Sunday, July 31, 2011


Can you believe this is a word? Humdinger. It means "a remarkable or outstanding person or thing".


I am stressed out. Clark, from 1500 miles away, is good at encouraging me despite my erratic bouts of freaking out. Thanks, babe. I know I must make you mad as snakes sometimes.

In case you were curious, there are 2,316 ordained Presbyterian Professionals (pastors, christian educators, etc) officially looking for positions in the Presbyterian Church (example of said clergy pictured here). There are 495 positions posted. I have been referred to 51 of those positions. I have had 4 phone interviews and have been a finalist for 2 of those positions.

Anyone dumb as a doornail can see, the statistics aren't good.

So, I have been exploring using my gifts elsewhere. I have applied for university "gap program" coordinator positions, chaplaincy, and staff administrative positions. I would be eager to translate my gifts to global development programs with a non-profit or academic program. So far, no dice. In fact, I have had multiple people tell me, "I know this is bizarre and unfair profiling, but is there any way you can drop the church stuff from your resume? Universities are going to run from you."

BTW, look up the word "pastor" on google images sometime. Do it. It'll kill you.

According to NPR, I should have been a computer programmer or scientist. There are scads of positions available. Too bad I was always bound for the social sciences. I only passed high school physics because I convinced Garrett Barnum to build me a mouse-trap car.

The fact is this: I want to do meaningful work and that isn't easy to come by. I know this longing is nothing new under the sun. There are plenty of immigrants making beds at hotels or driving taxi cabs that would rather be doing something more MEANINGFUL. Well, maybe I have a new opportunity ahead: live a meaningful life and get a job to pay the bills. Sometimes work is work.

Peg got a couple of new cameras for a photography class she is teaching this fall and she is letting me borrow the beauties. I think I'll go out and snap myself some pictures. I might find a humdinger or two. It's possible. Anything is possible.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reasons why the world might not be so bad

This place warms my heart. It is just two blocks from where I live and tonight I spent a couple hours here drinking coffee (courtesy of David Hallgren, thank you very much). I spent some time writing and researched a few new job opportunities. Does 44 inches of snow a year sound like a legitimate reason for NOT applying?

This cozy neighborhood coffee shop boasts delicious "pay what you can" pastries and beverages. I got sucked into Youtube this afternoon-- seriously spent an hour and a half perusing Mark Driscoll sermons (I do not understand why this guy is the MOST downloaded preacher in the world-- enlighten me if you must). I needed to get out of the house, so I took the dog on a walk and found myself here.

One of my favorite bloggers is Annie Parsons and she has something called "Bosom Friend Fridays' (reference not lost on Anne of Green Gables fans). I have decided that today is "Reasons Why The World Might Not Be So Bad Wednesday(s?)." The title is too long, but never mind that.

Here it is- reasons why the world might not be so bad, this fine Wednesday afternoon:
1) Yoga studios and coffee shops where you pay what you can
2) New friends
3) Old friends (that know how awful you are and still like you)
4) Boyfriends who find ways to play Words With Friends in the middle of nowhere to appease neurotic girlfriends
5) People who help make the world more gentle and passionate and beautiful
6) The story about Margaret Shoop playing air guitar for The Edge

Okay, that's all I can think of because it has been THAT kind of day. Feel free to add to the list. Would love to chew on your nuggets of inspiration as well.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Spanish Lessons Guy

When I first arrived in Seattle I was eager to get back to Green Lake, my favorite place to run in the city. When circling the lake for the first time I recognized a number of "regulars" including the Spanish Lessons guy. Nice to see him meandering the lake 8 years later.

Except he wasn't wearing his Spanish Lessons pinny. This perplexed me. He seemed to be walking a bit slower and he was not accompanied by a spanish student. Bummer. I spotted him a second time and again he walked alone. Drat. But today sweet victory! I was pleased as punch to see him, bright white and red pinny in place, chattering with an eager mustached student speaking extra loudly to make up for his poor grammar.

For some reason I found this soothing. The world changes, changes, changes, but some things stay the same. Like the friendly Spanish Lessons Guy.

I'm applying for jobs like a mad woman. Even jobs that are ridiculous. This whole unemployment thing gets annoying. I had to say to my self, "Self, do not flinch" when an employed doctor said to me, "I have no money." It is all relative, people. All relative.

I've had loads of encouragement these days. I have hung out with some amazing pastors who are reminding me of why I got into this business in the first place. And despite the fact that a handful of them have made it clear that they would NEVER hire me because some of my new-fangled liberal beliefs, I like them. And I happen to think Jesus likes them as well. And me. And the gays (seriously, swear to our heavenly father (even though we aren't supposed to swear), that a guy interviewing me referred to folks who self-identify as homosexuals as "the gays"). So, I am okay with being ousted from some circles. There will be others to join.

I am starting my mental list of "things I'd like to have once I have a job." Top of the list? A cat. But not more than one. I will not be a crazy cat lady. Second on the list? A pedicure. And after a significant number of paychecks and the illusion of stability? A camera. This list is subject to change on a moment's notice, btw.

All right. Herein ends the news. Hope you have your own version of "The Spanish Lessons Guy." Some things really do stay the same.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sum-sum-summa time

The cold weather has finally given way to blue sky, sunny days, and summer barbecues! Returning to Seattle has allowed for some fantastic reunions, trips to visit the fam, new friends, and plenty of time to introduce Clark to the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. We've hiked, chatted late into the evening around a campfire or two, planted a garden at Peg's house, ferried around the Sound, travelled east across the mountains to visit the Smith family (back from Zambia!) and some seminary friends, went to a rodeo and an MLS soccer game, and plenty of other adventures.

Not bad for some unemployed folks. I am still the Reverend Secretary (doing Admin work at a church nearby), but doing my best to savor the summer. Here are some of the people I have been spending time with:

College room-mates Ryan, and Angie and Clark the Great

Fantabulous Peg who is hosting me in her home

And of course my sister Tamara and her kiddos Tate, Tyson, and Alyssa. I will be in town for the birthdays for all three kids this year. Such a gift!

I was going to write a blog post...

...but I decided to read poetry instead.