Fifteen (!) on Friday

1. I adore Project Runway, even with all the ridiculously unnecessary drama (really, Bravo, the amazing challenges and clothes are enough to keep us hooked) and the heavy-handed product placements. It's just one great hour of television. I'm even playing along with the Fantasy Runway game, predicting winners and losers each week. Yay for much-needed third trimester distractions. (p.s. Don't open that link at work; horrible muzak comes on.)

2. We are still not entirely moved back into our house. Ugggh.

3. I've given Creative Communications for the Parish even more business than usual, thanks to the advent of Advent. I beseech any pastor types who need non-hokey cards, bulletins, posters, etc. to behold the loveliness of their wares.

4. In Lamaze class last Saturday, the lady on the guided meditation CD told us to "imagine a rainbow coming toward you." Ben and I both simultaneously started giggling uncontrollably. As far as we could tell we were the only ones who thought that image was disconcertingly laughable. But really, when have you ever seen a rainbow on the move, aimed at your head? I'd run the other direction.

5. I won the big raffle prize at our recent church bazaar - a silk scarf that was hand-painted by a member who is a professional artist. I felt sort of sheepish for winning, like maybe the pastor shouldn't have even entered. There was some serious competition, including a smidgen of polite smack talk among the ladies who wanted it most. I'm going to share it with everyone by wearing it as a stole.

6. My parents are going to see Over the Rhine tonight. I wish I were going to see Over the Rhine tonight, but instead I'll live vicariously through my parents. (Isn't it supposed to be the other way around? The parents live vicariously through the kids' outings to rock concerts and such? Not in these parts.)

7. I have a long history of getting the runaround from a company that starts with V and ends with -erizon. But now a company that has an A and a couple Ts in its name is angling for Most Infuriating Internet Communications Company. We have dial-up, because DSL is not available in our area. (No, we do not live in the sticks, we live in suburban Los Angeles County). We've been getting dial-up for cheap for the last couple years, as an apology for not offering the good stuff. When we got a notice informing us that the rate was going up 60%, I called to raise heck. I had the heck halfway up the flagpole when the customer service agent gently informed me that DSL is now available, for a couple dollars more than they wanted to charge us for dial-up. Celebrations ensued. A modem was ordered and arrived lickety-split. At the very moment I was getting ready to install it, the phone rang with news: oops, DSL is still not available in your area. The best part? The day I sent the useless modem back, we got a letter in the mail telling us DSL is available. Get it straight, folks. I did manage to raise the heck high enough to earn a $50 credit toward our phone/internet bill - an amount which doesn't even cover the annual increase of our dial-up. Grrrr.

8. Maybe #8 should just be a breather, considering I'm all in a tizzy again about #7.

9. Dan in Real Life is a very good movie. Steve Carell is so wonderful. That said, of the movies we've seen lately, I still liked Darjeeling Limited the best. That may well be in my top 20 movies.

10. I was interviewed for a DisciplesWorld article in which I got to sing the praises of both my congregation and The Young Clergy Women Project. And the reporter managed to make me sound infinitely more articulate than I actually was on the phone.

11. I joined Facebook. After randomly deleting my MySpace account in a fit of "I have too many log-ons and why must this website be so astoundingly ugly," I thought I was done with the social networking stuff. But Facebook is okay. It doesn't have flashy, headache inducing ads on every page, at least.

12. Allison Sattinger started a YouTube channel that features her music. The most recent installment is a cover of "The Story" by Brandi Carlile. It's a gorgeous song in Brandi's scratchy, smoky, beautiful voice, and it's a gorgeous song in Allison's clear, rich, beautiful voice. Check it out:

And for those of you who loved So Much Grace, check out another original a capella song, "I'm Traveling Light," at her MySpace page. Yeah, the one redeeming thing about MySpace is that it was the medium for discovering Allison, who I've managed to become good friends with despite my lingering fandom (shouldn't we always be fans of our friends, though?).

13. I thoroughly enjoyed "In Praise and Thanksgiving," an article by Patrick D. Miller that I read for my sermon preparation this week. He writes, "Doxology is profoundly subversive, undercutting all human structures and every human being as pretenders for ultimacy or absolute devotion. That happens first of all with regard to the possible pretensions that we make for our own selves. Praise places us totally outside ourselves. Thanksgiving, whether to other persons or God, is an inherent reminder that we are not autonomous and self-sufficient, and by its very character directs our positive feelings toward others rather than towardourselves. Praise to God does that in a fundamental way as it directs our love away from self and all human sufficiency. Such praise does not imply that we are unworthy-at least I do not think that is reason for praise of God. Rather, the wonder of God's power and love and grace evokes our admiration and adoration. As we see the beauty of a flower or hear the beauty of a symphony, we may be so caught by it that all attention is directed toward the source of that wonder."

That's going to inform the sermon I haven't written yet, somehow or another.

14. Here's a peek at our living room with the new floors. The lighting isn't very good and I probably could have picked a more flattering angle, but you get the idea. (And isn't the little puggle adorable?)

15. Last but NOT least, the ultrasound of the century revealed that my sister, Marie, is expecting a boy! Our general reaction is "What's a boy?" seeing as how the last eight children in our family (born and yet-to-be-born) are girls. I knew it. I told Marie early on that one of us was having a boy, and by process of elimination the prize goes to her. Elizabeth wrote in depth about the girliness of our family and posted some great photos from the family archive at the Simple Studio blog. I'm tickled pink... or should I say blue?

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