Friday, April 30, 2004

I have the morning off tomorrow. I think I'll read. Or maybe read at the beach. Or maybe read at the park. I have reading on the brain.

In the past couple of weeks I've been tearing my way through at least a book a day, sometimes two. Right now the favorite is "At the drop of a Veil." It's a true story of a woman in the 40's who married an Arab man and moved to Saudi Arabia with him. Eventually there will be a dramatic escape -- after she discovers that her husband has divorced her and taken the children by one word casually spoken to the King (Prince?) that he serves. How very exciting. I don't think I could handle the flies all over the food either. I do really like dates...

How could a Western woman deal with being shrouded and confined every single day? I suppose I'm going to find out as I get further in.

And I'm supplimenting it with a little Screwtape Letters here and there.

There is a skunk wandering around the Alisal. With my luck I'm going to go home and find him in my apartment. I'll blog tomorrow from a tomato juice bath...
My friend Adrian had his senior recital tonight. Toi toi to him... He's still planning on knuckling down and going to grad school. Maybe I'll do that one of these days. Or maybe by correspondence from Canada or Provence. I've always wanted a Theology Degree.
I came home with fifty bucks today in cash tips from the golf lounge. Hurah! I'm almost out of dates. The food that is. My other dates have long since been exhausted.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

It's been a bad week for devotions. I haven't done more than glance at a few verses a night in about a week. I'm not going to my church for a while because they've converted the whole church to their "40 days of Purpose" campaign. Does anyone else out there believe everything in the Bible but never "feel" God? Is that ok? I almost walked out of my friend's church on Sunday because I looked around the room and everyone there appeared to be having one of those great "moments" and I got jealous. I haven't had one of those "I-know-he's-up-there-and-he-loves-me" experiences in a really really long time. In my head I know the feelings don't indicate the state of your faith, but I feel like I'm plodding along...
Another day at the golf lounge. A totally different type of people down there. It's like working at a country club. The members pay their dues and come and use the facility -- for a fee of course. The men are funny -- usually they swagger their way in after and between rounds of golf, suck down a few beers, and head out. If they've just finished a round they carefully talley scores and then exchange bet money. Their wives come in dressed to the nines in golf apparel, but never play. They come in to sit and chat about other members of the ladies golf club. (Which has it's own clock dedicated to them "In memorium." I wonder if they're all ghosts then?) Sometimes they bring in cards. More often they have salads and iced tea. One lady today actually had a sauvignon blanc. They never drink. They excuse themselves for taking up the bar for hours by telling me "My husband will be in later for a drink." Those men do drink.

I poured a guy a beer, turned around to write it down, and it was GONE. Today I had two "honeys" a "sweetie" and a "Kiddoe." Ah well. They like me better today. Apparently a "cute little thing like me" is going to get in trouble here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Love Actually

I really liked it. We picked it last night to go with our sundaes. No one had seen it, but it had an all-star cast. Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson, and Mr. Bean.

Kind of artsy with eight revolving plotlines. (That's how you can tell it was foreign. Thats at least four too many threads for an American audience to follow. How CAN they keep them all straight? I know lets spell every last detail out to them in neon lights so they'll be SURE to catch it...I missed the foreign film festival this year. Really ticked me off. They had Peter Jackson there doing a guest lecture. I didn't get a brochure until after the fact...*SIGHHHHH*

Yesterday morning I got the inevitable call. 9:30. Phil has gone to the emergency room, and the golf lounge needs a bartender. Guess who got tapped? So I threw on some makeup, did my hair up, and trudged down to the lounge to pour drinks for the good ol' boys. They needed gin and tonics and someone to call honey. I got a lot of "honeys" and a few "darlin's." Why is California the place to find a concentration of old southern gentlemen? I remind several of them of their high school girlfriend (I beg your pardon) and several others thought I had a nice smile. (Must have let that slip. I try not to smile at the bar. It only eggs them on. Kidding!) Right when I was closing, seven men came in for their daily 'turkey club.' They talked war and politics, and Phil's rib problems, and why wasn't he there, and if I wanted to be a good bartender I'll hang around with him for a while, and remember that other female bartender 'bout ten years ago? What was her name? That's right. Look bud, they sent us a pretty one today...

And so on. The perk? At the golf lounge they leave cash tips!

Monday, April 26, 2004

Michael Dibden: The Last Sherlock Holmes Story

Is the most interesting and horrifying book I've read in a long time...very tasty!

The premise is that Sherlock Holmes is investigating the Jack the Ripper murders. All well so far. Watson narrates, but the author is saved from reporducing Arthur Conan Doyle's style by emphasising that Watson's contributions were ACD's inventions. The book takes a turn when Watson begins to suspect that his friend is not knows the killer personally, but may be Jack the Ripper himself. A must read for all but the most stringent of ACD's fans.

My new favorite book:

"What Would Jabez Do If He Was Left Behind With Someone Whose Only Purpose in Life Was to Force-Feed Him Chicken Soup?"

Courtesy of the Real Live Preacher.

To Do Today:

Find new cocktail uniform by browsing various western apparel websites. *yawn*

Saturday, April 24, 2004

I bought an vintage hooked rug at a garage sale today. It has a flowered decal and some scrollwork. Grandma also stopped by with a set of faded white curtains that didn't sell at her garage sale. The price was right. I have one more curtain rod. I'm sure I'll find something to do with it.

I confess, I have a decorating addiction. Luckily, I'm pretty good at re-arranging what I have, or buying second hand. And as HGTV will tell you, paint is the cheapest, fastest way to update your furnishings. I miss that show...*sigh*

The people tonight in the restaurant didn't leave for flipping ever! I've never seen so many bottles of wine emptied by one table.
My beautiful Garden:

I've got a little 4 by 6 foot garden. It has a Angelface rose, and a peppermint striped miniature, and another miniature red rosebush. I have coral bells, and little pink flecked ground cover flowers, and some carnations, and violets that appeared after the last flood. I have a strip of concrete that I have a few pots, and old copper teakettles with Ivy. Today at a flower shop that I visit, but never buy because it's too expensive, they had an herb pot. It had lots of pots joined together, and one on the back was broken. I took it, for half price. I went to the cheaper nursery and bought a little double frilled impatient. And they had hanging Fuschia for ten dollars a pot. It is beautiful, bright colored, and is shade loving. I had to have it. Next payday I'm going to get some more double Impatients.

I also repotted an ivy, and made a circular frame from a coathanger. I've begun training it into the hoop.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The Gopher Story

Caiaphas is quite the little hunter. To date I've had to get two lizards, a butterfly, three birds, two mice, and one rather hyperactive gopher.

Most times they are dead, or stunned when they are brought in. Cai was up for a challenge that night and brought in a live one. I heard the commotion and hurled myself out of bed, not bothering to search for my glasses, and dragged Cai off the rodent. That's the most dangerous part of the operation. I have a scar from the "robin incident".

It is very difficult to reason with a rodent. Persuasion and logic don't have much of an effect. As I tried to convince him that if he'd just let me pick him up, everything would be fine, he lunged at me and sunk his teeth into my finger. I tried to shake him off. I tried hitting him off. It had a deathgrip. That's when I figured out it was no ordinary mouse. Too fuzzy, and too big of teeth. Too big in general. Finally he was flung, and I dropped a towel over him. I ran outside, shook out the towel, and went to the sink to minister to my punctured finger. I cast one depracating look at Cai, who was licking himself quite happily. Wrapping the abused finger in the towel, I fell back into bed.

Darn gophers.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Did I mention I got bit by a gopher?
I'm really disappointed about the way my auditions are going. PCPA called and wants me to join their two year program (I'd have to take out almost $20,000 of student loans to do it), but not their summer program (which they'd pay me to do). I had to make the decision yesterday to turn them down. My finances are going so well right now, I'm not interested in doubling my debt. The program doesn't give roles at all to first year students, and you might get an understudy or minor role your second year. So, now I'm out on a ledge again. I have one more audition in the next couple of weeks...a video audition for Norwegian Cruise lines...which I've been meaning to send in for weeks. And in the late summer I can audition for Leavenworth's fall/winter shows...after that there aren't any auditions really until the cattle call ones in February. It'll be interesting to see where I end up. I'm thinking about taking a month's hiatus between here and whatever to do an open ended amtrak tour of Canada. How does that sound?
I took the Penney's catalogue with me to work. My whole spring and summer wardrobe has been found, priced, and if my tax return would come. I love the idea of simplicity -- everything I've ordered (two pairs of shorts, four blouses, a crochet hat, and a pair of ked mules) matches or coordinates. They should last me for a couple of summers at least...
Tonight I'm going to Wendy's house to play the "Cash Flow" game. It's kind of like monopoly, but you learn how to make investments, get out of debt, and organise finances. It's my first time playing. I took the rules to work with me...there are way too many of them.
Currently blogging at the local library. I was supposed to work until four, but after three hours, not a single person came into the bar, so they let me close early. I love those unexpected hours...I've picked up the next eight books by random chance. I love looking over bookshelves for something interesting. Sometimes they're great, sometimes I quit after a chapter or two, but I've found some of my favorite books this way. Hurrah for time to read.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

I spent the day with my sister between church and when she went to work. We stopped by the mall to look for summer clothes. It's time to go searching for my summer wardrobe in the Penney's catalogue. I figure two or three shorts and a couple of blouses should get me by for another season. St. John's Bay to the rescue.
Another reason for my disappearance, I've been shut in my apartment reading for four days. 6 books finished. I finally found some great ones. "The Color Purple" was good in a Steinbeck sort of way. I'd recommend "The Devil Wears Prada" as a great modern coming of age story. And "Exodus" is a great, lengthy, historical fiction work about the creation of the Israeli state. It has a decidedly pro=Jewish state stance, but is very compassionate in showing the average Arab community and how they've been manipulated by their environment and charismatic leaders. Almost no mention was made of Palestinian Christians...They're lumped in with the Moslem populations for most of the book, if mentioned at all.
Sorry for the lul in blogging. Now that I don't have the time between check outs and check ins to blog, I'm working out where and when to get a computer. I'm varying between my grandma's house, my friend's house, and the library. I'll be back more often soon! Don't stop reading! See you guys around the block..

Friday, April 16, 2004

Driving around Lompoc I saw a sign that made me very happy...

Friday and Saturday

I'm striking out on my choice of books from the library. The sequel to Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood was a bust. Added new insights to the first book, but its so depressing.

I don't like Judy Blume's adult fiction at all. I read "Smart Women" last night. It was captivating writing, the story took the reader along for the ride. But the book was about divorced women with children. BB's ex moves into town. He starts sleeping, and later living with one of her good friends and co-workers. BB has a nervous breakdown, so then her daughter gets to move in with her father, his girlfriend, and her teenage children. The girlfriend had spent the intervening years between her divorce and the live-in having various flings and affairs. One of the men, a 21 year old, comes into town and begins a relationship with her 18 year old daughter.

She catches her daughter and ex-fling going at it, and tells her live-in that she's going to "respect her daughter's privacy." Later in the book she "hopes she's taught her daughter 'good values.'" Which ones would those be exactly? That it is ok to have your friend's husband move in three months after you've met him. OR that is just fine for a 40 year old divorcee to have a list of flings and lovers. Or matybe it was in setting the length of her new relationship as "As long as it works."

Really, I don't expect to spend the rest of my life reading only Anne of Green Gables and Narnia. There's a lot of pretty decent books out there that, like most movies these days, you have to flip past or zone out the smutty parts.

The last thought I was left with is this: No wonder marriage is in the toilet these days, if this is all the model we're going to see/read. Every woman in the books I've read recently walks around miserable because she's given up her "identity" for marriage and kids. The prevailing attitude of pop-culture women is, like the drunk woman in the bar the other night, " Don't get married. I used to have a good voice. Then I got married and lost it all. They just take everything from you. I wish I'd never had children. You just give up everything." How sad. And pathetic.

Favorite Songs at the Jukebox at Work:

1. Joy to the world...Three Dog Night.
2. 9 to 5...Dolly Parton.
3. Total Eclipse of the Heart...Bonnie Tyler.
4. Age of Aquarius...Hair.
5. I got you Babe...Sonny and Cher.
6. Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves...Cher.
7. Eve of Destruction...B. McGuire.
8. I Get Around...Beach Boys.
9. Devil Went Down to Georgia...C. Daniels.
10. Turn, Turn, Turn...Byrds.
11. I'm a Believer...The Monkees.
12. Rich Girl...??

Image of the Day:

(I wish I'd had my camera)

Three sisters, holding hands, walking away from me across a bridge. Identical heads of fine brown hair. Thre pairs of blue wranglers. Six baby-pink cowboy boots.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Ahh...the library. I haven't been in months! I picked up eight new books. One on Decorative Decoupage. I'm very excited about learning a new craft. And I know just the piece of furniture to begin on...a little bookcase by my bed. My grandfather made it for me when I was little...and it needs a new coat of paint...
A day off! I went into Santa Maria and went looking for our new Cocktail uniforms. If I have anything to do with it, they'll be much less frumpy than the ones we're currently in. I suppose I should be thanking my stars that we aren't in miniskirts and heels, but this is a family establishment.

I'm also beginning the planning of my sister's bridal shower. The menu is planned, the decorations are coming, and I'm even pulling together games.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Oh sleep. The forgotten wonder. Sunday evening I fully intended to catch up on all the reading I've been missing for weeks. I read two chapters of "A Present Day Challenge to Prayer" -- copyright 1923 -- and slept for three hours. I then woke up for some Easter leftovers, and slept for another ten and a half. Last night I got between 9 and 10 hours. Amazing how a double shift at the Alisal (appx 9 hours) feels so much better than a 13 hour double shift at both jobs. Hurrah! No, Denise, I PLAN on not filling up every spare second with "stuff." But then I found some online classes that I wanted to take, and a quilt to finish.....well, you know me. I'll do my best to enjoy having non-scripted free time. Or as Eugene said, "Spontaneous! How do I plan for that?"

Drea's wedding is now 15 weeks away. Once I get paid for housesitting I'll be heading down to buy my dress. And I'm in the throws of planning her wedding shower. Yay! Good excuse to buy Victorian themed magazines. Other than that, I have three, count them---three, days off this week. Is that exciting? I work one shift tonight, and I have tomorrow off! YAY! I just finished "Out of the Silent Planet" and am on to "Perelandra." Another nitpick. He spells it Peralandra in the first book. So there.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

And...I'm officially a one job woman as of this afternoon. HA-a-a-a-ah-le-heh-lu-oo-jah!
I just finished my Easter Dinner with the Delgado family. My sister had to go to work right when I got off work, so we missed each other by only a few minutes. We did get up early this morning for breakfast with the Grandparents and church. It was a nice easter. Now, since Lent is over, I'm going to go home and read everything I can get my hands on.
The children's sermon puppet show was ....cute. Lines that induced hysterical giggleing in Drea and I:

1ST PUPPET: Shall we pray? 2ND PUPPET: Oh God.............(interminable pause as congregation tries to figure out if he's praying or swearing).

The smoke machine and special effect lighting was, to be honest, a little distracting...
They did sing Christ the Lord is Risen Today -- my favorite Easter hymn. The contemporary service earlier didn't sing the Easter Hymn by (somthing)th Chapter of Acts -- which was my other favorite in the Church in which I grew up.
Should I wait until tomorrow to post something about my church's production number...I mean, service?

Saturday, April 10, 2004

My last double shift day at both jobs. I traded out and got Sunday night off. So I'm only working 11-3 tomorrow -- my last day at job #1. I asked for Monday off. Last night I got my schedule, and not only am I working at the Alisal Monday and Tuesday, I'm working a double shift. That brings my total count of consecutive working days to:


Can someone tell me...?

Last night we had a Jewish family in a back room celebrating passover. I went home and was thinking of the Easter Chronology, which went something like:

"Ok, so tonight was Passover, so now He's in the garden, and at work tomorrow he'd be on trial for Pilate, and at work tomorrow night he'd be buried and then the next day....wait, just a minute. Tonight's Friday. Isn't Passover then on THURSDAY?"

Can anyone enlighten me. It stays the same day, right? Right? Of course, I did hear one of the kids talking about eating pork enchiladas....

In an effort to feel human again, instead of just a drudging automaton, I went yesterday with Drea for a pedicure and a half hour massage between jobs. Ahhhhh.....

Friday, April 09, 2004

This one's for you Mom. Start running now.

Yesterday wasn't a good day for reptiles. On my walk I stepped across a long black hose on the path. With a rattle on the end. Actually, it was a fully grow black rattlesnake, maybe an inch and a half thick. It must be used to people, because it didn't even look at me as I walked over him.

And then I got home and Cai had brought a lizard in the house. Not a harmless little gecko. This one had scales and horns. No tail though -- I hope it grows back. I picked him up in a towel and took him outside. I hope he survives. The last one that Cai got to didn't... And then I had to find his tail....gross.

More examples of interesting people...

A woman walks up to the desk asking to pay for breakfast. Our breakfast is only for guests. We aren't set up to charge, since it's included. I let the three walk, and she asks to leave a tip. Her big tip for three free breakfasts? $5. People are so obtuse!

The longest-ever day, and it's only just begun.

I over slept this morning. 25 minutes over. And then realized that I'd left my slacks at home, ten minutes away, and needed to let my cats out anyway. So I washed my face, and had no time for makeup. Got in the car, and I'm out of gas. So I pumped $10.02 into my car, handed $10.10 to the attendant and told him to keep the eight cents. Ran home. Threw on slacks and shoes, patted both cats on the head, and ran for my car, I'd left running.

So here I am, hair in a snood, unshowered (and thus, unawake), with makeup thrown on between check outs. Eyes half closed, and sucking down Earl Grey trying to perk up. If only I liked coffee..

Time to get back to our Catholic roots

(Ironically, my ad column changed before I posted this...)

How many protestants have ever read the Book of Common Prayer? Let's see those hands. Anyone ever used a rosary? I thought not.

I was thinking about this last night after getting myself into a twit over the loss of my precious time. (Ooh, and C.S. Lewis' writings convicted me again...From Screwtape Letters on peevishness and our possessiveness about OUR time being wasted.) The prayer that came to mind was from the Book of Common Prayer (the Anglican service book). You can read that text here.

By blowing off Catholicism as unbiblical, don't we lose out on many things that would be beneficial? Granted, I cannot believe that Mary was a perpetual virgin, nor that she was sinless. I think it's pretty obvious that Jesus did have half brothers and sisters. And I don't believe church authorities are infallible.


Read through the Book of Common Prayer sometime. The only thing that seemed even questionable to me was the idea of praying for the dead...And if you substitute a "with" (used elsewhere in the liturgy) instead of "for" it's passable. Beyond the Liturgy, there are prayers for personal use as well. For every situation. For special occasions. Days of the week, morning and evening. Have trouble remembering what all to pray? The Prayers of the People cover governments, world leaders, the poor, the sick, the homeless, and anyone in trouble. Our friends and family, our enemies, our neighbors. It's a great place to start if you're at a loss. And that brings me to:

The Rosary. I don't have a "real" one, though Pam does. I made my own because I liked the idea. (Playing a mystic nun sold me on it) Mine has three kinds of beads with a cross at the bottom. I have alternating ornate silver beads and oval rose stone beads, with five seed beads between. I used the silver beads for "Our Father's," the pink ones to pray for individuals, and the seed beads for thanks for blessings, prayer requests, and anything that falls in the "other" category. I try to use them mostly for praise and thanks. There are around 75 seed beads on my rosary. It's amazing what you can find to be thankful for around number thirty-five. "And for....Shoes. Thank you also for......Kitchen appliances that don't burst spontaneously into flames..." And, if I'm confessing here...I have one little round pink stone bead to pray for the welfare of my husband. If he's out there. My ONE concession to girlish fantasies. Otherwise I don't spend much time pining.

Confession. There's a concept. Not to a priest, but mutual confession keeps you humble. My friend Wendy often tells me where she's failed in her day, and vice versa. Person to person, it keeps you from needing to maintain the "perfect Christian" image all the time. Since they know you aren't, anyway...

And there's more, but my rant is long enough. Hymns. Solitude....

Anyone have anything to add?

Thursday, April 08, 2004

The Word Detective. Endless amusement for the trivia buffs.
(At 9:36 this morning)

"What time does the sing-a-long start this evening?"

"9 o'clock."

"At night?"

*blank stare*

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

It's amazing that no matter where I go, it all links back to the Thinklings. They're everywhere!
Some thoughts by Randy about modern Christian Worship and it's physiological and psychological effects.

"These people all have "bubbly" personalities and are all wearing Christian paraphernalia. Suddenly, the light goes down, except for the stage light, and a band of mostly good-looking people walk across the stage to their instruments. They ask everyone to stand up. They begin with a prayer that is accompanied by some small musical notes played on a guitar or piano. This sufficiently calms everyone down and puts them in the "right mood" to worship. The band then begins to play songs that are highly emotionally charged."

A disclaimer. I grew up in a praise and worship service style. I then spent four years in a very liturgical Episcopal church. I think there is a place for both styles of music in the appropriate setting. You can't beat hymns for content and beauty. And sometimes one needs to sit down at the piano and sing "Heart of Worship."

For those of you who haven't already read these to death, check out the Lord of the Rings Parody scripts by Molly. Complete with viewer/reader commentary during the movie.
I'm taking World Vision online off my blogroll. I wanted to do a comparison between them and Compassion, but I find that their website is too slow, and often doesn't load at all. Maybe I'll try them again at some future point.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Today I had the morning off. Whew. 5 more days of this no reading thing. Whew. In theory I've read more of my Bible this Lent. In practice I've worked so much I get about three verses in before my eyes roll back in my head. I did the same with "Emma" last Sunday, so I don't think it's lack of interest.

Tonight I was training the new girl, Angie. It was a much better night for training. Things were slower, better paced. Yesterday she was given a tray and told, "um...Go there." I'm surprised she came back today.

Another paycheck coming tomorrow. Student loan #1 will be paid off. Another victory!

I'm house-sitting through Saturday. Then I can go down and buy my bridesmaid's dress for Drea's wedding. I can't believe she'll be 21 in a month. I can't believe she'll be married in less than 4. I can't believe I'm two years older and haven't had a long term boyfriend since highschool. Well, I've been in Opera, I remind myself. Hurrah for dating! Enjoying it very much.

I got out my sketchbook and drew two trees, a gazebo, and an outdoor tented reading nook. I think I'll color it tomorrow. I have a vision of someday owning a little cottage on some land. An acre or two. I want a picket fence with roses. A weeping birch. A Victorian cottage garden. Full of snapdragons and carnations. Begonias. Violets. Pansies. Irish moss everywhere shady. Honeysuckle and star jasmine on every wall, post, and surface. Wisteria on the porch. Some little "Secret Garden" with a swing. Rooms full of Victorian furniture, vintage linens, and bookcases. Not country at all, just mellowed victoriana. Reading nooks in every window and ingle. Warm colored walls, and fireplaces. Fruit trees and a little garden out back. Apples, Cherries. Neat little herb garden, colonial style. Some cheerful rows of vegetables. (Mother is laughing already. She knows I've never been a gardener) Maybe a little pond with some ducks. A couple of cats curled up around, and one big low-key dog. Maybe a basset hound, or something older and mellow. Friends coming in and out at all times of the day. Dare I hope, a husband? Someday. Windowboxes full of snap dragons. A porch with wicker furniture and butterfly geraniums. Fuschia, not red. And that's my someday dream. After I get done traveling, and singing, and being on the go all the time.

Monday, April 05, 2004

I have nothing of interest to report. LA Opera costume department sent me a lovely "we'll call you if something becomes available" note. I haven't heard back from anyone who was "so excited" about telling people about me. The touring cast of Count of Monte Christo fell through. What am I supposed to do with my life, people? Maybe they still need bartenders in that ski resort in the French Alps.
I hate waking up as tired as I went to bed. 7 more days. On the plus side, this paycheck I paid off Baylor and my credit card, which I'm closing as soon as I can type up a letter. Then I close out the other one that some credit card company opened for me during college, which has never been used. But showed up on my credit report regardless. Yay to being Financially sucks but it's worth it!

Sunday, April 04, 2004

The following is a essay-ish thing that I wrote in my "real" journal and decided to reprint here. I'm open to discussion! If you feel I'm completely wrong, give me some biblical evidence to research. "And after all, it's just a journal..."

Forgive these wild and wandering cries,
Confusions of a wasted youth,
Forgive them where they fail in truth,
And in thy wisdom make me wise.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson~

Christian Culture Annoys Me

Grandma brought over two bits of mail from Focus on the Family and one Citizen magazine. I skimmed through. The Citizen one had most of its articles on the proposed marriage law amendments. I get tired of reading Christians trying to be a political entity. I hate the televangelists. I don't listen to Christian radio. I do listen to Adventures in Odyssey, but the characters there live their faith without preaching it all the time.

It is so strange being a Christian, but outside of the culture. Most of my friends are in one part of it or another. Kevin is on the liberal end, Teri is in Seminary. I get tired of church building projects and the 'country club' phenomenon, and the "us-them" mentality. Grandma equates being conservative and Republican with being Christian. The Purpose Driven Life. The Prayer of Jabez. Left Behind.

We had outspoken Christians at table seven, who rain their waiters ragged for days, but didn't leave a tip any night. Christians! Don't you realize that your very witness is called into question by how you tip the waiter?

Focus on the Family has announced they are taking a several day cruise. Isn't that the "country club phenomenon" again? Frankly, Dr. Dobson has always reminded me of George Dubleya. They may be right, but they sure sound dumb.

Stuff. It's all about the "stuff." You donated to us once, don't you want the book, the t-shirt, the mug, the CD? Come on our retreats, and write your senator, and support our ministry and put us in your prayers, and pray for our leaders, but only those who line up with us philosophically, if not pray for their souls. (Lest you think I'm being too hard on any one particular group, I'm not. I critique the conservative side because I'm closest to it, but they aren't the only offenders) Both sides accuse the other of taking one statement wildly out of context, and to prove it do the same.

We run around like chickens with our heads cut off. As though if we don't lobby, or petition, or shout from the rooftops, or write your congressmen, Christianity will disappear forever, taking God with it.

This puts me in a bind, now. Shouldn't a Christian be an 'active participant in the legal process?' A Christian should. Christianity shouldn't.

"Make it your business to lead a quiet life. To mind your own business and to work with your hands."
I don't see that applied a lot anywhere. The blessed company maybe.

All we need do, whatever we do, is be the best Christian we can, and God will be satisfied.

I don't need to feel that I have to do 'great and wonderful things' for my faith. I needn't feel guilty about not preaching all the time, or desiring to. I can do away with my delusions of grandeur. The conversion of those I come in contact with is not on my shoulders, though I may be of influence. Frankly, I'd be a lot more persuasive if I talked less, and lived more. There is security in contentment.

The greatest mistakes in history came when people tried to 'do something' for God. Hebrews 11 is full of people who were minding their own business until God came in and made his will clear. In fact, the greatest atrocities in the New Testament were committed at the hands of a religious man trying to 'do something great' for his faith -- Saul, later to become the apostle Paul.

For now, all God wants of me is to be the best woman that I can be, with as much faith as I have now. All the rest will fall into place.

If I move to France, or stay here; ride the seas, or fly over them; bear children or sing about them; play a barmaid, or be one. I don't have to be a 'Great Christian Woman;' but only the best one I can be.

I am content with what I have
Naught be it, or much.
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
Because thou savest such.

~Bunyan, From Pilgrim's Progress~

Oh I wish I could reproduce the conversation that just took place. A woman and her friend were discussing their children's temperaments. "He isn't a manipulative Capricorn, merely a stirring up one," was the only sentence I can remember. I'm not familiar with the zodiac, but it was so amusing! Welcome, again, to California.
Schedule for Holy Week:
(Warning in advance, expect a lot of brink of exhaustion rants...That's right next to the edge of reason, on top of the cliffs of insanity.)

Monday: 11-5, 5-10.
Tuesday: 5-10.
Wednesday: 7-1, 5-10.
Maundy Thursday: 7-3, 5-10.
Good Friday: 7-1.
Saturday: 7-1, 5-10.
Easter Sunday: 10-4, 5-10.

I'm going to be singing hallelujah for two reasons on Sunday. My last day at my morning job. And my last day of housesitting is on Saturday. It's not a big deal to add that...The bed I'm at in their house is so comfortable, and they have the largest bathtub in the world. If I filled it all the way, and sat down, it would be over my head (no short jokes, Jeff.) Tonight I'll go prepared with salts, scrubs, bubbles, and various witches brews. I'm usually a shower girl, but four years in Texas got me acclimated to the pre-nighttime bath routine. I need a Yankee Candle to go along. Oh, sitting in the lap of luxury.

"Sleep is sweet to the laborer."

Saturday, April 03, 2004

"Somebody a while back made a comment to the effect that Christianity, from the very start, was society turned upside down. What was important to God is diametrically opposite what's important to society. And, as society pulls farther and farther from any association to God, the more pronounced the dichotomy. Interestingly God's priorities have never changed. It's mankind that pulls away from God, never the other way around. Hence any practice or institution with any association to God's sense of order or priority will constantly be evolving away from that association. At least until reality sets in: 'There's a way that seems right to man, but the end will be destruction.'"

Good one, Dad!

"Sometimes aloneness is the only cure for loneliness. Sometimes solitude is a prerequisite for sociability. Sometimes silence makes communication possible.

I rediscovered aloneness this week, after being lonely for a long time. I had forgotten."

Quote by Wilson. Thanks, Wilson. My feelings exactly.

Said Uncle James, who had just washed his hands
of Valancy. "Who married you?"

"Mr. Towers, of Port Lawrence."

"By a Free Methodist!" groaned Mrs. Frederick--as if to have been
married by an imprisoned Methodist would have been a shade less

From "The Blue Castle" by L.M. Montgomery.

I love this book! A 29 year old from a sheltered family is given a year to live. She decides she would rather live her life, than die shut up in a room. She becomes house keeper to the town drunk and his daughter with an illegitimate child. Then, she asks Barney Snaith, of questionable reputation -- for he keeps entirely to himself, and doesn't mind the town's censure, to marry her. It is the story of a woman learning to live without caring about "what the neighbors think."

Not Disney Material...

I had the audition for Disney Tokyo yesterday. I got a "Thanks, that's all we need."


But, then, they were favoring belt singers that day. Out of 85 people, they gave a contract to one, and called four back to hear again. I wasn't one of them....ah well, 'them's the breaks.'

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Quote of the day from Dave Barry's latest column.

"The city of Beverly Hills has been evacuated twice this month because of reports -- false, thank heavens -- that terrorists had put a bagel in the water supply."


"But the Atkins Diet lives on, helping millions of Americans to lose weight. The irony is, you can't tell this by looking at actual Americans, who have, as a group, become so heavy that North America will soon be underwater as far inland as Denver."

More Obsessions...

And after I finished my bar graphs last night around midnight, the urge hit to hang the curtains I'd just purchased. I made a few tips yesterday in the pool bar, so I wanted a canopy for my bed. One thing led to another and I found myself balancing on the headboard rigging a swag across the long side of the bed. Then I had a great idea to use the scrap lace I'd bought as the tie backs for the canopy. Then the swag needed something, so I ran outside to grab my hanging ornate candle holder.

Then, laying on the bed admiring the canopy, I realised that I had plenty of room to subdivide my "office" from my "living room"....

An hour later found me dragging my dresser out of the closet because moving my writing desk left a void. And the chairs just weren't working. I traded them around for twenty five minutes looking for something to "hit me." And something did. My new chandelier, actually. In the head when I forgot to duck.

But the dresser was too tall for the lamp, and the chairs too small for the corner, and on and on. At 2:15 I finally finished my last hat box vignette on the dresser, with just a little fringe and lace peeking out of the top, and a vase of fuschia butterfly carnations. It looks lovely.

Except the writing desk needs just a little something draped on it. And the beautiful new canopy makes my kitchen look even worse....

Obsessions of the Geek-inclined

Wendy and I did our month-end spending reports and our quarterly reports last night over a couple of cups of very strong Chai. My top expenses for the quarter:

1. Student Loans/other debt.
2. Car Insurance
3. Car Payments/Downpayment

And the next largest categories in no specific order were those that come off the top of my paycheck, savings and tithe. But I thought I did pretty well for the quarter. My bar graphs are quite impressive.

Wendy, here's to a great 2nd Quarter!

Christians Everywhere! Tip Well!

You have no idea how much your faith is called into question by how you act after the Amen.

Horrible woman checked out today. The hot water was dirty. There were spots on the inside of the wall behind the door. (who LOOKS there?) There was nobody to host the wine and cheese reception. (it isn't hosted) There were a couple of spots of what looked like blood on the floor. (I would suspect since we are in wine country that perhaps it might be, I don't know, WINE?) Then she came to the front desk, authorized me to charge her credit card, and then looked at the bill and wanted the AAA discount. I told her I couldn't do that after the card's been charged. THEN she said that she'd already asked for the rate, so I looked, and yes, there it was. But she wouldn't believe me. She thought I was overcharging her and lying. I finally had her compare the rate on the info card with the rate charged on her bill. Only then would she stop telling me I'd "led her to believe" that she hadn't been given the discount.

I have just run out of customer service. I have no more in me.