Saturday, May 31, 2008

Busy times

I have been busy day after day. It doesn't show signs of letting up until the last week of June.

On May 2nd, I went to my friend H's confirmation, as well as her sister C's. It was lovely to be inside their historic church. Their confirmation was presided over by the Archbishop, as their Bishop was overseas.

The Archbishop questioned the confirmed, asking what spiritual gifts they could find in their lives. Such Christian things as the holy spirit and communion were mentioned, as well as grace, love, and empathy. I was slightly disturbed that it took a long time for someone to say compassion, and no one said kindness, two things that I thought a Buddhist would say right away. I say these things just to point out that I noticed that some things rubbed me wrong as a non-believer, but some of course we could share. If I do have a problem with Christianity of any kind, it is that salvation through Jesus Christ is placed above all other spiritual qualities in importance, above kindness, compassion, and love.

Another thing that I began in the beginning of May is set up appointments with contractors for estimates on a new roof. Today that culminated in the tearing off of our roof, and the discovery by the contractor that just about all the plywood base was no good, adding at least $2600 to the bill.

I've been doing all kinds of support for the Buddhist Festival in the Park. More groups than ever are involved this year, which is cause for happiness, but at the same time for more anxiety. The bureaucracy of permits means I have to tell people "No, you can't do that." As if I didn't have enough to keep me busy, at a meeting with one monk, I learned a Burmese group could be persuaded to participate if they could raise money to help victims of the cyclone. Of course, bureaucratic rules say absolutely no donations allowed, but we can sell things related to the event. So, I willingly thought my group could sell buttons and bookmarks and other little crafty things as fundraisers for Burma. So I set up a Buttons for Burma event.

Then I found out that the group could actually be connected to SLORC. Oh wow. We don't want to give money to them. But we still want to give money to cyclone victims. I verified the source of this expose is to be trusted. We'll just give the money directly to an agency suggested by Project Maje.

I've read quite a few books, and watched the first season of The O.C. It's easy to do something while watching, like making buttons. I have yet to write up little reviews of all those books. I've needed to take a break from that. Goodreads helps me keep track. (Be my friend on Goodreads.) Among those, The Jungle, which we read for my library's book group. I loved that book. More later.

I've been to a few farmers markets. My new day to go is Wednesday, and I have a choice: People's, or the South Park Blocks. People's is cheaper and more homey, and in the afternoon, but the other has many more vendors to choose from. One week I got a couple of bunches of asparagus, and decided to grill it. Folks, this is surprisingly easy. First, bend the spear near the bottom, find the spot where it breaks easily. The bottom thick part of the stem doesn't break easily because it is woody, you don't want to eat that. I never ever see that in the cookbooks, but that is the lore I grew up with, where every spring we hunted wild asparagus in the ditches of rural Wisconsin. Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil or other vegetable oil, and put on a hot grill. It only takes a few minutes, about a
minute per quarter side. I discovered it's easy enough to roll the asparagus en masse with the edge of a tongs. Brown, but don't char.
My friend H and I went on the river cruise on Memorial Day this year. We took along her little sister D. Because the water was high, our boat caused the bridge to rise. I took a couple of little movies. Eventually I'll upload that to youtube, as well as the many photos I've taken this spring. Maybe that's something I can do when I watch the second season of The O.C.

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