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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Time Event
12:11p
[Wednesday] "this is who i am, what i do, and what i say"
This should have been posted last night, but I was too tired when I got home from class to finish it. So all the "todays" &etc. remain as if it were posted Wednesday night.

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***

Ed Rollins (R) was on CNN AM and said that neither candidate was inspiring, which was what he thinks people want, that it was a lot of Senate floor talk. That sounded exactly accurate to me.

I avoided the liveblogs last night, but I just about hurt myself laughing reading this one [Will Wilkinson]. (I don't know what the "transvestite" line at the beginning is about, and I'm choosing to ignore it. It's a libertarian blogger, so a lot of the economic stuff &etc. may rub my liberal flisters the wrong way. It gets better as it goes along. The timestamps are Central time zone.)
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Daniel Drezner summed up:
In the end, both candidates put forward mainstream internationalist positions on most issues related to national security, stressing the prudent use of military force, working in concert with allies and insisting that America could still be an active force for good in the world.

What was odd was that this hopeful vision of America's role in the world clashed badly with their rhetoric on the global economy. When talk turned to economics, the rest of the world was viewed as a scary, scary place.
***

The power went out shortly before noon (and stayed out for a half an hour).

Ian went and got lunch (tofu stirfry!) and was hanging out by my desk chatting while the power remained out. (It's hard to do much work here without our computers, and we FAs were still gonna wait until about 12:30 to head to lunch in order to miss the student rush.)

I forget how we got on it, but Ian said, "You're not worried about getting electronically outsourced?" I said the amount of person management I do...

Talking about how people are forever asking me where something/someone is, Ian said, "You like it. You could be all passive-aggressive [mimes turning his head down and away as if sitting at a desk avoiding someone] but instead you [demonstrates how I'll perk up and say, "How can I help you?" -- I didn't nitpick that what I actually say is, "Can I help you?"] I've seen you." I said yeah, I totally love being helpful. (I didn't mention that it connects to my being a control-freak, but that might have been implied.)

I said if someone could develop a Marauder's Map, that would be great. Ian asked, "Marauder's Map?" I said yeah, from Harry Potter -- it's a map of Hogwarts, the school, and it'll show you where anyone is on the school grounds, as a dot on the map with their name.
He said he's the only person who's never read one word of Harry Potter. I said my mom read them to my younger brother when they were first coming out in England and I was doing homework on the computer in the other room and got sucked in.
He said, "You're a geek, I know," in this tone of like, "You don't have to defend yourself, it's okay." I said I'll get militantly defensive about other stuff (I didn't specify, but of course Buffy was what immediately came to my mind), but I wasn't getting defensive, just explaining.

[Dude, you can get it as a screensaver!]

***

I used the phrase "marginal utility" at lunch, and MaryAlice said, "You are taking an econ class." She said she recognized the phrase, but she wouldn't have thought of it to use it.

She said something about Chinese buffet night, and I restrained myself from saying, "AT THE CHINESE BUFFET, WATER IS ON THE HOUSE." (ref. this Dinosaur Comics, and musesfool's subsequent tag)

***

How have I not learned to just be proactive ALWAYS when it comes to work stuff? It always works out better that way. Sigh.

***

I got to Rest and Bread early and walked into the church office to make myself useful. Laura Ruth introduced me to Jamie, the new church administrator (I think), and said, "Elizabeth is..." I thought, "I see you searching for a phrase appropriate for public company" -- because when she introduced me to Meck at brunch a few weeks ago, she used the phrase "church whore," among others -- and she ultimately finished her sentence to Jamie with: "resident church whore." I laughed. She continued: "She frequents all the houses of worship up and down the street." (This is an overstatement, because there are at least six distinct faith communities on College Ave. and I'm only affiliated with three of them, but I LOVE that phrasing.)

At one point while we were setting up I said to Laura Ruth, "Am I allowed to ask you how you've been, or would that be too distracting?" She said yes at the moment that would be too distracting -- but the short version is that she's doing great.

Rest and Bread ("Welcoming the Stranger")

In the Welcome, Laura Ruth said, "We know each other some," but that we don't know all parts of each other -- which in light of Sunday at CWM I read as a subtle nod to National Coming Out Day &etc., whether it was intended so or not.

She said when thinking about welcoming the stranger, we have to ask ourselves, "Who is stranger, us or them," which I thought a nice pun.

The Psalm was Psalm 120.

The Sacred Texts were from Deuteronomy ("...love the stranger") and Hebrews ("let mutual love continue ... entertained angels unawares").

Reflection:
Laura Ruth talked about welcoming the stranger. She talked about how encountering strangers brings newness into our lives and that can be disruptive and threatening.
She said that prayer is about curiosity, not control. (I forget exactly how that related, but I liked it.)
She talked about the "entertained angels unawares" thing and said that one way we can react when we encounter the stranger -- even when it's that crazy guy in the park yelling -- is to think, "Maybe it's Jesus" (I thought of that bit in Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies I think it was, where talks about making a conscious effort to just when she takes the dog out for a walk to see Jesus in the face of every single person she encounters -- or maybe it's just the first person she encounters? but I think it's everyone). She said that Jesus is pure holiness, . I have issue with this because thanks to Old Testament classes and stuff, I can't help thinking of "holy" as "whole," and we are (as she said) broken. [By the time service was over, I had forgotten about probing about this -- and I couldn't stay too long anyway, as I had class -- so I'll be emailing her about this.]

(In other news, Laura Ruth made me an official, computer print out, clip-on, nametag.)

***

Today's mail included:
* my voter registration confirmation (though "I Vote You Vote - a project of the non-partisan American Democracy Institute" says, "Sorry. We can't confirm Elizabeth [redacted] is registered to vote in Massachusetts." -- I suspect they're just a little behind)
* a $36.75 refund check from RCN
* my American Red Cross donor card (I'm O Positive!)

***

Yom Kippur began at sunset tonight. If I've hurt you, or you think you've hurt me, please let me know.

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