Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wine, food, and Jane Austin

On my way home from work yesterday I stopped by the deli and picked up some black forest ham and a couple of different cheeses. On Monday I had baked some Sally Lunn bread and had a loaf left over. The sweet flavor of the bread was screaming to be made into a ham sandwich. It had its way. Fria Chica came over and we called our mom to pick up a couple of bottles of my favorite white wine on her way home from work. By the time the six hour Pride and Prejudice was over we had finished off the food and wine. My mom had left after hour four and only a couple of glasses; she had to work today. It was almost two in the morning when I drove Fria Chica home. Two bottles may sound like a lot but stretched over that long of a time period it didn't feel like overindulging.
Fria Chica is nine years younger than I am. That is why it is odd that of all of my sisters she is most like me. Not only does she look like me she shares my love of Jane Austin, Possession, and Lord of The Rings. Miss Universe stopped by to pick up some creamer last night while I was making the sandwiches. She was standing by the butcher block eating cucumbers and tomatoes while I sliced them. When I grabbed the loaf of bread and started slicing it she asked, with genuine concern, if I was out of normal bread, by this she meant store-bought bread. I laughed and answered that we had plenty of bread I just wanted to use this loaf. She shrugged and said that she only asked because it looked like I was using scraps. I truly have the best family. I know it sounds corny but sometimes I look around at the people surrounding me, my siblings, my mom, and my children, and realize I am one of the luckiest people in the world.
My emotions ran a wide gauntlet yesterday. All morning at work I felt like I was fighting back tears. At the church next door there was a funeral being held for a three year old little boy. I only knew the mom in passing, but my heart was broke for her, it had been broke since the little boy had died. He had went in for a basic tonsillectomy and for some reason didn't live through it. As the funeral was ending a lady came into our office and was outraged that the cars for the funeral had taken up all of the parking spots in front of our building. Jean, my boss, and I were in shock. In comparison to what the family was suffering her having to walk an extra few feet didn't seem like much of a problem.People are funny, so is life. It seems odd for me to be rejoicing about my family while this other family was in so much pain, but that too is life.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Spam & Trainspotting

Before coming here to post today I ran through my e-mail rather quickly. I can't bring myself to empty my junk folder without scanning its contents. You know, just in case someone I want to hear from accidentally fell in. In further proof of my craziness I will admit that I talk back to the e-mails as I scan. Since no one is here to hear me I was very loud. "Really Nick, you believe in me?" and "Hollywood has switched to green tea? Well this Earl Grey I'm drinking can fuck off! It's all green for me now."
It does bother me that I can clearly see a relationship between what I have searched for in the past month and what spam I get. I have searched 'tea' lately. I haven't searched 'Nick' though, so I don't know why the fuck he thinks I care if he believes in me. It has been a while but I did search 'Christianity' a few times when I was looking at the difference between denominations. Therefore, I completely understand why I get messages about single Christians in my town. Of course only about four hundred people live in my town, so I think I know all of the single Christians, and am not interested. Give me a single heathen any day.

I have also learned something interesting about my family's behavior this month. For years I have wanted to watch Trainspotting. It is one of those movies that even though I had always planned to watch it, the opportunity never presented itself. About two weeks ago I noticed it was on t.v. so I recorded it. It has been sitting on the list since then unwatched. When asked what it was I just said it was a movie I had been meaning to watch for years. Nobody else touched it after that. I'm sure that if I would have said it was a risky movie I didn't think they should watch they would have watched it the second they got a chance. Except for dh. Mr. conventional, which is getting worse as he ages, would have deleted it fifteen minutes into the movie. Instead nobody touched it and I watched and deleted it at my leisure.
The reasons I didn't want my children to watch it aren't the obvious ones. The frontal nudity and sex scenes they will watch elsewhere. They will probably be faked so well by Hollywood that they don't appear near as realistic as they do in this movie. If they are going to watch sex scenes I at least want the to give a realistic idea of what it is about, not just fake body parts and unrealistic ideals. If they are going to watch drug scenes, and I'm sure they will, I want them to show the down side like this movie did. No the reason I don't want them to watch this movie is because I'm afraid they are as curious as I am. I have never shot up drugs. The things I have done though, I have done because I want to know what it is like. I found myself wondering what heroin is like;what makes it so attractive? Would I be able to take one hit to try and then leave it? Then slowly as I watched I realized that as I have grown older alcohol effects me so much more than it used to. No telling what anything stronger would do to me now. No, the time in my life for trying those kinds of things is gone. Good sense has ruled out. I believe my boys have much more good sense than I did at their age, but lets not push it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Sister's Keeper

Before I switched jobs my life centered around my life here at home. Working a few days a week was something I worked in to my schedule. Since switching jobs my life has felt really out of balance. My life has been centering on work and I was working my kids, my family, and my personal interests around my job. For instance my sleeping habits have always been erratic. I might have stayed up until two or three in the morning for a few nights then gone to bed at ten on another night. For the last several months I have been trying to make sure I get to bed no later than eleven, so that I could get at least seven hours of sleep a night. I had not realized that imposing this schedule was centering my life around work. I just knew that I was feeling unfulfilled and bored with my life, and out of touch with my children. Last week I decided to start trying to recenter my life. It has been easy because of the three day weekend, but I hope to keep it up.
Wednesday Lane and I went grocery shopping in the evening and didn't make it home until after eleven. Thursday we went out to eat with some friends. I ate too much. (So far I have taken off ten of the twenty extra pounds I packed on last year) We didn't get home until after ten and I needed to bake cupcakes for Lee to take to school the next day. (Wow, my little boy is sixteen) He still takes cupcakes to school on his birthday. His class still expects the cakes to have cookie crumbs on the top, to represent dirt, and a worm sticking its head out of the dirt. I didn't get to bed until after midnight. Friday night we finished the second LOTR movie.For two nights in a row I stayed up late reading a book. After all of that I feel more rested than I did when I was forcing myself to sleep.
The book I stayed up late reading was My Sister's Keeper. It was an excellent book. It was a book that insisted on being read in two large chunks instead of a little bit here and there. I finished it at four thirty this morning and then I laid in the dark thinking about it until five. The characters were so well developed that they quit being characters and have become friends I spent my weekend listening to and empathizing with. I would recommend this book to anyone.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Shut up already

Lately I have been avoiding people and situations just so I don't have to listen to bitching all of the time. One of my good friends Tams, who I have spent hours at a time talking to over the years, is a good example. I will admit that several of those hours have been spent with me doing the bitching;I really should not judge. It is just that it seems to have reached epic proportions. She has been teaching here for a couple of years now and I hate to say it but nobody can bitch like school teachers. With me being on the board I feel it is my duty to listen objectively whenever I am targeted as a listener. Even if I know that their points are valid after a point it becomes very exhausting. No matter how hard we try the school will never be perfect, their will always be personality clashes,and somebody will always be slacking off, and somebody will be picking up the slack. There has to be a point when we say there are these small problems that we are working on, but in general things are working.
Over a year ago I quit going to church and you would not believe how much more peaceful my life is now. I don't know what it is about church but members don't seem to be happy if they aren't complaining about somebody else. The music is either the wrong style, or the preacher is offensive, or somebody in the congregation is getting too much control. I really don't care if I ever attend church again.
Evading that question is tricky. Every time I get asked why I quit going to church I either blame it on apathy or laziness, which while there are a few reasons for my quiting those aren't two of them. One reason is the aforementioned problem with complaining. One is that since Labor day we have been eating a large breakfast most Sundays together as a family. My mom and sister come over and we cook a huge meal. My brother usually drives up from Guymon, and occasionally a few friends show up. I really don't want to spoil that. Even though most of my family members live relatively close it is easy to go a week without spending much time together. Between kids and their activities, and work, and our activities, extended family can be pushed out of the way. I love getting together and having an excuse to cook hash browns. The other reason is the big one. The church I had been attending was a baptist one. I had thought that it was okay to attend a baptist church and not consider oneself a baptist. For years I did just that with no real problems, but then the whole conservative push started strengthening and even in small independent churches Dobson's strangle hold was being felt. I like my preaching served without a side of politics. I cringe when I hear a preacher say that gay marriage is a threat to families. I find it curious that they never expand on that in a logical way and show the actual threat. How can I trust in a preacher who repeats lies without first checking them and cross referencing them with the Bible? How can I sit in a pew and smile and shake hands with people who are willing to accept these same lies from the preacher because it feels good to hate? The answer is I can't.