Getting my extravert on

Prior to 2003, I always tested INFP.

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8 things

There’s an eight things meme circulating about that I’ve done many times before, but at ExPointOh there’s a whole new audience to reach, and Ben Martin tagged me. So here are eight things you don’t know about me.

1. I’m most well-known on the blogosphere as a contributing editor for the Episcopal Cafe. That crowd knows me as Gallycat.

2. I’m also semifamous as a retired lounge DJ and music critic from Philadelphia. Those folks know me as either deviathan or helcat.

3. I love karaoke.

4. My favorite Northern Virginia hangout is the Bilbo Baggins restaurant in old town Alexandria. I’m there more often than I should be, considering I live 70 miles away from it.

5. I have a 15-year-old son who’s living with his dad these days. We stay in touch through Facebook.

6. I used to play in a band at Mary Washington College. We won Battle of the Bands in 1989, party because we dressed up in country/western gear and then blew the crowd away with an awesome cover of “Just Like Heaven” by the Cure. I played keyboards.

7. It took me 16 years to earn my bachelor’s degree. I’m hoping my MPA program will go much more smoothly.

8. I’m a knitter. Actually, I’m a knitster. I took about ten months off because of a repetitive stress injury in my neck, but I’m back to it these days.

OK, that’s me, but I don’t really know 8 people in this blogspace yet so I’ll have to tag elsewhere, like in Facebook. But since I don’t know you, you can send me a link to your 8 things if you’ve done it already, or otherwise consider yourself tagged!

Ok, ok, Uncle! UNCLE!

I have a post up at today’s Daily Episcopalian. I have another being published tomorrow, that’s kinda sorta part two, and in it, I out a small percentage of the blogs I write at, when the spirit siezes me to do so.

Part one is here:
What about Generation X? Cause quite frankly, I’m sick of that question, because it’s constantly asked and never answered. So I’ve attempted to answer it. Bear in mind my perspective is that of the person who was unchurched and among my agnostic peers for, like, 15 years. HINT TO THE VIRTUE AND CANANGLICAN WINDBAGS: WE DIDN’T RUN TO THE EVANGELICAL CHURCHES. We left because of people like you!

Part two will be published tomorrow, and it’s about how Helen came a little bit closer to merging her vocation and her profession by outing her various personalities on the blogosphere. In so doing, I found my call to social media ministry. In so doing, I really need to generate more content here, because you’re stopping by.

But tonight, I have a nasty bout of nasopharyngitis (sore throat and runny nose), and a fever to match. I do have a new blog in the works that I can announce even though I’m not done with its architecture yet. it’s about life here in the Shenandoah Valley, now that I bought a house. I mean, I was an arts and entertainment journalist for months, and it just seems to me that people should KNOW there’s more to this place than the Skyline Drive.

Ha. but I’m not giving you the link yet. you have to read the Daily Episcopalian post for Wednesday to get that.

On growth

My son lives with his dad. He’s at that age where he goes away for two weeks and comes back two inches taller. It’s disconcerting for me, but moreso for friends who haven’t seen him in a year or two. To them, he’s a foot taller. He’s rapidly approaching six feet tall, even though just a year and change ago, he’s clearly three inches shorter than I am–I’m 5’7, and a half. I always fight for that last half inch. It makes a fraction of a difference on my body mass index (BMI), which is what seems to have grown exponentially for me in the past couple of years. My son grows UP! I grow stout.

I’m going somewhere with this, though. I left the church around 1985. I’ve identified several factors in why I left the church–some of them were social; I was a teenager that had been removed from the church of my childhood and taken to one where there weren’t any kids my age; I also perceived a classist and competitive streak among the yuppies in the choir that struck me as cliquish and shallow. Granted, that’s how I perceived the world in those days. But there was something more sinister undermining my faith—my increasingly tense relationship with my parents, my inability to reconcile the notion of God with my exponentially expanding world view, the incredible amount of *judgment* I felt radiating from more conservative Christian friends of mine. I got so angry about the notion of predestination when I was 17 I tried to make a point by injuring myself; there is still a scar on the back of my left hand from that moment of rage.

When I came back to church 15 years later, a lot had changed. I had changed, for one, to be sure. But more importantly, the church had changed. I was 5 years old when the first women were ordained as priests, and when I left, I had never known a woman priest in my diocese of Southern Virginia.

But when I came back more than 15 years later, women priests were at every single parish I visited (just about), the suffragan Bishop of Southern Virginia was a woman, and a few years after that, a woman was elected presiding bishop.

This has all happened in my mother’s lifetime. My mother became a church organist specifically because she couldn’t be a priest. Indeed, the first women to be ordained were done so irregularly; now it’s the norm, and some people left the church because of it; some parishes established that while it was accepted in the church it wasn’t right for them, and so on.

When I came back to the church after all that time, it was as if seeing a newborn grown into a teenager overnight. Gays and lesbians were priests! Women were bishops! Gene Robinson had just been elected, as I recall. Other changes had taken place, too. The altar had been pulled out. The Gospel was being read from the center of the nave. There was a funny new crossing of oneself for the Gospel I had never seen before. And, as I went to different churches, I saw different practices: this one has an open table; this one doesn’t say “The Word of the Lord” after a scripture reading (although we still say Thanks be to God.) This one still reads the Gospel from the pulpit; this one dances throughout the service. This one has organ music, this one has banjo music, this one has djembes and why is everyone wearing Birkenstocks?

That’s not the point, though. The point is that these changes don’t happen overnight. One little thing might, but the whole process forward is a slow march. That whole thing about faith being like a mustard seed? So is progress. I give you my tomato plant of 2005, that appeared to die in August but reflowered in September and gave me an autumn harvest I cannot forget. That story is here.

But for those who are foundering, remember. You may feel like the rosebush cropped, but does it not grow back stronger? You cannot see the grass growing, but it is. You cannot see my son growing, but he is. You cannot see the moon moving, but it is. And right now, you may not be able to see the church growing. But it is.

gallycat sabbatical ending on sept. 3

labor day. how funny.

i’m almost back in teh driver’s seat. just a little bit longer to go and i can start my faith-oriented writings again. Spontaneous outbursts still at deviathan, but just wanted to let those of you who don’t read both blogs know that I’m doing ok.

The news is that i have a new job, doing web 2.0 stuff like blogging and social netowrking for an association in northern virginia. it’s closer to my house by about 10 miles, but they are long miles in the morning, and as such, trims my commute from an hour and 45 to about an hour.

more to come. good stuff, i promise. ;D

Been caught out as helcat

I have an alter-ego. Well, actually, gallycat is my alter-ego, because helcat came first. Mad Priest has been so kind as to out me as that ne’er-do-well once-upon-a-goth-dj (wait, I did that here).

But I should note to any intrepid new visitors that most of my brain noise is at My Empire of Pesticide-Free Dirt.

I have news, but I can’t share it just yet, so I’m still lying low on the radar. I’ll be sending out an announcement on the Mosher-news listserv, so if you’re not on it yet and want to be, let me know.

I’m still alive..

in spite of car problems, physical therapy healing everything but my wallet, and feeling way beaten up by life lately…

will post more soon. been driving back and forth to front royal every day this week, and i know that’s why I’m so tired…

Anyhow, I’m on the Episcopal Cafe’s Daily feed, with an essay on a topic that is very meaningful to me. Here’s the link: “The Face of the Poor Is My Face, Too”

Very sleepy now. Good night!