World Champions

So, the Rose City Rollers, my league, won the world championships. To do so, they defeated Gotham Girls Roller Derby. Gotham had gone unbeaten in their last 67 games and been the world champions for the past 5 years. It was a huge night in the derby world and for Rose City.
I’ve never felt so disconnected from my league.

As an official, I take my commitment to impartiality VERY seriously. I’m not just impartial when I’m working, I’m ALWAYS impartial. (Honestly, does anyone believe that an official who cheers for ‘their’ team/league one minute can be impartial for the hour that it takes them to work a game?) So while the whole damn derby world, including many other officials from my league, are cheering their fool heads off, I’m over here in the corner with my game face on. I felt so dejected that I had to leave the venue before the awards ceremony. As I was leaving, I stopped to shake hands with Agent Meow, the league’s dj who’d been spinning for that final game. He was in tears and when I shook his hand, I came close to breaking too. I feel very alone.


On the upside, I looked snazzy in my new NSO shirts.



Vindication and apology due

This story is years late in the telling.

Throughout my 20s, I had in my circle(s) of friends, numerous supporters/advocates of the LIFE TEEN program.
I was not one of these supporters.

LIFE TEEN was (is?) a youth program centered around the celebration of the Mass. Typically, a parish would identify one weekend Mass, usually Sunday night, as a LIFE TEEN or ‘youth’ Mass which would be followed by the LIFE Night (youth group meeting). At the Mass, the homily, music, and pretty much everything else was prepared with an eye towards appealing to and connecting with teenagers. So, for example, the music was often led by a band and the songs that were selected would, as many times as not, come from hits on Contemporary Christian Radio. Teens would fill all the ministerial roles (except presider), regardless of their ability to do well at that role. During the Eucharistic Prayer, teens (and only teens) would be invited to come up around the altar, presumably to help them feel closer to Christ. Because as we all know, proximity equals depth of spiritual and emotional connection. At the end of Mass, LIFE TEEN replaced the dismissal text, “The Mass is ended, go in Peace.” with “The Mass never ends, it must be lived.” Frequently, hand gestures were proscribed to accompany some of the ritual music or other moments in the Mass. And there were, perhaps, many other local flavors to the way a LIFE TEEN Mass was done.

Well, I alone among my friends did not approve of all these things that were being done, starting with the very concept of a ‘youth’ Mass. I believe that all Masses are for all people. To single out a group and make a Mass (especially a weekly Mass) focus on or dedicated to that group denies the universality of Mass. Supporters of these things will say that separate but equal is sufficient; as long as everybody has a Mass that they can go to, we can carve out one for that most vulnerable of groups, teens. I have also heard, many times, that this or that parish has several Masses for adults, what’s wrong with having just this one for teens? My position, of course, is that those other Masses aren’t just for adults, they’re for everybody.

Although I didn’t have a particular objection to people going up into the sanctuary for the Eucharistic Prayer, I felt it was wrong to only invite some of the people who’d gathered for Mass. Because, you see, most of the people in attendance were not teens but adults, the parents and supporters of teens. Ignoring the majority of the gathered faithful was a recurring theme at LIFE TEEN Masses. I remember attending the very first LIFE TEEN Mass at St. Anthony’s in Manteca, CA. The presider had what must have seemed like a clever way of resetting the room for Communion. Following the Eucharistic Prayer, to clear the sanctuary, the priest invited the assembled teens to exchange with one another a sign of peace, and then to go back out to the pews to exchange a sign of peace with everyone else. I and the rest of the adults there for Mass weren’t invited to exchange a sign of peace; we were an afterthought, a prop to get the teens back away from the altar.

Anyway, my friends had no issues with any of this. As long as we were doing everything we could think of to coddle and cater to the little darlings (teens), we could do no wrong. No such thing as abuse in service to the greater good. We would often argue about the legitimacy of the practices of LIFE TEEN. I was always alone on my side of the issue whereas supporters of LIFE TEEN would close ranks against me.

Then, in 2004, LIFE TEEN, the formal organization, was called to task by bishops and other officials in the Church. They were to stop calling teens up around the altar and saying, “The Mass never ends…” at the end of Mass. So we have at least a partial correction, one which eliminates the most visible of the abuses.

I think these friends of mine owe me an apology.


I don’t even know if LIFE TEEN is really around any more or if it retains any of the cachet that it seemed to have 15 years ago. The lasting effect for me is that I feel like my friendships really suffered. I was never part of the “in” crowd. I was aware that my friends often gathered to celebrate and share their faith, but I was seldom invited. I suppose I needed different friends. As a result of moving (and possibly something that led to me moving), I am not friends with any of these people any more. I wish things could have been different because many of them are great people.

As is typical for me, the impetus to write this up and post it has evaporated as a result of writing it. Cathartic I suppose. Nevertheless, I’ll post it as a record and reminder of what I was feeling and thinking.


A song that we used to sing that helped me get through some of the times of strained relationships is Press On (written by Bob Filoramo).

For the man who follows Jesus all the days of his life, picks up his cross and walks with his God, a glorious inheritance awaits him at the end where he will see and know his true Father, and the pearl of great price is in his hand.

So as for me I will press on in running the race with my eyes fixed on Jesus who inspires and perfects my faith, I will fight the good fight with all my heart and soul ‘til the day that I’m with Jesus, the day I’m finally home, the day that I have won the crown.

He will approach the throne of his Father with Jesus at his side, the Father will rise and say, “Welcome home! You’re a good and faithful servant, come in and take your reward. The battle’s done come, and take your rest. Stay with me for evermore”.


And the heavens will resound with a thunder of praise, the Angels and the Saints will shout for joy. And the Father will dance for his son has come home. Another warrior returns from the fight. Another victory for the Lamb of God.


Salem, day 1

I am now in Salem. This last weekend in Modesto was particularly difficult. I finished clearing out my apartment and loaded as much as possible into a trailer. The rest I threw away. The emptiness of the place was just really stark. I got a special gift from Real B. I wish we’d reconnected as adults under slightly different circumstances. I went to Jeff’s wedding and spent a few moments with some friends that I haven’t been close to in a while. It was lovely to see and talk to them, but it all just reminded me of what I have lost. I know that the coming weeks & months will be filled with new discoveries & new people, but I miss what I do not have.

So now I am in my aunt’s house, surrounded by things that aren’t mine. I went to set up my computer this evening only to discover that it seems to have been damaged during transport. So I do not even have that means by which I can keep connected to things that are familiar. I feel alone and sad and disconnected. I want to be in my own place and to be working again.

Final post

This will be my last post here.

Here’s the secret that I’m always afraid someone will find out. I suck at life. I am hopeless when it comes to managing money. I’ve tried to get better, and honestly, maybe I have. But I am staring at the biggest financial crisis of my life right now and I’m just about ready to give up hope. Last month, there was an $800 wage assessment on my paycheck. IRS. I guess I didn’t do my taxes right or something. This month, there was another assessment on my paycheck. $1500. I guess I REALLY didn’t do my taxes right. Or was late. Or forgot to file last year. I don’t know. Maybe all of the above. Anyway, this month’s paycheck doesn’t even cover rent, nevermind utilities, food, car payment, etc.

You see, somehow, I’ve become an avoider. Something unpleasant comes along, and I do my best ostrich imitation. Yeah, maybe it will go away. Thing is, it almost never does. It might fade from sight for awhile, but it always seems to come back, and just when I’m least prepared for it. Yes, yes. I know. I need to be different. Believe me, I’m trying. It’s not something I talk about much because it’s rather embarrassing and humiliating really. I really believed that I was on track to getting all caught up and maybe even getting ahead by the end of this year. Maybe that could still happen if I wasn’t getting laid off. Maybe it can still happen if I find a new job quickly. But will I be able to eat in the mean time? Will I still be able to live here? Will I still have a car?

Yes friends, I suck at life. I’m really ready for things to get easier.

In any case, I won’t be paying to continue hosting this blog, and I really don’t feel up to the whimsy that inspired the blog anyway. Thanks for reading.

Though I saw it all around, never thought I could be affected

I had a meeting with my photographer associate today about helping her with a shoot tomorrow. I was 30 minutes late because I couldn’t find her house. I went to use Maps on my iPhone only to find out that I’ve had a service interruption. I was sure I’d paid that bill, but maybe not. I don’t know. It’s just one thing after another sometimes.

When I went for my run today, it was really hard. I am just feeling down and dispirited and the difficulty of the run was almost too much. Just when are things supposed to get easier?
I mentioned my difficulty in a Twitter/Facebook post and a couple of friends replied with some words of encouragement. Yeah, it made me cry a little.

I submitted a couple more job applications today. We’ll see.

Blue Monday

2 things of note today.

#1 I was informed that, once again, I am being bumped by someone more senior with the district. I will be unemployed after July, 31st. This sucks. I’m tired of fighting to continue working in a place that has done none of my requested/suggested things to ensure that they retain me. I don’t want to lose my job, but I’m at the point where I feel I just have to make the best of it.

#2 I went to the bullfights tonight. Photos tomorrow.

Thursday is the new Friday

Today seemed very long. It wasn’t busy at work, but it wasn’t as slow as it’s been other days this week either.

I’m a little OCD I think. Here’s one manifestation: whenever I eat M&Ms, skittles, or any bite size snack food, I have to eat them in pairs, one for each side of my mouth. Well, I don’t HAVE to. But I definitely make every effort to satisfy that need.

I watched again the episode of the Office where Michael leaves. What a tear jerker. Very good acting/directing/writing to pull at my emotions the way it did.

Went for a run after work. I think I pushed myself too hard. I wasn’t able to go as long as yesterday and my ankle started hurting a bit. Tomorrow is a rest day so I hope that I’ll be good to go on Saturday.

I attended a dialogue session at the church tonight on the topic of immigration. It’s a complex issue that I struggle with sometimes. The video we were shown felt so heavy-handed. I wish people wouldn’t do that. It’s really unneccessary.

A run for the roses

Aaaannnnnnddddd the scale once again is hovering at 245. Whatever.

I was sort of depressed today. Mostly over financial matters. But that’s always a gateway worry. It segues into relationships, life status, health (my dad’s, not so much mine), and whatever else can worm its way in. C’est la vie. I really do wonder how I’m going to make ends meet for the next few months.

The 5K is Saturday so there’s not much training time left. I wanted to see if I could do the 3.1 miles in 28 minutes this evening, but I screwed up. With about 12 minutes left on my time, I accidentally jumped back to the warm-up phase. I moved it back to the run phase, but my time was lost. So I started over. That did free me to just keep going past the predetermined 28 minutes though. All in all, I ran just over 3.5 miles in about 35 minutes. Yippy! So I’ll do a light run tomorrow night and rest on Friday. I should be all set to go come Saturday morning. Then on to my 10K training. Starbuck, check your rear-view. I’m coming!

The Politics of Personal Destruction

The college president, Dr. Loewenstein, resigned today. It came after a week of personal attacks on song lyrics he’d written over the years. Really, the attacks were because some people don’t like him/his decisions. Once again, the college will be leaderless in a very difficult time. And once again, some faculty are behaving very badly in reaction to his resignation; lining up to celebrate. In more ways than one, they have what every unemployed teacher has: no class. Thank goodness there are other examples of faculty reacting in a much more mature way. They’re not all bad.

A whole lot of running around

Today was the first day of what will be a very busy weekend.
After I got off work at 2, I went by the church to pick up a key, stopped in at the Salvation Army store, and did my 5K training. The wind made it difficult but I got it done. Then, after a quick shower, I went down to open up the church for the Memorial Vigil for Jeff Broome. After the service, I went down to Minnie’s for the hafla. I took 500 photos! Quite ridiculous really. So you can expect to see some more belly dance photos soon.

Next Page »