Thursday, February 28, 2008

Only Six Quirky Things?

I’ve just been “tagged” by David at The Reformed Pastor to provide “six unimportant facts/quirks/habits about myself.” Harumph! As if there were even on unimportant fact about me! And my habits and behaviors are quite's everyone else who is out of sync!

Okay...enough self-justification. Past the arms and through the fingers, careful gang...the scent will linger:

1) I have an unhealthy knowledge of academic dress. I know enough about proper academic decorum and decoration to put most marshals and provosts this side of the Atlantic to shame. I actually collect certain varieties of gowns and hoods. I belong to list-servs dedicated to the subject (and to academic culture in general - such as post-nominals, historical universities, etc.).

2) I have a similar fascination with ecclesiastical vesture. Now these are actually quite interrelated as, historically, the clergy was the educated class. Most academic regalia is patterned on monastic habits. Similarly, in the English speaking world, Protestant churches are where you're most likely to encounter academic garb outside of the university setting. I also wrote an FAQ on vesture for the PCUSA while I was an intern for the Office of Theology and Worship. As my buddy Dave said, it's a subject in which I have a vested interest. (nyuk nyuk nyuk)

3) I'm fascinated with zombies. I like reading about them, watching movies about them, thinking about my plans for our family's survival in a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested America. It's really weird. We're looking at buying a house now, and my wife is already starting to anticipate my “that's not really zombie-proof” quip when the realtor points out all the natural lighting from a bay window.

4) I learned to cook from TV. It all started with Mr. Rogers making snacks in the kitchen. Then, I advanced to the The Frugal Gourmet. I remember back when the TV Food Network was only broadcast on for a few hours each day. Then they expanded the airtime by simply repeating the shows! How to Boil Water gave a great overview of the basics, and Mario Batali (whom I dressed as for Halloween one year when my hair was still long) taught me simple Italian cuisine. I still enjoy cooking shows, but my work schedule keeps me out of the kitchen.

5) I have trouble going straight through a book. I don't know what it is, but I can't seem to make my way through a single book without picking up two or three to work in on the side. I think part of it is this nasty compulsion I have with checking references. I refuse to leave a footnote unread; sometimes, I even go and check the reference myself. I'll even scan the end notes for a chapter and mentally tick which ones need to be read when I encounter them just to save time (after all, there's no sense flipping pages just to read an ibid. or idem). This isn't just for academic reading. I do this all the time. It drives Mrs. GrknDeacon nuts. About the only text I don't do this with is the Good Book, but then I trust its author implicitly.

6) I can't let a bad pun lay undone. I'm incorrigible when it comes to this. If I hold it in, my internal organs start to liquify or something. Anyone who has been around me for more than 10 minutes will start to groan and wince as I do this about that often. I have to seriously work at keeping them out of sermons, lectures, etc. It's a bit of a pride thing, as it's easy to get caught up in my own cleverness. But occasionally, I'm also able to make somebody smile. (Dave, thank you for good-naturedly groaning at them.)

I'm not tagging this to anyone because, outside of the consistory, I have no idea who reads me regularly. But if you do read this, and you decide to take it up, please link to it in the comments section.


Gary said...

I was tagged by Ben but I also read your's so...

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

#5 I can give a hearty Amen to. If you look at my "Active" book shelf next to my desk you will see 15 books all with bookmarks in various places.

robert austell said...

Just because I also wonder if more than 4 people read my blog, I thought I'd let you know that I do.

Your six things were interesting... I had no idea there were listservs for vestments.

The Rev. David Fischler said...

Chris: I'm the same way with puns. I grew up on Groucho Marx, and have to really work at reining in my inner Marxist during worship.

PS--Is your blog zombie-proof? :-)

Dave Moody said...

You are a very strange man, Chris. Will continue to pray for Mrs. Grkndeacon.


Cradle Calvinist said...

I should note that Chris' puns aren't always good (heaven knows I've had to sit through enough of them). Although for full disclosure, I suffer from the same malady myself. And the same flaw in my puns - they're so esoteric few people get them.

And speaking of zombies, remember Chris, I know where you went to seminary (ba-dum-bum).

Eric Wells, Protestant Laird of Glencairn said...

I just took the test,as well and I scored Reformed evangelical.Don't worry about your "street-cred" because the hearts of the elect are circumcised to the Father's Word and plan.

In Christ,Eric Wells,Protestant Laird of Glencairn

Chris said...

Hey Rev'd Fischler,

You should come over to the PCUSA. They'll promote you to national office just to make irrelevant Marxist comments. And believe me, the Layman will groan.

Chris said...

Hey Cradle (okay...RevnKevn!),

I'm not worried about an outbreak of zombies at LPTS. They don't even believe that God herself could reanimate a corpse, so I'm pretty sure >>pseudo-scientific and/or mystical explanation of zombieism here<< isn't going to get the job done.

Bill Crawford said...

personally I think 1-3 are all related!

I forgot to wear my vestments on three consecutive occassions (a baptism, and two communions) nobody noticed but me.

Chris said...


God noticed...and he told me he was still mad about it.

But don't wear'em in the water....might spook the fish.

Cradle Calvinist said...


You're assuming that there aren't already zombies at LPTS. Lots of growling, wandering around aimlessly, and consumption of human brains for the purpose of destroying life sounds an awful lot like the LPTS I remember.

Chris said...


Sounds more like Marxists than zombies. Too many vegetarians here to have a real zombie outbreak. Plus, again, the dead don't come back (according to the formularies on campus). They just rot...and pay the bills through dwindling endowments.