Friday, May 15, 2015

Open Door Metropolitan Community Church’s Tasha’s Follies

Julia and I had such a good time at our first and Open Door Metropolitan Community Church’s 19th Tasha’s Follies – Open Door’s almost-annual fundraising variety show with raffle to benefit WUMCO Help! Thanks, everyone!! 

We went tonight; it is, unbelievably, tomorrow night too. This year’s theme was Country Vs. Rock & Roll. They brought new meaning to ‘being a fool for the Lord’, and I truly do mean that in a wonderful way. To some extent, of course, ‘you had to be there’ – and I’m particularly sorry that some of you couldn’t be. But here are some of my highlights:

  • Maxie Pearl as the Narrator
  • Marie Osmond being played by a fat person, and wearing a sandwich board that had weight loss ads on the front and a “healthy is not a size” poster on the back; and returning to play the “little sister” during Billy Idol’s White Wedding
  • Jerry Lee Lewis throwing rainbow pom-poms into the audience during Great Balls Of Fire
  • Dolly Parton pulling all of her props out of her bra
  • June Carter Cash being played by a blow-up doll
  • Elton John changing his glasses several times
  • Ozzie Osbourne biting the heads off of Peeps
  • The Oakridge Boys’ Elvira including Elvira Mistress Of The Dark
  • Garth Brooks’ Friends In Low Places including a limbo contest and a crew of miners
  • Wynonna Judd losing it – and she was singing, not lip synching – because among other things Naomi was being too funny during their duet Rockin’ With The Rhythm Of The Rain
  • A version of Tina and Ike Turner doing Proud Mary that has actually, amazingly, ruined me for the original
  • The blow-up guitar used in a few of the performances having “Lucille” written on it 


  • Marie was joined by Donny
  • Tammy Wynette did Stand By Your Man
  • Dolly did 9 To 5 and Jolene
  • Mick Jagger and Keith Richards did Satisfaction
  • June was joined by Johnny for Jackson
  • Joan Jett did I Love Rock And Roll
  • The Beatles and others did Yellow Submarine and A Little Help From My Friends
  • American Idol with Simon Cowell, J. Lo, Randy Jackson; Justin Timberlake, Dolly, Elton, Ozzie, Elvis 
  • The cast did Miley Cyrus’ Party In The USA (a guilty pleasure of mine as well)
  • Family Feud with Richard Dawson, and Garth, Patsy and Dolly vs. Elton, Elvis and Ozzie
  • An Everly Brother did Wake Up Little Susie
  • Patsy Cline did Crazy
  • Elvis did Blue Suede Shoes – or rather, Green Neon Shoes, as in the sneakers zie was wearing
Plus tasty treats during intermission, and a number of extras that are hard to describe. Here is the flyer.  And, we made Julia’s outfit into her latest Massculine Fatshion post; though I was so into that that I forgot to get photos of my own outfit, oy.

Friday, April 10, 2015



My “Good News : A Sermon On Fat Justice” has been published in the new issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society – a Special Issue on Religion & Fat! 

‘Twas going to be this Summer, but surprise. Sorry if you didn’t have time to get your party hats and/or pitchforks.

Special thanks to my partner Julia McCrossin and the Popular Culture Association Fat Studies Area for workshopping! And to two friends for editing!  And to Divine, Charles C. Mann via National Geographic Magazine, Bruce Chilton, Rabbi Ruth Adar, Reb Irwin Keller, Anna Mollow, Rev. Miller Hoffman, the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia and others for being referenceable! Any and all remaining mishigas is mine, though. 

9 other articles and 2 book reviews, in this issue, edited by Esther Rothblum (with a board and guest editors for this and other special issues), with authors including Lynne Gerber, Sue Hill, and Lesleigh Owen.  

The journal is paid access only, but today I received the e-mail that says "share online access to your article with up to 50 colleagues by forwarding this e-print link or by adding it to your social media profile. Research suggests that early readership drives citation levels up."

Monday, April 6, 2015

Peaster / Eastover 2015 / 5775

Sunday the 29th we did the 11:00 Palm Sunday service at Episcopal Church of the Ascension, though the procession was canceled because it was below freezing. Also for the second year in a row, we Googled how to fold our palm fronds; here they are with some of my mother-in-sin’s Irish tchotchkes.

“Blessed are you, gracious God, creator of the universe and giver of life. You formed us in your own image and called us to dwell in your infinite love. You gave the world into our care that we might be your faithful stewards and show forth your bountiful grace.”

Holy Wednesday the 1st we went to the Tenebrae service at Ascension -- the Liturgy of Shadows; a different version of the service than last year, which was our first Tenebrae here and I think anywhere. This is the bulletin cover art, which I really like, but haven’t found the credit for yet.

“Father in heaven,
we so often stand by,
as others are mocked or belittled,
as cruelty and injustice are allowed free reign,
afraid to speak,
afraid to act,
silent and guilty.
Give us strength to speak out,
and to witness always to the right,
and to the truth.
Through Christ, our Lord.

Attended Ascension’s Maundy Thursday service; this the bulletin cover art. The entire bulletin was also in Spanish, and we did do most of it. And it was the first time we’d heard Rev. Javier preach, and we enjoyed it -- and he gave his entire sermon in both languages; a part in English and then the same part in Spanish!  As last year, we didn’t participate in foot washing, but maybe the third time will be a charm.

“What I have done for you in my love, in my love
What I have done for you, in my love;
What I have done for you, so you are called to do,
To be a servant true in your love, in your love,
To be a servant true in your love.”

I went to Ascension’s “Stations To Go” service; they hadn’t done it outdoors in several years, and I’d never done it at all.

The clergy, seminarian and a dozen plus of us carried our cross and bulletins to the police station, under the Father John Stanislaus Cuddy Bridge (built largely because the Saint Martin’s* priest was killed by a train), the Wells/Robertson House, City Hall, the Lord’s Table Soup Kitchen (at *Saint Martin of Tours Catholic Church, which Ascension is part of and at which Julia has begun volunteering; I joined her for the first time the next day), Bohrer Park, Hospice Caring /A Different Kind of Hospice, and Ascension’s columbarium -- where I took this photo of its little guardian.

All places I’ve been a few times in this my first year here. I know, we are in quite a convenient location for Stations, aren’t we? And though it was a pretty rainy day, we didn’t have any until a little bit starting at the 7th station; and it was in the 60s (sorry, MA diocese Friends!).

“Let us always be aware of the dignity of every human being so we may answer our Baptismal call to respect that dignity and to work for justice and peace for all people.”

And we went to Ascension’s Good Friday service.

“As instruments of peace, may we grow, may we grow,
As instruments of peace, may we grow;
As instruments of peace to bring the bound release,
And make oppression cease, help us grow, help us grow,
To make oppression cease, help us grow.”

Also, I am counting our weekly Erev Shabbat Chinese food takeaway as a first-night seder.

Shabbat / Holy Saturday we volunteered at the Lord’s Table Soup Kitchen; Julia for the second time and I for the first -- it’s at Saint Martin of Tours Catholic Church, and our church is among several that provide volunteers (and it was one of our “Stations To Go” the day before).

We also went to Ascension’s Great Vigil of Easter service – or as I like to call it, Erev Easter, and this year also the second night of Pesach. Like last year, our first, we started outdoors around a little BBQ grill on the front walk. And here is the sanctuary as we left it.

“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? I will, with God’s help.” (The Episcopal Church's Baptismal Covenant, which is part of this service – and my fat justice sermon to be published this Summer.)

Sunday we went to the 11:00 version of the Sunday of the Resurrection : Easter Day service at Ascension. Here’s the view from our seats before we began, and the flower arrangements at the front door -- with Julia's resplendent reflection!  

Our first hymn was ‘Jesus Christ is Risen Today’, which always reminds me of Mister Bean singing it -- or trying to.

And J made tuna casserole at her mum’s request (tuna, egg noodles, peas, celery, onions, cream of celery soup, milk, mayo, salt, pepper; with shredded cheese and potato chips on top). “On this mountain, the Lord of heavenly forces with prepare for all peoples a rich feast, a feast of choice wines, of select foods rich in flavor, of choice wines well refined" (Isaiah 25:6-9).

Me in my Eastover outfit, with our Peaster Buggy Ursula. Julia’s outfit was low-key today, and she needed to undress to rest before making dinner – and of course I always support her undressing!  And she took this photo, thanks.

Black velvet frock coat by Express via Goodwill of Greater Washington; purple / black fringed scarf / shawl in a ye olde stylized florals etc. pattern by unknown via Goodwill of GW; v-neck tee in Aubergine by Gildan Online via A.C. Moore or Michael's; black pants by Gap via Goodwill of GW; black mules with pewter buckles by Clarks via EBay; Magen David / Tudor rose pewter pendant by unknown via HideAndTallowSupply of Etsy; Magen David earrings via wangrea of EBay.  #‎sharethegood  (Goodwill of GW's official hashtag.)

Peaster / Eastover also always reminds me of Douglas Adams' prologue to Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

“And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, one girl sitting on her own in a small cafe in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.

Also, my colleague Rabbi Emily Aviva Kapor-Mater has published the 2nd edition of her Haggadah Shir Ge’ulah – Song of Liberation. I haven't read it yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

And Jews for Racial and Economic Justice has published a ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ Haggadah Supplement; another thing I need to read.

And, how cute are these "Bunny Bread"s we got on sale at Giant Food? I know, they're like bunny challahs! Challot / challos. Bunnot challot. Bunnos challos. With raisin eyes.

AND, Jon Stewart on the Daily Show on Passover and Easter.

Aaand, the Star and Shamrock in DC had a Peaster / Eastover weekend -- Julia and I must visit them someday soon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

JQ Baltimore's 2nd Annual Queer Seder

Tonight we schlepped to JQ Baltimore's Second Annual Queer Seder -- their 2nd and our 1st – and are very glad we did. ‘Twas co-sponsored by GLCCB, Interfaith Fairness Coalition of Maryland, and The Faith Communities of Baltimore with PRIDE; and primarily led by Rabbi Gila Ruskin. And we made a sea-themed mosaic frame for a big round mirror as a gift for Hearts And Ears! It reminded me of Congregation Am Tikva et al’s Pride Seders in June, and other things back home – it has been challenging to leave the queer Jewish community of Boston MA for MoCo MD, and we can’t afford to schlep to DC much.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Saint Patricks Day 2015

Happy Saint Patricks.

Here is my Feast and my fob from today. A green bagel from Giant Food's bakery (just a ‘plain’ one dyed green) with cream cheese and lox. And a pendant from my McCrossin – steel or something like with a real four-leaf clover in a clear cabochon (and the bail spins, and has a hole in the top too; no maker's marks).

#‎RabbiPatrick‬ ‪ #‎ErinGoBagel‬ ‪ #‎Slaintefillah‬ ‪ #‎shamlox‬ ‪ #‎Irishmear‬ ‪ #‎leprechaunosh‬ ‪ #‎greeneggsandsalm‬ ‪#‎Icoulddothisallday

Also?  Happy Saint Fat Chicks!  From me and Adipositivity.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

DMV Fat-Friendly Community’s Pi Day Celebration & Swap

Today was the DMV Fat-Friendly Community’s Pi Day Celebration & Swap at a member’s parents’ home in MD -- and not only was it at least as good as our previous events, but I think it was my personal favorite so far.

Julia made a pumpkin pie – her best one yet! -- which joined eight other pies (brandy Alexander pie, vegan shepherds pie with sweet potato, apple pie and homemade caramel sauce, Kentucky bourbon pecan pie with a pi symbol in pecans and regular pecan pie, rhubarb pie, cherry crumble pie, and mini mac & cheese pies) and two other dishes (crustless veggie quiche and cheesy potato bake).

And she got a shirt and two bags, and I a bag and three pairs of shoes, at the swap – which also had coats, pants, skirts, tops, accessories and more.

Thank you to our hosts and everyone else! For more details, see my Facebook album (yes, even if you're not on Facebook).

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Happy Divine's 70th

Shabbat shalom and happy Divine's 70th, may their memory be a blessing.

I'm happy to say I included this particular incarnation of Divinity in my fat justice sermon to be published this Summer -- yes, a rather shameless plug, but I daresay this Divine One at least might approve.

And for a divine and shameless Bugg (Boston terrier / pug), I recommend Ursula, the Pugston Terrier -- my dogter.