Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Why I appreciate two televisions in the house

"Please turn it to Zorro."

"What channel?"


"Why would I want to watch a show where I don't know what they are saying?"

"I'll translate for you."

Twenty minutes later, The Rev. was still trying to explain to me the intricacies of this particular Hispanic novella. I was thoroughly confused, as I could only pick out a few words of the dialogue that was on t.v.

"Can I please watch the news?"

"Don't you want me to learn my Spanish?"

"How was your Spanish class tonight?"

"You mean my ESL class? My ENGLISH class?"

"Do you speak Spanish to them at ESL?"


"THEN IT IS A SPANISH CLASS--at least for you."

"You really should learn Spanish."

I did not respond to that statement because the thought in my head was, "Yeah, let me squeeze that in between running a store and becoming a church delinquent." Although it is a very poor analogy, I can liken it only to St. Paul's statement about doing what he should not do and not doing what he should do. I should learn Spanish...

"Did that character just say guapo?"


"Isn't that bat poop?"

"That's guano"

"Oh. Can you please turn it to the news?"

Monday, March 19, 2007


The Rev. left me to my own devices this evening, and although I enjoy spending time with him, I also like to be alone, especially now, with daylight savings time in full swing, and the still light of mid-spring still shining at 6:30 in the evening. I am sure countless writers and poets have written verse and tome about the magic of late afternoon light, but I love the late afternoon on my patio, especially with a glass of wine in hand and a lovely meal about to be tasted. Call it the angle of the sun, the deep straw color of the light, the seeming peace in the air; it is my favorite time of day, the fragile hour between daylight saying goodbye and night making its entrance.

I puttered in the kitchen this evening, and sauteed some red and orange bell peppers, garlic, and shallots in a cast iron skillet with a little sugar and balsamic vinegar. I piled the combination on top of a pita with provolone cheese and ran it under the broiler until it was bubbling. With my feet propped up on a chair outside, I sipped and nibbled and pretended I was on a porch swing in Tennessee, a terrace in Tuscany, a courtyard in New Orleans. I appreciate the climate of California; I just wish I could afford it. Spring and summer are not my favorite times of year. I appreciate Spring, because of its promise of rebirth and the gentle days and evenings it gives, but I detest summer, at least at mid-day, with its garish heat and light. But 5:00 comes and the sun takes a magical cast of golden ribbon, and we take one more step to closing a day, a month, a season and the worries and the cares of the day can wait until tomorrow, and the night will make them seem not as important, not as magnified.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Traditionalist

I think getting older causes us to embrace traditions more readily than when we were younger. Last year on Saint Patrick's Day we ate at a Mexican restaurant. This year I have a corned beef in the slow cooker, an apple pie cooling on the stove, and two 6-packs of Harp and Guiness in the refrigerator. I don't know where this is coming from, but The Rev. is certainly enjoying himself, and laughing at my "maturity" from last year.

"Don't lift the lid on the slow cooker."

His hand touches the lid.

"DON'T LIFT THE LID. It will take longer to cook."

His hand lifts the lid so slightly and he inhales deeply.

"Why did you lift the lid?"

"Because it smelled good."

"Couldn't you smell it without lifting the lid?"

"No, my sniffer is not working at full speed today."

I give up.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Not Exactly the Happiest Place on Earth

I attended a meeting at the Disneyland Resort recently and came away with the distinct feeling that it was not the happiest place on earth. I have never set foot into a Disney themed land or world, and I am sure there is a Patriot Act enforcer reading this is a dank cubicle somewhere preparing paperwork to revoke my passport and my U.S. citizenship.

I won't bore you with the details of how it took an hour to check eight people into their hotel rooms, how the hotel managed to misplace our tickets into the park so we missed the evening parade, or how a fellow co-worker and I kept our boss entertained all night so that she would not physically wrap her hands around someone's neck and throttle them into next week. My boss, the longer I work with her, the more I appreciate her. She did ask that I put my writing skills to work (at least someone recognizes my genius--ha ha) and write a letter of complaint. I did, and sent my two page missive off for her approval. If it ever makes its way to the desk of the Disney CEO, you will be the first to hear about it.

I grew up with an appreciation for Cinderella and for Snow White, but it was the Grimm's version of events, complete with step-sisters cutting off their toes so that their boats would fit into the glass slipper. I am waiting for Bambi to be released missing the gunshot. There are televisions all over the hotels, and pint sized chairs arranged in a semi-circle around them, so the little tikes can stare, glassy-eyed, at a movie they have at home. That was one part of the trip that bothered me, it just seemed like brainwashing, which I guess is their aim. The Rev. owns nearly every Disney cartoon on VHS, and at the rate we are having children, I am hopeful that the tapes will be so degraded that they will be rendered unwatcheable. Don't tell him I said that, because I know deep down that he and I will be saving for two years to take the kids to see Mickey and Minnie, pay $7 for an ice cream bar, watch them puke their lunch on the roller coaster, and then have them bug me to plunk down $45 for an overpriced stuffed animal. Call it one of the joys of parenthood that I have already recognized and accepted, like college tuition.

When I returned, everyone was shocked by my reaction to Disney, and several people have offered to take me there this summer to disprove my notions that the Disney Board of Directors have a secret plot to take over the world, with the ultimate goal of having every man, woman, and child wearing mouse ears as part of a standard issue, American uniform. If I do make it back to Anaheim this summer, I will let you know. But if you see me glassy eyed, spouting quotations from a variety of Disney cartoons, and trying to squeeze myself into a tiny chair, promise me you will do an intervention.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Compromise is a Two Way Street

My brother called the other night and asked when I would posting another blog, and told him that as of late, I have had nothing about which to write. I could write what I had for lunch, or the shape of the latest hairball that has launched out of my cat's mouth, but I don't want to bore you. I have been busy with the mundane banalities of life: work, sleep, work, sleep.

Sunday The Rev. and I decided to start cleaning the house for spring, and it became an object lesson in how we have let our very expensive half of a house become a hovel. Perhaps hovel is too strong a word, but the cat hair that has accumulated in this house since Christmas would allow for me to projectile vomit my own hair balls. The vacuum, mop, dust rags came out and the dirt was scrubbed into oblivion. We only got the kitchen and living room done, but I told The Rev. that I would work on our bedroom this week. Well, here it is and I have decided that cleaning is so much more fun with your spouse and a martini. However, now that I think about it, I did clean by myself on Sunday because The Rev. decided to take his two hour post-sermon nap in the midst of me vacuuming cat hair off of the living room curtains.

Sunday night we sat in the living room and enjoyed our 1/3 clean, 1/2 house and discussed my plans to ride in a Mardi Gras Krewe next year. When I first mentioned it to The Rev., I was met with lukewarm acceptance, which kind of annoyed me, given that when The Rev. said:

"Honey, I will be going to Mexico this summer for 12 weeks so that I can immserse myself in the language and culture of our Mexican hermanas y hermanos."

I said:

"Great, I support you totally."

Now realize, I understand my participation in the riding of a Mardi Gras parade has absolutely nothing to do with the spread of the gospel, and actually pales in comparision and importance to living in Mexico for 12 weeks so that you can speak and write Spanish to do home mission work. Twelve weeks is a long time, and the fact that The Rev. trusts me to pay the mortgage on time, 3 times in a row, speaks volumes about a faith that trusts he won't come home to a sign in our front yard that says "Bank Owned, Make an Offer."

After some discussion, The Rev. realized that is probably wiser to surrender and agree to the terms of peace, rather than try to take the hill of "Mardi Gras is early next year, be sure to pack warm clothes."

"So, if I can, I get to ride next year?"

"I never got the impression you were asking for permission."

"Will you come with me?"

"Yes, I will go to see you throwing crap and shoes from float. I must witness this great and wonderful thing."

Honestly, I did not expect such quick capitulation, and I was a little disappointed to put away my battle plans of a Mardi Gras themed 4th of July, birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Hopefully, I will see ya'll on the parade route next year.