Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I thought so.

Am listening to the news as I write this, and the Archbishop of Canturbury has just released a statement. At base, he's siding with the Africans.


Bearing in mind that the British are far less likely to be practicing church members than the Africans or the Americans... but it's the symbolism that gives his voice clout.

Marilyn, my Marilyn

My summer classroom is a pleasant space as industrial-type classrooms go. It's well lit (yay) and has plenty of dry erase board space. (Chalkboards are just so 20th century.) The students have plenty of space for books, beverages and notebooks and the chairs are surprisingly comfortable.

"All right then, lemming, so what's the problem toward which you seem to be building?"

Well, it's not a problem exactly. I noticed that the room was a trifle warm, not surprising in an Indiana summer. Then I noticed that most of the students in the back row wore sweatshirts. Utilizing the problem-solving skills learned during the course of my liberal arts education, I deduced that the air conditioning vents which were actually on must all be at the back of the room.

During the break, I took a stroll back there - and my skirt flew up in the blast of arctic air coming from the floor vent. Fortunately no one else was there, so I may still pretend to be dignified in front of my class.

Oh, OK, one complaint: I have to bring my own dry-erase markers for the dry erase board.

Monday, June 26, 2006

oh the humanity!

I've been chatting with people, in person and via the Internet, about the visions our new Presiding Bishop-elect will bring to the position and how she might choose to implement them. Most people seem generally positive about Jefferts Schori's qualifications - having an airplane pilot and oceanographer for a bishop delights me - though inevitably the discussion turns to the unity of the greater Anglican Communion.

The Church of England can't seem to decide where it stands on the current arguments. The United States has more than a generation of ordained women within our experience, and if we can ordain women, why not have them as bishops and presiding bishops? Other areas of teh church, the Africans in particular, still oppose the ordination of women and have urged all sorts of penalties for homosexuality, whether among the clergy or otherwise. As I see it (in my own biased way) if a split does happen, the big question will be and is: on which side will the Church of England chose to ally its self?

In discussing this with one person, the conversation moved on to the subject that the African Episcopal clergy are still grappling with trying to eliminate polygamy: the acceptance of homosexuality, however grudging, is unthinkable there due to the social/ cultural/ economic situation. The other person then commented that his concern with Jefferts Schori is that she wants to continue working with AIDS/ HIV issues in Africa. "This is pouring good money down a sieve. I see no point in sending them drugs or working toward curing them with the various therapies available in the West until they change their culture. Why throw away our efforts on people who refuse to change their behaviors? Until the beliefs about the sexual availability of women..."

I almost burst into tears.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

a shameless plug

Hey there! This is an official plug. Drew is finally back to blogging. As he's the person I generally describe as "most likely to successfully blackmail me" go read his blog. Now. Please read it six or seven times a day at the very least - please! Plus he knows the names of all of the presidential assasins, would-be and successful. 'nuff said.

Monday, June 19, 2006

movie meme

OK, I swiped this. It's increasingly common, so I jump on now. OK, OK, I am a lemming.

A. Pick 11 of your favorite movies.
B. Then pick one of your favorite quotes from each movie.
C. Post the quotes on your blog.
D. Have commenters guess what the movie is.
E. Either strike out the quote once it has been correctly identified or place the guesser’s user name directly after the quote.
F. Extra points for knowing the actor or character’s name.

1) By god I have had this congress!!!
Alison 1776 - credit to Drew, too!

2) I was sorry that our aquaintance would be so short.
Joe Kind Hearts and Coronets

3) Let's strike a flint and see.
Hugh, but it's not Anthony Hopkins, Lion In Winter
(I remember it as Geoffrey, but I suppose it could be AH)

4) I've seen better organized riots.
Alison and Harriet Chariots of Fire

5) Your son is alive!
Jason Gosford Park

6) It is a truth universally...
Harriet Pride and Prejudice

7) Jewel, my jewel...
Joe & the Internet Betrayal

8) We met at work.
JasonLove, Actually

9) Dad, I was the next man.
Brownie IJ and the Last Crusade

10) A skating instructor??!
Drew with bonus points for Gaston

11) Your mother was a hamster!
Sumo MP and the Holy Grail

Jason officially qualifies for additional reproductive organs for his excellent (and correct) guesses.

Friday, June 16, 2006

the toll paid

Yesterday the tally of dead American service personnel officially reached 2500. The number of Iraqi civilian casualties is far higher. Tonight on "The Evening New With Jim Lehrer" the names and photographs of twenty dead soldiers were shown.

I do not pretend to have answers, whether easy or difficult. I do know that something has got to change, for all of our sakes.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

another useful saint

Today is the feast day of St. Vitus. He is the patron saint of comedians, dancers and Sicily. He can be invoked against choera, epilepsy, lightening, snake-bite, wild animals and, my personal favorite, over-sleeping.

My saint guide observes that while his "cult is very old... credible details about his life are few, nor can we be certain of his connection with the debilitating medical condition of rheumatic chorea called St. Vitus's Dance." Vitus's life includes last minute escapes from lions and immersion in boiling oil, and at least one instance of dancing angels distracting a would-be executioner.

The guide makes no mention whatsoever of why he is associated with over-sleeping.

Historical note: I am reasonable confident that I am one of a very few Indiana bloggers ever to use the word "chorea" in an entry.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

country roads (and not)

I managed to get myself quite thoroughly lost yesterday, Brown County is a lovely place at any time of year, but Interstate is Interstate after a while.

Though I've never been much interested in urban history, the many varieties of strip mall I saw yesterday might actually insprire me to do a little reading in Wikipedia. There's an incredible range in design and lay-out among them, and the degree of upkeep seems to vary wildly.

Whether driving past them once or three times, I still think all strip malls are ugly.

Monday, June 12, 2006

your dimple, your snoring, how dear

I had no idea that JQA's ideal lemonade would attract such interest. Against my will, I have come to find blogging and its world great fun, in part because I never know what random bits of my thinking might actually be interesting. #1 Reason why blogging is like and yet unlike a cocktail party...

To ressurrect an old rant, why the @)&*^#$$@@**$&*(*$%^$#%^ is Indiana now on Eastern time? Maine is on Eastern Time. Boston, NYC, etc - and so why are we, a grudingly Midwesterm location, pretending to be Maine??!!

Friday, June 02, 2006

suggestion for the weekend

In 1835, John Quincy Adams attended a party and thoroughly enjoyed the lemonade served. He liked it so much that he recorded the recipe in his diary.

Add to one gallon of water:

a bottle of Jamaican rum
a bottle of cognac
a bottle of champagne
a pound of sugar

optional: a pint of lemon juice

Source: Paul Nagel, John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life , page 351

Thursday, June 01, 2006

History, Ancient and Modern

I had an odd dream last night involving dinosaurs. I've never been a huge dinosaur buff, really. It's incredible to me that, millions of years ago, some dinosaur built nests in the same area where Sam and I now take our evening constitutionals, but I've never done any research into which varieties inhabited the Midwest. I suspect that there's probably an eight year old in my neighborhood who could tell me all about it. (Precocious Neighborhood Child didn't know but was amused that I asked.)

Let's just say that the interview went very very well and I suspect that I am going to have a truly lovely fall semester. Several of the aspects of my work cited as great weaknesses by the Gang of Four (tm) were praised today as my greatest assets. Oh for a video camera... Where's Big Brother when you need him?