Saturday, April 28, 2007

What kind of nerd am I?

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Musician

Doo doo de doo waaaa doo de doo! (<-- That's you playing something.) Everyone appreciates the band/orchestra geeks and the pretty voices. Whether you sing in the choir, participate in a school/local band, or sit at home writing music, you contribute a joy to society that everyone can agree on. Yay! Welcome to actually doing something for poor, pathetic human souls. (Just kidding.)

Literature Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Drama Nerd
Social Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

Orthodox Saints Meme

From Elizabeth:

1. Name four of your favourite Saints.
2. Name one who was well on the way to sanctity, is widely venerated already and very likely to be made a Saint in due course.
3. Name one who isn't yet publicly declared a saint but probably should be made a Saint.

Here we go!

1a. the Theotokos, my patroness
b. St. John of San Francisco
c. St. Sophia
d. I have about 10 more and I can't whittle it down.... its like cutting off one of my arms: St. Joseph the Betrothed, Mother Maria Skobtsova, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Mary of Egypt, St. John of Damascus, St. Elizabeth, St. Nina of Georgia....

2. Blessed Olga of Alaska

3. Metropolitan Leonty Turkevich, Aristidi Chacho

Friday, April 27, 2007


Wednesday, April 25th, was my father's 91st birthday. Last month, I made arrangements to take that day off so that I could bring him a birthday party at the nursing home, like I did last year. Last week, Uncle Len said that he was going to drive up from Florida on the 25th to visit Dad.

When we got there, Dad was sitting in a jerry chair, though not strapped in. He was sitting with one foot on the seat and resting his head on one hand. He looked forlorn. He had no clue who we were, and he spoke mostly gibberish, though it sounded like he was really saying something. He was freshly showered and shaved, and even his nails were clean and neatly trimmed. They take good care of him there.

When I hugged him and kissed him and told him that I loved him, he said, "That's nice." I don't know if he understood what I was saying, but he knew I was there for him and that I was saying something nice and that I said it with a lot of feeling.

Then we pushed him around some and eventually went into the activity room where we had a little party. He loved the cake and ate two pieces. I fed it to him and he absolutely loved it. He was like a baby bird with his mouth open for more.

It was hard to get him to look at any of us, but eventually I got him to look into my eyes and I told him again that I loved him and made gestures to show him what I meant, and for a split second, he understood, and he knew me. He said "You are the head one that came from me!" And that made him happy for a minute. Me too. Francine and Uncle Len were kind of weepy, as was I.

Uncle Len tried to get him talking, using different languages, and Dad did respond, using some words, but all in all, his speech was random. It seemed that he thought he was saying stuff, though.

When we left, Uncle Len and I hugged, and I got into my car. Life does seem to be series of goodbyes. I felt sad and weepy as I always do when I visit my father. And as I always do, I pray specifically for him when I drive home. This time, though, I remembered something I had read in the Diary of a Russian Priest about shortening a prayer rule to just the three main prayers, prayed three times. So, I started with that.... I had a hard time attending and focussing on the Lord's Prayer the first time through, but on the second time, I realized something that I should have known all along -- its a corporate prayer, not a private one! "OUR" Father, not MY father. OUR Father. The Father of us all. The one who created mankind is Our Father. The Author of life itself is Our Father. I don't have an earthly father anymore, not really, but I do have a father don't I?

Since then, I've been turning over the Lord's Prayer in mind every spare minute. Its fascinating, really. Why was it translated exactly the way it was?

Try rewriting it in more colloquial language, or with more amplification:

Father, Creator of everyone and everything, who is in Heaven, that unknowable place, your name itself is holy...

Our Father implies not only sonship, but brotherhood with the people who make up the "our", so you could say, Creator of everyone and everything, through whom we humans are all connected, the source of community and brotherhood.....

And when Jesus was asked how we should pray, this is what he said. He told us to pray corporately, not privately, not for ourselves alone, but for and with everyone.

Its fascinating, really.

I've been thinking a lot about fathers this week. For a minute, I had mine back. It was good. But I really miss him. I wish I could visit him more often. Maybe the new Alzheimers care facility just 7 miles away from my home will work out for him, and then he'll be nearby so I could drop by a few times a week for a few minutes. And bring him ice cream.
He LOVES ice cream.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you.