Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007

So I Ain't Normal

You Are 45% Normal

While some of your behavior is quite normal...

Other things you do are downright strange

You've got a little of your freak going on

But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself

Thanks to Wayne

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Kick 'em When They're Down

I just don't understand mortgage companies. As most of you know who read my blog, I am having some difficulty in making my mortgage payments. Well, will all of this difficulty, what does my mortgage company do? Do they try to work with me so I can at least try to make payments? NO!

I got a letter yesterday telling me that my mortgage payment is going up! My mortgage went up about $200 dollars in October and is going to go up approximately another $100 dollars in March.

I get the feeling they smell blood in the water. So, since I am down, the company is going to keep stabbing.

What I find interesting is the lack of business sense this makes. If I had a permanent job, I would be looking for another mortgage company, but right now I can't. So I can't pay and they up my interest, if I could pay I would leave but I can't pay so I go into default: either way, they lose my account. This doesn't seem to make any sense to me.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Well, ah Duh!

You Are An INFP
The Idealist
You are creative with a great imagination, living in your own inner world.Open minded and accepting, you strive for harmony in your important relationships.It takes a long time for people to get to know you. You are hesitant to let people get close.But once you care for someone, you do everything you can to help them grow and develop.
You would make an excellent writer, psychologist, or artist.
Thanks to Jimmy for the idea!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

11 Months 'til Christmas

Or, maybe we could say, "1 month since Christmas."

I am always surprised how fast Christmas goes away. A month before Christmas I had my tree up already. Now, the tree is wrapped in a sheet and waits in the basement. But is it possible to keep that level of expectation, life, for more than a month or so?

We love the special days and seasons, but we need to have the down times. In the Roman Catholic church, they referred to the time as "Ordinary Time." In the Lutheran church, the time was either "Epiphany" or "Pentecost." Now granted, it helps us to know what was happening in the church year, but I still wonder if the RC folks have it right.

I think we need "Ordinary Time." We need to have time when nothing special happens. It is the times like the "Ordinary Times" that actually make up what is life. It is an interesting paradox; the "Ordinary Times" are the times that really are life. But we cannot just exist in "Ordinary Times." We need the special times to make life worth living. But we also need more than just the special. We need the "Ordinary Time" to recharge and regroup.

Sometimes I feel like life has not been "Ordinary Time" since I have started to come out. I would say especially since I came out to the senior pastor. There hasn't been a time when I could just kick back and relax.

Nick and I did take some time when I left the church, we spent some time at a cabin on "the lake," but it was not enough. Now, things are still going nuts and I feel constantly tired. I know it has got to get better, but for now, it seems long in coming.

Hope you are having an ordinary day!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Thoughts on being a person of faith.

This whole thing about the clergies’ place in the world has really gotten to me. I think the whole thing about the separation of lay and clergy leaves something to be desired. And yet, I am not sure I want to totally do away with the separation.

Maybe part of the problem is that we just don’t seem to understand moderation. We assume that if a person makes one off color joke, then that person is a pervert or something. I don’t know.

Maybe I find the “trappings” of being a clergy confining. I find that people will talk to me about things in their lives and things in their faith that they would never think of talking to a priest about. I find it sad that they would not talk to their priest about it, but the truth is as it stands. I find that I seem to fill a void in peoples’ lives.

A few years back when I was between calls, I also had some temp jobs. I was amazed at the number of people who said, “I wish I had a pastor like you.” But I wondered, would they really want a pastor like me? I think they like the concept but I think that they would try to push me into the old box, make me into a “Holy Joe.” I think a pastor outside of the box is possibly too challenging to most people. It is nice to think that what Jesus asks of us is just too much for most of us and can only be done by a few “special” people.

I think we see this in the Roman Catholic view of Mary as “Ever Virgin.” She is special, that is why she could endure so much. We are lowly, we could never do that.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Reply (Rant?) to an anonymous comment

"Father, 'We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.' -M. L. King "

This comment was left by an anonymous commenter on my limerick post. Now, the comment was made on MLK day, so it could have just been an MLK post, but I think the preamble, "Father" would make me think it was a judgement.

First: Please, if you wish to judge me, be considerate enough to take responsibility for your judgement. If you are not secure enough with your opinion to claim it, maybe you should not be passing it around yet.

Second: God made sexuality and God made humor. Have we really contemplated what Superman Sex would be like? My humor is part of who God made me to be. My sexuality is part of who God made me to be. My blog is where I chat with my friends. If my friends can't handle my humor, then...

Third: Do we expect more of our clergy than we expect of ourselves? If so, why? Maybe we should question the double standard.

Fourth: I think some of the problem with our churches today is that we have lost our sense of humor and we have lost touch with our humanity. We are human and God does not ask us to be anything more. I find that I actually seem to touch more people when I am not in a call than when I am. Maybe because people get to know know me as a person and not as a title.

Well, that was a bit of a rant. Sorry. Maybe Fr. Ben should not rant either. Maybe clergy should be just what the media portrays them to be: laughable, clueless, milk toast, bumbling, simpletons.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Kitty Addictions

We have a guest writer today! Claudia, one of Ben's (and now Nick's) cats takes to the keyboard.

Hello, My name is Claudia and I am a plastiholic.

I just can't help myself. If I see a plastic bag, I have to lick it. I just can't help myself. I feel ashamed when one of my dad's catches me doing it; but I would risk a scolding just to lick plastic.

And as I lick, I begin to chew. The feel of my fangs piercing the plastic just makes me purr! The thicker the plastic, the better I love chewing it! Oh, PURRRRRRRrrrrrrrrr...........

And if I can't find plastic, Styrofoam will do. Styrofoam is a little more dangerous. I have more chance of getting caught; the foam makes more noise when I chew on it and my dads are more likely to bust me.

But there is a new love in my life... BUBBLE WRAP! I can't help myself when it comes to bubble wrap! Oh the thrill of having my fangs pop all of those tiny little bubbles! On it is so great! I will go searching out bubble wrap. Even when my dad's put it up so I can't get to it, I search out that wonderful wrap! I will go searching on chairs and table just to find the wrap.

Sometimes I am so ashamed, but not often!

My name is Claudia, and I am a plastiholic.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

New Poll

Vote on my new poll!

A Sunday Morning Limerick

There once was a man named Clark Kent

Who sperm out his penis had sent

When it hit Lois Lane

It shattered her brain

She should never have sucked on that gent.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Letters I Wish'd I Had Sent

This will probably make no sense to anyone out there, but "them's the breaks!"

Dear Subject Matter "Expert"

I am so sorry I asked you to do your job. You are paid to be the "expert" on the subject, so when I have a question, I would expect you to know the answer. Maybe that is too much to ask. I keep forgetting that you were the one who trained us, so, since you trained us, and we still don't know it, why should you know it now?

Just telling me "It's in the database," doesn't tell me that I am looking to create an "office location document." All that I know is that the little thingy on the bottom of the screen doesn't say, "Office." The database doesn't say, "How to make the little thingy on the bottom of the screen say office." So when I ask you for help, it is not because I am lazy, it is because I am being asked to do something that YOUR training didn't prepare me to do.

And making me feel like an idiot while I have a customer on the line is an ideal form of customer service. Let's make the customer wait while I learn my lesson. This is a great way to make our goal of being a "World Class Service Desk."

Maybe if during training you actually did some training instead of showing us on-line videos or talking about your sex life, we might know what a location document is and not have to come running to you for help. But you didn't teach us that. Frankly, you hardly taught us anything. Now, you get pissed when we ask you questions. Maybe we are pointing out just how bad a teacher you really are?

Don't you ever again just look at me like I am stupid and then walk away. I almost quit this evening, but it is not me who is doing the job badly, it is you who did a bad job of training and are now feeling pressed upon because we all are coming to you for help. Just because it is in the database doesn't mean I can find it. (And we won't even mention the stuff in the database that is over seven years out of date.) If I have not gotten enough training to let me know what to look for, I will NEVER find it! So asshole, when I ask for help, help me! We can have the "teachable moment" later. Now, there is a customer on the phone who is getting pissed. And I am getting pretty pissed too.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Living vs Existing

This has been the struggle of my past few days.

I go into work and count the hours until I leave. Then I go home and try to get some life in before going to bed. Then it is up the next day and back to work. Then it is the count until the weekend and the all too quick weekend and then back to work.

Is that all there is?

It seems to me that there has got to be something more. I feel like I am existing but I am not living. I want to look forward to the day, not dread the coming day. Joseph Campbell talks about "following your bliss" and that is what I want to do. I just don't know how to go about doing it.

I actually think selling the house may be a good thing. A smaller place with smaller payments opens the door to other jobs. If I don't need to make a ton of bucks to afford to live, maybe I can do more living.

Part of my problem, also, is that I am "flighty." Things capture my attention and then I am on to something else. I get bored with things quickly. I want to try to use this, cause that is the way God made me, instead of cursing it. Society tells me I should curse it, but what does society know? (Society told me I should be with a woman too!)


Time to go to work.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Weekend Havoc

Well, it was a weekend.

Nick told how fast this weekend went. I almost feel like it didn’t happen! At least we were not driving all over eastern Michigan. I guess that was a good thing.

We got most of the Christmas stuff down, which is always a sad thing for me. I got teary realizing that this would probably be the last Christmas in my house. This is the first house I have ever bought and I had plans of staying here for a long time. So as I turned off the tree lights for the last time, it kind of hit me hard.

I was wondering why this would hit me so hard and why this would be so different than if I were just moving. If I were just moving, it would be a choice that I made. I feel that this is something that is happening to me. I know that I chose the path I am on, I just get so frustrated at the direction this path is moving.

When I moved into the house, I was planning on being here for a good long time. I had dreams of what I could do with this house. Now I have only been in the house for two years and it feels like my home is being dragged out from under me.

And then there are all the Christmas things tied into it. There is the hope that is drilled into us from a million Christmas movies that suddenly everyone will be nice, good, and loving. There is the expectation that the world will find peace and all of our problems will go away. There is Ebenezer Scrooge running through town in his nightshirt, all of his problems gone. But Christmas didn’t bring those gifts. The problems are still there and the deconstruction of the Christmas tree is a reminder that things will not be getting miraculously better. It was a hard jolt.

Nick keeps reminding me to trust that God is in this, and I do trust. But sometimes I get so tired. And then poor Nick has to listen to me lament when he is going through some pretty major transitions for himself. Sometimes this just blind-sides me.

I did go to the local Episcopal church this Sunday and I think it will be good. I can get back into the “church thing” and hopefully find a congregation. I am looking forward to being in a leadership position. It was also nice to be with Nick in a church, other than an MCC church, and be open about Nick being my partner. Actually, this weekend had many moments of Nick and I being a pair. That was nice.

I am going to end this now. Probably more later.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Trump on Today

I was watching the Trupster today on Today this morning, and the guy went down a whole lot of pegs in my book. Actually, so much that I’m thinking of deleting my TIVO programming for The Apprentice because of it.

If you didn’t see it, Meredith asked The Donald about the feud between he and Rosie O’Donnell. Good ol’ Donald proceeded to make comments about Rosie’s weight and comments that could only be categorized as homophobic.

Someone with that much power should not need to stoop to name calling. I may not have always agreed with the Trumpster, but at least he seemed to be a man of character. Now, I don’t know.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Angie's Is Open in Coral

I wanted to ask, “Ok, where is the camera hidden?”

For months, Nick and I have seen these signs all over the place stating, “Angie’s Is Open In Coral!” Now when I say all over the place, I mean even where two roads cross in the middle of a bunch of fields, there is a sign. And not just one sign on an intersection, multiple signs.

So, Nick and I decide to go to Angie’s for a late lunch, early dinner after moving a bunch of Nick’s stuff. I had driven through Coral earlier that day and saw a 5 ft. chalkboard telling that Angie’s had all you could eat fish for $4.50. We both thought this was a good deal so we went inside.

I should have just turned around and left upon entering. The place was dark and smelled of smoke. It reminded me of my Grandma’s kitchen but not nearly as welcoming. There was a sign over the cash register which said, “All You Can Eat Fish, $4.50. In the middle of the room was a table with a young girl and a little baby and a woman that I can only describe as a crone. The crone was smoking. There was a plasma screen TV along the far wall among stacked Christmas decorations. On the TV was the National Geographic show, “In the Womb Animals.” The show was dealing with the gestation and birth of an elephant. (Watching 250 lbs. of slimy baby elephant emerging from mama elephant’s nether regions really makes for a wonderful dining experience.)

We found a table as far as possible from the chimneys, which was hard considering they were sitting in the middle of the room. We sat down and the waitress came over and asked us what we would like. We both ordered the All You Can Eat Fish. We were both told that, “We only have that on Friday night.” We were then told if we would like it, the waitress guessed they could make some for us. We both decided to order from the menu.

I will have to say that the wet burrito I ordered and the chicken strips and fries Nick had were good. And for the price, it wasn’t too bad. But when one of the customer’s began to speak to us and I felt like it was Boomhauer from “King of the Hill,” I knew it was going to be the last time I went to Angie’s.

It was real, and it was fun, but it wasn’t real fun.

But I did learn that a baby elephant’s toe nails become soft before it is born so that it doesn’t rip up its mother’s birth canal. Now, you couldn’t have had lunch without knowing that!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Some Initial 2007 Thoughts

Well, Happy New Year!

When I look back, I really don’t know what I will feel about 2006. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the year of my discontent.”

I would like to say that 2006 was a horrible year. It was the year that I lost my job. It is the year I butchered my credit rating. It is the year I spent a fortune on cell phone bills. But it also was a great year. It was the year I grew closer to Nick. It is the year I came out to my family, friends, and congregation. It is the year I went to San Antonio. It is the year I became an Episcopalian. So good things and bad things have happened. In some ways, it is so yin-yang, some of the bad things had to happen for the good things to happen.

It is so hard to anticipate the good things when you are in the midst of the bad things. It is hard to trust in God when all around you God seems to be hiding. But it is that trust, that faith, that kept me going. (Well, faith and the strong arms and strong heart of Nick!) And it is that faith that keeps me going now.

I certainly hope this upcoming year is a whole lot easier than the last. But in saying that, I have probably jinxed myself. That would be the case if I believed in jinxes. But I do believe things will get better.

I hope for you all the New Year is challenging enough to be interesting but predictable enough to be comforting.