August 30, 2010

-image-the puppet master

“Soooo, Tracey, tell me. What do you think of puppets?”

“Uhm, raunchy puppets?”

“No.”

“Oh.”

“Just regular Christian puppets.”

“Oh. You mean BORN AGAIN puppets.”

“Yes. Exactly.”

“Yes, of course, that’s what I thought you meant. I mean, I was …. just kidding …. before.”

“Mm-hmmmm.”

“So, what do I think of regular Christian born again puppets?

“Yes. That’s the question.”

“Uhm ….”

“Well?”

I already blew it, didn’t I?”

“Yes.”

“I should probably just go then?”

“I think that’s best.”

“Right.”

“Thank you.”

“For the record, puppets suck.”

“Please go.”

(Based on a true story. Actual dialog permanently repressed. Trust me, it was bad.)

August 27, 2010

-image-mercury and montserrat

Freddie Mercury and Spanish diva Monserrat Caballe, singing “Barcelona” in Barcelona in 1988 at a celebration anticipating the 1992 Summer Olympics. It’s equal parts camp and brilliance. It makes me laugh while it gives me chills.

I love all their collaborations. Their version of “Bohemian Rhapsody”? Fuggedaboudit. Mercury is operatic at his core, so it all works for me.

There’s a quote from Caballe that floats around where she speaks of working with Mercury, saying, “He conquered me.”

I think he conquered everyone, basically.

August 25, 2010

-image-prayers

I know I’ve been a bit sporadic here lately. It’s been a rough summer so far.

I’m asking you guys to please pray for my BIL tomorrow and whenever it crosses your mind for the next 7 weeks. He starts radiation in the morning. As I think I mentioned in another post, radiation to any part of the head can be particularly brutal and debilitating, with potential permanent side effects. Loss of teeth, hair, sense of taste, swallowing issues, eating issues. It’s gnarly. I ain’t gonna lie. Even with radiation, the prognosis for 5-year survival is pretty bleak.

We were up there this weekend and I had a long conversation with my BIL. Well, as much as he’s able to talk with his tongue in so much pain. It’s starting to hit him how serious it is. Denial is wearing off and the newfound reality is harsh.

So … please pray if you think of it. Everyone is weary and shell-shocked and those of us who are less weary and shell-shocked are trying to keep everyone else together.

Sorry for the ramble. Thank you all for sticking with me, even when I’m a crankypants and a downerpants.

You are cherished friends.

August 23, 2010

-image-weekend snippets

MB to me:

“You’re like a bucket of popcorn shrimp! You just keep making me happy!”

*********

Describing an old Beanhouse customer we saw on the boulevard:

“Ugh. He was the grumpiest man alive. Like he was made of onions or something.”

**********

Baby Banshee, wondering where her cousin, Younger Nephew, is:

“Tee Tee, where dat guy dat goes wid da doggie?”

**********

Submitting to “The Hypnosis Game” as played by The Banshee and Piper.

BANSHEE: Okay, Tee Tee. Watch this necklace.
TEE TEE: Okay.
BANSHEE: You’re getting sleepy, okay?
TEE TEE: Uhm, sure.
BANSHEE: Well, you ARE getting sleepy, Tee Tee!
TEE TEE: Yes, ma’am.
PIPER: When I clap my hands, you will wake up and you will be our servant.
TEE TEE: That’s a bummer.
BANSHEE: Tee Tee! You’re asleep!
TEE TEE: Yes, ma’am.
BANSHEE: And …… you won’t be our servant, you’ll be our …… BEAUTIFUL LADY!!
TEE TEE: Nice save, Banshee.

Piper claps her hands.

BANSHEE: Hellooo, BEAUTIFUL LADY!!
TEE TEE: What’s up?
BANSHEE: Now go get us some cake!

August 19, 2010

-image-where i realize something

I’ve realized something: God does not want me to be a Christian drone.

Back in June, I interviewed for a drama teaching job at the Christian school I taught at several years ago.

I spoke about the experience of teaching there and losing that job here, but I’ve never finished the tale. Basically, I was told by the principal on a Friday to come in Monday, Trace, and renew your contract for next year. In and out, she said. But something happened over the weekend, and, yes, on that Monday, I was in and I was OUT. I eventually learned — because my SIL, who teaches at this school, is my source of inside information — that I lost that job because of some political scheming by some near-retirement wrinkled Betty who decided she wanted my job. That’s the truth. I kicked that job’s ass, was told so many many times, and that’s the truth, too. But, eh, what are you gonna do?

Still, I do love that school because I do love those students. It was very healing for me, suddenly having 300 kids to love. Over the years since I was OUT, I’ve interviewed a few times for drama positions at this same Christian school — TCS, let’s call it (The Christian School, lame, yes). It hasn’t panned out. Partly because I think the people who interview for drama positions have no clue why there should even BE a drama position. They don’t understand its value or the process. Not remotely. They ask irrelevant questions. They’re a bit condescending. I spend most of my interview time mentally twisting their questions into better questions, answering their lame questions but ensuring that I answer the question I really want to answer, the one they didn’t ask.

A few years ago during an interview, the high school principal, a man with the personality of a potato, asked me what I thought of puppets. I sat there gobsmacked. Puppets? Are you freaking kidding me?? Uhm, first, I hate puppets, they give me the heebies; second, puppet theater is a bit inappropriate for high school students, and I cannot imagine any high school students who would want to interact with puppets in front of other high school students; third, puppets? Are you freaking kidding me?? I have mentally repressed my answer to that question, but I tried to dodge the whole creepy dealio as diplomatically as possible without seeming to endorse puppets in any way, shape, or form. If he wanted me to do puppet theater with his students, I was not the woman for the job. Turns out, I wasn’t. Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo.

Summer 2008. I interviewed for the drama opening in the middle school at TCS. The prinicipal actually had a personality, and it really didn’t even seem like an interview, more like a normal conversation. He was about to offer me the job, he said, but “he had to run it by other people first.” Then he went away on vacation and another teacher was handling the process and on top of that …… an alumni entered the picture. She wanted the job, and because she was an alum of TCS, she got it. They hire their alumni over anybody else, basically. Now she crashed and burned at the job, but she got it nevertheless, and I finally found out that I didn’t get the job 7 weeks after my initial interview. SEVEN weeks after my interview and 10 days before the start of school. Let’s just say there are major MAJOR communication issues within this organization. I know that, experienced that when I taught there and in the years since then, and yet I still torture myself, still try to go back. It’s kinda nuts and dysfunctional.

Fast forward to this summer. Since I’m sitting here writing this at 10:10 a.m., it’s safe to assume I didn’t get the job this time either. It was the high school drama teaching position. I interviewed, but didn’t think my chances were great since I have experience teaching every level BUT high school. Some of the kids I taught in the Lower School are now students in the upper school, so I have connections. I know the students, but, again, I haven’t actually taught that level. Still, I was on FIRE during that interview, I gotta say, and it wasn’t just because of my red eye of Sauron either. I was interviewed by the principal and vice principal together, and you know how sometimes you just feel you’re in the zone? That nothing can stump you? That you’re suddenly not a mere mortal? That you’re capable of anything? THAT’S how I felt during that interview. I have never been more eloquent or articulate on the spot. I swear. I was possessed by Christopher Hitchens or something. I didn’t miss a beat. They didn’t trip me up or — OR — ask me about puppets. They took notes on everything I said, like I was the President. (It occurs to me now they may have been writing, “She’s an idiot; we hate her” or something.) Nonetheless, when it was over, I basically pranced out of there like a happy pony.

Then ….. school started yesterday. Uhm, without me.

And I had not heard one word from TCS in the EIGHT AND A HALF WEEKS since I interviewed.

Not a peep. Bupkis. I’d followed up, sent thank yous, done all that jazz.

And nothing.

So I realized something: God REALLY does not want me to be a Christian drone or a professional Christian. He REALLY does not want me back at TCS. In some ways, I can see it. I can see why. The sort of safe, in-the-box, traditional thinking that defines TCS does not define me. They’d freak to see any of my sex in heaven posts or that I used the word “ass” in this post. They’re the kinds of Christians whose Christianity is full of answers and devoid of mystery. The kind of mystery that thrills me, terrifies them. Their personalities tend to be interchangeable and I won’t change my personality to become one of them. It would seem that God doesn’t want me to. He didn’t want me at Maybe Church/FOC either. I’m learning more and more that the way God made me is the way he wants me and he’s choosing to spare me from anything that would try to reshape me into a lesser me. He wants me to be a better me, not a lesser me. Does that make sense?

I’m not even disappointed that I didn’t get the job. Really. I expected not to. What’s worse, I expected TCS to handle it precisely the way they did. I mean, I know the organization pretty well.

However, just because I knew they’d suck doesn’t change their responsibility to try NOT to suck, to try to practice the most basic professional courtesy. Leaving a job applicant hanging for over two months is unacceptable. Forcing someone to realize she didn’t get the job because school started is pretty heartless.

So I decided to tell them so.

Yep. I wrote the headmaster of the school. I decided that after all this time, I actually NEEDED to burn this bridge. I know people always say don’t burn bridges, but I had to. Whenever I hear of a new opportunity at TCS, I throw myself out there, torturing myself with hope, and it never works out — kinda with extreme prejudice. It’s become like crack to me, TCS. I try to shake the habit, but someone dangles it under my nose, and I’m suddenly jonesing for it again, going down, going down. Or it’s like dating an abusive guy, breaking up, going back, believing it will be different this time, and it’s not, it’s not.

Sometimes, for your own sanity, you need to burn a bridge. You need to blow it and burn it like Kwai, baby, so that you cannot cross it again even if you feel tempted because the stupid crack bridge isn’t there anymore.

So, yes, I wrote the headmaster. (TCS has “headmasters.” None of them have been at all like Dumbledore.)

My email started with this:

Dear (Head Poopiepants),

Well, it’s the first week of school at TCS and I am not there. This means one of two things:

Either I didn’t get the Upper School drama position or I’m very very late for class.

I’m kind of proud of that opening. I think it’ll get his attention. We’ll see.

The rest was a long overdue, but mostly diplomatic, ass-kicking.

Bridge — whhhhoooooshhhhh — burned.

Let’s see if they say anything from the ashes.

August 17, 2010

-image-this is why christians are vexing

Some dude calling himself B.G. left a brilliant comment on one of my sex in heaven posts:

Hehe you fools, this kind of thinking will get you a free ticket to Hell. Heaven is NOT about you being happy – it is about you making GOD HAPPY BY SELFLESSLY SERVING HIM IN ALL YOUR THOUGHTS AND DEEDS (which will make you happy in turn.) Heaven is NOT for your pleasure; IT IS FOR GOD’S PLEASURE, NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS. Comprende, people? Sex in heaven? No way Jose! That would be SEEKING PLEASURE FOR YOURSELF, rather than focusing on your SOLE FUNCTION in heaven – namely, praising God! (As would eating, drinking, dancing, skiing or what have you.) And since we have nothing to offer God except for our adoration and worship – well, I don’t how my “human” body, complete with chest hair, buttocks and a penis flopping around would would enable me to do that. Those things were meant for EARTHLY purposes only (since I won’t be urinating or fathering children in Heaven, what point would there be in having genitalia?) I’m sure we’ll have eyes (to see God) and a mouth (to sing praises to God) but other than that, what kind of body would we require? Not much, I say!

Oh, I clap my hands at the chance to take this apart! Let’s do it, shall we, pippa?

Hehe you fools

This is always an endearing way to start on a stranger’s blog.

…. this kind of thinking will get you a free ticket to Hell.

Uhm, why, honeybunch? Imagining what heaven might be like is no bueno? God is making the ultimate gift for us and we can’t imagine what it is? Have you never wondered about the presents under the Christmas tree?

Heaven is NOT about you being happy – it is about you making GOD HAPPY BY SELFLESSLY SERVING HIM IN ALL YOUR THOUGHTS AND DEEDS (which will make you happy in turn.) Heaven is NOT for your pleasure;

So heaven is a bummer? “Now abide these three: faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is LOVE.” Kinda think heaven’s about love — in ALL its created forms.

IT IS FOR GOD’S PLEASURE, NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS.

Hm. Doesn’t God already have pleasure? Isn’t he, by definition, basically self-sustaining? I mean, didn’t he enjoy himself before he ever made people? The ol’ Bible talks about him preparing a place for US. I see a God who is busily creating the most glorious surprise party the universe has ever known — and, yes, he’s doing it for US, so how is heaven not about our enjoyment? Your heaven sounds like a drag, dude.

Comprende, people?

Wow. Again, a charming first move on a stranger’s blog. Nothing more distasteful to me than someone who knows he’s right and needs to insult people from his position of perceived rightness.

Sex in heaven? No way Jose! That would be SEEKING PLEASURE FOR YOURSELF, rather than focusing on your SOLE FUNCTION in heaven – namely, praising God! (As would eating, drinking, dancing, skiing or what have you.)

So we can’t praise God with our bodies — by having sex, freed from the earthly confines, definitions, and corruptions of it? Sex is spiritual as well as physical, a pale earthly symbol of God’s love for his people. Imagine — which I actually think is your problem here — how that might be transformed in heaven. And what? No eating, drinking? DUDE, there’s gonna be a big fat wedding feast some day. I assume you’ve read about that in the Bible. What does “feast” imply? I mean, if you don’t want to eat the food in heaven, I don’t suppose God will make you. If you want to sit in a heavenly pew singing praise choruses forever, have at it. Personally, I believe that everything we do in heaven — eating, drinking, dancing, skiing, maybe even having sex — will be part of how we worship God. We will worship him with everything we do. But if you don’t wanna do anything …. uhm, well, stay away from me, ‘kay?

And since we have nothing to offer God except for our adoration and worship – well, I don’t how my “human” body, complete with chest hair, buttocks and a penis flopping around would would enable me to do that.

Hm. Don’t you worship God now, in your given body, complete with chest hair and buttocks and floppy penis? Or is their presence somehow disabling? Is the floppy penis a real millstone that keeps you from worshiping? “Sure wish I could PTL right now! Damn this floppy penis anyway!” Does it somehow ….. get in the way? As far as I’m concerned, a penis is never in the way.

Those things were meant for EARTHLY purposes only (since I won’t be urinating or fathering children in Heaven, what point would there be in having genitalia?)

Well, because you were MADE with genitalia? As a MAN? Sounds like you are literally jumping up and down at the chance — ohpleaseohplease — to be an eternal Ken doll. But he made you a man and the Bible clearly references that you will have a body. Beyond that, we can certainly use the body of the resurrected Jesus — a body that could be seen and touched, a body that could eat — as a reference point for what our glorified bodies will be like. Although maybe God won’t force you to have a body if you really don’t want one. But do you actually think you pass through the gates of heaven and surrender your penis? Is that what you think? Is that what you want? I can’t imagine that any man in his right mind would not feel mutilated if that’s what happens. I’ve actually had this conversation with My Beloved and he is not down for losing his penis. I’m not down for losing my saucy boobins or my fancy place, as we call it around here. I personally don’t believe heaven is a place of mutilation or loss. It sounds like you do, though. I believe it’s a place of perfection, redemption, making all things new.

I’m sure we’ll have eyes (to see God) and a mouth (to sing praises to God) but other than that, what kind of body would we require? Not much, I say!

So you’re saying that in heaven you’re nothing but eyes and mouth? Not only is that just flat-out wrong — if you care about biblical accuracy — but it sounds like a horror movie to me. Seriously. That’s not how God created you. He created men and women with bodies. He created sex. He doesn’t just rip up what he creates. Again, he makes it NEW. Your version of heaven is a hell to me. I want to enjoy heaven. Sounds like you don’t. You seem to have some issues with heaven, contempt for your floppy penis, and an utter lack of imagination.

Good luck, dude.

And before you barge in to make your first comment on someone else’s blog, you may want to get a feel for the room first. It’s never the best idea to come in as a stranger, both barrels blazing, insulting people’s intelligence.

My momma taught me not to do that.

And, again, seriously stay away from me up there with your open mouth and floaty eyes.

August 15, 2010

-image-snippet

“I’m not taking care of myself because I’m living from my blah and not my beauty.”

~ overheard in the bookstore where two old Jewish ladies were talking

I have rarely heard anything more wise.

August 11, 2010

-image-you’d better be sure she’ll say yes

Dude proposes to his girlfriend center court at a Houston Rockets game. It does not ….. go well.

And the whole scene ends just like one in The Winter’s Tale …… exit, comforted by a giant gray bear.

That image is killing me.

August 10, 2010

-image-christopher hitchens

I love him so much. I really do. I disagree with him on issues of faith, but I respect the hell out of him. His thought processes. His writing. His honesty here.

Plus, to be the giggly school girl for a second, I just love the sound of his voice. It leaves me a little twitterpated. I could listen to him for hours.

A really great interview. (Despite the distraction of Anderson Cooper’s shiny smoothness.)

“I have now succumbed to something so predictable and banal that it bores even me. Rage would be beside the point for the same reason.”

You have to respect his power of thought. You just have to.

I wish him all the best. I don’t want him to go.

August 9, 2010

-image-snippets

“You’re accusing me of all kinds of MADNESS!!”

“I know who I’m talking to!!”

*****

“‘Low flow toilets for your low flow life.’ That could be the ad. Stupid things.”

*****

“You know, I don’t wanna feel like I need to give my toilet the Heimlich maneuver.”

*****

“Instead of beeping out profanity in songs, the singer could just do a raspberry himself. That would be so much more fun.”

“So you think Eminem’s songs should just go “pfffft pfffftypffft pfffffft pffft pfffypfft “?

“Yes.”

*****
Calling the birthday boy’s cellphone:

“Hello?”

pause …. laughter in the background ….

“Hello.”

“What’s with the weird pause?”

“Well, I thought you were gonna talk in a weird Swedish voice or something, Aunt Tracey.”

“WHAT??? That is SO insane.”

“I KNOW. I can’t believe I thought that.”

“Me either. Weirdo.”

******

“So about these chicks who follow you around at school …”

“Yeah?”

“Do you need a bodyguard or something?”

“Hm. I’ll let you know, Tee Tee.”

“No! Not me! Uncle Beloved.”

“Oh.”

“I’d be no good.”

“True.”

“I’m little.”

“Yeah.”

“And weak.”

“That too.”

“Plus, all I’d be doing is saying, ‘Ooooh, come over here, girls. Isn’t he SO cute?? He’s just SO CUTE!! Don’t you want to date him??'”

laughing …

“Yeah. Kinda the opposite of a bodyguard, Tee Tee.”

“Exactly. So you really have no interest in that?”

“No.”

“I’m hurt.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Hm. ‘Member when you used to love me?”

“I still love you, Tee Tee.”

“Okay. I love you too. Sorry you’re old now.”

“Thanks.”

Next Page »

Powered by WordPress