Monday, October 31, 2011

This is how you get it done....

... or my three years in High School Marching Band

I know I've talked about this before... but since my guys won the state championship... indulge me.

I got tears watching the video that goes along with that above article. Why? Because moments like that you'll never forget.

Let me paint a picture of what it takes to stand on that field, and be presented as the state champion:

The season starts soon after the 4th of July. The band gets the music, the guard starts learning the flag work. Everyone gets refreshers (or lessons) on marching. By the end of that month everyone can march, left foot first. We can all take exactly 8 steps for ever 5 yards (10 steps going backwards). We can all stand at attention. We all have pride.

Every rehearsal starts that same. When I was in school it was 3 4 hour rehearsals a week, one 2 hour one. Everyone arrived at 5:45, because at 6 you were lined up in your sections and you marched to the field. You gave your very best while you were out there. If you messed up (dropped a flag, tripped over your feet, got yelled at by the Drill Staff) you did push ups. Trust me, the same mistake was never made again.

Band camp never yielded stories like they did in the movies. Band Camp was a week of 6 hour rehearsals in the hottest part of the summer. (The only story I ever had was when I nearly passed out) By the end the show has basically been learned. All that is left is perfecting it.

Starting soon after Labor Day, the competitions start. Those days are long: three hour rehearsal in the morning, dinner, dressing then off to compete. Competition started long before we got into the stadium. Competition started on the buses. Traditionally, the buses went silent as soon as we exited the highway. Everyone mentally went through the show, and got ready for the night's performance. After warming up, the band gathers, and the director says the same thing: "Say a prayer, say a silent prayer. not for yourself, but for others. That they might do their very best." That's the definition of team. Then the band gets into formation, and marches over. Silent feet, proud faces to the ticking of drum sticks.

How does West Genesee achieve excellence year after year? The staff, students and alumni expect excellence. It's as simple as that. The expectations are set high, the students practice discipline and everyone works hard.

That's why you saw tears in the eyes of the guard as the final score was read. They, and obviously the rest of the band set an amazingly high standard and worked spectacularly hard to achieve it.

And when you are touched by something as great as this, it changes you forever.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Something afoot at the Circle-K

Well, no... it's church, but that title was better.

I got less than lovely news over the weekend. Apparently church is hurting for money, and among other things, they are keeping the heat at 58 degrees. Yes, we'll have to wear gloves and winter coats.. inside.. on Sunday mornings. I find this disturbing for many, many reasons.

  • To any visitors, it makes us less than desirable.
  • I don't think the choir can practice, or sing in those temperatures. I know I can't. (I have cold induced asthma)
  • It's going to drive people, and their money, away.
  • We give money to charity every week... maybe we should keep it a few weeks to catch up?
  • How about the children, and babies in the nursery? That can't be healthy.
I've heard of people considering leaving the church, and going to one with heat. I've considered stopping my automatic payments.. especially if I'm going to avoid the place until warmer weather comes.

I, and many others, pay as much as we can every month. I, and many others, have the money automatically sent to the church. We're doing all we can, but they want and need more.

I don't have any money left for y'all. Sorry.

Now, I need to decide if I want to even bother going to service tomorrow. I might stay in my warm house and do laundry.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Poor planning on your part shouldn't require a crisis on mine...

... but all too often it does.

There are a few things I can't do in short notice. I can't find you meeting space in our building after 3, I can't have a meal catered. I can't get you an AV person for your lecture. I can't order lunch for you (especially if you don't tell me what you want!).

Now, I'm usually very good at my job, but some things I just can't do.

And when do I get asked to do these things? When the professors forget to tell me that they need something. They forget, and I get panicked emails over night about said things. And it's up to me to fix it.

Sometimes it just doesn't get done. And I feel awful.

I shouldn't.

It wasn't my fault.

I need to let it go.

I woke up today thinking it was Friday

Oh how wrong I was! Don't you hate that?

The FlyLady approach goes on, albeit a day behind schedule. I'm hoping to catch up over the weekend.

I'm contemplating going back to Weight Watchers, since it was working. But it's $40 a month. I'd get half of that back, but man, that's a lot of money. And if the rumored changes at church happen, money is about to become a very sore subject.

Can I justify the cost (that will leave me VERY short every single paycheck.)

It will take some more pondering, I think.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Well, it was a good start....

I decided that I'm going back to FlyLady this week.

Well, a modified version. Fly lady focuses on a room a week. I live in a small two bedroom apartment.... I focus on a few tasks in each room every day.

Well, I'm already behind. We went on a campus tour, and the almost two hour walk around campus (and the five hours of office crap after) just sucked the life out of me. Between setting up my new computer (the office bought me one, for working from home), making dinner and the fatigue.. I'm kinda done.

But fear not. I'll regroup tomorrow and just add scrubbing the kitchen counters to the bathroom cleaning on tap for tomorrow.

I have a plan. I just need to keep with it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

And in the realm of less angsty news....

FINALLY, I'm looking at a week where I have little in the way of outside commitments. And this is good! Because it looks like a bomb exploded in my house.

I have a plan, I have help. I just need motivation. Why? because a nap sounds really good right now.

And there's an added bonus of shingles going around the office. Great.....

Warning! Not fit for Human Consumption!

I need that warning written on a t-shirt sometimes.

I completely blew up at a friend yesterday. I understand that he's all clean food crusading. I totally get it. But when I say that I have monetary and time issues with shopping at farmers markets, don't tell me that I don't. I know he meant well.

I've gotten awfully tired of being.. well... preached at... at church. Now, my church doesn't preach about God or Jesus or all. My church usually gets preachy about environmental issues, social justice issues and money. These topics seem to come in waves. The spring generally brings the environmental topics, and the winter brings the money. I understand that these are serious issues, but really do we need to hear it from different people, in different ways, for months on end?

Maybe it's just my non-confrontational nature acting up. Maybe it's my situation (No, I can't use a rain barrel or plant a garden, I live in an apartment!). Maybe it's just fatigue. I've done what I've can. I've given all of the money that I can give. I understand that Wal-mart is bad, but they have whatever I was there for cheaper that the store you prefer.

In the end, I'm sure that this pressure to be a perfect UU is all internal. I know that I'm not being judged, or laughed at. But at times I feel under a microscope.

And when I'm under that microscope, I need to learn to tell people to drop the subject. Or I need to walk away.

Or there might be tears, like there was yesterday.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ahhh, Friday

I only really had 2 thoughts today:

1.) I'm attempting a week of seriously working out. And my seriously, I mean, every day. I've been feeling pretty poorly, and I'm wondering if that would help! I also think actually going to the chiropractor would help me move better.

2.) We got some awful news at work. I'm under a gag order, so I told the dog. Man.. she's a pretty good listener.

I'm home from work early, since it's homecoming.. and I don't want to be caught behind the parade. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I think I'm getting to the end of an era.

My Monday dance class has dwindled to 1 person. Me.

This lead to more conversation and less dancing (the teacher and I have known each other for years). We both admitted that possibly we were getting too old for this. Her class sizes are dwindling. Maybe the universe is trying to tell us something.

Oh well.... I'll always have dance... on my Wii

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Sermon I gave at church

Popcorn Theology with Matthew, Mark, Joan and Rufus

This summer the teen religious education classes engaged in their own form of Popcorn Theology. I was curious about what this meant, so I looked it up. Michelle Richards, the author of the book says that “Popcorn Theology takes the concept and popularity of movie night to explore issues of theology and ethics for Unitarian Universalists.”

That got me thinking. I know that my views on morality and ethics have been shaped by the media, but has my own personal theology been influenced as well? I know that as UU’s our faith is drawn from the six sources. What if my sources also included movies, television and novels? I put some thought into it. As I sat and thought about the books, movies and television shows that I enjoyed so much, I began to realize how parts of them played into my sense of personal theology today.

Before we begin, a little background. The area that I grew up in was far from religiously diverse. It was rather “column A” or “column B”. Column A was Catholicism. There were large, well-attended catholic churches in my town. My father’s family and many of my friends were part of column A. Column B was the Protestant churches. These were mainly Presbyterian and Methodist, but even the Baptist church had a similar service. I was well into high school before we had any Jewish or Islamic kids in the school. It was a place where you went to church, or didn’t. But you never really talked about religion.

I was the exception to that rule because I talked about religion. I had questions and I asked questions for a while. When I got answers that didn’t make sense, I stopped asking. Two instances stand out in my mind.
  • The first was when I was in elementary school. I didn’t want to get up for church, and asked my mother why I had to go. She informed me that I needed to go to church so God could hear me pray. This puzzled me. I asked “Well, if we go to church so God can hear us pray, why do we pray before bed?” At this point, mom got a little flustered and the subject was dropped.
  • The second happened in Middle School. My catholic grandmother always went to church on my birthday, the Feast of Immaculate Conception. Now, even in Middle School I could do math, and December 8th to December 25th isn’t nine months. I asked her about it, and she told me that’s when Mary was immaculately conceived. I then read the New Testament, never finding where it was mentioned. She told me that it’s not in the bible, but all Catholics understand it to be true. I wanted to call shenanigans on that, but wise enough not to argue with my Grandmother.

After that, I decided that if the Catholics can simply decide things about their religion, why can’t I? Not being one that learned well though reading (a fact that would haunt me in College), I began to unconsciously cobble together my own views on religion from the next best source: movies and television. Looking back, I am less than surprised at the movies and television shows that influenced me.
I was born in the mid 70’s and grew up with The Magic Garden, Romper Room and a rather psychedelic Sesame Street. The early 80’s brought two things to our home: Cable, complete with HBO, and Star Wars.

Because of the magic of HBO and repeating movies ad nauseum, by the time Return of the Jedi opened in 1983 I could recite multiple passages of Star Wars (the first one). I learned two things from those movies.

1. I wanted to live in the Ewok village on Endor (Honestly, what seven year old wouldn’t?) and
2. I wanted to be a Jedi.

Why a Jedi? Well, I was a fan of the Jedi mind trick. And light sabers were pretty cool. But I really understood what the Force stood for. It made sense.
“The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”

I loved the idea of that. Something that connects us all. A code of honor. It’s a thought that is echoed in a great many modern religious movements (including our own). In fact, so many people believe in the Jedi Code, an actual religion has formed from it. In The UK, there are enough members that it merited being an official religion choice on the British census.


I spent High School and College with religion largely absent from my life. I also spent some time trying to reconcile my love for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s very Christian rock opera Jesus Christ Super Star with the love for the rather pagan The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, which was a feminist re-telling of the Arthurian Legend. I still love them both, despite of their wildly opposite points of view.

In 1999, Hollywood kicked the Catholic Church in the teeth with the 1-2 punch of Dogma and Stigmata. Both of the movies were met with harsh criticism and protests. Both of the movies were very critical of the rigid, outdated views of the Catholic Church.

Dogma was the story of two angels that were on a quest to unmake existence, all thanks to a loophole in Catholic dogma. They are stopped by the Last Scion, the 13th Apostle, the Metatron (who is the voice of God, not a Transformer) and of course, Jay and Silent Bob. This movie by Kevin Smith has multiple quotes that basically sum up my views on religion. My favorite is this one from the muse Serendipity:

Serendipity: When are you people going to learn? It's not about who's right or wrong. No denomination's nailed it yet, and they never will because they're all too self-righteous to realize that it doesn't matter what you have faith in, just that you have faith. Your hearts are in the right place, but your brains need to wake up.
I love that the film explored religion from a denomination neutral perspective, while still acknowledging that there is a God (played in this film by Alanis Morrisette). I happen to agree with Serendipity, no denomination has gotten it right yet.

Serendipity’s thoughts about faith, funny enough, are echoed by the preacher Shepherd Book in the short lived space western, Firefly some years later. After River Tam (who is brilliant, but not entirely mentally stable) declares that his Bible is broken he responds with: “It's not about making sense. It's about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It's about faith. You don't fix faith, River. It fixes you.” In the movie Serenity, which is the continuation of the cancelled series, he echoes those thoughts to Mal, as he lay dying. He pleads with Mal, a man that is quickly losing everything that is dear to him, to believe in something, anything.
Whereas Dogma was a comedy, Stigmata is a horror film. Stigmata is the story of a young atheist woman, who begins to suffer the stigmata wounds after being possessed by a priest who translated the Gospel of St. Thomas. The Gospel of St. Thomas is a collection of Jesus’s sayings, or so it claims, that wasn’t included in the New Testament, and some have called it a heretical text. Catholic Clergy in this movie thought this simple idea could take down the church. Before someone runs out to research this, I did it for you. Though the movie’s version of the Gospel of Thomas is incorrect (They cobbled together lines from the real gospel), the idea behind it is sound.
“Jesus said... the Kingdom of God is inside you, and all around you, not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood... and I am there, lift a stone... and you will find me. “
That one line struck fear into the corrupt priests. They feared that the mere idea contained in those words would bring down the church. They were afraid that Jesus said that churches aren’t necessary to be close to God, and that this one idea would take away their power, and their jobs. That God is everywhere and in everything. Kind of like the Force.
In 2003 Hollywood again tackled the thorny subject of religion with Joan of Arcadia. This is a show about God, but doesn’t follow one system of beliefs. The show follows the exploits of Joan (who lives in Arcadia), as she follows instructions from God. God shows himself (or herself) as a variety of people, of all genders and ages. They all have three things in common. They all are God. They all know Joan’s name. And they all have that same condescending wave. They also all give her tasks that, at first seem absolutely ridiculous. Joan whines. She complains. Her friends think she is crazy, but somehow she learns something from the tasks. Coincidentally, both Joan, and God were nominated by UU World readers as being television characters that people strongly suspect are UU’s.

The show was conceived of by Barbara Hall, who gave these guidelines for the writers of the show. The “Ten Commandments of Joan of Arcadia,” if you will. Many of these “commandments” reflect my own ideas about God (for the Divine, or whatever you want to call it):
  • God cannot directly intervene.
  • Good and evil exist.
  • God can never identify one religion as being right.
  • The job of every human being is to fulfill his or her true nature.
  • Everyone is allowed to say "no" to God, including Joan.
  • God is not a person and does not possess a human personality.
  • God talks to everyone all the time in different ways.
  • God's plan is what is good for us, not what is good for him.
  • God's purpose for talking to Joan, and everyone, is to get her (us) to recognize the interconnectedness of all things.

I always loved the God in Joan of Arcadia. That God is very similar to what I have always viewed God as being: someone kind, with our best interests in mind, whose message other people may misinterpret from time to time.

I actually completely believe that God speaks to everyone. God, the Universe, whatever you call it. I call those conversations "clue by four moments." They are moments when it's like the universe downloads exactly what you need to think, say or do, directly into your head. The moment, in my mind, when a Monty Python-esque hand comes down from illuminated clouds to slap you upside the head. Like God is saying: "Get clue!" then handing it to you.
Those movies and shows: Star Wars, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Mists of Avalon, Dogma, Stigmata and Joan of Arcadia were all tools. They were mirrors that I held up to my faith. I saw parts of my spirituality reflected in them. I thought I had it all figured out. Then Eat Pray Love hit me over the head. Eat Pray Love is the memoir of the amazing year that Elizabeth Gilbert spent in Italy, India and Bali. It’s now a movie with Julia Roberts. Now don’t laugh, but some of the passages knocked the wind out of me. It was like the author, Elizabeth Gilbert, reached inside of me to put the words on the page. Because I was there. On page 20 she writes:
“I was trying so hard not to know this, but the truth kept insisting itself to me.
I don’t want to be married anymore.
I don’t want to live in this big house. I don’t want to have a baby.”(Eat pray Love, page 20)
At that point, she had me hooked. I was sucked into this woman’s “free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” In this search, she goes to eat her way around Italy, pray in India, then she studies with a medicine man in Indonesia (where she learns to smile with her liver). But along the way, she comes up with ideas similar to my own. She writes:
“The Hopi Indians thought the world’s religions each contained one spiritual thread, and that these threads are always seeking each other, wanting to join. When all the threads are finally woven together they will form a rope that will pull us out of this dark cycle of history and into the next realm.” (Eat Pray Love, p. 298)
This woman from a protestant background took experiences from Hindu practices, experiences of living in a very Catholic country and experiences with her medicine man and wove her own faith from the spiritual threads she found.
So why even do this? Why look to movies and television for my spiritual path? My answer is a simple: Why not? We are all here on our free and responsible searches for truth and meaning. As we search we should feel free to consider ideas and inspiration from outside the realm of scholarly text. In Andrew’s sermon on June 12 he called our faith “experiential.” We were challenged to (to borrow the first living tradition) directly experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life. I find nothing wrong with experiencing that wonder through the lens of someone that has put time and study into this subject. People like Kevin Smith, Barbara Hall, Joss Whedon and Elizabeth Gilbert found their own truth and meaning, and chose to share that truth with the rest of us.

Now, while agree with all of the other “e” words that Andrew used in that sermon, I want to add one more. Our faith is “experimental.” We are both encouraged and, honestly, expected to piece together thoughts, words, movies, books and (even maybe) pies into a Frankenstein’s Monster of personal theology. We spend our lives tinkering with it until hitting the it’s alive moment where the lightning flashes and we can see our creation coming to life inside of us as a fully formed set of ideas. We then spend our lives tinkering with the parts, adding new ones in and taking old ones away. This is the one amazing advantage that our faith has over the other hundred churches in town. We’re not a one size fits all operation. I spent my youth in churches where you were expected to believe in everything that the church stood for. In many cases it ended up being an all or nothing situation. That’s why I like it here. We mix and match, allowing for our experiments, experience, and learning styles to guide us.

As I finish this up, I’m going to put my teacher hat back on for a bit. I charge all of you to go and find your own truth and meaning in unusual sources. Be it a movie, a book, a musical, song, painting or even in an episode of Glee, find your own ideas that build your personal theology in someplace unexpected. Go ahead, experiment a little.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It Is Finally Over!!

After weeks of stressing about it, I gave my sermon at church. It went well. Really well. To celebrate, I had ice cream and a yummy dinner. I'll pay for it in the dance studio tomorrow!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The First Amendment

Now, before we begin, anyone that knows me is that I'm all "Yay Team Gay!!" What I'm about to say isn't anti-LGBT. It's pro first amendment.

A teacher in New Jersey is under fire for anti-gay remarks on her Facebook. The remarks were crude and crass, but not threatening (in a yelling fire in a crowded theater way). I did want to smack this person with a clue-by-four though for the following reasons:
  • Make your Facebook friends only, stupid.
  • You are a Public School Teacher. This means you are under a microscope. See above.
Public school teachers have been fired for pictures of them with drinks in their hands. Yes, teachers of legal drinking age have been fired for drinking in public, and for those pictures ending up on Facebook.

But while I hate what the teacher said, it is his right to say it. The Supreme Court upheld the WBC's right to picket funerals. Do I hate what they do? Yes. Do they have the right to stand on public property and be stupid? Yes. Did this guy have the right to say stupid shit online? Yes, as long as it's inciting violence. In American you have the right to be stupid. We also have the right to mock your closeminded biggot-ness.

Things get a tiny bit trickier, but to borrow from Wikipedia: In Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), the Supreme Court extended broad First Amendment protection to children attending public schools, prohibiting censorship unless there is "substantial interference with school discipline or the rights of others." While what the teacher said was awful, her opinion wasn't violating the rights of others. Acting on it would be, and in my opinon, that's when legal action should be taken.

We've hit a tricky point in our history. Each side of each and every issue has things to say. They all are hurtful to the other side. One side cites the First Amendment, the other gets lawyers. It's been going on forever, and it gets us nowhere. I think that this teacher should be monitored, so we all make sure she's in fact doing her job, and that no one is being discriminated against in her class and let her school administration take it from there.

People were once fired for being gay. Now people are fired if they are anti-gay. Why don't we let people have an opinion, let people have an opposing opinion, and then get back to the business of cramming for the state tests.

And as an aside, celebrating any -Month at a school usually involves a display and a blurb on the announcements. African American History Month, Women's History Month, LGBT History Month, Any History month is a nice idea, but in this time of NCLB and strict state standards it's more than a passing nod to that material. Let's face it, if you want those groups to be celebrated, make sure that they are included in the curriculum.

And, because I don't say it as well as some, Andrew Shepard's take on the First Amendment.
America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free"

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A recipe I need to try!

So my favorite thing on this planet was Trader Joe's Thai Green Beans. LOVED them! But they've been discontinued for a few years now. I remember the sauce was rather similar to Pad Thai (Specifically Taste of Thai Pad Thai Sauce)! Maybe something can be done after all!

Maybe combining fresh (or frozen and thawed) green beans with a box of pad thai.. and maybe some chicken will be just as yummy.

I'll have to try this over the weekend!

Is anyone Christian enough?

In my daily reading of the Today show website my eyes were drawn to a story about Mitt Romney. People are accusing this Mormon man, and the entire Mormon faith, of not being Christian.

That made me remember back to my first years teaching. I was in a rural, mostly Southern Baptist, community. I was teaching the Middle Ages, and with that came a lesson on the history of the Christianity (not theology, mainly the many splits in the faith). The history of the Middle Ages is closely tied up with Catholicism. One of my students, a rather bright one at that, proclaimed that she thought we were learning about Christianity, and that these catholic people aren't Christian.

I knew better than to argue. She explained that the Southern Baptist faith started the day Jesus was born. With that amount of intentional ignorance and refusal to entertain historical fact I had to way of teaching her the truth. (The 70 of the unit test did open up a bit of dialogue, though).

So I looked it up:
1. of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith.
2. of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to thereligion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ: Spain is a Christian country.
3. of or pertaining to Christians: many Christian deaths in theCrusades.
4. exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ; Christlike: She displayed true Christian charity.
5. decent; respectable: They gave him a good Christian burial.

7. a person who believes in Jesus Christ; adherent of Christianity.
8. a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ: He died like a true Christian

And since everything I've read about Mormonism (as crazy as it can be sometimes) involves them following numbers 7 and 8 of the above definition.... I conclude that Mormons are Christian. (along with this definition)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church or, colloquially, the Mormon Church) is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement, a Christian primitivist* movement started by Joseph Smith during the American Second Great Awakening.

*Christian primitivism, also called restorationism, is the belief that a purer form of Christianity should be restored using the early church as a model

Coffee Fail!

Yesterday, I didn't get to bring coffee to work, because I ran out of creamer.

So today I brew a pot of pumpkin spice coffee.... only to discover that my half and half is a month expired.

I give up.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Could we please fully change the seasons now?

It's October, and it's 75 out. I'm ready for chilly nights, warm apple cider and fluffy sweaters. Today is warm and blustery, which, in and of itself, is a bit weird. Welcome to Global Warming and Virginia.

Halloween is around the corner. The holiday doesn't excite me like it did when I was a kid. I don't have the money or creativity to come up with costumes. The magic is gone. I have Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin.

Thanksgiving is around the corner. The family we've been dining with for years has children of their own now, and family in town. I suspect we'll be on our own, and that's ok. I have things I can make. And we never underestimate leftovers! Maybe the dog and cat will get some Turkey too.

The holiday blues start earlier and earlier every year.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sometimes you need to be Silly!

Hanging off my desk at work I have 2 signs: "I am the keymaster, are you the gatekeeper?" and "I can't brain today, I have the dumb"


Because sometimes we take ourselves too seriously, especially when working in an academic setting.

And before I go on, please watch this. I'll wait.

I know that I need to work on the art of Being Furiously Happy. But I think that with my silly office signs and my selective forwarding of appropriate LOLcats to my officemates I'm making a good start.

I know I need to be reminded from time to time not to take life so seriously, because no one gets out of it alive. And now I'm reminding y'all that too.

So take some time to wear a silly t-shirt, or put pink flamingos on your friend's lawn, or dress your dog up as a squirrel (it makes squirrel chasing easier).

Me? I'll be labeling things in the office that students seem to miss. How about "This is where you put your papers, Silly!" for the drop box?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Renaissance Faire!

It's been WAY too long since I've garbed up and gone to a Ren Faire. This weekend we left the pets and home and ventured to Maryland!

I have learned some things from my trip back to faire:
  • At a busy faire, catch early shows
  • stretch before and after!
  • try to find garb for everyone in the party!
That's all for now, hopefully I'll have pictures later on!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Diversity, you're doing it wrong!

I will admit, I grew up in a very WASPy part of New York State, so I had little knowledge or experience with diversity until I got to college.

Silly me, I thought that since the Civil War was over, people should get along. I thought that since I really didn't have any issue with people of differing races, ethnicities and religions, that other people didn't either. I was wrong.

The first week of college, I made a friend. This friend was white, and had a black roommate. My friend went out of her way to be accommodating. She arranged her space giving 3/4 of the room to the African American woman. She tolerated the roommate taking the phone to class with her (this is a time before cell phones). But she put her foot down at people hanging out in the room after 11pm on weeknights. Apparently my friend was a racist and intolerant of the needs of the African American Community! What?

It was like this for the majority of my schooling. The African American students went out of their way to not hang out with the others. This all culminated in, during my senior year, a Diversity Initiative. A report from a friend indicated that it got worse after I graduated. There was a protest by the African American students. They stood silently, holding hands and not telling anyone what they were protesting. (This was common on campus. Take Back the Night wasn't ever advertised until the day of, and people wondered why attendance was low.)

So, in essence, I was taught that I should just stop trying. For 4 years of college I was shown again and again that being tolerant of others was a waste of time, because they weren't tolerant of me.

Now I live in a predominantly African American apartment complex, and I have one thing to say. There boys have GOT to pull their fucking pants up!!

Seriously! It's Underpants Abuse!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Personal Style

I go to work in the same dozen outfits week after week, month after month. Most of my pants are too big, some are too short. The shirts are looking a bit warn.

I decided something today. I need more cool, fitted t-shirts. Like this, or this, or this, or this. I need jeans and pants that fit. I need ballet flats and cardigans.

I also need to stop needing stuff.

Why can't we all just go around naked? It would make my life easier.

GleeCap: Asian F

Bravo! Thank you Ryan Murphy for showing us into your seldom used characters!

Now, my thoughts:
  • Yes, I know the "Asian F" well. My college roommate was from China. It's not a stereotype without basis.
  • Mike Chang... the man caught up in what his parents want for him. Now I wonder about Tina Cohen-Chang... is she part of a family like this? And why is her name hyphenated?
  • Rachael- stop taking everyone else's dreams! I get wanting to play Maria, but class president too? Could you think of Kurt for a minute?
  • Mercedes- Something's up with her. The Spousal Equivalent thinks she's pregnant (we went there, could we not this time?). I think she's got a HUGE case of Diva-itus. She may have deserved the part over Rachael, but her mouthing off to Shue when he was just trying to work on her dancing was uncalled for. And now she's burned those bridges but good.
  • Is Emma off her meds? Or was it the stress of her parents visiting that made the OCD come roaring back?
  • How in the world is Brittany a senior? She really passed enough classes to get there?
No Glee for a few weeks, which makes me a sad panda.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I really hate this...

This migraine...

Gracious, it set in yesterday at 4. It was a night of soup and lying on the sofa because my head felt too heavy to hold upright. It still hurts today, but I have to at least attempt to be productive today.

In the great news department, we're going to the Renaissance Faire this weekend! This means I need to hunt up my costuming and make sure it fits. It also means getting up at the crack of dawn. But I'm SO excited!

In the other good news department: My Splenda prize pack just got here! I still can't believe I won anything!

Monday, October 3, 2011

This time, Posting from the Correct Blog!

I won't even go into what happened yesterday. It makes me feel of so not smart.

Autumn has finally arrived in Hampton Roads. Things are still damp, but not as jungle-esque as they have been. I don't know what happened, but my allergies went CRAZY. It took some serious pharmacological intervention to get me out the door this morning. All I want right now is a nap.

But I can't. I'm at work. And tonight is dance class, rent paying, vacuuming and dusting. Plus the dog needs to be dosed up on flea meds.

Gotta keep on plugging along!