The Church Office

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My official job title is “Office Administrator”. Unofficially, my job title is “Church Lady”. My preferred job title is “Gatekeeper in the Cubicle of Purgatory”, or on certain days (namely Tuesday to Friday), Secretary with a Crossbow!

Previously, I’ve written twice about the Assumptions People Make (here and here), about the types of people I work with and other related “Family Business“, and dealing with Stupid People. But enough shameful past post promotions!

I found a cartoon on Pinterest depicting “The Church Office” and it inspired me to put pencil to paper. Being summer, the office is quieter and cleaner than usual. Remarkably, while I currently don’t have bags of clothing donations piling up and I have only 1 hymn book (not one of every hymnal every published), there’s still more enough clutter!

Chuch Office Sketch (800x617)

I’ll deal with it next week – it’s the weekend! Enjoy it!

 

 

Feelin’ Old

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I discovered a new way to feel “old” – buy new technology!

This weekend, I finally broke down and purchased a new gaming system. Our Xbox 360 has been acting up…and we’ve lost multiple worlds. Including the one I featured in photos a few weeks ago!

Step 1: Purchase

We went to the store – you know the kind?! Colourful wall-to-wall displays with weird gadgets, geek wear, and video game cases. Large screens hung from the ceiling while distracting videos played in HD. A weird 30 year old man with a pasty white belly oozing from the gap between his tee and shorts, rifling through a rack of used games. And let’s not overlook the gangling 20 year old retailer in a bright Marvel t-shirt.

I took Big Guy with me because he speaks “geek” more fluently than I do, especially when it comes to tech. I vaguely remember starting the conversation and nodding intelligently while circus music piped in my head. By the middle of the transaction, the clerk asked questions, I turned and stared blankly at Big Guy (who answered with a monotone “yes” while texting someone else), and nodded “yes” to the clerk. By the end, I was numb and confused. I remember swiping my card and quietly following Big Guy from the store  with a big, heavy bag and a very light wallet. A few words have floated to the surface since then…Gears of War, Halo, terra-something, cloud. That’s about it!

internet.jpg

Step 2: Set up the System

Big Guy started the set-up, and then he went out. He told me to “just text” if we ran into any problems. I’m sure he was less than 2 blocks away when we hit the first hiccup. There were more words, like passkey and lockdown. I had to set a password (which I wrote down as I went along) using a series of finger twerks with buttons, bumpers and triggers… and then my password locked me out. Five minutes later I discovered that while I wanted a “7”  (left bumper), I had tapped the right bumper, and finally, when I made the correction to my paper copy to accommodate my mistake, I wrote down the wrong number…again.

We struggled with buttons controls to register it. None of them seemed to work – so we tried them all. We did it eventually with the minimum use of colourful language explosions. At least in this area, I showed signs of aging gracefully. And then the power kicked off!

The t.v., the system, and the answering machine all went off…but not the controllers. They continued to wink at us smugly. By then over 16 texts had passed back and forth, and I rec’d the text “WHAT DID YOU DO?!” I had to answer truthfully – “I think we broke it”. He told me to try the touch sensor…it doesn’t have one!

When it regained consciousness, we continued to navigate down the rabbit hole. It made my profile pic a mafia panda wearing heavy bling. Hubby thought it was funny! I texted a photo of it to Big Guy who texted back “Ahahaha”! – I was not amused!

Jenn

Fortunately it had saved my avatar from the old system and I could use it instead. My avatar is this cute girl in a plaid skirt, black boots and a red t-shirt that says “I love Minecraft”. I am also wearing a Halo helmet, which shall remain on forevermore. Let’s just say, my avatar’s appearance so startled Little Guy when I took the helmet off, he hollered for me to “put it back on…quick!”. My feelings were hurt. I think the Panda was better.

We added users. Little Guy became a cute hamburger. Hubby, a weird yellow 6-sided shape with a face. I got stuck in Edge. We had to update the controller (even though it is brand new)! After several hours, an extended break to clear our heads, and over 20 texts, the system was set up.

It was finally time to start uploading actual games. I was forewarned…this could days…

Minions - parents

 

 

Nerd is the Word

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Nerd is the Word! This week was Vacation Bible Camp at our church, and I was asked to help with the morning skits. I jumped in whole-heartedly – fashion, voice and mannerisms.  I had a parent tell me her kids talked about me all afternoon. I had kids ask to be introduced to me. The kids giggled with glee and empathized every time disaster struck! My co-actor couldn’t look at me because I would distract her! It was awesome…or should I say “aweshum”!

Nerd Girl

It wasn’t so long ago that no one wanted to be identified as a nerd. Stereotypical nerds were smart but underweight and ungainly individuals with a keen lack of fashion sense, and who preferred relationships with machines and mathematics to people. They were decidedly uncool or even creepy!

Creepy friend

In her essay, The Rise of Nerds’ Popularity, Sandra Friedrichs, speculated that 3 key factors could be attributed to the rapidly increasing in popularity and the acceptance of “nerds” in society.

First, the definition (and connotation) of “nerd” has become positive.  Outsiders to the lifestyle and attitude that has been categorized as nerd, are more tolerant. Nerds are being viewed as passionate rather than odd. It’s becoming “hip to be square”!

Second, technology. Technology, science, and “nerdy” interests dominate our culture and our daily lives. It is used and appreciated by nearly everyone. In addition, technology has been used to connect people with similar interests and to promote products, like gadgets and clothing, and social opportunities like conventions. The stuff of nerds is offering something for everyone.

Third, nerds are more heavily featured in t.v. series, movies and video games. Superhero movies saturate the coming attractions, with apocalyptic and sci-fi genres not far behind. Kate Turner, in her article, “Revenge of the Nerds: The Rise and Prominence of Nerd Culture” contributes the reboots and adaptations of classic nerd material for creating new admirers and bonding them with original fans.

Lists of most popular nerds through the decades differ. XXX top 3 picks are: . At Ranker.com, you can vote for your favourite Greatest Geeks in TV History! From James Bond’s “Q” and The Professor constructing primitive machinery with bamboo and coconuts on Gilligan’s Island in the 1960’s, to Abbie Sciuto (NCIS) and Big Bang’s Sheldon Cooper (and the rest of the gang) on t.v. this week, we shout “Say it loud. I’m a nerd and proud”, Lewis, Revenge of The Nerds (1983).

Have a good weekend! Live long and prosper!

 

 

WPC: Bridge

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Bridges and rivers seem to bring back childhood memories.

First, there was the bridge near my Grandmother’s house in the summer, where I’d throw sticks in on one side and race over to the other side to see which one came out first. There were no cars to worry about. The bridge itself a single lane and the barrier a single, thick wire. I dropped her binoculars once and she had to climb down the rocky bank to retrieve it.

There’s the bridge near my parents’ home, named after a family of escaped slaves, where we’d ride our bikes in the summer, now just remains.

There were the bridges WPC: Frame & Rare) from last summer’s vacation. Below are photos of the train bridge over the river – different years and in all 4 seasons.

 

Top left: Winter mist; Top right: Spring; Middle right: Fall; Bottom: Summer

To see more photographic interpretations of Bridge, click here.

Gotta Have Faith

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Yesterday afternoon, as I crawled along in traffic on the highway, I started composing a humorous post for a Friday afternoon to mark the end of the first full week of summer vacation.

Just before I pulled out of the parking lot after a “pit stop”, I checked my phone and there was a text from Big Guy. All I read was “Call me” and my heart caught in my throat. There were other messages – “Give Little Guy a big hug for me when you see him”, “a little guy was killed by S’ house…darted out at a moving truck, got caught under the rear wheel…”.

Right around the corner from our home. An intersection I pass every day.

My heart broke.

I called Big Guy back right away – he has such a tender heart.

As parents, we do our best to protect our children, but accidents can still happen, cancer can still develop and we are powerless to stop all of it. In an instant, our world can be completely shattered, and we are forever changed.

As I headed on down the highway, I prayed for this family. It was disjointed and poorly articulated, often filled with long silences and deep sighs. My head was empty and my heart was full. And it was in one of those long silences that my ears tuned in to the song on the radio. “…have faith faith, I gotta to have faith, faith, faith” sang George Michael. And I smiled. It was the closest thing to an answer to a question I didn’t know how to articulate:

                                                Gotta have faith.

I know what I believe; sometimes the only thing I can do is have faith. To trust that God will take care of my kids, and if my world is ever shattered, and when my world changes (because we know change is inevitable), have faith that God will steady the ground and help me to walk through it too.

Little Guy got 2 big hugs when I arrived: one from my and one from his big brother.

Snow White

Photo courtesy of sadmoment.com

Hugs to you too!

WPC: Passage of Time

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A large, empty building, built in the early 1940’s, once a hub of activity for mechanics and pilots preparing for war, now a haven for swallows and small, recreational planes.

For this week’s challenge, share a photo that symbolizes transitions, changes and the passage of time.

Airplane Hangar 2

 

The office and tool building was built in the centre, and the markings for the tools are still on the walls inside the tiny room. The stairs to the upper rooms are gone, and there were no markings inside to even hint at the men who once worked and laughed inside. Just a couple of labels still glued to the wall.

They were people … who disappeared little by little in their own time, turning into memories, mists from other days, until they were absorbed into oblivion.
– Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

To see more photos, click here.

I feel invisible…

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Sometimes I feel invisible, and I’m talking literally, not figuratively.

I went to Wal-Mart last night. Three times in fact. Once for a few groceries and Canada Day t-shirts for Hubby’s “Spirit Day” at work. All the shirts were gone but I found gaudy red Canada Day backpacks for $5! The second trip – to submit 5 years worth of photos to finish an album on the weekend, and a few groceries. But the photos were still on my desktop. The third time, to print the photos from my memory stick. I’m not going back a fourth time!

It happened on the way home from the third (and final!) trip. Envelope in hand, I walked toward the exit, fully expecting the sliding glass door to swish open. The door had other plans.

You cannot pass! – Gandolf, Lord of the Rings

I nearly walked into it.

Stunned, I took a few steps back and tried again. It still didn’t open. I looked around. At that rare, singular moment in history, there was no one around. No one coming in. No one going out. In Wal-Mart. It was spooky!

I should have applied the old expression: Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me.

I didn’t! I tried a third time.

In retrospect, I should have just tried the other door. Instead, I waved my arms in the air like I was desperately trying to fly. I put my left foot…I put my left foot out…I did the hokey-pokey and I turned myself around. Still…

Black Knight: None shall pass!
King Arthur: I have no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight. But I must cross this bridge.
Black Knight: Then you shall die.
**Monty Python & the Holy Grail

All the insecurities in who I am, all the existential questions about my purpose rose to the surface, and I refused to be bested by a door! I was, after all, a valuable human being. I had feelings, hopes, dreams, even the potential to change the world. I deserved to be seen and heard. I was NOT invisible.

So I mustered all that pent up rage and insecurity, and with hands on hips, I glared at it. If invisibility was my new superpower, maybe I had other superpowers?!?

And as I glared, a dumpy middle-aged in short cut-off denim shorts and a stained white t-shirt that didn’t cover his pasty white beer belly, strolled by. He didn’t even glance my way.

And the door swished open…

Ohters-crazy-looks-good-on-you

I may be in the next People of Wal-Mart video.

Happy Weekend!