MaryAlice went to go outside at one point (10:30 maybe?) and with her hooded coat and her scarf you could barely see her face. I laughed, as I couldn't quite bring myself to wear gloves that morning.
I went over to Morgan (a building next door to mine) mid-afternoon in just my sweater, loving it.
Friday: CAUMC game night
I had decided that no one was going to show up and I would have to eat an entire fruit trifle by myself (Greg said I should bring it in to work Monday morning).
Michelle showed up around 8ish -- I should have known she would show up for a backrub :) She'd had pizza, so she didn't want any food, but I offered hot chocolate ('cause she was cold from outside -- though she does like the cold to a degree; she reminded me that that had been one of my early Affirmations of her). At one point I dead-panned, "Hot cocoa for the win," and she cracked up.
Trelawney and Eric arrived closer to 9 (had been visiting her dad in the hospital) and brought a vanilla cake concoction with chocolate chips and raspberry. [So yeah, the fruit trifle never left my fridge.]
Michelle gave a wonderfully informative and succinct definition of EMDR.
We were talking about Michelle's sister's soon-to-be-ex-husband and how he didn't seem to grasp the kind of work involved with raising a kid and I said I was fairly clear on the concept and equally clear that I didn't want one. Trelawney said I might change my mind as I got older (in terms of what I wanted and/or felt capable of) and I said yeah, my mom says things like that when my brother and I talk about what a saint she is with my grandmother and thus I got talking about grandma including "More and more we find ourselves saying it would have been a blessing if she had just died when she fell." About a minute before Eric said "warning: vulnerable topic" it clicked in my head that not only is Trelawney nowhere near as heartless as I am, but her father's been in the hospital for like four months now, with no certainty of how much of his mind/body he's going to regain.
She talked about her dad and how when he was first in the hospital she would repeatedly tell him how much she loved him and that everything was gonna be fine, that there was no brain damage, etc. [AFAIK, at that time, the doctors really didn't know what kind of brain damage there might be], and how Eric's mom questioned the wisdom of that, saying, "He may be choosing to live not knowing what he's choosing," to which Trelawney's basic response was, "Fuck that."
I thought, but didn't say, that dishonesty like that would totally not fly with me.
At one point she did say that that's what she would want and I thought that similarly I project what I would want on to other people. (And my father? No way we are misleading him, unconscious or no.)
We didn't get into the "quality of life" debate, but Trelawney at one point mentioned that she thought life was worth it so long as a person can give and receive love -- even if the person is only lucid like 10% of the time. I haven't ever attempted to articulate my cut-off point, but suffice it to say I at least have the good sense to avoid conversations like these with people who have severely disabled loved ones.
On a lighter note, Eric asked us our favorite movie -- or book.
I so rarely reread/rewatch that I feel like my answer should be the "best" one I've ever seen but of course that's not it, so then I feel like I should go with my guy choice -- but I feel like my gut choice is not so much a true choice as it is a function of my having picked one years ago and never having rethought it. Said old standbys are: Dead Poets Society and Annie on My Mind. (I can picture where the library copy of the latter lived in the old YA section, which means I must have read it before the renovations, and the renovations were coming to an end when I self-identified as queer. I keep forgetting I wasn't always queer.)
I learned that Jack O'Neill in Stargate was MacGyver. I had learned via tv.com the previous day that Simon Donovan in The West Wing is Gibbs in NCIS.
People left around 11:15. I didn't realize why I was feeling tired until I looked at my watch.
Saturday: Alyssa's party
At 7:02pm (Alyssa's party was scheduled to start at 9pm) I got a text message from Eric: "not going to get everything into the truck, over to everett, and into the apartment in time 4 alysas party. I had her cell no, but i must have saved it wrong. Tell her sorry - i had no idea how much stuff i have."
We messaged back and forth a little bit and I was totally laughing to myself that we were doing this over text message, but he hates the phone, so I wasn't about to call him.
I relayed the message when I got to the party (a little after 9) and of course Alyssa (and Cailin) said he should come for a little bit anyway (Cailin said she could drive him) and Alyssa left him a voicemail. I imagine there will be a conversation come Monday.
Early in the party, when it was just a few of us sitting around, we were talking about accents and Shauna's boyfriend Jason (from Redding?) asked if we said "down cella" and no one even understood what he was talking about. I of course knew immediately that he was saying "down cellar" with a dropped 'r.' He joked that I would be his interpreter for the night.
Later, Heera and Ashley were talking with Emily and me. There was general agreement (I was abstaining) that HBS students are mad hot. I have zero interest in dating them for a multiplicity of reasons. Apparently KSG students frequent Shay's, but I am similarly uninterested in them (for slightly different reasons). Bah on heteronormativity; Heera at one point said (to me and Emily): "I don't know if you're single" -- not "I don't know if you're looking for a boyfriend," though obviously these are good liberals and thus not actually homophobic.
Later she asked me to watch her drink, make sure no one put any roofies in it
me: "You're assuming I won't put anything in it."
Nicole and Kyle were talking about the weather when I wandered over and I told Nicole I hadn't worn gloves on Friday. "Let me look at your hands," she said. She said science should study me, that I should work in remote areas like Siberia.
At some point in the conversation I said I'm so over people bitching about the weather, that people complain about the cold (which I love) and complain when it's not cold, 'cause they're worried about global warming.
Kyle: "Don't tell people in Denver it's global warming."
me: "But global warming doesn't mean everywhere gets warmer necessarily; it means you get extremes of weather. I don't even care about the environment and I know that."
Kyle: "You don't care about the environment?"
me: [fumbles a bit, mentions the "holier than thou" attitude of many]
Kyle: "It's not about 'holier than thou'..."
me: "No, I know that"
Nicole: "Though I do play that card myself, I have to say."
me: "I'm sure I do, too, I just can't think of what off hand."
me: Hey, that's not holier than thou, that's geekier than thou. I totally admit that I play geekier than thou. Though X-Men? Joss Whedon I geek hardcore, but X-Men, compared to so many people I know...."
Most everyone at the party who wasn't HBS was KSG/Carr and yeah, so not my scene.
I always get twitchy when liberals talk about Republicans [and the way people were talking about Libertarians made me a little uncomfortable], and it was occurring to me later that it feels so personal (regardless of what side you're on) and that I would far rather talk about issues.
Also, made-up tanned bottle-blonde girls wig me out on principle. [Not Heera and Ashley, other people at the party. Whom I actually chatted with. But still.]
Around midnight people were considering going out dancing somewhere and Susan and I left to catch the T.
I was lazy and slept through church, but I left my house around 2:15 to go to the Boston Women Play Pool Club Social and lo, there was snow on the ground. Heart.
I got there and wasn't really clear where this group was and was thinking about how I'm a terrible pool player and my hair is lame and how last night had reminded me how bad I am at talking to people I don't know and yeah, I turned around and left.
This did mean I could go to Cambridge Welcoming Ministries (worship services are at CAUMC; yes I enjoy the irony -- since CAUMC is in Somerville).
Trelawney had been saying on Friday that Kirk (the interim pastor) was one of the best preachers she had ever heard. I'd been meaning to check out Cambridge Welcoming for quite some time, but that was actually what motivated me to go finally. Tonight, Tiffany, the regular pastor, was preaching. Sigh.
[Hymnal was The Faith We Sing. ::shrugs:: Jesus' Prayer was "trespasses" and not particularly changed -- "Our Creator" and "you/your"... "We invite you to pray in the language or tradition in which you feel most comfortable."]
The meditation was:
On Luke 4: 14ffIn the Children's Time, Tiffany talked about being chosen for teams, and in the closing prayer said, "Thank you for choosing me, and choosing the whole world." I wanted to asked her about that, about how it translated into her interactions with (and even thoughts about) people who seemed clearly opposed to her and whom many people on her side would term enemies, but I'd forgotten about this by the end of the service.
"Luke makes this event a coming-out party as it were -- the synoptic equivalent of John's account of changing water into wine. Luke has Jesus define himself by his association with the dispossessed. The implication is clear: a Christian faith without a social dimension is a wimpish imposter."
-Jack Good, author of The Dishonest Church
The Scripture readings were 1 Corinthians 1: 26-29 and Luke 4: 14-21.
After each reading they did the "The Word of God" / "Thanks be to God" thing.
In her "Reflection," Tiffany said that this Isaiah passage quoted in Luke was the "programmatic statement" for the Gospel of Luke.
She talked about Jesus' statement that, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing," and how that means that God's kingdom or reign (or, as they often say at Cambridge Welcoming, Commonwealth) of peace and justice is now, hard as that is to believe given what we see in the world (she rattled off stats of each day: 25 thousand die of hunger, 15 thousand are newly infected with HIV/AIDS, 17 die in Iraq, 25 die in Palestine). By the end of her sermon I still wasn't quite wrapping my head around how she was interpreting that. She quoted Pastor Stendel over in Newton: "a reality declared, to reshape reality now."
She talked about the call in Corinthians: "to reduce to nothing the things that are."
Then they did the prayers of the people, and I was fighting back tears midway through, starting with when Tallessyn said that their family dog had died (which I already knew from Trelawney from Thursday). I think I was primed; before leaving for the billiards thing I finally got around to reading MLK's "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech and was by the end -- around the part where he's talking about getting stabbed.
At the Passing of the Peace, this guy Todd (who must have been a first-timer, 'cause he had a stick-on nametag like me) who was sitting next to me totally hugged me, which was terrific 'cause yay hugs and he was kinda husky and wearing a fuzzy grey sweater.
Before the Offering, Tiffany said, "If this is your first time at Cambridge Welcoming, we ask that you place nothing in the basket; your presence is a gift to us," which is definitely not something I've heard in any of my church-hoppings anywhere.
The pre-Table litany has the Many saying, "You have birthed us and blessed us and declared us your Beloved," three times. I liked this a lot.
For the actual bread and wine(?) we all went up in a line and Tiffany tore off a piece of the bread (it was a squarish loaf) and said words (something about "abundant life") and then the (lay?) guy next to her was holding the cup (a nice blue goblet, clay maybe?) and said words and you dipped it.
Edit: Announcements included a sermon-music series: Jesus Christ Superstar. I totally thought of you, of course. [Weekly News e-mail list says this will be their Lenten series. I heart Lent for all the creative stuff churches do.] /edit
There's dinner after worship, and Tiffany said, "Arrange the chairs as if there are tables, and tables will appear," and I thought about the thing about reshaping reality :)
There was mac&cheese and strawberries and pink lemonade, and some kind of chocolate cookies, so I was even sufficiently fed.
Following dinner was the "bible study." They're on their second week of doing The Man Jesus Loved [which neither MLN nor VirtCat have!]. I haven't yet read the book or acquired my own copy, but I jotted down page numbers during the discussion. I suspect I would be far better able to present here the points made if I had done the reading myself.
In reviewing from last week, Will and Kirk mentioned the idea of "erotophobia." Edit: They also talked about the "ick" factor, and I couldn't help thinking of the endless rounds of metafandom about straight women writing male/male sex. /edit
In talking about agape, Will quipped that it was love "fully clothed."
Apparently [p. 56-57] the New Testament uses the different Greek love words interchangeably -- even using "agape" for clearly sexual (heterosexual) relationships. Will talked about getting rid of categories of sex as taboo.
Kirk talked about repression and rebellion against that repression leading distortion of what it's trying to liberate.
Kirk said that John (which Gospel this book apparently focuses on) talks about the physical in spiritual terms and talks about the spiritual in physical terms [p. 63].
Kirk had us think about the moment we felt most in touch with the Divine and think about how our minds and bodies and souls felt in that moment. Then ditto for most intense sexual moment ever (he didn't quite phrase it that way). And then the obvious question of how different are they really.
It was interesting the words/phrases people used: powerful, out of my control, alive and understanding and connected.
Will talked about this college youth group event where GLBT kids formed a cross by interlocking hands/arms with each other, and how an important part of the experience was the fact that they were touching each other: they were these sexual outcasts touching other -- "in a church, in a church environment," Tiffany added.
One woman mentioned how in orgasm scenes in media the woman is always saying "oh my God" and is that really a blasphemy or is that perhaps on some level an exclamation of praise.
Kirk pulled out bits from three different pages of the book:
p. 62: John opens with a scandal, that the Word becoming flesh is how salvation happens.
p. 96: Countering the animosity toward the idea of Jesus having a special relationship with a single disciple is the argument that a special relationship clarifies and exemplifies the love Jesus has for all.
Also: Is sexual expression incompatible with or the clearest expression of the love of God? [It was phrased slightly more complexly, but I was jotting this down as Kirk read it.]
p. 100: Courtly romantic love (Middle Ages) only existed outside of marriage (adultery).
Also: equity in relationships under patriarchy usually occurred only in same-sex couples.
During the book discussion one of the guys (David?) mentioned At Swim, Two Boys and I perked up, not so much because I have particular love for that book, but because I've read it -- and because he had mentioned it in the context of "Queer Book Worms is reading that this month," and of course that concept piqued my interest. He talked to me afterward and apparently they meet at Arlington St. Church [the UU church where I went to that talk] basement the first Thursday of each month at 7:30. This of course conflicts with CAUMC small group, so I am dilemma-izing.
Word Origin Calendar: January 27/28, 2007
FLASHLIGHT - Invented in the 1890s, the device called the "portable electric light" relied on batteries whose charge lasted only a few seconds, meaning that it had to be used to illuminate something that absolutely needed to be seen in that instant---in a flash, in other words. Batteries were much improved in only a few years, but the moniker "flashlight" stuck in America, while many other English-speaking countries call the device a "torch."