Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Armadillo Rodeo

Here's what happened at our house---

Nature Boy (a second-grader): I'm worried that I'm going to be in trouble.

Me: Why?

NB: I got sent to the principal two times.

Me: (bites tongue and doesn't yell) What did you do to get sent to the principal?

NB: Well, I did a flip into music. More like a somersault, but I landed at the right part of the circle. And I didn't hurt anybody or anything.

Me: OKaaay. What happened the second time?

NB: I said, "armadillo rodeo" too many times in library.

Me: (bits tongue and doesn't laugh) Armadillo rodeo, eh? Bet that made your teacher pretty annoyed.

NB: Yeah, but I couldn't help it. It's too fun to say. I said it over and over and over.

One Week Later --
Me: armadillo rodeo. armadillo rodeo. armadillo rodeo. armadillo rodeo. armadillo rodeo.

Think they'll send me home from work? Because, really, I can't get "armadillo rodeo" out of my head.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My New Morning Habit

This is what I reach for in the morning as soon as I log on --

Indexed -- the world defined through Venn diagrams and Cartesian graphs. It may not sound funny, but trust me, it is. For all you churchy types, I give you two examples --

Weddings --
She Wants MORE Presents?

Funerals --
Where's the Feeling?

Check it out. Indexed.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Knock the Gobble

On our way home from dinner tonight, we talked about an adoption proceeding we attended on Friday. It was a second parent adoption, in which a step-parent adopts a child who only has one legal parent. In the Little Blue State, this means that kids with gay parents get to have two legal parents, with all that entails, including inheritance rights, social security benefits, and legal ties to both the parents who are raising them. Plus, any children of the adopting parent become legal siblings.

On Friday, a dear friend adopted the nine-year-old twins her partner gave birth to before they were a couple. In the adoption, the twins also gained a sibling, Caroline. After the decrees were signed, the judge called the twins to the bench and had them deliver the decrees to their new mom. Then, in lovely gesture, he asked their six year old sister, Caroline, to come behind the bench, where he let her bang the gavel to adjourn the court. Pretty cool thing for a little kid.

I adopted Nature Boy in a similar proceeding when he was less than two years old. He doesn't remember, so he watched everything with eagle eyes, and tonight we talked about all we had seen. He thought it would be strict, like court on TV, but the judge was kind and funny. He wanted to know if the same things had happened when he was adopted, and we told him how his grandfather had testified that he was glad I would raise his grandchild, how his brother and sisters had spoken to the judge about wanting to have him as a little brother, and how glad we are to be a family. He was quiet for a moment and then said, "There's one thing I don't understand. Why did the judge let Caroline knock the gobble?" It only took us a minute to understand that he meant bang the gavel, and we all laughed.

Here is the concluding language of the case that made second parent adoption possible for children in our state:
In fact and therefore in law, what does matter in the best interests of both Peter and George is that Gene Hart and Burke Shiri live in a loving and long lasting committed relationship. In fact and in law, what does matter in their best interests is that Peter and George have already begun to reap the benefits of the love of these two men and have, even in their tender years, returned it in kind. In fact and in law, what does matter in the best interests of Peter and George is that they are thriving in the environment created by Gene Hart and Burke Shiri.
Having stated the above and for reasons stated on the record the Court
concludes that it is in the best interests of both Peter and George to say in the
eyes of justice and law what is already in fact - namely:
- Peter Hart - shall be and is HEREBY the adopted child of Burke Shiri.
- George Hart - shall be and is HEREBY the adopted child of Burke Shiri.
Amen. Knock the gobble.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Forty Years Ago --

From the Revised Common Lectionary for Sunday April 13, 2008

Acts 2:42-47

Those who had been baptized devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

The year: 1968, a Sunday in Springtime. The place: my grandparents' church in a small Southern town. They are Bible-thumping, no dancing, no cards, no alcohol, country Methodists. I am eight years old, busily cutting pictures from magazines and gluing them to manila paper to illustrate the Bible story. Excited by the idea that the early Christians banded together to share what they owned with whoever needed it, I ask the Sunday School teacher why we can't do that, why we can't just share everything, rich and poor people, white and black people together. Jesus would like that, right? All the people eating their food with glad and generous hearts would be great, wouldn't it?

This is the first time I hear the word Communist. . .

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ladies, We can Make Our Own RGBP Tattoos!

From one of my favorite design websites, SwissMiss --

Inkjet tattoo paper


Tattoo yourself - or the kids - with no pain and the added bonus of being able to scrub it off with hot soapy water. These decal papers enable you to use your inkjet printer to print 'tattoos' that look just like the real thing - from your own customised designs. They take minutes to do and, if left unscrubbed, will last up to a week. Why not ring the changes and create different tattoos for different occasions?

The tattoo sheets come in twos: one printable A4 sheet and one adhesive film. The process is quick and easy as well as painless (even if you have sensitive skin, as the 'tattoos' are water-based and non-toxic.) See the step-by-step guide for precise directions or download the instructions sheet. First print your tattoo onto the printable sheet (remembering to reverse your image/text - your computer will enable you to do this). Then transfer the image onto the adhesive sheet and apply it to the skin. Peel off the adhesive film - and it's done.

Here's a US reseller.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friends Who Write Books

Marisa's new book came out on April 1. I went to her reading at our local bookstore; it's fun to be a fan when it's your friend who's the star.

I'm reading it, liking it, and feeling proud.

Forty Years

nybody here seen my old friend Martin?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people,
But it seems the good they die young.
I just looked 'round and he's gone.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Still Floating

I'm back from the RevGals Big Event, but I am still floating. Thank you, each of you who were there on the aft deck, for warm conversation, laughter, deep honesty, and total acceptance. Thank you, each of you who were at home, for keeping the fires burning and for allowing me to leave without worry or guilt -- well, not too much worry and guilt, anyway, and what there was came from me, not from you. The lessons of our time together at the RevGal BE will continue to make themselves known some time to come.

First, thanks for the swag, ladies. I am festooned with jewels -- my beautiful BE bracelet and heart necklace can make an appearance at the office, as can the felt mouse and Ticonderoga #2 pencils. The mardi gras beads, however, will have to stay home. An Anglican Rosary rests on my desk at home and at work. There is a place for each of the gifts chosen so that I will come across it as I go through my day. Unfortunately, the Fun and Sail Card and its nifty holder had to be removed from my car; they won't give me a Pina Colada at the local drive-thru and it just made me too sad. The nifty holder now holds my parking lot pass.

Our wonderful retreat leader, Mary Marcotte, gave us "words to walk" during our retreat. My word was hope, and I have continued to walk with it at home. On the ship, my focus was on what hope meant, and how I lived with hope or brought hope or found hope or had hope for others or myself. As I have walked it these last couple of days, I realized that while we were aboard ship together, I felt hope. Hope has been far away recently, but thanks to the women at the Big Event, I walk in hope.

Here are a few things I learned (or re-learned) on the trip:
  • Make new friends and keep the old.
  • For better or worse, sometimes we're 12.
  • Geo-caching is a source of profound joy.
  • Red state, blue state? Who cares, really?
  • The Lido deck is not just a state of mind. It's a real place.
  • Temporary tattoos don't hurt; they're not permanent; but they might mark you forever.
  • I've never slept as well on dry land as I did on that boat.
So, my word was hope, and hope is in my heart. While we were together on the last night, I told the group that I had a hope for each of them, and I will share those in a future post. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Breaking News From the Episcopal Church

This Just In from Episcopal Cafe --

Episcopal Church named "official denomination" of Major League Baseball

Here's some exciting news that's breaking this first day in April:

As a part of opening week festivities, Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori announced today that the Episcopal Church has been designated the Official Denomination of Major League Baseball. The move was announced today in a teleconference with reporters.

"Faith oriented promotions have increasingly become a part of many minor league team," Selig said. "We felt that it was time to tap into this important demographic."

"We also want to reinforce our family friendly image while at the same time reaching out to a wide cross section of life-styles, incomes and tastes," Selig said. "We are pleased that the Episcopal Church will join us in this first partnership between a major sport and a church."

Many denominations were considered for the endorsement. Some traditions did not make bids for theological reasons, but unnamed sources described the behind the scenes competition as intense.

"The Baptists and Catholics both made strong bids," said a baseball official familiar with the negotiations. "And it is true that both traditions brought strong numbers to the table." Few commentators expected the Episcopal Church's bid to be as strong as it was.

Selig said that Episcopalians bring the right mix of arcane tradition, an appreciation of minutiae and a tolerance for long stretches of relative inaction that make them "a good fit for us."

"We believe that Episcopalians understand the nuances of the game and won't meddle with our traditions too much."

As part of the agreement, Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori said that a Suffragan Bishop for Baseball will be appointed. A name will be presented at a special House of Bishops meeting called for the purpose in May. The ministry of the Suffragan Bishop for Baseball will be to coordinate the ministries of the church in the baseball environment.

"The designation of Official Denomination will be a boon to our evangelism," said the Rev. Jan Nunley. "Reflective MLB logos will soon appear as a part of the well known Episcopal Church Welcomes You signs in front of every Episcopal Church and along many streets in towns and cities across the US."

Observers also noted that the designation will also help the public differentiate Episcopal Churches from other churches that have recently appropriated the Anglican "brand" for their own use.

"The Episcopal Church encompasses many nations that differ along language and cultural lines—from the Dominican Republic to Taiwan--but we all share a love for Baseball," Nunley said.

"Theologians and poets have long described how the rhythms and traditions of baseball speak to us on many levels," Jefferts Schori told reporters. "Baseball shows us the presence of God in everyday things, that sublime combination of individual and team effort which reminds us of the Body of Christ and in the end God wants us all to come home."

Saying only that the marketing possibilities have "yet to be worked out" neither Selig nor Jefferts Schori would comment on rumors that pre-packaged Holy Communion and box-score editions of the Book of Common Prayer would be offered at kiosks at major league parks.

While some religious and sports commentators expressed skepticism at the move, and some wondered if the Presiding Bishop had the canonical authority to establish such a relationship, others were more forgiving.

"Baseball and Jesus." Nunley said. "They go together like peanuts and Cracker Jack."

Great news for a great day.