Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to All!

This past year seems to have been pretty nasty for most. But one thing to remember is that we did make it through and hopefully we are all stronger for having done it. Hopefully we can take this strength into the new year and not just live but thrive!!

Peace, love, blessings and above all HOPE! To all my blog friends, even to those whom I may consider blog enemies! (Hopefully there aren't too many of those.)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Porn For The Blind

You know what they say! Well, even after you have gone blind, you can still engage in your favorite activity thanks to PORN FOR THE BLIND! They are even looking for readers! Someone was really thinking here. And the service is provided FREE OF CHARGE! You gotta love it! It restores my faith in humanity.

New Year's Eve Eve

The girls are resting up for the festivities of tomorrow night. Not much is going to be happening here. I have to close at Coffee Hell and Nick is going to a 50th Anniversary Party at his church. We are such party critters.

What are your New Years plans?

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Hate My Job!

I have been dreading thinking a lot about work lately. Every time I think about it, the image that keeps coming to me is the feeling trying to defend myself while having that defense turned back as a form of attack. I try to do my job properly and consciously and just end up getting more and more frustrated.

One reason I can think of is I am an Enneagram 5. It may take me a while to make a decision, but when I do, I am pretty well committed to that decision. As one of my seminary profs would say, "Often wrong, but never in doubt." Then, if the decision is not implemented or another, better idea presented, I become frustrated.

At work, the situation seems obvious: Teach the new people what to do, and follow through on making sure it happens. If they continue to do it incorrectly, then increase the consequences. But don't make me have to pick up the slack. And don't make me feel guilty because I am upset that I have to pick up their slack.

I also have been through one store shut-down and don't want to go through another. But how do you get people to understand that even a benign neglect of rules can be enough to close us down. We have a new store that opened near by and our numbers have dropped. We have to do what we do even better because we are harder to access. In this economy, it is the details that matter.
People can always find other places to spend their dwindling amounts of money.

I am really trying to come up with ways of dealing with managers who do not do their jobs and coworkers who appear to either be totally clueless or totally lacking in personal integrity. I am not paid enough to be this upset. But what these people do does have an effect on me.

Unfortunately, one way I deal with this stuff is to detach. I hate doing that, but getting totally upset over an $8/hour with no tips job is definitely a losing proposition.

Oh well...

Anyone out there need an Episcopal Priest with a masters degree in psychology, (specializing in the psychobiology of Alzheimer's Disease), with experience in Program Direction for people with Mental Retardation, who knows how to make a killer Caramel Frappuccino, who can repair your stained glass windows and give a planetarium show in a pinch?

Really, this is no joke, have you got a job for me?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Recap

A post-Christmas wrap-up.

Christmas was good. It was busy but that is what you expect being clergy, let alone a clergy couple. On Christmas Eve, I went one way, Nick went the other. Our respective churches are about equal distances in opposite directions. Bummer, but that is life.

I got to the church early so I had time to wrap the Bear Nativity that I got for Nick. He loves Boyds Bears so when we saw this on one of our day trips, I knew I needed to get it for him!

I was getting worried because I had to order it online and it finally arrived on Christmas Eve. So I had to wrap it at the church so he would not see it not have an idea what it was.

The Christmas Eve service went well. The church was warm and cozy. The sermon went well. (It was one of my favorites.) Then there were meatballs after the service. I headed home and got a call from Nick telling me that he was stuck in a traffic jam.

When Nick finally got home, we had shrimp, Asti, and opened presents. One of my presents I received early. While we were unwraping gifts, the clock hit zeros which meant that all the displays started showing "Ho!"

At the opening of the post is the Santa I made for Nick this year. It is a Polish Santa. He seems to like it and that makes me happy. Below is a coffee cup Nick gave me. I love it! I think it is just too cute! (He almost squeals like a little girl!)

On Christmas Day, we went to Nick's brother's house. We had a good time. And this year I managed to duck getting what could probably be described as the worst gift I have ever gotten. Nick's family does a $20 gift exchange/swap. Nicks SIL, while owning a florist shop, buys the WORST gifts ever. This year went above and beyond the call. This years gift was...

Yes, that is right, Miracle Putty and Puck Lights. And I almost had the son of the SIL swap this crap stuff for the $20 gift card to Target that I had received.

But we had a great time and then it was back to work. The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful.

Hope your Christmas was happy and bright!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Packing Away Christmas

Click here for the sermon for the First Sunday After Christmas.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Man After My Own Heart!

No, I am not dumping Nick, but he may be getting a run for his money! Anyone who would post this is someone I really want to meet!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

My comments will not be nearly as eloquent as Nicks but I would still like to send my thoughts.

May Christmas challenge us all to be the people we truly wish we could be. May love and good cheer be a part of our daily lives, not just something we strive for once a year. Remember that you are a beloved creation of an Incomprehensibly Generous God. And whatever your faith or lack of faith, enjoy the season in the manner that brings you the most joy! (It don't get more PC than that, huh?)

Merry Christmas to you all!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Life At Christmas

Your Moment Of Christmas Glamour

Click for overwhelming Glamour! (BEWARE: Glamour May Be Too Much For Commoners!)

I saw this over at Bunny Lynn Boofay's place. I did not know if I should post it or not, knowing that such an extreme exposure to such glamourousness can be dangerous. But I decided to cast fate to the wind and post it anyway!

Head on over to Ms. Boofay's place and wish her a GLAMOUROUS CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve

What a yuck day!

And yet again I arrive at work to find that the closing was done in a half-fast way. (Say it out loud if it doesn't make sense.) I am tired of saying something but not having anything change. My boss told me that it was busy last night and I would believe that if this were only an occasional occurrence. But since this is almost a daily event, I am just pissed. So, I decided to tell my boss that any shift I worked, I would work close. Even if we were busy, I would get the placed closed in an appropriate manner. I am just so sick of going in and finding a mess. And, of course, nothing changes because the boss does not want to take the time to discipline the staff. I wouldn't complain so much, but when you open, there are things that have to happen and only a short amount of time to make them happen. When the night crew gets lazy, then opening, not only occurring too early, gets to be a major chore. One of my former co-workers has said something about trying to shut us down. Since the new one opened, I would not be surprised if this were true.

Then it starts snowing and gets slippery and all the world comes to a crawling halt. It took Nick over an hour to drive the 12 miles from work to home. Now we are home, we had some so-so chili that I made and are watching White Christmas and having a beer.

I am so looking forward to two days off. Granted, there are church and family things to do, but at least I will not have to go to Coffee Hell!

The one thing nice about colder weather is it makes it conducive to snuggling!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Think I Got Everything Done!

I think I finally got all the Christmas presents that I intend to give this year done! I started early so I could get them done before Christmas Eve like last year. And I would like to have gotten things done a little earlier, but at least they are done. The picture is of one of the ornaments I made for some friends. They are about three or four inches long. I thought they were just about the right size for a tree. I made seven of these today after church.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tis The Season

I saw this the other day back in the backroom at the store. As you can see, we just can't wait to get on to the next "Holiday."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Wonderful Heterosexual Family Role Models

I saw this over at Joe.My.God. All I can say is, "I am so glad we have this great example of how to raise children."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas At Jonestown

Click to Embiggen

Nick and I were out and about today and we saw this scene of carnage along the road. Over 30 dayflated Christmas decorations. It looks like some kind of sicko went on a rampage when he didn't get a Tickle Me Elmo.

Just to prove that they come back to life once the sun goes down. (OH NO!! Vampire Christmas Decorations!!)

A Bit Of A Worry

We have all seen this clip a few times now. I consider the guy a hero! I just hope he does not get into some dangerous situation because of his actions.

This Is Kind Of Creepy

Do you want to smell like a Whopper? No, I mean the hamburger kind of Whopper. Well it seems that Burger King has gone into the fragrance business. I am not sure at whom this ad is aimed. There are a variety of scenes with Chef, oops! I mean Issac Hays, "oohing" and "ahhing" in the background. The scent has a "hint of flame broiled meat." Again, don't know if that is to be worn by women to make their men hungry or by men to get women to bite their meat? (We won't even talk about hunters looking for Bears! ;) )

The site is kind of cheesy, but there are some images that are kind of disturbing. The body is quite nice, but the face?????

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Weekend Recap

Well, another weekend is drawing to a close. From my point of view, it has been ok. I have had the opportunity to get some more work done on the stained glass. The picture is the clock I am going to give to Nick's sister and BIL for helping us move. They have been so very helpful. I just might make one for us! (Heavens knows we need more more stained glass around here!)

Nick's Santa is coming along and I hope to have it done by Christmas Eve.

There are a few presents that I could make but it is not pressing.

Preaching went well. Things are going well at the church also. I am pleased to be doing church stuff again.

The only downer is that I heard that my mom is in the hospital with diverticulitis. She had this about ten years ago and they had to do surgery to correct it. Hopefully she will not need surgery this time. My dad is feeling quite lost without her. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. My dad too!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Christmas Thought

Nativities Around The Apartment

I had said before that I have a bunch of Nativities. Actually, together with Nick, we have a WHOLE BUNCH! Here are the ones that are currently in the apartment. Remember, these are not all we own!

These are two small nativities. No, I did not make the stained glass one.

This is a snow globe which plays "O Little Town of Bethlehem"

This one plays "O Holy Night."

These were bought on sale!

This is Nick's crystal nativity.

I was given this by The Weenie Waffle.
This nativity is an Isabel Bloom. It is made of cast concrete.

A Peruvian Nativity (I think!)

Another music box. This one plays "Silent Night"

A Nativity Plate

The Beartivity

One of the more "traditional" nativities in our collection.

Nothing says "Christmas" like fiber optics!

The Cowboy Nativity

And, of course, the Indian Nativity. ( I know it is not politically correct, but when we were kids, we did not play "Cowboys and Native Americans.")

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Express Comparison

I saw the words "Express Mail" on a mail box and started to laugh. Nick asked me what was so funny. I explained to him the image that I saw in my mind; the image I tried to create above. Nick decided I was indeed a sick puppy.

I find the phrase "Express Milk" to be one of the oddest in the English language. Whenever I hear it, I think of someone in a white leotard doing some hokey interpretative dance. "I am expressing milk. Here I am being shot out the nipple. Now I am sliding down the throat..."

Coffee Out Of The Nose Funny!

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Yes, There Are Stupid Questions

A customer asked me today:
Is there coffee in the Espresso Truffle?

I figured saying, "Ah, DUH!" would have probably gotten me fired!

Which of Santa's Reindeer Are You?

You Are Blitzen

Always in good spirits, you're the reindeer who loves to party down with Santa.

Why You're Naughty: You're always blitzed on Christmas Eve, while flying!

Why You're Nice: You mix up a mean eggnog martini.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Gift Exchange Present

A clock I made for the family gift exchange. I think it is pretty cute! I would keep it. Who knows, maybe I will make another for myself! One of the things that I love about making stained glass, all the glass for the petals came from the same piece of glass. I almost hated to cut it up!

The flowers have absolutely nothing to do with the gift exchange, but I just downloaded the pictures off of my camera. These are the flowers Nick and I bought for each other. We got each other flowers for our anniversary. We agreed we would not buy anything for each other and of course we both lied! Nick bought roses for me, I bought carnations for him. So we put them together into a bouquet.

This is our third anniversary! (Nov. 28th)

You know, I find it interesting: We celebrate our anniversary not based on marriage but based on first time "together." In many ways, this is the kind of thing that the fundies would want. They would want to measure the relationship from when it was consummated. And here are us "Abominations" doing just that! Just goes to show you!

Newsweek Takes on Gay Marriage and the Bible

Newsweek has a great cover story, Gay Marriage: Our Mutual Joy.

Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. "It is better to marry than to burn with passion," says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered. Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?

Of course not, yet the religious opponents of gay marriage would have it be so.

It is a great article, definitely worth a read. What I can't understand is how someone can read this and still think that "Biblical Marriage" had any resemblance to what we generally consider heterosexual marriage.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Cups and More Cups!

Well, the Christmas presents for my coworkers are done. And in the process, I got a commission to make another one!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Voices In The Wilderness

You! You can read the sermon for this Sunday right here!

Repeat After Me, "Thank You!"

Ok folks, as if we need something new to use to get angry with each other, once again we are using Christmas to do that. In the season of "Peace on Earth," we are once again attacking each other.

My previous post on "It's Ok To Say Merry Christmas To Me" has become one of the top page loads from my blog. (The Nine Months 'til Christmas Santa has been giving it a good run, though! And the one on H.M. has zipped to the top spot just recently.) I keep trying to find a way of seeing this whole "It's Ok To Say Merry Christmas To Me" as something other than a way of attacking while feeling self-righteous.

We live in a world where people don't seem to be able to be nice to each other. If someone wishes you "Happy Holidays" then just accept it as a kind wish and pass it along. If someone wishes you "Happy Holidays, " just say, "Thank you! And to you too!!" Don't go into a whole diatribe as to this being a Christian country ('cause its not). Just accept the kind wish and pass it along! Is that really so hard?

One basic tenet of behaviorism is to take the closest you can get to what you want. If we want people to just be nice to each other, then when someone is nice, we need to thank them and return the kindness. Enough with the attacks! When someone says "Happy Holidays" just say "Thank you!" Or, better yet, wish them "Happy Holidays" in return! If they wish you "Happy Hanahka," well, whish them "Happy Hanahka" in return! If they wish you "Happy Festivus," well then by all means wish that person the very best Festivus ever! (And then hand them a pole!)

Let's quit turning this time when we say we want peace and love into a season of one upping and trying to prove we are better than the others. If we want to see peace on earth, then let's be the instruments of peace we want to see. Ok?

  • Merry Christmas!
  • Happy Hanahka!
  • Happy Festivus!
  • Happy Kwanza!
  • Joyous Solstice!
  • Have a Nice Day!

Friday, December 05, 2008

In Memory of Henry Gustav Molaison

Photo from NYT
I heard on the radio today that Henry Molaison died last Tuesday. At first I didn't place who this person was; then they referred to him as H.M. Then I knew. He was the man who had surgery on his brain in an effort to curb his seizures. The unfortunate side effect of the surgery was the H.M. was unable to make any new long term memories. I never knew the man's name because in classes where we talked about him, he was only referred to by his initials. I am happy that I finally know his name, but I am sad that it took his death to make that possible.

The Repeal of Prohibition

Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition. SO...

Party like it is 1933!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Those Horrible Heteros

I am not posting this to make light of what happened. This is terrible.
A Girl Scout leader and her husband were arrested after an emaciated, terrified and nearly naked 17-year-old showed up at a gym with a chain locked to his ankle, saying he had just fled his captors, authorities said Tuesday.
Now, if this were a gay couple, the Reactionary Right would be yelling and screaming that this is all the work of those EVIL GAYS! But I would be willing to bet that this doesn't even "blip" on their radar.

The theologian in may says that this is a sign that we are a fallen people, ALL of us. This is a sign that even though we want to think that humanity is innately good, there are still people out there who will do evil. I would even give these people the benefit of a doubt that in their minds, what they were doing makes sense. But what they were doing has everything to do with being a fallen people and nothing to do with either a Heterosexual Agenda or the Homosexual Agenda.

But I am probably preaching to the choir on this one.

(h/t to Box Turtle Bulletin)