conversations of a lazy baker

by Andrea Elizabeth

“See me if you would like to learn to make Prosphora”, said my Priest.

“I would like to learn”, I said after the service.

“I’ll teach you”, said one of the bakers.

“Anna, would you like to come too?” She agreed.

(At the baker’s house after adding ingredients)

“I’ll knead first”, said Anna.

“Ok”, and she kneaded most of it.

“Making Prosphora is fun”, I thought.

(After a few batches)

“The Prosphora could be a little denser”, said the Priest.

“Should I adjust the thickness, or the time of rising, or add more flour?”

“The thickness and rising time probably don’t need to be changed.”

(After adding a half cup more flour while kneading, I think to self)

“Kneading stiffer dough is harder than kneading softer dough.”

(Lent and Holy Week increase demand, so that a once a weak, single batch is not enough. Today I tried making a batch and a half.)

“This isn’t going to fit in one bowl. Kneading in two bowls instead of just one isn’t hard. Wait, they need to be consistent. What if I dust my rolling counter and knead the two lumps together and then the remainder of the flour? Oh, now I get to use both hands so that my left hand and arm muscles can catch up to my developing right ones. It’s more work to knead more flour into more dough! It’s probably good for me.

Hey, what if the flour particles are like individuals who need to be made into the Body of Christ. A Solo Christo person can have trouble uniting herself to others as well as to Christ. It takes more muscles to join in more people. When she begins she can only handle small batches of people. If she does it consistently, at least every week, she can get stronger so that adding more and more isn’t a burden. In theory, anyway.”

It only happens when I dance with you – Fred Astaire

by Andrea Elizabeth

If dancing is not personal, but about the essence of man and woman together, is that not defying the ordo theologea of person, then activities, then essence? The question becomes do people define the essence, or the other way around?

I’ll also say that presuppositions and loyalty define arguments, and I am loyal to the ordo above ordered, and will defend it because I believe in it, therefore I think it is higher than my own personal logic, but I will use my logic and innate loyalty to the truth and not deception or spinning to explore the subject. Perhaps the premise that dance is not personal, but about the essence of male and femaleness, is not correct. I’ll not say I’ll ditch the idea because Maks’ words ring true to me and my current development of the idea. Without further ado…

First, are we restricted by human nature? Given that the Calvinists are wrong and human nature is good, I’ll still say we are not restricted to human nature, or essence because we are given free will to go against it. If a person goes against it, are they changing human nature? No. their are living a lie that is not real. This is why no one likes to see two men or two women dancing in a face to face way. It is why we have chorus lines where same sex people are side to side and in unison doing the same thing. Then why do gay dancers do it? Their desires are warped and unnatural.

Therefore, person is first in that they must choose to engage in the natural. But nature does pre-exist person, in that Adam was created before anyone else, and Christ was crucified (it doesn’t say incarnated, but how can a bodiless person be crucified?) before the foundation of the world.

But dance evolves. That is because individuals haven’t explored all the boundaries of the essence of male and femaleness. Here we get into traditional vs. modern. Versus is an adversarial word, but I prefer “distinction”. I will not say traditional, or classical dance was fated to be the standard, but when we say classic, we mean timeless, and if something stands the test of time, I believe it rings true to the deepest essence of human nature. Could there have been an alternative? My husband told me a while back after reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance that there was a battle in the beginning of the philosophical tradition between the Sophists and someone else, and the former won. Was it because they were truer to human nature? Maybe not, but we go with it anyway.

Dancing With the Stars seems to be having a debate about how true to the traditional dances a person has to be. One week they criticized a couple for “breaking hold” but then other times they let people be pretty free with the styles. That reminds me that in Davis and Whites short program, where they are supposed to follow a predetermined dance style, everyone else did 20′s Charleston type stuff and they did My Fair Lady, with one commentor saying their dance was to the pace. I didn’t see how it was, and wondered at their straying.

When George and I took ballroom dancing they told us you have to learn the basic, traditional steps, then you put you own moves within that frame. So the essence of male and female is to follow structure, and make it their own. A person has to choose to do this, which follows the ordo. If one of the couple doesn’t, then their dance is disjointed, unless the other person follows suit. What if the woman comes up with something new, like the Cha cha? Then the man can choose to complement her in a masculine way. The male role is to support the female. But what if the female is the expert and has to teach the male, as happens in the show. She teaches him how to support her. It’s kind of funny when the woman lifts the man, which I have seen, usually over her back, not with her arms, so it is still feminine, but commical and playful, and an obvious shocker, and not a natural order. It demonastrates that there are acceptable exceptions and that people do have freedom, but they are most peacefully accepted as exceptions and not a new rule. If the people accept a new dance, and I hope homo couples are never accepted on DWTS, though there was a playful 3 second venture that both men walked away from, then I hope that it is because our basic mass intuition is still trustworthy.

But there are more and more homo couples and their activities on tv. Yes, and ew, but maybe they don’t show them dancing? My underlying statement is that dance, not copulation, shows us the essence of male and femaleness. Why? Because it’s art. Isn’t lovemaking artful? It’s too individual and self gratifying. Dance is for public display, and performance dance is for the audience. There.

I didn’t get to the evolution of dance and how it relates to leadership and conciliarity because my battery is about to run out for one reason.

that other country

by Andrea Elizabeth

I just happened to catch Pat Robertson, televangelist, talking to a family who had lost a son. His sister wrote about his life with a heart condition and his two near death experiences before he finally succumbed to it.

Especially heart-wrenching was her description of a conversation they had one night on the dock about how peaceful and at home he felt in the light during his near death experiences. I tend to agree with the family that he was in heaven, but we are taught to be cautious about personal experiences. It could have been a deception from the devil seducing him to give up his struggle and to leave his family. So did he prove his love for God by eventually dying, or did he take the easy way out? I am aware that most deaths occur against our will, but I think there is also something to the idea of our ability to “give up our spirit”. Some terminally ill people have to be persuaded to let go. And some people live this earthly life somewhat reluctantly, but will themselves to keep going out of a sense of duty to God and their loved ones, even amidst enjoyed perks.

Meryl and Maks

by Andrea Elizabeth

I have heard several ice skating commentors lament Charlie’s lack of emotional connection to Meryl. I don’t know how Charlie is with his girlfriend, Olympic silver medalist Tanith Belbin, who also seemed to break Ben Agosto’s heart, but Charlie appears to have only two facial expressions: happy and intensely concentrating. Meryl has a wide range, including unrequited love-lorn. Despite this, Davis and White are able to tell romantic stories with their skating. Somehow Meryl’s face tells that part, while their body language transcends their personal lives to bring us up to the the essence of truth about men and women. Something only dance can tell us.

Enter Meryl’s new Dancing with the Stars partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy. They have emotional chemistry that is freely expressed in both their faces. Is it true love? I love Maksim’s answer to Glamour Magazine:

Glamour:”OK, I’m just going to come right out and say it. I want you and Meryl to date. You guys are just so cute!”

Maks: “Aww. Thank you.”

Glamour: “Does she have a boyfriend?”

Maks: “You’ll have to ask her.”

Glamour: “Seriously though, you’re just so good together and complement one another so well.”

Maks: “She’s definitely good for me. Getting Meryl this season really opened up my eyes of how important it is to have that chemistry with your partner on this show. I just want it on the record that most people don’t know who I am. If you’re watching me on TV for two hours, I may not like that person either. So you pass judgment on who you see on television. Everybody has a character. I’m not that guy. Meryl brings out the best in me, and I’m glad people see that.”

Glamour: “The chemistry that you were just talking about…it was obviously so evident on the dance floor tonight, but what is it like when you’re practicing?”

Maks: “She’s brilliant, and I tell her, ‘We have to stay in character.’ The first time we [practiced this dance], I’m a guy and she’s a girl. Whether we’re single or not is irrelevant. It wasn’t awkward at all. That’s what makes her so amazing to work with. I’ve never had a partner like this. I’ve had brilliant people [in the past], including Erin [Andrews], but we never had that. We had that moment with Erin in the freestyle, but she only let me that close on that week. For Meryl and I, we both know exactly what we are.”

Glamour: “And what is that?”

Maks: “She’s my perfect partner. Perfect woman? That’s not for public knowledge, but she’s definitely an amazing person.”

Dear Reader

by Andrea Elizabeth

After watching Dancing with the Stars with my favorite performers, ice dancers Davis and White, I am pondering also about Elise posing for this portrait in Somewhere in Time,

and advice I heard about taking a good selfie: think of someone you love.

But should we invite such public voyeurism? Yet aren’t we also supposed to look our best?

One of the current contestants in Dancing with the Stars has a lot of Christian hangups about some of the dances, but she can’t help compromising herself somewhat because dancing is a very personal, intimate thing. She comes across as stiff, and holding back. The problem is that the alternative seems to be to “let it all hang out” in a seductive way. But what I like about Davis and White is that what they have to show us is love, humility, and excellence. The song Meryl Davis chose to dance to was “All of Me”. Yes, the love is very personal, but her fearless expression is such a blessing to watch. Does the public deserve it if it is inspired by someone else?

Here’s a bit of trivia I found from IMDB about Somewhere in Time, “There were problems with the original footage of Elise performing on stage, so the scenes of her had to be re-shot. The second time around, Jane Seymour delivered the speech to the author and screenwriter Richard Matheson instead of Christopher Reeve. Matheson was supposedly so moved and upset by the experience, he had to call his wife and return home immediately.”

Why are we so subject to vicarious effects? Could it be that we are meant for another country, and some people inspire us to seek it? Dangerous territory indeed.

“When you don’t know what to do, do what you know”

by Andrea Elizabeth

is a quote from the documentary about New Orleans devastation, My Louisiana Love, recently aired on PBS. Two people died during the making of the film, one from liver disease, I surmise from drinking too much. And one of the producers by taking his own life. The grandmother who said that did not say much else in the film, but minded her own business in rebuilding and replanting, and saying her prayers. The ones who died despaired. The granddaughter became an activist, complaining about the man-made industries that fed the post-Katrina disaster.

I’m coming to think that devastating things are meant to show us what we’re made of. That grandmother is made of peace. The father escaped his troubles in drink. The boyfriend producer was an artist who just may have done what he thought would get the situation some attention. Suicide isn’t the answer, but I’ll not say nothing good can come from it. It’s another devastating thing that the survivors have to deal with and then show what they’re made of.

while listening to the book with my 13yo after watching Ender’s Game, the movie

by Andrea Elizabeth

I like the lack of 2nd tier bad words in the movie better. My daughter can’t unhear a few things.

There is more psychology in the book. I get the idea that Colonel Graff is the author’s idea of God. He watches and puts Ender in dangerous situations that will either make him the best he can be or break him. One constant tactic is to make Ender always feel alone so that he wont expect anyone to rescue him. I’m now more open to that idea instead of thinking it cruel.

In the movie, Ender is around 13. In the book he’s 6. Maybe in an alternate universe 6 year olds can be conditioned for battle like that, but I don’t think they have the mental agility nor physical strength for it. I didn’t put my kids in soccer or little league at that age, but maybe it is similar. I think they’re finding joint problems in kids who do too much too soon, though.

One interesting analysis in the book is how Ender is aware that one of his superiors, whom he feels is actually inferior is some ways, sees Ender’s submission as a favor bestowed rather than a natural order. Ender naturally submits to Colonel Graff, but grits his teeth to submit to Bonzo. Christ did that too, to some extent.

Dale Hansen Unplugged

by Andrea Elizabeth

This 2 minute video by our local sportscaster about people’s reaction to a gay NFL player has gotten almost 5 million views on youtube. I’m linking the original even though it’s pasted over with a link to another version that makes you sit through a commercial.

I agree with him about the outrageousness of accepting other players with criminal records and mistreatment of women, but not about equating it with racism. Well, not exactly. Color is aesthetic and not sinful, but we seem to be getting over that. It is however terrible and horrible that we accept masculine sins in our society and not feminine ones. They try to make up for their sexism by wearing pink on the field for breast cancer, but that is totally ridiculous and demeaning. Would men feel respected if all we did was pay homage to their prostates? Well, actually, that is all those NFL players are paying for, isn’t it.

What a stitch can say

by Andrea Elizabeth

Today I made a wrong stitch that went through a right one so that it could not easily be unstitched nor untangled. One of the fibers of the right stitch was hopelessly entwined. Therefore I had to snip its little fibrous attachment instead of trying to find the exact path through which the wrong one had gone, which would most likely have made a permanent knot.

Here comes the deep thought of the day. When we are passionately attached to the wrong thing, we tend to think it is a major artery that has to be severed; that we will die like a conjoined twin who shares a single heart. But the passion isn’t a vital part of us. It is a foreign object that needs to be removed. Yes, we’ve grown an attachment to it, but it is just a little fiber that, even if too damaged to reattach, will lay back down next to the right thing, and live just as well.


by Andrea Elizabeth

Profound thought of the day:
What if Jesus accepted the crumb-eating gentile lady because he often lives on our crummy leftovers of devotion?


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