Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pedicure Me!

You know your feet need work when you go on a date with a guy who has a foot fetish and he tells you to put your shoes back on.

It is even worse when the next day you are at a bar with some friends and they say, "Hey, Rusty, you really need a pedicure."

So the guy with the foot fetish – he can be picky. Feet are his thing, and I am ok with that. I'll file and moisturize next time!

But friends at a bar? Is that really fair?

I will admit that I do go for a pedicure from time to time just because I love the foot massage and they get to places around the nails that I never take the time to reach. As much as appreciate their tender care, taking the place of a pedicure technician (?) would not be one of my personal aspirations.

One time I decided to have a manicure while I was at there. It had been a long day and I decided to splurge. As usual, the lady did an excellent job on the feet and I wanted to be carried out because I didn't want my feet to be sullied by the dirt or any dust my flip-flops may disturb while I walked.

But then! Oh yes, there is a definite BUT THEN!

But then, the lady started working on my hands.

With the SAME instruments she used on my feet!

I have one set of grooming gear that I have been using since I think 1992 or 1993 – whenever Bryan gave them to me as a gift for being an usher in his wedding. Yes, I use them on both my hands and on my feet. Still, I was paying her good money to do my hands and feet up right!

I did not want my chemically altered toe-jam coming anywhere near my fingers. I know it has to be chemically altered because they get some much more out than I have ever been able to achieve on my own even with persistent effort. As pretty and buffed as my nails looked when I walked out of the office, it took several high-power scrubs under HOT water before my hands felt clean enough for me to consider using them for cooking or eating.

From now on, I'm going to have a "mani" person at one location and a "pedi" person at a different location and the twain shall never meet! And I'm going to pretend they don't share instruments.

Voyeur Me!

My friends sometimes bring me into the most interesting conversations. One friend told me he found out after the fact that a former roommate's boyfriend used to stand outside his door and listen to him having sex. That person also discovered a location where he could look through the window and watch. We both found the acts to be more than a little creepy.

We also found it a bit of a turn-on and a more than a little bit flattering.

I find someone secretively being a voyeur disturbing, but the idea that he may get off by watching or listening to me excites me. Does that make me an exhibitionist or does it mean I have an enormous ego? The entire idea of watching and being watched led to a long discussion of what are the boundaries of voyeurism and exhibitionism. Is there a boundary at which one stops becoming a voyeur and is merely a vehicle for someone who is an exhibitionist? Likewise, does the point exist at which one is no longer an exhibitionist, but merely live porn for a voyeur?

As he and I discussed all the possibilities, we discussed each of them in depth. In the week since the conversation, I have not come to any better conclusions we did in the conversation. I can give the clinical definitions of each, but it is hard to distinguish the boundary – if there even has to be one. Perhaps exhibitionists just exist to provide an outlet for voyeurs – and vice-versa.

All I know is – if you are gonna watch me – tell me first! Boost my ego (and don't make me think you're a creep!)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Trapped in Hymnland

This is my story. This is my song.

I just wish it were not my song in the middle of the night.

A classmate came into class today
screeching one of my favorite hymns. Someone else asked what the song was, as she did not recognize it, so I sang a few bars so she would know it.

Since then a medley of classic hymns has filled my mind. More than just filled, as tune flowed from tune, my mind began to process the connections between the old hymns that they could pour out in such a constant manner without pause. That consideration put me on a search of tune composers to see how many of the hymns in my growing medley the same person composed. And that led me to my iTunes library to listen to some compositions a contemporary musician has created from phrases of hymns by some of the most prolific composers of the last century.

Meanwhile, I am listening to the latest cd from
Moby. So far, the very contemporary alternative music has done nothing to move my humming away from 18th and 19th century church anthems.

That actually makes a tremendous amount of sense to me personally. The same hymns I am singing now are the ones that I grew up with in childhood and that I often turn to in times of stress. Whenever my back starts to spasm from tension, I sing hymns.

To be fair to the world, most of the time I sing them inside my own head. When I am certain I am alone I sing aloud: I sing a lot; I sing loudly; I just don’t sing well. As a result, I have tried to protect the world from my singing.

Whether sung aloud or silently, though, the old hymns bring a greater sense of comfort than the more modern melodies. So many of the modern praise tunes do more to create a mesmerized cultish atmosphere than to create an internalized sense of worship as the classically inspired songs of old do. As a non-musician, I cannot pinpoint the term, but I know the older songs contain a level of richness and depth not found in the contemporary worship songs.

The older songs call my soul to a place the newer songs have never let me reach.

The greatest complaint I have with the new songs is that they preach to me and never make me find the meaning; they tell me exactly what it is they want me to know. The old hymns bring one to a point of spirituality that opens one for a revelatory experience. The state of openness offers the chance for one to discover one’s own message rather than be hammered over the head with someone else’s message.

Now with all the hymns circling through my head, I am just thankful that “there is a song I love to hear” until “it is well with my soul.”

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Girl Crack

Plumbers are expected to show crack.

Guys with guts cannot find pants that fit in the right way, so when they bend over, a crack shows.

Men generally live in a world of oblivion as to the state of their clothes, so when the pants fall below the waist, it goes unnoticed as the crack airs out.

Crack is never acceptable with women.



Today I saw girl crack twice!

Full on butt-crack.

Both of the women were thin and dressed fashionably. They just were not wearing clothes appropriate for the task at hand. One picked up her laundry basket; the other crawled on the floor. Neither one expected to present the show she gave.

Me - I just happened to look at the WRONG time.

Way wrong time.

Tonight I’m going to watch something “sciency” on one of the HD channels and have a few drinks. I want to see something fantastic to get my mind off the images seared onto my brain today.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Crabby Old Coot

I think I have reached the point that I am now a crabby old coot.

I have found myself using a tone of voice and writing lately that I later think came across as sharp and harsh when I do not really mean to be. Often I have been asked a question or given a portion of information and I reply directly with as few words as possible.

It makes me wonder what the people who have been receiving the responses and emails think about me. I do not necessarily mean to be sharp and hope the people do not realize that I mean to be sharp, I am just getting my point across or my response complete in the shortest time.

Amazingly, I do not think the same tone has come across in my recent posts, so, kind readers – keep reading but do not call or email me or you may find that I am truly crabby.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Death Certificate?

When do you declare an idea dead?

At the end of it’s rope.

Pushing up daisies.

Since my first round of college, I have periodically nursed a series of stories out of hibernation. Each time I dredge them up from the deeper memories of my brain, either the disk on which I had them stored had degraded to the point that they are no longer able to be retrieved or my imagination of the story has changed so much, the saved version provides little more than memories of the time I first put those words to paper, or in the most recent cases, screen.

Twenty-some years later and I’m back in college with absolutely no time to spend on creative writing, at least at the short story or novel length (I’m still trying to keep the blog going). Yet rather than concentrate on academic pursuits, my mind keeps drifting back to the exploits of Billy Chris, Mark, John, Matt, April Dawn, and Luke. Despite living in Austin, I have not found characters to match people I knew growing up in a small town. For such a reason Southern writers such as Eudora Welty and William Faulkner mined wealth from small town life.

Despite the regular visits back to the series of stories, I have not completed one to the point that I would consider it finished or even to the point of sharing. If the story has not matured in twenty-three years, is there yet hope for it?

I think hope still exists.

My brain will not let go of these stories. They tumble about in the vacant spaces between thoughts and sometimes they spill out. Because they live in memory, I believe they simply need a good editor. Somewhere between the now yellowed sheets of notebook paper and the floppy disks that no longer work, the real story waits to be composed.

Because the stories and characters keep taking up synaptic space, I refuse to fill out their death certificate or write the obituary.