Saturday, October 29, 2005

It blogs! My wonderful monster blogs!!

James has finally succumbed and is a blogger. When you think you're ready to enter the mind of a genius (named Abby Normal???) check out his blog, entitled
The Art of Dumbing It Down.

What is it about me studying on a couch at Midnight Oil...

...that makes the musicians who come in every Saturday want to strike up a conversation? Clarice and I have made MO our preferred study rendezvous, and we go there - really - to actually study. Sure, we run into the occasional acquaintance, and yes, we do pepper our studying with conversation. But something about sitting on the green couch in the alcove makes us magnets for lame (and often annoying) conversation with strangers.

Let me set the scene. The local music store has begun hosting live local music at Midnight Oil on Saturday nights - the performances are taped and broadcast on Channel 6 MyTown TV. "Well," you might say, "that sounds really cool and a great opportunity to support local talent." I would agree with you, but I have heard the bands, and more importantly, I've had to talk to them.

I'm not an unfriendly person. I wouldn't mind these conversations if they weren't A) really long and intrusive to my studying, B) unsolicited by me, and C) rude and pushy with regard to content.

You might respond to Complaint A, "Why not just study somewhere else?" I concede that I could avoid this whole dilemma by doing so. And sometimes I do leave (that is actually why I'm at home writing this post right now). But I maintain that there is nowhere in Searcy where I study better than MO, and I REFUSE to
surrender my territory!

I think that Complaint B is unattackable. Even if I were at MO specifically to hear the band (which I am not), it would still be weird for a band member to make small talk with me for 15 minutes. Besides, when I'm approached for these conversations I'm clearly studying.

Complaint C requires examples. And oh, these are only a taste. The singer for Little Rock band "Poe Innocent" tried to curry my favor as an audience member by looking at my shoe-less feet curled up underneath me on the couch and joking, "What stinks?" Not funny.
Then he spent about a quarter hour trying to convince us that his band of aging 80s rockers sounded like the Foo Fighters (they INCREDIBLY did not) and asking us to please use the bathroom before they started the set so that we wouldn't accidentally block the camera.

When the set started, the band was so loud that I could hardly hear Clarice even when she shouted in my ear, and we were surrounded by the band's groupies (aka husbands and wives) and one little kid whom they were trying to keep from falling asleep by pumping him full of an espresso-laced milkshake. When we left, I accidentally knocked over the milkshake and it was caught on camera. The only satisfying part of the night.

And tonight, believe it or not, was even worse. The musician was, surprisingly, actually talented - a jazz pianist. But he was even ruder than the Poe Innocent guy. After chatting it up w/me and Clarice and finding out that we are teachers, he started challenging us with questions like, "Well, but what do you do when a kid won't listen to you? What do you do when he bucks up to you? So what if you send him to ISS - what if he won't obey there?" These are questions for deep debate that really don't have good answers, so stop attacking me with them while I am STUDYING in a COFF
EEHOUSE and I haven't paid a COVER CHARGE!!! Other than my coincidental need for java, you have no indication that I even want to hear your music. So how about you don't challenge me after knowing me 5 minutes.

Then, he went beyond the point of rudeness by shamelessly asking and asking and asking for tips and getting mad when no one seemed interested. At one point he finished a song, and I'm sure I heard him say, "I hope you're enjoying your evening for free."

And it was at that one point that I left.

I know that this was the longest, most disorganized, rant-iest post ever, and I apologize. I just had to vent. But please, if you know anyone planning to play at Midnight Oil on a Saturday night, give them some tips on how not to alienate an audience and slip them a milkshake laced with humility right before the show.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Homecoming Part I

So here we are, at the pinnacle of Searcy's social season: Homecoming Weekend. Parents and grandparents are crowding the dorms, the parking lots, the streets, the wifi hotspots, and every restaurant in a 1 mile radius that serves steak.

In keeping with traditions (and because we are probably "of the crowd" more than we like to admit) James and I have dined sumptuously at Doc's Grill and are about to go watch the opening night production of this year's Homecoming musical, Beauty and the Beast. We go into this night apprehensive, having been burned by bad musicals and our own cynicism in the past.

Later, a full review of what we saw and what we thought of it and all the hilarious comments we made.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


In the past week, unexplained circumstances have raised eyebrows at the manor. It all started about six days ago, on a dark, procrastination-filled night. I was up late (or technically, early) working on homework when I heard a bump at the door. For a moment, my heart stopped. It wasn't the cats- they were inside. "Probably the wind." I thought. Or, it could be a neighbor cat. They are our usual suspects.

But in the morning when James opened the door, he found a Wal-Mart sack full of - Dum dum DUM!!! - half used bottles of various orange-scented cleaners. Orange Power and Lysol and glass cleaner...we were befuddled and a little defensive. Was an anonymous party trying to suggest that our house needed cleaning? And if so, where was this peeper getting his/her information?

Two days later James came to my office after lunchtime. (He goes home, but I work through noon.) Right away, I knew there was trouble. "A half-used carton of kitty litter and a bottle of flea shampoo," he said. "Right where the cleaners were."

Eyebrow activity had escalated beyond simple raising. Eyebrows were scurrying and leaping all over the place.

Then, at least the kitty litter half of the mystery was solved. Whodunit? Was it our neighbors, tired of the cats using every dirt patch like an outhouse? Was it James, trying to get me back for the cicada incident? Was it a clever ploy by the cats themselves to addle our brains and gain control of the manor? Was it Mrs. White with the wrench in the conservatory? No! You're all wrong! It was our friends Jeremy and Clarice Brazas with the illegal cat in the public apartment. They had to take her to the animal shelter and thought that we should benefit from their misfortune.

However, the first half of this mystery remains unsolved. Who is the person responsible for the orange cleaners that went bump in the night? Perhaps the world will never know.

Special Investigators Bocks and Bocks
No job too small
Lots of jobs too big
Call our tipline - be a gumshoe!* 278-9913

* gum to stick on shoe not provided

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

For Clarice

So I'm up early this morning doing homework, except that since my user name was changed last week I can't access what I was planning to read. What shall I do? The answer is obvious: add a new post to my blog to avoid being chastised by Clarice, and to give her something to do at work.

The summer posts are so ridiculously overdue that I will have to let them die, but here is a summary: On our trip, the glass from our truck's side mirror just fell out. We watched it shatter along the shoulder. It was pretty unexpected and funny. Also unexpected (but not so funny) was on the way home when a big, fat, juicy bug was sucked in through the open window and splattered on my cheek. Eeew. The favorite activity on the second half of our summer vacation was swimming. We went to Hurricane Harbor in Arlington and rode the Tornado four times. It's a big blue and yellow funnel that you get shot into, and then you slide back and forth up the sides like a penny in one of those funnel buckets (used to be in malls). Before Hurricane Harbor, we made our own Hurricane with this family cannonball at James' aunt's house.

So, this is the catch-up post. As soon as I can squeeze it in, a new one is on the way. Clarice - enjoy.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Note and News

Note: I know that Part II of WILOMSV is slow in coming - I haven't forgotten. The blog is on hiatus for a little bit because...

News: I have a new job as the student payroll clerk at Harding! It's a full-time job on top of my full-time student schedule, so my at-home hours are spent studying and sleeping. I hope that in a week or so I will have a little more energy to devote to the blog. Until then - hang in there!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A Brush With Death

Tonight when we let the cats outside, we heard them going crazy by the door. I opened the door to see what all of the scratching and banging was about and I saw that Cal had pounced on some kind of bug. A very large, very, very loud bug. Before I could stick my foot in his face (the preferred method of cat repellent in the manor, with 76% effectiveness) he scooted into the kitchen and deposited his treasure on his food bowl - a whirring, screeching, devilish, fat and ugly cicada. At first I thought it was a locust, but as you'll read here cicadas are often misidentified as locusts in North America.

Cicada, locust, whatever. All I know is disgusting, loud, and loose in our kitchen. Every time I got within 3 feet of it, it would screech and whir and start flying around like crazy. I'm not usually scared of bugs, but the sound this one makes activates the same nerve endings that make you scream if someone jumps out at you from a closet yelling, "Christmas Eve Gift!"(right, Matt?:) Only this was infinitely less fun than Christmas Eve shenanigans. It would whir and screech, I would scream and run away and collapse on the bed laughing.

James eventually caged it under the sink drainer and ran hot water on it for about 15 minutes. After some insecticide, liberal drowning, and more than a few death rattles, he had subdued the creepy thing enough to pick it up with a paper towel and flush it down the toilet. It was about that time when I found this sound file of a cicada online. I thought he saw what I was up to - but I pressed play, and James yelled, "It's screeching in the toilet! Go flush it!...What is that - oh turn that off! Turn that OFF! Don't ever play that again!!"

Ah, life.