Visiting

Nov. 29th, 2008 09:51 am
mandysee_mandydo: (Mrs. Peel Driving)
On the agenda for the day: visit Aunt Terri and Uncle Bob, possibly visit Aunt Mary Lou and Uncle Tom, possibly visit with Aunt Alex and Uncle Vern when they come visit my parents (Uncle Vern is my Godfather), then off to spend the night visiting Candace and [livejournal.com profile] zeppelinmage and playing games! I'm also going to stop in at Payless today in hopes of finding some nice new shoes for work that have a fairly low heel and of course black so they'll go with most everything I have that I wear to work.

I was planning to attend church at the UU church in Nashua, the same church where [livejournal.com profile] quantumswordsmn and [livejournal.com profile] chenoachem brought me twice before and where I first started considering becoming a UU. Since we're visiting Candace and [livejournal.com profile] zeppelinmage tonight, and since they have a UU church down the street from them, I've decided that it might be nice to visit a UU church to which I've never been, and perhaps introduce friends to Unitarian Universalism. And it's a Welcoming Congregation and seemingly still has an active Welcoming Congregation Committee.
mandysee_mandydo: (Paz)
Last night I picked up my guitar and started noodling around with some new material (still working on Dream Theater's "Endless Sacrifice"), as well as resurrecting old favorites. This lead to me playing "Aqualung" (the song, not the whole album) and then singing my way through the entire album a cappella, even though I could have easily tossed it into the computer and given it a listen. I also relearned "Hymn 43." Now, of course, the entire album is stuck in my head and I'm reflecting on my love of the album.

Aqualung is not my favorite Jethro Tull album. It's a great album and definitely in my top five, but my favorite is a toss-up between Stand Up (the first album with Martin Barre on guitar), Benefit (the first album with John Evan on keyboards, albeit as a session musician and not full-fledged band member yet) and Thick As A Brick (the amazing 43-minutes long single-song concept album spoof of concept albums in response to the claim that Aqualung was a concept album). Really all four of these albums are from the same period, so it's no surprise I have a hard time deciding which is my favorite. Aqualung is all-around a great album, but what particularly appeals to me is how much Ian Anderson captured my feelings on organized religion on side two (the side labeled "My God" and starting with the song of the same title).

review and analysis is behind the cut because it's long )

When I first attached to this album, I was very much like the cynical and dark narrator in "My God." My reasons were driven primarily by my confusion over my gender identity and my frustration with prayers unanswered, but also because I was tired of being scared into believing (I can tell some interesting and frightening experiences attending Baptist and Pentacostal churches and "salvation"). Regardless, I used to blindly shun organized religion with no real alternative or thought. It was a reaction out of frustration and anger. I now find myself where I feel I have transitioned spiritually into a person who has found a personal spiritual path like the narrator in "Wind Up." I go to a Unitarian Universalist fellowship regularly, though not every Sunday. I'm active in the fellowship to the extent I think I can handle. Yes, it's organized religion, but it affords me personal freedom to decide what spiritual path I want to take and when I want to show up for service or not. I've never felt pressured or guilted into attending, and I don't feel my experience is hollow or born from fear. I realize that I still have a lot of questions to ask and a lot of answers to find, but at least now I feel like I'm looking and asking rather than just sitting in a seat because I have to or else, or refusing to sit in a seat because it's futile and I'm angry about life and not being given the starting position I would have preferred.
 

mandysee_mandydo: (Weekend Update)
It was by far a very interesting weekend, but I need sleep so here's the Cliff notes version:
  • Did laundry on Saturday. Not my idea of excitement, but necessary. Got it done. Yay clean clothes!
  • Went for yet another four-mile walk by myself and it was glorious.
  • Did some packing for the upcoming move. Still haven't found a place yet but we have a couple of prospects. There's a possibility of a house we might be able to rent from someone I know but it won't be available until September, which means we might end up renting a summer place. We'll see.
  • Helped [profile] painted_wolf proofread her paper.
  • Listened to some awesome new music, but you already read about that. ;)
  • Went to fellowship this morning for servie and the annual meeting. I got the "You Put Your Whole Self In" award for being extremely active and helpful. Very unexpected!
  • We spent most of the afternoon hanging out with Sarah and Randy, watching a bunch of those real-life forensic science shows and playing Zombie Fluxx.
  • Watched the first five episodes of Doctor Who season four (new series) and oh holy crap. I love Donna! I love the return of a classic species!
Very busy week ahead. Lots of meetings and traveling and presenting. Life is going to be crazy busy for a while with two jobs and all. I hope I have the energy I had when I did this sort of thing thirteen years ago (except I have one less job this time).
mandysee_mandydo: (Paz)
A couple of weeks ago I picked up a few interesting CDs that WPCR was giving away for free. I'm glad I did, because I've discovered the awesomeness that is Client! I'm really enjoying it. :)

Tis the season for annual meetings. Tomorrow it's the annual meeting for the fellowship directly after service. Tuesday is the quarterly workshop for a non-profit of which I am a member and VP. I'm presenting for the first session. It's also the annual meeting and I'm the only one on the Board of Directors whose term is not expiring, so I'll have to preside over the nominations and elections at least, but possibly the whole annual meeting. I'm not sure.
mandysee_mandydo: (Default)
Before I start my morning ritual of getting ready for work, I wanted to share this one. This is not critical, just sharing some rather amusing irony observed.

Yesterday our minister prepared and excellent service focused on Buddhist teachings. She did a great job of presenting the concept of not finding happiness in the material but rather through compassion for all life around us. It also touched on our very consumerist society and how we really should be happy with the bare necessities. Our minister used examples from her own life to show how consumerism plays a part in our lives and how often one purchase leads to a spiral of purchases, how we can find dissatisfaction in a culture filled with abundance and so much choice. I thoroughly enjoyed it! The irony came in what followed.

First, a little background: the fellowship hall was originally designed to be twice the size. When it was first constructed they ran out of funds and were not able to fully build out, meaning they built what they could with the hope of someday finishing it. The fellowship has grown and there isn't enough room to have the social hour after service in the foyer. A lot of the programs the fellowship creates end up hosted elsewhere because of lack of space. Thus there has been an effort to design, fund and build an expansion.

After the service on not finding happiness through the material and commentary on our consumerist society, we held a meeting of the membership. This meeting was to hear the results of the feasibility study on a capital campaing for the building project. We were rallied to get excited about raising funds to expand a building. There was also discussion on how the capital campaign would affect the usual annual budget drive and the need for an endowment. There was also discussion on how the expansion of the building would bring additional maintenance costs and cautionary tales of how renting the space to other groups may not be a good idea since that would add to building wear and tear and that the returns would be diminished as a result and the fellowship might not make much money from it to support the budget.

Oh the irony! lol
mandysee_mandydo: (weekend update)
What an amazing weekend! I have to say that this past weekend almost brought me to the point of having a lust for life, something I rarely ever experience. It was a rather euphoric sensation, to be sure. :)

Saturday was a stay-at-home day but not at all lazy. It started with me cooking us a big breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast. We spent a lot of time cleaning and getting the place ready for company for New Years. In between fits of cleaning and chores, we watched more of The Avengers. It's been interesting to see how Mrs. Peel's character developed quickly over time. It's been a bit of a challenge because the episodes on the collection discs aren't arranged in chronological order, so we have to look it up and put things in context, but it's starting to become fairly obvious. It's also interesting to watch the dynamic between Steed and Mrs. Peel. I can truly appreciate how the two became the most loved team in the spy-fi genre. We did run out at one point on Saturday because we needed to bring our trash and recyclables to the dump and go grocery shopping. Whle out we got to see Karen and chat for a bit.



Yesterday was the kind of day that just leaves a very satisfied feeling and reminds me how happy and fortunate I can be. I think yesterday was the happiest I've been in a long time, which was nice. Hopefully it was a good day for everyone else, too! Now I must get ready for work and go so I can get the day done and spend time with aunrea, [profile] zeppelinmage and their son tonight! :D
mandysee_mandydo: (weekend update)
For the most part it was a relaxed weekend even though I did some running around. We got some stuff done, which was very good.

behind the cut )
mandysee_mandydo: (water)
I'm now a Unitarian Universalist. I attended the Path to Membership session today and signed the membership book. I am actually pretty excited about it and feel better about it having been attending services for a month now and knowing a lot better about UU and how my spiritual beliefs can fit into the picture.

Since I'm on the topic, our congregation has podcasts for those interested. I highly recommend the Sexuality & Spirituality sermon. Apparently they will be posting two a month. I really hope they post the Nicaragua sermon as it was really cool.
mandysee_mandydo: (water)
I'm probably going to go to church for the first time in a very long time.

I've been thinking about Unitarian Universalism since [profile] quantumswordsmn and [profile] chenoachem talked me into attending a UU service at their former church in Nashua. It seemed all fine and well, but at the time I wasn't interested in going to church every Sunday. To be honest, I'm still not, but I think it's time for me to do it for a couple of reasons. For the past couple of months I've been thinking about it as a means to bring me more into the community, to find a sense of belonging. I also think I could use it if for nothing more than some grounding and some help in finding my spiritual center since I don't have others readily available to help me with that anymore.

What really made up my mind was that the local fellowship submitted a DVD for cablecast about Unitarian Universalism. I listened to it and did some web surfing and reading up on UU and decided that I agree with just about everything (except the every Sunday going to church, but I'm willing to compromise) so it would be worth the socialization and building up community connections to go and find my spiritual center perhaps.

I think I'm ready for this. I could use all the help I can get.

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Jamie Amana Capach

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