Saturday, December 29, 2012

An Experiment

Tonight Mabels came into the Lair and asked what was up. I told her I wanted to write but wasn't sure if the words would come out (I have that problem). I handed her the computer, not really expecting much to happen because I'm pretty sure I've tried that before.

Much to my surprise, and concern, Mabels typed for a good 20 minutes before handing the computer back to me.

She read this part of what I had written:

"Marty hesitated before relaxing again. This girl was crazy. But she made his P spike, so  he didn’t want to write her off entirely. She made him feel better than any other girl had in a long time. After another moment of contemplation Marty relaxed too.

He was Marty Hale, after all, a legend."

And this is what Mabels came up with:

*flashback* The air was thick with the stench of war and death.  Marty was the only one left.  He knew what he had to do, though he did not know how.  He picked up his father’s sword, still dripping with the patriarchs blood. Determined and with nothing to lose, Marty ran toward the evil warlord Shablooka.  He had caught the dark one off guard! This was his only chance.  The sword slid surprisingly easily through the seemingly thick skin.  Shablooka fell to the ground. 
*present* He was known throughout the nation as the man who defeated the evil warlord Shablooka.  A simple girl and her wild plan to defeat the Pinheads in the greatest bowling tournament should not be a problem. 
“All right.  Let’s do it,” Marty said.  Just the look on her face at his decision was worth the sacrifice he was about to make.
“This is the right thing to do,” she said, excitement in her voice.  “Let’s get started.”

I laughed so hard I started crying. Needless to say, I love my Mabels. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Dear Russell Crowe:


Dear Russell Crowe;
                Congratulations on your surprisingly good portrayal of Javert in “Les Miserables”. I didn’t think you had it in you. You almost made the movie worth watching. I think I’ll go find a couple other movies you were in (that are not “Gladiator”) and go watch them.

Thanks again
                P.S. Having looked a bit closer at the development of your theatrical career, I am curious to know if you really did play in “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, and if so, what role? Is there a video?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Holidays


I’m the type of person who will kind of skim around the subject of Christmas cheer. Let’s be honest here, I don’t like Christmas. Don’t ask me why, suffice it to say that I just don’t. Still, I will do what I can to not put a damper on other’s festivities.
I do find some holiday ‘traditions’ to be quite enjoyable. I love going to midnight mass, for instance. (I’ve been to mass several times, all over the world, and have always enjoyed it). I like seeing the lights on houses. And nothing beats a Christmas tree smell. (In my family we’ve never had a fake tree.)
So, in the spirit of the Holidays, I would like to share some cheer with you from my childhood. Now, this piece doesn’t really have a formal title. When I wrote it, I presented it to a group of lovely people who were participating in the Horse and Writer Conference. I told them it doesn’t have a title, but that it is a true story, and one of the people there said that should be the title. So, here it is:

“It’s  a True Story”
He turned to me with a twinkle in his eye
And said “I’m sure I’ll get him before I die.
Ever since I got that coal, the year that I turned eight,
Well ol’ St. Nick, he sure sealed his fate.”
So every winter he would plot and plan
What traps and tricks would catch the jolly man.
And to us kids he would always warn
There would be no presents come Christmas morn.

And so we grew
As grandkids do
And life turned another page.
We kids had reached the ‘truth’, along with our teen age.
At the kitchen table he sat us all down.
“He’s on to me,” he said with a frown.
We rolled our eyes
And with a sigh
He rose from his chair
And left with a heavy step upon the stair.
Down he went, then up again
Carrying a trophy from his den.
With careful glee and a heavy drop
He landed a bear trap onto the table top.
“He must’ve started carrying a knife since last time.
Now you’ve all been good, right, cause this sure is a sign.”
We kids stared at the sprung trap with dread,
For we could not reconcile that tuft of white hair
With our Grandpa’s bald head.

Happy Holidays to All!

(To this day Grandpa still chuckles when he remembers the looks on our faces when he showed us that trap.)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Need Your (Birthday) Help

For those of you who know me, I don't really like my birthday. I don't like people making a big deal about me, and in recent years I've come up with a pretty good strategy on how to avoid the birthday hubub.

Step One: Tell no-one that my birthday is coming up. In fact ignore the birthday and hope it just goes away.
Step Two: Leave town.
Step Three: When asked why I am leaving town, act all confused, like I'm not sure what people are talking about. Or just be vague: "You know, hanging out and stuff".

The past couple of years I have gone to my happy place, the family cabin at Bear Lake. I'm lucky enough to have a birthday that falls on a holiday weekend most years, so I get a good three or four days up there. It's also lucky that the weekend of that holiday is usually when the Cisco start to run on the east side of Bear Lake. So, if you have the right equipment, you can go fishing. Cisco is a no-limit fish, so bring a big cooler and a dip net, and waders, and wear thermals. And be prepared to participate in "Deadliest Catch: Bear Lake". If you don't really want to fish, it's great fun to just go watch all the people fishing.

But, alas, this year I won't be able to go to the Disco. I will be in Tennessee. My dilemma now is what to do for my birthday. I mentioned skydiving in passing to my mother. She gave me a 'look' and said "Don't make me worry about things more than I already have to."
So, I did what every good traveller does and broke out my "1000 Things to do Before You Die" books. And I have it narrowed down to two options.

I would like your opinions/votes on the options, and then I'll go wherever it seems more people think would be a great adventure. (Or just go where I feel like when I wake up the morning of my birthday, but really, I want your input)

I will start by saying I've looked both up on and they are both the exact same amount of driving away from where I will be in Tennessee. So, distance isn't an issue to be debated.

Option One: Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky
I thought this would be good because, like the Disco, it's an outdoorsy type deal. Instead of fishing, I'd go see the bald eagles nesting, and wander around to see what else might be wandering around.

Option Two: Franklin, Tennessee
This has appeal because of it's historical value. It has the largest privately owned military cemetery; two acres of Confederate soldiers. It also has things like a historic district with little shops and restaurants that I could wander around.

So, you can comment here your opinion on what I should do. Or, if you are Facebook friends with me, go ahead and let me know there.

And thanks for your help! (consider it your birthday present to me)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Recital Video

So, for those of you who actually read this, you know that I had a piano recital. My first ever piano recital, since although I'm a lot older than your 'traditional' piano student, I've only been taking lessons for about 3 months. Tonight was the recital, and I was shaking while I played in front of people who are actual people, not the dog and cat at home while all the human beings are at work.... but I did it!

Here's a video my mum took of me, so I could email it to my brother in the Philippines. I thought I'd share it with you guys too...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Piano Dreams


                As a child, I remember a lot of my friends complaining about having to practice piano. They hated it. They didn’t like taking lessons. There were so many  better things to be doing than playing the piano. I was so lucky that I didn’t have to do any of those things.
                I was so jealous.
                I even tried a couple time to talk one of my friends into teaching me piano, even though we didn’t have one.
                When I was about 15, my parents had a sudden fit and bought a piano. All my siblings, having music training that included marimba( which is basically a piano that you hit with mallets), all can play the piano. My sister can play pretty much anything you put in front of her. And my little brother, Bruth, is brilliant. He plays the most beautiful music, and all he does is sit down and start playing. He doesn’t even need the music.
                I would think about that piano, and if no one was home and there was no chance they would walk in on me, I would see what noises I could make on it.
                As I’ve gotten older (and let’s face it, I’m still pretty young) I’ve decided that I can’t sit around and pine about things. I can’t say “oh I’ll do that when I have time”. I either do it, or I leave it. And I’ve had some awesome experiences since I’ve started living my life that way.
                So, about three months ago, I decided it was time. I have a steady enough income, and time. I know how to set reasonable expectations and goals. I came up with a goal, and started to look for a piano teacher. I found one who said these magic words:
                “Jaq, it’s not too late for you to become a Great Piano Player.”
                I love her.
                 I have already mastered several hymns from the simplified hymn book and quite enjoy sight reading new ones. My first recital is in 2 days. I love playing. I just love it.
                And I will never complain about having to practice piano.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I received my Black Friday Buy in the mail yesterday. Seasons 3 and 4 of the tv show Psych. For those of you who don’t know, I am a huge fan of the tv show Psych. I told my dad I wouldn’t get an iPhone unless I could get a Psych cover for it. (My mum was very concerned the other day when I pulled out my phone and the Psych cover wasn't on it.)

There is a very specific reason I started watching Psych, had this incident never happened, I may have never watched Psych.

 One afternoon, several years ago, I was working on a show. So I had stuff spread around and needed something to keep me from going absolutely insane. I turned on the tv and started flipping through the channels, hoping for a movie or something intriguing. I paused for a moment on USA because they sometimes have movies and such on.

 It was the Nanny episode. Henry and Shawn were standing in the road looking at the houses and Henry says: “Why this house? This house was chosen for a reason.”
To which Shawn replies: “There can be only one!” after a pause he turns to Henry and goes “What, I thought we were quoting Highlander.”
As a person who grew up watching Highlander, I busted up laughing, and didn’t change the channel. I had to know what the show was, and if the rest of it was as good as those ten seconds.

 Thanks to the invention of Netflix, I’ve been able to see every episode. Among my favorites, well they’re all favorites and each one has great quotes in it…. But, the Twin Peaks episode is a family favorite. It was cause for me to (yet again) wonder if I would end up having to call the paramedics to revive my mum. The Jaws episode. The Despereaux episodes. Heeeere’s Lassie. Ugh, too many to name.

Let’s just say, I love the show.