Talk About Your Blog

Packing is going better than anticipated so I had time to complete this.

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

They ask you some questions about your blog and blogging habits, the links you post, and who you have met through blogging. Pretty interesting. Results will be available later this month (assuming it's already July when you read this), so take the survey soon!

Traveling Mercies/Mercy! Traveling!

It's hard to leave town.

I love traveling, and I don't think I am a true homebody, but I am having a hard time getting ready to go. It's hard to stare at the mound of laundry I did yesterday and begin to think about everything I will need in the next seven days, iron the stuff that needs it, and get it neatly into a suitcase. It's hard to think of the shape my dad will be in when I come back. He's getting depressed and progress toward work and healing is slow. It's hard to think about my grandma in MO and the heart test she has next week (which makes me wonder, are my Poplar Bluff readers actually relatives? Both the Poplar Bluff IP addresses that visit this blog were on last night--I know you all had a rough day and I am either surprised or flattered to see that you still checked. Sorry I had nothing new to say.).

With all that, I will be mostly gone for the next three weeks and I know I will not have internet access for part of that time. I plan to audioblog, so don't change your favorites just yet. I will return on my birthday (or as I should refer to it, The Day That You Have Exactly Six Years Until My Spinster Shower) and by then will be preparing for the new school year.

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If I could blink my eyes and will myself to 48 hours from now when I will be sitting in a big green walker, knitting and talking with friends, I would. Right now, It's hard.

Since The Whole Praying For Scott Baio Thing Is Out Of The Bag, Enjoy This.

..I expect to find Him laughing..
Blasphemous Rumours--Doubting and cynical, you can find the irony in
life's tragedies

Which Depeche Mode song are you?

Thanks, Karina, for the link.

Funny that I got this result. I didn't think I sounded this dark. I usually don't post results to these things, but Blastphemous Rumors is a song that got me in a bit of trouble as a teenager.

Mom heard the Depeche Mode song coming from my room when I was a teenager and it worried her. She had dad come talk with me. He came in my room and put a record on my stereo (yes, a record. A large black vinyl CD shaped thing). He played Simon and Garfunkel's Silent Night/5 O'Clock News and talked about how this song got him a talking to growing up in a military home.

"If you're going to get in trouble for music, at least have it mean something."

Pretty Pink Baby, Pretty Pink Feet

What could be more moving to my barren womb than this?

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Baby Audra is wearing the booties I made, and it's in the picture they sent to everyone! I didn't get Audra's mommy's permission to post her face, so you can just enjoy her perfect feet in baby alpaca booties!

Ruined, But In A Good Way

I made a quick run through the Super Mega Low Mart tonight and it set my mind a-spinning.

The clothing department featured a t shirt with the beloved rendering of "Jesus Strangling the Children". I looked for some time to find the exact picture, but I couldn't. You'll know it from the wall of your childhood Sunday school room or, if you went to OBU, from the walls of your friend's apartment (and I'm serious). He's supposed to be blessing them, but it looks more violent. Anyhow, the picture has a caption: No Prayer Too Small.

My head springs into action. I think some prayers are too small. The prayers that we win the football game, the prayer of the girl on my hall in WMU when she would ask what to wear every day, the prayers of eleven year old me that Scott Baio would get saved (yes, I did, don't mock me, I got over it.). Those prayers are small. We should be praying bigger prayers.

As I walked down another aisle and saw teenagers in Falls Creek shirts playing with a walker. A boy with sassy shaggy model hair pretended to walk with a bad knee and making what he thought were old man noises. If you've followed my summer saga at all, you can imagine how un-funny I find this. I wanted to a. correct this young man's shoddy impression and b. chastise his lack of compassion for the old and handicapped (I also entertained a c. take the walker home to dad. It was a really nice one. No tennis balls.).

I checked out of the Mega Low wondering if I had totally lost my sense of humor. Do I really have to deconstruct everything? Can I ever give it a rest and just do a bit of shopping? The answer is nope, probably not. You, internet friends, are partially to blame for this flaw. I started with a bit of this tendency and it's only solidified over the past year or so. But I have found the good in this dilemma. In deconstructing, I have finally begun to construct. I like to hope I have cleared away enough brush to see what it is I want. I have been in church somewhere for every Sunday in June. That's big. I haven't been to a perfect church, but I can start to question the questionable and appreciate the good. I can finally get over the uglies and start to look for the Kingdom. My picture of this Kingdom is a bit idealized, and I'm not likely to find all its parts in one place, but I like it that way. I think I'm keeping it.

Ice Cream Wars III

"What if", my father wonders, "there was a Seventh Day Adventist Church that had a sign that said 'Our Saturdays Beat Your Sundays'?

Ice Cream Scoops Have Been Drawn... the ice cream/worship wars of 2005!

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Where I Plug A Blog You Already Read And Give A Belated Thank You Note

I love Dooce and I love that many of you love Dooce. I would love for you to love Dooce. Doocity Dooce Dooce Dooce.

Like me, she has a tendancy to burst into the Church songs of her upbringing at any time. Her songs are different, but the humor is similar. When this entry was posted this week, I remembered fondly our rousing chorus of "I'm In The Lord's Army" on the McCarty family porch.

Micah was right, if heaven will be like friends and music and beer under a big sky with big stars and big laughs, I will be honored to pull up a wicker chair.

Government One, Little Guy Zip

I wonder sometimes what my politics look like in the larger scale of things. I mean, I look liberal in this region and in this day and time, but what if I was from the East? What if I lived 40 years ago? As I read deeper and deeper I like the ideas of the Anti-Federalists but also hold a serious concern for the poor. I find myself wanting the governments hands off more and more issues. Is that only because I don't trust this Government?

So right now I define myself as a moderate. I would like to see a proposal for small government. I am beginning to think I could get behind it.

Which leads me to The Supreme Court ruling on Eminent Domain. What a scary ruling from the SCOTUS! I can't seem to get my head around a way that this is not a clear violation of my right to property---a natural right, not one given by the Government!

With A Sad Nod Of The Head To The McCarty Musers

...I offer my own entry into the Roadside Theology archives.
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Try Our Sundays, They're Better Than Braum's

Wow, thanks for the tip. I have been craving some ice cream but now I know I can satisfy that craving with fewer calories at your local house o' worship.

It should be noted that this picture was taken with my soopa zoom as the driveway into the Church was blocked with a sawhorse and a big sign that said "PRIVATE PROPERTY--KEEP OUT!".

When your Sundays are that good, you can't go lettin folks in on Thursday. That would be madness.

Why Hello, Pulse of Hip! I Shall Now Place My Finger On You!

I shall never be at a loss when speaking to children again!! I have found the Urban Dictionary and lo, the world of their silly silly talk shall be at my fingertips!!

I have already solved some of the mysteries that have puzzled me throughout my career.

  1. Bama-- My findings here support that the word has its origins in Alabama, but I was shocked to find that it points to the less than hip more than the racist. I am also shocked to find it has nothing to do with those little pecan pies.
  2. Holla Back Girl--Sure, Gwen Stefani isn't one, but just what isn't she? Reports vary here. It could mean she is an upright young lady who won't respond to a booty call, it could mean that she is the head cheerleader and not the one who repeats the yell. I am going with this definition.
  3. My resolve to fight the use of the word crunk in the mainstream is validated here.
  4. Swoll means more than I ever thought it did.
  5. Bitchcakes as a term of endearment is validated. It's not just for me and Karina anymore!
  6. So this is what w00t means!
  7. I promise to return to school ahead of the curve with my acquisition of argyle pimp, failureteer, and twinkie.

Gotta make sure I spellasize before I publish!

What I Haven't Been Up To

So sorry for the lack of posting, it seems summer has somehow stolen all my blogging material. I have spent the last couple of weeks looking after a different brood. Instead of High School kids, I now spend my days with my dad. I take him walking, we look for jobs. It's not as depressing as it sounds, but it isn't funny. I have become familiar with most indoor walking venues on the South side. I know where the ramps are and I have pared the time it takes to hold the door to the house, lock it, unlock the car, pop the trunk, get dad settled, put the walker in the trunk, and start the car to a record low.

I am hoping it will become a rodeo event and at long last my dream of fame will be realized.

I was thinking about my summer so far and of you, internets. What do I say to you now without sounding like a schlub? I thought of summers past and how I spent my time and I came up with this summer's brightest spot.

I am not working retail this year!

This is the first summer in six years that I have not...

  • Held a conversation with a co worker that begins with "Did you hear Delilah last night!?"
  • Ended a day smelling like a multi lotioned and scented French whore.
  • Loaded barrels for the June Sale (dear god, the June Sale!!)
  • Spent actual brain time trying to think of new words to describe a scent
  • Come home late on a Sunday night from a floor move, all sweaty yet still smelling of product
  • Allowed my heart to race with a big sale (I would mouth to a co worker with big eyes "She is totally filling up another basket!!")

Blegh. I am far, far better off.

Juan Vadez, Patriot

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Ed, you're reaching. I tried your special patriotic blend "Red White and Blue" because you haven't failed me yet, but let it be known that I disapprove.

  1. Coffee ought not to be fruit flavored. Rasperry, Blueberry, and Vanilla should be flavors for tea, not coffee.
  2. Your love for country cannot be measured by the volume of products you create using out colors. If you are thinking of developing a "Support Our Troops" blend, hold off. Ship some Kenya AA to Iraq instead. They'll appreciate it more.

Help me out, what flavor would a "Suport Our Troops" blend have?

The Poors

I am pretty sure when my career as a bleeding heart began (by bleeding heart, I refer more to my sense of empathy than my politics). I have a vague memory of seeing commercials for aid to third world countries as a child (CARE? was that the name of the organization?) and gathering up my piggy bank change telling my parents I wanted to give it to "the poors".

I have thought a lot about the poors lately. I spent the morning with some of them last week at the State unemployment office while my dad tested. The atmosphere was one of forced cheeriness (The walls are painted pink! The posters tell you to believe in yourself!! I don't think it works!!) that directly contrasted to the sort of sad shuffle of the clients looking for work. It was a rude shift for me, coming from school world where I look everyone in the eye and smiled to this office where I listened to clients call job prospect after job prospect and didn't want to make eye contact. I watched a little girl buying up cokes from the machine and not drinking them, just carrying them around. She was helping her mother translate the forms into English. I still smiled, it seemed the very least I could do.

I am rewatching Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days on FX right now (and thanks, FX for playing it twice, back to back) and am reminded of the people I saw last week. Tonight, Spurlock and his fiancee tried to live on minimum wage for a month. My stomach sank and rose with them as the balance of the coffee can in their kitchen rose and fell. I am watching it again for the bright spots.
The couple happen on a church run "free store" for people on hard times. I teared up as the man working gave them dishes and coats and furniture, telling them ,"There's enough to go around for everyone, we just don't share it well enough. We help share. It's a welcome gift."

I doubt that next weeks' episode featuring the guy on hormone therapy will elicit the same emotional response from me, but I'm watching anyway.

Wondering If This Series Of Entries Goes Under Health Care...

If I am letting my whole blog world in on my emotional scars, it seems only fair that you know that I am working hard on solutions.

Tim recorded a song that made me think about that forgiveness. Go and read and download.

...and then the song Karina wrote got blogged (was blogged? appeared on the blog? done did get blogg-ed?) and it became a day full of original music.

Now That's Healing!

Dad and I are on the way to my sister's church for early service this morning.

Educat: I haven't eaten anything today, I thought we'd get coffee or
something on the way home.

Dad: We can get Starbuck's at sister's church!

Educat throws a look expressing her slight distaste for navigating the
crowd inside the church for coffee, knowing Dad can't carry anything while on
his walker, and also not caring for the idea of Starbuck's inside the

Dad:'s cheaper? (he switches gears) What if they served
Starbuck's for Communion? You know, I thought a couple of times while I was at
the Church that I should substitute Cran Grape for the Grape Juice.

Educat:The Blood of Christ--and it fights infection!

Look! It's More Silly Crap!

The Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager has the power to hypnotize! Through it, I have learned that in the 1900's, Prince was ranked #758 in terms of popularity. It increased to #634 in the 1910's and disappeared until the 1980's when it was ranked #734. In 2003, it has enjoyed a rank of #874.

I shall not have you question my web browsing habits. I shall not.

Church of the Week is with my sister tomorrow as I take my father out for a bit o' healing (and not at his hands).

Are You There, God? It's Me, Menopause

My sister informs me, with happy shining eyes, that Molly Ringwald is considering a sequal to Sixteen Candles (more confirmation here). Additionally, Francine Pascal (remember Sweet Valley High?) reports in an interview to Bust that she plans to release a novel late this year in which all the SVH gang live in a gated California community (that, irony of ironies, is called Sweet Valley Heights)*.

I feel a bit older now. All of the sudden, my demographic is wants our youth remade with updates on all our childhood pals? I don't know that I really want to know whatever happened to Samantha Baker. What if the the moment on Jake Ryan's dining room table was the high point of her life? What if she ceased to be the wallflower everygirl and now everygirl can't identify with her? Now the movie is ruined! How ruined would Pretty In Pink be if we discovered that Jack Walsh never did get another job? Holy crap, and then when I search for the imdb link for the movie, I find this!

It. Just. Doesn't. Stop.

I don't think I want to be best friends with my movie heroines. I want them in the brief, shining moment--not all the ugly ins and outs of life. I want to end my relationship with Andie and Blaine to end with the kiss at the prom. I want Samantha and Jake only on the dining room table. Monday morning at The Breakfast Club high school just can't measure up.

*For the record, I think I have read one Sweet Valley High book. Let it not be said of me that I am a follower of the series.

The Scariest Thing Ever I Have Seen

The huge end of school teacher party is winding down (after many hours). A zillion year teaching veteran is retiring so as she leaves, I hug her and wish her well. As our hug breaks and we hold hands for a moment (a perfect time for a piece of advice for me, a mid-career teacher) she looks into my eyes and says...

"Educat, I am having everyone over in July. I have a big screen TV. We are
watching pornos and then going to the titty bars."

I laugh (perhaps in sheer terror) and tell her I will have to pray about that but I am pretty sure I am booked. Is this an omen for this summer? It was a most frightening beginning.


I might have buried something today. The pastor at my home church has retired after 31 years and the celebration service was today. I attended with my dad and sister. My mother was there is the choir. It was the first time I have set foot in the Church since my dad quit working there. I promised I would go to the service to support him and to try to forgive these people.

My sister and I discussed that rather than make rude gestures that would degrade the house of worship, we would smile and say "thank you" (I was lucky that most of what was said could be logically responded to with a "thank you". I mostly said that rather than thinking of a response). It was hard to be there today. The retiring pastor has messed up lately and that mess up is fresh in my mind. I sat and listened to person after person stand and speak of all he and his family had done right. I thought about how I will remember this man and it made me realize part of what I want.

This pastor did a lot of good for me and my family. To be sure, he did more good than harm. Here's part of the problem, when a congregation runs on top down, personality led leadership, the Church will fail when the man does (in this case, it will always be "the man" although "the woman" could do it too). I don't want a pastor to be church for me. I want to struggle alongside someone who can share his or her experience and challenge me to grow along with them. When I accept that model, I have to forgive my former pastor.

So the bigger challenege remanins, to forgive the rest of the Church. I could write about five more paragraphs here and detail for you how I entertained myself by imagining that I could glare at one staff member on the platform until he spontaneously combusted. I don't think it would even be entertaining for you (unless the guy did burst into flames, because that would be a party). It's pointless and probably hurts me in the end.

I promise to now start taking people up on all those church invites. If I don't make it to your house of worship next Sunday, you are in queue. I took a nap in the middle of this entry and so I just reread the first paragraph. I know I buried my association with my home church today. I am hoping to bury the ugliness too.

He Has A Right To Criticize Who Has A Heart To Help

Today was our last day with students, and as much as I should wax nostalgic, I am just tired. Grades are entered and I am on the way to check out.

I have decided for every time I want to get snarky at kids, I will click here instead and make a donation to literacy programs. This site is full of great causes and I would encourage you to take the challenge. For every ho ho you don't eat, click for world hunger. For every cigarette you don't smoke, click to fight cancer. You get the idea. Join me in replacing harmful habits with something good.

Post Script To The Letter Where I Try To Forgive

PS: Were you aware, personnel committee, that churches don't pay unemployment tax? So if you fire someone, they can't collect unemployment?

Love and Kisses---
Visiting her parents
c/o Van Down By The River

Bastards. You make me have to try too hard.

Magical Moments From Impromptu Speaking

As the student gives a speech on Sea World:The Best Vacation Spot, let's listen in.

"And...uh...the food is cheap...and uh...thassall."

Well meaning teacher: You forgot a conclusion, do you have one?

"Uhhh...two dolla corn dog!"

Child runs desperately to her seat.