Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oh. My. God.

It just keeps getting better.

The Unethical Ethics group, well two out of the five, decided that they didn't like the paper and are going to rewrite it. Never mind that I've never in my college career gotten anything less than an A on any paper and that their masterpieces which I so CRUELLY violated were the ramblings of a 9th grader whose sole purpose in life was to string together as many logical fallacies and stupid clichés as humanly possible.

At this point I don't even care because I can get a 0 on that paper and still do just fine in the class but there was much pearl clutching and "OH I'M SO HURT" um, a) I don't give a deontological damn and b) you called a "secret meeting" behind my back to railroad me and I still worked my ass off to defend your inherently indefensible judgement. Why? Because I'm a grown up. That is how we roll.

See, apparently the words I used were too big AND I cut too much of the conclusion (which was originally written by a very nice woman who barely speaks English).

I pretty much just told them to do whatever they wanted because I had a final to study for.

I'm getting too old for this #@$%.

Ethics Class: Fin

I have been awake for 30 hours and 43 minutes. I have been awake for 30 hours and 43 minutes (now 44) because I had to edit the stupid Unethical Ethics paper for my group, who clearly have never written a paper in their collective lives. I thought it would take me two, maybe three hours.

Wrong. Twelve hours. Complete rewrite and it's an A paper. I can feel it in my bones. It's immoral and unethical and did an excellent job of reminding me why it's important that I use my powers for good instead of evil, but I am DONE. Done with that group, done (mostly) with that class. D.O.N.E. DONE.

And for a little celebration --and a total departure from my normal cherub-like demeanor-- I would like to share with you a scene that I dream of re-enacting with my Ethics group...that is, when I actually get a chance to sleep.

(language warning)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Scowls and Slime

I'm feeling very serious and professorial today in my beige mohair cardie, glasses and hair done up in two little buns. I sort of want to scowl at someone, but I am not a good scowler. The problem is I can't just scowl with my eyes, I have to scowl with my mouth too, except then my mouth goes all funny and pouty and I end up looking like a petulant 6 year old which, while legitimately fearsome in its own way, does not evoke the sort of terror/professional respect I would ordinarily prefer.


My ethics class, which concludes next Saturday, cannot possible be over soon enough for my liking. I'm not usually contemptuous of people, but wow, I really am of one member of the group. Thinking of her actually sickens me. It's not just a mistake she's making. People make mistakes all the time, but she's smart enough to know the right thing and is perverting something good and pure into something slimy just to protect herself. Actually, I won't call her slimy. It's an insult to gastropods everywhere.

I know I should be able to suck it up, but somehow I can't get past that people in an ethics class are doing unethical things. I'm not sure if they realize they're unethical or if they know it and are doing it anyway.

I'm not sure which is worse.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Between the Sheets

When I was sick my grandmother would take care of me. She wasn't coddling exactly, few true nurses are, but she knew precisely what I needed and set about giving it to me in no uncertain terms. It was one of the few times I can remember ever truly being taken care of.

First she would run a cool bath for me in her tub. Using her tub was a treat. Usually I had to use the plain white one across the hall from my room in the bathroom which wa boring blue and white and had no windows, but her bathroom was beautiful, with tiny pink and black tiles on the floor and a view of the oak tree in our wild back yard.

While I soaked, Grandmama would strip my bed, replacing the limp sweaty cotton sheets with the crisp, thick white percale sheets, stiff and clean as her nurses uniform. The comforter stuffed with spun silk would disappear and in its place would be a thin cotton blanket with a thick tape of satin ribbon binding one end, so faded and threadbare that I just knew it had been used to cover her own sick children, all those years ago.

When I was out of the bath she would sit me on the closed lid of the commode and rub my arms and legs with a pale blue bath oil until my pale limbs shone glossy and pink. Once I was sufficiently scrubbed and buffed, she'd send me off with a thermometer under my tongue to wait at the kitchen table until she called "time" and pulled the thin glass pipe from my mouth.

Sometimes she would get me to eat, usually she wouldn't. When anyone fell ill they became involuntary participants in the BRAT diet consisting only of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Since I only cared for two of the four components --applesauce and toast-- I would often feign fatigue and beg to be let to take a nap.

There was nothing like sliding into those clean white sheets stretched so tightly across my bed. Do you remember the first time Mr Toad sees a motorcar? "Oh joy" he says "oh bliss" he was transported.

So was I.

I would shimmy out of my clothing, dropping them on a pile on the shiny teak floors and carefully insinuate myself between the sheets, wanting to savor the pristine sensation of those taut sheets stretched perfectly across my bed. I'd lie there eyes closed just breathing, trying to memorize the smell --the combination clorox and detergent and the soap grandmama used and stored in the linen closet. Nothing has ever smelled cleaner or more reassuring than those sheets, and I doubt anything ever will again.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


The doldrums are upon us. After 40 days and nights of rain Austin is settling into the slow rhythm that gets us through the long, hot Texas summer. The rivers and lakes are receding back into their shores, but a sudden violent downpour floods the roads, running off the water-logged ground.

The crickets have taken up their summer residence in the cool corners of the sanctuary and only seem to come out during services to serenade the choir or crawl up the back of old ladies' legs. I like the crickets and like to imagine have tiny little homes in the pipe organs where they practice their music all day. Father Cricket wears a mossy green cardigan, threadbare at the elbows, which Mother Cricket fashioned from a bit of woolen sock that had been torn on a nail and given to the women's sewing circle to be mended before joining the great tumble of clothes lying in resigned disrepute under a carefully hand-lettered sign reading:

Donations Here
(God Bless)

Let's hear what Keats has to say.

On the grasshopper and cricket

The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the grasshopper's - he takes the lead
In summer luxury, - he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one, in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Happy Birthday to me.

And now I'm 28. It was a quiet day, ethics class, lunch and an early dinner with the grandparents, then over to Rio Rita for some truly insane mid-60's French scopitone films featuring covers of American rock or pop songs and French girls with giant hair dancing in fringe bikinis for no discernable reason.

My Nashville grandfather is out of ICU and it looks like my uncle will probably live, which is more than I can say for my couch and ottoman which fell victim to two frustrated dogs this afternoon. I don't have the time, money or energy right now to replace the cushions and reupholster the ottoman, and I really shouldn't buy a new couch since I'm going to be moving SOMEWHERE within the next two years or so.

Speaking of which, after ethics class this morning (where I got an A on my paper and a C+ on the exam I was sure I'd failed) I visited my grandparents for lunch. As we sat down to our soup, I mentioned something about having to move eventually. My grandfather put down his spoon and said

"Don't move."

and I could tell from the tone of his voice that he didn't mean "don't switch apartments" he meant "don't go to seminary away from Austin and leave me all alone."

Friday, July 13, 2007

Actually, it wasn't.

My comment on the Friday Five wasn't mean spirited, and if the comment was "testy" then so be it, what's wrong with testy?

I'll admit I probably just should have ignored it, but since I usually like the Friday Five and I skipped last week, I didn't. A mistake? Maybe. Wouldn't be my first.

We don’t have to agree to be a community. We don't have to look alike and talk alike and sometimes even walk alike. I didn't like something because it was below what I thought were otherwise excellent standards. I said why I didn't like it and I said that it was the exception.

That's it.

I didn't personally attack anyone, I didn't leave a bitchy anonymous email (ahem) and if I hurt someone's feelings, well, I'm sorry your feelings are hurt, but --to quote one of my editors-- it's not about the person, it's about the product.

I gotta say I'm pretty surprised at all the anonymous emails clutching their collective pearls in horror that I would ever say anything so hateful.

Hateful? Geeze. I don't know how long you have to go without sex to get that uptight, but I'm on year five (and these are good years, while gravity is still working for me, so it's like TWICE as long in regular years) and I'm still nowhere near that tightly wound. --these are the jokes, ladies-- Relax.

Ladies, this is not the sort of stuff that should get our clericals in a bunch. Let's calm down, butch up and move on.

UPDATE: Oh my gosh y'all, I had no idea there was a full fledged kerfuffle going on! Crazy man, crazy.

A (sort of asinine) Friday Five!

1. Former U.S. First Lady "Lady Bird" Johnson died this week. In honor of her love of the land and the environment, share your favorite flower or wildflower.
Lady Bird was a member of our parish, she was married at my church and our rector gave her communion regularly. I am praying for him, as he is almost certainly the one presiding over the funeral and memorial services.

Lady Bird's legacy lives on, not just in her beautiful Wildflower Center, but along the lonesome highways of central Texas where every spring, the roadsides burst into bloom with bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush. My favorite flower is dogwood, which isn't found in my part of the Lone Star state, but a close second is Lady Bird's beloved bluebonnet. Here's a picture my friend took of me on the side of the road one spring.

2. A man flew almost 200 miles in a lawn chair, held aloft by helium balloons. Share something zany you'd like to try someday.

I don't know about pre-meditated zaniness, doesn't it sort of defeat the point? On the other hand, there is a cute Australian movie called Danny Deckchair about a very similar prank.

3. Do you have an iPhone? If not, would you want one?
Why would I spend $300 on a piece of technology which, even in the unlikely event that it doesn't get sat on/dropped into a pool/chewed by a dog/driven over by a Cadillac or left in the Neiman Marcus dressing room, would be out of date in a year and a half? I could spend it on something sensible like a lovely pair of basic Jimmy Choo sandals in the buttery soft leather of dead baby angel skins and with proper care will last for-ev-er.

On sale for $307.50 (orig. $615) at

It's about investment, people.

4. Speaking of which, Blendtec Blenders put an iPhone in one of their super-duper blenders as part of their "Will It Blend?" series. What would YOU like to see ground up, whizzed up or otherwise pulverized in a blender?
Seriously? A Will It Blend question? As long as it prevents scurvy and tastes good with tequila, I'm easy to please.

5. According to News of the Weird, a jury in Weld County, Colo., declined to hold Kathleen Ensz accountable for leaving a flier containing her dog's droppings on the doorstep of U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, apparently agreeing with Ensz that she was merely exercising free speech. What do you think? Is doggy doo-doo protected by the First Amendment?
Poop in light of Constitutional Law? Y'all, this is beneath RevGals. I'm not answering it.

For the record, I did not like either of these Friday Five options. They didn't exactly allow much room for introspection.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Update in bullet format!

Much has been going on in Chateau Ste. Sundae.

*My grandfather in Nashville has been in the ICU for a week and a half now. He's getting much better, but still, bad scene.

*My uncle, who is a notorious druggie, has contracted FLESH EATING BACTERIA and it has moved from his arm into his chest cavity. I haven't seen him in years. Also, bad scene.

*It is distinctly possible that I got a D on my ethics midterm. This is not because I lack ethics, I've got ethics out the wazoo, but the professor had some tricky true or false questions and I screwed up at least two definitions. I'll find out Saturday.

*In other ethics news, I am fighting with my ethics group. I know I've got particularly stringent ethics and not everyone is willing to put aside their comfort for their own personal integrity (this isn't blowing my own horn, if I didn't live by my ethics, I'd hate myself so really I'm just avoiding discomfort).

*I turn 28 on Saturday, and in all the hubbub of work and school and this new blogging gig, I have not planned a single thing. LAST YEAR I had two bands, burlesque dancers and drink tickets. This year: bupkiss.

*Please pray for the Johnson family, and for my rector, who is almost certainly presiding over the funeral. I'll miss Lady Bird, she was a hell of a girl.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Super Fantastic!

I'm the newest addition to Manolo The Shoe Blogger's haute couture harem!

No, I won't be writing in his distinctive patois, but famous internet fashion guru just offered me a job and I accepted.

The new fashion blog will launch in the next two weeks and will focus a humorous yet informative eye on economy in fashion how women can be super-fantastic above a size 10.

My vision --aside from fighting the tyranny of false economics in bargain shopping-- is to help women view fashion the way my grandmothers did. You knew what suited you and built a core wardrobe out of high-end timeless, flattering pieces and kept them modern --without being too trendy-- by judicious application of accessories and popular, affordable pieces.

Of course there will be the funny stuff as well, y'all know I can't write long without cracking a joke or tattling on myself for some stupid thing I've done or said (no shortage of material there).

Anyway, I just wanted to share the good news.
I'll post another bulletin right before the launch, I hope y'all will say hi to me over there.
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