Friday, April 19, 2019

Red Hair Girl, on Good-to-Go Friday

Marz wrote this poem (in 1 minute) for the Orphan Reds:
Their plasticity is no descent
from which a return will be marked,
nor a fine capture like air in water
but triumph in all three forms:
wild, lawful, and true.
This is the wild one: Red Hair Girl, waiting (eagerly) for bink to come pick her up this morning. 

RHG is wearing a carabiner & harness, because she's going to the Basilica with bink, where they'll climb up onto a catwalk way above the altar:
bink will be hauling up bags of rose petals she will drop onto the altar this evening for the Tenebrae ("shadows") Good Friday Service.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Everything Is Transitional

I. Greens & Oranges

I stopped off the bus at the nearby Kmart yesterday, in the rain, to buy greens to cook for a potluck work lunch today.
Kmart carries some basic fruit and veg, but, turns out, they don't carry greens.

I bought four navel oranges, priced 50¢ each.

At the check-out, the cashier had no code for single oranges.
(Almost every time I go to this Kmart there's some screw-up at the register. It's the worst store I've ever been to. Mr. Furniture would laugh at me and say, "What do you expect? It's the ghetto Kmart.")

The very young cashier solved the problem by ringing the oranges up as limes--only 33¢ each.

Thirty-three! That's how old Jesus is this Holy Week!
Could it be a sign? Of what?

(I don't believe in signs, but I love spotting them.)

And here's another sign of who-knows-what:

I sent Art Sparker a box of tiny things, as thanks for making signs for the store, 

and also because it's hugely fun to get together a box of tiny things.

I included a tiny flocked giraffe (from West Germany). 


Sparker wrote back that she already had one! 

 She sent me a photo of the pair.

And she posted photos on her Instagram of some of the other Tiny Things. 

Aaah! And another this morning--an assemblage of three items I sent, which she left on a telephone pole. 
Too dear! I have to share this! 

Walking home from Kmart, I passed an out-of-business grocery store (they would have had greens!), where street people hang out in the wide, protected vestibule––they've even dragged in old chairs to sit on.
Only one guy was there yesterday. 
I offered him an orange.

"Thanks," he said, "I just got out of the hospital a couple days ago for pneumonia".

"Well, then you need the vitamin C!" I said. "Looks like you need a raincoat too," and took off my plastic rain poncho. "Take this--I have another one at home."

II. White & Reds

I've noticed that if you give people money, generally they accept it without hesitation; 
but if you give a thing that clearly will leave you without––like mittens or a rain poncho, or, once, a muffin––often people are reluctant to inconvenience you by accepting.

"But you'll have to walk home in the rain," this guy said.

"Naw, it's just a couple blocks. If you've had pneumonia, you should have rain protection."

"I shouldn't be smoking and drinking beer," he said, which he was.

"Well," I said, "you've gotta have a life..." I hung the rain poncho on the chair.

He smiled. "You should be a psychologist," he said.

As I walked away, he called after me, "My name is Julius!"

"Fresca!" I called back.

I tell ya. This city I live in is rich, but you could give away necessities all day, every day. 
Once when I told someone about one of these exchanges, she said, "Doesn't that leave you feeling good!"

Well, but it doesn't.
It leaves me feeling overwhelmed by the need out there.

And yet, yes, it does.
Almost always, these are pleasant, human exchanges that leave me feeling warmed by the kindness of others. 
Last week during our spring-snow storm, I gave my bus transfer to a guy wearing a plastic bag at the bus stop.
He was carrying a beat-up bag, bulging with items.

I walked on and he came after me, holding out something he'd dug out of his bag.

"Here! I don't know what it is, but it's new! Some kind of face cream."

It was a little sealed pot of M&D Pharmacy Photo White, Brightening Face Cream, SPF 50.
Expired 12/2017. 
I looked it up--the brand is Italian (!), and this pot costs  €15.00.

Darn. Mayo Clinic says sunscreen does expire, and since this is two years past, I won't use it. 

I gave it to the Orphan Reds to play with.
They love it!
(Red Hair Girl has changed into her warm-weather wraps.)


III. Dreams of Paris

Speaking of the Reds, who were originally "Madeline" dolls---
I was so happy I'd been saving a plushy Madeline & her original book at my desk at work, so I could include her in a "Dreams of Paris" display I set up at work yesterday, around a Notre Dame tourist plate, which I was also happy (and amazed) that we had in the store.

Dreams of Paris is the name of the book to the far right, with the red "paris". It's a photo book from the 1960s.


I was distraught when I heard Notre Dame was burning [photos in the Guardian]––my mother had loved the cathedral––but that night I picked up Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame, which I'd gotten from the library only the day before the fire because, honest, the library had a paperback copy of that title and the only hardback of Les Misérables––the book I'd wanted––was too heavy to hold. (A sign! A sign!)

I was heartened to read Victor Hugo pointing out that the cathedral "is not what may be called a complete monument... It is a transitional edifice", which has weathered "the wounds of Time; brutal violence from revolutions; and . . . a host of architects"!

Now it will have another story.

And now I must go to the Asian market to buy greens. I didn't go yesterday because I didn't have rain gear...

Have a lovely day!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

"Les Misérables" and My Work

I expect many (most?) of my coworkers and fellow Vincentians don't know it, but the Society of SVDP was founded because of the sort of events––the poverty and injustice––Victor Hugo wrote about in Les Misérables.

I just posted this on the thrift store's FB, which I manage by default––i.e. no one else wants to (... and I do).
"THIS––the world of Les Misérables"––led to the founding of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul ! ! ! 😯
Nineteen-year-old Frederic Ozanam was in Paris during the story's [real!] events of 1832, & the poverty & injustice led him to start our Society.

📺 New mini-series "Les Mis" starts TONIGHT, Sunday 4/14, @ 8/9 PM  on MASTERPIECE, free on PBS television stations. (* * * OR * you can pay for "Passport" to stream it anytime online...)"
PREVIEW: www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/clips/les-miserables-official-preview 


(I don't have a TV and I don't want to pay to stream it, so I won't be watching, but I'm excited to share it with my colleagues.)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Orphan Reds at the Museum

A friend has a floral display at the nearby art museum's annual "Art in Bloom" event this week, and she invited the Reds to help refresh her flowers––against museum rules prohibiting plastic in the display.

Penny Cooper, who knows everything, rolled her eyes. "We are not plastic."


Luckily, this time, unlike last week at the Conservatory, no one was caught in the act of touching flowers.

Free Throw

I. Basket

I'd thought all the week Big Boss was gone about how to reply to his contention that God wants me to stay on the Store Committee.

BB had said we'd talk when he got back from vacation. All this week I waited for him to ask to meet . . . and I thought some more about what to say. 
Only a couple days ago did I ditch my theological, political, and autobiographical explanations.

Big Boss never asked to talk, so yesterday I did.

It's like basketball, I said.

The store workers are like players: they follow a leader, but they improvise on the spot, on the floor.
The store managers and board members are like coaches: 
they have to plan the larger picture, develop strategic goals, coordinate with other organizations.

"I have always never wanted to be a coach," I said. "I'm better as a player." 

It worked! Big Boss told me, sympathetically, that Magic Johnson had just quit management because he didn't like what the job entailed.

"Call me Magic," I said. "Not all players are cut out to be good managers."

Here's where I learned everything I know about basketball:


 II. Spring Is Reading Weather 
We've had a snow storm over the past couple days, but it's a spring snow---heavy, wet, and soon to melt, taking with it  the remaining winter's sludge of salt and sand.

 Time to put out the new season's bookmark by Art Sparker (Susan Sanford)!

Friday, April 12, 2019

AO3 Hugo: Play is the wellspring of creativity.

I'm thrilled that the dear-to-my-heart online archive of fan-created works, Archive of Our Own (AO3) has been nominated for a Hugo, the mothership of sci-fi & fantasty literary awards! 

I'm quite romantic about AO3.
Whether or not you care about fan-fiction, AO3 is a sign of hope for humanity: it is an example of the best the Internet can unleash--a platform for people to express themselves freely:

And the fan writers and creators are mostly female and are (or were) often quite young––people whose work would not have normally been published in the past.
In the past, small groups of fans shared their work in groups and mailings, which could be hard for others to find––but this network is huge (1 million+ users!), and open to any and all.
 
Fans started AO3 to get away from commercial sites that dictated what stories, art, and other fan-created works could be posted.

Not that fans don't fight among themselves about what is acceptable––do they ever! But the site itself does not censor postings--though it does allow for posting warnings [e.g., warning: character death, noncon sex, etc.] and, I think, even requires them on certain works.


From Slate:
"Why Archive of Our Own’s Surprise Hugo Nomination Is Such a Big Deal:

The fan fiction site—built, run, and written primarily by and for women—deserves your respect.
"Fan works, and the community that surrounds them, often don’t get the respect they deserve. So AO3’s nomination for the prestigious award—both for the platform itself and for the platform as a proxy for the very concept of fan fiction—is a big deal.
Many, both inside and outside the sci-fi and fantasy community, deride fan fiction as mostly clumsy amateur works of sexual fantasy—critiques that, as those who have looked at them closely have pointed out, have a glaringly gendered component."
I can attest, some of the work is excellent, professional level work that flourishes in a gift economy.

But , yeah, much of fan fiction is "clumsy amateur works of sexual fantasy". So what? That's a place to start, or,  what the hell––it's sufficient unto itself: it's fun! 
It's for PLAY!
Play is the wellspring of creativity.

AO3 is up for a "Best Related Work" award. Results are in August.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Exercise Day!

I go to see the personal trainer for my first full hour at the YM later this morning.
I'm not sure she's the right one for me––she's rather chilly––but she said I can switch trainers if I want.
I'll give this my best effort.


I love these exercise illustrations from The Weigh of All Flesh, Handy Aid Book, 1953 (from the store). This cutey looks like Baymax, "your personal healthcare companion" in
 Big Hero 6.
This book is a weird mix of common sense and outdated advice:
"Success in the management of weight demands your intelligent cooperation." 

Intelligent cooperation. I like that.

 But "Appetite depressants prescribed by your  physician are helpful..."?
Well, yeah, amphetamines do suppress appetite, and OxyContin is helpful for pain.

Anyway, I'm not thinking about weight--the topic is too emotionally loaded. It was a weapon of shame and control used against me, NOT in service of health, and I try to forget about it.

It pisses me off to have to admit it's been one of the most painful topics in my life.
And it extra–pisses me off to know that I am far, far from alone in this. Feeling crazy and bad about your body is practically normal in my culture.


Like, isn't this a creepy ad? (From a pharmaceutical company––surprise, surprise.) The young woman in her underwear is faceless, and the self-satisfied old man in a scientist outfit looks like someone who'd design a Stepford wife.
Helps you keep your patient on your diet? YOUR diet?

Huh--I looked up amphetamines and see that since 2015, some doctors again prescribe them for weight loss--just for 12 weeks, under supervision.
Maybe they are less drastic than weight-loss surgery?

I don't know, but I do know this bottom exercise will blow-out your knees.
Anyway, as I said, I'm not thinking about weight--
I'm thinking about getting stronger again
that makes me nothing but happy!

Even after two light work-outs last week, I feel stronger.
To some extent, it doesn't matter if I love this trainer or not, so long as she helps me get going and stay going.

My related goal: not getting injured!. I've been moving with more intention at work, keeping body mechanics more in mind. I've been pretty slack about that and am lucky I haven't hurt myself.
I want my job to build me up, not wear me down.

I kind of want this T-shirt to wear to the gym:

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Front Loader & Fruit Baskets

I. Fully Loaded

There's no time before work to take the Orphan Reds outside with their new construction truck (a front loader--I had to look that up), but they're getting into it on the kitchen table.
I'm chuffed that the truck fits all three.


From the back, Red Hair Girl makes the truck noises. 
It is very noisy.

II. How to Thank Someone for a Fruit Basket

The truck is from work, of course, and on Michael's suggestion, I also brought home The Bantam Book of Correct Letter Writing, a 1958 abridgement of a 1948 book.

I learned: 
"Often when people leave for foreign shores, their relatives and friends send bon voyage gifts to the ship or plane."

And here's the sample thank-you:
(Isn't that a bit effusive for a basket of fruit, even a most magnificent one? Maybe it's code?)

Next time a friend goes on a trip, I'm sending a fruit basket to their airplane.

"Move Upstairs"

I'm crazy about this a capella gospel song "Move Upstairs", sung by Della Daniels and Ester Mae Smith--
 --and it's the kind of movable song I'm thinking about when I think about how music survives. 
The lyrics are about that too--what helps you survive. (Preparing for release from this world...)

(I'm sure people have written wonderfully about this––how music travels through hardness––I'm not much of a music person, and it's kind of new to me...)




Marz introduced me to it.
It's from the album Como Now: The Voices of Panola County, Mississippi (2008):
"Deep in the heart of Panola County, Mississippi lies Como, a small rural town where children and grown folks alike have been living and breathing gospel for as long as they can remember.
In the summer of 2006, Daptone Records placed a small ad in local papers and on the radio inviting singers to come down to Mt. Mariah Church to record their songs.
The result is COMO NOW, a stirring collection of traditional and original a cappella gospel from the voices of Panola County’s own families."

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Garms

While eating veggie burgers at my local White Castle, I hear a man and a woman yelling at each other in one of the single-toilet bathrooms. 
Crew members ^ come and unlock the door.

The woman inside says, "It's OK--we're just having a Jerry Springer moment." 

On my way out I see the couple eating together––still arguing, but quietly.

Why does the crews' FAMILY T-shirt look like the POLICE ICE design?
Surely this is more than a coincidence?

Googled it!
And--wow, yeah--I didn't find mention of ICE, but it's gotta be conscious--the designer of White Castle's uniform is the black-owned, streetware-inspired,
avant-garde line Telfar.
From Interview magazine (9/2017)
 

"[Since 1991] the White Castle in LeFrak City, Queens, was designer Telfar Clemens’ local haunt —
where he passed countless hours in his youth before carving out his immutable, genderless approach to dressing, a return to brandless style and a generic 'normality.'
It’s undisputed that through his democratic, tongue-in-cheek garms, Telfar has leveled-out fashion’s playing field." 
Garms = clothes, from "garments"

Meanwhile, across the street in the K-Mart parking lot, a male pigeon flashes his finery. His friend appears unimpressed.

Friday, April 5, 2019

A Day at the Conservatory, and a Magic Octopus

It's the dirtiest, ugliest time of year, with melted snow revealing all of winter's garbage, and no plants growing yet. bink took me and the Orphan Reds in the car to the Conservatory to see some green this afternoon.

"I don't know if I have a doll in my bag, or what."

What was your wish, Penny Cooper?
An elderly man came up to me at the fountain and told me that his daughter "in her fifties" travels with a Raggedy Ann doll that she photographs wherever she goes. 
"I kind of look forward to seeing it in her photos," he said.

I thanked him for telling me––I'm not alone!––and asked him to pass along my greetings to his daughter. Theresa, her name is.

Red Hair Girl, no respecter of posted signs, was approached by a conservator and told to refrain from touching the plants, please.


SweePo wanted to touch the koi, but today they weren't hungry enough to nibble fingers. 

Afterward we went for tea at Rose Street Bakery, where the Orphans unwrapped a double-chocolate macaron for bink.

It's spring break for public schools, and lots of families were at the conservatory this afternoon. 

In the gift shop, I witnessed a young man telling a little boy, who looked about five, that the boy couldn't have a light-up rubber octopus.

The man seemed sad as he  tried to explain, "I don't have the money, buddy!"  
He took the toy away from the boy and put it in a sales bin. Whereupon the crying little boy, with lightning speed, grabbed the octopus and darted away into the forest of hanging T-shirts.

That's just what Red Hair Girl would do!

I went up to the man. "Sir, can I buy that octopus for your little boy? He loves it so much, it would make me happy..."

"No, really?" I could see how mixed the man felt--hope mixed with polite refusal. "It's too expensive!" 

"How much is it?"

"Eight ninety-nine!"

Gulp. I'd guessed five.

But I had a ten, luckily. "It would make my day if you'd accept this," I said.
I could see the man was hesitant but wanted to accept, so I pushed it in his hand.

bink told me afterward she heard him say to the boy, "A nice lady wants to buy that toy for you", and that he looked around for me. 

But it's not a magic gift if you have to say thank-you to some stranger, so I had quietly sneaked away.

P.S. Speaking of  sneaking away--I googled "how to resign from a nonprofit committee" and was heartened and amused to see I am FAR from alone in this too.
The anguished cries of "my organization is a dysfunctional mess" and the loads of detailed examples were a balm.
The humans.

It is easier to do good deeds by stealth than to sit on committees.

Activated

Marz stayed over the other night (I keep a foam mattress for her). She always stirs up the Orphan Reds and gets them going. They love her!
She's an Aries, and so is Red Hair Girl, the most active of the reds.
The next day, after work I came home to this:

I was activated by seeing a personal trainer at the Y this week.
I surprised myself by how HAPPY I was yesterday to go to the gym and do a basic workout (squats, hip lifts, leg raises, kettle-bell arm lifts...).

I'm 25 lbs. up from when I walked Camino at fifty years old, in 2011 (eight years ago)––and it's not muscle mass.
I don't mind being fatter for look's sake, but I very much mind being weaker. I've never been slim, but I've always been strong––genetics + good luck.

It's no mystery why I've gained weight.
When I checked with my doctor, who's around my age, just to be sure, she laughed and said, "Welcome to the club." Weight gain is fairly normal (but not inevitable), post-menopause.
I suffered some injuries, stopped exercising, got older, upped the donuts I ate, and––bingo. Biology works!

I know I can be stronger again. It's going to take a little effort. I was dubious, but now that I've started, I think I'll enjoy that.
It's fun to begin things--the immediate results are rewarding. 

Then comes the long slog of The Rest of Your Life. I want to aim for that.
And if I slip up, I want to keep trying again, again, again. Like I am now.
Look we've been given these bodies
we don't understand.
We could spend our whole lives
learning how to live in them.
--Ruth L. Schwartz, from her poem "AIDS Education, Seventh Grade" 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Wall Up, Wall Down



Do we have to keep doing this?

More, Better, LESS


Aren't these pre-Internet guides wonderful? I especially love the old-fashioned futuristic computer font of 20,000 words.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Jell-O Wobbles

I'm sore this morning!
Even though the personal trainer only took me through a few reps of basic moves yesterday––squat, lunge, step-ups––that was more concerted exercise than I've done in ages.

And then I went and moved shelving at work all afternoon, so it's no wonder I feel a bit wobbly.

I splurged and bought four hours of personal training. It's cheaper that way, but still a horrendous $60/hour. 

Every so often on this blog I've written about efforts to get stronger, and they always taper off.
But I know I CAN stick with it, because for many years I did. (Then fell off after gallbladder surgery in 2009--ten years ago! and haven't been able to get back into a workable rhythym...)
I hope that meeting with this trainer every-other week for two months will help.

Battling Entropy

I was working with our Supervolunteer, Mike, helping him rearrange an area.
I've mentioned before that he had trained as a landscape architect. He's a maniac for improving the design of the store to be more attractive and more efficient. I entirely approve.
Phelps Wyman, 1922 , via Minneapolis Park History 
Mike started volunteering just a few months ago, after he retired early from a job in state government (something in environment).

I worry he'll leave soon. His complaints are mine, and even sound like mine:
wails of,"Why don't we ____________????" 

When I came in, he went on a rant because many of the changes he makes come to nothing:
yesterday, ironing boards blocked access to the LP records we'd rearranged...
The Big Jell-O

In his rant, Mike went further than me in identifying Big Boss as the source of the problems. I have to agree.

Big Boss has many strengths, but they weaken as his responsibilities have extended. (Soon after I started he was promoted from store manager to co-executive director of the entire organization.) His job is like a molded Jell-O that has gotten so big the surface tension fails.
We need external supports––flying buttresses, or written procedures, but they don't look likely to be forthcoming.

I deal with this by staying in my BOOK'S department, where my coworkers, including Big Boss, don't wander.
(I think books are inert objects to most of them.)

I took this selfie to send to my auntie, and while I'm hamming it up a bit, I am truly very happy being Custodian of Books.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A New View

I climbed the mountain of linens and hung a painting on the wall next to my work area yesterday. You can just see my desk––and my desk-bear––right, front.
Mr. Linens sits to my left.
We usually alternate days, but when we're both there, it's a constant litany of apologies for running into each other.  Every so often he'll say something along the lines of, "You don't have to apologize, woman––you're just doing your job!"
I like Mr. Linens.

I chose a painting that seemed neutral to me, since lots of coworkers face this area. I think they like it. 
One helped me hang it, and another said, "It's like a window." 
Another commented of a coworker who fishes every day at the nearby lakes in summer, "Now we're going to have to tie Danno down to get him to stay at work!"

I haven't asked Mr Furniture his opinion yet...

Nobody makes much effort to make their work-stations their own. I'm not sure why. Partly, I imagine it's not worth it--the donations keep coming, it's always going to be a mess...
The common mantra is "There's nothing you can do," which is both a protection––"I don't care, I didn't like it anyway"––and a self-fulfilling philosophy.

The break room is uncared for too.
Mostly it doesn't bother me, but I noticed I've started to enjoy places that in the past I thought were sterile––
the nearby museum of fine arts, and the new downtown YMCA.

I'm going to the YM later this morning for my new-member's free hour with a personal trainer.  My pulled leg/groin muscle is healed, and I'm stronger after a year of physical work, but as midlife, I have to be more intentional about staying strong. 

I don't really want to, but I'm willing.

Monday, April 1, 2019

"Don't leave the [thrift] store until you've seen everything."

"Ode to Thrift Stores," a 2-min. spoken-word poem by Ariana Brown, to kick of National Poetry Month.

Thrift stores are about The Magic History of Human Things.
This poem gets it.

"What can you create when the only thing in front of you is your hands?"



Sunday, March 31, 2019

Dog-Sitting Instructions (Forgotten)

I'm house & dog sitting this weekend. Before she left, bink reminded me,
"Don't forget to push in the chairs!"
I keep forgetting.

Astro last night, home from a walk:

 This morning. My coffee!
Book Grape, Olive, Pig: Deep Travels through Spain's Food Culture, by Matt Goulding: "An Anthony Bourdain Book"

"There's no wrong note as long as you're singing!"

Good committee meetings are famously hard to pull off.
After all, what in our schooling, family, or work life has prepared us to work together in harmony?

Much as I despise how he responded to me, I don't think Big Boss is a bad person for leading a bad meeting, or even for using God talk to try to pressure me into staying on the committee.

Why should we expect we will able to work together in meetings cold--with no training? 
 
People singing together, however, people with perfectly average voices, prove there IS a way we, together, can be greater than the sum of our parts.
I don't understand the physics of this (do you?), but singing voices blend to be more beautiful than any individual one.

Pete Seeger with his broken old-man voice leads "Amazing Grace" on his ninetieth birthday celebration.



"Let every thing that has breath sing praise." 

I've been thinking about culture changes in the face of climate and political changes (even possible collapse? godforbid).
Of course if we all go up in a puff of nuclear smoke, we won't have to worry about it, but say we survive but have to adapt to massive shocks, or even "just" the gradual slow boil---what helps?

People in the past have gone through culture shocks, disasters, even collapses. 

The forced Jewish, African, and Tibetan diasporas, for instance.
What helps/-ed them?


A shared book, stories, music.

I've been listening to the filmed concert "Pete Seeger in Sweden" (1968) on youtube
"See, the slave master brought the Bible to the slave and pointed and said, 'See where it says Obey thy master? Learn that.'
Then he went away and left the Bible.

They turned the page, and it says, 'Moses freed the slaves!'"
I don't know much music history, but if you, a person or a people, have lost everything but breath, you can still sing.

I want to go back to the folk songs of my childhood and sing them till I know them again. Many of them come from the African disapora during the period of slavery, as well as European folk traditions. 
I mostly know them from Pete Seeger records, who says, "The music, like everything else, is all mixed up."

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Slime Lab

I've said many times here that I don't like committees. 
(Well, who does?)

I had reservations about accepting Big Boss's request that I be on the new store committee three months ago. Sure enough, the first meeting was bad enough I decided to quit.

I talked myself out of it. Maybe I was being too sensitive? 
Just because Big Boss makes unilateral declarations, with no discussion, doesn't mean it's going to be a pointless committee, right?
And I'm not going to see BB at his worst and start to dislike him, am I?

Wrong. I am––I have.
I won't go into everything wrong in the third meeting, a few days ago, just that fundraising came up (Nooooooo!), and the Invisible Development Director (hardly anyone has even met her), who gets paid more than the executive director, 
. . . and I ended up yelling, What the hell does she DO?

I was told, as if I were a child, that she has raised $50,000 in a year.

Yes, I know that. That's why I was yelling.

I snorted. "Does that even cover her salary?" 

Silence. "We have some concerns about that."
But the board just signed her on for another six months.

Hey! I know that one! It's the Sunk Cost cognitive bias, otherwise known as throwing good money after bad.
There's nothing I can do except note it in the minutes: "The emperor has no clothes."

This is the worst committee I have ever been on.

So yesterday I sent Big Boss a friendly email resigning from the committee, just saying I'd help the store most by playing to my strengths: caring for books and customers.

I figured Big Boss still wanted me on the committee--who'd take the minutes if not me? but I also figured he'd see reason.

But, no.
He emailed back that he disagrees, that he believes my discomfort is from God pushing me out of my comfort zone, and it's God's will I stay on the committee.

My discomfort is from GOD?!?!
I'm like, is it even legal to say this BS to me?

Telling someone you know God's will for them, which just happens to coincide with your will for them, is some nasty, creepy mind game.
The more I think about it, the more I feel slimed. 

Hm. Maybe I could react like wild & wacky scientist Jillian  Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon, below, far right, in Ghostbusters).  After all, going into this workplace, I did say I was going to consider it a spiritual laboratory...
Big Boss is on vacation next week, so I can ponder what I'm going to do. Certainly any tiny, lingering doubt about my decision to quit the committee is gone--I'm just not sure how to best convey that.

No. Actually, I am.
I'm not going to discuss it with him. I'm disappointed in him, and I don't trust him anymore. 

I'm just going to say, I'm sticking with my decision.