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!