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Thursday, November 29, 2007

very most unfavorites F5

don't call it a comeback - ummm......friday 5 - least favorites, that is

genesis 49:10a long intro but a quick one to blog from will smama, who, in a logical progression from them out there to us in here insists,
Alright, so I'm dropping by for a brief return stint as contributer. Please, hold down the applause (also please don't forget NOT to cut and paste this part)....Parishioners pushing for carols before you digested your turkey?
Organist refusing to play Advent hymns because he/she already has them planned for Lessons & Carols?
Find yourself reading Luke and thinking of a variety of ways to tell Linus where to stick it? (Lights please.)
Then this quick and easy Friday Five is for you! And for those of you with a more positive attitude, have no fear. I am sure more sacred and reverent Friday Fives will follow.
Please tell us your least favorite/most annoying seasonal....
after translating an announcement from english into español to post on left right in the city's church website earlier today, i remain confused about double negatives, so just in case, i'm forgetting or not forgetting not to...here's mine:

1. dessert

not exactly or technically a dessert, but ribbon candy gets the cake for most obnoxious sweet

2. beverage

eggnog with rum or rum flavor or anything alcoholic added (plain vanilla-flavor nog with lots of nutmeg is one of my favorites)

3. tradition (church, family or other)

singing silent night with all the slips and slides during candlelight or other forms of worship

4. decoration

so many choices, so little time: i'll opt for heavily blue flocked fake or real trees

5. gift (received or given)

pass on this one (not being polite, simply currently cannot think of any on either side)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

poetry party 8: full moon rising

invitation to poetry icon

Abbey of the Arts full moon rising

Christine introduces this party by reflecting:
I love the rhythms of the moon’s waxing and waning and long to find ways to integrate an awareness of her cycles into my own spiritual practice. This past weekend was the full moon. We had some clear skies around Seattle and for a couple of nights while at my hermitage I was blessed with a clear vision of the moon rising in the sky gently illuminating the world with her radiance. I could even see the Olympic mountains across the horizon, the moon’s light reflecting on their snow-covered peaks. I took the photo below as it was rising behind my cottage on Friday night through the bare branches. I did not have my tripod and so tried holding the camera myself. The result was a blurry image, but I like the effect, almost like a watercolor. Then I added some colorizing in Photoshop to get the bluish hue.

What is your ode to the moon? What does she stir in you?
Immediately I remembered Janis Joplin's "Half moon, night time sky, Seven stars, Heaven's eyes. Seven songs on seven seas, Just to bring all your sweet love home to me. Your love brings life to me" ... but I sang it to myself as Full moon, night-time sky...to return to this party, I haven't included Christine's image, because when I looked through just a few of my own I've Photoshopped, it seemed as if close to half of my art includes a natural source of light—most often the sun, but sometimes a round full moon. It's interesting that my moons rarely are crescent, sliver, half or anything other than full. This topic also helped me reminisce about a plethora of songs along with the places I've been when those songs were current. However, in the interest of posting this blog, rather than attempting a poem or more prose, I'm participating in the party with three of my graphics:

full moon sand country left invert

Saturday, November 24, 2007

one from last april...

when (now Bishop) Mother Laura tagged me for this weird meme; she also gave me the thinking blogger option, but these days I'm not much, so here are my six weirdities in brief form--though come to think of it, most of them come somewhere within a so-called normal range:

1. It's not that I don't exactly not like chocolate, because I love the taste of some decadent chocolate concoctions as long as they're not combined with fruit or berries, which I consider a true abomination, but in general I don't do chocolate, since when I eat or drink any form of chocolate when I'm in a migraine phase (especially in the evening) I run a high risk of waking up with another headache.

2. Liturgically, I have both a very wide low church streak and an extremely expansive high church one.

3. I tend to be penny-wise (=cheap) and pound-foolish (=spendthrift); I realize that's not particularly strange, but I need to keep taking hard looks at that habit, which I'm successfully modifying.

4. Despite having a degree in piano and organ performance plus additional professional musical credentials, I never ever practice unless I have a gig scheduled, and by that I mean an actual date and time, not some vague future possibility. The longest I've gone without going near a piano was four years, and I never missed it at all, but I crave an audience the way an addict craves cocaine! I so resonate with Jackson Browne's instructions to his roadies in the Load-out/Stay: But when that last guitar's been packed away you know that I still want to play, so just make sure you got it all set to go before you come for my piano...

5. I don't and won't drink church coffee.

6. This is so late in every way I'm not tagging anyone because most of the blogosphere already has done it, but if you're reading this and want to play, please do so and give me a shoutout. Thanks, Laura, and blessed Reign of Christ!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

post-T-day F5

from minnes(n)o(w)ta and from singing owl, here's this week's post-t-day friday 5:

1. did I go anywhere? one of my congregations sponsored a wednesday afternoon 4:00 pm church and community dinner. how was it? great, thanks for asking! and thursday morning i attended the 10:00 am service of the word and was disappointed not to sing "we gather together" or "come, ye thankful people," though ken, the organist for this morning, played a prelude that included both songs. senior pastor said he didn't choose those hymns because this geography doesn't really strike him as harvest-timey. whatever.

2. main course: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauces and relishes, macaroni salad, caesar salad, sweet potatoes/yams, mixed veggies, rolls & butter, pumpkin pie, pecan pie. the bill of fare totally surprised me since the hispanic congregation did most of the cooking, and our potlucks always are at least bi-cultural, often multi. nothing but the turkey? we also enjoyed some tasty ham.

BB tommy3. annual t-day customs other than the meal - the only one is displaying my tommytm turkey ty® beanie-baby, whose d.o.b. was 21 november 2002.

4. do i plan to hit the retail circuit on friday - yes, if not actually circuiting through a mall or more, at least one big-box store. as long as they're not drunk, brawling and/or out of control, crowds energize me so!

5. christmas décor - like many if not most, this condo association has rules saying when holiday stuff can go up and stay up fore-and-aft a holiday, and decorations for the december holidays can go up either on thanksgiving or the day after and stay up until new year's day. however, i usually wait until advent 1 and gradually put out one or two things at a time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanks Giving 2007: spices energizers cools

Hot Cup Lutheran posted a wonderful, very short list of thanks, inspiring me to do just a tad more on this list I began a few days ago and intended to get to 100! Did I ever mention that I tend to carry everything to extremes? Instead of a thankfulness essay like I blogged for T-Day 2006 (cross-posted here), or Thanksgiving 2005, this year I'm simply listing some reasons for gratitude.

| Sunday worship finally has become not optional, not only in terms of head-and-leg obedience, but in terms of my heart | Thanksgiving Dinner late this afternoon with a church "family" that seems to think I belong | fajita burritos | homestyle vanilla ice cream | beach sand | desert sands | freshly fallen powder snow | Christmas in the Sonoran Desert | Cooper Black | hugs | 5 on the floor | Pentecost | Luke-Acts | The Ocean | sacraments | liturgy | grapefruit | productive meetings | canceled meetings | Jesus | theology | fresh strawberries | fresh blackberries | blueberry muffins | French toast | grade B Vermont maple syrup | Photoshop CS3 | a splash of Americana colors | the kitchen at dawn | earthlight | sunlight | starlight | Beethoven Piano Sonatas | Ocean Pacific | Ocean Atlantic | sunrise | Reformation | Epiphany | big cats | little cats | elephants | white [sometimes gold] classic Dial soap |

Friday, November 09, 2007

extravagant UNbusyness f5

from Sally of Eternal Echoes, today's RevGals Friday 6 is about extravagant unbusyness
name 5 things you would do to...

1. to care for your body

Oh, I need to lose a few ellbees, and what better time to do it than in this weather when you sort of need to be thoroughly covered up with clothes anyway? Even more to the point, I want to continue eating more fruits and veggies and gradually descending the food chain. More walks along the beach...

fall collage 072. to care for your spirit
More walks along the beach...I'll be in Tucson, in the Sonoran desert for Christmas, and as I've already blogged, the desert revives and renews me like nothing else ever has, ever does.

3. to care for your mind
More walks along the beach...and right now, I need to finish developing the Advent study I'll be facilitating at two of *my* churches. Even more than preaching, teaching—especially hearing and considering others' perspectives and interpretations—helps my own worldview, and especially during these shorter, darker later fall and early winter days.

4. to bring a sparkle to your eye
More, more more time designing almost everything, both for fun and for actual clients, and more walks along the beach...


5. to place a spring in your step
More walks along the beach...

Enjoy the time to indulge and dream.... and then for a bonus which one on the list are you determined to put into action?
More walks along the beach...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

poetry party 7 | hidden rooms

invitation to poetry icon

Abbey of the Arts poetry party 7: hidden rooms

door heart I have this ultra-major thing for painted wood, in fact I've had it all my life, appropriately twinned together with my love of 100% cotton, and over the past half-dozen years I've painted or repainted at least eleven pieces of furniture! I also painted over the kitchen cabinets that were the same color as the dark green trim of the exterior of this building when I moved in, plus I've painted the inside of my entry-way door very slightly greener and a tad more subdued than the same-style blue door in this picture; although I've finished furniture painting for now, I still have a couple pieces to refinish. Maybe fresh paint and cotton sound very country, but I can tell you for sure I'm citified right to my center, to my heart...great pic, Christine!

heart room(s)

almost contrary to a wide reputation for spacious capacity, my heart fears not so much someone else opening its door at my invitation or from their own intent, but more often I'm closer to concern I'll let it swing open by casual almost mistake and my heart will need to carry too sizable regrets forevermore

Monday, November 05, 2007

Saving Grace | Bob Dylan

If You find it in Your heart, can I be forgiven?
Guess I owe You some kind of apology.
I've escaped death so many times, I know I'm only living
By the saving grace that's over me.

By this time I'd-a thought I would be sleeping
In a pine box for all eternity.
My faith keeps me alive, but I still be weeping
For the saving grace that's over me.

Well, the death of life, then come the resurrection,
Wherever I am welcome is where I'll be.
I put all my confidence in Him, my sole protection
Is the saving grace that's over me.

Well, the devil's shining light, it can be most blinding,
But to search for love, that ain't no more than vanity.
As I look around this world all that I'm finding
Is the saving grace that's over me.

The wicked know no peace and you just can't fake it,
There's only one road and it leads to Calvary.
It gets discouraging at times, but I know I'll make it
By the saving grace that's over me.

© 1980 Special Rider Music

late again...

...I'm late again, that is, but the BoSox hardly were late this year! As the Red Sox Nation Insider email observed just today,
Sox excelled from start to finish

The Red Sox took over first place in the American League East on April 18 and never looked back. Although the script almost fell apart in the American League Championship Series, Boston rallied back from a 3-1 hole to beat the Indians and then sweep the Rockies in the World Series.
I'm too aware this year wasn't as exciting for me as it might have been, but here's my blog about it any none how the less.

Friday, November 02, 2007

interviews F5

Interviews Friday 5 for today, outlined by Mother Laura of .

this far by faith...

1. What was the most memorable interview you ever had?

Tough one, but possibly one from the last century (so many now qualify for that non-distinction) where I was interviewing for a church music position. It was virtually the only time I've ever been excessively and probably visibly nervous in a public setting and toward the end they said "If we get serious about hearing you play..." hey, isn't that always part of the process of finding someone whose job will include playing? Despite having no intentions or desires whatsoever to be a church musician forever, I wanted the job in order to fund my social work degree and to get the experience that would make me valuable as a guest (substitute?) organist. Not to sound too vain and arrogant, not long after I ended up in a job that also included some involvement with the youth and CE programs, and I know if that other church had heard me play, I'd probably have gotten the job hands down, and it would have been far more limiting and less valuable to me in the long run.

2. Have you ever been the interviewer rather than the interviewee? If so, are you a tiger, a creampuff, or somewhere in between?

About 234239847 times, both when I've been on local church staff and have been part of the interviewing team for potential staff (usually musicians), and when I managed the rental property, interviewing future resident managers for the owner's other properties was part of my job description...landlord always told me I could hire them, but I refused and would only recommend my top choice, since I always imagined he figured if I'd hired them he could blame me, the hirer, if the hiree didn't work out well. tiger or creampuff? In the church I've been very demanding, since I had experience as a church musician and had lived through the "temperamental" stereotype which never fit me in the least, but that I did not want to need to work alongside if at all possible. Regarding future property managers, I tried to get a sense of how their background might be appropriate and how honest they be dealing with timecards and collecting rent. In that case I got to check references on the phone, and yep, I was a bit of a tiger.

3. Do phone interviews make you more or less nervous than in-person ones?

Depends on the stakes involved, but in general I'm far more confident FTF, since then both parties have the face and the body language as well as the inflection.

4. What was the best advice you ever got to prepare for an interview? How about the worst?

can't think of any in either category, but I've reminded and also realized no one can close a door God wants open and no one can open a door God closes, so don't sweat the small, medium or large stuff, but at least be well prepared by knowing as much as possible about the company or organization and present yourself as enthusiastic though please, not to an ultra-manic degree. this far by faith...

5. Do you have any pre-interview rituals that give you confidence?
...recent haircut and eyebrow wax...?