Monday, March 24, 2008

excuses and miscellany

  • Lately I've been working hard on the article my friend & favorite feminist theologian invited me to co-write. It's been a marvelous experience: the first really fun academic writing I've done in ages, an absolute joy to really dialogue with someone about ideas I'm passionate about without competitiveness or rancor (even in disagreement!), an opportunity to really delve deep into one of the most important scholars for my dissertation work and understand her better, and to develop my own "feminist voice," for this essay (unlike my academic writing to date) has a personal dimension and a poetic flourish. I've learned a lot...and not least that it really is possible to produce good academic work in a process free from the petty competition that characterizes so much academic exchange.
  • I'm really loving the classic Sesame Street clips and TMBG ABC's and 123's videos...(thanks for the tip, Rick!) Really, youtube just keeps getting better and better! Clare has now graduated from the familiar shapes of circle, square, oval, triangle, diamond to "octagon" thanks in part at least to the awesome song "Nonagon." (Everyone should also check out "High Five.") Plus, there's a whole bunch of Obama babies' videos out there--apparently all toddlers are wise enough to know a good thing when they see it...(Clare's is the best though!!! a totally impartial judgment).
  • I'm resolving to be in bed by 10:00pm every night from now on. I've had enough of waking up feeling like total crap in the morning. I've also had enough of waking up and finding Clare totally covered in crap, but that's a different problem, not so easily resolved.
  • I'm also resolving to lose this last bit of baby weight by the time I have to get back into a swimsuit for the Thweatt fam reunion at the beach in NC in June. Ten years ago at the last one I wore a 2-piece. I still have it--it's the only swimsuit I own. So I guess I need to be able to fit into it, and it would be nice to feel good in it too.
  • It's my turn to pick up teaching the toddler class at CCfB again. Despite feeling compelled to adjust some of the suspect theology in their lessons, and really enjoying getting to participate in worship and hearing sermons live, I've missed it. Dots! I can't wait to give Ira and Clare their 3 dots for being such good little kiddies!
  • I'm really glad a friend here at GTS has taken the initiative to start a weekly mom's group. It's casual, Clare loves playing her friend A, and it's so nice to talk parenting with other people going through the same things you are. And, it gets me out of the isolation that I slide into when left to my own devices. (My own devices=computer.)
  • I'm really awkward making casual conversation with people I don't know. I talk a lot, so that maybe people won't notice how awkward I feel, and then I do something like somehow inadvertently give a conservative Baptist the impression I'm an unwed mom. No, no...I'm just not wearing my ring because I deboned a chicken Thursday night. Honest, I swear. Really. Then again, I don't really feel like being mistaken for an unwed mother is the end of the world anyway, so &*@# it.
  • Oregon Trail and Text Twirl were short-lived Facebook fads for me...but Scrabulous endures. (MOM, I'm winning this game BTW.) My theory that multiple player games are always won by the player who starts them (and goes first) may have been disproven but I think it's just an instance of the exception proving the rule.
  • I've been loving Marti Stanley's very bright green blog lately. After this post, I scrubbed my whole bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. I won't be trying my hand at composting for awhile yet though...that takes, you know, a yard.
  • I think about my sister Ally a lot more than I ever talk to her. I had a great plan for calling her every Wednesday afternoon, since that's when she was in the Choluteca office near a phone. Nowadays though she's not in the office much anymore, since she's working hard over at the Children's Home (where hopefully CCfB's cow named Brooklyn is living the good life and making lots o'milk!). I was bragging on her and Jarrod today at lunch. Love you, Al.
  • Tomorrow Clare goes to "school" again even though it's Wednesday and Brent and I will hop on a train and go down to Madison and he will brilliantly defend his dissertation. Also, tomorrow at roughly the same time Ira is scheduled for the follow-up surgery.

Almost time for my new and improved bedtime now and I'm all out of randomness. I may, or may not, take up the suggestion to bloggily muse upon Obama sometime soon. I'd like to explain what I meant in an earlier post about him being the "cyborg candidate." That will take some actual thinking, unlike this post, which is all just fluffernuttery nonsense.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

if God is infinite...

then God's got time to be annoyed by everything.

(Thanks, LP!)

Monday, March 10, 2008

on his way

A few weeks back, Brent's final requirement for the practical liturgy class he was taking was a "practice Mass." It's not a real Mass, because he's not ordained yet. He won't be able to celebrate a Mass until after he is ordained a priest, which will be at least six months after his ordination as transitional deacon, which is scheduled for early June. So it's in a third floor classroom instead of chapel (so no one gets confused and thinks it's real); hence the strange whiteboard background behind the altar. The point of course is to give everyone a little practice from the inside out--after all, no matter how familiar you are with the liturgy as a worshipper, it's different when you're leading it. It's a fairly big deal, since celebrating a Mass--even a not-really-real practice one--is a big deal. And it's a sort of rite of passage around here. Some classmates participate, some attend to support and encourage, some attend to try to trip you up by stealing the host or grabbing the chalice or otherwise acting crazy. (Watch Part 4 and see if you can figure out why everyone's snickering at they walk to their seats, and when the host gets put in someone's pocket.)

Of course, sharing this video with the world is entirely my idea and Brent loves me enough to let me have my way. He would never post this on his blog. Of course, he never posts anything on his blog.

(Part 1: Procession, Opening Collect, scripture readings, Gospel, first bit of homily)

(Part 2: rest of homily, Nicene Creed, Prayers of the People)

(Part 3 begins at about 1:20: rest of Prayers of the People, General Confession, Absolution, the Peace, the Offering, the Great Thanksgiving)

(Part 4: administration of communion, Postcommunion Prayer, Blessing, Recession)

And special thanks to my techno-savvy friend who made posting this video possible! Baked symbols of appreciation headed your way!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


So, some of you may remember a couple of years ago we discovered that Tiamat a.k.a. "Kitty" has chronic stomatitis. You may remember this because we freaked out when the vet told us we would probably have to extract all her teeth--and eventually definitely have to. That kind of procedure costs thousands of bucks...and as Brent kept pointing out with a sort of anthropocentric outrage, we haven't even been to the people dentist in years now.

So, since finding this out, our Princeton vet advised to try an initial treatment of periodic steroid shots and occasional antiobiotics to control the inflammation and infections in poor Kitty's mouth. I can still remember being 8 months pregnant with Clare, and getting down on the floor and trying to wrestle Tiamat into a position where we could squirt an alcohol-based antibiotic solution into her mouth with a syringe. (Yeah. That worked just super. After a couple rounds of that we called the vet back and said, um, NO. Alternatives? Oh, they say, just try putting it in her food. WHY didn't you SAY SO, people!!!)

Since then, every few months, we make another vet appt and take her in for a shot (or two) and another round of Clindamycin (or two). But like any stopgap measure, it loses efficacy after awhile. Plus, at $120 a visit, not even this stopgap is something we can really afford. But we have to do something for our kitty, and this has been the best we could do for her.

And never, until today, has anyone suggested that I call the Humane Society. Who runs a full-service clinic. With dental procedures. That existed for the purpose of providing necessary care for animals with owners of limited means.

Dr. Janet Ficarra at Downtown Veterinary Clinic on 9th Avenue and 19th St., YOU ARE MY CAT'S HERO.

I rushed home, called the Humane Society, asked a couple questions, and WOW. I still haven't talked to Brent, and services aren't free, but it's doable, and really, considering what it costs to make an appt every couple months at this point, more cost-effective than the steroid and antibiotics that aren't working well anymore.

So WHY oh WHY didn't this occur to me? Or WHY is it only now, with vet #3, that I get this recommendation in response to my guilty mumbled explanations of "I know we need to do it, but we just can't right now..."?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Clare says, "O-ba-ma!"

I did not, I promise, coach this. She spontaneously exclaimed "Obama!" earlier in the song, I grabbed the camera, and waited for the magic to happen again.

You can find the new Obama video here. Thanks for the link, Tracy.