Friday, November 30, 2007

Aha! Got Him!

No, it is not real. It is part of a photo exhibit at the New York City Library. And it is causing quite a stir. Various members of the Bush administration are holding "a D.C. police date-of-arrest placard bearing the date they made 'incriminating' statements about the war in Iraq." (Gosh, I never thought he looked better!)


(Hat tip to Pam)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Spank A Wife For Jesus Part 2

There has just been a rash of hits on my page "Spank A Wife For Jesus." Now the searches that are bringing the people to my page are "Mike Hitchen and Spanking." Mike posted a comment on the post so that is why it is coming up. But I wonder why this sudden interest? Has Mike done something? Most of the hits seem to be coming from England and France. Anybody have any idea?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

If You Eat Fiber On Christmas Eve...

The latest stained glass creation. Just because Nick likes Mr. Hanky.

Two Years...

Nick and I joked that we really didn't have an anniversary day, we had an anniversary season! From first meeting, to first kiss, to the "Star Trek" moment (You know, "To boldly go...")we've had many different dates. As for me, the other dates are kind of fuzzy, but the "Star Trek" moment is pretty easy to trace. It was the Monday after Thanksgiving that year. So since that date can be pinpointed, I made the executive decision to count that as our anniversary. Nick doesn't seem to mind!

For me, as someone who decided that romance was not in the picture, having a relationship that has extended for two years is quite an eye-opener. And actually, it has been no where near as difficult as people say. Yes, we have our differences, but no, I have never been angry with Nick. I can't conceive of him doing anything that would make me super angry. He is just a thoughtful person. And he is so very patient. Of all the things that have occurred over the past two years, he has been there, stable and supportive when I needed supportive stability. Considering Nick is the first same-gender relationship I have had, I think I am pretty blessed.

Happy Anniversary Nick! Every day I thank God for you!

Thanks to the rest of you for wading through all this gooey stuff!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Let There Be Turds! Part 2

I don't know what it is with my cats and evacuation problems. But as I posted before, my other cat, Claudia, was having a dislike for the litter box. Now, thinking outside of the box is usually a good thing except when it comes to litter boxes! Well, after raising the box up and providing a landing platform that the cats can get to but the dog can't, we can now leave the door open to "boxland." This seems to have eased Claudia's fears of jumping over the barrier to get to the box. This morning, I found Claudia turds in the box!*

*Some of you may wonder how I could tell the difference. It is not that I make a habit of studying my cats' bowel output, but since Madeline is on what we lovingly call "butt-drugs" to help with bowel movements, her turds are kind of wormy-shaped. This is probably much more than you ever wanted to know, but you know, you could have stopped reading many sentences ago!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Movies

I am going to lay the whole genre of "Christmas Movie" at the feet of Charles Dickens. If Dickens didn't write A Christmas Carol, I am sure someone else would have. The sheer endurance of the story proves how it resonates with our human experience and desire.

A Christmas Carol seems to be the prototype of what I have come to think of as the "Christmas Miracle Story." These are the stories where some unknown "force" (sometimes an angel, but often undefined) is the instigator of a series of events that creates a miraculous change in the protagonist. In A Christmas Carol, we could say that the force is Marley, but Marley actually seems to be more an actor in the bigger drama involving not only Marley but the other ghosts. This miraculous appearance by Marley and the other ghosts and the journey through time, cause, what we are supposed to believe, is an enduring change in the character, in this case, Scrooge. This enduring change makes Scrooge's life so much more wonderful and productive. And, in turn, we are to believe that this type of miracle could happen for us.

One variation on this is the "Replay the Day" movie. Here, the miracle is the opportunity for a "do over" on the day and try to get the whole "Christmas Thing" right. Through the miracle of redoing the day, the person learns the "true" meaning of Christmas. In these, especially, we often do not know what or who the causative "force" is, nor do we know why this particular person is chosen to be the recipient of this miracle. The recipient of the miracle is usually someone that we can relate to but the behavior is usually much more pronounced. But in relating to the character, we can again, on some level, believe that a miracle like this could happen to us.

Then there are the "Change of Heart" movies. The House Without a Christmas Tree in which an embittered father finally sees that even though his wife is dead, his daughter still lives on, is one of these movies. In these movies, there is a miraculous moment at Christmas when the grief shatters and the "wonder" of Christmas is allowed to shine through. The past is allowed to become the past and the present takes on a new immediacy. Of course, we are to believe that this new insight will live on and the characters will now live "happily ever after." Of course, we are left with the feeling that if we can just "break through" we too can find this immediacy and vitality in life.

I don't know if you can have a Christmas movie without this miracle motif. Granted, in the Christian tradition, the whole thing started with a miracle. Hanukkah involves a miraculous saving of a people. Even the Saturnalia festivals were to invoke a miraculous fertility in plants and people. And this motif even spills over into the secular in the form of Santa and his miraculous trip around the world by a miraculous means of propulsion.

What is unfortunate is that this sets us up to expect the miraculous during the Christmas season. We expect to have great things happen. We expect to have great breakthroughs with those around us. We expect to have wonderful things happen. And then when they don't, I know I feel, in some form, cheated. If miraculous things can happen to these "everyday" people, why can't they happen to us?

Well, even so, I am not going to stop watching A Christmas Carol or The Polar Express or The 12 Days of Christmas Eve or Miracle on 34th Street or even The Grinch. I am going to watch them, and I am going to keep dreaming that my Christmas miracle will occur too!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Life at Quest Labs

Well, faithful readers, life at Quest Labs has been interesting!

Yesterday, making coffee, was not really a problem. Yes, we were busy. And yes, it was a consistent busy. But no, when I was there we didn't get hammered. Earlier in the day, they had people backed up and had drinks waiting twelve deep. Let's just say, they were making more in an hour than I would make in a week. But it was not bad.

Then came this morning.

8:08 am, HSBC on the phone. Way to early to get a call. I informed the machine that was telling me to wait for an "Important Message" that 8 am was not the appropriate time to be calling.

8:15 I called HSBC to tell them that I had made an on-line payment.

8:30 HSBC called. I waited for the "Important Message" to tell them I already talked with them. Then the nice voice said, "We know your time is valuable and our operators are still busy so we will call you at a later time."

8:38 am, I called HSBC to speak with a manager to tell them that if they are going to be calling me at 8 in the morning, the least they could do was be on when I pick up the phone. I got "transferred" which ended up being cut-off.

8:40 am, NOW I WAS STEAMED! I called back and talked to a person who would not put me through to a manager until I gave my account number. He then put a "Cease and Desist" on my account. Which I thought would end the calls. He said that the computer was beyond his control and that everybody gets called. And I said if his company would go on-line, they would find how "loved" they are by their customers.

8:45 am, HSBC calls AGAIN! This time I tell the operator that I have had five previous dealings with HSBC in the past hour and I want to speak with a manager NOW! I got a woman on the phone who called me by name and apologized profusely for the continued harassment.

I have not been called further today. The computer can be changed when need be.

Then I go to get dressed and find feces on my pants. This is not the first time this has happened. We try to figure out if it is cat feces or dog feces. Then I notice urine on my clothes. No! Not the cat! But yes, the cat has been using my clothes as a litter box. Why? I don't know. But the last thing I want is to have to get rid of my cat. I have lost so much recently, I don't want to loose that too.

I think part of the problem may be the way we keep the dog away from the litter box. You may remember, the dog seems to have grown fond of cat feces so we put a block up to keep the dog out. But there were a few times when we would hear the bucket that was blocking the door overturn. Maybe the cat got scared of the bucket and would not go into the litter box. We put a heavy storage tote in the door. Hopefully this will be a safer barricade and the cat will use it.

It has been a long morning and I still have to make coffee tonight. I also have to preach tomorrow.

Hope your day has been better!

Friday, November 23, 2007

First Foray

Well, I went out at 8 am to pick up a present for Nick's mom. The store wasn't too busy, but unfortunately, the item was already sold out. So, left the store. How unAmerican of me, I am not doing my part to revive the economy.

As I was leaving the store, Nick called to tell me if I didn't leave to go to the store, to not worry about it. So I had to tell him that I couldn't get the gift. I will keep an eye open for it throughout the season, maybe we can find it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Is there anything that good old George W can eat for Thanksgiving the would not be cannibalism?

Stuffing? No.
Turkey? No.
Vegetables? Not even going to touch that!!

Well, have a Happy Thanksgiving! And thanks for all you who have stopped by in the past year and thanks for all my blog friends who have offered you concern, support, and smiles!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Oh, Come On!

Nick sent this to me. Just when you think the world has gotten as weird as it can get, something like this come up.

SYDNEY (AFP) - Santas in Australia's largest city have been told not to use Father Christmas's traditional "ho ho ho" greeting because it may be offensive to women, it was reported Thursday.

Sydney's Santa Clauses have instead been instructed to say "ha ha ha" instead, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Things that I have been thinking about...

1) Why has there been a huge increase in hits to my site involving the picture of "Mr Clean" from about a year ago?

2) How did a song from The Sound of Music, "My Favorite Things," become a Christmas song? And when did it happen?

3) I also think we need to be not only aware, but active about the recent Barna Poll which talked about the increasing dissatisfaction in Christianity in those 16-29 years old. The people said "present-day Christianity is judgmental (87%), hypocritical (85%), old-fashioned (78%), and too involved in politics (75%)." Now, we can say that this just represents the fundimentalists, but when I call myself a Christian, I get grouped in with this stereotype.

So, how do we change this view? I think one way is to come out of the closet about our faith! Can being an out and proud Christian be any harder than being an out and proud GLBT person? If we can handle social ostricism for being gay, why can't we handle being an out Christian?

Just thinking.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Tribe

I have been thinking about my last post and why it has brought me down almost all day: I think it has something to do with being isolated. Usually, I can go along doing what I am doing but when I run into someone from my "past life" it reminds me how alone I am in this life. Now this is not to say that Nick has abandoned me, not by a long shot. But still, I don't feel like I am part of the Episcopal tribe. Maybe I am not allowing myself to be part of this new tribe. I don't know. I just don't feel like I fit in.

I wish I could be part, but I always feel like I am an outsider. It is like I am trying to find where I fit in this group.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Today At Work

This is kind of a whiny post, so I am sorry.

I ran into a former colleague of mine today at work. He looked at me behind the counter at Starbucks and asked what I was doing back there. Then he said, "Or would that be too long of a story?" I said that it was a long story but involved the Episcopal church and decisions made at the ELCA churchwide assembly. He gave me a knowing nod and said we should get together and talk.

I just want to be a pastor. I just want to serve in the church like I used to. After seven years of being a Lutheran, I don't want to have to learn how to be an episcopal. Why is this happening?

The rector I work with keeps telling me that I need to take time to heal, but how can healing occur when everything around me keeps inflicting pain? To be someplace, doing something, would help. But when I get done with a weekend like this past weekend, working and doing church work, I just want to quit. I don't hate my job. I don't hate the church. I am just tired of being in Episcopal limbo.

Seeing colleagues is such a bittersweet thing. I miss the people I came to consider my friends. But when I see them again, it drives home the point that I am not one of them, I am an other.

Sorry about the whine.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I kind of want to cheer...

Ok, I feel torn: We shouldn't be praising people who dabble in identity theft, but sometimes you just want to cheer.

It seems someone hacked into the web site of the wonderfully gracious and tolerant (yeah, right) Ann Coulter. And then they posted the following letter:

I thought it was funny. Ann Coulter is someone who just makes me want to throw something through the TV anytime I see her.

So, although hacking someone's web site is not ok, I have trouble getting overly upset that it happened. (From The Times)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Nick Bought Yogurt

That thought nearly brought tears to my eyes today.

Now this post is not supposed to be a cheap attempt at pity. If that were the case, I would tell you right away. No, this post is more a reflection of the subtle ways in which we all get damaged throughout our lives.

Anyone who has read this for a while will know that we are not doing too well when it comes to the bottom line. So we are really trying to be frugal when it comes to just about everything. So when I opened the refrigerator and saw the yogurt in there, I was a bit surprised.

I am the one who usually eats yogurt. (I like to mix it with a bunch of uncooked oat meal.) So to see the yogurt in the 'frig just struck me. Even though money is tight, Nick though of doing something kind for me. Even though yogurt is a bit of a luxury, Nick bought some.

In my life, I have come to expect people to be out to get me. You know, the whole kid thing: as a kid I was horribly tormented so I began to approach the world from the perspective that people are going to continue to treat me horribly. I know that is a really paranoid way to view the world, but those things we learn as children tend to stick.

So it just struck me that someone has NOT gone out of his way to treat me horribly but kindly.

Bullying is such a part of our world. People say, "Kids will be kids." But how do kids learn to treat their peers badly? How do they learn to tell tell kids who are different that they are queer or faggot? There were billboards around Lansing with a picture of a little girt and next to her picture it said, "You yell at a driver and she learns a lesson," or, "You hit your spouse and she learns a lesson." Unfortunately, this is how children learn.

Our neighbor's girlfriend had a baby. Why do I think this baby will one day call someone a fornicating phallus head? Actually, I would be willing to place a ton of money on that occurring.

Just thinking.

Thanks Nick for the yogurt, that was very kind.

Monday, November 05, 2007

News From Quest Labs

Hi all!

I realized that I really haven't said much about what has been happening here since Nick's hospital visit. I am pleased to say that he continues to do well and it appears that the blood pressure medication is working. This is a good thing.

I have been working and supplying at local churches. I enjoy the coffee job, I just wish the schedule was more predictable. But I shouldn't complain, at least I have a job. And I also enjoy the job so it is not a hassle to have to go in. It could pay more, true, but if I had a higher paying job, I would still be complaining about not making enough.

I have been making Christmas presents. You may remember that last year I didn't get my parents' Christmas present to them until July. So this year, I hoped to get things done early so I am not rushing at the end.

I know Ur-Spo may not want to hear it, but I have been enjoying the shift to Christmas around here. There is a radio station that has been playing Christmas music and there is a channel on cable that has Christmas music. Maybe my fixation on Christmas is an attempt to reclaim the "idealized" Christmas that none of us never have. (Well, maybe some of us have, but I didn't.) Unfortunately, this can set me up for a big drop in January when I realize that this Christmas probably is going to fall short also. But I will have to wait and see.

I actually saw some snow today. Either snow or chunks of sleet, or possibly a worker on the roof had some hellatious dandruff. They are not prediction snow until tomorrow, though. We have actually done well, we have not had snow yet this season and we usually have had some form of snow by now.

The psyche of the Good Dr., here, has been ok. I go through waves of acceptance, then then anger, then frustration, and then depression. I try to keep an even keel, but then there are times when I just get so frustrated at the state of being. I am working with a church trying to learn what it is like to be an Episcopalian, but it is taking time. Last week I was at the Diocesan Convention and that helped me to feel more a part. It was a kind of "completion." I was serving communion during the Eucharist and had the first priest I encountered during my transition come through my line. It really hammered home how my life has changed.

Otherwise, Nick and I are doing ok. I am deflecting phone calls from creditors, I feel bad not answering, but I also hate having to constantly say, "I don't have the money." It is rather humiliating.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wow! That was fast!

Gosh, we don't even get a long, dragged out like we did for Craig. Richard Curtis has already resigned (KIRO).

I will say that I feel sorry for his family and for those who still feel the need to be closeted for whatever reason. What a horrible waste of life. As I write this, I think about the possiblility that my father may be gay. I know I posted about this but can't seem to find the link. As long as I knew him, he was a shell. If he could have lived his life truely, how much difference would that have made?

UPDATE: Found the post about my Dad.