Friday, December 30, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging, Part Two

This is the runner up photo for my Christmas card this year. I really like it, but couldn't think of a caption for it. I know there is a perfect caption out there, but I couldn't quite get it.

I still can't think of anything.
What can you come up with?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Just For Fun

Have you checked out M. Hibou's site recently? We've been having tons of fun with a game that grew out of the fake memories meme. Hibou, who's changed his signature to little david, has started a blog dedicated to the game.

Go to Tales of Blogland to play. The rules are simple. Its a blast!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging

Peace be to you, fear not. Genesis 43:23
Have a Fearless New Year

2005 Christmas card.
Click on the image to "bigger it up".
Hope you like it!

And I don't want to buy your handmade cards,either.

I was in Big Flat City on Tuesday to see the thyroid doctor and finishing up my Christmas shopping. As I was leaving one of Jackson's favorite places, I was approached by two nice, clean, somewhat vacant-looking young women. They called to me from behind, so I turned around.

"Ma'am. We wanted to talk with you!" said the leader of the two.
"God is everywhere," murmured the other.
"Oh, hello Ariel. Hello Francesca. You're from the Unification church, aren't you? I know what you want to discuss with me. I'm sorry, but I'm not interested." I turned and started to leave.
"Ma'am! Ma'am! How did you know that? How did you know our names?"
I just smiled, wished them a happy holiday and walked away.

I never did tell them that they had stopped me in Fake Cow City the day before and given me their Moonie spiel. They'd introduced themselves then and who could forget names like Ariel and Francesca? (I really wanted to ask if those were their Delta Tau names, or what?)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

For Lorna and M. Hibou

O Ugly Tree, O Ugly Tree, How smelly are your branches?

This is the tree as it stands today in the "Grand Ballroom" of the Fake Cow County Adult Probation Department. I'm especially fond of the pink tree skirt, aren't you? The empty boxes covered in wrapping paper were a nice touch, but we ransacked them a week or so ago looking for a hidden prize. They haven't been the same since.

Soft focus does wonders for this tree, let me tell ya! By the way - how do you like the heartbeatish lines on the wall in the background? One of my people painted those about 10 years ago. He did most of it on a Saturday morning. He came back the next Saturday to finish. He was significantly less sober the second time. Thus, the lines going left down the hallway from this picture become verrrry waaaavy. Ah, the memories!

I also thought you deserved a close up of the Angel on top of the tree. It took a lot of bending, pushing, and tasteless joking to get her stay on top of that branch. I thought the Ye Olde Camera Phone did a neat job on this photo. You never really know what you're going to get with YOCP (especially indoors) but sometimes its pretty cool.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Its cold outside today.

Its finally raining! This weekend we've had spitty drizzle and this morning it was frozen on the roads. There is much rejoicing! ('Cause of the moisture, not the ice.) However, even though there is but the tiniest bit of ice, and zero snow, we tend to freak out just a bit. (My northern and Midwestern readers would blush for us if they knew how badly we drive when its slippery.) And what better reason to skip your probation appointment, than bad weather? The ONLY person who has made it in to report today lives 45 miles away and was only 15 minutes late for his 8:30 a.m. appointment. And can I also mention that the ice melted by 9:00 a.m.?

So, I have a little time on my hands and I managed to download some photos off my phone. I had this big post planned about them, when I took them, but now I've forgotten most of it. A couple of weeks ago, Mindy, M2 and I decided to make an expedition upstairs. Our reason, ostensibly, was to search for the Christmas tree of old. We used to put up a tree every year in the office, but the tree and decorations got so old as to be embarrassing and we quit doing it. Its been long enough that the tree has phased from old and ugly into nostalgically kitsch-y, so we went to find the tree.

I believe I've mentioned before that my office is located on the bottom floor of an old four story hotel. Fake Cow City is home to the third hotel ever built by Conrad Hilton hisownself. This is not that building. That building is being slowly demolished by alternating encounters with weather and juvenile arsonists. Nope, this ain't the Hilton, but its just as old. This is the Ware Hotel. The upper three floors are largely abandoned. The county uses them for storage and it is a major pigeon and vermin sanctuary.

Each county office has several rooms devoted to storing old records and things like Christmas trees. As you walk down the halls the room doors are labeled in Sharpie, right on the wood: DA's office - files to 1994, Probation Dead Files 1987-1996, Auditor's office, Treasurer - budget reports 1997 - , and so on. I love to explore up there and every couple of years we make up an excuse to acquire a key so we can spend an a few of hours traipsing through bird crap, looking for treasures.

This is on the third floor. I don't know why the exit sign is here. The only exit I could find from here is if you go through the door on the right, break out the windows in the balcony of the honeymoon suite and plummet down to the sidewalk below.

How do you like my ghostly shadow? It makes me feel a bit hollow.

I think I can wrangle a key from one of the more malleable gate-keepers in the near future. I may take a few hours off from work and go exploring with a better camera...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging.

With Special Guest Photographer: Sandy, Friend-of-Songbird!

I got my magnet from Songbird this week. Its a bernese mountain dog. She has a couple of these big lovable animals - Sam and Molly. We agreed that when it comes to dogs - bigger is better!

She also included a card featuring a photo by one of her friends/church members. Her friend Sandy went to New York to see Ground Zero and also spent a few days photographing an old cemetery in Brooklyn. According to Songbird, this angel statue captured Sandy's interest and she spent a lot of time taking pictures of it from different angles and at different times of day. I thought this was a great photo. I really loved the card. So here it is:

You get the feeling of hope and flight from this photo. My scan is a little bit dark (apologies to the artist). I especially like the way her hair is trailing out behind her.

Thanks for the magnet and card, Songbird! (Can't wait for the next swap, even if it is a sorry ole' recipe swap. Ha ha!)
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 09, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging

What's in a name?
Posted by Picasa
Updated to add: My snarky little entry did not take into account the lack of detail available to pictures in Blogger. The sign says "Forest Lawn Cemetery". This place is neither.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Misty, Watercolored Memories...

I found this on Revmom's site - Cheesehead in Paradise. Its a hoot! Give it a try:

Please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL MEMORY OF YOU AND ME. It can be anything you want--good or bad--BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE. When you're finished, post this paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Troubles with the English Language

Here’s the latest for those of you following the antics of Kaptain Katie.

She and I went to pick up my grandmother to bring her to our house for Thanksgiving. Since the temperature was still in the 70’s and 80’s everyday, she had on flip-flops (The Katie Footwear of Choice). She showed me the perfectly round, nickel-sized scab on the top of each foot.

“You know how rock stars slide across the floor with their guitars?” she said. “I guess you shouldn’t do that without your socks on.” She’d evidently tried it and had the carpet burn scabs to show for it.

I laughed and said the first thing that popped into my head. (I know that surprises you.) “It looks like you have stigmata,” I told her.

“What’s that?”

I immediately regretted saying it. Katie was leaving that evening to spend the rest of the holiday one of her grandmothers. The one who is the devout Catholic.

I explained what stigmata is. Katie found it hilarious that her wounds resembled those of Christ and I was worried she would repeat this bit of wit to the grandmother. Turns out, I needn’t have worried. We drove on another mile or so, when Katie began to chuckle.

“I’ve never had mono,” she said. “But now I have stick-mono!”

When I got home from work last Friday, Katie met me at the door.

“Daddy took me to ‘It’s a Girl Thing’!” she gushed. It’s a Girl Thing is a store located on the property of a seed company down the road from us. Evidently the owner’s wife wanted a corner of the industrial lot to house her own shop. So, right there amidst the huge semi-truck trailers of various kinds of cottonseed, the silos, and the warehouse, is her little store. Its full of all things frou-frou and wild. Katie loved it.

“They had a really cool belt. I need it to wear to the sympathy!”

“Do what?!”

“My class is going to the sympathy ‘cause Mrs. Brown is going to be in it. I need the belt to wear to the sympathy.”

Jackson intervened: “Sym-pha-ny, Katie. Symphany.”

I once heard the Fake Cow City is the smallest city in the U.S. to have a symphony. I don’t know if that is still true or not. But it will forever be known as the Sympathy at our house.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging

Last Friday Jackson and I took a road trip. We headed down south via some country backroads. One of the roads was being demolished and rebuilt, so we had to make a detour. On our detour we came to this intersection:

The roads meet (1 dirt road and two paved ones) at this field:

This little cemetery is way, way, way out in the middle of nowhere. This photo is covers pretty much the entire site. There is nothing for miles in any direction, except for these few stones.

Most of the stones were handmade and most of the graves dated from the 1930's. (Anchient history in this part of the country!)

There are a few newer graves and a few professional headstones. There are also some new headstones that are marking graves with previously handmade stones. Some of the handmade stones show evidence that someone has redone the lettering to make it legible again. The cemetery itself is recently mowed and seems to be taken care of.

This is marks a grave of one of the slightly more recent burials:

Do you think she got an answer when she called?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Not Sold in Stores - Available on K-Tel Records

I got a mix CD in the mail from a total stranger a few weeks ago. It is awesome - I just love it. The total stranger got my address off a website where people post their addresses and exchange cool little bits of postal-ly goodness with each other. If you want to play too, let me know and I will send you the link.

Anyway,while listening to the CD and trying to decide what to send total stranger in return, I decided this blog needs a soundtrack. What fun!

Once, while in college, I made a mix cassette (the ultimate in technological advancement for your listening pleasure - at the time) of theme songs for everyone I knew. (Well, not everyone, but you get the idea.) I think Janet - Official Skewed View Archivist for nigh on to seventeen years - has the last surviving copy. It is definitely time for an update.

So, if you are interested in the O-fficial Skewed View Soundtrack, send me an email with your address and I'll mail one out to ya. As long as supplies last. (My email address is in the sidebar.) This feeble attempt is somewhat incomplete, but it leaves room for a second and third volume later on.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Spooky Santa

Last week the city workers hung the Christmas decorations downtown. This is the Santa that is clinging to the light pole right above my parking space.

Its kind of freaky. All the other Santa's have jolly little faces. Not this one. He's some sort of Faceless Harbinger of Holiday Doom. Or something. It reminds me of a pleurant statue:

Have a spooky Christmas.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday Mom posted a request for thanksgiving recipes. Sadly, I could not contribute. Well, that’s a lie – there wasn’t anything sad about it. I’ve told you I don’t cook, right? Don't feel sorry for my lack of culinary skills and try to help me out or somehow cover for me. Thanks, but no thanks.

Once you learn to cook and demonstrate your prowess, people will expect it of you. My inability is purposefully and intentionally maintained.

I was also smart enough to marry a guy who took home economics in high school. (Probably as a ploy to hang out with the girls. My brother did the same thing.) Those suckers learned to cook in class. Now they have to do it. Daily.


Thanksgiving is a big deal at our house. Sort of. When we first got married, our place was equidistant from both our parents. We decided to have thanksgiving at our house for both sides of the family. Been doing it ever since. It has morphed into quite a gathering. My family, Jackson’s family, and whomever else we can drag in off the street.

Jackson cooks the dressing. He’d never tried it before, but volunteered on our first joint venture holiday. He’s been doing it ever since. Sometimes he smokes a turkey. Sometimes one of the other manly-men in the family does it. We also often have fried turkey when the manliness is rampant and there is not enough outdoor-fire-type cookin’ going on.

Then there is AndyHam. Jackson’s dad makes AndyHam. It looks like something off the cover of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, circa 1954. It is the best damn ham ever. Complete with pineapple slices and little red cherry halves. Geeze, I think I drooled on the keyboard.

We’ve developed a few un-official menu traditions over the last few years. My mom always brings black-eyed peas slow cooked with lots of spices and sausage bits. My uncle brings the best dang corn casserole you’ve ever had. Jackson’s aunt always makes a beautiful relish tray that ends up completely devastated and destroyed by mid-afternoon. My mother-in-law makes an unbelieveable sweet potato casserole.

Oh, and sitting down for dinner – that’s a bit different, too. I have a big dinning room table, but nothing that seats 30 people. The closest we’ve come is the Ping Pong Holiday table.

During one of our scrounging-at-the-thrift-store trips, Jackson and I bought a regulation size ping-pong table. We were excited. We had a large extra room that we weren’t really using. We lugged the table home and wheeled it down the skinny hall to the back room. We unfolded it and found that it fit perfectly. However, there was no room to actually stand at the ends and swing a paddle. Somewhat deflated, we folded it back up and leaned it against a wall. There it stayed all year long until Thanksgiving Day. Then it was wheeled back down the skinny hall to the living room. The furniture was moved out of the way and the table unfolded in the middle of the room. You can fit 30 people around a regulation size ping-pong table if you try hard enough. Yes you can.

Not being one to cook, I’ve also never been into the accoutrements. I don’t own a tablecloth or china. I didn’t select any china when we were out registering for wedding gifts. A plate is a plate is a plate and what’s wrong with paper?

Someone commented that we might need a cloth for the Ping Pong Holiday table. No problem! I found a couple of sheets I’d previously used as drop cloths. They were clean and covered the table nicely. The blue and tan bird and swirl pattern on one complimented nicely the pinky flowery pattern on the other. Well, no, not really. But who cares?

And what do you sit on around a Ping Pong Holiday table? Lawn chairs, of course.

Sadly, however, there will be no Ping Pong Holiday table this year. Jackson and I went a little nuts back in April after watching too many episodes of Clean Sweep. We got rid of it.

This year, the majority of our guests will be enjoying their feast on the floor. Maybe I’ll spread out those sheets for people to sit on. I could get a Sharpie and write the names directly on the sheet. Kind of like a place card. Only on the sheet. On the floor. Yeah, that's a good idea!

The really interesting thing is, these people keep coming back every year.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging, Part Two

"Ohmigosh! I think I'm gonna be sick."

Friday Cemetery Blogging once again foiled by my less than reliable internet connection. Yesterday evening I played on the net - surfing with impunity - blissfully unaware that tomorrow was Cemetery Blogging Day. I was distracted by the fact that I have to go to court this morning which means no Casual Friday for me. The lack of denim makes me a bit testy and also evidently forgetful. This morning I rushed around trying to find a suitable photo. Found a good one and got it scanned. Tried to log on - no dice.

All my townie friends had internet this morning. I am writing this from my office where my connection sizzles appropriately. I guess it got too cold last night and our phone wires are frozen. I live about two inches outside of town. This means that no one is interested in updating our phone lines to something that is capable of carrying a decent connection speed. Most DSL providers don't provide service out in the boondocks and those that do want me to sign over my non-existent first born child for their service.

So, check back later. I may have time to upload the photo during lunch. Or maybe something earth-shatteringly funny will happen in court. (A distinct possibility.) Who knows? Feel free to suggest any alternative topics you would like to see us discuss amongst ourselves.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Woah, woah, woah, She (Ain't) A Lady...

The Knight
You scored 44% Cardinal, 33% Monk, 29% Lady, and 54% Knight!
You are the hero. Brave and bold. You are strong and utterly selfless. You are also a pawn to your superiors and will be lucky if you live very long. If you survive the Holy wars you are thrust into you will be praised for your valor and opportunities both romantic and financial will become available to you.

Link: KnightlyKnave on The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test written by Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

I found this on Geronimo!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging

Posted by Picasa

I took this photo this summer at Forest Hill Cemetery in Livingston, Texas. (I think. I am notoriously bad at labeling my photos.) I took a shot of the front of this grave so I'd have the guy's name. I wanted to do some research to figure out the symbols on the back. Unfortunately the light was bad and all I got was a blank black stone.

This is the back of the headstone. What do you think this is? I am guessing a constellation, but there appear to be other types of symbols as well. All of the white dots are actually five point stars. Any ideas?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sticky Fingers

I just had to toss out some red hots. They tasted funny. Who knew a red hot could eventually go bad? They tasted sort of vinegary. I am the queen of old candy. I like candy, but I seldom eat it. I can’t stand chocolate by itself. It must have nuts or no thank you, no ma’am. Dark chocolate reeks in all its forms but white chocolate is a joy forever. I’m constantly getting candy from various sources and keeping it, intact, for long periods of time. Maybe its some sort of hoarding thing.

My co-workers, who occasionally wander the halls chanting for chocolate, have learned to temper their acceptance of my gifts. When I offer candy they immediately ask “How long have you had this?” When I say “Only since Easter,” they then want to know “which Easter? This year’s or last’s?" (Notice proper use of apostrophes, PPB.)

I’d much rather have a bag of potato chips than a candy bar. Although the occasional Snickers bar does get snarfed at my house.

Anyway, back to the elderly red hots. How weird is that? I’d only had them six or eight months. They should still be ok. I’m mean sure, they were a bit hard because I’d opened the box back when I bought them and eaten a couple. But other than that…

Well, if you need a snack, let me know. Hey, C – I still have some of those bible-study Oreos left. Wanna share?

Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging

I always thought their last name was Charming...

Oddly enough, she was buried right next to her coat.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Daylight Savings

I don’t particularly like the time change. I can live with daylight savings. Or not. I do wish we would pick one time scheme and stay with it. But all in all it is a minor inconvenience. At least it was, until this morning.

I tend to vary the way I drive too and from work. Not because I don’t want to be followed – it’s a small town and people know where I live anyway – but just out of boredom. There are basically three roads that I can take between my house and my office. One of them is Broadway.

There is a house on south Broadway that I’ve always liked. It sits on the west side of the street, on a funky lot next to a curved road. The house is white stucco with a red Spanish tile roof. It has a lot of character. It used to come up for rent pretty regularly – plumbing problems, I’m told. For the last year or so there have been two little old ladies living there. Several times a week I drive by the house on my way to work.

Every morning the two women sit at the breakfast table, deeply engrossed in bowls of oatmeal. Their table is pushed up against a huge picture window, which is right next to the street. Like me, they eschew curtains in favor of the view. However, I must admit I’ve never seen them look outside. Or at each other. Or across the room. There is never any conversation, only contemplation.

Day after day, week after week, they present the exact same scene to Bob and I as we pass by. They wear the same light cotton housecoats, one white and one light blue. One is in a wheelchair. It’s like looking at a good painting – the scene never changes, but you always see something new. I have no idea who these women are, but I think they must be sisters. I never see them, except in that breakfast vignette.

At times they remind me of nuns in a convent – greeting the day with silence and meditation. At other times I think they must be sad, forgotten souls whose lives have become a series of stale routines – vapid, never varied. At times I think I am just nuts and I shouldn’t be so fascinated by a couple of people trying to eat some damn oatmeal without being psychoanalyzed by the general public.

I drove by again this morning only to find that I have been robbed by the time change. Now the early morning sun glares into their window at the same time I drive past. It is a harsh light and has caused the ladies to vary the routine and pull the shade down to the level of the tabletop. Now I see only knees.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging

Once again foiled by the dastardly foibles of technology. Can't get me photos to upload today for love nor money. So. Perhaps we should talk amongst ourselves.

How has your week been? Mine - ok. I finished teaching the drug offender classes earlier this week. It was one of my better classes. This bothered me somewhat because the class was made up of people who were very much like me - same socio-economic/racial group. I've wondered about this for the last two weeks. Did I relate better to them because they are like me? Did they relate better to me for the same reason? Did I make more of an effort to connect with them because we are more alike? Or was it simply that their personalities meshed with each other so that they felt more comfortable being a part of the group and contributing to the discussion? I don't know, but it made me think.

Jackson is covering the island in the kitchen with (insert descriptor that rhymes with kitchen and makes for a cool sentence, but would also get your mouth washed out with soap) blue tile. Its his first tile job and looks pretty good. Props for picking out cool tiles, dude!

KaptainKatie got honorable mention on her literacy day poster - her theme was "Camp Out Your Imagination". Poor kid - all she got from the deal was a certificate and a lecture about "think how well you could have done if you'd really worked on this instead of spending thirty minutes on it the night before it was due."

Rumor has it we will all wear costumes to work on Monday. So far the plan is for everyone to wear aluminum foil hats to keep the aliens out of our brains. I'll let ya know how it turns out. (Of course, anyone going to court is forbidden from wearing their anti-alien gear.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Check this out:

I have gone back and re-read this entry from 2nd Grade Teacher probably four times now. Read it for yourself.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Her name was Yoda, She was a Jedi...

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

A venerated sage with vast power and knowledge, you gently guide forces around you while serving as a champion of the light.

Judge me by my size, do you? And well you should not - for my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life greets it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us, and binds us. Luminescent beings are we, not this crude matter! You must feel the Force around you, everywhere.

That's all well and good, but I really wanted to be Darth Vader, dang it!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging

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Virgins promis'd when I died,

That they would each primrose-tide,

Duly, morn and ev'ning, come,

And with flowers dress my tomb.

Having promis'd, pay your debts,

Maids, and here strew violets.

- An Epitaph, #103

Thanks again to Katherine.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

How to be Skewed:

"You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it." - Art Buchwald

According to NPR, today is Art Buchwald's birthday. Happy birthday Art, from your youngest fan.

When I was a kid in elementary school, we naturally had a history course each year. The only problem was we never made it past the Civil War. We'd start with the Revolution and trudge through the 18th and 19th centuries before getting totally bogged down in the Civil War. Right before school was out for the summer, the teachers would be busy trying to explain what a "carpet bagger" was without spitting. I guess it was a southern thing.

That was all well and good, but then you'd hear your parents talking about Watergate and Spiro Agnew and you'd feel a bit left out. For years I thought Gerald Ford and George Washington were one and the same person, due to my mother misunderstanding my question once during the evening news.

By the time I was in 5th and 6th grade, I was out on the streets, hanging out at the used book stores. Yeah. Ugly, but true. When I'd had my fill of kids books, I moved on to the hard stuff. That's when I found Art Buchwald.

I learned everything I know about the Watergate saga, Vietnam, and gas shortages from Art Buchwald. It was years later before I understood that Henry Kissinger was not really a funny man. And although I was old enough to experience the Reagan years, Art Buchwald explained all sorts of things about that era that my junior high social studies teachers didn't deem important.

Perhaps this is not the best way to learn about American history, but it certainly ranks among the most entertaining. So happy birthday, Mr. Buchwald!

"Mom! Mom! Who is Mary Jo Kopechne?"
(Yeah, I bet my mom thanks you too, Mr. Buchwald.)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging

You've seen what happens to white marble on the east side of the state where the humidity is so high you feel like you need to flush your lungs to be able to take a good deep breath?

This is what happens to marble out here on the west side of the state where the dirt is bright red and the wind and sun bake it into place. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 10, 2005

Google Images Meme

Google the town where you were born.

Google the town you live in now.

Google your name.

Google your grandmother's name.

Google your favorite food.

Google your favorite drink.

Google your favorite song.

Google your favorite smell. Posted by Picasa

I can't remember where I orginially saw this, so I apologize for not giving credit where it is due. Try it for yourself - its more fun than lying in the dark, trying to guess the exact second the numbers on your digital clock will advance.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Woman-Woman Strikes Again

Last week CaptainKatie and I went on our testosterone-free camping trip. When we got home, Katie's friend Ashley (who will grow up to be a tough chick - I really like this kid!) came over to play. They were finishing up a game of cards when I decided it was time to unload the truck. As I headed out the door, I asked them to help me as soon as they put up the cards.

I'd backed the truck in a little too close to the motorcycles, so I threw it in neutral to push it up a few inches so I could safely lower the tailgate. Bob T. Truck is admittedly a bit of a lightweight and you can pretty much push him around with one hand. Katie and Ashley don't know that. They came out the front door just in time to see me push the truck down the drive.

They were impressed.

Not being one to miss an opportunity, I said "You think that's good? Watch this!" I then pulled the truck back up the drive and pushed it down again! They were even more impressed.

"See Katie," I said. "I told you I was a superhero. And you didn't believe me!"

Well, neither Katie nor Ashley are dumb, so at this point they figured I was conning them. They came running down off the porch, determined to move the truck for themselves. I scoffed at their confidence and made a big show out of moving away from the back of the truck so they could give it a try. So intent were they on proving my ruse that neither one noticed me leaning in the cab to throw the truck back into gear.

The huffed and they puffed. And they puffed some more. Didn't move it an inch. Finally, miffed at their failure and unable to conceive how it had happened, they gave up and helped me unload the truck.

Monday morning I took Katie to school. We passed a car pulled up on the curb. Why did somebody park there? she wanted to know. I told her they probably had car trouble. Why would someone drive up over the curb and park to have car trouble? I then explained that I was sure they'd broken down on the road and pushed the car up the side to get it out of the way.

"Ohhh." she said. "That must have been really hard."
I nodded.
"I bet they wished you were there to push it for them! 'Cause you're a superhero!"
"Yeah!" I said. "Who am I?"
"You're Woman-Woman!"

And we laughed all the way to school.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging

Many older monuments have similar decorations and style. Have you ever wondered why? It is not just what was 'in style' at the moment. Most of the embellishments have an accepted symbolic meaning. This phote is a great example:
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The drape symbolizes mortality & mourning. Roses signify victory & triumphant love. The urn represents immortality. Put it all together and you have one family's expression of faith in the future - sadness for the present, recognition of love and acknowledgement that death is not the end.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Things I wonder about...

I start to snicker whenever I hear the music from the Godfather. I really have no idea why. Too many bad movie spoofs and heart-breakingly terrible Brando impersonations I guess. Although you can really never experience too many bad Brando impersonations. Not really.

Thinking of bad impersonations reminds me of William Shatner. Which makes me think I should tell you I am a recovering trekkie. "Hi, my name is SpookyRach and I am a trekkie."

I always loved the original series and thought the idea of a new series was blasphemy. Sort of like growing up on the Old Testament and all of a sudden, someone suggests a New Testament. A NEW Testament? But it turned out Star Trek the Next Generation was way all better than the original. I was even more devoted. Then they started doing more and more series and more and more movies and damn. Enough is enough. I am a former fan. (Although, I just counted and there are 74 various and sundry Star Trek novels on the shelf behind me.)

Speaking of the shelf behind me makes me think of the bookshelf beside me. On top of it is a framed copy of our engagement picture. It used to be on a bookshelf in my office. I hit it with a pen that I threw across the room. The glass cracked right down the middle - right between us. Now it looks like an ad for a divorce lawyer, so I brought it home.

I was talking to someone on the phone who had really ticked me off when I threw the pen. I recommend the occasional pen toss to relieve the stress caused by suppressing the desire to kick the crud out of a really deserving individual. It is admittedly childish, but it works.

There are 86 Perry Mason books on the shelves below the Star Trek books.

It bothers me that Disney owns the Muppets. It may well be a sign of the apocalypse.

My head is killing me and has hurt for the last two days. It hurts just bad enough to make me whine about it every 15 minutes, but not bad enough for me to actually stay home from work or anything. You can imagine how thrilled my family and co-workers are about that.

I owe my parents a drawing of CaptainKatie, the fabulous stepkid. I keep forgetting to do it.

If I write something down, I generally remember it. I don't know if it typing something on the internet has the same effect, but I hope to find out.

Sorry for the rambling, pointless entry. I felt like writing, but didn't have anything to say. Better luck next time!

I love sea lions!

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Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging

Well. This ain't it.

I had a couple of nifty little pictures picked out for ya. Nothing earth shattering or particularly witty, but a couple of grins, none the less. My modem at home has decided it is better to give than to receive. I am all for that sort of altruism, but you can't do much without an ability to receive data. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Then, when I arrived at work, I discovered that my computer here is dead. D - E - D. Dead. Ka-put. My boss just told me he called the computer guys. They will be here "as soon as they can". Bossman admits he has no idea what that means.

"As soon as you can is like 'I'll do my best'. What the heck does that mean? And what if your best really sucks?"

So. We'll do more cemetery blogging next week - Good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise.
(Why do people even say that around here? We don't have any creeks. Just a few long and wind-y ravines that someone at the highway department likes to label as forks of the Brazos river. They aren't foolin' me, though. I know rivers are supposed to have water in them on a regular basis. So there!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Hurricane warnings. Flood warnings. Evacuation warnings. We don't have to deal with that sort of thing much around here.

Got an email from my mom this morning. They live a couple hundred miles south of here in the
oil fields.

They went to the football game last Friday night. They got a rattlesnake warning. There was some construction going on at the football field during the week and they had come across several rattlesnakes. The announcer was warning everyone to "watch yer step!"

What kind of penalty would you call for a snake bite? Ophidian foul? Illegal invenomation?

Is this weird, or what???

This really horrible, quicky scan is For Revernd Mommy:

Cue Twilight Zone theme music...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

21st Century Grandparent

Of course I'm not old enough to be a grandparent. But my friends are. They are all old, old, old. Real old. Like Old Testament old. (Sometimes I like to live dangerously.)

Anyway. One of my best friends just became a step-grandmother. For the second time. This child's parents are insistent that the child will not be calling my friend simply by her first name - although that is how Rose would prefer it.

The newly parental step-child and wife are feeling giddly and inclusive and want Rose to be labelled appropriately. Of course this has caused some tensions with the other grandmothers on both sides of the family. I don't know why, but they seem somewhat intimidated by Rose, although she is quiet and retiring - almost demure. Just like me! (Snort!) Actually, Rose is intelligent, tough, opinionated, and blonde. She never lets anyone get the best of her and refuses to take any crap. But she is still a blonde, which is why we call her Rose.

The other "real" grandmothers have already chosen their names: Nana, Mee-maw, etc. Rose refuses to be called Granny, Grandma or any other such diminuative. And truthfully, those names don't fit. So, what to do?

Google it, of course! Who would've guessed that there is an entire webpage devoted to names for step-grandparents? She decided to go international and went with the Greek term for grandmother: Yaya.

Rose is definitely a yaya. And of all the grandmother names floating around - guess which name the baby will be able to say first? My money is on Yaya.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Since you asked...

A couple of you asked how to do the"ghost" picture. It involves multiple exposures and a reeeally steady tripod.

1. Set your camera to do a multiple exposure, ie. don't advance the film between the first and second shot.

2. Find the correct exposure setting for your scene. The divide the settings in half and set your camera accordingly. By doing half the expsoure time in each shot, you end up with one correctly exposed picture.

3. Take a picture of the scene, sans "ghost".

4. Take your second shot, being very careful not to move the camera. This time, add what ever the ghost is: a person walking past the camera, an object added to the landscape, whatever.

When the film is developed, you'll have a semi-transparent image of whatever you added to the second shot. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging

Self Portrait
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Not my best work, but I really like the idea and the technique. It just needs a bit of polishing. I took this last winter in our local cemetery. (Thus the big coat.) I intended to go back during the spring to redo it, but I haven't had a chance.

5 Questions Meme

5 Things I will do before I die:
Learn to paint (pictures, not houses)
Go to Mexico and live on street food during Dia De Los Muertos
Run for public office without hope of election. (Sort of a la Kinky Friedman. I’d like to do it with Ross Pero’s money and just hang out on the campaign plane with the reporters for a year, flying around the country, causing trouble and having laughs.) (BTW-when you check out Kinky's page, stick around for the cartoon. It is so worth it!)
Have something published. (Sub-entry: actually submit something for publication.)
Own a cabin in the mountains. (Not a Unabomber-type cabin in the mountains. More of a lets-spend-a-couple-of-months-here-in-the-freakin’-summer type of a cabin.)
Get old. And wrinkly.

5 Things I say most often:
Have you done your 8 hours of community service this month?
Yeah, but its COOL!
Do you live with your wife or your girlfriend or your baby’s mother; and is that your sister in the waiting room?

5 Things I cannot do:
Spit for distance and/or accuracy

Cook (Jackson said I should list that one twice.)

5 Things I can do:
Make you laugh until Coke shoots out your nose.
The Time Warp. Again.
Play well with others.
Handle whatever comes along.
Drive rental cars with wild abandon in big city traffic.

5 things that attract me to other people:
Ability to laugh, especially at themselves
A derth of fundamentalism/ultra-conservatism
Ability to see beyond the borders of our own little worlds

5 Celebrity Crushes:
Johnny Depp
Allan Rickman
Patrick Stewart
Janeane Garofalo
Michael Pallin

5 people who I'd like to see do this:
Do I have to pick only five? Cause there'd be more. There's Opie Capone and Gallimaufry and Captain Wow and Headless and Annie and...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The book was in the mail!


I got my book from Mindy's Book Swap in the mail this weekend. Can I just say, I am thrilled! Thrilled, I tell ya! Kathryn of Good In Parts sent me The Faber Bood of Epigrams and Epitaphs. How totally appropriate is that?

Don't you love to get stuff in the mail? Between Amazon, Ebay, Gorey Details, and Mindy's swaps, I am a confirmed mail order disciple. Did I mention the Gorey Details? A lot of my family read this blog and they might need to know about Gorey Details for all their gift-giving needs. Yessirreebob! Find everything that someone could possibly want at Gorey Details!

Back to the book! Kathryn also included a post card of the rose window at her church. It is incredible! (Sorry FUMC ladies - their rose window puts yours to shame.) I looked up the website for the church - its like something out of a story book. If I ever manage to swim the Atlantic, I am heading straight for her county. Thanks again, Kathryn - this book is going to provide me tons and tons of enjoyment!

Has anyone else noticed that Blogger's spell checker does not recognize the word blog? What the hell!?!