Sunday, April 29, 2007

Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote


Oh. My. GOD. y'all don't even know.

I woke up early this morning in terrible cramping pain in my arms and my feet (and in my head, but that's because I konked it on the top bunk) and a very very sore throat. Par for the course following a long plane trip.

I got dressed in the dark and started on my walk to the Cathedral. It was raining, not really raining much but a sort of steady sprinkle and I got dripped on more from the lilacs and wisteria that seem to grow from every ledge than from the rain itself. By the time I arrived at the gate --just as the Matins were beginning-- I was feeling very sick and miserable indeed. I was sweating but chilled.

Then the matins began. There were only a handful of people, no tourists, in the quire which was much smaller than I expected to be, which was a good thing because I cried and cried and KEPT crying just out of happiness and relief and every other pent up emotion until I literally ran dry. It's a good thing I'm a quiet sobber.

After the small service I walked out very meek, not wanting to disrupt the half dozen clergy chatting in the nave. However, the tallest one came up to me and grabbed my hand --strangely the softest hands I've ever felt on a man-- and introduced himself as the dean of the cathedral (!!!). We chatted for a few moments and the upshot was that

a) he would love to have me back for one of their impossible-to-get-into summer sessions for seminarians when the time is right

b) he hoped I would come for drinks after the 11:00 Eucharist.

c) that I was to have free range of the cathedral until then.

I'm not sure what the anglican version of plotzing is, but I plotzed so hard that I barely got away before the tears started AGAIN.

The Eucharistic service was lovely (if long) and Robert (the dean) said a special welcome to all the vistors and tour groups and then he said a special welcome to ME and pointed to ME and remembered my name (which is no big surprise since the Archbishop's daughter is Rhiannon as well) and announced me as an aspiring ordinand from Texas and THEN THEY ALL CLAPPED.

PEOPLE CLAPPED FOR ME IN CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL!!!! I could not believe it. I mean, the English don't clap anyway, and I couldn't imagine anyone clapping in church. We don't even do that here. Maybe they were doing it just to be polite or to humor the Dean (who is now tied with my rector as Second Favorite Anglican Ever) but it was wonderful and I was so shocked I didn't even cry.

The service proceeded as usual, and then it was time for the reading of the new testament lesson. And it was Revelations 7 which I'd never actually heard read before. It's not one of the greatest hits

I literally gasped.

That's the verse that was written in my first bible, the one presented to me by my godmother when I was baptized after going through a hellish scene with my family about becoming a Christian.

"These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

and yep, I cried again.

Okay, only 3 minutes left on the internet. I went to drinks after the service. When they said drinks they meant it. Wine and mimosas. I had to beg the woman to let me have a plain glass of juice.

That's all for today. I'm off to The Holy Island of Lindisfarne tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Psycho Dog!

I love Thomas, my possibly intoxicated English Bulldog puppy I mentioned a few posts ago. I do, and I even let him sleep in my bed as long as he stays above the covers and doesn't drool. However, every relationship has an invisible line in the proverbial sand and last night Thomas trampled all over it. Background story? But of course.

I typically shower with the door closed and locked. Of course I live alone so it's pretty irrational, but chalk it up to having seen "Psycho" at too impressionable an age. Last night, or properly this morning since I didn't get home from my "End of The Semester Paper-Writing Jamboree" until 2:00 a.m. I threw caution to the wind and showered with the bathroom door open.

Bad idea.

See Thomas, loves two things. Water and Me. Well, three things really if you include "destroying anything Rhiannon likes or needs" and he came gallumphing into the bathroom and launched all fifty pounds of head and slobber into the tub, bringing the shower curtain crashing down and knocking down all my froofy girly stuff.

In the aftermath, with the curtain and rod around my knees and all my expensive conditioner swirling the drain there's Thomas, panting heavily and smiling up, a bottle of body wash in his jaws.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What a...

So just a quick survey. When confronted with The Most Unpleasant Church-Visitor in God's Green Garden, it's never okay to respond to a statement with the phrase "well fuck you, too" is it?

No? Well, it was worth a shot.

Every Sunday evening those of us who participate in the last Eucharist of the day gather for dinner and fellowship in the refectory. Usually it's lovely, with clergy and seminarians and just plain ole goofballs like me all sitting around a table or two, discussing whatever's on our mind.

Today we had a visitor. Usually I am all in favor for visitors because even though we're a huge parish --the 16th largest Episcopal parish in the country-- everyone should be made to feel welcome, whether they're first timers or lifers. Because I tend to be a bit, um, effervescent, (that's a nice way to say loud-mouthed and overly friendly) I'm usually the one woman welcome wagon.

"So are you a new member or are you visiting?"

"I hope I'm just visiting, I hate Texas"

"Oh, well this is Austin, it's not like the rest of Texas"

"Blah blah blah Austin are egomaniacs, this place isn't special, blah blah blah death rates"

and it just went on. He hated everything, knew more about everything than everyone, and even though I felt pity in my heart for someone who so clearly was looking for an external fix (if he can just move to the right place he'll be happy) for internal misery he just made me want to give him a sock in the nose.

Still, you should be proud. I didn't say anything.

Well, except for that he should write Hallmark cards.

My dog is drunk and I'm going to Scotland.

I'm not sure which dog is drunk, I suspect it's Thomas (English Bulldogs just look like they'd be heavy drinkers)but one of them got into a gigantic bottle of almond extract (how? How does this happen? I don't just leave bottles of almond extract around.)and now it is all gone. That's a 6 ounce bottle and 35% alcohol, so that's what...three shots of 70 proof hooch? Way to GO Thomas.

Anyway, I've sadly had to curtail my trip to Wales because it really is just out of the way. So instead I'm going to Edinburgh or somewhere thereabout for a day, so it seems that this time at least Good Scotch (and hopefully bad Scots, if you know what I mean and I think you do.) wins over church. But then again, I'm Anglican, so really...not much of a difference.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

So Guinnesspresso?

A shot of espresso poured into Guinness just went from a brilliant idea to a Very Bad Idea Indeed. Headache, good Lord the Headache. Not hangover, not drunk, just very very dehydrating. Must go drink the swimming pool and go to bed.

Incidentally, I miss having a boyfriend. Not because I want to share my emotions or my life or blah blah blah (which by the way I do, but that's immaterial) but because I have a knot in my right shoulder the size of a cadillac eldorado and I can't reach to rub it out.

Speaking of Cadillac Eldorados, here's a pretty picture of Stella, and the Dutch Astrophysicist (L) and Hungover Mississippi Farm Boy (R) who "fixed" Stella. Cute huh?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Five: Dental

1. Are you a regular patron of dentists' offices? Or, do you go
a) faithfully, as long as you have insurance, or
b) every few years or so, whether you need it or not, or
c) dentist? what is this "dentist" thing you speak of?

I avoided my dentist for two years because every time I went in the dental hygienist tried to set me up with her son. I mean EVERY TIME for SEVEN YEARS. He sounded nice enough "a nationally ranked cyclist" and 6'4", but I was in a relationship or just not up to going on a blind date. So late last year I agreed to let her give him my number. Did he call? No, he MYSPACED me. Lame. Second, was he in fact a "nationally ranked cyclist"? No, he is a grown man who competes in BMX BIKE races.

Still, out of kindness and because You Just Never Know, I agreed to meet him --making sure to have a back-up date (the super cute stand-up bass player for a band that played at my birthday party)-- did he show up? NO. Why? Because he "doesn't go out much" and got invited to a birthday party that "sounded a lot more fun."

Social skills, anyone?

2. Whatever became of your wisdom teeth?
Had them pulled out a few years ago. I don't remember much, other than getting wheeled to the car with my arms straight out, singing the theme to Rocky. I think perhaps I was on drugs.

3. Favorite thing to eat that's BAAAAAD for your teeth.
Extra-Hot Atomic Fireballs! I had to instate an Fireball Embargo a few years ago because I love them so much I'd just suck on them all day. One day I had like, 10 in a row or something and lost feeling in my chin for an hour!

4. Ever had oral surgery? Commiserate with me.

Just the reg'lar wisdom teeth extraction. Oh, and I had my tongue pierced back when I was 19. Stupid. It didn't really hurt getting it done, but after? Owch.

5. "I'd rather have a root canal than _________________."

Have a rotting tooth? Honestly I love my dentist so much I trust him not to hurt me. He's the B.E.S.T. best.

Bonus: Does your dentist recommend Trident?
I don't know because I don't chew gum. He did suggest that I switch to some sugar-free life savers when I was dealing with my Atomic Fireball withdrawal, but I went cold turkey.

And, lest you forget, Steve Martin's brilliant turn as the Dentist from Little Shop of Horrors:

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Holy Week Recap

It was a short Lent but a long Holy Week, particularly the Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Even. It was also the first time I've done the whole dog-and-pony show and it

Don't get me wrong, I loved it. I was moved to tears on more than one was just long.


Like, Wagner's-Ring-Cycle-as-performed-by-an-opera-company-wherein-the-entire
-cast-was-under-the-influence-of-Quaaludes long.

The high point, of course, was Easter Vigil. Why didn't anyone tell me how kick-you-in-the-face fantastic Easter Vigil was? It's bloody brilliant. There's a processional WITH FIRE and you can bring your own bell and ring the hell out of it when the Resurrection is declared plus baptisms PLUS getting spritzed by holy water on a rosemary OUT OF NOWHERE (okay, I could have done with some warning on that one, I squealed like a frightened spider monkey). It's fantastic, even for austere, Benedictine me.

However, there are no short vigils and I was getting mighty antsy as we rolled through the second hour of service. Visions of pancakes and warm beds danced in my head...and then Alleluia! The Lord Has Risen Indeed! and it was all worth it. It's like the last sixteen minutes of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. The whole piece is beautiful and about oh, forty hours long --okay, 74 minutes-- but my God, is the ending worth it

Monday, April 09, 2007

Live, about that...

ohmygodyall, "Live Cheap" is NOT GOING WELL. Someone needs to take my computer away from me.

I was trying to find a place to stay in London my last night in the UK, and I thought

Thought 1: "I need a place to stay my one night in London, I'll probably be really tired, what with all the praying and sleeping in spartan quarters and so on, and I've got that transatlantic flight the next day...I should probably get a private room instead of sleeping in a hostel dorm."

Thought 2: "Well, you know even the cheap hostel private rooms are still $90.00 I bet I could get a fairly nice room for a little bit more. I mean, it's my first time to London, and a girl's gotta have a little fun, right?"

Thought 3: "I really CAN'T go to London for the first time and just not DO anything...I wonder if I could get a ticket to some West End show."

Thought 4: "You know, these are all pretty expensive, and a girl only gets her West End cherry popped once...I might as well see if I can get a ticket to Equus."

Thought 5: "Ouch, that's a lot of money to see Harry Potter drop trou. Still, I love Richard Griffiths and if I'm going to do it, I might as well do it right."

Thought 6 " I might as well get Grand Dress Circle seats."

Thought 7 "...and I bet I could get a package hotel for not-that-much-more"

Thought 8 "oooh, this one used to be the Vanderbilt's London residence, my grandfather in Nashville s a Vanderbilt man...I sort of OWE it to him to stay there."

Thought 9 "credit card, where's my credit card? Oh there it is! Clicketyclickety ENTER"

Thought 10"oh...Live Cheap...whoops"

Live Cheap Challenge

Today marks Day One of my Eastertide "Live Cheap Challenge" wherein I spend as little money as humanly possible in a noble attempt to not run out of dough on my top-secret pilgrimage to Canterbury at the end of the month.

That means tightening ye olde purse strings and actually eating at home once in a while which is just a big ole draggity drag. On the other hand, it affords me the chance to get my food shopping at my favorite Secret Shameful Shopping Spot: Big Lots.

Go ahead you judgey judgers. I have one word for you:


They're tiny little smoked fish, somewhere between herring and heaven, they're delicious and notoriously hard to find on a regular basis. In fact, they inspire such a cultish devotion that there is a real-life, no-foolin' Sprats Index online where sprat-lovers everywhere can report where they most recently found the sprats, when they bought them and how much they paid. There's the brilliance, too. They're only a dollar a tin and a tin --when paired with a few nice fat slices of black bread and maybe a beer, makes the finest stick-to-your-ribs, reasonably heart-healthy meal I can conjure in my sticky little brain.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Okay, I don't know what's going on with me. It seems like everything is just crumpling around me. I'm behind on my school work, my work-work, I'm nauseated, I'm not sleeping properly, I'm angry at my dogs, and I just can't seem to get a break. I took today off from work to theoretically sleep and get a paper done that was due a week and a half ago, except when I woke up (almost 20 hours after I went to bed) I was so sick that I passed out in the church bathroom and then laid on the floor for an hour (wanted to puke, couldn't. Burped a lot)

My apartment is a wreck, truly a wreck, and it's making me miserable but I don't have the energy to clean.

Then it's a lot of little things, Thomas chewed the cord to my laptop ac adapter, and the back cover to a text book, my debit card got rejected today and I don't know why.

Also, I have no friends. My bff emeritus has never been one for much emotional support, my until-a-few-weeks-ago bff and I broke up, and my guy pal who can always make me laugh has, once again, gotten with a girlfriend who doesn't let him talk to me, even though we live 2000 miles away.

ALSO my grandparents and I are in a fight because my grandfather, frustrated by his blindness, has just been needlessly cruel.

I used to have problems with depression several years ago, but have been okeydokey for at least 2 years. I really do NOT want it to come back.

and now the icing: Lupus.
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