Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Wondering

Sitting in the closet.
It's dark.
Makeup removed.
Hair disheveled.
Only a light from the laptop shines.
I read.

It almost pains me to read it.
In fact, I am writhing.

I lose myself there.
Only in bits and pieces.
I can't do it for too long.
Lest my heart leave my chest.

I'm so curious.
So, SO curious.

Looking up at the mirror.
I'm looking back at me.
Shadows shade the parts to hide.
And I wonder.
I can't stop The Wondering.

Should I?
Should The Wondering cease?

Monday, September 28, 2009

To Be Smarter Than...

OMGosh!  The Return of My Favorite Music!  The Return of My Music Widget! 

Music on my page -- on autoplay! 

I figured out how to add music back to my blogger page!  I'm soooo thrilled!  It's a satisfying feeling to know that I can be smarter than the applications at times.

With that being said, feast your ears on the wickedcool "Endlessly" by Muse (instrumental.  With words, it's pretty freakin' bitchen, too.  If you listen long enough, you'll hear BOTH!  SCORE one for you!).  I will be seeing Muse with U2 on October 12 at the Death Star, just in case anyone's interested. 

I'm a happyjackie today!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Coolest Things Happen To Me

At the risk of sounding arrogant, I'm going to share this story. But the story isn't about what the actual words are, rather, it's about the the lasting result of being genuinely human with one another in a snap of a second of a lifetime can have a ripple effect on a person.
Here goes....
At lunchtime today, I drug my lazy hiney out of the office and ventured to the big red double circle 'round the corner to buy some home accessories (they didn't have them, dammit!).
My Eldest's birthday is coming up soon, and I saw a shoe store across the parking lot as I exited the double circle establishment. There was an older, very small-framed, balding gentleman washing windows of the shoe store. The squeegie must've been at least half his height! He was dressed in rugged jeans and a faded black t-shirt. Deep in his face, were what seemed to be carved wrinkles.
As I got out of my car to walk into the store, I thought for a brief moment of telling him how nice the windows look. I tend to notice those kinds of things randomly. And I often think to myself that people who wash windows don't get a whole lot of attention. This is true for most professions such as lawn care, home care, and the like. These are the people that are often taken for granted by society at large. Even if his handiwork wasn't good, he still deserves respect and a friendly smile.
I chickened out on the compliment, but still warmly smiled at him and returned his "hello" in kind as I opened the door to enter the store. So often, people talk to one another but don't look AT each other. I try to offer my eyes to the person behind the counter at the grocery store, the taxi driver, the stranger to whom I just gave $1.00.
A short while later, without purchasing kiddie shoes, I headed out the door.
The window cleaner, who was not close to the door, came the distance to the door and opened it for me. (Did he know that I'm such a huge fan of chivalry?!)
Me: Thank you! I appreciate that! *smile while looking at him*
Him: You're welcome. *head bowed down and a slight pause* I like your hair style.
Me: *caught off guard* Oh! Well...thank you again. *bigger smile & a strut to my step now*
Him: You're very welcome.
That was it ~ a compliment from a stranger that has absolutely made my day. But, like I said, this story isn't so I could tell you that the whole world thinks I have great hair (because I don't have great hair, nor does the whole world think I do!). It's the unspoken interaction was so much bigger than the spoken.
Now I feel bad for not telling him he was doing a good job on the windows. (But, my guess is, he knows...)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Reappearance of the Favorite Word: Anthropodermic Bibliopegy

Thanks to HRH KP, I learned this very unusual phrase today. I just had to share it! It's one of those phrases that describes something that one can't not help but look -- kind of like when you rubberneck at car accidents. Is there blood? Dead bodies? Scraping of skin from the center median?

It went down like this: This ayem, I received an email from HRH KP with the subject line reading: um, gross. Contained in the body of the email is an online article link about skin with the command "Check out #19".

So, of course, I clicked on the link, read the title and jumped to #19, which read: The Cleveland Public Library, Harvard Law School and Brown University all have books clad in skin stripped from executed criminals or from the poor.

Okay. So let's think about this for a second or two.

*tap, tap, tap*

Done yet?

*tap, tap, tap*

Now you're done. Discuss.

What the F?! Did the poor get money in exchange for having their skin ripped or filleted from their bodies? Huh? I don't get that AT ALL. I understand the executed criminal thing, but I don't understand the poor thing. AT ALL!

Personally, I think the concept is kind of cool, these skin bound books. It's the macabrejackie who digs it, just like I dig reading books about serial killers and sexual predators.

Since I am a curious kitty, I googled "skin bound books" or something like that. It returned several results, one being Infocult's blog where the author has coined, or at least cited, this wickedfancy term: Antropodermic Bibliopegy. That wickedfancy term somehow takes the oogieness out of the notion of books bound in human skin, huh? It's all technical and sort of medical, extremely scientific.

I found a definition of it on Wikipedia. Take it for what's it worth. If I ever get to see one of those books IRL, you will be THE FIRST to know! Wanna see a picture of one? Click here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Offering for Mommy



Little white flowers

Pursed lips

An offering

All for mama.

Catwoman Series, Parts 1 and 2

My Little One is quite the imaginative child. She is especially clever, as are most kids, with coming up with delay tactics to divert imminent bedtime, the dreaded surrender to sleep. So, whilst procrastinating, she is at least entertaining....

Inventory of top picture Catwoman 1:
1 scary face
1 catwoman pose
1 head full of curly blonde hair
1 pair of pink bike-riding gloves, complete (incomplete?) with cut off finger tips
1 pair of pink and bejeweled high heels
1 panda print night gown
LOADS of personality
Inventory of bottom picture Catwoman 2:
1 head full of curly blonde hair
2 pairs of socks that belong to Big Sister (a.k.a. kitty paws)
1 red knit stocking, bottom's atop the head, legs flowing like stretched out bunny ears
1 twirly whirl to allow for perfect picture posing
1 repeat appearance of the panda print pajamas
A PLETHORA of imagination
It's hard to get mad at her for not being in bed when she's so entertaining.
Any guesses as to what she wants to be for Halloween?

Monday, September 14, 2009

I need to learn HTML


The formatting on blogger makes me CRAY!ZAY!

Whenever I insert a picture, the line spacing goes wonky.


Verily so.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

"More Later" is Right Now

So, on the 6th, I posted a picture about an Apparition of the Holy Mother with a brief entry: More later.

Later is now.

On the Shiner Trip, My Family stayed at a hotel in Halletsville, which is approximately ten minutes from Shiner. The Texas highway between the towns is nature-filled, sparsely a building or sign around. It's one of those drives where your mind is going further than your car is.

Anyway, on the way back from Shiner after church on Saturday night, this GIANT advertisement (if you want to call it that) leapt out at us. My Husband and I turned to each other and simultaneously said, "Did you see that?!", followed by, "We HAVE to go see this tomorrow!".

Pecan Grove is the place.

Pecan Grove is where an apparition of the Blessed Mother appeared to a farmer. The farmer experienced a miracle, and in an enormous leap of faith, posted a shrine to his experience, described below (I hope the picture is legible):

It's really a peaceful, lush area. The bees buzz about, and dragonflies whiz by the ear, cicadas chorale sing, therefore drowning out the occasional noise of any passing-by vehicle. Nestled in the overgrowth is a sweet, humble shrine. Inside the gazebo-style hallowed place was a large cork board where passers-by and the Faithful have left prayer petitions, pictures, trinkets. As with most places of worship, there is a visitors book where guests may leave their location, name and other information. It had been weathered, yet still perfectly legible. Surprisingly, we were not the only visitors that day.

The picture at the top is a close up of the statue of Mary with Jesus (of course) shining down upon her.

By now, especially if you are not a Roman Catholic, you've probably snickered and shook your head side to side in cynnicism, mockery and/or disbelief. And that's fine -- I get it. I understand how ridiculous it sounds when the media reports that someone saw an image of Jesus Christ in a piece of toast, or that someone bears the stigmata, or tears of blood streaming from the eyes of religious statues. I get that Catholics are perceived weird with our "Catholic Guilt" and "Praying to False Idols" and "Cannibalism" and so forth. Immediately, the person who saw the image falls into two categories: blessed or certifiablycrazyinthecabeza.

Who am I to judge?

Maybe that sight was meant for only a person or certain persons. Maybe the rest of the world isn't supposed to see it. Everyone gets their own sign from Above. It's a matter of keeping the mind and eyes open to see it.

So, again, who am I to judge?

Know what I admire most about these "silly" stories? The unconditional, uninhibited, unabated faith. The faith of a person who believes so intensely as to share it with the world. The faith of the person to subject themselves to teasing and ridicule so they can make a rudimentary shrine on the side of a Texas highway. I am a faithful woman, but my faith is not that convicted. Even if I don't believe the "weird" story, I have respect for the person who experienced the miracle. And it would do me well to open my mind more radically.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

You Can Blame Facebook & Bejeweled

I've been pretty quiet here, lately. You might or might not have noticed. I think I acknowledged it a few weeks ago and promised I'd fill you in. Part of me thinks you don't really care (I mean, why should you?). That same part of me thinks it would bore you. But, I'm not on blogger for you. A part of me is, true. But largely, this is about me -- like any other run in the mill blogger.

So, what have I been up to as of late?

Facebook and Bejeweled!

Facebook is almost like Chicken Minis. SRSLY! And this guy with whom I work, he got me hooked on Bejeweled. Several of us play at work and we have this underlying competition going on amongst each other. Conversely, we are all doing a nice info-share on tips and tricks (as if there really ARE some?! C'mon!) But, yeah, HOOKED! I have yet to be number one. I want to be number one, dammit!

In between playing games on facebook, I have taken a couple of little trips. My wedding anniversary has recently passed. My Husband has a fondness for Shiner Bock beer, and he's of German descent. Me, being of American Indian descent and English descent, am more of a wine girl. Admittedly, I find Shiner beer yummy, and particulary liked their 100th anniversary Black Lager. Anyway, we ventured off, just the two of us and had us a beer drinkin', wine tastin', church tourin', relaxin' good time in the Heart O' Texas, settled primarily by Germans and Czechs. There's a little town called Shiner, Texas. (Imagine that!) The Spoetzl Brewery, which produces Shiner beer, is there and we took a tour of it. Never have I seen tightly-wound husband so relaxed, enjoying the moment. It was fun to see him like that! (This picture is of their ram logo, which I learned that 'bock' means 'ram' in German.)

While there, we drove around to some other little towns in the Hill Country and decided we'd do some wine tasting. My Husband had never done that before, so, this trip turned out to be a learning experience for both of us! We visited a couple of wineries, and enjoyed the ambiance, and of course, the WINE! We met a neat couple at Driftwood. Together, the four of us enjoyed good conversation about American politics, healthcare, wine (duh) and Texas for over an hour as we admired the grapes, soaked in the Summertime Texas breeze while atop a sea of grapes.

Somehow a case of wine hid itself in our car and made it back to Dallas with us! I'm not sure we'll drink them all in our lifetime since neither of us are drinkers much, but I guess it'll be nice to break open a bottle every once in a while when there's occasion to do so.

Around town, in store front windows, we saw fliers for several church picnics, all happening over Labor Day weekend. It was decided we'd come back for Labor Day weekend, bring the kids, and see what these German/Czech picnics have to offer. The Catholic church in Shiner is exquisite! And they know how to throw a party, too! At the American Legion Hall, there were craft booths, accordian music, beergartens, an auction, face painting, dancing, bratwursts with saurkraut -- the whole nine yards! The kids LOVED Shiner and want to go back next year. I can see this being a tradition now.

As I mentioned, we also toured some churches. Being newly Catholic, I'm intrigued with how Mass is celebrated in parishes outside of my home parish. Inevitably, there's something a little different about each Mass. And, of course, the churches are decorated/designed differently, and are artwork in and of themselves. The anniversary trip was finished by visiting some different Catholic churches on our way out of town: the first Catholic church settled in Texas and the oldest rural church in Texas whose founder's life was lost at the seige of the Alamo. (The opening picture that I took is from an outdoor Shrine of Mother Mary at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Church in Shiner.)
Enough with the fun travels. On to the notsofun travels. My parents-in-law, as you might recall, have a house in East Texas. Us kids have been rotating months to tend to it. I think we are all beginning to get our heads wrapped around the notion that the place might have to be sold at some point in the distant future. That house was my FIL's place to be in the world and he still aches for it as he lies in his bed at the nursing home. Anyway, between the three couples, we've been taking my MIL down there to sort through things and figure out what they will keep and what they will sell or trash. My Husband and I have taken her down there three or four times in the last month or so. She sifts through boxes, closets and cabinets while we slave away taming the overgrown brush on the outside. My FIL was quite the plant enthusiast and everything he's grown has run amuck! Now the bushes are teeming with roaches (gross!), the wasps have built nests everywhere, even inside the BBQ griller!, and the garden snakes like to spook me. He has some old cars out there that My Husband tries to start and keep running, keep them in decent shape. So, there's been a lot of banana tree burning, bamboo cutting, tree trimming, shrub shaping and various other goings-on as of late out there. It's kind of sad, really, but I suspect invaluable for the grieving process of end of life decisions....
And, to top things off, my employer laid off about 20% of it's corporate workforce a few weeks ago. I've been there eight years and was shocked, utterly SHOCKED by this action! Thankfully, I am still employed. Sadly, many talentend people were let go, and no doubt are finding better, more stable opportunities elsewhere. I was pretty rattled, truthfully. I've seen a lot come and go there, but never had I see anything like this major layoff. Oddly, the company is hosting a 20 year celebration at a ritzy mansion here in Dallas. Seems kind of ... inappropriate? wrong? bolstering? ... you can insert your own word. I don't want to speak down about my company because, as I've stated in the past, I've felt loyalty from them and they have presented amazing opportunities to a girl like me who has no college degree. I do appreciate having a job, no doubt. Do I feel invincible, untouchable? NO. Do I feel expendable? YES! Do I worry? Sure. But, in true Jackiefashion, I will roll with the punches and take them as they come, good or bad. No matter what, I know I am resilient, flexible and resourceful. I'll be okey-dokey-pokey.
So...that's kinda what's been going on 'round here lately. Throw in some home repairs, a broken fence, retexturing of a bathroom, and the start of a new school year, we have quite the cauldron of yummygoodness called LIFE.
That's all for now, folks!