Saturday, July 30, 2005

I know it's Disney, but...

If Quasimodo falls from the arms of an olive-skinned, dark-haired gypsy woman, how come he's got milky-white skin and bright red hair? For that matter, how come a guy who lives in the bell tower of Notre Dame in the 15th century has dark eyebrows and bright red hair?

Friday, July 29, 2005

On Big Sisters

(Note: This has nothing to do with the reader's own state of big sisterhood, nor with the fact that her little brother's birthday card was late this week. Nothing whatsoever.)

I have decided that big sisters are a very good thing. I haven't really ever had a big sister before; at least, any sisters I've had have been within a year or two of my age at a time when a year or two didn't mean the difference between talking or not, going to school or not, driving or not, etc. In the last year, I've actually acquired a big sister, and lo and behold, I like having one. It is quite nice to be able to ask silly questions of someone and get real answers, without added commentary on my brightness.

Today's happy thought is brought to you by the letters J and H, and the number 3.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

for Emily

You are Proverbs
You are Proverbs.

Which book of the Bible are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

This was a near tie with Romans and Psalms - the problem was that they made me choose which one answer summed up my view of God - and I couldn't decide between "He's the Alpha and Omega... beginning and the end... who was, who is, and who is to come!" (Proverbs), "He is full of grace and mercy." (Romans), "He is my comfort... my shelter... my tower of refuge and strength." (ironically, Psalms), or "He is the giver of all wisdom and understanding." (also Proverbs) I went with Proverbs though because two of the options placed me in Proverbs.

I wish I were a fairy.

If I were a fairy, I would always know what I felt.

And now, to bed.

CPE day

As a general rule, I don't appreciate being asked to get up an hour earlier than usual for a mandatory retreat/rest day that consists of several hours with a speaker. This whole setup bewilders me.

That said, I was pleasantly surprised by today's speaker. Doris Klein, an artist and nun, led a mellow session using images and music that required almost no participation on our part - and at no point were we required to share our feelings. I didn't always agree with her, and it was a little much to listen that much, but overall, I enjoyed it. It may even have inspired me to start painting again occasionally (we'll see).

The highlight of the day, however, was playing a game of two on two/ three on three/ four on four basketball with a few fellow Lutheran General folks and a few folks from other hospitals. I've really never played basketball before, except in P.E. class, but as many of you can attest, I have a strong competitive streak, so I played hard. I also don't really run at all, which apparently can get in the way. But I had a great time, occasionally got passed the ball, and I think may even have made a shot or two. Great bunch of guys.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Casting call

Tonight's commuting conversation turned to the popular question "who would you cast as you in a movie of your life?" I don't have a good answer, myself - Tripp nominated Jeaneane Garofalo and Jeff thought Alanis Morissette, though later he also suggested Jena Malone. I think Jena Malone is the most likely of those, but I'll keep thinking. Jennifer Westfeldt might work too.

What do you think? In a movie of your life, who should play you? Or in a movie of my life, who should play me?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

six of one...

I'm sacramental!

You scored as Sacrament model. Your model of the church is Sacrament. The church is the effective sign of the revelation that is the person of Jesus Christ. Christians are transformed by Christ and then become a beacon of Christ wherever they go. This model has a remarkable capacity for integrating other models of the church.

Mystical Communion Model


Sacrament model


Herald Model


Servant Model


Institutional Model


What is your model of the church? [Dulles]
created with

But I'm also... mystical communion!

You scored as Mystical Communion Model. Your model of the church is Mystical Communion, which includes both People of God and Body of Christ. The church is essentially people in union with Christ and the Father through the Holy Spirit. Both lay people and clergy are drawn together in a family of faith. This model can exalt the church beyond what is appropriate, but can be supplemented with other models.

Mystical Communion Model


Sacrament model


Herald Model


Servant Model


Institutional Model


What is your model of the church? [Dulles]
created with

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Things I wish hospital staff would remember

1. I am only one person.

2. Being only one person, and not gifted with bilocation, I can only be in one place at a time.

3. "On-call" does not mean the same thing as "available." I may at any given moment be both on-call and unavailable. This goes for returning calls as well as arriving in a given place.

4. If I say I will be there as soon as I'm able, I mean as soon as I'm able. I do not mean instantaneously, even if I am available. If I am unavailable, it's because someone else has a claim on me that's legitimately more pressing than yours - hard though that may be to imagine. Therefore it may take me longer than you (or I) would prefer.

5. If you are too busy with other parts of your job to speak with me, that is fine. However, please appreciate that while I am waiting, I may choose to do things such as answer my pager, work on paperwork, etc. I may therefore ask you to wait as long as two or three seconds if you are ready for me before I have quite finished these tasks.

6. While working in an intensive care unit ups the chances that I will consider your emergency a top priority, yours is not the hospital's only intensive care unit. LGH has five such units plus an emergency department. If you're not sure what this has to do with anything, please refer to points 1 and 2.

6. If I am smack in the middle of working with another family, the chances are good that I will need to finish with them before moving to you. So while a baptism may not seem as pressing as a trauma or a death to you, when I'm in the middle of pouring water over a baby's head I consider myself unavailable. If that confuses you, please see points 3 and 4.

7. My job is not to know your job. If you are unsure about what to do with bodies or pieces thereof, with paperwork that doesn't come from the pastoral care office, with used equipment, etc., you should ask your coworkers or supervisor. Unless you are a chaplain, I am neither of those to you.

8. If I tell you I do not have certain paperwork, I have most likely checked to make sure that is true. It is therefore unnecessary to ask me if there's a place it might be or whether I looked in the office for it. I know, probably better than you do, the various places that paperwork likes to hide. If I do not have it, I can almost always help start or find it, but I cannot make it materialize just because you asked a second or third time.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Let all mortal flesh keep silence

If anyone knows/has a choral recording of "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" that has all four verses, and can get it to me or tell me where to get it in the next 24 hours or so, please do let me know. I want to use it on Monday and my recording omits verse 2. Thanks!

I'm just sayin'...

I don't want to say what it's been like during my on-calls last night and today so far, for fear it might change. I will say, however, that in the last 24 hours I have finished Harry Potter 6, read another 10 pages or so of Indecent Theology (sorry, Jeff, just not gripping me), and read 350 pages of Oliver Twist, which was selling for $5 at the gift shop here. I also managed over seven hours of sleep between shifts, and even hazarded a trip across the street to grab some cheese fries for lunch. (I am growing more and more tired with the lunch options in our cafeteria.) Admittedly, I've been mostly reading fiction, but I still can't remember the last time I got through 500 pages in such short time - probably last summer when Harry 5 came out.

I should probably be trying to finish my spiritual genogram for Monday, but I think I've done all the work on it that I can do here at the hospital. That'll be my project for tonight and tomorrow night - after I stop by Aladdin's and get some spinach in my body to counteract the cheese fries.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Waiting for Book 7

Well, I'm done. Harry Potter is finished. Quite good, as usual; didn't get the ending I wanted, as usual. I'll give a more thorough assessment on my book blog, rather than giving spoilers here; also Tripp has a conversation about the book going in a comments section if you're interested.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

10 down, 10 to go

I have worked 10 straight days. The first two of those were actually sort of the same day since I worked 4 straight shifts those two days. I get to work 10 more days before I get a day off. That includes working 16 hours Friday, getting a few hours of sleep at the hospital, and working another 8 Saturday day, before coming home to begin the regular day in, day out schedule.

After my day off a week from Saturday, I get to switch to six-day weeks for the next three weeks. Which will be a nice change, especially since the first of those weeks is the week I'm supposed to move.

I have 1.5 personal days left. I would like to save 1 for an emergency.
Yet, somehow, I'm tempted to take tomorrow off.

August 20 cannot come fast enough.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Once more I beg your mercy...

Three weeks or so having passed since I last made it to the grocery store, I am once more accepting invites, if anyone's going out of an evening. It would have to be evening because I'm working every day shift for the next two weeks still. But if you find yourself :) in such a situation, let me know. Thanks!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

In lieu of thinking:

Your Blogging Type is Confident and Insightful
You've got a ton of brain power, and you leverage it into brilliant blog.
Both creative and logical, you come up with amazing ideas and insights.
A total perfectionist, you find yourself revising and rewriting posts a lot of the time.
You blog for yourself - and you don't care how popular (or unpopular) your blog is!

Not the most accurate quiz I've ever come across, but then, it was only four questions.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Harry, Harry Potter...

Yes, I own it. Pippa made sure that the postal service would leave my book at their house, and now it's made it safely to me.

Secretly (well, not so secretly now), I'm behind in my attempt to reread the first five before book 6 came out. But I still really want to do it, so now I'm just going to have to finish the second half of book 4 and read book 5 with book 6 sitting there tempting me. This is what happens when I don't do my work on time. ;)

Now I'm going to stop posting and go read, like millions of other HP fans the world over.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Dear Baskin-Robbins counter servers,

As one of your own for three summers running, and a devoted fan of several BR menu items, I consider it my duty to pass along certain knowledge which your training obviously omitted. I hope you will find the following illuminating and useful.

~Lesson One: Chocolate is not the same as mocha. While both do include the sacred flavor of chocolate, the chocolate blast should be pure, free from any traces of cappuccino mix.

~Lesson Two: The question "Would you like whipped cream and cinnamon on that?" is most helpful when asked before applying these extras, rather than as you're handing the customer the drink with said extras already on it.

~Lesson Three: The cappuccino, mocha, and likely turtle blasts come with cinnamon on top. As we learned in lesson one, however, chocolate is an entirely separate flavor. The chocolate blast comes with cocoa powder on top. Cinnamon has no place in a chocolate blast.

~Lesson Four: When handing a customer a tasting spoon, the ice cream should be firmly stuck to the spoon. Telling the customer "oops - careful - that's gonna fall" is less helpful than it might seem, especially if the customer does not have the experience to expect bits of falling ice cream.

~Lesson Five: Daquiri ice is not the same as butter pecan ice cream. Butter pecan ice cream can be recognized by its creamy color and consistency and high number of nuts. Daquiri ice, on the other hand, is a pale, cool, blue color, contains no dairy, and has an extraordinarily smooth texture. Should the butter pecan label go AWOL, you will better serve the customer by handwriting a label reading "butter pecan" than by inserting an Official BR Label reading "Daquiri Ice", especially when daquiri ice is not available.

~Lesson Six: You will also help the customer and save yourself unnecessary questioning by handwriting labels to replace the missing BR labels for the unlabeled tubs of french vanilla, pistachio, and the like. You have done well with this for Bumble Buzz and Splish Splash - I encourage you to extend this courtesy to the less exotic flavors.

~Lesson Seven: A milkshake is an extremely delicate creation. It requires your full attention and precise preparation. Unless the customer requests extra thin or extra thick, you should be sure to measure the milk exactly as specified on the measuring cup. A truly outstanding counter server will ask the customer whether he prefers his milkshake on the thick or thin side and prepare accordingly. Under no circumstances, however, should the milkshake be left unattended at the machine. (Preferably, you will stay and attend any blended beverage, but this is especially necessary with the milkshake.) This leads to lumpy or milky shakes. The milkshake must be carefully coaxed into its proper state - smooth and free of lumps, but thick enough to justify having added the ice cream at all. Your job is not to serve flavored milk. Your job is to serve milkshakes. The customer does not pay $3-4 for a glass of chocolate milk. Milkshakes are an art form and should be treated with the respect that deserves.

~Lesson Eight: The chocolate milkshake is one classic that is particularly near to people's hearts. It is most advisable to ask the customer whether she prefers her chocolate milkshake with chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Under no circumstances should the customer be met with a blank stare or rude answer if he orders a chocolate shake with vanilla ice cream. If this seems difficult, remember that you have vast quantities of chocolate syrup at your disposal. A shot or two of chocolate syrup will turn a vanilla milkshake into a pleasantly chocolatey one. Again, a truly outstanding counter server will also ask the customer who prefers chocolate ice cream whether she would like chocolate syrup as well as the chocolate ice cream.

~Lesson Nine: Another classic variation is the malted milkshake, commonly called the malt. You do in fact make malts, even if they are not listed on the menu board. The malt powder is probably located near the syrups and/or toppings. Malt powder should not be dumped in after the milkshake is finished and given a final spin to make it invisible. Rather, the malt powder should be added slowly and deliberately as the ice cream and milk are just beginning to blend into a shake, so that the powder will be evenly and smoothly distributed throughout by the time the shake has reached its perfect texture.

~Lesson Ten: Customers should be served as promptly as possible. This service includes such elements as approaching them and asking how you can help them, preparing the actual menu item, and uniting the ice cream treat with the customer. All three of these should be executed in as efficient a fashion as possible. The customer may not have all the time in the world just because he is the only person in the store.

I am sorry that you did not receive these useful tidbits in your initial job training. I am confident that you will find your job performance and satisfaction greatly increased by following these simple tips. Thank you for your keen attention.

Yours in ice cream artistry,

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

It is finished.

I am on hour 27 right now, having just spent the night sitting with a lovely, strong family as they went through the process toward organ donation. I do not normally work four shifts in a row and I am tired and raw. But I am glad to have been with that family in that place, and to have been there as they said goodbye to their loved one and the hospital.

Now I have five more hours, and then I can go home and sleep.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

On a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday Friday, Saturday Sunday night...

Today was a very strange day.

Tomorrow I leave for Denver.

Saturday my cousin will be married.

Sunday I will return to Evanston.

Monday I will return to blogging.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

go figure

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church helpfully explains that Christian monasticism differs from non-Christian monasticism in that Christian monastics follow Christ.

Glad we got that cleared up.

(Then again, the ODCC also defines love as "the principle of God's action and man's response" (italics mine). And before you tell me that's because It's Old: this edition was published in 1997. Yeah. The 4th edition comes out in October, but I decline to hold my breath on this one. The ODCC is not having its best night ever over here in Hibbard.)

nuthah nut

Laurel has joined the world of blogging! She's got an interesting observation on blue shirts and black pants that those of you who were at Susie's last weekend might find amusing. Welcome, Laurel!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

reuben, reuben...*

For those following the Saga of the Boys in the Bathroom, I've just received a most congenial recognition that yes, that was a problem, and no, it won't happen again when the Doctor of Ministry students arrive. In fact, there will be no DMin (yes, that's pronounced "demon") students housed in my suite at all. I am pleased.

(I am less pleased at the reason: because only two of the incoming DMins are women, and they're sharing an apartment. It would make me happier if there were more of a gender balance among our budding congregational development experts. But you can't have everything.)

*from another camp song, one where the girls sing:

Reuben, Reuben, I've been thinking
what a grand world this would be
if the boys were all transported
far beyond the northern sea.

and yes, there's another verse where the boys sing "Rachel, Rachel" instead of "Reuben, Reuben."

Sunday, July 03, 2005


I can't decide whether to clean my rooms or not. I really ought to. I ought, in fact, to begin thinking about how I'm going to move all this stuff in a month. But there's something incredibly comfortable about living in clutter, at least when the clutter is all my stuff. Not filth - my filth tolerance is extremely low. But I do like clutter.

On the other hand, I also like a really clean and organized space.

The thing is, when space gets like it is now, where there is simply not a place for everything and thus everything cannot go in its place, I prefer to have a well-cluttered space rather than a nearly-clean place.

That could be laziness speaking, but I think the clutter stays, at least for now.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Patients, ye be warned.

Ryan has now implanted in my brain the desire to tell you you're not going to cheese heaven.

That, and now I want to talk like a pirate, even though it's not Talk Like a Pirate Day for another couple of months.

My apologies to all the patients and families who get me for their chaplain tomorrow.