Rock of Ages, Bereft Is Me*

Two words.  Boombox scene.  Okay here's another two words.  Lloyd Dobler.  Do you know the reference?

Swooning over John Cusak and a boombox was part of coming of age in the '80s.  Who wouldn't give her right arm to have the man she loves serenade her with Peter Gabriel outside her window?  Come closer and I'll tell you a secret. 

We would still give our right arms for a serenade outside our windows.

Most often, rather than being serenaded, we have relationships without such drama until the flame goes out.  The disappointment can be felt whenever a man leaves us.  Or at least that's the way it feels to me.

What's odd is that feeling of loss and disappointment is rearing its head in my life again.  No, it's not Mr. Gaelic.  What's weird is feeling a major loss because the Legislative Director in my office quit.  Our relationship is strictly professional.  But he's the rock in the office.  The sure foundation of my professional life.  My boat has come unmoored and I feel adrift.

*Title inspired by this.


Disney's Gonna Get Religion*

WARNING!!!  SPOILER ALERT!!!  If you don't want to know too much about "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides", then leave now.  Here's the door.

The entire Gaelic clan went to a matinee this weekend for a 3-D IMAX viewing of the movie.  Based on trailers and reviews, we knew there would be mermaids, zombies, and a search for the Fountain of Youth.  But the movie got some points wrong.

First off, anyone who knows anything about the Fountain of Youth knows that it's in St. Augustine, Florida.  It probably hasn't changed much since the last time I visited back in the mid-'70s.  Would you believe me if I said the 1870s?  Which reminds me that the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale.

Getting back to the movie, it appears that everyone in the story is in search of the Fountain of Youth.  The king of Spain, the king of England, Jack Sparrow (shouldn't there be a Captain in there somewhere), Blackbeard, Blackbeard's daughter.  A race to the famed waters.  So where does the religion part come in, as referenced in the title of this post?

Onboard Blackbeard's ship is a missionary who carries his Bible with him at all times.  This missionary plays a larger part in the story but then Disney does him the injustice of not tying up his storyline.  That's my gripe since his was one of the better plot developments until they pulled the rug out from under his story leaving his ending high and dry.

But the religion part doesn't stop with the missionary.  The Spaniards' arrival at the Fountain proves that only one water can give everlasting life.  The Spaniards are the only ones who know, or at least believe, that the water of eternal life comes not from a mythological fountain.  When discussing the movie afterwards, it became evident that many people missed that reference, focusing more on the Spaniards just not wanting anyone else to have access to the Fountain of Youth.

The point the Spaniards were making was that we shouldn't seek the Fountain of Youth but the Water of Eternal Life.  And anyone who knows anything about the Water of Eternal Life knows that it comes not from a fountain in Florida but from a font in a church anywhere in the world.

*Title taken from this.


Go to Sleep You Little Baby*

I know a couple whose first, and so far only, child is nine months old.  There were crying jags when he wouldn't sleep for the world.  My heart went out to them but my mind quickly remembered my own sleepless nights with crying babies.  Been there, done that, no thank you.

There were countless readings of "Goodnight Moon", "The Velveteen Rabbit", "The Giving Tree", "Where the Wild Things Are".  And the singing!  Oy, vey!  The singing!  My repertoire consisted of "Hush, Little Baby", "Amazing Grace", "Down in the River", and any other gospel that my brain could remember at least a couple of lines.

And how many times would I start out of the door but the baby would realize I was leaving and start crying again?  They all have a knack for knowing when a parent is suffering from sleep deprivation and, in the back of their evil little minds, want to drive us over the sanity cliff.

So it was with much laughter that I stumbled upon a soon-to-be released children's book.  "Go the F**k to Sleep".  Those exact words crossed my mind more than once.  And anybody who claims that they love their baby every minute of every hour of every day and would never, never, never think something like that?  Well, as the author says in an interview I heard on the radio recently, "they're just full of sh*t."

*Title inspired by this.


Father McDreamy

There are three men at church that absolutely float my boat to new heights. They are the seminarian, the deacon, and one of the priests. While watching them all at the altar recently, it came to me that they have the same hair -- thick, full, and black. They're all thin. Two are relatively tall. And they're all young. Under 35.

This isn't my normal MO. From my earliest boyfriend in college, my type was thin build, blond hair, and blue eyes. From my second boyfriend, my type switched to chubby build, blond hair, blue eyes. Several other boyfriends were chubby, but with varying degrees of brown hair, leading some friends to label me as a "chubby chaser".

But always the same. They all had similar characteristics. Until Mr. Gaelic blew my type right out of the water. When we married, he was 6'5", 175 pounds, black hair, and dark brown eyes. Your typical lucky-Irishman-to-have-on-New-Years-Day. Now I like my men the way I like my beer -- long, dark, and strong.

If there is always a chance of the three of them, the seminarian, the deacon, and the priest, serving together, you can bet I won't be missing church very often. Can I hear an Amen from all the ladies?


Woody and Leadbelly Redux

After a long week getting up close and personal in the sausage factory, um, I mean halls of Congress, this gal needs to get back to her roots.  On the turntable tonight...

1."Sylvie" (Leadbelly)
2."Pretty Boy Floyd" (Woody Guthrie)
3."Do Re Mi" (Woody Guthrie)
4."I Ain't Got No Home" (Woody Guthrie)
5."Jesus Christ" (Woody Guthrie)
6."Rock Island Line" (Leadbelly)
7."East Texas Red" (Woody Guthrie)
8."Philadelphia Lawyer" (Woody Guthrie)
9."Hobo's Lullaby" (Woody Guthrie)
10."The Bourgeois Blues" (Leadbelly)
Grey Goose" (Leadbelly)
12."Goodnight, Irene" (Leadbelly)
13."Vigilante Man" (Woody Guthrie)
This Land Is Your Land" (Woody Guthrie)

Comfort music. Now where's my mac and cheese?


Mama Loves Days Like This*

My girl card is about to be taken away.  To me, a date on the calendar to celebrate love (February 14) or mothers (the second Sunday in May) or birthdays (for me, August 6) is not necessarily an excuse to shower me with presents.  My family knows me so well.

Since today is Mother's Day, as with most holidays, we have a family traditional breakfast.  Mr. Gaelic and the girls prepare eggs Benedict, hash browns, fruit salad, LeConte sunrise, and coffee.  No gifts, no cards, only verbal wishes for a Happy Mother's Day.  Except this year Deirdre, who has trouble saying things to me sometimes, gave me a card that expressed her appreciation for all I have done for her.

The rest of the day was picture perfect.  An hour or so of working in my vegetable garden was followed by an extended manicure.  Coffee, naptime, and a trip to the dog park with Baby, all with Mr. G, felt luxurious on a lovely spring day.  When I retired to my boudoir with my laptop for some alone time, what was delivered to my room outdid everything else. 

About to text message Mr. G to see what he was up to, his footsteps were heard on the stairs.  Looking up as he opened the door, I noticed that he didn't have a load of laundry under his arm or a look of consternation on his brow from dealing with the kids alone.  Instead he carried an antique martini glass by the stem.  One bleu cheese-stuffed olive sat at the bottom of the clear liquid.  His gift of making me a dirty martini was almost too much.  My face lit up into the biggest smile possible and my profuse thanks delighted him. 

A perfect way to end a perfect day.

*Mama said click here.


My Home's in Alabama*

*See Alabama.


Purple People Meter*

Past blogs have extolled my mundanity and averageness.  A Regular Jane.  Main Street Denizen.  Mainline Protestant.  Middle of the road, garden variety, dime a dozen.

Now it's confirmed that my politics are smack dab in the middle as well.  The Pew Research Center released their 2011 Political Typology.  It's nothing that we didn't already know.  The two political extremes are more polarized.  And the middle is hard to define.

How do you classify someone who is pro-choice, pro-death penalty, anti-DREAM Act, pro-English only, pro-nuclear power, anti-flat tax, pro-gay marriage, anti-divorce, pro-gun rights, anti-lead bullets, anti-school sex ed classes, anti-needle exchange, pro-military draft?  Someone who attends church every week and flies the American flag every day?  Someone who buys all organic food and mows her yard with a reel push mower but drives an SUV and refuses to use CFL light bulbs?

The Pew Research Center confirmed that I'm as purple as they come.  A "Post-Modern".  Take the test.  Find out what you are.  Then tell me.  Are you who you think you are?

*Title inspired by this.


I'm Somebody! Who Are You?*

The following is not original material.  It was plagarized from Becca.  Play along on your own blog if you like.

NICKNAMES: Yes, I have two.  One my husband calls me.  One my father took to his grave with him.

BIRTHDAY: The anniversary of the first atomic bomb that was dropped.  Yep, that pretty much describes me, too.
HEIGHT: 5'10"
HAIR COLOR: Red, strawberry blonde, titian, I'm not really sure
HANDED: Bats left, throws right

FROM: American by birth, Southern by the grace of God!
PETS: One dog, two cats
HOBBIES: genealogy, hiking, backpacking, reading
LIKES: How long do you have?
DISLIKES: See last answer.
FAVORITE ACCENTS: Coastal Georgia, South Carolinian Low Country, Cajun, Scottish

FAVORITE COUNTRY: Other than my own, Scotland
FAVORITE DRINK: Old Fashioned, Dirty Martini with bleu cheese stuffed olives, sweet iced tea, seltzer water
FAVORITE FLOWER: Orange Gerbera daisies
FAVORITE FOODS: Soft-shell crab, beets, creme brulee, gazpacho

FAVORITE SHOES: Anything with a heel over 3 inches high

FAVORITE SPORT: Tennis to play, Football to watch

1. Snakes
2. Serpents
3. Reptiles without legs

1. Arabic
2. Shuttle tatting
3. Rock climbing

*See Emily Dickinson.


Star Wars Blessing

One joke in the Episcopal church is about the passing of the Peace.  The priest begins with "The Peace of the Lord be always with you."  And the people answer, "And also with you," before turning to the neighbors, shaking hands, and passing the Peace with "Peace be with you."

The joke is that we have a wicked sense of humor.  In the Star Wars series, whenever a character says, "May the Force be with you," we Episcopalians have an urge to answer the screen with "And also with you."

So on this day, I send you my Star Wars Blessing.  May the Fourth be with you.
And also with you. I just couldn't help myself.   


Post-Casserole Life

The Internet is buzzing with individuals and groups who are coming to the aid of the tornado victims across the south, most predominately in Alabama.  FEMA is there, as is USDA for farmers.  Everyone wants to help.

This is my home state.  Of course I'm concerned about the people.  But I'm not helping.  Not yet.  With all the influx of money and goods and offers of help, my help won't make any real difference right now.  Instead I pray for them.

Is it callousness that prevents me from helping?  No.  On the contrary.  I am very worried about what will happen to all those families, young people, elderly people, farmers, small business owners, whoever they are.

I'm waiting for the phenomenon known as the Casserole Period to end before I offer help in terms of time, talents, and treasure.  Anyone who has lost a close family member -- parent, spouse, child -- knows exactly what the Casserole Period is. 

On average, it's about six months long.  During those first months after the funeral, neighbors and church members and friends bring casseroles and frozen dishes for the family's supper.  They ask how you're holding up.  They offer to help in whatever way is needed.  And then it stops.

People no longer ask how you're holding up.  They worry if you look sad or teary-eyed after what they think is sufficient time to be over your grief.  They no longer bring casseroles.

And so it is with natural disasters.  Our focus moves on.  Remember Banda AcehMcDowell County, West VirginiaNew OrleansPort-au-PrinceChristchurchSendaiFukushima

There will still be a need for assistance six, nine, eighteen months from now.  Who will be there to bring casseroles after another trip around the sun?