March 31, 2005
Random Thoughts About The Davinci Code

I've been watching documentaries which attempt to clarify the issue of whether or not Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.

Its truly fascinating to watch the two sides of the issue degenerate into "did not" and "did too". Truth is a causualty.

Personally, although I'm a seriously Southern Baptist Christian, it mostly fascinates me as an academic historian.

For example, the author of the Davinci Code (who advocates the idea that Jesus was married to Mary) bases his opinion on a manuscript discovered in Egypt in the 1940's. He'll claim point blank that it says "Jesus kissed Mary on the mouth often". The only problem is that if you look at the actual manuscript there's a big gaping hole where the word "mouth" would be. In fact, Jesus could have been kissing her ANYWHERE often (hand, forehead, etc). Admittedly, the gnostic gospels are suspect in their authenticity. However, even they don't offer indications that Jesus was married to Mary. Pushed on the point, the author of the Davinci Code finally admitted "well, there's no one piece of evidence that proves it, I just have a feeling". Yeah. Thats the way to develop a historical theory.

Perhaps this captured my thoughts this morning because I'm appalled at the sexism inherent in both school of thoughts. Religious leaders tend to go with the thought that "Mary couldn't be important, because she's a woman" and proponents of the married theory tend to go with the thought that "Mary was historically important, and for a woman to be important it must be because she was the wife of someone important". Both school of thought ignore the possibility that Mary was important because of who she was (a good Christian) instead of what she was (a woman).

Another point that I found telling is the assumption that the mention of the holy "Grail family" indicates Jesus had a direct line of descendants (thus had to be married). Why? Why couldn't it refer to Jesus' half-brothers and half-sisters (ie Mary and Joeseph's children)? Even being half-related to Christ would have been mind-boggling, and dangerous. Those are people that would need protection.

Oddly enough, I don't fault early church leaders (200-400ad) for trying to consolidate the several denominations. Nor do I fault them for choosing to preserve the gospels that were definitely accurate and abandoning the ones that were controversial. I believe they were simply men doing the best they could in a difficult situation. I don't believe they were infallible any more than my minister is perfect. Did they make some mistakes? Perhaps. Perhaps not. We do know that prior to that time period that there were women-leaders of churches and after that time period there weren't. Was it a correction of flawed church policy and philosophy, or was it the introduction of the flaw? Or was it replacing one flaw with another one?

There's really no way to know for sure this side of Heaven. I know which way I think, and I know which other ways those around me think. I don't hold them in less esteem because they disagree with me. They tend to err on the side of caution and I tend to err on the side of compassion. Maybe we're both wrong. Maybe we're both right.

This I know for sure: Its a bad idea to judge people because of their gender. The Bible says (paraphrased) "you can recognize them by the fruits of their labor". THAT'S how we should evaluate people.

Funnier and Funnier

So last night my husband kinda laughs weakly and says "ya want to hear something funny?"

Backstory: Three years ago when we had Cassie I agreed not to have my tubes tied if my husband would get fixed. He agreed because he thought I'd change my mind later. Three years later it was becoming more and more obvious I wasn't going to be changing my mind ...

Finally, last month he accepted that I was indeed serious about that vasectomy. Without telling me he went ahead and started getting the doctors lined up. Kinda a surprise. Except the real surprise is that we got pregnant last month.

I'm kinda laughing ... in a weird "isn't that interesting" kinda way!

March 29, 2005
Comments Dead, Again

Thank goodness Leni emailed me :)

Plus she emailed what she was going to comment before they died, again. It seems a shame to lose all that commenting. So, I'm going to change things a little bit until my tech guy and/or husband deal with my crazy service-provider. I'll post the actual post on the front page, and if you email your comments I'll post them under the "show me more" part of the post. Yeah, its a pain. No, it won't be for long.

Things could be worse. For example, I could be pregnant. Oh. Wait. I am pregnant. LOL! (Sometimes I crack me up)

Welcome To My Breakdown

So, you might notice its the middle of the night. (You might have even noticed my comments are messed up again, but I'll deal with that later).

Regular readers will know that I have the plague (ie pneumonia, flu, etc). I was laying in bed waiting for the Motrin to kick-in because I have a migraine and backpain from excessive coughing ... just laying there thinking ... thinking that I had written a bill today and noticing the date ... thinking ... thinking ... thinking that the body is an amazing thing since it postponed my period while I have the plague ... thinking ... thinking ... thinking that as long as I'm up and need to go to the bathroom that I'll take the test in the bottom drawer in the bathroom, just to reassure myself so I'll sleep better.

So, now that I'm pregnant, the question was: to let my husband sleep or to wake him up. Hmmmm. I flipped on all the lights. To which he mumbles "but I need to sleep". So, standing over him I suggest "you'll want to be awake for this". (I'm not sure he believed me.) Followed with "I'm pregnant". (At that point he kinda had spasms). I turned off the lights on my way to the kitchen to eat as many carbs as I damn well wanted. For whatever reason, he wasn't able to go back to sleep. And for some other crazy reason, he thought I'd be coming back to bed. Instead of eating my weight in potato-salad and ice-cream. Yeah. Right.

I should have known. This happens every time I lose some weight. Its not that I don't like babies. Afterall, I have three of them. THREE OF THEM ALREADY. And each one almost killed me. My husbands theory is that "well, God doesn't want you yet". My theory is "don't tempt God" because it says so in the Bible. I have to have c-sections, and now I live in a town where the hospital might be generously described as a good heloport if you need to be airlifted to a REAL hospital which is two hours away.

I blame my husband completely. Now, some of my more fair-minded friends will point out that it takes two. To them I reply: This is my tantrum, get off my boat. And if I want to mix my metaphors I will.

Then, I told my husband "well, at least I knew first this time" and he kinda had a look on his face (having finally stumbled into the computer room after figuring out I wasn't coming back to bed) and I knew! He had known first. He always knows first. Then a few minutes later he asked "why did you worry now, in the middle of the night" followed by ...

"how many more days could I have had if the test hadn't been in the drawer?" Thats right people! He was enjoying me not knowing because he's about to have a REALLY interesting year. I'm generally not a happy pregnant person. I throw up ALL the time (24/7). I want to sleep ALL the time (which isn't going to be happening with three small children). Plus, I'm just crabby because I'm not looking forward to the pain. I have a ridiculously low pain-threshold. We both know that. Fortunately, he has a ridiculously high whine-threshold.

And, NO, the bright side is NOT that we'll be having lots of worry-free sex. Because we're never having sex again. Note to Husband: JUST SO YOU KNOW!

March 28, 2005
The Damage Christians Do

I have a hard time forgiving the Minister of Youth/Music that stole something from me.

Sometimes I don't think about it for weeks at a time. Then, I'll find myself quiet during the service, leaning close to my husband, holding my breath. If I'm very lucky my husband will be singing. So softly you might miss it if your heart beats too loudly.

The irony is that he has the most amazing voice. Sure I'm biased, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

He used to work 911, where the voice is everything. His was so fantastic that callers used to comment on it. In fact, his calls were the ones used for training purposes. There's just something about it ...

Two years ago he surprised me at Christmas by taking me into the city for a huge barbershop quartet performance of several international champions. In the lobby, recruiters overheard him talking and approached him, encouraging him to audition. Little did they know ... it would have been easier to convince him the Earth is flat.

When he was in middle-school he had the horrid experience of participating in the youth choir at his church. The day his voice broke in practice the Minister of Youth/Music screamed at him (and his brother) in front of everyone, critisized and ridiculed them, and threw them out. Neither one ever sang again.

That "christian" stole all the joy a person can get from singing, and the joy that singing can give others around you. Thanks to that freak, my husband gets no joy from singing at all. I get little joy from it (unless I hear it in service when he almost whispers when no one else is near us). My children get no joy from it, since he won't sing them to sleep and can barely bring himself to sing even Happy Birthday!

Unfortunately, that "christian" probably wasn't all that much of a freak. By that I mean that I suspect his behavior is all too common. The more I work in Children's Programs in our church (and in other churches), the more I wonder about people. If someone is really trying to be a good christian, how can they be mean to children? Repeatedly? Perhaps they justify it in their heads by thinking that children aren't people, that children don't have the power to do something about them, that children are automatically inferior to them, that children won't remember and judge them. Basically, they're bullies who happen to call themselves "christian".

I wonder if things would have been different if my husband's parents had made the "christian" apologize in front of the choir and/or in front of the entire congregation. If they had called a spade a spade and forced his resignation, bringing consequences for the action. Proving to my husband (and all the other children the freak abused) that his behavior was unacceptable and wrong. But they reacted the same way my parents would have, hoping the whole thing would blow over, reassuring the child while not rocking the boat, respecting the authority, maintaining decorum. And so their children were damaged, and all the children that witnessed an unjustified attack with no consequences were bound to be a little damaged, and the "christian" went on his merry way to damage other children. Because no one was willing to confront him.

I understand that confrontation is unpleasant. Its far easier to bury your head in the sand, justifying it by saying "oh, its just a little thing". The only problem with that is that its only a little thing to you. To someone else it might be a very big thing indeed.

March 24, 2005
Just Plain Disturbing

I have the plague. I'm miserable. If it gets worse, I'm going to the hospital Thats just the whiny ramblings of a woman with plague, because if I really believed that I'd be in the mini-van on the way to the emergency room. I'm just sick enough to be annoyed.

My parents are visiting this week. LOTS of us are sick, which makes for a lovely vacation (note: sarcasm). You know, last time we had a vacation we got antibiotic-resistant strep. Just a thought.

And I think I also have food-poisoning and an UTI. When it rains it pours! Maybe my immune system just gave up ... Anyway, on to the truly disturbing thoughts ... I went to TJMaxx (even if I was sick we still had to take someone to the airport in the city which is near real shopping) ... I saw something that was so revolting it ought to be illegal to even design it, much less sell it ...

March 21, 2005
Didn't Know He Noticed

I suppose (apparently incorrectly) that most of the time my everyday actions fly below my husband's radar. Then, every so often, he'll stun me with an observation. For reasons too complicated to explain, I ended up in the nursery AGAIN on Sunday morning. Which means that my husband went to SundaySchool by himself.

There they talked about parenting children that are arguing with each other. Everyone else agreed that they tried to let the children work it out for themselves. My husband volunteer that he tended to do that too but that "my wife gets the two children together, figures out what happened, and nails the culprit". (1) I am shocked and thrilled that he noticed, much less mentioned it in class. (2) I am shocked and dismayed that everyone else seems to think that letting them resolve it themselves is the answer.

March 19, 2005
H.e.l.p. M.e.

This has been a really annoying week. I've struggled all week to get the house prepared for house-guests (my parents). My housekeeping tends to deteriorate during colds and flu, so the house is rather ... scary. I was going to do it Wednesday, but then I still felt a little sick AND had Awanas. I was going to do it yesterday, but somehow my husband sucked up the morning/afternoon and the boys had swim-lessons last night. I was going to do it today, but the neighbor's little kids showed up at my house and were here for what seems like all day.

So. My house is TOTALLY trashed, and my parents arrive in 18 hours. Somehow I need to fit in some sleep and about 6 hours at Food Redistribution tomorrow morning. My mind has practically shut-down with panic. Maybe I'll just tackle one room at a time ... maybe I'll clean all the floors and then all the tables and then ... maybe I'll burn down the house ... maybe ... maybe ... maybe ...

I know for sure that I won't be blogging anymore until the middle of next week.

March 15, 2005
Black Irish

Recently I used the phrase thats very Black Irish in conversation with Sam. She hestitantly questioned I know Ive always heard it, and dont tell my grandmother I didnt know, but what exactly is Black Irish?

I knew what I meant by it, but I wasnt sure about how to explain it to her. Certainly not in one concise sentence. Being a bit curious about how others had explained the Black Irish, I googled it. Instead of a clear definition, I found a miss-mash of questionable ideas.

One site promoted the idea that the Black Irish descended from Spanish ship-wreck survivors, speculating that the black referred to their hair color, while another site logically debunked that whole idea.

One site even went so far as to suggest that there are no Black Irish based on the fact that they couldnt find any people in Ireland that knew the term or concept. While thats an interesting point, it speaks more to the modernization of Irish society than to the lack of Black Irish. For example, if you asked 99.9 percent of the American population about the Blue Fugates you probably wouldnt find anyone that knew about them (although its a fascinating part of Kentucky history). The same goes for the Melungeons of Appalachia. Both are relatively undocumented sub-groups of a population. It doesnt mean they dont exist, just that information is hard to find.

Heres my personal thoughts on the Black Irish.

March 13, 2005
The Lost Art of Manners

I suppose its not entirely the fault of those people that irritated me last night (in the post below). Rather, its a failure that can be laid squarely at the feet of their parents.

I've got to wonder, how many of them had parents that stressed the importance of manners. And, yes, manners are important. Not as some random standard of judging the sophistication of our fellow humans, but as a means of smoothing social interactions. Good manners are about consideration and appreciation and respect.

So. Have you taught your child good manners?

Lost Art

Tonight I'm consumed with angst. It has come to my attention that the Art of Socializing has been lost. Manners are a thing of the past, something connected with "stuffiness" and "snootiness". Something our casual culture has no need for. Imagine! Rules for socializing! Who would have thought to be so prudish!?!

I'll tell you who -- the woman who helped her friend "do" a theme dinner tonight where we expected 21 and 49 showed up! And those 21 only "rsvp'd" because the person in charge of the event called everyone last night to get an answer. Fifty invitations and not a single response!!!!! And WHAT were they thinking, saying they weren't coming and then just showing up. ALL OF THEM! I'll tell you what they were thinking ... great weather, lets do other things, oh yeah, we'll just pop over to the meeting and grab dinner there.

I'm still mad. And the arrogance of them! Demanding to know what we were going to do about running out of place-settings! Incidentially, to which I responded "After we serve the people that RSVP'd, we'll be glad to let you have whatever food we have left". I might have used The Tone. And I meant it.

March 09, 2005

Thanks to a lovely and informative email from Leni, I found out that my comments-function has been disabled! Argh.

I'll need to be baking some cookies. Oatmeal-raison cookies. That's the best way to solve computer problems. Bake cookies.

Then, go to your tech-guy. With the cookies :)

March 05, 2005
Going To Walmart

Going to Walmart is deliciously horrid! I hate the whole experience, which begins with a hike UPHILL from the parking-lot, and ends with the realization that my perception of time is gone. (I could have been in there 10 minutes or 2 hours and it feels roughly the same, which is a little unsettling)

The only thing worse than Walmart is No-Walmart. As it is, I live about two miles from a Walmart. How awful it would be if I had to drive for an hour to reach a Walmart! I've lived places where its a twenty minute drive to a convience store for milk, and forty-five minutes to "real" grocery shopping, and NO twenty-four-hour anything! Its not fun.

So, today I'm thankful there's a Walmart. And a LittleCaesarsPizza. Which the kids love, so I'm treating them for dinner. Note: You know you're on a diet when Little Ceasars pizza looks like the best pizza on Earth! LOL!!!!!!!

March 03, 2005
The Perfect Bow

Inspired by Julie's post on Motherhood-madness, I recount my bow-skills:

I can tie the perfect bow. Seriously. I had forgotten until this week. I was sending a friend a package, and the ribbon I had selected was only dotted on one side! This means that a normal bow would only show the dots on one loop.

Panic! ... wheels spinning ... whispers of memory ... something ... something ... chills along the spine ... The Hair Ribbon Bow! There's a particular way to simultaneously twist the ribbon at exactly the right step in the process with two hands so that you get the dots not only on both loops, but ALSO in the band around the middle. This is not for the faint-of-heart!

I spilled out my joy to Sam that I remembered The Bow. She responded absent-mindedly "hmmmm" then , "Hey, where did you learn to do that?" to which I could only respond incredulously "Did you NEVER live with my mother!?!"

I could hear her flinch from hundreds of miles away "Aieee. I remember, I remember"

That was the part that reminded me of Julie's article. My mother was one of those super-achiever-pusher mothers. Thanks to her years and years of training, I can tie The Perfect Bow.

So, if you get a package from me this week, take another look at The Bow. Its a work of art, years in the making!

That Time Of Year ...

Its that time of year again ... Daffodils are sprouting, trees are greening, Mormons are roaming.

I met two pleasant earnest young Mormons while I was "walking" the kids around the block today. They inevitably remind me of a friend of mine whose son is about that age (and also Mormon). I worry about people being mean to David while he's doing his mission-trip-thing. It kinda changes your approach to those door-to-door missionaries when you remember that they're somebody's son. Maybe somebody's misguided son, but still ...

I gave them Gatorade, in a squirty bottle, which I just found this morning at Walmart. I happened to stock-up because it seems like the kind of thing I could use when the kids are sick. You'd have thought I'd given them gold! I almost felt bad that such a little thing elicited such gratitude. (They'd probably have passed out if I had given them cookies!)

So ... just a thought ... even if you're disagreeing with them, and in a hurry ... maybe you could also pick up some extra Gatorade. In case you find a pair of roaming Mormons in your yard.

March 01, 2005
Good News, OR My Husband Lives In Fear

I think its "Good News", but after I had The Epiphany and called my husband at work I'm pretty sure that a better title would be "My Husband Lives In Fear".

See, we're on a new schedule for the home-schooling. This frees up the afternoons. So I started recording The Party Planner again. (Sometimes I love it, and sometimes ... not so much).

Today, Ron and Lee are both a little under the weather so after "school" I settled them into the futon in front of the tv and we all watched The Party Planner together. My boys LOVE this show! Thats not the part that scared my husband ... although some of their "party plans" are definitely ... um, shall we say ... ambitious?

This particular episode was about throwing a formal dinner party in the garage because it was the only covered space not under renovation! It worked brilliantly! My wheels begin to spin ...