messin’ with sasquatch

I think Bigfoot is blurry, that’s the problem. It’s not the photographer’s fault. Bigfoot is blurry, and that’s extra scary to me. There’s a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Look out, he’s fuzzy! Let’s get out of here!  

~Comedian Mitch Hedberg~ 

I cannot make this stuff up.

From the time I was about 11 years old, I’ve been terribly fascinated with monsters.  Or more precisely Creatures That No One Knows About (Yet) versus the ones lurking beneath my childhood bed.  The Under-the-Bed Monsters elicited an entirely different response for me. 

However, the fascination with unknown creatures came from the time I checked out a book on the Loch Ness Monster from the school library.  

It was all downhill from there. 

I gobbled up that book then trekked to the public library and checked out all their Nessie books.  Because y’all know the library is way more accommodating in that they let you check out more than one book at a time.  For Pete’s sake, who reads only one book at a time?  Life is short, folks.  

Damn those stingy school libraries to hell. 

When I read all I could on the Loch Ness monster, I moved onto Bigfoot aka Sasquatch aka Yeti aka Abominable Snowman aka … okay, y’all get it. 

And Bigfoot?  Well Bigfoot became my Main Fascination which remains with me to this day.  Imagine my glee when the History Channel made the decision to add ‘Monsterquest’ to their already-intriguing cable line-up.  And.  Even better, they’ve done several episodes now searching for the elusive Sasquatch. 

Who has a better life than yours truly? I mean really. 

So. 

Sure looks like a big ol' Sasquatch to me.

This week’s episode of ‘Monsterquest’ featured the ‘Hillbilly Monster’ from Kentucky aka the Yeti’s Southern Relatives.  Part of the episode focused on identifying a captivating creature that was photographed in the Autumn of 2009 on the outskirts of a garden in Louisville, Kentucky.  The landowner, thoroughly annoyed by critters eating goodies from his plot, decided to set up a motion-sensor camera to catch the culprits.  

Why look.  Deer.  Raccoons.  Birds.  

SASQUATCH. 

The resulting photograph and story was titillating enough to be reported on CNN.com. 

WAYBIGNEWS. 

Now.  

I have a love-slash-hate relationship with ‘Monsterquest’.  Because while I dig all the time and effort they put into searching for the truth, I always feel that disappointing harumph of let down when those 57 minutes of edited research end in failure.  And folks, the verdict in this particular investigation was utterly distressing. 

Y’all show me the photo above and I totally see Sasquatch. Or conversely, a gorilla.  Neither of which I’d want to find prancing around in the vicinity of my vegetable garden.  

The ‘Monsterquest’ team … disgressing here, but how do you get such a cool, paying job like that?  

Anyhoo.  

To root out the truth, the ‘Monsterquest’ team had the photographer’s son recreate the scene of the crime with an outstretched tape measure.  This allowed the photo analyst to overlay that photo of the ‘known’ with the Sasquatch photo.

Messin' with Sasquatch

TOTALLY DEBUNKED. 

This last photo is not for faint-hearted Sasquatch seeker. 

You’ve been forewarned. 

I really think there oughta be a law against CROWS IMPERSONATING SASQUATCH. 

It just seems so … WRONG.

sorry seems to be the hardest word

Some days I get the absolute best text messages.  I SWEAR.  And just so y’all don’t think I’m joshing, I present to you The Evidence.

So.  After I received this masterpiece of literature late Friday evening, I debated whether I should call my yet-to-be discovered friend, Antonia, and tell her she just sent an errant text message.  However.  I figured since she called me the ‘B’ Word, she might not be all that receptive to an actual conversation. She sounds like a Very Angry Young Woman.

Where’s a good old-fashioned bar of mouth washing soap when you need it?

partyPartyparty

Instead, I texted back Antonia the Rhodes Scholar and said simply, ‘I’m sorry but I think you must have the wrong number.’  Now.  I would have expected Antonia to feel a tad embarrassed and that the communcation would cease.  I’m so naïve. 

SO NAIVE.

I present to you More Evidence of Great Texting.  And then, after this, the line goes quiet.

FARREAL.

Until last night when The Hubby and I were at dinner. 

Johnnie texts me ‘wat up dis johnnie’.  I can only surmise that Antonia and Johnnie attended the same school with a Terribly Awful English Teacher.

partyPartypa … NEVERMIND

So.  Before I dig into the succulent steaming lobster the waitress has just slid in front of me, I decide to call Johnnie and/or Antonia.  Maybe if they hear my voice, they’ll get it.  Ring. Ring. Ring.  Someone picks up the phone.  Dead silence.  I say, ‘Really, you have the wrong number.’ 

More dead silence.  My $28.50 lobster is getting cold. 

NOW I AM THOROUGHLY ANNOYED.

I repeat myself.  To which a young man, perhaps it was Johnnie or Isaiah or maybe Antonia pretending to be all man-like says, ‘No dude, you have the wrong number.’

CLICK.

‘No dude, you …??’

Oh I can’t go on.  Truly.

What is wrong with people that a simple ‘oops sorry’ doesn’t suffice?  And the phenomenon doesn’t seem to be exclusive to texting.  A few weeks ago a pick-up truck pulled directly in front of me as I was rambling down the road doing about 45 miles per hour.  And folks, I mean he pulled out directly in front me.  Like with about 15 feet to spare.  Apparently he was making his 8:00 am beer run at the carry-out and couldn’t get home fast enough with the brew.  So, I gave a little toot to the horn.  The man slammed on his brakes, pulled to the side of the road, dropped down his window, and flipped me off, calling me a Name I Won’t Repeat Here.

I’LL BET IT WAS JOHNNIE.

In our society, manners seem to have flown completely out the window.  Simple little gestures of kindness, a little ‘sorry, I made a mistake’ tossed in here and there, ‘no, please you go first’  courtesies are virtually non-existent.  I find even my sons will argue over the dumbest things of who said what to whom.  Then when I intervene, they’ll rant about how they were justified in retaliating in the manner in which they did.

I DON’T GET IT. HONESTLY.

Can’t you just say you’re sorry?  Why must you feel the need to justify your bad behavior?

CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?

And as fate would have it, I literally just received another text message from Johnnie.

‘wat up …’

Well, Johnnie et al. I’m sorry but I’m going to have to ask Verizon to block you.  See? I even said ‘sorry’.

loose girl

The past several months I’ve read some rather serious books.  Heavy topics, deep subjects.  Not necessarily depressing topics per se, but Really Sober Books.

So.

This weekend I felt the urge to find something a tad lighter.  Maybe something a little fun, nothing cheesy, and something that ultimately required no brainpower.  Maybe even a little romance novel.

OH I GOTCHA THERE, DIDN’T I?

I never read romance novels.  All that bodice tearing and throbbing you-know-what always comes across to me as well, gosh, a little dopey.  But.  Keep in mind I also do not read detective novels nor mysteries.  As readers, I think we all have our little niche of characters and themes we enjoy.  Give me a good drama romance, I’m yours.  Otherwise, Harlequin is not my thang.

Okay.  So.

In my quest for Light Reading what I found instead was an incredibly thought-provoking book about one woman’s journey through promiscuity.  Sometimes raw, sometimes heartbreaking, but always captivating, Kerry Cohen tells the story of years of seeking men’s approval through sex. 

Listen, I didn’t say sex wasn’t my thang.
I said Cheesy Tales of Sex didn’t interest me. 

YES, VIRGINIA.  THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.

However.  The further you delve into ‘Loose Girl’ you realize, it’s really not about the sex.  It’s about the fundamental desire of a young girl to be wanted.  To be loved.  To be validated.  And how the author stumbles through her teen years and into her twenties ever seeking, and rarely finding, what she feels she needs the most to complete herself.

I read ‘Loose Girl’ in two sittings and then pondered a bit on my own teenage years.  Perhaps this is because Kerry Cohen’s writing style is remarkably similar to Caroline Sullivan’s in ‘Bye Bye Baby’ that brought up the comparison for me.  The angst and rawness of teenage emotions is expressed in a very real way in both books.  While Caroline’s obsession was the Bay City Rollers, Kerry’s was any boy.

But. 

A mutual theme in both books I found incredibly significant was that both women expressed the thought that while it was necessary to their self-worth that a boy wanted them, it was even more powerful in an instance where the boy wanted them … and the other girls wanted that boy.  The sought-after prize came not only in getting the boy, but getting something that was so desireable to every other girl. 

I want him. They want him. He chooses me.

The Ultimate Validation.

Honestly, I think 90% of all Bay City Roller fans will get that. Totally get it.

‘Loose Girl’ can be explicit and sometimes uncomfortable, especially as Kerry describes her younger teen and pre-teen years.  However, I found ‘Loose Girl’ overall to be thought-provoking and well written, capturing a myriad of emotions. 

It’s honest and real.  What more can you ask for?

time in the tunnel

You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.  ~Psalm 18:28~

Several nights ago I had a dream.  Well. I dream every night, but this particular dream was of the variety that when I woke up I KNEW IT MEANT SOMETHING.

In this dream I was walking into a tunnel that grew increasingly darker the further we progressed.  At one point it became pitch black.  As in Black on Black.  Wow.  Kinda reminds me of the AC/DC song.  It’s been years since I heard that track.  Wait that was ‘Back in Black’, right?

Anyhoo.

BACK TO THE TUNNEL.  STOP CLOWNING AROUND AND GET THIS BLOG WRITTEN.

So.  There was someone in front of me and someone behind me, and as we reached that deepest, blackest point, we all stopped walking.  We were too scared to walk forward.  And we were unable to turn around and retreat back along the path from which we’d come. 

Then something said, ‘Just keep walking and keep talking. I’ll get you out.’

So we began walking again, this time talking our way through the rest of the tunnel until we reached the end and stepped out into daylight.

And then the alarm went buzz-buzz-buzz.

I find that when I’m stressed, I tend to dream of tornadoes.  When I’m going through a particularly difficult part of my life or, conversely, anticipate that my life is going to change in a manner in which I would not necessarily chose for it to change, I dream of tunnels. 

I will state for the record. I HATE LIFE’S TUNNELS.

I do. 

HATEHATEHATEHATE … OHSOHATE THEM.

But.  As more and more of my life unfolds, I realize that sometimes I need those tunnels.  Well.  Okay.  This, of course, is an observation made purely in retrospect. I never feel like I need these tunnels when I’m in the middle of them.  In fact, I go into them kicking and screaming just like everyone else.  And sometimes when I’m really dadgum tired of crawling about blindly in the tunnel, I get kinda angry

I start challenging God, ‘Why me?  Ya know, Lord, I’ve had it up to about here of doing this whole Into-the-Darkness-to-Show-You-the-Light schtick.  You and I, well we’ve done this quite a few times now.  So.  Why can’t y’all go pick on Boo Boo over there who never seems to have any tunnel experiences!?  Boo Boo’s just lollygagging through life, for cryin’ out loud. PICK ON SOMEONE ELSE.’

I swear, I’m going to be so embarrassed when I finally meet my Maker.

For me, a Life’s Tunnel can be a very frightening place. It’s dark and precarious, full of Things Out of My Control.  I can’t see ahead.  And I can’t go back to the Way it Was.  Often, the tunnel is a very lonely place to be. 

However.  Life’s Tunnels have a way of strengthening me, sometimes breaking me open to utter barrenness in order that I have room to be filled and healed with better things.  The tunnels teach me perseverance in a way I couldn’t learn otherwise.  Of opening my eyes to show me where I’m making grievous errors in my own path.  And of showing me that while I can’t control everything in my life, there is a Bigger, Infinitely More Rewarding Plan for me. 

Most importantly, when I’m in one of Life’s Tunnels, God and I are justhisclose.  Because I’m talking to Him more.  I’m praying without ceasing.  And maybe he takes us to That Place for that very reason. 

Bring a flashlight.

postcard-able snippets

“There is nothing wrong with good schmaltz, nothing wrong with good heart. The critics think I’m kind of corny. Well, I am corny. As long as people respond to it, I’m okay.” 

~Walt Disney~

I love corny.  I especially love Disney corny.  Y’all would think for as many times as we’ve vacationed to The House of Mouse we’d find the whole experience rather wearisome by now.  But.  We don’t.  Because maybe, we’re corny too.

So.  Rather than encumber your brains with yawning vacation droll … my guess is the re-telling of our adventures would be infinitely less exciting for you than it was for us … I thought I’d use this blogging opportunity to post some random observations from our week in Florida.  I think y’all will find that far less painful.

PROMISE.

Planet Hollywood.  Just say ‘no’.  In your loudest voice.  And mean it. Let me state for the record that $83 for two turkey club sandwiches, an order of chicken fingers, and a burger is absurd in any universe.  And especially on Planet Hollywood.  Beyond the ridiculous cabbage it costs for a simple meal, it’s also a noisy, worn-out fad of a restaurant where the bathroom counters sport bottles of mouthwash and Wal-Mart perfume.  Oh.  And Dum-Dum suckers in big bowls.  Candy.  In the bathroom.  Creeped out yet or is that just me?

Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain.  One of the things that excites me most about all of the Disney parks is the fantastical sense of imagination and attention to minute details in every single attraction.  Walt is my hero. I’m not kidding.  Splash Mountain takes you on a way cute journey with animated Brer Bear and Brer Rabbit, before plunging you 50 feet down a water run.  Hence, the name ‘Splash Mountain’.  Ahem.  Corn at it’s finest, but one of my favorite attractions.  Now.  Tips for Splash Mountain:  1) when the temperatures dip below 50 degrees, no one rides.  Geesh, whattabunchofpansies.  2) the last seat in every car stays 99% dry, which is great when … errr … the temperatures dip below 50 degrees and you don’t want to walk around soaking wet.  Yes, we are Those Pansies.

Cinnamon-Sugar Glazed PecansI do, of course, realize that this tasty warm, happy little sweet treat is available in other areas of the world beyond Epcot.  However.  I found them more than a little addicting on our trip. It was totally shameful.  By Day 2 of our wanderings through the parks, I found myself scanning the park map by 9:00 am each morning.  ‘Where are we?!  Is there a pecan stand close by?!  SMELL THE AIR, BOYS!  MAMA NEEDS HER PECANS!’

Winter SwimmingWhen you travel in December from the Midwest to Florida, I am of the firm opinion that sometimes one can forget to pack a Good Dose of Common Sense.  In Orlando, the night-time temperatures this week barely broke 55 degrees.  When we went to the parks in the evening, we wore parka-type vests, sweaters, and jeans.  So.  Riddle me this.  When youngest son asks to go swimming before we don the winter attire to go to the park, what kind of mother acquiesces to such a ridiculous request?  I mean, besides me.

Traveling 16-1/2 Hours, One Vehicle, Four PeopleiPods are wonderful inventions of the 21st century.  Especially when you can plug them directly into your vehicle’s electronic workings and entertain yourself for a full 16-1/2 hours.  That being said, folks, there is a limit to how many times you can listen to Jason Mraz’s ‘I’m Yours’.  I hit said limit at about 53 times.  OHMYGOSHSHOOTME.  And y’all know you’ve gone through Jim Gaffigan’s stand-up routine a few times too many when your children start texting you from the backseat with his schtick. Hot pockets.  Bacon.  Bears.  Okay, I laughed.  The boys are nothing short of amusing.  However.  In my defense, by that point I was more than a wee bit punchy.

High-Definition Television.   Our hotel suite had not one, but two HD TV’sThose of you who have the joy of actually possessing such a cool piece of equipment will probably not appreciate my supreme joy of the whole high-def experience.  But let me share with you, it was breathtaking.  I wanted to eat everything on the Food Network.  I wanted to climb into every show on the History Channel and mingle with the knights.  They all looked so dadgum real.  But most of all, watching the Daniel Day-Lewis interview on morning television I wanted to grab a box of crackers, drop him on one and eat the man up.  Daniel Day-Lewis in high-definition.  I can now die a happy woman.