Sunday Lowdown #143 πŸ’€πŸŽƒβš°οΈπŸ”ͺ

THIS WEEK IN REFLECTION

I always write my Sunday Lowdown Saturday evening so it’s ready for you to read in the morning (or evening, depending on where you live). Thus, I’m not really including what I did on Sunday, the day on which you read. Well, last Sunday I did something I have not done in about twenty years: I went to church. Okay, okay, I can hear you from here. Calm down. A classmate from ASL asked if I would go with her to a Deaf church so she could watch and be around more Deaf people, which we should be doing anyway. While church isn’t my #1 option, I told her I would support her on her adventure/journey. Two turned into four, and there we were, Sunday morning the week before Halloween. The sermon was about the Christian response to Halloween; is it evil or good?

They signed (okay, a PowerPoint slide helped me) about the history of pagans and Halloween, the druids getting involved, and then Pope George III moving a feast day from early in the year to November 1st, giving us All Hallow’s Eve. The conclusion was that Christians should celebrate Halloween with costumes inspired by Biblical tales applicable to Halloween and pass out copies of those stories with candy. And oh, boy. Those stories were so metal. There were Bible stories about mothers boiling their children and eating them. There were pigs possessed by demons that ran off a cliff.

And all of these stories included props and wee costume changes (the person behind the podium would put up one finger, hide behind the podium, and wriggle into a new outfit). Folks were encouraged to decorate their yards with skeletons for the Valley of Bones and put dolls in cooking pots for the cannibal mothers. Afterwards, we tried to get pancakes, because those are the rules, but ended up at a Hooters. Yes, the tiny shorts did change into thongs.

Saturday, we had another Deaf Day Out, this time at an orchard. There isn’t (or shouldn’t be) any talking for the entire time. I did learn that my professor hasn’t watched a scary movie since she was in high school almost two decades ago. Meanwhile, I told her I watched a horror movie the night before that was boring for an hour and then scared the pants off me for 30 minutes — and Nick was away in Chicago for work!

Here is me with two of my church-attending buddies, Cassidy and Ella. This was Deaf Day Out, which is we’re all bundled up.

THIS WEEK’S BLOG POSTS

The character-driven novel Little Fish, by Casey Plett, was immersive and interesting, but not fully my cup of tea (I’m debating this metaphor). Not sensing a story arc makes me impatient, like I’m driving around with no directions, simply hoping I will find the place I’m trying to get to.

As for #ReadingValdemar, I’m so glad things are ending on a good note. I’d hate to discover Mercedes Lackey was getting worse as time went on. I was surprised when I realized Eye Spy was published in 2019, right in our review mirror, eh? That means the next novel is from 2020, and the most recent came out this year.

NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POSTS

Tuesday, I’m hosting a new writer! Check out Joan Schweighardt’s interview in which she discusses how Catholic saints can be just as spooky as Edgar Allen Poe’s creations and the research she did on rubber from Brazil for her trilogy.

If you haven’t read Grady Hendrix and live in the U.S. or Canada, surely you’ve at least heard of him. His smash success entitled Paperbacks from Hell rebooted several horror novels long forgotten and/or out of print, like Elizabeth Engstrom’s When Darkness Loves Us. I’ll review this terror ride on Thursday.

BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE

Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242
Owned Books on TBR Today: 204

*No new titles added this week.

23 comments

  1. “The conclusion was that Christians should celebrate Halloween with costumes inspired by Biblical tales applicable to Halloween and pass out copies of those stories with candy.” Oh, this made me laugh so much. (I hope I’m not offending anyone!?) What denomination church was it?

    Love the pic of you and your buddies. They look like great people (as if looks tell you much anyhow, but they just look both fun and kind.)

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      • Interesting.

        BTW, I went to a Catholic funeral this week. So much ritual! Catholic services mystify me. Ha ha! I grew up Presbyterian. Not story-focused but the rituals are plain and simple!

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        • Typically, when you are Catholic your parents are taking you from the time you’re an infant, so the ritual becomes ingrained much like a catchy jingle on the radio or TV. I still know all of the rituals, responses, and prayers, and I haven’t been to Catholic church since the 90s.

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          • Yes, that’s sort of what I have gathered when I go to a Catholic service. At the funeral I’ve just attended, they ran out of the program/order of service, so I didn’t even have that to help me. I just followed the sitting and standing and stayed mum during the responses!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok I love hearing about these ‘deaf day out’ adventures, please keep them coming. You didn’t say what your Halloween plans were? What are you up to tonight? Handing out candy? Eating candy and watching scary movies? All of the above? I must know!

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    • Because I live in an apartment complex that has separate buildings with doors you have to be buzzed into, there is no trick-or-treating here. We didn’t do a ton that day, though I did suddenly decide it is a crime to not watch Halloween on Halloween, so I started it around 10:00. On a Sunday. Yeesh. Do you get trick-or-treaters?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess it’s Halloween as I write (Monday morning here). Hope you are having a good time. No sign of trick’n’treating at the minesite where I unloaded, or at this truckstop. I think we are all enjoying your pleasure at engaging with the Deaf community. Do you have to wonder, ‘What took me so long?’

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    • Hmmm, that is a good question. There is a lot of conversation around hearing interpreters earning money off of Deaf language. Deaf people may take a while to trust a hearing person, too. So, I guess in the past I never thought it was a space for me. While I am mentally tired after a 50 minute class of intense visual focus (you can’t look away from someone who is signing, even for a moment, or you miss something), it’s less stressful that sitting in a room for 50 minutes with talking people who can’t speak clearly or wear a mask and don’t speak up.

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  4. You had some interesting experiences, didn’t you? Yes, going out to eat after church is an expected perk but the irony of going to Hooters is not lost on me. It’s very cool that you are following through with the different experiences.

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  5. I mean, I can kind of get behind that kind of Halloween because that’s actually pretty brutal lol. Just take the Jesus out of it for me, thanks. I would have been so mad as a kid (or an adult, let’s be honest) if I was handed a bible with my candy. I used to get handed those when I worked at Kmart as a teenager and I would drop it in the trash right in front of them. If you’re going to be rude enough to press your religion on me because you don’t like how I look, then it’s perfectly acceptable for me to show you what I think of that.
    Besides my problems with religious fanatics though, I think it would be incredibly interesting to attend a deaf gathering.

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    • I think they meant more like a print out of just that story, not a whole Bible, but I know the situation you mean. We used to have a group that tried to hand everyone a small Bible on the way into our college buildings when I was an undergrad. I find it awkward to have to have a confrontation with anyone when I’m just trying to get around, whether it’s religion or a LOSE WEIGHT NOW! flyer or a jam band playing next weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wait – what?? Thongs? Yikes! I’ve been in a Hooters once in my life. I think it was because someone we were hanging out with wanted to go. I can’t remember. It was pre-my son. The food was unremarkable.

    That sermon sounds like… something! Whoo boy!

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  7. The church you visited sounds wild. I love that Deaf churches exist (I mean, of course they would, it just never occurred to me) but what denomination was this?? I grew up not celebrating Halloween and churches would often offer an alternative “harvest” party but I’ve never heard of dressing up as Bible characters instead. I do agree that there are some pretty metal stories in the Bible though. The sermon I listened to this Sunday ended with dogs licking up the blood of a man who was stoned to death. Not Halloween related, just that week’s sermon. My favourite bonkers Bible story is when some kids make fun of a prophet for being bald and then bears come and eat the kids.

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    • I think this particular church used to have its own space, and now they have their own room inside a much larger church building (more modern, not like a cathedral). My mom said she also grew up not celebrating Halloween as a Jehovah’s Witness. The Deaf church, to my knowledge, is non-denominational. Everyone was super nice, and I liked that the service was story driven. When I grew up Catholic, it was a lot of stand up, sit down, ritual, ritual, song, ritual, pray, song. Maybe a brief parable in there.

      I love that there are bears in the Bible!

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      • It’s rather fascinating to me how different churches have handled Halloween. There’s a really wide variety of responses. I’m glad you had a good experience visiting the Deaf church. I always think of music and singing being a large part of church service so it makes sense that there might be an extra focus on story in a church that is geared toward a Deaf community.

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  8. I really love going to churches of different cultures – when I was a student, I went to a Chinese church in my town a few times with friends who wanted to start going to church but didn’t feel comfortable enough in English to come to my church. It was really interesting seeing what was the same at what was different. I never thought about there being Deaf churches but it makes so much sense now that I think about it! There are always BSL interpreters at conferences and larger church meetings in my own church group.

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    • Yes, some churches have interpreters, and I know that’s something that the students at my college will do and have practiced. I can see how an interpreter would just be up there, signing away in a hearing environment, whereas the Deaf church has everything organized with Deafness in mind: easy to see everything, they don’t bow their heads when they pray, they did have a brief song that was played over speakers and on a screen so if anyone has residual hearing they can hear it, and if not they can read it and sign along.

      Liked by 1 person

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