October 3rd, 2005



Dear Mary:

It all comes down to boundaries, or in Robert Frost's words, "Good fences make good neighbors."

You have been pushing at my boundaries for some time. I have been reluctant to push back. You seem a nice enough person, and you share many of my interests. My instinct is to keep the ball rolling under these circumstances. My courtesy, however, should not be taken for a meeting of the minds.

As regards the contretemps over your "Nazi" post, if you were just some radical whose ideas differed from mine, or some flamer with a screw loose, I wouldn't have responded at all. Live and let live. Never rassle with a pig. God has called us to peace.

But in a proper relationship, people need to take responsibility for what they say and do. Your post offended me especially because you threw the bomb, then disavowed it. I took you to task because I valued our relationship. I wanted you to say, either, "that's what I really think -- deal with it" OR "I'm sorry, that was over the line, wasn't it?" Either way, I would have known where your boundaries were.

You chose instead to insult me in one of the few places where I am really sensitive. I'm sure you didn't realize how it would affect me; but then, perception doesn't seem to be your strong point. You seem to react, not to what I actually say, but to what you presume I'm saying. If this is how you relate to your parishioners, I can foresee a lot of drama in your Pastor-Parish meetings, wherever you go.

I thank you for your apology, and I accept it. I bear you no grudge. But I do not wish to re-establish our LJ relationship at this time. Please do not hassle me with comments. I want you to respect my boundaries.

You have shown that you have the means to circumvent those boundaries. You have commented on my LJ (via your other account, and anonymously) several times without giving me a chance to respond. You started with an abject apology. You followed that up with another apology, with an I-forgive-you-too thrown in (I don't remember asking for your forgiveness). Most recently, I find a chatty, argumentative reply to my exasperated comment concerning you, as if it were about someone else.

Enough. I want you to respect my boundaries. If you cannot or will not do so, I will have to enforce them, but to do so would give me no pleasure.
welsh dragon

Where are they now?

More news of Venture Crew 699

that_guy_zach and I met with Derek R. for dinner tonight. Derek graduated from Marine boot camp last weekend and was finishing up a ten-day leave. He is off for Camp Lejeune tomorrow morning for 22 days of combat training. His next school after that will be at someplace called Damneck in Norfolk, VA -- six months of intel school, I think. anher and stryck, take notice!

Because a few people still haven't heard me tell this one

Years ago, the little country church I was pastoring was trying out a new electronic organ. They were deciding against it, but while it was on trial I thought I'd show them what it could do. So I did a bunch of carols and stuff on it (we were in Advent). And I told this joke:
Among professional organists, there are two schools of performance, known colloquially as the with school and the without school -- depending upon whether you play with or without the monkey.

Dead silence. You could have heard crickets chirping in the walls.

So the next week, I show up with a little plush monkey I'd bought, which chittered when you squeezed him in the middle. (I named him Guido -- ten points for anybody who can guess the reference.) And I told the same joke, again -- and made Guido chitter when I did.

More silence. "Tough room," I said.

BTW, I often put Guido on the organ when I play for the occasional service in my current church. Most folks don't even notice him.