Friday, March 30, 2007

Excitment that needs to be tempered.

Nick and I have been surfing the web checking on the weather in the San Francisco bay area. There is a church looking for a priest and the place sounds like a perfect (well, as perfect as it can be from an internet post) fit. I am really excited but I don't want to get too excited. I don't want to build this up too much and then crash if it doesn't come through. So off with the resume, cover letter, and official forms. I won't hear anything until after Easter. But something good could be in the works!

On other things: I was walking in the park today and saw a pull-tab on the ground. I got to thinking, how long ago was it that cans had pull-tabs? It had to be at least 20. So, that garbage has been lying around for 20 years. And now I feel stupid because I did not pick it up and throw it away.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Well, what can I say... The roller coaster is going full tilt. My moods have been up and have been down. I just want to say that there should be a seperate circle of Hell for HSBC . They call repeatedly and will never leave a message. They keep harassing me even though I told them that I do not have the money and will pay when I can.

What I hate about all of these credit places is that they treat people like they are children. It is this whole, "You are a bad person, you owe us money and we know you have it and aren't paying us." You think if I had the money I would put up with the harassment?

I said in the past that I didn't want to become a poster-child for Gay Clergy. I am feeling much more like moving up to the front. I heard that it was not even mentioned in my ELCA clergy group that I had left. I was wondering why I didn't hear anything from anyone. Then I found out that nobody called because nobody knew.

I have started to apply for jobs in the secular market. Kind of sad when a clergy person can't find a call. We hear all this talk about how few clergy there are, well here is one just sitting around. There aren't even any temp jobs around here. Oh well, on April first I will be able to apply for unemployment.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

9 Months 'til Christmas!

Start that Christmas Shopping NOW!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Morning

Hello Friends in the Blogosphere!

Well, what has been happening this past week? I got to stuff envelopes for two days. Not the world's worst job (by a long shot!) but also not very fulfilling. Trying to find a job in Michigan is not an easy thing. We are at the bottom when it comes to employment and at the top in unemployment.

I just get the feeling that something has to happen. I want to wait on the church and hope something comes but I am getting tired of the indecision. I feel like I am wasting here. I feel bad because I am not able to help out with the finances here. Nick tells me not to worry, but I do.

I am starting to look at job jobs. I guess I can serve God in other realms. If the church doesn't want me, then I it is there loss. I just need to do something! And with Nick's news, the look for a job becomes even more important. I hope to be a bit proactive in this process.

My house officially went into foreclosure yesterday. Now is the six-month redemption period. I hope to sell but I figure my credit rating will be screwed for seven years. According to one death clock, I won't be around that long anyway.

I am back on my meds and seem to be doing ok. I still want to flee and leave all the problems behind me. I guess escapist fantasies are not unusual.

I just got an e-mail today (March 23) telling me that March 22 was International Goof Off Day. I guess they would have said something yesterday but they were goofing off.

I do worry about Nick. (He knows this so reading this will not shock him.) He is going through a lot of things and I am not really in a good spot to be supportive to him. Actually, our whole time together has been somewhat chaotic. In all the time he has known me, I have been going through the coming-out process. I try to be aware of his needs, but I know at times I fall short.

Thanks for letting me sound off. I have to go to the bank and finish the sermon for this Sunday. I will be presiding and preaching at a local church.

Oh, the picture of the panda? I took that at the Memphis zoo.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

For Your Consideration

Can this really be true?
Check out this link!

Sunday Evening Thoughts

Hi Everybody!

Hope you have had a great weekend. Here, the weekend went well but got rather hectic toward the end.

Friday night was pretty low key. My back was still hurting so Nick and I just hung out at home. It may sound corny, but just having him here makes it more enjoyable to be at home.

Saturday morning I made the mistake volunteered to help some former congregation members. They needed help in moving their antique business. Now I don't mind helping people, but when I am asked to be at the shop at 10 am and we don't start putting stuff in my truck until almost 11:45 am, I get a little miffed. Finally, at around 1 pm I got home so Nick and I could go to a movie.

We went to "300." It wasn't too bad. Actually, for someone, like me, with a jock fetish, it was GREAT! Who would think that Spartans would all have 6-pack abs (There were more 6-packs in this movie than you would find at a frat party!), wax, and wear leather speedos. Now, from the front, these leather speedos looked to all the world like leather jock straps. It was wonderful. There is a butt shot but no frontals, bummer.

What miffed me was that there was a family who brought what looked like a 1 year old and a 6 year old to the movie. I don't know what the 1 year old may have gotten, but the movie was WAY too violent for the 6 year old. In my opinion, this is bordering on child abuse. A 6 year old does not have the mental faculties to deal with seeing someone get his head chopped off.

Saturday night was again pretty laid-back. But then came Sunday Morning!

Nick was getting ready to go to church. He was a little flustered because this is the last time he will preach for this congregation. I was still in bed. Then my phone rang. It was my realtor reminding me that we had an open-house from 2:30-4 that afternoon. Suddenly I was up and Nick was going quickly trying to get the house ready for the showing.

Finally, Nick had to leave and I continued to clean. I then had to get ready because I was presiding at the communion service at the local Episcopal church. The house was about 1/2 ready at this time.

I went to church and the service when well. I need to do more of these so I can learn how the whole Episcopal thing works. I am sure I will get it, it will just take time and an understanding congregation.

I got home and again went into a cleaning frenzy. Now, most of you would not understand how out of character this is. I score WAY HIGH on the "P" scale of the Meyers-Briggs test; in other words, I am NOT a very organized person and cleaning to me means that the piles don't run into each other.

I am pleased to say, that when Nick came home, he was pleasantly surprised with the state of the house. And we were able to show the house at 2:30 pm.

So, while the house was showing, Nick, Amber (the dog), and I went out to the Home and Builders Show. The cats got to stay at home because they would probably hide anyway. Not too much to see at the show. Yes, there was a lot of nice lawn layouts, and ponds, and all of that. But the eye candy left something to be desired. The best view was a guy at the concession stand as we were walking out of the show.

Well, we got home and had a roast that Nick put in the crock pot in the morning. Now we are doing computer stuff (Nick is checking out insurance prices and I am blogging, of course) and watching TV as they save the west coast from sliding into the ocean.

Tomorrow I get to go and stuff envelopes again. It doesn't pay much, but it is a job.

I hope to hear from the Deployment person about some calls in the church. He went to a conference last week and hopefully he will have some good news.

Hope you all are having a great day and hug someone you love!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Some Observations

(In writing this, I may sound like a pampered poodle, if so, please forgive me!)

One of the "blessings" of being unemployed is learning how difficult it really is to navagate "The System." All modesty aside, I am a pretty bright guy. But the process of trying to access the system is totally nuts!

I didn't know about medical help until I was on the phone to find out why I couldn't get unemployment. Then I was told that it appeared I didn't make ENOUGH to qualify. I was shocked! I needed to make more money so I could get some support because I didn't have a job.

I also am thankful for my therapist. What he did is probably not conventional, but he got on the phone and called my MD to get my meds adjusted. I truthfully don't know if I would have called. When depression hits, people do (or not do) weird things.

I hope that I will be able to use this experience to understand those I encounter who are trying to navagate the system. It is a weird system and I am getting a first had look at it.

Thanks for the kinds words and prayers from you all.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hey all

I had an appointment with my therapist today. And things are looking much better. My therapist has a way of kicking me in the butt and waking me up. He also helped me to find how to get my psychotropic meds even though I don't have a job. I had been "rationing" them because I could not afford to get another prescription so I was not taking them the way I should. I also had to promise that I would not off myself or hurt myself before our next appointment next week.

No Sleep Tonight

Well, the moment I try to close my eyes, I ruminate on all the bills that need to be paid. My mind whirls with shut-off notices. I am so frustrated that nothing seems to be happening.

I am on the futon so I don't keep Nick up because he has to work tomorrow. But that just means that I will be home alone tomorrow, dodging phone calls.

I am tired of life but too chicken to end it. I cannot see an ending to this. Something has to give soon: either the world needs to change or I am going to give out.

Where is God in all of this? I am beginning to think that God is some kind of construct we create so we don't have to face the terror that this is all there is.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm ready to quit

Well, faithful readers, your host is getting tired.

Between not finding a job, not having a job, and not having the money in my account to pay the bills, and my back hurting every time I move, I am really losing any desire to go on.

Would the world notice if I were not here?

I don't know if this is a cry for help or just a statement of fact. Maybe both. I want to be rescued. I want to just have this all go away. I feel like I have nothing to give that anyone in the world wants.

I apologize to Nick in writing this. He has done his best to be supportive and loving. Sometimes neurochemistry just is more powerful.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Wrap-Up and General Thoughts

First off, Saturday was the 69th day of the year. I hope you all celebrated it appropriately!

I am back from New Orleans and it has been bittersweet. I am happy to be home but upon coming home there are all of the problems to come home to. While I was in New Orleans, it was possible to forget about all the various things and to just enjoy the time. Now I have to worry about the bills and worry about how I am going to make ends meet. I am so happy to have Nick with me, but I feel bad about really leaning on him.

I have been procrastinating getting my paperwork done. When I procrastinate, it generally ties back to something I am fearing; and I am fearing being back in the church. My experiences in the congregation have not been overly positive and I am not so sure the congregation is where I want to be. Nick thinks that maybe I am just a little gun shy and that I should give it a try. However, to look for a congregation that will be open to new and challenging ideas.

Seeing the damage in NOLA helped me to get some perspective, but still the problems are here. Granted, I am not homeless, but I still have the problems. Oh well.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thursday Morning Thoughts

Well, today is our last day in New Orleans.

First, I'd like to clear up a misconception that Ur-Spo voiced in a comment about the picture of Jackson Square. (Spo my friend, I am not trying to pick on you!) One of the misconceptions is that the French Quarter got the attention because of tourist bucks. That does make sense, but the truth of the matter is that the quarter, being the oldest part of the city, was also built on the highest part of the city. So when the flood waters came in, the quarter just got some wet streets. Where other parts got lots of high water (some places do not have a "bathtub ring" because the water went over the top of the houses)the French Quarter was spared. (Makes you wonder about the people who said that the flood was the wrath of God against the city for its decadence and its support of GLBT people!)

But the trip has given me time to think and time to talk. One of the hard things about being a member of the clergy is the, in my opinion, artificiality of position. I guess there is an aspect of this with all jobs, but sometimes it just feels stifling. So much of what makes me "Me" has to be hidden because it does not conform to others expectations of what a "good clergy" should be.

How can I tell others to be true to themselves and be the wondrous creatures God made them to be when I, myself, am not following this advice? Do we need to crash the image of the clergy? Will people be ready for that? Can the church survive without the "Pseudo-god" standing in front of them each Sunday (or whatever day is the worship day)?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Some More Sights of New Orleans

There are so many pictures of the destruction that is here in New Orleans. Yes, you can find neighborhoods that are empty, but that is not the whole story. New Orleans is a city that is fighting to rebuild itself. So in honor of the spirit of these people, I am posting picture not of the destruction, but of the beautiful sights that are still to be found.

Nick, This One's For You!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sharing A Little of New Orleans

For those of you who can't be here. It has been fantastic!


Today has gone great so far. The temprature was around 75 degrees and there was a gentle breeze. I kind of smile when I see that they are dealing with temps in the teens back home.

We are going to go to Bourbon Street again tonight. Last night we were there and I could have sworn it was "Family" Night! Some nice sightings in the French Quarter!

The days have been tiring and somewhat difficult. It is hard to believe that after 18 months there are still home in New Orleans that have not yet been touched. We worked with a family that had lost the roof to their home and had moved out. And we gutted two homes where the people moved to Mississippi. It is kind of jarring to be carrying things out of a house and realizing that this is a person's whole life we are throwing in the trash heap.

Not much in the line of pictures. We have been asked to not to take many. The group we are working with don't want people surfing the internet and find their homes as blog posts.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Monday Morning

One of the things I really don't like about getting older is the whole "waking up at the same time" thing. I used to be able to sleep-in forever but now, I am up at 7am whether I am in the Eastern time zone, or, like now, in the Central time zone. So I am awake and posting on the blog.

Last night we went to a local seafood restaurant in New Orleans. It was a small place but the food was good.

I find it kind of eerie how there are still so many houses without anyone living in them. In the area we are staying, there are more empty houses than occupied houses. I am guessing that before Katrina this was a fairly upscale neighborhood due to the proximity to Lake Pontchartrain. But now, things are dark and quiet here at night.

Today we actually start the work of gutting. I don't know what to expect. I know that my body was built for comfort, not hard work. Oh well.

I have been slowly outing myself to some of the people on the trip. The general question that brings up the topic is how I came from being a Lutheran pastor to being an Episcopal priest and why I am not in a church. When asked, I will joke about "wanting the Reader's Digest" version or the "Mini-series." Mostly, though, they just get the "Reader's Digest" version.

At the risk of jinxing myself: This trip is going so much better than my last church related excursion! I was kind of scared to go this time because of what happened in San Antonio. I guess we just have to get back on the bus when we get kicked off.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

In Baton Rouge

Well, I made it to baton Rouge. I was drop dead tired. Riding a bus (a nice bus, but a bus just the same) for 18 hours can be pretty tiring. And we had a driver who thought 70 mph was just a suggestion. Why drive the speed limit when you can drive 55 mph and get there three hours later!! Oh well

I am shocked by the job market here. They can't get enough people to do the jobs. I think I could handle the sun and the warm. There are some church possibilities too, that would be nice. Nick told me that this could be a networking opportunity and he may be prophetic.

We will be going to New Orleans soon and then all the work will start. I guess that is good. But for now, I am totally enjoying the warmth. It is so nice to just sit in the sun and listen to the birds.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Going to New Orleans

I am going with Canterbury MSU to New Orleans to help with the continued Katrina clean-up. You can follow along at the blog, here.