Accomodating different needs in a meal

Ms. Theologian gives good advice for vegetarians and vegans who might not be well served at work-related meals.

Most church event planners are not pros and can get into a bind when trying to make a special church-related meal — say, a canvass dinner — incorporate a variety of diet needs, even common ones. Say vegetarians, but also those on diabetes care diets and those with lactose intolerance. Or perhaps you’re planning a wedding reception or have been tasked to put together an awards banquet. Or perhaps you’re the vegetarian and want to serve something different than Black Bean Extravaganza.

How can you keep all these needs in mind?

Now, don’t laugh, but there’s this site I like to visit called airlinemeals.net where travelers and flight crews photograph and describe their onboard meals. I don’t know why this appeals to me, but it does, and there’s a special meals category. I would be proud to serve some of them — especially from first class and on the better international carriers — to my friends and fellow church members. (And there are some fun ideas for those who brown bag regularly, too.)

Once you have an idea of the menu, I like the recipes at the BBC for creativity and contentiousness, if you’re cooking or have a special working relationship with who is.

South Shore featured in Post

The Washington Post wrote Sunday about the charms of the South Shore, south of Boston, and refers specifically to Hingham Old Ship Church, which is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Indeed, I think there’s a Unitarian “First Parish” in each of these towns.

I know this article says nothing new to several noteworthy bloggers and many, many Unitarian Universalists, but it is sure looks purdy.

Classic New England: Five for the Road” (April 22, 2007)

Travel, convention time

Even though I’m not planning on going to either the UUA General Assembly or the UCC General Synod, I do enjoy helping others plan and save money. I’ll leave this entry open for those who want to share money saving tips for Portland, Oregon or Hartford, Connecticut. Or sustainable travel tips.

Or you can go to Surviving the Workday where Ms. Theologian is musing a tea pot (and other must-haves for comfortable travel.)

More on the new buses

I wrote about Megabus’s US service a few months ago. NBC News ran a story about it tonight.

Good news Toledo, you’re being served this fall. OK, not so much about theology, but better these days than short-haul flying. Better than the Greyhound we know and don’t-love, and which degrades the popular appreciation of motorcoaches for want of simple conveniences like, ugh, reservations.

Leaving the driving to someone else” (NBC Nightly News, 14 August 2006)

Portly and portage

I’m getting pretty chunky, which is a wound to my pride and health and — oddly enough — travel sensibility. I like to travel light. I can spend a week about anywhere (if I’m not preaching) with a small carry-on and a modestly packed laptop case. (With no lap-top.) Hardly revolutionary, but a developed skill none the less. But what’s the use of packing light if I’m packing twenty or thirty extra pounds at my waistline.

Then it hit me.

I want to go to the UUCF Revival in November. I want to lose weight. I’ve made a deal with myself. I hope I don’t regret it.
I will carry only as much luggage as the weight I loose between two weeks ago and then. If I loose twenty pounds, I can pack like a normal person. If I loose a half a pound, it means a change of undies in a plastic bag.

Silly? Perhaps. But I hate feeling like a sausage and I like a contest. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Of course, the Revival participants will know first.

A cheap way to GA, from Chicago anyway

Despite some grave problems I had with Greyhound recently — no, because of them — I was looking around for alternate long-distance bus services. And dang if the UK based Megabus didn’t start US service a few days ago. In the Midwest only, I’m afraid, and hubbed out of Chicago. There might be some good options for serious bus-warriors in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, too.

Since Megabus bases its fares on yield management, if you book far in advance, the tickets are very, very cheap. The furthest available tickets (through the end of May) from Chicago to St. Louis, for example, are $1 each one way. And St. Louis is where the UUA General Assembly is this year. That’s a five and a half ride, well within my “anything under six hours is fine” rule.

I thought some seminarians in particular might be interested.

Megabus US

"California Pilgrimage" of 1915

There’s been some talk of pilgrimages on the Unitarian Universalist Historical Society mailing list, and a book was mentioned. Since I own a copy, and since there are some odd parallels to today, I thought I’d mention it. It covers events in July 1915, so almost exactly ninety years ago.

Frederick A. Bisbee’s A California Pilgrimage (Boston: The Murray Press, 1915) subtitled “A Souvenir of the United Universalist Conventions, California 1915” is quite a charm. The writing style was loose and flowing; indeed, the notes about Chicago admittedly flowed away and there is almost nothing written about it. There is an instantaneous quality to the writing that makes me identify with Bisbee as if a blogger.

The first half of this small book is about the rail caravan that began in Boston (South Station for those keeping score) and ended up near Los Angeles via Chicago and Salt Lake City. There were three hundred riders in all, with the first train adding cars as it moved west, and in time a second train was added. (They tended to “play tag.”) In Omaha, where they had a two day rest, they even rode in cars — not well received — on a stretch of the new (1913) Lincoln Highway, the first nationwide auto route. After visiting the churches at Riverside and Pasadena, visiting Catalina and other beauty spots (orange trees!) They dined at a new kind of eatery: a cafeteria, also not well received by Bisbee; too mechanistic. The Universalists held the conventions (in Pasadena, probably at Throop Memorial), of which almost no mention was made, and dedicated the now defunct Los Angeles church. In the second half of the book went to San Francisco for the world’s fair, the Panama Pacific International Exposition. (Also this.)

It was, however, the denominational tidbits that tickled me. Here’s one. A wealthy Universalist, too old or frail to travel himself, donated a typewriter and they took a duplicator to create a newsletter aboard the train: The Daily Ugcwumaypcuss, “a Journal of Fact Fellowship and Frivolity” published by “The General Consent Publishing Co., Limited.” Denominational acronym soup at its finest. See if you can figure it out; I’ve put my guesses below. Time and time again, I’ve seen how Universalist writers were keenly aware of the future, and no less this passage which could have been written for me.

The Daily Ugcwumaypcuss came out as usual on the last day of the journey, and there was regret it was the last number, for it had been chief amonf the diversions, and we found that copies were being treasured. There is no doubt that some time when the centennial of this pilgrimage is celebrated, this paper will be reproduced in facsimile as a great curiosity.

Wow. Well folks, we have ten years to find and copy these. Actually, I know where we can read them. And it seems the Rev. Gene Navias (known to many of my readers, I’m sure) had a copy in hand when he wrote an article (“R.E. Moves West by Mail and Train R-XYZ”) for the Universalist Herald. (search for UGCWUMAYPCUSS within this page.)

There was also much talk about how they could spread the word to all the places there were no churches, make advertizing (their term) use of the Convention, and commented on how the name confused people not otherwise aware of the church. (Sound familiar?)

Later. The cafeteria was in the basement of Trinity Methodist Church that — by Bisbee’s description — clearly was not “the little brown chapel” but a typically Los Angeles-scale institution. He described it as taking up a city block, and the conventioneers saw a motion picture there. This has to be it. And it still stands!

Continue reading “"California Pilgrimage" of 1915”

Back from New York

Well, Hubby and I are back from New York — and in my zeal to delete poker spam, I deleted six legitimate comments forever.

Including a kind offer to reveal the secret of the Fourth Universalist mosaic. (Do tell again Jeff, if you like.)

Won’t likely be blogging much because I’ll be on Day Trip business travel to Atlanta from Wednesday to next Sunday.

But until then, a few events from the post-PeaceBang part of the trip:

  • Odd sight. Seeing a balding man in the forties jogging down Fifth Avenue in the snow about 10 am this morning wearing nothing more than running shoes, grey Speedos or jockeys, and a bright red teddy. Even the locals noticed.
  • Fun eats.. Pastrami on rye with half-sours and a cream soda and chopped liver on rye with steak fries and half-sours and a celery soda respectivly at Katz’s in the Lower East Side. (The deli featured in When Harry Met Sally. We then got salmon and whitefish salad on ice to go.
  • Good show. Avenue Q is all that and more. Story of my freakin’ life (past tense). Democracy was so-so but suffered from odd casting choices. Cabaret with Nurse Baby Asparagus made me loathe life and (even more) her sycophantic friends-cum-audience, but I do have a better insight into the rationale of the “Just Jack” storyline on Will and Grace.

BITB in New York

Sorry gang if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been: Hubby and I are in New York.

Yesterday, we had a lovely day with PeaceBang, one of her friends, and another colleague I’ll call RDA. We saw dropped by Fourth Universalist Church, saw the Gates, and had a yummy Italian lunch.

More details and photos — including the “secret” of the subject of the mural behind the curtain at 4U — on our return.

Another Chinatown bus

Well, in place of come actual Universalist theology, how about another cheap way to get from Washington to New York?

Another so-called Chinatown bus, and one more helpful for Virginian suburbanites:

Apex Bus