Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 5

Looong day today.  Went to the top of the Empire State Building (very cool!), went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (WAY too many people, neither of us could take it, so we barely stayed), ate lunch at a really cute, really good place on Madison Ave, wandered around Grand Central Station for awhile, then went to Madison Square Garden for a Knicks game.  Our seats were awesome and the Knicks won.  Now I must pack and go to bed.  I can't believe I have to leave already, but what an amazing trip!  More later when I'm not so tired, and I'll post some pictures after I get home.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day 4

A much more laid back day, thankfully.  We took the train into the city again, then rode the subway out to Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty.  Unfortunately the line to get on the ferry was HUGE, and we would have been in it for a couple of hours at least.  So we opted just to take pictures from very far away.  Maybe I'll still get a chance to see her up close, but I don't know.  Instead we got back on the subway and headed to Canal Street for some shopping.  Lots of people.  Lots.  It was a good exercise in shoving my way through crowds while keeping a good  hand on my purse.  At one point I got rubbed up against by a cop, and I'm fairly sure he swerved deliberately to do it.  It was odd.  I felt slightly violated. :-)  The other strange thing was that people kept whispering in our ears about watches and handbags.  We'd just say no thanks and they wouldn't push it, but it was so weird to suddenly have this whispery voice in my ear offering me name brand stuff.  From Canal street we went to Chinatown for lunch in a restaurant recommended by a friend of the aunt's.  It was really good, as evidenced by the long line we had to stand in just to eat.  I think we were in line for 30-45 minutes (still better than trying to see the statue!).  Oh, and the guy in front of us was super cute and he was totally making eye contact.  I think he might even have been flirting.  I'm never sure, I think my radar sucks for that sort of thing; he might have just been being nice.  But, I also wonder, why don't men in my own state make eye contact and flirt?  Of course, this man also didn't know my profession...  Anyhoo, after an afternoon of shopping we came back to New Jersey and went to worship at Temple Emanu-El.  It was really nice to worship when I was in charge of exactly nothing.  And most of the time I wasn't even sure of what was going on, so I didn't have to analyze the liturgy like my brain normally insists on doing.  The temple has 2 rabbis, a man and a woman and tonight the (ahem) "lady" rabbi led most of the service and preached, which was really fun.  She was also wearing kick-ass boots, something I always appreciate!  Oh, and not one person talked to us the entire time we were there.  I wasn't expecting much, but not even the ushers said a word.  Not hi, not nothing.  It was awkward, and it was nice of the aunt to indulge me by going with.  I did take the initiative and introduce myself to the associate rabbi after the service, so at least we talked to someone.   And now we are home.  

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Day 3

Another good day.  Started out with sleeping in, going for coffee, and watching some of the parade on TV.  It was so cool to see places that I was just at yesterday!  We had a 1:00 dinner reservation at a place with an amazing view of NYC.  I was (again) such a gawky tourist, but it was fun, and the meal was fabulous.  I enjoyed every bite of my untraditional seafood risotto.  The aunt made up for it with traditional turkey.  After we ate we took a ferry into the city and then a bus to Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas Spectacular.  I'm glad we went, it was fun to see the Rockettes live, but I'm thinking once was enough.  It was fun, but not my favorite thing ever.   Since we were right across the street from Rockefeller center we got to see the ice rink and the tree (which is up but not yet lit) and we went up 70 stories to the "top of the rock."  The view was so cool.  I took pictures, but not sure how they turned out (it's sometimes hard to tell on that little screen).  That was enough for one day, so we reversed the course, bus to ferry to car and came home.  Good times.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vacation Day 2

Or maybe it's one since I spent all day yesterday traveling.  But whatever.  Today was amazing.  We took the train into the city this morning, and got there about 11:00.  I was a total dorky tourist, because I kept finding myself gawking at everything.  Anyhoo, first thing we did was get tickets for the matinee for Spamalot.  Oh my lord it was hilarious.  I actually had an asthma attack in the middle of the first act because I was laughing so hard.  My first broadway show.  I still can hardly  believe it, but I'm so glad we went!  Between buying the tickets and the start time we walked to Strawberry Fields in Central Park and took pictures of the Imagine Circle and the Dakota.  The Dakota is where John Lennon was shot, and generally I'm not a big fan of going to places where people have been shot (although the aunt seems to be), but it was right there, so I took pictures.  Depressing.  But I love John, so it was a journey that had to be made. After the show we took the subway back to Times Square (or somewhere close by--who knows, I have a terrible sense of direction), then walked to the theater for the show.  Afterwards we had dinner in an Irish Pub and then walked the Empire State building.  Very cool.  It's all lit up in Thanksgiving colors.  We decided to wait until we're there in the daylight to go up, though.  A bit too expensive to do it twice.  Then we rode the subway again (we're such pros now...) and went to where they were blowing up the balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.  It was very cool to see the balloons, but there were so many people I thought I might actually go a little bit crazy.  We were like cattle in a chute.  I am sooo not a city girl in crowds like that!  It was a long day made longer by delays on the train ride home (getting in took an hour, getting home took 3), but what a fabulous day it was!  Now I must go to bed and rest up for tomorrow's adventure!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Jersey

I'm in New Jersey.  No, really.  My aunt lives in Newark, and we have a tradition of spending Thanksgivings together, so here I am, 3 plane rides (one of which I almost missed to to weird signage in the Cincinnati  airport) later and I'm in Newark.  Maybe not the place I've always dreamed I would come for any sort of holiday, but my aunt is a hoot and any place we hang out is bound to be a good time.  It's been a long day, and I've been up since 4 am, but tomorrow we're going into New York, and I've never been, so I'm very excited!  More later.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Horoscope

aries (Mar. 21st-Apr. 20th)Give thanks for all the confidence you have, all the knowledge you possess, all the smooth moves you can throw down like butter, because they're going to make you more appealing than a pool-sized vat of creamy mashed potatoes you could swim in naked. Now that's hot.
Yeah, I'm going to have to go with ew on the whole mashed potatoes thing. I'm also sad that I'm not getting my bathroom cleaned this week...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Five--Kitchen Gadgets

1) Do you have a food processor? Can you recommend it? Which is to say, do you actually use it?
I don't have a food processor, just an eensy tiny chopper thingie. I don't use it often, but it's handy when I need to chop up lots of veggies or something.

2) And if so, do you use the fancy things on it?
No fancy things. Just a lid and a blade. Very exciting.

3) Do you use a standing mixer? Or one of the hand-held varieties?
I currently have a hand-held mixer, but I've coveted the Kitchen Aids in the fun colors for a long time. I know, I shouldn't covet, but I really really want one some day!

4) How about a blender? Do you have one? Use it much?
Don't currently have one. Another thing in my someday category.

5) Finally, what old-fashioned, non-electric kitchen tool do you enjoy using the most?
Maybe this is an odd choice, but I really like spatulas. Not really sure why, but there you have it.

Bonus: Is there a kitchen appliance or utensil you ONLY use at Thanksgiving or some other holiday? If so, what is it?
Well, I really only use a turkey baster and my roasting pan on Thanksgiving. And I don't use my potato masher that often. This whole post sounds like I don't really cook, doesn't it? I like to cook, I just don't do much since it's just me. Which is probably why I don't have that many fun gadgets with which to do lots of fancy cooking.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh Man

I was just in the church kitchen getting some lunch when I heard a squeaking/chirping noise from the pantry. I went in to look, and there's a tiny little mouse in the trap. If it were already dead, I could take care of it, but because it's still alive I had to ask our custodian to deal with it. What an icky way to begin the afternoon.

Wednesday Morning Meanderings

I'm having a terrible time getting motivated this morning. So many things I should be doing, so many ways to procrastinate. A few thoughts for the day:
  • Last week I was told (in a roundabout way) that I'm not a "real" pastor, I'm just a girl
  • In a half-awake moment a couple of nights ago I got an idea for a children's book. It's not really even a half-baked idea, it's probably only an 1/8 baked, but I'm going to continue thinking about it and see if it leads anywhere.
  • Being an associate has its goods and bads: There are times when I love being able to defer because it's not my decision to make, but I hate when people "confide" in me their dissatisfaction with the senior pastor.
  • My neighbors NEED to move their headboard a couple inches away from the wall...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How Reading Ruined My Preaching

One of my favorite authors is Terry Brooks, who wrote (among other things) a series of books about a magic kingdom called Landover. Today while preaching I was fine during the first service but during the second service every time I tried to say the word landowner it came out as Landover. It was annoying but funny at the same time. I wonder how many people actually caught the reference.
In birthday news I went home Friday, spent the night, and then yesterday helped the fam celebrate youngest niece's 3rd birthday. It was a fun afternoon, but I think we kind of freaked her out when we sang Happy Birthday. There were quite a few of us singing and we got pretty loud. As we sang her eyes kept getting bigger and bigger and she finally had to have a snuggle with mom before she could come back blow out her candle. Other than that she seemed like she had a lot of fun being 3. Apparently it's just a scary song, though, because while we were singing it her friend had to have her mom take her back to the farthest bedroom and shut the door until we were done. Who knew Happy Birthday could be so scary?
And finally, this is my 100th post. Probably I should have something exciting and celebratory to say. Just make something up and pretend I typed it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Simple Moments

I was sitting in text study yesterday morning feeling somewhat overwhelmed and depressed and useless. No one big thing caused this, just a couple of little things that had built up and taken over for some reason at that point in the morning. It was frustrating and I was feeling pretty inadequate. Then yesterday afternoon at staff meeting apparently we were all feeling a little loopy. There were several points during the meeting when we started to giggle, which led to laughing so hard I was crying and I thought I might just fall off my chair and roll around on the floor with laughter. Today there were a couple of similar moments of silliness, as well as some good conversations, in person, on the phone, over e-mail. All of these things were small moments of grace in the chaos for me. Sometimes I take myself , my job, and life too seriously. It's nice when I'm reminded of God's presence by something, even something so simple as giggling in staff meeting. Tonight I'm making pizza from scratch and settling in for a stormy (outside, not in my life) evening of working on Christmas presents. Life is good. I just need to keep remembering that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I love Over the Hedge, and this seemed especially appropriate today:

Previous | Start | Next
Over the Hedge Nov 11, 2008
Tue Nov 11, 3:00 AM ET

Monday, November 10, 2008


This week's horoscope:

aries (Mar. 21st-Apr. 20th)
It's time to get in touch with your inner, black-clad, shit-kicker-boots-wearing, whip-wielding, six-foot-two dominatrix. Her name is Cassandria. Channel her energy this week and you should get whatever and whomever you want. You might even find someone to kiss your feet and clean your bathroom. Domination has its privileges.

Huh. I'm really excited about the bathroom cleaning thing...

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I taught first communion class yesterday. I wasn't sure how many kids would actually show up, but I had 4 boys, ages 10 and 11. They were goofy and hyper and totally fun. We talked about communion, baked the bread for church today, tasted the wine, and giggled a lot in the process (not from the wine!). They were so cute. I don't know how much they actually retained, but it was a good class. Afterward I met my mom, sister, my sister's exchange student and her friend (who is also an exchange student) for some shopping and dinner. It was so nice to get out and laugh and spend some girl time with my family. If only the waiter would have brought me the crackers for my soup before I actually finished the soup, it would have been perfect. But since I can't have everything I'll settle for a couple of crackers short of perfect. This morning I taught adult forum. I was far from brilliant, but I don't think I made an absolute idiot of myself. Now I'm settled in for an evening of crocheting, watching movies, and eating chocolate, and I'm about to go make myself some tea. Heaven.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yurt! and Other Adventures

Last week I stayed in my first yurt. If you're ever having a bad day, just say the word yurt! a couple of times, it's highly entertaining. :-) The yurt experience was while I was on vacation in CA. I flew into Sacramento where a friend of mine lives and the next day we drove to Berkeley for the Luther Lectures. where one of my favorite seminary professors was the speaker. So I got some continuing ed with my vacation and got to see people I hadn't gotten to see in awhile. All in all a good day. The next day we drove to Big Sur where we stayed a yurt resort. Yep, not only did we stay in a yurt, we stayed in a yurt resort! Good times, let me tell you. Actually, it was really cool. I'd never had a desire to stay in a yurt, but I'm glad we went, it was a lot of fun. And so very cute inside!

In other adventures, I finally got my driver's license transferred. You wouldn't think it would be that difficult, but it took me 5 trips to the DMV. The first time I was told when I got there that the computers were down. I went back the next day only to find out that I needed a certified copy of my birth certificate or a current passport, neither of which I possessed. So I ordered the birth certificate. I went back on Monday of this week and everything went swimmingly until the last moment when the system went down. Again. So I tried again on Tuesday, only to remember half way there that it was election day so they were closed. Finally on Wednesday I was able to complete the process, although only after running to get cash because I'd forgotten my check book like a big dork. Sheesh.
Sunday was a looong day. Good, but long. I preached at both services. During education hour we put together 82 boxes for Operation Christmas Child. All the Sunday School classes from the preschool to the Adult Forum were involved, so the fellowship hall was pretty chaotic, but it was a lot of fun and everybody did a great job. After 2nd service I took 13 3-5 graders swimming. Good times, even with the accidental bloody nose. After that it was the annual cluster meeting. It was a good day, but after all that I went to bed at 8:30.

And finally, this week was First Call Theological Education for 2 1/2 days. I was a little panicked about leaving because I have so much do to, but the conference went well. It was nice to spend some time with new colleagues and reconnect with the people I met last year.

Tomorrow I teach First Communion class and Sunday I teach adult forum. Hopefully they both go well and I won't make an absolute idiot of myself.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So Much to Type

So little time. I have much to update on: vacation, crazy experiences at the DMV, continuing ed, swimming with 3-5 graders, my somewhat odd voting experience. I also have an overwhelming amount of stuff to do at the church before I leave again for First Call Theological Education this afternoon. I haven't fallen off the face of the planet, I just need to find more than 3 minutes to actually type an update. In the meantime, I'm so glad the elections are over! It was an exciting and historic campaign, but I get so tired of all the ads. So hooray that it's over for many reasons.