November 30th, 2008

hermione by oatmilk

[Wednesday] SquawkBox, bailouts, etc.

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(Sidebar: How am I always so hard on my footwear?)

***

CNN AM, a female anchor (Carol?) on Hillary Clinton: "She would be the 3rd female Secretary of State.  Is there something about that job that attracts empowered women?"  I wanted to *headdesk*  There have been so few women at high levels of government in the USA that if you're going to ask an inane question, wouldn't it make more sense to ask one like, "Is there something about that position that makes men feel safe appointing women to it?"

***

I understand less of SquawkBox than I do of CNN, but I prefer watching SquawkBox.  Collapse )

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No one wants us to bail out financial institutions, but we want to bail out the auto industry?  I'm honestly curious what the thought process is behind that.  Collapse )
Mal

Waitress (2007) [2008-11-28]

Friday night, Laurel wanted to watch a movie, so we went to Blockbuster.  (Sidebar: Amy!  I saw multiple copies of Zombie Strippers on a display rack!)  We considered Sleepy Hollow, but she wanted something light, so we got Waitress.  I hadn't seen it, and I ended up liking it less than I had hoped.  (Looking back through the LJ entries I Memoried back when the movie came out, I am reminded that arguably I should see Knocked Up.  I did see Juno, though I don't think I ever did a writeup on it.  Also: one of the promos at the beginning of the Waitress DVD was for Once, so while watching Waitress I was thinking about the conversations I had around Once about movies/tv being -- or not being -- "realistic," "how life is," etc.)  Collapse )
taken out of context

My life is surreal sometimes.

Though hey, I hear Cartoon Network RickRolled the entire country during the Macy's parade [link via nikitangel].  [Speaking of references not everyone gets, LEM-Jeff was asking me about "fail" and I remembered this article jennyo had linked to a while back.]

I was making breakfast Thursday morning, and my phone rang.  I assumed it was Laurel, but it was actually Omar -- the guy I went on one really bad date with back in January and then ignored his calls afterward.  I was totally unprepared for any conversation with him, so I just didn't answer it.

About 4:40pm (we were finishing dinner), my phone rang.  Again I assumed it was Laurel, but no, it was Terry.
Terry: "Where are you?"
me: "At my parents' house."
Terry: "Okay.  I'll give you two minutes."
me: "What?"
Terry: "For hi and goodbye."
I went outside and he was in my driveway (with his son in the passenger seat -- he was like, "You've met my son," and I was like, "No," and he was like, "Really?  I thought you'd met before," and I said, "I've met some of your nephews, but I just meet whomever happens to be visiting the library when I happen to be there").

Laurel stayed over Thursday night, and my mom was getting out sheets for the other couch and I was like, "Those are my sheets!"  I was confused when I still hadn't found the sheets I had in college when I moved out of my old apartment, but the fact that they were living at my parents' house explains that.  (So when we headed back to the city, I took them back with me.)

We ended up staying through Saturday afternoon.  Ever since I moved out I've only been home for at most an overnight visit, so I think this is the only time I've been back for a visit that surpassed 24 hours (my visits usually don't even hit that, since Singspiration for example I'm back for dinner and then gone after lunch).  It felt really comfortable and easy, which I appreciated.

I often say, "I was raised by wolves" (usually in the context of not standing on ceremony) so my mom emailed me after I'd gotten back to my apartment: "Did laurel enjoy her time at the wolf den?"  When I told Laurel this, she said, "I really appreciate your parents and brother putting up with me.  It was nice to pretend to be part of a family for a little bit."  That kind of killed me.  (Her parents are back in L.A.  I don't know what it's like to only see my parents twice a year, so for all that I say I feel plenty connected to my parents with minimal meatspace contact, I can't say how much that's aided by the fact that I do see them -- albeit briefly -- with some frequency and I do know that anytime I wanted to I could go see them easily.)
abundance

Thanksgiving 2008

Heading to lunch on Wednesday, I asked MaryAlice if Laura was coming.  She said she was on the phone with her family, had been for most of the morning.  I am so grateful that my family's so low-stress (about holidays, and about most everything really).  My grandma's very "This is how 'we' do things" and kind of passive-aggressive and whatever, but that's always been at a manageable level (though holidays will be so much less stressful after she's gone) and she's the only one who's like that.

Listening to MaryAlice talk about Laura, I was just like: holidays aren't worth the stress.  I mean, they're supposed to be about celebrating and family, right? not about putting together somebody's idea of a perfect dinner extravaganza.

I really like TLGN's post on Thanksgiving -- excerpt:
I love Thanksgiving because it's a holiday that is totally, completely, entirely about food; no one is pretending it's about anything else. (Except for football. Thanksgiving is also about football.)

And I love Thanksgiving because it's about giving thanks and speaking your gratitude to others.

[...]

I'm thankful that I'm here, celebrating. I'm thankful that you are somewhere, celebrating something (if not Thanksgiving, then Thursday. I like Thursdays; they are usually worth celebrating).
I had 3 Thanksgiving dinners this week and am still not excited about Thanksgiving food, and I have never cared about food, but I really like the idea of focusing on what one is grateful for and explicitly articulating one's gratitude.

Yes, I think one should be grateful more than once a year (see also my discomfort with Catholic Confession -- I was always like, "But you just confess to God directly when you're sorry;" I had problems with both the intercessor and the delay) but we're often not good at doing things like that on a regular basis (I'm always a little weirded out by Confessional prayer in church -- a practice I didn't grow up with -- in part because I have serious difficulty recalling stuff from the past week in that context unless there are things particularly still nagging at me, though I do appreciate the formal reminder that we should confess and that, as the Rest & Bread service says, "We are a forgiven people"), so I do like institutional structures to ensure that we do it at least sometimes.  (See also: Days of Awe.)

***

HBS has a "getting pies and giving thanks" tradition -- free pies and notecards provided to say thank you to coworkers, other staff members, etc.  I, unsurprisingly, wrote ones for two of the people I like best in my department, but I was pleasantly surprised to get two myself.

25Nov2008
Dear Elizabeth,
    Thank you for all the work you do to keep NOM functioning smoothly!  Walking in + sharing a smile + hello with you is such a great way to start my day in the office.
Happy Thanksgiving!
-Kathleen

Elizabeth-
Thanks for showing me the ropes this summer/fall :)
Have a great Thanksgiving!
-Sara :)


I was going to do Affirmations/gratitude for a subset of flisters like I did 2 years ago, but I just didn't get my act together.  I am v. v. grateful for the Internet, however.  By which I mostly mean "fandom on LiveJournal" -- though I adore things like IMDb and Wikipedia and Google for quick researching, and blogs which expose me to so many ideas and topics I wouldn't get otherwise, and online versions of newspapers and magazines.


CallunaV posted:
We did it.

A couple days ago, I posted a link to someone trying to raise money for her friends not to be foreclosed on. The family needed $10,000.00. The writer was asking people to donate $1.

They made it over $10,000.00 today.

We did it.


We can do this.
you think you know...

"She comes when the empire falls And shines on crumbling walls"

Wednesday night, someone was talking about Priestessing and energies and etc. and LEM-Jeff said it sounded a lot like the charismatic Christian movement.  This was something of an ah-ha moment for me, because I tend to be dismissive of paganism and stuff about "energy" and so on, but I do believe that essentially all religions/spiritualities are different paths to access the same Divine which we can never entirely understand.

At one point, commenting on how I didn't really have grounds to say that something is "too out there," I said, "I believe that some guy rose from the dead and that that's Important, so..."

Later I was asking more specific questions about ritual and Priestessing and stuff and finding myself really interested in learning more about that, even though I feel pretty strongly that that's not my path.

***

Laurel likes country music, so that's what was on the radio when we were in her car.  One song had something about "are you washed in the blood or just washed in the water" and we were talking about that.  (I can't find it now.  I think it was different from "God Love Her," which was another song that Laurel was like, "A little bit Christian for me, but I do like it.")  I was trying to explain blood atonement to her, which was, um, challenging, because I don't really think about atonement theology much at all, period.  (She grew up Reform Jewish.)
"God Love Her" (Toby Keith)

Just a girl born in Dixie
washed in the blood
and raised on the banks
of the Mississippi mud
[...]

She's a rebel child
and a preacher's daughter
She was baptized in dirty water
Her mama cried the first time
they caught her with me
They knew they couldn't stop her

She holds tight to me and the Bible
on the back seat of my motorcycle
Left her daddy standin' there
preachin' to the choir
You see...God love her
Oh me and God love her
***

In other news, Jeff and Laurel were talking about some personal issue and he was asking is this the kind of thing where if it were someone else she would be comforting them even though she beats up herself.  She said maybe but that she's not really someone whom people go to for comfort -- that she never knows the right thing to say, that people go to someone like me for comfort.  :)

I was like, "I never know the right thing to say either.  You basically only know me in the context of the two of us, and I just listen to you and pet your hair.  Though I do agree with your assessment that you're just not so much the comforting sort."

Jeff turned to me and was like, "So you feel called to pastoral care?" and I was like, "No.  But let me tell you about my interest in dialogue and mediation work."
i've not learned
the acceptable way of saying
you fascinate me
i've not even learned
how to say i like you
without frightening people
away

sometimes i see things
that aren't really there
like warmth and kindness
when people are mean
but sometimes i see things
like fear and want to soothe it
or fatigue and want to share it
or love and want to receive it

-from "Poem (for EMA)" by Nikki Giovanni
light in the darkness

Advent 1

CWM Meditation a few weeks ago:
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.  You wait and watch and work: you don't give up." --Anne Lamott
CWM Meditation tonight:
"The word apocalypse simply means to reveal, to uncover, and if facing reality brings us to despair, we need to ask why."
~Kathleen Norris
In her sermon tonight, Tiffany told a story in which a friend said to her, "I don't know what you've done, or what you think you've done, but God loves you, and so do I."  And so in her closing blessing at the end of the service, she said, "It doesn't matter what you've done, or what you think you've done, God loves you."

***

I've been finding myself intermittently excited about Advent ever since early November (unusual since I grew up really low church and am still assimilating this whole liturgical calendar thing) and have found myself singing snippets of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" the past couple of weeks.  But it didn't occur to me until I walked into CHPC and saw the paraments that, oh, the purple knit top I had picked out to wear today totally matched.  (Michelle was also unintentionally in purple.  I don't know if Rachel had worn purple on purpose.)

Scrollgirl commented recently, "God never asked us to celebrate Jesus' birth -- we made that one up all on our own. He simply wants us to love him and love others and obey."  I agree in some ways, but I also think that the Good News includes that God incarnated Godself -- and that God chose to do so in this humble fashion; I think the stories around the birth (as well as the pre-birth stories) have useful things to teach us.  Though yes I would rather that we spend the majority of our time and energy during the year focusing on Jesus' ministry (and thereby message) rather than on the two points of Birth and  Death/Resurrection -- but I think those events are worth commemorating and meditating on as well.  (Not that I'm trying to represent Scroll as saying we should remove those moments from the liturgical year.)

In her sermon tonight, Tiffany talked about how the reason for the Advent season isn't just Jesus but is the coming of the kin-dom of God -- our Advent theme this year is "Journeying Through the Wild Promise of Creation."

In the morning sermon, Liz L. talked about how this is the beginning of the liturgical year and how we begin with the waiting (rather than with the event).

I wasn't inspired by either of the church services today, but I do really want to observe the season of Advent this year.

I am making the same future-dated Christmas post I've done the past couple years.

***

CHPC Opening Prayer:
Winter is almost here, Holy God, a time when bare branches and cold weather may turn our thoughts to death & dying.  Lead us this hour to your seeds of new life.  Help us to see your rose blooming out of the snow.  Guide us in remembering your promise of fresh saplings from old rots.  Draw us toward the manger where your son, Jesus, may be born in our midst once more.  It's in his name that we are gathered here, and his name in which we now pray.  Amen.
From the unison Prayer of Confession: "you are faithful, even when we are not."
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    (in my head) "...when half-spent was the night"
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