Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Cow for the Cattle Dog

My resistance to dog-related items is really low this week. (Thankfully, we get a new week tomorrow!)

So, our Australian Cattle Dog has an Australia cap, and as of tonight, he has one head of Cattle:

It's an all cotton, all natural, hippie dog toy, supposedly made by people who get paid a fair wage. (We messed up and forgot to tell the checker we didn't need a plastic bag for our one item, though, so we probably negated all the social-consciousness benefit right there.)

I still haven't done much with the socially-conscious yarn I bought in New Orleans before the RGBP Big Event set sail. I've cast it onto needles of various sizes just to play with it, but I'm still not sure what I want to make.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Labor Day Weekend Friday Five

Singing Owl offers today's Friday Five over at RevGalBlogPals:

1. Tell us about the worst job you ever had. Well, there are different kinds of bad jobs. There are bad jobs that are boring (keeping a spreadsheet that tracks completion status of airplanes); bad jobs that are boring and involve taking people's money in exchange for overpriced crap (theme park gift shop); and bad jobs that slowly get bad without you realizing what's happening (technical writer). It's hard to choose "worst" from such a variety!

2. Tell us about the best job you ever had. I think it's probably the job I have now! :-) I've been there six years and have been in several different roles (some more enjoyable than others), and it's a great opportunity to serve the church.

3. Tell us what you would do if you could do absolutely anything (employment related) with no financial or other restrictions. I would be a professional backup singer. I was mildly jealous of the women doing my job the last time I saw Billy Joel in concert.

4. Did you get a break from labor this summer? If so, what was it and if not, what are you gonna do about it?
No break. This spring and summer many of my vacation days were taken up by church nerd work. But this fall, all three of us are going to take a long weekend together (and see Zorra and The Scientist and Amie while we're at it!). We're glad to have found a B&B that will accept The Boy as a guest.

5. What will change regarding your work as summer morphs into fall? Are you anticipating or dreading? When people ask what I do at work, my answer is usually, "Whatever my CEO wants me to do." Hence the role-switching over the years. So I'm anticipating remaining flexible in my duties. (I've had many titles, but they've all fallen under the unofficial heading of "professional church nerd.")

Bonus question: For the gals who are mothers, do you have an interesting story about labor and delivery (LOL)? If you are a guy pal, not a mom, or you choose not to answer the above, is there a song, a book, a play, that says "workplace" to you? The movie Office Space hits very close to home for many in Generation X, myself included!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A new low

I had a lapse in judgment earlier this evening.

"Clearance" stickers occasionally have that effect.

I bought The Boy a hat.

It's basically a trucker cap for a dog. I realize this does not make it any better.

Because I'm trying to convince myself to return it, I haven't cut off the tag. So, from different angles, he looks like both a long-haul trucker and Minnie Pearl.

It's an Australia cap, see? And he's an Australian Cattle Dog. Get it?

And down by the kangaroo foot it reads, "Let me outback."

Get it?

Yes, this is bad.

He really wears it rather well. Except when he shakes himself from tip to tail, as he is wont to do several times an hour, the cap slides off his ears and winds up under his chin.

Just so you know, I did not stoop to buying the matching shirt. Because my rule is that dog accessories are okay, but dog clothing is not. Cap = accessory. Still, I realize I'm skirting the edge here.

There was a cap for German dogs, too. I don't have a German dog anymore. I think this fact contributed to my lapse.

I'm just sayin'.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Five: Pondering Dates

Over at RevGalBlogPals, Songbird writes:
Here are five things to ponder about dates. I hope you'll play!

1) Datebooks--how do you keep track of your appointments? Electronically? On paper? Month at a glance? Week at a glance? At work, I use week-at-a-glance as my default view in Outlook. On the household Yahoo! Calendar, we use the month-at-a-glance. Then, as backup, I still keep a checkbook-sized paper calendar in my purse. Tried a Palm years ago and wasn't that fond of it, and haven't gone the Treo/iPhone/whatever route yet because I'm a cheapskate.

2) When was the last time you forgot an important date? Last year I forgot two friends' birthdays that fall within a week of each other (sorry Jess and Zen Otter!).

3) When was the last time you went OUT on a date? July 26th, the eve of our 12th anniversary.

4) Name one accessory or item of clothing you love even though it is dated. My broomstick pants. And I always get compliments on them, so maybe they're more timeless than I expected.

5) Dates--the fruit--can't live with 'em? Or can't live without 'em? Eh. There was a cereal in the college cafeteria that had dates in it, and it was pretty good. But normally I don't seek them out.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In Which the Shoes Go Back On.

Tonight I'm doing something I haven't done in about 8 years.

I'm going to a jazz dance class.

Last time I re-entered that world (1997?), I distinctly remember how good it felt that from the very first lesson, I could pretty much keep up with everyone else . And that I still had my flexibility.

I also remember getting a little too confident in my high kicks and throwing my left leg in the air with such gusto that my right leg came out from under me. (Fortunately, I had acquired a little extra padding during the college years, and I landed safely.)

After that initial hiccup, I stuck it out through 3 years in my twenties. Complete with dance recitals, even. And a competition where our group scored in the highest tier.

But then, life happened. Other adults started to drop out for various reasons. I turned to other priorities.

And now I'm going to see if I might turn (chené?) back this direction for a while.

Post-class update:
Dang, I'm old and out of shape! And the neurological pathways that get my body to dance like my brain knows how to... are gone. But I'm glad I went, and I still think I'll keep trying to reawaken this part of me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Stratopastor in the Resurrection

Eric wrote a beautiful tribute today. Our friend Russ's service is Saturday.

The service is being called a "homegoing" on his church's website. Which, as I understand it, means that even though we're gonna cry, we're also going to have fun (as we must; Russ took his fun very seriously). We're going to rejoice because we are people of the Resurrection. We're going to celebrate who Russ was to us, and who he still is: a beloved child of God.

We are Resurrection people. So on Saturday, I'll cry, and laugh, and sing. And I'll wear my Easter dress to remind me of that Resurrection promise.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Nothing of import, really.

A Sunday night hodge-podge of tidbits:
  • Donated blood today at the church blood drive. It's one thing I like to brag about for a couple of reasons: a) I used to be a sissy about needles, but got over it; 2) last year I was personally thanked for donating by a friend who received a transfusion. It matters.
  • Went to a youth pool party with The Alpha. Actually got in the pool for about half an hour. As a kid, you couldn't keep me out of a pool. What is it about growing up that makes it less of a draw?
  • We've been watching tons of Olympic events this year. End result: sleep deprivation.
  • I'm planning to go try a jazz/lyrical dance class this week. All adults, drop-in format, pay only for the days you show up. Might actually work.
  • Last night I sent Mary Beth home with some of our home-grown okra and tomatoes after we rode together to hear ElastiGirl preach (and what a sermon -- she tackled that tough lectionary text from Matthew 15).
  • While I was out with my fellow RGBPs, The Alpha was vacuuming and sweeping and Swiffing. Of his own accord. Take note, husbands of the world: he's kicking your collective butt.
  • The Alpha finally replaced his bicycle. I still don't want him to start riding to work again. I mean, he's been hit twice. This isn't exactly a bike-friendly town. There are nice places to ride just for pleasure, but if you're actually trying to get somewhere, it's a little more challenging.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Five: Fall Transformations

Over at RevGalBlogPals, my friend Mary Beth has shown us the fruit of the bois d'arc tree and asked about transformation:

For this Friday's Five, share with us five transformations that the coming fall will bring your way.

1. I learned of a very sad transformation this morning. Sad for us earthly types, anyway. Last night, my friend Russ died suddenly. He was 52, and one of the rockin' pastors that made up the band Connections. He will be sorely missed here in North Texas.

2. Our congregation will be moving into its new building very soon... hopefully at least a month before Autumn officially begins.

3. The Alpha and I will be taking Disciple Bible Study. (Mid-Life Rookie will be our class facilitator! Hooray!)

4. My eldest nephew will be getting married this fall, so I'll become an aunt-in-law for the first time. (Maybe he'll finally quit moving back in with his parents!)

5. I've taken time off work for various church-nerd gatherings this year, so I'm hoping The Alpha and I can make room in our fall schedule for a getaway that's pure fun. Fun, fun, fun! We need it.

Bonus: Give us your favorite activity that is made possible by the arrival of fall.

Walking outside without immediately breaking into a sweat!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Guest Blogger: The Boy

Hey! It's me, The Boy. The thumb-havers also call me Angus, and 'GooseBoy, and other stuff. But I always know they mean me. 'Cause I'm pretty smart most of the time. Except I'm still not smart enough to have my own blog. But that's okay. I'm awful busy already.

My pal Frodo came over to visit twice in one week. They were out of cold air at his house. He brought one of his thumb-havers and they spent the night! He came right at bedtime and they wouldn't let us play for long enough! We ran around for a while, then they made us go to bed. And then in the morning we got up and ran around again! And he stayed all day with me in the yard! And we ran around there, too! The Typist calls him my FroBro. I like my FroBro.

And then, they came over again one night, but they didn't sleep here. But we played tug games with the moose, or the reindeer, or whatever it is. And even though Frodo outweighs me by 27 pounds, I won a lot. That's just the kind of dog he is. Here we are playing:

The Typist says it's good that I have such an easy-going friend. Because Winston the chihuahua came over that same night, and he's not friendly at all, even when he's on tranquilizers. I don't know what they are, but he was on 'em. And I couldn't see 'em, but I know they're slippery because he fell down right when he got here. And he still didn't want to play. So he sat in Jessica's lap while I played with Frodo and Frodo played with me and we both played with the moose or the reindeer or whatever it is and we had a good time.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

RevGals Meetup

As soon as Rach blogged, "Anybody besides me going to be in Dallas during the first week of August?" several of us chimed right in and started organizing a meet-up. Actually, it was more of a meet-up and eat-up, for yea, verily, we did feast on contemporary Indian cuisine.

Here we are Tuesday night (anonymous bloggers in traditional poses):

(Not shown: My The Alpha, and Mid-Life Rookie's Gifted & Talented, who came along to eat yummy food and listen to us ladies carry on for about 3 hours. And who took our picture.)

If all went according to plan, Rach is back home now, and Mary Beth is at her second meetup of the week (which I just found out hasn't gone according to plan... flight delays). Busy RevGals are we.

Thanks for a lovely evening, y'all!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday night cuteness quotient

I hadn't edited a video in a while. So here you go:

Muppet fans will appreciate the soundtrack.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Five: Lock Me Out, Lock Me In

Over at RevGalBlogPals, Songbird writes:

For some reason, Blogger declared this blog possible SPAM and locked us down yesterday. This morning, we're free to post again, but there was a fair amount of excitement last night among our contributors, who found a dire notice on their Blogger dashboards threatening that this blog might be deleted in 20 days!

We requested a blog review, and I posted a request at the Blogger Help group, where I found we were not alone. Many other perfectly nourishing and cromulent blogs got the same notice last night.

This turned out to be a very small barricade in our blogging community life, but it seemed appropriate to explore locks and blocks and other barriers this week. Also, I liked the picture of the security team above! Could they be Blogger's Spam Prevention Robots, working overtime?

In honor of their efforts, I bring you the "Lock Me Out, Lock Me In" Friday Five.

1) How do you amuse yourself when road construction blocks your travel? Not very well, I admit. Mudslides, on the other hand... we do all right with mudslides (as referenced in the final question of last week's FF).

2) Have you ever locked yourself out of your house? (And do you keep an extra key somewhere, just in case?) Yep. Shortly after we bought this house I had to drive home from the office to let The Alpha back in. We devised a key-hiding scheme, and also agreed that we would stop turning the lock on the knob of one of the three doors to the house, thus ensuring it could only be locked from the outside by turning a key in the deadbolt. It's worked quite well.

3) Have you ever cleared a hurdle? (And if you haven't flown over a material hurdle, feel free to take this one metaphorically.) I've cleared plenty of metaphorical ones... my problem is that when the same ones pop up again, I often get just as frustrated as I did before, instead of using what I've learned.

4) What's your approach to a mental block? I go accomplish some small thing I know I can do, then go back to The Block with a little more confidence and the reminder that I don't have as much time to complete the task as I did before I pussyfooted around (nothing like a looming deadline, huh?).

5) Suggest a caption for the picture above; there will be a prize for the funniest answer! Far too manly to cut simple paper dolls to entertain their toddlers, the construction crew decided to go with material more suited to Sawzall® use.