Diamonds in the Rough by Debbie Downer

I've had a morose, crummy few days, for a whole slew of reasons, real and imagined. I'm living up to my reputation as a Debbie Downer (the comically depressing character on Saturday Night Live). But there have been two diamonds in the rough (a phrase I use with ambivalently, because of what the diamond trade has done to the Congo).

1. I made Ben laugh so hard the other day he slobbered on the carpet. I was on the phone with the Credit Card Company, updating information for a credit card that I haven't used since I went by another name in another state. After we'd covered the essentials, Credit Card Lady asked me if I still wanted my card emblazoned with the Cleveland Indians logo. Um, no. In addition to the whole not-liking-baseball thing, the Debbie Downer in me is appalled by the Chief Wahoo logo. She proceeded to tell me that there are thousands of choices to help people express themselves as they dive more deeply into high-interest debt. I think that's what she said, but maybe I misheard. I said I had no idea what I wanted - she helpfully added that many folks chose a design based on a favorite hobby- should I just name something?... how about... knitting? (I think this is where Ben slobbered on the carpet.) My suggestion was met with complete silence, at which point the Lady and I quickly decided I would just have a blank card. I think she wanted to hurry up and get off the phone with me so she, too, could slobber on the floor and giggle with all her Credit Card Lady friends.

2. I have been published in what is perhaps the most obscure of obscure periodicals. I was invited to submit an article to The Journal of Supervision and Training in Ministry, which may or may not be found in a theological library near you. It's for people who work in field education and clinical pastoral education. Anyway, I wrote a piece called "The Ministerial Identity of Generation X/Y," and the contributor's copy arrived today. I can't remember exactly what I wrote, but I do know that I name-dropped Over the Rhine when talking about the importance of music for my generation. This puts me in the same category as Cameron Crowe, who also recently name-dropped Over the Rhine in a Paste interview.

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