Monday, December 26, 2005

my top ten happy posts

I'll bite.

Like boy in the bands and chutney, I'll list my heavy[ier] hitters, but I'm also going to add my top ten bombs -- those titles that didn't attract much attention at all. I'm not at all clear about what makes the difference in terms of which titles people click through to. Ideas?

Top Ten Most Read Posts

Fred Phelps, Tom Cruise, and Me.
24 hours for Gwen and 24 hours for Gwen Schedule
No silly, that isn't a duck, it's a platypus
Water Water Everywhere, and What do DRE's do anyway?
Submi**ive Wive*
On Child Safety in Congregations
Vroomfondel, Thich Nhat Hanh, and RE
The flow of the RE Year
Southpark does Scientology
the Problem with Seventh Heaven

Top Ten Bombs

Great Online flash Visual for 7th principle
Don't want to learn about Ex-gays by going to their conference?
Fred Phelps, Tom Cruise, and me Readings
home again home again
Dear Neighbors happy halloween, don't let me in your house
Why you should participate in your Children's R.E.
My New Scanner
Church Windows
Speaking of Faith, Approaching Prayer
Random Music Day

"I'm not a freak, I'm a prototype"

Season 1 of Seaquest DSV is being released on DVD today, but for cheapos like me, the whole series is on the SciFi channel this week.

After Robert Downey Jr, there are no actors I love watching more than the DeLuise brothers. They're dreamy.

Deep meaningful moment from the series:
"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want."

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Mr. Beezely?

I've never been one for taking on the language trappings of heterosexual marriage. I'm not Mrs. Beezely, nor Rebecca's wife. We are partners, just like before we became legally wed last August.

That said, I was at the supermarket at 7 am Christmas Eve day, waiting for the doors to open, list in hand when I noticed that I was standing there with 11 men, also with lists in hand.

I suddenly realized, "Holy Pete! I'm the husband!!!"

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Naomi's first christmas letter!

My beautiful niece has sent out her first Christmas letter!
I have re-printed it here. It's copyrighted, so don't steal the incredible prose.
dxddddddddde xdsdxers.dxxxxxx8h
I think she's saying, "I'm so loving Hawaii,"
"More attention, please! This isn't quite enough!"

Thursday, December 08, 2005

No Nativity Scene in DC


There will be no Nativity Scene in Washington DC this year! The Supreme Court has ruled there cannot be a Nativity Scene in Washington DC this Christmas season.

This isn't for any religious reason, they simply have not been able to find three wise men and a virgin in the Nation's capitol.

There was no problem, however, in finding enough asses to fill the stable.

gratis to karen J.

The Flow of the RE year -- an Overview

Every wonder what the in RE year looks like in terms of energy output? My RE Council did, and asked me to explain how the RE year flows. I suspect it's similar in other congregations, so here, for your edification or boredom:


It’s all a mix of Content, Experience, Community, Worship, Thinking, Feeling, & Playing:

4 Basic areas of activity

RE CLASSES - Hands-On, content and interaction, curriculum, curriculum preparation, materials, art, games, consistent rules and predictable adults

RE EVENTS – Fun, Community, and Faith Building—Halloween, Winter Holiday Party, Middle School Youth Rally, Arcadia Day, COA and YRUU lock-ins/retreats


1. Intergenerational – Opening Sunday/Homecoming, Winter Holiday, Family Christmas Eve Service Spring Holiday, SLT
2. First part of Worship each week and occasional Conversations w/ children
3. Youth-Led – COA Q&A, YRUU, COA Credo
4. Children’s Worship – 3/year

* Children’s Annual Meeting – UU Principles, Democracy and Service
* Mid-Winter, topic varies
* Spring/Sacred Rite of Fuzzy Bunny Goddess Religious Freedom (and/or Easter) Service


* For adults – Fall and Spring Rally
* For Middle Schoolers – Middle School Youth Rally
* For YRUU – CONs, District YAC leadership
* For RE leadership – CBD Winter Retreat, West Cluster DRE/RE meetings,
Leadership in RE event



Registration – documentation/addresses/divorces/marriages/
allergies/illnesses/special needs

Classes ... locations ... outside rentals ... finalize teachers
Orientations for Adults/Teachers/RE Council

Training for Youth Advisors

Orientations for Students 7th/COA/Youth (Games/Getting to Know You retreats)

(7th grade all year every two weeks field trip)
This is also high energy time for families -- summer ending, school, soccer etc, starting.


New Family Orientation ... COA book sale ... Mentor Training ... UNICEF

Halloween Prep, planning, in classes ... Friday night prop building event,
Halloween Party/Fall Festival/UU Trivia Competition


Children’s Worship/Children's Annual Meeting ... Thanksgiving ... GaYT


COA Lock-In ... Winter Holiday Party w/ COA and 6th grade prep ... Budget planning

2 weeks of Classes ... Intergenerational Winter Holiday service

Christmas Eve 4 pm service – high youth participation


Special focuses like Civil Rights and Religious Freedom in classes


COA Q&A worship . Children’s Worship and Chalice Rally ...
Teacher Appreciation Dinner


Finalize Curriculum Plan for next year Teacher Recruitment

Middle School Youth Rally ... ... YRUU CON here – Leadership Development Con

COA Italian Dinner COA Credo Writing Workshop ... YRUU-led Service

Spring Holiday/Solstice Service - Intergenerational

Earth Day at Arcadia ... Easter/Fuzzy Bunny Children’s Worship


COA Credo Service ... SLT... COA/YRUU Party

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Air America gets smart! Rachel gets Drive Time!

I'm an unabashed Rachel Maddow fan. Ever since she started as a drive time rock station DJ sidekick at WRNX Springfield MA while she was still a baby person (and which isn't even listed on her bio page) and then while she had a drive time show on the eclectic WRSI/The River here in Northampton, where she started Fact Checking the News.

Air America is moving her to 7-9 am beginning in January! Brilliant! If you don't listen to Rachel, you're not keeping up with the news. One of her best features is that she carefully investigates the veracity of what she reports, and she focuses on telling you hard news that the mainstream media doesn't mention. Unlike progressive, independent news outlets like Democracy Now! that look for news the gov't won't admit to, Rachel goes after what the gov't will cop to, but that no one in media are passing on to us!

Every Monday, for instance, she reports on all of the news that our government dumped at the end of the day on the previous Friday. They count on the fact that we don't read Sat. papers, and news outlets won't keep the stories over till Monday.
The Friday news dump...the Congressional Research Office has to step in and stop the Environmental "Protection" Agency from siding with the Bush Administration...again. Also on Friday, the military acknowledged for the first time that it did, indeed, pay Iraqi newspapers to carry pro-US news. Also, Friday, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Jerry D. Jennings, who had been accused of sexual harassment, resigned. Oh...and...the Government Accountability Office reported what happens when you call the Housing and Urban Development hotline...
They counted wrong.

And of course, she just skewers the Right Wing -- but unlike other Air America hosts who demonize their opponents (and who I rarely listen to because of it) -- Rachel refrains from calling names or identifying people are "evil" while she accurately talks about policy, inconsistency, and lies.
She also guests on the Tucker Carlson Show, and shares behind the scenes tidbits the next day.

If you have Air America on a station near you, please make her your drive time station. If not, listen here.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Introducing: kblog!

A new blog by a DRE in NH: a brilliant woman, activist, educator, and all around nifty person. Don't let my recommendation in any way mislead you as to her brilliance and niftyness as a human being. Karen is much nicer than I, (for instance, she doesn't need a crankykaren blog) more skilled, subtle, and politic in her human interactions, and more poetic in her writing:

I don't know what they are - perhaps sparrows - but they gather every day, just as the sun is about to set; they gather and they make a joyful noise. Last week for the first time this season I noticed them. I noticed their voices, cutting in over my thoughts, my list making, my planning for dinner; whatever was going through my mind was just subsumed beneath their raucous conversations. I can't imagine the meaning behind their chirrups; I don't know if they were gossiping or trading information on the best backyard birdfeeders or swapping stories about the size of the worm-that-got-away or singing in praise of the sunset. But on that day I stopped - right in the middle of the staircase - I stopped and I closed my eyes and I let the sound of the birds surround me and it felt for all the world like little blessings gently cascading over my head.

When I have to write something important (ie. when i cant' leeve the erors I let go or don't notice on my blogs) she's my exceptional editor. Full disclosure: she's also my best friend, officiant of my wedding last August, and one of the parents of my g-dson.

Like many people in our economy, she works two jobs, and is not sure she'll really have time to have a blog.
She's just put up her first post, excerpted above. Please read it and give her feedback and encouragement if you feel so moved.