Wednesday, January 21

done, doNE, DONE!

The thesis is done!...mostly. My adviser has a hard copy of the final draft. The exam copies go to the committee members Monday, Jan 26, so I will print them on Sunday. I'm hoping said adviser gets me any suggestions for major edits before then. If not, the committee will get what I've got.

I have had a lot of people cheering for me and commenting that I must be relieved and excited. I'm not. I feel like I should be, but I'm just not there. I know there will be more editing to come...and that it won't feel "done" until after my defense, the edits, the printing and the filing all happen. The day I drop the copies off at the library - then it will feel (and be) "done." On that note, I was hoping that my insomnia would end when I finished and handed it off to my adviser. Apparently not. Yesterday, you see, he said, "no table of contents?", and apparently it was vital that he get one before 6AM today, (at least to some part of my brain) as I woke up at 3:00 am thinking about it and could not go back to sleep. At 4:30 I gave up, did some of the citation editing I needed to do, tried to decipher old German script to retype it for a footnote and then typed the table of contents so I could email it by 5:40am. Seriously? This couldn't have waited until 9:00?

Friday, January 16

Revgalblogs Friday Five

Whether it's new friends or new loves or new employers, what are five things people should know about you?

I am very direct. I say what I think and I don't play political "games" well. I tend to be the one that says, "yeah, but...", or actually names the elephant in the room. It sometimes gets me into trouble...and certainly did when I worked in Division I athletics. 

I have a screwy sense of humor. If someone teases me, I tease back, often with a straight delivery - this strangely often puts people on the defensive of "I was just kidding..." Yes - I'm aware, so was I.

I need my down time. I'm a pretty balanced introvert-extrovert, but I absolutely need time on my own to recharge. So, while I think out loud much of the time, I need to have a quiet space to retreat.

I am so not a morning person. I prefer to ease into the day whenever possible - with a nice, hot cup of coffee, or two, before dealing with many other humans. I can fake it when I have to, but too many days in a row of that and I start to get really, really snarky.

I'm a traveler. Even when I lived in the same town for 11 years, I moved several times to new apartments. I'm often keeping my eyes open for what's I need help and reminders to stay in the moment. Thankfully I have great friends and an awesome spiritual director who help me do just that.

Thursday, January 15

at it again

the retreat plan worked well! I got a lot done - some good writing, some good organizing, got my bibliography updated - it was, well, a brilliant plan. I'm now on (hopefully) brilliant plan #2...I'm at the seminary for tonight and tomorrow night and the theological library Friday and Saturday and hopefully by the end of that I'll be done-ish. "ish" because I'll want to print a hard copy Sunday and proof and then get it to ye olde adviser Tuesday when we meet about the class I'm TA-ing. EEK!

So - may focus, perseverance, concentration and good writing mojo be mine for the next 48 hours or so.

Monday, January 12


since Jan 2007 I've been working on a thesis for an MA in Liturgical Studies. Several things - temporal and existential - have delayed and derailed me at different times during this process. BUT...I'm in the home stretch!! Today, I traveled about 15 miles north of home and work to a Roman Catholic retreat center (where I apparently am the only guest) lock myself away and write.

I put in a few hours and then took a short walk to a nearby Starbucks to catch up on some emailing, and to do some other stuff on-line. So, I'm getting ready to head back to my "nun room" as I called it on a phone call earlier today, where I will read and write and think and write and write. It has been good to have a space to focus and to not have access to the internet while I'm there. I didn't even bring a book or a magazine to read so I HAVE to work on the thesis...or sleep, I guess. I'm here until 3PM tomorrow, and I can't believe I didn't think of this before, but better late than never.

Prayers and cosmic hope for good writing mojo and persistence are appreciated!

Friday, January 9

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five: Pancakes

1. Scratch or mix? Buttermilk or plain?
Mix...although it is embarressing to admit. I usually go for the buttermilk version.

2. Pure and simple, or with additions cooked in?
Both...if i add anything, it's usually bananas.

3. For breakfast or for dinner?
Yes. I love breakfast for dinner!

4. Preferred syrup or other topping? How about the best side dish?
I'm a traditionalist - Trader Joe's pure maple syrup all the way...warmed if possible. Best side dish: I'm a sucker for sausages.

5. Favorite pancake restaurant?
I don't go out a lot for breakfast...but I do love IHOP's pancakes.

Thursday, January 8

playing "the card" ALC, they have had a tradition of 1st communion in 5th grade. In fact SP told me it was in the congregation's constitution. As we've been moving forward with a process to eliminate the age requirement from communion, it was discovered it isn't actually in the constitution..anywhere. So - that makes things easier, procedurally. But...tonight we talked again about this at council...the usual "they won't understand"...."they should know what's happening"...blah, blah, blah.

Do I ever get to play the "it's my decision" card? My letter of call talks about administration of the sacraments - it doesn't say the congregation gets a vote. Do I get to ever say to the curmudgeon who comes to the table with his fingers held in a pinching motion to grab the wafer out of my hands (instead of open hands to receive) I ever get to say to him..."Bummer you're bent out of shape about this...but it's not about you." Probably not, huh? But, having discovered that this isn't in the constitution, I've become acutely aware that it really is a pastoral decision. Of course we want to educate, inform and discuss this with the congregation...but at the end of this, I'm opposed to a vote of any kind on this topic, and I'm afraid the loud, cranky voices in the congregation, and on council, will push for one. Maybe not, but it's what I'm afraid of.

But, dammit, I am the pastor (well, one of them)...and it really is a pastoral decision. Sigh...I just probably won't ever get to say that in a meeting.

Wednesday, January 7

i need a coach...

I've decided that I need a thesis coach...aka someone to yell at me when I'm watching TV, or playing games instead of writing. Any takers?

I have my defense scheduled for Feb 13, which means I have only a few remaining weeks to get the 75 pages done and to my committee so that they have time to read it before that day (which is, yes, in fact, Friday the 13th). Hence, I need to be writing, writing, writing...not watching TV or doing other things with my computer. I came to Starbucks early hoping to get some work done before work...but only copped a tiny table, which doesn't work with how I write - I need room to spread out! - so I'm complaining here and then heading into the office to hopefully get some thesis work done at my desk before my marathon day. Have latte, will travel. Thankfully, I don't preach this week, and confirmation class is pretty much ready - so I just need to shut my door, stay off of Hexic and WORK! (I still think I could use someone to sit one of the other chairs in my office and yell when I stray off into game land....or googling land....) sigh. I'm so bad at self-motivation. 

addendum: as I was packing up to leave the big table opened, I got set up and started and then the soccer mom clutch moved in next to me and man, they are loud! to the office - hopefully I can stay focused there. Ugh

Friday, January 2

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five

As we look back we may come to understand how God has worked in and through us in joy and sadness. how we have grown against what may seem impossible odds. As we look forward we may do so with expectation, and we may do so with fear and trembling. As we look back and forward in New Years liminality I offer you this simple yet I hope profound Friday Five in two parts:

First list five things that you remember/ treasure from 2008
1. My first call! Gainfully employed after an extended period of waiting.
2. My ordination - the service was powerful and meaningful and all that I hoped it would be.
3. The visits with SM and KR - their ordinations, my ordination, Shakespeare at Ashland, vacation in MT, yurt!...I treasure their friendship and was blessed to be able to see them so often in 2008. I fear that '09 won't have as many opportunities.
4. Seeing dad's visit for Christmas, and my brother's visit in November before deploying to Iraq. It was good to spend time with him before he left - and on that note, I am in great debt to the person(s) who developed Skype. It allows us to keep in touch through chat, voice and video....for FREE!!
5. The great staff I work with at ALC - it's had its challenges, but I'm extremely blessed to be working with such a great group of people.

Then list five things that you are looking forward to in 2009
...I actually did this a few days ago in my last post, so if you're interested, scroll down a bit.

A Happy and Blessed 2009 to all.