Friday, June 16, 2006

You are feeling Sleeeeepy: RevGals Friday 5 (now with more WASPINESS!)

1. In what kind of environment do you sleep best? (e.g. amount of light and noise, temperature, number of pillows, breathe-right strip, sleeping in the buff, etc.)

You remember that scene in Gone with the Wind when Scarlett is standing up against that beautiful David O. Selznik sunset and vows she'll never go hungry again? Well, I had a similar moment last year, only it was about bedding. After never, ever sleeping on a good mattress --or on sheets that had a thread count higher than say, 12-- when I moved into my new apartment and position at the paper I went full metal luxe, giant hand-carved 4 poster canopy bed, silk shantung everything. In fact people stop me on the street to ask me about my bedroom (I write about it a lot in my dayjob).

Answer to the real question: nothing but nightcream

2. How much sleep do you need to feel consistently well-rested? Well, I typically go to bed around 1:00 a.m. and wake up feeling pretty well-rested around 7:45. Of course, I just get up to attend to my toilette (and let Dozer attend to his) and head back to bed to loll around for another hour.

How much can you get by on? I'm going on 4 hours right now, and I'm struggling.

What are the consequences when you don't get enough? Strangely enough, I get seasick. Also, I make poor decisions (I blame the black and gold lurex toreador outfit fiasco of 2001 on severe sleep deprivation)

3. Night owl or morning person? Night owl, definitely. In fact, the name of Grandpapa's yacht was The Night Owl*.

4. Favorite cure for insomnia? I never name names, how dare you ask? Ha. I jest. Actually, there's an amazing set of recordings done by Paul Oakenfold for a British radio station (Galaxy 101) called "Urban Soundtracks" where actors or musicians narrate tell classic stories --the Jungle Book, Treasure Island, Ben Hur-- over trance/dance music, very hypnotic. Personal favorites include Honor Blackman (aka Pussy Galore) reading "Cleopatra" and Billy Bragg narrating "Treasure Island" That'll put me right to sleep and give me lovely dreams

5. To snooze or not to snooze? Why or why not? I am emphatically pro-snooze. That way I can wake up gently. Of course, when Dozer hears the alarm go off, it's his cue to put his big drooly jowls on my face and sneeze. Refreshing!


Friday, June 09, 2006

Beyond Good and Evil

What is good and what is good for you are often similar (exercise, seedless grapes, fresh air) however what feels good and what is good for you are often not. This is by no means a revelation, people have been struggling between feeling good and being good for millenia. Probably since the first caveman snuggled under his animal skins one early morning and said "well, I suppose I could wake up and hunt that large tiger that's been trying to kill me recently; but you know it's really not so bad, besides, I'd be MUCH better at hunting if I had a few hours more sleep under my belt" (at which point he'd resolve to invent the belt so his turn of phrase would work, but not until after lunchtime)

On the otherhand something that feels bad and isn't especially good for you should be easy to avoid. Ostensibly this is why people don't go around poking themselves in the eye with nutpicks, or sticking their head in boxes filled with tarantulas (except the people on "Fear Factor" who are all clearly thumpingly mad).

Yet no matter how easy it is to avoid those awful things in theory (and by which I mean doing that which neither feels nor is good) in practice they are often nearly impossible to resist. But there is one thing stronger than both the will to seek pleasure and the will to avoid pain.


We, the smartest, most advanced species on earth (until dolphins develop thumbs) who have built machines that can sustain life in space, will keep doing something with no actual benefit or merit simply because (say it with me now) we've always done it that way; and given the chance, we will do it until it kills us.

and on that note, I'm going to spend this glorious sunny saturday at my grandparents' house, hearing about The Whippet's bowel movements.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

An open letter to my atheist/agnostic/anti-Christian pals

Christians aren't perfect. We aren't. We're not perfect individually and we're not perfect as a group. We don't --or at least shouldn't-- claim to be anything other than flawed and human. Feet in the mud, head in the clouds. You know the deal. We (and it's hard saying "we" because "Christian" covers a lot of ground considering there are just about 2 billion of us) are all failures in a sense because that's what happens when imperfect beings are given a perfect law. That's where Grace comes in, but that's a different sermon.

As y'all know --or might not know-- I was raised first pagan then atheist and, to my surprise, received The Call to ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church when I was 19. I can't explain The Call to someone who hasn't had it, except to say it's like a female orgasm; not everyone who thinks they've had one has had one, but when you know you've had one, you know.

I'm turning 27 next month and will only this fall begin serious work towards the priesthood (quick FAQ: yes we wear a collar, yes we can marry and have sex, yes we can be gay, no we don't think you're going to go to hell if you don't agree with us, yes I'd like another Scotch) which may not even turn out. Just because I say I got The Call doesn't mean I'll make it into ordained ministry.

And I don't suck.

I mean, I have done some terrible things in my life --some on purpose, most through carelessness-- but as a general rule I'd like to think of myself as a pretty decent person. I try to treat others well, I don't have problems with people who don't agree with me and I do my best to remember that old Three Legged Stool (Three legged stool = the process of Anglican decision making that says all choices should be made in light of Tradition, Scripture --which I think is a weak point because you can make the Bible say anything-- and Reason, see how Reason's in there too?) Usually I succeed, sometimes I fail.

The biggest trap that we set for ourselves as Christians --and that other people set for us-- is following Scripture. No one can follow every direction in the Bible all the time. Right now I'm wearing a cotton/linen blend. That's against the laws of Leviticus. Anyone who thinks they can collect enough Bible brownie points to get themselves into Heaven, is sorely missing the entire point of Grace.

The Fundamentalists seem to be setting themselves up for failure, or at least hypocrisy, this way. Oh, and about those Fundamentalist. I suspect that's what giving Christians a bad name. A group of misguided --though probably well intentioned-- folks. Of course, when they make some money they then become "The Religious Right."

The "Religious Right?" I suspect they represent the average Christian just about as well as Al Qaeda represents your average Muslim. Folks may hate the RR (I don't but I think they're sorely confused and not doing much of anything but shooting themselves in the collective feet) but that doesn't mean you should hate all of us. Hating or mistrusting a group of people because of the actions of a few. Isn't there a word for that?

There is no such thing as a perfect Christian --well, there was but we killed him-- the rest of us are slobs like me, wallowing towards redemption. We're not dragging gay people from church or picketing abortion clinics. We're just trying to live right, pay rent and maybe have enough money left over to see The Weary Boys and have a beer.

That's all. Peace be with You.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Trouble in mind

Why are people my age so ready to hate Christians? Like it's some sign of education to express this particular form of bigotry.
Hate a Jew? "You anti-Semite!"
Hate a Muslim? "You Ugly American!"
Hate a Christian? "How about a beer?"

I can't help but think we've done something wrong to make people think like this. Apparently "Christian" is just short hand for "stupid hate-filled bigot redneck" or "stupid hate-filled bigot rich guy."

Now, in their defense, there are a good number of stupid hate-filled rednecks and probably a fair few stupid hate-filled rich guys who call themselves Christians, but we all know that there are stupid hate-filled people all over the place, they're like Starbucks and cockroaches.

Still, how did this current vehement dislike of Christians start? More importantly, how do we battle it? Love and patience, I know, I know but what do you say when your friends start badmouthing a group of people to which you proudly belong?

It's a difficult road. I don't need to tell you.

Friday, June 02, 2006

RevGals Friday Five: Summer Blockbuster Edition

1. If you were a mutant, what ability would you like to have? (think superpower)

Not flying because my ears pop and I don't like pretzels, not mind reading because that could get very noisy, so I think maybe fluency in every language --animal and human.

2. Tell us about a memorable road trip you've experienced.
I'm a big road tripper, and the most recent memorable experience was a few weeks ago while driving from Nashville to Truth or Consequences, NM I stopped in Ozark, Arkansas to visit the old ancestral graveyard. I got busted by the fuzz. Entertaining, no?

3. Do you enjoy solving riddles and working on puzzles? If so, what kind?
I love the NYT crossword puzzles, and do them religously. Since I subscribe online I can usually finish a weekday one in about 15 minutes, if I'm wearing my smarty pants. The Sunday puzzles are a different story. Those require a dictionary, several telephone calls to my grandfather and a choice number of desultory statements about the editor's parents.

4. Take two of your phobias and combine them to make a campy horror/disaster flick. What would it be called?

"The Accidentally Chewing a Bit of Tinfoil and Having Your Teeth Fall Out While You're Trying to Talk Adventure"

5. Just how batsh*t crazy is Tom Cruise, anyway?
First, on behalf of the 2.6 million Mexican freetail bats that reside under the bridge outside my office --the world's largest urban bat colony-- I object to the derogatory use of the word batsh*t. Guano is an excellent fertilizer, and without it there are several species of plant that would never be propagated. That being said, Tom Cruise is a nutter of the highest operating order.


Not Crazy (but in need of a mani):


Not Crazy (but make sure you don't sneeze):


Not Cra...oh, who am I kidding?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Mountains of faith (and embarrassment)

So you know how sometimes you're at a party at your rector's house and someone starts taking photos? And you know how usually those photos are really unattractive and you have to go around saying things like "oh I got dressed in the dark this morning and accidentally put my face on inside out."? And then you know how sometimes one of those photos makes their way into the parish's quarterly magazine? And you get calls from friends saying "hey, you should really um…check out your picture" so you live in fear and trembling because you know, just KNOW you're going to look like a character from Spaceballs until you finally get the magazine and you flip through it and see…

Your own huge rack.

Y'all, I don't know where they came from or how they got there, but I didn't bring 'em and I certainly didn't take 'em home. The scan isn't as bad as the actual photo, wherein they look like they're fixin' to pull that sweet little bandanna-ed girl into their massive gravitational pull but still, those are not the travel-size gals I know and love.

Well, there's something to be said for making a big first impression.

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