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):
VoilĂ ! 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.