Totally random dispatches from a goofy lesbian Presbyterian who loves books, history, old-time radio and walking.
The Village Carpenter Mrs. Fruit's woodworking blog, filled with pretty pictures and words I've never heard of. I really don't know what she's talking about. There are also a few cute pics of our companion animals, because we're gay and it's a requirement.
Last week, Kari and I attended a public meeting regarding a proposed skateboard park for our small borough.
I expected the usual NIMBY objections, and I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I appreciated the honesty of one fellow who explicitly said, "It's a great idea. But I don't want it in my backyard." He had a really strong and endearing Southern accent. We live in Pennsylvania. Incongruous moment number 1.
I also expected a few fireworks. One of the elected officials in my town thrives on conflict and drama. I voted for her and supported her presence on council because I believe she's a tenacious watchdog for her constituents, especially regarding fiscal matters. She's also an up-from-the-bootstraps business owner and very different from other council members, who appear to be standard-issue high achievers.
Heterogeneity is a good thing. Especially in politics and on church boards.
However, she lacks tact and is not much of a team player. So I wasn't surprised when she announced that she had a petition for folks to register their displeasure with the park. I also wasn't surprised when she, and another resident, used the term "riffraff" to describe the kids who would populate the skate park.
Riffraff. They actually said that.
In front of us sat three people and a small child. I judged them to be skateboarders, based on their hip clothing and haircuts, and on their ages (20's). The child was about 3 and shockingly well-behaved during a somewhat dry meeting.
After the riffraff comment, one of the young women raised her hand to address the notion that skaters are scumbags. She was holding the child, who by this time had fallen asleep in her mother's arms, with a binky in her mouth. The mother calmly and without anger said that she and her husband were skateboarders, and that she was just as concerned about having a safe and clean place to skate as she was about her child having a safe place to play. Incongruous moment number 2, and a beautiful one.
As we were leaving, I noticed my bulldog councilwoman talking heatedly with another obviously bright and articulate skater. I could see that he was taking her to task for her comments and I enjoyed seeing them together going at it. He had a shaved head and beard and looked like he could bench press, um, a lot. (I don't actually know what a good bench press would be). Incongruous moment number 3.
My neighbor died last Monday night. I knew he was gone when I walked the dogs early Tuesday morning and his son-in-law had hung the flag in their front yard at half-mast. Norm was 84 and receiving hospice care at home.
He was Old-School Man. By that I mean he was a very hard worker, handy with machines and motors, a devoted family man, a proud World War II Army Air Corps veteran and a helpful neighbor.
I remember a big snow we had several years ago. I was shoveling a path for the letter carrier when a reporter came walking down the street asking those dopey human-interest reporter questions. I remember telling him that we neighbors pulled together and would shovel for one another and for elderly neighbors.
No sooner had these words left my mouth when I heard the roar of Norm's snow blower and saw him rounding the corner and proceeding down our entire block, with a little wave as he passed.
A local newspaper columnist posted hers in her column this morning, and since I'm at a loss for blog posts, here's mine. By the way, I'm spending a good bit of time on Facebook these days. Feel free to friend me, as long as you're not a crazy person.
1. I miss my grandfather terribly. I think because of his absence from my life (since 2001) I’ve developed a weird daddy complex where I look to older men to provide safety and comfort, which of course they never do, especially when I’m not related to them and they hardly know me. My grandfather’s photos are all over the house and on my cellphone. I don’t want to know or hear anything that would knock him off his pedestal. 2. I used to be super shy and introverted. People really wore me out. I’ve morphed into a raging extrovert. I’m still quiet, but I love people. They give me energy and I love to meet new people and hear their stories. 3. That being said, I have a strong aversion to needy, clingy, crazy people who will suck my energy dry, if I allow them. 4. I become more and more like my father every day, particularly in the motormouth department. 5. I will probably convert to Judaism before I die. 6. I’m very pro-Israel. Few people know this about me. 7. I didn’t have a drop of alchohol until my 21st birthday. 8. I quit drinking 9 years ago. Too many lost brain cells. 9. I have little patience and hardly any compassion for people who abuse alcohol and drugs. Both things have ruined my immediate family. 10.. I never re-read anything I’ve written. 11. I have had little contact with people from my past. I never wanted to revisit people I knew when I despised myself and when I was, frankly, nuttier than a fruitcake. That is, until this Facebook thing. Which I’m loving. 12. My mom is frickin' awesome! She runs a business, deals with crazy relatives and has to be the best daughter ever. The way she cared for and cares for her parents always amazes me and makes me proud. I wish she lived closer so we could do things together and so I could take care of her when the time comes. 13. I’m moving toward vegetarianism, ever so slowly. 14. Sausage put me through college. Family business. 15. I have a British fetish. TV, books, movies, history. 16. I spent childhood summers in Greenbriar County, WV. I miss those summers. 17. I spend too much time thinking about how I would re-do my life if I were granted do-overs. 18. I have done “prayerful healing touch” for church members. (Okay, that could sound kind of naughty, but it's not. It may not be in the Presbyterian Book of Order, but it's all above-board). 19. I just spent six years on the Board of Deacons, two as vice-moderator and one as secretary. I’ve never said that publicly, because my denomination has a problem with gay folks and I’ve been afraid of a witch hunt. 20. Sometimes I have a persecution complex. 21. I have internalized homophobia and I'm not sure I'll ever get rid of it.. 22. Whereas I used to be a morose and severely depressed person, so much so that my childhood nickname was “Frowny Face,” now I’m a giggling goofball who laughs at pretty much anything. Even Dad Humor. 23. I’m pretty sure I’ll have some kind of blood cancer in my lifetime. Genes will out, I’m afraid. On my mother's side alone, we have lymphoma, leukemia and Hodgkin's. 24. I miss my uncle, who died in 1994 just before his 45th birthday. I wish I could have gotten to know him better. 24. My extended family is full of fundamentalist Christians. 25. I’m very grateful my parents put me in Catholic Schools. Religion class was the first time I’d ever heard that God did not sit down with a quill pen and write the Bible, chapter by chapter. My religious experiences at Sacred Heart and Charleston Catholic opened me up to a world beyond Biblical literalism. 26. Shortly after my arrival at Sacred Heart, my 7th grade English teacher called me up to her desk and told me I was not allowed to take the Eucharist because I was Protestant. I never knew. That hurt. 27. One more for the road: I think that people who say that "relationships are work" are usually with the wrong person. I'm with the right person.
Craft Mentality Amber and Tasha talk about kntting, sewing, cooking, reading and Project Runway.
Craftlit Billed as a "podcast for crafters who like to read." Heather is a writer, teacher, mom, blogger etc. with great insights. Podcast ends with a chapter or two from whatever book is currently featured.
Russell Brand Alas, old Russ resigned from the BBC so his podcasts are no longer available, but here's a link to his youtube website. He's smart, articulate and damn sexy. And he knows that "drugs is bad."
Savage Love Podcast Profane, disgusting, entertaining and very educational podcast based on Dan Savage's sex column. I've learned about some things I rather wish I hadn't, but can't stop listening. Mrs. Fruit refuses to partake----too many F-bombs.
Stephen Fry's Podgrams Writer, actor, comedian, filmmaker, Mac enthusiast and really interesting podcaster. The worst thing about this podcast is that he doesn't do it enough.
The Archers My current, hopeless addiction. A daily podcast of the world's longest running daily soap.