Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Scarey First Date

In honor of the Halloween season I thought I would tell the story of the first date My Geek and I went on (even though it occured in April).

When My Geek and I met, we talked on the phone a lot and did things with our single friends. I thought that he was interested in me but, if so, he was taking his sweet time asking me out.

One day while talking on the phone we discovered we both loved Stephen King. I was really excited about having this in common until he mentioned that Pet Semetary was out in theaters. I felt a chill go up my spine. "Oh, great. He's going to ask me out now, I just know it."

Sure enough, he did. He had finally asked me out on the one date I didn't want to go on.

You see, what My Geek didn't know is that I can't stand horror movies. Not that I dislike them but that I can't tolerate them. I'm easily spooked and tend to have nightmares for days after seeing even the tamest ones. It may seem like a contradiction to be able to read Stephen King but not be able to watch it. The only way I can explain it is that I'm very visual. When I read a book, even with the author's graphic descriptions, the imagery is left up to my own imagination. In a movie, I am subject to someone else's imagination which usually is more graphic and horrifying than mine. They suggest things I never thought of before.

But I had to risk going. Since he had finally asked, I didn't want to say no. I had read Pet Semetary. I knew absolutely everything that was going to happen. I could handle it, right?

My memory of that date starts after the movie had started. Since it was our first date, I didn't feel comfortable hiding my head in his shoulder so I hid behind my hand. It seemed worse that I knew what was going to happen next. I got more worked up as each scene passed. ("oh no, this is where the biker gets killed." then "Oh no, this is where the biker comes back.")

The scene that finally got to me was the first time they showed Rachel's sister, Zelda, who had spinal meningitis. If you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about. I decided I had gotten in over my head and had to bail. I leaned over and whispered, "I've got to go."

"O.k." he said. He didn't move. I didn't understand his reaction. (Later he said he thought I needed to step out to the bathroom.)

"No, I have to leave. I can't watch this." Recognition crossed his face.

I figured that I had pretty much ended this relationship before it had a chance to get started. The guy spent money on a movie he didn't even get to finish. (He went back later with a friend to see it.) He was kind enough to take me for ice cream where we sat in the grassy median and watched the traffic at the Skillman/Audelia/635 intersection. Little did I know that in almost exactly two years we would be living as newlyweds around the corner from that very spot.

Other horror movies I never finished watching:
  • Salem's Lot

  • The Exorcist

  • The Shining

  • Halloween

  • Scream

  • Vampires (w/James Wood)

  • Nightmare on Elm Street

NOTE: In doing research on Pet Semetary, I read a few reviews that referenced the Zelda scene as one of the scariest they had ever seen. I feel vindicated.

Friday, October 27, 2006

6-Word Story

My artistic leanings are not in the area of writing but I know that most of the people who read here are writers. I found the article, Very Short Stories, in this month's issue of WIRED magazine really fun. It starts: "We'll be brief: Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words ("For sale: baby shoes, never worn.") and is said to have called it his best work."

The imagery and emotion projected from just those six words is amazing. WIRED went on the ask several sci-fi, fantasy and horror writers to contribute six-word stories. You can find their contributions here.

On Erin's blog she had you write a poem based on the letters in your comment's Word Verification code (I'm still working on mine). How about posting a six-word story here? Here's some of mine:

STEP ONE: Stab syringe into heart.

Scan negative. No life forms. Next.

"Really? How can you tell?"

"On the outside..."
"You! Shu'up!"

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


A Perfect Storm of Turbulent Gases in the Omega/Swan Nebula (M17)-NASARecently I saw the most amazing photo of the Atlantis Space Shuttle and the International Space Station silhouetted against the enormous golden sphere of the sun. The talented photographer who took that photo from the surface of the earth was Thierry Legault who lives in France. (More.)

Check out the great photo gallery on his web site. I wonder if this is what God's perspective is like on a daily basis? What do these images tell you about the Creator?

(Please be respective of Mr. Legault's work. It is copyrighted so you may not use his photos in your publications or the web without his permission. NASA has thousands of photo and videos on their website that are copyright free!)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Being Obedient the First Time

It's wonderful how My Geek makes me feel safe. I'm a tough broad and can handle a lot (I think I can handle everything), but the biggest relief in my life has been to discover that I don't have to. Despite my tendency to control or force things in my life, he has insisted on wrestling from my hands the role of protecting our family. Once I began to release, I realized how tired and relieved I was.

Given the dangerous reality of our world today, we often talk about how to handle emergency situations. Many times while watching dangerous or threatening scenes in shows like "24", "Jericho" or "Lost", I'll ask him, "What should she have done?" or "What should I do if that happens to me?". One thing that I struggle with is doing what I'm told. I always think that I have a better way. My Geek is trying to get me to listen to him. "If I ask you to do something, please do it." I trust him implicitly but I'm still learning to let go. (I'm not about to admit I'm stubborn. He reads this blog.)

To my immense disappointment, I failed at a simple task the other day.

"Would you please go out to our providers web site and logon to my e-mail account."

Sounds simple doesn't it? But I didn't do what he said. Within 10 seconds I was already reasoning.

"I don't have to go out on to the web site. I can just bring up his mail account setup directly on my computer."

The second I clicked I knew why I had messed up but it was too late.

The technical aspects of this aren't important. What is important is that I realized I wasn't ready. I knew that if I had been Kate on "Lost" and Jack asked me to not follow him into the jungle, I would be just as stupid as she was and follow. (By the way, I'm the one yelling at the TV the loudest, "She's so stupid. Why doesn't she listen to him?")

This is the exact same problem I have with obeying God. He asks and I reason. "There is a way which seems right to a man…"(Prov 16:25). Most of this is connected with pride but some of it is personality. Either way, I need to renew my mind to learn to be obedient the first time.

(Please don't stretch this beyond what it is. My Geek is not training me to be a doormat and he's not a chauvinist. If you knew us you would know how ridiculous that is. He values and respects my contributions and intelligence. We've just agreed, in an emergency situation, someone has to be in charge and it is he.)

Monday, October 02, 2006

"I'm not a dirty player."

This weekend Tennessee Titan defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was ejected early in the third quarter after he kicked Dallas Cowboy center Andre Gurode in the face (see story).

I find Haynesworth's comment about the situation highly amusing and very familiar.

"I apologize to Andre," Haynesworth said. "What I did was disgusting. It's something that should never happen. I mean, I'm not a dirty player. I don't play dirty. I have respect for the game. What I feel like is I disgraced the game, disgraced my team and disgraced my last name."

I hate to tell Mr. Haynesworth, but he is a dirty player. He may not have been before this incident. We'll never know. The thing is, he was capable of it and he finally let himself follow through.

When I was growing up there were the "bad girls". I was raised to believe these included girls who smoked, drank and had sex outside of marriage (a very legalistic viewpoint). No matter what I did, I convinced myself that I was not one of "them". But I regularly walked the line on these issues and sometimes plunged over it! You didn't needed instant reply to see the real truth in the lie I was telling myself but as long as I was the line judge, I could call it any way I wanted.

Then one day, like Haynesworth, it was evident for all to see. I wasn't a "good girl"; I was "the other woman". It's a horrible moment: to finally look into the mirror and call yourself what you are. But it's also the beginning, if you'll let it be. I knew my life had hit rock bottom and it was time to let God take over as line judge… and coach (only He can do both). I would give anything not to have that moment in my life but it's a reminder of what I'm capable of and how long and easily I can lie to myself.