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


I am not responsible for the content of the above ads, which are often hilariously mis-matched.


Thursday, June 30, 2005

maybe God doesn't want me painting the bathroom this weekend

My apologies to anyone who was trying to travel on 880-South through Fremont this morning and was caught in the horrible traffic jam because of that accident in the far left lane. That was me! The little green car in the 4-car accident!

The accident started three cars behind me; the delivery van hit the suv, the suv hit the blue car, the blue car hit me. My glasses flew off and there was diet coke spillage and the contents of my purse went both willy and nilly.

Surprisingly, the car isn't too bad, considering what the other three look like. Since I got hit by the car and not the van or the suv, it's all bumper damage. You know what? Beetles even break cute. One of the lights by the license plate is protruding at what can only be described as a jaunty angle.

I'm still in that 'don't know if I'm hurt or not' stage - I have a sort of general achy-ness in my neck and shoulders, and I can guess that I'm not going to be as into the home improvement this weekend as I had hoped. Two of the other drivers left in ambuli (if that's not the plural of ambulance, it should be) with neck and back injuries, so I think I will see if I can get in to see my old chiro just to be sure.

[update - I'm seeing my (regular) doctor tomorrow a.m. to get checked out]

I am going to be so useless today.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

chicken poop for the soul

I am very excited about the launch of geez magazine. Check out the pedigree - I [heart] Adbusters, so that's a win right there.

Thanks for all the kind words over the last week or so as I've been wrestling with where I'm supposed to be and what I'm supposed to be doing (aka I've just seen my family).

I'm starting to think that maybe this whole faith life thing is always going to be incremental, that each layer that peels off is going to leave some bits which have to be scrubbed off with something harsher.

It's not the belief that's hard, it's the living it, and the key seems to be always seeking greater humility. Which I suck at, because it always gets tangled up in all the negative crap I carry around with me and becomes distorted into something else. Humility comes out of a grounding that I'm only beginning to glimpse in myself.

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Monday, June 27, 2005

you tell me, how does that make you feel...you tell me what's real.

Acts 5:38-39 whole chapter

So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them-in that case you may even be found fighting against God!

Sigh. This was the reading we discussed in our small group last week, and I hope no one else minded hearing it because it really felt like it was directed at me. I think I'm in stage 14 of a 2,349-stage process toward being aligned with God's will. I can see it all over my life, this desperately trying to hold on to things and control them and schedule them and you know what? None of that shit ever works out. And most of the time, it's better that it doesn't. So maybe I could, I don't know, try to learn something here.

Dennis is getting ready to go cover the High Sierra festival; I'm getting ready to run amok on the apartment and/or sit on the sofa and watch more Davey and Goliath. I'm trying to be realistic about what I can get done in three days. Hee! Right!

Hey, look - zombie dogs. I'll have two zombie dogs with cheese and a large diet crack, please.

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Sunday, June 26, 2005

a tale of two Sarahs

I'm helping Sarah the Hussy with a costume for Anime Expo. I don't think it's as amazing as her Katamari costume, because that was the coolest costume ever. But she won't need a seeing-eye dog to wear this one. I spent most of yesterday sewing, and I still have some more work to do today, but it's coming together nicely.

We've invited my niece, Sarah, to come out from Michigan next month. She's about to turn 15 and is a deeply cool kid. I'm excited that I'll have an excuse to do some of the fun bay area stuff that I just don't do. We'll go to Santa Cruz for sure, and Dennis can show her around UC-Santa Cruz and tell stories about it. We started indoctrinating her to be a banana slug when she was ten. And then we'll go to the boardwalk and then there will be vampires and we'll have to fight them and...oh, wait, that's The Lost Boys. I'm expecting significantly less Corey Feldman.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

trophy wife

Last night, I was asking Dennis if he thinks I should bag this whole working for God thing and go back to working in corporate hell for a larger paycheck. I have to admit, the poverty is grating on me a bit. It shouldn't, but it does. We're getting by, but things like moving into a less-leaky apartment and having babies aren't options for us at the moment and it makes me sad and frustrated sometimes.

Surprise, I'm still having trouble letting things happen in God's Time as opposed to my own over-caffeinated schedule. Shocking.

It's not like God can't work around this if he's got someone who needs to get into the world via us. And it's not like we won't be taken care of if the kitchen ceiling finally just caves in. I could really stand to trust more.

Anyway, of course Dennis shot down the job change idea as being Totally Stupid, which it is. He says it's far too much fun to tell people that his wife works for a church. First he gets to deliver the surprise payload of just being Christian, and then he can say that he's married someone who's going to deacon skool. Apparently this is very entertaining. So I guess I'm a trophy wife. Well, I am blond now.

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Monday, June 20, 2005

note to self: abandon all hope of home ownership

The house down the street from us? The one that is 1000 square feet? Two bedrooms, one bath? On the market. $580k. In freaking Oakland.

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Davey Hansen...kind of a tool.

the first rule of Davey and Goliath Club is you do not talk about Davey and Goliath Club.

I've been catching up on Davey and Goliath while I've been glued to the sofa - my buddy TiVo grabs episodes from one of the religious cable channels. There's always a crawl at the bottom of the screen reporting the next time Kirk Cameron will be in Branson, MO.

Does Davey get on anyone else's last nerve sometimes? He's really a jerk about that whole building a doghouse issue, while Goliath gets all passive-aggressive and doesn't help the situation at all. And the moral of the story is about, uh, not trying to get other people to do your work or something. Although it could also be interpreted as a sort of weird guilt-induced individualism if one were cynical about such things. I wonder if Davey had a difficult adolescence later.

At least the Lutherans have their own show. I guess plans for EpiscoBoy and his sidekick Angly the Anglican Armadillo never really came together.

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Aaaaand....the crash

Sick! I don't know if I got it at the airport or if it's the ick that has been going around the office, but I think I may have been hit by a truck. Full of flu.

I'm particularly annoyed because it kept me from going to an ordination today, and I was looking forward to seeing everyone from skool there.

I was also supposed to go to a party at the palatial San Francisco digs of my former roommates Bud & Eddie tonight. The invitation suggested that we would be getting both our groove and our drink on, and I was looking forward to trying to remember how to attach my groove. I even had a very fun new skirt to wear. It makes me look like a big pink Pier 1 lampshade and I do not care.

If you need me, I'll be asleep. After I get my cough syrup on.

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

happy tie day

I know I've mentioned that we subscribe to an online church clipart site. It's about 98% cheese-a-riffic, but it's better than the alternative. Whatever that is.

All I want for this week's bulletin is a little father's day dingbat that doesn't make me want to puke. Is this too much to ask? Yes. Yes it is.

Do you know what the essence of Christian fatherhood is? It's ties. Yup. Almost every image features a freaking tie. Tie in gift box. Kid giving tie to father. Ties wagging playfully in an unseen breeze. When you think dad, think tie.

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Joseph likes eyelash yarn?

The babes of City Knits sent me my very own copy of Knit the Christmas Story, because they felt it was something I needed to own. It's fabulous. I should probably not be trusted with it.

My current knitting project is a sweater out of Style Your Own Kid's Knits, which is a deeply excellent book. I'm doing some nifty stuff with fair isle patterns. I love this book; it has a basic pattern for every size from baby to 10 years, and then pages and pages of intarsia motifs and borders and pattern stitches and collar variations so that you can put together exactly what you want. It's perfect for me since I can't ever do anything the way the pattern tells me to.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Oh but California; California I'm coming home

Home! Yay!

We got in late Monday night, after a detour to Fort Wayne, Indiana when we couldn't land at O'Hare. The trip home was pretty much airline hell, but it's good to know that I could survive for many, many hours on pretzels and small cups of diet coke if I had to.

Yesterday was decompression day; I knew we would both need a little time to recover from the trip, so we didn't go back to work until today. This was a good move. I'm housesitting for a couple of days, so we hung out in the pool and did laundry and relaxed. All pajamas, all the time. I don't know why I even own real clothes.

The trip kicked my butt; I don't know why I find it hard to be with my family. They're good people and they do love me, but my neck just tenses up and doesn't release until I'm back in California airspace. I'm like this weird satellite that slams back into the home planet every year or so. I felt so klutzy and inept, like I was smashing through everyone else's lives when I didn't have a right to be there.

The tangible stuff that grounds me - my friends, St. Ned's, skool, the apartment, and the kitty - is all back here in California, and I guess I'm not at the point where I can hold on to it when I'm away. I was ok while I had Dennis with me, but then he went to Bonnaroo and I started feeling all floaty again.

It's good to be home.

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Saturday, June 11, 2005

thou shalt hang up thy tunic

I scored a stack of vintage religious children's books at today's sale. Here's a favorite image, from 1959's rather charming A Child's Ten Commandments - commandment #9:

My Book About God for Little Catholics (1957) is up front about the limitations of its artwork.

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artwork: 35¢...total kitsch immersion: priceless

As promised, I've managed to photograph the other two pieces I bought at the estate sale yesterday. The first is the one I'm calling Perplexed Jesus With Cross:

Get a good look at that expression:

Which member of the BeeGees do you think was the model?

And the other addition to the art collection:

The kitten is what really makes it special.

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Friday, June 10, 2005

Remember all those filmstrips and educational short films about how plastic is our friend? Maybe not so much.

I went to the Best. Estate. Sale. Ever. today. You know how some people never throw anything away? And then they die and no one knows what to do with a lifetime of accumulated crap?

I wish I'd had a camera with me; there were things I didn't buy that I will never be able to adequately explain. Like, the only thing better than badly-painted ceramic cherubs with whore makeup is badly-painted ceramic cherubs with whore makeup and cheap pink lace and pearls glued on at random.

And...the terrarium. The terrarium-like thing. Ok, you know those quasi-futuristic floor-standing ashtrays that are kind of hourglass-shaped? Imagine a white one, but with a clear acrylic ball mounted on top. Filled with aquarium gravel and cheap silk flowers. WHY? Why does that exist? Is the world so toxic that silk-esque flowers cannot be allowed to breathe our air?

But of course, some things were purchased. For the price of 8 minutes of parking in downtown Berkeley, I got:

Let me explain. It's a wooden drawer thing that has...um...a postcard glued to the back that says Place of Prayer, and then some odd little fake rocks and flowers in front of it. I guess it's a shadowbox. The front part is framed with a badly-cut mirror. Why? Because we like you!

And here we have the last supper in a plastic box. And, um, some plastic horses. Running in front of it, toward a plastic tree. Jesus does not look especially surprised by this for some reason. For it is written...wait, no, this isn't written anywhere. This just does not make any sense!

More items coming soon; I'm having trouble photographing the Slightly Cross Jesus Carrying His Cross ceramic object. I'll try it again in natural light tomorrow, since my flash washes out the subtle perplexity of Jesus' expression. Also: you must see my new art acquisition, big-eye girl with guitar. Along with far too much freaking humidity, the South has some seriously rocking kitsch.

We're going to a giant antique show/market of fleas tomorrow, so perhaps there will be more treasures.

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

see rock city

Dennis is off to Bonnaroo. We went out for a giant breakfast this morning, hit Target for provisions (water, water, water), loaded up the car, and sent him on his way. He called a while ago to report that he had arrived and was enjoying being in the press camping area, which has real showers.

In the afternoon, I dragged my parents around Knoxville for Operation New Computer. I've got it all set up, I've hooked up their DSL, and I am experiencing some monitor envy because I really dig their new flat panel. Next, I have to show them how to use the computer, which should be interesting. I kept saying FEAR NOT the whole time we were in the computer store.

ps - isn't that a great shirt on the Dennis? Getcher own Bea shirt here.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

see? now aren't you glad I didn't GIVE you the fish?

You know those painfully sincere With You Always drawings? Well, check out the alternate version. I am laughing so hard I can't breathe. Via grow a brain.

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue

I've been less productive than I'd hoped this weekend. I am going to be seriously hosed for the next two days, since we leave on Wednesday and I don't even have yarn to take with me. I need to knit, keeps the stress level down.

I found out today that we're not taking the road trip my grandmother's favorite golf course in Kentucky this weekend; I guess her ashes will get taken up there later. Instead, we're having some kind of wake at my aunt's house, with just about the entire extended family from both hither and yon. Wacky family dynamics...ON ICE! Or at least on the rocks.

I'll probably just sit back and watch the Battle of the Alpha Males.

I'm sure I'll be fine once I actually get there, and I'm looking forward to hitting some antique shows with my mom.

Dennis is getting excited about Bonnaroo. This is first time he has had press credentials at a major festival, so I'm looking forward to hearing the stories when he gets back.

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He died to take away your sins, not your taste

Yay, someone is finally making the AC/DC style Jesus shirts seen in the movie Saved. I am happy.

Speaking of Jesus kitsch, I've been teaching myself how to do video clips to use at church, and this is something I put together as an exercise: Jesus Kitsch (link is to a 26MB mpeg file; there is also a self-contained executable that is only 4MB).

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

And the hits just keep on coming!

Hey, remember back at the beginning of the week, when I was all, "hey, what I'd really like this week is a massive hard drive failure at the office!" and, "It would be especially cool if it could suck up like three days of my life!" Remember that? Well it all came through for me. Yes, I've been in computer hell all freaking week long. This has really surpassed OSHA's standard for poo-flinging in the workplace.

I have to work on the apartment more this weekend. We have a new house/kittysitter staying at our place while we're in Tennessee next week, so I'm feeling a bit exposed. I want to make the place slightly less evocative of a third-rate youth hostel the day after a Phish show. That's the problem with mad decluttering; there's always that stage where it looks like the place imploded, with piles of Stuff To Be Put Elsewhere strewn about. It's going to be another good weekend for freecycle, I suspect.

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