Monday, December 31, 2007

Inner Child or Unclean Spirit

Out of the mouths of babes comes some sort of crazy sense.

Christmas Eve found the Frau, the Mother-in-Frau, the Puppinator and me at my mother's house (with my sister and her fam) for the annual family exchange of carnal commercialism. I'm sure I sound very righteous expressing our little Christmas get-together thus, but this little entry should vanquish any illusions of righteousness on my part. I guess I just need a few moments of confession and self-absolution before 2008 commences.

At any rate, it was Christmas Eve, and my mother was warning the Frau that I am too much like my father and really just an overgrown kid - especially at this time of year. At which point my 11 year old neice and 12 year old nephew commented that it was just my "inner child trying to get out." We all had a good laugh, but the comment has stuck with me throughout the holidays. In fact, you could say I've been letting the essence of it steep like a good pot of tea for days.

I think I'm starting to identify more closely with the warring parts of myself. The external adult part of me loves to give just the right present at this time of year, whether as an expression of love, friendship or appreciation, with no expectation of anything in return. My inner child, on the other hand, wants to purchase these gifts whether I can afford them or not. This part of the equation I've had worked out for quite some time. A new variable seemed to enter the picture this year, though, and it surprised me. The Frau and I had agreed earlier in the fall that we needed to be conservative this year and try to eradicate some debt we've accumulated. To be fiscally spartan for a few months now could result in many months of financial freedom in the near future. My external adult heartily affirmed that course. My inner child couldn't stand not having a few small surprises under the tree for the Frau. My external adult knew that the Frau's adult side is MUCH more pragmatically established and would probably stick to the agreement to hold off on Christmas presents and was perfectly ok with that. My inner child pouted. And pouted. And shocked my external adult. My external adult took my inner child to the woodshed, and reminded that ungrateful child that she has vacations for life in the time share we recently purchased, and that in another month or so (when those bills have gotten under control) she would probably also be the proud owner of an I-Phone. The petulant child finally got control of herself and came out of her funk, but it took a couple of days.

All of this really shocked me - the adult me, that is. I haven't acted that broodingly childish in quite sometime. Whether the adult me is making excuses for the child, I'm not quite sure, but I don't think it was the lack of presents in number or expense that was at issue. Both the Frau and I got more presents than we deserved from our family and friends. We aren't lacking in that department, and are, in fact, quite blessed. But my "inner child" (as described by my neice and nephew) is that spontaneous, impulsive, and sometimes overly generous side of me - and it's the side that tends to be "the giver" at times like the holidays. And I guess I was disappointed that the Frau didn't get "childish" over me. The truth - and I know this - is that just isn't who she is. She is supremely pragmatic, and she is showing her love in far more practical and adult ways - seeing that we manage our money well so this "child" can ultimately have her travels and books and expensive new techno toys. And if she becomes "childish," that takes us off course.

The even greater truth is - I love her - and her pragmatism. As I know she loves (and sometimes tolerates!) my inner child. And while I don't think I need to banish my inner child, I do think my external adult needs to take over some of the child's responsibilities - principally, that of being "the giver." The adult just handles it better.

Silence, Lord, the unclean spirit,
in our mind and in our heart.
Speak your word that when we hear it
all our demons shall depart.
Clear our thought and calm our feeling,
still the fractured, warring soul.
By the power of your healing
make us faithful, true and whole.
~ Thomas H. Troeger in Borrowed Light
Krazy Karma

One of my fun Christmas presents from my sister included this nifty deck of Karma Coaching Cards for the Rich & Utterly Immoral. I must admit that I love them. And since everyone who knows me - including my sister - knows I am not Rich, I can only conclude that I am Utterly Immoral. Sad. But the cards aren't, as each suggests "a small activity or insight for those most in need of a karma colonic." For example, today's card said . . . "Today, say 'Thank you' at least six times and really mean it at least once." Yesterday's was equally astute: "Make a financial donation to an unattractive sounding cause and do not ask for a tax receipt." I feel my karma starting to cleanse itself already . . .

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dog Talk

We include the Puppinator in a lot of our conversations - as if he could take our side, commiserate, support, et. al. Sometimes we even speak on his behalf - guaranteeing he has a part in the conversation. But some of those canine chats are topics for another entry. This morning, he fulfilled his 3rd-wheel-of-support role. I commented to the Frau, "We should invite the girls [our neighbors] over to watch the game on Saturday." To which the Frau responded, "What game?" "What game?!" I exclaimed, "Hello? The Mizzou/OU Big 12 Championship game?!!" To which she nonchalantly said, "Oh . . ." A little while later, the game was mentioned on the morning news, and I looked at the dog and said, "'What game?' she says. Can you believe that? She's just not a big sports person." To which the Frau turned to the dog and said, "I never have been." A pregnant pause. "But I'm still just as gay as she is!" He just rolled his eyes, tuning us both out. Smart dog.
Tiger Proud

This is an especially good week to claim my roots as a Mizzou Tiger. The football Tigers are currently #1 in the nation - for the first time since 1960 (coincidentally, the year of my birth), and the recent Mizzou alumni magazine featured an article on New Yorker cartoonist (and alum), Michael Shaw. Two of Shaw's cartoons - which are now #1 in my national ranking of cartoons are shown below.

Monday, November 19, 2007

On Growing Older . . . and Growing Up

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take some of my students to visit my college alma mater on a field trip. It wasn't the first time I've done this, and I always look forward to the trip. Funny enough, this "Music Day" event that the college hosts each year is always very near to my birthday - so my reflections on my student past always coincide with my annual musings on aging. For some reason, they seemed a bit more profound in their collision course this year - I'm not sure why. I can only surmise that as I'm growing older, I'm also growing up.

I'm sure I'm not the first student who dreamed of returning to the hallowed halls of ye old alma mater to teach. As I grew older, I would addend that desire - at least publicly - to say "or some place like it." Privately, I continued to hold to the original plan. At my core, I think I believed that my "journey" would not be complete until I found my way back "home" to teach. I even told myself over the past couple of years that it is no longer the same place - still a very good place - and, yet, not the place I dreamed of returning.

This last visit, though, served as a catalyst of sorts to shake up my thinking. And in a good and resolutely satisfying way, I might add. I followed my students around to various classrooms where I had spent countless hours as a student. They were seeing what the future might hold for them as a music major or minor. I was getting lost in echoes of memories in each room - a Saturday morning practice session with my chamber trio, the excitement of introduction to music literature as a freshman (yes! it was exciting!), Beethoven's Ninth and performances by Marilyn Horne and Janos Starker and countless others in the "chapel." I would wander in and out of these memories, as the current staff was telling prospective students about all that the college had to offer them. And that's when it clicked.

For years, as I tried to create my own little master plan, I was wallowing in those memories and making plans to go BACK - back to the past. There was nothing forward thinking about it. This particular day, I found myself getting caught up in the present and FUTURE of the school. It was a place that I would be excited to attend TODAY as a student. But not because it was the same - but because it had continued to GROW and look ahead. The college is still rooted in a strong heritage - some of which includes my very fond memories - but it hasn't gotten stuck there. It has continued to be a dynamic, growing entity.

The college has grown up, and I think maybe, so have I. Turning 47 (which in my mind is "almost 50") seems a good age to start feeling more like an adult. I'd be lying if I said I had no desire to teach there anymore. I don't think it will ever happen, and I'm really quite comfortable in that knowledge, and I'd certainly explore the opportunity if it should present itself. What I know, though, is that now I would want to teach there because of who the school has and will continue to become, not merely because of who it used to be. That bit of clarity leaves me content to be a proud alumnus of the school, a better potential teacher, and an adult who has found contentment in the life she has been given as opposed to the life she planned.

"Cardinal is her color . . . "

My Tree - My House

Do I really need to say more? Is this not one of the best representations of fall you have ever seen?

It's leafless now. But for a few days, for those who were taking note, it was beautiful - inside and out.

Blog Bloat

I'm feeling a bit like I used to in college in those classes where I was supposed to maintain a "journal" of sorts. Invariably, I would go through spells where I would mentally compose all sorts of brilliant observations - which never made it to paper. Then, the night before the journal was to be submitted, I'd be sitting in Perkins with a pot of coffee, trying to "recollect" all those insightful comments. Of course, I'd do my best to make them sound as if they had been written over the designated period of time, and not crafted at one highly caffienated sitting. Cyber-journaling doesn't allow that. Thanks to tattle-tale technology, if I manage to write several entries this afternoon, it will be abundantly clear that they were all written on the same date.

Get over it! And be glad I'm back-on-blog for the moment.

Monday, October 01, 2007

But Was the FOOD good?
Over lunch yesterday, the Frau and I were continuing a discussion that started in the Pastor's "Inquirer Class" at our new church. The topic of denominational "labeling" has been a prominent theme for the past few weeks, and several in the class have come from different faith backgrounds other than Baptist (American, Southern, or Rebel varieties). That prompted the Frau to float back down her Presbyterian memory lane over her 8 oz. of salad vegetables and 4 oz of protein (the new diet . . . ahem, new "healthy eating lifestyle" continues). When she was married to Herr Husband #2, they were quite active in the Presbyterian church, and she was even made a deacon in their congregation. But Herr Hubby #2 (henceforth known as HH2) was looking for some "looser" clothes between church services, and they started attending mid-week meetings of a what sounded to me like a charismatic non-denominational group. Apparently, HH2 loved these meetings (there was one for couples, men, and women), and the Frau went along to the couples' group with him, and occasionally to the "Women Aglow" luncheons. As only the Frau can state it, "It was crazy. They were slaying people all over the place, and other people were speaking in all kinds of tongues. I didn't get it, but [HH2] loved it. He was even slain once. I would sit up front so I could just sit there and watch it all. I didn't understand it." (pause) "But the food was good."
Of the Women Aglow luncheons, she said, "The ladies weren't quite as strange as the couples group. They even had some good topics to discuss, and they sang a lot and waved their hands. I didn't quite get into that either. AND, I had to wear a DRESS! I was always ruining a pair of pantyhose from all the swaying with the singing." (pause) "But the food was good there, too." Definitely not a Presbyterian group . . .

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Metabolism, Metaphysics, and Mother Teresa

If this seems an odd alliterative strain to you, imagine how I feel with it being an accurate symbol of my life these days. Let's just say that metabolism and metaphysics are intersecting in crucial ways, these days, and recent news of Mother Teresa's doubts during her life have added some definition.

I'll start with the beatified Mother . . . what a relief it was to hear that this selfless and committed woman experienced doubt and desert experiences in her spiritual life. I've had a few of those in recent years - mostly feeling like I'm doing my "40 days" in the desert (with 40 days to be translated as figurative, not inerrantly literal). My metaphysical journey has taken me in search of structure and a more contemplative approach to worship, as well as a broader expression of God's acceptance of ALL of his children, which I found in the Episcopal church. And this was a good place for me, and met a spiritual need at a particular time in my life. But it didn't quench the desert thirst, if you will. I found myself becoming less and less "sure" of everything I thought I knew, and found myself saying - "It doesn't matter if you have all the answers. As long as you are sure of the essential Truth of your faith - the rest becomes 'details.'" And I'm not entirely sure I don't believe that, but it makes for a very shaky foundation on which to build your world view. It seemed like too much contemplation had led to too much uncertainty, and too much avoidance of confrontation and accountability.

On the physical side - I was growing more and more - period. And growing more and more unhappy about it. I seemed to have no will power and an extraordinary number of reasons, "issues" and excuses as to why I wasn't losing weight and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

Both metaphysically and metabolically, I felt very much a need for re-grounding myself. And the Frau was feeling it, too, I think.

And so we made a trek out of the desert and made a stop at this nice little oasis in our neighborhood at - and I'm not making this up - the American Baptist Church in our town. Our "excuse" was that it would be a nice change of pace for the summer, and our neighbor directs the music there. Imagine our shock as the pastor preached a marvelous sermon on God's welcome inclusivity, and the service was a welcome blend (as much as I hate that word to describe worship) of liturgical structure and contemplation and evangelical freedom of expression. Conversations and e-mails with the pastor and our neighbor (one of the associate pastors) over the weeks that followed seemed to pull me farther and farther away from the desert, and more into a feeling of the true sanctuary of home.

And the more re-grounded I became in my spiritual life, the more I realized it was time to move out of the desert in my physical life as well (although, I had apparently landed in the best-fed desert God ever created). So the Frau and I, with the strong encouragement and support of 2 of our good friends who had recently been through a healthy weight loss program, signed on to learn how to eat right and lose weight. And we have been as faithful to the program as we have to church in the last few months. I had this epiphany in church a week or so ago that it seemed that getting our spiritual life moving in a positive direction had served as a catalyst and support for our physical life, as well.

Now, I don't mean to be premature - we've only been on the weight loss program for 2 weeks, but I've lost 8 pounds and the Frau has lost 10 inches (we are celebrating are successes), and I'm sure we could lose our focus. But I truly don't think that will happen. I've never felt more certain about achieving a goal - my only concern is having the patience to let it happen in the appropriate amount of time.

So . . . metaphysical re-grounding, metabolic retraining, and a symbolic pat on the shoulder from Mother Teresa saying it's ok to go through these kinds of questioning times have all intersected in what I hope is going to be a dynamic re-direction for the last half of my life. And I'll try to keep in mind that the journey is our home. Amen.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I couldn't agree with him more. I recall playing this for a wedding in college - an outdoor wedding - it had rained for several days prior - my endpin kept sinking in the mud - but those 8 little notes just kept on going . . .

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Downloads & Dinosaurs

A typical Saturday morning conversation with the Frau over coffee . . .

C - I signed us up for a trial membership with Netflix yesterday.
F - Why? What's wrong with going to the video store?
C - It's cheaper, with far more choices, and more current choices. Besides, they have Picket Fences already.
F - Do they pay postage?
C - Yes, and no late fees.
F - I guess.
C - . . . and think of the gas we'll save not driving to the video store.
F - I'm already convinced. My sweetie would rather sit down and do anything at her computer rather than cleaning her desk.
C - Fine. So where are we going for breakfast?
F - Why don't you order it online?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Bumper Sticker Spirituality (aka BS)

Perhaps I've just gotten too cynical. The Frau suggests that some people are just trying to make things more "real" - "normal" - "everyday" - etc. for the uninitiated - even if it borders on triviality. I don't know - we hu-mans don't always do so well with our real, normal, everyday relationships, so I'm not sure I want to trivialize my spiritual relationship quite to that level. Thus, my abhorrance of what I fondly refer to as "Jesus is my boyfriend" music. I don't mind contemporary Christian music with lyrics that have some depth and integrity - just don't like the sappy, simpleminded stuff. Ok - this is chasing a rabbit I had no intention of chasing at this point. All I wanted to point out is some of the more notable BS I've observed of late.

Nothing will ever quite top the infamous sign, which was placed among a host of other political signs on a street corner in a small central Texas town. Actually, the "sign" was a cross, with a sign on it, that read (among the other "Bill Ted for Sheriff" and "Bobbi Jo for Country Clerk"):

Jesus - For Lord
Then, earlier in the summer, I saw a billboard in northern Oklahoma off of I-35 - yes, a LARGE billboard - and I could shoot myself for not writing it down exactly, but it read something like this (amidst a beautiful sailboat/lake illustration):
Ready to Go Boating?
Set Sail with Jesus!
And yesterday, right here in my (rather liberal) hometown, on the Missionary Outreach Center sign was the following:
This day is brought to you by Jesus.
I'll continue to post, and look forward to hearing from my friends, any particularly spectacular BS you might see in the future.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Summer Sloth

Ok, sloth is perhaps too harsh, but as my mother always delights in telling me, "if you had real job, you'd have to work in the summer - and holidays - and spring break." I don't know . . . I kind of think that after catching a couple of horny teenagers "practicing" the wrong art form in a practice room, I'm due for a little break.

The Frau and I have invested a good bit of time and money this year in making the new casita "ours," consequently, we have no money to go anywhere this summer. As the more ardent traveler of the two of us, I have surprised myself at my willingness to be more of a homebody this summer. I am loving working in the yard - not exactly slothful. And being able to curl up with a good book on a rainy day - ok, somewhat slothful. I can feel more virtuous when I'm reading about boy soldiers in Sierra Leone in "A Long Way Gone," but I've morphed into finally reading the Harry Potter series. I'm halfway through the second book, and I had to go to the gym to work out this a.m. to assuage my guilt. I'm also doing some schoolwork here and there - on my terms, though.

Staying put is giving me the opportunity to take part in a number of things I don't normally do - like have my carpal tunnel surgery (left wrist healing nicely, right wrist on deck for late July), schedule my overdue mammogram (always a joy), and "play" on the faculty softball team. Since my unfortunate bop-in-the-nose incident and 1st round of wrist surgery, I've been keeping score, but the doctor cleared me to start playing this week. If yet another tragedy strikes on the field, I may just burn my glove and call it a game. I'll keep you posted on that one.

Speaking of mammograms - someone close to me - who shall remain nameless (at her request) (like you won't figure this one out . . .) recently had her mammogram. She forgot and wore deodorant (a no-no for the uninitiated). She wiped that off, got squished, then proceeded to dress. She noticed a spray can in the changing room and thought, "how nice, they keep deodorant in here." She happily sprayed it on, only to realize it wasn't deodorant - but hairspray. Thus began the "de-application" process yet again. Typical mammogram - life saving, perhaps, but one humiliation after another. I'm sorry, gentlemen. While I'm sure the whole "bend over and cough" thing is less than underwhelming - at least you don't have to stick little BB's to it and have it smashed two different directions - with or without a heating pad.

But I digress. And it's my feeding time. And I'd really like to catch up with my friend, Mr. Potter. So I shall slothfully take your leave. For those of you who have "real" jobs, I wish I could say I'm sorry . . . :-)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Softball Spirituality

Sometimes God speaks to us in a still, small voice, and sometimes he/she slams us in the nose with a softball. I really don't think it's that hard to get my attention, but apparently I needed something a bit more firm than the "still, small voice" this week to grab my focus and slow me down.

I was already sheduled on Tuesday to have my left wrist operated on to relieve my carpal tunnel syndrome (or as a woman in my dad's church called it, "carnal tunnel"). So I was eager to play the first, and possibly only, game of the season with the faculty softball team on the Sunday preceding my "carnal correction." The Frau kept advising me not to play - just go and support - so as not to risk further damage to my wrist. Being the first-born know-it-all that I am, I saw no problem with playing, and vowed that I would take it easy. We got there early, and I started throwing the ball with some other early arrivers. . . .

I have to interject here that I REALLY love playing softball, and yet I haven't played in more years than I can identify. I played a lot as a kid - with the neighborhood kids, on church teams, and then came that fateful time that I tried out for the junior high team. I had been practicing over the weekend with my other friends who were trying out, and I was the power hitter of the bunch - the one everyone moves out into the field for. I was sure I was going to make a real bona fide team. I got to the first day of try-outs, came up to bat, my friends moved back, and I choked. I couldn't make contact with the ball to save my life - not even a foul ball. Needless to say, everyone's memory got very short, and no one recalled that just two or three days before I could really play. I didn't make the team, and I was scared everytime I came to bat in future years. Funny thing was, the first year of high school, we played softball in PE, I got up to bat and smacked a long ball, and the teacher asked me why I hadn't tried out for the high school team. I thought, if she only knew . . .

So back to our present-day game . . . Here I was - 46, and finally ready to face my fear. Indeed, I was ready to spit in the face of fear; to stand in the batter's box and laugh my loud hyena laugh in fear's general direction. But the game hadn't started, yet, and I thought I should make sure I could still throw and catch the ball before I got too brazen in the batter's box. Despite the carpal tunnel, I was making some beautiful throws and very adept catches. My confidence was up. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the "coach" was ready to call us together for some pre-game instructions. I decided to catch the one last ball heading my direction, and then join the rest of the group. There is a critical point in the reception of a ball - "soft" or otherwise - when one's attention should not be diverted toward one's future actions. This is when God spoke to me. Right in the nose - cut from my sunglasses, bleeding internally and externally, never to hear the coach's first 2 rules: 1) everybody have fun, and 2) nobody gets hurt.

Now my left wrist is wrapped from surgery, my nose is swollen, and my left eye is black. I will be on the bench this week, keeping score, waiting for God to speak to me again (more subtly, I hope) about when I will finally face my fear in the batter's box. In my convalescence this week, I continue to ponder whether God's message to me is:
1) Slow down, and finish one thing before starting another (this is often the Frau's message to me).
2) Keep your eye on ball, but only figuratively.
3) You weren't meant to play softball, stupid!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pizza or Soup? ("It's Not What You Think")

It was time for lunch at school on Friday, and I had a can of microwave soup in my office, yet I was toying with heading out to the school cafeteria for a slice of pizza. It seemed such a harmless choice - impacting little other than my caloric intake for the day. But . . . it's not what you think.

I opted for the soup - put the can in my office microwave and proceeded to search for a spoon. I found one on my desk, but it was a touch sticky, so in the interest of good hygiene I decided to head around the corner to the practice room that conveniently has a sink in it, to wash said sticky spoon. Harmless - yes? No . . . it's not what you think.

I unlocked the practice room door and turned on the light, in innocent pursuit of a clean spoon. Suddenly, bodies were flying and scooting about. The young lady (and I use that term quite loosely) grabbed for her shorts to replace them on her body, while the young man jumped up to a chair pulling his shorts up with him. He was, unfortunately (for both of us), unaware that his little johnny jump-up was still up and peeking out of his still unfastened shorts - although "johnny" was wearing a "rain coat." Among the many protestations I heard from the couple as I said, "Let's go" (which apparently, they already had), the most ridiculous was . . . "it's not what you think!"

Friday, April 27, 2007

For Just Pennies a Day . . .

Remember the "old days" when semi-has-beens like Sally Struthers would do cable commercials reminding us that "for just pennies a day . . ." we could feed a starving child? To show how times have changed, just the other day the Frau and I caught a similar ad. Same format - same tug at the heart strings. We can now donate to save an abandoned animal. For just pennies a day. And it seemed to us a reasonable request. Wonder if we could get a pic and a letter from "our" adopted animal?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Please Read . . .

. . . my new favorite book by Jeannette Walls entitled, The Glass Castle. It is hardly your standard memoir. It hooks you from the very beginning, and reverberates within long after you finish the written text. I couldn't shake its hold on me for many days, and continue to wonder to what lengths people (especially my students) will go to conceal their true circumstances, or how much people have actually overcome (or denied) in their lives just to find "normal."

I'll do the book an injustice if I try to describe it in more detail. You will do yourself an injustice if you don't read it.
Frausims, III

The Frau came home from work and a training on enhancing communication in the workplace . . .

C - How was the training?
F - Actually, very interesting, and I swear I felt like I had just been having a conversation with you.
C - Really? How is that?
F - Well, we talked about how you have to communicate differently to people of this generation than ours. These kids don't like to use the phone except to "text" and they'd rather communicate with their friends on "Your Face."
C - You mean "My Space."
F - No. I mean YOUR - FACE.
C - You mean "Face Book."
F - Oh, I guess that's it - whatever they call it.

The woman makes me laugh until my bladder sends out an SOS. Which reminds me of another worthy comment from the Frau: "I hate it. I bump into the wall, and then I pee."

Growing up - growing older - it's all fun.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

To Be, or Not to Be . . . Hmm

The students are talking. I'm not surprised, and in fact, had suspected it would occur at some point (if not already). But knowing it in fact as opposed to speculation gives it a whole new sense of reality. I'm actually surprised it is suddenly occupying so much of my thought time, but it is . . . So, I'll share with my friendly readers, and perhaps gain some insights to give me some equilibrium on the matter.

A few of my more perceptive students noticed a couple of years ago when I started wearing my wedding ring. I know this is true because one of the more "sensitive" ones also studies private voice with one of my oldest, dearest friends, and she mentioned it in a voice lesson. Thank goodness there is no such thing as voice teacher/client privilege! For it is this same student who brought up - with some degree of frustration - at her voice lesson this week that "everyone is talking about Doc." I won't go into a lot of detail at this point, but suffice it to say that she is struggling with the "talk," her loyalty to me, her faith upbringing, and whether or not it should really matter.

Now the noble part of me that stands occasionally on a pedestal proclaims - Great! Let these gentle young minds struggle with what they think might be wrong as it applies to someone they seem to respect and admire. This is great. This is why I've told the Frau that she shouldn't worry about going to things at school with me and being seen more frequently. "Let them wonder," I say.

Well, they are wondering, and the not so noble part of me - the part that enjoys a regular pay check and regular meals - says ever so softly, "I sure hope their wondering doesn't cost me my job." Reality tells me not to worry - I'm not the only gay faculty member in the school, and the school district even has a very high level administrator who is "in the family way." But we all have heard stories of people "moving on" for other reasons at the critical juncture when their orientation was discovered.

Now, dear friends, the previous paragraph is just me acknowledging that I have fears, however minute. I've been claiming to be ready for a test - to "live out" my life, just as I grew up being taught to "live out" my faith. And frankly, I don't think there should be any disparity between the two. It's time for the world - or at least my little microcosm of it - to be exposed to "normal" gay people - yes, and see a wedding ring that says I believe in the sanctity of a monogamous long-term relationship and it is not in conflict with the faith most of the students also know me to have. I'll keep you posted on this one. I'm at a convention for a few days, so I have some time to really reflect on this one. I feel quite sure that the answer is . . . "To Be."

Friday, February 16, 2007

Frauisms, Part II

The Frau has a few issues with royalty, thus the following clarifications:

  • "King Kamehameha" - aka the Royal Turtle Sundae at Sheridans Frozen Custard
  • "King and I" - aka the King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island, Georgia

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Frauisms . . .

It is not uncommon in our house to hear the Frau say, "Put the thingy-ding in the watch-a-ma-call-it," and, ironically, I often know exactly to what she refers. When I'm unable to translate, however, I ask her to "use her words." While clarity should ensue, this often requires a whole new level of interpretation. So, my small gift to humanity on this day after Valentine's Day is a beginner's lexicon of Frauisms (with her permission, of course).
  • "In the vasectomy" = in the vicinity
  • "Ruby Tuesday Morning" = may be used interchangeably to refer to the restaurant - Ruby Tuesday - or the discount store - Tuesday Morning.
  • "Barnes & Noble" = while used identify the actual bookstore, it can also mean we need Brummel & Brown (the butter substitute)
  • "Jarlic" = refers to the minced fresh garlic that is sold in a jar
  • "Cluboard" = refers to a closet that has been converted to a cupboard
  • "Barocko" = refers to Barak Obama
  • "Chocolate Viagra" = fudge ganache
  • "Gestapo" = refers to a favorite Mexican restaurant actually called Ixtapa
  • "Pork & Barrell" = refers to our favorite liquor store, the CORK & Barrell
  • "Cork & Barrell" = not to be confused with the liquor store, this refers to the restaurant, the CRACKER Barrell

This in no way concludes our lexicon, but I will close the book for now. Fear not, there will most certainly be more to come.