Sunday, March 23, 2008

Lion King Easter

I play the violin in my church orchestra. For a couple months now I’ve been listening to the studio recording of the Easter musical feeling rather confused. Now mind you I attend a big Southern Baptist church. So why is the Easter musical about the Lion King? Was it some kind of reference to C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe? I mean, we are right down the street from a huge Pentecostal university and folks in our church do get a bit enthusiastic some times and stand up with their hands in the air and looks of rapture on their faces. Maybe calling Jesus the Lion King was some kind of Pentecostal thing.

Anyway, in rehearsals we barely touched this piece of music because the publisher had sent an older orchestration that didn’t match up with the choir parts. Finally last Wednesday night it was pretty much do or die time. The choir director had sent the conductor an email (which he copied for us) with instructions on how to cut up the orchestration and reassemble it to match the choir. Now our wise conductor always trusts implicitly the cut and paste directions that come to us from above so he was sitting with the CD going, choir book in one hand and a cut down score in the other, checking to see if it actually would work.

This was my chance! I sidled to where I could look over his shoulder at the choir book and guess what, the CD group were singing “Worthy is the Lion King” but the choir book said “Worthy is the mighty King” Whew. I sure felt better. Granted it is obvious the Nashville singers all need glasses but at least the First Baptist choir wasn’t going to go to hell (and maybe drag the orchestra with them) for singing Lion King music for Easter Sunday.

So fast forward to Sunday morning. I’m playing my violin and there is our choir in their green robes and all singing “Worthy is the Lion King.” I’m happy to report that God didn’t strike the church with a lightening bolt from above.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What's in a Name?

Jen posted her "What's in a Name" and I thought I might ought to do one for Wamblings and maybe for ChameLeon. So, here we go. Maybe I'll get motivated and write a REAL post later.

What Wamblings Means

You are very charming... dangerously so. You have the potential to break a lot of hearts. Maybe.

You know how what you want, how to get it, and that you will get it.

You have the power to rule the world. Let's hope you're a benevolent dictator! Yeah, right.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection. Well, I try anyway.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated. In my dreams.

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want. Master might be too strong a word for it. But new skills do come pretty easy to me.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way! Whoa! I wish.

You are full of energy. You are spirited and boisterous. Yes, yes, and maybe.

You are bold and daring. You are willing to do some pretty outrageous things. True.

Your high energy sometimes gets you in trouble. You can have a pretty bad temper at times. High energy, yes. Bad temper, not really.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow. Most of the time. You'll notice that this is in direct opposition to the preceding one. Maybe because I'm a Gemini?

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily. Generally true.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is. *grins* I have my days.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing. Again true.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long. Hey, I'm working on it.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start. All right already. I said I'm working on it!

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people. Ummm, which world would that be?

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts. *grins*

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals. Yes, yes, and no. I suck at interpreting signals.

You are deeply philosophical and thoughtful. You tend to analyze every aspect of your life. What can I say? I'm a deep thinker.

You are intuitive, brilliant, and quite introverted. You value your time alone. *blushes*

Often times, you are grumpy with other people. You don't appreciate them trying to interfere in your affairs. You have a problem with that?

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong. Awe shucks.

You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know. In my dreams.

You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do. Who me?

What ChameLeon Means

You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily. Sounds about right.

You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind. True.

A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable. Duh!

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out. ummmm, maybe.

Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia. Well, business isn't exactly blooming but I love to learn. Maybe I should go back to school.

Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person. And you're just noticing this?

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection. Doesn't make sense to shoot low.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
Hey now, I think this was in the last list.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.
Sheesh. Me?

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated. This is starting to get redundant.

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want. See what I mean?

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way! Enough with the knocking people down rhetoric already.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone. That's more like it.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together. Sometimes it is hard to know if this is an asset or a liability.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together. Ping!

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow. OK been there already.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily. But once I do get worked up, watch out.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is. Yeah, yeah.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life. HEY, who you calling fat?

You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you. Oh great, now I'm not only fat, I'm solid too. Next you'll be calling me a Polish peasant.

At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself. Not guilty of the first count but seriously guilty of the second.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people. Still trying to figure this one out.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts. *gets carried away*

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals. Sheesh. Give it a rest.

It's really a bunch of bunk, but it's fun. OK so some of it actually accidentally fits. *grins*

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Easter Bunny

Gotta love holidays that revolve around sugar laden sweets. Yesterday my boss at the Montessori school gave me a German (presumably) chocolate bunny.

B: I know you can't eat chocolate but I gave these to all the other teachers and didn't want to leave you out.

Me: Ummm, thanks, I'll enjoy sniffing it. *opens bottom of foil wrap and sniffs*

B: Maybe you can lick it.

Maybe I'll give it to my chocoholic daughter or better yet, I'll take it to the niece who takes care of Momma. After all, Sugar got one from B.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Vocal Minority

I apologize up front for the fact that there will be no humor evident in today's blog.

Usually I think through what it is I want to say and then type it out in Word, tweak it, play with it, post it, edit it some more...

Today I'm flying by the seat of my pants. I can't even find black humor in the situation I am writing about.

I just read a post on another site about the murder of Univ. of NC student body president, Eve Carson. The motive for her murder was plain and simple robbery. A tragedy for her family and for all who knew her or who are now robbed of ever knowing her in the future.

Enter Fred Phelps and his hate filled Westboro Baptist Church. They plan to picket this girl's funeral. Not because she was gay or belonged to any of the other groups they are against but simply because they see it as a way to grab more media attention for their cause.

These people are sick. They give all Christianity a bad name with their hate filled antics.

Today I had lunch with my friendly academia nuts. It was mentioned that a group was getting together to go picket Westboro. Now on one hand I like the idea and would love to be a part of it. On the other hand, isn't that just giving them yet another platform to spread their message? If the media would refuse to give these sickos any air time at all, how long would it take them to give up and stay home? So, if we go picket them, thereby giving them more media attention, aren't we just playing into their hands?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Going Shopping with Mil

I don’t much like to shop. I never really have. When I brave the stores I usually know exactly what I want, go straight to that aisle, pick it up and head for the register. Not that shopping with a friend can’t be amusing, but in general I don’t enjoy shopping. I don’t like shopping for food. I don’t like shopping for clothes. I hate shopping for presents that the person who will be receiving it probably doesn’t really want but which you are obligated to buy anyway. OK so that is a whole ‘nother rant that I will maybe save for next December.

My mother-in-law lives in my basement. When she first came here she didn’t have a car, having just moved from the Hawaiian Islands. She didn’t know her way around either. She loves to shop. She not only loves to shop, she loves to take things back to the store a few days later. I knew that her side of the family had made discount (read that junk) shopping into an art form but I didn’t really have any idea what I was in for that first time I brought her to town to get her driver’s license so that she’d be able to register her brand new used car (silly state laws).

So I pull around to her apartment on the down hill side of my house and open the car door for her like a good little chivalrous daughter-in-law. She is carrying a Walmart bag with a plastic storage container with a broken top. Surely I won’t mind stopping by Walmart while we’re out so she can return it. It clearly wasn’t made well. Fine.

We do the DOT thing (couldn’t actually get her license that day because of some paperwork issue) and head towards Walmart but she mentions that she wants to look at wild bird feeders. Fine, no problem. We stop by Lowes cause I know the wild bird feeder aisle is real close to the front door and I know she walks slightly faster than the South American Three Toed Sloth climbs. Oh! Let’s look at showers. (We don’t yet have the shower installed in her apartment at this point.) Reasonable request. Fine, we head for the back of the store. She stands in front of the showers just looking. While we stood there looking at showers, somewhere in South America a sloth picked and ate a four course meal. While we are in the back of the store we stop to look at toaster ovens. She had one in Hawaii that was perfect. She could even bake little cakes and pies in it. She looks over the selection; rejects them all since she really wants one exactly like the one she left behind. We finally head for the wild bird feeder aisle where we repeat the stand and stare routine. I point out a style I particularly like, it being squirrel proof and all and she stares unblinking. She is perhaps memorizing the pattern of rivets holding together the metal shelves? I point out a few more nice ones. I point out a cheap one. I point out some that hang directly on the window glass. I suggest that she can have mine (I can always buy new ones). We finally leave.

OK so who doesn’t love Walmart? Well, besides me. She returns her broken plastic container and mentions that Walmart would have wild bird feeders. Yes it would but… OK so they are far far away from the customer service desk, practically on another planet. No problem, we can walk there. Fine. While we walked across the store and stood in the wild bird feeder aisle, I am sure our South American Three Toed friend found a wife, consummated his relationship and then took a long nap. I pointed out several nice choices, squirrel proof, cheap, suction cups, big, little. Gahhhhhhhhhhh! I again offer her mine. (I can always buy more some day when she isn’t with me.) While we’re in Walmart we should look at toaster ovens. *sigh* OK Fine. They have a really nice one with a rotisserie attachment and two racks and the front glass curves out to give it a touch more space inside. I go to another aisle and find a cake pan, open an unopened toaster oven box, dig out the toaster oven since naturally the one she was interested in wasn’t on display. I demonstrate how nicely the cake pan fits in the toaster oven. She decides the cake would burn on the sides and she really wants one exactly like the one she left behind. Just like mine. OK so I have nothing against new appliances. I buy the new toaster oven. She can have my old one. Eventually I got her out of the store.

Did I mention, I don’t much like to shop?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Momma Said I Had Big Feet

Momma said I was a poet,
Even though I did not know it.
Her proof was my feet did show it
She said they were Longfellows.

This made little sense to me,
My feet are not long, you see.
And poetry was not my game
At rhyming I was awfully lame.

My feet did grow,
Good under standing,
But poetry I thought
pushes it Demanding.

I studied poets while in school
(My teachers seemed awfully cruel).
They tried to teach me to use meter
move (But I’m not a meter reader).

Of metaphor and simile
(a poem is something like a tree?)
I tried to keep my writing free;
Nope, poetry was not for me!

And vey, oy vey, the need to rhyme;
Though it happened from time to time,
I could not rhyme consistently
My pained results were quite the crime.

But then I learned of repetition,
Repeated words and lines;
Repetition I could manage,
Yes, I love sweet repetition.

Repeated lines don’t need a rhyme;
Repeated lines don’t need a rhyme.
They naturally sound quite alike.
Repeated lines don’t need a rhyme.

And so perhaps Momma was right,
And knew whereof she spoke,
In poetry I’ll take delight
Even when written as a joke.

As musicologist Peter Schickele has created PDQ Bach I perhaps need to create my own bad poet on whom to blame my light hearted thumbing of my nose at the conventions of good poetry. I hereby dub this poem the recently discovered work of PD Crock.

If you like my whacked out poetry (or even if you hate it) check me out at I am The Tuesday Poet! A new poem each Tuesday. Come on over to be impressed, jeer, leave me nasty notes about needing to take poetry lessons, whatever. Y'all come home with me now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Getting It Right

Sometimes I get it right, even when I do it all wrong.

Sunday we celebrated Sugar’s birthday. She is now officially two years older than I am. She claims the math is a bit confusing but then, she is blond. I have always maintained that from age 30 on it is a woman’s prerogative to be any age she wants. If my daughter chooses to continue getting older, who am I to stand in her way?

She came over and cooked a lovely dinner with her boy friend’s help and a little chopping and dicing from me to speed things along since I hadn’t actually eaten a meal since noon the day before and was ravenously hungry.

Kiddo had already made the required angel food cake (of course from scratch) and chocolate syrup and was thawing out strawberries. He also made home made ice cream. (I told you I got it right, my boy knows how to cook.)

I took my life in my hands (I have genetic immune deficiency and can’t eat sugar) and had some of the ice cream, cake, strawberries, and chocolate syrup. No doubt I’ll be paying for that all week but I’ll just keep reminding myself it was totally worth it.

I have to say, that was the BEST chocolate syrup I’ve ever eaten in my life! Turns out he made it with coconut milk! OMG it was GOOD! After lunch, I just had to try my hand at making some that would actually be safe to eat. After all, there were left over strawberries crying out for a chocolate bath. I dug out the last can of coconut milk from the cupboard (note to self – buy more), and a box of unsweetened chocolate and honey cause while I can’t eat sugar, I can eat moderate amounts of honey, and ginger. Yep, that was the other secret ingredient. Now, I didn’t really read the directions, after all, I’ve been cooking for the last 30 years give or take a few. I dump the coconut milk in a pan on the stove, stir in the ginger, soon as it comes to a boil I dump in the blocks of chocolate and keep cooking till it is melted. So what happens? The oil separates out of the chocolate and I have a glob that tastes nothing like what my lovely son made. About then I go back to the recipe, discover I wasn’t supposed to boil the chocolate. He mentions that he used semi-sweet chocolate, minor details… I put my gloppy mes in the mixing bowl and whip it with additional honey (since mine wasn’t near sweet enough). Result, I have this beautiful soft fudge stuff. A touch to thick for dipping strawberries in without warming but beautiful and yummy. It still doesn’t taste like his but it is good and I’m real satisfied. In spite of doing it wrong, I got it right!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Good Fortune

Sugar and I work at the same school on Tuesdays and Fridays. Fridays after the children have had their lunches and laid down for nap time she and I head out to a restaurant. One week she pays, the next I do.

Today Sugar and I ate at a little Chinese / Japanese restaurant in town. We had bento boxes which we shared, she got sashimi and I had vegetable tempura. Now in a bento box you get a salad, soup (miso with bits of wakami and tofu and green onions floating in it), four pieces of california roll, two little things that I don't know what they are but they taste best as soon as they come from the kitchen and not so good after they've gotten cold, sticky rice, and whatever you ordered (tempura, sashimi, sushi...)

So like I said, we got vegetable tempura and sashimi. Last time we went we did the sushi and the sashimi but the sushi comes in large pieces that are difficult to cut in half with chopsticks. The sashimi has two pieces each of four different kinds of fish, raw of course. The sashimi is easy to share. The tempura you just have to pick and choose your favorite pieces and hope that they aren't also the other person's favorites (unfortunately her tastes correspond to mine).

At the end of the meal they bring you a plate with orange slices. This time after the waitress took away our dishes the host brought us another plate of orange slices, either because we're special or maybe they got a really good deal on oranges this week. We were about full enough to roll out of there by then. We get our fortune cookies and I make up a new superstition that you have to eat half the cookie before reading your fortune so the fortune will stick. So I eat half my cookie, pull the fortune out of the other half and here are my lucky numbers. YAY! I flip it over and the other side is BLANK! OMG WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Well, I'm flipping out, cause this isn't the first time something like this happened. Last year across town another Chinese restaurant gave me a cookie that didn't even have a piece of paper in it at all. I thought I was probably going to be hit by a truck when I stepped off the sidewalk or something. I mean, how long does the rest of your life have to be to merit a fortune? I hand the blank fortune to Sugar and she flips it over to the side with the lucky numbers and above them it says "Luck is coming your way." Whew! That's better. Maybe I'll live after all. Maybe I'll even have a good life and good fortune. Maybe the publisher I'm sending my manuscript to will get a fortune cookie that says Publish ChameLeon. Is that how the universe works?

Monday, March 3, 2008

My Unweekend Weekend

This was one of those oh so rare weekends where I didn't go to Momma's.

Saturday I went instead to Chattanooga for a writer's conference. I hadn't submitted any of my work for critique but I went anyway just to learn. It was awesome! Would have been even better if I'd actually submitted some of my work.

You know, I seem to go through life ass backwards.

Take my writing. A few years ago I started writing poetry furiously. At the height of this I was writing up to five poems a day every day. Did I know anything about poetry? Heck no but this fact didn't even slow me down. Did I think I even liked poetry? Well, not really. Sure and I had memorized a few pieces growing up, 'Wreck of the Hesperus', 'Little Orphan Annie', Paul Lawrence Dunbar's 'Song of Summer'. Yep, that's the lot of it if you don't count Dr. Seuss books and nursery rhymes. There were the other things that I had to memorize for school but I figure they don't count since that wasn't voluntary.

If you had asked me "Do you like poetry?" I would have said, "Heck no." (and then recited one of the three above mentioned poems)

So what makes me think I can be a poet now? I went to this workshop and was the lone non-academic in my group. There was one "masters level" student near my age. The rest were barely out of their acne years. But I read their poems. Mine are just as good. Well, naturally some of mine really suck but heck, so did some of theirs.

A lot of what I've written has no rhyme or reason. I've also experimented with forms. You know, prove you are a worthy musician by performing classical so that you can then perform avant-garde. Looking through my new copy of 'The Best American Poetry of 2006' I don't find any Sonnets, no Triolets, no Terza Rimas. Yay, I don't have to write that stuff. But sometimes it is fun to write it anyway.

I think my poetry may never escape the fact that I am a musician. I have a miserable tendency to write songs. Not in the modern sense either. More often than not I hear Corelli in the background of my writing.

Have I ever read any modern poetry? Well, not yet but I bought some books Saturday and mean to start. Do I think this reading will have a big affect on my poetry? *shrugs* Not really.

I have decided, I will be the Grandma Moses of poetry.

Sample poem:

To Write a Pantoum

A poem can be so very hard to write,
Such crazy rules there are to plague my path.
I try and try and try with all my might
Mayhap I should trade poetry for math.

Such crazy rules there are to plague my path
Repeat this line in the right place and time
Mayhap I should trade poetry for math.
It’s hard to get the proper lines to rhyme.

Repeat this line in the right place and time,
Don’t let it run away and have its fun.
It’s hard to get the proper lines to rhyme.
But when you do you’re proud of what you’ve done.

Don’t let it run away and have its fun.
These rules can make you crazy while you work.
But when you do you’re proud of what you’ve done.
Such pride there is in mastering the quirk.

These rules can make you crazy while you work.
Yet working it all out can be a feat.
Such pride there is in mastering the quirk.
The satisfaction of a job complete.

Yet working it all out can be a feat.
So mightily I struggle with the task.
The satisfaction of a job complete.
That in the finished work I’d like to bask.

So mightily I struggle with the task.
I try and try and try with all my might
That in the finished work I’d like to bask.
A poem can be so very hard to write.

Yep, I'm well aware it sux but it was fun to write.