Thursday, February 28, 2008

First Lutheran Jesus

Well, this is the latest creation. I made it from the logo of the church where I did my internshipp. I thought the thing would look cool. Unfortunately, the painting of the face was difficult. I cannot quite get the look of joy that is on the logo.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sometimes I Just Hate Life

[rant]Well, I am glad we have the land-line phone. I have begun to think of it as the HSBC Hotline. Really, the only people who ever call it is HSBC.

I hate being in this situation: I feel like such a schmuck for not being able to pay my bills. I hate having people constantly hitting me up for money I don't have.

And I know I shouldn't, but every time it happens, I get mad at the church. If they were truly loving like Christ, I would not be thoroughly underemployed.


Living With (Someone who has) OCD

Ok, maybe not living with, but working with...

I find myself really divided when working with the guy with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). (He did admit that he did have OCD.) I want to be helpful and understanding, but also, the guy drives me nuts! Perpetual motion comes to mind. And it is not that the motion is purposeful, in many ways it is just motion. Again, last night, the cash register was cleaned at least four times. It just continues to compound: one little thing, then another, and another!

The whole anxiety cycle is amazing to watch. The continuous cleaning increases the anxiety of the team. Then Mr. OCD cleans more in the hope of gaining acceptance which just increases the anxiety.

Mr. OCD also seems to be very socially immature. He has a very "young" sense of humor in that involves "annoying" those around him. One of his ways of interacting is to shine the laser scanner into peoples' faces. You can tell he is trying to interact but it just doesn't work. I feel sorry for him.

I also feel bad that my patience is not longer. I am pretty good at keeping a good sense of humor about the whole thing, but after a couple of hours, I just want him to go away. What also worries me is that my frustration just adds to the general anxiety of the system.

Monday, February 25, 2008

10 Months to Go!

Job Up-Date!

For the most part, I love the people I work with. They are interesting, open minded people. One of the nice things is that I am out to all of them so I don't have to be constantly editing my language.

HOWEVER...(You knew this was coming!)One of my co-workers is about to drive me nuts! Within a six hour stretch I was with him, he cleaned the cash register four times. He took all the pastries out of the pastry case, at 2 pm, and cleaned it. Now, 2 pm is prime pastry selling time! He stacked all the cups in front of the espresso machine so he could wash the plastic holder. It is hard to make espresso when there are cups sitting in front of it. Even when the boss told him to "STOP CLEANING!" he would continue. And when the boss went home for the day, we had the White Tornado return. I know that when he shows up at work, the stress level of the group seems to rise.

This is also the guy who I thought was "family." Now, he says he is not gay, but so does Larry Craig. What is interesting is that as soon as he heard I was gay, he had all kinds of questions about places Nick and I go when we go out and what we experience from the people around us. I just answer his questions. It took me 40years to come to grips. Then again, he may just be interested and nothing more.

Discussions with Kirby

It had been a while! I replied to Kirby over a month ago, and didn't hear anything back. I have now heard back and am deciding to wish Kirby well and send him on his way.

He will probably say that he was correct and that I am ending the discussion because I do not want to face the truth of his argument. My usual reply to this is that I have been down the road these arguments lead and have found them wanting. "Been there, done that." I am not going to get involved in the whole "he said/he said" thing. When the Pope is lifted as the ultimate authority and it is argued that all revelation ended with the disciples, it is at this point that I realize that carrying this discussion on any farther is fruitless. I am not the pope, not an original disciple. Anything I say will be disregarded.

Kirby, blessings on you as you pursue your path to find God. And yes, I will keep you in prayer.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Hands

Nick bought some new hands for my clock. I think it looks much better.
Pattern byChantal

New Job Continued

Yesterday was a thrill! I got to spend seven hours in front of a computer screen learning all kinds of [sarcasm]fun and useful things![/sarcasm] Granted, there really is not good way of presenting all the information, but after seven hours, not a whole lot was getting in.

[whine]I miss having a ton of time to myself and being able to go with Nick when he travels to Flint.[/whine] I just need to find a way to get someone to sponsor my life. Maybe I could tattoo an ad on my body and then have someone pay me to walk around so the ad can be seen. I know it has been done before.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Panda Porn

I just heard about this yesterday. How can something like this be happening! What are we doing? How can we expose those cute pandas to such filth!! THE GAYS must have something to do with it!!

Back to Making Coffee

Someone said, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

You know, coffee is coffee. Some things are different, like the placement of the syrups and where the spoons go. But at the first day of the new job, I was making coffee.

I have to learn how to ring things up on the cash register because it is different than what I had been used to. And "NO!" I will not ring up any of my own purchases!

I think one of the employees is a family memeber. If not, he should be!

But back today. And today I will get to start the basic training! Should be fun!! :P

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cat Clock Part 2

Here is the rest of the cat clock construction. The project begins here.

The first thing is to place copper foil tape around each piece. The foil tape has a copper outside and various colors on the "sticky" side. On glass that is not transparent, it is ok to use tape that is copper on both sides. (It is also cheaper!) On glass that is transparent, like the orange stripes on the cat, I used tape that is black on the sticky side because the solder will be blackened and you will be able to see the tape through the glass.
Here you can see the tape around a piece of glass. You can also see the grain in this piece. After the tape is applied to the edge, it is folded over onto the front and back of the piece. It is then pressed into place by a piece of plastic called a fid.

The pieces have been foiled and have been fitted together

The joints are painted with a chemical called "flux." This is an acid that cleans the metal and allows the solder to flow. But at this point, a small blob of solder is placed on all the joints just to hold them together. This is called "tack soldering."

The pieces have been soldered together. A wire was also soldered around the outside edge to give the piece greater strength. After all the solder joints have been completed, the flux is washed off with a special soap.

This is where the magic happens! A patina is added to the lead solder that turns it black. Not only does the patina make the solder lines stand out, it also helps to hide any mistakes. The black lines act similar to the black outlines in cartoons. By making the lines black, they, in effect, disappear from consciousness. This is also the reason I used a tape with a black back on the transparent pieces. If you can see the tape through the glass, it will just blend into the solder line. Different patinas can be used to change the solder copper or to keep it silver.

I then painted irises into the eyes and added toes to the paws and whisker marks on the upper lip. For all intents and purposes, the clock is done at this point. The only thing that is missing is the clockworks.

And the finished product! I think I will have to get longer hands. And I will have to get black hands. It will make the hands much more visible. Right now, the silver hands look like an afterthought.

Here is the clock with the proper hands.

P.S. to Lemuel: Getting your fingers cut is just part of the game. I go through a ton of band-aids!

Pattern byChantal

Starting New Job

Well, the "new" job starts today. I put "new" in quotes because, as I said before, I am still working for 'bucks, just in a different location. The hardest part will be to keep the information that is revelant while staying open to the things that are new. Reminds me of a church I supplied at; "We do things the same way as nobody else." I am sure this goes for jobs too.

Of course, the uniform couldn't be the same. Yes, there is the black shirt, but they will supply me with one. And instead of the khaki pants, we are supposed to wear black ones. (Now, black pants and two cats do NOT go together!) And hopefully, the closer location will offset the $.75 less per hour. On well...

I have been dealing with credit companies, mainly HSBC. I try to explain that I am exceedingly underemployed. I have been dealing with them for some time now. Now I am told that there is insurence on my account in case I become unemployed! THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW! I currently owe more on my sofa than it origianlly cost. Every time a payment is missed, they tack a $39 service charge on. (Why not just make it $40? Are they trying to look "nice" by not charging so much?)

Again, it is times like this that makes me question my actions. I could have kept my mouth shut, stayed in the closet and things would have been fine. But I came out in a church that claims to be "open and accepting." Yah, right. Every time I hear that, it makes me ill.

I still love peoples' reaction when they hear that I am an unemployed clergy. Their first response is "Is that possible?" Then they look at me like, "Who did you have sex with?"

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cat Clock Part 1

I am in the process of making a new clock for in the kitchen. The clock we had previously fell off the wall when the neighbor was moving and broke. So I decided to make the clock seen here.

Pattern byChantal

What I like about the clock is that the numbers are not obvious. Actually, there are no numbers, the cat's stripes mark the time.

I have shown many of my finished products and I thought people might be interested in the creation process. So I will do a couple of posts showing the steps from pattern to finished product.

The first thing I did was to make two copies of the above pattern and number all of the parts.

Then I cut one of the patterns apart and placed the pieces on a piece of glass. The glass I am using has "grain" just like material. As such, I have to make sure that the pieces are all arranged in the appropriate manner. If the pieces are not properly aligned, the effect is amaturish.

This piece shows an early piece of mine. In this, I didn't take the grain of the glass into consideration. You can see by the arrows that one grain is at a diagonal and one is horizontal. Some have told me that it is not noticable, but I just don't like the way it looks.

Here is a piece where I compensated for the grain. These are two different pieces of glass seperated by a piece of wood. But I wanted it to look like clouds in the sky, so by being sure the grain was horizontal, the sky looks like clouds.

With the clock, I had to consider how the fur of the cat would look as the cat was lying. I figured he grain would go down the body of the cat and so the grain should move toward the center of the clock. The stripes also have grain to them too.

Here is a piece of glass with some pattern pieces drawn on it. I use a permanent marker, which thankfully, is not permanent on glass. The top red handled pliers is called a "breaker/grozer pliers". The bottom pliers is called a "running pliers". The third tool there is a scorer. The scorer is used to make a scratch in the glass and then the glass is broke with the pliers. The grozer is used to wear away at a piece of glass to shape it.

Here are some of the pieces placed on the pattern. The pieces are numbered to correspond to the pattern. This just makes it easier to put together.

At this point, the lighter colors of glass are cut and placed. They have not been ground yet. Grinding is the process where the pieces are shaped so as to fit together snugly. A power tool specifically designed for grinding glass is used for this process.

At this point, all the pieces are cut and ground. They fit snugly together but they are not tight. Next the pieces will be taped and soldered. But that is for Part 2!

This photo shows one of the heartbreaks of stained glass. When dealing with glass with grain, you have to be especially careful. The glass "likes" to break with the grain. So when you have a curve, care must be taken so the glass breaks along the curve and not follow the grain.

The project continues here.

More Yucky Weather

It was NASTY this morning! Nick stepped out the door to take the dog out and nearly fell on his backside.

I got up and drove to church (about 20 miles away) only to realize when I had five miles left that I had a message on my cell phone. Yep, the message was that church was canceled. So I continued to the church to work on some stained glass. The parking lot was horrible. I felt like Tim Conway as Mr. Tudball walking from my car to the building.
Nick decided that by the time services at his church would start, the ice would have turned to rain, so he chose to have Sunday services.
So now, I am just enjoying a day off.
Hope you all are having a great day too!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

New Job!

Well, sort of...

See, I am working with the same coffee company, just in a different store. Granted, it is $.75 less per hour than the previous job, but it is closer. I hope this goes well. I am getting sick of the daily drama that life has been handing me.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Refuge

Folks from The Refuge, WELCOME!

I check occassionally to see how people are getting to my blog. Maybe a bit of vanity, but mainly just curious. What really intrigues me is when I get a bunch of hits from some off the wall site, like happened when I got a bunch of hits to this post. I also noticed that I was getting a bunch of hits to this post because of the picture from The Bloated Goat.

Now, I have been getting hits from a site called The Refuge. I had never heard of the site and was wondering what was up. They weren't even linking to a spacific page, they were just linking to my main page.

I guess there is a person on this forum who also goes by Dr. Benton Quest! Great minds think alike!

So, again, welcome folks from The Refuge, take a look around. Leave a comment. And come back any time!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy VD!

Back in "the day" when it wasn't "STD's"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Freedom To Marry Week

February 10-16, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

This Weekend

Well, another weekend has come and gone. All too fast!

Nick and I traveled around south eastern Michigan this weekend. We had to go to the church for Nick and then we went out exploring a bit. We decided to go to Canterbury Village since we had the pamphlet and had never been there. Besides, there was a Christmas store there and anyone who reads this should know that I am a Christmas fanatic.

The store was nice. I liked it better than Bronner's. The building was cool with some of the most incredible woodwork and stained glass. We had some fun while there because there was almost no one in the store.

And we also found something at this store that we would never find at Bronner's...

You see, Wally Bronner, the owner of Bronner's is a Missouri Synod Lutheran. And being a Missouri Synod Lutheran means he is not a big fan of the LGBT community. Therefore, there would NEVER be an ornament that would celebrate a gay relationship found in the store.

Today, we went to Nick's church in the morning and we were supposed to go to an 85th birthday party for his mom this afternoon. But it ended up that his mom spent her birthday in the hospital so we drove to the Detroit area to visit her.

AND IT IS COLD! Right now, it is 0 degrees out. AND WINDY!! You got to love winter in Michigan!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Mitt Drops Out

According to Joe. My. God., Mitt Rommey is going to drop out of the race. As one commenter put it, " If Huckabee is the running mate, he would be a bullet/heart attack away from the presidency, and old man McCain is like 80!!!!"

This is not good at all.

More Snow

What promised to be late night for both of us, yesterday, ended up being a cozy night at home. We got a ton of snow and Nick canclled his Ash Wednesday service and the evening service I was supposed to be part of got cancelled also. So we got to have a quiet evening watching the TIVO of Nip/Tuck and then American Idol.

I have to admit that Nip/Tuck is one of my guilty pleasures. It has got to have one of the most twisted set of characters on television. I mean really, who would ever think (spoiler alert!) of stuffing someone to death? That is right, stuffing as in "teddy bear."

As far as American Idol, we will have to see what happens. I am glad the initial auditions are over. In my opinion, these are pretty lame and at times cruel. I get tired of people who are horrible getting angry because they are told they are horrible.

As far as annoying TV is concerned, there is a new show on called The Moment of Truth. It asks people increasingly more embarrassing questions to which they are to tell the truth. I just find it annoying at best, cruel at worst. Nick had never seen it so we watched it. This was the second (and last) time I watched it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Happy (?) Ash Wednesday

Well, it is Ash Wednesday and in a home with two clergy members, it is a busy one. Nick has to work today and then has an Ash Wednesday service this evening. I have a noon service and then a service at 7 pm. Sometime around 9 or 10 tonight we should run into each other again.

Great Quote of the Day
Romney looks like Waterworld right now: A big, expensive flop
Racheal (?) on the Today show.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"Oops" or "On Purpose"?

Well, this is the passenger side rear quarter panel and door. It may be difficult to see in the pictures, but there are two definate dents in the truck. I am not sure if these dents were just an accident or if they were placed there on purpose (THE NEIGHBOR?). I don't know so I am not going to lay blame. I am not a big "car person" but I also do not like to have my truck dented.

UPDATE: I'm not going to file a report because the damage, while probably over the $1000 mark, is not going to get turned in. I can't afford the deductable. I hope whoever did it got some sense of relief from doing it.

Oh, Lemuel, the truck was in the parking lot of the apartment.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Isn't It Ironic?

I'm sitting here listening to the bass line of the music my neighbor is playing downstairs. That's right! THE NEIGHBOR! The one with the bionic-eared baby is playing his his music loud enough that we can hear it in our apartment. Now, in general it wouldn't bother me, but because of the hassel he put us through, it just pisses me off.

The other ironic thing was Nick and I were going to go shopping at the Salvation Army Store. We were vying with a Hummer for a parking spot. That is right, someone who can afford to drive, let alone own, a hummer, should not be shopping at the Salvation Army. Not only that, there was another Hummer in the parking lot.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Yucky Weather

Well, winter came back. So far this week, we have had 50 degree weather, single digit weather, rain, and now a snowstorm. It took Nick over an hour to get to work. He got this "wonderful" e-mail from work reminding everyone that even though the weather is bad, people still need to come to work. AH DUH!

The e-mail came from the higher management where Nick works (and where I used to work). The management there treats the workers as if they are children. I found it frustrating as does Nick.

As far as other things, life goes on. I have been looking for a job. I have been trying to write a sermon for Sunday. (I decided to re-run one from six years ago. Still pretty good, I think.) And, in general, trying to stay on this side of depression. Nick has been such a support. I just hope I am not leaning too hard upon him!

I'm still having trouble with the whole God/church thing. It feels weird having to write a sermon extolling the virtues of God when lately I have been questioning whether God even exists. Trying to get excited about anything, let alone church stuff, is hard right now. I keep trying to be excited about learning "how to be an Episcopalian" but it is wearing thin.

I hate feeling stupid. I have done the whole "church thing" and have been a clergy person for seven years. Now, being relegated to the status of "intern" just feels like a kick in the nads.