Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Cinnamon the Talented Dog, Chapter I

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Tiller is kind of crazy about writing lately. Tiller says that these are “Beginning Chapter Books.” Cinnamon the Talented Dog is book one in an as-yet-unnamed trilogy about the adventures of two dogs. We decided to record her reading each chapter so that her grandparents could see her work.

Baby Nostalgia

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Another way that I know I am old? Nostalgia for the good old days. You know, back when I had babies. I was sick yesterday and got into the old videos. Any parent knows that this is a downward spiral. Videos of my babies when they were babies are just like crack. Sweet, sweet crack. That makes me cry.

This one killed me:

And this one . . . ah, the good ole days.

Now Todd and I do the dancing and they roll their eyes at us. . . .

Clark Griswold, Robert Gibbs, Bartimaeus, and Jesus

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

No, this is not the beginning of a joke. It is the only title i could come up with for this post that covered it all. It started out that I was posting about Todd’s high school friends’ husband’s light display, and veered off into a discussion of my Mother-in-law’s failed dreams for Todd’s future, Todd’s 20th high school reunion, and a Houston minister’s sermon, inspired by one of my blog posts, wherein the Minister compares me to Bartimaeus and Jesus. Yes, that Jesus. (No laughing.)

You try and give this post a better title . . . .

Yes, I know Clark Griswold. Or, at least, we’ve met. He’s married to the girl Todd was supposed to marry. You know, if my mother-in-law had gotten her way. Her name is . . .well, we’ll call her “G.,” and she and Todd went to school and church together growing up in Auburn. Their parents are friends and Todd’s mom worked at the church, and his mom finally told me one day, not long after Todd and I married, that she always wished that Todd had dated G. G was sweet and Christian and smart and exactly what Peggy thought she wanted in a daughter-in-law. I think maybe she thought some of this goodness would rub off on Todd. She must have told me 30 million times that Todd used to get in trouble in school. (I think she still holds a grudge about the wringer she was put through due to Todd’s behavior, and now that I am a parent, i understand.) G would tell her that Todd always had the smartest answers in class, and my MIL was just baffled by his behavior. G could see the goodness in Todd! She was perfect. I believe my mother-in-law also secretly coveted an arranged marriage for Todd’s younger brother and G’s younger sister. None of this came to pass, of course, because I am a complete and total Maneater, and we don’t often practice arranged marriages here in the South, even in Alabama.

I never met G. in the many years Todd and I have been together. G’s parents came to my wedding and we would see them around town when visiting Auburn. I even met G’s little sister at one point. But no matter how often i heard about her, I never met G until Todd’s 20th reunion. You know the one. Robert Gibbs, Press Secretary for President Barack Obama was there? It was the one where I got bored and pretended to be one of Todd’s absent high school friends after his sex change. Yes, I am now probably on some kind of CIA/FBI list for impersonating Robert Gibbs’ high school classmate.

So, I finally met my competition, G., and her husband, Clark. And it turned out we hit it off, and now we are friends on Facebook, and she reads my blog. She even used something she read on my blog as inspiration for one of her sermons. (Certainly a first.) Yes, she is a preacher. Or minister. Or whatever she calls herself. I am not sure. We grew up calling the person who did the sermon ‘the preacher.” If you are so inclined, please listen to the whole sermon, as G. is really a great writer and speaker. My mention in the sermon comes in about the last fourth of the sermon. I must add that she did me great justice in the sermon, because I am certainly not as compassionate as she makes me out to be. It did make for a great sermon, though!

So, with all of this high drama, I barely had a chance to get to know her husband at the reunion. I wish I had. I really want to know the man that has the vision to create the following light display. No, I am not an Auburn fan. But I married into an Auburn family, and I do have an appreciation for the fanatical desire to stamp a team logo on one’s house in large, bright, multicolored, musically-coordinated lights to celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus.

And I just love G. all the more for being a Minister in Houston whose house looks like this during the Christmas season.

2009 Lights On Merrimac Ridge Animated Lights from Merrimac Ridge on Vimeo.

Mr. Mouth

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Because Lisa couldn’t remember the Mr. Mouth game pictured in my last post – Something to jog her memory.

For Roswell, and for Spanky. RIP.

Friday, September 11th, 2009

A friend of mine is being buried today. I could not make the funeral and I am sad about that. I know that there are others who couldn’t make it either, but that we are all there in thought and, some of us, in prayer.

Charles (we all called him “Spanky”) was not a close friend, but he was a friend, nonetheless. He was a boy who was in my classes. He was a boy who was at parties, who gave great hugs, had a big heart, and was quick to laugh. Charles’ laugh was so distinctive that I can still hear it in my head, clear as a bell. After twenty years, I can still hear his laugh like it was yesterday.

Last Saturday, Charles shot his father, and then he shot himself. The grief one feels over a friend killing themselves is overwhelming. The grief of knowing that someone you cared about took a life, much less the life of someone so close to them. . . that grief is almost unbearable. It makes you want to sleep to escape the thought of it. It makes you want to climb right out of your own skin to stop feeling it. You don’t want to imagine the grief of a mother, a sister suffering the pain of such a loss. And yet you cannot get away from it. It permeates everything.

You try not to think about it, but you can’t stop. It keeps you up at night, wondering how it turned out this way. You think, here I am, with my loving husband, my wonderful children, and my happy home. Here I am twenty years later (a blink of an eye, really) and where did Charles go? What happened to him in the last twenty years?

I cannot reconcile the boy I knew with the picture in my head of the man he became.

I have thought of it hourly for the last five days. I have wondered how it was him that ended up with an addiction. There were so many of us, and so many of us did more than we should have, and what made him the victim of addiction? It could have been any of us. “There but for the Grace of God go I” is on a loop in my head this week. I have thought about God, and heaven, and forgiveness. I have thought about whether there is an afterlife, and if it is punitive, or if it is a place where we all will find forgiveness, solace, and peace. I came up with no answers, save one: We are all so intertwined.

When I think of the community I came from, one that is grieving from top to bottom, one that was touched in so many ways by this one family, I know this: We are all intertwined. The things we do have an impact. Sometimes that impact is not seen until we lose a piece of ourselves. And then it breaks down and we are so very aware of the gaping holes in our lives. This one boy with the unique laugh was a friend to so many of us. He was a son, a brother, a cousin. And his loss and the loss of his father are felt so very strongly by one community today. The one thing I know is that we are all stronger for having known one another and that each and every one of us can never forget that we hold those that love us in the palms of our hands.

This is for the town that I have scorned. The town that has changed so much over the years and which I was so glad to have left. But that town is not just growth and development and a homogeneous population. It is the town where I grew up. It is a community, no matter how far flung we all our now; Deep down, we are still those kids that walked to school through an old cemetery to sit in run-down classrooms together. We are church groups, and football teams, and kids who sneaked into neighborhood pools together. We fought at the water tower. We are a bunch of kids in the McDonald’s parking lot on a Friday night, waiting to see where the party would be that night.

This is for Roswell, a community that lost two of her own this week, and who is the lesser for the loss, but the greater for having known each other.

Another friend sent me the lyrics to this song. I have heard from distraught friends all week long. It has hurt my heart, but reminded me that I came from somewhere, that we all came from the same place. That when one of us hurts, we all hurt.

Adapted from the Will Oldham song.

Adapted from the Will Oldham song.

And the original:

Come Sail Away

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

In case you were wondering why I have forsaken writing for video, Todd got an awesome Vado video camera for Father’s Day. I have taken it over. I LOVE it. Hence all the video of late.

This song, though, has deeper meaning for me now. I heard it in the car when I went to meet my Dad on the day that my Grandfather died. Somehow, it seems like Tiller picking it up as a recent favorite is The Universe telling me to write what I should have written a month ago.

Yes, Universe. I am going to write it.

I Want to be an Elephant

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Tiller: [Crying and arching her back on the couch.]
Me: “Baby, what is it?”
Tiller: “I want to be an elephant!!!!” [More crying.]
Me: [Under my breath.] “Good luck with that.”
Me: [Aloud] “Why do you want to be an elephant?”
Tiller: “I want to be able to pick stuff up and pour it on my head!”

Melancholy, Twisted, Beautiful

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Just finished writing an obituary for my dying grandfather. It made me feel weepy and it made it seem real that he won’t be with us much longer. Felt the same heaviness when i dropped off a porch swing that he made with his own two hands at a friend’s house last night. It did make me laugh in a bittersweet way that she will be painting it bright pink. Listening to Frightened Rabbit’s “Old Old Fashioned” and reading a story about kids during WWII driving out to a new bridge in Alabama, parking on it, and pulling out an old crank record player and dancing in the moonlight.

Feeling melancholy and weepy, in a life is twisted and beautiful kind of way.

Hardest Laugh

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Okay, my neighbor Scott is over hanging with Todd (I went to Wine Night at friends’ in East Atlanta) and he just witnessed me laughing the belly laugh, crying my guts out, can’t breathe laugh over this.

If you have not seen this cat before, you are missing out. And I don’t usually like stupid LOLCats and that crap, but this one just makes me insane, it is so funny to me. This is the cream of the crop:

Thanks to Tori for almost making me spew my beer all over my keyboard. Laughter is the best. Next to Helen Hunt, Play It Off Cat, and Hall and Oates.

Decemberists Overkill

Monday, June 15th, 2009

So, a friend of a friend went to The Decemberists show that I raved about a week or so ago. She drove to Atlanta from Columbia to see them, then went and saw them the next night in Raleigh. Her pictures are much better and she even got a little video.

I also found some video of some of my favorite parts of the show:

A little of “The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid”:

“The Rake’s Song:”

“The Queen’s Rebuke/Crossing:”

Cover of Heart’s “Crazy on You.”

And I know I said it in that post, but i will say it again: Becky fucking kicked some serious ass that night.

And one for good measure:

Bandit Queen, the song I wished they had played in Atlanta. They played it a week ago in Pennsylvania. Fuckers.