Thursday, March 31, 2005

Okay....Rant of the Day

Did anyone watch the white vehicle (supposedly containing Terri's body) leaving the Hospice and driving away? Hello, OJ. All over again. I'm tempted to make a glove joke here but I'm refraining.

Also, what's the deal--the president is actually commenting on this one death only 2.5 hours after it happens? It was my understanding that when a teenager kills [b]ten[/b] people on an Indian reservation, the wait time is 4 or 5 days. A tsunami is at least 24 hours. And mistakes on WMDs take at least two years to acknowledge.

You know...if Our Nation's President would simply apologize for one thing, I'd appreciate it. I don't even care which one it is.

And of course our day is not complete without a Dobson snack.

Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the
Family, expressed his condolences to Schiavo's parents,
Bob and Mary Schindler.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schindlers, who
have been made to watch their beloved daughter waste away
for the last two weeks -- under not only the approval of
the courts, but under their direct order," Dobson said.


Oh? They were MADE to watch this?
And Bob Schindler said just yesterday that 'she looks darn good.'

"Every Florida and federal judge who failed to act to
spare this precious woman from the torment she was forced
to endure is guilty not only of judicial malfeasance --
but of the cold-blooded, cold-hearted extermination of an
innocent human life. Terri Schiavo has been executed under
the guise of law and 'mercy,' for being guilty of nothing
more than the inability to speak for herself."


tsk tsk...leave the judging to the big guy.




"I grieve for the Schindlers today," Dobson said, "and I
fear for the future of our nation."



Yep, me too. But not for the same reasons as you.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Found somewhere on the Internet...

Your little bit 'o logic (??) for the day...

Question: Wouldn't the more compassionate course be to release Terri from a vegetative existence in the belief you are sending her on to a better life after death?

Response: Only one small problem with this.As Christians,we are to be Christ-like.I don't remember Jesus letting the blind stay blind,the lame to stay lame,those with palsy to keep it,those who were to be stoned left to die,or even Lazarus to stay dead. If Jesus were here today,I highly doubt he'd stand by and let this happen,no matter what the law says.He would go to her and heal her affliction.He wouldn't just throw up his hands and say,"Well,the courts have spoken".(If they want to really bring the Christian religion into this,they will reap what they sow.Because under no circumstances in the Christian bible does it say to just let someone die.)

I guess we should just go 'break the law' and miraculously heal her then. Come on, what are we waiting for!
(And I hate it when I throw up hands. Fingers.too.pointy.)


PIZZA UPDATE

I received a knock on my front door. Lo and behold, a huge box on my doorstep. Inside were two spinach stuffed pizzas, still frozen, from Gino's East in downtown Chicago. Sent by my friend Murray. Isn't he cool?? That must have cost a mint to ship it with dry ice. I'm feeling guilt, and I haven't even started eating yet. :)

In Further News...

Dweeze is right. His blog has some really funny stuff on it right now. Go check it out. The Terri Schiavo link (forgive me Lord) is hysterically funny to me in my own warped little way.

Around here things are settling down after a lovely weekend with our friends Andy and Lisa. We played the preacher video link that gm so graciously provided in the comments to my previous post. If you haven't checked that out yet, I must encourage you to do so, but not when your mother is around.

I finished my taxes not 15 minutes ago. What a relief. Just waiting for the e-file confirmation and we'll be all set. I've got my check for $14 made out to the State of Michigan ready to go. I managed to handle this all by my ownself this year, though I did ask one question to my CPA brother (who is very proud, I am sure, since he's done my taxes for me since before I was born). I'd like to thank my friends and family for their support during this tax season. I'd like to thank God, for without him there would be no tax. I'd like to thank the beautiful state of AZ for having such lovely weather that I procrastinated waaaaaay longer than usual, since what else is there to do in Michigan between November and May but taxes and organizing paper clips and filing cabinets and shit like that. I'd like to thank my federal government for so wisely using the $1478 I lent them over the past year. Good job, guys. (By the way, you DO still have my money, right? If not, you can borrow it from God or something, right? Not that I'm nervous about you not having any money...You understand it's not that, right?). And I'd like to thank my parents for, uh....hmmm. For raising me to...pay my taxes. Yes.

So my friend Murray is up to something. He's talking about pizza, he's telling me it's good I'm working from home today, he says he's not coming for a visit, but I should be home. Now for those of you who don't know Murray, he is a kind and wise man who lives in Chicago (yes, way in) and helps people who need help. I don't think that's his official title, but from what I know of him, that's a broad term for what he does. I have a lot of respect for this guy.

Now, Murray knows I love Chicago deep dish pizza. And there's not much of that around Phoenix. So here's what I'm thinking--Murray is mailing me a pizza, and it's coming today. Or...he's sending me a pizza cookbook? (I draw this conclusion logically after this past weekend of grilled cheese sammiching). I'm bewildered. How does one go about sending a pizza 2000 miles? It sounds potentially quite expensive if frozen, or alternately messy if baked. I will keep you informed about the pizza saga, as I'm just completely certain you are as spellbound as I am.

In further news, my daughter is Student of the Month, which is the extremely high and distinct honor given to approximately forty-hundred kids each month from my kids' school. As far as I know, there are no guidelines or achievements required to get this award. In fact, there were several kids receiving this honor who in my opinion are the Evilest Monsters on the Planet. So of course there is a ceremony which Matt and I went to this morning. Now, we knew that most parents bring a gaudy, obnoxious gift to this ceremony for their little angel. Balloons are everywhere, gift bags stuffed with tissue paper, cards and flowers...which leads me to believe that Student of the Month is a new monthly holiday created by Hallmark. Which is also something I won't participate in. Yes, I'm the meanest mother in the world, but geez louise, we spend enough money on the kids. They already get a certificate, a banner, and a bumper sticker (which is NOT going on my car, thank you) from the school for doing absolutely nothing. Just what I need, more crap cluttering my house.

So instead we told the daughter how proud we were, told her she did a good job and to keep up the good work, and we let her know there would be no present. Which was fine with her; in fact she didn't want to be SotM at all. She was actually really peeved that 'Tori' was also Student of the Month this month, because 'Tori' steals.

Enjoy your day.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Yes, it's true.

I am evil.

Happy Passion Week. Turn your sound on. It's time to pay the piper.

(thanks to GM for indirectly reminding me I had this)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I am a pathetic woman.

I find myself at Freepers every once in a while to see what they're doing over there. Today it was my curiousity over the Schiavo case. I like to be informed about what people are saying, yet I have to admit my visits there prove me to be more than a little ill. I usually read a few posts and laugh, then read some more and shake my head. That's when I should stop.

But I don't stop. I get angry and then I start muttering and then the evil laughter echoes in my ears, and I almost convince myself to get an ID and post something. Ha! What an idiot I'd be then. Waste of my time.

Tell the truth now--raise your hand if you've peeked at Freepers at least once in the past 30 days.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

WWJDD?

In college, my roommate and I had a poster of Johnny Depp from his days on 21 Jump Street...it was this one.

We stuck a piece of notebook paper on this poster, which said "Johnny Depp says 'Do your homework!'" We were procrastinators, see.

Today, I ask WWJDD? And in fact, I believe my Johnny would say "Do your taxes!" But I just don't feel like it. I think I need Johnny to come over here and motivate me.

Monday, March 21, 2005

ACLU of MI fights for gay rights

Finally the truth comes out. So many people were unaware last November that Michigan's Prop 2 would take away rights from homosexuals in relationships.

Last week, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox issued his first legal interpretation of the amendment, saying that Kalamazoo's policy of offering health and retirement benefits to same-sex partners violates the amendment.

But the ACLU of Michigan files suit. Finally a step in the right direction.


Note: This article states the proposal was supported 59% to 41%, which was closer than I remembered. I believe I previously stated it was 61-39.

Sundays with Glennie

So for last Sunday I prepared my mother's favorite meal to celebrate their arrival: ham, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, rolls. But Mom said they weren't coming for lunch after church because she didn't want me to go through any trouble for them.
"The ham's in the oven already," I said.

"Well I don't want you to work so hard. Pretend we are not even here," said Mom.

"But I'm making the meal anyway--it's already in process. I like to feed my family too."

"It's too much."

"Mom. You got here yesterday, you've been eating on the road for six days. Wouldn't you like a home-cooked meal? Besides, you won't go to a restaurant, it's Sunday."

"We have plenty of food." This? Simply not true.

"But...I'm making it anyway. Are you just tired from the trip?"

"No."

Nod and smile. Mutter. "Okaaay, well can I bring you some to your hotel after we eat? I bought a really large ham; we'll never eat it all."

"Sure, but not too much. What time are you coming?"

"I don't know, late afternoon."

"What time?"

"Are you going somewhere?"

"No."

"Does it matter what time? Around four, I guess."

"Okay. Four o'clock sharp. We'll be waiting in the parking lot."

"You want me to throw it out the car window to you or something?"

"You can hand it to dad."

[fast forward 1 week]

Saturday

Earlier in the week I printed an 8x10 photo of my parents standing at the Grand Canyon and gave it to them. It was an excellent photo of them if I do say so myself, but of course it is the way of the mid-west to say "Not half-bad," which I understand to mean they really loved it. On Saturday Mom left me two voicemails. The first one:

"Hi Leese, it's Mom G-----. I would like three more copies of that photo. I think I know what my problem is. I've been coughing a little so I started my pneumonia pills and I'll be fine. We are having a great time so you don't have to worry about us. I can still make it to church tomorrow so we'll see you there at 9:50 sharp. Don't worry, I'm fine. Bye."

Three more copies of the photo. Great--seriously. Glad they liked it that much. Good thing I just bought a new color ink cartridge.

A few hours later, this message:

"Hi Leese, it's Mom G------. I would like two more copies of that photo, so five more in all. One for Ken, one for Mike, one for Trish, one for Rosie, and one extra just in case. I am feeling good, coughed up a little blood. I think I know what my problem is--it was that dust storm in Tucson. Either that or I was already getting pneumonia when we left Michigan. My sides hurt, but I started the anabodic in time. We'll see you at church. Bye. Oh. That's at 9:50 sharp at the front of the church. Bye."

So Sunday morning, due to a few vehicle-related timing issues, I need to attend the 11:30 service. Reluctant phone call to Glennie to change time.

"Hello, mother."

"Hi Leese. Did you get my messages about the photos?"

"Yup, all printed."

"Five of them?"

"Yes, and I'm out of photo paper now, so I'm afraid that's going to be it."

"And I'm feeling fine. Just pneumonia."

"I'm sorry you're feeling ill."

"I'm not. I feel fine."

"Okay, good. So...would it be a problem if we go to the 11:30 service instead?"

[silence]

"No, no problem. We're so flexible."

"Okay, so I'll see you there at 11:20."

"Sharp."

"Right."

"And then we're going to come by your house afterward to take pictures of it."

"Oh."

"Is that all right?"

"Well...sure. Can you stay for lunch?" (I have made zero plans for lunch after last Sunday's little whatever-that-was. In fact I was contemplating Taco Bell).

"Maybe we'll just have a cookie and then go. Maybe chat for a half-hour or so."

"I don't have any cookies."

"What do you have for lunch?"

"Uh..." I'm mentally scrambling through the refrigerator. "I was just thinking about making... hot dogs on the grill. Matt has a lunch meeting so he won't be home til late afternoon."

"Ohhhhhh. The grill. Smoke."

"Yeah, it's uh, a charcoal grill."

"Just boil mine in water." (as if hot dogs weren't gross enough)

"I could broil it..."

"Sure, that sounds good. You still going to do the rest on the grill?"

"I don't know,mother, am I?"

"No. It's too smokey."

"Okay then."

"What else do you have?"

I'm thinking hard. "Salsa and chips. Carrots. Some left-over chicken spaghetti from last night."

"What's in that? Will dad like it?"

Now I must interject here to say that the only thing I've seen my dad eat in the past 15 years is mom's ham dinner, popcorn, and Little Debbie's Oatmeal Creme Pies. A Slim Jim burger from Russ' restaurant. All I know is that they did NOT want to eat at a Mexican restaurant, or Italian, or Chinese, when we were in Sedona. So we ate at a greasy diner. Which is fine. However, I do not know if dad will like my chicken spaghetti, as I have not seen him eat chicken in decades or spaghetti, ever.

"Does he like hot dogs?"

"He loves hot dogs."

"Well I have lots of them."

***

So I prepare lunch. My kitchen is a mess since I wasn't expecting them that day, and mother opens the dishwasher and starts flinging wet dishes around like she does, and putting them in cupboards randomly, dripping wet. "Mom, have you been taking your blood pressure pills?"

"I cut down the other day but I went back up to 15/16ths yesterday."

"Your prescription is for 15/16ths of a pill?"

"No, but I don't like to take the whole pill."

"What do you do with the 1/16th? Do you save them up until there are 15 of them?"

"I don't dare take them because I don't know how accurate they are. But I save them just in case."

"I think maybe you should just take the whole pill if that's what your doctor said to do."

"He doesn't know." She's loading the dishwasher now with plastic forks, and then she starts washing my plastic throw-away plates. Water sprays everywhere. Oh the horrid memories.

I yell for my daughter to come play with Grandma.
Dad has gone missing.
***

Lunchtime

The five of us sit down at the table and start eating, and mother says, "I think I know what my problem is."

"What now," Dad says. This is the first thing he's said since Thursday, and it makes mother laugh.

"I think I have another...what's that thing I had on my ovaries? Not a cyst...but..."

I look at my 11-year old son, who as it happens just had 'The Movie' in school the previous week. He's looking mildly uncomfortable at the mention of the 'O' word, and shoves a hotdog in his mouth.

"Polyp?" I say.

"Yes! a polyp! It just feels funny down there. I haven't had any blood yet though, so I'm okay. But I need you to tell me how to get to the hospital."

Son's eyes widen. "Whoa," he says. 8-yr-old daughter starts singing softly to herself, unbothered.

"Do you have a phonebook in your hotel room?" (score one for Sasha)

"Yes, but I want to go to the one you went to."

"For my stitches?"

"Yes. I feel safer with that one."

"Okaaay..."

"But I'm fine--last time I had terrible bad bleeding. It was gushing."

Dad sets his fork down.

Son looks at his plate, then at me. Sets his fork down too, and becomes a man.

For whatever reason I feel gigglepants coming over me.

Daughter, still singing, realizes the silence caused by the fork. "Stop looking at me, gosh!" she says.

***

After lunch

"I think I know what my problem is," says mom.

"mmm."

"I'm anxious about driving home and having to say goodbye again. So I'll say goodbye now, so I don't have to worry about not having a chance to say goodbye to you when we leave."

Bloody hell. Not the grieving again. "Didn't we just do this Thursday?"

"Just in case," she says.

I walk them to their car where mother shoves the usual handful of articles torn from magazines and newspapers in her attempt to fix any and all problems for me, ranging from birth-control to shoulder stretches to the hazards of living near a very large buzzing electrical tower to obituaries of people from their church whom I don't know. Also an article about a missionary family (the wife was a schoolmate of mine) for the purpose of showing me how much weight my schoolmate had gained. I used to shove them back at her and tell her I don't want all this crap cluttering up my house, but I have resigned to just taking them and, once she leaves, throwing them away.

"Thank you for coming. We'll see you Tuesday, late afternoon," I say.

"What time?"

"I don't know exactly. It depends on what time Matt gets home from work."

"Okay, well we'll figure on you at four, sharp."

"Sure." You just do that.



***





Sunday, March 20, 2005

Enough Already.

This Terri Schaivo case is driving me bananas. Now W is flying back from his endless vacation so he can sign the bill to keep this poor woman alive. Something's really bugging me about this. Yes, I think the husband should be allowed to make the decision. No, the government has no place in this personal decision. And usually my brain goes to 'what's next' when the gov't tries to get involved in this sort of thing. But this time, the thing that is bothering me is the 'what's next' for Terri.

Sure, the emotions are high, people across the country are rallying around Terri's parents in response to their pleas, people who know nothing about Terri have seen the photo where it looks like she's enjoying the kiss on the cheek from her mother, and they become incensed at the thought of letting her die. She looks alive, after all. So they speak out as if this has been their cause of choice their whole lives. Just like they got on board the Angel Tree idea for a week last December, or spent a day getting dirty building a Habitat For Humanity house 3 summers ago...they still remember that good ol' feeling it gave them...committing a whole freaking day to a worthy charity. Terri is today's cause, and hey, they didn't even have to get dirty, spend any money or even leave the house. So when this news dies down, and Terri's got her feeding tube again, and the parents are happy in their bizarre enjoyment of their braindead adult daughter, then what? Well of course, can't you see it coming? Terri will have a miraculous and full recovery, the people will rejoice in congress and W's amazing effort, and wave their fingers at the libruls who think the word 'humane' means letting someone already dead go meet her maker, and they will get behind the next government intrusion so they can 'volunteer' for the next cause. And Terri will become a public speaker that people will flock to see, she'll write a book, "Not Dead Yet," and tour the world with Focus on The Family, She'll be the Princess Diana of America.

And then she'll pay back the taxpayers for all the expenses her parents have racked up over these last few months and fifteen years.

You, my bloggers, are my witnesses today.* No extreme measures to save my life, no life sustaining devices if I'm really gone, please, no water/feeding tubes. Donate everything (hell, donate my brain to Terri). I don't really have a fear of death. But I'm scared to death to be stuck like Terri. Let my husband be free to grieve and move on with his life. Be kind to my children, tell them some stories about me sometime. Just let me go see Jesus, please. He's saving a barstool for me.

I don't understand the Christian conservatives sometimes, I really, really don't. Can't see the forest for the trees.


*don't worry, I already have this in writing, so don't take your jobs as witnesses too seriously

Saturday, March 19, 2005

New and Improved Comments!

Lookie, lookie -- I've got haloscan now. I couldn't let Jolene be cooler than me. Maybe now Buggy can post a comment too. :-) Just click on the word 'Comment' to leave one, and it's all easier and faster-loading than before. The original blogger comments are still there too because I couldn't bear to lose them in the transition.

ETAdd: I also made all my links open up in seperate windows.

I am such a geek now. Please be very impressed.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The road trip with mother

Some photos from our trip. The fact that mother is not in the photos means nothing, nothing at all...

Actually we all had a great time. I'm not sure what happened between Saturday and Monday, but she really settled. When she walked calmly to the edge of the Grand Canyon (where there was absolutely no railing), I nearly fainted. Is this the same mother who took us to Great America and wouldn't let us go on any rides? Is this the woman who couldn't bear to cross the Mackinac Bridge, wouldn't be caught dead on a pier, wouldn't even get out of the car at the llama farm? The woman who shrieked whenever anyone got within 10 feet of the railing at Niagara Falls? Where is my mother and what have you done with her?

We spent about an hour at the Grand Canyon--which actually is plenty of time if you don't plan to hike down into it. On the way out of the park, two enormous elk ran across the road in front of our car--what a treat!

Sedona is indescribable. These photos don't nearly do justice to the Red Rocks. I think my mouth hung open in amazement for the first 30 minutes driving through the area. To top off this wonderful place, the shopping was incredible--it's an artist town, just lovely statues, pottery, beautiful hand crafted everything. For the Michigan readers, it's similar to Saugatuck--though a bit larger and more diverse. And unfortunately, Sedona is not on the shore of Lake Michigan, but that's the only negative. The dining was excellent as well. I will be coming back here again. And T-boz, you are coming with me.
Enjoy the photos.




Grand Canyon South Rim

Sedona

Bell Rock in Sedona

The kids on a hiking trail in Sedona

The Grand Canyon

Monday, March 14, 2005

Thank God for Adobe ENT & Allergy Clinic

After calling 39 bazillion places, I have finally found an allergist who will give my mother her allergy shot. And they'll even do it today.

Here's the thing, though. Yesterday mother was mellow because her breathing was shallow. She hardly yelled at me at all. Is it wrong for me to like it when she's not feeling well? She's so much easier to handle. I think her allergy shots make her hyperactive. Could this be possible? Anyway, they were very well behaved in church (except I had to remind mom to 'eat of the bread' when everyone else did, and not before or after. She got the grapejuice part right on, though).

So we're not actually doing anything with them today, because they had to go to the grocery store. See, last night we said, "so what do you want to do tomorrow?" and mom said, "Well, we have to go to the grocery store..." and then she does a little sigh and looks at Dad. Which means their calendar is already booked solid for the day. Which, it turns out, is just as good, since I had six hours worth of phone calls to make. I just talked to them on the phone. Mom says everything in the entire grocery store is Mexican. I don't know what that means, and I don't think I want to know, so I decided just to nod and smile like my source tells me to do. It worked.

I am so happy now that we found this allergy dood. She was so relieved and excited. But now will she be hyper again? I don't know if I can resist the urge to push her into the Grand Canyon tomorrow. Thank goodness we will be driving in seperate vehicles (travelling in birth order, of course). And of course we will be taking our winter coats, scarves, mittens and hats as mom made a point of calling us to tell us we had to.

I have a feeling the next few days will be very interesting.



Sunday, March 13, 2005

I'd like this on the record please...

Because later, when I start acting irrational, you will at least be assured that I am logical.






You Are Incredibly Logical





(You got 88% of the questions right)





Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic

You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.

A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!





I'm still pissed I got one wrong though.


Okay. I found my mistake. Still pissed. Grrr. There's like, the same thingy as getting one wrong--they didn't even tell me I am logical and patient, or kind, or a good cook, or that I have good skills or anything. What a piece of decroded crap. I'll play your fricken logic game if I feel like it, gosh!





You Are Incredibly Logical





(You got 100% of the questions right)





Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic

You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.

A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!







Everything in Between

Saturday, March 12, 2005

They're heeeeeere. Conversation #1

Well, apparently they went through a little rough patch in the wide-open spaces of NM and southern AZ. Had a little dust storm. Mother took a pill and put on her Vader mask though, and she's okay. She reminded me four times about how we need to get her allergy shot on Monday morning.

Now, I've called around, and Matt's called around, to about every place we can think of: Allergy doctors, Prime Care, the county health department...and they all say they won't give her the shot because she is not their patient and she could have a reaction and die and they don't want the responsibility of that. But I haven't mentioned that to mother yet, since she'll get 'that look' on her face. We think we can find somebody who is not a doctor, but plays one on TV. I mean really, how hard can it be to shove a needle into somebody's arm and push?

Also on the phone, we spent 30 minutes discussing the minor detour between their hotel and our home. She wrote down every word I said, verbatim. Of course, she was on a cell phone and so was I, and there was that annoying delay you sometimes get. She hasn't mastered the delay yet--indeed, it is an artform. So instead of pausing and waiting until she hears my voice again, she talks the whole time so I can't give her the new directions.

"Mom, how about we drive to your hotel and then you can follow us to our house so you don't get lost in the detour?"

"No. We know the way."

She reads the directions back to me. This? Gives me fits.

Finally I say, "Put dad on the phone, will you?"

(warbled time delay) "...blah blah blah so can't we-- What??"

"Put dad on, please." I say, but at the same time she says, "Did you say something?"

Me, "Mother!" and she, "Hello?"

Me, "Mother!" and she, "What?"

Me, "Stop talking mother," and she, "I can't understand you."

So I wait. She talks a while longer. When I sense her slowing down, I say, really really fast, "Mother stop talking!"

"I will, after I get this written down."

"Put dad on."

"He's in the chair."

"Is he sleeping?"

"No."

"May I talk to him please?"

"He's in the chair."

I'm stumped... have to think this one through for a moment.

"Mom, you're on a cell phone. It will reach."

"Oh."

So finally, after much rustling and clunking, I hear my mother hiss, "It's Lisa. there's a detour at Val Vista and all the roads are closed."

Yeah. That's it. All the roads are closed. Finally he gets on.

"Hi Lisa."

"Hi Dad, how are you doing?"

He laughs. "I'm fine."

"Good. Hey Dad, just take Baseline to Crismon and go left. The rest of your directions are correct."

"Sounds good, Lisa. What's that beeping?"

"I don't hear anything."

"It's beeping."

"Did you bring your cell phone charger? Have you been recharging your phone at night?"

"No, we forgot that at home."

"Oh. Well. See you around six, then?"

"Hold on...your mother's saying something again."

He covers the phone and says, "What, now?"

I am sweating and crabby and praying for their phone battery to die. Finally he's back.

"Mom wants to know if you want to come here first, and then we'll all go to your house and we can follow you."


###



Everything in Between

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

My mother is en route...

Yes indeedy. They left at 10:46 a.m. (sharp) yesterday. How do I know this? I was sent an official email yesterday morning declaring the official time of the official journey, and when my mother says to git in the car, people git.

In case you didn't know she was coming, read this first.

Yes, my father is coming too. He's "the driver." I'm not really worried about him...he is sort of just easy-going and useful. I'm hoping he'll take pity on my poor landscaping skills and just start pulling up the crab grass that's growing in my rocks or something.

So in this email yesterday, my mother also gave me a complete description of their car: color, make, model, license plate number, and VIN. Amazingly enough, they still drive the same car they drove three months ago. This information is so I can identify the wreckage when they crash and burn. Because there are mountains on the way, and cars fall off them all the time.

I have heard from a very reliable source that last week my mother (I am not making this up) spent some time writing out her and dad's obituaries, just in case. God forbid that when they die everybody's just too freaking stupid to figure out how to write one. It's not like any of her children are writers or anything. Hell, we cain't even spel. Of course since they are traveling across the world from Michigan to AZ, how will we find their wreckage? Especially wreckage that falls off a mountain. I think I'll suggest to my brothers and sister that if they don't show up in AZ by Saturday at 10:46 a.m., they should go ahead and run the obituaries. After all, these aren't the Andes where you can just go chop up the frozen pilot and eat him leisurely until the rescuers come.

Recently, my source tells me that mother was enquiring about airports and 'how that whole flying thing works', in case their car breaks down on the way. Now, see, I think my mother would probably just curl up and die like a roadkilled armadillo on the side of route 66 rather than actually get on an airplane. I mean, this is the woman who wants to do a day trip to Sedona and The Grand Canyon (a total of 9 hours of driving time round-trip), and insists we do the Grand Canyon first so we can 'get it over with'. I can see us now. We step out into the national park, stretch, and mother says, "okay we saw it, now GIT!" She's terribly afraid of the concept of mountains, knowing that one ill-fated step anywhere west of the Louisiana Purchase could lead to her ultimate demise.

'Staring Down The Enemy' by Kurt Granzow

I ran across this article today (dated March 7, 2005) and I wanted to share it.

As we rallied on the capital steps, five anti-gay counter demonstrators faced us, shouting. "God hates you! You're going to hell!" Many in the crowd reacted with angry words back.

I hope you take a moment to read Staring Down The Enemy. It'll give you something to think about today.

Unfortunately, I have dealt with enough bigotry (and it only takes a little bit to figure this out) to know that the people who spew such hatred will likely never change. Often their minds have closed and there is little anyone can say or do--I can only hope that Daniel walked away thoughtful that day. I do believe God can change people, and that Kurt's prayers were heard. But I don't know why God doesn't just do what I want him to do... maybe because I'm not the boss of him. (that's tongue in cheek btw)

Forgiveness has never been about the person who wrongs you. It has always been about freeing the bonds of bitterness that keep your own soul tied down.

I'm not sure if I agree exactly with this description of forgiveness--I do think this is a major component of it, however, and a very wise insight.

I'm getting ready to do some writing.
I'm trying to decide what audience I can best serve.
And wondering who will be open to considering a change of heart.

In Michigan, the gay marriage ban proposal was approved 61% to 39% (I believe those numbers are fairly accurate, tho' I didn't double check). I have a feeling there were many straight people who voted for the ban because gay marriage seemed unnecessary to them, and they never researched it or looked at it from a human rights angle. They may have been perfectly and simply ignorant on the subject. Might have a gay acquaintance or two, have no hatred for gays, but feel Biblically that it's a sin to be homosexual and so they voted based on that.

In fact, I'm saying 'might' and 'may', but having lived in Michigan at the time of this election, I can truly say I know people who didn't spend an ounce of thought on this proposal and just voted for it because it that would offer the least amount of change. People have said this to me. More than one said to me after the fact (and after discussion about why I voted no on the ban, "I think I made the wrong choice in my vote.")

So if the numbers are correct, only 12 % of Michigan needed to change their minds on the issue for the proposal to have failed. 12% would have change the 39% to 51%, a majority! That is certainly not impossible.

So who are these people? And what do they read?
Because 'preparing for next time' has already started.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Blog makeover

I was getting tired of those drab colors. How do I look? I'll give this a try for a while. I think I need a new and exciting title also. I'm bored with this one. Got any suggestions? I was thinking about "Left Behind...thank God." What do you think? If heaven is filled with people like this, I don't think I wanna go. Are you rapture ready?

So I finally got around to adding some more links to my sidebar.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Lisa McMann -- Everything In Between

Hey, guess what? God has given his blessing on this by providing a rainbow this morning. The God? Is one seriously funny guy.





Lisa McMann -- Everything In Between

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Homosexuality is not a sin. But hating people is.

And so is judging people, so my title above is probably not of the highest Christian standards it could be. After all, who am I to declare what is sin and what isn't? But if it got you to read this, well, I'm glad. Now I'll start again and do this right.

The last few weeks (well, the past 17 years actually, but never as deeply and thoroughly as the past few weeks) I have diligently researched the Hebrew and Christian Testaments, various Christian authors and a variety of denominations to try to make sense of this incredible fight over homosexuality. I've studied different translations of the Bible, and have researched the Hebrew and Greek words that the original Bible uses in the key texts that mention same-sex relations. And though I want to continue to research this, I just want to share my current thoughts as I go through this process.

I have never felt that someone who has declared a homosexual orientation is wrong. The current Bible translations clearly do not condemn anyone for having sexual feelings for someone of the same gender. I'm not even going to address the issue that someone merely having feelings for or being sexually tempted by someone of the same sex is wrong, since it is ludicrous. Even Jesus was tempted and if you believe the New Testament, he is without sin.

The issue is with the sexual acts themselves, then.

There are a few passages in the Old Testament (aka the Hebrew Testament) that appear to condemn same-sex relations, and these are part of the Purity Code for Jews, which Jesus did away with in the New Testament. Therefore I do not think these are valid arguments. I could go into long explanations about the culture and the code of the day, and how someone not obeying some of those codes was not considered sinning but rather, unclean...we in the 21st century have no real concept of how unusual and different the customs were in that day compared to now, and I don't think anyone who hasn't researched that can properly tackle an argument over this. It's fascinating.

There is also the reference to Lot in the Sodom story. The word sodomy comes from this passage, and it is a sadly misinterpreted word. In the custom of the day when that event took place, there is no mention of same-gender sex being right or wrong, in fact it was very common in that society for same-gender sex to take place. It was so common they didn't really have a 'label' or a word describing it. And female/female relations were not even considered sex at all, because in the society of the day, there had to be a 'penetrator' and a 'penetratee' for it to be considered sex. Therefore, women, there is no real mention of female/female sex being wrong at all, anywhere in the Bible. Again, male/male sex may have been frowned on in society by the Jewish customs of the day, but it was not considered sin. Also, there was no frowning on the Gentiles who participated in same-sex relations, because the Jewish code was only for Jews. As an example, a Jew who did not get circumcised was not considered sinful for that. It was simply considered 'unclean' just as a man having sex with a menstruating woman was 'unclean' and just as sewing clothing from two different kinds of fabric was unclean. The word used in today's Bible is 'abomination', which meant 'unclean' back in the day, but means something much stronger to us in the English useage of the word today. Christians today need to know this--words change in meaning from generation to generation. Many of you already are aware of this with the term 'gay'. It doesn't mean the same thing it did 80 years ago.

Back to the story of Lot. Most Christian theologians agree that the sin of this story is NOT sex, it is a case of being inhospitable, and of abuse. Once again the Jewish code kicks in--the two strangers were taken in for the night by Lot, and the townspeople come over to have sex with these two strangers. Lot, following the law that he knows, refuses to let them in and even goes so far as to offer his own two virgin daughters to the crowd outside. Lot was obeying the code, which said 'if a stranger enters your gates, take him in'. The people of the town were angry at Lot for doing this, and things appeared to be escalating into a case where the two men would be sexually abused by this crowd because of their anger. The people of the town had abandoned their sense of right and wrong, and their failure to show love because of their lust and anger was wrong.

In the New Testament (or Christian Testament) there are two passages (in Romans and 1st Corinthians) where the apostle Paul writes about same-gender sex, and one passage written by Timothy (in 1st Timothy). When one looks at the Greek words they wrote, the translation over the past 2000 years has clearly been tweaked to fit the interpretation of the translator and what was going on in society in his time and place in the world. This is not an accurate way to translate the infallible word of God! Anyway, simply by studying the Greek words used, they turn out to be references to male prostitution and/or man to boy sexual relations. In a third passage, Paul refers to the abuse and incredible lust of both men and women who worshipped Aphrodite, a statue of the goddess which has both male and female sex organs. The sin in all three passages is not same-gender sex, rather it is sexual abuse, whether it be rape or overindulgence such that sex becomes idolitry instead of worshipping of the one true God of the Bible.


I realize that this may not all make sense--it is so very hard to summarize these thoughts because there is so much information that must be absorbed for all of this to fit together.

Thought to take home with you: If you do not jive with this, that's up to you. But I hope you will remember that as Christians, we are not followers of Paul or Timothy, we are followers of Jesus. And Jesus never mentions same-sex relations as being a sin--in fact he doesn't mention it at all. But he sure hits home with those who are pious and those who judge others. He nails this point over and over again! Love, he says. Love. Leave the judging to God. To me, that says same-gender sex just wasn't an issue worth mentioning. Again, I want to say it was very common in the society of the day. And Jesus himself said of the Old Testament passages, that they no long apply! If Jesus were really so adamantly against homosexuality as many Christians believe, don't you think he'd at least have mentioned it once?

Instead, Jesus says love your neighbor.

So what is my stance? Here we go: I do not believe anyone would willingly choose to be a hated outcast of society, and so I don't think anyone would choose to be gay. I believe our sexual preferences are genetically designed and not generally determined by environment. I do not believe that people in a homosexual, monogomous, loving, sexual relationship are sinning. I believe God made us as sexual beings, and that he is a good God. Yes, he is just. But he is fair. And I don't believe the God I know would create a man who longs for another man, and then say 'sorry, you may only fall in love with a woman.' Sex is gift, and I think God delights in seeing his committed earthlings happy and having fun with it.

I reserve the right to edit my expressions and beliefs above as I continue my research. But for now, to be perfectly clear, I will simply say that I believe loving, homosexual relations are not sinful.

Read These!

What The Bible Really Says About Homosexuality

New Testament and Homosexuality

Speaking My Mind

Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality by John Boswell (This is if you really want to dig in deep. Several others quote Boswell in the books above.)

Rev. Dr. Kathlyn James -- Is Homosexuality a Sin?