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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Time Event
1:20a
[Friday]
you really don't care about my dayCollapse )

I met L. after work and we survived the really crowded rush hour 66 -- and arrived at the church right at the same time as people who had keys.  (This was about 5:50.)  We finally found a room and settled down and ordered dinner.

I didn't feel like I was super-pissy about the lack of organization, punctuality, etc., but I think the number of disparaging remarks I made belies that.  At one point in discussion, Jeff said something like, "You know how I am," and I (lacking anything wittier) said, "Late."  L. said, "When did you two start dating?"  I laughed, 'cause yeah, the dynamic reminded me of me and Eric.

We stayed for the SLAM Jam Open Mic.  The Open Mic part was okay -- some interesting bits, but on the whole I was underwhelmed. I felt the same way about the "main acts," but whereas L. preferred Jeff, I preferred Beth.  She has that familiar female folk musician sound, and the song she did that I found really powerful and really loved, L. found disturbing and didn't like at all.

We left after it was over at 10:15.  I would have been happy to stay and chat with folks, but I'd been starting to fade again around 9, so I was also happy to leave with L.  People standing at the bus shelter with us were talking about how they'd been waiting for an hour, and a woman asked if anyone was going to Harvard and wanted to chip in for a cab.  I told L. I was happy to wait for a bus or walk back to Harvard, but I wasn't chipping in for a cab.  We ultimately decided to just walk, and ten minutes later we were passed by two 66 buses (and a 64, but as L. buses home to Arlington from Harvard, that's less helpful -- it's fine for me 'cause I can just pick up the Red Line from Central, which I did once).  I waited with L. for her bus, but after a few minutes a 96 showed up and she basically insisted that I take it, pointing out that it wouldn't be long before a 77 came.  I didn't mind the prospect of more walking, but since it was about 11:30pm the idea of getting home faster wasn't wholly unappealing.

Housemate says next Saturday I should go to the Palimpsest release party at Pandemonium books.  I actually don't have any plans that night, and a reading and musical performance isn't a bad way to spend a night.  Anyone interested in coming with?

***

From the dailyoffice.org sidebar:
You also assented to the interviewer’s clichéd formula, “Hate the sin, love the sinner.” I believe that’s a mistake, bishop, because hate is nowhere found in the vocabulary of Jesus. The correct formula is “Forgive the sin, love the sinner.”

We are not allowed to speak hate. It results in death for both the hater and the hated.
I'm not certain that distinction makes a pragmatic difference, but it's definitely food for thought.

***

Molly remains kind of awesome.  From her email to the listserv:
This is the strange time of year for Christians. There is more and more evidence of the light--it hits the kitchen table at a different angle when you're eating your toast--and yet, we have one more long drink of the darkness, during Lent. It's not a dark-night-of- the-soul darkness, more the dimness of just-before- dawn, the little light by which you can see the soft shapes of things, the sharp insight that comes in the liminal space between sleep and waking. This is Lent: the gaze goes soft, and yet crisp; we look inward, not to be narcissistic, but to see what we can drag out to the curb and leave there for trash, what we can re-use, recycle, recast. It's about new life. It's time to head down to the spiritual basement, out to the curb, basement, curb, basement, curb.

This weekend in worship:

I'll be kicking off  our Lenten sermon series on "Making the Faith Our Own in This Generation." What's it mean to be a Christian in the 21st century? How are we called to re-cast the church, to remake ourselves? What stays, what goes--in orthodoxy, theology, creeds, culture, our own hearts and bodies? What cherished sins must we relinquish, what renewal of the mind embrace?
***

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


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Five good things about today:
1. I didn't mention this yesterday, but I am kind of in love with my Lenten glee-verse.  "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
2. The good bits of SLAM Jam, esp. the Beth Colegrove song I really liked.
3. I enjoyed the light rain on the walk back to Harvard.
4. An exchange between my mom and my brother with inside jokes made me LOL.
5. Roza emailed me back, opening: I [...] was thinking -- "ooo, must talk to Elizabeth," and that was before you started talking about queer.  I'm glad Jonah invited you.

Three things I did well today:
1. I went to the gymCollapse )
2. I finished my Ash Wednesday service writeup. I did editing on GoodReads (and went back through some old update emails and added more books to-read).  I did data entry (incl. helping put together the spreadsheet), though I got spared the hard work of deciphering fictional compensation plans to populate the portions the students didn't fill out themselves (even though they were supposed to!).
3. I successfully got L. and I both to and from the event.

Two things I am looking forward to (doing [better]) tomorrow:
["anything that you're looking forward to, that means you're facing tomorrow with joy, not trepidation," as Ari says]
1. Learner's Service at Temple Shalom Medford
2. hedy
10:00p
[Saturday]
Learner's Service was supposed to start at 9:30 this morning (moving the Torah study to the middle of the service).  I got there about 9:40, because apparently I overestimate how quickly I walk when in heels, but there weren't very many people there (apparently it had gotten announced two different ways, so there was some confusion and misunderstanding) and we didn't actually start until 10:00.

The service was abbreviated some (so that it would still end at noon even with all the explanatory bits and the Torah study), and I still dislike how quickly all the stuff is said.  (The rabbi said you shouldn't try to think about every single word that's said but just let things pop out at you; I still dislike that I feel like it's being rushed through rather than actually being worshipful.)  I asked some questions during the service, and a whole slew after (like what the deal was with the metal plate hanging over the Torah -- because I could understand practical/theological reasons for everything else; he said all the coverings/decorations mimic the priestly garments).  I felt a little bad 'cause here I am this outsider (from the dominant culture, to boot) coming in and being all criticizing (for example, I said I thought the, "Although we do not actually make petitions because it is the Sabbath, we lift up the names of those in need of healing ... and hope for healing for them," was a cheat), but when I said he must want me to quit asking all these questions or whatever, he was all, "No, asking questions is good."

Purim is Monday, March 9.  I am seriously considering going to the 6:30pm thing at the temple.  In part because hamentaschen is delicious.

***

I got crepes with hedy, and she asked, "Are you going to see Spring Awakening when it comes here?"
me: "I've never heard of it, so no, it wasn't part of my plans."
hedy: "It's about teenagers having sex."
me: "I am clearly going to have to look that up so I can go."

Also, reminder to myself -- 2/27/09 metro "Must watch": "Blackbird." The Speakeasy Stage puts on this Olivier Award-winning play starring Marianna Bassham and Bates Wilder. With its twisted "Lolita" themes, two May-December main characters look back on their illicit affair.  It's at the BCA (539 Tremont St., Boston) through March 31.

***

I had done MBTA TripPlanner to find out how to get from Davis Square to the Chevalier Theater in Medford by 5pm for Stacie's gospel concert (this year's title: "Precious In His Sight").  I wrote down when the bus left Davis, when it was scheduled to arrive at my stop, and what the intersection was that I wanted; the walking directions said the street I wanted was one block from the street I'd be getting off at, so I didn't look at the map or print out a map.  It occurred to me later that I should have looked into how to get home -- since I was going to a part of Medford I'd never been to before.

I took the 94.  It turns left on Boston Ave. from Davis, same as the 96, but whereas the 96 then goes up Curtis/Winthrop, it keeps going down Boston forever.  I didn't have a really strong sense of where Medford Square is, but I knew from my glance at the map that Medford Square was over by my part of Medford so eventually it would have to turn around.  It did, and when we crossed Winthrop St. again I recognized the intersection from my travels to Temple Shalom.  The bus system announced my stop, and I noticed a street sign for the street I wanted and pressed the Stop Request and got out and went right there.

I was there about a half an hour early, but as soon as I walked in, Owen (SCBC) greeted me with a strong cheerful greeting (calling me by name) and a program.  I seated myself and ended up getting to take a nap because the program didn't get started until about 5:20.

I actually wasn't all that impressed by the program.  Stacie's amazing, of course, and there were some other good voices (though Ron Murphy's solo of "Every Time I Feel the Spirit," he was about 2/3 of the way through before the mic-ing actually sounded right to me -- he kept either seeming too close so it was sort of muffled or distorted or something, or he was too far away and so it wasn't loud enough), but mostly it was kinda meh (I'm sure my tiredness contributed to my feeling).

The chorus was dressed all in black with like stoles, usually orange, in like "traditional African" patterns.  (And the singers were almost all black -- which was of course unsurprising.)  They had youth/children's choirs for part of it, and a lot of the kids had very clear distinct personalities; there was this one little blonde boy maybe 3 or 4 years old, who was cracking up the audience 'cause he was like marching and crouching and it almost wasn't even like he was hamming it up, it was like he was just like that all the time.

I did really like the performance of "We Fall Down" -- nice choreography and everything (though even that I would have tweaked a bit).

I felt I had a good enough sense of where I wanted to go that I could head down this street at the intersection and be close -- and would end up somewhere familiar at some point.  It turned out to be Main Street and I quickly realized that I was approaching the street I live off of from the opposite direction than I normally do.  It took about 15 minutes for the bus to take me from Davis Square to where I was going.  It took me a little over 10 minutes to walk home.  Yeah, I kinda thought it was silly for Voltaire to wait for the bus to Medford Square from Tufts Engineering rather than just walking, and yeah, I feel validated in that now.

***

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


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Five good things about today:
1. Our recycling bin reappeared.  (Or housemate procured a new one, I dunno -- though I kind of doubt that.  *shrugs*  Am just glad to have a recycling bin again.)
2. While I would have included a lot more explanatory in a "Learner's Service," I enjoyed my morning at temple.
3. Bits of the gospel concert were really lovely.
4. I'm really pleased to (a) have successfully walked home without a map from somewhere I've never been, (b) have a better sense of Medford geography generally, (c) be within easy walking distance to Medford Square.
5. I get to go to bed before 1:30am!  omg, I am looking at like 10 hours of sleep.  (Which will probably not get me fully caught up after <12hrs/2days, but is definitely good.)
Bonus: My feet not hurting particularly after all that walking in heels.

Three things I did well today:
1. I went to an ATM.  (When I went to pay for the pizza last night, I realized I was down to only one twenty -- plus a few ones.)
2. I successfully got to the Chevalier Theater -- and home again.
3. I remembered my Lenten discipline to read one Psalm/day.  [Hee, the Psalm I read tonight is also the one in tonight's Daily Office.]

Two things I am looking forward to (doing [better]) tomorrow:
["anything that you're looking forward to, that means you're facing tomorrow with joy, not trepidation," as Ari says]
1. Church.
2. Being less tired.

***
Watch over those, both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other's toil
-from tonight's Daily Office

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