Last weekend, I visited three churches. I was raised Catholic, converted to Judaism, and now consider myself a Pantheist. My places of worship can range from the local coffee shop to a playground where kids tear around or stand solemnly contemplating something, or simply to a state of mind: the elevation caused by seeing great art, for example, or reading poetry so powerful it's like a sock in the stomach, or witnessing a tender exchange between people that makes you believe we are not such savages after all. But I have begun feeling the need for ritual in my life, something beyond soaking every baked potato I eat with half a pound of butter. So I went to see what I might see.
On Saturday evening, I visited a Catholic church that still offers its masses in Latin. I sat in the back, hearing those familar sounds, watching the priest in his white vestments with the gold trim, remembering how, as a little girl, I used to envy priests their wardrobes and how it always seemed so strange to see their black and clunky men's shoes poking out from under their chasuble--shouldn't it be something a little more formal? White satin wingtips, perhaps?
I looked around at the little crowd of people who had come to this mass, maybe 20 souls spread out in the pews, and I saw that the women all had something over their heads: a lace mantilla in one case that looked very beautiful. I had nothing on my head and felt a little ashamed of myself. I remembered when women who had forgotten hats used to bobbypin kleenex on top of their heads, but I couldn't bring myself to do that, even though I always carry a lovely hankie in my purse and COULD have used that. But no, I sat there with no hat and with jeans on beneath my coat. Black jeans, though, that could have passed for pants.
There was no sermon, which was an unexpected bonus. Not that there can't be inspirational sermons, but there was something nice about sitting in a beautiful place, all wood and stained glass, hearing only the lovely cadences of an ancient language, the words echoing over a sparse but mostly devout audience--judging by the bowed heads, and the way you could practically feel the intensity of some of those people in prayer. Dominus vobiscum, the priest said, and I remembered sitting next to my father in church, regarding his large hands, wondering what he was thinking, because I had a suspicion he was not paying so very much attention to the service.
Nor was I, obviously.
Communion was given the old way, with people kneeling at the altar and NOT TOUCHING anything, but instead tilting their heads back to receive the host upon their tongue, while the altar boy held a gold platter beneath their chin, lest something fall. And I remembered when one used to have to fast before one took communion; nothing could be in one's stomach when one received the host (how vile the notion of eggs and bacon sloshing around inside one's stomach when God himself arrived!). Once someone in my church fainted. It happened up in the balcony of the church, remember when churches used to be so crowded, even up in the balconies? There was the loud noise of her falling over and then a lot of high and feminine expressions of alarm and concern. The fainter was a large woman, overweight, I suppose you would have to say, but she was very beautiful: black hair, red lips, all very Liz Taylorish, in my opinion. And she just conked out, and I thought it was very dramatic and wonderful, once I realized she was all right and just hungry. She wore all black that day, I remember, and her black velvet hat had a gorgeous veil.
Anyway. I went out into the night after that mass and I felt lighter in spirit, and an indentifiable peace had taken up residence at my center that lasted, oh, a good couple of hours.
The next day, Sunday, I went to a Quaker service that was held at an arts center. There were several folding chairs set up in a room that seemed to be a store: various things made by artists were being offered for sale: things painted or knitted or cast in metal. I had to work hard at not looking at those things and concentrating on what value sitting in silence can bring. For that is of course mostly what happens at a Quaker service, is that you sit in silence. So I stared at my lap and then I closed my eyes, and I felt the richness of a shared silence, which is very different from silence you experience alone. There is hope in it. Someone would sniff or cough now and then, or shift their weight in their chair, but these sounds just seemed to pass though, and were not distracting. One is allowed to speak at a Quaker service, should the spirit move one, but 45 minutes passed before anyone offered any words and all, and the time just flew by. It was like bathing in peace. When a man spoke, I opened my eyes to listen, and I noticed the expressions on people's faces. One woman looked like a toddler who woke up a little out of sorts, and I fantasized that she had been truly deep into her own personal meditation, and resented being pulled from it. After the man spoke, it was time for the service to be over and for everyone to share, but I had to go because I was on the way to the next church, which, as opposed to the other services I attended, was very well attended. It was in a big fancy church, well appointed, a huge bouquet of flowers at the altar. I sat in the back, which is a popular place for parents with babies to sit, and so I was well entertained by the wide eyes of this baby resting against his mother's shoulder or that toddler crawling on the red carpet, playing with his blue car and his blocks. There were candles lit on the altar, including one for Advent, and the sight was lovely to behold. But I could not respond to the sermon, because it felt to me like too much of a performance. As though the person delivering it was thinking the whole time, Man, I'm good. I know, I know, there's my awful judgement getting in the way of my life again. But it did feel like that. Plus it was kind of boring. I thought to myself: You just sit right there. Don't you move. You listen to the end, because you might miss the whole point here and you might be entierely wrong about this being boring. Don't you move a muscle. So I sat there until the end and it really didn't get much better so I flirted with the toddler and after the sermon I listenened to the choir sing one song and then I started thinking about how the Pancake House had pigs in a blanket and then I just shot out of there and went to the Pancake House where I had....guess what? And they were good.
So what I learned is that I like shared spirituality to be kind of quiet. I haven't finished looking around yet. I have a new church to try this Sunday and I want to go to a temple, too. I have a hope that I'll find a spiritual home, but I suppose it's most likely I'll go back to nature and casual gatherings of humanity to find the God with whom I feel most comfortable. Still. I understand the need for some sort of formalized ritual, and the Pancake House has definitely made the cut.
Today is my 61st birthday. It makes no sense to me, the number. I think people's age should be described in terms of mood. Or human seasons. And that they should be able to change daily, because one does change daily. Today I am pretty calm and I would say I am in the season of searching.
In the outside world, it could snow tomorrow. Perfect, because I'll be baking Christmas cookies. Whenever I make Christmas cookies, the first thing I do is soften the butter. Then I put on the Nutcracker Suite and listen to it the whole time I'm baking. I go to the Nutcracker every year, too; I buy two tickets and find someone to go with me who also loves ballet and little kids all dressed up in velvet and fake fur. I took ballet lessons when I was very little, around 4 or 5. I was AWFUL and I used to hide under the bed on lesson days so I woulnd't have to go to class. I still can't dance at all. But boy am I a good watcher.
long- term and short-term orientation
Advice for Sundown Bakery based on Communicating across Diversity
Diversity is an opportunity
By: Devin Askew, Leah Astore, Heidi Belanger, Alex Dos Santos, Alex Zamanian
With the original employees they were able to use a simple communication model
Some argue that baked beans were introduced to the colonists by the Indians, but novelist Kenneth Roberts, in an essay on "The Forgotton Marrowbones," printed in Marjorie Mosser's Foods of Old New England (1957), argues that baked beans had long been a traditional Sabbath dish among North African and Spanish Jews, who called the dish "skanah."...Nevertheless, the dish clearly became associated with Boston, whose Puritan settlers baked beans on Saturday, served them that night for dinner, for Sunday breakfast with codfish cakes and Boston Brown Bread, and again for Sunday lunch, because no other cooking was allowed during the Sabbath, which extended to Sunday evening.
I just wrote a long piece to go under this date, and then did something that made it all disappear. I am admiring of all its fancy tricks, but I have to tell you: I hate computers. I really do. I despair of everything we've lost in order to gain the conveniences. I used to send my editor finished manuscripts tied with beautiful ribbons and now when I submit a mss I just hit a stupid button. Letters are all but dead despite all the swell stationery available and I am as guilty as the next guy because I hardly ever write letters any more, not even to my mother who LOVES letters but the thing is I always feel like she already knows everything and my letters to her would just say, "Well, as you know...." (I do get many many letters from readers and I have sung their praises before and will again later in this entry.) People are spending way too much time in front of screens, myself included. I'll tell you, I am ready for a rocker to put on the front porch, where I can sit and bitch all day about how I hate and fear modern times in general and technology in particular. The only thing I like is that we don't have to dial nines and zeros anymore; I do approve of touch-tone. I am ready to start my new town: Ludditeville With Touch Tone. If you would like to join, please hitch up your horse to your wagon and come on over. We will have lots of chickens, which I also saw in Wisconsin. I saw a bunch of chickens and the rooster sounded just like a person trying to sound just like him, if you know what I mean. Er-er-er-er-ERRR! And the lady chickens all walking around muttering under their breaths making those comforting cluck-cluck-cluck sounds, those maiden aunt, now, now-don't-you-worry-about-a-thing sounds. Those lady chickens really need aprons tied around their waists, not the bib ones of course, just ones that tie around their waists. Such as they are. Those lady chickens really seem like the cozy relatives who invite you over for roast chicken on a Sunday, but HOW WEIRD WOULD THAT BE?
Before I was so RUDELY INTERRUPTED by my computer error, I was telling about a walk I took in Wisconsin the other night, the rolling acres of dark fields full of fireflies. It was like a firefly convention. Well, more to the point, considering what that flashing signifies, it was like a firefly Woodstock, all that endless, wanton availability. And before the fireflies came out the sky got colored a deep red, then pink, then the lightest of pinks. And before that the sky had been that blue of picture books and the land the greenest of greens. I really like green and blue together. I see that I have a lot of it in my house. Also I have a lot of butter, for which I am sure to now be vindicated on account of the movie Julie and Julia which I am going to see today. I'm not eating popcorn in there. No. I'm thinking beef burgundy and pommes frites.
I got a letter from a reader named Jim, who told me about how he had started painting again after he read Home Safe. He sent a card featuring a lovely watercolor called "White Lillies with Hens and Chickens "(not chicken- chickens, although imagine how thrilled I was at the very possibility. No he painted hens and chickens, the plants). The other watercolor was called " Purple Globe Thistle with Lillies." Just to say those titles puts me in a good mood: the world is generous with beauty, even if it is polluted with computers. Another letter from a woman named Alison said she read The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted and she was "lying on my bed alternately laughing and weeping all afternoon."
I just turned in the next novel and I suppose I'm throwing caution to the wind when I tell you I love this book. I really do. I loved writing it because I loved being with the characters. It's about a 40th high school reunion, and it's from five points of view. It's called THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU. Lots of humor in this one. Well, there'd have to be. A bunch of old farts back out on the dance floor, feeling eighteen again.
I fear I have now forgotten how to put recipes on my site (I really need to rent a room to a kid who knows how to do all this stuff and says "Ugkay" in that breezy way young people do) but I'm going to try anyway. My daughter Julie had a party and her husband's Aunt Cheryl (who is a fabulous cook) brought brownies that practically made my head spin around like in The Exorcist. These are just incredible, I'm not kidding. Even my sister who doesn't even like brownies loved these. Please make them. Make sure there are others about because you cannot stop eating them. I'm not kidding.
Finally, speaking of food, you may be aware that I did an essay on NPR for "You Must Read This." I talked about my favorite cookbook, "Beat This." If you missed it, you can see it online. On your damn computer. Just put "Ann Hodgman, Elizabeth Berg" in google. Do this because I don't know how to provide a link, surprise. (And if you do read it and like it, please hit the "recommend" button, that would make the producer so so so happy. And me.) But anyway, the response was so great they sold out and people were selling copies for over $200. DO NOT BUY THESE COOKBOOKS AT INFLATED PRICES. The publisher is going to reprint "Beat This" (a new and revised edition, I can't wait) and I think you can still get "Beat That" for regular prices.
Okay, breakfast time. Then Homer gets a walk. Then I need to work. Then I'm going to the movie. Thursday I'm going to babysit my grandchildren for three days. I can hardly wait to make them like me best. Bribing is so not beneath me.
I have just entered the events scheduled for HOME SAFE, thus far. You'll find all my appearances under "Appearances," isn't that clever? Please consider coming to an event. You'll have a good time, I promise and I will be so happy you came. I'm thinking that, given the nature of the book, I'll give out a writing assigment for anyone who's interested. However, I'll be expecting my cut if anyone sells anything based on it. My cut will be a pineapple upside down cake, which I just need to go and make right now.
I got a new refrigerator delivered today and I swear, even though it's MASSIVE, it has LESS room than my old one! Why does that happen? My old refrigerator leaked from its water line and wrecked my basement ceiling. I wish I knew how to fix ceilings. Maybe I can fix it! Oh boy, I can put on old clothes and work with my hands and then go to Burger King for lunch and get a whopper!! Anybody who works with their hands gets to eat fast food, is my theory. I'm going to the hardware store and ask them how to fix my ceiling, even though every time I ask them how to do anything, they put their hands on their hips (in a very manly way, I hasten to add) and and give me that look. You know the one. It means, "Yeah. Like you're really going to do that."
I have an essay in the March issue of Good Housekeeping called "How I Got to be Queen of England." It's from a book of essays called "Eye of My Heart: The Hidden Pleasures and Perils of Being a Grandmother" edited by Barbara Graham, and will be available April 7th.
And here's another book recommendation, a little novel called "The Spare Room" by Helen Garner. This is an account of a woman caring for a friend with a terminal illness and very unrealistic expectations about what the treatments she's undergoing while staying in her friend's spare room might do for her. It's based on a true story and is searingly honest, wonderfully well written, and lordy lord, it will make you think.
I talked on the phone last night to my two best friends. Therefore today my heart is gladdened. I can't WAIT to watch the Oscars. I'm having champagne and Caesar salad while I do, as well as that damn Ina Gartner's brownie pudding, which uses TWO sticks of butter.
My grandson' s birthday (3) is coming up and I was trying to decide between a fire truck and an Easy Bake Oven. I elected to get the truck because, really, I only wanted to give him the Easy Bake oven because I wanted it. As a child, I wanted it desperately and now I just want it because I never got it. Anyway, before I paid for it, I decided to check with my daughter about what to get him. I told her I thought he'd prefer the truck. She said, "Welllllll....." So last night she was talking to Matt about what he might want for his birthday and he said, "Well, I haven't had an oven yet." SCORE!
The differences include: race and ethnicity, social class, generational differences, regional differences, disabilities, and different customs and behaviors that exist between cultures.
The employees should have voiced their opinions to their managers
Informal communication among the branches is impossible but within the branch would be useful to: confirm the formal messages, expand on the formal messages, and expediting formal messages
Customs and Behaviors of Sundown Bakery
Style of Dress
Tolerance for Conflict
Hidden Dimensions of Culture
This is the flow of messages from subordinates to superiors.
what the subordinates are doing
unsolved work problems
suggestions for improvement
how subordinates feel about each other and the job
Formal and Informal Communication of Sundown Bakery Changes
**Noise is factor in all this communication*
Communication as a Diverse Society
Sundown Bakery experiences these differences in the end when the company is expanded to 7 different countries.
literary criticism essays uglies reasons for writing a business plan research papers on smoking bans architecture thesis portfolio pdf essay on sundown bakery.
Literary Criticism Theory Practice.
Another beautiful day, which makes it very hard to stay in and work. I stood on the back porch in my dog pajamas for some time this morning, debating whether or not to take the day off and decided that I'd better not--I'm getting interested in the novel I'm writing; it's beginning to breathe on its own and I need to stay attentive to it. However, I did not get right to work, as is the usual way. Instead, I read my email and there was a message from an old friend in Boston named Jessica Treadway, who wrote an essay on the power of sisterhood, which was in last week's Chicago Triburne's Sunday Magazine. She was looking for an extra copy so that she could give it to her sister. She was almost apologetic about asking me to send her one, and it reminded me of how often people, myself included, are reluctant to ask for something, neglecting the fact that it feels good to do a favor for a friend--or a stranger. I don't know, maybe it's the nurse in me, but I always feel like helping someone else is at its heart a selfish act--you so often get back far more than you give. And to ask a favor is to make yourself vulnerable, which is not a bad thing to do. I know it can be hard to do; it can be VERY hard to do.
I have a friend who's very successful in business. To look at her, to spend time with her, is to think that she's a rock. I always admired very much her business style, her command of things in general, and what seemed to be a really optimistic outlook. Then one day she called me and she was anything but optimistic. She was feeling very much alone and sad and confided to me that day that she often feels that way. And we talked about it; we went out and ate too much and drank a little and now in addition to admiring her, I like her more and trust her more, too.
I don't know that any friendship can sustain constant whining and stories of feeling depressed. But I do know that to show all sides of you is to move closer to an honest and therefore more fulfulling relationship. When my friend called me that day, it was because her therapist suggested the challenge to her: When you're in need, ask someone for help. And then let them help you. I pose that same challenge to you, today.
This ends the psychobabble portion of my program. Let me now confess that after having a most excellent diet day yesterday, I sat last night reading Haven Kimmel's The Used World (terrific novel, you need to STAY WITH IT) and then I decided I really needed some butterscotch pudding because it was a little cold outside, I heard the wind, you know, and then I needed some potato chips because of the salt/sugar thing and then since I'd wrecked everything anyway I got into that damn Halloween candy. Here's some advice: NEVER buy Halloween candy that you like. My problem? What Halloweeen candy don't I like? Oh yeah, Milk Duds. I used to like them, but now they're too hard and fake tasting. If anyone is reading this who has anything to do with Milk Duds, can you fix this problem, please?
I can't wait for my next book to come out, the short stories called THE DAY I ATE WHATEVER I WANTED. Because I am having potato chips and chocolate at every reading I do. I'm just giving you fair warning.