Saturday, April 17, 2010

Consecration... yeah, baby!

This has to be quick because I have a sermon to finish, but wow, how awesome was that consecration today?  I don't know Ian very well yet, but I certainly look forward to getting to know his as my Bishop.  I will miss Drew, indeed, who was such a great supporter during some very difficult times.  But I do look forward to Ian's tenure.


Yet it's not the fact that Ian is a very smart intellectual, or a nice person, or that he has a nice beard, or that he has a wide range of church work- all things I have heard from others as they told me about him.  (I'm not sure how a beard qualifies one for the Episcopate, so I'll have to ask Katherine J-S someday if she feels lack of a beard has adversely affected her work!)  The awesome part of this is the really incredible group he is walking into.


Ian joins a Diocese that has Jim and Laura as Suffragans.  Our Diocese is just so lucky to have these two.  I loved seeing Laura's big grin today as she sat on the dais next to Desmond Tutu.  She just smiled the whole service through, as I'm sure I would have as well- because (let's face it) any week in which you get to hang out with Desmond Tutu for work just confirms that your whole job/life sandwich is spread with awesome sauce.  And Jim- I am so glad we get to have him as a Bishop, with his heart for mission and a real gift for listening.  He has led us through this transition with so much grace.  I'm so proud to be part of CT with these guys leading us.


And let's not forget our other colleagues- granted, it's our jobs to serve God and all that good stuff.  But these folks take it to a new level.  I know our transition committee is exhausted right now, but they were all full of smiles and hope.  The choirs were astounding.  I love the permanent deacons and how right it feels to have them doing the work they have been called to do, in so many forms.  I watched a good friend serve as Desmond's chaplain, and I hope he knows that I think he's a super class act and I hope to grow up to be a little like him some day.  Our youth were so smooth and professional as they ushered us- I never had a moment's worry about where to stand or when to go somewhere because I was in the safe hands of one of Emily's squadron of youth.  I love how she empowers them, and how much trust they inspire.


And seeing friends from around the communion- it's not even just the famous people.  It's the regular people like the guy who I know from St. Mark's, or Holly from Richmond and Lauren from Haiti.  It's always amazing to me how I am never alone no matter how far I go- I always run into people who I know and am glad to see.


And when you get to call that sort of gathering "work", you are a lucky person indeed.


Nice job, Connecticut.  Today I'm pretty happy to be an Episcopal priest.  

Thursday, April 15, 2010

True Lies Told To The Chaplain

Somewhere in the great karma of the universe, I might suggest that lying to a priest ranks up there with kicking puppies.  As a chaplain, part of my job in the ED is to help people.  I want you to feel like you are being heard, like you are communicating well with our medical team.  I want to get you in to see your loved one.  If the patient is awake, the patient gets to call the shots over who he wants to see.  If the patient is not awake, then it comes down to my judgement.  Usually I default to significant others/ family first.  Often, though, people lie to me to try and gain access.  Here's a few of the whoppers I've heard.


For a white college age patient:  Security had let a bunch of guys go to the Family Rooms because they said they were his brothers.  These guys were white, black, three countries of Asian, Latino, and Australian.  While I applaud his international diversity and clear love of all cultures, you are definitely not family.  I kicked them all out.  Partly because his parents were on the way, partly because these guys were a little sloppy drunk.  And yes, partly because you told me such an obvious whopper.  Duh!


A patient asked me to call her mother.  I called the number she gave: the caller responded that no one by that name lived there, and that she didn't have a daughter.  She then called her daughter's cell phone.  She is really lucky we hadn't locked it up yet, and that we actually answered.  We usually don't.  Call me paranoid, but if I were a mom, and if I got a call from a person saying she worked for a hospital and was calling on behalf of my daughter, I'd at least not lie about my name and having a daughter.  Duh!


"Oh, really, I'm fine.  You can go home, Mom."  My cousin tried that one on his parents and me.  Transparent, dude.  I'm really glad you're better and will let you off the hook, but only because the Portuguese are a very cute and adorable people.


The lady swore she was the guy's wife.  The guy told me he was expecting his girlfriend, and that his ex-wife was nuts and shouldn't be let in to see him under any circumstances.  Before I kicked her out, I made the guy confirm her name.  Lucky her.  What I don't tell her (because I'm a professional!) is that she made my life difficult and I had to make three extra trips up and down the hall.  Just tell the truth.  Do you guys know how many shoes I wear out each year?


The gay couple who said they were brothers.  They didn't resemble each other.  They didn't have the same names.  They were obviously much more affectionate than the average brother.  Turns out they were terrified that if they told the truth, the medical team would make the significant other leave.  OK- I will let these guys off the hook because far too many gay couples *have* suffered this exact injustice.  But I did slap them with some Advance Directives and make them fill them out right there in the ED.  And then I recited poetry for them.  Moral of this story: 1) get an English Major for a chaplain.  2) if you are not able to be legally married to your beloved, do Advanced Directives!


All the ladies swore they were the guy's wife.  Well, he had an ex-wife, a wife, a fiancee, and a girlfriend.  The first three knew about each other.  The girlfriend was totally in the dark, and a surprise.  Whoops.  Telling the truth would have certainly made life easier for Security.  That is why we have separate family rooms.


The friends told me they were all brothers on the way home from work.  The driver of the crashed car was actually the only sober one.  Unfortunately for his "brothers", the "wife" was not the chick at the hospital.  She was at home with the baby... let's just say that got a little awkward when she arrived demanding to see her husband, and we unraveled that the chick at the bedside was not her.  Unfortunately for the other guys, she also had all their wive's numbers as well.  Tell me the truth, folks- you are friends, your buddy was helping you out by trying to be your DD, and that's your girlfriend, NOT your wife.  I'm not in the business of policing your life outside.  I just want peace in my ED.  You'd be amazed at how discreet I can be.  If nothing else, I can shut down visitation so your angry wives don't start slapping your girlfriend in the hall.


Moral of the story:  Tell your chaplain the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth- especially about those extra wives- if you want to see peace and quiet in your local friendly ED.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

But will the App Store accept it?

I am going to invent a new iPhone game.  It will be based on Tap Tap Revenge, where you listen to a song and tap these little colored dots in time to the music.  Only mine will be called Cat Cat Revenge.


In the game, your computer cats will spend their time jumping on forbidden objects like the dining room table and the kitchen counter, and you will swipe them off with a swipe of your finger.


The cats will then take revenge by spitting up hairballs under the table or right at your feet while you felax on the couch.


In other words, it'll be like my real life, only computerized and therefore it shall spare me from having to go after the fool cats and clean up their cat "tummy troubles".


I really don't understand cats.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bento Packing! Well, Tiffin packing...

So, one of the other blogs I think is adorable is Not Exactly Bento.  I love that she's a regular person who just thinks bento-style packing is cute.  Nothing food-artsy about her.  She started a neat challenge in which she is challenging herself to 30 days of bento packing, every day.  She invited her readers to join her, and offered prizes.


You know me.  I'm all about the prizes.  And I'm lusting after one of the real live bento boxes.  All my bento stuff is not "real".  I have a Sistema lunch cube which is cool.  I have a Mr. Bento-style bento jar, which is bento in a sort of space-age way.  And I have a tiffin, which is my current favorite because I can pack big salads in it.  But the real bento boxes are the pretty ones, with the sort of rectangular shape.  I want one.  So I am doing my own challenge for 30 days, and commenting on NEB's blog.  My challenge is to be more conscious of food portion sizes for 30 days.


You see, Mr. Bento and tiffins are awesome, but I have a tendency to pack them densely and pack every single layer with food.  I think this might be a contributing factor to the 12-15 pounds which have crept up on me since moving to this forsaken land of Connecticut.  I also blame the lack of bike trails and if you don't believe me check THIS MAP, which shows you how I moved away from one of the best bike areas in the country to a place that can barely spell "bike lane".  But I'm going to focus on the portion sizes.  I'm going to concentrate on packing attractive portions and meals, and if I run out of food and have space left, I'm going to give myself permission to fill it with something that is NOT food.


Above was today's tiffin, which is a good example of this resolution.  I have a quinoa-greek salad, apples and celery (and peanut butter in the little container), and a layer of deviled eggs shaped like chicks, and a Cadbury egg.  I had extra space, so I filled that with a little wrapped paper towel to hold it all in place.  Worked like a charm, and I have enough for dinner, AND for a snack later on!  Bento score!


Yes, those ARE little deviled egg chickies.  Aren't they cute?  They are my first attempt at "Food art", and I think the family is in trouble next time they ask me to make eggs for the picnic...