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The Distracted Woman's Daybook (38)

The Distracted Woman's Daybook
(idea based on one by Peggy Hostetler; concept revision by Angie Brennan; other changes are mine)

my 'Mad Men Yourself' iconIn my front yard... and all around the region, it's unseasonably warm. I'm told there's one last bit of late winter to come; with my luck, it'll coincide precisely with my Spring Break. :-)

Around the house... I am enjoying the effects of the decluttering session the Man & boys & I conducted at the end of last month. The music room, kitchen, and dining room were all vastly improved by our efforts; now I just wish we could find the incentive to hold another such event. Perhaps if I invited another repairman round, this time to take care of something in the living room and/or office . . .?

In the kitchen... I have been pleased to note Number Three Son's increased willingness to try new foods. He now eats salad and roasted chicken, and he's back to liking eggs. At this rate, I could consider returning to occasionally preparing family meals (instead of all the short-order cooking I do now).

I am pondering... theological things. When I find that I disagree with 100% of the self-confessed Christian people regarding 100% of the things they say in the public arena, it's time to ask what I mean by my own professed commitment to the One True Faith.

I am hoping... that everything goes well at Easter, church-music-wise. Our minister is generally hostile to my aesthetic preferences, to the extent that there may be no pleasing him. And yes, I know he isn't the one we do it for, but it'd be naive to say it didn't matter what he thought.

I am learning... oh, I don't know. Life hasn't slapped me too hard in the last week, and that's what it seems to take for me to learn anything, so maybe nothing at the moment.

I am thankful for... employment. There aren't a lot of jobs out there for people with my (lack of) skills, and (however much I may complain about it) I'm currently holding three of them.

I am wearing... short sleeves. It will actually hit 80 degrees F this afternoon.

I am creating... still not much, and yet I'm loath to delete this question from the meme, so I guess it's time to up my creative game.

I am going... to NYC next month to see a play. I did not, alas, get to see Allegiance -- the show I was fretting about a few weeks ago -- before it closed in Feb.; it would have required making an excursion just a little too soon after my previous Big Apple trip. However, the event I just bought tickets to should be a pretty good consolation prize. And we're only talking a hit-and-run day trip of the sort I usually make in the Spring anyway (for a Sherlockian luncheon that I can't attend this year due to a conflict), so it's really already in the budget (sort of).

I am reading... student papers.

I've been watching... [all together now] way too much TV. FOX comedies, CBS police procedurals, comic book shows on a variety of networks . . . And lately I've even been tuning in to (I'd insert a "Wait for it," but you wouldn't get it in twenty guesses) Lucifer, which kind of combines all the above genres by being a FOX crime drama whose title character is modeled on the Sandman comic books' portrayal of Old Scratch (which is itself Neil Gaiman's take on John Milton's version of the character). In the TV show's premise, our Mephistopheles has decided that it's better to party on Earth than reign in Hell and, accordingly, is now living in LA as a handsome if whiny & egotistical Brit who operates a nightclub and (I can't not giggle when I think about this part of it) helps a friend on the LAPD solve crimes. Oh, and he's in therapy, working out his apparent ambivalence over being the devil (he embraces the persona, but not the job). *And* he's being dogged by another angel who's tired of babysitting the underworld and wants "Luci" back at his old post.

Did I mention the part about solving crime?

It's ludicrous, plus it makes the devil the hero (well, the protagonist, anyhow), which gives the evangelical girl inside of me all manner of fits. Just a few years ago, this aspect kept me from fully enjoying Reaper (though one *had* to like Ray Wise), so I'm kind of amazed that I keep tuning into Lucifer.

Of course, my very interest in the program means that Lucifer will likely not survive long, so if *you* are bothered by the whole devil-as-hero thing, you needn't bother organizing a protest. My cancellation track record is sad and impressive; last year, you'll recall, my patronage jinxed Forever and Battle Creek, and almost drove Harry Shearer from The Simpsons.

I've been listening to... Christian radio, to try to get a better handle on what my boss wants our worship services to sound like, and I've gotta tell you that it's almost torture. Why? Because at the end of the day, I just don't respond to Contemporary Christian Music.

I won't try to come up with some kind of argument against CCM, because frankly I don't think there's anything wrong with it that isn't also wrong with a lot of other pop-culture-y stuff that I *do* happen to tolerate well. Plus, to say that CCM is an especially awful thing would be to spit on the experience of the many lovely people who've told me how much it ministers to them and how it gives them the voice with which to praise God, and I'm not interested in doing that (spitting on people's experience, I mean; I'm fine with praising God).

Sure, CCM is commercial, cliché-ridden, and often lowest-common-denominator. It's got its own celebrity culture that makes me uncomfortable. Oh, and while I'm piling on, IMO too many Christian recording artists employ a kind of "bedroom voice" (you know the one I mean, 'cause it's ubiquitous in pop music: breathy tone, lots of fry, not much enunciation) that I find somewhat incompatible with the lyrics and intent of their songs (plus, it makes them all sound alike). Could a person put together a manifesto regarding CCM's unsuitability for corporate worship on those grounds? I don't know; maybe.

But I'm not that person. My primary objection to CCM is not philosophical or rooted in any attempt at a well-articulated theological aesthetic. Indeed, I've yet to read an article of that sort which didn't just feel like a rationalization of the author's personal preference for older music. No, I'm happy to characterize my stance as purely personal and utterly subjective, and it amounts to this: outside of the context of a worship service for which particular songs have been carefully chosen to suit the moment at hand, CCM leaves me totally cold. Fifteen minutes' worth of non-stop Christian radio has me gasping for air. A noisy Christian concert (sorry, "worship experience") at which others were raising their hands and joining in on the refrains when invited might cause me to sprint for (or slink away to) the parking lot.

Thus, when I choose a contemporary song for worship, it doesn't arise organically from the context of a life to which said song and similar ones form the soundtrack. I choose a song because it meets (or approaches) the criteria of having a good lyric set to a pretty and/or interesting (but, above all, singable) melody, expressing ideas and/or evoking a mood that fits into the service, and being playable (credibly) by our band. It's never because I've been enjoying the song for weeks or months in my car and would simply love to sing it in my church. Often, I haven't even heard the song done by the original artist prior to my taking a interest in it. Is my worship leading more cold-blooded/less authentic because of this? I don't know.

But Christian radio -- for me, it's like a penance. I think I'd rather listen to the worst show on NPR, or any PG-rated morning drive-time show.

One of my favorite things... however, is music. I do love music, honest.

I am looking forward to... the aforementioned New York jaunt in April. It will also mean I've gotten through Easter.

My plans for the rest of the week... include paper grading. What else?

A quote for today... "To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their declamations and the bitterness of their invectives." -- Alexander Hamilton (Goodreads says it's from The Federalist Papers)

Here is a picture I am sharing with you... and it's a rarity! I generally hate photos of me, and you can surely see why, but here is a not-super-crummy one in which I am performing in costume at one of the Sherlock Holmes concerts my group did last year. (Okay, it's a group I'm in, not "my group." But still.) Enjoy.

performing at the Sherlock Holmes concert

(Crossposted to Dreamwidth)



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 12th, 2016 11:45 pm (UTC)
I love this format! May I steal it shamelessly use it with credit?
Mar. 12th, 2016 11:47 pm (UTC)
Also, I know we don't know each other irl, but I do find your posts very interesting, so thank you :)
Mar. 13th, 2016 04:31 am (UTC)
Steal away ;-)
As you might have noticed from all the credits I run at the top of the daybook posts, I myself have shamelessly borrowed this idea from others. Please feel free to take it from me, though perhaps it would be good to credit the other two ladies. I will read your version with interest

Also, I'm delighted that someone enjoys my posts. I say I do this for myself, but I guess I wouldn't do it on the Internet if I weren't holding out the hope of making connections. Thanks!

Edited at 2016-03-13 04:32 am (UTC)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )