Monday, November 28, 2005

Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell...

Why, oh, why, do we have to listen to the sheep and goats passage so terribly often? Why, oh, why, can our liturgical committee come up with nothing more creative for half of our LFF days?

Why, oh, why, does that happen to be the text on which I find myself (no, really) preaching for preaching class sometime in the next two weeks?

And why on earth am I preaching the sermon toward which I seem to be moving?


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Scratching my head...

While listening to "The Women of Smith" and reading G. Brooke's blog, I happened upon the Gender Genie, which purports to predict an author's gender with 80% accuracy.

After submitting my description of our trip to the reservation, it gave me the following score:

Female Score: 712
Male Score: 1498

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

When I told it it was wrong, it replied:

That is one butch chick!

(I guess my ex was right....)

I'd love to know their rationale - on the breakdown of masculine and feminine words, "the" "is" "if" "in" and "this" showed up as masculine, while "him" "because" "since" and "too" were among the feminine keywords. Don't quite get that - what makes "is" masculine" and "am" feminine? I don't see any possible positive connection.

And now there's a part of me wondering "have I always been told I write well because I write masculinely?" That would be... disconcerting, at least.

Oh well.

[Later: my ice cream rant from this summer came in at Female: 517 Male: 2347, and even my "where are the books by women" rant came in at Female: 1389 Male: 1606. So content matter that might stereotypically or obviously be by a woman clearly has no effect, or at least little effect.]

Saturday, November 26, 2005

pretty accurate, really

Your Power Color Is Red-Orange

At Your Highest:

You are warm, sensitive, and focused on your personal growth.

At Your Lowest:

You become defensive and critical if you feel attacked.

In Love:

You are loyal - but you demand the respect you deserve.

How You're Attractive:

You are very affectionate and inspire trust.

Your Eternal Question:

"Am I Respected?"

Funny that this should be so accurate when red-orange might be my least favorite color...

Friday, November 25, 2005

And.... GO!

Well, we're home. We had an uneventful drive in, a lovely visit with my parents (also lunch with friends, and I had a meeting with my bishop that went extremely well), delicious food (ask us about the lentil roulade, if you haven't already heard), an equally uneventful drive back (the snow held off at both ends while we drove), and a delightful evening tonight. Blogging doesn't figure in there at all because in addition to being very busy, we didn't have much access - my parents' computer has decided to be slower than molasses, slow enough that internet use doesn't make sense.

You may notice that "got lots of homework done" doesn't figure in there anywhere. I've got yet another social engagement tomorrow (yes, just watch me flap those wings), but once I get home, the work begins in earnest. Mostly it's stuff I'm accustomed to, but I'm also in charge of a major power point presentation (or that section of it, more precisely), which is a bit of an adventure, since I've never done power point before.

So if I continue to be mostly absent for a couple of weeks, it's because I'm tearing around in the mad dash to finish out the quarter.

Now, I'm exhausted, and am going to bed so I have a little energy as I dive in tomorrow.

Monday, November 21, 2005

On my way...

We're off to Ohio!

We'll be back, well, later.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Oh, dear God...

This makes me sick. Absolutely sick.

Mmm, pie...

You Are Pumpkin Pie

You're the perfect combo of uniqueness and quality
Those who like you are looking for something (someone!) special

I might also be cream pie (combo of simplicity and divinity) or apple pie (combo of comforting and traditional), depending on what I actually decided to do on my spontaneous trip to Vegas. It's so hard to picture myself taking a spontaneous vacation right now that it's hard to say what I'd do first. (Also my immediate answer isn't really available - I'd likely eat first, but the only "eat" option involved spending lots of money.)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Please punctuate properly:

Only by human efforts (through God’s grace) can racism end; only by dismantling racism can justice come about – and without justice, we cannot live as members of God’s kingdom.

Without the final clause, I'd use the semicolon between the first two. Without the first clause, I'd use a dash between the second two. In conversational writing, I'd use a semicolon and a period, and just start a new sentence with "and," rules be damned. But I can't do that in academic writing, and the combination of semicolon and dash looks awkward to me.

Members of the jury, what is your decision?

veggies v. comfort

I want vegetables for dinner (or with dinner, at least).

I do not want to leave home.

There are no vegetables at home.

Forget the ethics paper - this is a dilemma!


Ohio State: 25 Michigan: 21

Tressel v Carr: 4-1 Carr v Tressel: 1-4

It seemed like there were a LOT of injuries on both sides today (or else I'm just out of touch from not having a TV), but the Buckeyes held it together and beat out Michigan (obviously) - as usual, in a close, exciting finish. (Not quite as satisfying as the game my senior year, where Ohio State beat Michigan just in time for Saturday tea, so that I could stand to show my face to all my Michigan floormates, but I'll take it.)


(Oh, and go MSU, beat Penn State, so OSU can win the conference!)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Kiddie Lit

1) Earliest book you remember (read to you or by you)
We had a series of very, very short stories, teaching kids to read, where most of the words in each book had the same vowel sounds: so there was one about a cat that had the short a (Bad Max? Max the Cat?), etc. I remember one with a race car, and one with bubble gum, etc. I came across them a couple of years ago, packed away in a box from years ago. We probably put them away twenty or more years ago now, after my little brother learned to read (yeah, we were early readers).

2) Picture Book you would like to climb into
The Maggie B. It's about a little girl (I think she's actually only about three) who dreams that she has a ship of her own, with her baby brother James, and she takes care of the ship, and cooks them meals, and bathes him, and manages it during a storm, and all sorts of things, all by herself. It was probably my very favorite picture book, and I'd still love to be Maggie.

3) Favorite series of books (then or now)

Then: I liked lots of series - but probably the Baby-Sitters Club books were my favorite for the longest.
Now: Probably Harry Potter - though I'd read the Narnia books a lot more if I could find a set that's in the right order to own.

4) Character you would most like to meet

Oh, that's hard!!! Aslan is a great choice, I think I'll go with that.

5) Last childhood book you re-read (for yourself or to someone)
From my own childhood? Hmm. Either Little Women or A Swiftly Tilting Planet - those are the two I have here from my childhood. I've read Harry Potters more recently, but obviously those aren't from my childhood.

Good post for a Friday


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

My mother would be so pleased, and not at all surprised.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Interesting juxtaposition (sorry, seniors)

On Tripp's blog today, from Fast Company:
In their endless rush to embrace the next big thing, too many businesses have forgotten what they are and what they really do. The fashionable compulsion to break with the past has, bizarrely, come to mean abandoning the true value they once offered customers.

On Ryan's blog today, from his sermon this morning:
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a third year seminarian who spends thousands of dollars and countless hours learning how to disbelieve the Bible, only to realize late in the game that he had inadvertently forgotten the premise: that it is the Word of God and that it is true!

Insert cliche here

Good: My copy of A Light Blazes in the Darkness came today. I was afraid it might not come because I got a less-than-helpful email from Lulu saying "Oh my! There's a problem with your order. We'll refund or change it." and I didn't really know what that meant. But it came today! Yay!

Bad: My ethics paper is still no closer to being done than when I went to bed on Sunday. I took Monday off to do Greek and yesterday had a four hour rehearsal for Major Barbara before coming home and finishing the Greek, and so it's still just there. I really wish it were actually due tomorrow so that I'd finish it then. I'm going to try to convince my brain that there really is a deadline coming up and I need to finish it, but I work very poorly when I'm not writing against a moderately pressing deadline. At this point, though, I just need to get it done - or at least drafted, so I can start treating it as a writing piece and not a thinking piece (not that writing isn't thinking, but you know what I mean).

Ugly: I don't know whether it's pre-Thanksgiving blues, hormones, weather, plunge readjustment, or what, but I've been extremely moody since I got back from plunge, and it's driving me batty. Ugh.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Major Barbara

As previously advertised: The Ethics I class will present a semi-staged reading of Shaw's Major Barbara. The performance will occur two weeks from today, on November the 29th, 7 pm, in Seabury Lounge. It's on the long side, but there will indeed be an intermission between the second and third acts. We had our "dress" rehearsal tonight, and it looks like it will be a lot of fun - my fellow actors are hilarious.

The link

Apparently I am not the last person in the world to get around to playing with the Presbyterian Bible exams. Two fellow students asked me today to post the link for their quizzing enjoyment, so here it is:

Bible Content Exams


Monday, November 14, 2005

I am victorious!

The damn window that wouldn't shut for two months? I totally just asserted myself and forced it shut, with no damage to either me or the window.

That'll teach it to blow a cold draft on me while I'm trying to do Greek.



Our ethics paper deadline has been universally extended to next Tuesday. I'll still want to get most of it done by Thursday, and I'll still need it done before I leave for Ohio, but now I don't have to try and channel Ryan in order to get Greek, ethics, rehearsal, and preaching all done this week.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I win!

Well, I passed anyway - as a study break, I finally tried out one of the Bible Content Exams that others were playing with while I was on plunge. Overall I managed a 90% on the 2005 exam - which I think is not bad for an Episcopalian, especially one who hasn't taken NT II yet.

The breakdown indicates that I know the things I know (Gospels, Psalms and Wisdom Literature, pretty high on Pentateuch) and I don't know the things I don't know (Pauline Letters and Minor Prophets). Go figure. It's nice to know that most of my weaker areas are the ones I haven't studied yet (Pauline Letters and Rest of the New Testament, although I do seem to know a little about the first half of Galatians :) ).

And now, back to the ethics of antiracism and good-guest-ness (really, is there an actual word for that?).

So there

I hate that my old files are all on floppy disks. I didn't like floppies when I was using Windows (for that matter, I didn't much like Windows either), but they were the most useful way to switch around between computers that might or might not have internet or CD-writing drives. Now I just hate having all my old stuff on them. I don't want to go to the bother of going down to the lab to see if maybe something I wrote a couple of years ago might be helpful, and I don't want to go to the bother of transferring all my stuff to my iBook (which is why I haven't done it yet).

Friday, November 11, 2005


Does the idea of hospitality cover appropriate behaviors/attitudes for the guest, or only for the host?

If only for the host, where (theologically/ethically, not in terms of plain etiquette) does good-guest-ness fall?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Beth, Beth, and Derrick Go Home

We're back safely. I'd love to make the last chapter of this non-existent children's book more momentous and descriptive than this, but right now I'm looking at a shower and bed. Classes resume at 9 am tomorrow, matins at 8:30. (yay! matins!)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Beth, Beth, and Derrick Go To Yellowstone Drug

Yes, gentle readers, it's true. We made it to Yellowstone Drug while they were open, and I do believe theirs likely are the best milkshakes in Wyoming. We've also got pictures and such to document the event.

Today we had a lazy morning, sleeping in, hanging out, and getting ready for the "ecumenical" preachers' group to come over for text study. The text study was moderately interesting, and afterward we listened to Luke Timothy Johnson talk about the gnostic infancy gospels, which was also moderately interesting. He didn't actually so much talk about them as describe their contents, actually.

In the afternoon, we took a lovely hike up Sinks Canyon to the falls. (Ryan, I think I saw where you stayed on our drive up there.) It would really have been a lovelier hike if the moleskin on my heels weren't totally ineffective, but it was still pretty. I think I may have to give in and buy new hiking boots. It's a shame, because I love these and the shoe itself is still in good shape, but I've tried various combinations of moleskin and insoles and nothing is helping. Anyway, Beth took lots of pictures, and the way back down was less painful. We came back and Tommy showed us a decent little Chinese restaurant in town, which was moderately impressive. (Yes, it's been a moderate sort of day.)

Tomorrow is our last real day here. We're planning to take lunches out to the nearby ghost town in the morning and then head to a hidden site of petroglyphs. We'll have dinner with Bob and Pat and then head back to pack - because Wednesday, it's back to Evanston!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

we interrupt this non-existent children's book...

After catching up on several blogs tonight (our host for the night has internet and went to bed early), I'd just like to note that I move we OFFICIALLY cancel November 3 next year, for everyone. Or maybe the whole first week of November. Grump.

And now, to bed. Back online someday.

Beth, Beth, and Derrick Go To The Reservation

Well, yesterday was our trip to the Wind River Indian Reservation. It was an interesting experience. Our stops were limited to the Arapahoe Episcopal Church, the Shoshone Episcopal Church, the RC mission (which I think is on the Arapahoe side), and a trading post/gift shop. Oh, and the cemetery where Chief Washakie is buried, and the one where Sacajawea may very well be buried, depending on which story you believe. (If you believe the Episcopalians, the Rev. John Roberts did Sacajawea's burial in that graveyard.) They were lovely stops, and we drove through a good part of the reservation to get around to them all, but it was much more a tour of "what the white man does on the reservation" than the reservation itself. That's not really surprising, given that our guide was a white Episcopal priest who has very little to do with the reservation (I think actually we wouldn't have seen even the Episcopal churches there if we hadn't asked to visit the reservation). But it was certainly a very specific view of it, and one well in tune with the way Lander folk generally talk about reservation folk. There's a great deal of racism here, and while people I've talked to all seem to know it's there, most don't seem to understand their own role and complicity in that racism. (In other words, good liberal stock seem to be the same no matter where you go.)

It was also interesting, though, to see the differences between the two Episcopal churches. The church at Ft Washakie, on the Shoshone side, is very much straight prayer book, Anglo worship style. Their church building looks like many other western churches inside and out and they seem to use only the standard Episcopal liturgical resources. Our Father's House at Ethete, on the Arapahoe side, is almost the opposite. It's certainly an Episcopal church as well, but the inculturation is very different. The altar they use is a large drum-style altar, with an eagle feather on it for the epiclesis. It sits on a round, raised about a foot, and covered in what looks like a hooked-rug, quartered into four colored sections - yellow at liturgical north, red at liturgical east, blue at liturgical west, and black at liturgical south. Their music is much more varied - Hymnal 1940, praise music, chant, etc. and I think their liturgies themselves are somewhat varied as well, though I don't know.

Beth needs to check email as well before dinner, so here's the short version of the rest: Took our three hosts to dinner last night. Drove to Thermopolis this morning, stopping to see the world's largest hot spring before meeting with the rector of the Thermopolis/Worland churches, who are moving in the general direction of mutual ministry. Drove to Meeteetse for lunch, where we bumped into the local priest there. Drove to Powell for a 2 pm meeting with some of their congregation, including their local transitional deacon and their ministry developer, Ron. Beth and I are staying with Ron tonight and will go to the 9 am service 50 miles out in Basin and then the 11 am service 50 miles from there in Meeteetse (I think all those e's are in the right places). Derrick and Bob will stay with the Powell senior warden and go to church there tomorrow morning. We'll all meet up again to meet with the Cody local priest at her house tomorrow afternoon. Then we'll drive back to Lander, hitting Shoshoni on the way for Yellowstone Drug, home of the best milkshake in Wyoming (or so we're told!). Tommy, our house host, is cooking dinner for the six of us tomorrow nights. We're hoping he remembers only to put on five steaks.

After that, we have a slow last couple of days - or at least, we've got nothing concretely planned yet except a Monday morning ecumenical text study. Don't know when I'll be back online, but I'll be back at O'Hare in exactly four days now.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Beth, Beth, and Derrick Go To Town

Well, I had thought that today and yesterday were to be very busy days. I was wrong about that - but pleasantly so.

Yesterday, we finished off the ministry developers' meeting, and then firmly resisted doing any more sightseeing that day. Instead, we took naps and then walked into town all by ourselves like big girls and boys. We poked into some shops - I bought a new hat at the outdoor shop - and found a pizza place for dinner, with delicious sundried tomato and artichoke pesto pizza. When we came home, we finally met the man in whose house we're staying, and he is wonderful.

Today we had a couple of meetings and a tour of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School). Temptation, temptation. This afternoon we were free again and headed back into town, finding some jerky for Mitch and a cute eclectic tea-and-Christian-books store for us.

Now, it's soup and bread and off to meet with the Lander worship committee. More as I can.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Beth, Beth, and Derrick Get Their Heads Spun Around

... but may have them put back on again.

Yesterday, as advertised, Beth, Beth, and Derrick met with a ministry developer and a local deacon, drove back from Evanston to Lander, and went to a party. Some of what we heard yesterday turned us around but good - if you're actually interested in knowing more about that, I can tell you later. Certainly we're all pondering the nature of the priesthood anew. We did not stop for the best milkshake in Wyoming - I conflated two places. We stopped in Forsin for World Famous Ice Cream, but they seemed to be closed, at least for the season. The best milkshake in Wyoming is on the way to Powell.

Today, Beth, Beth, and Derrick went to Sinks Canyon and a ministry developers' meeting. Both were fantastic. Sinks Canyon is a place where the river goes down into a hole, then comes back up at the banks half a mile down the road. They haven't yet figured out exactly how it does that - dye tests have proven that it is the same water, but it takes 2 hours for the dye to move that half mile, and more water comes up than goes down, and they don't know why it does that either. It's beautiful, though, and the pool where it comes up (remarkably gently) is a dead end for trout, who just live there then, because you can't fish at that pool. You can, however, feed them pellets, so they're huge fish.

In the afternoon, we had a meeting with (nearly) all the ministry developers in the diocese, along with the diocesan coordinator, the canon/deployment officer, and the bishop. That was a fantastic meeting - it was great to hear about mutual ministry from other people, a couple of whom are actually not men over 60 years old. (There's one woman about 45 and one man about 35.) It also helped me, at least, to reorient myself a little bit and get some better perspective on how mutual ministry works in this diocese. I really appreciated hearing those different viewpoints, and from different people. (And if anyone doubted that the Episcopal Church is small, one of the ministry developers lives in Sundance, and his wife, who has been discerned to be a local priest there, knows my great-aunt from when she lived there.)

Tomorrow, we continue to meet with the ministry developers until noon, and then I think we might actually have the rest of the day free. That implies to me that I might be able to blog tomorrow, though nothing's guaranteed. If not, look forward to hearing about the meeting, a meeting with Lander's senior warden and parish coordinator, a tour of the National Outdoor Leadership School, and a worship committee meeting (yes, Thursday will be a busy day). We're very interested to see what the worship committee meeting will be like - they're supposed to be planning Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.