Back in Black

I'm back from directing a week of camp in the mountains with 54 9th and 10th graders. Unfortunately I had never actually set foot on this particular campground, as my previous camp experience was in Michigan, Ohio, and Oregon. I didn't have a clue what was going on for the first few days, but I survived. I should be sleeping right now, as we're going to see Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young tonight and I'm so tired I might sleep through the show. (I am fully capable of sleeping at concerts; I fell asleep at a New Kids on the Block concert back in 1989, despite the thousands of screaming tweens.)

I experienced a whole new level of heat this week. The mountains can be fiercely hot, and this week was no exception. Even though the outside temperature was never too far past 100 degrees, the girls' cabins were excruciating. No circulation whatsoever. Rest period was torture enough that we ended up having them nap on the floor of the mess hall.

This morning as I preached my first official "barrel" sermon - a sermon I wrote and preached three years ago at FCC Pomona and simply reworked for the different context - I realized that standing around in my black liturgical robe creates roughly the same effect as wallowing in those blasted cabins. And as soon as I made the connection I wanted it off as quickly as possible. I shed the robe in the narthex during the closing hymn. There isn't really any pressure for me to wear a robe at all, except for the fact that I love not having to worry in the slightest about what I'm wearing, and whether it has pockets to accommodate my mic pack. Next week I might just use duct tape to get the thing attached without having to succumb to the Shroud of Hades.

And now, for randomness.

1. The fact I've been dreading is upon me: the beloved Charise, Church Secretary Extraordinare, is no longer my office mate. She was offered a phat position in her field that couldn't be passed up. I'm happy for her, really, I am. She has promised to stay on as my friend.

2. The long overdue announcement regarding the fame and fortune of my scrapbookin' sisters: Marie recently had her first big publication, over at the Simple Scrapbooks website. Her super-cool project was inspired by one of Elizabeth's articles. Meanwhile, a photo of my niece, Maddie, taken by Elizabeth, will be on the cover of the Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame 2006 book. Sneak preview available here. Congratulations, ladies!

3. Also in scrapbook-related news, I present a Married Moment.
Wife: I think this is the month that I'm in in Elizabeth's Simple Scrapbooks article. It's pictures of the three of us through the years, and I'm in a totally awkward stage in the center photo.
Husband: So it's a recent picture?
(Many reassurances of "I'm kidding!!" ensued, along with the requisite feigned offense on my part.)

4. I dance like a crazy fool. I was crunking before they even made up a word for it. And it's been a long time since I've had a chance to do it. I can do the running man, Roger Rabbit, some loony Charleston-ska thing that works well with teeny-bopper punk music, and any number of completely invented dance steps that can be neither duplicated nor described. The kids at camp asked me where I learned to dance, and I'm hoping that they meant the question in a complimentary fashion. Not that I care; the key to dancing is to rid oneself of all self-consciousness and camera-consciousness. Which is why more than one video of me making a crazy fool of myself exists.

5. I sang this song at the camp talent show: "Sam, Sam, the lavatory man, Chief inspector of the outhouse clan. He issues the tissues, the papers and the towels, and listens to the movements of the various bowels. Deep, deep, beneath the ground, all the little poopies go swimming around. Sam, sam, the lavatory man, scooping up the poopies in his little tin can." It went over well.

And now, for a nap.

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