Browsing Archives for General Lunacy

Secret Songs Chapter One

February 26th, 2008

While in college. I made the unfortunate mistake of learning how to play the guitar. It really could not be helped. I was a resident assistant in a fine arts dorm, it was the nineties, and you had three choices. Dye your hair black and go goth, hole up in the studio and draw, or you could carry around a guitar case.

This was an easy choice for me. I found the whole goth thing deeply disturbing, I can’t draw to save my life, so I went with the guitar. And strangely, it took. I mean I actually learned how to play. Not like a real guitar player…like John Mayer… or some other real guitar player, but I did learn. I learned how to play chords and how to finger pick and how to do a few scales. I mostly learned by sitting around with other guitar players and learning one little trick at a time. Slowly, I started to play whole songs, familiar songs, songs I knew. I wasn’t really playing them – but I was figuring out the chords and trying to do interesting things in between the chords. Then I started writing my own songs.

I know – I know – UGH! Is there anything worse than someone writing their own songs? But I had no intention of ever playing these tunes for anyone else. They were my little secret. I played them when I was completely alone, very quietly, in hushed tones. I don’t remember any of those early songs but I am sure they were pure crap. They were full of angst and gut tearing stupidity. I remember one of them was called “Jesus is Bigger” and the first line went like this… “Jesus is bigger than state policy… Jesus is bigger than my boss and my job.”


That was a very serious song!

I had a boyfriend back then who was a musician. He played the cello and also the guitar and he wrote songs all the time. He was kind of flashy about it. He actually made other people, including me, listen to his songs. He was a huge Bob Dylan fan so his songs usually sounded like Dylan tunes. They all had six billion verses and I usually dozed off before the end, snapping to wakefulness as I head the last strum. I did not even play my songs for the boyfriend… at first…then I got stupidly emboldened by his flaunting his songs all over the place, so I played a few for him. My songs were better than his, only because they were SHORTER! This sad fact eventually led to our break up. Not really – actually he dumped me for a much better songwriter and the two of them got married and formed a band that got signed to a real label and everything. She did have an incredible voice. I think they might have made it, if he had let her be the star, but he was just not the kind of guy that could do that, last I heard – the band had broken up.

Anyway – I started writing and singing and eventually made the ridiculous decision to make my own record. That is what you say if you are in the biz. You say “make a record”. You do not say “make a CD”. No one “makes a CD”. You make a record. So I made a record. One of the songs on the record was called “Whatever Happened to Nancy Drew” which was a song about guess…no, guess…can you guess?.. Yeah – it was about Nancy Drew and whatever happened to her… Because I love Nancy… very much… she is my hero. So I named this record “Famous Girl Detective” and then I had to shoot a cover for it.

To shoot the cover, I decided that I would pose as Nancy on a case. I bought some really cute vintage outfits and convinced my sister to take some pictures of me in these outfits doing some typical Nancy Drew things… you know, like sleuthing. I basically had to drag April by her hair to get her to take these photos. I don’t know why she was so resistant other than the fact that she is just a general pain in the butt, but once we got going, we had a good time. Or at least, I had a good time. As you can see from the pictures.

Here is Nancy chasing down some hard core criminals.
Elegant and graceful even when in a hurry!

Here is Nancy creeping on stone in vintage plaid.

Here is Nancy hunting… for fossils?

Oh dear! Nancy is either crying or laughing.
But Nancy was so serious and so dedicated!
How can she be laughing when there are people to save
and bad guys to catch?!?

Oh thank goodness! A change of outfits and she is back on track! But she does seem a bit confused. It would appear she does not know which way to go.

What? Belly laugh with penny loafers and magnifying glass?

Nancy! Pull yourself together!

This is a bit more Martha Stewart than Nancy Drew.

And this one is pure Rechelle. A much younger, skinnier, vintage version, but me none the less. I love Nancy Drew, but I could never rise to her lofty heights. Just not serious enough.

My Wii Story

February 8th, 2008

We don’t have a “Wii”.

We have a “Them”.

A “Them” is a “Wii” owned by close neighbors and family members.

The reason we don’t have a “Wii” is to make our children’s lives intolerable.

It seems to be working.

The Country Doctor’s Wife’s Family’s Timeline of Television and Video Gamewhackery .

1991-1995 Newlyweds and New Young Parent Stage.

We owned neither a TV nor a game system. Missed all the great years of “Friends”. Felt superior and smug in our deprivation. I was called once during this period by the Neilsen Ratings people. This is a brief excerpt of the survey.

NRP – How many TVs do you have in your residence?

Me – None

NRP – On average, how many hours a week do you spend watching TV?

Me – Zero

NRP – What are your favorite television shows?

Me – I don’t watch TV

NRP- Do you watch TV more in the morning, afternoon, evening, or none of the above?

Me – Um…that would be none of the above.

NRP – How many hours of TV do you watch in the morning?

Me – Zero

NRP – How many hours of TV do you watch in the afternoon?

Me – Fourteen billion.

NRP – Ma’am?

Me – Zero

NRP – How many hours of TV do you watch in the evenings?

Me – You’ve got to be kidding me.

NRP – Do you spend less than one? One to two? Two to five?

Me – Less than one.

NRP – Do you subscribe to cable television?

Me – Are you for real?

NRP – Is that a no?

Me – Are you a recording or a real person?

NRP – I am a real person

Me – Are you sure?

NRP – Do you subscribe to cable television?

Me – If I said no, would you believe me?

NRP – Please answer yes or no.

Me – Guess

NRP – No.

Me – Bingo!

After almost four years of marriage, I had two small boys and the rising lump on my mid-sectional was raising our suspicions again. I noted how every time we visited my sister April, my oldest son would sit down and watch a movie with his cousin Ellen, for a solid 90 minutes. I was left to care only for his baby brother who spent the first year of his life extremely dissatisfied with everything I did for him.

Although it was not much of a break, as my older son was very calm and quiet, I looked to the future when his much more difficult little brother might also sit for 90 minutes in front of a movie and so we bought a TV.

1995-1999 – The PBS Years

We watched a lot of PBS on our first TV. We also watched the Fox and the Hound about ninety billion times. My oldest son LIVED for the moment when the Fox was being hunted down. He seemed to love that scary feeling. He also loved Winnie the Pooh and “DON’T FEED THE BEARS!” became a sort of early cuss word for him. If he was upset he would pound his fist on the table and shout “DON”T FEED THE BEARS!” We did not have Cable, and only three channels were ever clear. We watched a lot of movies and a lot of PBS.

1999-2007 – The Power Ranger/Star Wars/Kung Pow/Monty Python Years

I think that is pretty clear.

We also bought an X box and the boys played a lot of Lego Star Wars and other Star Wars games and also some college sports and professional sports video games.

I noticed that on the rare occasion they received a new game, they played it like mad for a few weeks until they mastered it, and then they lost interest. I didn’t have to spend a lot of time chasing them off as they only played when they had something new or when they had a friend over who wanted to play.

November 2007-January 2008 – The Cable TV Months

We had cable installed due to the Country Doctor’s family coming to our house over Thanksgiving and wanting to watch some KU game on TV.

Everyone told us that once we had it, we would never get rid of it.


February 2008

Cable TV yanked out of my house. Our X-Box is also broken. My children do not have a Wii, and they are extremely dissatisfied with the “Them”. Our smallish television sits in the cold dank basement, abandoned, and alone. My boys still get plenty of video time in front of the computer, but they have to chase me off first, which is difficult to do.

Ultimately, I don’t have a huge problem with TV or video games as long as children are not wasting away in front of them. I don’t feel a need to punish weaker beings with my moral superiority and my inner fortitude. This is just the way I was born. I can’t help it. If my children have to suffer as a result, I can only hope they will someday look back and appreciate their childhoods as they head to Best Buy with their newborn babies and buy a massive flat screen with surround sound and every game system in the store.

It’s not easy being the caregiver to one of the most beautiful creatures on God’s green earth.

People hate me because of it sometimes.

I hear them whispering.  I know they can’t stand it.

But it’s NOT MY FAULT!

I didn’t ask God to give me a beautiful cat.  I just asked for one that would suit me.  

I can’t help it if God decided that a beautiful cat suited me.  

Hey!  That was God’s call.  Not mine!

Don’t be jealous.  

At least you get to look at her on my blog.