Saturday, August 09, 2008

Can't take the pace

+Maya Pavlova noted the absence of posts lately and graciously inquired about my well-being. More bishops should be as solicitous of their flock! What a dear creature she is. (And gorgeous too! Have you seen her pics?)

Well, that fact is I have not had much energy left. Not working longer days, but - in sharp distinction with my usual mode - I have been socializing of late.

Wednesday evening Deborah, a wonderful co-worker, took her sister, daughter, and me out to dinner before working her last day on this job. We dined on tapas at Granada, a very nice restaurant on Carrollton. If you feel like more than tapas, try the lamb shank. Yummy. We split one, along with our tapas.

Last night Miss Yvette and I checked out the Lebanese restaurant right next door to Granada. She had never had middle eastern food before. I, having grown up almost an honorary Armenian, thrive on it. So we had a dining adventure there.

Today I sat with coworkers for lunch - a first. Usually I run off with a novel and eat alone as antidote to being with people all day. (Yes, as each year goes by I am more of an introvert.)

Tomorrow I have reservations at the Palace Cafe (where Mimi and I had such a lovely brunch) to celebrate Miss Yvette's birthday a few days ago - and then we plan, weather permitting, to check out the sculpture garden and the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park.

Additionally, I have not really had a lot to say about current politics that hasn't been said, I've pretty much grumped my grump about Lambeth, and I have not felt especially insightful about anything. I have done some really good work on the work front, picking apart numbers and turning cryptic figures into something more meaningful. Feeling very good about myself for that. That particular sub-project of mine is not yet finished but I have made lots of progress. Today I worked ten hours, the standard during the week.

There are rumors of where the company I work through has considered placing me next. This includes back home in ABQ, possibly working for the Forest Service again, as I have done the last three autumns in a row. That would be way cool. I really don't want to leave this job before it is done, though I also want to be home. Since I have not even remotely approached the level of sanctity where bilocation is possible, something has to give.

And that's the news from New Orleans.

Oh, and for those who track this sort of thing, the travel lady booked me out of here before Southern Decadence could get into full swing - so I won't get to check out NOLA when it swarms with every gay man in the South for a few days. Drat.

Added excitement. Have I told y'all that my best friend and I are planning a road trip to California in early September for my grandnephew's wedding? Up the Central Valley and down the coast, seeing family, good friends and nostalgic locales. I promise to take lots of pics.
--the BB

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thursday Constitution Blogging

Just read Kagro X's article at Daily Kos about the White House appealing the congressional subpoenas of Miers and Bolten now that there is one court ruling calling for them to answer them.

And remember, it begins "We the People," not "I the monarch."
--the BB

Heart thread - 8/7/2008

My friend Sandi asks our prayers for her mother Lois whose perspective on reality advances toward a minority position, as happens to so many of us in later years, and who has begun to wander about, causing distress to the family and fears for her safety. Sandi's husband Louis, meanwhile, is back home in Texas recuperating from the trauma of losing his eye and pondering what to do next in his life. He needs your continued prayers as well. Please remember Sandi, far from both of them and concerned for each.

The Fluffy One (Eileen) bids our prayers for Rita, her grandmother, who is in hospital, and for her mother who has a hard time in the midst of it all. Eileen and the whole family are in our hearts and prayers as well.

Among the blessings of the work-travel situation is meeting new friends. One of these is my co-worker Deborah. We got to know each other one Saturday when she came to me with questions and we have enjoyed each other since then.

Deborah is not only a fellow Episcopalian but a member of St Cuthbert's Church - only the one in Houston, not the one in Oakland. With the exception of a chapel in a convent in New York State, I am not aware of any other St Cuthbert's Episcopal Churches in the United States. If I am wrong, please let me know; I'd love to hear of others.

Deborah is also the latest victim of my fiction. We talked about it and next thing you know she is in possession of one of the few copies of the first draft. Last night she treated as she, her sister, and her daughter (all three of them lovely ladies) and I dined on delicious tapas and I recounted the Chronicles of Midhris (copyright by me, y'all) orally. Today was her last day on this job as she returns to home and to teaching, her regular job. A huge thank you to Deborah and godspeed as you return to your home.

Last Saturday I talked on the phone with Phyllis, the dearest woman, who endures the progression of a brain tumor and proceeds on her final journey this side of glory. Please keep her, her husband Fred, and the family in your prayers as well.

My BFF and I are making plans for the road trip to California next month for my eldest grandnephew's wedding and general visiting of dear friends and old haunts. I am excited about this. I need a vacation and I have not been "home" since moving to New Mexico (two years ago this week). Albuquerque is my home now but I will always be a Californian no matter where I live, as it is my birth soil.

Kirstin is not up to much blogging or correspondence these days as she takes her interferon treatments. All the more reason to keep her in our hearts as she takes this challenging stretch of life's journey.

We continue to hold Elizabeth and her loved ones in prayer following the death of her mother and now the birth of Mason James, a fifth grandchild!

I rejoice in the goodness of the earth and of those who celebrate her. Check out the mycophagist and his photos here. He's pretty darned cute too but don't tell him I said so. And johnieb is sharing some amazing pics too.

Feel free to pray for the Anglican Communion if you're up for it. [I'm not.] Way I see it, Jesus will take care of the church (gates of hell and all that) and our job is to be faithful to the Gospel. So I put my energy on trying to be ever more deeply grasped by and comprehending of the Good News and leave the church to Jesus. We must continually die to what we are in order to become what we might be (grain of wheat etc.), and that is true of each of us and of our collectivities, the church being no exception. If we try to preserve the AC we shall surely lose it: reasoning based on analogy with the highest authority telling us to lose our lives if we would save them. As for calls to sacrifice, I've repeatedly offered to sacrifice the AC for the sake of living the Good News, but the bishops aren't taking me up on that offer and I refuse to do it the other way around and sacrifice the Good New for the sake of the Anglican Communion. There you have it.

Do pray for New Orleans and her people. Grandmère Mimi has a wonderful post up today.

Tandaina is finally at seminary. Hooray. And "bless her heart" (in the three falling tones manner that acknowledges she's bitten off quite a bit, God help her). I pray this grace-filled poet will bless the school and the school will bless her.

Doxy has a moving and well-written post up springing from her attendance at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City and from her great heart of compassion. It merits a read. Check out this excerpt:
If you are one of the millions of Americans who struggles with your weight, you will recognize the inner voice that tempts you to do things you know in your heart are not healthy for you. Taking sexual risks is really no different than taking the risk of eating too much of the wrong kind of food---they are both rooted in human behaviors that are both deeply meaningful in and of themselves and necessary for the survival of the species. Sex and food are the basic foundations for human life--which is why this struggle is, in some ways, a Sisyphean one.

Until and unless researchers develop a vaccine for HIV, we will only combat the spread of the epidemic by recognizing this fact and developing a way to deal with it--a way that does not stigmatize or demonize those who are, ultimately, only being human.
Let us pray for those who live with HIV/AIDS throughout the world, those who love them, those at risk, the dying, the living, and AIDS orphans. Let us pray for research and a cure, and for destigmatizing disease, for an end to fear and ignorance.

I give thanks that TheMeThatIsMe is blogging again and had such a grand adventure with Mad Priest, going of to Glasgow to hear Bishop Robinson preach.

Of course, and as usual, I have forgotten so many who need our prayers and so many who pray for us (and let us define "prayer" so broadly that none feel excluded or offended by the term). feel free, as ever, to add your own requests, thanksgivings, etc. in comments.

And now, to gather up all the crumbs, a video I found chez FranIAm:

--the BB

A different sort of flag

This morning I noticed we had the 128th flag in the sidebar. This was for an organization rather than a specific nation: the Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organization.

I could not find an image of the flag with their logo, so faked it.

From their site:
The World Customs Organization (WCO) is an independent, intergovernmental, world-wide body competent in Customs matters and has a mission to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations. A regional structure was established to provide practical assistance in order to:

  • Ensure the permanent presence of the WCO in each region of the world;
  • Ensure that the WCO is kept informed of regional interests;
  • Promote greater involvement of members in WCO activities;
  • Encourage non-Members to join the WCO;
  • Establish close co-operation with regional organizations working in the Customs field;
  • Promote cooperation between Members in each region.
The Far East, South and South East Asia, Australasia and the Pacific Islands Region of the World Customs Organization is composed of the following members:

Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong China, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Macao China, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Kingdom of Tonga and Vietnam.
Welcome to our visitor from the Asia Pacific Region. And no, at the moment I have nothing to declare.

--the BB

John McOil

When not suggesting his wife take part in the sleazy Miss Buffalo Chip contest, Senator McSame was talking big about commitment to the energy issue:

--from the folks at

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Latest Coalition Fatalities

DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Spc. Ronald A. Schmidt, 18, of Newton, Kan., died Aug. 3 in Balad, Iraq, of injuries sustained in a vehicle accident in Ashraf, Iraq, on Aug. 2. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, Kansas Army National Guard, Kingman, Kan.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Pvt. Timothy J. Hutton, 21, of Dillon, Mont., died Aug. 4 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered in a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 54th Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade, Bamberg, Germany

DoD Identifies Army Casualties (2 of 2)
Spc. Jonathan D. Menke, 22, of Madison, Ind... assigned to the 38th Military Police Company, 38th Infantry Division, Indiana Army National Guard...died Aug. 4 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when debris from an IED detonation...

DoD Identifies Army Casualties (1 of 2)
Sgt. Gary M. Henry, 34, of Indianapolis, Ind... assigned to the 38th Military Police Company, 38th Infantry Division, Indiana Army National Guard...died Aug. 4 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when debris from an IED detonation...

DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Sgt. Brian K. Miller, 37, of Pendleton, Ind., died Aug. 2 in Abd Allah, Iraq, of injuries suffered in a vehicle accident. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment, 76th Brigade Combat Team, Indiana Army National Guard...


For none of us has life in himself, and none becomes his own master when he dies.

We call him McSame for a reason

Arse ipse loquitur.
--the BB

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Take that, old white dude

Update, right up front: I "get" Penelope Cruz. Just saying.

I have NEVER been a Paris Hilton fan. I totally don't get it. But I want to give her mad props for this:

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

See, it's not always about hot princes. [Yeah, I miss them too.]

h/t to Hope08 at Daily Kos for the video
--the BB


AP: Marines ordered to stay longer in Afghanistan
The Pentagon has ordered roughly 1,250 Marines serving as trainers for the Afghan security forces to stay on the warfront about a month longer to continue a mission that military leaders say is a top priority, according to a senior military official.

08/04/08 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualties (4 of 4)
Pvt. Jair De Jesus Garcia, 29, of Chatsworth, CA...assigned to the 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Reg, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division...died Aug. 1 in Chowkay Valley, Afghanistan, from wounds sustained when their vehicle encountered an IED.

08/04/08 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualties (3 of 4)
Spc. William J. Mulvihill, 20, of Leavenworth, Kan., who was assigned to the Special Troops BN, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division...died Aug. 1 in Chowkay Valley, Afghanistan, from wounds sustained when their vehicle encountered an IED.

08/04/08 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualties (2 of 4)
2nd Lt. Michael R. Girdano, 23, of Pennsylvania, who was assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division...died Aug. 1 in Chowkay Valley, Afghanistan, from wounds sustained when their vehicle encountered an IED.

08/04/08 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualties (1 of 4)
Pfc. David J. Badie, 23, of Rockford, Ill., who was assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division...died Aug. 1 in Chowkay Valley, Afghanistan, from wounds sustained when their vehicle encountered an IED.

08/04/08 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Sgt. Ryan P. Baumann, 24, of Great Mills, Md., died Aug. 1, on Route Alaska, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment...

NATO: ISAF soldier dies from non-combat related injury
An ISAF service member died from a non-combat related injury, 4 August. The name and nationality of the deceased is being withheld pending next of kin notification.


Monday, August 04, 2008

It's Eileen's fault

And isn't it usually?

I never meant for the whole world to know I'm a scumbag.

Your result for The Brutally Honest Personality Test...

Scumbag- ENFP

53% Extraversion, 67% Intuition, 47% Thinking, 33% Judging

I have a feeling you're not going to like this much. Do I care? No.
How do I know? It's because you hate criticism. You love to be loved and you'll do anything to be accepted.

Unfortunately for you, I can see right through your insincere compliments and over-the-top greetings. No matter what you do, I'll always hate you for what you are. An arrogant, unstable, overly enthusiastic scumbag.

I bet you're pretty proud of your accomplishments, huh? You seem to achieve at whatever you put your little mind too. Trust me. Nobody likes the person who is good at everything. NOBODY LIKES YOU.

This might also have something to do with the fact that you're a cheating machine. You're just not the type of person to make long-term commitments. You enjoy seeing "what could be", rather than being satisfied with "what is." This, of course, means you often leave others in the dust while you seek out another lover.

Well, at least you're not the one left in the dust.

Unfortunately, when you're the one lying in the gutter with a bloody knife in your back, you might think differently.


If you want to learn more about your personality type in a slightly less negative way, check out this.


The other personality types are as follows...

Loner - Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving

Pushover - Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging

Criminal - Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving

Borefest - Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging

Almost Perfect - Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

Freak - Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging

Loser - Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving

Crackpot - Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging

Clown - Extraverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving

Sap - Extraverted Sensing Feeling Judging

Commander - Extraverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving

Do Gooder - Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging

Busybody - Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging

Prick - Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving

Dictator - Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging

Take The Brutally Honest Personality Test at HelloQuizzy

Well, of course I'm not going to enjoy a verdict like this!

I actually tend to stay with jobs longer than most people would, as I'm usually good for a decade unless circumstances are terrible (and perhaps when they are, but that's another story). And I was not the one who pushed for separation - even though I heartily concede in retrospect that it needed to happen. Well, to be honest, I was pushing passive aggressively. OK, I'm a scumbag. Now you all know.
--the BB

McClueless (but then, there was no good answer to these pointed questions)

I hope the American electorate pays SOME attention to what is being offered.

h/t to Hoffmania (who, in turn, got if from Blah3) where this video is listed under "Doddering"

--the BB

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I went to church this morning

Nothing very remarkable in that. But I have been sharing photos of churches in which I worship, so here goes: Saint Michael and All Angels, 601 Montaño, Albuquerque, New Mexico - my home church.

The courtyard
The doors
The bell tower
The Font
The aumbry
Our Lady
The Cross
The sanctuary

It was truly wonderful to see familiar and beloved faces. I have missed them so much (been two months since I was there).
--the BB

must. preserve. communion. at. all. costs.....

“There is something about the preservation of the global fellowship that is bigger than any of us.”
--Rowan Cantuar

"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me."

I know I am naive and very parochial about all this but isn't our global fellowship a gift of God? Something we are blessed with and need to nurture, of course, but not really of our making? And isn't it guaranteed far more by God's goodness and inbreakings of grace and moments of shared humanity than by, oh, say, rules and structures?

My personal feeling is that far too many in Anglican land are trying to keep the ark from falling of the cart, as though God cannot take care of Godself or the grace of communion will not perdure without us MAKING it perdure. Perhaps they should all reread the story of Uzzah.

When did they stop trusting God? (Oh, when they stopped trusting each other. Right. I think there is a parallel discussion in 1 John.)
--the BB

So, he'd prefer "secret rites"? Deep-in-the-closet rites? Out of his sight, out of his mind? Well, out of his mind, yes.

Williams drew a distinction between the practice of blessing same-sex relationships as a form of “pastoral care” and authorizing a ritual for blessings.

“ As soon as there is a liturgical form it gives the impression that this has the church’s stamp on it,” he said. “There are people in the USA who would say pastoral care means public rites. I am not very happy about that.”
Ask me if I give a rat's ass about Cantuar's happiness since he doesn't give a damn about the well-being or full humanity of LGBT persons. Just saying.
--the BB

Dinner last night

One of the things I love about Albuquerque is that it retains a rural character. People do raise goats and chickens in the city (it may be pockets of county outside city limits, I don't know). It is a horsey area and Corrales (a city named "corrals" in Spanish) is even more so.

Last night we dined at my friend's home in Corrales.

Out in the back garden where all kinds of things are grown we see asparagus (second year, next year it can be harvested).
And corn. (And strawberries and Swiss chard and tomatoes and onions and all manner other things at various times.)
Speaking of corn, we had some very sweet and tasty red corn for dinner.
We also had some havarti and brie with crackers, shrimp remoulade, grilled pork loin that had been macerated in provençal herbs (rosemary, thyme, lavender, salt, pepper), grilled squash and red peppers, and a strawberry tart with strawbs from the garden and a lovely pastry cream in a yummy shell.

All this with good friends and lots of stimulating and fascinating conversation. Se vive bien aquí.
--the BB