Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Considering a life of crime

Yes, today I have been considering a life of crime. I take complete responsibility for even entertaining such a notion. Clearly, I'm a step up from the average criminal, though: I am willing to take responsibility for my actions rather than blaming someone else for causing me to be a bad person, which then caused me to consider being a criminal.

Here's what happened. I drove Annie to school this morning. As we simultaneously open the car doors, a rank odor permeated the garage. "Ewww. Mom. What is that?" My weenie little heart sinks. The likewise weenie little brain recollects that I had gone grocery shopping yesterday. Liz's weenie brain plus grocery purchases in the past 24 hours sometimes equals a rank odor, signifying groceries left to fester in the trunk.

Now, was this completely my weenie brain's fault? Well, that depends on your perspective. Bringing in groceries is a family affair. All hands on deck. I call to alert the family that I am on my way and expect to be met at the garage with willing hearts and strong shoulders.

Stop laughing. It actually happens fairly often.

Yesterday was no different than other grocery days. I called. Carl answered. Jonathan came and helped. I tend to leave return trips to the car to my helpers while I unpack the treasures. I tell my family that this is because I know where everything goes. The truth is that this subterfuge allows me time to hide anything really good from the voracious young man who eats us out of house and home.

Thus occupied with hiding the candy corn, I didn't notice that Jonathan didn't bring in the bag that had $50 worth of meat in it, leaving it to overnight in the 50 degree car producing the morning rankness. Now, wouldn't it be easy for me to blame Jonathan for this? He did, after all, leave the meat in the car. As much as I'd like to foist responsibility onto his broad shoulders so that his dad will be ticked at him instead of me for wasting that much money, it really wasn't his fault.

In my infinite wisdom, I'd stuck them inside the refrigerator bag in the trunk. Wanted to protect that meat as I was going to make a money-saving Walgreens stop. But I didn't close the refrigerator bag, and it looked empty. Nor did I tell Jonathan to check the bag, as I don't usually use it so he would have no reason to check it.

Hence the stinky morning encounter. After I dropped Annie off, I retrieved the expensive smelly bag and stuck it in the fridge. In a flight of fancy, I emailed my feminist moms list, pleading with them to reveal a hitherto unknown method for saving meat that has gone bad. No such luck.

But before I tossed the smelly bag, I entertained my criminal thought. I noticed that I still had the grocery store receipt. And the weenie brain was suddenly ablaze with a money-saving notion: I could take the meat back and claim it was bad, not mentioning the fact that the meat had spent the night at 50+ degrees.

I confess that I considered this criminal act for at least 15 seconds. In my defense, it was a lot of meat. Two huge pork tenderloins and a roast beast. No matter that the pork tenderloins were BOGO
(bet you didn't know that I speak fluent frugal housewife) so I'd only paid $30 for $50 worth of meat.

More importantly, my occasional forgetfulness is legend in this house. I am known to search for my glasses and find them on my head. Or Annie's face. Which is in front of my own face. It was to save face that I considered crime: I hate adding to my own legend.

After due consideration (ok, it might have been 30 seconds), I firmly carried the stinky meat out to the garbage can and tossed it. Aren't you proud of me? Not only did I reject a life of crime; I'm sure that by tomorrow morning I will have made at least one city varmint a very happy--and full--creature.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

near verbatim brain sloshing at a Sunday afternoon organ recital

Is there significance in the following detail noted during the aforementioned recital, held at a local church? Jesus looms over us, and the altar, barefoot. OK, it is possible that he wears sandals, though clearly not Berkis. Either way, we can see his toes. And from my pew, it is very clear that Jesus' 2nd toes are longer than his big toes.

Is this a universally recognized physical trait on His part of which I was previously unaware? Is it one indigenous to the LCMS? The particular LCMS church in which I heard said organ recital? Is it a Da Vinci Code signal of some kind, uniting all long 2nd toed people to some kind of ancient bloodline of Christ?

And why must Jesus so often look so pale and wan? There is not word one mentioned in the New Testament to indicate ill health on his part. Is this a Victorian left-over, indicating that the frail of body are somehow closer to heaven? I prefer my deities healthy and robust, thank you very much.

And what's with the curtain behind the altar? Is this a dorsal curtain like the one we have at Grace? This version makes me distinctly uncomfortable. There's plenty of space between the curtain and the back of the altar area (sorry, I'm sure there is a proper name for this but I don't know it.) The Wizard of Oz comes to mind. I fear some smart-mouthed pipsqueak is going to dart from behind the curtain to announce that the altar before us is all smoke and mirrors.

This reminds me of a recent Thursday morning discussion of whether or not the virgin birth is essential to one's belief in Jesus as divine. Must Jesus be all human and all divine? Though I can understand these questions as theologically fundamental, I can also drift into hearing them as just so much how many angels fit (let alone dance) on the tip of a pin.

The word "construct" comes to mind, probably due to the interesting Sunday school class this morning, full of discussion of Freud, Jung, symbolism, money/religion/faith and media. The leader was extremely facile, the topic intriguing. Yet after floating a bit in the wordy bubble of that 35 minutes, I was left with the following thought: this was perhaps the first time I'd heard the word "turd" meaningfully uttered in a classroom that wasn't full of diapered toddlers.

Our organist is playing Langlais now. The first great organist I knew studied with Langlais. She was an artist. An temperamental artiste. The choir surrounded her in the organ loft each Sunday. And we had to sit very, very quietly. No movement. Breathing was optional during the prelude. You did NOT want to be the person who distracted Great Organist.

I think this was the era during which I became addicted to all and sundry forms of hard candy during concerts or quiet, lengthy services. As long as I have hard candy in my mouth, I will not disgrace myself by coughing excessively while listening to the panoply of musical offerings we attend on a regular basis.

Though I do not fear this organist's temperament, still I very quietly suck on Lifesavers while he moves through his program and my mind finally shuts up. Finally, all was blissful silence, save organist and organ working together through the glorious Bach St. Anne Fugue. As is often my wont, I have moved from blasphemy to worship, all in the space of an hour and my cranium.