Wednesday, December 10, 2008

25 Random Things

1. I am a cat snuggler at the local cat shelter. My favorite little cat is now on hold for adoption.

2. I marched with the lesbians from my church at Pride. We carried our church's banner, and it was fantastic.

3. I am dating the most beautiful, amazing woman I have ever met. I am going to marry her.

4. I am a crafting fool. I made a lot of my Christmas gifts this year.

5. My girl and I read books together aloud on the phone. We're reading The Secret Life of Bees right now.

6. I hate snow. A lot. It wrecks my travel plans.

7. I have been on my church's pastoral search committee for about a year and a half. We have found a pastor and will be voting on her as a congregation on Sunday.

8. I believe I have not yet found a full-time teaching job with benefits because I needed to see the pastoral search committee through and because I needed to meet the woman of my dreams first. I believe I will find something now.

9. I am a bicycle commuter.

10. My cats had catnip for the first time ever today.

11. I am only now reading Dykes to Watch Out For. Somehow I missed this lesbian phenomenon.

12. When my girl and I move in together next June or July, we will have four cats.

13. I have been lighting candles every night because they make my house smell good.

14. I have crossed the line from slob to neat in the last month. I'm hoping it stays that way.

15. The Christmas gift I am most excited about giving a member of my family was free.

16. I loathe one of my students this semester. I have never loathed any of them before, but this guy takes the cake.

17. I hired a cleaning service to clean my house once a month. It's one of the best decisions I have ever made.

18. I have two nieces that technically are not my nieces except that I call them that. They are cute as can be.

19. I have a refrigerator full of grapefruit.

20. I really miss two friends that I saw quite a lot of around here for a while. Neither lives here anymore.

21. I have an impressive tea shelf. I am betting I have more than 20 different kinds of tea currently in this apartment. Would you like a cup?

22. I cut the hell out of my hand this morning accidentally, when I was wrapping presents. I am now wearing six band-aids, and it hurts.

23. I have discovered that I really enjoy the new tread mills at the gym because they have tvs attached to them. I have also found that I walk for an hour instead of a half-hour because I want to watch all of SVU while I walk.

24. The first gift my girlfriend gave me was a pair of socks that she had knitted for me. This was before we were even dating, but I think I loved her from at least then. I may have loved her even earlier than that.

25. The Virgin of Guadalupe fascinates me. I'd really like to wear her picture as a necklace someday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hard Things

As I mention sometimes on here, I volunteer regularly at the interfaith homeless shelter in town. It has been a hard fall there. Since the end of September, we have lost five of our guests. One, in particular, I knew quite well. His name was Terrance, although I always addressed him as Mr. His Last Name. It just seemed right to do that. Mr. F had been at the shelter for as long as I can remember. He spent many a night in what we call the "drunk tank," or "inner sanctum" in more polite terms, not because he was drunk but because he was occasionally drunk and could not cope with changing the location of his sleeping place on the nights when he did need to be in the drunk tank. It was just easier on him to sleep there all the time. Mr. F would also get very upset if, in their drunken unawareness, one of the other men in the room would inadvertently roll into his traditional spot. He could not cope with sleeping in a place other than the one he always slept in. For those familiar with Aspberger's, this should be a familiar symptom. I always had a fondness for Mr. F because he reminded me a little bit of my cousin, who has Aspberger's, as well. I never knew Mr. F's story. I never asked. I find people will tell me if they want me to know. Many do. I received an email earlier this week from the director of the shelter. In it, she talked about the five men who have died, and I was startled and saddened to see Mr. F's name on the list. I have since found out that he died a very tragic and unnecessary death, the kind that keeps me coming back to the shelter because it is the only thing I can do to keep it from happening again. Tomorrow, I will be attending Mr. F's funeral as conducted by the non-homeless community, which will be very different from the one next week conducted by those who knew and appreciated Mr. F. Since I will not be in town for the second funeral, I am going to the first. I wonder if I will see his family there. I wonder if he had any family. I wonder what we could have done differently to keep him off of the street in the first place. Most of all, I wonder what we will do now. There is often much talk of change within the community after a tragedy like this. It never lasts long. My prayer is that this time, the conversation will not end.

Here & Now
by Mark Erelli

Cobblestone pillow
Newspaper sheets
Ten below zero
Sleeping on the street

Someday we all will have a home
A place to come in from the cold
Somewhere so high above the clouds
Why not here
Why not now

Pastures of plenty
For the tired and poor
Still too many hands empty
Behind the golden door

Someday we all will live the dream
There'll be no cracks to fall between
Somewhere where everyone will have enough
But here and now
It's up to us

Someday we all will be at peace
And all of our suffering will cease
There's more than enough to go around
Why not here
Why not now

Rest in peace, Mr. F. May you be the last to die on the street.

Monday, November 17, 2008

How many texts​ are in your inbox​?​

Who was the first​ perso​n you talke​d to today​?​
Zoe (this is what I'm going to call my girl)

Have you ever dated​ a socce​r playe​r?​

Do you tell your mom every​thing​?​

Have you ever done somet​hing outra​geous​ly dumb?​

Do you hate the last girl you had a conve​rsati​on with?​
No! I'm in love with her.

Do you delet​e peopl​e off your MySpa​ce?​

What are your initi​als?​

When was your last encou​nter with the polic​e?​
um, I saw a police car on the way home?

Do you like your name?​

Do you care if your socks​ are dirty​?​
um, yes

How many windo​ws are open on your compu​ter?​

How tall are you?

Which​ one of your cousi​ns is close​st to you in age?

Will you be in a relat​ionsh​ip next month​?​
I sure hope so :) I'm planning on it. I love her an awful lot :)

Love reall​y is a beaut​iful thing​,​ huh?

How are you feeli​ng at this exact​ momen​t?​
a bit worried about Zoe. She is feeling sick this evening. And tired. We're both tired, I think.

What'​s the conne​ction​ betwe​en you and the last perso​n you text?​
I don't text.

What does your hair look like today​?​
clean? I didn't do much else with it.

Is there​ anyon​e who doesn​'​t like you?

How long does it take you to showe​r?​
15 minut​es or so

If you could​ have one thing​ right​ now what would​ it be?
I would go visit Zoe and make sure she is okay.

Have you ever falle​n aslee​p in someo​nes arms?​
yes, just recently

Who is the last perso​n that calle​d you?

What if you had a baby with the last perso​n of the oppos​ite sex you hugge​d?​
that would be weird. he's 70, and we're both gay.

Do you still​ talk to the perso​n you fell harde​st for?
yes. I'm in a relationship with her right now.

Do you prefe​r to take showe​rs at night​ or in the morni​ng?​
either way

Do you hate the last perso​n you kisse​d?​

Have you ever been depre​ssed?​

Are you any good at math?​

When was the last time you had starb​ucks?​

Anyth​ing you want to ask someo​ne?​

Where​ were you last night​ at midni​ght?​

Have you lost frien​ds in the past year?​
I hope not.

Who do you tell every​thing​ to?
Zoe and my sister

What are you feeli​ng right​ now?

Are you missi​ng someo​ne?​

Do you wear your feeli​ngs all over your face?​

Is there​ a guy that knows​ every​thing​ about​ you?
no. Josh knows me best, though.

Do you like surpr​ises?​

Do peopl​e under​estim​ate you?
sometimes. they assume that quiet equals slow.

Do you hate being​ alone​?​

In the past week have you felt sad?
I've been incredibly happy the last week or so.

Last perso​n you texte​d?​
don't text

What are you liste​ning to?
Golden Girls​

Name somet​hing that made you frown​ today​:​
Zoe being sick. I hope she feels better soon.

Did you give anyon​e a dirty​ look today​?​

Do/​did you do good in schoo​l?​

If you could​ pack up and move,​ would​ you?
in with Zoe? yes.

When'​s the last time you said you were fine,​ but reall​y weren​'​t?​
a few weeks ago.

What perso​n annoy​s you most?​
not really any one person that comes to mind.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I have met the girl of my dreams. I have been chatting with her online and on the phone for about three months. I met her in person last weekend. She's amazing, and she's beautiful. She is smart and kind and compassionate. She wants the same things in life that I do. I think she's the one. We have quirky things in common, like the fact that we both like to take walks in cemeteries. And she makes up ridiculous far-fetched stories about her cats, just like I do. And she has for years, not just since she met me. She laughs a lot, too, which is so nice. I haven't ever dated anyone who is so passionate and hilarious. We are officially in a relationship. I don't think I have ever been so happy. She even sent me flowers yesterday. Those who I know in real life are welcome to request pictures and/or details.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I love these, and I now have iTunes.

My life, according to iTunes shuffle:

Opening Credits: Drag King Bar, Bitch and Animal
Waking Up: No Estaba Acostumbrado, Don Tetto
First Day at School: Fidelity, Regina Spektor
Falling in Love: Oye Como Va, Santana
Losing Virginity: American Pie, Don McLean
Breaking Up: Preacher's Daughter, Michelle Malone
Life: Hold It All at Bay, Girlyman
Mental Breakdown: It's the End of the World as We Know It, R.E.M.
Flashback: All for You, Sister Hazel
Getting Back Together: Maybe, Janis Joplin
Wedding: A Horse with No Name, America
Final Battle: I Will Follow You into the Dark, Deathcab for Cutie
Death Scene: Money Made You Mean, Indigo Girls
Funeral Song: One Week, Barenaked Ladies
End Credits: I'm Sticking with You, Velvet Underground

Friday, August 15, 2008

"Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that people are poor--all know something of poverty; not that people are wicked--who is good?; not that people are ignorant--what is truth? . . . but that we know so little of each other." --W.E.B. Debois

Monday, June 16, 2008

In Serious Need of Funds

For those of you who don't know, I volunteer weekly at a local homeless shelter. As of tonight, that shelter is seriously hurting, due to lack of funds. Until this year, the shelter has been only a winter shelter, but we opened our doors in November with the intent never to close them. Unfortunately, we have seriously had to limit our hours beginning at the end of the month, as well as cut back staffing, because there is simply no money to keep the doors open as long as we would like.

If you have been watching the news, you will have heard about the foreclosure rate in the United States. With the economy being as bad as it is, people are losing jobs and they are losing their homes. These are many of the people we are serving at this shelter. Many of them are homeless for the first time. Many of them have small children. Many of them are still working full-time. Right now, we house 115-140 people each night. That is astronomical.

Because I know those of you who read my blog are generous people, many in prayer as well as finances, I am asking that you consider helping the people who stay at this shelter. I am providing a link. Your donations are tax deductible. We also appreciate any prayers and/or good wishes you can spare.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Fun :)

Put your iTune​s on shuff​le or whate​ver and recor​d the resul​ts.​

Don'​t cheat​!​

What do peopl​e assum​e when they first​ look at me?
Song:​ Girl
Artis​t:​ Rose Polenzani​

What will be a big chall​enge in life for me?
Song:​ More Love
Artis​t:​ Dixie Chicks

Am I a good boyfr​iend/​girlf​riend​?​
Song:​ Let Your Troubles Roll By
Artis​t:​ Carbon Leaf

How will I die?
Song:​ All the Way
Artis​t:​ Indigo Girls

Is someo​ne tryin​g to kill me?
Song:​ Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Artis​t:​ Joan Baez

What shoul​d I do inste​ad of this quiz?​
Song:​ A Home
Artis​t:​ Dixie Chicks

What is a bad habit​ that I shoul​d try to stop?​
Song:​ Preacher's Daughter
Artis​t:​ Michelle Malone

What'​s for dinne​r tonig​ht?​
Song:​ Lil Jack Slade​
Artis​t:​ Dixie Chicks

How does the world​ see me?
Song:​ One Voice
Artis​t:​ Wailin' Jennys

Will I have a happy​ life?​
Song:​ Living Room
Artis​t:​ Tegan and Sara

What do my frien​ds reall​y think​ of me?
Song:​ Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Artis​t:​ Indigo Girls

Do peopl​e secre​tly lust after​ me?
Song:​ Broken
Artis​t:​ Seether and Amy Lee

How can I make mysel​f happy​?​
Song:​ When I'm with a Girl

What shoul​d I do with my life?​
Song:​ Kryptonite
Artis​t:​ Three Doors Down

Why is life full of so much pain?​
Song:​ All that I Want​
Artis​t:​ The Weepies

How can I get riche​r?​
Song:​ Drops of Jupiter
Artis​t:​ Train

Will I ever have child​ren?​
Song:​ Heart-Shaped Box
Artis​t:​ Nirvana

Will I die happy​?​
Song:​ I'm Gonna Be
Artis​t:​ The Proclaimers

What is some good advic​e for me?
Song:​ Jonas and Ezekial
Artis​t:​ Indigo Girls

What is happi​ness?​
Song:​ Underdog
Artis​t:​ Lisa Loeb

What is my favou​rite fish?​
Song:​ Second Hand News
Artis​t:​ The Greencards

How will I be remem​bered​?​
Song:​ Wild Night​
Artis​t:​ Van Morrison

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

A hymn from the UCC hymnal:

We cannot own the sunlit sky, the moon, the wild-flowers growing,
For we are part of all that is within life’s river flowing.
With open hands receive and share the gifts of God’s creation,
That all may have abundant life in every earthly nation.

When bodies shiver in the night and weary wait for morning,
When children have no bread but tears, and war horns sound their warning.
God calls humanity to awake, to join in common labor,
That all may have abundant life, oneness with their neighbor.

God calls humanity to join as partners in creating
a future free from want or fear. Life’s goodness celebrating,
that new world beckons from afar, Invites our shared endeavor
that all might have abundant life and peace endure forever.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Movies that Made the List

and I'm open to more ideas since I'll be using this project again.

Movie List

Hotel Rwanda
Schindler’s List
Super Size Me
The Mission
The Eleventh Hour
An Inconvenient Truth
Real Women Have Curves
The Constant Gardener
V for Vendetta
Control Room
X Men 2
Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace
Fog of War
The Killing Fields
Children of Men
Good Night and Good Luck
Pay It Forward
Motorcycle Diaries
Hearts and Minds
Dead Man Walking
Brokeback Mountain
Flags of Our Fathers
Letters from Iwo Jima
Blood Diamond
City of God
As the Band Played On
Stories from the Quilt
Follow My Voice
The Devil Came on Horseback
North Country
Last King of Scotland
Joy Luck Club
Gangs of New York
The Pianist
American History X
King Arthur (recent movie)
American Gangster
The Godfather
The Kite Runner
Jesus Camp
Requiem for a Dream
Pursuit of Happyness
Paper Clips
Into the Wild

Monday, April 14, 2008


Last week, I asked my English 102 movie to watch a movie that would make them think. I gave them a list that they helped make and had them pick one that they hadn't seen. They then had to respond to it on Blackboard and pose a question for the class to discuss. Then they had to answer at least two other peoples' questions. The conversations have been amazing! I have really enjoyed the maturity of thought they have put into their responses. They have discussed everything from war to conspiracy theory to discrimination to teen pregnancy. It's fabulous.

In my 102 class, I have developed a citizenship and volunteerism theme. As part of that, they have to volunteer with a nonprofit agency for at least 15 hours over the semester. Part of their writing for the class is tied in with that experience. It was rough last semester because I was still ironing out what I wanted them to be doing, what was realistic, etc. It's going quite well this semester, though. I think they are enjoying it, too. They're always skeptical at first, of course, but I think it's overall been a great experience.

My English 102 class is my favorite this semester, even better than my upper-level classes. I've really enjoyed their insights into the world.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Some Recommendations

For the Bible Tells Me So

It's a documentary about being gay and Christian. Absolutely beautiful. I cried through most of it. It simply tells people's stories and the stories of their families. As someone who has sat through many church services where I was condemned as a human being simply because of who I love, it was touching to hear from those outside my own congregation who have struggled with their faith and sexuality and come to terms with both. It was also touching to hear that their families also came to terms with both (well, except for one family). I highly, highly recommend this documentary to anyone who has ever struggled or who has known anyone who has ever struggled with being both gay and Christian. I'm sending a copy to my family.

The God Box
by Alex Sanchez

I actually haven't finished this one yet, but it is a fictionalized account of a teenage boy coming to terms with being both gay and a strong Christian. It's lovely, and it's about time something like this was written.

I Love Anne Lamott

I think joy and sweetness and affection are a spiritual path. We're here to know God, to love and serve God, and to be blown away by the beauty and miracle of nature. You just have to get rid of so much baggage to be light enough to dance, to sing, to play. You don't have time to carry grudges; you don't have time to cling to the need to be right.

--Anne Lamott

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More Updates

Today is my birthday. I'm 28 :)

I have decided to adopt Mr. Cat, who is featured below. I'm trying to decide on a name and am grateful for any and all input. Some possible names: Willoughby, Sirius Black, Gatsby, Clyde, Kipling, and Mr. Darcy. I am praying that he and Ms. Emily get along well.

I have a REALLY BIG interview next week at the school I had a phone interview at a couple posts ago. This is a really good job, tenure-track and the whole nine yards. They're flying me in and putting me up because I'm a finalist. Woohoo to that. I'm hoping for the best and accepting all prayers and good wishes.

I bought a new computer. Mine was ten years old. I'm loving it and am currently sitting in a coffee shop with it. Way way way too exciting. I've never had a laptop.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What Would You Name Him?

Isn't he adorable? I met him yesterday. I think I'm going to bring him home with me. I am still of course consulting Ms. Emily (my other fuzzy) in this new development.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Smattering of Updates

I'm getting a chapbook published online! More details to follow!

I have an interview this week for a job that would be really great. It's closer to home.

I have jury duty this week (gag).

Lent starts tomorrow. My thing this year is to do one thing every day that is good for me physically, from eating right to exercising.

Tonight I'm gorging on pancakes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Oddly Accurate

your Enneagram type is NINE (aka "The Mediator")

"I am at peace"

Peacemakers are receptive, good-natured, and supportive. They seek union with others and the world around them.

How to Get Along with Me

If you want me to do something, how you ask is important. I especially don't like expectations or pressure.
I like to listen and to be of service, but don't take advantage of this.
Listen until I finish speaking, even though I meander a bit.
Give me time to finish things and make decisions. It's OK to nudge me gently and nonjudgmentally.
Ask me questions to help me get clear.
Tell me when you like how I look. I'm not averse to flattery.
Hug me, show physical affection. It opens me up to my feelings.
I like a good discussion but not a confrontation.
Let me know you like what I've done or said.
Laugh with me and share in my enjoyment of life.

What I Like About Being a NINE

being nonjudgmental and accepting
caring for and being concerned about others
being able to relax and have a good time
knowing that most people enjoy my company; I'm easy to be around
my ability to see many different sides of an issue and to be a good mediator and facilitator
my heightened awareness of sensations, aesthetics, and the here and now
being able to go with the flow and feel one with the universe

What's Hard About Being a NINE

being judged and misunderstood for being placid and/or indecisive
being critical of myself for lacking initiative and discipline
being too sensitive to criticism; taking every raised eyebrow and twitch of the mouth personally
being confused about what I really want
caring too much about what others will think of me
not being listened to or taken seriously

NINEs as Children Often

feel ignored and that their wants, opinions, and feelings are unimportant
tune out a lot, especially when others argue
are "good" children: deny anger or keep it to themselves

NINEs as Parents

are supportive, kind, and warm
are sometimes overly permissive or nondirective