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so, i joined the ymca… July 30, 2005

Posted by introspectreangel in weight loss.
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…and i’ve been swimming laps every day. it is absolutely beyond me as to why a kid hanging on the rope that separates the lap lane from the rest of the pool gets an ear splitting whistle blow and the immediate attention of the lifeguard, but the same kid scooting under the lane rope and swimming right on top of my head gets no attention whatsoever. when i was a kid, there was a “one person per lap lane” rule at the y. there was also a policy that the lap lanes were for lap swimmers, not kids dicking around with noodles and volleyballs. does this no longer apply? they have 3/4 of the pool. surely i can have a lap lane to myself for 30 minutes. i mean, really.

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madness… July 18, 2005

Posted by introspectreangel in reading.
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“hi, this is angel. i’m sorry i can’t take your call right now. i’m currently at the hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. i will return when i find out who the half blood prince is. so don’t be cute and try to ruin it for me. leave your name, number, and a brief message and i will return your call as soon as possible. if i manage to snag a Time Turner from the Ministry of Magic, you may never even notice my absence! thanks, and have a wonderful day!”

i have never been able… July 14, 2005

Posted by introspectreangel in birthdays.
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…to have a mature, adult attitude towards my birthday.

every freakin’ year when july 1st comes around i vow ONCE AGAIN not to start counting the days until my birthday. i have to bite my tongue to keep from reminding everyone i come into contact with that my birthday is coming up and how old i’m going to be and what presents i want. see, birthdays were a BIG DEAL in my family growing up, and i’ve just never gotten over it. as kids, we basically got our way from dawn ’til dusk of this ONE DAY A YEAR. if we wanted chocolate cake for breakfast, that was fine. if we didn’t want to brush our teeth or hair on this one day of the year, that was fine, too. we got to pick between having mom cook us anything we wanted for dinner or going out and doing something that we would rarely get to do at any other time. like one year, my sister wanted to go horseback riding. we grew up in suburbia, not the country, and we didn’t get to go horseback riding as a routine thing. so dad found the nearest stables that would take you on a guided one hour horseback ride. another year i wanted to go ice skating, and so we drove 2 hours to the nearest ice rink. and of course there was cake and presents and stuff. as an added bonus, since we mostly went to catholic school, birthdays were “get out of uniform day”. i was extra special with my july birthday, because to compensate for the summer birthday and not having a class party, i got to pick one day in may AND one day in september to be out of uniform. put simply, birthdays just ruled.

then i grew up, and figured out that grownups don’t get summer vacation, and they don’t get to wear whatever they want to work on their birthdays, and yeah – they have to WORK on their birthdays. i’ve been trying to adjust ever since. so july rolls around and i try to forget my birthday is coming up. i try to keep my mouth shut and not tell anyone, but that just doesn’t work so well for me. i’m totally hopeless. in fact, this whole entire post goes against the supposed goal of giving my birthday less importance!

by the way, it’s july 26th. i’ll be 30, if anyone’s interested. 😉

what i’m thinking about today… July 14, 2005

Posted by introspectreangel in faith, reading, theology.
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i had been reading “the gospel of q” about the source material for the gospels of matthew and luke, commonly known as “q”, and i was struggling with the writer’s “tone”, as it were. i have never been afraid to expose myself to new theologies – i don’t believe i can accept or reject a theory unless i’ve looked into it. but the tone of this book was extremely dismissive of anyone who disagreed with the many 20th century new testament scholars’ work into the historical Jesus, i.e. anyone who believed that the miracles and the resurrection actually occurred. the book invites the reader to decide whether Jesus was an ethical preacher or an apocalyptic prophet, and presents evidence for both arguments. however, i had to step back and take a break from reading it. it was bothersome to me, because i believe Jesus was so much more than either of those – he is the messiah. i hope i will go back to it, but in the meantime, i have found “the Jesus myth”, by andrew greeley, the catholic priest and sociologist. it’s an older book (1971), and father greeley states:

“To say the Jesus is a religious myth or symbol, albeit the most important religious symbol in the Western world, is not to deny Him reality. There is nothing more real than men’s symbols and myths. To say that Jesus is a symbol does not say that His life and message are legend. Quite the contrary, it is the very core of the myth of Jesus that His life and message were real historical phenomena; phenomena which, even though we perceive them through the theological understanding of the primitive church, still have powerful historical value in the strict sense of the word.”

he goes on to discuss that today we realize that the symbolism of primitive Christianity is primarily Jewish, and that the amazing thing is not really the so-called similarities between early Christianity and the pagan religions and hellenistic mystery cults (which scholars have used to discount the miracles and the resurrection), but the differences. he writes that Jesus was a man whose message was “irrelevant” – as much out of harmony with His own time as it is with ours today. not “irrelevant” as in “unimportant”, but “irrelevant” as in “so out of step with the mainstream that He had to be murdered”, and “irrelevant” as in “not adjusted to the fashionable ideological currents of our day”. and we all know this: feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and imprisoned, clothing the naked, and loving our neighbors even as we ourselves are loved is definitely not fashionable. Jesus went about providing answers to the questions no one was asking and refused to answer the questions everyone thought important. He resolutely refused to permit himself to be part of any of the principal religious or political currents of His environment. in this way He was “irrelevant”.

i swear, sometimes i wish i just watched soap operas.

Bishop Joseph Patrick Delaney, the leader of the … July 13, 2005

Posted by introspectreangel in Catholic, prayer.
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Bishop Delaney, the leader of the Catholic Diocese of — for the last 24 years, has died.

please pray for him. my family has several ties to the this diocese. my siblings and i were all raised Catholic there. though two of the three of us have since departed the Roman Catholic Church to worship elsewhere, the three of us were all confirmed by Bishop Delaney. my mother worked as the director of religious education for a parish in the diocese for 10 years, and knew Bishop Delaney well. he suffered greatly with pancreatic cancer and general declining health in the last several years of his life.

those of you who know of my personal faith journey know that there were two primary factors in my decision to leave the RCC. the first was my marriage to my husband. at the local level, he was not welcomed into the faith of my childhood when he was informed that as a methodist, he could not receive Eucharist. we managed to find some sympathetic clergy and jump through some hoops to make sure he was able to share in the sacrament at our wedding, but…well, it was just more work than it should have been. he was treated as a second class citizen all the way through the process of planning the wedding. the second reason for my decision to leave the RCC had to do with events on the global level in the fall and spring of 2002 and 2003. the clergy sexual abuse crisis was on the front page of every newspaper and website in Christendom, and the institutional Church continued to ignore and even outright deny the problem. most catholics have known for decades to keep their little boys and girls away from father so-and-so, but to hear out loud from the Vatican that efforts to protect the most innocent among us – our children – should take a backseat to the individual rights of accused clerics was appalling, to say the least. it shattered the last of our illusions that sex abuse of children by priests might be a small, isolated problem.

Bishop Delaney was ahead of the curve in instituting the diocesan “Keeping Children Safe” program and in creating regulations for the training and continuing education of all diocesan personnel regarding the prevention of sex abuse. he also implemented the victim assistance ministry. and yet, he still allowed into active ministry in a local parish a priest who had been accused of sexual abuse in another diocese, who subsequently abused more children. why? now we’ll never know.

*sigh*

Father of all, we pray to you for your servant, and for all those whom we love but see no longer. Grant to them eternal rest. Let light perpetual shine upon them. May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

this could be a problem July 13, 2005

Posted by introspectreangel in Boy-o.
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i have made a bad, bad mistake. normally, i jump up when “sesame street” is over and turn off the tv right away. but this morning i got sidetracked responding to email, and i didn’t turn off the tv after “sesame street”. and now look what’s happened. Boy-o has discovered the teletubbies. discovered, hell – he is mesmerized.

somebody shoot me.

you know you have completely lost perspective… July 13, 2005

Posted by introspectreangel in blogging, chaos, family.
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…when you’re up at this time of the night (morning?) worrying about your sister-in-law’s wedding.

when the planning first began, i offered to lend my expertise as someone who had planned a large wedding before – my own – and was told, “oh, that’s so nice of you.” but i quickly lost patience when it became apparent that everything i tried to do – book a block of hotel rooms, for example, or get details about how another individual could pay for the honeymoon as a gift – was being done in a different way, by someone else. “okay,” i thought. “i need to back off. i realize that when it comes to planning and organization, i am just the teensiest bit obsessive, so i’m going to back off and let them do things the way they want.”

that was all well and good until we moved into this house just over a month ago. we are now up close and personal with the wedding juggernaut, and let me tell you, it’s not pretty. we are t-minus 24 days, and the tables and chairs have not been rented. the program has not been printed. the music for the ceremony has not been selected, or if it has, it has not been communicated to the person in charge of getting the programs printed. the dj has not been met with, nor has the minister. and being this close to the chaos is killing me. i was playing on the internet last night and listening to the bride and her mother on the phone try to determine who is considered “wedding party” for the purposes of the program. so i quickly pulled up an example and printed it out to show them. i then made out a sample program combining elements of the example and a program the bride’s mother had from a friend’s wedding, and i emailed it to the bride. but it’s kind of pointless because, as i said, no one has met with the minister to determine the order of the ceremony. my sample was full of “possible scripture reading here?” and “name of song goes here”. i asked the mother of the bride who the organist/pianist was, and she said there wasn’t going to be one. “really?” i asked. “is all the music pre-recorded?” she thought so, but she wasn’t sure. the bride hasn’t told her, and once again, no one has met with the minister or anyone at the church. i shrugged my shoulders.

but then, i woke up at 4:30 this morning wondering if their church requires them to pay the church organist, even if they don’t use her, as is customary in most large churches – at least in the city I grew up in. the stipend for performing at weddings is usually considered part of their pay, and so marrying couples are required to pay, even if they don’t want his/her services.

but it really doesn’t matter, does it? i mean, it’s not my wedding. it’s theirs. and they are young, and so happy to be getting married that none of the details matter to them. in fact, i don’t even think they’d be having this church wedding if the bride’s mother hadn’t insisted. but if you’re going to do something, regardless of the reasons, don’t you think it should be done right?

in other news, i see blogger’s post counter is back up, and this is post #100. i guess that’s some kind of milestone or something, right?

we got back last night… July 11, 2005

Posted by introspectreangel in birthdays, family.
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…from a weekend in the large college town northeast of us, where we visited husband’s brother and his wife. husband’s little sister, who is getting married next month, is also living with them for the summer, so it was a great opportunity for me to watch the three siblings interact with each other away from their parents. i had a lot of fun – we stayed up until 2 am on friday night discussing Church history and denominational practices. they were all raised methodist, but the brother and sister-in-law have moved a little farther right to a non-denominational evangelical church, and husband and i have moved a little farther left to the episcopal church. i asked little sister if she and her fiancee had decided where they were going to go to church, since their relationship has been a long distance one and they haven’t actually gone to church together yet. she said they would start with the methodist church in the college town where they will be living. i assume if that’s not a good fit for them, they’ll figure it out from there.

this is what i asked for for my birthday this year. it’s kind of expensive, so i decided it would be better if it was the only thing i asked for. and it’s an important birthday – i’m turning 30! – so i feel justified.

in general, i tend to be skeptical of doctors… July 7, 2005

Posted by introspectreangel in depression, family, funny, health.
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…the medical establishment, and most types of medication. now, i’m not anti-medication, christian scientist, jehovah’s witness, or just plain stupid – merely skeptical. i have allergy-induced asthma, and i’m prone to bronchitis, pneumonia, and upper respiratory infections at certain times of the year. i’ve also done battle with clinical depression at various times. nor do i want any more children in the forseeable future. all of the above are, in my opinion, conditions that justify the use of medication – anti-histamines, steroids, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, antidepressants/antianxiety medications, and contraceptives. however, since i am, as mentioned above, skeptical of the medical establishment, i thoroughly investigate all medications before agreeing to take them. i find out what their active ingredients are. i ask the doctors to explain to me how they are going to work, and why they are better than an alternative drug or no treatment at all. i consider myself to be a responsible and informed healthcare consumer, doing my part to hold down america’s astronomical healthcare costs. before i go any further, i want to make sure that i say i have done no research whatsoever to back up the opinion i am about to put forth. i have no sources to quote. i’m relying strictly on my common sense here, and my common sense tells me that it is primarily stupid people who are helping to drive up the costs of healthcare. people who run to the doctor with the attitude of, “don’t explain what’s wrong with me, just give me a pill to fix it”. people who don’t bother to get educated about how the pill they are swallowing works. people who think, “well, if it worked to fix this, then it must also work to fix THIS.” it’s already been established that the overuse of antibiotics has contributed to the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. the same consumer mindset that has caused this development is also at least partially responsible for rising costs. i call it the “magic pill” attitude.

i have a gigantic mosquito bite on my ankle that has swelled up to the size of a pea and it itches, so last night i was looking around for some hydrocortisone cream to put on it. ok, i’m familiar with home remedies such as toothpaste, but i find hydrocortisone cream works best for me. my mother-in-law hands me the aloe vera from the fridge and says, “use this”. i turn the bottle around and read, “apply generously – aloe vera moisturizes, cools, and soothes dry skin and sunburns.” i look up and say, “this is for dry skin and sunburns, not insect bites.” she shrugs and says, “well, i use it for everything.” i say, “like the dad in “my big fat greek wedding” who uses windex for everything?” she says, “exactly!”

see? magic pill.

i understand that i can’t expect everyone to know the difference between ibuprofen, aceteminophen, and naproxen sodium. but if you’re taking them, you should at least know that they are pain and fever relievers. nor do i expect everyone to know the difference between loratadine and diphenhydramine, but if you’re taking them, you should know that both are antihistamines and antihistamines are for allergies. same thing with decongestants – you don’t take one of those for a runny nose, only a stuffy one. common sense. when my father-in-law complained of a headache and stuffy nose last weekend, she handed him the benadryl. i know i’m not off the mark here, because he looked at her like she was crazy and then got himself the tylenol sinus.

i wonder if she rubs aloe vera on her forehead when she has a headache…

my reference to Miss Mary Ann… July 6, 2005

Posted by introspectreangel in videos.
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…from “Romper Room” in yesterday’s post has had me strolling down the internet version of memory lane at Nostalgia Central. I also found this clip of Miss Mary Ann arguing with one of the kids about GUNS! the kid she’s arguing with is that little tough guy who ran in late every day. he talks about not being afraid of anything, as long as he’s packing a piece. Miss Mary Ann is momentarily stunned – then gets into a five minute conversation with the kid on gun safety, but he’ll have none of it. he’ll test the gun by firing into a trash can!

i wonder where that kid is now. maybe Miss Mary Ann can look through her magic mirror and let me know.