Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trippin' The Liturgical Fantastic

Constance and I just wanted to go to a FASOLA singing ( http://www.awakemysoul.com/) one Sunday morning and ended up at St. Gregory's of Nyssa Episcopal Church. We were met before the service in the narthex or lobby or foyer or whatever you call a place in a church where they have a wine and cheese bar set up, with, yes, wine and cheese. And grapes. Was this Sunday morning liturgy or Friday evening at an art gallery opening? Whatever. Let me at that cheese. Church was never like this before!

We sang, danced, and I'll admit, whispered some asides to each other, too. A portion of the service was like a combination testimony bearing/townhall meeting. Followed by dancing. In a circle around the altar. Under the iconic Dancing Saints, including Lady Godiva and was that David dancing naked and unashamed before God? And Ghandi and Malcom X with wire-framed glasses on? Did I hear some tinklin Tibetan bells and Asian gongs? We followed, doing a circle/line dance,--with Constance in a wheelchair, mind you,--a candle, a cross and some very vibrantly-colored umbrellas.
I may be making it sound sort of cultish, but it really wasn't. More like a celebration. Maybe we were supposed to rejoice. I certainly enjoyed the colorful, enthusiastic and warmly welcoming worship, but probably not for a churchy reason. Didn't feel called to repentance, even "lovingly," or woefully lacking in self-growth or even inspired to go home and start an exercise program, yet again. (Don't forget who's writing this--someone who has a lot of snide up her sleeve, and don't even pretend to be surprised about that one.)
Is it bad to be entertained at church? You know. Like a gawker?
Well, at least we didn't get nakie widdit like some of those high-stepping saints on the rotunda.

..."invites people to see God's image in all human kind, to sing and dance in Jesus' lead and to become God's friends... a 3,000 square foot painting wraps around the entire church rotunda, showing ninety larger-than life saints; four animals; stars, moons, suns and a twelve-foot dancing Christ. The saints—ranging from traditional figures like King David, Teresa of Avila and Frances of Assisi to unorthodox and non-Christian people like Malcolm X, Anne Frank, and Margaret Mead—represent musicians, artists, mathematicians, martyrs, scholars, mystics, lovers, prophets and sinners from all times, from many faiths and backgrounds."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Get Your Drool On

If you're going to San Francisco, let me give you directions to Sheng Kee Bakery so you can bring me back a load of mocha creme buns. Yeah, fine, the Hong Kong Chestnut cake looks pretty good, as do the pineapple moon cakes and egg yolk pastries, but don't bother. And the sign in the store will even tell you that there's no pineapple in the pineapple buns.
The mocha-creme-buns bun is like the Chinese barbeque-pork-buns bun, without the pork, of course, or the so-called barbeque sauce. Glossy, soft, not very crisp, but firm, a little bit stretchy, a little bit yeasty, a lot a lot very good.
The moussie cream tastes so mocha-licious you don't even care that it gets all over you worse than Carl's Jr.'s ketchup. (Eww anyway. Why is ketchup in this discussion?)
Mocha gets between your fingers, on your eyelashes (because you can't not lick the tight little corners of the cellophane wrapper it comes in) and on the tip of your nose and then someone will have to tell you you've got something under your chin, but if they know it's Sheng Kee's mocha creme and they've ever had it before, they won't tell you. They will pretend they are overcome with friendliness and heart-warmth for you and will fall on your neck, but don't let them--they are just trying to beat you to that last little schmear.
Sell an organ for it.
This is not it.  This is a green tea pastry.  Just because I wanted a pretty picture to put in here. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What a Goose Can See

My father lived with us for a while at the end of his sojourn in this dimension. He was blind and contended with some rather odd memory puzzles. He would come to the kitchen for coffee, bacon and eggs of a morning and exclaim that he was like a goose, waking up in a new world everyday. And indeed, he had "forgotten" during the night that he couldn't see.

One morning, late in his game, he came sans "walking stick" out of his room with a misplaced spring in his step. He was supposed to have died several months, even a couple of years, earlier and seemed actually to be finally giving in. We had been knocked off our feet a few times over the past weeks with not a few surprising and alarming episodes--dementia, acute memory malfunction, hallucinations.

But this morning, he fairly waltzed into the kitchen re-affirming that we had made a good decision to move to this new place we were in. Never mind that we had been there for several years, already.

"Penny, this is not a bad little place, now, is it?" His back-hand way of saying he highly approved. "I think I'll go outside and have a look around."

I hovered, because by this time he could not see two steps in front of him, but he didn't know that. He walked through the doorway into the living room and saw a wide, happy yard where the kids could romp and cavort like little prairie dogs. He raised his feet and stepped over small logs or down the porch steps, approving of our new home.

Carefully, like you would with a sleep walker, I guided him back to his seat at the table where he peppered and over-salted his runny fried eggs and slurped piping hot, black (actually, it was amber-colored--our attempt to curb his caffeine intake) coffee with a certain well-earned satisfaction and contentment. The day wore on, got more and more "hazy" for him, and eventually, there we were, back in Kansas.

That was several years ago, but when I remember that morning, I remember the new place we had moved to. I remember that wide, happy yard, those logs and bushes, the broad porch, right there in my living room, and I was happy seeing through a blind man's eyes.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Too Dorky To Even Be Called A Late Bloomer

OK--So I don't know what I'm doing. I'm just trying to figure out the whole uploading picture connundrum. I don't have anything that relates to what I've written about so far, but let me just gush about the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco since these pictures just somehow popped up in this post. Always my first recommendation to anyone who asks where they should go when visiting our dear Baghdad by the Bay.

But now that you mention it, whet your whistles for future posts and maybe photos of my "stunning season" in San Francisco. (You know, I've had a lot of stunning seasons and I'm very eager to write about them some more--wheeeeee!)

Outing Kyd Scorcho

(In case you’re reading this Kyd, don’t worry—this blog spot isn’t titled “Agreeable Like Spring” for no reason, you know, and only the really clever few of the minions who are reading this will be able to figure out who I’m writing about, because I can be very cryptic and won’t use real names. And yes I know, Scorcho is not a name I came up with, but your own choice, thereby fitting the definition of real name. But, you’re already out there, right? I mean, reading someone's blog is not the same as skulking around and digging through someone's chiffarobe, is it?)

My daughter, Kmohot-B, who, by the way, is no slouch herself when it comes to being fresh and funny, sent me some captioned pictures a couple or so years ago of a friend who was getting ready for a much anticipated wedding: lovely young woman in a glowing white wedding dress and veil which was lightly tossed by a heavenly breeze, having a conversation with a yellow-toothed horse over the fence. A dialogue, if you will, with a poor, mistreated equine who wanted her to take him and his friend home with her. Empathic (however acerbic she might also be), compassionate soul that she is…well, you can guess the outcome of this story. (Maybe you had to be there, and I’m not including the surprising lines in this writing, but I was quite caught off guard and delighted by the off-handed wit in this silly little story.) Here's a site you might be interested in Kyd: http://www.nipbuster.com/?gclid=CK79laOx15gCFQqAgwodAgKdew

I already knew a bit about this woman and her family over the years, before she was even really a woman, but not much at all about the real “her” of her. Not, of course, that I know her much better now, but I do know that here is a real flesh and bone, write from the raw gut, writer! No, I didn’t get that just from the wedding-horse story. I’ve read other things she’s written. She has a blog that’s connected to her sister’s blog.

And here we’re going to take a couple of turns around the cobbler’s bench before I get to the point (or maybe just the end) of this post. Kyd Scorcho’s bigger sister is in the same book club in which I sometimes participate. We have our own book club blog. I clicked around the links in that blog, landed in Kyd sister’s big sister Enn Sea’s not-book-club-but-other-writer’s-blog (remember, I told you no real names!) and oh my goodness what a surprise! Scorcho writes a blog! And she’s so gutsy and sharp. Unwincingly unabashed. Clever. Poignant. Makes you sad her stuff is so short and doesn’t fill volumes of work out there…and a little bit sad sometimes just because.

Bigger Sister is a writer—prolific and loved—has her own world of accolades and accomplishments, her own “Name” in certain literary circles and is, even as we speak, I think, being considered for some writer’s prize named after another writer—or something. Sorry, Enn Sea—I’m impressed and proud enough to pop a button but have a bad memory. And anyway, this isn’t about that.

So is my point that certain talents may run in families, either genetically or otherwise? Not really. Observing life on the planet. Wondering. Will Scorcho make a name for herself wordsmithing? Maybe. If we’re lucky.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

More Olives Than You Probably Have a Taste For

I have been sitting here for more minutes than anyone wants me to admit, trying to out-clever myself in writing my very-first-ever-in-the-world blog entry. I asked my niece whether or not I should be careful using people's names, etc., and she said I could set my blog to be viewed by invitation only.
"But if someone wanted to...like...be famous, how would that work then?" I asked.
"Oh. Do you want to be famous?"
"Well, no...I just mean, you know, look at that Julie and Julia blog. All she did was write about trying out recipes and now they're making a movie out of her blog. Starring Meryl Streep!"
"Oh, yeah..."
Then she reminded me that there are so many blogs out there, who's going to stumble over mine so why worry about how much information may or may not be unleashed into cyber space.
When I was a youngster and decided to keep a diary like Anne Frank did, I couldn't write in it because I was too self-conscious about someone else maybe reading it.
I finally got over that, though, and you should see my big Rubbermaid storage bucket with about 30 volumes of personal journals stacked in it. And it ain't over yet.
So, when you get the first stubbornly-wedged olive out of the bottle, as they say, the rest just plop right out and there you go--I may never stop writing blog posts.