Thursday, August 30, 2007

Friday Cemetery Blogging

I went on a blogger blind date last Saturday! My first one ever! Dogblogger came to Big Flat City to teach a couple of workshops at a big church there. I drove down from Fake Cow County and we got to meet for lunch.

I picked her up at the big ol' church, where I got to engage in a few minutes of my favorite spectator sport - people watching. Then we went down the street to 2 Story Restaurant and ate healthy, life-sustaining food. We ordered based only on fulfilling our calculated nutritional needs, taking no heed of taste or desirability. Yeah. Cause that's the kind of people we are.

*koff, koff*


Dogblogger is gregarious and hugely entertaining. I learned about her dogchildren and their sordid pasts -they've come a long way! And then she told me about her church and the band she performs with. They play real music - no two-chord choruses for them! I also learned that she works with an interesting group of people, which is always a good thing.

When we finished eating, we had about an hour before Dogblogger had to catch her plane back home. Big Flat City doesn't have a lot to offer in the way of mid-day scenery. So we did the only logical thing.

We went to the cemetery.

She was a really good sport about it. On the way back to the airport, we stopped off in the parking lot of a really seedy motel on the sad side of town and watched a dvd of a short film that the Alpha was in. He was a zombie! It was hilarious and I am deeply jealous of his Zombie experience.

We didn't have a lot of time, but it was certainly worth it. If you ever get the chance to hang out with Dogblogger, go for it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Interview Questions from Little David

1. Let's say that you have 24 hours to absolutely do whatever you want: family and friends, co-workers and telephone solicitors have all agreed to leave you alone for the day. What are some of the activities you would do? Yum! This is cool. I can tell you for starters I would spend the entire day in silence. (Yeah, I know, it’s hard to believe.)

Before I got married I used to love to travel on my own. My idea of a perfect trip was a week spent speaking to no one other than waitresses. So, on this day, I would do some of the things I used to do on my own. I’d drive to Caprock Canyon, pack a little bag with my camera, some water, maybe pretzels and a sketch book or maybe a journal. Then I would take my shoes off and hike barefoot down the mostly dry stream bed. There is just enough of a trickle of water to make the sand softer so it doesn’t hurt too much to hike barefoot.

When it gets too hot for that to be fun, I’d pack up and drive to a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant somewhere and order enchiladas. I’d drink a lot of cold iced tea and eat tons of chips and hot sauce, while kicked back with my feet on the seat and a good book to keep me company. Finally I would end the day seated in the middle of a darkened theater, enjoying a great movie, which brings me to question number two…

Of course, I enjoy spending time doing these things with Jackson and Katie. But one of the best things about Jackson is that he lets me be free to be alone. He doesn’t seem to mind if I viciously desert him at times. I think that’s really cool.

2. Sometimes after leaving a movie you are still "in the movie" for a while. What is the most memorable such instance? If the movie has faded by the time I make it back to the truck, it’s not much of a movie, in my opinion. I am terribly willing to suspend my disbelief – it doesn’t take much. Movies have always been a huge escape for me. I enjoy watching them at home, but nothing compares to the theater experience. Nothing even comes close. I want the total sensory deprivation that locks your attention into the larger than life story. I want big adventure, thrilling suspense, and ingenious characterization.

But sometimes I get hooked into really crappy movies, too. There is something – maybe a cool character or even just an idea - in some stories that really captures my imagination. Case in point: have any of you seen Condorman? I freakin’ OWN Condorman. I bet not one of you reading this blog right now can say that. If so, please comment, because we so need to be friends.

Have you seen Don Juan DeMarco? I’m not in that sort of Oedipal meltdown or anything, but I really identify with the way that character makes a simple choice to alter his reality. We all do that – believing our own bullshit. And if you’re going to do it, why not do it big? Don’t mess with the small stuff. Have you read the subtitle of this blog? I was thinking of that character when I put that there.

3. Your blog persona of SpookyRach gleefully incorporates dark and weird elements. To what extent do you think this is a reaction to being a pastor's daughter? About 100%. I had a morbid childhood, in some ways – lots of death. That accounted for part of it, perhaps. On top of that, small town churches have some very ingrained, preconceived notions of who the preacher and his family should be. (“His” because y’all know that female preachers are nothin’ but whores of the antichrist, right?) An attorney I know, who is also a Baptist preacher’s daughter once told me, “Hell, I rebelled by getting drunk and having sex. You just got weird!”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

4. When do you think that you felt most failed by the church? I have really low expectations for the church, so I can’t really think of anytime I have ever felt like it’s failed to meet them. At least not as an adult. (I have many, many posts to write about the special loathing I have for youth groups, but that is for another time.)

There are plenty of times where I have discounted the church and the good it can do. I’ve always believed that you get out of something what you put into it. I often don’t put a lot into church. You probably know that it is all I can do to drag myself out of the house on Sunday mornings. I never want to go. But once I get there, I never regret it.

With our weekly trips to Big Flat City to visit Jackson’s ailing mom, we’ve stopped attending the Sunday morning service, and have used that time for other things. But I still get a lot out of our Sunday School class. Jackson and I always joke that your teaching has saved us from “the bonds of Godless Catholicism” because the class meets at the same time as mass over at St. Alice, and we had to choose between the two. Also, thanks to Katie, we’ve been attending on Wednesday nights pretty regularly, which is something I haven’t done since high school. I always hate going, but once I get there, I love it. The simple congregational songs – two is plenty – and the short and to the point bible study are really good. I get a lot out of that.

5. Besides the physical exercise, what have been some of the benefits of riding your bike to and from work? I haven’t been able to get the oatmeal eaters to make eye contact. I tried waving, but it didn’t work. I have renewed my acquaintance with a former neighbor whom I pass most mornings while she’s walking her dog. I usually have a quick conversation with one of the bailiffs first thing each morning and last thing each afternoon. He rides his motorcycle to work and he likes to ride past me really slowly and make smart-alecky remarks. I have an unobstructed view – if you don’t count the corn stalks – of the sunrise each morning. As the days are getting shorter, I get both moonset and sunrise. Riding a bike is a slow enough operation that I get to enjoy the full show, virtually uninterrupted. Today I saw this. And, I’m filling up my truck with gas only once every couple of weeks, now!

Those are my answers and here are the rules if you want to play too:

1. If you are interested in being interviewed, leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by posting five questions for you. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Random Monday Stuff

The wind was blowing too hard this afternoon, so I called for a pick-up. I tried riding my bike, but I had trouble riding DOWN the hill against the wind, so I knew UP the hill was a waste of effort. I assumed Jackson would pick up Katie first, since she was at day camp on his side of town, then pick me up on the way home. He picked me up first. He said he knew Katie was safe and sound where she was and I was just sitting on a curb on the side of the road. He thought he better get me first. Wonder what kind of trouble he thought I was going to get into, just sitting on the curb?

After we loaded my bike, we went back across town to get Katie at the YMCA. I went in to collect her. She saw me at the door and her face went a little pale. She ran up and asked "Am I going to have to ride on your bike?" I told her yes, but not to worry about it. I'd let her do the pedaling.

We hung out at the cemetery in Earth,Tx on Saturday. They have some interesting dead people.

I signed up for art lessons last week. Painting class will start the week after Labor Day. I'm way all excited.

Speaking of Labor Day, we're going camping that weekend. We told Katie she could bring a friend. She immediately called her little softball buddy. Softball buddy is a likable kid, but she's, well, a kid. I don't like kids. SB is a year younger than Katie and she's a short, sparky little thing. She is friendly to a fault. She's never met a stranger and for some reason she's decided she loves us. She's a good kid. But she's a kid - loud, energetic, demanding constant interaction. Her parents are nice, hard working people. And I discovered, at the end of season pizza party, that SB's grandmother and I had a long-standing professional relationship. (Welfare fraud. Mostly unintentional. Heh.) I completely dread spending two days in the confines of a state park with a kid. But I'm gonna suck it up. I'm working on the whole 'what would be the most Christian thing to do in this situation?' thing. I'm working on it. (Two nights, three days. I doubt the kid has ever been anywhere without a TV. Or a playstation. Sigh...)

Katie is a kid, too. But she's an only child, used to entertaining herself. I've always had a problem with kids in general, especially those that run in packs. Mindy once said I like kids who were raised by adults - sort of like being raised by wolves. That's pretty close to accurate. I'm not really a Scrooge about it, not really, but kids in packs sort of unnerve me. They're so...frenetic!

"Suck it up" is my new mantra.

I'm currently engaged in a battle of wills with a housefly. I would be winning, but Jackson won't let me smack his head with the flyswatter.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Check it out!

Look what they planted in the field just down the road from my house! It was a corn maze last year.
Corn makes me sneeze. A lot.

Didn't have time to hunt up a cemetery picture. Hope this will do instead!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Friday Cemetery Blogging

We went to the Wheel of Misfortune Cemetery. While we were there I bought a:

This picture is just for grins. Katie and Auntie "M" are searching the shore line for signs of intellient life. Luna is keeping a sharp eye out for Nargols.

Monday, August 06, 2007

'Cause all the cool kids are doing it.

Click to view my Personality Profile page
I saw this on little david's blog. I'm freakishly alarmed by how high it is on the feeling end versus the thinking end. It's not necessarily wrong, I just don't like it. I'd much rather be Spock than Oprah. Perhaps I've spent too much time listening to people and trying to decipher what they really mean about what they don't say that I get really tuned in to feelings. Maybe?

Of course, Spock wasn't without feelings, he was just very much in control of them. Maybe I could claim the same?

Maybe not.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

No really. It's the music. I really like the, uh... the music!

A friend in Hungary sent me this video clip. I thought it would be darned selfish of me not to share.

(Oh, and the group is Texas and the song is In Demand.)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Malicious Blasphemy of the Lowest Order

The 412th sign of the apocalypse occurs this weekend.

Of course you know what that is - the release of the Underdog movie.

Yes, this loathsome bit of celluloid trumpery is being "unleashed" on an otherwise unsuspecting public. If Walt Disney weren't already dead, I would so have his head for this. Why? WHY??

Because there are some things in life that you just shouldn't mess with. Things like the formula for Coke, Jackson's rib recipe, and rattlesnakes, for example. Underdog is one of those things. How did they mess with it, you may ask?

1. Underdog is a cartoon. He is not a live action mutt. He doesn't live in the real world. Get it? He is not a REAL DOG, people! That's just silly.

2. No one is surprised that Underdog can talk. Because it's a cartoon. They are anthropomorphic talking animals. No one is surprised by this.

3. There are no real people in Underdog's world. Just a few troglodytes like Simon Bar Sinister and the like. There are NO irritatingly plucky 12 year old boys. No, not one!

4. Polly Purebread is not some dippy cocker spaniel. Please! That is like casting Jessica Simpson to play Lois Lane. It's just stupid.

5. Underdog is not a dog with a hip attitude. Underdog is anti-hip. He's not smart. He's not resourceful. His clothes don't even fit him right. Hence the name, ya jerks!

6. Underdog is not some sad-ass family pet. Please! He's a mild-mannered shoeshine boy, on the lookout for danger and assorted villainy. He is not supposed to bring you your paper or fetch some poorly thrown stick. He is supposed to remain ever vigilant at his shoe shine stand, ready to do battle against the forces of evil and bad sportsmanship. He fights for truth and justice and the purity of Polly Purebred. Fetch yer own damn slippers, people!

7. And the song? Don't even get me started on what you've done to that song. It's just too embarrassing. I got no problem with covers of the song. The Butthole Surfers did a rather respectable version of it in the late 90's. It was different, but good. Too bad the same can't be said for your lame-o version.

So, even if you are unable to resist the urge to make a total cinematic fool of yourself and peddle a rotten live action version of a cartoon classic, at least watch the cartoon first. Seriously, it only takes like half an hour. Didn't you have the time to spare? Had you done that, you would've realized that Underdog isn't edgy or cool. He's Bob Newhart, not Ben Stiler.