December 19th, 2005

sideview, obamame_sideview

Happy Holidays from a Cultural Christian

So I don't go to church and don't believe in Christianity any more than I do any other religion, but I still follow a lot of Christmas traditions:

  • Decorating the house with lights, Christmas tree, even a creche
  • Sending out seasonal cards
  • Exchanging presents with friends
  • Enjoying Christmas music and concerts
  • Going home for Christmas
  • Decorating my parents' Christmas tree
  • Eating and/or cooking Christmas foods like fruitcake
  • Going to the Christmas Eve church service at my "home church" (every year for 30 years!)
  • Exchanging presents with the family Christmas Eve (German tradition)

So I guess in this respect I could be called "culturally Christian," like some people are "culturally Jewish." It's something that forms part of me and where I came from, even draws me into rituals and traditions, even though I don't actively participate in the religion itself or particularly believe in it.

I think Christianity has some great points, which I was lucky enough to learn in a very progressive, liberal, loving Christian church, but as for any of it being "real," I don't think it's more real than anything else. The Bible is a tool for understanding, created by humanity, not, I think, a direct order from a Supreme Being, never to be questioned.

Personally I have found the magic rituals I've done, the visioning sessions, even Reiki, have been more spiritually involving and real than almost anything I've ever experienced in a church. I guess I prefer something to be personal, rather than prescribed by a book, doctrines, a priest, minister, etc., and rather than being in the formal setting of a church, stifled by social conventions, I'd rather be in a small group, somehwere comfortable, where people can be unconventional in their worship.

But beyond my personal preferences, I don't see any one religion as more real or valuable than any other. Christianity's worldview is just one of many.

So... Happy Holidays! Or Happy Un-Holidays!
sideview, obamame_sideview

Since fayesplace asked and I scanned it in...

PERSIAN SPLIT PEA AND BARLEY STEW

This combination of grains, legumes, and vegetables offers a pleasing mixture of textures The barley adds chewiness and the yellow split peas help to thicken the flavorful vegetable stock. The currants and sweet spices nicely offset the tanginess of the lemon and yogurt.

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--

The recipe comes from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites. I have about 5 Moosewood (vegetarian) cookbooks and they are ALL great. There's one with recipes from around the world that I especially like and their "Cooks at Home" one has great, yummy things that can be made in 20-30 minutesb with little effort.

I will note that when I made this, I changed some things around, based on what I had on hand, preferences. I used 2 cloves of garlic, used green lentils instead of yellow split peas, raisins instead of currants, and for vegetable stock I just added a vegetable bouillion cube, plus the water. I didn't do the yogurt topping, but I did put roast pine nuts on top, which was good.
sideview, obamame_sideview

Story, please!

I guess I am just getting old and stubborn, but when I'm on news sites, I get really annoyed when there are cool headlines that I can *only* see as videos, "audio slideshows" or interactive pieces. To me it seems like those things should be supplements to stories, not THE story. Sometimes I'll see something really interesting in a headline and want to read it, only to realize I have to see a slideshow. Not interested. I mean, sure, after I read about it, but not as the sum of the story! I have a broadband connection so speed of download isn't the issue, it's method of info sharing. I'm gettin' old :>(

Meanwhile I am letting my Atlanta Journal-Constitution subscription expire. I've been a daily newspaper subscriber (Boston Globe, then AJC) since I started college and hung on to my subscription to support the industry, but lately I've been finding money versus value is not working out. I only read about 5% of the physical paper, just News, Metro, and Living. I skip most of it. And yet I'm charged for the whole thing, uncustomized, and it's like $250/year! I would happily pay to access the (now free) online version, like $10/month or even more, but $250 is ridiculous to me.
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated
luckie3

Little Kittle, Big Hall

A few pics of Luckie in the hall last night. She really IS bigger now, but she sure looks tiny in the pics, since (for example), those fire doors are like 8 ft. tall -- this is a loft with high ceilings. Relatively, she is small compared to the average cat.



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sideview, obamame_sideview

I am! I am!

Well, I am apparently... my favorite Martini!

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When I can afford these, they flatten me. I must say, though, my chocolate M's haven't looked like the ones in the picture. Often they add cream. The best ones I've had have: vodka, chocolate liqueur (like Godiva), Frangelico or amaretto, cream, Kahlua, and a cherry.
sideview, obamame_sideview

That F*CK in the White House

At a time when it seems like I am bound to stop even NOTICING when Dubya says ridiculous stuff, he comes up with these two beauts:

Today at a press conference Q&A:

I am safeguarding the civil liberties of all Americans.

[I heard a voice quote of him saying that that on NPR and don't have it written, so "safeguarding" might have been "protecting," "ensuring," etc.]

Last night's speech:

It is also imporant for every American to understand the consequences of pulling out of Iraq before our work is done. We would abandon our Iraqi friends -- and signal to the world that America cannot be trusted to keep its word.

[Like... since WHEN did the world trust America to keep its word? I think Bush himself busted that line of trust long ago.]

I swear, sometimes I wish I would wake up and find this was all a bad dream.
luckie4

Cat fight, movie

Two things:

1) malibran brought over his cat Pugsley to come "play" with Luckie. The last time we tried this was a week or two after I brought Luckie home and it was not a successful meeting. This one was no better. Luckie thinks she is MUCH bigger than she is and hisses, growls and *barks* at Pugsley, basically all "Want a piece of me? Think you could take me? Think again!" LOL. Meanwhile Pugsley is a Maine coon cat! The visit lasted a couple of hours and the whole time Pugsley was under watch/threat by my cat. Poor Pugsley, no love for him and I swear he's not against Luckie, it's all her being crazy. She reacts this way to my neighbor's cat, too: "Hissssssssssssss! Bittttttttch! I will killllllllll you!"

2) malibran also brought over Party Monster. I sort of remember when it came out and everyone was on about Macauley Culkin trying to break the "good boy" mold. Well, sure does! Thought it was a really good movie and captured the f'd up world of clubkids very well. One of those movies that makes me/Daniel/Caleb glad we never, ever did any drugs. That sh*t is crazy. The outfits in the movie are outstanding, as is the dialog. Anyway, recommend that movie, but I guess not for those easily disturbed?