Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Husband Doesn't Care if Basement Goblins Eat Me

I went down to our basement last night to fold some laundry, and I screamed. I can't remember why I screamed; maybe something brushed up against me or I almost fell down the stairs. Probably I almost fell down the stairs.

After screaming, though, I remember thinking that Chris would probably come barreling down the stairs. Because if you knew your wife was prone to tumbling down the stairs and heard a scream from the basement, wouldn't you check it out? He didn't appear, so I went about folding laundry for ten minutes. I began to suspect he didn't come into the basement because he'd watched way too many bad horror movies in the 80s, and he learned that you never follow a scream into a basement. So, I was prepared to forgive him for not coming to my rescue.

I came upstairs and we had the following conversation:

Chris: Did you step on the cold floor? Because I heard you scream.

Me: Yeah, about that. You didn't even come to check it out.

Chris: It was just one scream. I figured if there was a creature, you'd have come running back up. (Important note: by creature, my husband means something mundane like a spider or mouse. I hear creature and think Kraken or chupacabra.)

Me: What if there were goblins down there? What if basement goblins were eating me?


Me: You don't even care that basement goblins might have been eating me.

Chris: There aren't goblins in the basement.

Me: Well, what if it was a burglar and he was lying in wait down there, picking us off one by one when we came for the laundry?

Chris: There's no way for him to get in.

Me: There's a giant glass sliding door! He could have just broken it.

Chris: I would have heard that.

Me: You haven't been home all day.

Chris: But you have. And if you don't hear someone breaking all that glass, then you deserve to be picked off.

Me: I would have heard it. But then I'd be terrified to go down in the basement to check it out. I'd just wait up here until you got home so I could tell you about it. But then I'd get distracted and wouldn't remember what I wanted to tell you when you finally got home.

Chris: That's worse than you not hearing it at all!  And probably more accurate.

UPDATE: Y'all, my sister has come up with a theory that explains this entire post in a way that makes me look completely sane: The SilenceProbably THAT is what is in my basement.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Buff Jesus, or Why I'm Probably Not Qualified to Teach Sunday School

I teach Sunday school for a small group of junior high students every week; when I say "teach," I really mean "experience." Because that's what happens: We experience Sunday school together, and often I'm the one that learns.

A few months ago we attended a family night at a sister church. My friend Zach, who is the Youth Director there, involved the kids in a lesson/discussion and games. On the way back, they told me a bit about it; mostly, they talked about how my son was inappropriate for suggesting that they tie one girl's guinea pig to a small cross so they could act out a Passion play. His defense was, "Well, we were talking about Jesus, and she kept bringing up the guinea pig. And also, I never said we'd actually crucify it."

Fast forward to Sunday school a week or two later; we're beginning to talk about Revelation, and I overhear the term "buff Jesus."

This is one of those moments where I, as the Sunday school teacher, have simultaneous and conflicting thoughts. I think both, "That is awesome," and "That's possibly inappropriate?" But I was leaning pretty heavily toward "awesome," so I asked about buff Jesus. One of the kids said, "You know, buff Jesus on the horse, with the tattoos, and a sword coming out of his mouth."

Apparently during the family fun night, Zach alluded to Jesus in a warrior capacity. He must have mentioned the sword, because that keeps coming up in Sunday school; I messaged him the story and he responded with "I'm pretty sure I didn't use the words 'buff Jesus,' but that's awesome either way."

I was sort of concerned about the mentions of "buff Jesus" until we had a discussion on how we don't really know what Jesus looked like. One of the kids said, "Yeah, but he was definitely spiritually buff."

And this is why I love these kids. Because no matter how silly or complicated things get, they inevitably find the truth in the matter. 

Take away: What matters is that Jesus was the most spiritually buff dude that ever lived.

Monday, March 25, 2013

On the Title of this Blog

On Palm Sunday, a pretty significant snow storm came through our area. At one point, the snowflakes were abominable in proportion (as in the snowman, not the behavior). Paul, my brother-in-law, messaged me on Facebook to ensure I was not missing the epic snowfall. We had this short exchange:

Paul:  Holy crap! Go outside, the snowflakes are huge.

Me: Bits of shredded angel parts are coming down. This is how the apocalypse starts.

Paul: That's a terrifying way to phrase it. Haha.

Me: This is why I don't write horror. That stuff would be frightening. And also, I'd never be able to finish, because I would scare myself.

Then I started to think about it, and the phrase "This is how the apocalypse starts" is a genius catch-all for almost any situation. It adds levity, impact, and a bit of terror to almost any response.

Consider these examples:

Mom, I can't finish all the food on my plate.

You know, this is how the apocalypse starts.

Hey, hon, I'm going to be late from work tonight.

What, are you kidding? Dinner is already in the oven. Seriously, this is how the apocalypse starts!

Hi, welcome to Yummy Foods Restaurant. The soup for today is potato. These are our specials, but I apologize that we're out of the flounder.

Ah, missing flounder. This is how the apocalypse starts; I'll have a diet coke.  (Because in the event of an apocalypse, I'm not worried about aspartame.)

Text from my mother with a picture of fresh baked cookies.

This is how the apocalypse starts. Also, those look delicious.

Phone call from a telemarketer: "Hi, we are calling today to ask you to adopt a starving child/police department/blind puppy with one leg. We assure you that all donations go directly to the cause; you alone can save this child/police department/blind puppy with one leg."

Aghghg! The blind puppy with one leg has risen! This is how the apocalypse starts!

Then I realized there's only one or two people in my life who would put up with me constantly pointing out the beginning of the apocalypse in inappropriate situations. And I also realized that I had been considering creating a new blog for a couple of weeks, and that "This Is How the Apocalypse Starts" would also make a killer (no pun intended) title.

And then this blog happened. This is how apocalypse blogs start.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Perils of Working From Home

I left the house yesterday for reasons other than attending a church event or grocery shopping. Sometimes, I have to make up stuff to do so I can remember how to be a real person; there's only so long you can go without brushing your hair or putting on pants with a zipper before you turn into a big pile of Oreo cookie and flannel.

While I was going through the terrible inconvenience normal routine of putting on real clothing,* I started thinking about the perils of working from home. I wouldn't want to give it up, because the pitfalls of working in a corporate environment were staggering, but some of the issues I've experienced in freelancing are unexpected and, quite possibly, against the laws of physics. There also seems to be a work-from-home rule that states every benefit is offset by a detriment.

Here's a look at some of the benefit/detriment pairs I've discovered so far.

Benefit: You can wear your PJs to work.
Detriment: There's a fine line between "Yay, comfort!" and "All my pants are made of flannel."

Benefit: You don't have to manage according to some rigid schedule of time.
Detriment: It seems when you work from home, time is also off the hook for adherence to itself. Or, as my brother-in-law put it in response to my surprise that it was already 4 p.m., "Seriously wtf. I was up at 7 and apparently fell into a wormhole, now it's 4pm."**

Benefit:  You are your own boss.
Detriment: You are your own boss. If you don't immediately see what could go wrong with that, you probably aren't ready to take the plunge. Aside from letting myself get away with playing on the Internet and making the executive decision that midday baths count as productivity, there's a whole problem with not having outside feedback. Admittedly, if you have a real jerk of a boss, this may be a good thing; for the most part, I had decent bosses who always recognized when a job took a lot of effort. Now, I feel like I send work into a vortex. There may or may not be people receiving and appreciating the work, but since I'm receiving payment, I try not to let it bother me.

Benefit: You can do what you love.
Detriment: People may not pay you for what you love, so you'll still have to do some things you only marginally like. There are always times you have to do things you don't like at all, but since you're the boss, it can be hard to motivate yourself in that direction.

Benefit: You save money on eating out and you don't have to eat a cold sandwich or packed lunch; you also don't have the temptation of office vending machines.
Detriment: Falling into the wormhole often means you forget lunch altogether. I'm quite susceptible to an unhealthy cycle of forgetting food for hours before moving into that place where I know I'm hungry, but nothing in the house looks appetizing and I can't be bothered to make a real meal anyway. At times like this, I do something like crumble half a package of saltines in a bowl and pour hot chicken stock over it. Because, hey, soup's healthy. And chicken stock is sort of a protein.

Benefit: You can work in the privacy and quiet of your own home.
Detriment: Sometimes when I'm alone, working in the privacy of my home, I hear disembodied breathing. I haven't found the source yet, although it's possible the cat is a huge mouth breather who can throw his voice. Regardless, it's creepy and distracts me from my work.***

*   Real clothing = Pants with a zipper, t-shirt without a tea stain, flip-flops. Close enough.
** He works from home too, although I've never seen him in flannel pants.
*** This particular issue may be unique to my situation.