Monday, August 31, 2009

lions and tigers and bears

My favorite animals to watch are the big cats. Thanks to Marlin Perkins, I've not always had to watch them in a zoo.

As a rule, I feel there is something dreadfully wrong about putting an animal in a cage. Especially when the cage is much too small for the animal to have any semblance of freedom. Animals although subservient to man deserve better.

My cats, my big cats, they exude power, confidence, intrigue, bravery. And yet somehow they look genteel and approachable. But they are conflicted, annoyed. This cage is not their home. They deserve to be free, unrestricted by the confines of man.

I have a friend. He's a lot like those animals.

Just to look at him, you'd be awed by his sheer strength. He is a man of strong moral character and great resolve. He's learned much and knows well enough to share the bounty. He is God-fearing to say the least. He's earned the respect and love of his family and friends and deservedly so.

But this world. This cage is not his home. For all that is good and is true, heaven is his home. And he is bound by the restrictions put upon by himself and his surroundings.

He and the rest of us fortunate enough to be called children of God, we are confined. Confined to serve on this sod until God sees fit to call us home. Until then, we pace. We toil. We sweat. We work to serve the One who gave us life.

Someday we will join Him. We will forget all about our cages. Because we won't be able to see anything else besides His glory.

Until that day, we do well to look outside the cage. To focus on our home. To see the One who put us here and Who brought us through.

I love you, you gentle giant. But don't mourn your cage. Grow despite it, not to spite it. Christ is our Victor. No cage confines Him. Don't let yours confine you. In Him, with Him, and through Him, there is no cage.

Matthew 16:18-19
18 On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
- Isaac Newton

Saturday, August 29, 2009

they comfort me

The morning started with happy news. The kind of news you get when you half-expect something dreadful to happen, but it doesn't. News that makes you catch your breath and thank God that He brought you through. News that leaves you glad the day turned out as it did.

It could have easily gone the other way. The days aren't always painless. And the news ain't always good.

Yet the One who made us is steadfast and sovereign.

Psalm 18:29-30
29 With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him.

link: psalm 23

Thursday, August 27, 2009

dear jon

This guy I know named Jon is on a quest to lose weight. And yesterday, Jon in his blog, took a picture of his scales as he stood perched on them, camera in hand. Thankfully the picture only showed Jon's bare ankles and feet. But Jon went on to say what I most feared, that he was also naked from the ankles up.

Frankly, Jon, I really didn't need to know that.

There aren't many people in this world I want to think about being naked. Not many people at all. The list is short. Very, very short. Did you hear that, Jon?

As far as I'm concerned, everybody in the world pops out of bed like Kleenex fully clothed, refreshed, and ready for the day. There are no clothing changes. No potty breaks. No wardrobe malfunctions. No showering or disrobing of any kind. Nothing. Nada. Zippo.

Everybody gets out of bed and just flies. And if they do anything else, I don't want to think about it. I.don' think about it. No way. No how.

But now my Pollyanna image of the world is blown to bits, Jon. And I'm not sure I can withstand the images running through my head.

Of course, you know my quest for thinness too, Jon. I'm working hard to beat the bulge. And like you, I stand on my scales every morning in baited anticipation wondering how I fared from the day before. Oh, but, Jon, I am not like you. No, I am not. When I stand on my scales, I am fully clothed. That's how I like for people to think about me, Jon, fully clothed.

I appeal to the mathematician in you, Jon. Here's how I reconcile the weight of my night clothes during my morning weigh in. One day, after I weighed myself fully clothed, I walked to my kitchen, still fully clothed, and assembled my night clothes atop my kitchen scales and weighed them. And just to clarify, in the comfort of my own kitchen, I was, in fact, fully clothed. What I found there in my kitchen is that a typical set of my evening attire weighs right at one pound. So each morning, I dutifully weigh myself and subtract one pound for the clothes I have on my person. Ingenious, huh, Jon? Don't you wish you were me?

Cuz I'd much rather be somebody else right now, Jon. As I mentioned before, there aren't many people in this world I want to think about being naked. Dare I be so bold to say that unless you are a cute little kid or my husband, the thought of you being naked should never cross my mind.

I think I'm going to need therapy, Jon. Please don't bare your ankles to me again, Jon. I'm not sure I could stand it. As far as I'm concerned, you've never been naked a single day in your life. This is my mind, and I don't want you running naked through it, thankyouverymuch. Get out of here, and put some clothes on before you catch cold.

link: ray stevens (great one, donna)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

fire and ice

My youngest is staying with his grandparents. This means my oldest is smacking back to the days when he had his parents all to himself. He's digging every minute of it. He loves his little brother. Most of the time. But he misses the old days when he had our undivided attention.

We took him out for ice cream. Then he and I stopped into our local volunteer fire station for an impromptu self-guided tour. Tomorrow I'm making pancakes for breakfast.

At this rate, perhaps I'll join the ranks of the ubercool. A curse it is.

link: jefferson starship, robert frost (thanks, jane :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

plain as day

While we're on the subject of my domestic deficiencies, let's move on to my decorating prowess or lack thereof. I am what you might call decorationally challenged. My walls are stark, my rooms utilitarian. It isn't that I don't appreciate beautiful things. Or that I don't know them when I see them. It is just that I don't know what beautiful things I need to bring into my home to make it look more aesthetically pleasing and welcoming.

Under my orchestration, my house is plain-vanilla, dry-as-toast, stark-white nothingness. It isn't that I particularly prefer it this way. I just don't know exactly what to do to make it look any different.

These are things that you must understand when I tell you my story.

I frequent a variety store run by Old Order Amish folks. Delightful people these Amish. They suffer me gladly. I bring a little hedonistic laughter into their regimented lives. I try my best to consider their customs. There is no hiding the fact that I am not one of them, but I do my best to make it quite clear that I respect their way of life and try not to appear to be an uncaring, unobservant clod. Naturally they are set apart, but that doesn't mean they aren't approachable. They put their bloomers on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.

But I digress.

Not long ago, I was preparing to leave the Amish store with my children when nature called. My four-year old had to tinkle. As we stepped into the bathroom. (Yes, they have a bathroom with modern indoor plumbing.) Anyway, we stepped into the bathroom, and Dave takes one look at the place, stops dead in his tracks, crinkles his nose, and says, "Girly!"

The kid practically refused to do his business in there because the toilet was adorned with purple, frilly tank and toilet seat covers. He couldn't go there. Literally.

Fortunately in good time, he was able to overcome the shock of the adornment and do his business.

But the fact remained. There I was. Decorationally outdone by the Amish. The Plain People.

Nonplussed as I was leaving, I had to share my story with my friend, the Amish store manager. She laughs easily especially at me. Ahem, with me, that is. I related the fact that my house was stark and utilitarian with nary a decoration therein. I told her how my son balked when he saw their "girly" bathroom. I explained that where I come from if your house is plain and simple like that, people say you are "living like the Amish."

She got a good laugh out of that.

Monday, August 24, 2009

canned goods

I can't cook. I've tried. Oh yes, I have tried. But it just doesn't do anything for me. Rather I don't do anything for it.

I suppose I can blame Weight Watchers. Whether they admit it or not, they don't encourage you to cook. Or eat. The Weight Watchers way of life essentially says, "Drink plenty of water and eat tree bark, and eventually you'll be skinny as a rail."

If you start doing crazy things like adding butter or gravy or anything else to your tree bark, you'll find yourself getting to eat less tree bark because of the good stuff. And then you'll pass out from frailty and starve. Better to leave off the gravy and eat the tree bark whilst you can. And you can forget about eating anything so tantalizing as, oh, I don't know, chocolate cake. No way, missy. Not gonna happen.

"Let them eat cake," indeed. Which, by the way, roughly translated, is the French equivalent of, "I am a jelly donut." But that's not important now.

What is important is that I can't cook. Not if my life depends on it. Try as I might, it just ain't happenin' for me.

My eldest has made this quite clear to me. I gotta feel for the fella. For eight years now, he's had to put up with whatever I can assemble as a food offering and somehow subsist on a day-to-day basis. After a while, with meal after meal of hapless blue plate specials, a guy tends to become resolved to lifestyles of the bland and tasteless.

Just to prove my point, let me explain to you exactly what it is that I can't cook. No wait. There is too much. Let me sum up. Here are two things--two of the many--that I've tried to make that have gone wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong.
1) Hamburgers. No, I'm not kidding. My hamburgers taste like cardboard with ketchup. 'Tis a pity to kill a cow for such a savorless offering as this. I'm pretty sure ol' Bessie deserved better.

2) Rice Krispy Treats. Now stop laughing. It can be done. And I've done it. But only once because I learn from my mistakes. I screw up and move on. Leaving me dejected. Dejected and hungry.
Though I pale in comparison to my friends and loved ones with their culinary proficiencies, through all this, I can rest assured that there is, in fact, the perfect food just down the next grocery aisle.

Lo and behold, I give you ... Chocolate Chex.

Take a moment if you need it. Drink it in. Know that fulfilling goodness is just within reach.

Do you realize they don't put food preparation instructions on cereal boxes? Maybe they should. They don't know who they're dealing with here.

link: ich bin ein berliner, the princess bride (available on DVD everywhere)

Friday, August 21, 2009

cleanup in aisle three

Look what we picked up at the store. They were running a special on Daves. I found him in the produce section. Right by the bananas.

Couldn't you just die? Is this not the most precious produce you've ever seen?

We didn't have to pick up a Sam. We already had one of those.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

the eyes have it

Are these not the most stunning eyes you have ever seen? What is it about steel gray eyes that completely slays me? Or are they blue? I don't know. I don't care. I can't look at them. Not for long. They aren't good for me. They lose me in their beauty and intrigue. I am powerless. I have no resolve.

My apologies. Let me introduce you. This is Aimey. She is more than just beautiful eyes. She has a tender heart and poignant spiritual observations. Her eyes dance when she speaks of those she loves. She is unabashedly giving of her time for the right reasons. And she is diligent, doggedly diligent. Along with those eyes she has this captivating Utahn accent that I've never heard from another human being. If I needed another reason to be captivated, there I have it.

Yet this isn't so much about her, it is about those eyes. Her eyes and eyes like hers.

I am completely at their mercy, those eyes. Please make them stop. Lest I promise to do bad things. They could tell me to jump from the highest precipice, and I'd jump. They could implore me to go to the ends of the earth, and I'd go.

I can't stand to look. You must make them stop. Oh, but don't take them away. I have to stare into them for as long as I can bear. They taunt me. And draw me in. I am powerless. I am weak. I must obey.

link: lemonade makin' mama, robert's rules of order, those eyes

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

signed, sealed, delivered

It is a busy time in my life. I have to choose my civil servitude wisely. Some things I'm just not going to have time to do whether I like it or not. I will never be a police ociffer, hic, pardon me, officer. Nor will I serve my country in the military. I won't be a congressman, I mean, woman, er, person. And I'll never, ever get the chance to be a judge, a mayor, or the President of the United States.

This is a cross I must bear.

But there is one thing I can do. Oh yes, one thing. In my little workaday life, I can alert the media when somebody has a brake light out. Never fear. Edie's here.

I performed this service today when I drove around a mail carrier's SUV. Out here in the country, our mail carriers don't have bona fide, property-of-the-US-guberment mail trucks. Oh no. The mail carriers where I live, get their personal vehicles modified to accomodate shuffling mail through the passenger's side window.

How cool is that? I'm dying to drive one of these things. Wait a minute, maybe I can. My neighbor is a rural mail carrier. I bet her car has the same kind of rig in it. Maybe if I make her some brownies I can drive her car and pretend I live in Britian or something. Wouldn't that just be the coolest thing?!? "Cheerio. A parcel for you, dear. Ta ta."

At any rate, this postal carrier dude had a brake light out, and as luck would have it, his driver's side window was down a bit so I could let him know he was driving in danger. Perilous, perilous danger.

Now if you'll excuse me, I hafta go make some brownies.

link: stevie wonder

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

the very thought of you

If there ever was a person perfectly suited to a name it was Joy. And I'm not talking soft-breezes and rippling-brooks kind of joy. Oh, no. I mean the rip-roarin', grab-life-by-the-horns, in-your-face, baby-can-you-dig-it kind of joy.

Funny thing is I never met Joy. But everybody who I've ever heard talk about her erupts into laughter at the very mention of her name. She was just that kind of person.

Joy was one of my husband's friends from work. Sadly, she died tragically in an automobile accident on the way home from Spring Break one Easter. Everybody was stunned. She left a lot of broken hearts. Mine included.

How can you miss a woman you never met? She's my soul sista, my homegirl, my BFF.

Everybody was Joy's best friend. If she just met a body five minutes prior, she became engrossed in that person, and she'd proclaim her undying love and dub the new person her best friend. And she meant it. For that instant in time, that new contact was her best friend. Eeeew, doggie! You better believe it.

Joy's motto which she frequently touted was: "Work hard. Play hard. Pray hard." That was Joy. In a nutshell.

Lately I've been channeling Joy. Yes, I know you can't really do that, but you know what I mean. There are lots of incredible, charming, wonderful people in my life, and I like them to feel special. If Joy was anything, she was an encourager. It is an important thing to be.

I look forward to meeting Joy. Oh, and I will some day. She's having a blast in heaven right now, no doubt. I can't wait to join the party already in progress. 'Cause whenever Joy is around, there is a party. You can be sure of that.

link: beaker from the muppets (my apologies to beethoven), down in my heart, nat king cole

Monday, August 17, 2009

ring my bell

I love smart people. I love the way I feel when I am around them. It broadens my vocabulary, and I can just feel the little synapses fire faster. I'm lovin' every minute of it.

Lots of smart people go to my church. My parents go there. My husband's parents go there. Need I say more? (I know what side my bread is buttered on. See how smart I am!?!) Oh yes, I suppose you're right. Smart people are bustin' out all over the place. Everywhere I go there's another one. And another one. Not only are they smart, but they're also funny. You just can't beat smart and funny.

Wherefore smart, funny people congregate, therefore also are geeks. Because geek = smart + funny. Oh, and lest ye be confused: Geeks are not nerds. Oh, no. My husband taught me this. Nerds are geeks who dress funny. Funny weird, not funny ha-ha. Geeks have some semblance of fashion sense albeit subdued.

So there's this one geek at my church who's very proud to be a geek. He and my husband's pet name for each other is, in fact, Geek. They're so cute together. Them and their man love. 8-|

At any rate, this geek shall remain nameless...but you know who you are. This geek this morning at church had completely unbeknownst to me put together an eloquent video presentation about some geeky thing he had just implemented. The first thing I see on the screen is a picture of me and my family. I knew we were in for it. Oh, but no, not we, come to find out, I was the one who was in for it. Baby, was I ever.

This whole thing was about an email list that I'd conjured up so our church peeps could connect with each other more readily when need be. Since I'd started this whole mess, the Geek thought he should therefore yank my chain a little. He loves to do this. It makes his geeky little sense of humor soar.

Anywho, in the course of his geekazoid demonstration, he decidedly states that at home, I screen my calls. I pipe up in my best theatrical voice and say, "I do not." 'Cause I don't, you know. It's not my thang. I don't have caller ID. I gots no idea who's calling me when that little ol' phone rings. I'm just glad that it's ringing. It means that somebody wants me. Somebody from somewhere wants to talk to little ol' me. Me. Me. Me.

So when my phone rings, I get this adrenaline rush knowing for the briefest of moments even if it is only to fetch the phone for somebody else, I am, in fact, needed. When the phone rings, like some Pavlovian freak, I answer it.

There, Geek, are you happy? I blogged about you. Just like you wanted me to. I'm here for you, man.

link: anita ward, loverboy (no, not you, geek, the band called loverboy. i have my own geek. i don't need another one.)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

baaaad to the bone

It was time to shear the sheep. Don't these baaaad boys look good?

Welcome to the land where good hair days never end. The punks. Work it, baby.

Speaking of babies, I wouldn't cross 'em if I were you. The little one looks angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

link: george thorogood & the destroyers

Saturday, August 15, 2009

you should be dancing

You see that picture there of me? Yeah, the one right there in the About Me section. Regardless of what it looks like, I am not throwing down a disco move. This white girl can't dance.

OK, if you must know, I was cleaning something off the ceiling. Alright, it was mold. Are you happy? Don't ask me why there was mold on my son's bedroom ceiling. We just moved into the joint. But there was a teensy bit up there, and I had to get it off before it crept down the wall and devoured my youngest in his sleep.

At any rate, that picture is one of the best pictures I've ever had taken in my long-legged life. My husband took it. That's why I look so happy.

Generally I take bad pictures. Very, very bad pictures. Most of the time. For the following reasons:
1) I often have my eyes closed in pictures. If I know the camera what's being used to take my picture, and by that I mean if I've had my picture taken with this camera a couple times before, I subconsciously close my eyes before the flash so's I don't get spots before my eyes. It is a psychological defense mechanism. I hate the spots because they stay there for a verrrrry long time. These spots evoke strained, unfocused looks on my face as I try helplessly to read the body language of the person I cannot see.

2) When I smile my nose does a weird thing, and closeups are not kind. It is a big nose. Big noses run in my family. Er, what I meant to say was that most of the people in my family have big noses. Well, on one side of my family, that is. The other side of my family have much smaller, less, ahem, noble noses. At any rate, when I smile broadly, my nose crinkles and gets pointy on the end, and I look freakishly Halloweeny.

3) I'm over forty, so things like wrinkles and crow's feet run rampant o'er my countenance. And even though I have a nice smile and these luscious lips, smiling makes those nasty, little lines more pronounced.
But this picture, this picture was taken from across the room. I look happy. I am happy. I look gay. I am not gay, just happy. My chin is taut, and my hair is "amazing and luscious." Not my words. But I'll gladly embrace them and feast on their bounty. (Oh yes, I almost forgot, sashay on over for a great giveaway by my friend who is also "amazing and luscious.")

Which reminds me, somebody else recently said my hair was "sexy." Now I know for a fact--and you'll just have to trust me on this one--that this person was not looking to get anything from me, if you get my drift. This person did not owe me money or a favor. This person was just saying what this person thought to be true. That I had some stunningly "sexy" hair. Then said person gave my husband a look like, "You lucky devil." (My husband didn't see or hear any of this because he was busy talking to somebody else. He does that a lot.) Suffice it to say, being told I had sexy hair was the biggest boost to my little ol' ego I've had in a good, long time. Not to mention the fact that I've just been told that my hair is "amazing and luscious." I'll just ride high on that for a while.

At any rate, back to my picture. I thought it important to tell you that I was not dancing at the time. You don't want to see me dance. Even if I get tipsy, I still can't dance. My dancing looks like a cross between a Peanuts character and Bill Cosby. You wouldn't want to see it. It isn't pretty.

link: bee gees

Friday, August 14, 2009

we all, like sheep

As we were hiking at the park, Sam piped up and started reminiscing about the day his little brother was born. Sam said, "I was amazed. Amazed like a shepherd."

Kind of an odd thing to say, I agree, but I get where he's coming from. Here's the Bible story Sam recalled from Luke chapter 2:
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

I'm glad my boy knows what it means to be "amazed like a shepherd." Don't you wish everybody did?

There is work to be done.
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
-- Matthew 28:16-20
link: bible gateway, we all, like sheep

Thursday, August 13, 2009

culturally motivated

I cleaned out the fridge. This is always a monumental occasion. I do this every so often just to see what we've cultivated. We eat a lot of produce, so you never know what you'll find lurking in there.

What I found would have made any science professor in the tri-state area mist with pride.

It is fun to let airtight containers sit ignored over time, long, looooong periods of time just to see what you're going to get. They are shoved back to the wall left to seethe and ferment in their own little happy, self-contained environment.

This particular specimen came from a tub of what your taste buds would likely call yoghurt. (Notice the British English spelling. Also notice the word "hurt" hidden in there. They're not kidding.) We're not big on American yogurt. It is too sweet and candy tasting. Unadulterated yoghurt is devoid of sugar and tastes more like sour cream on a bad day.

Now this yoghurt we'd tried and instantly disliked because it was too foul tasting. (Go figure.) So into the abyss of the fridge it went to be ignored until the proper time of its unveiling. Yesterday was apparently the day.

I can't tell you much about what I saw because I was afraid of it actually. I didn't want to look. It was however the most impressive collection of mold I've ever laid eyes on albeit briefly. And I'm sure a chemistry teacher somewhere probably fainted when I boldly thinking nothing of my own welfare picked up the top skin and threw it in the trash. And, yes, it came off intact in one big pinch.

Hoorah. I am brave.

Oh man, I hope the trash man was alright after he hoisted it into the back of his truck. It could have escaped the bag and gone after him in search of a new host to devour. Maybe I should call the company to make sure he's OK.

link: young frankenstein

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

too funny for words

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link:, dire straits (um...maybe not)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

hey, hey, good lookin'

Apparently there is this thing called NASCAR. What I gather is you got this track and some cars and these men and women. There are women too, aren't there? Well anyway, these drivers zoom around the track really fast much like the Indy 500 only the cars look a bit different. Am I getting warm?

I realize I reside in a place where racing is king, but you have to understand that I live under a rock. I don't know a thing about sports, and I'm cool with that. My favorite sporting events are the Olympics and Stupor Bowl commercials. Do you get my drift? If it is something where lots of people are sweating or competing or trying to win some ring, medal, cup, trophy, or jacket, I probably know little to nothing about it. And I don't have a problem with that.

Now I know it is common for most people to be into sports of one kind or another. That's fine. It's all good. Whoop it up. Get on down with your bad self. But for me, when it comes to sports, you're looking at a blank page. I'm clueless. It's important that you realize this when I tell you what I am about to say.

Bear with me. Allow me a brief segue, if you please. I buy stuff at resale shops whenever I can for clothing especially. I found this great--what I thought to be--football jersey but with a very feminine, form-fitting cut to it. Since I've always been a bit of a tomboy, the whole "football jersey" thing really worked for me. And it had the number 24 on it which meant nothing to my little sports-ignert mind at all. Fiddle-dee-dee.

So the other day at the height of NASCAR season--not that I'd know it, I was wearing my "jersey" at the grocery salivating over a display of Oreos, when I see a man giving me these nervous, sideways glances. He was a big guy. He needed a shave. And his clothes? Let's just say he was slummin'. But, hey, if you can't go to the grocery wearing a wife-beater, where can you go, eh?

At any rate, this nervous, big guy blurts out, "That 24's lookin' pretty good!" I grabbed my Oreos, and I ran.

Little did I know that Mr. Wife Beater was, at the time, probably more interested in the 24 than he was in the woman what was wearing it. Apparently there's this NASCAR dude named Jeff Gordon, and he drives really, really fast?!? How was I to know?

link: Hank Williams, Leo Arnaud, Scarlett O'Hara, Pepsi: Britney Spears/Bob Dole, Snickers: Voting Booth

Saturday, August 8, 2009

sugar, oh, honey, honey

I'm walking through the grocery aisle pretty as you please, and I come across a little Sugar in the Raw. Does this not sound like a trashy romance novel?

I've never understood the concept of reading such ilk. Or is that "ick," hmmm? I mean, what's the point? Why would I want to trouble myself with this rubbish, if all it is going to do is get me all hot and bothered?

Granted there is nothing wrong with a little hot-and-bothered now and then, but the times I avail myself for leisure reading rarely coincide with the times my husband is accessible for a little romp in the hay. So why exactly should I subject myself to such trashy tripe, eh?

Have you ever tried to read some of this stuff? Everybody's all ripped and passionate and seething just lollygagging about from one scene to the next until it, ahem, climaxes to the part where they are ripping off each other's clothes. Pardon me, but if there are going to be clothes being ripped off a person, I prefer one of said persons to be me, and I really don't want to waste time reading about it. Puhleeze. 'Nuff said?

link: the archies

Friday, August 7, 2009

gross misunderstanding

I love men. They look good. They smell good...well, most of the time. They are fun to watch when they lift heavy stuff.

But there are things that I don't quite understand about men. Like why are they so gross? And why is gross funny? And when we women are aghast (and I do mean "gassed") at their being gross, why is that even more funny? I just don't get it.

I grew up in a house of mostly female persons. My poor dad. He had three daughters. And a wife, of course...but not in that order. Lucky for him probably, none of us were what you'd call girly girls. But we were not gross. And except for his occasional bouts of belching and flatulence, my dad wasn't terribly gross either.

Now I live with three male persons. It has come to my attention that guys are gross. Guys are gross, and it is not funny. They toot and say, "Oops." Not funny. They stink up the bathroom, and the stench wafts down the hall. Gross, not funny. They scratch and spit and sniff and snort, and it is not funny. Hawk a loogie? Not funny. They monologue about digestive upset and bathroom trauma. Incredibly gross, not funny. Not even a little. Diarrhea exposition becomes a love soliloquy. So not funny. Belching is an esophageal art form. Pathetically gross, not funny.

I love men. The Bible even says I would. But guys are gross, and it is not funny. It isn't called a curse for nothing.

Most women agree with me that guys are gross, and it's not funny. But we do have one traitor. I'm guessing she's in the If-You-Can't-Beat-'Em-Join-'Em camp. But then again, I saw an interview with her once, and let's just say she has a short attention span. And she's blond. Real blond. Like the roots go all the way through, honey. Well anyway, to prove my point, I give you Smart Beep's Blind Date. If I can sympathize with anybody on this commercial, it is the guy in the back seat. Somehow even though he's a guy, he knows it is gross, and it is not funny.

And there is one other lady--and I promise I'll stop here--who is NOT gross and who IS funny. Well, maybe she is a little bit gross, but she is pointing out how gross guys can be, so I am giving her a get-out-of-jail-free card. At any rate, if you yourself are gross or if you are one of the ones who loves said gross person, this should be worth a chuckle.

Until next time, just remember: Guys are gross, and it is not funny. Well, maybe a little. ;)

link: faith hill

Thursday, August 6, 2009

pretty in pink

These are my pretty, pink shoes. You aren't seeing them on my pretty, pink feet because I don't have pretty, pink feet. I have spider vein-wrought feet. This, however, does not preclude me from wearing pretty, pink shoes. A girl's gotta live.

My spider veins are quite impressive in their own right. I must tell you about them since you won't be seeing them. (Thank your lucky stars.) They--my veins not your stars--look like an ant farm transit map.

As a medical specimen, I'm sure I'm quite stunning, or maybe that's appalling. No matter.

My veins wile away the time thinking of ways of becoming even more hideous. My husband's always thought I've had great gams despite my scene-stealing venous system. Take that, my little pretties.

I try not to think about them, or look at them, or be in the same room with them, but they keep following me around.

If I ever get bored in my geriatric years--and I don't plan on doing that because I'll be too busy acting crazy since it will be harder to tell if I really am or if I'm just messin' widcha. At any rate when the time comes, I plan on taking a blue Sharpie and completing the gaps in my transit map. Just to have something to do. It shouldn't take long, but it will make me feel better. Give me a sense of finality and closure to my burgeoning transportation system.

The rest of the ladies down my nursing home hall will wag their tongues and shake their heads. Or maybe they'll saddle up beside and join me. 'Cause a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. In her pretty, pink shoes.

link: Del Rubio Triplets, Psychedelic Furs

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

love the one you're with

There are a couple of fellas I want you to meet in case you haven't been properly introduced.

My boy Sam turns 8 today. My oldest son. He's always been my favorite. He was my first baby, you know.

I have several names for him: Silly Sam, Silly Man, Sweet Boy, Handsome, Handsome Boy.

This can be a problem when I stand in the produce section amid adult male strangers and say, "Hey, Handsome, what kind of salad should we get?" It's happened.

I'll give you a moment. ... 'K, back to my son.

He's precious, priceless, sweet as honey wine. I get lost in his dimples, and his eyes sparkle like the stars. How many little kids do you know who play the accordion by ear without even looking? He has probably seventy-five piano melodies in his repertoire without using a single sheet of music. And he did all that a couple years ago. Brilliant? Yeah, I think so. We share the same smile, he and I.

He's a lot like me. How can I not love that?

Then there's his little brother, Dave. My youngest son. He's always been my favorite. Being the baby and all.

You can call him anything you want. Just don't call him "little." Some of my fav's are: Dave-o, Silly Boy, Sweet Boy, Handsome, Handsome Boy.

He has a million faces. Each one of them funny in their own right. He's been articulate nearly as long as he could talk. He's whip smart. He doesn't miss a thing. He has the most poignant observations I've ever heard from a kid. He has a new superhero/occupational persona every day. With every kiss, he gives an endearing hug.

He's just like his daddy. What's not to love?

I think I'll keep 'em.

Happy birthday, Silly Man. Mama loves you.

link: crosby, stills & nash

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

burn, baby, burn

I love to burn things. It is incredibly therapeutic. I stand outside in the back 40 reveling in the peace, watching planes fly by, hearing birds and frogs and critters chatter, getting distracted by shiny things.

As sun sets, the mesmerizing flames lick 'round and higher. My mind flits through scenes of ancient Babylon when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego took what could have been a fatal stand. As my face stings from the ambient heat, I cringe at the thought of the flames of hell. I thank the One who rescued me for the privelege of never having to experience that inferno, mourning for those who will. Having been emotionally exhausted, I let my mind go blank. Drinking in the flames.

On the eve of trash day, I dumpster dive in search of things to burn: pizza boxes, wood scraps, junk mail, my bra. Whatever. Tonight was no different. But I couldn't stop there. I dug up dead weeds around the burn pile trying to pretty up the place. It is a burn pile after all. A thinking place. It must be revered.

I burnt viney things and bright green things and stickery things. Knowing nothing of what I was touching with my gloved hands because that would require a knowledge of plant life. And since I don't know much about botany, my poison ivy-prone skin and I fear every little plant that isn't actively blooming.

I had no idea how long I'd been clearing the hill. Knowing it was a race to cleanse my person lest the pustulant plague begin to ravage my body, I hurried inside to freshen up. I stuffed my garments in the washer. Left with nothing other than a couple of freshly laundered throw rugs, I fashioned a garment with coverage suitable to shuffle past my two small boys who were lounging in the living room.

And I am happy to report, oddly enough, that it only took one throw rug, one 31 inch throw rug at that, to reach completely around this forty-something year old waist that has borne two children. The second throw rug was used, of course, to cover my caboose. (Sorry. I know. TMI.)

My husband--charming man that he is--in his amused alarm told me, "It kind of works for you." Ecstatic I am to know I can make even a throw rug...or two look good.

For those ladies in the audience, I leave you now so you can scurry to the secrecy of your bathroom to see how many throw rugs it takes to cover your shapely physique. Hush now. Don't worry, baby, dem's love handles.

link: malachi 4, the beach boys, sam cooke, the trammps

Monday, August 3, 2009

10 second rule

So I made cookies the other day, right? (Bah, now he has me saying it.) We had some friends over for gas station pizza and cookies on Saturday. It was a riot.

Well, today I find myself folding the mountainous accumulation of laundry that I tend to do on Mondays or whenever I feel like it. (Who am I kidding?) I look down at the floor beside one of the dining room chairs and there lies the last remnant of a chocolate chip cookie which had, no doubt, been sitting there for at least 36 hours.

I have no idea who dropped the cookie remnant and thus who could have been eating it. No idea at all. It could have been anyone from a small gaggle of people. Some blood-related, some not. But I trust these people. I'd gladly donate a kidney to any of them if need be. And last I heard, none of them had a communicable disease.

And my floor was clean. I had Roombaed it myself just before the event inasmuch as one can Roomba anything one's self. As a matter of fact, my entire house was relatively clean thanks in no small part to my husband who can really get motivated when company comes. (Gee, who can I invite over next weekend?)

So I went for it. Hey, it had a chocolate chip in it. It was a little stale, yeah, but that unmistakable delicioso chocolate chip cookie flavor was still there shining through. I'm shameless. I know it. And I'm not afraid to admit it.

link: cat on a roomba, gas station pizza, found a peanut

Sunday, August 2, 2009

me want cookie

The other day (That is a tip of the hat to my husband because with him, everything happened "the other day."), I dropped off some of my renowned chocolate chip cookies to Ranae, my hairstylist, to show her my appreciation. She's a gem of a gal, and I owed her one.

The last time she cut my hair, I brought along my two boys--without asking first, mind you. Luckily, my guys sat quietly pouring over their books while she gave me a new 'do. (Yes, there is a God.)

Yesterday, the first time I saw Ranae after the cookie drop, she thanked me profusely, embarrassingly so, saying, "Those were the best chocolate chip cookies EVER!" She went on to tell me how much she and her family loved them, how her husband tried to hide them, and how she'd love to have my babies.

I get a lot of that.

Funny thing is just about everybody who eats my cookies says the exact same thing, "Those were the best chocolate chip cookies EVER!"

I try to be a modest individual. However, some things are too blatantly obvious to hide like my blazing intellect, my cunning wit, and my seething good looks. But you know, with the rest of the stuff, I try to keep it down so as not to overinflate my ego. Seems the prudent thing to do.

Even so, once you hear something enough, you tend to believe it. Henceforth, I give you:

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever...Except for Your Mom's, Of Course

2 c. butter or shortening *
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
5 c. flour
3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, preferably name-brand

* Before you make these cookies, consider why you are making them. Yes, I know you are making them to eat them, but the question is: when do you want to eat them? If you want to eat them the self-same day that they are baked, use butter. Butter-based cookies taste yummy, but they do not hold up well over time. If you want to eat the cookies over a period of a few days or so, be sure to use shortening. Cookies made with shortening are scrumptious and will last longer but tend to be a tad bit greasy. (You can use margarine instead of butter, but honestly, what is the point? Doing so doesn't somehow make it a healthy alternative. And if you do use margarine, don't even think about using diet margarine. That makes some nasty cookies. Bleah!)

Should you use butter, heat it until slightly melted; there is no need to heat shortening. Add the sugars. The world works better with racial harmony, and so do these cookies. Use equal amounts of brown and white sugar. (Do not discriminate or the cookies will rise up against you. OK, maybe not, but they may stage a sit-in.) Throw in the vanilla and the eggs but do it gently; remember the eggs were separated from their mother at a frighteningly young age. Mix well.

Next add flour, salt, and baking soda. Using a sturdy spoon, pulverize the dough until it is a uniform color. During this step the use of a hand-held commercial mixer is not recommended as it would undoubtedly sustain irreversible shock.

Add the chocolate chips. Distribute the chips evenly throughout the dough. There is nothing worse than a naked cookie.

You can alternately use M&Ms or--clutch the pearls--Peanut Butter M&Ms, but if you do, might I suggest making these shortening-based cookies? (Is it too late to say that?) It just works better.

If these are butter-based cookies, chill the dough for at least twenty minutes. Chilled dough is happy dough. If you plan to chill it overnight, cover unsparingly with plastic wrap. Short-term chillin' may happen in the freezer, but overnight chillin' must happen in the refrigerator. If you mistakenly chill the dough in the freezer overnight, say hello to your new bowling ball.

The dough will be adequately chilled when it can stand on its own. To see if the dough is ready, grasp the edges of the cookie bowl firmly on either side. Hold the bowl up on end. If the cookie dough barely moves, the dough has been properly chilled.

Shortening-based cookie dough does not need to chill, but it won't hurt anything if it does. Butter/margarine-based cookie dough has to be chilled if you want it to do right by you.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350°. Plop twelve jawbreaker-sized bundles of chocolate onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Don't make really big balls o' dough. Just nice, smallish, chocolate confections. If you make the balls too large, they spread out and run together on the pan during baking. And that's just wrong.

The balls don't have to be uniform in shape either. A few terrain features in the finished product makes it all the more exciting when picking which cookie to eat next.

Roast them for eight minutes. Your cookies must bake in the oven, not age. The cookies should be domed-not-doughy on top and golden-not-brown on bottom. They will darken and wrinkle in the sunlight just like the rest of us.

If you get a doughy/brown combination, cut the heat back to 325°. The time can be stretched to ten minutes and beyond, but this is not typically a good practice unless you bake cookies at high altitudes. (In which case, you know better than I what to do. I typically bake cookies at an altitude of about 260 feet.)

If you peer into the oven and think that the cookies are not quite done, that's when they are done. Take them out immediately; let your stomach be your guide.

If you were overeager and overbaked the cookies, they will become hard and indestructible. Tell the children that the cookies are playthings. Have faith in the little tikes; these are the same kids who sit on the kitchen floor playing with oatmeal boxes.

Relax and enjoy the fruit of your labor. These cookies taste remarkably good when frozen, no really--you get the great taste of cookie batter without the salmonella. Cookies are good alone or with a friend.

p.s. If you want a PDF of this recipe, just rattle my cage.

link: cookie monster

Saturday, August 1, 2009

yes, indeedy edie

I gotta get something off my chest. Take a load off. It's a small chest. It won't take long.

The greater part of the natural-born American, English-speaking public has no idea how to say my name correctly. This has always been a quandary to me. What is it that is so difficult about the arrangement of those four little letters?

I have a public school education. I hung with the masses. I sat right beside them in English class diagramming my sentences and enunciating my diphthongs. We were tight, them and I.

However, most people upon seeing my name pronounce it as if it is a name that belongs to a guy. And I'm standing right there! (Should I be worried?) They say "ed-eee" (Eddie) instead of "eee-dee" (Edie) which, of course, would be the proper pronunciation.

Many people are rather daring in their erroneous speech patterns. Humorous I find cashiers with their furtive glances who boldly wave my credit card through the air and say, "Are you sure this belongs to you?" Then I remember the name on the card. The cashier thinks I just mugged a guy in the parking lot to get this. Do I look like the type?

Of course, there are the crass ones who lie to cover themselves. After they say "Eddie," I correct them saying politely as I can muster to the 50 millionth stranger, "Two Ds is Eddie. One D is Edie." This is the comeback I get, "Oh, I've seen it spelled that way before." Pfft. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

So my job in life, if no other, is to educate the general public on the fact that:
"E-D-D-I-E is ed-eee, and
E-D-I-E is eee-dee."

There, I've said it again.

link: the band, bobby vinton