Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My Un-Christmas Tree

OK, I admit it. My blog seems to be turning into some kind of sentimental baby, kitty and personal photo blog. Sorry about that. Just don't feel like writing too much these days, although hopefully I will again soon.

I completed a little wood-working project over the last week and a half. I am not feeling much like celebrating holidays in the traditional way, but I realized I had a lot of cool (not so Christmas-y) ornaments I'd like to hang up. I just didn't want a Christmas tree though. So I saw something similar to this at a store and decided to make my own (and I have to say, mine is, like, 8,000 times cooler).

Each post has wire/beads wrapped around it. Hopefully you can see on this closeup.

I do all my work in the living room. Nice, huh? I have a good vacuum cleaner.

Also, answers to the inevitable questions about my carpet:
Yes, my carpet is really that horrible green (it's actually even brighter and more green in person).
No, I didn't pick it out; it came with the condo.
Yes, I'd love to get rid of it.
Hardwood flooring.
You should have seen it when I first moved in and it was also in the bathroom and the kitchen. It went so nicely with the dark brown particle-board cabinets in the kitchen (see close-up shot above).
The previous owners installed blinds on every window in the same color green. Snazzy.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Belated Thanksgiving post

I spent a wonderful Thanksgiving day hanging out with my kitties, Max and Sophie. They had a very fine feast:

I had an interesting meal, although mine wasn't in the nifty shape of a fish. I'd gone shopping for food the night before and just picked up random things I was craving (but very rarely eat). I fashioned a Thanksgiving meal out of the following: bacon, sliced deli turkey, cream cheese, feta cheese and flour tortillas. It didn't really occur to me until Thanksgiving day that these weren't things that necessarily went together. Still, it was yummy. You can't go wrong with bacon or feta, can you?

OK, here's the sentimental "thanksgiving" part of my post...I'm so thankful for my family (furry and regular)...

Monday, November 20, 2006

The other night I had a dream

I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand...

Oh, wrong one.

But I did have an interesting dream the other night (and for the record, I'm someone who rarely remembers my dreams, nor finds any reason to interpret them). The day after Peterson wrote this blog entry about Randy Thomas' recent interview with Adam Carolla (as an aside, you can see a video at exgaywatch that was prompted by Peterson's post), I had the following dream...

I am staying at someone's house (someone who is ex-gay) and Randy Thomas is expected as a guest, for something of an ex-gay work/social visit. I am welcome, though, to be there and meet him. It is very bright and sunny, and so I found myself on my back in the middle of the asphalt road leading to the house, smoking a cigarette (as one would do, naturally).

An SUV approaches. The driver smiles at me as he drives around me, not stopping. It is Randy.

I come to the kitchen and stand on the opposite side of a kitchen bar. He and the others are on the other side. I introduce myself to him (both of us having to bend over a bit awkwardly to see each other underneath the cupboards). His face lights up when I introduce myself, and he says, "Christine?! You're Peterson's Christine?" He speaks with me for another minute and is very friendly and warm, shaking my hand repeatedly while we bend over the bar separating us. He turns back to the others.

I am still in the kitchen trying to find something to eat or drink. I call out for someone to try to help me navigate this kitchen. I can't seem to get anyone's attention. I say to them that I need something to eat, and I don't know where anything is, and I don't even know if there's a place nearby where I can get food. I can't even find a glass in the kitchen to get a drink. No one answers me as their own conversations and planning continue.

Cliffsnotes for dream interpretation:
  • In the late 90s Randy used to be known for not being at all interested in politics, but interested in ex-gays, and gays, and loving people and creating bridges regardless of disagreement.

  • In 1998 he even went so far as to write an open letter to Coral Ridge ministries blasting them for their use of ex-gays for their own anti-gay agenda.

  • From all reports he is warm and friendly in person to gays, ex-gays, and ex-ex-gays.

  • When Alan Chambers became Executive Director at Exodus in 2001, nobody (including Exodus themselves) seems to deny that Exodus changed significantly. It became an organization that increasingly focused on politics and less on the people they originally sought to help (for more on this, check out Timothy Kinkaid's post on exgaywatch about Exodus' changed priorities).

  • Randy once wrote, "This politically fixated speech has to stop and the gospel must be put into action. I want to see the Coral Ridge leaders start serving the gay community instead of fighting them. I want to see them lay down their own agendas and start picking up God's, which is salvation, not the next election. Our future does not lie in Washington D.C.; it lies in the palm of God's hand and I want to bring as many with me as I can."

  • Randy now works at Exodus as well, and was in DC in June of 06 with Alan Chambers to lobby for the Federal Marriage Amendment act.

  • Oh, and I smoked when I was previously gay-identified, and also for a few years during the beginning of my ex-gay experience.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Recent Travels Part 1 of 3: New York

This is my friend Jed. He hosted me the entire time is was in New York. He says he lives very near NYC, but let me tell you, there is "Jed time" and there is regular time. Jed actually lives in NJ, about 2 hours out of the City, if there's not much traffic. I got to commute in with him on several days and do some touristy stuff. I also got very sick at his house one day and found out that he was an even better friend than I could have ever imagined. We'll just leave it at that.

There's one thing that not many people know about Jed and me though. Shockingly enough, we actually have slept together. It was a one-night stand kind of thing. And at a Gay Christian conference no less!!

OK, the real truth is we just shared a bed for one night. Both of us felt safe, though...pretty sure there was not much going to happen between us.

I flew in on a Saturday night and he whisked me on a night tour of NYC, and then over to a friend's house for a dinner party. The "gay lifestyle" just exhausts me. The next day he took me on an a gorgeous (although very uphill) hike with eight dogs. He breeds and grooms poodles. (Can you get any more gay than that?)

This is how cooking with eight dogs works.

Here's another of Jed cooking. I brought out nearly all the ingredients for two Indian dishes, and we'd been working on them together when I burnt my two fingers. I think he was also singing, which is why I was looking at him funny. Well, to be truthful, I look at a lot of people funny. Because of the fingers, I walked around the rest of the night making the peace sign.

I am really grateful for Jed's friendship and hospitality!

(My pictures of the Connecticut part of my trip are in the previous post below this.)

Recent Travels Part 2 of 3: Connecticut

Jed took me to Sarah Lawrence college to watch Peterson's Doin' Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House play. During the Q&A, I had the opportunity to come on-stage with Peterson and say a few words about being a woman in the ex-gay movement. Peterson mentioned it on his blog, and thankfully rephrased what I'd actually said so that it made sense.

Here's a very blurry picture of us. Peterson suggested we think of it as art. Hmmm, I think I recall that it's his water that I have in my hand and took a drink from. Well, he's a sharing kind of guy.

Here are three images of Peterson using every electronic device he carries with him, all in the space of about a half-hour. I think it's clear he was wishing I would stop using the crazy flash on him. Oh, and don't worry. He didn't eat any of that pizza. He's still a good vegan boy.

Peterson arranged for me to stay at the house of a Friend (that's capitol "F" kind of friend...a friend who also is a Quaker Friend). I was very thankful to have a place to stay.

This guy's house had enough stuff in it to fill about three houses. I did have to laugh when I saw his "simplify" sign, though. I've highlighted the little sign in front of the "simplify." It says, "Believe in yourself and anything is possible." I guess we all have to start somewhere.

I also got to spend an evening with Mike A. and also with Steve Boese from A Tenable Belief. It was wonderful to spend time with them both, and in addition, I was able to spend quite a bit more time getting to know Steve, and that was fantastic.

Here's another of Peterson and myself just before I boarded the bus back to NYC.

(Some other pictures from my trip are in the previous post below this.)

Recent Travels Part 3 of 3: Miscellaneous Photos

Here are some photos I took while out and about. The weather was wonderful and amazing the entire trip. When I left, it started storming. I'll let you make of that what you will.

Pictures from the hike:

Pictures from NYC:

I had to take a picture of myself at Grand Central Station since I was proud of myself for making it there. During the very early morning (for me) commute from NJ to NYC, Jed had given me instructions for the subway, which I wrote down while half-asleep. Also, since I get extremely carsick I had to write without looking. My instructions turned out to be quite crypic, even for me. For "42nd Street" I had only written "4C." Well, I guess it kind of sounds like 42nd street. To describe the cross-town shuttle I wrote "black ball white" which is referencing the color of the route number indicator on the subway train (which was actually gray). So, you can imagine that I was really proud of myself to have gotten this far, and I think it shows on my face.

I did photoshop the following image from several that I'd taken, although I did take them as motion shots on purpose. I don't think I could ever sit through an actual church service for quite a while still (some wounds take a long time to heal), but I did enjoy going in as a tourist.

Inside the Guggenheim which I didn't tour on this trip (I did in '95) because there was a show being installed.

I took these two while in stopped traffic on some bridge or another.