28 June 2005

Ahh, the wonderful smell of meat in one’s car the first thing in the morning.

When I got into my car this morning, I took a double-sniff. There was a distinct “meaty” smell wafting about. I looked over into the passenger seat to make sure that Hubby had not left McDonald’s bag from last night in the car. It would be very uncharacteristic of him, but as we’re moving in 2 days, and everything is chaos, stranger things have happened. I believe that my older sister once found a perfectly preserved fry in her car that she estimated had to be at least a few years old. Or perhaps it was my younger sister…but I digress.

Meat! I figured it was just leftover McD’s smell and went to get my allergy shot (which does not seem to be working at all, and I just reached the maximum dose, so I’m a bit depressed about it, but again, I digress). Got back in the car after the shot, and it was STRONGER! Lingering smells do not get stronger. Must investigate. Look at back seat. Nothing. Just two Wal-Mart bags…filled…with…dog food. Sweet Ol’ Roy Moist’n’Meaty dinner packets. Sonny refuses to eat any other kind. He even turns his nose up at the more expensive Purina brand. Must be Ol’ Roy. Stinky, meaty, yucky Ol’ Roy.

Am now disturbed that McDonald’s and dog food smell so similar.

23 June 2005

So I was listening to the True Hollywood Story of Carmen Electra on E! News Radio this morning, and her real name is Tara Patrick. When she became Prince’s protégé in 1990 (or was he the unpronounceable symbol at that time?), he insisted that she change it, and she decided on Carmen Electra. Obviously to reflect her demure and simple nature.

So I started thinking about stars who change their names. Do they think of themselves as their real name or their stage name? Does Carmen Electra wake up every morning and look in the mirror and see “Carmen” or “Tara”? I’d put my money on “Tara”, but then again, she’s been “Carmen” for such a long time. And does her big Iowa family still call her “Tara”? What about her husband? I’m sure she was introduced to him with her stage name, but if she wakes up every morning and sees “Tara”, she probably wants him to see “Tara” as well. It seems like I remember from their reality show that he has a pet name that he calls her.

The whole name change thing is just something that I don’t get. When my parents named their children, they specifically chose names that could not be shortened, changed, or cutified. And if you can think of a nickname for Karen, please let me know. I’ve always been curious.

My husband Bill was “Billy” growing up, and whenever we’re in his hometown, that’s how he thinks of himself. At first, it weirded me out, but now, when we’re in his hometown, I sometimes think of him as “Billy” too. But I don’t call him that unless I’m joking and using a hick southern accent and drawling it, “Bill-lly”.

I babysat for one little girl who decided to change her name the first day of school when the teacher was taking roll.

Teacher: “Katie?”
Girl: “No, it’s Beth.”
Teacher: “I’m sorry. It says ‘Katie.’ I’ll change that, Beth.”

Two months later at the parent-teacher conference, after 10 minutes, her parents finally stopped the teacher and asked why she kept calling her Beth. The teacher (much confusion!) explained, and let me tell you, there was a lot more explaining to do when the parents got home.

But she’s Beth today. I respect 1st graders who know their true name. At least she didn’t change her name to Carmen Electra.

21 June 2005

Okay, again with the creepy:

I’m watching the local news last night, and the top story was of an elderly woman who had been missing for over a year, and her granddaughter had just confessed to killing her. Well, apparently, she (the granddaughter) decided to cooperate with the police and lead them to where she buried the body. Which just happens to be under the garage of a house that Bill and I looked into buying a few months ago. Needless to say, I squealed and ran in to tell Bill. Could this really be the same house? Best to drive over and investigate.

Sure enough—there was the overpriced Tudor-style with a good floor-plan and excellent school district being torn up with jackhammers and excavation equipment surrounded by the local ABC and NBC affiliate’s news vans. It used to be just a big cowfield, and apparently the construction companies managed to plant the house directly over the dead body. Bill and I actually stopped at the end of the cul-de-sac that the house is located on (seriously, if it had had trees and no dead bodies under it, it would have been perfect) and prayed and thanked God for saving us from all that. It also doesn’t help that developers just put up “high-end” storage units directly behind the house. I don’t care if you put a brick façade over the sheet metal and have fancy scrollwork on the security gate, mini-storage is mini-storage.

Those poor people will never be able to sell their house. Much like the three other houses on the block that are for sale as well. As I said, mini-storage is mini-storage.

At least the elderly woman will get a proper burial.

20 June 2005

I love cemeteries. I know, I know. Creepy girl, creepy girl! But the fact is that as a Christian, I don’t find them depressing. Not so much a resting place…more like a pit stop for the body while the soul goes ahead to check into the party. (on a side note, my boss recently asked me what I thought Heaven would be like…a close family member of hers had just died, and I said, “y’know those moments when you say, ‘it absolutely can’t get better than this’? I think that those are the moments that God gives us a taste…and then He’s going to prove that we are gloriously wrong.”)

So anyway, I rather enjoy cemeteries. It provides a peaceful place to walk with good reading to boot. I like to make up little stories about the person’s life as I pass their gravestone. I still go to the grave of one of my best friends who died in high school. The sapling that his family planted at his burial is now a full-blown tree. I’m not saying that his death was a happy thing or that I don’t still miss him and have little pangs of mourning, but the cemetery doesn’t hold him any more than this earth could. And the memory of all those flowers that covered the grave still makes me smile a little.

In truth, I’ve only seen one thing in a cemetery that truly depressed me. It was a grave marker of a man who died at a rather young age, in his 40s, and his wife (also in her 40s) had put up her grave marker at the time of his burial. I knew this woman as an acquaintance and she’s so vibrant and, well, alive. It seems wrong for her gravestone to be sitting there, ready and waiting. And all I know is that if I were her 12 year old kid, I’d be pretty freaked out.

But maybe it gives her some peace. I know that they were linked at the heart. Maybe to heal she needs them to be linked in stone as well.
It’s official. Bill’s and my entire honeymoon itinerary is cursed. The disappearance in Aruba, the death at Epcot. Even the killing rampage in Atlanta a few months ago (though technically, we just had a really long layover there, so I’m not sure that should count).

I’m especially sad about Aruba. It’s getting a bad name, and it really shouldn’t be. Granted, I was not aware of all the drug trafficking that apparently was taking place under my very nose without me having any clue. But the entire time that we were there, I felt very safe and welcomed. So if we encountered any drug traffickers, apparently, we only encountered the very polite, helpful kind. Hmm…perhaps that was not actually powdered sugar on the poffertjes that I ate every morning for breakfast…okay, and dinner. When else do you have the excuse to eat what amounts to funnel cake anytime you want and call it ethnic cuisine?

On a completely different note, I am probably going to get a kitten in 2 weeks. I begged my parents for a kitten for every Christmas since I can remember and always received the same answer, “maybe.” Which may have meant “yes” or “possibly” from your parents, but from my parents, it meant a big fat “NO.” I want to get a small white, female kitten and name her Adelaide from “Guys & Dolls”. Of course, she may end up being non-white since I’ll walk into the shelter and fall in love with the first one that I see.

My husband’s family had an amazing 6 cats growing up (all at one time), all inside/outside, and apparently, some of them looked a lot alike and his dad never knew that they had that many. They’d just rotate in and out. As a child, my husband liked to have a cat sleep down at his feet on the bed at night…not particular about which one…so when he’d go to bed, he’d yell, “Mom, bring me a cat!” And she’d scoop up whichever cats were nearby and plop them on his bed. That story cracks me up.

14 June 2005

there is a magical, magical word in our house.

that word is "carride!"

for those of you who have never met my doggy, sunny, he can be quite stubborn. especially when he is somewhere that he wants to be and i don't want him to be. one of his favorite activities is "stare at mommy until she stamps her foot because she's so frustrated then run to another spot and roll in my own poo".

but not when i yell the magic word. the world stops. sunny runs to the garage door and i have his FULL attention.

the magic word must be used sparingly lest it lose its effect. and every so often i have to follow up on the offer, usually just open the car door and let him jump around in circles then open it again to let him out--he thinks that he went on a 16 hour road trip.

02 June 2005

On the way out to run some errands last night, hubby and I saw two men standing at the intersection down the hill holding a cross. I’ve seen a number of such people in my life carrying a cross as a witness tool and symbol of their Christianity. I had not, however, ever before seen a cross on wheels.

It was a big wooden cross, about 6 feet tall made of sturdy, rugged lumber with what looked like children’s training wheels attached. My first thought was, “how bizarre!” followed quickly by “how lazy!” chastising myself quickly with “how judgmental, Karen!” But I do have to say that it did seem a bit odd. The whole point of carrying a cross was (I thought) to exemplify how Christ suffered on the cross to destroy the great sin divide between us and God. And since last night, when I’ve tried to envision that long walk to Calvary, I find myself desperately trying to mentally remove two metal wheels from that vision.

My husband, ever the pragmatic, said, “If I was going to push a wheeled cross around, I think I’d make the wheels detachable so I could at least hide them.”

So I tried to think deeply about how it could be a symbol of how as disciples of Christ we are called into training to be like Him. In essence, He is the perfect Man, we are little men with training wheels. But, no, I still just think it was odd.

01 June 2005

The way my office is set up at work, it used to be just me on the lower floor and a law office on the upper floor. My only real issues with this arrangement were that I had the good bathroom downstairs with the loud fan and thick door so it was/is frequented by everyone in the office building (see blog archives for full ranting).

But now I have a new issue. One of the lawyers is running in a statewide political race. My quiet little downstairs haven is now campaign central. And I don’t think that I would be too bothered by it, but there are all these campaign managers and volunteers coming and going. Someone is ALWAYS on the phone. Sometimes on two phones at once. And I could swear that someone was smoking in there yesterday.

And the person running for office has come into my office a few times wanting to discuss politics. I don’t discuss politics. Especially with a politician. And especially with a politician who I have a very strong suspicion I disagree with heartily on almost all issues.