Sunday, January 31, 2010

Grand... 6 grand, actually...

Photo snapped during the audience participation portion of Black Water

Well, we did indeed have a grand time last night, and we raised more than $6,100 for UMCOR's Haiti Emergency Fund. (That total would've been just over $3,000, which would be nothing to sneeze at, but at some point before the Finance Committee chair finished counting the money, an anonymous donor let him know that whatever the total, this person would match it. Awesome.) That doesn't count other gifts that were added to the offering plate in worship this morning, and still others that were designated for the same cause the previous two Sundays.

As far as the performance itself goes, if we can just make the time to go out on tour, doing the same two song sets every night for the next six months, we'll have this thing down.... (Oh, wait. That's one of many reasons I'm not a rock star.) Seriously, things did go pretty well from a musical standpoint. And it was good to see different people in the crowd, too -- not just folks from our congregation. We weren't quite at standing-room-only, but I don't think I've seen the sanctuary that full since Easter.

Twenty-one songs is a lot of work, especially when you begin by whittling the list down from 40, finding mistakes in every chord sheet, enduring waves of panic when you're certain you'll never have it ready on time, deciding exactly how to play every intro, bridge, chorus, etc. ... But I think this is the point, at least for some of us, when the pendulum swings from "This is too much trouble. Let's never do one of these again..." all the way over to, "Hey, what's our next set list going to look like?"

There's no telling when we'll actually do another concert, but I confess, I like it when the pendulum has swung over to this side.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Five: Social Media

Over at RevGalBlogPals, KathrynZJ writes: I had the joy of spending time with Songbird last weekend, someone I would have never met had it not been for the blogosphere. Now we keep in touch using a large variety of methods: blog (hers a lot, mine not so much lately), facebook, twitter, text messaging, chat and email. So far there has been no skype.

It got me to thinking of the pros and cons of these relatively new means of communication and interconnecting and so I ask you the following:

1) What have been the benefits for you of social networking (blog, twitter, facebook, etc...) Too many to list here. Personal benefits have been great, but it helps me in my spiritual life and my work, too. I'm part of a connectional denomination, and I believe we are more connected than ever thanks to social media. And because I work for an organization historically related to the denomination, it's a big advantage in my job.

2) Which medium do you use the most? Or if you use them all, for what do you use each of them? I figure I use FB the most, even though it's not my favorite. I'm on there because other people are on there, and there are lots of advantages to being connected in that way.

3) If you could invent a networking site (with no limits on your imagination), what would it provide? What would it not provide? I'm a big fan of not reinventing the wheel in this regard. In the past year I've been part of a team that has tried to encourage conversation among United Methodists in our geographical area, and the decision was made to go with a non-FB platform. Hardly anyone uses it. I think there are probably deeper reasons why people don't want to discuss in a dedicated public forum, but I suspect it might've been easier for some to do so if we had just piggybacked on what many people were already using. (The person who said he wouldn't participate if it were on FB because he didn't want to be on there? Well, he hasn't signed up on this other network, either.)

4) Who have you met that you would not have met if it were not for the 'miracle' of social networking? LOTS of people. Fellow United Methodist bloggers, many of the people in the RevGals webring, even some folks in my metro area that I only discovered because of their online writing.

5) Who do you secretly pray does not one day try to 'friend/follow' you? Well, it's not a secret any more if I post it on here, is it? ;-) But I'd have to say it's pretty much anyone from high school besides the one person from there who is already my friend. This is the reason I do not put my maiden name on FB.

BONUS: What was the most random/weird/unsettling/wonderful connection you made that would not have happened if it were not for the ease of which we can find each other in the computer realm? This is a really tough bonus question! Social networking has gotten me into a lot of rewarding stuff: friendships with RevGals and others, dog rescues, blogger meetups... There's a certain kindred dog mama I'm very glad to have met, among many others... if I spent the time to link to them all, I'd never publish this post! And I love the way that second-level conversation happens so quickly when you've known someone online and meet them in person. The pleasantries are still there, but you can pretty much skip the small talk and get down to real stuff. It's a blessing.

Monday, January 25, 2010


As of Friday, Foster the Dog is being called by his real, forever name: Amos.

We didn't know he was Amos! We're glad his new people did. Things are going well for him. He has 2/3 of an acre, all fenced, and a dog to play with next door. Plus a bed and crate inside, and nice people who will take excellent care of him.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Scattered thoughts, collected.

It turns out that Foster the Dog was indeed the charmer we hoped he would be on Tuesday night. He is moving in with his new people tomorrow. I'm really pleased with this match. Our dogs will be pleased too, because although they get along well with Foster, after a week of living here he seems to be wearing on their nerves a bit.

We have made an overnight reservation at this place for a few months from now. Lovely Niece and New Nephew (he needs a better blog name) will be joining us for the hike. It's an adventure, typical of our vacationing style, but perhaps ratcheted up a notch. I've warned The Alpha that I'll likely have to stop 3 miles into it and take a whine break. (The wine break, an entirely different thing, is at the top of the mountain. Accompanied by supper.)

A couple of months after that, The Alpha is accompanying De Youts on their mission trip. This year, they've selected what he's been wishing they'd select for a few years now. I told him that if they have a shortage of responsible adult females, I could probably be persuaded to go along on this one.

We have four more band rehearsals until our gig. Given recent events, the performance will now include a love offering to benefit disaster relief via The potential it has to make a difference where so much help is needed has given me a new sense of excitement. Also, Mary Beth says she's planning to attend!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Foster Dog update

Foster (as we've been calling him -- the name he came with from the shelter just doesn't seem to fit) has an appointment this evening with prospective adopters.

He kept moving at just the wrong time for every photo I took this morning, so this is the best one I got, and he's blinking. (I happen to think dogs are cute when they get caught blinking, so I'm going with it.)

He's a good boy, and I really hope this home is a match for him. I know them, and they're good people. Good people and a good dog should be a great match. I'm praying that it will be so.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday night randomosity

- I'm not sure "randomosity" is actually a word, but I don't really care about finding out.
- Haiti is on my mind. Giving through UMCOR is on my Twitter and Facebook accounts. All of the money given toward relief goes directly toward relief, not to administrative costs.
- I'm picking up another foster dog tomorrow. Yes, I'm the Crazy Dog Lady. Photos to follow, I'm sure.
- My weekend will include dog-fostering, putting together a gig binder for the concert on the 30th, more rehearsal for said concert, and the usual stuff (i.e., church and laundry).
- This point brought to you by Escapism: Tonight's back-to-back episodes of 30 Rock were amazing. Best writing so far this season!
- I know something someone else doesn't know. Just sayin', in that sing-songy voice from the playground.
- My friend Eric wrote this quite measured reaction to Pat Robertson. Thank you, Eric. My own reaction wasn't suitable for print or digital media.
- Heading bedwards now. G'night!