Our trip to Mt. Angel Abbey was incredible. The highlight was finally getting to meet my cousin, Br. Claude Lane. My husband and I have been wanting to visit him since we were first put in touch with him, shortly before we entered the Church in 2007, and hanging out in person was even better than we’d imagined it would be. He gave us a personal tour of the Abbey, ate almost every meal with us, and we even got to see his iconography studio (pictured here). The trip would have been nice anyway, but it made it something truly special to spend time with him.
Every time my husband and I got off the elevator at the Mt. Angel guest house, we would see this framed text and laugh:
(Don’t miss the last sentence.) I kept thinking that it would make a great comments policy.
I just found out our babysitter is leaving. We did find one shortly after I wrote this post, but, alas, now she must move on. She has a Masters in biology from Stanford, and I keep trying to convince her that staying here would be the best use of her degree. “Have you ever seen mold like that?” I say when we pass by the bathroom. Throwing my hands up to the heavens, I add, “If only someone around here had the background to know if it’s cladosporium or alternaria!” Later, when the baby wipes her nose on her jeans, I point out, “Can you imagine the bacteria she must have gotten on you? I mean that’s, what, at least a thousand different species right there.” So far she seems unconvinced.
Who is your favorite public speaker? I’m working on brushing up my speaking skills and have been enjoying studying videos of great orators. Bonus points if you can provide a link to a video of them speaking.
I finished the book! I mentioned it on Twitter last week and was overwhelmed by all the kind replies — thank you! There’s still a lot of work to do in revision, but I was so blocked on getting to the end that I took bestselling author Steven Pressfield’s advice and simply “covered the canvas.” It’s a great sense of accomplishment to have a completed draft, and I’m finding revision much easier than staring at a blank page. I’m glad I pushed through and got something down, even if it’s not perfect.
Since so many people asked, here’s why I abruptly ended take #2 a couple weeks ago, where I was doing my parody of that I’m on a Boat video: I actually had another paragraph all written up after my I’m on Retreat lyrics in which I cast my version of the original video. I dropped the names of some blogging buddies to play the parts of the two friends I take with me. For the friend who doesn’t get chosen, I wanted someone with a good sense of humor, so I cast Matt Archbold of Creative Minority Report. Then I needed a fabulous celebrity cameo for the role of T-Pain, so I suggested that we could have celebrated author and speaker Dr. Scott Hahn cover that role (and, yes, that marks the first time anyone has ever said “T-Pain” and “Scott Hahn” in the same sentence).
I had it all written up, including some additional lyrics substituting more Christian terminology for multi-syllabic profanity, and then I had a flash of just how horribly awry it could go: I imagined readers not getting the joke, my friends whom I didn’t list as being a part of the video being surprisingly offended, the ones whom I did list being more offended, my blog mysteriously missing from the Creative Minority Report blogroll the next morning, and it all ending with some reader’s brother’s mother-in-law’s uncle’s sister forwarding the link to Dr. Hahn and him scratching his head in front of his computer, equally disgusted and confused, saying, “Who is this bizarre woman?”
Happy 4th of July! I’ll be spending the evening holed up in my house like the joyless curmudgeon that I am, only creeping out of doors long enough to shake my fist at the neighbors and their fireworks-related merrymaking. If you would like to read more about my thoughts on fireworks — complete with a chart to support my case — you may do so here.
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