Sunday, July 25, 2010

Atlantic City

Did you know that the properties in the game of Monopoly are named after places in and around Atlantic City?

Well, bring on the gaming, baby. I spent the weekend "down the shore" and played a little soccer in the sand, swam in the ocean (although I am a serious baby and HATE spiky creatures touching the bottom of my feet, so my swims are more like dips), and enjoyed a night out on the town in Atlantic City. We met a bouncer named Reverend Rob who warned us of the evils of the city (and there are plenty, my friends). I sheepishly ignored his question when he wanted to know if I planned to gamble, since I had not ruled out the possibility.

My friend Clark and I decided to play with $50, just for adventure sake. I learned how to play the game of Craps and was thoroughly entertained traipsing from table to table meeting interesting people and learning the rules of Black Jack and Roulette. I find it amusing that I spent an evening in Caesar's Palace (irony not lost on me) alongside bazillions of dollars, scantily-clad women, and indulgences of every kind. I intentionally disallowed myself from thinking too deeply about the addiction and pain masquerading in sequins and expensive cuff links. Atlantic City is truly bizarre. Bizarre and a little sad. Bizarre and extremely entertaining.

It was well over 100 degrees when we returned from the shore. Made me want to turn right around and return to the beach. When I lived in New Jersey I occasionally wore a tee-shirt that said, "New Jersey: Only the Strong Survive." I think I need to get out a magic marker and draw a line through New Jersey and write "Philadelphia."

Aaaah, Philadelphia. Gotta love this place.

Wishing you a cool July evening!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Brides! Blah!

There are some pretty wonderful things about being a pastor. I love officiating at weddings and it is a profound privilege to be invited to speak words of hope in the midst of grief and sadness at funerals. But there are a bazillion weird and awful things about being a pastor as well (like most of our jobs, I suppose?). I am currently in the throws of an email exchange about money. Brides and grooms who plan to drop $15,000 on a reception will beg for a discount (so they don't have to pay the poor organist $300). Sheesh.

I think I need to stop being so churchy and pastory. This is practically all I talk about in this blog. Is that true? Maybe not. But maybe I should commit to writing some posts that are wildly juicy or at the very least, banal.

So, how about this: I love figs. Figs and gargonzola and crisp, Spanish white wines (names I cannot remember). My friend Steph and I enjoyed these things last night. The glasses sweat here like crazy in the summer. It is so humid that the glasses drip, even when you are inside. I like this. I like the stormy down-pours in the middle of the day and I love the lighting bugs and the sound of the secadas when I get out to the country.

But don't worry. I'm not in love with Philadelphia. I still make fun of the dirty river and the appalling lack of green space. It is troubled and corrupt, but it's growing on me. Slightly. So there's that.

Latest life goal:

I was in Montclair with two of my cute high school girls (I was their youth leader for two years) and we were playing a photography game. Having a camera in hand always makes me more attentive to details. I found this sign on a shop and I found myself saying, "Yes, indeed. Me too."

Hope you're feeling open-hearted these days.