Monday, December 29, 2008

Onward Towards a New Year

Christmas was at once hectic and long as well as slow and peaceful. I worked part of Christmas Eve then headed home in time for the 4 o'clock Christmas pageant (our daughter was the donkey - for whatever reason she enjoys being the donkey) and me ushering. Then we went home had our Christmas meal opened presents put enjoyed each others company, then got the kids into bed, and I headed off to the late Christmas service to usher and EM at communion.

I got home after midnight to find that Santa's helper was having major difficulties getting the wagon assembled. We made it to bed sometime before 2am. The kids woke up at 5:30am - they were very excited about their Santa presents to which the parents replied "oh good, but it's too early to be up". So, the kiddos played with their new gifts and watched their new videos until a more respectable 6:30am. Then it was off to church at 10am. It turns out the service was lightly attended so me and the daughter ushered together. She was great and it was so sweet to do that together.

The rest of the week was this easy pace of doing this and that without the usual rush to and fro. There was only one day when the kiddos drove themselves and their parents completely nuts by the end of the day.

The pace was so relaxed that by 8:30pm I was totally wiped out. I would fall completely asleep while the wife read to the kiddos...then she would wake me up and we'd watch episodes of Season 5 of the L Word (a xmas gift). We also watched an excellent movie "In the Company of Strangers" - well actually the wife watched all of it - I fell asleep (go figure).

And we had this fantastic and uncharacteristically warm weather. Our ideas about what's warm and what's not are beginning to morph to fit our more northern abode...ya gotta shake your head in wonder when you think 45 degrees is warm. The sun even managed a short but welcome visit.

If you want a sense of Burlington there's a book called "The Dream of a White Village" - it was written by a UVM professor who still lives in Burlington. And in some sense, what he wrote about then (published in 1994) still mostly holds.

There's still this tension about how I feel about Burlington and Vermont, but it's becoming more healthy, more socially justice inclined as opposed to this place is going to be the death of me feeling. I don't feel trapped anymore. Sometimes I lay in bed and get this surreal feeling - like wow, I'm actually in Vermont and not Texas.

I've begun a more consistent mediating cycle again, and doing the spiritual things that I did in Tejas that "fed me". I got Borg's "The Heart of Christianity" and this feels like one of the final pieces of healing that needed to be in place. The last is a continually reaffirming/reminding myself that the type of person I am and the type of priest I envision myself to be is ok. And the more I relax into that the healthier I feel. I am beginning to trust again - to faith again.

I have two new year's resolutions:
1. Begin working on my spiritual autobiography and discernment questions.
2. I don't think I can change the cup is half empty part of me, but I can change how I respond to that point of view. I can use this view to positive end results.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and safe travels.

We've been blessed and surprised by the gifts that just keep coming. We've gotten to know our mailman a little bit, and yesterday he had dropped off a package from my Aunt, and then returned a little while later with another package..."I thought I was done with my route and there was this other package for you - seems they just keep coming."

It seems they just keep coming...my family and I have such fabulous friends and family, I wish we were as fabulous as they.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Adult Ed - An Advent Reflection

So I had been tagged to teach an Adult Ed Advent Reflection prior to my camel's broken back moment; by the time I actually had to teach it I was in recovery.

I struggled with what I could possibly say - what could I reflect upon that wouldn't ooze anger, pain, and confusion. What could I say without turning the class into JSD's personal rant and/or therapy moment.

So, I went the safe route...I turned to my books looked up the meaning of Advent, then my commentary to look up what it had to say about the readings, and left my reflections on the light (read detached side). And since I'm just beginnging to regain my shaky spiritual equalibrium I stuck to this plan.

I went through the readings and my monologue and then opened it up for questions. In the end the piece that caught people where two things I hadn't even thought to discuss which was the church calendar overlaying our secular calendar and what a gift that had been for me. And the second topic was about rules of life which was sort of planned for because of 1 Thes.'s reading (a 91 word pocket rule-of-life) but not to the detail that I went into.

But, for three people they heard something they needed to hear. Person one to the wife, "tell JSD that her class was really good and she's left me with lots of questions to think about". Person two, what's a rule of life...how does it work. I think that's just what I'm looking for, that might be it to her husband. Person three, I should have been in here. I'm sorry I came in late. I was having these other conversations but what I needed to hear was you. This was so real, it was really real.

All I can say to them all is thank you. I felt that their comments afterwards gave me more then I could possibly have given in my class written from a place of pain looking for safety, but well really it was the conversation outside that framework that I think maybe made connections...cause I was speaking from my own unguarded self...talking about relationships...and perhaps in time and in some other space talking about one's wounds will feel ok here.

In a totally different conversation the day before I told a fellow EFMer what it was I couldn't share at EFM. It shocked her cause she's discerning too, but she listened. And when I said I just don't know how honest to be in those things (touch base time), she replied, yeah me neither - I thought it was really brave of you to say that there was something so painful that you couldn't talk about it was really brave. I laughed and told her thank you because I had felt like a really big chicken.

There's alot here for me to distill through. Peace into the fourth week of advent.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fhankful Five

1. For all the people who love me even though I don't always make that easy.
2. That I didn't break the shovel this morning, like I did the snow scraper.
3. That my in-laws are awesome.
4. That the software I've been testing is almost out the door.
5. That today has been a good day and not an unfortunate one.

p.s. And thank you San for the blog award - ya helped make my day.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Series of Unfortunate Events + A Sprinkling of Perspective + A Dash Sass

I've decided that the book series titled "A Series of Unfortunate Events" has come to describe my life currently. But at least in my version none of the unfortunate events involves someone trying to kill me and mine.

My canoe with no oars has passed the latest set of rapids...I'm currently drying my drenched self - thank goodness for wool; warm even if wet. But, awefully stinky...eewweee ;-)

I've come to doubt everything...but still managing to hold onto my thread of a lifeline to God. We're ok...I'm reading "Why Bad Things Happen to Good People" a must read for someone living in the midst of a series of unfortunate events.

Can I rebuild my relationship with God in time? Can I find my voice of call that shivers in Sunday School class (or here commonly called Adult Ed)? Can I let go of doubt and worry, and sit instead with wonder and hope?

I need a new table and some different guests, all whom I seem to be finding but not at church. I'm finding the people who care in VT are not in my religious circle, well no there's one retired preist and his wife. But, maybe that is how it should be...this isn't a church that sees itself as a family but more like social justice avengers with no headquarters to return to when weary and in need of rest. Where they find their solace and lick their wounds I do not know...maybe at the Duncin Dougnuts across the street.

Trip Upon Thyself and Voice of an Other Generation Avenger away - Peace out, 2 Chest Bumps, and 1 Fist Knock...damn, that wasn't the combination to Wonder Woman's jet - oh hey wait I can't walk on water yet - shit there goes the canoe...catch y'all later.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I Tag Thy Self

Seven unuasal things about me...hmmm, maybe I can change the tag if I can't think of 7 things.

1. My first name rhymes with Scoobey Doo, and since I blog annonymously have fun.

2. I grew up calling sliding doors - door walls...I think it's just a Michigan thing. The first time I said door wall in a sentence my wife looked at me funny.

3. My right foot is bigger then my left foot which makes finding shoes a royal pain in the butt. To add insult to injury my right foot also has plantar fasciitis.

4. I know how to say I like the way you wiggle your ass in Korean. Ah those where the so-ju days.

5. I didn't win any awards until my time in the military. Suprisingly, I was quite a good soldier - it just wasn't for me...you being gay and all.

6. I don't not know how to read a tape measure past wholes, quarters and halfs. When my wife learned of this she lovingly told me how sorry she felt for me.

7. I've purposefully pushed myself into a crevise just to have to then climb right back out of it. A crevise is an eerily beautiful space to occupy (well as long as you're attached to a rope). The hardest part was the last two feet, because my body weight and backpack dangled off my hip 5 feet below me kept digging the rope deeper and deeper into the snow bank around the edge. It's very hard to get your mittened fingers between the rope and the snow and push this thingy (I can't remember the technical terms anymore) up which would then inch me literaly up an inch (or however much I was able to move it). It took close to an hour to climb up 10 feet.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

An addition since things aren't quite so flux

Well, I tried my best to walk away, call it quits. If I had been able to get my old job back that would have been the end of the journey. But, not so...the door I knew was closed had a moment of oasis...but that's all it was - an oasis.

For better or worse...the path is set. Where eventual discernment (assuming this ever happens - maybe Spring, maybe not) will lead to a yea or nay. I continue to be humbled or perhaps buckled is a better word. Either way some time in prayer is vastly needed. I haven't trusted myself to talk to Him, nor was I in a place a week ago to trust Him. The trust piece is still a little shakey, but I'm now more willing to believe my journey here is not meant to be a waste, that no matter what the outcome it will add value to my life - and not subtract from the quality of life of my family.

Somehow, the events leading towards the end of my day have brought a calmness of spirit, a groundedness. I know this feeling within myself is fleeting - so for now I will enjoy the feeling of being present with God.

So what do you do when you and God are looking at each other funny?

Put your head in the sand.

Ok, well, that doesn't really help. I could write a whole bunch or not much...and as things are influx...I'll opt for not saying much.

Peace.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

So to all a good night...oh, oh, hmmm...yes.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

I thought perhaps to list all the things I'm thankful for, but alas no - my mood is just too snarky.

Break a leg - I mean wishbone for me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Responding to a Tag

The tag goes like this: Explain why the books are essential reads, in 30 words or less. (For maximum fun, try for 30 words exactly).

(a) Fiction book
(b) Autobiography
(c) Non-fiction book
(d) A fourth book of your choice, from any genre

Fiction: The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Is this perhaps where the deathbed question of knowing whether you’ve lived a life filled with regret stems from? And the price one sometimes pays when they lose their voice.

Autobiography: Does thinly veiled fiction count? Anis Nin’s Incest – a reminder about narcissism. Jack Kerouac's On the Road – hmm, more about narcissism.

Non-Fiction: Why We Can’t Wait. He’s one of my heroes. When I daydream about writing sermons, he’s one person I want to emulate.

Fourth: Bible. While reading the whole book, there where all these moments oh whoa that phrase comes from here and here and wow who needs a self-help book when you’ve got the Bible.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

snow

There was a light blanket of snow this morning...our daughter as she wakes us to words of “you went to bed and it snowed. Look see [she opens the blinds wide].” And there it is snow. The wife says snow is different then what she imagined (remember she’s a born Texan)…it’s cleaner then she thought.

Got some work done on the adult ed reflection piece I'm to teach. Looking forward to our daughter's first have a friend sleep over. Even looking forward to the cold ass walk to the library. Then coming home to hot chocolate with fruit flavored marshmellows (daughter's pick based on color), and then later nachos or maybe tacos if we decide to make homemade tortillas.

I need to do some EM prep, but my heart's not there for that task - most likely will find any excuse not to do this.

Would like to crochet today as well.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And she's down for the count

So - sometimes God just sucks. My family and I were finally getting into a groove, and then the landlord calls to say that they're thinking of possibly selling the house we're renting. The wife and I so don't want to move again...only to maybe be moving again. My perserverance well has finally gone dry. I am just bone tired. I had an email conversation with a friend who works where I used to work...and quite frankly I'm ready to throw the towel in...I give up. It really doesn't and didn't need to be this hard. If this is a test - I flunk. If this was a lesson for me to learn - I refuse. I am done. I am done. I am done. I don't even want to think about reasons why I should change my mind...but, I'll try. We'll see what a couple of weeks of soul searching will bring.

I feel like a bloodied boxer who only has one more round to go, and is down on the mat...hearing, slap - 1, slap - 2, slap - 3, slap - 4...do I really want to get back up? Can I really emulate Moses? Can I push through yet one more wall? And I just don't know.

This place has changed me, aged me, wearied me...the things that nurtured me just aren't here. How much more sacrificing?

Plan B is looking so good right now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Presbyterians - A Call to Knit their Way to the Passage of Amendment 08-B

The wife and I are currently knitting and crocheting scarves for his effort. Here's some information from the website:

There are many reasons why the 218th General Assembly took such wonderful steps toward ending discrimination in the church against our LGBT sisters and brothers. All agree that one of them was the wonderful witness of the hand knitted rainbow scarves, which you created, which were seen everywhere at General Assembly!

Now we are asking you to once again get out your knitting needles and yarn to help approve Amendment 08-B in the presbyteries!

A Call to Knit and Pray Our Way to Passage of Amendment 08-B.

G-6.0106b in the Book of Order has discriminated against people who are LGBT in the church since it was approved in 1997. The 218th GA in San Jose this year approved the "Boston Overture" which replaces G-6.0106b with language that better reflects our Presbyterian tradition and removes language that was used to discriminate against people who are LGBT. The Boston Overture is now called Amendment 08-B and it needs to be approved by a majority of Presbyteries in order to be adopted into the Book of Order.

That's where you come in. We're asking people who support LGBT equality to once again knit rainbow scarves to send a message of LGBT equality to minister and elder commissioners in the Presbyteries. As we've seen, knitting can be a powerful force for justice in this church.

More information and instructions for creating the scarves go here: http://www.mlp.org/article.php?story=knittinginthepresbyteries

Friday, November 14, 2008

Spiritual Direction with Supertramp





San to answer a question from a comment I posted on your blog...my SD asked me to visualize what my journey looked like at that point in time. So, I used crayons (or colors if your from Texas) and I drew a circle, within the circle I drew a flowly/flowing figure holding a shepherd's staff walking through the desert.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Change but Not Everything Does

I'm very excited by the possibilities - it's been a long time since the U.S. has truly had an inspiring President, and then there's the down side...Prop 8 passes in California, Arkansas bans gay adoption. Palin is greeted in Alaska to the chants of Palin in 2012 - I really hope she's not the direction the Republican Party wants to continue to go.

I wish that religion could be "used" in a radically healing and uniting way instead of creating the great divides of hostility.

I wish that religion and politics could begin to be used for universal good.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Maybe My Brian is Like Processed Cheese

Hmm...perhaps my title says it all :-) Mind you I like processed cheese...I miss cheese. It's one of the foods my body can't handle well anymore. But, my most favoritist way to eat Craft American Singles with 2% Milk is melted, melted cheese sandwiches with the cheese oozing out the sides with each bite...or perhaps dipped gently into tomato soup with rice...ahhh, does the heart good ;-)

As a kid food was more a necessity of life. We ate the same meal every week based on the day of the week, and often there was only enough for one serving. It wasn't until the I joined the militray were food suddenly wasn't in short supply. Generous portions and variety...it was for me a taste explosion. Then creating my own recipes with dishes full of color, full of vegetables. I still prefer more veggies to meat, which balances well for my wife and kids who prefer more meat to veggies.

My daughter has become quite a lousy eater, at least when it comes to dinner, and I see the look of horror in my sons eyes when the meal is leaning decidedly vegetarian. I try to explain/share with my children what it was like not to have variety nor enough to eat. But, well, you can't really. They relate better when we're able to tie it to exerpiences they've particiapted in.

The wife wanted to volunteer with our church at Salvation Army dinner. But, could only do so if the kids could come and particiapte as well. And they were able to, and it was a good experience for them to see and to give of themselves to others.

So food is a comfort for me now. And it is one of the ways I like to share best of my time with my friends, around a shared meal. Good food, good friends, good conversations, and maybe a popped button or two.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Great Weekend

I had a magical weekend with my family. Thursday and Friday I worked a 4:30pm to 12:30am shift so that I could be home with the kids on their days off from school.

Thursday was hard cause we had tons of errands, and then I went to work. But Friday was only one errand and then the rest of the day was rest and play. So play and rest we did. Plus, we had great weather this weekend, which always helps. Saturday we went downtown to Trick or Treat at the local stores...the chocolatiers handed out the good stuff - one even gave out giganto chocolate suckers.

Sunday was church...I gave my class on Lay Liturgical Roles/Why we are all called to participate within worship, which I ended with one of my favorite songs, "They'll Know We Are By Our Love". I started us off and then by the end of the first stanza everyone joined in...it may have been an Adult Ed first for them. I got positive feedback from the Adult Ed coordinator and two people in the class...so yeah...I didn't bomb at least not for them :) After class, the family went home, and I served as an Usher for the 11 o'clock service that had around 100 vergers in attendance; and where I got to model what I taught about making mistakes and it being ok. I forgot to go to the altar first to bow, then pass out the offering plate...but, I did make a quick recovery as soon as the other usher quietly reminded me. So, all 10 people up at the altar (to include the Bishop) saw, as well as, most of the vergers...sigh, all you can do is smile and try not to be to obvious that you forgot a step. Afterwards, we took a family bike ride...it really was a great day to be outside. We went along our usual path, which has been so cool to see the path change as the seasons have turned. So it's never really the same path, at least not for too long. I want to walk this path come Winter.

This post hasn't really described the magic of my weekend, but it was one of those weekends that cherish and hold onto.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Untitled Poem

In a land of our making

Subterranean

Subtlefuse and fuselage

Quagmires and waterfalls

My own Ecclesiastes


Can you know enlightenment,

without first starting at its polar

Can you know anything,

without first knowing what it is not


If I slide through this land

Of my own making

Within the white, white, white

Within the black, black, black

Tis a season


That approaches through

this land of my own making

Within the gold, the regal, the fallen

Fallen down and bare


Stark the stand before you

Slumbering some watchful mostly

Can you remember one within the sameness

Do you worry of the eternal


Subtlefuse and fuselage

Quagmires and waterfalls

Subterranean

Land of my making

My own Ecclesiastes

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vermont in the Fall

Here's one of the photos I took of Vermont somewhere around the Smuggler's Notch area. I've decided for now to only post one picture - the rest will be gifts, and maybe even a Christmas card.

Directly behind this scene is a road that is a route, but which one it is escapes me now, and across the road is an old metal frame bridge. I took pictures of it too...but when I was crossing back over the road some guy in a truck yelled at me to go home. The whole thing surprised me...and I thought I am home, not the home of my heart, but I am home. This is home...no matter how much I might wish home where somewhere else.

Part of it is this space...but the other part of it is me...I'm never quite wholly comfortable. This is a beautiful place but the sacrifices - these weigh heavy. I looked through all the pictures - some where just okay either the lighting was off or the focus was a little off - but as a whole they aren't bad. The ones I like best are the ones with reflections like the one above, then the ones of flowers I took with the macro lens that "pop" with color and intimate space. I was suprised that the images speak so much about space (for me at least), and maybe a little bit about hope. My hope that this place can become home.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Picture Picture

So, if you live in the part of town I live in and you're a woman then you can get a free disposable camera to take one picture of yourself and the rest to be taken of how you "see" the part of town I live in.

The wife came home with 2 cameras - one for each of us. We have to get them back on Tuesday...looks like I'll be taking lots of pictures this weekend.

Pictures will be displayed at one of the local community colleges. Not sure if one picture from each person gets displayed or only one persons work gets displayed. Either way it should be interesting what gets showcased.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

FireFox is coool

So I've been self-teaching myself Selenium for my job and in doing that needed to install FireFox. Admittedly I got side-tracked for awhile but then this week put some serious effort into Selenium. Selenium itself is pretty cool but FireFox rocks - there's some neatie o add-ons like Last.fm. You type in an artist name and it'll play a song(s) by this artist but even cooler - it'll play artists that you'd most likely want to hear since you like the artist you just typed in. Let me just say VPR listening has suffered.

Making some serious Author-It progress but this tool has a massive uphill learning curve. However, once I can create my own custom book with customized content styles I'll be a beginner-expert. Currently, I'm intermediate-beginner.

Tonight I have to continue some consulting work unless the wife is on the computer; otherwise, I really need to start practising for the class I'm teaching and I have EFM reading to do, books I want to read. Maybe eat some dinner. And go to bed at a decent time since I have to get up a bit earlier then usual to take the car in for an 'ol change'.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Discovering Things

We went on two drives with the grandparents this weekend; one took us up to Smuggler's Notch and the other to a small town about an 1.5 hours away. The leaves are definitely at their peak, and hopefully a few will hang around for when the other grandparent comes into town this coming weekend.

I'm hoping most of the pictures I took turn out. We "shot some video" but I haven't had a chance to look through it. Lots of pics (or so it seems) of water and bridges, a few farmland scenes. The wife thinks I should check out some of the smallesque local galleries (she has two in mind) to see what you have to do to show your work. I'm alittle less (ok a lot less) optimistic then she is because, well, I'm not known at all in/within the local art scene, I don't have a 'body of work' that ties to a whole. I have lots of photos of nature or people, and sometimes the two collide in a good way. I think I've come to realize that I probably have 'an eye' for photography, and a piece of me would be thrilled and honored to show my photographs. But, for now my gallery will continue to be the walls of my home...and just maybe...the really good ones will go out as gifts this year.

I have spurts of time when I realize that if the call as I feel it to be isn't affirmed then that will be ok - that I will be ok - it will not be the end of the world...just the end of a journey. There is so much waiting in this journey, so much beyond my control, so very many different people will play and have played major roles in deciding my future. Sometimes it feels like I'm holding an icicle in 90 degree heat and being told to not let it melt. In the reading I've done about people who have gone through this process or those who write about how the process should somehow change all ask in the end what kind of person endures this. Because even if you become a Postulant, nothing is certain until you finally get ordained which can be in total anywhere from 5-6 years [discerning (2-3 yrs)/ seminary (3 yrs)/ transitional deacon (6months)/ ordination] - assuming you aren't gay or lesbian in a non-inclusive diocese. I suppose there are plusses and minuses as in all things.

Plusses/Minusses (you decide which is which):
- you're either insane or pretty darn sure you and God are on the same page...trust me I'm not insane :).
- you have many opportunities to test your own inner call and then within community in an authentic manner.
- you have plenty of time to doubt and cry and wonder at your own insanity (oops - that's right I'm not insane) at why anyone would put themselves through this. The closest analogy I have is that it's a bit like when you decide to join the military and then you go through boot camp and come out a different person for it.
- After discernment, either way - you finally know, and can finally move on/in to the next part of the journey.
- Living in constant ambiguity, and in some ways we are all always living with this; the constant letting go.
- Other people control your fate, and this is all done within a group where you've been asked to expose deep parts of yourself...and then knowing there's that chance you will be rejected.

There's more but, I'm done, I've exhausted my list for now. I'm reading a book by Kushner based on the life of Moses. About having dreams crushed, about life not turning out as you had planned, and how will you choose to respond when life deals you these opportunities.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Leo Wants You to Vote

This is a really good Voting PSA. Here's the link: http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-us&from=MSNHP, then select "Leo want you to vote".

Monday, September 29, 2008

Musings



If my wardrobe spoke it said for months blue
Now some days it speaks of red over top underneath yellow or orange

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

If I could change the world I would start with I
If I could give you everything I would start with myself

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

If I could get lost in the laughter of myself
Would it take me to the center of God

Thursday, September 25, 2008

There's things and there's things

My secular world is still stressful. The wife and I spoke with our children's principal - apparently there's a particular group of boys who single out one or two kids each school year to bully, and for whatever reason they've choosen our son. I don't really want to talk about it more then that, other then to say so far so good.

I've been sick, so I haven't put my extra hours in this week - but my body is thankful for the break.

My church world is flourishing. I have some "show myself off points" coming up - I give my first greeter training in a few weeks. Then towards the end of October I'll teach my first ever Sunday school class; the last part of a 3 part class. At least I hope these will be "show myself off points". Prayers that I'm not a complete idiot in front of my fellow congregants.

On a car pool ride to a training (2-ish hours away) I needed to take as did this person; I discovered that they too are discerning for ordained ministry so it was really nice to talk to someone who is within this same sort of space.

I know I passed initial unspoken muster...so, here's to one day each day many steps towards...the just maybe; and that my secular world will become safe and less turbulent.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Surly - The word of the day

Disclaimer: don't read if you don't want to hear about someone struggling with class prejudice.

I just signed up yesterday for Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day...and it's poetic that the first word I get describes my mood right now:

surly (adj): 1 : menacing or threatening in appearance. *2 : irritably sullen and churlish in mood or manner : crabbed.

I am feeling definition #2 - churlish, crabbed. I'm struggling with my feelings about my neighborhood, the children in this neighborhood (and hence within the school), the children's parents or lack thereof, and Burlington liberal bullshitters.

Burlington has a beautiful veneer that hides the rot underneath. Yesterday the kids were out front playing with their basketball, my son came in to get something and then went right back out. In that short span of time, two boys walk by and ask my daughter for her to give them the basketball. She told them no, and luckily they left her alone. And on top of that, a boy at after-school care punches my son, and he reacts - but do the people watching over them see the first incident - no, of course not - they see my son react. I walk up to hear some guy talking shittily to my son - and come to find out he's a teacher at the school. This guy did apologize to me - not to both me and my son though, it still has me pissed off.

We need to move - but we can't afford any of the other places, and the ones we can afford are just tiny crap boxes.

I keep thinking that perhaps God is challenging my own liberal beliefs. Can I walk my own talk, can I see beyond the stereotypes so beautifully choreographed in my daily living? Can I love these people? And I have to be honest - not yet. I just can't seem to like let alone love people, be they adults or kids, who fuck with my family.

I'm just not used to living in a space where people really don't care about one another, they don't look out for each other...I don't want to embrace this culture - I miss San Antonio. I never felt unsafe in SA, but the wife and I don't feel safe here.

And I think I'm most upset, because I'm worried about what affect this place will have on my kids (on me). My daughter already modeled some of my words spoken in anger about the people who stole their soccer ball right in front of them - those people are assholes. So the daughter used that same word on the two boys that tried to take her brother's basketball on them - and she even did so with smarts...she waited until they couldn't hear her. I'm worrying about my own modeling of my(re)actions.

So, I've had to remind my children (which isn't a bad thing - just makes me sad) what to do when someone is doing something they don't like; what to do if they're being hurt.

We've had to talk about the demographics of our neighborhood and what it means to live in a poor neighborhood where parents and kids don't respect other people and things. That just because we see these things and these types of behavior does not make it ok.

I wonder at what my kids think about all the talking they've been doing in school (weeks of this now) about being good citizens and community builders. Cause what's being talked about is not being modeled in most homes, nor apparently by the teachers who teach it.

I keep wondering why I seem to only get a small amount of time to live in the moments here that feel good. Like I'm not allowed to get comfortable, maybe there's something I'm being pushed towards that I wouldn't seek out otherwise.

And then I start asking myself if I can really do 2 years of this when it's only been 4 months. My God, what if somehow it extends out past 2 years? Is the price I'm asking them to pay, for me to pursue my calling not selfish? Is this fair? Is it worth it? I want to scream at these people - can't you just live in community together! Don't you understand what that means, what it can mean!

If you made it this far thanks for listening to me rant.

Friday, September 12, 2008

And the Season Begins

The last fews days have been spiritually filling and physically draining by the end of the day...but, I wouldn't trade them for anything.

The past weekend was Start Up Sunday and start up things have. This week: I went to Pastoral Care training (one more official training to go), I went to my first EFM class here, I had what I'll call a Greeter Lead meeting, and my first well we thought of you when this need came up. I may have to turn this one down because of the amount of time it may involve - but, I'll know more tonight; either way it felt so good to be asked for many, many reasons. The Greeter Lead meeting was great because I got to 'show me off a little bit'. Meaning I was just me, and I was relaxed, and we shared stories, and it was just really nice...and mentor priest said randomly that she was really happy that I was here.

Then we went to the children's open house last night, and we really do like our children's teachers, and knowing more about what's coming up in the next weeks and the overall objectives for the year made me feel better. Though the wife and I are still going to need to supplement the children's learning. Our old school district was really good, and we've discovered that because of this our kiddos are quite abit ahead, and we'd like them to stay ahead.

The wife and the kiddos are really enjoying their evenings together. The wife gets home most days at 4pm and with the kids going to bed a little later, they have more time together. Both kiddos are really enjoying soccer this year - it's a six week season - and we were quite suprised that Sonshine not only likes the game (which he used to not like at all) but is also excelling at. Princess still kicks soccer booty too. The wife really likes her job because as she says, "I'm so relaxed at work...people show up, are happy to be there, and I get to leave on time."

So life is good, and when I start to feel the roller coaster ride start to take that downward slump - I really need to hold onto these moments.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Bishop of Vermont's Views on Lambeth

I should have been reading his statements in "real time" but I just went over to the Diocese website and read what he posted nearly daily while at Lambeth. It's lengthy and if you want to read it in date order then start at the bottom:
http://www.dioceseofvermont.org/AnglicanCommunion/Lambeth2008/ElyLambethNotes.html

The winning log for the General Convetion has been picked - I like it and the spirit the convetion would do good to embody - Ubuntu. You can see and read about it here: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_100399_ENG_HTM.htm

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

Letting Go of Doubt and Holding on to Hope

Letting Go of Doubt and Holding on to Hope

I'm not at all certain this community will see in me what my last community saw. But then I ask myself, if this community can't see "it", then it was no call at all. And then I wonder if that is correct thinking.

Should not call transcend place? But these places/spaces are so very different; very different missions. In some ways they are the yin and yang of each other - one is so firmly spiritually and familial centered (it is a beautiful thing it behold), the other is outward focused social justice oriented without that sense of familial. There's loyalty and commitment - perhaps this sense will change come September when the usual flow of the church begins. If I could but meld the too - what a sight to behold.

I need to hold them both within - remember and honor both spaces...the comparing must stop.

I hold on to: I can only be me, I don't really know how to be anything else. But, that good old doubt - will it be enough, do I want this too much...is that wrong...I admitted to (whom I will now try to reference as mentor priest) mentor priest that I was starting to wonder if I got it all wrong, did I get this wrong, then I sighed, smiled, and said perhaps I should give myself a break, give myself some credit [thank you alt - those words have stuck with me].

Without going into details - and this is my sense of things; I'm going to have to prove myself. I'm going to have to exude confidence and leadership. I'm going to have to exude priestly precence (this is totally my thinking). I've got to walk the walk, and talk the talk...oh my how silly this sounds...I can only be me - and will that be enough. I have leadership (the wife assures of that I have), but the way I lead may not be considered leadership. Confidence may sink me...it is my achilles heel. I am confident when I am completely comfortable. It's when I'm not that will require working on...not letting anyone sense that I'm not feeling confident at the moment.

I had thought the roller coaster of emotions would stop once here...I think unfortunately (at least for me) this is a part of my process, a part of my journey. I am the rock and the doubter.

Friday, August 29, 2008

pplllll and such

The kid's first week of school went very well only 41 more left.

Met with head pastor - if i was hoping for warm gushing fuzzies they went missing - but i suppose luke warm will do.

EMing again this Sunday - ugh.

Next week the schedule from continual hell starts.

perservance is a dirty word for f***ing sucker.

sigh 669 days more of this - but hey it's evenly divided by 3 to equal 223 in case you were interested.

where is god in all this - perhaps waiting for my poopy attitude too change.

but you know it's been a shit week when even the wife gets worn down.

where is god in all this...where is god in all this...where is god in all this... Hello, HAL do you read me, HAL...Affirmative, Dave, I read you...Open the pod bay doors, HAL...I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that...What's the problem...I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do...What are you talking about, HAL...This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it...I don't know what you're talking about, HAL...I know you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen...Where the hell'd you get that idea, HAL...Dave, although you took thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Got my first EM here under my belt

I had originally been asked to EM on the 24th, then told I didn't need to and could I EM on the 9/7 - I said sure. But then I got an email from someone else asking if I could do altar guild after the 10 o'clock service. I said I could, and then I got to thinking...and realized that something must have gone wrong with the EM schedule. So I showed up early for the 10 o'clock service just in case...and lo I was EMing that day and not on 9/7.

So, I asked an EM who was there to walk me through the paces one more time - my training had been a month ago, and how they EM here is very differnet from how I EMed back in the land of tejas. And could she please show me how to loop the rope around my waist. During all this my kiddos kept coming back into the vesting area...you could her the nervousness in my voice, but I was still thoughtful as I said, "[Daughter's name], I'm sorry but I can't give you my full attention right now." Then the priest suggested they go back to the pews...and then they showed up two more times, and finally I said they "Well, I don't care if Mimi said you could come back here - you need to go back to your pew and stay there." In an annoyed but not angry voice.

Note: The deacon, priest, and EM all sit in together behind the altar.
While one of the hymns was playing the priest whispered - did you know the Bishop is here? (pause) Umm, no. During another hymn the priest whispered - I see 8 cleregy in the pews. Sweat starts to appear on my forehead.

I made two slight mistakes...my first was that I started to slightly raise when the priest rose - but only she was supposed to rise. And the second was when I took the prayer book from the altar when it should have stayed on the altar. So when it was needed - thankfully, me and the preist returned to the altar with said book so it didn't look too obvious.

I felt really comfortable during The Word of God, and then really nervous during The Great Thanksgiving, because I didn't know exactly where my body needed to be. Then during communion I felt super relaxed again. Maybe I'll video tape the next service...it's so easy to fall into the flow of the service in the pews, that I forget to keep watching the altar to see what/where the EM is.

But, overall - it went really well. The priest said I did really good for my first time up there, and she'd have told me if I'd need to work on something. And later I got two unexpected...it was so nice to see you up there, you looked really good up there.

Now, here's to EMing getting easier each time I'm up there.

And now for the random:
The only other thing on my mind is that perhaps I need to exercise restaint in conversation. The couple who gave me the compliment then said something that I can't even remember now (I'm going to have to ask the wife) and then I blurt out in pure enthusiasim and excitement, Thank You, I want to be like [Priest X]. And I'm here so I can discern. Ah sigh...don't call me sauve nor subtle :-)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mariza - Barco Negro



Mariza's Official Website: http://www.mariza.com/

I instantly thought - whoa Sinead in espanol or err portuguege.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Leaks

The below come from the blog Telling Secrets:
http://telling-secrets.blogspot.com/

"A letter by Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Common Cause Partnership, to Bishop Gary Lillibridge of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas has been made public. In that letter, dated August 11, Bishop Duncan put in writing concerns of the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, Quincy and other members of the Common Cause Partnership caused by the suggestions of the Windsor Continuation Group for dealing with divisions in the Anglican Communion. Bishop Duncan had initially shared these concerns with those present at the Lambeth Conference of Bishops.

The August 11 letter was forwarded with permission by Bishop Lillibridge to members of the Windsor Continuation Group and subsequently leaked to liberal activists and published online and via email on August 18."

THIS NEXT PIECE COMES FROM The Common Cause Partnership:
http://www.united-anglicans.org/stream/2008/08/concerns-windsor-continuation.html

"A letter by Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Common Cause Partnership, to Bishop Gary Lillibridge of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas has been made public. In that letter, dated August 11, Bishop Duncan put in writing concerns of the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, Quincy and other members of the Common Cause Partnership caused by the suggestions of the Windsor Continuation Group for dealing with divisions in the Anglican Communion. Bishop Duncan had initially shared these concerns with those present at the Lambeth Conference of Bishops.

The August 11 letter was forwarded with permission by Bishop Lillibridge to members of the Windsor Continuation Group and subsequently leaked to liberal activists and published online and via email on August 18.

“I am happy to publicly acknowledge this letter and my description of the concerns we in the Common Cause Partnership have about the proposals of the Windsor Continuation Group. Nonetheless, it is disturbing to discover that at least one member of the Windsor Continuation Group, a body that is supposed to be working for reconciliation in the Anglican Communion, so quickly leaked private correspondence in an attempt to gain some passing political advantage,” said Bishop Duncan.
The full text of the letter follows:

Dear Gary,
It was very good to be with you at Lambeth. I especially appreciated the time we spent together looking at the relationship between the Common Cause Partners and the Communion Partners, as well as considering issues that are before the WCG.

I thought that you might appreciate hearing from me about concerns the approach of the WCG has caused for me and for all the Common Cause Partners.

The WCG proposes “cessation of all cross-border interventions and inter-provincial claims of jurisdiction.” There are at least four serious problems with the thinking surrounding the work of the Windsor Continuation Group in this regard.

The first difficulty is the moral equivalence implied between the three moratoria, a notion specifically rejected in the original Windsor Report and at Dromantine.

The second is the notion that, even if the moratoria are held to be equally necessary, there would be some way to “freeze” the situation as it now stands for those of us in the process of separating from The Episcopal Church. The three dioceses of Pittsburgh, Quincy and Fort Worth have taken first constitutional votes on separation with second votes just weeks away. We all anticipate coming under Southern Cone this fall, thus to join San Joaquin. This process cannot be stopped — constitutions require an automatic second vote, and to recommend against passage without guarantees from the other side would be suicidal.

The third reality is that those already separated parishes and missionary jurisdictions under Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Southern Cone (including Recife) will never consent to the “holding tank” whose stated purpose is eventual “reconciliation” with TEC or the Anglican Church of Canada. (It was obvious to all at Lambeth that the majorities in the US and Canada have no intention of reversing direction.)

The fourth matter is that the legal proceedings brought by TEC and ACC against many of us have been nowhere suspended by these aggressor provinces, with no willingness to mediate or negotiate though we have proposed it repeatedly, not least since Dar es Salaam.

For your information, I have written to John Chew and Donald Mtetemela in a similar way. I have also written to the Global South Primates who signed the open letter dated 3 August.

I hope this finds you well. As I pledged when we saw each other, I will do what I can to keep you informed of thinking among the Common Cause Partners, and will do what I can to see that any solutions imagined include both the Communion Partners (on the inside) and the Common Cause Partners (most of whom are on the outside of TEC, or on their way out.)

Blessings to you and yours,
+Bob"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Looking Forward to the Changing Weather

If the leaves but would turn
perhaps so would I
If the winds but would blow softly
perhaps so would I
If the color but would change
perhaps so would I

I've quite a bit of anticipation for the coming of Fall...like something deep down inside is hungry, and has waited so patiently for so long, that the continued waiting is much harder to contain.

So off with the head of logic
To walk from the heart
See from the heart
Listen from the heart

I'm excited again, and that feels good. Worried about the children; they're still struggling to get over colds. I still worry about making it here. But, it's not an all consuming thought anymore. I hope that time shows me, that all that worry was for naught you little child of small faith.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

U2 - Pop - Has me humming, and then...

...one stumbles upon...

"Will you come and follow me if I but call your name? Will you go where you don't know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known, will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?"

...and the humming shimes in...



Where Did the Week Go

I'm quite excited that it's the weekend, but where did the week go? Where has my Saturday gone...

The wife works today - boo; I did my "extra, extra" work today as well; the kiddos are trying to rest to get over their colds.

Later today, we'll try on our full winter kits - perhaps I'll post pics - depends on how cute we look ;-)

I've installed GIMP, and the help files - very nice freeware. Got to put OpenOffice.org Draw to work today. OpenOffice is MS Office but free and then some things. So as I can I work using the new tools into my everyday, but that's been slower going.

The highlight for today will be bringing home Vietnamese take-out home for dinner.

Well, off to do some honey-do items.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have Spiritual Direction Monday - sigh - I don't have a clue what I'll talk about...let the spirit guide me eh.

Reading Interior Castles and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Jesus for the Non-religious.

There's two things about Burlington I'll never come to like:
there are zero after-school-programs in place the week right after school lets out, and the two weeks after school begins...it just doesn't make any sense to us;

people have come to think that it's ok for their salaries to be totally out of whack with the cost of living.

I still miss home...I thought this place could become home, but I don't know...it's pretentious, it thinks it's this great place for families to be - but it's an illusion only the rich here can afford.

Maybe I'm wrong, but SA didn't pretend to be more then it was - Home of the Spurs, and working class people, though I imagine with the rapid growth the dynamics of the city will change.

I've never been a nothern girl, I'm a mid-western suburban motown sa-town y'all kinda girl and perhaps "they" don't know what to make of me either.

I keep catching myself counting down to when I can leave here...some of that is wanting to come to the turning point shall we say - the one way or another way.

But, when we're hiking or biking, when I can find stillness - then this place isn't so bad.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Stuborness and Pride

A little backstory - my daughter had two training wheels on her bike, but got to the point where one would normally raise the training wheels to introduce more need for the child to balance themself; however, these training wheels kept falling down back to their original starting positions. So, like it seemed to me the most logical thing to do was to remove the training wheel she depended on the most - which is what I did.

So my daughter has been pushing all summer long to take her last training wheel off her bike, and I kept resisting. So she took matters into her own hands and was trying to pull it off with all her might...at that point I caved. I got the tools, and I took the training wheel off. I tried to impart my use the curb to push off with, but alas my independent thinker would have none of it and figured out her own desired method of send off.

She is now training wheel free and an official two wheeler. I am a very proud mama.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Big Sigh of Relief

Well, I've gotten part-time employment plus side work (about 2-4 hours) which will get done most likely on Saturday mornings.

I won't be rollin in it...but neither will I be in debt...I can see the forrest again :)

Gotta run...pasta is a comin'.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Very Good Read and A Sense of Peace

So, yesterday I found a free pdf download of a book called "The One Minute Manager"...it is well worth the read, and it reads quickly. I've already finished it but will go through it again much slower. So thanks to Lee for pointing out a time management lecture that led to a reference to the book.

I have an interview tomorrow for a help people run errands, sit with them, cook for them type job...wish me luck. I'm actually pretty excited about the job - it feels like a right fit.

A co-worker of mine has some work coming for me. I don't know how much nor for how long nor when exactly, but it doesn't matter - I won't be saying no.

If I get both of these jobs, then things will be so tight as to still grind a little, but we won't go into debt - at least that's my hope.

We're adjusting, I'm adjusting...I'm finally at the point where the thought of all this doesn't reduce me to tears. I'm finally able to say, and mean it - I haven't come all this way, given up my family's home, moved them away from family, just to quit upon arrival. "This" will not be my brick wall.

I've gotten to this place with the help and love of my family and friends - all I can say is thank you, and maybe one day I can give back what you've given to me.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Bluck! What is that nasty tast in my mouth...

Why it's the Windsor Consultation Group. And for those of you in Tejas...sigh...is there hope?

Check out this link: http://inchatatime.blogspot.com/2008/08/flock-abandoned.html, which led to this link: http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/lambeth_conference/live_breaking_windsor_group_re.html

Which led to me feeling those feelings that I do about a particular bishop...must unclench teeth now. Which led to a google search on said bishop, perhaps you'll find it interesting as well.

I must let go...I must let go...I must let go...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

I watched the whole thing - it's a bit over an hour long.



A friend sent me this link...I have great friends.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Busy Weekend Ahead

We've quite the weekend ahead.

Saturday is the annual summer "Rumble" for the neighborhood I live in. Then later in the day is Evensong and I'm ushering for the first time.

Sunday is early church for me, help with altar guild, then later in the day a bowling birthday party for the kids; plus a potluck dinner with fellow 'down the blockers' at one of our nieghbor's house.

I'm pretty excited about all the visiting and getting to know one another.

I'm slowly giving to God my worries and letting him keep them...I realized what some of my lessons are right before I feel asleep but, chuckle, it's fuzzier now...something like even in suffering there is beauty...the other lesson is about recognizing wants vs needs. Though finding a second job so we can pay for healthcare is definitely a need and not a want.

My wife was catching up with one of her friends, and she summed it up best - when I'm not worrying about money, I really like it here.

I told my wife I'm willing to struggle and work two jobs during this time of waiting to be able to start the process, and then go through the process - but if after two years and the call isn't affirmed, and we're still struggling, then I don't think we'll stay here. Not because we don't like the space, but because I'll have so little time with my family.

And there in a nutshell is the sum of my worries - the only other thing on my mind of late is that back in Tejas I was the 'chatty one', the one people approached, but here it's my wife who's approached and chatty.

Anyways, hope y'all are having good weeks.

p.s. I highly recommend "The Invention of Hugo Cabret". It's an amazing childrens' book, which I read from start to finish last night (all 550 pages of it).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Voices of Witness: Africa

There's an excellent video at this link: http://www.integrityusa.org/lambeth2008/index.html
entitled, "Voices of Witness: Africa"

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Poem

If I knew which way you were headed would I still follow?
Would that I should have preferred the mystery

Not that much has been relieved, well of you that is
What I’ve seen so far, ah memories long past slumbering no more

If I knew which way you were headed would I still follow?
Would that I should have preferred the mystery

Ah but that too is not so true, I’m impatient with these struggles and would have preferred to skip the lessons

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gene Robinson's Blog About Lambeth

I stumbled upon this link on another persons' blog: http://www.canterburytalesfromthefringe.blogspot.com/

It's worth reading.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pics from around town and Pride

Some pics from around town and two pictures from Pride. It was a small parade, but hey at least they had one.








Sunday, July 13, 2008

Home Haircut Results...

...well, a bit shorter than I would like, so the wife is going to get a couple of clippers 2 or 3 sizes bigger. I had her cracking up when toward the end I said I felt like a big hairy man. I had my eyes closed and all I could feel was all this hair coating my arms and neck.

So here's the results...




untitled

please take this brick from my chest, pinned
please wipe away these tears from my eyes, sorrow
please

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Some breathes of fresh air

The Church of England voted and affirmed that women may be bishops: here's a link to a blog with a summary of events: http://telling-secrets.blogspot.com/2008/07/cofe-synod-motion.html.

The Prebyterian church has lifted its ban on lesbain and gay ordinations, for an article about this, here's a link: http://newchurchrevolution.googlepages.com/news#Delete%20B.

I hope that this wave of inclusion has enough energy behind it to bring positive changes to Lambeth and the General Convention.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I think I lost my feet a mile ago

It's been a good weeknd so far. Thursday was a rough day all-round, but life goes on. The wife's bike was stolen from our backyard - our fault in some ways; it hadn't been chained up. While reading stories to the kids we think we saw who may have taken the her bike because the 10-12 year old walked into our backyard and proceeded to look under the tarp (we keep the bikes covered) at which point the wife went back there to ask him what he was doing. To which he grunted nerviously and walked away. I would have followed but I was in jammies and had been napping lightly so was abit disoriented. Later, the wife and daughter went to Battery Park to watch the fire wokrs that night - we don't know why they don't have the fire works on the 4th. While son and I stayed home because he got hisself grounded.

Friday we went to a state park about 20 minutes away and had a blast navigating the twisting rocky, rooty, and many a stair pathways with a brief stop by the beach with the dogs. A good time was had by all.

We started today off with a walk in the wrong direction to a local bike shop - about 30 minute walk - at least it was nice out. After lunch we walked to the waterfront cause we told the daughter and son they could swim, but when we saw were they took us - we were both like eewww, no way. So we walked the bike path to a relatively nearby beach, and had a good time in the water. The walk back was exhausting - it took us 40 minutes to get home, but at least we were hot :-) Though I think everyone's necks are now sunburnt.

Tomorrow is church and I think lounging; we may try to go the right direction to the local bike shop.

All told we probably walked 12 miles so far this weekend.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Poem

I see you inverted like my eyeballs do,
Only my brain corrects the inversion,
I think perhaps I’d rather awhile it didn’t, and
Instead left you upside down
Perhaps if we hung that way, the conversation
would flow more easily
Maybe this would remove those horrid notions, of you know,
how things ought to be

Friday, June 27, 2008

Video of My Walk to Work

Here's my walk and/or bike ride to work.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Walked to Work

I walked to work this morning, it's a doable walk if I don't feel like riding my bike, and when riding my bike won't be an option any longer - ya know snow drifts :)

The mornings are almost always sunshine and soft. I'd catch peeks of the lake, and I'm continually surprised by how it looks faded from far away but up close the waters are deep blue-grey.

I did meditate last night, and it was good for me. But, there's a restless unease that isn't going to settle until certain things fall into place. I keep giving these worries back to God...when it gets really bad I image returning to how things were. I'm not really ready to go back, but the near future has me anxious.

And all shall be well, and all shall be well.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Poem

I thought I was a multitasker, but
my mind is getting strecthed to thin
competing wants and needs and holes so deep
and not just my own

I toy with skipping meditation, as I
have these last few weeks, months, days
I feel the internal tuggling the disquiet within
the need to fall into be

Sunday, June 22, 2008

So, we decided to save money on haircuts

This all started when the cheapest haircut we could find is at the beauty school - $10 for a no frills no shampoo cut. But, they don't appear to be open on the weekends, and I couldn't stand my hair on my face anymore. So, we bit the bullet and spent 20 bucks on my haircut. Mind you I used to pay $50 every 6 weeks, but, well things have changed. Afterwards when we got home - I was like honey, you could've given me this haircut for free. She looked at my head again and said "yeah, I think you're right." Then we went hunting for her hair clipper attachments, but couldn't find them - we may have goodwilled them and just don't remember.


The wife used to buzz her own head back in her college days - she was even in a gay pride calendar with buzzed hair. So, she's the official barber of the house now.



We went and ordered the Wahl 79900 Clip-N-Trim 23-Piece Complete Haircut Kit for $24.99, free shipping and a quick look back at online store they just went up $3 (go us):


Then we went and googled about cutting your own hair with clippers. So in 6 weeks we'll see how this endeavor turns out. I figure with each cut she'll get better at. And worse comes to worse (1) my hair will grow out (2) my work doesn't really care (3) I can then dye my hair some extreme color and the bad haircut will now appear to have been on purpuse (4) 3 haircuts given to our son and it will have paid for itself.

And no fear for those of you who know our daugther, we'll just be trimming her bangs and ends - no clipper cuts for her :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

So Let's Talk About the Weather

Hmm, you know mental models based on memories - deceiving, can you believe it. When I lived in Upstate NY my memories are of this sunny state, and green, and woody. But sunny often, alot even. So what does this have to do with the price of umbrellas? I applied these memories to VT; only so far, the model isn't holding. It's mostly cloudy grey without outbreaks of sunshine. I never know how to dress day to day, or even hour to hour. One hour I'm too cold - the next I'm now too hot because I added layers and the sun will display its glory and heat for oh say 15-20mins. I'm used to sun day after day after day. I miss the sun, and it's only summer. Maybe I wouldn't miss the sun so much if my cubby wasn't faced away from the windows. I see the sun at 4:30 in the morning, not when I'm really able to appreciate the glorious rays shining in. No where in the literature does it say that VT weather is like Seattle - it's a Vermonter's little secret I think. The 5 day forcast - can you guess it - I bet you can - that's right - rain and cold with outbreaks of sunshine.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Driving to Vermont Video

So, here's a short video of getting from San Antonio to Vermont.

I sound really funny on the audio, and for some reason I don't have any "day 2" or "day 3" snippets. But, hopefully it gives you a flavor.

Finally Pictures

Here's a picture of my new home and a view down the street.


Here's some pictures of where I work.



My cubby is now much more cluttered after only two weeks.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Photos Soon & Sadness

I got the photos scanned in this weekend and put together the snippets of our trip (I'm hoping it will upload ok); tomorrow is cable/internet install - so hopefully by tomorrow evening the wait will be over.

I do find that I really miss my old church, and I'm hoping once the summer is over and this church gets back into its non-summer routine I won't be so home sick for Rec. Plus all the training I took at Rec - most of it I'll have to re-take - so I can't even start back into my ministries I used to particapate in. I haven't been able to figure out their outreach ministries either - sigh; it'll just take time. But, the wife and I both agree that it will be a much slower integration into this community then we had expected. I miss my old pastor's sermons - so far the ones here are sorta academic, sorta not - so far they haven't spoken to my heart.

I hadn't prepared myself for feeling sad once I got here; but part of me is in mourning. Part of me wants to go back to how life was...but in many ways I can't - it's like God made sure to shut certain doors so that I wouldn't be able to entertain those thoughts for too long.

I need to let go of my doubt and fear...ah, the pains of settling into transitions.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Photos Next week Maybe

I may have photos next week, and possibly some video. I'm going to pass on tags until I can get my home internet up - so next round of tags - I'm in.

The few days of "oh my gosh hot" have passed and now the days are cool (brisk mornings and evenings - perfect afternoons). Also, this time of year the sunlight hours are super long - about 4:30am until 8:30ish - too cool. But total suck was winter gets here since it'll be the exact opposite.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Almost have Regular Internet

It'll be a bit still before I can catch up with everyone's blog, but we're supposed to have home internet by the end of next week.

My first day of work went well, the people are great. I rode my bike to work work today - totally cool.

It's super hot, and not having AC is making for some clammy nights. I think it's time to invest in another fan.

The wife had an interview yesterday that went really well, but the school is still interviewing and told her their process is a slow one - so keep your fingers crossed for her (and us).

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Almost Back

We've arrived safely to VT, but my computer time is pretty limited - library only gives out 30min time slots and I'm down to 4mins.

I'll catch up as soon as I can - can't wait to get our stuff, so that i can sign up for internet.

The house is quirky but nice, the kids school is super close, and biking to work is still an option :)

Hope y'all are well.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Disconnected

Well, oh my...this is going to be aweful - no checking email everyday, no checking blogs...sigh...I've a desktop computer so it's getting packed by the movers this week.

So I won't be posting until about mid-June...by then the household goods will have arrived, been mostly unpacked, and then the internet account set-up.

If I'm not totally wiped out from our six day adventure to Vermont, and the hotels have internet I might post. Otherwise, I'm hoping to use my little low tech video recorder, and maybe take some photos to post once I re-enter cyberspace.

Blessings to yo all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Daughter's First Art Award

So my daughter, who's in kindergarten, won her first art award from SHARE (Students Help Art Reach Everyone); here's a link to the organization: SHARE.

From the SHARE website:

"SHARE's primary project is to place student artwork into permanent collections. SHARE asks students to share the joy and energy of their art with the community. Sites selected are those where critical and often life changing events take place. All submitted works are exhibited at the Southwest School of Art and Craft for one week in the spring. One hundred works are selected for framing for a permanent site."

And here's the "piece de resistance"


Le Clown

Friday, May 09, 2008

Last Day

"Goodbye to Work"
The boxes are loaded into the car
The farewell lunch is eaten
The hugs and well wishes dispensed
And thus this chapter ends

As quietly as I arrived, as quietly as I left
Though I hope that the internet via email holds
some of those connections intact
But time and space away, ah the heart is fickle

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Day 3 of 5

Parking for one of the last times
It's odd walking the halls
Once so familiar now textured different
Seeing people, really seeing them
Trying to hold them that moment of clarity

I hear your leaving, where to - how come
Civil unions [pause] discernment, well
the possibility of
Your leaving without knowing
Always indrawn breath then yes

Friday, May 02, 2008

Transposing Influx

slowly the good byes begin
slowly the last of this and that end
long drive ahead packed with my most precious
onward mountains, onward cold, onward small slice of my heart

somewhere between spaces
how long the paces to the de ja vu beginning
no turning back, no repentance
onward rush, onward unavoidable, onward large slices of my heart

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What's On Your Desktop

Oh my...it's really rather sad...the default IBM display. There was a time when it was a Fall day with a red, red barn...a moon on the horizon...the house with the colors of Mexico...but alas, my work computer seems incapable of holding any image but - the default. Nor does my computer at home have anything but the default displayed. Perhaps the time has come to change the default display.

As an aside, we went up and got my new job blessed and our move to Vermont blessed this past Sunday. My pastor surprised me in a good way...he told the congregation the truth about why we were moving. So here's his big cyber "Thank You".

I'm 98% certain we've managed to find a rental home. But the deposit check goes into the mail tonight once I'm 100% certain. The wife continues to job search and interview.

And what the wife calls "sticker shock" has begun to ebb. I've had to work through some of my own "not enough money" demons. In that I grew up low middle class, and I didn't want that for my children, so I've some processing to do. Cause quite frankly the downward slide hasn't stopped yet. We'll hit the low end of the curve come seminary (assuming it comes). But, as I long as I can keep them clothed, fed, and sheltered; hopefully love will make up for the rest.

Blessings to y'all.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm...Elinor Dashwood, who's she??

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

I must admit to not having read the book, but did not want to pass up an opportunity to take a SA gang quiz.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's almost off to Vermont

Well, I got the job!!!! The guys I'll be working with are great, and the rest of the staff seems really nice as well. Everything about this visit to Vermont was different from my last experience. Plus I got to visit with a person I made contact with in VT way in the beginning of this journey, and that was pretty awesome too.

Now the planning starts, already called the movers, need to put my notice in (boss out for morning), and oh my gosh - trying to figure out COBRA insurance stuff for the two months without coverage between 2 states; this process is probably going to be the most stressful part of moving.

Thank you for the prayers and well wishes...more updates as things progress...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tibet

I recently watched a documentary about Tibet - it left me very sad...

...this wasn't the documentary but it has much of the same information:



...injustice, oppression, pain - no translation needed:


http://www.savetibet.org/

For more than 50 years the Tibetans have suffered at the hands of the Chinese government. In the last several weeks as Tibetans have stood up to their rights, thousands of Tibetans, including Buddhist monks and nuns, have been detained, arrested, interrogated or tortured and more than a hundred are reported to have been killed.

Join me and ask President Bush to stand up for the people of Tibet. The Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet need your help!

Take Action!
https://secure2.convio.net/ict/site/Advocacy?id=109&pagename=homepage

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Some Pics of Mine

I took these a couple weeks ago, and just got around to getting them developed:












Monday, April 14, 2008

Sometimes you just wanna...

There was a gathering last night at the church I go to (the group rotates its meeting places) who are GLBT Episcopals who want to bring compassion, understanding, and change to the Diocese we are apart of.

There's this one priest who is always there and does an incredible job of alienating people. T.K. called him an ego bully, and I have to agree. This is the same guy who called me a heretic.

He seems to think that the only way to get things (e.g., the bishop) to change his mind is to present the GLBT case with logic arugements...sigh...he doesn't get that it can't only be about logic. Logic by itself rarely touches the heart, and more often it is the heart that changes the mind. He refuses to validate those of us who hold the belief that change comes through giving issues a human face. He refuses to acknowledge that logic doesn't heal, but invalidates the person who is hurting - it twists and places all resposibility/blame on the person who is hurting.

Back story: T.K. is writting a letter to the bishop about her own spritual journey and the pain she sees with mine (she does not use my name in the letter), she's also hoping that people who feel the same will sign the letter. She's attempting to bring heart to the logic, she's trying to take what's happening out of the realm of the abstract and make it real. All of which she explained to the priest. And he proceeded to tell her that won't work and no deserves ordaination just because they want to. So, when he finished talking, I replied pretty angerly that the letter was about me, and that I'm not looking to "get ordained" but what makes me angery and what is wrong is that I can't even enter into the discernment process here because I'm gay.

I went up to him afterwards and said, you know I don't think I deserve to be ordained, but I do deserve the opportunity to discern, and I know that won't happen here, so I'm taking steps to be somewhere I can go through the process. I shouldn't have even wasted my energy on him - he was just insulting - I had to walk away from the guy.

What makes me most sick is that he thinks he's helping "us" - that he's a guy who really cares about being a reconciler - he's just a dickhead. Who doesn't see the harm in telling a room full of people who have suffered discrimation that their pain isn't valid, you can't tell your stories you idiots, you must use logic.

Well, he can kiss my illogical ass.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The latest news

I've discovered that 50+ work weeks kick my butt...I looked in the mirror this morning and my first thought was wow you look like shit. Maybe it'll wear off with some sun.

My telephone interview yesterday went really well. It was a very different experience from the first company. It was more like a conference call in that the company had the IT director in the room as well as the IT guys I'd be working with on the call too. Then they proceeded to first tell me about themselves, and then ask me if I had questions about them - pretty cool. The next part was typical interview stuff - tell me about what you do, how do you see that work translate into the work we do stuff. Then they told me that they're still interviewing people but I'd hear from them within the next week or so, and would I like a phone call or email (I said email since my phone will be mostly off the next two weeks since I have clients in town Monday). Even if I don't get the job - it lifted my spirits - that nice reminder that not all companies treat potential employees like doodoo.

Another position I applied for emailed to say I'm under consideration - so maybe just maybe there's hope yet.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

4 legged meme

Chrysalis Dreams memes. Meme-droid that I also am, I join the frayed:

4 Jobs:
1. I’m in the Army.
2. I’ll cash out and flip that burger.
3. Let me stock your stuff.
4. Analyze this please.

4 Movies I watch over and over:
1. Bound.
2. Fire.
3. Imagine You & Me.
4. Dancer in the Dark.

4 Places I’ve lived:
1. Michigan.
2. Korea.
3. Panama.
4. Texas.

4 People I would give a Fred Flintstone vitamin to (sorry, can’t go with the BSRITMONW option):
1. Son.
2. Daugther.
3. Wife.
4. Self.

4 People who email me regularly:
1. CareerBuilder.
2. Monster.com.
3. Lee.
4. Cousin.

4 TV shows I watch (“Fiction”):
1. Top Chef.
2. Workout.
3. Cold Case.
4. Hmmm,…

4 TV shows I watch (“Nonfiction”):
1. Top Chef.
2. Workout.
3. Nature.
4. Um,…

4 Places I’ve visited:
1. Peru.
2. Alaska.
3. Washington D.C.
4. New York.

4 Favorite foods:
1. Tacos.
2. Donuts.
3. Bananas.
4. Ice Cream.

4 “Wheres” I’d like to be right now:
1. Adirondacks, NY.
2. Burlington, VermonT.
3. Albuquerque, New Mexico.
4. New Zealand.

4 Things I’m looking forward to this year:
1. New job.
2. The return of the size 34 waist and muscles.
3. Read my pile of books.
4. Sunshine.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

a whole lotta nothin

Once empty careful what you fill with

Look how far I can stick my hand in the cracks

Tread on me lightly

Perhaps the view would be better if I lay face down

Don't pull with your arms push with your legs

Really what good is a compass without a map

What good is a map if you don't know where you are

I want to lie with the tree that fell by itself in the forest - face down

If I keep pushing maybe I'll break through

Sometimes I miss the frozen lake and the hollowing wind

Friday, April 04, 2008

A Greatful Award

San from A Life with a View awarded me with the Gratitude with Attitude Award. I'm pretty honored to be selected, though in all honesty, I don't feel worthy of the award right now.

I've been struggling lately - trying to understand what it is God wants from me. And everytime I think I've got it figured out, well things go "odd" and I begin to doubt everything.

The only thing I've stopped doubting is that the call is still there, and it doesn't seem to have changed. What feels like keeps changing is how I'm supposed to get there; and where there is, and when. I still think there's a move coming this year, but to where? The wife still feels like VTs the place, and in the beginning it felt right and good. And I need to remember that and hold on to that and be grateful for that. But, the struggle for me to find a job is wearing the luster pretty thin.

Part of the problem is my full-time job has been so emotionally and physically draining for more months then I want to count backwards to, then adding on top of that job searching, planning for all the maybes, spending time with my family, and trying to do the things that keep me feeling healthy - has quite frankly drained my reserves. Have you ever seen ground that is so dry that it splits itself apart? That's me, I just don't know how to end my own drought.

I keep reminding myself that with God's help anything is possible, I keep reminding myself to be grateful, I keep reminding myself to surrender.

I don't have 12 blogs to pass the award onto, but I do have some gratitude I'd like to share:

1. My Wife - for loving me in spite of me
2. Murat - for your friendship, for you just as you are
3. Lee - for your protectiveness, for you just as you are
4. San - for your thoughtfulness, humor, and art
5. ALT - for supporting the D4, and caring about my wife
6. A.Mc. - for her daily prayers for me and generous heart
7. J.K. - for listening to me vent and bitch
8. A.J. - for his peculiar way of showing he really does care
9. A.T. - for always lending a helping hand
10. My wife's parents - for helping us and loving us
11. T.K. (Murat's wife) - for your friendship, for speaking out
12. And to all those who have ever struggled and never quit

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Back from trip two

I keep wondering if perhaps I should hold off from posting...but...my trip was ok. The company doesn't sit on as high a horse anymore but at least it still sits on a horse ;-)

My immediate reaction once I left the building was "I just don't know" - I just don't know what they think of me, nor I of them. My next day reaction is that I spent alot of time defending myself. They're worried I won't know how to work within a small company, that I work as part of a team [I got dinged for using "we do" and not "I do"] One of the managers was a little put off that I asked what was next step in the process is, anyways...I may know something by the end of April.

I allowed myself to feel very insecure about my capabilities, so I'm feeling pretty down about the trip, the state, all of it - pretty pathetic on my part huh - so little faith. So, I told the wife she has to carry the love for the move for awhile.

The trip just wasn't what I was hoping for I guess, and I'm exhausted which doesn't help.

Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Weekend

This weekend was very nice. We had a relaxing drive up to Austin. Found the seminary without any troubles and went to Toy Joy per murat's suggestion. My daughter had the best time there - oh the possibilities. Toy Joy is chalk full of gizmos from ceiling to floor that either chlinks, klinks, or slinks.

We then went back to the seminary and buzzed our host to let him know we'd arrived. He was very nice and very helpful throughout the weekend. Everybody was super nice. So nice that the wife and I wondered if we're nice enough to be there.

When I first started out in all this walkingabout ETSS was hands down the place I wanted to go. Even after I looked at the others via internet, but then something happened and I just wasn't so sure anymore. I felt my heart struggle between wanting both ETSS and EDS, or really rather a blend of both. But, this weekend put much of that to rest. It is an amazing place, and it will be a good place for myself and my family, assuming the path brings us back this way.

I find it ironic that I have to go all the way to VT only to return to TX. A strange path indeed. But, everytime I've asked or really doubted - God says go to VT. So, I'm going or at least trying to get there.

The weekend brought with it a mix of excitement and sadness. I so very much wanted to be one of the postulants starting up this Fall. And if my bishop was not the bishop he is, it may have been so...

...the weekend brought for both my wife and I a sense of rightness, a sense of this is where we belong - just not yet...you see there's this other journey we both need to complete first.

Our journey of south to north, north to south, south to somewhere but I suspect north. Why the ying-yang, maybe to heal, to come full circle, to form[ation] in my beginning place/space. To represent but not stay, to struggle but heal elsewhere.

I just don't know yet really...just my random thoughts I've been thinking for awhile.