In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Start Spreading the News...

I'm leaving Thursday.
I want to be a part of it.
New York! New York!

I have an obsession with New York City. I've only visited a couple of times, and on both occasions, I was a major tourist. Now I have a semi-legitimate reason to go. I get to attend a screening of CAMP OUT at Newfest, the New York City GLBT Film Festival. I've enjoyed all the opportunities to promote the film, so this will be no exception, except that I'm in a city that I adore.

I think my obsession with New York started when I started watching Sex and the City on DVD. That television show made New York look like the best place to live. It was more than the city, you wanted these women's lifestyles (or at least, I did). They were beautiful. They had money. They ate at great restaurants. They dated good looking men. What could be bad? Of course, it's not based in reality. I know I couldn't afford to live in New York...or could I?

I further fed my obsession with something more accurate. My other half and I watched the PBS documentary on New York last spring. It was 15 hours of New York history from the discovery by Dutch traders to the destruction of the World Trade Center. I was riveted by the whole thing.

And now I'm going to experience it again. I'm not going to be as much of a tourist as before. I'm going to the screening, of course (on Friday). However, I'm also going to visit a new shelter for gay youth. Apparently in New York, there are NO beds for homeless youth (many of whom are gay). I'm also going to try to visit The Riverside Church, which also runs a faith-based GLBT youth group. My last visit is going to be to Union Theological Seminary, to talk about graduate school. So, maybe I'm thinking more about living in New York, at least for a time.

I'm getting to stay with a very nice pastor who lives in the city. I'm friends with his son and daughter-in-law. It's a rather inexpensive trip to a very expensive city.

I'm excited to get the "feel" of the city again. Maybe this trip will dampen my obsession for the city...but I hope not!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Changes Are Afoot

I had to make some changes in the sidebar. Not many. I don't seem to like making drastic changes. There are a couple of links I put on there to blogs that have gone extinct. In their place, I have a couple new blogs to put up there.

I'm noticing that people tend to "graduate" from blogging. I'm wondering if that's going to be the case for me. In one case, a blogger took a break from blogging for Lent. He only came back briefly to say "goodbye" and is now gone. And I thought he was the most "into it".

However, I've inspired my own mother to start her own blog. She travels a lot for her work. She loves the travel aspect of her job. She decided that she needed to document her experiences around the country (and now the world). You will find her link to the right.

Then there is a community of friends who have started a community blog. I've put a couple postings up there, but the community is pretty new. We'll see where it goes.

So there is my perspective on what's happening in the blogosphere. What's it like for you?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Did you miss me? Does anyone still read this?

You don't really have to answer any of those questions.

We've returned from Italy on Monday. It was a great trip. I'm still amazed at how freakin' HUGE all the monuments are in Rome. It seems the prevailing attitude is "I'm going to build a bigger monument/church/fortress/sculpture than my predecessor". This attitude infuses popes and emperors alike. No one is immune.

Venice is a city that doesn't have that "huge monuments strewn all over the place" mentality that Rome does. I love Venice, but I can see the city's slow destruction. Venice is like an incredibly rich dessert that has been sitting out on the counter too long. You know it might be past its prime, but it still looks so good that you want to eat it. You can see it rotting and sinking. Venice's ONLY industry is tourism, which is dangerous for the city. However, there's such a big attraction to the city. It's independent from the rest of Italy. It knows what difficulty it's facing. That makes you fall in love with Venice.

These are some brief thoughts about a big trip. Maybe I'll fill in more later.

I've returned home to my busy life. Nothing has changed. There is still a ton to do, and not much energy to do it. I'm going to New York next weekend, to follow the Camp Out movie. We are working on our apartment building to beat the band. TNP needs some attention. Like I said, lots to do.

In the craziness, I'm going to try to spend some moments writing my thoughts down here. I will need a space to record my thoughts.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Vacation Fun

On Monday, I'll be departing for Italy with my other half, my mom, and my dad. It's a fun family vacation. I'm going to have a great time (I can tell you that now).

I'm sure I will not be getting to blogging anymore this weekend, so you won't hear from me in a while. That might suit some of you just fine, though.

I was doing some last minute work, and someone warned me to not become Catholic in Italy. I told him that I thought Rome was the least likely place to turn me Catholic. I think visiting Rome was the beginning of the reformation in Luther's mind, so I'm sure I'll be safe.

There is more of a danger that I'll become one or more of the following:

- A student of art history
- A drunk
- Fat
- A snobby American who calls himself a traveler, NOT a tourist
- A victim of pickpocketing (I sure hope not)
- Sunburned
- Blistered in my feet
- A bigger advocate for public transportation
- A more worldly, well-rounded person

A presto!

Monday, May 01, 2006

The "Aha!" Moment

Yesterday, I heard a sermon about the "Aha!" moment. Our gospel was this great story from Luke about Jesus trying to make the disciples "get it" after his resurrection. It's easy to deride the disciples, but I'm not sure I would know what to do with the risen Jesus coming and talking to me. Jesus even eats a piece to fish to prove that he's not a ghost.

The amazing thing is that when the disciples finally have their minds opened, then Jesus disappears. What does that mean? Jesus doesn't linger anywhere, but you would think that once people understood, then there was an opportunity for real conversation. Jesus lets them understand what his whole ministry was all about, and then leaves the disciples to continue that work on earth.

Maybe disciples aren't really supposed to have that much training.