Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It was a crisp spring morning today. Frost was spritzed across the ground and a clear night had given way to bright, sharp daybreak. The kind of morning where you feel as if you are seeing the world for the first time. Colors seem more vivid, scents more intoxicating.

As I dropped Incrediboy off at the church today (where he hangs out before and after his day at school), I noticed a hawk perched upon one of the steeple cross arms. He was huge and muscular - broad shoulder muscles and a stance with the confidence age and experience brings. He was the color of rust and cedar and sunsets against the gleaming white cross and clear azure sky. He surveyed his domain like a diety.

MAN I wish I had my camera!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Renaissance Hottie

So there is this actor guy named John Corbett. Do you know him? He used to be on this TV show back in like 1990 called "Northern Exposure". The storyline follows newly graduated medical doctor Joel Fleischman, who sets up shop in this isolated speck of a town in rural Alaska. It was a cute show.

Okay, I'll be honest. I mostly tuned in just to get an eyeful of the local philosophical ex-felon disc jockey, Chris Stephens (see above). But if he told me he was a doctor too, I wouldn't question him. In fact I'd be the biggest hypochondriac around, just to have an excuse to go see him all the time.

After the show went off the air, I kind of forgot about John Corbett until a funny little dark horse comedy called "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" came out. Corbett played the exceedingly charming, too awesome to ever exist while simultaneously being single and straight, Ian Miller (left). I love that movie, BTW, and not just because John Corbett is in it through the whole thing. It really is a funny movie. You should consider renting it if you've never seen it.

So anyway, I kind of started crushing on ol' John again. And who could blame me?

He's been here and there over the years since then, including spots like showing up as Aiden on the way-too-chick-show-for-me-to-ever-admit-I-watch, "Sex and the City". By jingo, I'd watch THAT, though *pointing at Aiden*. And Carrie is a moron for not keeping him.

John is just sexy. That's all I'm saying.

So my girlfriends and I got on the subject of John Corbett the other night (imagine that) while we were hanging out on Facebook. I was talking about how hilarious the Greek Wedding scene is, where he's goofing around outside the window and the old lady clobbers him with her purse - and I thought I'd see if I could find the clip on Youtube. Well, I didn't find it, but I *did* discover that John Corbett has been working on a music career in recent years!

Well. If there's anything I love more than a good looking actor, it's a good looking musician.

I listened to a few clips, and you know what? He's really good. I mean really! Even if I close my eyes! Best of all, his style is kind of a fusion of blues, southern rock, and tiny bit of country. ... A very tasty cocktail indeed.

Well, immediately, I hopped onto Amazon and looked him up. The CD is out of print. DRATS.

But! There were a few used copies being listed in the Amazon marketplace! YAY! So I bought one straight away for $2.94 plus shipping. I can't WAIT to get it!

I'm sure the Hub will be thrilled with this latest acquisition.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Moved to Tears

This song is freaking amazing. I was literally moved to tears watching this last night.

Yes, I watch American Idol. Shut up. Just listen.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I'm taking a break today from my standard snark to chitchat about the progress of a hunt on which I have been: The quest for a new home church. I've been (finally) visiting a church that we drive past every single day. I'm kind of annoyed with myself that it took me so long to visit this place, because after a month-long test drive, I've decided I really like ... make that love ... this one.

We have been looking for a church we can call home ever since we moved to the country. We've tried this one and that one - given them a fair run - and have not felt any of them thus far were where we were meant to be on a permanent basis. Various pieces have not fallen into place correctly. Some more significant than others, varying from unpreferable preaching styles to "invisibility factor" to geographical distance to doctrinal conflicts to stuffy wardrobe practices.

Now don't get me wrong. The most important factor first and foremost, is if we are being "fed" there, and that it is a diet rich in the Word and low on fillers. I make sure to establish that before I even visit twice. But there are other factors as well. Picking a church is much like buying a home. Sure, you will have a roof over your head and a fire in the hearth with a lot of different places. But does the structure fit your needs? What are the neighbors like? If you are a parent, how is the (Sunday) school system? Will you be able to become a part of this community, or does it just not set right with you?

For me, a church is an extended family. You greet, you share, and you fellowship. The Lord had this in mind when He commanded us to gather together for worship - to not only meet up under a roof for some God Time, but to love and count on one another as family. It's strange to me that we can go to churches and not one person will come up and talk to us. But it's happened, and more than once.

When I first visited this new church, I was warmly approached by and engaged in conversation with more people on the first day than I had been the entire 6 months I'd attended our previous place. It was really nice. One of the people I'd met on that first day was one of the two pastors. Who remembered me in the following weeks. Also really nice.

The atmosphere is come-as-you-are. There are people in suits and people in cargo shorts and flip flops. And nobody notices either way - they're just happy to be there together. Some raise their hands in praise, others don't - just do whatever you feel like with that. The children's programs are wonderful. The music is contemporary but not distracting from the purpose. The pastors are real people who do not hide the fact that they have made mistakes and bad choices in their lives. The messages are unapologetically biblical and effectively applied in addressing current lifestyles and events. I leave feeling better than I did when I came.

That about covers it for me.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

When I Was Younger, So Much Younger Than Today

(from "Help!" - The Beatles)

Incrediboy has taken a shine to The Beatles. I couldn't be more proud.

Apparently his kindergarten teacher has one of those Kid's Bop CDs that has a chorus of children singing popular songs - and one of the songs on the CD is The Beatles' "Help!". We were talking about it on the way home one day and I subsequently pulled out my beloved Beatles anthologies in order to further expose and enrich his palate. You know, the ones labeled 1963-1966 and 1967-1970 - red and blue covers respectively, with their photos on a balcony taken in the same poses several years apart.

My older brother had these (and many other Beatles recordings) on vinyl when we were growing up. I absolutely loved them and I played them almost incessantly whenever he wasn't around, quickly sneaking them back into the alphabetically arranged peach crate in his room when he got dropped off from playing tennis or messing around doing whatever it was he did with his cool friends. One time I was so into the moment that he walked in the house and busted me listening to one of his most rare records. I thought he was going to kill me.

In my 20's, I persuaded a dealer at a record show to sell me the "red and blue" sets on CD for $20 total. Pretty good deal, and well worth eyelash batting at a creepy middle-aged balding guy with a ponytail (he wanted $40). And while it had been a few years since I dusted them off and popped them in the player, to this day I still love this collection more than almost anything else on my CD shelf.

We've been listening to them for days on our commute, and he's really digging it. How cool is that?

In the interest of further encouraging Incrediboy's newfound interest in the Liverpool lads, I dug out my old VHS copy of the 1967 classic animated feature, "Yellow Submarine". This bizarre yet hypnotically beautiful movie used to run on TV every so often when I was about his age, and I always loved the delicious deco-animation, ultra-crazy imagination, and hilarious wordplay put into it. Secretly, I've been anticipating the day I could share it with him and he could truly appreciate it as only a vibrant and uninhibited child's mind can.

He loves it.

Best of all, his favorite part is where Ringo picks up one of the holes in the Sea of Holes, squishes it down, places it in his trouser pocket, and quips, "I've got a hole in me pocket." That was always my favorite part, too.

That's my boy. :)

Friday, April 09, 2010

It's a Gray Area

I'm one of those people who likes gray hair. I'm not talking in an "oh, baby, bring your gray head over here and ravage me" kind of way (although that's been known to be the case - I'm not mentioning any famous actors' or singers' names - if you know me, I don't have to - ah, I digress) - but in a general, asthetically pleasing sort of way. I don't necessarily think gray hair can make one look old. To me, it says you've lived some life - have stories to tell and mysteries to not.

Take this lady here, for example. I mean, her hair is beautiful. SHE is beautiful. I would love to just sit with her on a big cushy couch and talk. I bet she's got some great stories to share.

Until somewhat recently, I have regularly dyed my hair since I was about 14 years old. Not because I'm trying to be someone I'm not, but rather just having fun with who I am. To me, hair dye is an extension of makeup - used to accentuate. When I realized how many women dye their hair for the sheer sake of covering gray, it seemed odd to me. I'd tell them gray hair is cool. I'd receive a reply in the form of an unpleasant face, and a look letting me know they doubted my sanity. "You'll change your mind when you get them," I'd usually hear. I was never so sure about that.

I always kind of looked forward to getting some gray hair. It adds so much character. Ironically, I come from good hair genes. My people are late grayers.

When I had Incrediboy, I stopped dying my hair. I just didn't have the time (nor the interest) to keep up on non-necessities. My color grew out and for the first time in twenty-some-odd years, my locks were au naturale. I did dye it again last summer, just for fun - but haven't since.

Now in my fifth decade of life, my hair is still independently chromatic. Even my temples, which I understand have the tendency to gray first. When people find out how old I am, they don't believe me when I tell them I don't dye the gray away. They're just jealous. ;)

I have noticed an occasional silvery glint on the top of my head recently, though. Just a strand or two - enough to catch the light a certain way. The Hub, a few years older than I, is also a "good hair gene carrier" and is only now starting to get the occasional silver strand. He's mortified, and pulls them out when he sees them. He wonders why I don't do the same.

I don't because frankly, I think they're neat. :)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Somebody Please Tell the Media that these 15 Minutes are Up.

You know what? I'm so tired of Tiger Woods.

Now people can say or believe whatever they want about the why's and how's of that situation. Whatever, the guy's a creep. So he cheated on his wife, a bazillion times with a bazillion different women. Bad enough on its own that he pretty much made a total a$$ of himself. But then to "confess", with pseudo-shame in his eyes, that he has a sex addiction? How freaking lame. What a ridiculously LAME, made-up condition.

But that's not why I'm tired of him, because he's BRAVE enough to admit he has this "problem" and is getting the "therapy" he needs to treat it. (Which, by the way, is probably not giving him the same satisfaction as the "therapy" he was getting to treat this "condition" BEFORE he got caught - am I right?). What I'm really sick of is how the media is ALL OVER HIM through this whole thing. Oh see here everybody, poor Tiger is a victim of stress. Oh, look everybody, Tiger is seeking help. Oh, listen up everybody, Tiger is going to make an announcement, but don't you dare ask any questions. Oh everybody stop what you are doing, TIGER is going to talk about his return to golf!

Who the eff cares. Seriously?!

This stupid crap has been going on for months now, too. How long are we going to ride that? I'd really enjoy seeing something that MATTERS covered in the mainstream media.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Sometimes, Ignorance really is Bliss.

For anyone who is visiting for the first time, you may want to skip over this entry. It's not my usual approach for a post - I prefer to keep my blog on the lighter side of things if I can, or at the very least optimistic. But this has been on my mind today, so I'm going to talk about it. I also want to mention that opinions and beliefs herein are just mine, that's all. I'm not going after anyone who feels differently. I'm not trying to spark a political or moral debate. How you feel and conduct your life is totally up to you ... I'm just thinking my own thoughts out loud via keyboard diarrhea. But fear not - I'll return to my typical nonsense before you know it.

I was reading a blog article discussing birth control earlier today. The blogger was saying that she was against the Pill because of its "abortifacient" properties. I thought this was an odd statement, as I thought the Pill prevented ovulation, that that was the whole point. No ovulation, no embryo, no abortifacient action. So being the big nosey know-it-all that I like to be, I looked up some articles to see what I could find out about this. It turns out the Pill affects several aspects of the cycle. I already knew this, but figured they were all just part of a package deal shebang reaction and not really congruent backup plans for one another.

Here is what I didn't know. It seems that while ovulation prevention is one of the factors the Pill can and does produce, an egg is in fact still released on average with between 2% and 10% of cycles on the Pill. When this does happen and the egg is fertilized, the uterus - also hormonally compromised - has produced a significantly depleted lining. The embryo does not have enough tissue in which to embed, so the embryo dies and is expelled with the monthly flow.

The Pill is claimed to be 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. I'm sure that I'm not the only person who either was taught or perhaps just flatly assumed that "99% effective" meant that 99% of the time no egg would be released, and that's why it was 99% effective.

As a young woman, honestly, it probably wouldn't have mattered to me even if I did know that 2-10% fact. My main concern was to be and remain un-pregnant, and my opinions on where simple chemistry ended and "real" life began were undefined. I still don't know for sure exactly when that is. Fertilization? Implantation? Upon finite formation of cells which become a heart and brain? What I *do* know is that it is a living thing from the beginning - so in order to be fair, I now approach it as such. That's how I roll.

I was on the Pill for about 15 years of my life total. It bothers me that statistically speaking, I most certainly experienced that 2-10% curve, and had embryos die. I didn't know ... it wasn't intentional ... but it made me kind of sad to learn of that probability.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Reflecting Revisited

I wrote this post almost 5 years ago. In an attempt to reinspire myself and remember who I am, I am republishing it. Hope my beloved blog friends get something out of it as well :).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I used to think I was meant to be a part of something big. Something that would change the world.

I wanted to be an artist. A writer. A musician. Not necessarily famous by name or face, but known abstractly. “Oh yeah, the lady who wrote blah-blah”, or “Those paintings! You know them the minute you see them, they just have that something.” I wanted to make people stop dead in their tracks and contemplate. Most of all I wanted to feel that I had left a piece of myself in those that I came across.

In my youth I was in a garage band, and we put together some pretty good stuff. But we never went anywhere. I wrote. A lot. Poetry, prose, short novels, analyses. I got A’s in every writing class I ever took. I never sent a manuscript to anyone. I went to a prestigious art college. I sucked the marrow out of life there, and in turn the marrow was sucked out of me. Never would one believe the creative process would be so exhausting, and the pursuit of cultivating it so strenuous.

A common discussion art students have with “outsiders”:

Oh, you go to art school?
So, you can draw?
Yes …

(wait for it ...)
That must be pretty easy, going to art school.

By the time I graduated, I felt as though my creative soul had given birth to a herd of rhinoceros. I just needed to rest. I now have a career in accounting. I live comfortably. I have wondered from time to time if I sold out.

The thing they don’t tell you when you cook up your big dreams in youth (or perhaps we just choose not to hear) is that in the process of living, life tends to get in the way. Before I could get out of town to the place I wanted to be, I ran out of money at the hands of paying for my lofty college education. By the time I got some scratch together, I’d fallen in love and gotten married. Then divorced, and back to having nothing again. Then under construction – Remarried - And so it goes.

With time and trials comes wisdom, and as I grew older and more seasoned, my vision of what was really important as far as imprinting the human race changed. My compassion morphed from utopian to a small-bite, close to home approach. Big differences don’t always seem big at first glance. I think this epiphany first hit me in my teens. I was involved in the youth choir and ensemble with my church. We took a mission trip to Florida, and one of our performances was at the state prison. We were all a little nervous, being fresh-faced kids and having close contact with convicted felons. After our performance, we were to meet with inmates to talk with them. If we were nervous before, this really got us skittish. But it was nothing like any of us expected.

I met Fred that day. I don’t know what Fred was in for. But we prayed for his mother together. She was very ill, and Fred’s face was twisted with worry for her. After we prayed, Fred’s entire body conveyed an air of peace it didn’t have before. He thanked me and smiled. I often wonder what became of Fred and his mother, but I know that I, a young girl from across the country, made a difference in his life that day.

Several years ago my mother asked me if I would help her with something. She is a Girl Scout leader, and her co-lead quit mid-year. My Mom needed help with her troop. I wasn’t in love with the idea – it would involve going all the way across town after a long day at the office, to wrangle with inner city girls from broken homes with discipline and attitude problems. But I did it. It was trying, but these girls needed positive role models. And once they felt me out, I could see the changes taking place in many of them, just from having adults in their lives who cared enough to guide them and help them begin to tap into their potential. I too, after getting to know them, found myself way more smitten with them than I ever expected. I genuinely cared about making a difference in their lives and did my best to plant small seeds of self-respect and self-worth in these girls who got a rough start in life.

My church (now previous church - I have since moved) is heavily involved in outreach ministry, and one of the prominent divisions involves providing comfort and compassion for those with HIV and AIDS. A few years ago the Project organized a Christmas banquet and needed volunteers. I experienced an overpowering pull to get involved with this. In a debate class in school my small group was once given the question, “Should AIDS patients be quarantined?” This was back in the ‘80’s, when little was known about AIDS and everyone was frightened by the very notion. What I learned in my research in preparing for the debate changed my views about it forever. Compassion replaced retraction, and there it remained. The Christmas dinner opportunity seemed to reach into me and pull that back out.

I humbly served turkey to hundreds in a buffet line. Most were no different in appearance or attitude to anyone you may come across with any day. But some were different. Some had a look in their eye that I can only compare with those in the eyes of abandoned pets that had to forge a life on the mean streets for too long. I thought a lot about how lonely it must be, to be sick and no one, not even your family, will talk to you, much less even touch your hand in comfort. How they must be starving for human contact, for just a little acknowledgment that anyone cares for them. After dinner I visited with a few of the guests, particularly drawn to the "sad" ones. We laughed, we shared. We hugged. While some reacted more instantaneously than others, each melted into the hug like a child. They have stayed with me these many years since.

For now my schedule as well as my general sulky mood dictate that I am self-absorbed. But my thoughts do turn outward as well. I think about going back to school. I think about becoming a den mother when the boy gets older.

I still think I was meant to be a part of something big. I rather consider that I already am. My perspective of what “big” is has simply changed a little from what it used to be.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Don't be alarmed!

I had that same old stock Blogger template for 5 years, and frankly I'd gotten pretty sick of looking at it (no offense to my friends who use the same template). So if things look different around here, don't be alarmed. You're at the right place. I'll be tinkering with details off and on, so things may look intermittently strange for a while. The only way I can figure stuff out is by trial and error. :} Just in case I totally mess stuff up, I did keep a copy of my old template. I'm not stupid, ya know.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Sweet Dreams, Hamburger.

My Mom and Dad's dog died the other day. Naturally, they are devastated. I'm rather heartbroken as well, even though they got the dog long after I had moved away.

Her name was Amber. She was a weird mix of possible golden lab and something with a curly tail. She was in her teens and had hip problems but was otherwise in good health. When Incrediboy was a toddler and was learning to talk, he inadvertently dubbed her "Hamburger". To his little ears, "Amber" and "Hamburger" coincided. He hadn't called her Hamburger in a long time, but it still comes up.

She was a sweet girl.

One of my most dreaded future moments (that I really try hard not to think about) is the day Most Beautiful Dog will leave us. Longtime readers will recall that we got MBDog after a long and loss-burdened struggle with starting a family. This incredibly smart, painfully cute bundle of pain in the arse became the center of our world, and we still love him more than we love ourselves. When Incrediboy came into our lives, we never shooed MBDog away and conitnued to lavish him with love. He was unsure of the little intruder at first, but in no time they were fast friends.

One of my favorite things in the world is storytime, when Incrediboy and I will read a book together before bedtime and MBDog will hop up on the bed and listen as well. Then I'll tuck them in together and often there he will sleep with his little brother until Mom and Dad go to bed. I have a bajillion pictures of the two of them snoozing together, but I still take more. I can't get over how much love explodes from my heart at this scene.

MBDog, as you all know, is so beautiful. SO beautiful. His mom and dad were of fine breeding stock and accomplished gun dogs. MBDog himself would have made an excellent showdog. He's practically perfect in every way, except for his herniated bellybutton. (It should be noted I strongly advise adopting from shelters and rescues rather than going to breeders. But this boy may have met an otherwise untimely doom thanks to this "devaluing" defect. Breeders can be cruel.) A few years back, another dog that looked like his twin won best in show at that big dog show, you know the one. She was ALMOST as beautiful as he is.

But beauty isn't everything. MBDog is such a sweet and sensitive boy. He's so affectionate and wants nothing more than to just be with us. He is brilliant, has a great sense of humor, and his luminous golden eyes study us with such great intent that we're sure he understands every word we say. He has taught me things about life and love I could never hope to learn on my own.

He's still in the prime of life, but he's been slowing down. The once distinct line between the white and brown of his muzzle has smeared with encroaching gray. It takes him far less time to calm down from excitement, and he sleeps a lot more than he used to. Those last two points aren't all bad - but it does bring his mortality into focus.

Everything dies. I try not to waste moments of life with worrying about death. I will drink up the serendipity that MBDog brings to our lives as long as I can. When it's time to say goodbye, I'll take comfort in knowing he'll have Hamburger, Shamsky, Copper, and all the other dogs I've loved before to keep him company until we can join him again.