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all them saddles and boots

27 February 2006
Willie Nelson rocks my world.

Yeah, I really just said that.

You see, a few days ago, the planets aligned in a remarkable way. Over the past few weeks, I've been talking to an old friend about possibly attending my High School reunion. I'm of several minds on the issue, but that's not something I'm going to hash out here. Yet, with High School reunions in Amarillo, Texas looming large in my head, when a colleague waxed poetic about a new Willie Nelson song, it all just seemed to come together in a fabulous way. A fabulous, feather boa and chaps kinda way.

Tolle, lege:
Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond Of Each Other
by Willie Nelson

There's many a strange impulse out on the plains of West Texas;
There’s many a young boy who feels things he don’t comprehend.
Well small town don't like it when somebody falls between sexes,
No, a small town don't like it when a cowboy has feelings for men.

And I believe in my soul that inside every man there’s a feminine,
And inside every lady there’s a deep manly voice loud and clear.
Well, a cowboy may brag about things that he does with his women,
But the ones who brag loudest are the ones that are most likely queer.

Cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other —
Say what did you think those saddles and boots was about?
And there’s many a cowboy who don’t understand the way that he feels for his brother,
And inside every cowboy there's a lady that'd love to slip out.

And there's always somebody who says what the others just whisper,
And mostly that someone's the first one to get shot down dead:
So when you talk to a cowboy don't treat him like he was a sister
You can't fuck with the lady that's sleepin' in each cowboy's head.

Cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other —
What did you think all them saddles and boots was about?
And there’s many a cowboy who don’t understand the way that he feels for his brother,
And inside every lady there's a cowboy who wants to come out.
And inside every cowboy there's a lady that'd love to slip out.

Pardon me while I go dust off my k.d. lang albums.


In other news, I bought a new hat. There are simply more Ivy and Eight Quarter caps than I can deal with. Mr. Tweed Cap has been benched and now only serves for rain duty.

Hello. "My name is Raven and I'm an elitist asshole."


20 February 2006
Arbeite bis der schmerz dich zwingt aufzuhören.

At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Given that I've not only received email but telephone calls telling me to post, I figured it might be a good thing to do. In all truth, it looks like the posts this term are going to be a bit more on the sparse side as I'm up to my eyeballs in work between three seminars, web mastering, research assistanting, and teaching at church. The whiney part of me thought about posting my reading list for this week to ellicit sympathy. I figured that'd be a hard sell, knowing some of the folk who read this blog. So instead, I decided to post a list of ten songs that have been making me happy of late. So, without further ado and in no particular order:

And, just for grins, a few books that have rocked my small, self-centered universe of late:

John Wolffe. God and Greater Britain Religion and National Life in Britain and Ireland 1843-1945 New York: Routledge, 1994.

James J. O'Donnell. Augustine A New Biography New York: HarperCollins, 2005.

Mechthild von Magdeburg. Das fließende Licht der Gottheit. Stuttgart: Bad Cannstatt, 1995.


Oh, yeah, and in other news, last week I was invited to join a punk band.

hibernian climes

12 February 2006

So apparently it finally decided to be winter.

After looking at the weather yesterday and the National Weather Service's threats of "blizzard like conditions" with gusts over 35 mph, it was decided that Christian Formation would be cancelled and that the facilitator generally lacked the moxie to venture out into the white stuff. What can I say? I just don't trust Jersey drivers.

Seriously, you'd think in a state where snow actually falls, people would know how to drive in it. Alas, it simply isn't so. Most days, I think that folk in Dallas handle snow better than folk up here do. (For those of you with no frame of reference, when the slightest amount of the cold, white stuff falls in Dallas you'd think the Almighty had released herds of giant, flesh eating yeti that have no greater delight than chasing confused and frightened motorists.)

On the upside, I've had a productive, quite morning punctuated by occasional glances out at a pair of doves that have chosen to weather the storm on my patio.


P.S. If anyone knows the correct plural of "yeti," do let me know.


Update: It seems I'm stuck in the world of forced labor. As usual, given that there's a climactic occurrence other than pure sunshine, the satellite is out. So, no Winter Olympics for Sloane. Damn. I guess this means I actually have to work. Sigh.

life on the bus

08 February 2006
Being a bit of a tree-hugger, I tend to take the shuttle the Sem provides to commute from my apartment to campus when the weather prohibits biking. Most days, I can't really bring myself to interact with human beings, so I tend to be plugged into my iPod.

I should pause for explanation here.

Those of you accustomed to public transit may be wondering what a bus has to do with human interaction. After all, speaking to people with whom you are not traveling on public transit is roughly analogous to urinal chatter in the men's room. Slightly less of a taboo, but still a social no-no. The Sem's shuttle is the grand exception to this rule. Everybody knows everybody, so there's no dearth of friendly chatter. On days when I can dig it, no problem. On days when I can't, iPod.

This morning was probably an iPod morning, but I didn't have the presence of mind to pull my headphones out of my bag. (I was up a little too late last night doing what I shouldn't. Namely, pleasure reading. I was absorbed in the adventures of Sister Fidelma.) In the end, I was glad not to have plugged in, otherwise I wouldn't have heard this fragment of a conversation:

Guy 1: What are you going to do tonight?
Guy 2: Well, I've got shaving cream and M&Ms, so that's a game.
Guy 1: Woo-hoo!
Guy 2: Jesus loves you!

Um, qua? Shaving cream and M&Ms. WTF?

Never mind. I really don't want to know.

and deliver us from evil

07 February 2006
Sweet Mary mother of mercy deliver us!

Maggy Thatcher, the Musical.

Imelda Marcos, eat your heart out.

well, well, well

Quoth the BBC:
The propaganda war between the US and Cuba is nothing new - but correspondents say this is an escalation.

Already Cuba has put up scores of posters in the capital caricaturing President Bush as both a fascist and a vampire.

The two countries have not had diplomatic links for 45 years.

After Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was exempted from an oath to tell the truth to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding secret wiretapping by the White House (see NPR coverage here), I have but one thing to say...

Vivemos in solidaridad.

(Yeah, so that probably got me on a governmental shit-list somewhere, but I'm sure I was already on a half a dozen to begin with... Damnable gay Christian pacifists.)

metaphorical overkill

06 February 2006
Given the protracted discussion about the metaphorical status of my new blender, I couldn't resist posting this quote from a book I'm reading for my Modern European Church History seminar.

Quoth Benedict Anderson in Imagined Communities:
Nothing better illustrates capitalism in feudal-aristocratic drag than colonial militaries, which were notoriously distinct from those of the metropoles, often even in formal institutional terms.

Emphasis mine.


Oh, and just to put all the rumor to rest, the blender has indeed been to prom. It made roast tomato basil soup a few nights ago and the lid is still a bit stained from all the tomato.


05 February 2006
From the Department of Stuff Everybody Else is Doing

Your 2005 Song Is

Beverly Hills by Weezer

"My automobile is a piece of crap
My fashion sense is a little whack
And my friends are just as screwy as me"

You breezed through 2005 in your own funky style!
What Hit Song of 2005 Are You?

requiescat in pacem

04 February 2006
From the Department of Disturbing Things.

This was originally going to be a post attempting to prove that I've not suffered some horrible fate like being taken over by a mind controlling wasp and am in fact still alive. I got about three paragraphs into a pointless and meandering prose splatter when I realized that what I really needed to be writing was an obituary for my blender.

He died, you see.

His name was Blendy. Actually, his name was Black & Decker ProBlend Brushed Stainless Steel Blender, Blendy just seemed more personal and slightly more creepy. After all, this is an obituary for an appliance. You kind of need to be creepy for something like that, wouldn't you think?

So anywho, Blendy used to make the best roast tomato soup. He also made a damn good margarita. Now, he's dead. In the midst of strenuous activity, he over exerted himself and died.

Blendy is survived by Jitters the Coffee Pot and Choppy the French Knife.

In other news, I've decided my microwave works for the teamsters. It gets about half way through defrosting something or another (which is about all I use the silly thing for) and turns itself off. No clock. No blinkey lights. Nuthin. It eventually turns itself back on, but only when it bloody well feels like it. Stupid machine.


Now, having just zipped through an obit for an inanimate object in a manner that would well make Lewis Carroll shudder, I ask, sir, are you satisfied? (You know who you are...)

You see, earlier this week, I was speaking with my friend who has taken it upon himself to turn me into the stereotype of the off-kilter academic nut job. It doesn't help that I regularly wear a tweed sport coat and a floppy tweed hat. (Trust me, when you spend sixteen hours of your day in a damp, cold library, tweed starts making a lot of sense.) Apparently, the logical progression from being a tweed clad, tote bag carrying, coffee swilling, Medievalist is, by my friend's reckoning, to be a tweed clad, tote bag carrying, coffee swilling Medievalist with a Hello Kitty umbrella.

Um, thanks, but no thanks.

I've got nothing against Hello Kitty. Nor do I have anything against being delightfully wierd. I just think umbrellas are a total waste and rather pointless when a good hat and coat will keep you just as dry without the hassle of fighting the wind with a portable lightening rod.

Now a Hello Kitty waffle iron, that's a differently story entirely.