Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Snowstorm Begins

This picture and the picture from the last post were taken about 5 miles and three hours apart. You can see that the snow had started. The traffic on I-96 was literally crawling. It was actually much faster to take the back roads home. This is the original chapel at the church where I was previously. It is still in use, mainly in the summer as it is poorly insulated. There is an old pump organ that the organist still plays for services.

You CAN Get There From Here

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Wait Begins

The sermon for this Sunday is here.

Friday, November 28, 2008

An Interesting Social Experiment

I read this over at Pam's House Blend.

What if, instead of referring to someone's "husband" or "wife," we referred to their "boyfriend," "girlfriend," "companion," or "partner?" And when we get corrected, we just say, "Oh, I'm sorry but my beliefs do not recognize your marriage"?

Can we make people stop for just a moment and contemplate another possibility, they may not be gay, but they may be next. When we place rights up for public vote, what is to stop the trend. I generally don't like using "slippery slope" arguments, but I think this one is valid.

It is kind of like the "White Privilege" or "Male Privilege" in that when you are the privileged group, it is hard to think of what it may feel like to be part of the other group. I got an understanding of White Privilege the first time I saw a black jock-strap. It never dawned on me that yes, people of color wear these things too! Maybe they don't want the straps to show through. And I really began to understand "Hetero Privilege" when I started to go out in public with Nick. It was interesting to go from being a White, Male, Protestant, Straight to GAY! This one title effectively wiped out the others.

I think it is worth a try. Not a big loud protest, but just a little word. But this one little word can begin a conversation and maybe make some people think. Maybe the next time they have to vote on our rights, they may think of their own rights! I don't care if we get our rights because others are afraid of losing theirs. I would like to think that people are innately good and would want to preserve the rights of all, but we can't count on that, so let's tap into peoples selfish motives!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Think I Found A New Job!

I have decided that with all the "Door Buster" sales going on tomorrow, I should go into the field of Door Repair! Lots of doors being busted, lots of doors needing repair!

Still Need Dinner Ideas?

Then here is the book for you! The ultimate "Do It Yourself" cookbook! These recipes make cooking fun again!

Starbucks Steals Thanksgiving

Well, I will be working on Thanksgiving. Yep, I will be making coffee for those who are either alone or tired of the family. I start work at 2 pm and work until 7:30 pm. It really shouldn't be too bad. I am not expecting a lot of people going out for coffee.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Prop 8 Backlash

I guess I really haven't said a whole lot about my feelings on Prop 8. Obviously, I am against it. But do I want people to have to quit their jobs over donating to Prop 8? Well, that is a more difficult matter.

I guess if you are going to donate to a controversial cause, you need to realize that people are going to react. I would not want the money that I pay out to be used against me. If I knew that someone was going to use the money that I gave them to restrict my rights, I would find another person or option.

I don't see it as witch hunt. I see it as self preservation.

I am sorry Mr. Raddon quit his job, but when your paycheck is directly connected with the work of gay folks, and you support a prop that has direct negative effects on said gay people, you should not be surprised when those gay people feel betrayed and withdraw their support.

I think those who say they are baffled by the response are being disingenuous.

All About "Eve"

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

What does it take for a holiday earn an "Eve" status? We have the biggies of Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, but you don't hear about Thanksgiving Eve? Why not "Easter Eve"?

There is "The eve of the election" but does really count as "eve" status?

And is "eve" the night before or is it the whole day? You hear the phrase, "Christmas Eve day" but wouldn't that be "The Day Before Christmas"?

Oh Well, Happy Black Friday Eve Eve.

UPDATE: I just hear someone on TV use "Thanksgiving Eve!" But I didn't check to see if he meant tonight (Wed. night) or the evening of Thanksgiving (Thursday night).

Monday, November 24, 2008


The Countdown Clock tells me that he's going to be coming down your chimney in a month! Have you been a really bad boy?

Day Off

Nick gave me one of my Christmas presents early today. That's Right! It is a Christmas count-down clock! I absolutely love it! He said he could have waited until Christmas to give it to me, but what fun would that be? So I got to open it today and I was totally floored. I saw one a couple of years ago and have wanted one since. Now I have one! Nick is such a sweetie!

I have finished one-third of the stained glass sun catchers I am making for my coworkers. It takes me about an hour to get one out. Right now, I think the green one is my favorite. I find myself mentally thinking who should get which one. Of course, I want to give the best ones to the people I like!

It was snowing this afternoon. As I was driving to go work on glass, I drove over the Red Cedar river. It looked so pretty I decided to take some pictures. (Yes, I know the first picture is upside down but I like it better that way!)

I also went jewelry shopping today. For my piercing. (No, Nick and I are not planning a trip to Connecticut.) I was wearing a Jesus Christmas sweatshirt. I had so much fun going into Hot Topic with a Jesus shirt on and seeing if someone is going to wait on a 40's Christian. Then to ask them about 10 gauge captive bead body jewelry and watch the puzzled look on their face is priceless!

Hope your day is going great!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


(h/t to lolcats)

Maybe if we started making these at work our business would increase?

Christ The King and 4 Disclaimers

Sunday's sermon is here. I think it is better than some of my sermons of the past few weeks.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Our Judy Garland

I found a link to this at Kelly Stern's place. It is really quite good. Take some time and read it. Pass it along to those who need to realize they are not alone and to those who need to know that we are real people with real lives.

Phun With Physics

(h/t to LOLCats)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Cats Would NEVER Do This

bouch fup

Ok, what does this say? Nick and I saw this on a Christmas ornament and it took us some time to figure it out.

Here, I will even show you the whole ornament.

Not much help, huh?

Well, we figured out that it was "much fun." It really wasn't much fun trying to figure it out. I just wonder how something like this could have been approved and put into production.

All I can say, "Life with Nick is bouch fup!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas Presents For People At Work

I have decided not to make either the snowman nor the ornament. I have decided to make a coffee cup for my coworkers. Appropriate, huh?

Found It!

I have finally been able to place my finger on why this whole thing of two days ago would not leave me. It is one of those "deep seated" things that goes back many, many years.

The feeling is like the feeling of when I was a kid and I was being taunted by a neighbor. I tried to not give in, but the taunting was relentless. I finally was provoked to lash out at the kid. But all the neighbor did was laugh. As I tried to make the pain stop, it just continued. And worse, my efforts to stop the pain just caused the pain to increase.

That whole combination of feeling pain, feeling defenseless, and feeling like anything you did to relieve the pain was just going to make the pain worse is totally crazy-making.

My sister was also an expert at this skill. She would taunt me and then laugh. I would feel as if my pain was, if not unfounded, then over stated. That feeling of helplessness is devastating.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thoughts On Introversion and Depression

I have been thinking about what happened at work yesterday and trying to figure out how to prevent it from happening again. I truly hate being that frustrated. There is a part of me that knows that I am acting irrational, but there seemes to be no way to stop the irrationality.

I think part of the whole thing has to do with being an introvert and working in an environment that forces you to be an extrovert. At Starbucks (And I guess all sales jobs) the people come up to you and make demands of you. The customers keep coming into your space. Now granted, that is the way things are supposed to be. And usually, this is no problem.

The problem occurs when you are a stressed introvert. For those of you who do not know, unlike extroverts, an introvert gets their energy from being by themselves. An extrovert can derive energy from those who are around them, but an introvert tends to find more people deplete their energy.

At work yesterday, there was no way for me to lower my stress levels. I could not get away from the people and began to feel closed in. There seemed no way to get away from the people, the stress, and the demands.

Of course, after a certain point, increased stress equals decreased levels of functioning and creativity. So at the time when I needed my creativity to come up with ways of dealing with the depleted energy, that creativity was not there.

Depression is more than just the blues. Depression also reduces your creativity and mental agility. Depression causes you to take a narrower view of the world. It prevents you from seeing the full picture. Depression also leads you to believe that the situation that is current is the only way thing will ever be. The way things are will never change.

I think work yesterday was a wonderful combination of being an introvert, dealing with depression (perhaps a med adjustment?), and being really tired from working a bunch of morning hours. (Getting up at 4:15 am is NOT my idea of a good time. I am probably wining about this, but that is the way I feel.)

Well, now to try to figure out some way to prevent this from happening in the future.

The picture on the top is the snow we are getting. Looks pretty but Nick tells me the driving can be a bit treacherous. The picture on the bottom is the latest stained glass thing. Nick wanted a Thanksgiving decoration so he got a Thanksgiving Squirrel.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Work, Ugh

I have probably come as close as I ever have to tossing a drink into a customer's face, today. I just hope that it makes the people feel oh-so-special to have the "power" to tell the barista what to do.

As you can probably guess, the past week has been a hum-dinger. I have really been trying to find some kind of redeeming factor in my job at the ol' Starbucks. I guess I have to resort to superiority. If someone's life is so sad that lording their "power" over some poor minimum-wage SOB is the only satisfaction they can get, then I guess I am happy I can bring a little happiness into their lives.

Is there anyone in leadership roles that are qualified to be there?

What has been frightening me is that I just get so frustrated and angery that I either want to do something like toss the Chai in the woman's face or just walk off the job and tell them all to bite me. I get to the point where I find it hard to function in a normal manner (whatever that may be). I hate myself for acting and feeling that way but all that that does is increases my anger/frustration level.

I feel like Ur-Spo's whole Childish Thoughts thing but get to the point where I feel unable to stop the flow of negative thoughts. I have been able to prevent myself from doing anything that will get me fired, but it keeps getting harder and harder.

Like I said before, this feeling is vary familiar; it reminds me of the time right before I left my first call. I really don't want to go back that time in my life! I don't want to relive those feelings.

Don't Bury Those Talents!

This Sunday's sermon is here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

(Click to Embiggen)

I was just looking over the listing of people who have visited my blog and noticed SOMEONE FROM WASILLA ALASKA STOPPED BY! Could it have been the Pit Bull MAMA, herself? Maybe it was the First Dude (when I initially typed that, I actually typed "Fist Dud"!!) doing some "Down-low" cruising? Makes the mind boggle!! Well, at least whoever was cruising the picture of Beckham in his Armani briefs. Good taste!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Anything She Can Do...

This is a photo from a fake ad campaign. The campaign is "What if gays really did try to recruit straight people." I linked the photo because even though it is not technically NSFW, it certainly looks like it should be!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The (Pity) Party Continues

Another fun day at the ol' Bux.

We had the regional director show up. Now, I don't know if I said anything about this woman before, but she drives me nuts. I really want her job so I can do all kinds of bad management things and make lots of money.

Well, she was here today and just added to my frustration. I was continuing to be frustrated by the past weekend and was not really happy to be doing a brain dead job; and then the manager shows up and immediately starts to complain. No compliment on getting a five-star rating. Nope, just how bad we were for having the wrong trays under the pastries. I really hate my job. I need to find another job. I will be posting my resume online just like Nick did. Hopefully between the two of us we can find something to sustain us and get us out of here. I am just need to find something that doesn't bore me silly!

I feel like all that I have been doing lately is complaining. But the positive things in life seem to be so far apart. It is hard to recharge when there is nothing to look forward to.

Our schedules this week are almost diametrically opposed. If I wouldn't have gotten off early today, I would not have seen Nick except for a few moments in the morning.

This feeling is reminding me of the way I felt when I was at my church up north. I was getting to the end of my rope and I didn't know any other way out. Again, I feel like I am at the end of my rope. I hate my job. I feel like I am not giving my congregation the attention that they deserve.

The economy is bottoming out. And as it goes down, I see my limited opportunities diminish. The only metaphor I can say is it feels like I am gasping for air and just can't breath. Everything that makes life enjoyable seems to be going away.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Worth 1000 Words

I saw this over at JMG. Thanks for making us second-class citizens.

A Somewhat Cynical Weekend Uptate.

Well, it is snowing outside. Not that that is a bad thing. I like the snow. I also know that it will not last. But it does look pretty. Actually, I need some snow. This weekend has been a bit of a bust. Actually, the past week has been a bit of a bust.

Granted, we have elected our first American President of African descent. I am happy about that. I am not so happy about the results of the various Props that were up for a vote across the country. How someone can vote to remove another's rights is beyond me. And the whole thing about calling judges renegades because they are doing their job. Their job is to decide if a law is unconstitutional. I guess you just change the constitution then the unjust law is suddenly constitutional.

Work has been a drag. [whine] I really hate having to get up some days at 4 am and other days not having to get up until noon. My inner clock is of the sort that I will keep getting up at 4 am. And all of this for less than $8/hr. [/whine] Next week, I will be working either early (starting at 8 am) or opening (starting at 5:30 am). While this is happening, Nick will be closing. So, tomorrow, we will pass on the interstate; I get off at 4:30, he starts at 5.

I also found out that the gift card reader that has been broke for the past four weeks has not been ordered yet. So we get to endure peoples' anger and snide comments (at less than $8/hr) while the store director sits around and waits until he is good and ready to order a new one.

I am getting resentful of my job. I find that I spend all my time either at work or recovering from work. Then when it comes time to prepare for my congregation, I am lacking the energy and the mental agility to properly prepare for the Sunday service. I feel like I have let the folks down. I feel that this weeks sermon is one of the worst I have ever written. I think there is some good stuff, it just is totally bulky and does not flow at all.

Like I said, I am resentful for having to spend so much of my time making coffee.

I know Nick is not happy with his situation either. We are both way under employed and it just makes for total boredom and detestation on the job.

We have no idea what is going to happen to us. We are making ends meet, but just barely. If things get any tighter, we will again be looking for a nice overpass to live under. I have talked to my sister about moving back to Iowa. She said at this time, my dad is to unstable. Having two more people in the house, while being helpful to mom, would be too much for dad.

I have been working on this year's installment of Santas for Nick. This year's Santa comes from Poland. I think it will be nice. I have also been working on a Thanksgiving decoration. It will be a squirrel in a pilgrim's hat. Pictures of that when it is finished.

I also had something happen today that has never happened in my eight years of ministry. I had a person have a bout of bowel incontinence during service. I also hope this is the last time that will ever happen.

Well, thanks for allowing me to vent. I hope all is going well in your world. Remember, our time on this Earth is fleeting, make amends while you still have time. The Bridegroom will be returning when we least expect it.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Pretty Good Storm

Yah, it has not been the "Perfect Storm" around here, but it has certainly been trying.

Sometimes the things of life just seem to come at you too fast and too unrelenting. (Maybe those words mean the same thing. IDK. Just think of it as Hebrew Poetry.)

Unfulfilling jobs.
Tight financial situation.
Not enough sleep.
Stupid peoples' stupid attitudes having a direct impact on my life.
Change from daylight saving time to standard time.
Having my past memories of leaving my former denomination revived.

They all just pile up.

Then I see how this is effecting Nick. He is also underemployed. He is also suffering with our financial hardships. And he is also getting to the point where he should be able to look with expectation to a time of retirement. A time that right now doesn't look like it will ever come.

I guess we could throw a few more things into the mix (which I hesitate to even think about) and that would make it a perfect storm. But for right now, the Pretty-Good Storm is just making life harder to handle.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Well, maybe there is still hope for America! I had hoped to see this day, but I wasn't about to hold my breath. And here it is, we have a person of color as President! I couldn't be happier!

Contemplating Life

This afternoon, I got an interesting phone call. I was a little hesitant to answer it because of all the problems I have had with creditors. But I am happy I did answer the phone. On the other end was a person I had never met before. This person was given my name as a contact to help with the whole process of coming out in the ELCA.

I had realized that I hadn't really talked much about how the coming out process has been going.

Sometimes it is a moment by moment kind of thing. When I am at work, there are times that I really must work to not let my anger overflow. When I look at what I am doing, I have difficulty NOT feeling some kind of resentment. Ten years of college and I am making coffee for Starbucks.

I try to see this as a sacrifice that I am making so that I can serve my congregation. And generally this helps to keep me on an even keel... But there are times when I just want to be a priest. I just want to do what I went to school to learn to do. I want to be able to spend more time getting to know the people in my congregation and spend more time doing the study and the work to put together sermons I can feel proud of.

I have been more out at work than I have ever been. I decided that if I treated my relationship as something to hide, then why should others treat it with respect. So I have just started to discuss my relationship with Nick in the same way others would talk about their spouses. I have also stopped hiding my relationship at church. I even discussed my thanks for having a loving partner in the church newsletter.

If we keep hiding and are afraid of how others will react, then we will never gain the acceptance of others. I decided I was going to speak of Nick just as others speak of their husbands or wives.

To my friend on the phone: I look forward to speaking more with you. I also will keep you in my prayers. The journey you have embarked on is immense. There will be troubles, but there will be peace in your life that you have yet to realize! It is through the courage of people like you that we all can move forward. It is through the strength of people like you that we all can find the strength to stand up to the bigotry of the world.

To paraphrase the Desiderata, we have a right to be here! And the more we stand up for our rights, the more the world must take us seriously.


[RANT] Ok, I am totally fed up with people! Today Starbucks was giving away free coffee. It was supposed to be for voting, but then there was a change later. Why can't people be happy with a free cup of coffee? Why must they always try to get something more?

"Can I have a mocha instead?"
"Can you take some money off of a frappuccino?"
"I don't like coffee but can I have a hot chocolate?"

Can't you be happy that someone is giving you a free cup of coffee? It may not seem like much to you, but when you have over 300 people ask you the same thing in one day, it gets really old. Are we Americans so ungrateful that we cannot even appreciate a gift when it is given? We just seem like spoiled children.

Then, of course, the cash register was not working until close. Yes, when we finally closed, the cash register was fixed.

Such a day. [/Rant]

And So Should You!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween Party At The MCC

We went to the Halloween Party at Nick's church this evening. And, as promised, we went as The Economy. I represent "Before Bush" while Nick is "After Bush."

Nick is trying a new method of finding a job.

Nick with Lyle. (Yes, that is a guy.)

Me with Lyle

What you can't see in the picture is that Lyle had matching lame pants and shoes. He also had a cane that was wrapped in gold beads. It was great!

Do As They Say, Not Do As They Do

The sermon for Sunday is here.

For Lemuel