Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Happy Mardi Gras!

I hope everyone's having a fabulous Fat Tuesday (and does anyone else find it striking that today's also Super Tuesday?).

In preparation for Lent, I got my hair cut really, really short: I'm giving up blow-drying for Lent. Today's a traditional time to consume lotsa treats before the Lenten fast, but I'm already mostly off sugar, which is my main vice. Pancake suppers are big in the Anglican tradition, but Gary and I aren't huge pancake fans, so instead I went to one of the few stores in town that sells Real Bagels (as opposed to round bread with a hole in the middle), and bought two sesame bagels for us to have as our bread with dinner tonight. Ah, decadence!

Tomorrow's Ash Wednesday services are at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m, but since tomorrow's a late teaching day, I'll have to go to the morning service. Gahhhh! And then I'll have the annual debate about whether to wear my ashes proudly -- to a talk by a job candidate in our department, and to classes -- or whether to conform to the workplace and remove them. The danger is that if I wear them, people may just think my forehead's dirty.

Here's my favorite Ash Wednesday story, which I've told here before but love repeating: My editor at Tor Books, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, returned to the Catholic Church as an adult. One Ash Wednesday he went to work after receiving the imposition of ashes, and was stopped in the hall by another editor, who exclaimed incredulously, "Patrick! Don't tell me those are ashes on your forehead!"

Whereupon the ever-witty Patrick shot back, "No, it was a tragic photocopier accident," and continued down the hall.

Ba-dum-dum. Thank you, we'll be here all Lent. Try the lamb.

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