Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wicked Impulses

When I am completely honest I have to admit that sometimes I have some slightly wicked impulses. The fact that my beloved Max is (among her many charms) slightly gullible can make these impulses well nigh impossible to withstand. Such an event occurred last night.....

Max and I were watching a really dumb movie that was nonetheless pretty scary. It was called "The Vanishing" or some such. In the movie, people (of course) vanished, leaving their clothes behind as if they had just de-materialized from inside them. It actually made us scream like little girls a couple of times. During the movie, there was a flash of light out our back window where there shouldn't be any light -- no traffic back there in the woods. Max asked me to pause the movie so she could go check and see what it was. Knowing she was a little freaked by the movie, I told her "I'm right behind you."

Now, my intentions really were good. I was going to go with her. But as I got to the door and saw that Max was already out in the (empty) yard, I was struck with inspiration. I stepped back into the kitchen and took off all my clothes and arranged them in the floor to look like I had simply vanished from within them. And then I took my naked butt to the bedroom to hide.

Gratification was swift. In no time I heard Max come in the kitchen -- and start SCREAMING! I had to come out right away, because I was laughing so hard I would have given myself away anyhow.

Ahhhhh.... most satisfying. Except one small thing.... We all know what they say about paybacks....

Friday, April 17, 2009

Change in the White House

Okay, probably everybody's already seen this but me, but I'm putting it here anyway because I like it. A lot.

Expanding on a theme: Critiques of churches I've personally attended

OK, it isn't in the best of taste, but I laughed so hard that Max wanted to know what I was laughing at. And when I told her it was a Jesus joke, she just said she didn't want to see it and left the room. She still hasn't forgiven me for showing her the superhero Jesus doll I found online. She laughed before she could stop herself, then worried she would go to hell for laughing at it. So she won't take any chances any more when I find Jesus jokes.

I was thinking about the various and sundry churches I've attended in my life on my way home from work today. I was listening to Nina Simone and it got me thinking about Max's church, actually. Damn, those Methodists can murder a song. (as opposed to Nina Simone who could turn anything into a song worth listening to). The Methodists can sing O Happy Day and make it sound like a fucking dirge. Unbelievable.

I realized that singing joyous songs as dirges really isn't so bad when it comes to churches (though it's plenty bad enough.) Baptists sing okay, but I think it's because they don't sing joyous songs, they sing ones that are supposed to sound like dirges. Baptists really shine when it comes to self-righteous ass-holery, however. Lord save me from a Baptist on a mission. (NO not you Jesus-Lord, some other lord please!) Aw hell, forget it, don't save me, just keep the damn Baptists away from me.

Want some pomp and ritual? Well, sometimes I do. Check out Catholic or Greek Orthodox for that. But if you want something spiritual, be prepared to pay for it. I know a woman whose husband left her just before she realized she was pregnant, and he didn't come back when he was so informed, so of course they were divorced. She was a member of the Greek Orthodox church, and wanted her baby baptized there too. Well, they couldn't do that, because mama was divorced, but when her daddy paid a $2000 bribe (oops, I think they called it a "contribution") suddenly the baby was baptizable. Seems to me to not really mean much if you can BUY it.... But what does a heathen like me know?

Black churches are awesome for music. But gawdawmighty, who the hell wants to spend a whole lovely Sunday in church? Not me, and that's for damn sure. Although white churches are good for napping in. There's nothing like a good sermon to put me right to sleep. Problem is, Max jabs me in the side and wakes me up when I snore a bit. I must admit, I have slept with a lot of people in churches.

We've reached the Pentecostals. Those folks are somewhere between scaring the shit out of me and making me laugh hysterically. Have you ever seen a crowd of people watch others fake seizures and jibberjabber meaninglessly (although the preacher usually claims to be translating, by saying whatever he wanted to preach that day anyway.) Oy vey.

I've never actually been to a snake-handling church (THANK YOU JESUS!!!) but I once did a paper on snake bites. It turns out that the majority of snake bite deaths in the United States (and there aren't very many) happen to drunks, people stupid enough to keep venomous snakes as pets, and SURPRISE! People who handle snakes in their church services. Good goin', God --that's the way to show 'em! Of course they always have an out --the poor dead guy just didn't have enough faith. Riiiiiight. Or enough sense?

Regardless of my prejudices and general bad experience with churches, I would like to wish many blessings on all you Christians out there. I love you all with all my heart. I just don't love Jesus.

PS -- extra special blessings for the areligious amongst you.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Christians make me mad

Arrghhhh! I guess I shouldn't let it bother me, but it really burns my ass when I am assumed to be a christian. I'm not, I don't want to be, and even if I were in a foxhole I wouldn't be a goddamned christian. I don't go around advertising that I'm not, I live in the south, after all, in the heart of the bible belt, but dammit all, people will just assume things. And they shouldn't.

I saw a sweet older lady in the office recently. She had a plethora of medical problems, and some emotional issues too, and I like old ladies, and I like my job, and I tried to do a good job attending to her needs. So what do I get???!!?? She calls me a fucking christian! She didn't say fucking, of course, but she told me, very sweetly, "I am a christian lady, and I can tell I've found another christian lady for my doctor. It just shows in your kindness what a christian you are!" (no, I haven't transmogrified into a physician, I'm still a nurse practitioner, but sometimes it is just too much trouble to explain it over and over. And hell, if she thinks I'm a bloody christian, well, how am I going to get her to understand the rest?)

I mean, WTF?? You can't be a kind, decent person if you aren't a christian? Why the hell not?? Christians don't OWN all the good, decent attributes that people can have.

It's like being gay, in a way. People know you only in your professional capacity, for instance, and they assume you are 'normal' and feel perfectly okay to say heinous things about gay people. Or like white people who assume that because you're white too, you are also a racist. It just makes me mad. Maybe it's my karma biting me in the ass, because I have certainly been guilty too of looking at a person and thinking I know all about them, when I didn't know diddly. May whatever powers do exist in the universe forgive me. I am trying to forgive myself.

And I forgive that old lady too. She really didn't mean a bit of harm. I'm sure it never occurred to her that she was being offensive. Nevertheless, it IS offensive.

So my point? I don't really have one. Except this one: stop assuming!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Being quiet can make you seem smart

I work with a doctor who could probably be legitimately described as brilliant. He tends to be a bit blunt, but he is certainly kind and an all-around good man. My own meager intellect sometimes feels like a small candle next to his halogen light. Thus, I was surprised recently when a patient told me he liked seeing me better than the doc. His reason? I explained things to him, he said.

I was a bit surprised. I am not a good teacher. I am not being modest, I am just self-aware enough to know that explaining things is not one of my strengths. I am often frustrated by knowing something, but feeling utterly unable to convey what I know to others. But, I was pleased with the compliment because it feels good for someone to think you're good at something that you're not.

A few weeks later, I saw this same patient. He was worried about his heart, and I got an EKG on him with plans to show him it was normal, and to reassure him. It wasn't normal. I had to get Doc to look at the EKG, and come talk to the patient. Doc was wonderful. He explained that the abnormalities were very minor, probably didn't mean much, but that he would do further tests to be sure. He waxed eloquent about how even if there was a problem, there were plenty of things we could do about it. I listened, and thought to myself that the patient was probably revising his opinion that Doc never explained things to him.

Doc left me to finish up, get tests scheduled, and to conclude this visit. As soon as he left the room, the patient turned to me and said "see what I mean? He doesn't explain anything!"

I was taken aback. I was the one who hadn't explained anything. I didn't know enough to explain. I had to get Doc to come explain things, and I thought he had done an excellent job. I asked, "what do you mean?" He said doc just didn't answer his questions. Then it somehow all came clear to me. My patient wasn't looking for explanations. He wanted someone to LISTEN to his questions. Or maybe to just listen. To hear his concerns. To understand that he was afraid. To see him as a human being and not just a vessel to receive whatever information and instructions that someone else had decided he needed.

I'll never be as smart as Doc is. I've always wanted to be smart. But we work with what we're given, and I know who the smart people are and when to call on them. There is a place for my modest skill too. I can sit and be quiet and make my contribution by hearing instead of telling.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

If only I'd had my camera...

I know it's been a million years since I blogged, but I just saw something that screamed to be blogged about. This is just so typical of my beloved homeland in the deep South. I was driving in the country near a small town called Ellabell, and at an intersection where some closed stores and restaurants have created some empty parking lots, there was a truck parked to sell some wares: namely, flags. His truck and some racks that had been hastily assembled had the usual assortment of Confederate flags, "Proud to be a Redneck" flags, and right along with them were flags with Obama's face on them, with the word, writ large, HOPE.

We are nothing if not a land of contradictions. But perhaps, just perhaps, there actually is HOPE.

Happy new year all.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

And it's over. We survived.

Tuesday. Back at work. Yesterday Max and I had a whole day to ourselves. I am not sure I can even think yet. But I do ave some great photos and hope you enjoy them.
First, here's David at Max's company picnic. He just went out and joined the dancing all by himself, didn't ask anyone, no one urged him to go. He was great.

And here's my Max, fetching and carrying for our boys....

Here's a young man having a great time!