March 1st, 2008

professional me, self

Lent (21/40)

Today's Lenten Labyrinth talks about the story of the Samaritan woman and how Jesus was breaking all sorts of social boundaries . . . the usual stuff from that story . . . and then it goes on to say:
     As you ponder the out-of-character behavior of Jesus, at least out-of-character for a Jewish man of his time, remember that he was tired. I propose to you that, at the well, Jesus was not so much meek and humble of heart as sick and tried of heart. He was sick and tired, fed up with the silly laws that separate people, laws that brand women as inferior. He was sick and tired of those religious debates about which religion is superior to all others, the "Mine is best" attitude.
     Was Jesus also sick and tired of the fact that any group of people thought they could capture God and put God inside some little building on this or that mountain? His words to the woman at Jacob';s well seemed edged in impatience. Jesus said that God is Spirit, and so you cannot put God in any box or house.

The first few days in the book talked about death and stuff and I assumed it was a more conservative bent, but this is all blah blah inclusive. (And it's talked recently about wishing wells -- about gifting the goddess of the well, which made me all like, "Really? In a Lenten devotional book?")


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Leap Year Google Doodle

in_parentheses says:
I love the idea of Leap Day as a day out of time -- it's like the extra hour for Daylight Savings, only we get twenty-four extra hours! Why isn't it a carnival day? Why are we all going to work like normal?

Hey, Cat. The Economist came today, and one of the articles listed on the front cover is "In praise of the potato." I flipped to page 18 to find "The potato: Spud we like: In praise of the humble but world-changing tuber," which informed me that "The United Nations has declared 2008 the International Year of the Potato." There is also a book review:
History of the potato

On the face of it, John Reader's new biography of the potato seems to have a silly title—"propitious esculent" is just a fancy way to say "helpful food"—and an even sillier subtitle. But that is because the virtues of the world's fourth biggest food crop (after maize, wheat and rice) and its influence on world history are easily overlooked. "I used to take potatoes for granted," the author writes. His aim is to discourage readers from doing likewise.
And lastly there's an article about the potato in Peru, where it was first domesticated. (I feel like only a British rag would come up with the punny "Llamas and mash" as a title for such an article.)


I got everything squared away at work (well, I delegated one thing because I was still waiting on a response from her prof) and got to the TransLaw conference early and everything.

Between panels, a woman sitting next to me (Talia) made some superficial small talk comment, and we got chatting, and it actually would have been lovely for it to have gone on longer. This was extra nice 'cause I was feeling very much like most people there already knew clumps of people and I was just sitting there reading my book. (Not that I mind sitting and reading my book.)

I took brief notes on the panels, so there's actually a prayer of writeups happening sometime this decade.

Both panels ran late, and at 5:30 (when the second panel was originally supposed to end) I opted to stay for the half hour Q&A rather than extricating myself from my row to go make my preferred train back to Norwood.

I got dinner at the Harvard Square Qdoba (I had a Qdoba coupon that was only good for January/February) and then went to South Station and read. We're reading pieces of The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions in adult ed at CHPC, and last week we did chapters 3-4 and this week we're doing chapters 9-10 but of course I feel the need to read all the chapters, and I actually finished chapter 8 right as my commuter rail pulled into my station, so yay for good use of my time.

I walked in to the sanctuary and saw MikeF. and JohnP. and I hugged Mike and he said he'd asked my mom to help with the offertory if I didn't get there in time so I should tell her I was here. I went and found her and we hugged and it was . . . not quite the feeling of hanging on for dear life, but . . . as my mom said later, "These are wounded people." I went back, and I hugged JohnP. and it was the same kind of hugging. Less prolonged, but the exact same feeling. I did a lot of shoulder/back rubbing and side-hugging and stuff with both of them throughout the evening.

I had thought I would go to Singspiration in part to get more information about the UCN drama, but most people just did the superficial "How are you?" / "Fine" exchanges -- and there are a variety of legitimate reasons to not talk about that stuff, especially with me (even though I feel like I'm a member of the church by proxy) and in this particular context. I am really glad that I went and was able to be a blessing to people. (And of course after we got home, my mom and I talked.)

People kept asking if I was staying at my parents', and I said I was staying overnight but then getting an early train back to Boston to attend a conference, and GinnyH actually asked me what the conference was, and I said, "transgender legal issues," and she didn't give me shockface or anything, in fact started asking me about it like had I learned interesting/useful stuff or something like that and I just went with it and did my best to answer -- since lots of different things had been brought up in the two panels I'd been to thus far. Other stuff came up and we didn't get far in the conversation, but still, I thought, "I'm so confused; aren't you supposed to be telling me how bad and deviant trans folk are and questioning why I'm going to this conference?"

"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-mylittleredgirl [more info]

"Sin is necessary, but all will be well, and all will be well, and every kind of thing will be well."
-Julian of Norwich, Showings

Five good things about today:
1. I saw Allie waiting for the T this morning.
2. I had baby samosas (and eggplant with potato curry) for lunch.
3. [TransLaw] I spent nearly four hours listening to radical folk and did not feel profoundly uncomfortable.
4. [Singspiration] I told a member of UCN that I was going to a conference on transgender legal issues and she acted like that wasn't anything to remark on.
5. When my mom brought the car around when we finally left Singspiration (we stayed through all the cleanup) it was just beginning to snow lightly.

Three things I did well today:
1. At work, I wrapped up the stuff I didn't get to yesterday.
2. I looked into gay clubs in the Boston area as advance research for a friend's potential visit.
3. I helped with the post-Singspiration cleanup a bit.

Two things I am looking forward to (doing [better]) tomorrow:
1. More TransLaw conference -- which hopefully I will stay awake for (god I fail at going to bed).
2. Saturday night I will actually get to sleep for real. (I hope.)
professional me, self

Lent (22/40)

Thank god my dad wakes up at 6:25 even on weekend mornings.  I'd set my cell phone alarm for 5:30, except that I was editing a pre-existing alarm so it didn't automatically Enable.  My dad graciously agreed to drive me to the train station, so I got to have a quick shower.

There was snow accumulation on the ground, and it was still snowing, but not too heavily, and it was just above freezing.  When I left the conference around 5:30pm, the sidewalks were all clear.  Though I am not a big fan of the slick patches of ice on the sidewalks.

CHPC-Rachel had e-mailed me at 1:15am: "I'm still up...just got back from a punk rock thing...I may not make it to breakfast.... Love, Rachel"  She arrived at breakfast not long after I did, though.  I had picked up an egg and cheese sandwich at the Harvard Dunkin's because I suspected (correctly) that "continental breakfast" would be all carbs (though they did have a fruit tray).

Heading out to lunch, a person stopped me, said I looked familiar.  I guessed Smith and realized it was Chris from Vassar who did a "semester abroad" at Smith.  That was fall of 2001, so I was pretty impressed.  When I walked into the room yesterday, I kept expecting to see people from Smith, 'cause it felt so much like being back at Smith, but of course this is not Smith and the people I knew from Smith have mostly graduated and are likely living elsewhere.

Because a lot of people were unable to come due to the weather, they said forget the waiting list, if you're here, you'll get free lunch.

I know how to get to Harkness, but lots of people were heading downstairs so I decided to check out the tunnels.  Very different from HBS' tunnels.  It was like high school -- multi-colored lockers, and those sort of circular patterns of colored tiles on the floors.

There was chocolate-coated cannoli.  I was like, "Why don't we ever have cannoli?" and then I remembered that HLS has Sodexho and we have Restaurant Associates.


Today's Lenten Labyrinth includes some suggested messages to oneself.  I liked, "Criticism is not punishment, praise is not reward.  They're simply information to improve performance."

"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-mylittleredgirl [more info]

"Sin is necessary, but all will be well, and all will be well, and every kind of thing will be well."
-Julian of Norwich, Showings

Five good things about today:
1. Random small-world-ness.
2. Chocolate cannoli!
3. The conference was not socially painful.
4. Nor did I feel profoundly uncomfortable during any of the panels.
5. Surprise IMs.

Three things I did well today:
1. I socialized.
2. I did laundry.
3. I replied to an e-mail about visit plans.

Two things I am looking forward to (doing [better]) tomorrow:
1. Being more well-rested.
2. Getting to bed at a reasonable hour.

March 1 is National Self-Injury Awareness Day.

sharpest_rose recently wrote:
Every day is the first day of the battle, and every day I try to be a good fighter. And every day is as hard as the first, but some days are harder even than that, and... I don't know. I'm not sure what my point is. I guess it's that maybe if someone's sharp with you, or doesn't act helpfully, or doesn't make your day easier where they might've, or whatever... maybe they're having one of the harder days. Maybe there are battles being fought behind their eyes. I'm going to try to remember that.

And I'm going to try to remember that addicitions are an enemy, not a weakness, and that it's wrong to look down on someone for not being strong enough to win their battle right now. Because every day is that enemy's fresh first day of the battle, even when you've been fighting them for years and years.