Sunday, June 28, 2009

God is like a weed

When I go to church, my favorite sermons are the ones that give an interpretation of God that I'd never considered before, or that help me see a Bible story in a new way. Two weeks ago, Bill Tully's sermon at St. Bart's ( did just that. The Old Testament reading was Ezekiel 17:22-24, which reads in part: "Thus says the Lord God: I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of a cedar; I will set it out...I will plant it on a high and lofty order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar."

The Gospel reading was from Mark 4:26-35, the "mustard seed" passage: "[Jesus] said, 'With what can we compare the Kingdom of God...It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nest in its shade.'"

Rev. Tully compared and contrasted the two passages, pointing out that mustard wasn't considered imperial and noble like the mighty cedar. Mustard was a weed. So Jesus was actually doing something pretty radical here: comparing the Kingdom of God to a weed! It was messy and invasive. It got into things. Once planted, you couldn't stop it. Weeds just grow and grow, and you don't even fully understand how. "There is something about how life turns out that we can't control," Rev. Tully said. But what we do know is that life is growth -- in all its messy, uncontrollable glory.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson's kids

In all the hooplah about Michael Jackson's death, no one I saw on TV was answering the question I had: what's going to happen to his three kids? They were born by a surrogate mother who renounced all parental rights, from what I remember, so it's not like they're going to live with Mom now. I finally just saw this article, "Attorney: Michael Jackson's Kids 'Are Doing Fine'" (, which says that his three kids, Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and Prince Michael II (a.k.a. Blanket), 7, are fine (which is a weird thing to say -- how can they be "fine" when their father just died suddenly?). They're in the care of a nanny, and will be raised by Michael Jackson's mom.

I still wonder if he truly is the kids' biological father. I mean, whatever skin disease he might have had, he was born a black man, but all of his kids look white, not biracial in the least. Which of course can happen, but with all three kids?

I remember when the "Thriller" video was all the rage when I was in middle school. My friends and I loved it so much, we would call each other whenever it aired ("Quick, turn on MTV! 'Thriller' is on!").

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award!

I am happy and quite honored that Sarah, author of one of my favorite blogs, Things Men Say (, nominated me for a Kreativ Blogger Award! Thanks so much, Sarah!

Here are the rules of this award:

(1) Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
(2) Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
(3) Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
(4) Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
(5) Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
(6) Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
(7) Leave a comment on each of the blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.

Seven things you may or may not find interesting about me:

1. I can touch my nose with my tongue.
2. I am in the 95th percentile of women my age in my ability to do sit-ups (unless the trainer at my old gym was just trying to get on my good side!).
3. Everyone in my immediate family (all 4 of us) was born on either the 1st or the 14th of the month.
4. A short story I wrote when I was 17 received an honorable mention in "Seventeen" Magazine's annual teen fiction contest...back in the good ol' days, when magazines actually still published fiction....
5. I've visited seven foreign countries: Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Guatemala, and Ireland.
6. As a kid I once had 29 pet mice -- and now I stand on a chair and scream when I see just one.
7. I failed my first driving test because you're only allowed one mistake in NJ, and I made two: forgot to put my parking brake up on a hill, and didn't use my turn signal during the 3-point turn. (As if I would be MAKING a three-point turn with a line of cars behind me that could see my turn signal!! not that I'm bitter....)

Here are seven great blogs that I read (in addition to Things Men Say at

1. Waitress from Mensa (
2. Homespun Heritage (go to and click on "blog" at the top)
2. Sizzle Says (
3. Dyn-o-Wright (
4. Good Day Sunshine (
5. The Tabar Family (
6. The Jersey Girl (
7. The Shark Tank (

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gainfully employed!

Doing the sample lesson paid off -- I got the job!! Starting this fall, I will be a special education teacher for middle school students at a charter school in Manhattan! ;-D It's all "push-in" services -- I'll be in different teachers' classroom six periods a day, helping special education students within the regular classroom. The current special ed teacher said that may sound like a lot, but since you're not planning or grading all those classes, it's not as overwhelming as it may sound. Six classes sounded okay to me, though. When I taught eighth grade English, I taught six periods a day all by my lonesome, whereas in this position any whole-class teaching I'll do will be co-teaching. They really didn't have the co-teaching model when I got my master's in special ed in 1998, but I'm glad they do now. I think I'll like it! Having two teachers in the class ends up helping all the kids, not just the ones labeled as needing special ed services.

I'm grateful to have gotten a job this soon. Now I'll be spared from interviewing all summer. I'm really lucky.

I sign the contract tomorrow. First day for the kids is the day after Labor Day!