The word implies aristocracy, wealth, romance, opulence, and a continuous social scene of balls and parties and comings-out. The legacy of ten thousand Jane Austen imitators has made a million prides and prejudices into a story form called simply “a Regency.” And the frothy effortless wealth implied in that word has glued it to every kind of product: cars, air fresheners, pet foods, mobile home parks, bathroom tile, insurance plans. For a whole generation it was the noise that meant luxury and sophistication in a perfectly generic context.

The other night I was taking the long way home down Pickering in Whittier and saw this place:

It is a religious organization that started as a church and is now an entire complex, what we call a “mega-church.” As usual it is a charismatic Protestant Christian organization. The church inhabits a working-class town with a broadly diverse population.

My guess is that “Regency” got put on their name in the beginning because it just sounded good. The name suggests success and respect. I doubt anyone meant to suggest that the church would consist of a series of fancy balls in which young ladies and young gentlemen would waltz and exchange witticisms over ices and champagne. I don’t think they use Regencies as texts in Bible study, either. It’s probably just a bit of American class-conscious marketing languages seeping in.

But what would it be like if the church was based on an actual theological regency? God is somehow incapacitated, and Jesus is too young to run the Universe. So we’ll just help out, here, and run things on behalf of the kid until he’s ready. It may take a while! Lord knows it’s complicated running everything and he’s barely sitting up in his crib.

This is going well. Let’s throw some parties! Lots of them! Bring out the champagne and ices!

Being God’s regent in Whittier, California might not be such a bad gig. But I don’t think I’ll suggest it to the pastor. He and his wife seem settled enough with their current theology.

Grim Meathook Present

I’ve been to the pharmacy twice in the last two days, once to leave off a prescription and once to pick one up. Both days the line has been at least 15 people long to pick up and about half that to drop off. This is maybe 3 times as long as usual.

The employees said “sorry, our hours are cut.” When I came in today I turned around and walked out because I didn’t have an hour free to wait. Fortunately I didn’t need the prescription right away.

If upper middle class people with good benefits in a resort town in Southern California are now waiting an hour to get their prescriptions, because the drugstore chain has cut hours way down, what’s it like right now in Wal-Mart land? My guess: not so great.

I’ve also noticed discounters like Target carrying less inventory and less variety. If I don’t get to Target before noon on a Saturday the chance of finding the lightbulb I need is halved.

Something went down at the bank in the same shopping center the other day and they have an armed security guard now. That’s new.

It’s not the end of the world, especially here. But if I can notice the quality of everyday life slipping here? It must be getting really special in poorer bits.

apocalypse jr.

Now that we’ve had fiery heat, a surprise cold front, and more fiery heat, it’s time for a weekend of 50 mph hot wind.

Also, our water heater is leaking.

Also, we have another Great Depression.

However: I have a cat on my leg and iced coffee. We’re going tankless with the water heater. And what’s a little blast furnace weather among friends?


The last time the landlords wrote a proposition for us here in California it permanently broke local services and education in this state and left homeowners paying for it. We’ve got a bigger problem now: Prop. 98.

This one is important if you rent, or care about people who do. gordonzola has a good summation at his LJ today, but the jist of it is:

Prop. 98 kills all rent control, removes many of California’s protections for tenants, repeals environmental rules, and trashes public water projects.

For a more detailed summary with arguments for and against the proposition, Smart Voter has a Proposition 98 page and links to the actual law.

The war, via the Huntington Beach California Police Blotter

Waverider Circle, non-emergency. A man reported that he “doesn’t have an emergency, however he may have one soon.” The caller was a soldier who said he had just returned from Iraq to find that his wife was at another man’s residence. A dispatcher advised the man “to stop if he felt he was going to commit a crime.” The man said he would drive somewhere and “cool off,” 2:16 p.m.

Neely Circle, 4800 block, burglary in progress. A woman reported someone was trying to break into her apartment. While several police units prepared to respond, including the department’s helicopter, the woman said the man could be her husband. The woman turned out to be the wife of the soldier from the earlier call. The soldier had followed his wife to her new boyfriend’s apartment after he learned she didn’t want to be married to him anymore. The soldier had “scaled the balcony railing to see what his estranged wife was doing” and “was shaking the sliding door violently,” 2:57 p.m.