23 May 2006

I AM.... impatient

Since buying the 3/4 ton diesel truck, I have become acquainted with a new side of myself - honky glam.

Yesterday we went to register our new baby, and I looked awesome in my greasy hair, holey too-small T-shirt, and chapel-of-love manicure. As we pulled into the DMV parking lot, Matt said, you sure got some honky glam going today sweetheart. I said, this is trucker glam, honey, I hope you like it.

In honor of the purchase, it was definitely in order that we take our friends Chil and Pallie out for dinner. We've probably spent as much time in their Saturn as they have, and they've even loaned it to us for Saturday trips to Santa Cruz! I mean, they've been great. Since we might not be the primary drivers of their car anymore, we wanted to thank them real nice for what they've did fer us.

Cafe Gratitude is a gem of the Bay Area raw foods movement, and they have a new location in Berkeley. Chil and Pallie are usually up for the unusual, and we were pretty curious oursleves, being from Midwestern Meat Stock, so we walked our butts down to Shattuck and got a table right away. Raw is the word. Everything is "alive" as they say. And pretty derishus, too. All the dishes are named things like "I am Abundant" or "I am Eternally Sweet" or "I am Inspired" so when you order, you talk real nice about yerself. You share tables with whomever is around you, which was cool, and they give you cards from their "game" to play, which goes something like: "Say ' I enjoy giving of myself' three times to the person next to you." My smoothie was amazing for being dairy-free and the "cheese" (ground whipped cold seeds mush) was frickin great. And Phil found two bugs on his meal. I wasn't sure if that was part of the hipness of the adventure or just wrong. When Chil and Pallie had to scoot to make it to night-church, Matt and I ordered dessert (also fabulous) and hung around a little.....no, a lot.....longer.

When the check finally came, three parties had eaten and left in the time that we had. We had fallen into the black hole of cafe gratitude, and the hip-factor really lost points for me as a result. I guess I wasn't cool enough to wait 45 minutes for a check. I got kind of cranky, so props to Matt for sticking it out. But I left knowing one thing about myself,


20 May 2006

the Actually Done

reading the book that's been abandoned since January
tieing off the knitting project, abandoned since January
watching three movies
back to back to back

taking my time to make good lunches
breakfasts and dinners
parties everywhere
two a day
graduation pictures

rolling around with partner
swapping to-do list ideas
interrupting each other's tasks
with silly questions like "how do you get this to print in color?"
and to dream big a little

Where should we go to church tomorrow?
Should I cook the snow peas with more ginger than last time?
Read your Blue Book.
The new priorities,
for just a summer,
emerge like a cute snail from under a green leaf.

16 May 2006

the Almost Done

The Feeling of Almost Done:

the stomach twitter dying down,
fewer cups of coffee per hour,
allowing myself to look past the FINAL DAY mark on the calendar,
remembering what the sun looks like,
acquainting myself with the outside air,
starting to answer my phone again,
running out of bloggable ideas and other procrastination attempts,
no more new zits erupting,
absolutely no more ways to rearrange the furniture,
all nails are painted,
the last paper has been printed ("blank ink low")
or emailed ("read receipt - your message has been delivered"),
I'm in my pajamas at 4 pm AGAIN, for the last day this week,
I begin to recall the sound of the voice and the look of the face of my spouse,
I'm out of sticky notes and tea bags and all highlighters are completely drained,

The EnD Of thE SemEStEr.

12 May 2006

Friday Five

This Friday Five is all about Conferences. Since the Episcopal General Convention is coming up, it is on the brain. I keep to the theme in anticipation.

1. Describe a memorable conference, retreat, workshop or convention you've attended.
At General Convention in 2000, I was innocently sitting in my Kansas deputy chair when some guy from Dallas poured salt under Louie's chair; apparently this was an effort at exorcism since Louie is gay. The deputy from Dallas was asked to leave and some of us gathered and sang We Shall Overcome on the convention floor. I felt both old and young in that group at that moment. I was only 18 among a lot of 60-and-ups, but I was witnessing something that was profoundly tragic, and then hopeful and inspiring. Many of the General Convention votes are made through prayer and silent deliberation; I remember once exchanging teary smiles with my neighbors after we'd voted. After the vote for Gene Robinson in 2003, I ran to the back as soon as we took a break and Matt and I hugged and hugged. That was a time when I knew I had to vote my conscience because nothing else was worth following.

2. Tell us about a memorable speaker or preacher you've heard.
I remember when Mark McDonald preached at Convention eucharist in 2003 -- "We dare not change the good news for the poor into a chaplaincy for the rich!" and the woman next to me yelled, "PREACHER!" and I felt myself tear up. I'd never heard an Episcopalian preach like that before, to yells and claps from the crowd and "amen!" punctuating rhythmic exhortations. I felt a new pride in my tradition that day. I heard Michael Curry and Steven Charleston both preach that week, too, and the pride swelled more.

3. Do you attend all of the scheduled events, or play hooky? If the latter, what do you do with your free time?
I go strong until about Day 4 and then I have to regroup somehow. Usually I hole up with coffee and a totally unrelated project for a few hours and then return to the world. This year it will be my knitting! Last year I made scrapbook notebooks for deputies to put memorabilia into when the big top came down and we were all in planes, trains, and lexii for the journey home. In the evenings I like to try the weirdest, most hole-in-the-wall food I can find, off the beaten path. Last General Convention it was a quirky Vietnamese place where the pho got me through five days of being sick. Thank you, quirky Vietnamese place! I will always remember you. I also tend to gravitate toward ice cream shops and bookstores when I have free time at conferences.

4. Do you like having a roommate or would you rather have a room to yourself?
Room to myself unless it is with sisters or husband. I'm rawther like Eloise when I'm traveling--very particular requirements and circumstances become essential. I must be free to fart, wear lowrise pants and tank tops, and sing light rock at the top of my lungs without inducing anyone's suffering. Sometimes I have to smoke a cigarette in the middle of the night. During General Convention I must be able to keep strange hours emailing everyone the day's highlights and pouring over legislation, sometimes while watching Law and Order reruns and clipping my toenails. You don't want to be there for that, do you?

5. What's the most exotic location you've conferenced or retreated?
elizabeth, new jersey! Oh, it was simply marvelous!!! :)

Learn about the Episcopal General Convention here.

09 May 2006

Spring Fling or Spring Flick?

Everyone seems to fall in love or out of love in Spring. It has always been late Spring or early Summer that my major relationships started and ended. My sister's year-and-a-half relationship just ended. Eeverywhere on the beach Sunday people were coupling off and googly-eyed.

But it isn't just romance. California is on honeymoon with its new bishop-elect. Me and my first year of seminary are about to break up. Friends are scattering across the country in just two weeks now, and soon I'll be off on a summer pilgrimage of sorts.

People are peeling off their sweaters around here and donning summer duds. Lots of white and pink and yellow everywhere. People are looking cuter as they anticipate leaving school and going on trips. People are preparing; eyes are all looking toward the horizon. We sit in class, but we're not really there. We write our papers as we think about what to pack and who to call next. Every day is one day closer to something new.

This creates a lot of energy build-up, which I think accounts for Spring twitterpation. Everyone is sort of vibrating -- either with caffeine to finish everything on time or with excitement to be done with the semester -- and people are giggling more as a result. Everyone seems to have on moon boots or a tigger-tail. People are barely touching the ground. Even people who are fighting look like they are about to make out.