What seems unimportant today may take on greater meaning tomorrow. Retch.
I hope Toby is not going to bore us for 3 weeks with her tale of woe. Oh man, this could turn into a version of the Canterbury Tales. We had Mary's Tale, then we have Toby's Tale, the Ian Cameron and so on. In a few hundred years the whole thing will be inflicted upon high school students in advanced English classes.
I chose the Pardoner's Tale when my English class studied the Canterbury Tales. The Pardoner was a hypocrite and the tale was not as ribald as some of the others - that's all I remember. Kids, if you are assigned one of the tales from the Canterbury Tales choose either the Miller's Tale, the Knight's Tale or the Wife of Bath's Tale.
The archaic English can be a difficult read but not at painful as this Mary Worth flashback.
Speaking of unimportant things, I had a very busy weekend.
Left work early on Friday to meet relatives at the George Bush Library and Museum. Saw Barbara Bush and petted Sadie, the current Bush dog. I chased down Barbara and her entourage to return a credit card that fell out of some one's pocket. Someone who is able to hang out with Barbara Bush should have a sizable limit on their Visa Card. Alas, my first instinct was to return the card only after the return did the other possibilities come to mind. Those thoughts were a joke. The only thought that occurred in the moment was to return the card.
My parents did something right. I did not go to church as a child. Maybe honesty is the default setting for most people and those settings get tweaked or subverted based on situations, environment and upbringing.
Saturday participated in the Democratic Convention for Brazos County. Was elected an alternate delegate to the state convention. Most of the 5-1/2 hours spent at the convention was talking to neighbors and others. The credentials committee took a 5 hours to certify everyone. The actual electing of delegates to the state convention took some precincts as little as 10 minutes. My precinct took only 10 minutes then most of us left. Very few had the endurance to deal with the resolutions. I had a dinner party at my house that I needed to get to.
I made it home in time. Walter and I hosted one of our church's canvas potlucks. The conversation about church and what it means to people were very good. The others brought good food.
Sunday enjoyed a great service by the children. A rare "inter generational" service that did not just have to sit through with a plastic smile. It was one of the better non-minister led worship services. Even better than what some adults have done. Too bad "inter generational" has become a bit of a code word for service to sit through with gritted teeth. People who chose to stay home because of that word missed a quality worship service.
Then it was off to visit with relatives some more. I was too busy and too tired to update my cartoons. Sorry. I was too busy and tired to keep up with all kinds of things this weekend. I'm glad my weekends are not regularly this busy.
It will be nice to have a normal week. New cartoon will go up tonight.
Drivel that cannot fit in a single panel comic.
Monday, March 31, 2008
What seems unimportant today may take on greater meaning tomorrow. Retch.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Link to article in Bryan-College Station Eagle: http://www.theeagle.com/columnists/Obama-s-relationship-is-with-church
Published Thursday, March 27, 2008 6:49 PM
Obama's relationship is with church
By The Rev. ERIC POSA
Special to The Eagle
As a minister serving a local church, I'm surprised by some aspects of the recent controversy surrounding Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, its pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and its most talked-about member, Sen. Barack Obama, who eloquently put the controversy in its appropriate larger context during his March 18 speech.
I'm neither endorsing nor denouncing the senator's presidential campaign here. It's the reaction to Rev. Wright's comments that I find striking.
Admittedly, my view of Wright is influenced by having had the pleasure of hearing him speak on two occasions. He preached at my seminary, and lectured at a recent clergy conference I attended. And it truly was a pleasure. At both of these events, during which Wright spoke to predominantly white audiences, he was engaging, insightful, inspiring, and not the least bit inflammatory.
This is just one reason why, while I did disagree with a couple of Rev. Wright's comments recently quoted in the press, I was not at all troubled by them. They sounded (to this white man's ears) like brief, perhaps over-stated sound bites lifted from the kinds of passionate, prophetic sermons that I've personally heard Pastor Wright preach so well.
Yet, even if Jeremiah Wright had been the white-hating, anti-American demagogue who some pundits describe, I still would be puzzled by those who question Sen. Obama's apparent decision to stay with this pastor.
Such a question misses a fundamental point: Obama did not stay with Jeremiah Wright. He stayed with Trinity United Church of Christ. When people join churches, synagogues, mosques, etc., their commitments are not to the clergy serving those congregations, but to the congregations themselves. Put simply, it's not about me as minister, because I'm not the church.
In many churches, including the Unitarian Universalist church I serve, we speak of the "free pulpit," the right of a minister to preach the truth, faithfully, as he or she sees it. But we always speak of the "free pew."
That doesn't mean you're encouraged to walk out on a sermon you think is wrong-headed. Rather, it means you are free to disagree with the minister, faithfully, and still stay part of the church. This is a basic recognition that the commitments we make to our church communities are just that -- commitments to communities, not to individual pastors.
I hope that no person leaves the membership of our church over any theological or political disagreement they may have with me as its minister. Not to be self-deprecating, but I'm not worth someone losing their relationship with the church.
Nor is it worth it for Sen. Obama to end his relationship with Trinity United Church of Christ over anything Jeremiah Wright says, whether or not it's quoted on YouTube. I commend Sen. Obama for staying with Trinity.
I do recognize that it's difficult to sit through sermons you find objectionable. I'm glad that, even through his strong disagreements with Rev. Wright, Obama acknowledges his pastor's freedom to preach what his pastor saw as truth, while also maintaining his own freedom to dissent from those views as a parishioner.
Ultimately, though, my biggest fear about the responses to Sen. Obama's speech is that we'll be so distracted by Wright's political views, we'll lose sight of the greater good served by this profound speech. Sometimes an opportunity arises for deep discussion of the difficult subjects that divide us, the systemic flaws forcing us to engage the deep pain that cause a society powerful anger and hurt.
Sen. Obama has opened such an opportunity for all Americans to engage in authentic dialogue on how racism continues to impact our society. I am grateful to the Illinois senator for his insightful, clear-headed, and penetrating comments on racism.
If we can be in dialogue on these hard but vital issues, we will be a better nation for it.
• The Rev. Eric Posa is pastor of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Brazos Valley.
Something inside me shifted too. I dealt with it in the bathroom. Could the man in the second panel look any creepier?
I should be a bit more fair to Mary Worth. I experienced an inner shift as a teenager. To someone looking from the outside it would have appeared very mundane. The experience was profound enough for me to remember the date - May 17, 1986 but it would not make a very interesting set of two panel comic strips. I certainly would not pull someone aside from a pool party and bore them for 3 and a half weeks. It would take me 5 minutes.
A small life lesson: what you believe is a profound spiritual experience bores the hell out of people when you go on and on about it. I'm talking to you, white people people who are raising children. It may be a spiritual journey to you but to me it sounds like a lot of drudgery.
Back to Mary Worth. The seemingly simple act of saying grace and showing hospitality had a huge inner effect on Mary because of her circumstances. Again, something hard to convey in a comic strip especially one written in such a ham-handed manner. Comic strips are a limited medium when depicting the inner struggles of the soul and considering that Mary Worth does not have much of a soul the only logical conclusion to this storyline is a somewhat vaguely religious experience (to coin a word - religiousy). Mary Worth is what it is and to expect anything else leads to suffering. Mundane is Mary Worth's essence.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
The Steve, the Pitbull storyline lasted 3 and a half weeks? I hardly noticed the passage of time because the story was engaging, funny and helped raise awareness about the negative but false stereotypes about Pitbulls. Karen Moy might learn a few lessons here.
The young Mary flashback storyline has lasted 3 and a half weeks or at least it seems that way. The lamest religious experience ever. The experience fits the pattern that Mary set for the rest of her life.
It's my fault for expecting more. Comes from reading too many comic books and biographies.
Coming back from the flashback and finding Toby Cameron almost slashing her wrist would provide a satisfactory ending to this story.
Does Karen Moy get paid with money for writing this or does King Features just sends her a favorite item for each comic strip? I suspect Joe Giella finds a case of beer on his porch every week.
I would be willing to write Mary Worth in exchange for light housekeeping services. Think about it, King Features. I write trite dialogue and weave slow moving plots that go nowhere (but only slightly better - I will attribute Mary's quotes to actual people rather than generic wise men) and the syndicate sends someone to my house once a week to dust, sweep and vacuum.
Participate in the new poll: What would you want from King Features in exchange for writing Mary Worth?
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
It's slowly killing me too, but in a good way.
Dolly said the same thing on stage during poetry reading night at the coffee house but she did so in a whiskey fueled rage. The manager threw her out after she threw the half empty bottle at a heckler. Her parents sent her to her room. The stuffed animals appreciate the poetry in her spare prose even if her brother, Billy, with his narrow-minded concepts about poetry does not. The goldfish does not care.
Young Mary is so overwhelmed by an actual act of kindness that she vows never to engage in those sorts of acts herself. Just spout platitudes and meddle and pretend that this is kindness. Action only leads to pain. Pain is bad.
Here's a quote that Mary should consider adding to her repertoire:
"If only I could throw away the urge to trace my patterns in your heart, I could really see you." - David Brandon (Zen in the Art of Helping). Following that advice would cause Mary's reason for being to cease.
Mary Worth's story is slowly killing me, but not in a good way.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Wow, Joe Giella can draw something that looks vaguely edible. Still no attempt to create a sense of period. Poor Toby tries her best to stay awake.
I can barely stay awake while blogging about this. That may have more to do with the sleep aid still in my system than the non-content in Mary Worth.
The funnier Mary Worth and Me has consolidated all the dialogue of this story so far into a single monologue. The final product would make a funny performance. So many exclamation points!
I need to find out when the church will have its next coffee house. If I do this right, I won't ever be asked again to read something for coffee house.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Irving, do yourself a favor; kill Cathy before she crushes your soul. If I sat on the jury at your murder trial, I would not find you guilty. What actions caused Irving's consignment to the Cathy circle of hell?
I use Cathy as an illustration as to why the invisible hand of the market does not always work. If it did, Cathy would have gone away by now.
Mary's sense of self-worth was tied to the contents of a cupboard? That explains so much. The cupboard and Mary's platitudes: well constructed and nice looking but empty inside. Describes Mary herself.
Nice work indeed. Laziness is green.
How weird, all the comics that I chose to comment on today have women's names as the title. All three are written by women, two drawn by women.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Read this. Click the link and read this.
Maybe I wasn't paying attention before but this is the first time that I'm aware of an African-American acknowledging the fears and concerns of white Americans in public. The things that some of us are afraid to voice because of the fear of the racist label.
What can all the experience in the world accomplish if you cannot unite people to a common cause? If you cannot convince people to think differently, what will you accomplish? If you will not listen, how can you unify a nation?
From this speech I gathered that Obama has listened, he can unite people and he can convince people to think differently in order to solve the problems facing the country.
Why are you still here? Click on that link and read the speech. Try to read for comprehension. It may be more words than some of you are used to but take it slowly and don't forget to click on next at the bottom.
Mary Worth grew up as a boy? I guess Joe Giella does not get paid enough to make the effort to draw clothes, styles or anything to indicate that this flashback occurs 60 years ago. Maybe Mary partied very hard in college in the 1990's and thus looks like a 70 year old. This flashback actually occurs in the 1980's. Is Karen Moy using some kind of affirmation a day calendar as a basis for her writing? It would explain a lot about the writing.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Presbyterian won the Mary Worth's religion poll with 4 votes. Lutheran received two votes and Rastafarian received one. I know more than one Unitarian-Universalist reads this blog so I'm a little surprised that Unitarian received no votes but then I remember the great UU tradition of claiming figures whose philosophy we like, for example Martin Luther King, Jr. I guess no UU wanted to claim Mary Worth. I voted Presbyterian.
Angus went home to his regular fosters. Now, I have a bit of cleaning to do in the backyard. Angus is a good, well-behaved, calm dog. He deserves a forever home after all the stuff he has been through.
This week I ran and biked 18.99 miles, burned 1790.6 calories and weigh 162.7 pounds.
Monday: bike 2.87 miles in 15:00
Tuesday: ran 3.16 miles in 35:25
Thursday: ran 3.16 miles in 37:52
Friday: bike 3.90 miles in 20:00
Saturday: ran 5.90 miles in 1:09:55
Runner's World often has articles about the joys of running. Great scenery, learning the layout of the neighborhood, getting to know neighbors, good health, less stress and many other benefits. Every issue of Runner's World features a photo of a "Rave Run", a place of majestic scenery. For some reason most of these photos are from the Pacific Northwest. John Bingham has a column in which he writes about runners knowing where to find streets, familiar faces and the little adventures one experiences while out on the road.
I experienced a little adventure while running today but I doubt it would qualify for Runner's World. As I was running down a street, a woman sitting in a chair under a carport called out to me and asked if I had a cell phone. She wanted to call her son whose car had broken down in Brenham and she wanted to check on his progress. The son found a flywheel for the car and was in the process of fixing it. So I paused my tracker on my cell phone and dialed the number. She left a message and told him that she was using the phone of woman who was jogging by. After that, she told me the back story. Oh boy.
[content about race (not the running kind) ahead]
She and her son had a disagreement regarding his girlfriend. The girlfriend is going to have a baby that is the wrong color. The woman was not going to allow the girlfriend to stay in her house. This angered both sons and her husband. They all left with the vehicles and all the meat except for the sausage which the lady does not care for. She was not giving up the house that a man had fixed up real nice for them. She ranted a bit about the poor treatment she had received despite the financial help she had given them and other acts of kindness. She mentioned a neighbor willing to intervene if they did not start treating her right, her sister in Louisiana dying of kidney failure and attempting to hitchhike to the doctor. The lady has a very visible disability - it was the prime reason that I did not mind approaching and allowing her to use my cell phone, I did not perceive her as a threat. Anyway, the lady mentioned that she has not seen me jogging down this street before and asked if it was my first time. I told her I think it was my second time. She told me about a group of Mexican ladies that walk/ jog several laps and that if she had good legs she would do the same thing. She hoped they will come back because she needed to go to the doctor this week. I hope the neighbor she referred to will help. Ten minutes later she finished her story and I was back on my way.
I made it home and related my adventure to Walter. We both reflected on the weirdness. White people assuming other white people have the same views (this happens in any group - church, social, racial, economic, work). The other people in the lady's life surprised by her views. Focusing on the color of the baby as a reason for the disagreement as opposed to other legitimate reasons such as her son not being the father or adultery. I wondered if I would have missed out on this adventure if I had been a different color. Then I thought of the real irony behind prejudice: she and others who I've met like her cannot afford to live in a neighborhood that does not have a lot of the people that they dislike in it. Odder still, she and others like her would not consider themselves racist. The KKK are racists, skinheads are racists, Neo-Nazis are racists, not them.
I will drive by the lady's house later and see if anyone made it back. Part of me wants to help and a larger part of me does not want to get sucked into this wreck. I understand why the others in the Bible story walked on - they could have gotten hurt. I will add her to my meditation. I know it is the wimpy way but I'm not Christ nor the good Samaritan.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Dennis has a pet Lemur! Cool!
Power is out and the Lockhorns have to bundle up by the fire. Leroy tries to make the best of the situation by quoting Thoreau. Probably bits from Walden. As the power outage goes on and temperatures drop Loretta snarks about her husband's attempt at getting something out of this inconvenience.
Loretta, cut Leroy some slack. He has the rare ability to appreciate the stupidity of Family Guy and quote Thoreau. Leroy can quote Thoreau! Jeez, have some respect for his learning. Sure familiarity with Thoreau is not too useful in these conditions but quoting by Thoreau, Leroy attempts to use this bit of adversity for spiritual growth. Loretta, all you do is mock. Unfortunately, a jury will not buy, "She mocked my attempt at spiritual growth."
Oh, god, I'm delving into the thoughts and motivations of comic strip characters! And trying to counsel them! Whoa, having a brief moment of doubt about the utility and meaning of my existence. Maybe going over to the Hunger Site and clicking a few times will help.
At last, a young Mary Worth. That pink kerchief is all that is left of the pink outfit she had to wear as a child. Living through the Great Depression made Mary the dispenser of well-intentioned if not fully thought out advice she is today? This also explains so much about Mary - buying the cheap dog food, attempting to make her food go a long way by making casseroles, and purchasing items barely recognizable as food.
Mary Worth was a red-headed stepchild!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Jesus not only fixed Wally's vision and regrew his hair but caused that hair to move with a life of its own. I need to check out my Dilbert Widget and see what color was chosen for Wally's hair. I hope it's red.
So we won't get an actual flashback just Mary talking about her past. Giella and Moy, feel free to exploit the graphic capabilities of the comic strip medium. The comic strip not only allows you to tell but to show. This gives it the distinct advantage over the written word alone and conversations at church coffee hour.
If the visuals won't be interesting I hope the words continue to keep my interest.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The advertsing on the TV cracked me up. I wonder what makes this production of "The Lottery" appropriate for the Comedy Time Channel? The irony in "The Lottery" or the presence of Patrick Duffy and Morgan Fairchild? I imagine this production with a cheesy 1980's vibe and chuckle. I don't think the people in Dinette Set would get it.
As others have pointed out Dr. Drew put his affairs in order and left for Vietnam faster than Mary has in telling her story. Five days spent telling Toby that she is going to tell her a story about her past.
Monday, March 10, 2008
I've decided to use Hillary Clinton as my role model in changing careers. Using her as an example, I can have that career in commercial truck driving that I've always dreamed about. If I successfully graduate from the training program, I have 9 years of experience in commercial truck driving already, thanks to my husband. Through my husband, I know the rigors of commercial truck driving. I even rode with him once. So once I get that license I'm fully qualified to drive an 18-wheeler with haz-mat certification and everything. Forget the training program, I should go down to the DPS office and demand they give me a commercial license based upon my experience as the spouse of a commercial truck driver.
I'm a generous woman, if my husband wants to change his career to what I do he is welcome to claim 13 years of desktop publishing experience, 13 years of drawing experience, 6 years of web design experience and 10 years of office software experience. He's been in the room when I've done some of that work. I've talked to him about the process. Bounced a few ideas off of him. He's qualified.
Thank you Hillary Clinton for creating new possibilities and redefining experience! Thousands of men and women can rewrite their resumes based upon your model. Wives of plumbers have x years of experience in plumbing, husbands of welders now have x years of experience in welding and spouses of neurosurgeons can now add that skill to their resume. Why stop at spouses? Why not include the skills and experience of parents, siblings, roommates, life partners, co-workers, close friends and children? Thanks to you, Hillary, this country will never lack for skilled labor.
Disclaimer: my husband gave up the commercial license about 6 years ago. He does sales and management now. If you need some hazardous materials hauled don't call him.
Further disclaimer: I have no interest in becoming a commercial truck driver.
Another disclaimer: Yes, Hillary Clinton has experience as a Senator. That experience counts but to claim her experience as First Lady (state and national) as a qualification for President seems rather fishy. It would not be accepted for any other job.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
One day snow, the next day great weather for running. I just finished an one hour run under blue sky and 50 degree (F) temps with a slight breeze. The dogs are outside and the birds are chirping along with all the new sounds that they hear through the open windows.
Walter finally got a day off so he is puttering around the house.
This week I ran, biked and rowed 18.36 miles, burned 1,874 calories and weigh 163.7 pounds.
Monday: row - 1.33 miles in 10:00
Tuesday: run - 3.28 miles in 35:00
Wednesday: bike - 3.07 miles in 15:00
Thursday: run - 3.33 miles in 35:00
Friday: row - 1.82 miles in 15:00
Saturday: run - 5.53 miles in 1:03:37
Friday, March 07, 2008
That is snow on my car. Snow fell in huge flakes but it was not cold enough for it to accumulate on the ground. Walter took some pictures of the snowflakes coming down. Now the sun is out and any traces of snow is gone. Should have saved some in the freezer.
The dogs were not impressed with the snow. They looked out the door and then resumed playing in the living room. They have short coats, they were not designed for this weather.
Seems that Jake does not find Ballard Street to be the nirvana that I envision. I like artist's ability to capture the Ballard Street style, down to the lighter ink.
The wise person that Mary quotes is the Dalai Lama. He was not mentioned by name because he would probably be annoyed at Mary Worth for twisting the spirit of his philosophy. Silly Toby, you don't need religion in order to be a meddling biddy that mistakes platitudes and unwanted advice for kindness.
Mary has lived in Charterstone for years and no one knows about her background?
This could foreshadow some interesting back story but since this is Mary Worth probably not.
I posted a poll about Mary Worth's possible religion. Likely, a very white bread protestant religion. I included Rastafarianism for fun.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
A humorous example of spiritual community outside of traditional church. I'm not so interested in finding nirvana, heaven, utopia or Sesame Street. I want to go to Ballard Street.
Next week, I will temp foster a Pit Bull named Angus; a watermelon loving Pit Bull. Angus will come over tonight. Read another example of a dog's ability to still love despite tremendous suffering.
Babies grow quickly but damn, growing several inches during a pool party defies biology. Mary, you need to refill your gloat with a bit more smug. Mary once heard that the road to uh, happiness is paved with good intentions.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
...which leads me to believe a lot of people must have fear coming out of their butts. Quote from Mark at the Shoebox Blog. It made me laugh out loud.
Counselor Troi is either on Riker's right off panel or getting a box of Junior Mints from concessions. [Warning: Major ST:NG geekery on display] They visited this movie theater during the third season as evidenced by the uniforms, Dr. Crusher's hair style, and Worf's ridges and hairstyle. They also carried the Type One phasers into the theater. I wonder how the vibrate setting works on a phaser? Does the phaser vibrate or the person receiving the blast? Picard uses his captain's prerogative to use both arm rests. Data cannot feel irritation but Geordi seems a bit annoyed.
Garfield minus Garfield is a funny blog featuring Garfield comic strips with Garfield and his dialogue removed. The removal of Garfield sometimes makes a funnier strip or a sadder one. For this particular strip Garfield's thought balloons should remain.
Mary Worth and Me recaps the simple actions and small words that led to this couple getting together. Summary: Mary Worth is a home wrecker. Mary Worth is a Dark Lord of the Sith and has chosen Toby as her apprentice.
Nice to see the pool make a brief appearance at the pool party. The toy bunny has more life and soul in it than the people and it scares me.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Got home from the caucus after 9:30 tonight. Usually these things take no more than 15 minutes but the turn out overwhelmed the precinct chairs. Sign in took nearly an hour. Fortunately, the Obama campaign had prepared its precinct captains, otherwise several people would have been disenfranchised simply because the chairs did not fully understand the rules and procedures. I don't fully understand the caucus thing either but I understand it better than the chair.
I volunteered to be a delegate to the county convention for Obama.
As far as the caucus is concerned, Obama captured the most delegates in the precinct I live in. 10 for Obama, 6 for Clinton for the county convention. Two other precincts were caucusing in the same location; their delegates were split evenly between the candidates. The turnout for the primaries was 10 Democrats for 1 Republican. An important local election was being decided in the Republican primary much to the dismay of a lot of people.
Won't know the results for Texas until morning. All in all, this caucus experience was better than the 1988 experience, even if it had been a bit disorganized. Maybe the local Democratic party can borrow training materials from the Obama campaign.
Wally and I have the same dream.
My job title is changing to better reflect what I do and will do. The HR people in my office will offer suggestions to the agency HR office. A lot of the candidates have "communications" in it. The agency HR will do whatever they want with those suggestions. I don't have the programming skills to qualify for "Software Simian" but I could squeak by with "Code Monkey". The agency has a career ladder for its people to climb. A prehensile tail would facilitate the climb. I will probably end up with Senior Office Associate (because we don't want you to start climbing a new ladder that more accurately reflects your skills and duties). I have no reason to be so pessimistic. The actions and suggestions taken so far lead me to believe that I will have the opportunity to climb a different ladder. Regardless of the title, I'm excited about the new duties and responsibilities. Unlike Wally, I will have to do more work and show real value.
Mary is also proud of taking part in the washing of Pilate's hands, standing around St. Petersburg when it was time for a change, and riding a tank while holding a general's rank. Have some sympathy, courtesy and taste.