Saturday, June 18, 2005

What Do You Say

when you have nothing in particular to say and you have a blog that accuses you every time you log in and you see it has been weeks since you've posted something? Everyone can probably tell I finally figured out how to use the thingy that lets you post pictures to a blog. That was entertaining for a while, at least for me. I could do a daily diary of the wierdness and pathos that I encounter every day. I could tell about the rumor started by and among our city's clergy that I've been excommunicated. I could tell about my fines and restitution I have to pay for doing a favor for a filthy rich lawyer member of the Church who sued me. ( matter how I word it, it sounds bitter, doesn't it?) I could update everyone on caring for my father in law. I could tell about our new fish. But, nah....

We had a graduation party last Sunday. We had friends over who have been scattered to 4 different parishes by church politics and strained loyalties. We are all still friends but each family has chosen a path to try to maintain spiritual sanity. We sang at the meal and sang the Pentecost Troparia, which was our Mission's hymn, for the first time together in years. It was a reunion of spirits, a sweet remembrance of what was, and I still hope some day can be once more.

Early this morning I went to St. Anthony's Monastery and finished some walls for a monk. He said I did a week's work in 4 hours. There is little in the world more soul satisfying than a grateful monastic. Later, we went out for dinner with old friends to a real "hole in the wall" barbeque place run by Reggie and Mary from Mississippi who learned to barbeque from his grandfather. A humble family, truly grateful for our satisfied smiles and compliments on Reggie's cooking.

All in all, life is good, folks. I just can't work up enough energy to crank out a raving rant or get mad enough at anyone or anything to shred someone. I can't work up enough bitterness or resentment to write something really depressing or angst-ridden. What is, is. At the end of the day when I close my eyes, it is gone. When I wake up, it is there, but so is everything else that was there the day before, and at the end of the day, it was all in God's hands. What more can we really ask.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Aloha Motel

Last Tuesday I logged about 8 and a half miles to and from the bathroom. I passed so much liquid from both ends of my body I thought my wife would find a ring of dust on the toilet seat in the morning. I was scheduled to fly to Chicago on Wednesday at 4:00pm for a conference with a group of Orthodox people in Media. I got up Wednesday morning and my wife fixed me a slice of dry toast and a glass of Pedialyte. I said, if this stays down and in, I'm flying. It did. I went. Everything stayed put. Thank God.

The meeting was great. Grassroots stuff. No "sponsors", just ten people who took time to gather, priests and layfolk all in some form of media, seeking to spread the Faith. We formed an "Orthodox Media Guild" to assist each other in our ministries. More to come on that as it develops.

It was my first time to Chicago. Cool town. I walked down town for a few hours, couldn't see paying 32.95 for a pork chop where Al Capone ate once, so I had a killer Polish sausage and a beer.

I had a night to spend so I figured I'd get a motel near Midway. I found the Aloha Motel. "New Rooms" the sign said. 60.00 a night on a holiday weekend, three miles further down Cicero Street than the Hyatt, Marriot, etc.. For three times the price I'll spend the gas money to drive. I checked into my "new room". The pictures are below. I have no idea what all the stuff on the walls was, although I suspect it had something to do with the cable channel. Its the only place I've ever stayed where I felt like I had to handle the soap with rubber gloves on. I thought about getting in the car and sleeping in the parking garage at the airport. Sleeping and having my face on the seat of a car where someone's butt was seemed like a healthier option than taking my shoes off and walking on the bathroom tile. Come to think of it, the sign didn't say WHICH rooms were "new" actually. Maybe there were two "new rooms". That would be plural, thus true. But I was still recovering from whatever it was that was trying to kill me, so I decided to try to get some sleep.

Wellllll... at 10:30pm a large group of African American young men checked into the room next to mine. I think it was prom night, or graduation, or just Friday night at the Aloha. By 12:30am they were just about drunk enough to ALL be speaking (yelling) at once and understand each other. I guess some of the group were too drunk to climb the stairs to the room and were still in the parking lot. The three women downstairs were screaming at someone and each other and the guys in the room would slam in and out of the door, scream down the balcony and across the parking lot to someone else's party. About 1:30 the police showed up and argued with the revelers for about a half hour. The parking lot sounded like a "My Sister Stole My Husband Who is Sleeping with my Mother" Jerry Springer Show. Of course the guys next door had to defend their women, at least verbally, from the balcony. So the police came upstairs and they hauled someone out of the room next door. After they left, of course the remaining tenants had to discuss it. It was not William F. Buckley and Edwin Newman in rational dialogue. At 3:30 am the police brought him back. Then they had to talk about that. At 6:00 am I got dressed, drove to the airport and dozed in the gate waiting area for 6 hours waiting for my flight.

Yeah, it was worth it to network with some great people who are really committed to sharing the Faith. Ah, yes....Sufferin' at the Aloha Motel for Jesus and the sake of preaching the gospel...I'm just imagining the stars in my crown now......

I Found a Motel Near Midway, Chicago!

Yes, that is clean toilet paper plugging the holes in the curtain.

Newly Remodeled Bathroom