Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So I walked in the door after work today, Jimmy John's in hand, to find the radio on. Hmm. Could have sworn I'd turned it off. What the heck...

Oh Lord.

Turns out, somebody who shall remain nameless (my money is on the Littler of the two Sh!t Sisters pictured in the heading of this blog.) decided to dig for China in the plant limping along on the buffet next to the radio.

Dirt and plant bits everywhere, the water bowl contents turned to mud. I hope they were thirsty while I was gone, darn it.

And of course by the time I get home the deed is done and it's too late to yell at anyone. You have to strike when the iron is hot, and they'd both long forgotten when I finally saw the evidence. *sigh*

I've just been cranky lately. I swear everything is going to hell. I've sent out enough sympathy cards in the last few weeks that I should have bought stock in Hallmark, work is insane to the point that I'm spending only two extra hours a day there on a good day, and I'm so late doing more work at home I'm not getting any sleep. When I do finally get to bed I'm too wound up to relax. I'm thinking about all I have to do.

And that one letter on my keyboard? It's not working again, at least not consistently. I can no longer say things about Peeves the Poltergeist.

OK, now it's working. WTH?

'Kay, rant done. Time for bed. Shout out to any of you in Cali who may be reading this. Stay safe.

"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important." ~Bertrand Russell

“Stress is when you wake up screaming and you realize you haven't fallen asleep yet”

“Stress: The confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the living daylights out of some jerk who desperately deserves it”

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Went to what should have been an excellent concert last night: Strauss Metamorphosen and Beethoven 4. It mostly was an excellent concert, really. Except for That Woman.

In this particular hall there's a tier of seats that goes up and around the main floor, doing a 360 including behind the stage. It lends an interesting perspective for those who want to get up to see the conductor from much the same angle as the orchestra. Problem was, some idiot was up in the area behind the stage and insisted on taking pictures for most of the Beethoven. So the $%^&@! orange blinking light of her camera was flashing out at pretty much the entire audience. I could cheerfully have thrown her off the balcony. As could the rest of the audience. You could hear the undercurrent of grumblings every time she lifted that devil device and at least three people got up to talk to the usher nearest me in an attempt to get someone, anyone, to go find that woman and make her stop.

Unfortunately, no one did.

She would take a picture, turn to the woman next to her to look at the digital display, raise the camera, take another picture, scoot along the bench to find a different angle, raise the camera, take another picture... This has hands-down got to be the rudest behavior I've ever seen exhibited at a concert, and that includes people reading the paper, watch alarms going off, and cell phones bleeping. And I'm way past losing track of the number of concerts I've been to.

I don't know what the heck was in the minds of the usher corps, but I'm thinking not a single person in the audience would have called the cops if we happened to notice That Woman having a quiet accident. We'd have applauded.

Hey lady - if by some strange chance you're reading this, do us all a favor and stay home until you learn how to behave in public.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Soul Renewal and Robert Frost

Soul Renewal

It's the first sunny day in weeks. I've almost forgotten the color of a truly blue sky. I decide to make the 4 mile walk to the lake and back. Who knows when a day this nice will come again.

There's a million people out. We know and appreciate the rarity of a nice day, here in October in the Midwest. It's been so rainy lately; the sky lowering all the time. But somehow, no one is talking. It's like we all agree on the value of nothingness, of just being.

It's warm enough for shorts and t-shirts, another rarity in October.

The sound of the bike gears catching as the old man passes me, bright blue bike helmet and backpack on, wearing reflectors on his arms and legs even though it is the middle of a sunny day. He struggles his way up the hill. I am almost pacing him. Then the hill crests and his pace increases. He continues on without me, blazing a trail for me to follow.

Black ducks almost as far as I could see, taking a break for a rest and a drink before continuing their southward journey.

A sailboat catching the stiff breeze passes a fishing boat steaming out hopefully towards a possible walleye feast.

A stream giggling it's way towards the lake.

The woman wearing an iPod on one hip and her cell phone in the opposite ear, chattering away. The only possible conclusion is that she must be clinically insane.

The only sounds the wind as it rustles past my ears, through the leaves still clutching to the tree that is their summer home.

Scuffling through the fallen leaves to hear them crackle and crunch.

I'm almost home when I feel my shoulders drop into the place designed for them; I tend to forget that my habitual clench is not natural.

I wish this would last, but fall is inherently ephemeral. That may be the real reason for it's beauty.

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Had some excitement at church this morning. Was out in the gathering space (fancy name for huge foyer area) checking to make sure the volume was up high enough so people out there could hear when I heard this beep...beep...beep...


Grabbed my father. Dragged him out there. Asked him if he heard it too.

He listened for a bit... yes, yes he did.

Uh oh.

So we went trucking towards the source of the sound, which seemed to be coming from the part of the church that opens up into the Hall (area for wedding receptions, chicken dinners, bingo and the like). It kept getting louder. Beep... BEEP... BEEP! We grabbed the music director on the way, as she was walking by and has keys for everything. The sound kept getting louder as we three headed towards the school. Was that the fire alarm? Was the school on fire? Were we going to have to evacuate a good 1500 people in the church?

We got through the last door into the school and found adults leading what looked like 1st graders out the door. Just a drill, they said.

Just a drill? What the heck were they thinking, just a drill? Could it have occurred to them to warn us that they'd be conducting a fire drill during church? Could they maybe have bumped the thing back a lousy 30 minutes to avoid all this in the first place? I could have strangled somebody. Who knows what sort of panic that could have set off. Think, people, think. *sigh*

Although in hindsight, it's a little scary that the gathering space was full of people who didn't want to be in the main sanctuary for some reason (small children and the like) and no one came in to tell any of us about the alarm.

When you usher in a large parish, you get used to things happening. We haven't had somebody go down in a few weeks, but we're always prepared to have to call the local Finest to come out and save the day. We have EMTs come to visit several times a year. Fainting is the most common, but we've also had diabetic reactions and heart issues.

Scariest one ever (that I had anything to do with) was the poor Mexican woman who had come to church in a vain search for comfort... she couldn't reach her sick father in Mexico by telephone and was terrified he had died... she kept banging her head against the wall and asking God to take her instead of her father...