“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gifts - and making Martin Luther a little pissed about those darn donuts.

Last Sunday was Pentecost. Hubby, Kiddies and I went to Church. We didn't go because it was Pentecost, we just went, and then realized "Hey, it's Pentecost. We picked a good day to go to Church."

If you're not familiar with what Pentecost is, click here. OK, yes, it's a link to the wikipedia's Pentecost page, but it explains Pentecost in a nutshell without sounding all preachy and stuff.

Anyhow, this day is frequently referred to as the Birthday of the Church. What do we get on our birthdays? Cake, yes. And what else? That's right, presents. Yay presents.

I grew up in the church. When I was a kid we went to church every sunday, rain or shine, sick or well. We weren't allowed to spend the night at our friends' houses on saturdays because we had to go to church on Sunday. We couldn't stay up and watch Fantasy Island because it was on too late and wouldn't be able to get a good night's sleep to be awake for church. We also had to go to 8am church. My mom didn't want to go to 10:30 church because she said too much of the day was gone. When we started going to Bethany, my two oldest sisters either said they had to work, or they didn't live with us anymore, and they stopped going. My sister who is just older than me and I still went every Sunday. They would make us go to Sunday School while they went out to breakfast. We were always late to Sunday School, and sometimes we'd skip it because we spent too long sneaking over to St. Cyprians across the street to get doughnuts, and yes, we spent all our offering money at the Catholic Church getting doughnuts. I asked my mom once (only once) why she and my dad didn't have to go to adult sunday school while we went to regular sunday school. She said they didn't need to go. As I got older I realized it was probably one of the only times during the week they got to spend alone together. With 4 kids, they probably didn't get to spend much time without a kid around. But still, they should have gone if they were going to make us go.

Anyhow, back to the presents.

Growing up I was taught that God gives us gifts, special talents. These gifts serve two purposes. One - they serve as proof that God exists, Two - using these gifts praises God.

Growing up I was always really pissed off that I didn't have a gift. I don't play any musical instrument with any particular skill - I used to play the flute and I strum on the ukulele a little bit but I'm no Herbie Mann or Jake Shimabukuro. I like to cook, but I'm not the best cook ever. I can sing without breaking glasses or making dogs howl but I won't be making any gold records. I can hula dance, but most of the people I dance with are way better than me. I can acquit myself well on many things, but I wouldn't say that any of these things are my gifts.
The pastor on Sunday talked about a type of gift I hadn't realized. It falls under the first category of gifts - they serve as proof that God exists. He said that anyone can learn how to play the piano and they can become quite proficient if they practice for 6 hours every day.  Anyone can accomplish just about whatever they set their minds on. It doesn't mean that that one thing is their gift.  It just means they practice a lot. That's not to say it can't be their gift, it just means that it might not necessarily be their gift.
A gift, he said, can be sprung upon you at any time in the form of showing courage at a time when it is really needed or having the gift of debating someone when you aren't really known for making great arguments.

So, I'm still waiting for mine. Maybe I have it already and I'm too stupid to see it. Maybe it's just germinating inside me and it'll pop out of the soil soon. Maybe it'll be sprung upon me at a time when I need it most.
I'm cool to wait. I'm paid by the hour.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Anika's project.

My friend Anika started a great new project. I'm proud to have gotten in on the ground floor of this one. She posts a theme, a picture, a thought, etc. and invites anyone who comes across her blog to create something arty that reflects the theme of her chosen project. It's called ACoLab.

The first theme she presented was this. It's a picture of the cityscape of Manhattan.

To view my entry go here.  Then, make sure to take a look at the other entries.

Theme #2 requires a bit more thought, but boy do I have a good one.

Stay tuned . . . . .

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's better to lose track of a spider than to kill a spider.

I spent part of last week at a Napa hotel for a company-wide meeting.

As I was walking back to my room one night the biggest spider attempted to cross my path, but stopped short when he saw me. Its body was about penny in circumference and about quarter-size if you were to account for his legs. He had a big round abdomen shaped like a black widow but he was kinda brownish/black with lots and lots of yellow dots all over him. He had come out of the low lying flower bed and it looked to me that he was attempting to cross the walk-way and go into the adjacent low-lying flower bed. I tried to take pictures of him but all of them just looked like a blurry thumb.

He was pretty cool looking. I tried to find a picture of one of his bretheren online to figure out what he was. All of my research, which consisted of searching for about 10 minutes, came up with this. I think he's a variety of an Orb Web Spider.
(I have to note that looking at spider websites to find this spider made me feel really creeped out and now I'm all itchy.)

Anyhow, the next day I boarded a coach that was going to take me to various winery and vineyard locations for a day of education. There were two people, a man whose name I don't remember and a woman who works in my office named CV, sitting behind me that were talking just about the whole way there and back. 

The woman told the man this story,
CV and her Hubby used to live in  this one house. Her Hubby has the reputation for taking exception to the killing of our arachnid friends. A spider had taken residence in an unused corner of their house. I'm not sure where in the house but let's pretend it was in their living room to the right of their sofa, and it had a pretty good view of the outside world, and an even better view of the TV. The Hubby didn't want to kill the spider, and it didn't really bother CV so they just left it there. Once in a while they would prune the web so it wouldn't get out of control but for the most part they left Mr. Spider alone.
Then the time came for CV and her Hubby to get a new house. Don't know why they moved from one house to another but for the purposes of this story it doesn't really matter. It dawned on the Hubby that once they moved the new occupants of their former home would probably kill the spider, not knowing the spider's history and the good mojo that surrounded it. Feeling a connection to Mr. Spider, the Hubby put it into a jar and transported it to their new home hoping it would find the same happiness it had found at the old house. Soon after, they lost track of the spider. I'd like to think that the spider crawled outside to enjoy the bigger world, scurried off into the sunset and died a happy spider. I'd also like to think that CV and her hubby think about the spider from time to time and smile.

Now, I've never met the Hubby, and I've probably only had about 7 conversations with CV, mostly having to do with the weather or how our weekends were, in the 4 years she and I have worked for the same company but I've always thought she was a friendly person and I liked the chili she made us all try when she was entering some chili cook-off competition. Hearing the spider story, though, made me like her a little bit more.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shimmy in the Chimney

I had a dream about Sir Paul McCartney.

Sir Paul McCartney and I were walking down Geary St. Sir Paul McCartney was wearing an Ice Cream Suit and I was carrying a digital camera. Sir Paul McCartney wanted me to take his picture inside the chimney of some sort of meeting hall on the south side of Geary Street located somewhere west of Park Presidio and east of 23rd Avenue. We got to the entrance of the meeting hall and it was full of people. The entrance was a big D shaped lobby with two conference rooms breaking off from the top and the bottom of the curve of the D. There was a fire place on the straight side of the D. The people in the dream, who all looked like Farmer Hoggart's wife from Babe, went into the conference rooms. Sir Paul McCartney climbed up into the chimney. He wanted me to lie on my back in the ashes of the fireplace and shoot up the chimney while he did what ever it was he was going to do. People started coming out of the conference rooms so I couldn't get in the fireplace to take Sir Paul McCartney's photo so I just stuck my arm inside the fireplace, aimed the camera up and snapped as many pics as I could. Everyone thought it was weird. I left before they kicked me out, leaving Sir Paul McCartney in the chimney. I never heard from him again.

Welcome now my friends to the show that never ends

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Nice Pictures - Where'd you steal them from?

Some of the pictures in my blog were taken by a photographer called Julie Michele. Some of the pictures were either taken by me or someone I know. Some of the pictures were ripped right from the internet, mostly from google image searches from photographers to whom I may or may not give credit.

Rest assured I make no money from any of it.