The charity on display in this article seems wrongheaded on several levels. Or perhaps its not, or well-intentioned but poorly executed. Thoughts?
I am thankful for a good day. It began with my roommate Jesse helping me roll about 10 lbs of meat for Pakistani meatballs, which cut the time it took to do it in half. Plus, it was nice to chat and have tea together.
I am thankful for getting to have Thanksgiving dinner with my Mom’s family and that my Uncle Virgil was there for another year. Those spicy Pakistani meatballs are somewhat of a tradition and nestle right in with the turkey and dressing and sweet potato casseroles and venison, only my cousin Mark had not got a deer this year, so no venison pieces wrapped in little pieces of bacon. Getting back to the meatballs, though, the husband of one of my cousins, Arthur, loves them. His record, along with eating standard helpings of everything else, is 14. Today, at last check, he was on 8, but he said that he was not done. My cousin Barry was responsible for some wonderful pies (some of which may be in the photo for this post). And thanks to him and Trudy and girls for hosting the entire shindig. This year my cousin Pam’s husband died and she was reflecting rather sadly on how this had been his favorite holiday. His two wonderful boys, one the spitting image of his father, were both there, moving on with life, coping with things like playing and watching football and going to college without their father there to cheer them on. I am thankful that one day death will die.
Then the day was capped off with some nice relaxing and chatting at my brother Adrian’s house, where I determined that the fruitcake that had been in Dad’s fridge for about a year was, indeed, still well worth the eating. Brilliant.
About a week and a half ago, I set out to walk to Laura and Meg’s for a Social Justice Club meeting on the Palestininian Israeli Conflict, which consisted of a good presentation, good discussion, and warm fellowship. I decided to walk, not remembering the forecast which called for rain, frigid rain I might add. Well, I had on a corduroy jacket and my flat cap or derby or bunnet . Needless to say, after 3 miles or so, my jacket and bunnet were drookit and I was freezing. It was worth it, though, to feel like I was walking somewhere in Britain on a wet and windy night. Only it wasn’t Britain, and here are the pictures taken with camera shielded by cap and jacket and hand to prove it.
…on my part to write an article about my love of fruitcake to coincide with the Gateway Men’s Chorus’ holiday production for this year.
By the way, I do not want to herein go into debate about the topic of homosexuality, which is an issue that deserves more measured and thoughtful discussion than that which generally occurs in blog banter. It is interesting, though, to see a gay community apporpriating and subverting a prejorative term, and when I saw it in Starbucks this morning I thought it too funny a coincidence not to pass along.
Well, over the past several years I have been gifting friends with Christmas music that Sufjan Stevens produced for his family and friends and which found its way onto the web. As it looked like it was being made available on web sites with no objection from Sufjan, I felt free to copy it and distribute it. It was a magical and a joy to share.
I expected and hoped that he would package it and make it an honest to goodness Christmas album, and now he has, a 5 CD set no less. And what packaging, with a song book, stickers, and family portrait. And the best is that you can stream and preview each of the albums for free online. Go to the Asthmatic Kitty site and click on the album you want to hear at the bottom. The older ones are brilliant, including some new takes on old favorites (including some songs that we don’t hear as often on this side of the Atlantic) and some original Christmas songs ala Sufjan, folksy and quirky, some depressive yet hope-filled, some simply joy-filled. I am still listening to the new stuff. The album can be puchased from Sufjan’s label or Amazon and is out on the 21st.
My favorites thus far? “Once in Royal David’s City” on Hark!: Songs for Christmas, Vol. II
Here is the Amazon blurb:
In December 2001, Sufjan set out to create a Christmas gift for his friends and family. The result was a seven-song recording that he called “Noel Vol. 1″. Over the next several years, he created new EPs to add to the collection. This 5-CD box set includes all five volumes, plus a 42-page booklet with an original Christmas essay by acclaimed American novelist Ricky Moody, two essays, a short story by Stevens, a holiday sticker, chord charts, lyrics, comic strip, family portrait poster, photos, and an animated video.
This is my first full-fledged article in Catapult since the one that was difficult to write and publish. This one was a joy to write, after intitially thinking that I really did not have anything to write about for the Just Desserts issue. Yes, it discusses fruitcake, which admitting that you like is a little like telling people that you are a librarian. They smile and think of their favorite joke. This article is about more than that, however, and I think you may like it.
My roomate, Lloyd, and I also conspired to take a photo entitled Apple Pie Without the Cheese is Like a Kiss Without a Squeeze a phrase my mother would say. After the experience of taking this picture, I am considering a career change to become a tie model. That was “tie model,” not “pie model,” though that might be good work if one could get it.
There are also other fine articles in this issue, including a eye opening one about the horrors of white sugar and flour, both health-wise and historically speaking.
Finally, if you have missed my earlier work in Catapult, it can be found here.
…OK, so I am talking about a cat. If you are looking for one, this is a pretty sweet opportunity and would help out some of my colleagues at work. Here is the bio…
…a short haired, grey cat with white flecks who is 2-2 1/2 years old
…2 wheel drive i.e. his front claws have been declawed, so he needs to stay indoors
…a eunuch, having been neutered at a young age
…ready to travel as his shots and papers are all up to date
…a healthy 16 lbs.
…free to a good home
In all seriousness, this is a pretty good opportunity if you are looking for a cat. I would need to know very soon, though, as arrangements have to be in place by tomorrow. Not enough time, but still interested? Email me or call and we can talk.
…only not in that order. Sometimes I rather overbook myself on Sundays and this one was no exception. In fact, it was probably a little crazier than most.
This morning I woke earlyish, but not nearly early enough, to begin preparations for a tea time I had planned for after our night worship service and congregational meeting. It is all well and good to plan to make little sandwiches, but those little dudes take a long time to construct, particularly if you are doing them properly and trimming off the crusts, which, incidently, did make for a fairly decent breakfast. It was enjoyable to make my Mom’s recipe for these little ground beef and homemade mayonnaise sandwiches. Just remember, though, mayonnaise is an emulsion and you can’t rush your emulsions. Still, it all worked out and they tasted good.
Nonetheless, it all took a little while, and then some lost shoes and lost car keys and general unpreparedness led to really not being able to make our church’s later second worship service either, and to guilt for missing church, particularly when I was preparing for a function to get church people together. And I was all dressed to go and everything. Groan! Later, a friend asked in jest if I was being a bit of a Martha. Perhaps so. It is no coincidence, I think, that with her naming that Martha Stewart turned out as she did.
Part of my need to get things done in the morning was so that I could play football at 2:00. Now you may rightly ask, “OK, Neil, so where are your priotities.” But football, in the autumn on a crisp day, with guys who are going to lay it all out there, well, it is one of life’s finer pleasures and it is hard to beat. And though I just took two Ibuprofen’s and will feel every aching muscle and bone in the next few days, it was so worth it. I have been walking for fitness a fair amount over the past month and it was good to test a little of that newly acquired fitness out, particularly in pushing guys around when trying to get to the quarterback. And, OK I’ll just say it, it was fun to surprise folks a little bit with some speed they don’t think I will have being a bigger boy. And here’s to becoming less of a bigger boy, but compensating with more speed so the pop will still be there. And there were some pops! today, including one where getting hit hard while shifting my footing made me do a complete backward sommersault. Oh, there was that one play where I kind of grabbed the quarterback’s jersey instead of a flag and he just kind of came down. The only regret of the game? Master Huggins was not there, otherwise the intensity level would have been even higher. This was the Warren Sapp portion of the day, if you are keeping score at home.
Finally, I did get to be a bit like Mary too. Thank the Lord. I got to hear the last of an 8 part Sonship lecture series, and today’s topic was on Spiritual Warfare. Some tough lessons, but good stuff. And then at the congregational meeting, there was a lovely worship time with songs by our own song leader and songs from a group from Liberia and one from Congo, followed by a meeting where we elected elders and deacons to help the chuch move forward. Good stuff.
Finally, the long awaited tea was also good with many good friends and much warm fellowship. And now an early night…well, it was early before I started this post, at any rate. And, finally, here’s to a blessed coming week.
…probably not, but here are some shots (titled and untitled) of leaves that have been pressing in the hard drive, and one of advent on its way.
And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
“petals on a wet black bough”
paging dr. seuss
a bruised reed he will not break
impressions of light and color or ok, so it’s out of focus but still looks cool
o come, o come…
OK, so that is a little bitter and shrill blog post title. I was quite disappointed last night when I saw the gap closing on the lead that the “No” votes had in the Amendment 2 vote. I pretty much could guess the conclusion and went to bed. I am not a Republican, but do tend to vote that way for lack of pro-life Democrats. And, no, I do not want to have a discussion here about why being a one issue voter is a bad thing. I am working on that. However, I don’t absolutely mind the House going Democratic. I think the Republicans need to be taken to the wood shed a bit.
And so, Missouri is stripped of its ability to use the normal arm of governing in a representative democracy, the elected legislature, to craft laws promoting or regulating embryonic stem cell research. And let me say here that I am not a supporter of the bills that restrict it in draconian terms.
And so, as a society we attempt to sluff of more of our creatureliness, to grasp for power and control which, I believe, is not ours to wield. We seek to be less contingent, less dependent. We seek to be more the captain of our souls. No, we seek even more, to be the arbiter of whether to grant life or death to other souls.
Still, congratulations to and blessings upon all those who made this race so close, and I wish would have joined them more. Being outspent 10 to 1 (see “earlier story“), they still managed to make this vote so close. It was a wonderous coalition of people from many denominations, not to mention pro-life and pro-choice people working together in some cases.
And, finally, after driving to work today in a rather despondent mood this morning, I was cheered by reading a post-election blog post by Renae (who goes to my church but whom I haven’t met yet), that despite this loss that, indeed, “God is bigger than the Boogie Man.”