burning incense around on a chain is highly entertaining. I didn't even bonk the book or the person holding it when it was my turn. We don't use incense at St. Ned's, so for now this is filed under Fun High Church Stuff That Is Dangerous To Carpet.

Then we practiced singing, mostly the suffrages from Evening Prayer. They're responsive; the cantor sings one line, and the congregation responds. Ideally, you use the break when you're not singing to breathe in so that you can get through the entire next line on one breath.

Or, you can just get confused and stop breathing altogether, because you're so focused on singing something that might be close to the correct tone. And then the room starts getting all swimmy and you have to sit down.

Note to self: breathe.

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stand-up preaching

I have a new sermon up in the homely homilies section. It's ok, not great. I gave it this morning in class. There's another new one below it, because I forgot to post the last one.

My delivery was way off; I was really trying to talk more slowly, but unfortunately that killed my comic timing. The teacher actually suggested watching some stand-up to get an idea of pacing, so I guess it's Comedy Central for me this summer.

All in all, I'm way less stressed today than I was a year ago, mostly because I'm not in the process of decorating the parish hall for my wedding. Dennis gave me an early anniversary present last night; it's another in the Educational Archives DVD series he's been collecting for me. I also have the Religion and On the Job collections. I can't wait to watch this one.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Got that, kids? Jesus can do WHATEVER HE WANTS.

More from that first communion book:

There's something really weird about the eyes here. It's kind of creeping me out.

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I've had some more time to think about this ordination process moratorium, and I think I'm in a better place with it now.

The truth is, there are many gifts in this. The first one is the gift of space, obviously. I can't be worrying about the PROCESS and getting all of my ducks in a row for the PROCESS because, baby, there ain't no process. Nada. There is nothing for me to be chasing after here, nothing to be putting extra time-pressure on me. So I can take whatever amount of time it's going to take to get through skool, and maybe have time to do other things along the way, like not being insane, or enjoying the Dennis, or building the last two bookcases that have been sitting in their boxes since freaking January. January!

There's also the change in focus that comes from losing ordination as a goal. It will either happen or it won't, and I don't get to find out which way it's going to go until I'm almost done with skool. It's a subtle shift, but it does mean that I need to find a way to enjoy skool for its own sake, because there's a good chance that I won't get to go on to the next step. There are too many variables in play for me to get smug about ordination. We're getting a new process and a new bishop (eventually), plus I'm not exactly the poster child for the perfect deacon.

If God wants it to happen, it will happen and I'll go along with it, but I can't be trying to force it into my little plan. That way lies crankiness.

So, that's where I am with this right now. It's yet another in the series of Cosmic Cluestickings that I apparently signed up for at some point.

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Monday, May 09, 2005

I hope they decide to get rid of the Eveningwear competition at least


On Tuesday, May 3, 2005, the Commission on Ministry unanimously passed a motion not to conduct the annual Ministry Discernment Conference in February 2006. The reason for this decision is to allow the COM to develop and implement a new Discernment Process for those seeking Holy Orders. Details of this process will be released as they are completed in the next few months. Those persons who have already been approved as Postulants or Candidates are not affected by this action.

So, basically, the ordination process in my diocese is on hold for some indeterminate period of time, and when it does start up again it may look totally different. I'm not currently in the official process, which means that I'm on hold until they decide what they're doing.

This is my own fault for not entering the process this year, for doing everything in my ass-backwards Sara-esque manner. What's that biting me in the ass? Why, it's my own stupid decisions! Again! I'm amazed they can even find space there, since Karma is usually chomping away as well.

Realistically, I know this probably won't matter to me because it's going to take me another three years just to get through skool, but it's still got me feeling a bit rattled and unsettled. There's something to be said for knowing what The Process is, even if I haven't jumped into it yet.

I had planned to go to the 2006 conference-which-shall-never-be, but now I guess I'll get a decision in 2007 at the earliest.

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Saturday, May 07, 2005

you have nothing to lose but your tire chains

Today's garage sale adventure went well. Ryan and I started off at the rummage sale at St. Ned's, where we spotted no fewer than six copies of What to Expect When You're Expecting on the book table, which makes sense given how full the nursery is these days, but it was funny to see them all stacked up like that.

Then we escaped to see the rest of the garage sales around town. Today the Random Item was tire chains. Almost every sale had a set of tire chains. I don't want tire chains, it's just that I noticed that they were everywhere. Another time we were out everyone was selling meat grinders, as though some command had gone out to the hive mind that it was time to cast off the meat grinders. Reject your tire chains!

My total score list for today:
one set of short circular needles, size smallish
something called a Bubble Banana (oh, like you could have resisted it for a quarter!)
purse hardware for the really cool purse I swear I am going to make from the excellent maneki neko fabric Ryan brought me from Hawaii
a knitting bag
a really pretty Mexican tin mirror
a $4 CD player from the rummage sale. I tested it out, and it worked, although the drawer is a bit slow. We're still without a CD player (we've been using the DVD player), so whatever use we get out of this will be worth $4.

I spent less than $20 even with lunch at In-n-Out, further cementing my belief that garage sales are the best entertainment for summer mornings.

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People you've been before that you don't want around anymore

I'm feeling kind of guilty for mocking certain comments and being overly sensitive in general, so I'm giving away a FREE opportunity to mock me:

From my senior portrait session. 1988. Yes, that is my real hair. No, I have no idea why I thought it was a good idea to wear grey shoes with red and turquoise. Sigh. It was the 80s.

I feel remarkably disconnected from my life before the late 90s or so. I look at photos and artifacts from that time and it's like it's someone else. Someone way thinner, I might add.

I'm getting anxious about my trip to see my parents next month. At least it's not a trip to the hometown, since they've moved south. I don't do well with the hometown. The last time I was there was a disaster - I couldn't really deal with it. If I ever have to go back again, I'm making up a little album of photos and stuff called 'my real life' so that I can be reminded of my apartment and Clyde and my office and my school and my people. And I'm taking Dennis with me.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

welcome, new readers!

from the comments:

I don't understand why you hate on Christians so much... I don't hate on you now do I? Why don't you grow up and start respecting what people believe in.

Yes, I'll get right on that. Less hating on Christians.

Much more hating on Precious Moments, Precious Moments knockoffs, and resin renditions of Jesus floating in glitter water.

If you think these are the same thing, um, I can't help you.

But, hey, buy a button:

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you said you'd find me, no matter how I got lost

Dennis couldn't find his wedding ring last night. He had taken it off to do some work in the kitchen and it rolled away. He found it this morning, after searching just about everywhere last night, including the kitchen garbage can (yech). His ring is chunky and titanium and a danger to submerged glassware, so it's logical to remove it to work. I'm really happy that it's back on his finger, though. While it was lost I was thinking that if I had to order a new one, I'd have I STILL choo-choo-choose you engraved inside it.

I can't believe it's been almost a year! We had hoped to get away for a weekend to celebrate, but scheduling and finances have eliminated that idea. Our anniversary date is also Pentecost and the last day of skool, so we're just busy. The next weekend I'm participating in a presentation about technology in church life at a ministry conference. May is just Right Out.

St. Ned's is having a rummage sale on Saturday, so I've been doing some serious stuff-purging around the apartment. It's the city-wide garage sale day, so I'm looking forward to going out and buying other people's stuff with Ryan all morning. We did some light garage sale-ing last Saturday, and my only purchase was an amazing and horrifying book from 1904, Vivalore: The Pathway to Mental and Physical Perfection. I'll post some whoppers from it soon, maybe starting with the Childbirth Made Easy chapter.

My mood has been all over the place this week. I'm exhausted when I get home, because it takes so much energy to stay perky and useful and functional when I'm feeling anything but. Vivalore is no help here, I might add. Where is my mental perfection? Huh?

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