Monday, August 30, 2010

Snapshot of Life

Tonight was one of those times when I wish I could capture a moment just as I would a lightning bug in a jar.  Hubby was outside grilling chicken and zucchini, all the while fending E off as she pummeled him with a plastic sword.  E was giggling and jabbering away while the raptor barked to be included.   I was in the kitchen cutting up cantaloupe, just taking in the mayhem, and I thought to myself, "How blessed am I to have this family?"  No matter what else is going on, I have this protective little cocoon of love that keeps me going on my darkest days.

After dinner E turned on her Netflix to check the weather and started saying, "Naples?  There's a place called Naples?  It looks like Nipples!"  Hubby and I just hung our heads and laughed at our unabashed child which only encouraged her.  Soon she was running around with the dog chasing her as she yelled "NIPPLES FLORIDA!!!" at the top of her lungs.  Only a pastor's child.

**Just a sidebar, I can track the paths people take to get to my blog.  The number one way peeople find me is when they Google "Muddy Boobs"-which connects "Muddy" (obvious) and "boobs" (boobs from my Smooshed Boobs and other Randomness post)  and voila! I can't wait to see how many hits I get from "Muddy Nipples."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Implements of Destruction

A long time ago, before E was born but after I was married, I worked as a server at a a marina restaurant.  Although waiting tables was not my ideal job, I was good at it and it paid the bills.   My boss was this crusty old fisherman who could fire off a temper tantrum in the blink of an eye.  You never knew what was going to set him off, but when he blew, everyone went running for cover.  It was nothing for him to call someone a bitch or bastard, even the customers.  But he and I got along.  I could see through all his huff and puff and let the name calling just roll off my back.  For you see, people who say things to my face get a lot more respect than those ducks who constantly peck me to death.  Whenever one of our younger servers would make a mistake, they would come skulking to me and ask me to take care of it with the owner.  I usually did because if I took his heat, it saved me a lot of training of servers.

Eventually my boss trusted me enough that he would occasionally leave me in charge and take a night off.  All of the servers waited for these nights because they felt like they could finally breathe and things ran fairly smoothly.  But one night, late into tourist season, my boss had left and I was waiting tables when I got sat two men.  My sixth sense alarm started going off.  They were dressed like regular tourists with jeans and t-shirts and they both had wallets in their pockets, but something about them told me they were going to try to run out on the check.

I took their drink order and went back into the kitchen area to input it into the computer.  While I was back there I casually mentioned to the cooks that I had runners.  Several of the boys came out from behind the line to peek around at table.  They all shook their heads and said, "nah, they're not runners, too clean."
"Nope," I insisted, "they're gonna run, boys."  So the boys opened the door from the kitchen to the deck so they could keep an eye out should the men leave their table.

I waited on the men for about 90 minutes.  They had several drinks, steak dinners, more drinks, and then they ordered dessert.  And this is how I knew they had some semblance of how the restaurant worked.   If a customer ordered dessert, I had to leave the main building and go into an outdoor cooler where I could no longer see my tables.  To get the dessert, they would have to be out of my sight for about 3 minutes.  But of course, I couldn't refuse to let them get dessert because I had a suspicion they weren't going to pay the check.  I had to still act like everything was normal.

I walked back through the kitchen to let the guys know I was heading in the cooler.  "This is it, guys, as soon as I open that door they are going to run."  The guys jokingly picked up ladles and butcher's knives and other things with which to inflict pain.  But, as soon as that cooler door opened, those 2 men stood up and quickly exited the building.  The cooks came around from behind and met them at the door.  The largest cook, Nava, said, "Gentlemen, have you paid your check?"  And that was it, the chase was on. Those two men hauled ass down towards the boardwalk with 4 or 5 teenage boys chasing after them with various kitchen utensils.  Of course the men were slightly tipsy and the boys were younger so they quickly caught them and cornered them, amazingly enough, against the wall of the small police station.  Our local detective came out, took a picture of all of them with their implements of destruction and brought the men back to the restaurant.

I called my boss to see if he wanted to press charges and he said not if the men paid.  The men paid, stiffed me, and went on their merry way.  But all of us had a funny story to tell from that night.  And whenever I told them I thought someone was going to run, they believed me and grabbed their weapons.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's Not Just Us

Hubby and I have been feeling very put upon lately thinking all of this crap heaped upon us was just..us.  We thought maybe this feeling of being outsiders might be us being too sensitive.  We thought that until Hubby met another pastoral couple who live about 20 minutes from us and are in the same denomination.

They recognized Hubby and introduced themselves while he was at a coffee shop.  They got to talking and Hubby casually mentioned the cultural differences this area has compared to the other places we have lived.  The couple's jaws droppped and they both said, "We thought it was just us."  Conversation continued and they confided in Hubby that things were so bad at their church and town that they had privately taken to calling it "the Hurt Locker."  Yes folks, that's right, being a pastor in this area is akin to being the person who defuses terrorist bombs.

I'm just sayin'....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jenny

Remember that I was drummed out of the BFA program at my college.  I do, however, now teach theater and direct shows, so this is my opinion.  I won't be offended if you ignore my advice.

I was always told to prepare a monologue from the show I was audtitioning for if at all possible, but what I found was if the director already had an image of the character in mind, and I didn't look like it, it became hard for that person to see me as anything else.  Do you know you do this monologue better than anyone else auditioning?  Have you used it and gotten cast?  Then use it.

If, though, you have any qualms about using it, that lack of confidence will show through.  Go in with a second monologue prepared.  Spend your small allotted time to chat with the director to let him know you have a monologue from the show prepared if he should choose to see a second one.  Chances are, you only get to show one, but....

Theater is so subjective.  Just make sure your personality shows through.  That was the lesson I never learned in college.  I went in so focussed on making the character monologue work that I forget to let the director see the real  me.  They need to know thay can work with you and that you will fit into the ensemble.

Hope that helps.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bucket List

In the past week I have had two people comment on my blog.  Both of these people are doing something I desperately want to do...eventually.  First was K.  K is in a roller derby.  I know it seems strange for a pastor's wife, but I have always wanted to take part in a roller derby.  There just seems to be something gritty and raw and primal about it.  I know it can be a brutal sport, but the women all seem like my kind of people.  For me to try it right now would probably devastate my body (I have had two major car accidents that left my neck a little like a bobble head) but once I have built up some more muscle and feel like I could safely take a fall, I REALLY want to do it.

The other person is RV Vagabond.  Hubby and I have had our fair share of the "wrath of nature".  We've endured so many hurricanes and seen first hand the good that the Red Cross does, that I have for years wanted to get an RV and just spend  my life traveling from disaster to disaster.  When nature strikes, I want to be one of the first people into the devastated area to help the people get through the first couple weeks.  But I also want to be able to pick up and go and see the world on my own terms.  So, even though that will probably have to wait until we retire, owning an RV is on my bucket list.

But after that things get kind of hazy.  I am so embroiled in the drama that is my life that I have found I have stopped having dreams and goals.  The person who left the comment that my inability to lose weight might be related to my stress really hit home.  The only way to combat this stress is to focus on other things, so I have been trying to make out a bucket list.  Here's what I have:

Meet Carole King (and not screw it up this time).  I really need to right that wrong.
Visit Santa Fe, Cinque Terra, Maine, Wales, Havasu Falls and Scotland
Eat Peking Duck (Okay, I stole this from Everybody Love Ray)
Go jet skiing
Get at least one thing published
Learn to play my guitar
Swim with dolphins
Read five more of the top 100 books ever written (I was surprised to see I have only read 17)
Go to an affair where I get to see my Hubby in a tux


That's as far as I have gotten.  I know, its a sad number, but at least it is a start.  Maybe you all could add to my list.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oga and Pee-Cans

I have been teaching summer camps like a madwoman this year.  I have switched off between doing theater camps with my "big" kids, exploration camps with my "soon-to-be-kindergarteners" and Montessori camps with 3 year-olds.  I have enjoyed most of them, but I have to say, the group of three year-olds I have this week has been so much fun.

I have one little boy whose father is a pastor.  He is the same boy who, when asked what the name of his church was, answered, "It's the Church of the Absapositootie" (although now he says it is the church of "Mary had a Little Toot.")  Every time this child goes to the restroom, he calmly announces that he has "emptied his bladder."

I have a pair of fraternal twins.  They are brother and sister but the sister is more dominant and calls all of us "her people."  Their cousin is in the class also and snuggles up with my assistant.  Today as he was snuggled into her he kept rubbing her legs.  Suddenly he announced that her legs "feels just like my daddy's face!"

These kids are so cool.  At the end of every day we do yoga together, only a few of them can't pronounce their "Y's" and always yell that they're ready to do "Oga."  I find myself getting into their speech patterns and forgetting my own rules of grammar.  Plus, a few of them have very strong southern accents.  I myself have a blended accent.  For the most part I have the bland midwest tone to my voice, although I do mispronounce my "o's" in that Ohioan kind of way.  But I also say "y'all" and "fixin' to" and "showin' out".   Just little things southern things, nothing too pronounced.

I really surprised myself today, however, when I noticed the tree on our playground had started to drop its nuts.  Being the environmental teacher that I am I called the kids over to show them what I had found.  I kept saying, "Look everybody, our PEE-can tree is dropping its nuts.  Can you believe it?  Who eats PEE-cans?"  And after a minute or two I heard what I was saying.  I wasn't saying peh-cahn like I had been taught, I was saying PEE-can like I was a character in Mame or something.  Good Lord, what these kids have done to me.  Next thing you know I am going to be saying BAM-byou-lance or Sigh-reen like they do around here.  Maybe I just need to do more oga.

***Just a sidenote to my post from yesterday.  I woke up to my newspaper's local headlines announcing that the police were searching for a man wanted for 8 counts of attempted murder.  He was also charged with a drive-by shooting that almost killed a toddler.  This man had just been arrested 3 months ago in a drug sting and was a known associate of the Bloods leader who had been living catty corner across the street behind me.  They listed the man's name and address.  His address was 1400 BEHIND MY FRIGGING HOUSE STREET.  I mean the house RIGHT BEHIND MY HOUSE.  I can look into his back windows!  And the church says I am lying, gossiping and making up stories about the dangers of my neighborhood.  Argh!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Here Turtle Turtle

So I am back from my weekend on the coast.  It's kind of weird that I live 45 minutes from the ocean but had to drive 5 hours to spend a few days at...the ocean.  Anywho, at the risk of exposing where I live, I need to tell you the story about the loggerhead, ghost crab and the Universe's sign.

The island my parents live on is prime turtle nest land.  On an 11 mile stretch of beach there were approximately 65 turtle nests.  I desperately wanted to experience the hatching of the turtles so I went to the turtle center, asked which nest they thought would be the next to go and dragged E with me at 8:30 at night to sit by a man-made trough and await the birth of beautiful little reptiles.  We waited for 90 minutes and nothing was happening.  Sad and desolate, E and I walked barefoot along the shore line about 3 blocks back to our car.  We promised each other that we would return the next day to await the hatching and that IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.

About that time E went running ahead to do a cartwheel in the sand.  As I was watching her (and not the ground beneath me) I felt a tremendous pain in my foot and heard this horrible cracking sound.  It sounded just like a restaurant when a bibbed customer takes out a huge metal object and tears into Alaskan King Crab claws.  I stood there for just a second trying to register the fact that something had just been inserted at least 1/2 inch into my foot and wondering if that cracking sound was something I was standing ON or something that was INSIDE me.  I got dizzy as I tried to lift up my foot and remove the offending object that was now a part of me.  Alas, I had created a soft-shell  crab when I absent-mindedly stepped down on a very hard shelled ghost crab.  I took a breath and pulled the piece of him that was left from out of my foot.  Let me tell you, crab should be eaten, not stomped.

Over the course of the year here in CountryTime I have struggled to make friends.  One of my preschool students was the cutest little girl in the world.  She was a cross between Orphan Annie and Shirley Temple.  I spent a lot of time talking to her mom and felt really comfortable with her.  The day before I had finally decided to put myself out there and ask her and her family to come over for dinner, I found out she was moving in four weeks to a city 2 1/2 hours away.  I was devastated.  I friended her on FB but that was pretty much that.

So when I returned that night I put on my FB page that I was going out again tomorrow in hopes of seeing the nest hatch, injured foot or not.  Annie's mom replied that they were on turtle duty as well and asked where I was.  I answered my exact location but I didn't check my FB page again before another disappointing night of turtle watching, but when I got home she had left a comment.  She was vacationing in the house that was at the EXACT location of my turtle nest.  I must have left both nights just a little too early to see her.  How bizarre is that?  Here we were, both at the exact same place at the almost exact same time.

The funny thing is, as we were driving through her new town to my parent's island, I had casually mentioned to Hubby how sad I was that this family had moved and maybe we could get moved to this town so we at least had one family we knew we could friend.  And then, lo and behold, there she was.  Sign?  Hmmm...I wonder...because Hubby and I are definitely thinking we are going to ask for a move.  How long do you stay in a place that feels so alien and makes you lonely?

So there it is, my week away.  I got to go to the world's hottest outdoor wedding (who gets married outdoors in August in the south?), met a man who apparently has the stamina of the Energizer Bunny, sat by a turtle's nest for TWO nights only to see nothing, turned into a crab killer and passed like two ships in the night with the one person formerly from CountryTime that I felt a connection to.

Oh, but I did get to see Stormy and the Assassin.  It was nice but just made me need a place to call "home" even more.  Oh well, I'm still better off than the ghost crab.....

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Just a Quick Word

So I'm sitting at the table for the rehearsal dinner last night all by myself.  Hubby has taken E for a walk on the beach since our food was taking over an hour to arrive.  The obnoxious guy at the table next to me was having a very loud conversation about a girl he met.  Very loudly he said, "That was the BEST two and a half hours of SEX I ever had!"  Suddenly everybody started shushing him and whispering that he was sitting next to the Preacher's Wife!  I so badly wanted to turn to him and say, "How the hell do you have sex for two and a half hours?"  But that wouldn't fit my meek and mild persona.

And, oh yes, the cake was so lovely and tasty after someone let their small child stick his nasty fingers in it AND shove shells that he found all over it.  Gotta love those undisciplined children!