Monday, July 31, 2006

Woo-hoo! Power to the People!

Your Power Level is: 73%

Your Power Level is: 73%

You're a very powerful person, and you know that all of your power comes from within. Keep on doing what you're doing, and you'll reach your goals.
How Powerful Are You?
Edited to fix the LINK.
Random bullets for Monday:
  • Successfully avoided temptation to smack a curly-headed Napoleon up-side the head today. So far.
  • BBQ Chicken for lunch. Left over from actual homecooked meal last night. UMmm!
  • My office plants seem to have the Black Death. Sadness.
  • I'm really tired.
  • Partially because I went to bed at 9:30 last night (exhausted) and woke up at 1:30 this morning (infuriating). The adrenaline high should last me until about 6:00 p.m.
  • This week I have learned that people who have a large portion of the right lobe of their brain removed are still fully capable of making damn funny jokes. They are no so capable of comprehending that their daughter-in-law is joking. Heh.
  • Also, when you have mostly your left half of your brain intact, you get real peeved by random word lists presented by therapists. Randomness is not tolerated. Logical progression is. It's sort of fascinating.
  • I just noticed my Wonder Woman clock has never made it into Daylight Savings Time. Oh, well. Rock on in your own little time warp, WW clock!
  • I have Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 action figures hanging on my office wall. They make me happy!
  • My Edward Gorey Neglected Murderesses Notecards came in the mail. That also makes me happy!
  • I know that there is a difference between magic and miracles. I don't think God is a big ol' David Copperfield up in the sky, picking and choosing who to benefit with bits of devine prestidigitation. 'Expect A Miracle' if you must. But recognize the miracles when you see them and don't hold your breath waiting for magic.
  • Remember that tin of Shinola you found at that garage sale that time, Janet? Hee hee. I wish I had that.
  • What is your greatest garage sale purchase? Can you beat my parents? They bought their cemetery plots at a garage sale.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Friday Cemetery Blogging

So, we went to a cemetery in Deaf Smith County. Isn't that a great name? Didn't even make it up. We were snarfing about for interesting gravestones and I saw this guy. He gave us some direction.

"Psst, look over there, dudes."

So we did. And we, quite literally, stumbled upon a most interesting find! Not many people know this, but Count Dracula was never really bested by Van Helsing or even those meddling kids from Mystery, Inc. History records that he hung around Transylvania for a few eons before a long series of bad investments and castle taxes caused him to have to moonlight as a hit man for the Mafia.

The mob eventually tired of the expense associated with running an operation like Dracula's castle. The property taxes were outrageous and the cost for the black mold clean-up was absolutely insane, so they began out-sourcing hits to the Asian syndicates. This miffed the Count and he turned mob informant, testifying before several closed-door sessions of Congress, some 15 years before Joe Valachi.

Unfortunately for the Count and his lovely 93rd wife, Helen, the federal Witness Protection Program was not yet fully funded. In addition, the U.S. government had a bit more of a grasp of moral irony back then and the powers that be felt a little iffy about loosing a centuries old vampire into Truman era America to be supported by tax dollars. After several weeks of debate, it was decided that there was really only one place that could become the American version of Soviet Siberia. The Count was banished to West Texas.

The feds set him up with a new identity, although Helen refused to change her first name, and they lived in quiet anonymity for several years. The count subsisted on coyotes and jackrabbits for the most part. Then in 1952 he got ahold of a rattlesnake, for the first and last time.

Helen stayed in Deaf Smith County following the Count's final demise and became active in the local WMU chapter at the Second Baptist Church. She was famous for her green jello salad, the kind with the little marshmallows, a staple at local funerals for 30 years.

Monday, July 24, 2006


It started like this: I peered at the caller ID display. "Christ Life A G," I said towards the hallway. "What the hell is that?" *

"I have no idea," Mindy answered from the office next door.

"Well, I ain't answering it. Maybe they'll tell voice mail what they want."

They did tell voice mail. Three times in the 10 minutes before I sucked it up and returned the calls.

Never once has the Catholic priest called me. Nor the Presbyterian minister. Likewise the Lutheran pastor has never felt the need to contact me. My own minister hasn't even called.

And that's a good thing.

I do hereby apologize to evangelical ministers everywhere. We, your congregants, have done you the horrible disservice of measuring your success exclusively by the number of our fellow pew-warmers that you attract to each and every church service. This need for numbers has driven us all to do some pretty dumb things.

One of those dumb things is calling me to explain that even though John Q. Sinner has been screwing up his probation, all is well because you (and Jesus) are intervening in his life. No matter how sincere John Q. Sinner is, never - ever - call the probation officer. And if you must call, please don't tell me how J.Q. Sinner, after you spent five hours with him on Friday afternoon, eventually prayed "the sinner's prayer".

(I also apologize for responding to this grand revelation with a terse "And?")

(Nah, I take that back. I don't apologize. If you spent five hours with me I'd be willing to say whatever it took to get your money and get you out of my hair.)

C'mon y'all! We evangelicals appear to be the only ones falling for this bullshitola. Its getting to be embarrassing. Even if J.Q. Sinner is for real and becomes involved in church, he is likely only going to stick with it for a few months. We have to face the fact that our churches are middle-class institutions. J.Q. probably isn't compatible with a middle-class institution. He doesn't really want to fit that mold. I know it surprises you, because it damn sure floored me, but he'd have to give up a lot of good things to live a middle-class life. Its culture/class-centric of us to think he wants to be us.

I hope J.Q. is sincere. I know that you are. So, kick him in the butt and then work right along side him as he takes care of business. Show him that God isn't going to make life easy. Teach him that God will give him strength and purpose. But stop trying to park him in a pew.

And don't stand between John Q. and I. I've got my butt-kickin' boots on.

*It was Christian Life Assembly of God.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Back In Town

We are back. A good time was had by all.

We went to Dallas, which was a bit of a change in plan. But Love Field was only 45 minutes from a hospital room, if need be. Pray for Jackson's family.

Unfortunately, we didn't have time for any meetups. Bummer. Hell, my own parents were in Dallas at the same time as us and we didn't even see them!

As sort of a substitue meet-up, I've decided to post a picture of myself on the blog - something I've never done before. I'm not all that concerned about anonymity or privacy. And I'm pretty normal looking, not some sort of oozing, plauge-ridden cave-woman. I just never had a picture I wanted to post. You know how it is when you are the family photo-geek. There are no pictures of you in existence.

Anyway, while at Six Flags, Jackson snapped my photo with Wonder Woman and Flash! Here it is:

Posted by Picasa

What? You didn't actually think that I'd post an undoctored photo of myself taken on a day when it was 107 degrees outside, with an ungodly amount of humidity? A photo taken after 4 hours of roller coasters and water rides? Silly readers.

Friday, July 14, 2006

It's Friday Afternoon...

...and I am trying desperately to accomplish a few last minute things before leaving on vacation. However, my brain has fizzled to a complete stop and I decided to play with the site meter.

I'm glad I did. Did you know this site is number one for google searches for anti-alien aluminum foil hats? I am so proud. Really.

I may post again before leaving town. If not, have a great week. We are doing one of the major Texas metropolitan theme-parkish kinds of trips. If you are in one of those areas, and you see some chick with startlingly white legs, a ratty t-shirt, and bozo-ish, semi-red hair poking out from under a slightly weird hat, approach her cautiously and say "the password is Swordfish". It might be me.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Friday Not-So-Cemetery Blogging

Don't worry - it'll be back. As soon as the developing company finds the roll of film they lost!! I have so gotta go digital. Soon.

So, instead, I thought I'd post a letter I sent to NPR. Its not that great, but its something. Oh, and by the way, I'm coming looking for you Jim! I'm gonna kick yer butt after yesterday's comment. Writing about that earworm had finally purged it, until your comment plunked it right back in my head.

Check out this story first:

Dear NPR,

I’ve always thought that the calls for making English our official language were unnecessary and a complete waste of time. Now, I’ve had to rethink my position. After listing to this morning’s interview with John Yoo, I now completely understand the need for an official language.

Mr. Yoo, a former justice department employee, does not seem to have much of a grasp of the English language. He complains that phrases such as “outrages on personal dignity” and “principles of justice followed by civilized nations” are ambiguous and he’s unable to understand them.

We certainly need people running this country who can understand the language our laws and treaties are written in at least as well as the average American. Maybe we should start some sort of a work program that hires immigrants to read and explain these laws for our administration.


This morning...

I was outside playing with the camera phone and feeding the birds. It was too hot to be inside. Outside was much prettier, anyway.

All the dark area at the bottom of this photo is corn. It has now reached elephant eye proportions.

Anybody know what these flowers are called? The previous owner planted them.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Jumping on the Bullet Bandwagon

All the cool kids are doing it!

· I bought a new eye shadow called Aubergine Queen. I really like it, but that name has become an ear worm. All week long I’ve been singing a bastardized version of Billy Idol’s Caribbean Queen in my head. Over and over and over…

Aubergine Queen

Now we're sharing a purple dream
And my eyes they blink as one
’Cause my makeup is done.

· Jackson and Jonboy are coaching Katie’s softball team. They are playing in a tournament to end the season this week. Have I mentioned that they’ve occasionally played five games a week? Every freakin’ night? Last night they lost their first game, and had to play a double header. This was their third game in two days. They showed a lot of character and came back to win the second game, which keeps them in the tournament and ensures them a game tonight. Dammit.

· Speaking of Katie – she’s always lived in Big Flat City before coming to live with us full-time. Sheltered little thing is fascinated by our tiny vegetable garden. This year I am only growing 4 tomato plants and 4 pepper plants. I’ve hired her to keep it free of weeds and grass. Now she is also getting to harvest the spoils of her weed war. She. Is. Thrilled. Being a chemical-free gardener, she can pick the cherry tomatoes and pop ‘em in her mouth straight off the plant. I can’t tell you how cool she thinks that is. Actual food on plants right in her own back yard!

· Also speaking of Katie, she came to live with us full time because her mother died last August. We had just had our first consult with an attorney to attempt, for the second time, to get full custody of her, when her mother died from long-term prescription drug abuse. Katie has adjusted wonderfully and we couldn’t have asked for a better situation. Until recently. Now she is finally beginning to progress to some new stages of grief. Stages which involve the need for actually talking about her mother instead of pretending she never existed. Katie is not comfortable with this yet, but she’s trying. As are we. Its kind of hard. I sat down with Katie a couple of weeks ago and tried to talk to her about good memories of her mom. I ended up praising the fact that she always bought Katie really cool school supplies. Yep. That woman could pick out one hell of a good ruler. Heh.

· Does anyone want a really huge and happy tropical plant for their living room? I have grown this plant from a wee bairn of a secretary’s day gift from lo these many years ago into a three foot by four foot monstrosity that has been relegated to the front porch for the summer. I just don’t think I’m gonna bring it back in the house this fall. But I hate to let it die.

· We’re going on vacation next week! Yay for us! I need suggestions for good vacation books. Preferably, but not necessarily, mysteries.