Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Guantlet

Christmas was lazy and far from white--just the way I like it. The kids loved pretty much everything they got, including the pair of light sabers that I just had to open first.

My wife and I went to a production of A Christmas Carol, and I shant say where, to protect the innocent. It was a musical of all things, the music having been written by someone local. Ebenezer was an amazing actor but a poor, poor singer. Some of the music was so bad that I did my best not to laugh out loud.

There were a great many faith elements to the story I had never noticed before. Jesus was mentioned on several occasions, and God was credited for Ebenezer's eventual turnaround. Ebenezer sings praise to Jesus near the end, just before he wakes up and makes everything right with the people he has abused. The song was just awful, and reminded me of Elmer Fudd. So, I leaned over and sang lightly in my wife's ear, "Oh what have I done? I've killed the bunny waaaaabit." My wife cracked up, earning me a severe glance from the teenaged couple two rows up. I felt bad. It's a lot of work to put on such an elaborate production. I'm not a heckler, but sometimes the joke is there and I can't resist lighting it up.

Well, it turns out it was a church production. They wanted us to fill out a survey. Flyers were waved in my face from church representatives up the aisle and out the door, where the entire cast sang Christmas carols.

It felt like a cult, a gang plank, and a gauntlet. Still, it was very nice, just a little shocking.

The couple we went with, who invited us and bought the tickets, apologized profusely. They didn't know that would happen. No problem. It was, well, different--the spice of life. The next day, they called and asked if we would like to join the church with them. Just joking, she said laughing.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thrice rubbed and twice scratched

My wife needed a good shoulder rub last night, just as we sat down for dinner, and she got way more than she bargained for. I was in one of those benevolent moods, and gave her more than the obligatory two minute variety.

Jackson decided to supplement my work when I was done. He asked her to stand up after he finished with the shoulders. She asked him why. So I can scratch your back he said. So she complied, and when he had finished, she gave him a hug and a kiss.

It was pretty cute.

Then Emmett got out of his seat.

He's just turned three mind you.

He reaches up from behind her where she sat, and two tiny hands, barely reaching the height, started working quite ineffectively on her shoulders while we all laughed that awww-how-cute laugh. When he finished, of course, like his brother, he made her stand again so he could scratch her back.

Monday, December 18, 2006

What I Should Be Doing

I had some plans for a meaningless post about what I've been doing with my life, to make sense of why I haven't been around as much. But in making my rounds, I found a surprising post on Beth's blog (Shirk Ethic, December 16th 2006) concerning the abysmal work ethic of the average American. Don't be afraid to click through, no matter what end of the aisle you stand on.

When I was a teenager, I was probably no different than most boys my age. I didn't have an eye on the future, even as it was clamping down on me like one of those anvils that the road runner would drop from a high cliff onto the coyotes head. I think my dad finally figured out that I wasn't going to make much of myself, that he hadn't taught me a backup skill in case I didn't go to or do well in college.

His friend George had three sons, each being a master carpenter by the time they graduated from high school. On this point I am deadly serious, because they could, without their father, build a home from a grassy field. Me, I wasn't qualified to carry any of them a handful of nails. So my dad decided that I would learn.

On Friday and Saturday nights, I drank until two or three in the morning, but when the rooster crowed, my dad kicked me out of bed, and the hangover would be sweated out while packing sheetrock on my shoulders, and laziness was not abided. Full tilt was the only speed setting I had, and if I stumbled, my dad was there to kick my ass.

Fast forward five or six years, and I've got my own crew, building roofs and barking orders, up at the crack of dawn, running on my own steam. I was proud and I was good.

Fast forward fifteen more years, and I'm sitting behind a computer, surfing the net, writing this blog post, commenting on yours, dreaming about writing a novel, doing what I can to get by, knowing that there really isn't much chance of getting caught. I once worshipped Ayn Rand for the work ethic she espoused, even though she was a bit harsh, still, there was a romance to the notion of working hard and earning every dollar I make.

But that isn't so.

I do good work, when I do it, but I'm not that young man that sinks nails with a single swat anymore.

If I want to make a difference, if I want to squawk about the influx of foreign labor, and the exportation of jobs to India and other nations abroad, shouldn't I be doing the best job that I am capable of doing?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ice Water To The Face

I am an earthling once again.

As Parcells once said to Peter King, "Do you know how hard it is to win a Superbowl?" This in response to the question, "How long will it take you to rebuild this team into a champion?" Bill also said, "When will you win the Pulitzer prize?"

It's a relief in a way. I haven't done much else besides read everything there is to read about the Dallas Cowboys.

I admit it. I'm a freak.

My writing has suffered as a result, but I am still pecking away at it slowly. My class draws to a close this weekend. I have written and rewritten the same scene three different times, but am finally coming to a conclusion that I may finally know just who this bit character is that I am about to throw away.

It's hard.

I'm reading Bernard Cornwell, The Archer's Tale. On Netflix I ordered up a helping of a screen adaptation of Sharpe's Rifles, for which Cornwell is famous. I absolutely love Historical Fiction.

Life is good. It will be better once football season is over.

My kids make my heart thump. I snuck into Jackson's room, a little melancholy for being so upset about a stupid game. I rubbed his forehead and he stirred, put his hands behind his head, elbows pointed out--then snored.

As for football, I should be writing my own fantasies, not praying for one to play out, especially when I have no control.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Two thousand words

It's up...

And it's good!