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

...is 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

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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.
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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.