Columbus Daze

Ohio. Not Christopher.

Daniel and I took a little 6 hour road trip up to Columbus Ohio this past weekend. One doesn't usually think of Columbus Ohio as a destination, especially in November, but as it turns out, we have people there. Daniel's brother and two nieces live there and my friend Joanna lives there.

We left Friday afternoon, drove 6 hours, lost an hour, and arrived in Dublin Ohio (Dublin is a little town on the outer outskirts of Columbus - from my brief impression and Jim's comments, it's a very neo-conservative, totally white-bread, suburban bubble. Awesome). When we got there, Jim took us to the Dublin Tavern for dinner - which had authentic-sounding anglo fare like Shepherd's Pie, Bubble and Squeak, and Bangers and Mash. I got a mushroom. It was good.

Saturday morning, Jim and Daniel left early for a tailgating party prior to a football game while the girls and I lounged around and watched VH1's Top 20 Countdown. Hey! I don't care if I'm too old....I LIKE music videos, okay!? Back off, man! The girls are tweens. Maggie is 12 and Jenna is 11. I'm good with tweens. We bonded over All American Rejects and Beyonce. Then I left them to hang out with Joanna, who, bless her heart, drove all the way out to freakin' Dublin to get me so I wouldn't get lost. Cuz we all know I would've without a doubt gotten lost.

If you know anything about me and my Hiram friends, it's that we all have a strange used book store affliction. No, seriously. It's like a compulsion. Must.Go.To.Used.Book.Store. We don't fight it. We just go. So Joanna immediately took us to the Acorn Used Bookstore, which was fun and lovely. And I managed to walk out of there with only 2 books...which is something of a miracle. From there, we went to the ZenCha Tea Salon for brunch where we had tea waffles. Tea Waffles! Ha! And Yum!

After the warm delicious waffles, we poked our heads into a shop down the street from ZenCha, the name of which escapes me at the moment. Basically, it was a "gift shop" of all kitschy things ever made between 1930 and 1970. No I am not kidding. Jackpot! And it was huge. A maze of little neverending rooms, each filled top to bottom with home decor, kitchen items, furniture, clothes, shoes, jewelry, art, accessories, entertainment. Absolutely ANY Mid-Century kitsch item you could possibly think of, was there...probably in multiples. We deduced from the sheer overwhelming numbers, that people from that era travelled to Florida A LOT and bought ridiculous souvenirs while there, EVERYONE smoked (yes, everyone) and owned at least half a dozen ashtrays each, mushroom hats were thought to be a good idea, and someone, somewhere is missing their heirloom gold, plastic, praying hands salt n' pepper shakers.

The next item on our agenda was a trip to the State House Crypt. This is another thing about my Hiram friends. When together, we almost always end up going to unusual places. It just happens. When your friend calls you up and says, "hey, do you want to go to the State House Crypt to see all 44 Presidents of the United States captured in the medium of Etch-A-Sketch?"....you say "oh hells yeah!" Am I right?

In the midst of this Columbus fun, I got a text message from Daniel around 2:00 pm "Very cold. Going home." Did I mention it is cold in Columbus in November? Well it is. There were even small patches of snow on the ground. So, when I got back to freakin' Dublin, everyone was huddled in the living room playing Scrabble. Shortly thereafter, we piled into Jim's tank and went to see the movie Bolt. In 3-D. Because if 3-D is an option...you take it.

Okay, so I hate Miley Cyrus, was skeptical about John Travolta, had no idea what the movie was about and generally do not fancy the newer cartoony kid films. But, ohmigawd, it was really good. And not just because it was in 3-D. Okay, so there's this character in the movie named Rhino. Rhino is a hamster and he is all things hilarious! Like, fall out of your chair hilarious. You must see it. You really must.

Sunday was the day when we were supposed to get on the road and get our asses back to the warmth of Nashville as we both had to work Monday morning. But there was a hitch. It was Jenna's birthday and she was having a party. A party which required additional adult supervision and transportation. Jim is newly divorced and mostly functions as a single parent, so Daniel and I volunteered to assist in the birthday festivities...which didn't begin until 3 o'clock, naturally.

The plan was for all 7 party guests to arrive at the house in freakin' Dublin and then we would transport these children to a place far away from freakin' Dublin called the Franklin Adventure Park. Once at the Adventure Park, the children would be tricked out with helmets and harnesses and play around on ropes 30 feet in the air. It's like an obstacle course, way up high, with no nets. Of course, each person is tied onto an overhead cable to prevent death. It looked WAY cool. Some of the kids were totally psyched and started swinging around like fearless primates. But, a couple of the kids just couldn't do it. They tried. But the height thing just really wigged them out and froze them. After that, there was a rock wall for climbing and everyone managed to do that just fine.

We left the birthday party of death at 5 o'clock and shuttled the kids back to freakin' Dublin, and walked in our front door after a very long 6 hours at 11 o'clock. Monday was a long day. A very long day.


Long Live Life

I'm obsessed with this song.

I know, it's been out for like 7 months now, has received critical acclaim and been featured in an iTunes promotion, but I just can't get enough of it. I even like the video. The way it's textured to look like an old oil painting is very cool. I like the bright colors and the vaguely staccato rhythm of the images.

I like the orchestration - the strings and the timpani and church bell. I love church bells.

I like that the song seems inspired from Eugene Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People, which is the abstract background floating around in the video. It's also depicted on the album cover art.

Some fans have speculated that the song is about King Louis XVI or maybe Napoleon Bonaparte. Someone even conjectured that the song was referencing our own George Bush. The band claims it's simply a story about a king who has lost his kingdom.

I like that it's about a person who has been humbled.

Viva La Vida

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Calvary choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
Once you go there was never
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered window and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become

Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Calvary choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world


Dating in The City

My sister is on a date. This always makes me nervous. It didn't use to make me nervous. It never made me nervous until she moved to NJ and started dating people in The City. NYC, as we all know, is full of crazy-ass whack-jobs. So, this evening, right now in fact, she is on a date with a guy in The City.

Since it's a 10 minute train ride from her house to The City, the date asked if she would like his driver to pick her up instead. Driver? Excuse me? No, she would not like his driver to pick her up, thank you very much. She will take the train into The City. Well, would she like his driver to pick her up at the train station? Is that necessary? Well, he doesn’t have a car in The City but he has “a driver”. He could have his driver pick her up at the train station in The City.

Okay, I realize people in dense urban areas usually do not have personal cars, but also they do not typically have personal drivers! This whole driver business seems very suspicious to me. Why can’t he just meet her at the train station or have his driver drive HIM to the train station? It’s definitely fishy.

The following text conversation occured as she left for her date:

HER: Well, I’m on my way to meet the driver.

ME: Okay. Let me know when u meet “the driver”.

HER: This is so bizarre. Ha. fish-out-of-water!

ME: DO NOT get in car if “the driver” seems suspicious.

HER: LOL oh god, it’s like that movie with the razor locks!

ME: Forget the driver. Just meet in a highly visible public place.

HER: Don’t worry. Have my tazor.

ME: Okay, but be on your guard.

HER: Okay mom.

A little while later...

HER: Ahhh train is running 15 min late!

A little while later...

HER: Here. With the driver. lol

ME: Where is the driver taking u?

HER: This is insane!

ME: Where r u?

HER: In the city with my driver. lol

HER: LOL Omg! This is ridiculous! You should see this fucking car! Will I be a dork to take a pic? lol

ME: take a pic of the license plate and tell me where he's taking u!

HER: he had a sign! LMAO

ME: c'mon...what does the car look like and where is he taking u?

Patiently waiting...

ME: if u r being kidnapped - send me a message that says 911

HER: going to his office. driver is nice. lots of people on streets. no razor blades.

ME: alright. text me when u can and especially when u get home.


Take A Deep Breath

Okay...we can all breathe again. Take a deep breath of relief.

I am so grateful that our new president is someone we can actually be proud of. He gives hope that we will be able to recover from the rape and destruction that has taken place over the past 8 years. I am not so optimistic as to proclaim that our new president is the answer to all of our problems. But I am optimistic enough to be hopeful that this intelligent, decent, compassionate man will restore some grace and dignity to our country.

Tom Harper, over at Who Hijacked Our Country has a hopeful but guarded response to our newly elected president which is particularly succinct:

America’s Prognosis: Guarded

The patient has been suffering from a severe uncontrollable infection for the past eight years. This particularly virulent strain of bacteria had been living in the patient’s intestines for decades, where it remained relatively harmless.

But in early 2001, the bacteria went systemic. This is often fatal. All of the organism’s natural defense mechanisms were overpowered and disabled by this devastating infection. It’s a miracle the patient even survived.

While in the throes of this debilitating sickness, the patient’s symptoms included excruciating pain, spastic movements, nausea, vomiting and explosive diarrhea. To all innocent bystanders who got shat on: Please understand and forgive. Remember, the patient was being attacked by perhaps the most resistant, putrid, pestilent bacteria ever discovered. This abortional behavior could not be controlled.

We’re not out of the woods yet. Some new medication has been prescribed, but it won’t start taking effect until two and a half months from now. We’re looking at a long slow recovery process that will take years; decades even. But I think the patient is going to make it.


A Club for Books and Other Things

So, last night was Book Club. We use the term "Book Club" rather loosely. It's more of a women's gathering wherein food and alcoholic beverages are consumed whilst all manner of relevant and non-relevant topics are disected. And there's a book. A book that maybe some of us have finished and maybe some of us haven't. And we "discuss" it. A little. And then we move on to more important things like stories about shopping with our respective mothers, and how today's teenagers are so spoiled, and how we used to sneak in at night after being out after curfew. And so on and so forth until we have polished off a few bottles of wine and it is past our bedtimes.

As a bonus last night, I gave a convincing demonstration of what a complete spaz I am by obliterating a wine glass into a thousand tiny shards expertly scattered into every corner of the living room. Yup. What can I say? Things like this just happen to me.

Well okay, maybe not "just happen". Perhaps I should not have set my wine glass on the arm of the sofa. On an unstable foundation of a wobbly leather coaster. Perhaps I should not have left said wine glass in the structurally unsound environment while I went to put pumpkin cheese dip on my plate. Perhaps I should not have carelessly plopped down onto the couch upon my return thus schooching it back a bit and causing my wine glass to teeter, and fall crashing in slow motion to the hardwood floor below. Perhaps.

Of course I was horrified and of course I apologized and of course Jen and Terah acted as if they broke wineglasses all the time and went around cleaning up shards of glass during their free time just for fun. And I felt stupid and spazzy and was grateful that it was white wine.

I really should only be allowed to drink wine out of coffee mugs...or sippy cups.


At 7:30 this morning,