Monday, March 31, 2008


I've always loved sci-fi shows - anything that's a little different, with lots of great action, some camp, and interesting stories. BBC America has one of the best ones out there right now - Torchwood. It's a spin-off of the newly revamped Dr. Who (quite good itself). Captain Jack Harkness (center) is the leader of a current day team based in Cardiff, Wales that monitors a time riff and fights aliens. Good stuff! You see, everything changes in the early 21st century, and the Torchwood team is there to do what they can to save the world. Captain Jack is a mysterious, charming man from some other time (and maybe another planet). He leads former cop Gwen (the heart of the team), tech expert Toshiko, doctor Owen, and everything guy Ianto.

Torchwood comes on 9pm Saturdays, with the former week's episode at 8pm. Check out the site and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Winning Dirty

For many years I have been impressed with Brad Gilbert's ideas on winning tennis dirty. It doesn't mean unfairly - it just means you do whatever it takes (within the rules). This is especially effective when one's mental prowess and tennis IQ are limited by lack of physical attributes. It's my mantra.

I played the other night for the first time in 3 months. With my spring league, there are 2 doubles courts and 1 singles. I gladly took the singles because I didn't want to have to keep apologizing to my partner for incredibly poor and rusty play. And rusty it was. A few shots pleased me - but I mainly just tried to keep the ball in play. It was nighttime, and I started using the lob a whole lot, hoping that my opponent would lose the ball in the lights (and she did a few times). Dirty.

After the match (which I did win!), I was talking with some of my teammates and a couple young guys who are pros. We discussed strategy and interacting with your opponent. I commented, "If I think she's not calling the lines that accurately, I always ask her what she does for a living during changeover, and then I volunteer that I'm a minister. People hate to lie to a minister." One of the pros responded, "Man - that is a great strategy! I'm gonna start doing that." One of my teammates then said, "But she really is a minister."

Kinda fun to see the looks on the guys' faces. But they did agree that saying you're a minister (whether it's true or not) is a pretty good way to win dirty.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What is Black Liberation Theology?

I haven't had the surprise and fear many white Americans have felt from the sermons by Barack Obama's minister. I also realize I have academic training that prepares me to hear a message coming out of liberation theology, particularly black liberation theology. I was going to give some basics explaining this theology, but I found a lecture online from a local professor that explains it far better than I could. It doesn't take long to read - I hope you'll make the time to learn about something so important and crucial.

And I'd like to say another word about not agreeing with someone you love. My brother and I don't discuss politics on a deep level - we need to stick to television reruns. I love him - he will always be my family. But I know he would not understand why Sonny Boy and I stood in the wind and rain for an hour and a half last night protesting the war in Iraq. And that's fine. My brother is a good person and I respect him even if we don't agree on politics.

And as a minister, I would also like to say that I would be fearful if I had a parishioner who totally agreed with everything I ever said in a sermon. I hope my sermons will provoke thought and faith development - but we are all unique people and need to think for ourselves. A minister is a spiritual advisor, not a cult leader who insists on complete uniformity.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

5th Anniversary of War in Iraq

Today is the 5th anniversary of the war in Iraq. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been impacted by this war - the 4000 US soldiers who have died, the thousands of others who have come home with serious physical and mental disabilities, the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have lost their lives, the Iraqis living with violence and fear each day, and all the many loved ones who are affected by loss and pain.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Alternative March Madness

I don't know what has happened to me. I used to be so obsessed with Men's Division I College Hoops. When we were forced to move down to the NC flatlands almost three years ago, one of the positives was being in the heart of ACC territory. I once even told someone (not really joking) that College bball was one of the glues of my marriage. I was even at Duke for the backtoback championships in '91,'92. I do a tourney bracket every year, and the last time Duke won, I only missed calling 8 games. What has happened to me?

I don't know. I do know I have watched the least amount of Div I ball that I have watched in probably 25 years. I just don't care. I mean - yeah, I hope the ACC does well in the tourney. And VT really should have gotten in (at least, that's what Hubby says - I don't have enough info to know for myself). But I didn't even watch tv last night to see my man - Jay Bilas - give his predictions for the field. No bracket this year - I have no clue what's going on.

But - there is another March Madness for which I am well informed to participate. The Fug Girls are doing Fug Madness - four brackets of the fugliest dressed celebrities and pseudo-celebrities that you can hope to find. Their brackets are already up (play in game is Tues), and I am ready to roll. I think I will be quite successful in my predictions in this particular madness.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

14 Years Ago

14 years ago I was in Mission Hospital in Asheville. I had been there since about 2am, when we thought Sonny Boy would be arriving in the next few hours. His beautiful round head, broad shoulders, and fat little baby body ensured that he did not actually arrive until the evening of the 13th. It was a Sunday - why am I always working on Sundays?

Hubby and I called my parents when we went to the hospital. They wanted to be there when their first grandchild arrived. My younger brother Jerry was supposed to take Granny to church that morning, and we would call when Caleb finally arrived on the scene.

For many hours, contractions kept coming about every 5 minutes. I was so into natural childbirth because I thought it was the best for my baby. If I ever did it again, I'd think - who cares! give me some drugs! - but that was then. So, Hubby and I kept walking around while I kept having contractions. We walked several times out to the lobby where my parents patiently waited. About mid-morning, I noticed Jerry and Granny had arrived. I turned to Mom, "I thought they were going to church." I then paused to have a contraction.

Neither Granny nor Jerry spoke to me, but Granny walked to Mom and said, "Jackie, give Amy some lipstick! I think it'd make her feel better."

What a nice memory.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Learned something new

The time change always just kills me in the Springtime. I really like my sleep. I don't sleep well most the time. Every single extra hour is of great importance. So, I really hate having to "spring forward" and lose an hour of sleep.

I did make the executive decision that we would skip Sunday School this past Sunday morning. Sonny Boy was very happy, and I'm not sure Princess noticed. All four of us filed into the usual pew, with me in between Hubby and Princess. There wasn't much room on the pew that day, so I was pretty close to Hubby. I really could not keep my eyes open. I leaned against him so I wouldn't fall forward as I kept dozing off. I know he thought I just wanted to be close to him (and he can keep thinking that). After a fairly long prayer, I just kept my eyes closed. I was in church, after all. Wouldn't people just think I was still praying, really communing with God? I would open my eyes on occasion throughout the service so I wouldn't get in too deep a sleep. I think no one noticed.

Except Princess. Towards the end of the service, she poked my arm pretty hard during a short doze. I opened my eyes quickly and she smirked at me. Takes one to know one.

Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

I apparently am not.

Last night I was walking up the stairs while Sonny Boy was walking down them. We decided to play chicken, and after a minute or so of dodging each other to get by and laughing, I said, "You may be taller than I am now, but I still weigh more!"

He responded, "Mom, that's nothing to brag about."

I let him by and popped him on the behind as he went down the stairs.

Friday, March 07, 2008

My Days

I'm a mean, lean demerit machine...