Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Sunday, May 11, 2014
And I'm not the only one.
In 1923, nine years after Anna Jarvis talked President Woodrow Wilson into establishing a national "Mother's Day," Ms. Jarvis turned around and began protesting it.
On facebook today, fourteen months after the death of his mother, Jason Nethercut describes Mother's Day as "prominent, glaring and threatening."
And for five years when I served at First Baptist Church in Austin, TX, I could be counted on to cry (hopefully non-conspicuously) at one service every year: Mother's Day.
Why don't we like it?
Well, Anna Jarvis hated how commercial it became in just nine years (oh Lord, she'd HATE it now). You see, she didn't start the movement to create a national holiday for "we the people" to give our moms flowers, and candy and cheesy greeting cards. She petitioned for this national holiday because her own mother organized "Mother's Work Days" to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality, to tend to soldiers who had been injured in the Civil War. Anna's mother's contemporary, Julia Ward Howe (who composed "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"), issued a widely read "Mother's Day Proclamation" in 1870, calling for women to take an active political role in promoting peace.
Mother's Day, for Anna, was to recognize extraordinary women, and specifically the one she was the closest to: her mother.
In other words, "Mother's Day was born in the aftermath of the Civil War, as a rallying cry for women worldwide to oppose war and fight for social justice." It wasn't actually about mothers being good moms, it was about women being good people.
Mother's Day was a cry to action. It was a call from the feminist and Christian communities for women to live to their fullest potential as God's children... and to protect God's other children.
Happy 100th Birthday, Mother's Day. You have forgotten who you are.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
But today, Holy Wednesday is traditionally the day that Judas is said to have gone to the High Priests... "What will you give me if I betray him?" Thirty pieces of silver later, and our story takes a swift turn for the worse. Way beyond foreshadowing, the climax builds as things fall apart.
At the passover dinner, Jesus hints that one will deny him, another betray him, and a party guest leaves in a huff.
Bread is broken and eaten, wine is poured and drunk, but the symbolism isn't traditional, and the disciples wonder what these mixed up metaphors might mean.
After dinner, Jesus excuses himself up to the garden to pray, taking with him his three closest friends. He asks them to wait and keep watch, while he begs God: let there be another way.
But God says no, and when Jesus returns, more disappointment awaits him. He finds his comrades snoozing, the passover hangover already upon them.
Heading back down the hill, things go from bad to worse as the one who ran away comes running back with guards in tow, a kiss of death upon his lips.
Peter draws his sword and the fight escalates when he cuts off a slave's ear. But Jesus, usually the peacemaker, knows that violence must wait a day and it certainly won't come from an army of angry revolutionaries.
But as Jesus returns the ear to the poor servant's head, his friends begin to panic. Everyone takes flight now, one fleeing so fast that when a guard grabs his cloak the disciple wriggles free and runs naked all the way home.
Jesus, on the other hand, is restrained, imprisoned, and left to await trial and potential capital punishment.
And we move from Holy Wednesday to Maundy Thursday.
Sleepy stewards, double-crossing kisses, and then... something just broke.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
"Oh honey, they've had a file on me for a long time," I replied. "You've read my blog, right?"
Seriously though, aside from the fact that I've actively and articulately criticized American politicians - conservatives and liberals (Though lets be honest, fundamentalists of the former persuasion are much more offensive and ridiculous than fundies of the latter - what would a fundamentalist liberal be anyway? a hippie? I digress.) - and aside from the fact that I am very opinionated about politics, race, sexism, issues of social justice and separation of church and state, I also dated someone who worked for the Department of Defense. Remember when I quit posting crazy boyfriend stories in the latter part of 2011? There was a reason for that. But it wasn't because I stopped dating men, it was because my man didn't have security clearance. Yep, that happened.
And now I've gone and performed in Assassins, the musical about successful and wanna-be assassins of American Presidents. So, add that to the file, Monsieur FBI.
Monday, February 24, 2014
I preached on this very text eleven years ago. It's a sermon on one of the best things I learned in seminary (I think). And since apparently University Baptist Waco has been on my mind lately (I threw on an old UBC shirt to run errands in on Saturday and then low and behold, Kyle Lake, visited me in a dream that night right before I headed to church to hear a text I once preached. So I got out the old scrapbooks, and I got out my old book of sermons (those files don't exist electronically anymore). And on my little iPad last night, I smiled and cringed and smiled some more and typed out that sermon to share with y'all.
And of course I've included pictures. Because this text is tricky, and it required a full on demonstration from the stage that morning. Pre-blog apologies to Big Phil and Lance. And Kyle, it was nice to see you the other night. Thanks for visiting...
from UBC Waco 2003...
Monday, January 20, 2014
I've written about this day before. And over the years, I've spent it in a variety of ways: playing in the snow since I didn't have to go to school in Missouri, raking leaves when I didn't have to go to work in Texas. And one year I even attended an MLK Day breakfast at Huston-Tillotson University with Austin icon, Volma Overton.
This year though, I will go to work (ah, corporate America); and I admit MLK Jr. is on my mind.
I can't pinpoint why. Maybe it's because I listened to this weird "I'm over MLK" discussion on NPR. I mean, I can't even...
Or maybe I'm paranoid about the gentrification of my neighborhood. Though admittedly, on my block, its affected the poorer Latino families more than it's affected the African Americans.
Or maybe I'm dreading all the MLK meme that will undoubtedly be posted on FB tomorrow - by conservatives trying to show they're not racist and by liberals trying to tell people to stop being racist. (None of it really matters as history suggests that few change their mind because of Facebook posts). (Furthermore, I will post some lovely meme on this blog to break up the text and appeal to visual readers).
Sunday, January 12, 2014
So there you have it! Of the Austin theatre events I saw, these were the most super-duper. Maybe next year I'll be brave enough to give you The Worst Of... who knows! In the meantime, here's looking forward to more great, funny, meaningful, important, silly theatre in the heart of Texas in 2014!
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
2013 proved most eventful. After a fun-filled 2012, 2013 started off... on the couch. New Year's Eve last year, I had dinner with Person and the Joneses and then promptly fell asleep on the couch missing all ringing in and other celebretory festivities. But perhaps I needed the sleep to prepare for the year ahead...
From a trip to Portland to visit my sister... to a Reverse Oregon Trail (Let's-Move-Amy-Back-To-Chicago-Trip)... to a brief nanny job in New York... to a relaxing fall leaves Colorado tour... to an Adriatric Cruise in the Adriatric (I realize this is redundant, but you guys - seriously!!)... this year I travelled much, and felt extremely grateful. I saw some gorgeous sites (mostly in the US!) and some amazing artifacts (mostly in Italy). If I had to choose 2013's world's best sights, I really, really loved Crater Lake in southern Oregon,
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
That was a long sentence, but my brain is tired (too much wine and eggnog?).
So here goes. There are a few things about Italy, Croatia, Montenegro and Greece you MUST know.
First of all, and you won't believe this, but... fish ate my feet. I swear to God. My Person didn't believe it either, which is why he shelled out our last 10 Euros to pay to see it happen. And it did. I went all Kim Kardashian and let fish eat the dead skin off my feet. Check this out.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I was wary. I get motion sick just riding on swing sets and elevators. I excused myself from the theater and threw up in the bathroom during that Captain-I-Got-Attacked-By-Somalie-Pirates movie. Plus the only other ship movie I've ever seen is Titanic, so this added to my anxiety. But my sister is a doctor, so, loaded with drugs and patches, I boarded on Nov. 18th. This is my view every morning. Cue jealousy.
These numbers aren't exact of course (except the single guy one - the ladies actually go to the photo station and scope out all the pics that the photographers take of couples, families and parties when we embark. So they know - one single man who got on by himself. I told you, for cruise professionals, its a fine art). There are 2000 people on board and I only see these people during meal times (and there are like 7 restaurants on board, and two different dinner times (we're at the 8:30 slot), and 15 levels on this ship. So... I might be off by a handful in one category or another.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
My mother's full-time job for 30 years was to teach Latin (and French), so you can probably imagine what it was like at home. Occasionally our bedtime stories included books with images of Greco-Roman gods and stories of valor and indiscretion. In the summertime, (when my mother wasn't drowning amidst the teenagers at work and three flamboyant daughters at home), Tuesday was fun day, so once a week she would take us to a museum or art show, or whatever was culturally beautiful and educational all at once (there is the obvious exception of World's of Fun - but I attribute those excursions to my grandparents anyway).
But all the books and museums in the world couldn't prepare me for what I saw in Rome... the Colosseum (built just 2-4 years after the fall of the Jerusalem Temple) with its cages for wild animals and men alike... the remarkably preserved Roman ruins sprinkled throughout the city - columns, floors, temples ... the Pantheon with its remarkable gold dome - architectural genius... and Saint Peter's Basilica which borrowed gold from the Pantheon for its own remarkable decorations.
Sunday, November 03, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
To Gov. Brewer of Arizona and "Lynn" of People Can Change in Virginia,
I recently read an article stating that classes that will be offered in schools across Arizona teaching homosexual children and teens how to become straight/heterosexual.
I am concerned about this and wanted to let you know why.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
This is the noisiest city I know. I've been to London, Hong Kong, Paris, Jerusalem, LA, Istanbul - lots of cities. And even in the ones where the Islamic Call to Prayer horn goes off in the middle of the night it's not as noisy as New York City.
Now, it doesn't help that "N...Y...C... Just got here this morning" won't stop running through my head. "Three bucks! Two bags! One meeeee!" Ugh. So many "Me"s here in New York.
That may explain why there is constant, constant noise.
I admit, I am one of those people who prefers intentional noise. When I'm at my parents house, I'm constantly walking through rooms and turning off TVs no one is watching. "What'd ya do that for?" I get when three minutes later someone walks into the same room and turns it back on. I only put on a record (or my iPod) or a movie when I need motivation to clean house, or finish my 900th scrapbook. And that's usually only about once a month or so. I didn't like noise when I studied during my school years, and I don't like noise when I work now. "Seriously?" I walk into our company president's office. "I can hear this song all the way across our building. Your music is too loud if it is crossing 6000 square feet."
Thankfully the President is my Person, so he just rolls his eyes and turns it down.
My point: it is simply unnecessary to be that loud.
I feel the same way about Paul Ryan. Just. Stop. Being. So. Loud.
And dumb. Stop being dumb.
But I'm digressing.
The apartment I'm staying at here in the big apple is on the 31st floor. I know, right? And it has a great balcony. But can I open the sliding glass door and let the cool New York breeze blow in to remind me I'm not suffocating in Austin this evening? No, I cannot. Why? Because the noise outside at 9:27pm might wake the baby.
Seriously? I can't open the window because I might wake the baby? And it's not like this stops. When I'm standing on the balcony during the daytime, I can't even hear my text message ding when my phone is sitting right next to me.
It's so loud here!
Listen to me New York (if you can hear me over the noise). You need to take it down a notch. I know you have Broadway (believe me, I'm fully aware). I know you have Sex and the City - God bless that show. And I know you have the Yankees, the Mets, the Giants and the Jets (no I don't know what actual sports these teams represent). But come on! Chill out. I don't need to hear your honking horn 31 stories up. Nor do I need to hear about who's being an asshole. TMI. And for the love of God, put down the microphone; you're not Patti LuPone. (Unfortunately, neither am I).
I mean, was New York built on a giant metal shell and no one noticed? I am not a country girl accustomed to only cow lowing, nor did I just gain use of my ears and am thus overwhelmed by sound waves. So why am I so annoyed by the noise? Because it's excessive. Why is there a constant hum in this city? Not all of you use air-conditioning units, so I know it's not that. Is there perma-construction at all hours of the night and on every street? Has the NSA put invisible, but not indiscreet drones outside our bedroom windows to keep tabs on our every conversation? Why can I hear every time a bus uses its air brakes? Every time a truck runs over a pothole?
They say everything is bigger in Texas. They are wrong. The noise in New York is bigger. Much. Much. Bigger.
Maybe Texas is quieter because we have all those wide open spaces. Our noise doesn't carry as far. Ugh. That makes no sense. Neither does it make sense that the buildings in this city seem to amplify sound instead of deaden it. Where's my high school physics teacher when I need him? Probably cleaning out his ears because he played in a band for 50 years and now has damaged hearing.
Gah. Am I like 90 years old now? I sound like my grandma. And not in any of the ways I want to sound like my grandma because she is, admittedly, fantastic.
There it is again: sound. Sound. I Sound. I can't escape the noise. Noise. Noise. Even when I write.
And maybe that's my problem. The noise is inescapable. And I like to escape. Believe me, I'm really good at it. I had my imagination when I was little... church in high school... alcohol in grad school... I even escaped into a career that I eventually had to escape. Escapology is my thing. In fact, Houdini should have my number (if he ever figures out how to escape death - keep holding those séances y'all!). If they gave out awards for best escape artists, I would have one. Bottom line is: I have always been able to escape the noise in my head and the confusion in my heart by throwing myself into something else.
But there's no escaping the noise of New York City.
Not even with my hot pink, extra soft Women's Earplugs. I should know. I bought some at the corner pharmacy last night.
So New York, here's the deal. I will try really, really hard to learn to live and not just to survive. I will learn to seek the moment, not the escape. But in return, I need you to channel your inner yogi and be quiet for a few minutes. Stop honking, yelling, buzzing, humming, clinking, banging, smashing, slamming and zooming. Stop shooting Botox at your face and insults at your neighbor. Stop the 24-hour construction and stop the 24-7 deliveries. Just be quiet.
And for the love of the theatre, let silence take the stage for once.
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
We drove... and drove... and drove... to get to Denver where we checked into a super rad hotel that is both dog-friendly and LGBT-friendly, so we knew we were guaranteed supurb service and excellent decor. Indeed, they had the freaking fuzziest cow blankets strewn across the ends of the beds which perfectly complimented the twenty-foot tall curtains accenting the subtleties of the carpet pattern. Lord.
Thursday, July 04, 2013
1. "It means what you think it means." is what The Aerialist told us as she read the Wikipedia entry on The Grand Tetons, because we couldn't keep our eyes off them. They're so beautiful. We went from a gorgeous Oregon to a beautiful Idahoming. And we needed detes on why in the world they're called the Grand Tetons. I will refrain from giving my opinion on this name or it's etymology. Because they look like this.