Archive for May 2007

Mountain View Memories

May 30, 2007

John and I hit the road in our new (to us) Element and headed to Arkansas to see Mom and Dad. We drove down Friday night in the dark so we wouldn’t have to look at southern Illinois.

John, Dad, and Mom
John had never been to Mountain View in the summer time. He likes the Arkansas Folk Center there so I wanted the Stone County courthouse square to be one of our stops. For those of you who don’t know, Mountain View, AR is billed as the Folk Music Capitol of the World. I’m not sure it lives up to the “world” part of that title, but every Friday and Saturday night during the warm months excellent folk (in the broad sense of that term) musicians pour into the square to just play—honest and unplugged.

Old folks teach the young’uns.

Family Band
Family bands like this one from Fordyce, AR play hard and always look like they’re having fun.

Mountain View 027
This woman played Amazing Grace on water glasses while her husband accompanied her on the guitar. The music was ethereal and people sang along quietly. In between verses the woman and her husband would argue about how fast or slow the other was going.

There were so many groups playing we didn’t get to listen to them all. Click here to see more photos. Mountain View would make a good weekend trip for acoustic music fans. Going there made me miss home. I think my friends Kris and Scott from Minnesota would really enjoy it. Someday I hope to get them down here for it.



May 23, 2007

I’ve been getting up at 5:45 a.m. to walk Claire.  I used to do that all the time until we had a small rash of armed robberies in our neighborhood at night (very unusual for us).  You would think we live in the ‘Hood, but Holy Cross is a pretty sweet place.  Problem is the real ‘Hood is just a few blocks away and our city police force is stretched at the moment.  So at least for now we make a convenient target.  I took a break from walks before daylight.

With dawn coming earlier I figured it would be okay for me to walk Claire in the morning again.  Today around 6:00 a.m. as we were heading out our back door I noticed a car driving slowly through our alley.  Sadly, the only time cars drive slowly through our alley is when they are up to something so I watched to see what would happen. 

Sure enough, the car stopped.  A short, scrawny white guy with brown hair and a baseball cap (details are for neighbors reading this) got out and started trying to put his hand through the partially opened window of my neighbor’s car that was parked behind her house. 

The guy didn’t see me through our trees, so I walked Claire over to about 20 feet from where he was and yelled in as loud and deep a voice as I could muster, “Hey!!!” (I’m not that creative at 6:00 a.m.). 

I think I scared Claire.  I know I scared the guy.  Surprised, he jerked his hand out of the car window, jumped back and yelled in annoyed voice, “What!” 

I suppose the conversational ball was in my court, but I couldn’t come up with a direction for it to go (“Hey stubby, let me try.  My reach is longer.” Or “Wait, you’re gonna need a coat hanger for that.”).  So Claire and I just gawked at him instead. 

He jumped into his blue sedan and backed down the alley in a cloud of dust so I couldn’t get his license plate number. 

It occurs to me that this story is actually kind of boring.   I need a much better shtick for dealing with petty thieves.   I’m definitely going to start carrying my cell phone.  And I think I may try to get really bulked up (and not just at my equator) and wear all black and some menacing sunglasses.  Any other suggestions for making me look a little tougher? 

Hangin’ with Bubbers

May 21, 2007

My friend Katie was having lunch the other day on the Circle with Alicia and her dog Bubbers, a Yorkiepoo.  Evidently mixing any breed of dog with a Poodle causes it to develop super-canine cute powers.  And of course a matching orange tote and a Burberry-esque puppy polo shirt don’t hurt.  

Bubbers 1

Bubbers 2

Bubbers 3

I should warn you that I sense the winds of a political rant hurricane season breaking through the shell of my fatalistic cynicism.  Hopefully, those of you who are put off by such things will let Bubbers tide you over.    Enjoy the cuteytude. 

Fierce Me Real Good!

May 17, 2007

Well, Dave and I closed down another cyle of ANTM last night.  I would share pictures of our model snacks- Amy’s veggie pizzas, pita chips, mango salsa and diet Sprite–but my computer is making things difficult. 

If you didn’t see it, last night’s  winner proved that the distance between bitter and fierce  is a truckload of therapy.   Jaslene got some (as the whole world should), and it paid off. 

I have to say, if I were Renee I would feel a little bitter, too.  They took a candidate for a CoverGIRL shoot who is already a little brassy and “mature” looking and put her on shimmering water, in gold lame’ (large sequins? fish scale? what was she wearing?), overlit her, and all of this on an incredibly sunny day.   Poor thing probably burned a hole on the back of her eyeballs during the shoot just trying to keep her eyes open.  That much sun is bound to put your skin tone outside of the 90-something that Covergirl “matches.”  I will say Renee did put on a good act (her gift) during the ad lib Covergirl rave talk. 

I was shocked that Natasha beat Renee into the final two.  Was it N’s “I’m going to laugh my way onto their last nerve” circus act?  Did the judges just want one last chance to see what nuttiness she’d bring to the catwalk?  She certainly didn’t dissappoint, managing to walk right out of her skirt(!) without so much as a thought given to trying to keep it up.  Does the phrase “put your hand on your hip” not translate into Russian?  And from Nigel (the straight judge):  “She made it look intentional.”  Ding, ding!  We have a winner! 

While Nigel, God love him,  gets the award for the most naively perceptive statement made by a heterosexual man in a gay television series, Jaslene walked away with the contracts.  What exactly happens when the unapproachable glamour of a Versace siren meets the work ethic of an east European gymnist? I’m not sure about the science behind it, but long story short, Jaslene starts raining fierce-bombs powerful enough to blow the heels right off Ms. Jay’s size 12s.   

So she talks like she has a few gobstoppers under her tongue, who cares?  How many supermodels do you ever hear say more than one or two lines?   She’s strong, principled, self-possessed, and most importantly for her line of work, she could sell a trash bag if she wore it with the right shoes.

It’s Jaslene’s world now.   Somewhere Jael is smiling, and whispering a high-pitched “heeere!” while trying to hold her breath.

For Rosie, Thoughts on Falwell

May 16, 2007

Okay, Rosie is right. I do have more to say, but here is why it doesn’t matter.

1. Falwell was already irrelevant. Yes, the 24,000 members of his Thomas Road Baptist Church are not an insignificant number, but they’ve believed the way they have for years. His departure won’t change anything for them. The Dobsons of the world will just take his place. I believe politics are cyclical in nature. Falwell represented the cresting of the religious conservative wave, but if he hadn’t taken up their cause, it would have been some other bozo. And mega church bozos abound and likely will for a few more years to come.

2. Whose mind is going to be changed by me pointing out how ridiculous his lies were? You know, like the one about how gay people, and feminist, and secular society in general were responsible for 9/11. His logic basically suggested that if we had been more like the extreme religious Muslims who bombed the WTC we wouldn’t have been attacked by them. People who don’t already know this line of thought for the crap it is aren’t going to be convinced by me.

So airing the only thing I have left for him, a sense of relief that he’s gone and my personal feelings about how he made a mockery of Christ’s love seems sort of pointless, but there you are.  

My friend Ken had a more loving and perhaps spiritual response I think, which was “Well, I guess he has the full revelation now.”  As we all will someday.

The one thing that makes me happy in the reporting I hear about his death is that his quotes sound as hateful and anachronistic as they really are.

(P.S.  I bet Rosie never thought she would share a blog title with Jerry Falwell.) 

Morning Times

May 15, 2007


Morning in Indiana this time of year is a wonder. The light on our back porch is soft and the air is just cool enough to wake me up slowly.

I drink my coffee on the swing with the sun on my back. A lemon-scented veil from the Peonies in the flower bed behind me floats nearby. The smell goes well with my Cheerios.
Bully (the chicken) and I stare at the garden for about a half hour (he actually stares at it most of the day as far as I can tell). It’s my irritating tendency to critique the location of everything I’ve ever planted, but in the morning I make the effort to just relax and enjoy the bright bronzy greens that only the light of early day can fill the garden with.

As I stare, I drink my morning coffee from only one of two cups- either a small soft yellow one from the 70s that I inherited from Rosie’s beloved grandmother or a perfectly proportioned rust-colored one from a set that Duane made a few years back. For some reason I like small coffee cups. I tend to be a slow coffee drinker, so smaller ones keep me from ending up with cold coffee.

Mornings weren’t always like this for me.

I can remember a time, roughtly ages 23-31, when I spent the early hours of each day journaling incessantly, analyzing every thought or decision I made the day before or might make later that afternoon. My ramblings typically turned into prayers. Therapy, my analytic tendencies, and my Southern Baptist heritage were a bit too much of a match made in heaven. I ignored what morning is all about.

Recently I cleaned out a bedroom dresser and found those old journals. I read through some of them, but when I found myself reprimanding the 2007 Troy for critiquing the 1998 Troy who was most likely criticizing the “day before whatever I was reading” Troy, I put them away.

These days I try to live a little more in the moment and use my senses rather than my thoughts to start the day. It’s not that I don’t value personal reflection; I just tend to get my daily allowance without much need for supplements.

Nothing More to Say

May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell is dead.