On Repeat One, Volume 4 : “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” -Bob Marley

By August 18, 2014 Media, Music, On Repeat One
Little Girls Dresses Up at Snow White at Disneyland

Can you guess where we are headed today. You’re a smart cookie, I bet you figured it out. Guy and I both worked over the weekend and since my cousin is visiting from Michigan we are rewarding ourselves with a Disney day to recover from the seriousness of adult life. Don’t worry this playlist isn’t a Disney singalong (that’s for next week). Instead it’s One Repeat One : Volume 4 ,a playlist to get you pumped even though it’s Monday. Harper calls these the dancing in your underwear songs because she rarely wears anything more than her princess undies so 90% of our dance parties are underwear dance parties. So take a few minutes, forget about the work week you have waiting for you, shake your butt, and stomp your feet. As always, warning for some swears.

1: Happy {Pharrell Williams} 2: D.A.N.C.E. {Justice} 3: Build Me Up Buttercup {Gary Lewis and the Playboys}  4: Heads Will Roll {Yeah Yeah Yeahs} 5: Young, Wild & Free {Snoop dog and Wiz Khalifa featuring Bruno Mars} 6: Hot Mess {Cobra Starship} 7: Tongue Tied {Grouplove} 8:Starships {Nicki Minaj} 9:You Make My Dreams {Hall and Oates} 10: Thrift Shop {Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz} 11: Gold Digger {Kanye West} 12: Give A Hater a Hug {Watsky featuring Wax} 13: Fancy {Iggy Azalea featuring Charlie XCX}

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San Diego Comic-Con 2014 : “I love witches and magic and dress-up and make-believe.” – Helena Bonham Carter

By August 15, 2014 Do : San Diego, Le Guppy, Local Gems : San Diego, Travel
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San Diego Comic-Con 2014 has been over for a couple weeks now and I finally got a second to look through my pictures and select a few (more than a few) photos of our weekend. I spent most of this year following Harper’s lead as she was old enough to walk this year without the Beco or a stroller (which is nearly always a huge mistake at Comic-Con). Anyway, since I was letting her do her thing, we hung out at the Legos booth building stuff for quite a while and after that there was a lot of wandering, the great Snoopy discovery and about an hour spent watching the videos that were playing over the Star Wars booth. Luckily, the giant dragon head at the Weta booth enticed Harper over and I had the chance to check out some of the amazing stuff they had on display. There were My Little Pony toys, and naps, and poolside snacks, and a break from the crazy at the park across the street where Harper got brave and climbed all the way to the very top of the structure for the very first time.  That was just day one which was Friday for us!

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Saturday was Harper’s birthday and she spent most of it looking for parking. The other half she spent posing as her alter ego, Batgirl, which she took very seriously. Otherwise there were cupcakes, and swimming with her friend, and pizza, and seeing people we really don’t see often enough.Sunday morning we got breakfast with some dear friends who have since moved to LA (we are heartbroken) and caught up after a super busy few weeks. The rest Sunday was spent in panels including the Harry Potter Fandom panle and the world premiere of my dad’s most recent work, Tom and Jerry : The Lost Dragon which is due out on DVD and BluRay September 2nd. It’s super cute and Harper absolutely loved it.  I don’t have too many pictures from Sunday as we were busy learning, listening, and being entertained so I just put the pictures from both days together.

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Happy 4th Birthday Harp! : “Of all things love is the most potent.” –Maria Montessori

By August 11, 2014 Family and Friends, Just Me, Le Guppy, Letters to My Daughter, Motherhood
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Dear Harper,

Before you, I had a lot of ideas about what being a parent would mean. Some of them were right, most of them were wrong. Now, looking back over the landscape of motherhood as it stretches out four years behind me,  I see the inches you’ve grown and pounds you’ve gained. I see voluminous tears leaking through your long lashes and the thrill of a head thrown back in unabashed laughter. I see a parade of my own mistakes. I see myself clumsy and tired and overwhelmed and I see you graciously and joyously accepting the fact that I am still figuring out how to be a mom, even now four years in. Mostly I see a beautiful, intelligent, observant, funny, sassy little girl, who despite all my shortcomings as a parent, never ever fails to amaze with her bravery, her friendliness or her intellect.

This year has also been profoundly difficult for you. Losing Cooper was your first real glimpse into the permanence of death and even though he’s been gone for 4 months you still cry at night sometimes. It’s made you explicitly aware of the possibility that those close to you could potentially die at any moment. With that knowledge has come fear, especially when one of us is alone.  Still your ability to process the reality of the situation and mourn deeply personal losses has shown grace beyond your years. You truly astound me with your ability to understand. and simplify some of life’s greatest quandaries.

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This year your birthday was on  a Saturday and it was Comic-Con weekend . You wanted to dress up and so you decided Batgirl was who you wanted to be. You were a big hit and we had an awesome time walking around, posing, and yes even getting in some time with the Gotham Police Department.  We also had cupcakes with friends and family which meant dessert before dinner! And then we went swimming with your friend Thomas and his parents at the hotel swimming pool. Oh, and we had a pizza party. It was awesome. I’m pretty sure it was everything you wanted it to be.

Your interests have blossomed. Right now you are obsessed with all things sparkly and pink, Hello Kitty, princess everything especially Frozen, riding your scooter, My Little Pony, Batman, Young Justice, and Bulbasaur from Pokemon. You love to make projects for the people you love and send out lots of mail. You spend a lot of time outside in your sandbox and looking up at the sky dreaming of going in an airplane for your next great adventure. Lately you’ve been digging Indian food but you aren’t sold on sushi yet. Still I have to give you bonus point for trying it every time without fail. You’ve excelled at dance, had two recitals in the last year and just started hip hop which you are claiming is your favorite. You keep telling us that when you grow up you want to be a “ballerina without a mustache”. Whatever you do, I know it’ll be amazing.

And damn kid, life with you is never boring. You’ve got a big heart and a hard head. I’m trying desperately not to use my psychic powers to look at what life together will look like in another 10 years time. I know I’m in for a lifetime of you calling me on my BS and I guess when I really think about it, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But don’t ask me when you are in the midst of a particularly violent tirade, because I will tell you otherwise.

Happy 4th Birthday Harp! I love you to the moon and back or as you would say, I love you 44 million!
<3 Mama

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What A Pastor Wants You to Know About Extremists : “God made so many different kinds of people. Why would he allow only one way to serve him?” -Martin Buber

By August 9, 2014 Guest Posts and Interviews, I Would Like You To Know, Politics
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This is the third in a series of guest posts in a series called “I Would Like You To Know”. In an attempt to create a space for people of all backgrounds, races, religions, creeds, ethnicites, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, and socio-economic statuses I am seeking guest blog posts. If you would like to share your unique background, I would love to hear and share your story.  Email me at Rachel[@]deletingtheadjectives.com with your name, a link to your blog, and a brief synopsis of your story with the title “As a _________ I would like you to know” in the subject box. You fill in the blank and the subsequently the gaps in our collective knowledge.

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As a Pastor, I would like you to know that I am just as sick of the extremists as you are. Maybe even more so.

Being on the Internet, you have probably taken place in a debate or two. Have you ever been having a decent conversation going with someone else of a differing opinion, and felt like you were really getting somewhere, and then, suddenly, someone else joins your side in a way that makes you want to slap them? They do so in a way that is so rude, so ignorant, so WRONG that you feel that your entire platform has been lessened, even tainted, by their approval?

This is how I feel about the folks out at Westboro Baptist, or any number of other “Christian” speakers who claim to share my faith and yet do so in a way that publically denigrates it. And it leaves me in a special kind of limbo.

You may have seen the “Not all Men” argument rightfully denigrated all over the internet recently. “Not all Christians” isn’t all that much better. The extremists, those people who, in the name of my faith, attack, hurt, and marginalize others in public forums, and even in the lawbooks, are legitimately harming others, and when those people tell the stories of what the “Christians” did to them, it does nobody any good to say; “Not all Christians are like that.”

Part of my job is to try to get the extremists to back off, but talking to them about it rarely accomplishes much. Apparently, serving the Lord means never having to say you are sorry, even your method of doing so goes explicitly against scripture and every voice against them is seen as another sign of the glorious apocalypse to come. Persecution, from any source, is now seen by many of them as confirmations. You can’t really do much with that.

I think part of the reason I started becoming more “out” as a Pastor with my on-line persona is to offer a counter-voice, rather than being one of the multitude of Christians who, through our silence, offer tacit approval to the extremists. I can’t expect people to believe that not all Christians are extremists just by insisting that such is the case. I need to stand against them, to make my voice heard, carrying a counter-message. Ironically, that “counter-message” is, I believe, the actual message of the scriptures. Sometimes, I actually start to think that I am doing some good in that regard.

And then some idiot starts burning Qu’rans in the name of God. One step forward, several thousand steps back.

I’m not asking anyone to feel sorry for me beyond understanding the frustration. Part of being a Pastor in today’s world is teaching Christians how the world has been taught to see us, and showing them how to work to change that image, or at least to offer an alternative through public works, rather than debate. If you are not a Christian and are suspicious of us, I know that you have been given plenty of reason to be that way, and it would be disingenuous to ask you to change your mind just on my say so. Hopefully, I e can perhaps start to offer another way of thinking about our faith. I hope you’ll give me, or someone else like me, that chance.

In the meantime, if you are a Christian and see me discussing faith on-line, and jump into the debate by pointing out that everyone who disagrees with “us” is going to hell, I just want you to know that your approval fills me with shame.

Dan McCurdy is a storyteller, amateur game designer, musician, and all around geek. He is also a Presbyterian Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Weyauwega, WI. This pastor explains it all at  Ask Pastor Dan and can be found on Twitter @TheRealRevDMc.

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