Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Boston Tea Party, TN style

This guy cracks me up. Notice the photo. Shades of The Joker minus makeup? Or perhaps he's thinking, "Heehee, I'm weirdly funny and cute. Gotta love me! (Don't be scared.)"

If you...want to click on linkies, just go ahead now!!!

Tah-dah! Elena's got link!

In the news: Trash or treasure?

Yes, Nashville has made the news again for something stupid. We're the folks who brought you edible roadkill and spectacular state healthcare. Mayor Bill Boner harmonica-ed* a tune on the Phil Donahue show (remember that one?). We proved that tornadoes do hit downtown areas (well, that wasn't our fault). Click on the title to get to the lyrics. Read them and picture the images for yourself. Yes, it really is that tacky.

* What verb would you use for harmonica playing?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Female tactics frustrate guys, no?

We drive them nuts, ladies, for good and for bad. Guys, feel free to comment on the following items:

1. You've exchanged e-mail addresses with a female acquaintance, whom you've met offline first, who interests you romantically, but you don't know how she feels about you. You begin corresponding with each other. When she gets the drift that you "like her like her," she drops your friendship like a hot potato and avoids you at church, at work, or wherever you two are usually in the same room. This behavior frustrates you and boggles your mind. No?

2. She's so giggly and smiley whenever you talk, but she won't go out with you. What's up with that?

3. You ask her what's wrong or why she's angry, and she refuses to tell you. She claims she's fine and that there's nothing wrong. What the ... ?

4. She's so giggly and smiley around you, but then ... when you think about it, she's the same way when she's around Mike, Steve, and Joe. Hrm ... what's going on?

Translation or tips or thoughts from a female:

1. Problem here is each person's trying to send signals to each other rather than talking about the subject. Yeah, it's really cool and "spooky" when you "get" each other and what the other person's trying to say, without having to spell it out, but this attempt at communication is only cool when it works out. It's awkward when the friendship or relationship falls apart.
The guy didn't ask her out, but the girl sensed that he wanted to, got freaked out by the idea (for whatever reason), and tried to head that bull off at the pass. But instead of nicely saying, "Man X, my friend, I sense that you have interest in me beyond what I'm willing to respond to, and I know that this can only hurt your feelings. But I respect you too much as a person to play games and to be mysterious. If you still want to talk, great. If you would rather not be friends, I understand."
My questions for the guys---Was this girl being too skittish? Should she have waited till the guy actually asked her out? Would you rather a girl tell you straight out, or would you rather her give you hints?

2. Here are possible explanations:
a. She likes you as a friend and person and enjoys talking with you. She enjoys the attention. She does not realize you want to date her (unless you've already asked).
b. She likes you as a friend and person and enjoys talking with you. She enjoys the attention. She knows you want to date her (you may have already asked), and she doesn't want you to be hurt but she cares more about getting the attention.
c. She's that way around most or all guys and you just haven't observed it yet.
d. She's a giggly and smiley girl. You just haven't noticed that she's that way around her gal pals as well.

3. When a woman says she is "Fine" and this is said between clenched teeth, she is not fine. She's angry. When she says it with red eyes or with visible tears, she's not fine; she's upset (sad, frustrated, stressed, whatever). When she says she's fine but she seems preoccupied, she's probably doing OK really---she's just got something on her mind that's more important to her at the moment than assessing her own mood or emotions. Perhaps she's just quiet at the time you ask; maybe she's enjoying her own thoughts, just neutral. If she says, "Oh, yeah, I'm fine; don't worry," and smiles, then chances are that she really is fine. It's all in the facial expression, tone of voice, and body language, not necessarily in the words themselves.
Close female friends often can sense each other's moods and emotions and if they've been friends long enough, know a range of possible explanations for the other's mood. They know when to let the other person alone or when to speak words of comfort or to perform a kind act. This sense is not perfect, of course.
Women have dreams of men treating them as their own gal pals and female relatives far as sensing the women's emotions and needs and acting accordingly, without the women having to report their current status and needs aloud. Yes, quite often this desired result really is fantastical. Most men aren't wired to intuit things about people. There are exceptions. And, true, men can learn their own women's signals over a period of time, if they apply themselves to this sort of learning.
Guys, thoughts?

4. a. She likes a lot of male attention.
b. She likes all four of you.
c. She likes attention period.
d. She's giggly and smiley with all people. She's just got that kind of personality.
e. She's up to no good.

* Isolated incidents aren't always good indicators of the person's interest in you. Watch for repeated behaviors. Notice the other factors in the environment when the behavior occurs.
* It's OK to ask around about a girl's character, but be discreet. Ask those you trust, those who will not spread rumors like "My pal Joe really likes Heather; pass it on!"
* What women want and what reality is often differ. Know where you draw the line---what you will and won't do to please a woman, which kinds of expectations from women are realistic and which are outlandish.
* You won't always get your assessment of a woman's motivations right. She may not realize that she is being deceptive or hurtful. If you can stand being around her and still talking to her, after you've been deceived or hurt, gentle confrontation may benefit both of you. "You know, it really hurt when ... ." is a good way to phrase this. Sometimes it's better not to know her motivations behind everything she said or did in your past together; knowing such info. might hurt you further rather than teach you something. In that case, pray that the Holy Spirit convicts her of what she did wrong so that she doesn't repeat those deceptive or hurtful behaviors. You learn what you can from what you did do or should have done. If you never dated but have experienced awkwardness and you feel that the acquaintance or friendship is worth maintaining, push past the weirdness, keep offering grace, and love her as Christ does. It is possible to remain friends. (Remember the hard times with your guy friends. No, punching the girl won't get you the same results as it did to punch Jeff or Hank. But you did what you had to do to keep the friendship.)

Correct me where I'm wrong, folks. I'm sure I've missed something or wrongly concluded something somewhere. But there's truth in there too.


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Charge to young Christian singletons

Let us focus! Focus, people! I'm saying this to myself as well as to you. Everyone I talk to about what to do now while you're single says, "Focus on God."

This focus will manifest itself it different ways, be you male or be you female.

For the guys, you will build a career, gaining further education or training if you need it; get out of debt as much as possible; pursue hobbies and recreational interests; be involved in ministry or missions in some way (all Christians are called to share Christ and to serve the family of God and the wider world---whether in your current location and culture or as a missionary out of your "comfort zone"); and cultivate good relationships with family and friends, coworkers and supervisors, and leaders and peers in the church.

The women folk will do the same but in feminine ways rather than in masculine.

I know---that sounded really old-fashioned, as well as vague. Further explanation to come. My brain's shutting down for the evening. (Excuses, excuses, you say. I know. Forgive me.)

*sleepy smile*

Test posting

OK, so there's supposed to be a task bar that shows a globe and two chain links, but I don't see one. Hrm...

I gotta get PK to actually see this Mac screen to figure this out. My head aches too much at the moment to figure all this stuff out. Argh...

Monday, July 12, 2004

Things I really like

* Earl Grey tea, hot
* claret red...the color of my bathroom shower curtain and the accent color in my bedroom
* _Jane Eyre_: book and various movie adaptations
* musicals, old and new
* a gorgeous sunset (I always sleep too late for the sunrises.)
* babbling brooks (teehee...the ditzy poet coming out!)
* the right pen (see an earlier post)
* scones
* silver jewelry
* my sister's smile
* SoundMan's version of Strongbad's email chant
* Pink Kitty's sense of humor
* the real Empress Kitty's rabbit-like fur
* Lord of the Rings: books and movies
* The Chronicles of Narnia: books and TV movie adaptations
* The Chieftains
* Bridget Jones Diary: books 1 and 2, the movie
* chicken kabobs
* Pad Thai
* Mom's homemade soups
* Caesar salad
* French Vanilla pudding
* diet Coke with lime
* blank journals
* Shakespeare's sonnets
* Isaiah 61
* a teddy bear covered in alpaca fur
* old letters
* lip gloss or lip balm (In years past, I attempted to collect every flavor in existence. Ashpenaz thwacked me several times over that one.)
* blogging ;o)

Back to the freelance project. Ciao, dahlings!

The new Harry Potter movie

(Wahoo! I figured out how to add titles. Faboo.)

So I was really proud of myself for going to a movie alone. I would normally cringe at the idea, but as I had just eaten a lovely Waffle House brunch all by myself at their counter, I thought, "Why not?"

I had the theater to myself until about 10 or 15 minutes before the previews. It was as if my own living room had expanded 100 times its normal size. And then I got guests without having to feed them. Sweet!

Things I loved:
* Harry is such a cutey! OK, yes, I know...jail bait. But one can appreciate beauty.
* Speaking of beauty, omigosh, the water and the hills and all the scenery! Gorgeous!!!
* Gary Oldman as a hero, imperfect but heroic nonetheless, rather than a villain. Oh, yes...
* Hagrid in a tie. Priceless.
* Hermione's right (or was that left?) hook to Malfoy's face. And his crying when she held the wand to his neck.
* NO Dobby! Thank goodness. That was a mini Jar-Jar Binks I could do without.
* The Boggart-deflecting lesson, complete with ballroom dance music. Love a Dark Arts prof with a sense of humor as well.

Things that bugged me:
* Stuff in the castle being in different places...what's up with the huge pendulum and the clockworks?
* Hagrid's domecile having been moved to down a hill, rather than across a yard. Or did I miss something from the two previous movies?
* How quickly the end was "tied up." Or have I just not noticed that before?

The difference this time before I watched the movie is that I read the books (all of them) before viewing it. When I saw HP1 and HP2, I hadn't read any of the books. I think the first two were good adaptations. The third was closer to the book than the LOTR movies were to those books, I think. But you can correct me if I'm wrong.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Rednecks from childhood

Picture it: Nashvegas. TPAC. (That would be the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Think plays, operas, and symphonic concerts. You with me?) Late 1980s. Big hair---the kind with bangs that stand up to greet you---was in. It was really in. I'm in the fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth grade at the time. I don't know for sure which one. It's one of those field trip days. And kids are buzzin' on being out of the classroom.

During intermission, eyeglasses-wearin' and not-that-cool me accompanies a gal pal to the rest room. (Gals are biologically required to take a companion to the ladies room.) We do our bid-ness and wait for an open spot to wash hands.

And I hear it. You can hear it, and picture it too. Frizz-curled Miss Thang standing at the sink, bending towards the mirror, brandishing a brush and a huge can of AquaNet. She says, and I kid you not, with great dismay and frustration in her voice, after spraying what must have been three quarters of the can onto the nest o' bangs: "KREE-stuhl, I cain't git mah har high 'nuff!!!"

My friend and I high-tailed it out of there, stifling our guffahs until we were at a safe distance.

Miss Thang and her friend "KREE-stuhl" were from a different part of Metro, I guarantee it.

True story. Believe it, or not.

Soup, words, mullets, and more

I'm in a chunky Campbell's soup haze right now. (I know...that made NO sense.)

Thought of another howler this afternoon: "I've taken a turn for the banal."

Maybe I have. Gotta look that one up in the good ol' Webster's.

So what's the gal been up to these days? Not much, folks. I did catch several flicks over the weekend. Not at the theater. At Ashpenaz's place and in my own little cozy corner of the world.

The Boyfriend (this would be Ashpenaz's) selected two movies for our viewing pleasure: _I'm Gonna Get You Sucka_ and _American Mullet_.

The first one was merely odd. The classic moment was the pimp-mac-daddy's leaving prison with platform shoes with aquarium heels. Not painted in aquarium murals. Oh, no. These were actual aquariums---glass containers complete with water, rocks, and fish. They didn't survive long on the mean streets...neither the shoes nor the fish.

The second flick was priceless. I've got to watch it again just to catch all of the absurdity. My greatest conclusion from the movie is that the average mullet wearer knows that she or he looks odd to the general public and is horribly out of fashion...and DOESN'T CARE!!! You would be an idiot not to have concluded the same thing. They make it obvious. So this isn't proof of my mental prowess. It's merely the information that nearly knocked me off the couch onto the plate o' pizza. WHY, oh WHY would anyone want to do that to himself or herself? OH, OH! And of the special features (you know...the quality of the DVD is often measured by the variety of its special features) was about one near-mullet-wearin' dude's cardboard motorcycle. A CARDBOARD motorcycle! Covered in some kind of fancy irridescent Mylar. Yep, white with a rainbow effect on top. I'm baffled---how does he keep the thing from catchin' on fire???

Now for the greatest achievement of the weekend, aside from Channel 4's near-excellent coverage of Nashvegas's fireworks display: the purchase of a GREEN POLKA-DOTTED BAG!!! Yes, found at a supah-dupah Wally World in the wee sma's. Transluscent with baby blue and light lime green polka-dotted and trimmed in the same baby blue. OK, yes, it's one of those plastic totes you're seeing all the fashionista girls carrying (or the middle-aged fashionista wannabes). But it was the closest thing I've found. AND it was only $10. Yep, it had "Elena" written all over it.

And they had polka-dotted covered spiral notebooks. (An office supplies junkie's dream season: back to school.) Of course, I bought one. Now...what to write in it?

And you ought to see what I've got collected for Pink Kitty's birthday. Yep, this year she gets actual presents, not IOUs. How marvelous! It's gonna be a kitty kitty day!!

OK, so Iraq is governing itself, and John Kerry and John Edwards are running mates. And supposedly Saddam has no connection with Al Qaeda whatsoever. Right. I get sick of the obsession the media has with some of these stories. We have some overly flagellated deceased equines lying about here. Enough!

Thursday, July 01, 2004


I just recently started reading (and then skimmed the rest...I'm impatient) Patricia Cornwall's book about the Jack the Ripper case in Victorian England. She's identified the killer! I'll not spoil the book for you. It's really good. What did frustrate me about it was that she went off on tangents quite often, but since I do the same thing, often to illustrate or prove a point or to explain th significance of the main story, I can't complain too loudly. You might find it too irritating.

I'd give you the title, but I don't have it in front of me. Check back later. I'll consult the minds at the online bookstore.