That's why it's called a shortcut. If it were easy, it would just be "the way".

Monday, January 31, 2005

Not in My Town!

tsk tsk tsk....I get those emails where people make fun of hillbillies. Well, I was with my sister on Friday driving through Sedona to go pick up lunch and lo and behold- hillbillies in my town. Look at this picture!


Hint, look at the sideview mirror. No, it should not have a handle. Yes, that is one of those cheap plastic handheld mirrors one would pick up at Walgreens. Yes, it is taped to the nub where the old sideview mirror used to go.

(I know the pic is low quality but if I put high resolution, it takes too long to load.)

Oh, and the next post is all about music. I had two today.

Musical Interlude

My husband sometimes lives in an alternate universe. When I first met him, he was in a "growl" band. It is one of those bands that is super-fast in the music and the vocals are "growled". My husband was the growler. He had to stop because after a while of having gigs and going out, he started coughing up blood. This didn't stop him at first, but eventually he had to stop. Anything for the music. It turns out he was probably growling incorrectly, but this was about 8 or 9 years ago before growling was popular with anyone so there weren't really any how-to books.

He plays the drums (kinda) but his real passion is guitars. He started by playing the bass. We call him the reverse Oreo, everyone loves watching him play because he gets into it. He also is really good at playing the regular guitar. That is his latest love. He's been playing for many years, but the acoustic has outshined the bass guitar recently. He has five guitars (five string bass, six string bass, acoustic, electric, orange, black and white, gray, silver- maybe more than five now that I think about it), a drum set, a track recorder, several effects pedals, two amplifiers, a trumpet, a harmonica and I am sure a bunch of other junk I am not even aware of. Okay, it's not junk....

(If you have dogs, you must get a harmonica and play it for them. They howl along. It is great fun!)

He now is venturing in to regular singing (versus growling). He is getting pretty good. I love music. We have a CD collection of over 400 CDs ranging in every genre you could imagine. We have some embarrassing CDs like Vanilla Ice and New Kids on the Block. (We are 28, I am sure some of you have never heard of these people.) But the music ranges from alternative to punk to classical to jazz to blues to country to butt-rock (some people call them big hair bands) to pop to oldies to disco to Latin to whatever. Take your pick. The really enlightening thing about being married to a musician is the appreciation for people who are creative in any genre. You don't necessarily have to like the style, but it is necessary to respect the talent.

My husband takes any opportunity to play music. He has friends come over to "jam". I am left out because I have no musical talent. I can't even play the armpit.

I get lost in music. Totally and completely. It makes me smile usually. Some songs make me want to drive very fast. Songs can center me, get me happy, reinforce my sadness, and a whole other range of emotions.

There is a girl at church who is deaf. I wonder what it is like for her to sit through 30 minutes of songs when she can't hear anything. Yesterday the pastor stood up and asked the sign interpreter what the movement for Hallelujah was. She showed us. For the next minute or so, the whole church (we have about 400 people for those who are trying to envision this) sang the song while doing the movement for Hallelujah. You should have seen the expression on Elizabeth's face. She was in compete awe and all teary eyed. I think music is just an expression of the soul however it is played.

So go ahead! Rant, rave, praise music! Comment on the post. Tell me what music is for you.

Sunday, January 30, 2005


I used to work at Subway when I was in high school. One day this dusty lookin' fella came in and ordered his lunch. It was in the middle of the afternoon and pretty slow so I was talking to him as I was making his sandwich. (I was a sandwich artist, by God!) It turns out he was in Sedona to mine some gold. Sedona has never had a gold rush but it is the frontier for every new age hippie that is serious about crystals and vortexes. We weren't a town in the West that was inhabited because of nearby gold, but because of some hippie calling.

Anyway, back to my gold-digging customer. I figured maybe he was panning for gold flecks in the river for fun. Almost every river in the US has gold flecks. I actually went and panned for gold and got about a millionth of an ounce worth. I have plans for retirement thanks to that gold. But, this man wasn't panning for gold. Turns out he was privy to some very interesting information. Apparently, aliens had buried gold in Sedona at one time as a power grid. I never did find out what the power grid was for exactly, but it gave energy for something that apparently the aliens needed. But this guy was digging the gold up because the aliens were unhappy about something and were going to come back to get it so he wanted to get to it first. Ever get the pasty smile coupled with the grin? I think it's called the "nod and smile". I definitely had that going on. I tried to hurry this guy out the door but apparently once he starts talking he had a disease where he couldn't stop for at least half an hour. The dude finally got out the door. I do not recall what kind of sandwich he ordered. Speaking of sandwiches......

Here's something to think about: A sandwich is know by what's inside of it, not what's holding it together. I don't think I have ever heard someone say, "My favorite kind of sandwich is wheat." The bread is important, sure, but it isn't what makes the sandwich a sandwich.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Philip's Post

This is getting out of control! I know! I am an addict. "Hi! My name is Amber and I am a blogger."

But everything is so much fun to write about. Take my older brother, Philip for example. He is taking a bunch of math classes at UofA this semester. He's taking vector calculus, linear algebra, probability theory and calculus 2. He is a dad of 2 girls and has about 25 pets at home including dogs, cats, snakes, birds and various reptiles. Oh! And I forgot the hissing cockroach farm. (To feed the reptiles, duh!) Anyway, the dude is busy. I was able to have conversations with him during Christmas Break but now that school has resumed again he doesn't have much time for pleasantries.

(Disclaimer: He is not really a redneck that shot his girl in the butt for commenting on wearing shorts with boots and ended up in jail.)

So I am chatting (or trying to) with him today. I told him to read Jake's blog because the first time I read it, I thought it could have been my brother writing it. Today when my sister read Jake's blog for the first time she said, "Did Philip (the older brother) write this?" So I sent Philip the link to Jake's blog. I tried to chat him up and engage him in conversation. I mean, it is Friday afternoon and he has all weekend to work on his linear equations, right? He was completely uninterested (or didn't have time for) what I was saying.

I switched gears. I said, "Jeremy bought a gun today." He immediately responded, "What kind??" My brother loves talking about guns. He sends me pictures of them quite often during messenger sessions and explains about how someone could be a gun broker. He likes the subject. I thought it was humorous that he lit up in a second when I mentioned guns. Always time for guns! My older brother cracks me up. He is so goofy. He appreciates funny stuff and even finds me amusing when I am trying to be sometimes. So here's to you, Philip. Have a nice weekend!

As the World Turns

Okay, I got over what was bothering me last night. I figured it took too much energy to be mad at fools. I could waste a lifetime on that endeavor.

Today has already been a barrel full of monkeys. I think I need to change this to a soap opera blog. My sister is asking me for relationship advice because "Joe" is apparently an alias for Doofus. She told me this morning that Joe fights like our little brother. (And we don't mean our little brother now, but back when we all lived at our parent's house once upon a time.) That is the lowest form of insult (or highest, I guess) someone could give.

I wonder why when we meet someone of the opposite sex (although I guess for some people that isn't a necessary criteria) we become willing to put up with just about anything and it takes a gang of people (or maybe a gaggle or grip of people, I can never tell) to tell us we are behaving like a door mat. I even did this with my husband. Before we were married, the best thing I ever did was break up with him. He got to act however he wanted and do whatever he wanted and I was supposed to sit on the sidelines and watch. Yeah right, buddy! So I gave him the boot. I slammed my door in his face. It felt really good. He came back groveling (he will not admit to begging, so I will say groveling) the next night. Said he couldn't sleep, blah blah blah. Poor guy. He did win the girl at the end of the story though.

In relationships, I think females help boys become men and guys help girls become women. It is a grooming process and some people get kicked from one groomer to the next until someone is patient enough to put up with the smell to deal with it.

I do think there is only so much someone can take and unless Joe loses his Doofus-ness very soon, my sister better be kicking him to the curb.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


I am posting a link to my other blog that is my spiritual journal. The link is for anyone here who would like to see how royally pissed off I get about judgemental Christians. If you want a picture of what is going on in this head of mine, read Are You Kidding Me?

If nothing else, it will be funny to read because my panties got in a twist and I just went off. I even curbed the length (it is kinda long). I sometimes think, "No wonder people who aren't Christians never want to become one." To anyone who has ever been turned off from God because of someone who was a complete jackass who said they were a Christian, I am sorry!

PSSSST! Jake...Look on the side bar. I added a link to you as a fave.

Check's in the Mail?

I am self-employed. I basically work when I want and how I want within reason. Today the office manger is reconciling the year's balance so she can begin working on the taxes for the company. (It is a smallish company. We bring in about $5 million a year.) So I was called over and asked if a check the company had given me for about $2000 had bounced.

I am horrible with keeping records. I am making a very concentrated effort to do better with my work expenses because I am up to my eyeballs in business debt right now. I do have my bank records, so when I go home I will find out if my company owes me $2000. For all I know, I lost the check and didn't notice. I get large sums of money in at once. I know this sounds lame and pathetic, but when the bank account goes from months of a negative balance to $12,000 then the next week $21,000 (and end the year back in the negative) you might not notice $2000. Well, at least I won't. Especially since at that time I was also trying to balance about seven escrows and headed off to Maui for a week.

Man! What a rough life! I'll let you know if I really missed the fact that $2000 never made it into my account.

P.S. This story is true. They all are. I really am just this lame.

Life's Little Dramas

I have decided that the lack of fodder for my blog must mean that life is pretty boring. I mean, yesterday was such a busy day that I didn't wash the dinner dishes until lunchtime today. I suppose for some people that is living on the edge, but for me that is more than normal; commonplace even.

This blog isn't designed to be about my sister, her crush or my husband but yesterday was more of everything all mixed in with work, driving, meetings and going to church last night.

My sister and I have the exact same voice on the phone. The only reason why people can tell us apart is how we phrase things. Yesterday, my sister and I were at the office (we work for the same company) by ourselves for the afternoon. We get so obnoxious when we are together for more than half an hour even our own parents get quite annoyed with us. I had the brilliant idea to give Joe (my sister's crush) the voice test, see if he could tell it wasn't her. He failed. I left a message on his cell phone saying, "Hey Joe. I'm not coming over after work to workout with you. Some guy just came in the office and asked me on a date so I am going to go do that instead, okay? See you tomorrow."

He called the office about an hour and a half later (all these ninety minutes my sister and I got more and more wound up) frantic that my sister who he insists he is just friends with, is going on a date. We started to crack up. My sister said that we were just testing him. He asked for what, and her reply was, "syphilis". We both died in a gale of laughter. (I know this isn't funny, that's the point. We just feed off of each other.) I couldn't hear him on the other end of the phone but I could tell from my sisters expressions that he was very pissed off. I said VERY loudly, "Don't tell me he is all butt-hurt."

He hung up.

We tried to call back and apologize for getting out of hand. He would answer and hang up. My sister got very nervous. "He is sooooo mad, Amber." She kept telling me.

I told her to take a 1" screw, knock on his door and tell him, "I know we can't have make-up sex but here is the longest screw I could find." No one on earth could be mad after that. They could pretend, but they wouldn't be.

She decided to kiss his butt and buy him pizza and rent a movie instead. At the end of the day she showed up at his apartment with food and movie in hand and he was all impressed that she cared about how he felt.

And they all lived happily ever after. THE END

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Such a Tease

My little sister got mad at me today. I am sure I am innocent as usual. She is 24. I am 28. We can still get lost in our little world where we can act like kids and laugh about things that happened when we were smaller. We have a bond like none other. I love my husband to pieces. He is my number one love, but there is a sister thing that can't be duplicated or replaced.

Anyway, my sister has a crush. She has been trying very hard to hide this from big sis. But the shoe dropped, the cat got out of the bag, the elephant was discussed.

She was very excited about getting April 20th off of work because her idol, the band U2, is going to be in concert in Phoenix on that day and her and I go see them together every time they come on tour. She will even take other friends to Las Vegas (4 hour drive) when they head up there. Once a tour is enough for me, but her U2 appetite is insatiable. To further explain the craziness that is her U2 fever, she even thinks that when Bono had a mullet he was sexy. I don't think Bono is sexy even at his best. (Well, maybe in the "One" video.) He has mojo, but sexy is just pushing it.

I told her that getting April 20th off was the most exciting thing that has happened all year. (It was sarcasm on my part, she agreed whole-heartedly.) Then she said that it was the most exciting thing so far this year but she was excited about Friday, too. I started running through my Daytimer in my head and came up blank on what is happening on Friday. So I asked her what was happening. She said that Joe was taking her out. Now, Joe is her friend but as of a few months ago that she couldn't stand him but he has worn her down. I won't say he has worn her down with charm because I haven't seen any of that yet. I personally think he is mostly cheesy, but I digress. For her to compare a date with a boy, er, man to the U2 concert is HUGE! It dawned on me that she had passed far beyond friendship with Joe if she is seeing Joe on the same playing field as U2.

Like any good older sister, I started to tease her. "Annalisa and Joe, sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. I told her I was going to start talking about my husband every thirty seconds. (Falsetto voice) "Oh, Jeremy is home from work and he is watching basketball on TV. He is just the cutest." I started to send her those little kissing lips on MSN messenger. She got really mad with me and told me I was being mean.

I had to call and make up to her for teasing her about having a crush. I remember the excitement of having someone new consume all my thoughts and to be the topic of 99% of my conversations. I also remember once the butterflies died and dropped off trying to adjust to someone else and create a relationship that would last with my husband. It was tough sometimes, but so worth it! People are impressed with the kind of relationship my husband and I have. They ask me how I "knew" that he was the ONE and that we would get along so well.

I tell them I didn't know. I think who you marry is a crap-shoot. When my husband and I were engaged, we lived an hour and a half from each other and we didn't have cars that would make it the distance. We fought incessantly. At one point, I remember wondering if I should really marry him. My answer at the time was finally, "I'd be more miserable without him than with him." Some things are just meant to be but I don't think we always know it at the time.

Day One

Jake wants to know what it is like to just breathe and exist as a person who is a Christian. I had never thought that people would really want to know. But, hey! Who am I to deny my public? JUST KIDDING.

Let me tell you one of the biggest problems I have with being a person who is a Christian. Other Christians. I am so embarassed when people say that God is punishing America and that is why the twin towers were blown up. I don't like it when one assumes to know that God hates one sin more than another and begins to see homosexuality in Teletubbies, or more recently, Sponge Bob Square Pants.

One thing I have learned is that regardless of what our faults are, whether sexually, emotionally, financially, physically, or being self-righteous; we are on the same playing field with God. We all need him.

So that is the biggest gripe I have of being identified as a Christian. People are naturally skeptical. And I don't blame them.

I guess as things unfold as I explain my life day by day or perhaps every other day by every other day, the readers will be able to best determine if there is any difference in my life and theirs, and if they think it has anything to do with God.