Saturday, December 29, 2007

The 12 STIs of Christmas

Yes it sounds strange, but its both amusing and informative:

Clarification, with sadness (Hobd)

Earlier today I responded to a post of Brad Drell's on the Hob/d listserv. While I intended that post to go directly to Brad, instead I accidentally sent it to the entire listserv. In it, I basically thanked him for his direct response to posts regarding San Joaquin and mentioned my dismay at much of the angry discourse on the listserv.

I'll admit I usually love the Episcopal Church and its structured liturgy and polity. I love the unity and tolerance of different ideas and of each other that I found when I came to the Episcopal Church as well as the idea that we could "agree to disagree." I loved that we could all read the gospel and follow it to where we believe God is leading us without believing that those who believed it took them somewhere else were heretical.

But I'm not seeing that anymore.

There is name calling, self-confidence, and scorn. I see that people are hurt and I can feel much of that hurt. It is sad and painful that so many people have been forced to bear the weight of closemindedness as ignorance, but that is no reason for pride at the expense of others who truly believe that what we call progress is in fact a regression.

Similarly, there should be no source of pride at schism in God's church, and indeed, on the Hobd listserv we often forget that. Lost in canon and tradition is that, in the end, God wants his whole church to be his.

When I ran as an alternate for convention deputy I wanted to make a difference: I wanted to help people and be part of a body that helps to glorify God. That exists to the glory of God.

After Minneapolis I felt like I had found that body. After Columbus I found I have to separate my faith from my religion.

I am so sick of all this fighting. I'm sick of people being hurt and ostracized in the name of God. And I think that's what bugs me most of all: it doesn't seem like it is to the glory of God, it seems like this arguing is for tradition and to make sure we are following canon law. Yes, the canons and tradition are important, I'm Jewish, I know that.

I don't want to see litigation. I understand why it must be done, but I also feel that it is being done as ferociously as possible. I don't envy +KJS. Nothing she can do is "right" and and she is fairing quite well. If people feel they must leave, then leave. If people honestly feel they cannot act and worship to the glory of God in TEC then leave, but please don't drag us down with you.

I love the Anglican Communion, The Episcopal Church, the people, its liturgy, its respect for law, and its polity. But please, don't forget that first and foremost, we are working to do God's will and worship and praise God. Isn't that what the church is for?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd = Great.
Enjoyed it more than the Broadway revival (even if they did take out The Ballad of Sweeney Todd. and its not a flashback)

Its great, go see it.
(If you don't know the plot, don't take the kids... during the viewing I attended there were some far too young audience members).
I assume most of you know better.

So go see it! What are you reading this for?
More later,
Peace and if I get distracted and don't write more,
Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New GraSP homepage

I've just redesigned the index page for the Grace-St. Paul's website (you can see the former design in all the inner links).

Any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Just... One... More....

DAY!!! One more day then FREEDOM!!!! (ish)

really, its going to be a rather busy semester break.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Behind the Scenes at Guantanamo Bay (its not what you think)

Where the media can't even take you.

Professor Marc Falkoff of Northern Illinois University (and editor of Poems from Guantanamo - all proceeds benefit the Center for Constitutional Rights)acts as legal representation to 13 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. He has been able to go where the media and even the United Nations has not been allowed. Rutgers Amnesty International invited Falkoff to speak about his experiences.

The experience was nauseating, and as someone who grew up in love with America, it made me embarrassed as an American. I took five pages of handwritten notes. I'm just posting them as I took them as I can't handle making sense of them (scroll down a bit for conditions, that's later so that you can first understand why I feel as it do).
Of the men in Guantanamo :
770 have been through Gitmo.
Of that 10 have been charged with a crime.
1 has been convicted
3 have been reconvicted.
Only 5% were captured on the battlefield.
Only 8% have been accused of having any Al Quaeda affiliation.
One was picked up in Cairo, another in a university dorm.

Yes of all of those, the vast majority have been charged with NO CRIME!!!
I bet you didn't know that.

The Democratic congressmen didn't.

----The Democrats are in power, they don't even know what's going on at Gitmo. When they passed the Guantanamo Treatment Act many senators said they had "known" these men had been convicted of heinous crimes.
- Many of the men at convicted haven't been convicted of anything, and there is no real evidence held against some.

*Some are dangerous, but most are what they say they are - students, shepherds, men seeking medical treatment (hence country hopping).

*The government has stripped them of their governmental rights
- they are no longer guaranteed their "day in court"

*What role does the law have in policing the government?

*It took three years for lawyers to be allowed to go down there (it is all pro bono)
- lawyers are not allowed to tell the prisoners the evidence held against them
- the military is under orders not to call them prisoners (instead detainees) as to not invoke the Geneva Convention

*Many were deemed not to be "enemy combatants" but were forced to have their cases reviewed and reviewed until the those classifying them would eventually submit and call them enemy combatants.

*The military contends that even if the majority were exonerated in court they would still be considered "Enemy combatants" and held.

*Since the vast majority of prisoners were not captured in uniform, they are not POWs so the law of war does not apply, but the US is calling them "enemy combatants (which doesn't mean anything) and is claiming the Geneva Convention does not apply.

*Prisoners are not allowed to be told of Supreme Court decisions relating to Guantanamo

*Courts will not allow layers to bring doctors (courts claim there is adequate if not superior medicate care) - a prisoner coughing up blood was not allowed to go to the infirmary

*Prisoners can be moved w/o notification to the lawyers, often to Saudi Arabia or Jordan to be tortured.

*Almost all court documents have been taken from the prisoners b/c the men who committed suicide had lawyers representing them .

*Judges are no longer allowed to intervene on prisoner's behalf

*When prisoners committed suicide out of desperation the US govt called it a "political move."
*Hunger strikes are called a "voluntary fast," suicide is called "politically motivated self-injury"
*Most prisoners are afraid to commit suicide fearing it would be viewed as cowardice and they would go to "hell"

*Letters to or from families are used as leverage so many stop writing

* Kept prisoners in open air cages (open to tropical wind and sun) with only two buckets (one for water, one for feces).
*Guantanamo Bay has its own sub-climate -- its awful.
*as punishment, guards would remove prisoners pants so they couldn't pray
-would shave their beards
- would smear "menstrual blood" (really red ink, but the prisoners don't know) on their chests
- would remove mattress and make prisoners sleep on steel
*Riot police can beat a prisoner senseless with weapon if prisoner accidentally steps or TRIPS over a colored line while food is delivered

*According to the military's own logs, Detainee 063 was tortured. All information gathered during torture is assumed true. It was later found out that Detainee was not guilty of what he was accused as the true person they were looking for was later found.

*770 men have been sent through Guantanamo, 440 have been sent home or to third countries. The US govn't refuses to admit it has made any mistakes. If these men are really the worst of the worst -- as Cheney said, these men had to be blindfolded and gagged for the 20+hour plane ride to Gitmo so they wouldn't gnaw through the wires, how is it that they are no longer a danger?


Mitt Romney said that he wants to double the size of Guantanamo Bay. That scares me. A lot. We are imprisoning innocent men who are just trying to live their lives. We are scaring them and angering them and torturing them. How can we be proud to represent that, or support those who are doing that?

As Falkoff said about himself: "His fighting for what America is all about. He is fighting for the soul of America." He hangs a flag outside his house and supports a country under our constitution.

He is called a traitor, but I believe he is a patriot. I only wish we all could be so brave.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Overheard in...

A few weeks ago PJ posted an amusing quote from the oh so wonderful website Overheard in New York. I've been reading this site for over a year now, and not only is it funny, but it always makes me feel even better about my choice in friends, and gives me a warm fuzzy feeling of schadenfreude.

I've recently found a number of Overheard websites. Most aren't updated as frequently as OHINY, but many are just as funny, and perhaps you may relate more to one of these than OHINY.

Overheard in...
... in New York
... at College
... at Howard U.
... at McGill
... at the Beach
... at UMBC
... at Western (Canada)
... Everywhere
... in Ann Arbor
... in Athens (Georgia)
... in Boston
... in Charlottetown
... in Chicago
... in Cork
... in Detroit
... in Dublin
... in Hoboken
... in Ireland
... in Law School
... in London
... in Melbourne
... in Minneapolis
... in Nairobi
... in Philly
... in Pittsburgh
... in Portland (Maine)
... in Portland (Oregon)
... in Providence
... in San Francisco
... in the Classroom
... in the Office
... in the UK
... in the Valley (Mass)
... in Utah
... in Vancouver
In Passing... (the original)


Monday, November 26, 2007

In a different role

For those of you who don't know, in my spare time, I love playing techie... whether building sets, hanging lights, playing with sound equipment or just moving heavy objects, I love working backstage in theater (strictly community). I do have some on stage experience: 15 years of dance and singing in church and high school choir, but its been a while.

I was supposed to be on the stage crew for "My Favorite Year" playing at Kelsey Theater at MC3 in February, which I figured meant showing up the week before hell week.

Somehow, I ended up in the cast.

The director decided that he needed some of the stage crew to play stage crew in the show. First he said that I could "fake sing" being that I don't have a great voice (he's never heard me sing), however, during rehearsal he decided to put me with three others singing in the break in the (small) theater (the break in seats in the middle of the theater in the house).

So now I need to learn the music and show up and rehearsals. I miss running follow spot, but here goes nothing....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Why I love the Episcopal Campus Ministry at Rutgers...

This is a smaller group than usual, and normally, we usually know the songs a little bit better, but at Canterbury House we can be our wonderful, comfortable, (moderately) off-key selves, and praise God in a way that fits us.

I recorded this during a Thursday evening mass at Canterbury House. Our Sunday evening Eucharists are a bit more formal, predominantly Taize, held at St. John the Evangelist in New Brunswick.

Monday, November 19, 2007

MP's Sunday Mim(i)

MP asked his readers to describe someone who has made a impact on us while we were growing up... here' s my answer:

The woman who first comes to my mind is a priest in the church I've attended since middle school. She has always been there and has never hesitated to let me know when I'm being out of line or stupid (in slightly nicer terms).

She is direct, practical, thinks for herself and doesn't really mind if people don't agree with her or decide not to like her because of who she is or what she believes.

She has gone far outside what is required of her and since I can remember has treated me like a niece. When I've had problems at home she would let me stay with her (provided I did my share of helping out) taught me how to bake pies, drive a manual car, and garden and gives amazing hugs.

She is firm and open in her beliefs and although stubborn (and occasionally extremely oblivious) at times, has mothered many on her journey, making many of us feel special, loved, important.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

To Do list

1. Locate motivation
2. Stop being passive aggressive
3. Send Youth Group email

Friday, November 9, 2007

In solidarity....

Update: According to the Columbia Specter, four more students are expected to join the hunger strike:

From Bloomburg (best article, but the story is in multiple places):
Five Columbia University students began the second day of a hunger strike to protest the New York school's expansion into a neighboring area and administrators' response to hate incidents.

The action comes one month after a hangman's noose was found on the office door of a professor at Columbia's Teachers College. It also occurs in advance of a City Planning Commission decision due this month on the university's rezoning proposal, which would allow for the estimated $6 billion expansion by the school into a West Harlem section called Manhattanville.

The protesters are demanding more involvement by students and Manhattanville residents in shaping Columbia's plan to expand during the next two decades. For starters, they say they want the school to withdraw the rezoning bid and rethink matters such as housing costs. The current proposal would displace an estimated 5,000 people, the students say.

``The expansion can occur but needs to be ethical and needs to have respect for the community we are a part of,'' said hunger striker Emilie Rosenblatt, a senior at Columbia College, the main undergraduate arm of the university.

The hunger strikers' demands also include an update to the core curriculum to highlight racial and cultural issues; more support for multicultural programs; and issuance of an annual report on ``hate crimes'' at the school.

The five strikers, set up in three tents on the south lawn of the main Morningside Heights campus, are being supported by a team of about 25 students. These aides work in shifts to make sure the strikers have emotional support and are drinking enough fluids to lower health risks. The university's medical staff is performing checks on the strikers' vital signs and will conduct blood and urine tests once every two days.

`Prepared to Stay'

Rosenblatt said she was disappointed in what she called the lack of any response from University President Lee Bollinger.

``We're prepared to stay as long as necessary through the Thanksgiving holiday, but we're hoping the university doesn't let it come to that point,'' Rosenblatt said.

The strikers are holding nightly vigils on campus at 9 p.m. About 70 students attended last evening's vigil. The 25 aides are organizing a march inside the campus to take place on Nov. 10.

``We are planning a community rally to show solidarity to the strikers and express support for the demands they make to show this is not an issue specific just to this campus but to this community,'' said Christina Chen, a Columbia College junior and part of the strikers' support staff.

The students have no current plans to recruit more hunger strikers, according to Chen.

Worst-Case Scenario

The students' assertion that 5,000 people would be displaced isn't accurate, said Laverna Fountain, the university's vice president for public affairs. Robert Casdin, senior executive vice president, said that in the worst-case scenario, fewer than 3,300 people would be at risk of losing their homes by 2030 as development caused rents to rise in and near Manhattanville.

Fountain also provided a new statement for the university, saying the students' health was of most importance now.

``While there is, of course, lively debate about details of this land-use proposal, even those raising objections to particular elements say that they favor Columbia's expansion in the area,'' Columbia said.

Comment: Students also engaged in the hunger strike in protest of the anti-Islamic tendencies found at the university, including inviting Iranian President Ahmadinejad to speak and giving an extremely disapproving introduction and allowing David Horowitz to speak regarding "Islamo-facism with no similar disapproval. Many view the overarching problem as racism, as the noose, the area of expansion, and anti-Islamic rhetoric fall into this category. Oh, and the 5000 number of people potentially displaced mentioned by the students is the number than seems to be accepted. I had seen that number is various news venues, never the 3000 number. Members of the Campus Anti-War Network from various schools across the country are drafting letters of solidarity both to support those students on the strike and spreading awareness as this is not receiving the coverage it should.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Spring Break

Who the BEEEEEEP puts Spring Break during Holy Week??
(admittedly its Easter that moves, not Spring Break)

Yes, so instead of going to South Africa to do some mission work like some of us at the Episcopal Ministry here were hoping to do, or my roommate going to Bermuda with her boyfriend, we'll be in church for most evenings of Spring Break.

WTF, mate.

Oh well, hopefully we'll still be able to spend some of summer vacation in Burma (helping refugees, not supporting the junta)

damn it I will get out of this country one day, even if means I have to drive to Canada over a weekend by myself for the hell of it.

When Anti-Choicers Kill (and why the term Pro-Life is BS)

From MP:

From The Associated Press:

Two weeks after Olga Reyes danced at her wedding, her bloated and disfigured body was laid to rest in an open coffin — the victim, her husband and some experts say, of Nicaragua's new no-exceptions ban on abortion. Reyes, a 22-year-old law student, suffered an ectopic pregnancy. The fetus develops outside the uterus, cannot survive and causes bleeding that endangers the mother. But doctors seemed afraid to treat her because of the anti-abortion law, said husband Agustin Perez. By the time they took action, it was too late.

Nicaragua last year became one of 35 countries that ban all abortions, even to save the life of the mother. The ban has been strictly followed. Abortion rights groups have stormed Congress in recent weeks demanding change, but President Daniel Ortega, a Roman Catholic, has refused to oppose the church-supported ban.

Evangelical groups and the church say abortion is never needed now because medical advances solve the complications that might otherwise put a pregnant mother's life at risk. But at least three women have died because of the ban, and another 12 reported cases will be examined.

Some doctors privately admit to carrying out what they believe are illegal procedures, while others say they won't jeopardize their careers.

"Many are thinking that instead of taking the risk, it is better to let a woman die," said Dr. Leonel Arguello, president of the Nicaraguan Society of General Medicine.

Doctors frequently see women coming in with infections, many likely brought on by illegal abortions that they refuse to disclose for fear they might be punished. Because the people with some medical training who used to do illegal abortions have disappeared women more frequently take drugs or pull the fetus out on their own using wires or other crude objects.

The Roman Catholic Church mobilized nearly 300,000 people to march and sign petitions in support of the ban.

Monday, November 5, 2007

True Sign of an American

V for Vendetta is the only reason I remembered it is Guy Fawkes Day.

(V is the only reason many of my friends have heard of it)

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parliament.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Random yet wonderful introduction from V (go rent/ watch the movie):
Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin van-guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.


In case anyone was wondering, I'm not letting myself write here until I finish a backlog of school work.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

From ghoulies and ghosties

And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Let's Go Red Sox!

Let's hear it for the




This is a RED SOX NATION!!
Second four game sweep in four years!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Show me what Democracy looks like (this is what democracy look like)!

Yesterday morning I joined a group from Rutgers and thousands from around the region to protest the US illegal occupation of Iraq and its policies of imperialism. The day was rainy and kept some in, but we were motivated. I rode in with some members of RAW and the Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War and met up with the student contingent. Following a march in some parts of the city with which I'm less familiar (that being anything below 14th street - bourgeois, I know).

Following that I went with a friend to have lunch with some members of Solidarity in the New York area. Very interesting and extremely informative time. As someone far less familiar with the labour movement than I should be, it was extremely enlightening.

Ended up going out for a drink with someone I met at the group to learn more about a women's conference being planned and later met up with a good friend from York who is working at Columbia for dinner.

Now for the pictures... they aren't great in part because of the weather and in part because I really wasn't paying attention when I took them.

The president in his native dress.

So evidently,I didn't take this one.
Or this one...

Amazing bookstore (around Broadway and 14th

Let it rain! Let it pour! Together we can stop this war!

Some guy was dressed up as V.

And of course, the live shots!!! The guy hold the banner yelling is Ian. He is awesome (and not as crazy as he appears in this shot).

Longer and better....

The opposite of war isn't peace, its creation.

Why demonstrate?

This is a frequently asked question, posed by both those in and outside the activist movement, a question that I often asked myself, and, in full disclosure, as this is my journal, this entry is as much, if not more for me than anyone else who may or may not read it.

I spent yesterday morning with about 10,000 other people standing in the rain.. We yelled, shouted, and waved our signs, and sometimes, I have to wonder for what.

What do demonstrations accomplish? When I was in the DC area we would protest the capitol and the White House -- on a Saturday. I could understand wanting to obstruct regular business as occurred when the Rutgers walk-out closed down one side of Rt. 18 last year, but most of these don't. They don't change legislation, and they seldom seem to change the way our legislators vote. My first demonstration was just before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. A went with a group from my church. Close to half a million people showed up to proclaim their opposition to this illegal and awful war.

Turns out we were right, for whatever thats worth.

So why do I still go to these things?
Aside from feeling like part of something and knowing that others feel the same way. I know that letter writing, hassling congressmen, etc is more effective (yes, I do that too), but this is far more energizing, and reminds that we are not alone.
A friend of mine was on the organizing committee of the Campus Anti-War Network. I asked him what his point is?
The first of course is that feeling of togetherness, and unity.
Next, is for networking. Connections help keep a stronger movement with more voices. Similarly, its gets new people out and keeps them out. It makes them unified with other groups.
It also lets different movements know what other movements are doing -- student groups, labor groups, women's groups, etc. and also lets different groups know what other group are doing (or that they exist) if they aren't on mailing lists.

So is it worth it, yes. It reminds us and the world that we are part of something and that we are here. It helps us stay motivated and brings out new people, lets us know what others and doing, and if nothing else, makes us a bit of an inconvenience.

Pics forthcoming.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Prayer Request

Just a quick prayer request for my roommate and her family.

I've known Suzannah since 9th grade, and her older sister Nicola was one of my best friends. Nicola died in a car accident about 4 years ago.

S's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer this week. S is handeling it surprisingly well, but it clearly upset at the possibility of losing someone else so close. To make matters more complicated S is also a pharmacy student and has some major exams this semester that she needs to pass.

Anyhow, her mother has surgery scheduled for Tuesday and they are doing to check her lymph nodes etc. then. Her mother has a number of medical conditions and adding this clearly wouldn't help. They found this in her first mammogram in ten years, so if nothing else, its good that she had to get one.

So prayers please, this family has had a huge number of burdens and they need all the prayer they can get.
thank you

Best work in scrabble

I just scored my highest point word in scrabble-- airplane for 158 points. Its a bingo that crossed two triple word scores. Thats about 80 points higher than anything else I've ever scored... and its 12:18 at night (playing online) so there really isn't anyone else to share it with, so I'm sharing it with you.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wild Turkey's take to suberbs and cities

The Boston globe reports:

On a recent afternoon, Kettly Jean-Felix parked her car on Beacon Street in Brookline, fed the parking meter, wheeled around to go to the optician and came face to face with a wild turkey.

The turkey eyed Jean-Felix. Jean-Felix eyed the turkey. It gobbled. She gasped. Then the turkey proceeded to follow the Dorchester woman over the Green Line train tracks, across the street, through traffic, and all the way down the block, pecking at her backside as she went.

"This is so scary," Jean-Felix said, finally taking refuge inside Cambridge Eye Doctors in Brookline's bustling Washington Square. "I cannot explain it."

Notify the neighbors: The turkeys are spreading through suburbia. Wild turkeys, once eliminated in Massachusetts, are flourishing from Plymouth to Concord and - to the surprise of some wildlife officials - making forays into densely populated suburban and urban areas, including parts of Boston, Cambridge and, most recently, Brookline.

Read it all....

COMMENT: There was a stretch of road on my way to high school that would be crossed by a line a wild turkey's at 7:55 every morning. (School started at HR started at 8, so if you were running late you were either screwed or had to remember to take a different route). They are smelly and nasty and ew.

Maybe the Turkeys in Mass. just want to enjoy the World Series as much as the rest of us

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rainy Day meme swiped from Jess D

What is your favorite adjective? Be creative (and please don't pick "cool")

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Here is the promised video of Dennis reading the letter from MP. As I said before, I didn't realize my phone records audio, hence the randomness of the clip.

Open mouth, insert foot?

edit: Photos in next post down

This could likely be the motto for my life, and may be the reason I came across as "quiet" on Monday. Yes Tarin, Jacky, Anna, etc, I was as described of being "quiet and shy"... go ahead and laugh.

However, as we all know, I have rather severe head to mouth control issues... I'm working out.
But in the most recent one, I actually told someone that he was "nicest activist I've ever met." Who says things like that?!

Oh wait... me.

I'm not sure who felt more awkward after that comment.

Or in class when the dowdy substitute doctoral student asked what we thought the professor was doing in Wisconsin, drinking beer? (his disertation was up for some award) and I shouted back (its a large classroom) I'm sure that [drinking beer] is at least part of it.

or the, "she doesn't want a guy who thinks she sucks, she wants a relationship...."

and these are the tame examples...

Yeah.... working on that whole head to mouth control thing.

Okay... now back to my regularly scheduled homework (its 1:25am)

Oh, and we just started an organization at Rutgers focused on raising money and awareness for medical supplies for women in Burma, and are scheduling a RAW concert, so I can blame that for a bit of the procrastination... kinda....

Oh, and demonstration in the city on Saturday WAHOO....
I was going to go protest Horowitz at Columbia on Friday, but I was asked to play acolyte/chalicer at a wedding at GraSP, so I'm all about that instead (so, I guess I can be bought?).

okay, back to homework... really...

oh, and I love ellipsis....

Monday, October 22, 2007

Me, a dork, what?

edit: check out the last pic, can you find the difference?

So, for those of you who don't know, I went into the city today to hang out with some other Anglican bloggers (and do some research for my OI design project).

It was a great time, starting with tea and wine, followed by Solemn Evensong at the General Seminary chapel and dinner. I was fortunate to sit next to Tobias Haller, who an incredibly insightful and intelligent human being, and Grandmere Mimi, who is just as amusing and interesting as her blog appears. It was wonderful to finally meet some of the other crazy people who grace the pages of OCICBW and contribute on their own to the wonderful Anglican Blogosphere, especially (but by no means limited to) Eileen, Pseudopiskie, Dennis, Doug, PJ and Johnie and everyone else whom I'm forgetting because its late, as well as to FINALLY speak to Elizabeth Kaeton.

Anyhow, here are the unPhotoShopped pics... improvements likely to follow.

MadPriest... or as close as we could get (although much better behaved)... at least he's wearing a name tag!
Dennis reading the official welcome note from the great Mad Man himself.

Pseudopiskie's fabulous shirt which read "neither death nor life nor angels nor Bishops nor the Anglican Communion can seperate us from the love of Christ."
Hanging around in Matthew's Lounge.
At the restaurant...table 1
Table 2 (minus me)
and table 3 (after +Elizabeth got there but after Fr. Jake left)
The other side of table 3

Chillin at the restaurant

+Elizabeth and Grandmere Mimi, a wonderful duo! (which should thoroughly scare MP)

The bloody lot of us (minus +Elizabeth and ReverendBoy). If you want a roster let me know, but MP, you should be able to figure it out... there's a bit of a trick)!

Can you find a difference in this picture and the one above it... it isn't that well done, but I'm still working on it.

This was a great night!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Car etc


(and I'll get a to spent the rest of the day with my godmother, a friend from undergrad, and a bunch of really cool people whom I've never met)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


"You should be sloppy enough that the unexpected happens, yet not so sloppy that you cannot figure out what happens after it has happened. "

(From Eduson, Bernice. Scientists, They Psycological World, quoted in "Question-negotiation and information seeking in libraries" by Robert Taylor)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hilarious hymnody

A friend just sent this to me, and to be honest, I couldn't make out the words with my eyes closed, I'm shocked the subtitlers got that close!

Autumn Blaze= awesome

Saturday night a friend and I went to Autumn Blaze - its a Christian concert held annually at the Meadowlands that attracts some 14,000 teens and adults from Pa, NJ, NY and Ct.

Music included Reilly, BarlowGirl, Thousand Foot Krutch, and TobyMac. There were also a few other singers, a speaker, and an altar-call like invitation during which those who wished could meet with volunteer counselors and the rest of us took part in a GREAT worship session.

I STRONGLY recommend everyone take their Youth Groups there. Its great music, great speakers, very empowering, and the theology tends toward the generic. We had the cheapest seats available and it didn't hurt the show at all.

I came out of it renewed, invigorated, slightly deaf, and a bit conflicted. As an undergrad I attended an Episcopal Church but was also involved with IVCF. At first I got involved with them as they helped me during a personal crisis at the start of freshman year, but I later found that really enjoyed the worship, although I stopped attending for theological and personal reasons (and couldn't deal with the cattyness of many of the members).
But that really ended junior year.

I now find myself trying to balance a love of traditional worship with needing to break loose as part of my relationship with God. About loving Autumn Blaze and contemporary worship and getting a lot out of it and often having it truly help my personal relationship with God, while having sincere issues with some of the theology that often accompanies it.
I also found myself pondering some of the same things I did when in IVCF.... Am I one of them? I'm a Christian. Am I a Christian - by whose definition? Am I afraid to be, when I often dislike "Christians" so much. Where do I belong? Why do I feel as if I have to pick?

I guess in part because of the sort of activisty type work I do, its turned out that most of my friends are atheists, and I'm used to being a "token" theist. Even with friends who are theists are much more passively so (there may be a God, there may not be, lets move on). So there is something reassuring about being in a room with 14,ooo Christians... even though I suppose that many of them wouldn't "approve" of me, if they knew much about me... which may or may not be true.

Although I'm at Rutgers, I'm still deeply involved in the parish 50 minutes away where I spend middle and high school. I'm the youth group leader (I'm not particularly good with kids), webmaster, an acolyte, etc. However, as much as I love this parish, many of the people, and its worship, I find myself sometimes missing the possibility of being able to throw up my hands in praise of God... a rather embarrassing proposition for a standard Episcopalian liturgy snob.
I'm a bit hesitant to join a campus group because of the problems that stemmed from that as an undergrad. So I hope to spend the next few months when I don't have responsibilities my parish church hopping. I'm not looking for a place to land, but I'm sure God knows what he is doing.

Friday, October 12, 2007

...that They might live.

"If we didn't aspire to live a better life than our parents, then the rest of the world might live"

As I posted a few days ago, a few of my friends and I went down to the Episcopal Church at Princeton to hear Bishop Robinson preach. I said that I would write a reflection later, clearly that didn't happen. He was a great an evangelical preacher as always (its was the third time I heard him preach) and I felt blessed to be there, but it was really the above quote that struck me - struck me enough to bring it up yesterday during the Episcopal Ministry at Rutgers' weekly dinner.

We were talking about water quality, global warming, and the basic care of the environment and the world in general - about our environmental footprint and what we can and can't do to lower it.

Some of the foreign students in my classes often comment on how strange it is that you need a car to get around, similarly, our Californian seminarian said that when he was younger he would drive everywhere. Our communities have developed with the assumption of a car. Even in areas like New Brunswick where one doesn't NEED a car, the few walktoable grocery stores are vastly overpriced. Communities that are structured around the assumption of a car (and electricity...) leave little possibility to lower the ecological footprint that we leave. A member of the organization mentioned that the wealthy are now moving back into cities in part for environmental reasons.

The "American Dream" of my parents generation was to live better than their parents -- this seems to move to the suburbs, have two - four kids, have a free standing home and cars for each... to take a family vacation and eat out once a week. There is now another generation that similarly wants to live "better" than our parents. What we need to realise is that this simply cannot be tied to physical things. There aren't enough resources, there isn't enough capitol.

Since the turn of the last century America has decided to build an empire as its means to get the stuff we want. Bishop Robinson pointed out that Jesus fought imperialism - he fought it and died a humiliating death for it.

We need to fight the empire as well, but most of all, we need to realise that we cannot -- neither morally nor sustainably -- live "better" than our parents if others -- those who make that which we want - are to live.

The US, China, Darfur, and the Big Bad Worf

While I am saddened and angered by the violence in the Darfur region of the Sudan, for the past few years I've been unable to get my head around why the US cares so much about Darfur.
There are humanitarian crises across the globe and no Americans care, but for some inexplicable reason, even the Republicans are all for "Save Darfur."

Why? I mean, since when do most Americans care when "brown people" are being tortured or killed. There are always a few of us referring to Human Rights Watch or Amnesty and crying out over the mistreatment of people in other states, but normally we are looked at with scorn at best.

So why, why Darfur?
I've come up with a reason, and you aren't going to like it...



Yes, I'm serious... oil.

Since World War II the US has struggled to take control of the oil-rich Middle East. However, while we have been bombing the hell out of (or into) the Middle East, China has been working with oil-rich states in Africa. They have control of much of Southern Sudan, and the US government views of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur as a means to take control (and protect) the oil there. As an Iraq vet and IVAW member put it this past weekend "If the US sends troops to Darfur they are going to first put them in the same place they put them in Iraq - protecting the oil fields." Indeed this sentiment has been echoed by many, oil fields first, people second - if at all.

A few weeks ago MadPriest posted a picture of a starving Darfurian child. We'd have to be incredibly naive to believe that that would move the American government to actually want to help people. No, but this does.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


My apologies for the minor freakout yesterday. I don't normally get like that. As my best friend reassured me, it was at least in part due to transition anxiety. I knew from the beginning that the MLIS program wasn't fun, and apparently its pretty common to feel upset at this stage in it. I'm meeting with a professor tomorrow, which should be helpful, and Saturday is Autumn Blaze (Christian concert day in North Jersey) with a good friend.
Thank you to everyone who sent hugs, comments or wishes... and I'll try to keep freakouts to a minimum.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ready to cry, trying not to break down

I'm sitting here in the graduate computer lab, I just snuck out of class.... I have no idea what's going on, but its only Tuesday and this week isn't working out for me.
We were working on something in class, but my files from last week disappeared but as I was trying to figure out something for next class, I didn't hear when he asked who didn't have the files. I have a group presentation in 2 hours and I can't make my section work because of this ridiculous program called Dialog that I will never use as no where that I will ever work will be able to afford it.
I'm sick of theory and to be honest, I don't think I even want to be a librarian. I'm tired, I'm bored and I'm completely unmotivated... and that's what scares me the most -- even when I don't care about work I'm always motivated about something... but I'm sick and tired of all of it. Sick of getting chatty when I'm nervous or being told I have more energy than (fill in the blank)... its a defense mechanism people.... I miss YCP - miss always having someone to go to for a hug or to knock sense into me, but to knowing that people love me, and having people I care about... I have so many opportunities here at Rutgers but I feel so lost.
I want to help people but I'm sick of getting knocked down, I'm tired of fighting and struggling but I don't see any other choice. I don't know where I'm supposed to be -- I'm sick of always being second string... I don't always need credit, but its nice to be acknowledged. I'm sick of people, tired of responsibilities, yet without them, what's the point? I can't see myself as a librarian, I can't stand this program - down the line, I want to be a priest, but what is my family telling me, what is God telling me, does God even want me there? I thought I had found a place where everyone was accepted in TEC, but now I'm not sure if I or others I love are welcome there... if people don't want to go to Lambeth, fine, don't go. The Anglican Communion is great, but so are God's children. So many of my friends are so passionate about so much, they know what they want to do, all I can tell you is that I want to somehow serve God and humanity and I can't even figure out how to do that.
But most of all, right now, I want to find a quiet corner, curl up in a ball, and cry.

Monday, October 8, 2007

+VGR at EC@Princeton

Last Sunday I joined a few of my friends to hear Bishop Robinson of New Hampshire say mass and preach at the Episcopal Church at Princeton University.

I hope to write my thoughts out later today, but below are the notes that I scratched out in sharpie.... topics and quotes....

"If we didn't aspire to live a better life than our parents, then the rest of the world might live"
-defying empire
- disciples rather than (mere) admirers
- will we become the disciples to be until we lose or tax exempt status?
- where are the voices against empire
- Jesus was against the empire (- roman), Is there any doubt if Jesus were around today which empire he'd be defying?
- As episcopalian we don't worship a God locked up in 2000 years of scripture... ... we worship a living God.
- The holy spirit has changed the minds and hearts and it is not going to stop until all are accepted into God's church.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

2 Quesions

Just wondering 1. is anyone other than Paul (a) and Tarin reading this?

And does anyone want a really amazing hummus recipe (from Cathy Roe)

oh, and does anyone want a puppy (see below)

Lesson #1 for the day

Never make hummus that starts with a 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas in a 1cup capacity food processor. Adding ingredients to something makes more of it.

The hummus is still amazing though.. just took a while

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Puppies need a home

These adorable puppies need a home, don't you think you need one?

Monday, October 1, 2007

I love my job

I love my job

How rediculous is this...

So, as most of you know, the main place I go for news is the bbc website. And most of you also know that I don't know much of anything about pop culture. So, I was on the site, and just by rote the first article I read was about Brittney Spears losing custody for K.Fed. I don't even know why I care, I just do... arg.

Marching Home

Rutgers Against the War (RAW) and the Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War are sponsoring a weekend Conference entitled "Marching Home: a conference on the Iraq War and its consequences for veterans."
Amy Goodman and Jimmy Massey are the keynote speakers. For more information visit

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Most frightening part of the Eucharist

I know I'm not the first person to say this, but when at a new parish, there is one part of the service that is far scarier than any other -- no, not trying to sing new versions of the Gloria and Sanctus, nor recalling my sins and repenting for them, no the scariest part of the services is definitely the passing of the peace.
I guess I'm rather generic looking, because it seldom seems to occur to anyone that I'm new (although an usher did ask the person in front of me if he was new - he wasn't). So the peace - who do you shake hands with, who don't you, how far to people go, do you cross the aisle, who are these people anyway? And its hard to remember, because after you've been at a parish for a few weeks, it doesn't really matter anymore.
But yes NEW+PEACE=scary.

So please, be aware of visitors (but please, never make the stand up and introduce them.

Good clean fun

Last evening I was a bit down. It was a Saturday night, and I had nothing to do. There was a party I could have attended, but I wouldn't know anyone there and well, we all know how I get at parties (if you don't, I tend to stand on the side of the room and stare into space and get really uncomfortable with overstimulation).
Anyhow, I had resigned myself to spending Saturday night in the computer lab (I needed to print some things and don't have a printer) when I decided to go exploring.
I wandered into downtown New Brunswick around 10:00 and bought myself a cup of tea at a coffee shop. I spent the next hour and a half reading, people watching, and just being.
And that was what I really needed. Just sitting and thinking. Then had a nice walk before heading back around midnight. It was a great night.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Watering us down

Most of you know I'm against military action of almost any sort and that I can't stand offensive measures, but although I don't know much about military strategy, even I can see that this is bad planning.
The Kyl-Leiberman amendment essentially just turned the strongest branch of the Iranian military into a terrorist group. This basically gives us the" responsibility" to invade if they make any military move (I thought Syria would be next, oh well). That would be like a government calling the Marine Corps a terrorist group. Let me make this clear - I do not like or respect Ahamud Ahmadinejad, or his government.
But this just seems like bad planning. We are actively in Iraq and Afghanistan and have smaller forces in many other countries. The guard has been deployed, what now? Many leaders in the middle east are taunting us, and we are falling for it. They are draining us, watering down our forces, and I have to wonder to what ends. We know that many of the leaders over there don't value the lives of their own citizens, so I don't wonder if they will stop.

So it goes.
Prayers for peace, justice, and mercy in the word.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blame Susy... or better yet, blame Linda

Donald Rumsfeld briefed the President this morning. He told Bush that three Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq. To everyone's amazement all the color ran from Bush's face, then he collapsed onto his desk, head in his hands, visibly shaken, almost whimpering. Finally, he composed himself and asked Rumsfeld, "Just exactly how many is a bazillion?"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pray for my car

Hello everyone out there,
Please pray for my car. An undergrad drove into it today (at the corner of College Ave and Huntington in the RU campus) . It needs at least a new headlight and possibly a new fender. We don't have a police report, though it was clearly her fault.
Susy is taking me to get some estimates tomorrow. Let's just pray that she, her family, and her insurance company are helpful, and that this gets fixed quickly and as stresslessly as possible.
Oh yeah, and1. I'm borderline broke, and 2. my parents are in Florida which is kinda helping and kinda not.

Prayers please!

HOB document thingy...

edit2: I really need to stop updating this when I'm very sleepy
edit1: please read the related post a few below first... its a bit better thought out and written...

Let me begin by saying that I truly wonder how long the church will continue to get in the way of God's mission... Seriously, when "historical orthodoxy" (read, keeping things the same as they always were) gets in the way of where God is leading his flock, you have to wonder where the logic is.

For anyone who has continued to read this far and doesn't know what I'm talking about, the Episcopal House of Bishops has just met in New Orleans, and, as a friend put it "are a bunch of wussies." While I might have chosen different language, I do have to agree.

They agreed to "show restraint" in consenting to bishops whose lifestyle was a problem to others in the AC, and confirmed that homosexuals fit into this category BUT then later explained full support of LGBT members of the church (go figure).

I agree with what others have said, if you believe in it, its time to show it, if not, then don't. But stop straddling the yellow long. God is leading us somewhere, let's follow....

oh, and read the related post a few below, its much better written and thought out.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

John McCain...Episcobaptist?

I awoke this morning to an IM from a friend asking me if I was aware of this article.
Basically, McCain was finally asked if he identified as an Episcopalian (how he tends to market himself) or a Baptist (the sort of church he has been attending for years).
After he failed at trying to tell them that it didn't matter, he was still a Christian, he finally admitted that although he was raised Episcopalian, he did identify as a Baptist (although he was never formally received).
In the AP article, McCain mentioned that one of the reasons he attends the Baptist church was because he found it more fulfilling - and I've heard a lot of people say this.
TEC is very focused on bringing in more people my age by looking at alternative worship styles, but I wonder if they would fare better using them for boomers as well.
I love my high church worship - the smells and bells, historical liturgy and all around pretty... but sometimes I'll admit I love a more contemporary free style of worship. As an undergrad I often enjoyed attending IVCF (for the worship, I could do without their theology or politics), and as a grad student I sometimes miss it.
I tend to pray more contemplatively, and some of my best conversations with God happen during late night walks. But sometimes there is something to be said for being able to clap my hands and throw my arms up in the air for God.
Oh, and enthusiastic sermons are definitely a better way to go than droning at 9:30am.


Friday, September 14, 2007

My fear for the (Episcopal ) Church...

I've been reading around the Anglican Blog-o-sphere, and I've found that many conservatives and moderates express a fear about getting "expelled" from the Anglican Communion (whatever that means).

As many of you know, I was raised Jewish. Which means I'm still Jewish. I was baptized when I was a pre-teen, and am very active in the church. I love Christ and the Trinity and try to live the gospel.... but I'm still Jewish. When Jewish sects break off, they are still...wait for it.. Jewish, and are still children of our forefathers. There is nothing I or anyone can do about that (not that I have a problem with it).

But, clearly, I'm used to, and love, being a part of a huge network of people - being part of a world-wide faith community --- and that is one of the things that I loved about the Episcopal church.


My biggest fear, is that, in the church's striving to "remain in communion" we stop loving our neighbor as ourself, that we stop ministering to the sick, the friendless, and the criminal, and stop accepting the sick, the outcasts and the needy. We cannot become a church based on fear- based upon accusations and threats made by people if these threats get in the way of our living the gospel.

And that is my fear for the Episcopal Church, that we try to conform because people are telling us, and not move forward, when that where God is leading us.

The Episcopal Church welcomed a smart-alecky, awkward, 12-year old Jewish girl when, to be honest, no one else really did. Now that smart-alecky, awkward, 22 year old Christian girl wants to know when people got off deciding that an issue worth splitting the Anglican Communion over is one that Jesus never mentioned. Sorry, I'm too busy trying to live the gospel to care that Paul doesn't want me preaching or that he cares what I or anyone does in bed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Woman's Place is in the House....

On T-shirts, bumper stickers, and buttons this phrase is often followed by words like "of bishops" or "and the Senate" or lately "the White House." As most of you know, I'm bit of a feminist and would love to see a woman in the White House, which is why Hillary Clinton ticks me off.

In the spring, in an essay you can view here I discussed my early feelings about many of the candidates. My concluding statement was that I don't believe gender should be an issue when electing a president. Sri Lanka, the UK, Canada, Israel, India, France, the Central African Republic, Portugal, Norway, Pakistan and Bangladesh have all had a female head of government. Here in America, shouldn't we join these "forward thinking" countries?

But then there is Hillary Clinton.

Whether one likes or dislikes her husband, the general consensus seems to be that he meant well (other than the whole bombing this as a distraction). I don't see that with Senator Clinton. The Senator sat on the board of Wal-Mart. Its been common knowledge for years that this company is morally bankrupt. For someone who spent some time trying to get everyone health care, it seems strange that she would support a corporation that believes quite loudly that the government can supply these people health care (in free clinics and government sponsored programs... we aren't quite set up for that yet).

Senator Clinton recently returned $850,000 in campaign contributions that were tied to Norman Hsu - a fund-raiser caught up in a Ponzi scheme, and her campaign seems to have been marred by things like this since the beginning.

A huge supporter of her initial Senate run, Clinton seems to have been disappointed many. She has spent much of her terms trying to please everyone, yet is somehow much less subtle than other candidates who flop around just as much. She doesn't come across as down to earth, or even as "one of the people" - a façade than many other candidates have mastered.

Her voting record isn't awful, and her (and Kucinich) have the BEST attendance of any congress person running for the President. (McCain is currently at 44% attendance. Sir, if you can't show up as a senator, what do you have to offer me as a president).

To be honest, Clinton hasn't shown me anything that she will do that really impresses me.

Probably unsurprisingly, I support Dennis Kucinich, but acknowledging the probability that he will not get the Democratic nomination, I swing to John Edwards. Because while he might not be fully progressive, unlike many of the other Democratic nominees, he isn't lying to me about being the moderate he is.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Harry Potter and the Christian Message

While that title is bit hokey, please blame Fr. Greg, not me.

The C.S. Lewis Society at Rutgers discussed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (and all of the books to an extent) this week. It was rather interesting, especially since, by the end, we agreed that the books are a bit more about discipleship. Harry and the other characters aren't so much parallels to Christ so much as disciples trying to live a Christian message. While there are components of self-sacrifice and relations between Harry and Christ, it is nothing like the comparison Lewis makes between Aslan and Christ or that is made in the Matrix between Neo and Christ. That said, imitatio Christi is important as well.

My thoughts for the evening.

Russians asked to Get Their Groove On

On Wednesday one province in Russia will be sponsoring "Conception Day." A holiday of sorts to help counter the falling birth rates in Russia. The day was picked as it falls nine months prior to "Constitution Day." Read more here.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


For anyone who doesn't know, I'm just beginning a master's program in Library and Information Science.
For those of you who do know me, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I'm really beginning to doubt a calling to librarianship... or am I just doubting having any fun at all in library school?

Friday, September 7, 2007

In the beginning...

Hello all,
So I'm finally beginning this blog.
Why you may ask (although probably don't care).
Basically, now I'm a grad student. I'm taking 12 credits of classes that give me piles of reading and bore me to tears.
I have no free time at all, so it seemed like the perfect time to start this wonderful diversion.
Well, that, and as most of you know, I'm a news, politics, and religion junkie, so, it gives me an outlet without having to inflict everything I find mildly amusing or upsetting on my friends.
Here's to hoping there is someone out there reading this, but if not, in the words of the noted philosopher Kurt Vonnegut,
...So it goes...

Any my apologies for my over use of ellipsis.