Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with the old...

I can't say I'll miss 2010 for many reasons, some of which I can post in this blog and others I can't. But being unemployed seven months and counting has meant a dent in the finances and has put the kabosh on any traveling. Which is why it was so nice for Oma and Opa to fly *here* and experience their first East Coast Christmas in more than 30 years. A huge snow storm dumped snow all around us but it completely skipped us in the DC area which delighted us to no end, being that shoveling snow gets very old very fast.
So....for Christmas Eve, we repaired to St. Andrew's in College Park, which had a no-rehearsal kiddie pageant in which Veeka dressed as an angel. I remembered that I was exactly her age (5 1/2) when I too dressed as an angel at St. John's, an Episcopal church in Bethesda that we were attending back in 1961. How odd that nearly 50 years later about 20 miles away my own little girl would be dressed as an angel on Christmas Eve. As shown here, Veeka had to wait in a pew, her halo a tad askew, with some other little angels, before they trooped up to admire the baby Jesus.
On Christmas Day, Uncle Rob showed up (see family photo) for the morning as Veeka opened the lion's share of all the gifts. A kind friend of mine sent a large box of gifts for her as I was not in a position to spend much at all. So Veeka splurged on puzzles, videos and other goodies. I'd hoped to take the family for a walk but it was so cold that day, we didn't leave the house. We did get to the Washington cathedral the next day and then out to lunch with Rob and his new fiance. Yes, you read that right; he and Jan announced their engagement Christmas Day. This was the first time I'd met Jan; ditto for my parents. We're all hoping 2011 will be a much better year for us all.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oma & Opa arrive

This is a photo of Veeka playing in the snow we got last week. Fortunately most of it had melted away by the time Oma and Opa flew in yesterday on Alaska Airlines. In fact the weather here is very breezy but quite sunny; probably a relief to pilots everywhere.
Wish I could say there was more news on the job front but a decision on one of the positions I was counting on has been delayed until next month. The last weeks of December are useless in this regard; simply no one is in the office anywhere to take calls. Which is fine for now; it's nice to just hibernate away for now. Veeka is thrilled at having so many people around the house to talk with and last night Opa helped me install a new router, albeit with a bit of guidance from Verizon operators. Now if he can help me get my fireplace to work...
Here is one more Economist blog that I wrote on Nancy Pearcey's new book "Saving Leonardo" which has gotten very little notice in the evangelical press. Nancy's the closest heir to Francis Schaeffer there is right now. The sexism in the major evangelical publications continues to amaze and confound me, as this book would have gotten major billing had the author been a man.
The stack of Christmas gifts (90% for Veeka) continues to pile up in the hallway. I'm very indebted to Joey Marguerite, a friend from Seattle, who sent me a large box of things for Veeka, as she knew I'm basically not doing gifts this Christmas. Being 6 1/2 months out of work takes a toll.
For those of you anticipating Christmas cards, those will be a tad delayed as well but hopefully they will be out before Lent!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Avoiding St. Nicholas

Finally some of my articles are finally seeing the light of day - the latest being this piece coming out in Sunday's Washington Post magazine. The story is about all the folks who took the Huffington Post buses down to the Stewart/Colbert "sanity rally" on Oct. 30 and ended up getting there so late, they missed most of it.
A week ago, this piece came out in the Economist along with a nice photo.
On the home front, the other photo shows my reluctant child at a St. Nicholas Day brunch. She was clearly overwhelmed by this huge person in a miter and red suit and beard and refused to sit on his lap or either look at him. When I snapped this, she was about to let out a protesting screech. So much for all the money I shelled out for that event. Actually it was a cheapy brunch; it was in a local historic mansion but we got food on paper plates; the waffles were from some store-bought package and the goody bags the kids got were minimal. A day later I took her to an exhibit of cool gingerbread houses which she liked a lot better.
Things are finally percolating on the job front. Can't reveal what's up but there's some movement after all these long months. In fact today I was presented with two opportunities; the latter which showed up in my in-box later this afternoon. I spent part of my day exploring the other of these opportunities plus giving a lecture on the history of the Episcopal charismatic renewal to a class at Virginia Theological Seminary. Fortunately I'd kept a lot of old magazines, photos and conference brochures from the 1970s, ie the first Anglican charismatic event in 1978 in Canterbury, England. I passed a lot of stuff around the class show-and-tell style. One person who came to listen was Mark Dyer, the former Episcopal bishop of Bethlehem, Pa., with whom I compared notes about why so many of the communities went off the theological tracks.