Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 226 (Anglican Rosary)

We did an interesting thing in Christian Education today. I didn't realize that Episcopalians use a rosary, but apparently some of them do. The person in my small group that was leading the group today taught us how to make knotted Anglican rosaries today. Of course, the ones that we made look nothing like the beautiful one in the picture above. It was hard tying those little knots and getting them into the right position! My hand was even starting to get raw from pulling the knots tight. The only part I have left to do is the cross, so it shouldn't take too long. She also gave us a little pamphlet of prayers to go with the rosary, and we prayed one of them together as a group. It seemed like a very nice discipline, but as I am not really a disciplined person, I could say that I was going to start doing this, but it would never happen. I'm totally gonna finish the cross though and put it on my altar. My altar is getting a little cluttered now...gonna have to start paring down...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 225 (Science versus (as) Religion)

I've decided to be lazy today and direct you to my friend David's blog. He spends much more time writing his than I do, so it would be better for you to read what he wrote rather than what would end up being a slipshod summary or his carefully constructed essay. That, and he's a really good writer. Here is his dissertation on science vs (as) religion, along with some links to some videos. I started watching the videos, but I haven't finished yet 'cuz they're kind of long. Some really interesting and thought-provoking stuff here. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 224 (We're Baaa-aaack...)

The ride back to campus was mostly uneventful. Everything was nice and green from the recent rains instead of the typical golds, browns and grays. We passed two big groups of people on motorcycles and I wondered if Pastor Ronnie was with them. I drove over a life-jacket on the freeway. We got into an argument with a waitress that was severely math impaired. I almost merged into this guy who could not make up his mind about what lane he wanted to be in. Now studying for the Prophets and Hebrew exams O_o

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 223 (Tattoo)

It has finally happened. I almost can't believe it, but yes, I got my first tattoo today. My brother James and two friends from seminary, Ian and Ryan, went down to my friend Phillip's house and al got tattoos together. It hurt more than I was expecting, but it probably took him less than ten minutes to do it, so it wasn't really that bad.

You can see some of Phillip's work here: TLK Tattoos

I've wanted this tattoo for years, but I was waiting for my friend Stacey to figure out where she wanted to get her tiny 1" tattoo of a cross so that we could get our tattoos together. Since I was back for spring break and some of my friends wanted to get tattoos, I decided I could no longer wait for Stacey and that I needed to make new "tattoo buddies." Hopefully one day, when she finally decides where she wants to get her tattoo, I may be ready for another one.

Here's a group shot of the four of us:

Day 222 (Dianetics)

I went to the Newbury Park thrift store and they had 2 copies of Dianetics there. From what I understand, this is the "sacred text" of the "Church of Scientology." I previously bought this book from a thrift store in San Rafael up North. Both thrift stores were run by the Salvation Army, which as I understand it, is a Christian denomination. How these book slipped through their sorting process is beyond me.

What I'm about to write next might sound horrible, but I did it more for the laugh than anything else. I bought the first copy because I want to read the sacred texts of any major religions that I can get my hands on. There as so many people involved in Scientology that I feel it is important that I read the texts that they read.

I bought the second book to burn it.

There were actually two copies at the thrift store, and I almost bought both of them to burn, but I thought that would be going a bit too far. As everyone sat around the fire, I stood up with the book, announced what I was doing, and said that we were offering up the book as a burnt offering to God for the sake of everyone that has been sucked into the cult of Scientology.

We laughed. The book burned. We continued eating and drinking and enjoying each other's company (including John Lee).

I'm not really one for book burning, but it just felt like something I needed to do.

Was that wrong?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 221 (Hollywood)

Christina and I picked up Ian and Chris from the airport this morning, and we proceeded to explore Los Angeles in what I like to call a "touristy" fashion.

We started with the Watts Towers, this crazy sculpture thing that this man made with stuff he found around his neighborhood. They're pretty interesting, but you kind of have to admire them from afar, so there isn't really that much to do once you get there.

Then we went to the Santa Monica Pier. It was my first time there, and much smaller than I imagined it would be.

After that, it was off to Pink's Hot Dogs, where we ate enough food to satisfy us for the whole day. Literally. Great hot dogs though! Gotta love the natural casings!

Next was the walk of fame and the Chinese Theater and then the Hollywood sign. We ended our day at The Grove, where we discovered that we were still too full to eat dinner because of Pink's.

So, we came home on the 1, because rush hour was starting, and we didn't want to take the 405 or the 101. It was a really nice drive, and we got to see some people filming a movie, which was kind of cool, even if they were holding up traffic.

We ended the day sitting around the fire pit, just talking and laughing with each other. I can now say that I've done the whole "L.A. thing." Was it worth it? Yes. Will I do it again? Only if I need to show the city to someone that's never been there. Honestly, I think we would have had more fun in Ventura and/or Santa Barbara.

The best part of the day? The fire pit for sure!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 220 (Us vs. Them)

I went to lunch with Cesar today, the person that the Session assigned to help me through the ordination process. We had a really good discussion about school, and the ordination process and what my experience has been been like so far. Of course, the fact of me being gay came up, which is totally what I expected. It was a good thing though, because as of this point, the only other person that I've really talked to about this is the senior pastor. He explained the Session's position better, which is something that I needed to hear. He told me that the general feeling of the Session is that being gay is not a sin, but to act on those impulses would be.

I don't want to sound like I am belittling their opinion, but it just seems to me that it's a really easy thing to say when you yourself are not gay and do not have to live under the restrictions imposed on you by the ruling party. Believe it or not, I actually understand why they would come to that conclusion. Being gay is not something that you can ever understand outside of actually being gay. Even if you were conceptually aware of the existence of homosexuality and even if you were sympathetic to the plight of gay people, you would never understand exactly what it is like to live as a gay person in a largely heterosexual and widely homophobic culture. Women and ethnic people can understand some of it, but not exactly what it is like, just like I will never fully comprehend what it is like to be a woman. The difference being that women currently do not have to fight for legal protections that way that gay people do. I'm not saying that women are treated fairly; I'm not saying that at all, but the laws are at least on the books. Gay people don't even have that, and you have to start somewhere.

I just want the same things that most other people want. To get married, have a family, a stable job, and to be able to live my life without being persecuted for who I am or what I believe. Society currently threatens every aspect of my life, and at the risk of whining, it's just not fair.

I firmly believe this is a result of the un-Godly propensity of people to separate themselves into separate camps of us vs. them based on mostly superficial differences. I believe that God wants all of humankind to come together as one family, not to be constantly bickering amongst ourselves as we splinter off into smaller and smaller factions. The sad part is that Christians almost more than anybody are guilty of this type of activity. How many different denominations are there now anyway? There are literally thousands of different denominations, all because people had supposedly irreconcilable differences in what they believe. You know what I say to that? I say it's crap! It's people not willing to put their differences aside and coming together in Christian love despite their differences.

Where is it written that we all have to believe that same thing? I know I've written about this before, but I think this is the fundamental flaw of the human race. If we could all just stop fighting with each other and actually listen to what other people are saying, how much could we accomplish? Could we end world hunger? Could we stop global warming? Could we stop the spread of AIDS? Imagine the possibilities.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 219 (Ice Hockey)

I took Christina to her first live ice hockey game tonight. My tiny sister (4'10" 110 lbs) just started playing ice hockey a few months ago and she had her first "real game" tonight. It was my first live hockey game as well, but I am from Southern California. Christina, who is four and twenty, hails from snowy Michigan, from a part that she likes to point out is North of Canadia, had to come all the way to Southern California to see her first live hockey game. I was fun to watch, even though we lost 4 to 5. Super fun, too bad I live too far away to see her play very much.

Day 218 (Jian Bings)

Tom has been talking about these "gem bing," 'jenbing." "jem beng," things for months now, 'cuz he used to get them from the street vendors for breakfast in Beijing, and he claims it was one of the best food he's ever had. All he can say is that it's a chinese breakfast burrito with eggs, a sweet brown sauce, and "crunchy things." I've tried to look this up before in every possible spelling permutation that I could think of, but had no luck. Finally, I was struck with inspiration this morning and did a search of "chinese breakfast." Lo and behold, "jain bing" was one of the things listed on the Wikipedia entry for chinese breakfast foods.

I can understand his confusion now, because it's a crepe, with a layer of egg actually cooked onto it. It has green onions and yes, a sweet brown sauce, I figured hoisin, and "crunchy things," which I have since decided were fried wonton skins.

Being the lazy but adventurous cook that I am, I decided to start with lumpia wrappers instead of trying to cook crepes. I don't have the correct cooking equipment anyway. The stiff and brittle lumpia wrappers became very pliable when egg was cooked onto it. This pancake-like concoction was very tasty when served with green onion and hoisin sauce. I don't know how authentic it tastes, because I've never had the original thing, but I at least have something interesting to share with Tom after I get back from spring break. I'm thinking this new food is going to become a staple of my diet. It is simple, cheap, and quite delicious!

In other news:

Showed Christina more of Ventura County: Reagan Library, CLU, T.O. mall, Beadiak (a bead store in Agoura), and TIFA chocolate and gelatto shop.

Meg and Channel (two people that I worked with at Nationwide Medical) just happened to be at the chocolate shop, and they insisted that I make an appearance at the office. That was fun, but took an hour and was somewhat draining. There was a whole new suite that I had never seen before and a ton of people that I never met. But, it was fun to see and catch up with all of my old friends.

Got my mouse fixed at the Apple store. (Thank God!)

Picked up the nephews and played Magic with them at the house.

Brought the kids back home at 8:30, then hung out with Kelsey and Christina and told ghost stories until 11:00.

Spring break just isn't long enough.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 217 (Atheists)

Awesome article from the Huffington Post on Atheism. Kinda long, but well worth the read:

Day 216 (Whales)

Drove home for Spring Break today with Christina. We stopped at Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park to show Christina the waterfall. Essential stopping point if you're driving on the 1. We were especially lucky, because we saw some whales while we were there! I think the last time I saw a whale was in the 10th grade. Also had to stop to see the elephant seals. We also stopped for lunch, to see the top of the fog layer from the cliff, and at the mouth of a river.

The drive took a little longer because of all the stops, but if I'm gonna be driving, I like to stop and look at things. It makes the drive more bearable. Plus, it's good practice for the road trip I should be taking this summer.

Went to Yama's for dinner, which was amazing as usual. Another lucky moment when Stephen did the flaming sake bomb, 'cuz they just don't do them as much as they used to. I don't know if I've ever described how they do it at Yama's, but they line the beer cups up on the bar, with sake cups balanced on top of straws that have been split in half length-wise. Then, whoever is making the sake bombs takes a swig of 151 rum, dips their hand in a flaming bowl of it, holds their hand in front of their mouth and breathes fire on the beer cups! The fire shrivels the straws and the sake cups fall into the beer. It is amazing!

Came home after that, played and some pool, then Apples to Apples. Now it's time for bed. Long but fun day. Anticipating an epic week!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 215 (Mt. Baldy)

Today was pretty awesome. I've been having a lot of awesome days lately. After a really great Improv class, I went to lunch with Mike, Annamae & Mary. I was about to pack when Ryan called and invited me to hike up Mt. Baldy. I almost said no, because of the fore-mentioned packing, but I rarely pass up a chance to hang out with friends, so I agreed to go.

The hiking group consisted of me, Ryan, Heather, Sam and Maddie, the 5-month-old black lad with a penchant for plopping down in the mud. The mud was transferred to Heather's back at the top of the mountain. We sat up there for a while just enjoying the view and the day.

Then we went to Saigon Village for some Pho and then it was back to Holy Grounds for the 6th installment of Harry Potter (and the Half-blood Prince) with beer and brownies. (As you do in seminary)

Time to pack!

Day 214 (Muir Woods)

I went to Muir Woods for the first time. It was a magical experience. Anytime you can mosey along in a redwood forest, you should definitely do it. Redwood trees are just so peaceful. But, if you want truly awe inspiring, you need to go the the sequoias. Those are just insane. They even look kind of fake in a way because they're so big.

Christina and I drove around a bit after that and I was able to appreciate just how beautiful of a place I live in right now. So much to see, so little time. I like how quirky the little shops are around here.

I found a cool betel nut box that looks like a cross when you stand it up. I now have a nice Christian symbol to go with my Buddha statue on my alter. (finally)

Poetry night was pretty cool tonight. We had a Prophetic word theme, and Mary Elizabeth even came and played a song for us. We watched 500 Days of Summer afterwards, the newest member to my list of my 10 favorite movies. If you haven't seen it, you totally should.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 213 (Luck of the Irish)

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day at Holy Grounds yesterday. I had another incident where the Internet wouldn't work down there, so that means 2 posts today to makeup for it.

Katie Buck kicked my butt at backgammon, for two reasons I think. Firstly. according to Ian, a.k.a. Marshmallow, she bewitches the dice. 2nd, she's Irish. One day Katie Buck...

I was able to teach yet another person how to play Magic last night. It is spreading like the plague...HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

I tried to make mint juleps that taste like the ones at Disneyland, except with with alcohol. I'm going to say that I was mostly successful. Alcohols imbibed last night: tequila, beer, vodka, creme de menthe. No hangover, WOO HOO!!!!! ( I honestly did not have that much to drink, but we had a blast!)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 212 (Game Night)

Tuesday is Game Night. Not sure if I've ever mentioned that. Russ showed us a really cool strategy game called Samurai today. You have to capture these little pieces off the board. Short version of who wins is whoever has the most pieces, but the scoring system is actually a bit complicated. You can click here to read the Wikipedia article on it.

Trying to read "The Cloud of Unknowing" now for Centering Prayer class tomorrow, but as per usual, I'm not getting a lot out of it. I just realized tonight that it's written in Medieval English, which goes a long way to explain why I don't like it. This will probably piss people off, but I didn't even like reading the Lord of the Rings series. Oh well, off to write my reflection paper...

Oh yes, also hating daylight savings time. I wrote about that earlier, didn't I? Well, it bears repeating.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 211 (Barefoot)

I survived my first Theology exam today. I think I did pretty well, although there was one important part of the Muhammad story that I forgot about. But, like I said yesterday, I'm not trying to be valedictorian over here.

Everyone was really tired because of daylight savings time. We really need to get rid of that. I seriously do not understand what the benefit of daylight savings time is. If there is some profession out there that does benefit from the time change, why don't they just get up an hour earlier instead of forcing daylight savings time on everyone else? Just a thought...

After Prophets today, Gavin, Tom and I went to the Barefoot cafe for dinner. I ordered mussels and clams in a white wine sauce and garlic bread. I was in heaven....*sigh*

And to top it off, we had panna cotta for dessert, one of my favorite desserts, and extra special 'cuz you just don't see it on menus very often. Definitely a restaurant to go back to!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 210 (Studying, studying, studying)

I'm so exhausted from yesterday. All that hiking. All that drinking. Trying to study Theology and Hebrew, but it is not going well. I had to take a 3 hour nap earlier. I think it made me more tired. I managed to get through the Hebrew, but I don't know how much of it's still gonna be there when I wake up tomorrow.

The Theology's not so bad, but remembering who said what has never been my strong suit. That's why History is the enemy. I should do all right; I'm not trying to be valedictorian after all.

Oh well... back to Theology...

Day 209 (Hiking)

I'm totally supposed to be sleeping or studying right now, but instead, I'm hanging out with some friends at Holy Grounds getting a little tipsy. (Or a lot...we'll see how the rest of the night goes) Went on a 13 mile hike this morning. My feet hurt. Then we went to Mi Pueblo AND the broken drum. Finishing out the night now. *sigh* I'll basically have 1 day to prepare for next week. I have no one to blame except myself.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 208 (Mary Elizabeth Beckman)

Can't blog long 'cuz it's really late. But, a few of us went to see Mary Elizabeth Beckman at One Door Yoga. She did 72 hours of discernment with me last year and she is an AMAZING musician! If you like singer/songwriters, then she is the musician for you! (think Shawn Colvin/Shawn Mullins) Please visit her website and see how great she is!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 207 (LGBTQ)

We had a gay/straight alliance type meeting today. It was really cool. It was our first one, so we were really just trying to figure out what we thought the group should do or what we thought the group should be for. We talked about different possibilities, like fellowship, activism, or maybe as a support group. I think it's still up in the air but, emails are going to sent out soon so that we can discuss it more.

It's been a pretty busy couple of days. We had a meeting yesterday to talk about the future of the chaplaincy program, which was about an hour, then the prayer-a-thon was about 4 hours. I read for Theology the rest of the night.

Today after class, I went to Safeway with Faith and we cleaned them out of chicken leg quarters. (77¢ a pound baby!) Ryan just taught me how to make the cent symbol. Very talented, that boy. Anyway, I bought 6 packs of it, about 30 pounds. The freezer is full and I shouldn't have to by meat for a while. This is how you survive in seminary XD.

In other news, I found this picture while doing research for possible internships today.

Yes, wrong, but incredibly funny, no? I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it's appropriateness. How do we feel about this type of humor?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 206 (Prayer-a-thon)

Some of the other students and I spent a few hour calling alumni asking if there was anything they would like us to pray for. It was funny watching my dormant call center skills begin to stir and come back to life. Of course, calling people for prayer requests was a lot more pleasant than trying to get people to schedule their sleep studies or OK a shipment of CPAP supplies. It was doubly annoying because I was trying to help them and they were just being cheap, stubborn or both. (The medical patients, not the alumni)

It was actually a very healing experience to be in a call-center type of situation that had almost no pressure attached to it. There are some horrendous calls that I had to do in my past jobs that I will never forget. Some people think that they have the right to say whatever they want to a person who is calling them when they don't want that person to be calling. I've had people swear at me, say extremely vulgar things, and just be plain rude.

Luckily, none of the alumni behaved that way. There were some really sad stories tonight from the calls, though. There are a lot of people in pain out there. But, there were also some amazing calls. I spent almost 20 minutes on the phone with a man who graduated in the late 60s that told me about what his seminary experience was like, and another man in Colorado whose prayer request was that the Presbyterian Church would ordain all types of people regardless of who they are. I put a gold star on his prayer request.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 205 (Bible Apples to Apples)

Christina bought the Bible version of Apples to Apples. My only comment is Burning Bush. I think I'll end my blog there as well.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 204 (Sleep)

Even when I'm dead tired, I still insist on going to bed late. I don't know why I insist on going to bed late, I must be nocturnal. For anyone that would find it interesting, I was hearing Margaret Cho say that last sentence in my head as I wrote it. I can't really think of the joke that goes along with it, but it's probably too dirty for me to post here anyway.

I spent the entire day trying not to fall asleep in class today. (Apologies to any professors that may be reading this.) It had nothing to do with the classes themselves, it was just that my brain was completely fried after staying up late studying last night. I even answered one of the questions wrong on the test that I was studying that I should have totally gotten right. Oh well.

I need a vacation.

Day 203 (Prophets)

So, technically, today is Day 203, but I have posted late blogs before. Of course, I think this one is the latest at almost 8 hours. There were several things conspiring against me posting a blog last night.

1) Studying for prophets last night was intense and furious. Index cards were not put away until around 2 in the morning... still not feeling prepared...

2) The Internet at Holy Grounds was not working after that, and I was too tired to go to the student lounge.

1) My hatred of AT&T has led me to believe that I can live without my own personal Internet access. This will save me $60.00 a month, which is good, 'cuz that's a lot of money. But, depending on other sources to connect to the Internet is frustrating, and as you can see, beginning to interfere with my normal activities.

I will make up for this lapse by posting again tonight.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 202 (Total Party Wipeout)

We had another session of D&D today. While it was fun, we experienced what my n00b self wants to call a Total Party Wipeout. Basically, we all died. The video gamer in me was getting a little frustrated, because I was taken out first and I had to watch while everyone kept going after the big boss type creature and the little minions kept taking pot-shots. I know this probably doesn't translate exactly, but in video games, you need to take the little guys out first, or else they'll kill you while you're trying to kill the big guy.

I know this isn't one of those rules that works 100% of the time, but D&D is pretty much like Final Fantasy, and I have played a lot of Final Fantasy in my day, and that's pretty much how it works.

So, we didn't actually die, but I think in two weeks when we pick up the game again, we're going to wake up in a dungeon or something, which would be appropriate, given the name of the game. We'll see!

Just looked it up on Wikipedia. The "technical" term is "Total Party Kill"

Day 201 (Trinity II)

I can't believe I didn't actually explain the main way that I think about the Trinity yesterday. This is coming up now because we had Beer & Theology today, and I got to share my weird science fiction mathematical view. So, here it goes...

Think of the difference between a person and a picture of that person. You could say that the person is a 3-dimensional version of the picture (or that the picture is a 2-dimensional representation of the person). But, there is so much more to the difference. A person has a mind, a personality, can move around and interact with other people. So, the difference is more than exponential.

Take that up another level, and think about the difference between us and God. Essentially, God is a person in 3 dimensions, or 3 persons. In other words, the Trinity! And the difference is more than that God is three persons. Think of the difference between a person and a picture of that person, and all of things that person is capable of that a picture could obviously never do. All of those things would have to be brought up to that next "exponential" level when you're talking about the difference between a person and God.

So, that's how I see the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Hope it wasn't too weird.

In other news:

It is the Marshmallow's birthday today (yes technically today, Saturday, because as per usual, this blog is late.)

Saw the new Alice in Wonderland today. AMAZING MOVIE! I will need to own it when it comes out.

Apparently, I am extra special because I am a gay of color. If you need more information, ask Heather Grantham.

I drank a Coors Light earlier. It was disgusting.

I can't believe I'm doing my laundry at 3 in the morning.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 200 (Trinity)

We started talking about the Trinity today in theology. Generally, this is one of my favorite topics, because I love how convoluted the logic gets when you're talking about this, but I didn't really have anything to say in the class. I guess it's because we mostly focused on what different historical figure's ideas were of the Trinity, and I pretty much understood their stances, so I didn't have any questions about it. You can't challenge a historical standpoint being taught as a historical standpoint unless you're really well-versed on the subject and you believe for some reason that what is being taught as the viewpoint of the historical person is not what you think that person actually believed. Sorry, did that make sense? I think that last sentence was too long, but I can't figure out how to make it shorter or break it up. Oh well. Beer & Theology is tomorrow, so hopefully things will get saucier. (adjective, not a person that makes sauces. Sorry, culinary joke XD)

This topic always makes me think about how God created us in His image, and this particular time around, I thought about the possible Trinitarian nature of people. Hopefully I am not about to spout any heresies that will get me kicked out of the church. They haven't kicked me out yet though, so who knows what it will take exactly.

I thought that an interesting way to explain Trinity theology would be to compare it to people. Jesus is God incarnated in human form, so He can be represented by the physical human body. God can be represented by the soul and the Holy Spirit can be represented by the spirit ('cuz of the name, duh!)

I wrote all of this out on a 4x6 index card that I turned in at the beginning of class. (we have to do one of these cards for every class meeting based on what we read) I suggested that the human spirit is our "life force" and is what connects the human body to the human soul. This kind of goes along with C.S. Lewis' explanation of the Trinity in his book Mere Christianity. I love that book btw, and think everyone should read it. He describes the Trinity as 2 books lying on the table and the Holy Spirit as the relationship between the 2 books. He explains it better than I do.

Anyway, in Church History last term, we were talking about some theologian, I want to say Origen, but don't shoot me if that's wrong...I can't stand history... If I'm remembering right, this view of the Trinity might actually be what the professor was trying to teach us about Origen, but I didn't get it at the time because I couldn't figure out the difference between the human soul and the human spirit. I think there is a difference now, and I think I have figured it out. Like all analogies, this one is an imperfect one for the Trinity, because in this theory, the human body and spirit are impermanent whereas the human soul is eternal. Obviously, all three persons of the Godhead are eternal.

I didn't realize how important different views of the Trinity are until I did the reading for this class. These views have a very real affect on how you see the world around you and how you view other people. If you think of the Trinity as hierarchical, then subordination is a divinely realized truth of the way the world should be. If you see the Trinity as a community of grace, gratitude, love, power and mercy where one person is neither higher or lower than the other, then your world-view is very different.

Just something to think about...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 199 (Heather's Ankle)

I'm trying to write my blog, but there is a blinding whiteness flashing just out of my field of vision to my right. Its Heather's ankle, demurely concealed with a white "Hello Kitty" sock. (Margaret Cho taught me that Hello Kitty has no mouth and thus, should not be a role model for anyone.) Heather is trying to write some articles and is pretending to ignore everyone else in the room right now, using elitist academic sounding words like "afterwhich" to deflect our comments on her behavior.

She kind of sassy, ("kind of" being an understatement) and fun to be around. But, she keep's trying to get me to join this LGBTQ group, and I think it's actually a front for some kind of illegal organized activity. (Okay, I'm going to just say this is a joke right now before anyone freaks out and does something crazy)

Anyway, we're all sitting at Holy Grounds right now and no one is talking and Ryan is playing classical music very very softly. I don't think Holy Grounds has been this mellow in a very very long time, but this is probably good, because I was kind of worked up last night and I had a hard time falling asleep. Thank God tomorrow is Thursday, which is essentially the last day of the week. I will need to get my blood drawn Friday morning, however (doctor's orders) to make sure I'm not dying. (don't worry, we're just checking cholesterol and sugar here)

Not too much to report today, although I did finish writing chapter 20 of my book, WOO HOO!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 198 (Carmine's Wait)

I performed my favorite Tuesday Conner poem today for the first time. She wrote it when her friend Carmine was murdered in his home. I always wanted her to perform it because even though it was sad, I always thought it was beautiful. After performing it, I now understand why she often-times was hesitant to perform it. I didn't even know Carmine, and I was completely and utterly emotionally drained afterwards. I couldn't even tell the story that goes with it because I was on the verge of tears as I finished the poem.

The story that goes with it is that Tuesday's sister put the poem on the Internet and Carmine's family, who had been looking for him, was able to locate and claim his remains because of it. Here is Carmine's Wait, my favorite poem, written by Tuesday Conner. If you click on the title, you can watch a YouTube video of her performing it. The sound isn't very good, but it's worth it to see a poem performed by the author. I believe she also performs Robin on that video, which is another heart-breaker. I hope you find this poem as beautiful as I do.

Carmine’s Wait

As I wait to wait,

The government plays cowboys and Indians in other countries

When it’s here that needs to be saved.

As I wait to wait,

Did my friend die in vain,

Was the man who killed Carmine on drugs,

Or just insane?

He had too much pressure built up inside,

Maybe he couldn’t provide for his wife,

Maybe his child just died.

I’d really like to know why a crazed man roams the halls,

Ranting about,

Wielding a knife,

Making more noise than allowed by the Lord,

Groggy eyed and sleepily,

Carmine comes to the door,

The evil man ran at him,

Knocked him to the floor,

Inside Carmine’s house,

The man stabbed my friend,

Again and again,

For no moral cause.

The people closed their doors,

Someone called 9911,

The man kept stabbing him,

Even when the police did come.

You looked out your peephole,

Wait for the police to come,

They show up,

And the stabbing goes on.

How long did it take?

How long did you peep?

How long did you listen?

Where was grandma’s cast iron skillets?

That’s why planes go down!

You wait to wait for the cavalry to come,

And the cavalry came to late,

And what good are neighbors,

If be at your door friend, or stranger?

It ain’t even safe to wake up no more,

As I wait to wait,

There’s emptiness inside,

We walk around in a void,

Doing menial chores,

Life goes on for the living,

Which my friend has no more.

Never saw him step on a spider,

Or swat down some fly,

All I ever saw was a real nice, handsome guy.

Always had kind words,

Never more than a few,

He always offered two big helping hands,

Probably wore a 14 ½ shoe too.

Carmine, you shoulda been my boo.

I know you’re gone to heaven,

In your crisp white shirt,

Showing off for the man,

I see you!

Standing at the pearly gates,

Gabriel and trumpet in hand,

Little did your neighbor know,

He was taking you home,

To sit by your Father’s side,


On life lessons learned.

They say you had no family,

I hope that would mean they were there to greet you,

To escort you to the king.

Welcome home, I’ll see you when I see you.

We are his theater family,

Not legally bind,

The city will keep him for one year,

And for one year I will bide my time,

And I will wear a crisp white shirt,

On the day his ashes we will come to claim.

He has a family,

Carmine Puccio’s life and death will not go in vain.

Dear Carmine,

In my heart,

You will always remain,

My boo.

He always wore a crisp white shirt.

And the smile he wore,

As big as the earth.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 197 (Wet Goats)

Our class is like super mature, like seriously, it's scary how grown up we are! Like today, in Prophets class, Ian called Marlene a wet goat, and she could have totally gone off on him, like all immature like, but she like totally composed herself and told him that he smells like a wet ferret. It was like, TOTALLY the right thing to say! And, they kept calling each other wet animals, which was like SO funny, and totally showed how smart they were, 'cuz I could never think of that many different wet animals to call someone, but I TOTALLY had a good one, so I called Marlene from my cell phone, even though I was only 4 seats away, and told her to call Ian a wet marshmallow, 'cuz he like TOTALLY is one, and she did, and it was SO funny!

But then, like Katie Buck thought we were being immature, and told us to behave. And, I was like, "Whatever!" but only in my head, 'cuz I wasn't going to like start drama in the middle of class. I'm so sure! But, Marlene like TOTALLY took her side and said that we need to be academians, which I think is like some kind of nut from Hawaii that they cover with chocolate, or whatever. I'm not really sure what that means, but the people from the other schools were like TOTALLY looking at us because they were jealous of how cool we are.

Day 196 (Back with the Baptists)

Went back to Abiding Way today. I really liked the sermon today, which was strange because of how different it was to what I've recently been expecting the pastor to say. He was talking about the earthquakes in Chile and the Haiti and also about Hurricane Katrina, and the 9/11 terrorist attack and how some people were saying that these things happened because the people living in those places were sinful and deserved it. He was basically condemning those people for saying things like that because we as human beings are all equally cursed. It's kind of that whole, "Remove the log from your own eye before you worry about the sliver in your brother's eye," thing. I kind of wanted to go up to him afterwards and ask how this applies to homosexuals, but I needed to get home to make cookies. Priorities people!

I was so proud of him! Not that I expect vile hatred to drip from him maw every Sunday, but I have to admit that I've been pretty nervous about going there. I figure this is my particular cross to bear (one of anyway.) It's harder to be prejudiced against someone when they're sitting in front of you. Of course, I'm not really out to any people in the congregation, unless the pastor outed me to them, which is actually totally fine if he did. It removes the need for me to have that particular experience with each of them. I doubt he would announce something like that from the pulpit, but I wouldn't be surprised if he talked about our coffee meeting with at least a few people. Scratch that, he actually seems to have a lot of integrity, so he probably wouldn't have told anyone.

In other news, I made an alter in my room, but it is sadly lacking a cross. I need to find a cheap (but nice!) one somewhere, as well as a nifty Orthodox or Catholic icon if I can find a cool one that's not too expensive.