Measured Extravagance

19 January 2003 - 8:58 p.m.

In her directions to last night's party, the hostess wrote: "[Her husband] will not be here tonight because he is in DC protesting the war just as he did 30 years ago when he protested the Vietnam War in DC in Jan." Another guest's partner was volunteering at Governor Bredesen's inauguration ball. The rest of us gathered by the fire and at the dining room table and chatted about the snowstorm, the Titans, churches, food. . . the cake turned out well. I'd forgotten that I'd used up the last of the powdered sugar last month - and used up most of the white sugar in the cake itself - so the original plan to finish it with an almond glaze got revised to a light orange-almond frosting (using brown sugar, egg whites and cream of tartar). I'd also forgotten that, since I seldom volunteer to bring dessert, I haven't invested in suitable cake-transport ware. I dumped some filing out of a box, placed the cake inside, and fitted a stockpot over it. Some of the frosting still got scuffed, but it was easily repaired with a butter knife upon arrival.

It seems to be my weekend for blisters: I shredded my ankles on Friday walking too far in a pair of ill-fitting boots, and there's a now a bubble at the base of my right index finger from excessive tambourine use. Between those, and getting up for a rehearsal at what another chorister called "Oh-God-Thirty," plus assorted cramped and coughy bits - methinks it's a good night to stick with soaking and dozing. That, and watching a Titans receiver swat at the turf on his helmet. Down by one field goal at the moment. . .

The preachers at both the morning and afternoon services made reference to Martin Luther King's "Beyond Vietnam" speech:

We must rapidly begin [applause], we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

Wince. Another boneheaded penalty. Another Raiders touchdown. Not only soaking but sulking may be on the program. . . Just heard from a commentator after a McNair pass to Wycheck: "I want to play again, and I want someone to stomp on my thumb so I can play like McNair." (But if you wanted a play-by-play you'd be watching the game yourself, right? Time to fetch the bag of crochet-work.)

This morning, I filled in as lay leader for the first morning service. One year ago, I sounded the bell with a text by Dorothy Smith Patterson.

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