September 11th, 2006

train

busy busy

Okay, so now I'm undecided as to whether I'll do the CAUMC social this Sunday after all. Prof.B. is doing a boat ride (out of the Constitution Marina, Charlestown) that afternoon and invited me. RA was invited, too, but will still have company in town so she's unlikely to attend. I think it's all MBA students from last year's class, so I would feel hella awkward (and gee, wouldn't that be awesome for triggering latent social anxiety: trapped on a boat with people; no way to surreptitiously escape). I need to decide soonish, so... thoughts?
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Five-year anniversary, and CAUMC: Esther

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Andrew -- CAUMC's intern minister whom I met at the wedding reception -- led tonight's book study, on the Book of Esther.

I recalled that Esther was one of FCCN's "Women in the Bible" series but neither reread this writeup nor read the entire book of Esther in advance.  This was probably a combination of restraint and laziness.

We started with a Veggie Tales clip -- an idea which I was strongly resistant to (it's Bible stories told for children by CGI vegetables...).  We started with the scene where the king's life is threatened, so Andrew was recapping for us who was who and what had happened so far.  This included: The king asked Vashti to make him a sandwich.  Yes, I was doubled over ded from laughter.  "Woman, make me a sammich!" was in my head for the duration of the night.  My ultimate conclusion (based on two scenes) was that Veggie Tales is MADE OF AWESOME -- in that way where that phrase does not mean what it usually means.  And if I knew somewhere that would publish it, I would be all over watching all the Veggie Tales and writing papers on how they translate the stories and suchlike.

We read Chapters 3+4 aloud.  Andrew said there are difficult names and to fake it until you make it not worry too much about that but just do one's best.  We had an NRSV printout which named the king as Ahasuerus.  He said he would be saying the name as Xerxes -- how he had learned it.  Before we had even begun reading aloud, were just looking over the pages, Michelle pronounced it as "Ahasaurus" and made a dinosaur joke.  So when it was her turn to read she called him "King Dinosaur."  I called him "Ahasaurus," Mike called him "King Tut," and Michelle's next turn she called him "T-Rex."  Yeah, good times were had by all.

Andrew mentioned the banality of evil, talked about systems etc., which then made me think of Modernity and the Holocaust (yeah SOC 101 of awesomeness).

We also talked about how God is never explicitly named/invoked in the text and why that might be.

I feel like we would have had a much more productive discussion if we all (myself included) had a lot more familiarity with the text, but it certainly wasn't bad.

We had new faces.  Not only was Michelle (whom I had met previously at wedding events) back at group for the first time since June (ditto) Andrew but we had people who had just come to church here once: Mariah (newly transplanted from Pittsburgh, working as an engineer after years of being a student) and Catherine (newly retransplanted from Florida, teaching high school math).  At Affirmations, Catherine said that Mariah was so welcoming to her, that she didn't even realize it was her first night here as well.  She was so articulate, and succinct, in her Affirmations of everyone, which really impressed me (but she went after me, so I couldn't officially Affirm her for that :) ).  Meredith+Mike are having a brief hiking trip on Sept. 23 but will still come to my party afterward, and I've really gotta just send an invite to the group; yay for peopleyness.  Oh, and tonight Meredith made spaghetti with bland tomato sauce I could stomach and pumpkin pie which I had two slices of. Oh, and Andrew brought up Song of Songs/Solomon multiple times, and I would love it if that were our study text next week.  (Its very existence/substance was news to Mariah and Michelle, both of whom grew up Catholic complete with that "We only know about the Bible what our priest tells us.")