this is no longer my blog

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Day Two

Day Two arrives insanely and unGodly early, despite the fact that it is occurring at a nunnery. UnGodly, in this instance, means both Outrageous and Sinful; wicked. It is because I know that many pastor-types are sharing a common bathroom. I want a warm, uncrowded shower. I get up, walk across the hall to the bathroom, and into an open shower. I do not like these showers. In fact I hate these showers for a number of reasons: Reason One: They were designed for small, midget nuns. The nozzle is so low that the spray of water hits me in the middle of the back. It is an exercise of leg muscles to lower myself to the point where it is able to wet my hair. Reason Two: I do not know how many people have showered before me. All I know is that when I entered there were two others in separate showers, and then one left. Two of us are showering at this moment. You would think that a retreat center such as this nunnery would have a water heater capable of heating enough water for people to shower. You'd be wrong. As I am showering the water fluctuates from hypothermic-turn-my-skin-blue-I-can't-feel-my-feet-cold to oh-my-sweet-Jesus-my-skin-is-melting-instant-blister-boiling-hot. There is no middle ground. I feel like crying. At this point I have only wet my hair down. I decide that it will be enough. I turn of the water, quickly dry, get dressed, open the shower curtain, exit, turn to leave when I see him. He was the other pastor in the shower at the same time as me. He is standing halfway out of his shower. He is all soapy. He is rotund and hairy. He is naked. He is in between me and the exit. He asks if I have hot water. I avert my eyes, focusing intently on his face. I tell him my predicament with the shower. But you had hot water? Please stop talking to me. Large, hairy, naked men blocking me in the bathroom and talking to me make me uncomfortable. No, I didn't have hot water by the end. Leavemealone!! Darn, he says, I'm still soaped up. Sorry, I did not notice the large amount of soap suds dripping off your flabby, pasty, hairy body. I need to leave. I quickly exit as he moves back into the shower. I retreat back to my room and finish getting ready, putting on extra amounts of deodorant for good measure. I grab the sheets of paper that have the Bible readings for this coming Sunday that Supervising gave me for the text study our text study group is having today at breakfast. I go to the dining hall and Liberal-woman is already there, saving seats. I sit across from her and wer begin eating and talking and finally we are joined by the rest. It is noisy and hard to concentrate and I thank God that I don't have to preach this weekend, because the text study is usually helpful for me and today I can't hear much. Well, after breakfast we had another session, followed by a Spanish worship (nothing is funnier than hearing extremely white people [there were a few ethnic minorities, but by few I mean two] try to sing in Spanish. Well, there are probably funnier things, but not many). After worship is lunch. I do not remember who I sat by at lunch. I'm thinking Supervising and PA.. oh yeah, that's right. And once-i-was-a-lutheran-pastor-but-i-quit-three-years-after-ordaining-and-then-was-involved-in-the-ucc-church-although-now-i'm-an-interim-at-a-luthern-church-but-retiring-january-pastor who doesn't really shut up the whole meal, and then can't believe that we all finished before him because he was a fast eater. Wait, nevermind, that was supper the previous day. Shoot. So I don't really recall lunch that day. Anyway, it doesn't matter... Oh yeah. I tried to sit at the table by some intern people I knew, because people were already sitting by Supervising and PA. So I sit down and notice that it is full of married people. The two interns are married, they are sitting by a clergy couple, and there are a couple of random spouses (although funny-wife and quiet-wife are not there). I say to one of my fellow interns, this is the spouse table, isn't it. She says yes, but I could pretend to be a spouse, if I wanted. I say heck no, I ate with the bishop yesterday, I'm not going to do it again if I don't have to. I get up and sit by an pastor who's sitting by PA. Turns out he went to my college and then my seminary, although several decades before me. And he knows my dad. Kind of. Anyway, I decide to leave after I'm done eating. There are some more sessions, then we have free time. Some people, Supervising included, have signed up for golf. I don't seem to have the patience for golf. PA has left to go home to take her test she studied for last night. I run into getting-ordained-in-november-pastor. He is in the same conference I am and I met him at our last conference meeting. He asks me what's going on. I say I don't know. He says he signed up for golf, but three hours seems rushed. I think 3 hours seems like an unGodly long time to play golf. See my previous definition for unGodly. It still applies. So he asks me what we're going to do, then. He wants to do something, whether it's going to Galena or driving around. I say I ran into Young and he was talking about going into Galena with another guy. We could connect with them. We see Young. He cannot find other-guy. I say maybe we should ditch other-guy. We do. So Young and November and I drive to Galena. As we are walking down the street we run into other-guy. Seems he thought he saw Young drive by when he was standing in the parking lot so he drove himself. Turns out it wasn't Young and other-guy got there like fifteen minutes before us, because Young spent those fifteen minutes waiting and searching for other-guy. So we are walking up and down the shopping district of Galena in different and random stores. They see a bar and want to get some drinks. I panic because I have not solved my cash problem yet. We sit down in the bar and they hand us menus and we order beers and I say "Are we getting anything to eat?" thinking that we can just get rid of the menus. Young wants to get an appetizer. Other-guy says he doesn't really need anything. November says he would help eat something but doesn't need anything. I say I don't need anything, mainly thinking because I have no money. Young orders an appetizer sampler. We devour it. So after drinking and eating the fried food that comes in an appetizer sampler we decide that it's time to go. November says he wants to help pay for mine because he knows what it's like to be a poor intern. Young says he'll chip in. So does other-guy. So I didn't pay for a thing. After that we walk back down to Young's car, November decides to ride with other-guy, so Young and I drive back by ourselves. Young thinks he knows a different way to get back to where we're going. I'm sure you know what's coming next... He really doesn't. We drive on this random road, but by the grace of God Young decides to turn around. He goes back the way he knows. I'm just worried and don't want to be late, because the nuns at the nunnery, obviously having a flashback to old fashioned Catholic education, wrote us all a note saying food would be removed from the serving area at exactly 6:15. It is 5:30ish and I want to make sure that we don't get rapped with a ruler. When we get back to the nunnery we run into really-nice-but-i-have-glasses-that-horribly-magnify-my-eyes-pastor. He's a funny guy and also in my text study. He is a little odd, and tries to be funny all of the time (usually succeeding), and so I like him. He's one of my favorite pastor acquaintances so far. So Young, Glasses and I walk to the food area. We get there just in time to be ahead of the large, mostly white college Gospel choir that will be entertaining us that evening. Young, Glasses and I sit at a long table. Mean-nunnery-dining-hall-employee lady tells us that's reserved for the large, mostly white college Gospel choir. We get up and move to another table. In about 15 minutes I notice that flabby-pasty-hairy-naked-pastor is sitting at a table with the choir, although at this point he is clothed THANK YOU JESUS. I mention it to the others, but they are not as righteously indignant as I am. We are shortly joined by kind-of-odd-but-fun-nameless-intern's-supervisor-i'm-a-woman-but-i-go-by-a-man's-name-pastor. I'm a bit hesitant because at this point I don't know her, but after a rousing round of putting "in bed" at the end of different hymns I realize she is one of the gang. So after a fabulously immature meal we go back for more sessions. The choir is performing that evening and Supervising helps me make a row a few feet behind the back row so that, if needed, we can escape for martinis early. I say that I might be feeling the Spirit move and be dancing. He says that's okay as long as I notice and the Spirit moves me out the door, too. So after the choir, and several of the youth give their testimonies, and they sing songs that make many of the choir members cry, it is over. They did a good job. I would go see them again. So then the same group as last night, plus a few more who really don't need long and hard to type names, head out to Galena for martinis. So we're sitting there, probably about 13 of us around the table, and we begin ordering drinks. I order some martinis that aren't really martinis, they just call them that. My drinks involve things like chocolate liqueor, raspberry liquor, vanilla vodka, kahlua, and cream. I order one. It goes down smooth. It tastes like chocolate heaven. I order another one. It goes down smooth. It tastes like raspberry truffle heaven. We joke around, share some jokes, suddenly random-drunk-man comes in. Seems he knows we're pastors. He does what drunk men do best and begins talking to us. A lot of things are inappropriate. He tries to buy shots for Liberal-woman pastor and woman-with-a-man's-name-pastor. This doesn't sit well with them. He won't listen. I get up, I say "Hey J.B. No means no. Don't pressure them." He says okay and shoots both himself. I am received by approving glances from Supervising and Adninistrative-assistant-to-the-bishop. Random drunk man reveals he was recently released from prison. By recently he means yesterday. He begins to tell us how to do our job, mainly in how we relate to people with similar situations and backgrounds as him. He has a lot of decent stuff to say. Randomly throughout the evening I try to get funny-South-African-pastor to dance on the table. He says only if I do. We decide tables are not very sturdy and we might fall and hurt ourselves. We decide not to do it. Probably a wise decision. Random drunk man leaves. Glasses-pastor makes a joke, calls Libeal-woman a puppy because she is young. She says she's not a puppy. She says I'm a puppy. Glasses begins to call me puppy. I have a flashback to when I was a youth director and spent a whole staff meeting listening to co-pastors and secretary talk about how I was the office puppy. I tell Glasses if he calls me puppy one more time I'm gonna pee on his leg. This is met with much laughter and approval. Later on in the evening I am given the opportunity to explain to Liberal-woman, woman-with-a-man's-name and Glasses the story behind the puppy incident. Glasses says he will no longer call me puppy, i am now his Dog. Liberal-woman, speaking from experience, says most of the time people doing with youth tend to get shat on. After drinking three martinis and the arrival of my fourth, I realize I am much much drunker than I had previously thought. But I cannot waste this martini, not with a name like Jamaica Me Crazy. I drink it. I begin to think that I am being obnoxiously drunk. I become overly self-conscious. I am afraid Supervising or other pastor types are extremely disapproving. We get up to pay and leave. Supervising tells me he paid for one of mine. Young says he paid for two. I only have to pay for one. I'm not too afraid that they disapprove anymore. In the course of the conversation Liberal-woman asks if I know where I want to go after graduating from internship because they want me back in this synod. I say I wouldn't mind ending up there. Administrative-assistant-to-the-bishop says she'll remember that. I say to Supervising you've got connections, too, right? He says yes, he does. I am feeling extremely popular and liked and like I'm living my junior high wet dream at this moment. We go back to the nunnery. I sit up and drink seven glasses of water and take three excedrin. But I am tired and go to bed drunk. To save you from suspense, I wake up hung over. But that is after the End of Day Two!

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