Monday, October 24, 2005

Lego Of God

This is my first blog that I’m writing directly onto Blogger. So, mostly this is a test to see if it will work.

The weekend consisted of: Going to Lego Land with Mulan. My friend Robert joined us. Robert is a musician friend who is producing the Letting Go Of God CD, which we talked about -- a lot -- during the day. More on that later.

Robert sang Hank Williams songs and played guitar all the way to Lego Land. We got there just after it opened on Saturday. It was overcast and almost drizzling with rain. It wasn’t even all that crowed. PERFECT. And Mulan had a blast. I learned something about her, something I probably should have known before. She loves roller coasters. This girl loves to go FAST. We went on two different ones over and over again. She could have gone on them for the whole day. The kids I’ve been around in the past were afraid of roller coasters at this age. But Mulan was sooo into it. She kept saying, "One more time!" Even before we got done with the ride. Robert and I kept laughing because that is the first three words Mulan ever said. I can see her already in the back of a convertible, sitting on the back like a beauty queen in a parade, her arms in the air and some boys in the front seat, and Mulan yelling, "One more time, boys!"

Jeez. Do I need to move to a remote island? Rejoin the Catholic Church and send her to the convent? Or just hold my breath and see what happens?

My favorite part of Lego Land was mini-town. We left around three and went to eat at a restaurant that Robert knew about. He used to live right by there in Carlsbad. Then we drove home and Mulan slept the whole way. I promised to take her to Magic Mountain next. I cannot wait.

So, I’m doing my darndest to get the CD out by December 1st. I already have over four thousand people who’ve e-mailed me and said they wanted it. I’m going to do a four cd package: the live version and the spoken word version together. I want it to cost less than $20, or maybe just $20. I couldn’t decide between the live version and the spoken word and so this is how I’m going to do it. I’m recording the spoken word version on Thursday and Robert is editing the live performances. I am getting my picture taken on Monday for the cover. I am so late getting this together.

Things are going to start going crazy in the next week or so and stay that way until Christmas. The shows at the Groundlings, then to New York for three weeks, then on the family reunion cruise, then back and Christmas will be here. All the while, squeezing in three days a week at Desperate Housewives.

On the way home from Lego Land, Robert and I taught Mulan “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Sometimes I think there are songs that just have to be filed in your head for inevitable moments that will crop up. I already taught Mulan, “I Want To Be Around.”

“I wanna be around, to pick up the pieces, when somebody breaks your heart. Some somebody twice as smart as me. A somebody who will swear to be true, just like you used to do with me. Who’ll leave you to learn that misery loves company! Wait and see!”

Oh that’s a great one. Maybe not a song that every five year old needs to know, but certainly every adult!

I spent the rest of the weekend making my big vegetable soup and reading Peter Singer’s “In Defense Of Animals.” It’s a collection of essays that Singer edits. It’s really good.

I keep getting lots of letters about hearing my show excerpt on This American Life. That is so cool. I can’t wait until the CD is done…


Marianne said...

Yay! I'm so excited that I can finally comment... that I have nothing to say. :\ j/k I've been reading your blog ever since the T.A.L. airing of the excerpt from "Letting Go of God", and I'm so grateful you chose to continue putting things out there. I'm one of many who appreciate your honesty and passion and humor and gift for expressing things with clarity and incisiveness, and I'm always so pleased when there's a new entry! :D Much love and happiness to you. *digital hug*

James said...

Hi Julia,

Great to see you at the lecture last Sunday, and catch up a bit.

The new blog should be fun, but what are you going to do about the Astrological Sign/Zodiac Year on your profile?

I'll be thinking of you on the 14th, for the Ovation awards!


LittleBrother said...

I'm looking forward to the deluxe release of "Letting Go of God"; I heard the "This American Life" broadcast version and found it riveting.

You know, in a "It's funny because it's true" way.

I've often wondered if you've been subjected to criticisms, either earnest/friendly/helpful or bitter/condescending, taking you to task for framing Bible stories with a modern humanistic sensibility.

Don't get me wrong, Julia-- your approach is perfectly valid and authentic. But I know religious people, both lay and clergy, who would listen to your re-telling of the Lot story-- or Christ withering that fig tree, which bothered me since parochial school-- and immediately snarl that your viewpoint is either hopelessly naive and ignorant or foolish.

I don't know if you are or ever were a "Simpsons" fan. If so, you may remember an episode where the family goes to Duff Gardens, an amusement park run by the local brewery. One of the attractions is "Beer Goggles"-- virtual reality eyewear that lets the user "see the world through the eyes of a drunk". (Bart tries them on and sees his cigarette-smoking, raspy-voiced aunt transform into a sexy babe.)

I like to say that the Bible is entirely different when viewed through the Beer Goggles of piety.

Sorry to be so long-winded. Love the new blog. Keep up the good work!

Reynold in Pasadena said...

Hey Julia!
I'm so happy to read the CDs will be available in time for Christmas (oh the irony!). You just decreased my shopping misery 68%!

See you at the Groundlings!

Anonymous said...

I have never wanted to so much as visit California (let alone Los Angeles) but now I am so sorry that I cannot see you perform. Your blog is a joy to read and I am eager for the CDs to come out. Thank you for saying, so well, what I have long felt.


By the way, I am sooo out of the "blogger" world that I have no idea if I am doing this correctly or answering all of the questions as I should but I'm going to take a chance, here, of making even more of an ass of myself than I already am.

Anonymous said...

Julia, I love your new photo! You look great! I'm patiently (yet anxiously) waiting for your CD ... will buy it not only for myself but a good friend of mine with similar doubts and ruminations. And the book ... we look forward to the book as well!

eddieO said...

lego of god? lol!! hi juila, i wanted you to know that my wife and i just saw your show yesterday at the groundlings and loved it!! your story has captivated us and absolutely no apologizes were needed on your behalf.

we truly wish you the best of luck in ny and eagerly await your cd.


Pete said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pete said...

Hi Julia,

I'm a long time atheist and I took a rather devout Catholic friend to see your show this past Sunday, 11/6 and she loved it, as did I!!! Even your flubs were funny!

We arrived a bit late and were seated in the back. (She was wearing a hot pink sweater, just in case you noticed!)

I'm looking forward to the CD/DVD! (Without the script in hand, I'm sure! Just kidding!)

I wish you all the best!

(I also forgot. The preview button is your friend!)

Douglas H. said...

Went to Lego land! You should have told me...I had a coupon!

Just thought I'd say something different.

Doug your corespondent living in Milwaukee.

Rozanne said...

I'm so glad you have a commentable blog now (even though I can't think of anything especially compelling, thought-provoking, or witty to say at the moment).

I've been reading your original blog for more than a year and have been a fan since I you did an excerpt of God Said Ha on This American Life. I saw the movie and own the tapes, which I listen to often. (Oddly, I never watched SNL when you were on it. Now I wish I had.)

I'm glad things are going so well for you, and I'm eagerly looking forward to the release of your new material.

Also as someone else said--I love the new photo. You look great.

Anonymous said...

I saw your show twice. I was so ready to let go by 2004, and age 36.

Years of listening to Howard Stern's non-religious beliefs, and then your amazing show really helped me alot.

I recall your line from the show about that moment when you suddenly realized that all your innermost, private thoughts were your OWN, and nobody was monitoring & judging. What a tremendous burden lifted indeed!

I cannot wait for your book and CD-- and movie too. Thanks again for sharing your journey with us.

Marigoldie said...

Hey Julia! I can't wait to check out Letting Go of God. I'm so glad I found your blog. You are just a peach.

james said...


And hey everybody, look at this:

Congratulations on winning the Ray Stricklyn Memorial Award for Solo Performance!

"Ovation Award-Winning Letting Go of God" - sounds good to me...

Hey, I had faith in you. :) Hope you're having fun performing in New York.


Justin Kreutzmann said...

"son of a gun big fun..." - interested in hearing your CD set.

Tom said...

Julia! So glad you finally got to go to Legoland. I think I had warned you once that Legoland might be closing, then I later found out that I was full of it.

Sorry for the false alarm...Glad to see you had a good time there!


Justin Kreutzmann said...

Lego that near Tonka Village?

Bookboy said...

Oh my God, where have I been. Your old blog kept coming up and then today bang your new blog. Been there from the beginning. Get the CD out before christmas so I can offer it at our Super-Book/Music/DvDstore. I'll be the one on the floor with it in my hand offering gift ideas. I know this a long address but I don't know how to do it any other way, you need to check it out. It's that Penn magic guy believe that there is no God. Waiting for your next post.

Anonymous said...

Dear Julia: I heard you on This American Life with Ira Glass and really enjoyed your piece. I have ling been a fan and really felt like I really connected with you. You were so honest and thoughtful, and it felt like I was reading someone else's personal mail. I was raised Christian (Holy roller, not Catholic), but found so much in common with your insights. I would like to issue you a challenge: to read at least a little of the Koran with the same fresh eyes that you (re-)read the Bible. I think you will be astonished that it is not what you think. Most to the point, Islam is a religion of LOGIC. Everyday guides for living and no contradictions in the scripture. I didn't know how else to contact you but I am a big fan, and wish you the best of everything. Truly, Wanda

Norm! said...

FYI: I just saw Victoria Jackson sing a song about you and your monologue Letting Go of God tonight, 12/01/2005, on TBN*. I couldn't tell if she meant to be taken seriously, but it seemed she was poking fun at you and your beliefs. She described you and your show as being about attacking Christianity. So, I assume her song was in response. The program's host said they were going to send you a copy of the show - minus the song.

I love your work, especially "God Said Ha!". I look forward to seeing "Letting Go of God" some day.

* I don't know which TBN show it was. Besides channel flipping, I'm not a regular TBN viewer. According to the schedule for 11:30 PM, it was suppose to have been Praise the Lord, but it may have been a repeat and you may already know about this.

Donna said...

I hope that the overwhelming evidence of intelligent life out here is powerful enough to keep affirming you in what you do. Thanks for your insight, humor, honesty, and courage. Thanks to all of your fans who post . You're awesome and should be an honorary Skepchick! I can barely wait for the CD.

Anonymous said...

I saw the Victoria Jackson song too. It was awesome. I have so much respect for Victoria now. She is so strong in her beliefs. It amazes me how much talk there is about God from people who don't believe in Him.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Sweeney,

It is wonderful that Victoria cares about you enough to pray for you, sing about you, and hope that you will change your heart toward God. I am sorry that whatever you experienced in your life has caused you to feel how you do. It's interesting that while many that turn away from God just "end" the relationship, you are using multimedia to campaign so strongly against Him. Interesting, but not hopeless. I'll be praying for you . . .

Joel Blum said...

After reading the above post, I checked out the TBN Web site and saw that they have archives of their shows. Victoria Jackson's appearance was on 12/1 and can be viewed at (Set the Media Player slider to about 28 minutes into the show to get to Jackson's appearance.)

I can't decide whether I think it's funny, sad, or disturbing -- really a combination of all three. My own experience in viewing it was enhanced by the fact that as she began to sing, the weekly Tuesday noon test of our city's emergency warning system siren went off and all the dogs in my neighborhood began howling wildy. LOL!!!

Interesting to note that in her interview, Jackson says she saw "Letting Go..." and describes that you spent two hours "making fun" of Christianity. She seems sincere enough that I don't think she purposefully meant to misrepresent your performance (which while funny, of course, was so much more complex and intelligent than she gives you credit for), so it leads me to believe she really wasn't paying attention.

Norm! said...

joe blum said: "I can't decide whether I think it's funny, sad, or disturbing -- really a combination of all three. ...

I had the same mixed feelings about Victoria's performance. I'll give her the benefit of doubt and assume she intended her comments to be funny and entertaining to her Christian audience. However, it's disturbing Victoria felt the need to publicize her disagreement about Julia's show. It doesn't seem like something a 'friend' would do -- even in jest.

Thanks for clarifying some of Victoria's description about Julia's new show, Joe. I have not had the opportunity to see "Letting Go of God" yet, so I wasn't sure how accurate Victoria's description was.

Anonymous said...

You people have got to be kidding. Victoria "was not being a friend"... she was "criticizing Julia". Puleeez!!! Give me a break. You idiots (and that includes Sweeney) do nothing on this site but bash people who have the forsight to believe in something that they can't touch and feel. You think you are so intelligent and that you've figured it all out. Then cure cancer and eliminate hunger if you know everything. If you don't know everything, maybe consider that there really is a God. Geez!

shannon said...

I don't know everything - but if God intended cancer and starvation as teaching tools, I think I'll play hookie.

Rock on, Julia. You are doing a great thing. Superstition is still a serious social problem.


greenISgood said...

I also can't wait to get the cd's and the book. Hurry! In any case, we loved your show, remarkable really, and brilliant. Our daughters are both from China. In fact they met at the courthouse for "re-adopt day". She named her bear from the judge "Court" :)
love n' hugs and a big fat "muah!" Oh, keep telling the truth, J!

Anonymous said...

"I saw the Victoria Jackson song too. It was awesome. I have so much respect for Victoria now. She is so strong in her beliefs. It amazes me how much talk there is about God from people who don't believe in Him."

I guess the world balances itself out, cause I was surprised by Victoria's response on TBN. And of course we talk about "God", even though we don't believe in him... if we kept a closed mind, and never discussed or questioned things, we would be

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