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!)
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Friday, December 09, 2005

Friday Cemetery Blogging

What's in a name?
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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?