Categotry Archives: What the heck was THAT?

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Punk’d by the Fates

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Categories: Things I Should Probably Not Be Telling You, What the heck was THAT?

A (not so) funny thing happened to me when I was delivering flowers on Wednesday.

Actually, two things, one right after another. And both were my fault–kind of.

I pulled up to a house in the country to deliver some flowers. I parked in the driveway.

I got out of the van, and closed the door.
I opened the side door, pulled out the flower arrangement, and closed the side door.
I walked up to the porch of the house.
As I knocked on the door, I heard a loud, thundering CRASH!
I looked to see where the crash came from…and there was the van, up against the garage.
It had traveled, unmanned, approximately 20 feet, and crashed into the garage door.

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I (Used To) Love the Red-Winged Blackbird

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Categories: random stuff, Rantings, What the heck was THAT?

I’m not really a bird-watcher. At least, not in the sense that I stalk through the marshes in khaki shorts with a camera, looking for a glimpse of the rare plaid-bellied whispercrike.* But I do enjoy seeing them out my window, especially when they are colorful; and when I’m traveling, I get a kick out of seeing species that aren’t found in my neck of the woods…although most of the time I couldn’t identify them as anything other than hey-look-at-that-red-and-blue-bird-with-a-little-bit-of-yellow-on-the-wings.**

All that said…we have red-winged blackbirds*** in our neighborhood. They don’t show up all the time, but you notice them when they do, because of, um, the small bright red marking on the wings. They sort of stand out among the other run-of-the-mill blackbirds we see flying around.

Anywhoo…I used to love them. Not anymore. I have recently come to discover that they can be argumentative, persnickety, stubborn, and downright paranoid. Especially the male (identifiable because their colors are more brilliant than the female’s). And especially when that male is apparently guarding a nest of newly-hatched or soon-to-be-hatched baby red-winged blackbirds.

At least, this is what I surmise by the recent behavior of the male red-winged blackbird who has been sitting on top of our chimney all week and throwing a hissy-fit whenever a human or dog emerges from our house.

I’ve never seen the mate, or the nest, or the chicks. But apparently the nest is on or very near our house, possibly even in the chimney. (The Wild One thinks she may have heard the chicks through the fireplace.) But this daddy bird is taking his job very seriously. Nobody who comes within 200 yards of the place is exempt from his wrath, and everything that moves is perceived as a threat. (I think he might have even yelled at the tree in our backyard once when it blew in the breeze.) We hear it scolding things all day long, morning to night. (Apparently we have a very active neighborhood.)

And scolding isn’t all it does. Let me tell you how I actually “met” our feathered “friend.”

Finally the rains ended around here this week, and I got to give the lawn a much-needed mowing. But shortly after I began working in the yard, I began noticing a loud chirping and a winged shadow, looked up, and saw a very ticked-off red-winged blackbird flapping its wings just a few feet above my head.

I’ve been dive-bombed by birds before, so I recognized the behavior. (I know what you were doing while it was raining, you little rascal.) I headed for the covered patio, and the blackbird perched in the tree and yelled at me for awhile. When it got bored with that, it flew back up on our roof to keep watch. Sure enough, as soon as I left the patio, it began again. It never actually made contact with me, but it kind of did these flybys, like Tom Cruise buzzing the control tower with his jet in Top Gun. I figured if I didn’t get dive-bombed, I was going to get pooped on at some point. He’d fly overhead, go perch somewhere close, and fly by again. And the whole time, the bird never stopped complaining.

I thought, Hey, I’m your friend, pal. Don’t you know I can’t fly up there and hurt your kids? Don’t you know I like your pretty red wings? I’m on YOUR SIDE!! But it didn’t matter. This daddy bird was so overprotective, if these baby birds were human, they would never, ever get a driver’s license. Or go on a date.

The Wild One was all like, “Oh, how cute. He’s so afraid someone’s gonna hurt his babies.”

I was all like, “Afraid? That bird is paranoid.”

Sure, honey. Take the bird’s side. How the crap am I supposed to mow the lawn when I have to keep ducking? How do we stop him from dive-bombing the people when it’s time for house church?

I used to love the red-winged blackbird. Now I just hope those kids move away when they grow up.

*Not a real bird.
**Also not a real bird.
***This one is a real bird.

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Why I Deliver Flowers

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Categories: life, Meanderings (look it up), What the heck was THAT?

So here’s installment #28* of Questions Nobody Is Asking Me but Probably Would Have If They Thought of It:

Q: Why do you deliver flowers?

A: I don’t get asked this a lot by passers-by on the street: “Hey, what is a pastor-type dude like you doing, delivering flowers?” Of course, they don’t realize they have answered their own question. (What am I doing? Delivering flowers.)

But seriously, folks…

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Does Anyone Really Know What This Guy Is Singing?

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Categories: music, What the heck was THAT?

Ever since the Black Crowes came out with this years ago and I’d hear it on the radio, I’d strain to figure out just WHAT that lyric was at the end of the chorus. I never was able to figure it out.

I’m not talking about the whole song–the rock music tends to overshadow the lyric anyhow. (Not that that’s bad, or anything.) 🙂

No, I mean the part where the music STOPS and it’s just him singing.

You know…the part where he sounds kind of like an auctioneer. What the heck is he saying??

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The Mexicans Are Dancing For Me Yet Again

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Categories: fun, Things the Mexicans were doing when I was born, What the heck was THAT?

It’s happening again.
It seems like this just happened last year.
When the Mexicans start dancing in the streets…I know it’s my birthday.

That’s right.
May 5 = Cinco de Mayo = my birthday

It’s a bit of a mystery to me, why the Mexicans decided to commemorate my birth with a holiday, parades, food, and dancing in the streets.
And yet…on the day I was born, they danced in the streets.
And they’ve done it every year since.

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So Now They Aren’t Secretaries; They Are "Administrative Professionals". Anyhow…Today Is Their Day

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Categories: fun, What the heck was THAT?

Do you ever wish we’d just name something and stick with it? I mean, instead of making it longer and more wordy?

Like “salespeople” in the stores are now “customer service experts”? Or “waiters” and “waitresses” are now “food service transport technicians?”

Today is Secretary’s Administrative Professionals Day. I know this, not because I have a secretary administrative professional working for me, but because I’ve been called in early to the flower shop this morning to deliver lots of flowers to secretaries administrative professionals all over town.

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NEWS FLASH: Strange Man with Gotee Ascertains Spiritual Truth From Independent Film Shoot

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Categories: church, food for thought, What the heck was THAT?

by Elmer Sczhlapczkovsky, Asphyxiated Press

(TULSA, OK) During the shooting of an independent film in a dark nightclub in Tulsa’s historic Brookside District this week, a strange man with a salt-and-pepper gotee claimed to have received a revelation of spiritual truth.

The man, who would only identify himself as “Jeff McQ” and outrageously claimed to be the father of The Director of the short film, was frequently observed on the set wearing headphones, blogging on his laptop, and barking orders at the teenager holding the boom mike, all in-between handfuls of dark chocolate M&Ms.

“I simply can’t believe that a guy like THAT could get a revelation from God, let alone during a film shoot,” an unnamed source told reporters on condition of anonymity. “I mean, he was eating M&Ms and yelling at that poor innocent kid holding the mike. And he wasn’t in a church; he was in a nightclub, for crying out loud! Everyone knows God doesn’t go into places like that.”

On Sunday, several days after the alleged epiphany, Jeff McQ spoke with Asphyxiated Press about his experience.

“I didn’t really realize I was getting a revelation until after it was all over,” he said. “Then it was like, DUH. It was like, WHAM! It was really weird, man. Want an M&M?”

When asked to elaborate, Jeff McQ made the following statement to the press:

Well, I’ve done the church thing all my life, you know? I’m a pastor, even. Well, sort of; I do the house church thing now, and lots of people don’t think that’s a for-real kind of church. But anyway.

I’ve gotten lots of revelations before, from reading the Bible and praying and stuff. Lots of it was me just wanting the Bible to say what I wanted it to say, but some of it was for real. But now that I’ve stopped just looking for God in the religious stuff, but looking for Him in everyday life, I’m realizing that He’s showing me stuff through some of the craziest stuff, you know? Movies, U2 songs, conversations here and there…and now this film shoot.

I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about how the church ought to be doing things outside the walls, you know? How the church can show Jesus to people without adding on all the extra religious stuff, how we can form relationships within communities, instead of trying to get people to join our religious type communities, and how God shows up when we least expect it. Crazy stuff like that.

When you go on a film set, or create a film set out of a nightclub or something, there’s a special type of community that forms there. It’s like the everyday world stops for everyone involved, and for those three days, or however long it is, you are all part of something extraordinary–a little world all its own. People working together to accomplish something–people acting, people directing, people moving lights and equipment, and people sitting around on their butts eating M&Ms while wearing headphones while yelling at teenagers–it’s all working together toward the goal of getting that movie made. Stuff goes wrong, and people have to get creative and solve problems and think on their feet. And you form a bond with the others in that room, because you are in a shared experience with a shared sense of purpose. It’s community, and it’s a place where God can show up.

There was this one guy, for example, who claims he’s a Christian, but between some hurtful church experiences and stuff from his past, he’s kind of leery of authority figures. He seemed real intimidated and would barely talk to us at first, maybe because he knew we were pastors. But as things moved along and he saw how people were working together, joking and laughing, and how we pastors weren’t doing all the spooky spiritual stuff, but just being there…he started to warm up to us. There’s some profanity during the intense scenes of the movie, and he was somehow impressed that we weren’t all freaked out over that. And just being present, available, and not judging him, but showing honest acceptance–it won him over. By the end, he was talking up a storm. Completely disarmed.

We never preached at him, you know? We never opened with prayer. We never even talked about God, although this guy knew what we stood for. We just showed love and acceptance on a movie set, and participated in the process. So now we have a relationship we could never have had with him by doing the religious stuff. This is a guy who would never have come into a church building, or even into our house church. Instead, we went to where he was, and whether he realizes it or not just yet…Jesus came to see him, too. And it softened his heart.

And thinking about all this afterward, that’s when it hit me, you know? This is what it looks like when church is outside the walls. There were Christians on the set, and non-Christians, doing something together, forming relationships…and God was there with us, in that nightclub. We didn’t need to preach or get religious to make a difference. We could just be ourselves, and act natural and eat M&Ms, and watch Jesus work. Pretty cool, huh? I want to do more of this kind of stuff.

The Director could not be immediately reached for comment, but his office emailed the following statement: “I will neither confirm nor deny that this strange man is my father. But he did buy me some pretty nice clothes for my birthday.”

When asked what he thought of the incident, the Reverend I. M. Superior of the First Untidy Methodist Church said: “I never heard of this McQ character, and he’s not a real pastor if all he does is a so-called ‘house church’; but this certainly sounds like heresy to me.”

Jeff McQ, still claiming to be The Director’s father, has refused to submit to psychiatric evaluation.

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No, We Didn’t Buy Vodka For Our Underage Teen During Spring Break…Well, We Did, But Not the Way You Think

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Categories: What the heck was THAT?

So like I said before…today The Director began a three-day film shoot, and once again we are all involved. The Wild One is doing the lighting, and I’m doing the sound. This time The Director has trained two of his friends to run the camera, so he’s free to focus on the monitor. Three of his cast members are in high school, and it’s spring break, so it’s perfect timing for them.

The script involves the consumption of alcohol (the cast members are playing slightly older people), so we needed a bottle of liquor for the film–not for drinking, but for pouring. The cast will drink flat soda made to look like liquor.

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