Rocket Surgeon: A person with less-than-stellar aptitude. A mixture of "rocket scientist" and "brain surgeon" This phrase describes a person who is neither.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Moving Sites----Follow Me

Good Wednesday everyone.  I have an announcement to make: 

I am moving my blog to a new site. 

After several months of wringing my hands and chewing my fingernails, I have made the decision improve this old site.  So my new address is

I hope you come and visit, maybe put up your feet and stay a while!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Take Time to Laugh

I got an email from a reader (who happens to be a relative) the other day who said he likes my blog and all, but notices how the number of comments I receive are pathetically low.  So he was curious if I knew how many people visit my blog.  And actually I do.  The short answer is hardly any.  If I advertise my post on facebook, I'll get around 35 people come over and have a look-see.  Otherwise, on average I have 10 little ole visits each day.  But I am thrilled to have those 10 people, all of which I'm sure are related to me. 
The reason I know this is not because I'm telepathic, but because I have a little counter on my site.  It tells me very little, but it will tell me how many people visited, how long they stayed, and sometimes I know from whence they cometh. 

I also know if a person googled something on the internet which led them to my writings. 

So far no one has ever searched for how to flank a calf, because if they had they would be in luck here.  Nor are people searching for how to recover after witnessing a violent murder.  If so, they would find that here.  And to date, no one cares about what they can learn from geese or how I must be Lizzie Borden reincarnated.

But!  Do not despair.  Because the number one search request that leads people  to my rantings is Jesus laughing.  People want to see an image of Jesus laughing.  And it just so happens that I have a picture of Jesus laughing.  My dad must've snapped it when they were wearing plastic ponchos and visiting Niagra Falls.  And since it is the most requested, I thought I'd repost it.

And because who wants to miss Jesus laughing?

This is my favorite picture of my dad.

He's at Niagra Falls.

Reasons I love this picture:

1. It looks like he's having the time of his life.

2.   It reminds me of this picture.

Doesn't Jesus look like he's at Niagra Falls too?
I can just imagine them sitting across from each other and having the best laugh.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What's in a Name?

 I remember in upper elementary school and junior high before the teacher took roll on the first day of school, they would say "If there's something else you'd like to be called, please let me know."  Students like Johnathan preferred John, or Michael's to Mike, Nicole's went to Nicki, and the like.  I recall one girl who said she went by B.J., but the teacher adamantly refused to call her that!  Now in my classroom there are Madison's that prefer Maddie, and Abigail's that shorten it to Abby.  I was always just Angel. I secretly wanted to make one up for myself, but I've never been good at naming anything.   People would ask me if it was short for Angela, and no, it's just Angel.

The story behind my name as reported by my mother, goes something like this.  My parents hadn't picked out a name yet, my mom went into labor in the early morning, the hateful nurse on duty didn't believe my mom when she warned her she was about to spit out a kid, so she hum-hawed around and didn't call the doctor, therefore the doctor didn't arrive in time and I was born with only my mom and the hateful nurse.  My mother states that she said the following beautiful words, "She's such an angel.  All she needs is wings."

They left the hospital a couple days later, only to have the hospital call the house informing my mom that a birth certificate needed to be assigned and I hadn't been given a name yet.  So my mom places the phone on her shoulder and hollers to my dad in the other room that they need to decide on a name.  From there, the story is foggy.  I do know my dad didn't want me to be called Angel because it wouldn't look good if I turned out to be a bar maid.  But nonetheless I ended up as Angel, which might reveal something about my parents' marriage.

The story behind my name as told by me, goes something like this.   I was the fourth child so by this time no one gave a crap, as evidenced by my baby book which only has the first page filled in, minus the hateful nurse's name. 

I've always liked nicknames and I've always felt a little bit left out that I've never had one. I like an original nickname.  We know of one fellow called Punk and another Button.  I also like nicknames that just don't fit with given names.

My grandfather on my mother's side had a nickname for almost everybody.  And not just the kind that you shorten or make cute like Bill to Billy.

Here's a run-down of some of my family members and their nicknames that Pop christened them with, I think.  There may be a mistake or two or an extra explanation and hopefully someone will pipe in and correct me.

(cousin) David Russell---a.k.a. Rusty
(cousin) Jay Scott---a.k.a.  Charlie
(cousin) Curtis---a.k.a. Theophilis shortened to sophilis
(brother) Stan---a.k.a.  Johnny
(brother) Steve--- a.k.a. Stoop supposedly for stupendous, but I know Steve-O and it makes me wonder.

Aunt Frances----a.k.a. Speedy
Aunt Bert---a.k.a. Shorty
(mom) Anne--- a.k.a. Annabelle
(grandmother)Imogene---a.k.a.  Emmer
(great aunt) Mary--- a.k.a.  Bummer

He died soon after I was born and he never nicknamed me.  I wonder what he might've called me. His nicknaming reminds me of a friend of Jason's.  His name is Will but friends know him by Wild West Willy.

 He has an art for naming. He's got a ranch called the Rocking Sombrero and gets ribbed a little by friends that his brand looks a little too much like the Arby's hat.  He is the one who dubbed Jason J-Dub, his horse is called Pidinker, his dog Itty-Bitty, and his grandson Leroy, although not his given name of course.

The closest I've ever gotten to a nickname is auntie.  My niece Ashlynn calls me that, and like mothers and fathers who call each other mom and dad, Jason picked it up, now some friends call me that from time to time. 

What about you?  Are you nicknamed?  Do you love it or hate it? 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Age

It's Saturday.  Yesterday's beautiful snow is lying in dirty spots here and there hidden in shadows from the sun.  Up against fences, in flower beds, in corners of the yards.  The rest has melted away.  Today is the first of a 16 day break from work/school for me and I am ecstatic.  So ecstatic that I awoke before 4 a.m. ready for my vacation. 

I do believe I've hit "the age".  The age where you wake up early even when you don't want to.  The age where you no longer fly out of bed ready to start the day, but rather step lightly and gingerly to the easy chair to give your joints a bit more time to warm up.  The age where you long for peace and quiet instead of people and noise. 

Last night J-Dub and I went to a little Christmas social then decided to go to the video store and look at magazines and videos.  After perusing a good 20 or 30 minutes, we left empty handed.  Walking out to the truck I said I just wanted to put on my jammies, drink something hot, and read a couple pages in a book before falling asleep.
He agreed. 
It wasn't quite 9:00. 
So we've hit the age. 
Big deal.

Sometimes we reminisce about when we were children and we would eat with our grandparents at Furr's Cafeteria, which has long since shut down and been replaced with a Mexican Food restaurant.  In our memories, old people lined the hall of the cafeteria, had employees carry their heavy trays while they struggled with their canes and walkers, and blew their noses in the maroon cloth napkins. 

Last weekend we went into the big city and in an attempt to avoid the crowds went shopping at antique stores.  I saw drinking glasses that I used at my aunt's house, toys I played with as a young child, dishes from my grandmother's cupboards, Little Golden Books I've read, and knick-knacks that sat on my mother's dresser.  I've hit the age where almost all the antiques offer a memory. 

 Afterwards we decided to treat ourselves to Furr's Cafeteria.  We got our trays and our napkin-wrapped silverware, which is now paper napkin-wrapped, and went through the line.  I tried desperately to veer from my childhood choices.  I was going to try something new and different.  After all, I am an adult now.  But it was as if some force from the past controlled me.  I wanted to order roast beef and green salad.  But it was as if I was a marionette whose puppeteer was manipulating my hand choosing baked fish and tartar sauce, fried okra, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, a hot roll, and even when I longed desperately for pie, I was compelled to choose tapioca pudding with the whipped cream and cherry.  All the things from my childhood.  All the dishes I've ever eaten in all my outings to Furr's cafeteria.  It was a delight.  It wasn't the best food we've ever had but it was different from the restaurants we usually eat.  At the booth I had trouble hearing Jason a couple of times and had to ask, "Huh?"  He pointed out that I was "fitting right in" at Furr's.

That day in Amarillo I relived bits and pieces of my past.  I thought of my grannie who served Saturday morning pancakes in stacks of four cut in triangles on those same Fiesta plates from the antique mall.

I thought of my parent's red bedroom, with red carpet, and a red crushed velvet headboard when I gazed upon that glass rooster that used to sit on their dresser filled with change and such.

I thought of our kitchen wall with those coca-cola trays with the old fashioned women encouraging us to Enjoy Coke

I thought of scary Friday the 13th movies and Jason's mask when I saw an old barn picture that used to hang in our home.  It always reminded me of a killing spree on Friday the 13th and I was scared of it. hu, hu, hu, ch, ch,, hu, hu, ch, ch, ch......I studied it for a long time.  It was smaller than I remember and so benign-looking 15 years later. 

The past is gone and all that is left are my memories.  Eventually those will pass too.  And some day, this Saturday with the melting snow will be a memory that I will be trying to grasp hold of.  Our lives are like a dream.  The kind where you wake up and you don't remember it all, just a moment here and there.  You close your eyes and try to return to it because it was pleasant.  But all you have is a snippet here and a fragment there and the pieces don't come together quite right.  And you long to re-visit, but you can't.  You just can't. 

And that's one reason why I write.   These memories need a place to live.