Wednesday, April 29, 2009

While the cat's away...

Beloved is in Indiana busily recording the lead vocals on her third CD project, drenched in HOPE (read all about it at http://www.restinhimministry.com/), and I'm on my own.

Early on in our marriage, if we were going to be separated for any length of time, she would pre-prepare meals, get them all organized in the freezer, and leave a detailed note on how to warm them up. Well, either her confidence in my ability to survive without her has quadrupled, or she has stopped caring whether I live or die. Her words to me upon her departure this time: "There's some leftover spaghetti in the fridge, if it hasn't gone bad yet."

And eating is actually one of the least of my concerns when Beloved is away. Boredom tops the list. I simply lose all motivation to accomplish anything of note when she's not around. Perhaps if I commit to creating a record of my sans Beloved activities, it will give the oomph to do SOMEthing...

Friday, April 24
Following a dinner of eggbake (leftover from last Saturday's jewelry "party"), I spent some time at my church's (http://www.valleycc.org/) "Family Fun Night," watching preschoolers throw a volleyball under a net and high schoolers throw a basketball (and a couple junior highers) through a net. Then I went home and cried while watching a YouTube clip of a few hundred people dancing to "Do Re Mi" (from The Sound of Music) in the middle of a train station in Belgium. I don't know why I cried, but I did. And I have with each subsequent viewing. Maybe you should check it out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkBepgH00GM) and see if you can explain me to me.

Saturday, April 25
Had a heart-stopping breakfast of bacon, three eggs, toast, cheese and juice. And just to make it completely dangerous, cardio-vascularly speaking, I spent all morning sitting at the computer, writing pastoral-type e-mails on Facebook. After picking up our lawn mower from the little old magician who was getting it into gear for the summer that will some day arrive, I posted "Almost the News II" and started this post.

The evening repast was a large bag of movietime popcorn and a Cherry Coke while I watched State of Play. It was a good movie; easy to sit through; even when the slightly older woman in the row behind me would loudly gasp at every single plot twist. I have no idea what the title means, but I'm really hesitant to admit that for fear that it reveals how utterly stupid I am. I am also still in a state of shock from learning that popcorn refills are no longer free. Somebody fix the economy!

Sunday, April 26
Led worship and tried to entice people to sponsor me in Amnion Crisis Pregnancy Center's "Life is Beautiful!" fundraising walk (http://www.firstgiving.com/dewey4life). Nothing was growing on the spaghetti, so I warmed it up and wolfed it down. After looking through the paper (napping), there was a pre-marital counseling session with a couple who is having an out-of-town minister perform the ceremony. (That's really a great arrangement. I get to do the important [but really too late in the game] stuff, and the other guy has to sweat through all the icky details of who-stands-where and what-happened-to-the-ushers.)

Monday, April 27
Lunch at work was a bologna and cheese sandwich, corn chips, and raisins. Yeah...that's how exciting it is when there's no leftovers going on at home to take for lunch. Dinner was a different story, praise God. My neighbor and his 3-year-old princess were bach-ing it for a few days, so he invited me over to try his Pork Chops Mexicali. They were so good, I offered to be his wife.

After dinner, I picked out some shirts to put in the donation bag for the Vietnam Vets who were coming through the neighborhood in the morning (brandishing machetes and semi-automatic weaponry, no doubt), watched Gossip Girl in hopes that ActorBoy's appearance would be this week (it wasn't; maybe May 4th), and popped in the first of seven ManMovies being loaned to me in my temporary bachelordom: 1957's The Enemy Below, starring Robert Mitchum. The man's nickname should be "Monotone Mitchum." Seriously...there was one scene where he was telling another naval officer about how his wife died right before his eyes. He might as well have been discussing the color of paint on the ship's deck, for all the emotion he mustered up.

Tuesday, April 28
I worked from home in order to facilitate a 2-hour break from 9:30-11:30 so I could speak on behalf of Amnion Crisis Pregnancy Center (http://www.amnioncpc.org/) in a high school health class. I know, I know...everybody thinks that a guy telling teenagers to keep their pants on is like asking the ocean to stop waving at you. Survey says...BZZZZZ! True truth: 52.2% of American teenagers are NOT sexually active. That's the majority, babyyyy!

To reward myself for a job well done, I grabbed a Filet-O-Fish and some fries on the way back home. Mickey D's is now printing "Nutrition Facts" on their food containers. (Kind of like Hitler publishing a list of his favorite Jews.) Just by being a good boy and eating all my fries, I took care of 38% of my daily need for fat. That's called efficiency!

I finished off the last of the spaghetti and had some steamed broccoli with it for dinner, followed by a rousing session of paying bills, balancing the checkbook, and watching Humphrey Bogart fight the Germans in Sahara.

Wednesday, April 29
More bologna and cheese for lunch, but AngelFace came over and made tacos for the two of us for dinner. And there were leftovers!!!! The rest of the evening was spent at church with my small group of prayer warriors and then on the couch watching John Wayne in Flying Tigers. This was definitely the best Man Movie of the week so far: some decent air battle sequences, a good helping of humor, a pretty nurse, and The Duke, for crying out loud!

To be continued. The world breathlessly awaits...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Almost the News II

Mexican Police Nab Drug Cartel Heir
In a surprising bit of fighting fire with fire, law enforcement officers in Mexico City grabbed an heir to one of Mexico's most notorious narcotics empires as he was exercising in a city park. The drug lord soon received a non-traceable phone call demanding several million pesos in exchange for the heir's safe return. When asked about the unusual tactic, Sheriff Manuel Transmission stated, "It's the only way we can afford to purchase new cruisers for the precinct."


School Bus Firm to Pay $1.2M for Death Suit
A purchase agreement was finalized today for a school bus to purchase a set of clothing in which to die. (Yeah...I don't get it either...)

Laid-off Workers May Get Help With Cobra
Workers who have lost their jobs at small businesses since the first of September have come up with a unique way of increasing their chances of returning to work. They are threatening their former employers with large snakes.

Soldier Cited in Theft of War Cash
Apparently, either superhuman strength or a lot of heavy equipment was used by Captain Michael Nguyen. Otherwise, how could he make off with a building full of huge brushes and miles of hoses and...wait a minute...that doesn't say "Car Wash," does it?

Kim Jong Il Returns to Public Spotlight
Following a well-received concert of crowd favorites, Korea's president was called back on stage for no less than three encores. It is reported that the thunderous applause and the well-armed soldiers standing at the exits had no correlation whatsoever.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Direct from Studio A

The real purpose of my recent trip back to the land of my origin (Indiana) was to participate in the first steps of recording Beloved's newest CD project, drenched in HOPE. (To get the updated update and find out more about what that's all about, go to http://www.restinhimministry.com/.)

I didn't write anything for this album, but the performance standards were lowered enough for me to sing a duet on one song, be part of a choir of singers for another, and add the special effects of my Chilean rainstick on a couple others.

None of those things were what you might imagine...

DUET: The song is "Be Ye Glad," and Beloved and I have been singing it together for...ummmm...several years. But of course, the arrangement on the CD is totally different from that with which we are accustomed. (Whew! All those words...just to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition. What kind of carbon footprint did THAT leave?) Now, when I say "duet," you probably think we stood together at a couple microphones and sang the song. And you would be wrong. We were in separate rooms...something about too much greatness all in one place putting a strain on the recording equipment, I think. And the fact is, Beloved's upper respiratory system had declared war on the rest of her body. Part of the collateral damage was that she couldn't sing with me...so I was singing harmony all by myself. I'm hoping that's a fitting explanation as to why it took 87 takes to get it right.

CHOIR: No, there was not a large number of singers in the studio that I was allowed to sing along with--er--with which I was allowed to sing. (Stupid-stupid grammar rules!) I was all alone, singing the choruses (chori?) of "How Great You Are." The rest of the Sweetwater Tabernacle Choir (which will probably actually be 4 or 5 people singing the parts 3 or 4 times) will be recorded later. The cool thing is that I got to set the pace in terms of phrasing and all that jazz. The professional background singers are going to have to match what I did. Yeah...good luck with that.

RAINSTICK: With the title of the album being drenched in HOPE and most of the songs having some kind of water reference, it was a fitting thing to include the playing of my Genuine Rainstick from Chile in the background of some of the songs. The scary thing was that it's one thing to play around with a rainstick on a worship team and something entirely else to have that playing around be digitally preserved for centuries to come. Every little tink-tink-trickle sounded like a tsunami, and I had to be very gentle and precise and meticulous and sweaty.

All in all, though, it was a fun experience: the hired instrumentalists were amazing, the ability to go back and fix just one note in the middle of a song was magical, and the lunchroom was reasonably priced.

Who could ask for anything more?

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Loins from Whence I Sprang

I spent last week in the Crossroads of America: the great state of Archway cookies and Seyferts potato chips and Johnny Appleseed and racing cars that bear the nickname of the capital. The residents are called Hoosiers, and no...nobody really knows where that term originated.

Spending a week living with my parents is an occasion for circumspection, self-awareness, and room freshener. Seriously, my dad is the king of flatulence. I once saw him clear out a whole section of the Allen County Memorial Coliseum during a Komets game. It even melted a section of the ice...the Zamboni got stuck and the hockey game had to be postponed.

If you've been around Almost the Truth for a bit, you know that I like to give the people in my life hip-as-all-get-out nicknames. (Beloved=my wife, AngelFace=the oldest daughter, ActorBoy=my only begotten son, etc.) So, in contemplating a posting about spending a week Back Home Again in Indiana, I tried to come up with something appropriate for my parents: GasKing and SweaterGirl? (Mom is always cold and wears a sweater.) SayWhat (Dad's got hearing aids he seldom wears) and WordSearch (Mom's favorite word game)?

Nothing I came up with could beat their actual names: Clarence and Georgina.

Clarence was born in 1924 and has known little but hard work his whole life. Well...hard work and lots of meat and potatoes. Lots...of meat...and potatoes. He fittingly likes to say that he has furniture disease. That's where your chest has fallen down into your drawers. But it's not that he's fat. He's just always been what used to be called stocky. As in, he could lift a stock car by himself.

Georgina entered life on Planet Earth in 1929 and in addition to raising five children, she has worked as a secretary in both a distribution center and a church. It's good that she got out of the secretarial pool when she did, though, because computers absolutely freak her out. Did I say "computers?" HA! Her phone doesn't even have an answering machine. In fact, mechanical pencils make her break out in a sweat.

They do like their satellite dish TV, though. Where else could they still watch Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and Hee Haw?

Endlessly.