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I went to church today!

Pope Happycat
...An Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church, but it's a church nonetheless.

Steve had gone with a couple of his friends to a three-gun match up in Phoenix, leaving me with the morning and early afternoon on my own. I'd be aching with curiosity about the IFB church on Sandario, Living Word, because it is a little white building with a steeple and looks as traditionally "churchy" as you can get. So I packed up my 1611 King James Bible , put on a long skirt and a shirt that came to my elbows and covered my collarbone and off I went.

I was shocked when I got there. The congregation for the 11 a.m. service was maybe 40 people, and I was the youngest one there. I did not expect that. A couple of the women were wearing knee-length shorts and one even had a sleeveless blouse. The pastor was wearing khakis and a button down shirt, no tie. Stephen Anderson, the "Pissing Preacher" of Tempe, might be a shitstain on the ragged cotton briefs of society, but he always wears a jacket and tie when he has his Bible-based tantrums in front of his audience. The church is not KJV only either; a variety of Bibles including the NIV were in use.

Yelling seems to be inseparable from IFBs, but Pastor Mike wasn't doing it in a mean way, just an "I'm very excited about what I'm telling you" way. He also used a LOT more of the Bible than I've seen in non-liturgical services, including a full chapter of Matthew (15).

What was depressing, though, is that their god is Fear. Fear of current events. Fear of anything outside the security of Bible fundamentalism. And most of all, fear of death and decay. I think that the idea of dying and going into the earth naturally, to melt back into the earth and nourish the plants and insect life surrounding the body, is very beautiful. They were clinging to the idea that we will all be resurrected, and referred to 1 Corinthians about how if Jesus were not resurrected, we would be the deadest of the dead and all we do would be in vain.

This to me doesn't suggest they think all that highly of the Gospel message beyond "gettin' saved". Consider the Good Samaritan. That man's actions of saving another man's life would be "in vain"? Jesus's words to tax collectors and Roman soldiers would be "in vain"?

Needless to say, I didn't do the altar call at the end of the service. The fact that they sang "I Have Decided To Follow Jesus" like a dirge, when it needs foot-stomping and hand-clapping and joyful noise, didn't help a bit.

I'll be away for at least one weekend doing the Annual Training thing, but the other IFB church isKJV 1611-only, and I can't wait to see that. There's also the Red Rock Community Church, whose congregation seems to live entirely along one particular county road and the non-denominational church beside the one I went to today. During that time, I might need to hit up St. Bede's Anglican for a dose of sanity. I've also been told that the Anglicans don't demand you literally believe in God, so that's a plus.

Plurk

astrology, sun
What is it for? Who uses it?

"Dracula"

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I received "The Annotated Dracula" that cinchntouch recommended. I've spent a little bit of time flipping through it, and gelling what I thought while reading.

I read the Gutenberg Project edition that came on my little Aluratek e-reader, so it was a bare bones read. There's no question that it's Victorian; all the tropes are there. There's Good Knightly Christian Men and Saintly and Childlike Christian Women. All upper class, of course, and rich. I was, however, very surprised to find that Mina was technologically savvy for the time, knowing how to use both a phonograph and a typewriter.

I found my favourite part of the book was actually the parts when the characters are not in England. The travelogue-like narrative and their sense of wonder as they go to eastern Europe and are confronted by people very unlike (and thus exotic to) them felt very real.

Dracula himself doesn't appear all that much, but he's much more frightening than he's usually portrayed. For instance, he can go out during the day; he's just weak when he does. He can become a bat or a wolf. He can read minds of those who have drunk his blood. He's smart and yet Van Helsing points out that he still has the potential to grow much smarter, and stronger, and that his plans include world domination...

It's a book that invites a lot of contemplation. I imagine this is what makes it such a classic.

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Today, I....

Pleased Garma
In the past, I've often had entries marked, "Today I...." These were entries I wrote while I was feeling down or I was unemployed, or both, with the purpose of reminding myself I wasn't useless.

Today I'm not feeling useles, but I slept very well last night and today, by noon, I have:

FINALLY uploaded the last travel documents to DTS (Defense Travel System, the nightmarish website we military have to use to get paid for our travel expenses). I have some hope that I might, just MIGHT get paid finally for work done in Utah in April.

I also have some hope I might get paid by midnight tonight for work done in June and early July. That would be freaking nice.

I did more of the ALC pre-class that has to be done online.

I finished reading Dracula. More on this later.

So as a reward I am take care of whatever housekeeping needs to be done and try to be creative, or at least just read or watch movies. Won't have as much time for that when I do start working, whenever that may be.

Jul. 21st, 2014

night, dreams
I dreamt last night that I was working on Coronado again, only I was in the Army full time. I had been assigned to the awful old woman who was my boss at Montreal Trust in 1991-1992. Alfreda had made one adjustment to the future though; she was running a DOS machine with a dot matrix printer. The pool of paralegals outside her office contained the SFC from Bagram whose antics drove me to a suicide attempt (see the entries from December 2009).

It's hard to piece together what exactly was happening when. One of the Army sergeants I was working with in the dream had to do a conference call with her Basic Training company because she had missed part of Basic and if she didn't do it, her rank would be revoked. She was crying later because none of us came to her Basic graduation after she did the bit she was required to do. So I got to watch someone else's "sent back to high school" anxiety dream. I felt bad for not going to her Basic graduation.

The Navy were doing a lot of marching around in formation atop their ships. I kept having to dodge their formations as I was going to the office where I worked. I hate drill and ceremony and thought, this is in my future as the Army goes back to garrison life.

I also met briefly with T. Thorn Coyle on the way. She'd just done a workshop and I asked her about the coincidence of working for two bad female former bosses. I started talking about opening my own credit union (do not ask me where THAT came from). She said I should do it, and that this came from my grandmother, who was standing behind me.

I went to see the SFC, who made snarky comments about me being lazy. I told her Alfreda never told me anything she was doing. SFC said, "Oh, you've come to me for advice". She turned on Alfreda's ancient PC, and we also looked at the dot-matrix printout on her desk where we discussed everything on it.

There was a side dream about people who kept sending me questionable images from a science fiction manga they were reading, which ended with two men (not boys) kissing. I appreciated the gesture, but not at work.

Pad Thai

Food
So I made the Pad Thai that patgund recommended yesterday. I liked it enough to decide to make again.

A few months back, I bought myself a recipe journal, so this was the first entry. Steve had comments and I have things that I want to change for next time. For instance:

8 oz raw shrimp
Steve said he'd like more fish sauce
I forgot to have lime chunks on hand, and that was dumb.

Definitely a keeper, and I'll make it with these tweaks next time. Thanks, Pat!

I have a jar of tamarind paste...

Food
So if any of you have tried and true recipes for Pad Thai, let me know. I have fish sauce and rice noodles waiting in the pantry.

Jul. 18th, 2014

astrology, sun

Facebook and Tumblr are no longer on my phone but LJ is!

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I've deleted my Tumblr

Urge to kill
I got way too much hate for my refusal to acknowledge Convict Bradley Manning as a woman, much less as "Chelsea". While I DO acknowledge that Bergdahl should be the one in prison and Manning be at least promoted to Specialist and released, I maintain that Manning's being "trans" is a ploy to not be in Leavenworth.

I don't think people much liked me anyway, and I can't blame them. I'm a fucking egoist, and a know it all. Still, there is no reason to be around people who don't enjoy my company, even if I did like being around them for their creativity.

"My Amityville Horror"

Yellow Sign
This is a documentary that you can see on Netflix streaming. It is about Daniel Lutz, now 49, the eldest son in the Amityville case. I'm fascinated by Amityville, which I maintain was an elaborate hoax. Daniel says it was true, but tells little of the story. What does come through is that he hated his stepfather George, who I gathered from reading the book back in the caveman days, was an abusive ex-Marine with no parenting skills. How much of Dan's memories are influenced by details from the movie, and how much are based in his fear and loathing of George are very much the question.

As an added bonus, we get to see him meeting again with Lorraine Warren, who "investigated" the house with her husband Ed, who is now deceased. Lorraine's crazy Traditionalist Catholicism is nicely on display, and one is also left wondering how much was the influence of the Warrens.

The Warrens are also the subject of the movie "The Conjuring" which is "based on true events." I could go on about the Warrens and the harm I feel they have done for hours, so if anyone reading has an opinion, let's talk.

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