Saturday, August 25, 2007

Soda Chicky's Blog

I told Soda Chicky that I had gone back to my blog which inspired her to start one of her own. I was fascinated to find that she entitled it "Writings From A Pastor's Daughter." Spelling is not one of the Chick's gifts, but her thoughts in her first post were interesting. Maybe it's just because I'm her mom, but I think maybe not. I look forward to reading more from her.

The Chick goes off to high school this fall. I keep wondering how I got so old! She had the choice of two schools. She picked the smaller one which I think will be a great benefit for her. The tough part is that her buddies picked the other school. Having had to start at a new school only two years ago, this adventure is a bit daunting for her right now. But she's a smart cookie and I hope that she will find new friends who will be as much fun as the one's she found last year. Her friend the Smart Blonde is from Poland and will be going back there in just a few short days. Smart Blonde's parents have been in the States with a three year academic program. It's hard for the girls to say goodbye but I am so glad that they found each other. It's been a truly enriching friendship.

Chicky's friend the Chatterbox is going to the other high school. But given the number of emails, ims and phone calls that currently happen, I don't think there's much danger of them losing touch with each other. Two of the other good friends Flying Monkey and Too Clever are still in junior high. Personally I wish Too Clever was about thirty years older so we could hang together. She is an extremely witty thirteen year old. Some day if I hear she won an Academy Award for screenplay or wrote the number one best seller- I won't be surprised.

Flying Monkey will be celebrating her Bat Mitzvah this fall. It will be a great chance for the whole gang to celebrate. They have two months till the event but they've already started planning their ensembles!

Well, I suppose I should get to writing my sermon. Soda Chicky and I have agreed that when you supply they only ask you back if you don't suck. I've been at this parish about seven times in the last two years, so I'd hate to preach a really sucky sermon at this point!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Did you hear obesity is caused by a virus?

When my friend Music Girl told me this, I waited for the punch line. But there is no punch line. And I really wonder who I caught the virus from? It's been much harder to get rid of than this cold I have!

Rev Gal Pal Friday Five - Cultural Questions

I haven't played the Friday Five in months, but here are today's answers to the question: what unusual engagements with popular culture have helped/challenged you on your spiritual journey?

Book: This is a tough one. I LOVE books. And some of the most significant ones are in that catagory of sort of spiritual. One that really made me think and laugh was Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. I read it while on retreat at Holden Village. It's irreverent and strange and really funny. But it did make me think about issues of culture, faith and ecumenism.

Piece of Music: The Seeger Sessions by Bruce Springsteen. His covers of some of the old spiritual songs have really warmed my heart over the last several months.

Artwork: I have a copy of a painting in my living room that I bought in Geneva over twenty years ago. It is of a rabbi and a Hebrew student. It was painted by Mane-Katz and it is called The Rabbi. The copy of it here is a little darker than the true piece, but you get the idea. The framed print has hung in every home I've lived in since I finished seminary. I just love it.

Film: Movies are a wonderful thing. I think there are several that have informed my faith. Babette's Feast, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Last Temptation of Christ are three oldies. Recently I watched I am David on the Independent Film Channel. has this to say about it.

I Am David is adapted from Anne Holm's internationally acclaimed novel North to Freedom. It is the story of a 12-year-old boy, David, who escapes a Communist concentration camp with little more than a compass, a sealed letter, a loaf of bread, and instructions to carry the letter to Copenhagen, Denmark. David is thrust into the free world for the first time in his young life as he travels across Europe. It is a spiritual voyage of discovery, where David slowly loses his instinctual mistrust of humanity and begins to smile, share, trust and ultimately, love. I Am David addresses the cruelties, politics, and suffering of warfare while celebrating the resilience of youth and the unbreakable spirit of a child.

It's a hauntingly beautiful film that came out in 2003. Joan Plowright and James Caviezel are two of the players. If you see it in the listings, watch it!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Have a Purple Brain?

Your Brain is Purple
Of all the brain types, yours is the most idealistic. You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.
You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for yourself.

According to this particular blog quiz,, I have a purple brain. Now if the truth be known, the same set of quiz questions have probably been used to determine what Simpsons character I am, what flavor ice cream I would be and my similarity to certain aquatic creatures. In other words, this quiz has nothing to do with the color of my brain. I knew it going in. And yet I took the quiz anyhow.

Why? Why do we take these little quizzes? Do we learn anything new? Does it make us feel good about ourselves? Apparently my purple brain is an indication that either I am a genius or my cold medication is really not doing its job!

The whole thing about spending a lot of time thinking about make believe people and places sounds kind of creepy. But again, it could be the bronchitis. Maybe my brain really isn't purple. Maybe I just need a nap and some antibiotics.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Sabbath

I have a preaching gig on Sunday and I'm a little stuck. Just a little. And I think I'll get over it soon enough. But in the meantime, I keep thinking about our Orthodox neighbors walking in the street. More than once, the Husband has been out working on a Saturday when he has to carefully drive around someone walking to or from Sabbath worship at a local temple. It happens too often to be a coincidence. Being basically a Midwestern girl, this is a new thing for me. I feel a bit stupid, but I am also wildly curious. I have tried googling the whole thing with no luck. Could it have something to do with the Eruv chatzerot? (The art to the left is Eruv for the area where we live.)

Wikipedia, the source of all partial investigations says...

The eruv chatzerot, or "mixed [ownership of] courtyards/domains", operates so that all the residents treat the entire area as their common "home". In other words, it is a religious-legal mechanism that transforms an enclosed shared living area (e.g. a courtyard) into a common one. In order to be enclosed, the area must be surrounded by a wall, fence, or tzurot ha-petah, "doorframes".

In many cases — for example, within a hospital, nursing home, school campus, apartment complex, or a walled city, the demarcation of the shared area consists of real walls or fences.

These fences can also be made symbolically, using stakes and a rope or wire to demarcate doorframes. When an eruv is made to demarcate a contemporary Jewish neighborhood, a symbolic fence is typically constructed in this fashion, using utility poles and wires as well as any solid walls available. Thus, a modern eruv is commonly composed of a series of "doorframes," with the poles forming the doorposts (lechi, pl. lechai'in)and the wire forming the lintel (korah). A natural wall such as a river bank or steep hill can also be used as part of the eruv, as can an actual wall of a building.

I'm mostly just curious about all of this. And as I move past the stickiness of curiosity to writing a sermon, I keep thinking of how hard some folks strive to keep the Sabbath while others see it as just another day. Personally, I think my Sabbath keeping has been less than satisfactory of late. I think God would like me to do more than catch a nap and make a nice supper. Hmmm.....

Hello Pink Shoes!

It's been almost a year since I last blogged. A couple of weeks ago, while hanging out at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, I met a blogging pal face to face. There she was... Pink Shoes! She said that she missed reading my blog. I said I missed hers and then I started to wonder what had happened to me. Where have I been when I haven't been here?

Well.... I know I helped Soda Chicky with a lot of homework. I know the Husband has been using the computer a lot more now that he has access to (I've been asked to finish this up soon as the Cardinal's game starts soon.) I know I developed a strange love for my imaginary Sims people. But gee whiz! None of those is a good reason not to talk to or listen to Pink Shoes! So, here I am. Don't know if I'll have anything interesting to say, but I'm going to give it a shot.