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.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Happy Purim 5775

Happy belated Hamanoshin'. Found these on super sale after Purim at one of our local Giant Foods (Stop&Shop back home). Especially nice as we somehow didn't get around to making or getting any before Purim, and my practice of Judaism does not include paying retail. 

As usual, I’m not finding much queer and/or fat themed/inclusive Purimaterial, especially that I particularly like and haven’t seen before. Nu, if you have thoughts, do let me know. And in the meantime, Queer Fat Femme Bevin Branlandingham’s “Get Me Embodied: Bevin’s Story of Disembodiment” (March 5th 2012) bears repeating, partly because it includes Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ)’s Purim Ball.

Also, yes, it's a good reminder that I need to make some queer fat Purimage myself.

And speaking of JFREJ, they're how I heard about Shivtei Shivtei Jeshurun Society's #‎PurimNotPrejudice; "Wear Costumes, not Cultures. Practice Religion, not Racism". To which I would add / specify that fatphobic "costumes" are also not okay.

I posted elsewhere about Interfaith Worker Justice’s ‪#‎FastFoodFast‬ in solidarity with the struggle of fast food workers and others, a Lent-centered campaign connected with the ‪#‎FightFor15‬ movement and ‪#‎WageAction‬ day -- mostly April 15th (April 14th in my hometown of Boston due to the Marathon bombing anniversary).  Here I want to further raise up the Jewish content, including today's daily prayer and reflection about Purim.

Marilyn Wann's FAT!SO?'s Hank's Gab Café is back

Good news, flabulous gabbers and friends.

Marilyn Wann has re-opened the discussion forum on her FAT!SO? website -- Hank's Gab Café; a different version of it was a very active online community back in the 90s and early 2000s. Visit, Login / Register (top right corner), give a name / e-mail / password, wait for the confirmation e-mail and answer it.  I completed my registration and introduced myself today.

"Welcome to the café!
Pull up a comfy chair and enjoy a frothy beverage.
This is a fat-positive place for people of all sizes and descriptions.
Weight-loss content is not allowed. Weight doesn't define health here. Health, and so-called healthy behaviors, don't define a person's worth here.
Bad behavior will be dealt with.
Please enjoy a fabulous time and have fun adding to the fabulousness!
- Marilyn Wann (aka Hank)"