Sunday, April 30, 2006


I've finished and sent off my final paper for my Galatians class, and have even received notice of its receipt. This means my Galatians class is now DONE. I also have a Matthew reflection and a sample evensong ordo to turn in tomorrow, which means all of tomorrow's work is finit, fine, beendet.

It's only a yip, and not a yippee, because I still have a paper due Tuesday (for which I've yet to read, though I've started at least), a sermon to fix up for chapel Thursday, and a sermon to create from scratch for class on Friday. Still, I'm relieved to be as far along as I am.

And tomorrow, I will get to do something I haven't done in a couple of months now - sleep until 8 on a Monday morning. Then I'll go to Monday morning meetings and mass, which I haven't done since fall term. And then I'll go to the refectory, and eat lunch there like a normal person (well, ok, a normal seminarian), and go to class without a to-go box.

So maybe that's a yipp....

Books! By women!

I started this meme almost a month ago, but it's long, so it's taken me a while to finish. But finishing it made for a good dinner break activity tonight between drafting and editing.

Instructions: Bold the ones you've read (except bolding things doesn't really work here, so I'm going to cap them). Italicize the ones you have wanted/might like to read. ??Place question marks by any titles/authors you've never heard of?? Put an asterisk if you've read something else by the same author.
*Allende, Isabel–The House of Spirits
* Angelou, Maya–I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Atwood, Margaret–Cat's Eye
??Bambara, Toni Cade–Salt Eaters??
??Barnes, Djuna–Nightwood??
de Beauvoir, Simone–The Second Sex
Bronte, Charlotte–Jane Eyre
Buck, Pearl S.–The Good Earth
??Byatt, A.S.–Possession??
Cather, Willa–My Antonia
*Christie, Agatha–Murder on the Orient Express
Clinton, Hillary Rodham–Living History
??Cooper, Anna Julia–A Voice From the South??
??Danticat, Edwidge–Breath, Eyes, Memory??
Davis, Angela–Women, Culture, and Politics
??Desai, Anita–Clear Light of Day??
*Dickinson, Emily–Collected Poems
DuMaurier, Daphne–Rebecca
Eliot, George–Middlemarch
??Emecheta, Buchi–Second Class Citizen??
Erdrich, Louise–Tracks
Esquivel, Laura–Like Water for Chocolate
Flagg, Fannie–Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Friedan, Betty–The Feminine Mystique
??Gilman, Charlotte Perkins–The Yellow Wallpaper??
Gordimer, Nadine–July's People
Grafton, Sue–S is for Silence
Highsmith, Patricia–The Talented Mr. Ripley
*hooks, bell–Bone Black
*Hurston, Zora Neale–Dust Tracks on the Road
Jacobs, Harriet–Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Jackson, Helen Hunt–Ramona
??Jackson, Shirley–The Haunting of Hill House??
Jong, Erica–Fear of Flying
KEENE, CAROLYN - THE NANCY DREW MYSTERIES (ANY OF THEM) - except, aren't they actually written by more men than women?
Kidd, Sue Monk–The Secret Life of Bees
Kincaid, Jamaica–Lucy
*Kingsolver, Barbara–The Poisonwood Bible
??Kingston, Maxine Hong–The Woman Warrior ??
??Larsen, Nella–Passing??
*Le Guin, Ursula K.–The Left Hand of Darkness
Lessing, Doris–The Golden Notebook
??Lively, Penelope–Moon Tiger??
Lorde, Audre–The Cancer Journals
MARTIN, ANN M. - THE BABYSITTERS CLUB SERIES (ANY OF THEM) - many, many of them, in fact
??McCullers, Carson–The Member of the Wedding??
McMillan, Terry–Disappearing Acts
??Markandaya, Kamala–Nectar in a Sieve??
??Marshall, Paule–Brown Girl, Brownstones??
Mitchell, Margaret–Gone with the Wind
??Morgan, Joan–When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost
??Murasaki, Lady Shikibu–The Tale of Genji??
Munro, Alice–Lives of Girls and Women
Murdoch, Iris–Severed Head
Naylor, Gloria–Mama Day
Niffenegger, Audrey–The Time Traveller's Wife
*Oates, Joyce Carol–We Were the Mulvaneys
??Piercy, Marge–Woman on the Edge of Time??
Picoult, Jodi–My Sister's Keeper
Plath, Sylvia–The Bell Jar
*Porter, Katharine Anne–Ship of Fools
Proulx, E. Annie–The Shipping News
Rand, Ayn–The Fountainhead
Ray, Rachael–365: No Repeats
??Rhys, Jean–Wide Sargasso Sea??
??Robinson, Marilynne–Housekeeping??
??Rocha, Sharon–For Lac??
??Sebold, Alice–The Lovely Bones??
Shelley, Mary–Frankenstein
??Smith, Zadie–White Teeth??
Spark, Muriel–The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
??Strout, Elizabeth–Amy and Isabelle??
Steel, Danielle–The House
Tannen, Deborah–You're Wearing That
Ulrich, Laurel–A Midwife's Tale
??Urquhart, Jane–Away??
*Walker, Alice–The Temple of My Familiar
Welty, Eudora–One Writer's Beginnings
Wharton, Edith–Age of Innocence
*Wollstonecraft, Mary–A Vindication of the Rights of Women
Woolf, Virginia–A Room of One's Own

Is that an end I see?

There may just be a glimpse of light at the end of this tunnel. It's all of 3 pm, and I have a draft of the part of my paper that counts, as well as one of the two parts that doesn't. (Did I mention how bogus I think it is for a paper to have parts which are required but don't count?) I may actually have time to write the structure section and edit this thing by tomorrow morning. (I'd cross my fingers, but it's hard to type that way.)

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Don't scare me like that! MS Word (:insert Rocky-Horror-style response:) just decided to taunt me for a while. I write in Word because I have to email in my paper in Word, and so I might as well compose there in the first place. But I despise it, and this sort of thing is part of why I do: I just told it to save after I created a new footnote, and it blew raspberries at me and said "Won't! I'm full!" It did this several times, and then finally when I tried to figure out why, it shut down altogether.

Now, it has agreed to reopen and allow me to cite the article I was trying to cite without further tussles, and the only thing I lost was the footnote itself, but I remain mistrustful (if relieved). I do not like software that taunts me (or that's made by MS, but I do what I have to do), especially when it taunts me in the middle of major papers that are due soon. How does it know that I am in the middle of such a paper and do not currently have my external hard drive available to back things up? How does it know just when to hit the panic button?

Well, back to writing - I assume. But I have the paper backed up in my email, just in case.

Grazer timeline

Yesterday at lunch (was that really only yesterday?), Baruch Grazer summed up writing like this:

You have two pages.
You have two pages.
You still have two pages.
You're getting anxious about having two pages.
You want to slit your wrists because you have two pages.
You're going to hurt people because you have two pages.
Suddenly, you have thirty pages, when you only need 15 or 20.

Today has been largely about "you want to slit your wrists because you have two pages." It's been helpful to hold out that last stage, ever so eschatologically, as a reminder that someday, perhaps, if I'm very good, I might make it past two pages.

(In fact, I have about eight pages of text; sadly, only 5 or so are allowed to count in the page count, which means I still have 5 more pages that count and 2 more that don't left to write - by Monday. I dislike having to write pages of actual analysis that don't count in the page count. If you want a 15 page paper, ask for a 15 page paper - don't ask for a 10 page paper and then decide that major sections don't count in the page count. Oh, and probably I should edit the damned thing too, since right now it bears a striking resemblence to something a monkey could have typed.)

I'm going back to pulling out my hair now. I mean, to writing.

How long, O Lord?

When's reading week again?

For that matter, how long till summer? I'm tired of being this tired, and am looking forward to a job that's really truly supposed to be only 40 hours/week (although I'm sure I'll find ways to squeeze in more...).

Oh, who am I kidding? My summer to-do list includes editing/rewriting two or three papers and reading a considerable amount of history for exams.

Ok. I'll keep writing now.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday Five: Procrastination

A procrastination-themed Friday Five couldn't have come at a better time - I am, even as I type this, meant to be writing about Galatians 6, eschatology, and community.

The Question: What are five things you do to procrastinate?

1. Blogging - particularly checking my RSS or posting memes (thinking up real posts is too much like work to be an effective procrastination technique).

2. Research - I can't possibly go on until I find that one perfect quote that I read ten years ago in one of Madeleine L'Engle's books, or maybe it was Harry Potter, or Augustine...

3. Organization - I'd be able to work better if all of my books were arranged just so, and I had a perfectly structured outline, and...

4. Eating - Not one of my healthier procrastination techniques, but there you go.

5. West Wing - Clearly what I need is inspiration/a short break, and each episode is only 45 minutes...


Someone is doing descending scales on the carillon - over, and over, and over. My window is directly across from the carillon. I am trying to write a paper. I am annoyed.

(Ok, they finally stopped. I'm confused still, because the scales stopped and then the person rang three bells, as though for chapel, and as far as I know we have no Friday night 7:35 service. But it's quiet again.)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Public Service Announcement

Not everyone is cut out to preach without notes.

Of this, I am living proof. Oi.

I look forward to coming back and writing out the manuscript version for next Thursday. In the meantime, I am pleading with the Holy Spirit for help, because tomorrow morning I have to do it note-free for class.

Did I mention I'm really not good at this?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


The next week will be one of those where I'll either be posting six times a day, or not at all. Some of you may remember a month or so ago when I announced that I was booked the last weekend of April... well, it's here.

Tomorrow, for instance:
8-8:30 cantor rehearsal
8:30-9 matins
9-11 work
11-12 choir
12-1 chair anti-racism meeting
1-3 class
3-4 spiritual direction
4:15-6 softball
Then dinner and homework - which will be entirely sermon prep for Friday's class, since I'm not as well prepared yet as I wanted to be by now. Which is not for lack of thought or time given to it - it's just coming very slowly.

In the next week, I have one large paper (on which I'm already behind my schedule), two sermons (one to be preached twice), one smaller paper, one project, and one reflection due. Plus, you know, reading and stuff.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Another meme. Oh, and apparently it's not Ebert's list on the last one, it's someone else's.

Accent: standard Midwest (slight Ohio quality)

Booze: Champagne is my favorite, but mostly I drink red wine in the winter, beer or gin-tonic in the summer.

Chore I Hate: cleaning the shower

Dog or Cat: I'd like a dog. I like to sit for dogs. But I have no pets.

Essential Electronics: computer, tv/DVD player, iPod, car music

Favorite Cologne(s): I don't wear any myself, but I like it when my clothes and hair pick up liturgical smells like incense or healing oil.

Gold or Silver: silver

Hometown: near Cleveland

Insomnia: not generally

Job Title: Seminarian

Kids: I have none. I'd like to have some, but first I need at least an income and preferably a partner of some sort.

Living arrangements: grad student dorm

Most admirable trait: my own most admirable trait - probably loyalty; what I most admire in others is wisdom

Number of sexual partners: that's kind of an odd question...

Overnight hospital stays: Yes. One as a kid, then... four or five, maybe? last year.

Phobias: Possum. I'm trying not to freak out just typing that.

Quote: "Wherever there is unity in diversity, then we are free to be ourselves; it cannot be done in isolation; we need each other." ~Madeleine L'Engle

Religion: I'm thoroughly Anglican, and not in a separatist way. I'm finding myself more at home in the Anglo-Catholic part than in any other, right now, but I like a lot of different parts.

Siblings: One younger brother.

Time I wake up: 8 am, most weekdays.

Unusual talent or skill: I have incredibly flexible ankles and high arches, so I can point my toes and touch the floor with my leg stuck straight out.

Vegetable I refuse to eat: Canned ones.

Worst habit: taking on too much, maybe? there's a bunch.

X-rays: Teeth, chest, I think a variety of others but I stopped keeping track.

Yummy foods I make: red beans and garlic rice; scones; potato soup; veggie chili... I like to cook, when I have a kitchen and people to eat the food.

Zodiac sign: Libra. I think. Maybe. I can't decide... :)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Movies I Haven't Seen

I'm having significant problems summoning the wakefulness and energy to write my paper right now. Ergo, I offer a meme - this is Roger Ebert's list of movies everyone should see, via One Bright Star (to whom I'd link except I'm tired and lazy), with the ones I've seen in bold and the ones I've partly seen in italics.

"2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) Stanley Kubrick
"The 400 Blows" (1959) Francois Truffaut
"8 1/2" (1963) Federico Fellini
"Aguirre, the Wrath of God" (1972) Werner Herzog
"Alien" (1979) Ridley Scott
"All About Eve" (1950) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
"Annie Hall" (1977) Woody Allen
"Bambi" (1942) Disney

"Battleship Potemkin" (1925) Sergei Eisenstein
"The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946) William Wyler
"The Big Red One" (1980) Samuel Fuller
"The Bicycle Thief" (1949) Vittorio De Sica
"The Big Sleep" (1946) Howard Hawks
"Blade Runner" (1982) Ridley Scott
"Blowup" (1966) Michelangelo Antonioni
"Blue Velvet" (1986) David Lynch
"Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) Arthur Penn
"Breathless" (1959) Jean-Luc Godard
"Bringing Up Baby" (1938) Howard Hawks
"Carrie" (1975) Brian DePalma
"Casablanca" (1942) Michael Curtiz
"Un Chien Andalou" (1928) Luis Bunuel & Salvador Dali
"Children of Paradise" / "Les Enfants du Paradis" (1945) Marcel Carne
"Chinatown" (1974) Roman Polanski
"Citizen Kane" (1941) Orson Welles
"A Clockwork Orange" (1971) Stanley Kubrick
"The Crying Game" (1992) Neil Jordan
"The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951) Robert Wise
"Days of Heaven" (1978) Terence Malick
"Dirty Harry" (1971) Don Siegel
"The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" (1972) Luis Bunuel
"Do the Right Thing" (1989) Spike Lee
"La Dolce Vita" (1960) Federico Fellini
"Double Indemnity" (1944) Billy Wilder
"Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (1964) Stanley Kubrick
"Duck Soup" (1933) Leo McCarey
"E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) Steven Spielberg

"Easy Rider" (1969) Dennis Hopper
"The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) Irvin Kershner
"The Exorcist" (1973) William Friedkin
"Fargo" (1995) Joel & Ethan Coen
"Fight Club" (1999) David Fincher
"Frankenstein" (1931) James Whale
"The General" (1927) Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman
"The Godfather," "The Godfather, Part II" (1972, 1974) Francis Ford Coppola
"Gone With the Wind" (1939) Victor Fleming
"GoodFellas" (1990) Martin Scorsese
"The Graduate" (1967) Mike Nichols
"Halloween" (1978) John Carpenter
"A Hard Day's Night" (1964) Richard Lester
"Intolerance" (1916) D.W. Griffith
"It's A Gift" (1934) Norman Z. McLeod
"It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) Frank Capra
"Jaws" (1975) Steven Spielberg
"The Lady Eve" (1941) Preston Sturges
"Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) David Lean
"M" (1931) Fritz Lang
"Mad Max 2" / "The Road Warrior" (1981) George Miller
"The Maltese Falcon" (1941) John Huston
"The Manchurian Candidate" (1962) John Frankenheimer
"Metropolis" (1926) Fritz Lang
"Modern Times" (1936) Charles Chaplin
"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1975) Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam
"Nashville" (1975) Robert Altman
"The Night of the Hunter" (1955) Charles Laughton
"Night of the Living Dead" (1968) George Romero
"North by Northwest" (1959) Alfred Hitchcock
"Nosferatu" (1922) F.W. Murnau
"On the Waterfront" (1954) Elia Kazan
"Once Upon a Time in the West" (1968) Sergio Leone
"Out of the Past" (1947) Jacques Tournier
"Persona" (1966) Ingmar Bergman
"Pink Flamingos" (1972) John Waters
"Psycho" (1960) Alfred Hitchcock
"Pulp Fiction" (1994) Quentin Tarantino
"Rashomon" (1950) Akira Kurosawa
"Rear Window" (1954) Alfred Hitchcock
"Rebel Without a Cause" (1955) Nicholas Ray
"Red River" (1948) Howard Hawks
"Repulsion" (1965) Roman Polanski
"Rules of the Game" (1939) Jean Renoir
"Scarface" (1932) Howard Hawks
"The Scarlet Empress" (1934) Josef von Sternberg
"Schindler's List" (1993) Steven Spielberg
"The Searchers" (1956) John Ford
"The Seven Samurai" (1954) Akira Kurosawa
"Singin' in the Rain" (1952) Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
"Some Like It Hot" (1959) Billy Wilder
"A Star Is Born" (1954) George Cukor
"A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951) Elia Kazan
"Sunset Boulevard" (1950) Billy Wilder
"Taxi Driver" (1976) Martin Scorsese
"The Third Man" (1949) Carol Reed
"Tokyo Story" (1953) Yasujiro Ozu
"Touch of Evil" (1958) Orson Welles
"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948) John Huston
"Trouble in Paradise" (1932) Ernst Lubitsch
"Vertigo" (1958) Alfred Hitchcock
"West Side Story" (1961) Jerome Robbins/Robert Wise
"The Wild Bunch" (1969) Sam Peckinpah
"The Wizard of Oz" (1939) Victor Fleming

Thursday, April 20, 2006


The Happy Feminist has a post today considering what responsibility women bear for men's lust, particularly as it affects the way they dress.* This is a topic I've gone over and over in my mind without ever coming to a satisfactory conclusion, and I'd be interested to hear what y'all think about the issue. (I surmise that Happy Feminist and I have some overlap in reader demographic, but some major distinctions there too.) So go, read what she has to say and check out the comments thread, and let me know how you might reconcile feminism and Christianity on this one.

*I'm very aware that women lust after other women, too, and that some of the problems of dress carry across gender boundaries, but I'm not quite ready to broaden the conversation just that far at this moment. Right now, I'm interested in the M-F interaction - which is at least somewhat pertinent no matter what one's sexuality, I think.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Good to know

There's a piece of paper in front of me informing me that I'm a Candidate for Holy Orders.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Cockroach. In. My. Teakettle.

I just looked at a tape measure to check, and the thing had to be at least two inches long. I am not given to exaggerating or freaking out about bugs, but neither am I accustomed to finding two-inch cockroaches In My Teakettle (which we used last night).

Cockroach, you have your home and I have mine. They are not the same place. Please advise.

(Of course, Cockroach has just taken a three-story dive out the window and may not be paying much attention right now....)


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Welcome, happy morning!

Christ is risen! Alleluia!
I'm always delighted beyond words, and a little relieved, to hear those words again.

It feels strange not to be in church at 10 am on a Sunday, but that seems to have been the appropriate decision for this year. Instead, since we didn't sing it this morning, I offer my favorite Easter hymn:

"Welcome, happy morning!" age to age shall say:
hell today is vanquished, heaven is won today!
Lo! the dead is living, God for evermore!
Him their true Creator, all his works adore!
"Welcome, happy morning!" age to age shall say!

Earth her joy confesses, clothing her for spring
All fresh gifts return with her returning King:
bloom in every meadow, leaves on every bough,
speak his sorrow ended, hail his triumph now.
"Welcome, happy morning!" age to age shall say!

Months in due succession, days of lengthening light,
hours and passing moments praise thee in their flight.
Brightness of the morning, sky and fields and sea,
Vanquisher of darkness, bring their praise to thee.
"Welcome, happy morning!" age to age shall say!

Maker and Redeemer, life and health of all,
thou from heaven beholding human nature's fall,
of the Father's Godhead, true and only Son,
mankind to deliver, manhood didst put on.
"Welcome, happy morning!" age to age shall say!

Thou, of life the author, death didst undergo,
tread the path of darkness, saving strength to show;
come then, true and faithful, now fulfill thy word,
'tis thy own third morning! rise, O buried Lord!
"Welcome, happy morning!" age to age shall say!

Loose the souls long prisoned, bound with Satan's chain;
all that now is fallen raise to life again;
show thy face in brightness, bid the nations see;
bring again our daylight: day returns with thee!
"Welcome, happy morning!" age to age shall say!

Friday, April 14, 2006


There's not much for me to say about Good Friday - Good Friday pretty well speaks for itself. So instead, I'll bare to the world all the signs of my relative wealth.

Do you have:
(1) your own cell phone
(2) a television in your bedroom (it's not precisely in the bedroom - it's cleverly located so that I can watch it from any room in the suite - but yes, I can watch tv from bed.
(3) an MP3 player
( ) a photo printer
( ) own phone line
( ) TiVo or a generic digital video recorder
(4) high-speed internet access (i.e., not dialup)
( ) a surround sound system in bedroom
(5) DVD player in bedroom (see the tv thing)
( ) at least a hundred DVDs
(6) a childfree bathroom
(7) your own in-house office
( ) a pool
( ) a guest house
( ) a game room
( ) a queen-size bed or larger
( ) a stocked bar
( ) a working dishwasher
(8) an icemaker (well, it's not mine, it's in the refectory, but I can access pre-made ice without going outside)
(9) a working washer and dryer (ditto number 8, except it's in the basement proper, not the refectory)
(10) more than 20 pairs of shoes (although it depends on how you count - I have 15 pairs of street shoes and 2 pairs of dance shoes here in Evanston, but I still have at least seven pairs of dance shoes at my parents', and possibly some street shoes too - at least my creeking shoes are there)
( ) at least ten things from a designer store
( ) expensive sunglasses
( ) framed original art (not lithographs or prints) (I suppose technically I do, but I made the art, so I don't think that's what they mean)
(11) Egyptian cotton sheets or towels
(12) a multi-speed bike (it is, however, in Ohio and unusable)
( )a gym membership)
( ) your own set of golf clubs
( ) a pool table
( ) a tennis court
(13) local access to a lake, large pond, or the sea
( ) your own pair of skis
( ) enough camping gear for a weekend trip in an isolated area
( ) a boat
( ) a jet ski
( ) a neighborhood committee membership
( ) a beach house or a vacation house/cabin
(14) wealthy family members (not incredibly wealthy, but as far as I'm concerned, yes)
( ) two or more family cars
( ) a walk-in closet or pantry (I am not counting the kitchen half-room)
( ) a yard
( ) a hammock
( ) a personal trainer
(15) good credit
( ) expensive jewelry
( ) a designer bag that required being on a waiting list to get
( ) at least $100 cash in your possession right now
( ) more than two credit cards bearing your name (not counting gas cards or debit cards)
(16) a stock portfolio
(17) a passport
( ) a horse
( ) a trust fund (either for you or created by you)
(18) private medical insurance (at least in theory)
(19) a college degree, and no outstanding student loans

Do you:
( ) shop for non-needed items for yourself (like clothes, jewelry, electronics) at least once a week
( ) do your regular grocery shopping at high-end or specialty stores
( ) pay someone else to clean your house, do dishes, or launder your clothes (not counting dry cleaning)
( ) go on weekend mini-vacations
( ) send dinners back with every flaw
( ) wear perfume or cologne
( ) regularly get your hair styled or nails done in a salon
( ) have a job but don't need the money OR
( ) stay at home with little financial sacrifice
( ) pay someone else to cook your meals
( ) pay someone else to watch your children or walk your dogs
( ) regularly pay someone else to drive your taxis
( ) expect a gift after you fight with your partner

Are you:
( ) an only child
( ) married/partnered to a wealthy person
( ) baffled/surprised when you don't get your way

Have you:
( ) been on a cruise
(20) traveled out of the country
( ) met a celebrity
( ) been to the Caribbean
( ) been to Hawaii
(21) been to New York
( ) eaten at the space needle in Seattle
( ) been to the Mall of America
(22) been on the Eiffel tower in Paris
(23) been on the Statue of Liberty in New York (really, I've been in this, not on it, but ok)
( ) moved more than three times because you wanted to
( ) dined with local political figures
(24) been to both the Atlantic coast and the Pacific coast

Did you:
( ) go to another country for your honeymoon
( ) hire a professional photographer for your wedding or party
(25) took riding or swimming lessons as a child
( ) attend private school (I'm guessing this means elementary/secondary, not college?)
(26) have a Sweet 16 birthday party

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Monday, April 10, 2006


has definitely arrived. Today I saw an inch-long cockroach on the stairs on my way to morning prayer, and now a Japanese beetle is flying bopping breakdancing around my room.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Palm Sunday

I've had various bits of unfinished thoughts floating around my head all day, none of them ready for a post. Since it's been a couple of days, though, I'll share the Palm Sunday sermon I preached in class Friday, which is of course already written. I didn't preach it absolutely precisely according to the script, but this is pretty close. (I should probably note that the audience for this sermon was a classroom full of seminary people, not a parish congregation.)


Palm Sunday makes me batty. We start out with a beautiful liturgy of palms, which fits well into the Lenten progression of time through the Gospel, and then bam! before the service is over, Jesus is dead – except, not really, because we’ve still got Maundy Thursday and Good Friday ahead of us, and he can’t really die until we hear it from John’s Gospel on Friday. We’re expected to fit all of Holy Week into Palm Sunday - not giving anything away for those who will actually be around for the Triduum, but also making sure that the people who won't be back until Easter don't walk in and say "Jesus died?" I just don’t understand Palm Sunday.

Add it to the list of things I don’t understand about Holy Week. Palm Sunday, I can scoot by on. Last year, I had a much more terrifying realization during Holy Week: when Good Friday came, I discovered that I didn’t know who Jesus was. And in fact, a year later, after courses in systematic theology, in New Testament, in biblical theology, I can report that I still don’t know who Jesus is.

Don’t get me wrong here - I both loved and passed those courses, and wrote more than one of my papers on who Christ is and what the cross means. In fact, my final paper for theology talked about that Good Friday experience and how Dr. Wondra’s Magic Chart describing the main theologies of the work of Christ had helped me find some clarity about the matter. And it was all true. Theologically - or, more accurately, intellectually - I can manage. I can do the mental gymnastics. But it’s like taking an online quiz: “What’s your soteriology?” So I can confidently tell you that on that quiz, I scored as a mix of Christus Victor and union/communion with God - God is the agent of our salvation, we experience sin as having power over us, reconciliation plays out in union with God, etc. That’s my preferred theological understanding of Christ and salvation.

I just don’t know who Jesus is. I don’t get it, deep in my gut, even after a year of letting it marinate, just as I know in my gut that it doesn’t make sense to skip straight from the procession into Jerusalem to the crucifixion. This year, though, I think I'm ok with that.

I’d still prefer to know. I’m used to knowing things. I like knowing things. That’s where I’m comfortable, is learning and knowing and understanding things inside and out. And I still think it’s important to keep pushing at that understanding. But it’s ok, for now, that I don’t entirely understand this.

Thinking about the Palm Sunday propers this week, I started humming a song that I hadn’t thought about in several years, at least since college. It says:

Listen to the Lord as he speaks softly
Listen to the words of a perfect man
Listen to the miracle of God incarnate
Listen even when you don’t understand

We used to sing it as a round, so that the last line would echo - “listen even when you don’t understand, understand, understand.” That’s how it sounded in my head this week, too. And as powerful as that line can be in the middle of July, I think it speaks especially directly to us as we prepare to enter Holy Week. Listen even when you don’t understand. Not “listen to hear x, y, or z” – as I learned last year, we don’t get to qualify what we’re willing to hear. Just listen.

So that will be my discipline for the rest of Lent this year, as we head through Holy Week. I’m asking for God’s help in trying to unclench my intellect’s iron grip, and in listening even when I don’t understand. I expect to understand very little, this week - and perhaps that’s the way it’s supposed to work. But I’ll be listening, and I invite you to listen with me, as we move through the marvelous, terrible, mysterious events of Holy Week, watching and hoping for Easter.

Friday, April 07, 2006


So, the Saints won our first softball game of the season last night. That might not sound like particularly amazing to many, but the Saints... have a bit of trouble, sometimes, beating teams of any sort, and especially teams of in-shape college students (our average age is probably 10 years older than theirs). So a win was exciting. Getting to play in the infield was also exciting. I'm not a great player, but the chances of my doing something well improve if I don't have to throw too far.

Tomorrow morning, we have practice. Tomorrow morning during practice, it's forecast to be 38 degrees. Brr.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sermon update

I should clarify here that I have significant problems with the idea that pride and low self-worth split cleanly along gender lines - my besetting sin is much more pride than lack thereof.

It seems also at this point that this is not the sermon I'll be preaching on Friday. Another one, which I thought was a Good Friday sermon but wrote down anyway because I couldn't get it out of my head, seems now to be appropriate for heading into Holy Week rather than Good Friday itself, and may actually be my sermon for Friday (once it's fleshed out and polished).

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Strange day

~At lunch, a friend told me that if I didn't make sure I heard the helpful noise when I closed my ziploc bag, my piranha would get out and eat my flesh. He later offered to piranha-sit for me if I agreed to play softball again this year.

~Also at lunch, the apple I was halfway through eating magically leaped right out of my hand and across the table to hit another classmate in the face. Very out of the ordinary in my world.

~There was a new episode of Gilmore Girls tonight. (Hey, there hasn't been one in weeks. It's become a strange thing.)

~I spent the morning successfully making conversation with various people I don't really know.

Ok, the two top ones are the weirdest part. Now I'm trying to write a sermon about pride and humility, coming out of the propers for Palm Sunday, which is itself a strange thing to me. If anyone has helpful input, particularly about the notion that pride is men's sin and unworthiness is women's, I'm open.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


My mother was here for a few days. We:

~ate a lot
~went to the Botanical Gardens
~went to Ikea
~went to the Talbots Outlet
~walked on the beach during a few exceptionally warm hours
~watched a family history video and a quantum physics and spirituality one
~found me a bridesmaid dress for summer

Pippa was here last night, and will stay tonight as well because of the weather. We:

~ate dinner with Hope and Andrew
~welcomed prospective students
~played Uno and Zigity
~went to church
~ate pizza with prospective students
~sang evensong with prospective students

Now we're watching Hook, and then we will go to bed, because that's what people do at night.