Snapshot of Americana

I have been gone all day.  I was at church, home long enough to change clothes, at a church function, then at a revised Sunday dinner before discovering a missed phone call and spending an hour on the phone with an old friend.  When I finally got in the house, I checked Facebook and email to catch up.  Upon which, I discovered, the new health care package was passed.

If I were to take this at face value among my Facebook friends, there is an interesting conundrum.  Evidently 2/3 of my vocal (i.e., post all opinions on Facebook) friends think this country is now going straight to hell in a handbasket.  Then there are the few vocals ones that say thank god for finally doing something about health care.

What I find interesting about this ratio is that the majority of my Facebook friends are staunch supporters of health care reform.  They have just remained silent compared to those that are die-hard Republicans and think that supporting health care reform or President Barack Obama is akin to aligning oneself with the devil.  The decry the desecration of the Constitution in the past day, that the national decision makers have forgotten the principles upon which the country was founded, and that we are now, essentially Europe.

Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t read the news all day.  I just find this humorous.  I disagree with much of those opinions, and the one thing that keeps coming back to me is this:

Founding Fathers never had to deal with HMOs or insurance companies.  They could trade a side of beef or a wheel of cheese for decent medical care.  If you can find a doctor that will work for such wages in today’s economy then please, by all means, let me know.  I’m moving to your town.

Interesting nighttime reading!  Time to check on the news reports and see what all the hooplah is about!

The things we do for strangers

Tonight was the last night I had Wicked duty this week.  I came home (after being at the theater for the last eleven hours) and had a ton of emails.  One of them was a comment to this post asking where one of the receptions occurred.  I have no idea.  The show was on almost eight weeks ago, and it didn’t make a great impression on me at the time.

Instead of just ignoring the comment, what do I do?  I sit at the computer and try to research the info.  I know the name of the bride (maiden and married, to boot).  I know how much she and her now-husband paid in real estate taxes last year.  I know that there are a LOT of people that either love or hate the show.  But I cannot find a show recap that has detail in any location. And it doesn’t look like TLC will be rebroadcasting that particular episode of Four Weddings any time in the near future.

Before I knew it, over TWO HOURS had passed.  I have to call it quits.  I am exhausted and I have to get ready for my shower and bed.

So Alison, my dear, I’m sorry.  I don’t know.  It was a great restaurant, with an awesome view, but I haven’t got the foggiest idea where the reception was held.

Wickedly Awesome

I promise, this is the last time that I will write on this stupid show. 🙂

So tonight was Wicked #5 of 11 (I think).  I was assigned to direct on the balcony level, which is rare.  So rare, in fact that I had to get a MAP.  I think it’s been seven years since I’ve even been ON the balcony level, much less worked up there.  So learning experience, right?  Always fun.  The good thing is that the work is significantly less.  I was almost relaxed even!  And because of the no-door structure, I was even able to SEE the show.  Like the WHOLE show.  From beginning to end.

Amazing.

So much fun.

Tomorrow night, back to the madness on the downstairs level.

Discipleship, Part 2

Tonight was the second half of our discussion on chapter one in our book Sacred Roads, Relational Discipleship.  Understand, please, that the word TANGENT was used to describe our ragamuffin group of women.  We stray from topic to talk about things such as the priesthood and the way they love wine, Amway hawking in the 1980s, and the Latina family structure.  So it’s all a great ball of fun.

We had five women, two who were not part of the five we had last week.  It’s kind of funny, seeing as how all save one (including me) are DRASTIC Type A people (and I am giving the benefit of the doubt to T, the new girl, as I don’t know her well enough to say yep, she’s one of us).  And we all seemed to struggle with the same concepts.  Confession and submission.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that submission is the point of relational discipleship.  But the examples that are given in the book brought the subject up.  To be honest, submission is a word that didn’t occur to me in the slightest when I was reading, but it must have come up for others.  The first Old Testament story that is given was for Moses and Joshua, how Joshua served as Moses’s second until such a time as he was appointed the leader–40 years after first starting to serve with Moses.  I thought it was odd that the questions for this section were difficult for people to answer–we had to describe a training experience, good or bad, and what the value in a spiritual relationship like that would be.  I came up with answers easily, I admit–but then again, training is what I do.  (Well, what I would do were I employed for a living at this current time.)  It was odd to me that people couldn’t think of examples.  Continue reading

I am a bad granddaughter

I still have three of my four grandparents living, all into their 80s.  And one of them, my maternal grandmother, is the most negative person you’ve ever met.  She hates everything.  She doesn’t like anything.  But the entire world has to stop so that she can get what she wants when she wants.   It’s a huge catch 22 and it’s irritating as all hell.

And tomorrow I’m on duty.

She likes bottled water.  Claims the tap water (which was rated very high and tastes just fine) makes her sick.  Fine, that’s her preference.  But she complains about the fact that she has no water for SIX WEEKS and then gets upset that I haven’t offered to get it for her.  But the process of getting water is more than that.  It means she expects to be treated to lunch, must be taken shopping, then taken to Costco where I can lift the bottles into the cart and then take them upstairs to her apartment.

I know it’s little and trivial, but it is something I’m not looking forward to doing tomorrow.  Mainly because I cannot handle a day of snide talking and hateful attitudes.  I have worked very hard to cut out that kind of negativity among my friends and the people I hang out with, only it’s not possible to do that with family.  I wish it were sometimes, but it makes me a horrible granddaughter.

Wish me luck in the AM!

Me? A worrywart? Nah.

I never have been actually.  A worrywart that is.  Other members of my family, well, let’s just say that they have made it an exact science.  It truly is an art form.  But the practice of worrying over something is not one that I tend to do.  I know that things will be taken care of in their own way, things that have already happened can’t change and therefore it’s a waste of time, and things I can’t influence are a waste of energy if I worry.  So I don’t.

I found a passage today in my ‘library’ book that talked about worrying, and it had a checklist of things on there, I think it was ten or so, that could tell you if you have a tendency to worry.  The only one I answered yes to was the final statement–you have a grandparent that worries incessantly.  But me? Not so much.

I saw this sentence and it was one of two that really struck me: a fog bank that is a hundred feet deep and over seven city blocks  is composed of less than a singular glass of water.  Something that in a moment can seem gigantic, inconvenient, endless, not able to penetrate or get through, and that brings a city to a standstill is, in fact, small enough to hold the container in your hand.  It’s not insurmountable.  It’s not impossible.  It is able to be done.

The second sentence that stuck with me was from Psalm 139: 23-24.  It’s one I have heard many times, especially given that the theme of the kid’s production we just did was “Searching”.  But this translation was a bit different: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  I think that the reason this stuck with me was the phrasing of “See if there is any offensive way in me”.  I don’t know about you, but I know there is in me, and it is something that I strive to overcome.

So I will continue to try not to be a worrywart.  To not take sometime that to me seems like it’s insurmountable, like having a job, and turn it into my own personal fog bank.  For I know that I can make it through if I keep my mind on the right path and if I truly trust in God to lead me through the dark.

Just because we are friends doesn’t mean that’s okay

I don’t know what it is.  Do I inspire disrespect? Do I have an aura about me that reads “loves slackers and those that can’t be dependable”? Or is the moral accountability in today’s society just not there any longer?

Today was a rough day.  After being at the theater for twelve hours yesterday, coming home and decompressing and dealing with the time change, let’s just say I was a heathen this morning.  I didn’t get up in time to go to early service, and to be quite frank with you I had no desire to go at all.  It was one of those days where you are just feeling anti-social and want to do nothing but be by yourself.  I know that sounds odd and selfish, but we all need decompress time, right?  No TV, no crowds–I spent the morning with a few cups of chai and a book, then cleaned (or pretended to), and got ready for dinner.

I wasn’t particularly in the mood for dinner.  For those that are unaware, Sunday nights are girls night at my house.  I Tivo that week’s episodes of Gray’s Anatomy and Private Practice, and after dinner we settle in and watch.  Because of the kid’s production at church last week, we had four hours of TV to catch up on.  Dinner, every week, is at 5pm at my house.  I haven’t ‘cooked’ much lately–made chicken noodle soup from scratch, or homemade spaghetti sauce, or something like that, but it had been a while since I had done the whole course-meal thing.  So, to celebrate spring (since we couldn’t celebrate Pi Day since Beth gave up sweets for Lent), I prepared a pretty darn good meal if I do say so myself.

Dinner was artichoke and Parmesan stuffed chicken breasts grilled outside, a homemade carrot salad, peas, and homemade rolls.  The rolls didn’t rise fully, but that’s okay they were still good.  Plus kneading dough is good for the aggression.

Here’s what bothers me. Continue reading

Wicked tired!

So I was supposed to have a relaxing Saturday.  No worries, no problems, just hanging out with friends.

That got canceled.  Instead I ended up back at the Mosque, for about eleven hours, helping with Wicked.

It’s a fabulous show, but I am beat.  People complaining because of their seats being broken, an usher made them mad, an usher stole their  credit card/ID, it’s exhausting!

I’m going to bed!

I’m building an ark

Yep, it’s that time of  year again.  No matter what you do, the house smells like wet dog.  Appealing, isn’t it?

To top it off, I’m also dogsitting, so I’ve spent lots of time two doors down–with three more dogs.  And thus the reason for a small posting tonight.  I am just not inspired by this weather.

Unadulterated Loathing for Wicked

I volunteer at several of the local theaters (or theatre, depending on the locale).  I love doing it, even for the shows that I have no desire to see.  Last night was the first night of a three-week run for Wicked–something that is unheard of in this town.  Most shows only get a week showing.  But this one, well, it sold out for all three weeks.  So cool!  The problem is that, as a volunteer, I have to work 5-8 shows during the three-week run.  I guess it’s not so much of a problem, it’s really fun, it’s just a lot in three weeks.

Anywho, I was VERY impressed with the traveling show.  Plus, in the theater house that was built in 1926, it has one of the BEST sounds of any show I’ve ever seen there.  I don’t know how they did it–but I am thrilled that they were able to coax sound out of every nook and cranny of the house and maximize it for their use.

The thing that cracked me up is that it is the most regimented, strict, and particular show I have ever worked in terms of late seating.  The minute the house lights go down, there is NO movement in the house.  Everyone has to stand outside for the first eight minutes, and if they don’t make it in then, they have to stand out for another eight.  VERY particular.

Today I worked two shows.  It is rare to have a weekday matinée–especially since in the city parking is at a premium.  There is a parking garage across the street, but it is filled with students from VCU who are currently in class.  So it was a DISASTER trying to get people in on time.  Then trying to get them out in time to let people in for the next show, well, let’s just say I think I walk a faster mile than these people were driving.

The second show, however, reinforced the fact that people today have no idea how to behave in public.  We told you that if you went to get a glass of wine there would be a chance you would have to stand outside and wait for late seating.  You didn’t listen and went anyway.  So now you have to stand with the other people and wait until the cue to go is given.  I can’t help it if you know where you seats are, nor do I care.  My instructions are to keep the door shut, and that is what I do.  Do not curse me out for it.  Likewise, it is not my fault that you showed up at 7:45 for a 7:30 show.  The show even started at 7:41 to accommodate those that were having problems getting there on time.  The radio and TV all told you “go early”.  The gentleman on the front row who was amazed that so many people had showed up already for an 8:00 show only to be told it was a 7:30 show was even there on time.  Also, it is not my fault that people one door down did not follow instructions and let people in early.  Trust me, I watched them get yelled at by the production company.  Just because they opened their door does not mean I will open mine early.  Please understand the situation I am in–I am following the directions of the people on stage.  If we do not follow directions, we will be unable to get shows like this again.  I understand that seats went between $60-$125 on the lower level, and I’m sorry that your bladder wouldn’t wait until intermission.

IT’S NOT MY FAULT IF YOU WERE MAD.  I was just doing my job, and I just ask that you remember that.

Off my soapbox now….

Discipleship

I started a(nother) new bible study this week. One that was supposed to start back in February but due to snow we never got together.  The topic is Discipleship, and we are using a book called Sacred Roads.  During our discussion tonight I started to wonder if I even really knew the definition of discipleship.  It’s a word that is thrown around all the time–one of the ‘churchy’ words that you are given to use as a Christian–but what does it really mean?  Wikipedia has no entry for it–it brings up Disciple.  Which, yes, is probably part of it, but I was looking for more of a dictionary type of explanation.

On the Wikipedia page, it doesn’t list a definition it just goes into seven sub-article divisions:

  • “Love one another”
  • “Be transformed”
  • The Great Commission
  • Discipleship for The Twelve Disciples
  • Family and wealth
  • Other Biblical uses
  • Discipleship Movement

I guess these can be a guideline to the meaning of discipleship, but it still doesn’t answer my question.

What do YOU think of when you hear the word discipleship?

A Paragon of Beauty

The joy of working from home is that no one knows that I am schlepping around the house in comfy clothes.  I am still nursing my leg from my graceful fall down the sanctuary steps last week, and despite my attempts to get to the gym and swim today I ended up sitting in front of a computer instead.  The result?  Yeah, I’m not presentable.  That’s the easy way of putting it.  But I’m dang comfy though!!!

Dispersement

My life group (small group, bible study, whatever you want to call it), as previously mentioned on this blog, has grown by leaps and bounds this past year.  So much so that we have had to branch off into two different groups to remain effective–a “small” group cannot have two dozen people, you know?  Tonight was the first night of that break.

It was odd being in a group that small, but it was nice.  We had six regulars, one new girl (who lives around the corner from me and I teach with her husband, so I gave her a ride–plus she’s our leader’s former roommate), and two that couldn’t come.  So even being “dispersed” we are still at a pretty good size.  (The word “split” or “divided” didn’t work for us, sounded too negative.  Don’t remember how they came to use “disperse” but it cracks me up.)

I’m looking forward to this new study.  The group was divided based on the book we voted on for the next session, and since I didn’t give a vote (I liked both books so I didn’t care) I was put into the ‘newer’ group.  It’s nice for me as it is all of about six seconds down the street from me, but it was still a small pang of longing to be with the other girls.  The book we are studying is regarding prayer.  Ironically enough, it is also the subject of the new sermon series at church.  I think it’s absolutely divine intervention that has me in this group as opposed to the other group which is focusing on another discipline.  Prayer is something I very strongly believe in.  Someday I might even write out the story of why I believe it actually works and that there is a God that listens to us when we pray.  But it is a discipline that I feel I need a lot of work in.

I pray.  I do, I pray.  I tend to pray in a conversational style rather than in a formalized structured method, and instead of setting aside a few moments at the start of each day or at the end of the day to pray I tend to have conversations with God in my head throughout my waking hours.  Some of the greatest conversations that I have with him take place while I’m swimming.  Since I am in the water for so long, the meditative movement is a perfect time for me to have a chat with God.

Yes, I tend to pray without speaking.  Yes, I have conversations in my head.  No, I do not think I need psychological consultation for such a thing (although for other matters, well, that’s probably another story).  I think that God hears my prayers and that he answers them, but I feel that there is room for improvement and for consistency in my prayer life.

So I am really looking forward to this study!

Proud parent . . . of 115!

Tonight was the big production of the weKids choir.  I’m so stinkin’ proud of them it’s absurd.  As soon as someone throws up a video of them on  YouTube I’ll link here.  Needless to say, I’ve been at church since 8am and was tired and cranky and somehow once the music started for our preshow as the OVER 900 people showed up to watch our kids, it was worth every minute of it.  Now, I’m off to get some sleep.