A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Unfortunately, I don’t remember what it was.

Last week, something very funny happened, and I knew I needed to blog about it so you could all share in my laugh. But I was on my way to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. I gave myself strict instructions to write a note to myself so I could blog about it this week. But I promptly ignored my instructions. This was too funny to forget, I thought.

I forgot.

It just happened last week! I’ve gone through my week time and time again trying to remember, but alas, it’s gone. A shame, because I’m pretty sure it was something silly I did that we could all get a good chuckle from.

***

Last night, while watching a Hallmark Christmas movie on CBS (my movie and music standards drop significantly when it comes to Christmas), I realized the perfect job for me: a Christmas tree farmer. I’d care for each tree like it was my own, naming it, grooming it. And when the time came, I’d help each family find their perfect tree. People would come from many states because of my reputation. I’d also always have hot wassail available.

Except maybe I’d drink all the wassail. I consumed almost an entire pot by myself on Saturday.

(For those of you who don’t remember, I have four trees every year–three fake ones and a real one. I name them all. This year, I almost got a fourth fake tree to add to the collection when my sister-in-law told me about a crazy $30 sale on prelit trees, but they were sold out.)

***

I ventured out on Black Friday this year. But it doesn’t really count because, as I mentioned afore, we were at my parents’ house. They live in a smallish town, so Black Friday isn’t crazy like Dallas. This is why I had to go: my dad and husband decided to go to Best Buy.

Have you seen my husband at Best Buy or Fry’s? Dangerous.

So I went to keep an eye on them. Next door, Shoe Carnival was having a buy-1-get-1-half-off sale.

"Don’t you need new shoes?" I asked Chris.

So we went in. This really isn’t that significant except two things struck me as minorly funny.

One, Chris didn’t get any shoes. My dad and I walked out with a pair each, though. While there, I remembered that I don’t have winter black shoes. So I bought a pair of black comfy Sketchers.

Which brings us to minor funny number two.

"Those are winter shoes?" Chris said. "And you say you’re from the northeast." (He’s from Colorado.)

"I’m contextualizing for Texas. In Texas, winter shoes are non-flipflops." Although, really, sometimes you can wear flipflops in Texas in winter. At least I do.

I don’t know why that struck me as funny, but it did. Also, I love Sketchers. I can’t help myself. They’re so comfy!

***

I’ve always had weird dreams, often involving serial killers (I’ve chased serial killers, been chased by serial killers, been a serial killer, etc.). Now these weird dreams are taking a turn for the pregnancy. A couple of weeks ago, I dreamed that my belly button popped out exactly like a turkey timer–long and T-shaped and all. I kept trying to push it back in because I’m only six months pregnant and so obviously not done yet.

Two nights ago, I dreamed that I could take the baby out of my tummy and put him back in. Like a kangeroo. It was very convenient.

And scene.

I dream things that never were

Do you ever wake up and have to convince yourself that this is reality? The dream from whence you came is not your life. And it may not be that your dream life is better. In fact, fear and stress often fill my dreams. Yet, for hours after waking, the dream world persists.

This is such a morning.

You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’
- George Bernard Shaw

I Dreamed a Dream in Time Gone By

I dreamed the other night I was training to be a couscous caller.

For those of you who don’t know, in fine wine bars/restaurants, a couscous caller calls, "Couscous!" to the kitchen staff when someone orders a bottle of wine. This alerts the staff to bring out the bottle of wine. (I never figured out how they knew which bottle to bring or what the mediterranean dish had anything to with wine calling, but it did.)

I had just began working at this wine bar/restaurant, and the couscous caller was not very good. In fact, he was terrible. (You see, a couscous caller needs good intonation and volume. It combines opera with the beer salesman at a baseball game.) This guy had a scraggly voice. It was not beautiful. So the owner decided to train me for the job.

The owner was Robert De Niro.

***

Danica over at The Journey of Danica Favorite awarded me with the Premio Dardos award. I looked up "dardos" in the dictionary, but alas, it was not to be found. Danica tells us on her blog the Premio Dardos honors blogs with "cultural, ethical, literary and personal values." For that I am deeply honored.

For this award, I nominate:

Seedlings in Stone–blog by author L.L. Barkat; she thinks deeply about grace, its implications in our lives, and its implications on how we treat others and the earth. As an added bonus, she shares her thoughts poetically.

Aspire 2–blog by author Sandra Glahn; Sandi is Lewisian (as in C.S. Lewis) in the way she connects reason and creativity. I can always count on Sandi to challenge me and to express her views in thoughtful, thought-provoking, and kind ways. She is generous in mercy and exceptional in love.

in a mirror dimly–blog by author Ed Cyzewski (I just realized all three of my nominations are authors, which is fitting since they are all brilliant thinkers). I’ve recently discovered his blog through his book Coffeehouse Theology (a good read). It seems we’ve made similar theological journeys, so I relate well to what he writes.

***

Tanya Dennis also nominated me for an award, the Proximity award, which means:

"This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY – nearness in space,
time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These
kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in
prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of
these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give
more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers
who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into
the body of their award."

To be declared charming delighted me. I’m honored to be called a friend by Tanya, not only because she’s a Jersey girl (making her worthy of greatness in itself), but because she’s a caring and creative person. When I began blogging, I didn’t expect to find such wonderful friendships, yet here you are, and I’ve come to love you not just in the "God loves you so I do as well" sense, but in the phileo, endearing love. I will not nominate 8 as I should, but 3:

They Hang Like Paper Lanterns–blog by Erin Teske, artist, co-founder of Soul Per Suit, and beautiful person; we met in the cyber world via Sandi Glahn and recognized in each other kindred spirits. When I made a trip to her neck of the woods for a conference, we were able to meet face-to-face (over pumpkin cheesecake–at least, I had pumpkin cheesecake). She is the type of friend who makes me feel safe. She exudes creativity from her very core; it affects everything she does. I cannot say enough of her heart, mind, and soul, all of which glorify God in amazing ways.

Just a Minute–blog by Michelle Pendergrass, horror writer, and the most loyal person you will ever meet. I don’t remember how I found her blog, but not long afterward, we met in "real" life at a writer’s conference. Instant friendship. She was the oatmeal; I was the water (I don’t really know what that means, but go with it). She’s kept me sane (or kept me insane when others have tried to make me sane) in the writing world. I can count on her (I began to write "for . . ." but realized I would not have time to finish such a long list). Besides being funny, godly, and honest, she writes amazing stories that take me into God’s presence. She opened my eyes to true horror writing.

a warrior princess and a set of wings–blog by Sarah Winfrey. Doesn’t the name of her blog tell you why we’re blog-friends? Sarah is sincere, authentic, imaginative, and lovely. I imagine if Sarah lived near me (or I near her), at parties, we’d be the two in the corner whispering to one another, chatting with the trees out the window, and adorning the other party-goers with elfin ears and fairy wings. I’ve had the opportunity to read some of her novel, and it takes you into the heart of the hurting. This is Sarah: she goes into the heart of the hurting and holds them closely. She’s a healer.

I’ve prayed for each one of these 6 nominees as I typed their blurb. Thank you all for how you have touched my life.

While We're on the Subject

They come every so often.

These dreams to haunt me.

Which is funny because I haven’t worked there for two and a half years–longer than my span there. But something in my subconscious won’t let it go. They say dreams are your attempt to work through issues. I guess I still have issues.

It always starts the same way. They ask me to sub for a day in my old position as a medical receptionist. For some reason, though I hated the job, I always say yes. And every time, the same thing happens.

I show up to find no charts have been prepared for the day’s clinic, no insurances have been called. The lobby floods with impatient patients pounding the counter and end tables and walls. Doctors yell at me. The other office employees gossip about celebraties and friends. (Let me note here that while the girls dispensed gossip in heavy doses, they never would abandon me like a pain pill on an empty stomach.)

This time, there was a slight variation. One doctor lounged on a countertop studying (for what, I have no idea). Another doctor paraded around in his new scrubs laughing at how they were twice as big as his waist (ala Jarrod of Subway fame). Dr. Sherman T. Potter from M*A*S*H (the world’s greatest TV show–don’t even try to argue with me about that) has joined the office. And there are marionettes.

Usually, it doesn’t occur to me to walk out. It doesn’t occur to me that I don’t need to be there, that I have a life I love.

This time, I unloosed my tongue. I told the patients to sit down and shut up or leave with their bursting appendices.

I told the lounging doctor (whose favorite book in real life is Waldon Pond) that he’s as un-Thoreau as they come, just look at how snappy he dresses, and for heaven’s sake he’s the one who taught me the meaning of chartreuse (all of which is true).

I told Dr. Potter that just because he played one on TV doesn’t qualify him to remove gall bladders.

I put empty charts without so much as a name (or worse, the wrong name) in the slots on the doors.

(I didn’t, however, say anything to the marionettes.)

Perhaps this is the end. Perhaps I’ve now geysered all that pent-up frustration.

Or maybe it’s only the beginning…



Creativity on Nick-at-Nite

"My wife’s creative," my husband . Only he said "creative" more like he does when he says "crazy."
I had just told him and a few others about my dream the night before.
You
see, in my dream, President Bush had stopped all production of food and
other such things in order to fund a new upcoming war. The government
kept this new war hush-hush. The people that foretold about it turned
into parrots. Well, their heads turned into parrots. Their bodies
remained human.
The war was against the pirates.
We wanted the
pirates to win. With the exception of one or two, the pirates happened
to be the good guys. At the same time, we were afraid. The war would be
waged on our turf.
And then the government killed the only man who
could save the world, of course (because that’s how these things go).
But before he died, he whispered a secret. Go find the friar. The friar
could help.
That’s about it. A couple of other oddball things, like
my aunt trying to get me to listen to her voicemail when Bush was on TV
announcing something important or running into Jane Seymour when she
was picking up her two adopted kids. You know, things like that.
Just goes to show that crazy and creativity sometimes overlap.