Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Bubble Man...

...that's me! There are so many things to tell you all about General Synod, but I think this might be my favorite. I was a volunteer at General Synod this time around. (You can't say "this year" about something that happens every two years, right?) I wasn't at the registration table, like the people in the picture, but I did get to wear a snazzy blue shirt. I was a greeter, and as such I found myself standing outside the Civic Center, smiling, answering questions... and blowing bubbles. It may seem like I was shirking my duty, but I really wasn't. I was greeting on the tail end of Synod, and most everyone knew their way around by that point. And blowing bubbles didn't keep me from greeting, smiling, and answering questions. Besides, bubbles make people smile. It is always amazing to watch people's reactions to bubbles. Children, of course, want to play with them themselves. (And I, of course, let them.) Some children were very eager to show me how to blow the biggest bubbles. Some simply wanted me to keep blowing bubbles for them to pop!

Youth are another thing altogether. And if you believe that, I've got a nice bridge to sell you. Granted, some are too cool to pay attention to bubbles, or at least try to be. I saw one young man, I'd venture to guess of Latin descent, purposefully striding down the street. He was wearing a backwards baseball cap, baggy jeans, and a tight white tank top with nothing but rippling teenage muscles beneath. A gust of wind took a whole flock of bubbles into his path, and he succinctly waved them out of his way. Then he caught me grinning at him, and dared to smile. Cool kinds aside, quite a few of the youth reacted immediately with a joyous cry of "BUBBLES!" Some even thanked me for the bubbles! And one brother and sister immediately set about the very serious task of attempting to catch the bubbles... on their tongues! One of them actually accomplished the feat!

Full grown adults seem to be the least likely to chase the bubbles down and pop them with their hands, let alone their tongues. But if you watch adults closely, they will smile. Sometimes it's only with their eyes, but they do. Sometimes they even give you a big grin, a wave, or a thumbs up! A few people proclaimed, "Hey, it's the Bubble Man!" and I would grin and say, "Yup, that's me!" or "Absolutely!" Some few adults would strike up conversations with me, and I would invariably tell them this story.

I was a Youth Delgate to General Synod 22, which was held in Providence, Rhode Island. (Geeze, that was in 1999... practically ancient history.) I remember sitting at a table during a plenary session, bored out of my ever-loving mind, when I looked across the hall and saw that some other Conference had one of those bubble guns and was sending streams of bubbles up into the rafters. It was amazing to see these very serious delegates, very seriously paying attention to the utterly boring meeting... until a bubble came floating by, and then suddenly a sense of awe and wonder and simple child-like happiness would overcome them. I've bought bubbles—and used them—at every Synod I've been to since.

Well, the sidewalk is pretty uncrowded when a mom and her daughter come around the corner. The mom is half a block away when she calls out to me. "You're the coolest volunteer I've seen so far! You're the only one who's had toys!" So we strike up a conversation, and I start to tell my bubble story. Only when I get to the point where I say, "some other conference" she can't contain herself any more.

"That was me! I had the bubble gun!"

So I made a cool connection and proved to myself, once again, that it really is a small world after all.

Be good to each other
Rev. Bubble Man

PS Go blow some bubbles someplace crowded, it's worth the time.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Under Construction

I've just finished overhauling my blog! Isn't it pretty? I hope it is also functioning for you. I've had a few little catches along the way, and I hope to be able to tweak it... well, anyway, I hope you enjoy it, and please bare with me as I get used to the new stuff!

Be good to each other.
Rev. Josh

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Father's Day... and not.

First of all, I'd like to wish a very happy Father's Day to my dad. I know it's Wednesday, I've been very busy. And unfortunately I was very busy last Sunday, too. But Jenny got to go home and be with the dads various, so my father did get his card, and his copy of His Dark Materials, by Phillip Pullman. And besides which, I'll get to see him soon when the family comes down for General Synod.

And now for the "not" of the post title. I recently ran across this somewhere, and discovered that it's on Youtube. It's a Japanese gameshow, and, well, it's just fun-looking, ok? *grin*

Be good to each other!
Rev. Josh

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Queer Kinda Day

Queer is one of those words that means many things and is in fact undergoing change. One must, therefore, be careful in how it is used. When I use the word (and I do use it very sparingly because I don't want to offend our gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered (glbt) brothers and sisters)I usually intend it as an umbrella term for glbt folk. It has, of course, a history of being what the dictionaries call "offensive slang," but it is also being reclaimed by the glbt community, so... languange in flux. So you might be asking yourself why I would be using such elusive language in a post. The answer is simple. The poet in me couldn't help it! It was a queer, as in strange, kind of day in part because it was a day where extremely straight themes ran along side extremely queer as in glbt themes!

I performed a funeral today. Very straight-laced and one might assume heterosexual croud. It went well, but it was, well... a funeral and all the somber that normally entails. After the funeral I had some wonderful conversation with Dr. Joe, which is by definition an experience of a queer. (Don't worry, Dr. Joe is very out and would enjoy the turn of phrase, he wouldn't be offended so you don't need to be either.) And the first thing I ran into this morning before the funeral was the following advertisement.
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I don't know how much time I'm gonna have to get into this film festival, but I really want to. Maybe some of you will get to see some of it and will be willing to let me know what you think?

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh

Friday, June 01, 2007

Grand Experiment

Or rather, the abrupt beginning and end of a grand experiment. I believe that in a previous post I might have mentioned that I was considering an alternitive mode of transportation to work. Something that will help me save on gas. ($$) Something that will help me get a little more exercise. Something that would be fun to learn, maybe. And then I remembered my skateboard! I never got very far with it as a kiddo, because we lived in a housing development where we didn't have sidewalks. In fact, there are very few places in all of town that does. I've always wondered how the skater culture took root at home, with no place to, you know, skate. Anyway, it turns out that the old board was still at home, and so I asked Jenny to bring it here one of the last times she took a trip up there. That and my helmet. (gotta protect the ol' noggin) It was just as pink as I remembered. (What? It's from the '80s, man!) And... lo and behold I can make it go in a straight line! Score! That's all you need to stay on the sidewalk, right? So, fully aware of how silly I must look, I got up one morning, got dressed in my work clothes, added my helmet, and skated off. I got maybe a third of the way to work when I ran into sidewalk that looked a little like this:

and then like this:

and this:

and finally, this:

I think... I didn't think to get much in frame that would tell me where exactly along the sidewalk these were taken. But you get the picture. I was probably carrying my board for at least half the way to work. At which point, why shouldn't I just walk?

Now where'd my bike go?

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh