beachlass: wonder woman, smiling (wonderwoman)
Yay! On holidays again.

The younger teen is at summer camp this week, and the eldest is back in Canada, and has been home quite a bit.

I've been rereading Rennie Airth's mystery novels, which are fantastic.

Monday I caught up on the weeding in the garden. My cherry tomatoes are ripe and sweet. I'm still losing my kale and parsley to the local groundhog, though. Miss Dog is not earning her kibble.

Yesterday I remembered I had painting projects to do. We had ripped the awful grey carpeting off the stairs earlier this summer, leaving me with a banged up wooden staircase. Yesterday I got the risers painted white. The treads are stil problematic, but I'm going to touch them up with black paint, and call it a day. My mantra for that project is "Not letting my perfectionism get in the way".

I also repainted the bathroom! Previously, on Lass's Old House, the bathroom walls were beige/grey tiled about 2/3's, with pepto bismol pink on top. And a kind of sunset bronze/gold shower curtain. Shut up. It wasn't as bad as it sounds. 

Anyway, Yesterday I painted the pink part of the walls white. I'd already replaced the shower curtain with a white terry 'hotel style' one. And having moved out the antique pine hutch to paint, I'm keeping it out - the bathroom is so tiny, I'm deciding to purge and reduce what we're keeping in there and use a much smaller shelf thing instead. 

Eldest helped me sort through all the stuff we had in the bathroom, and we tossed a lot. 

After I swapped out the quirky folk art for a framed black and white fish photo from the living room - it looks amazing. When the boy gets home from camp, we'll probably tackle replacing the cracked floor tiles with stick down vinyl flooring. 

Now. What shall I tackle today???
beachlass: red flipflops by water (Default)
12. I am far from convinced that local church courts taking stances on Israel/Palestine and peace processes therein isn't a matter of sticking our noses where they don't belong. I know quite a few clergy who have gone on observer/accompaniment trips to Palestine, with Christian Peacemakers   or other organizations. I've been to meetings where the mission committee was selling bottles of Palestinian fair trade olive oil. But I've also listened to folks who served on inter-faith councils talk about the hurt our well meaning proclamations have caused within Canadian Jewish communities, and know that our relationship with the Canadian Jewish Council has been very strained at times because of this.

Anyway, I'm working my way through reports this morning. (Our conference annual meeting is this weekend; like a diocese meeting, I think?) There is a proposal for boycotting goods from occupied Palestinian territory. And I'm realizing, that I'm fuzzy (appalled at my own ignorance) by what we even mean by 'occupied' Palestine. All of Palestine/Israel? The illegal Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territory? 

Luckily for me, there is another 26 page report to download. I'm starting it now; hoping to have more clarity, and a semi-informed opinion before Friday. I'm slightly irritable about how little congregational work I'm going to get down today, and more than slightly dubious that most of the voting members of the court will have any depth of understanding on human and land rights, history and current economic context re: Israel/Palestine.  
beachlass: red flipflops by water (Default)
The NFB informs me that it is Paul Gross's birthday today. So happy birthday, sir. In celebration, an NFB short - and even if you're not a Paul Gross fan, worth watching I think; for the ways in which he speaks about writing and creativity - about setting ego aside so it doesn't get in the way of a story. The last few phrases, when he talks about the courage of soldiers in WWI (this must have been made when Gross made Passhendaele) - reminds me not of military war, but the other, more domestic and gendered violences so many of us endure and survive.




beachlass: Joseph Gordon Levitt making a funny face (Really?)
 things about ministry

9.  Some days are really fucking long. More than 13 hours today of meetings and driving.
beachlass: dictionary entry for thankful (thankful)
Kid and I watched The Secret of the Kells tonight.  Have you seen it? It's amazing, we were riveted. As in, neither the teenager or I touched our tablets/smartphones/laptops/knitting during the whole thing. Which is pretty much unheard of in our house. As the opening credits rolled, the boy asked me what it was about, and I'm pretty sure he thought I was crazy when I replied "A monk and a bible"; but wow. 

In parts the animation reminded me of Samurai Jack, and that's not a coincidence, apparently. It's gorgeous to watch, and the conficts and tension is incredibly well done. 

I loved it. And if you haven't seen it, you really should. When it was over, kidlet booted up his netbook, and the next thing I knew, he was googling the real Book of Kells. Pretty cool.
beachlass: hand holding out a heart (love offered)
Today I finally made it to my lawyer's appointment, after rescheduling it twice. (And I learned that once I pay a $1000 retainer with interac, I'm over my transaction limit, and even though there is money in my bank account, cannot pay with debit at the grocery store.)

I should have a draft separation agreement in my hands by the end of the week. The plan is: separation agreement, request income records from my ex to determine child support, and 'over the counter' divorce application. 

Just answering the questions is stressful and emotional: when were you married, when did you start living together, how old are the kids? What's the current financial arrangement, how often does he see the kids, what does he pay in support? 

My first impression of my lawyer is great - she was clear and supportive and patient. She offered suggestions when I asked for them, gave me clear choices. I'm glad I'm in a place where I can say "Honestly, I'd love sole custody, but realistically I can live with joint custody." In some ways, time has made this easier, because I know that de facto joint custody has looked an awful lot like sole custody for the past 6 1/2 years... that I can agree to pretty much whatever access he wants, because he won't follow through on it; more's the pity. 

I wouldn't be as sane and strong as I am without my friends, without you all - out there in the ether. You've been there, listening and supporting as I've mourned and raged and frothed at the mouth; and it was your support that helped me pick up the phone and make an appointment and keep it. 

Thank you. You are a blessing to me. And I am so grateful for you all.
beachlass: red curled tentacle (tentacle)
Lent starts tomorrow. I think last year, I gave myself the Lenten discipline gift of re-reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels. This year, Lent is almost corresponding with a week of study leave. For my study leave, I've got a list of movies I want to watch - spiritual documentaries, and some books I've been meaning to get around to reading.

I'd also like to get back into the habit of daily walks, and daily yoga practice. The yoga I've started already - I'm aiming to start with 20 minutes/day, and am on my 4th day. I'm also going to take a shot at journal writing each day - either here or in my paper journal.

If I feel like I've bitten off too much, my fall back plan is to breathe. Just breathe. 
beachlass: red flipflops by water (Default)
I was looking for something else, and I found this. And wanted to share it.


 
beachlass: red flipflops by water (Default)
I read two great stories this past week with characters who turned invisible. In both stories the invisibility was sometimes involuntary, instigating a fear of fading away to nothing, being lost, unseen, unlooked-for, forgotten.

I wonder how often we have those moments, of feeling like if we just faded away that no one would miss us? Of feeling our self, outside of role, be invisible. I remember how much it means to me when someone says "I haven't seen you/seen you posting recently, and I missed you and was wondering how you are."

Sometimes I long to be invisible. More and more I take the time to shop at a grocery store if I'm in the city, so I can buy my jar of puttanesca sauce and not be "the minister", stopped in the aisle and told of the latest concerns. It's a blessing of small town living, but a double edged one. Like how I should take my old laptop in for data recovery, but don't dare do it locally, because of the explicit fandom stuff saved on it.

Like in the stories, it doesn't take much to feel seen. The loneliness is assuaged as long as a few people can see and name, and remember and look for the us when we're fading. And that feeling of being seen and known has been a huge gift for me from you, my online community. And I'm so grateful for it.

The stories I read this week, hidden because I think the invisibility is a spoiler for the second story:

Hunted - http://archiveofourown.org/works/323064 - by taste_is_sweet - H50/SGA/Predator

and

In Plain Sight - http://hd-holidays.livejournal.com/205208.html - by oldenuf2nb - Harry Potter



beachlass: batman hanging from a ladder, shark attached (shark)
My ex husband, for the following exchange

Ex: calling about travel arrangements for Youngest  Child today
Lass: information about road conditions where we life
Ex: tentative arrangement
Lass: agreed, call me when you're ready to leave the city
Ex: "I'm just wondering about our financial obligations to Eldest Child. I've just been informed she expects me to pay for her replacement passport"
Lass: I don't know what you mean, and yes, she is broke, and her passport needs to be rush replaced. I have no plans to cut her off, she`s only 19.
Ex: "But I'm wondering about our financial arrangement about her. Can I expect to see this money back"
Lass: I still don't know what you're talking about; if you expect her to pay you back, you should talk to her.
Ex: "I think we need to talk about the financial arrangement. I gave her $100 last week"
Lass: And I gave her $140 two days ago. She`s broke.
Ex: I`m wondering if I can expect you to pay me back for money I loan her....

Lass: *head explodes* If you aren`t willing to give her money, then you need to tell her that. And I will continue to financially support her and  we will deal with it. I don`t really understand what you`re asking me.

Ex: We just need to have a conversation about this. I don`t think I`m being unreasonable.
Lass: If you are expecting me to  raise Youngest Child on my own, with almost no support, and think that I have enough money floating around to help Eldest Child, and also pay you back for any money you loan her; that is not happening. I don`t have that kind of money.
Ex: I don`t know what you`re getting so upset about. I`m not being unreasonable. And you`re on speaker phone  in the car. 
Lass: *head exploding again*
Ex: It`s not like we ever shared finances equally in supporting Eldest Child (ed note: not a single fucking penny in child support because he opted to suddenly play the `just a stepfather` option) --- so I don`t see why we`d start now. We just need to talk about it.
Lass: Goodbye.


20 min later: text message from Youngest Child, asking if I`m okay
 

beachlass: red curled tentacle (tentacle)
I'm working my way through a not-very-relaxing To Do List today, which was supposed to be a day off, and really, really isn't going to be.  I'm experiencing a lot of stress-by-proxy, as Eldest Child tries to rush around getting her passport replaced in a rush. Plus, I had to talk with my ex today, and negotiate parenting stuff with him.

I'm on about my last nerve with regard to people complaining that I'm not juggling my 10,000 responsibilities well enough, or criticizing my parenting choices. Yesterday it was people complaining that I wasn't at their meeting early enough; after I'd led three worship services and driven for an hour to get there. (And then chaired their meeting and drove home. Without a break.) This morning it was my ex second guessing my decision to let the Boy stay home from school when he was sick; and miss school one day this week for a photo shoot, hair cut and casting.

Argh. RL people. Learn some fucking manners.

I have Reichenbach falls on hand, I don't think I'll be able to watch it until late tonight, when I'm done driving kidlet around and going to work.

Someone suggested last week that I start tracking how many full days off I manage each week. *laughter* 
beachlass: audrey hepburn (headtilt)
  1. I have fabric for new curtains downstairs, blue green sheers, and am loving the change in light.
  2. The turtle ate today, for the first time since he moved in. Apparently he likes carrots.
  3. I finished turning the heel on my current pair of socks while waiting (for an hour) at the medical clinic yesterday.
  4. Kidlet got his bloodwork done, now we just need to wait, and see if there's a reason why he's sleeping all the time.
  5. Both kids have been reading their Christmas books this week, and loving them. (Cory Doctorow and Libby Bray)
  6. My girl is coming home for the weekend.
  7. I've managed to take enough time off from work this week that I'm less on edge.
  8. I've been reading my way through The Losers fanfic; and it is awesome.
  9. And I have The Losers on dvd to watch this weekend.
  10. I remembered to soak my yellow eyed peas overnight.
  11.  I have Batman's No Man's Land to read this weekend.
  12. Coffee and Corn Pops for breakfast.
  13. I'm wearing my newly knit red/pink/white variegated socks. 
beachlass: woman wearing a white tshirt with a canadian flag and the text "fuckin eh" (eh)
Oh shit, are we playing Nice Canadian White Girl Rummy today?

Just let me check my hand.

I've got a pair of "I Care about Native Issues" - spent two weeks on a reserve once, and have some books by native folks.
I've got three of a kind for "Canadian Cultural Sovereignty" - Greg Curnoe art, Slings and Arrows box set and Margaret Atwood novels. 
I've got two "Canadian Activities Today": taking my kid to the doctor for free and curling at the rink.
And four wild cards: "My best friend is....", "single mom formerly on welfare", "rural", "queer"
Oh! And an ace in "Obscure Canadian Etymology" -  use of "camp" in Northern Ontario instead of cottage or cabin

To be clear, I am not at all bothered by the Canadian Shack fic trope, am enjoying the current fest immensely. 

I am angered and saddened by the appropriation of people's pain, including snide remarks about poverty in the rural Southern US, and the use of the housing and infrastructure disaster on Canadian reserves to score points in a fandom argument. 

My fucking country today, you guys. I'm sorry.
beachlass: red flipflops by water (Default)
Jason Isaacs gets around. From Azkaban to Neverland to my Netflix queue (The State Within).... doesn't it make you wonder about bedtimes at the manor, when Lucius read Draco Peter Pan? How he did the voices, and had the scariest tic toc tic for the crocodile? Did Draco fancy himself Peter Pan? Did he realize he was Wendy through and through, longing to fly away from nannies and social expecations to find the Boy Who Improbably Lived Despite Peril at a Young Age? Did Lucius want Hook to win, did he identify too strongly with Smee's misplaced loyalty? Did he know how much he would give to have the relief of the Darlings' be his own at the safe return of his child?

The house elves made Draco Peter Pan birthday cakes, with animated scenes playing out in icing. Pansy and Draco had sleepovers, and dressed up in Narcissa's nightgowns and leggings. Goyle and Crabbe only ever got to be Lost Boys, and were ordered around mercilessly.

Harry never heard Peter Pan. Not until he had children of his own, and they went to the panto and yelled and heckled and laughed, and stopped at Fortescue's for peppermint icecream on the way home.

++++++

Snakes. I am rather seriously phobic about snakes. Of the involuntary shrieking and jumping away at harmless garter snakes variety. So why on earth I thought watching an X Files episode about snake handling was a good idea, I'll never know. Snakes! Religious authority figures sexually abusing minors! Moar snakes! 

++++++

I have knit two pairs of socks for myself since Christmas, and when I am more ambitious will put some pics up on Ravelry. But they are cute, and I am pleased. 

+++++++

Sherlock. I've watched the first two episodes of Season Two, and am quite pleased, overall.SPOILERISH TALK )(Someday I will find words to describe my love for Jude Law's Watson. Today is not that day.)

++++

Best blessings to you all. I have had a lovely day off, spent entirely in my pyjamas, which is an all to rare treat for me. Oh! And I have a new (old) turtle.

beachlass: angel from Constantine, looking surprised (Oh!)
Yesterday morning I woke up and had bouts of dizziness. (No idea why, and eventually they went away on their own). I had diligently left my To Do List on the desk in my office, and after some discernment and a caring (and requested) twitter scolding from [personal profile] anatsuno , I stayed at home to work. But my list was on my desk! My liturgical books were in my study!

I had to write the service without my favorite books of prayers, and in doing so discovered a liturgical blog by one of the new-ish twitter people in my circle. And I had a limited stack of books on the 'church' shelf in my kitchen.
[Digression - a couple of years ago, I sequestered a section of the kitchen shelving to hold books that had migrated from the church to the house, and am so grateful I did so... I lose far less work these days, spend less time searching for books, now that I have a place to put them at home. And when the shelf is over-full, it reminds me to take some back to the office.]
 
I pulled out Barbara Brown Taylor's Leaving Church, and have read the whole thing in 24 hours. This is and isn't surprising - I love reading, but I'm a magpie reader at work, tending to read chapters here and there, depending on my focus for the day or week, and often abandon a book partway through. 

Taylor's book is an account of settling into a wonderful parish in Georgia, and then leaving it. It's not quite a story of burn out, because her reflections move beyond that and into questioning the whole practice of priesthood and church life. She reflects on power and busy-ness and liturgical practice, and has left me with some good questions about clerical role and identity and the intersections with church structure and congregational life. 

I just... haven't quite formed the questions yet. 

But I'm reminded that a few times recently, I've come across references to the yearning for uninterrupted time; for silent retreat, or an hour of creative writing space, and the wisdom by early monastics that we bring our own distractions even into our cell of seclusion. I was reminded of it this morning, checking my twitter feed between chapters in my reading - for no good reason. Reminded when Brown talks about her initial panic when she face her first day of not doing a hundred things. 

X Files

Jan. 4th, 2012 09:02 pm
beachlass: Text: There are 2 rules. 1: Never give all the information. 2. (two rules)
I've been rewatching the X Files over the last couple of months. I'm partway through season six. And I'm absolutely loving it.

I still find the first season the scariest; probably because when it aired, it was some of the first horror I ever watched, so I have a visceral fear reaction to the glowing tree bugs, and the squishy guy who slides through the vents. I love how the interaction builds between Mulder and Scully: the care and teasing and trust. 

It's neat to re-immerse into another decades popular culture, into the conspiracy and alien mythos when the current flavour is vampires and werewolves.  I love how bad ass Scully is; she's the good shot, the one who rescues Mulder more often than he rescues her (at least at first). The lead actors seem to enjoy the characters, David Duchovny in particular appears to be enjoying the hell out of himself frequently. I also love all the surprise! guest appearances; from teen! Ryan Reynolds and child! Jewel Staite to awesome! Lily Tomlin, all kinds of people show up in episodes. 

I'm less fond of the times when culture and ethnicity are the flavour of the week; and troubled by the monster-identification of mental and physical disability. Sometimes the show is reflecting on cultural tropes, more often it seems to be perpetuating an 'othering' of difference, and allying it with the literally monstrous. 

I'm far enough along into the run of the show now that I generally haven't seen the episodes I'm watching, which is fun. And I'm so happy the whole thing holds up as well as it does after so many years. 
beachlass: angel from Constantine, looking surprised (Oh!)
I remember when [personal profile] nezuko used to write his morning pages, I always enjoyed his stream of consciousness writing and admired his discipline of sticking to writing and throwing it at the virtual wall to see what stuck. So, be warned... stream of consciousness rambling ahead.

Damn, it was cold today. About -17 C both times I actually checked the temperature. Cold enough to be cold in snowpants when I walked to the optometrists. (Apparently my astigmatism has healed itself, wtf, and I only need my reading glasses now.) Cold enough the the car was a bitch to dig out and scrape off and the doors were frozen shut.

I led a women's group at the church today that included reflecting on five risks we haven't had the guts to tackle, and what the worst case scenario is for each. Mine included asking for an increase in child support (cue laughter from anyone who has heard any stories ever about my ex); and trying to fix the leaky holes in my kitchen ceiling. And start planning my sabbatical. Also on the list was finishing my masters, which, probably no, because the worst case scenario there is mental health deterioration.

I've watched Scandal in Belgravia once, and my initial impression is I loved it. I've been reading a lot of insightful critique of Irene Adler's characterization and the plot, so I'm looking forward to watching it again. 

 

story post

Dec. 23rd, 2011 08:56 am
beachlass: red flipflops by water (Default)
repost of an Inception story from September
Language of Love by beachlass 
Written for cobweb_diamond.


ALOE- GRIEFLanguage of Love )
beachlass: angel from Constantine, looking surprised (Oh!)
Incredible piece of piano/electronic music, with the score, replete with every accidental ever and all the time changes you could want and more.


 
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