Monday, December 27, 2010

Well, it's probably no secret that this was a rather thin Christmas for me... money problems have shown their ugly face, so I didn't have the where-with-all to be buying presents, and seeing as I'd been stuck in the house due to a truck in the repair shop, I didn't really have the ability to go shop anyway... I made a few calls, with apologies and planned to spend this holiday much as I'd spent the last one. Midnight Mass, then spend THE DAY curled up under a quilt, with purring cats, reading a book.

Now, when I tell people this, it makes them crazy. What most people don't understand is that I grew up in a house with an unmedicated bipolar sibling, and Christmas wasn't so much a holiday as it was prime staging for a fit, so I don't have a huge fund of warm fuzzy Christmas memories to draw upon. I truly PREFER a quiet holiday. If I do go to a party, I find myself doing what I always did at our families Christmas dinners... namely, sitting in a corner, sucking all the joy out of the room while waiting for the inevitable tempermental explosion. So, rather than torture my hosts or going into long-winded explanations about it, usually I just tell people I have plans.

The church guys however saw through it.

So, I was finally confronted with an invite that I couldn't get out of.

And to be blunt, I'm really glad I went. True, I showed up at somebodies house without a present in hand, which is very un-Southern and enough to make the ghost of my Grandmother rise up and come get me, but I did have a nice holiday dinner... actually, a traditional Mexican holiday dinner, complete with home-made tamales, carnitas, barbacoa, guacamole, hand made tortillas, stuffed jalapenos, and the list goes on and on and on... all complimented with my church friend Hectors mama shoving plates under my chin and demanding, "EAT!" I didn't spend my time worried about how to act or if I was depressing anyone, because I was too busy chewing.

So, I shouldn't need a full meal for the next 4 days...

And, I got the recipe for those stuffed jalapenos. SCORE

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And the Trauma continues...

so... here we go... get woke up bright and early Monday morning by someone ringing the doorbell.

It's a cop.

someone two doors down has had their truck broke into, and cop noticed mine had been hit too...

Cops before coffee... wee haw.

They stole my stereo... which quite frankly is no big loss since it stopped working last year sometime and I never replaced it. I gotta hear a GPS talking, the dispatch talking and occasionally my cell phone... I didn't miss it. But, like a fool, for some unfathomable reason, I had left my GPS unit in the truck... and that's gone. so, damn.

So, can't work Monday like I planned, and off to get some things done at the flea market... Pick up a used GPS for 50 bucks at a hock shop... (yes, I realize that I may have just replaced my stolen GPS with someone elses stolen GPS, but money is tight right now... ) and I get home to find an envelope stuck to my door... Inside is a Christmas card that says "I realize you're having a tough time right now, please accept this..." and there's a $50 bill inside. It was signed by one of my neighbors.

Then I see my other neighbor, the snotty ones I rarely talk to, but I know that she's there alone at night sometimes with two kids, and the right thing to do is give her some warning of what's going on in the neighborhood, so I mention that there's been a rash of robberies lately. And she gives me her typical snotty look and says... "Oh, I know... they stole my husbands stereo last week... they got the gun he had locked in the truck too..." and she kind of ambles off...

Now 1) Well thanks for giving the rest of us a head up, sweetheart. Then 2) Why the hell does your husband keep a gun locked in a truck that doesn't have a burglar alarm? and 3) Now we have ARMED burglars in the neighborhood... that's just spectacular....

And now that I think about it... that's kinda how my life has been going lately... something that makes me feel like crap, followed by something that makes me feel all warm and blessed, then followed by something that pisses me off royally, and this see-saw is bloody exhausting and I wanna get off... really. I'm not kidding. It's wearing me out.


Got that off my chest.

Sorry about that...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ok... so you know when you are trying to get your Christmas poinsettia on the overloaded shelf, because that's really the only place you have to put the thing, and you accidently knock something else off the shelf, so you kinda instinctively grab for it?

well, that doesn't work out so well sometimes. Especially if what you knocked off was a cactus.

What I'm trying to say is... OUCH!

And, speaking of ouch... one last statement about my fabulous career as an angel. Wearing wings hurts. Seriously, they are strapped on you with elastic straps that cut off the circulation to your arms, bite into your flesh and pull your shoulders back into an unnatural scrunch. Four days running of that, and I feel like somebody has pounded me between the shoulder blades.

But now I have a little extra time to catch up on my blogger friends.

Merry Christmas, y'all...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

gabriel update...

well, I was the angel... didn't fall off my milk crate or nothing... here's somebodies pic from a cell phone... it's the only one I could find right away...

and this is an old pic of my younger and wilder days, but it's the only one I can put my hands on of "The Hair" and it's not quite that long right now, but that's it. And I'm used to the questions, so here are the answers... Yes, the curls are natural, and No, I don't particularly like it when strangers run their fingers through it, but I only really mind because they tend to get caught in it. (I've now established a policy that any jewelry that gets lost in my hair is MINE) And Yes, I do know how much women pay to get their hair to look like that, because they keep telling me and I guess it's your money you can pay that un-Godly amount if you want...

And there we are.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

of Engines and Angels...

So... haven't checked in for a while...

Last week, the engine went on my truck. It has to be replaced... I did manage to find a used engine at a junkyard, only 88'000 miles... damned good actually, got a ride over to pay for it and it was supposed to be delivered to the mechanic last Friday.

It wasn't.

Nobody, however, found it necessary to call and tell me this.

So Monday, I call Reuben (the mechanic) to ask for the status. Eventually, through broken English, I find that no engine was delivered Friday.

So I call Chris (the junkyard) to find what's up, he apologizes profusely, tells me he got slammed, and the engine is already on the truck and on it's way to Reuben.

Tuesday, I call Reuben, and again find out, no engine.

Again I call Chris. He tells me that when they pulled the engine out of the wrecked vehicle about noon (WTH? Then how the hell was it on the truck Monday morning?) it turned out to have a cracked head. But he's found another one at another junkyard, and it's going to be delivered instead, and there would be no extra charge (dang straight there wasn't gonna be no charge, I could have told him that...)

I then called Reuben again, reported what I'd just heard, and his response I don't care to report here. But I must add that it was the clearest English I'd ever heard him speak. I'm not gonna get judgemental about it though, because what was coming out of my mouth wasn't much better...

Then, when Wednesday rolled around, I, for the first time, actually get a call... this one from Chris. The new engine is here... it's in good shape except for some minor things that have to be replaced. He wants to know if he can pick up the old engine from Reuben, pull off the parts and replace them on the new engine. Junkyard mechanics are actually pretty good at putting engines together, so I'm not too worried about this... The reason Chris wants to do this is so that he can deliver an engine that he's willing to back up with his guarantee, and if he delivers this to the mechanic as is, most will charge 300 to 400 to do this extra work. (Reuben wouldn't charge that much, but I will concede that point.) Again, no extra charge.

Call Reuben... again a torrent of perfect, albeit unprintable, English... I finally impress upon all of them that I don't give a flying **** who does the **** work, I want the **** truck on the **** road.

So. They call each other, and it has been arranged.

But five minutes after I've had my little unprintable, although impeccably pronounced, fit... the phone rings.

It's the church.

The Christmas Cantata, which will be performed this weekend, has hit a snag. They want me to portray the Archangel Gabriel.

I was not, at that precise moment, feeling particularly angelic. Fortunately I have a way out.

"I'd love too... unfortunately I can't get to the church, my trucks out of commission."

Fifteen minutes later... another call... "Great news... one of our assistant pastors will be there to pick you up and bring you home for the next four days..."

Now, I live 20 miles from church. If the pastor feels so strongly that I, and nobody else but me, has to portray the Archangel Gabriel, and has harangued some poor assistant pastor into chauffeuring me... can I really argue?

I get there. I don't know why I'm the only member of the congregation who can do this, but I'm there...

What's going on is silhouette vignettes. We stand behind a white screen that has projected lights and we, with the aid of sheets, hats, and various other impromptu objects, cast shadows on the screen. And I find out why I'm so necessary.


I have been blessed, via a distant Jewish ancestor, with hair that hangs in long spiral curls. I haven't cut it in over a year and a half, and I must admit it's a pretty impressive mop. Plus, I'm generally tall and thin. Wrap me in an old bedsheet, add wings and stand me on a milk crate... and I project a shadow that looks pretty darned angelic.

So, there we are.

Pastor did ask me if I was happy being the Christmas Angel...

I replied that I was perfectly comfortable being an expression of divinity on earth. Did it all the time.

She laughed, then said something about crucifying me next Easter.

I laughed.

I think she was serious. Hair gets cut off next week...