Monday, March 26, 2007

The Perfect Tragedy
I re-watched The Perfect Storm on Saturday and was surprised how sad it was. I had forgotten that all the fishermen die, plus a coast guard rescuer. As I've thought about the movie over the weekend, I realized that this story reallyl is a morality tale. The problem came down to hubris--pride.

The basic story is that these six sword fishermen from New England get this huge load of swordfish that will make them all a killing. But then their ice machine breaks. With a broken ice machine, they can't wait out the storm in a safe place. So they decide to chance it, going straight into the worst storm of the century. Greed wins the day as they head into the storm. Sadly, they all die, their boat is sunk, and several coast guard rescuers put their lives on the line to try to save them.

It reminds me of Icarus flying too close to the sun--that thoguht that we are so tough, so great, so god-like that we can do anything. This Wikipedia link shows some interesting literary and artistic renderings of Icarus and his famous (or infamous) fall.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I just saw a wall hanging in advertised in a Kohl's flyer which said:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take,
but the number of times your breath is taken away.

That, I thought, was a pretty odd saying. I mean, there are some not so nice things in life that take my breath away--jogging for one. Don't like that. Gasping in horror at one of my animals throwing up. That's not so nice. The fact that Sanjaya is still on American Idol. That is not so great either.

I know, I know. I guess this is referring to all those euphoric fabulous moments when something unexpectedly wonderful happens. Like when my husband proposed to me. Or when my son took his first steps. Or I got news that my book would be published.

But still, I think it's an odd saying. Don't you?

Friday, March 16, 2007

So far all my fans who would like me to write something featuring zombies as the main character(s), I think I now have an inspiration.

Yesterday I took the dog for a walk, and we found a dead fox near the Luther statue. Lucy (the dog), of course, wanted to go lick, sniff, eat, whatever she would do with a dead fox. It is a good thing she was on the leash.

Anyhoo, that was sad that the cute little foxy was dead, but I actually was glad to get a good look at him since they are nocturnal, and I've never seen one (being diurnal myself). I just finished trying to find info on which species of foxes live in Indiana, and I'm coming up with only Red Fox, Gray Fox, and some other type that only lives in Brazil. It wasn't any of those. I know this was not an opposum or racoon. It was about the size of a large house cat. It was tan and gray, with a bushy tail and black beady eyes. I'll have to look up a book of Indiana wildlife at the library, I guess.

So today as I was heading to the gym, I saw a turkey vulture eating the fox. Not pretty, but hey, even turkey vultures gotta eat, right?

That is my zombie inspiration for the day. I'm not quite sure how a zombie story will result from those unsavory sites, but I gotta start somewhere.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Deal or No Deal Game
Oh, this is dangerously addictive. Go here to play.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Back Home
Phew! I've tried to post something all day, and keep getting waylaid. We are back home in Indiana. It was so nice seeing such different scenery, enjoying the wide blue skies and warm weather while we were in the southwest. But being back in the midwest yesterday was kind of like putting on a favorite flannel shirt. It's comfortable and homey. It's good to be back.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sandia Peak Tramway
Yesterday afternoon, while Scott was busy with recruiting, Jacob and I went up the Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque, which was quite fun. Jacob and I had previously been up the Aspen Mountain tram/gondola thing (in Aspen, Colo.) and it was a little scary. There was one point in the Aspen tram when the thing stopped suddenly, and we were swinging on this little cable in the wind, 500 feet over the canyon below. It didn't start up again for at least 5 minutes. That definitely brought out my acrophobia.

But the Sandia Peak Tram was a very smooth ride over rugged, rocky, steep terrain. Some people like to hike that. I wouldn't. It looks way too hard. But it was fun to get up to 10,000 feet and see the view of Albuquerque below.

The guide on the tram said that sometimes people go hang-gliding off the top of the mountain. He said one guy got all the way to Oklahoma after jumping off the top of Sandia Peak. He said that was over 300 miles. I'm not sure I quite believe that. But apparently, the wind sheers off the mountain are pretty intense.

At the top, Jacob and I saw SNOW which we hadn't seen for a week. There were some people playing in the snow for whom, we were convinced, snow was not a regular part of their lives.

Today we are worshipping at Grace Lutheran in Albuquerque. Scott is assisting with the service and then teaching Bible class. Then we are heading to Santa Fe for the afternoon. Tomorrow we go back to the Midwest.

Friday, March 09, 2007

In New Mexico Today
Today we drove from Arizona into Las Cruces, NM. It's amazing to me to think of what life must be like out here where you can wear shorts pretty much every month of the year. The pastor in Yuma told us that he gets kind of excited when it rains. I can't exactly imagine getting excited when it rains in Ft. Wayne. The weather is beautiful here. Sunny, clear skies. Last night, we walked around the hotel in the Arizona desert and the stars twinkled in the deep blue night. It was mild and lovely.

On the road, I'm reading to the guys about desert wildlife, flowers, cactus, etc.

This guy is a kangaroo rat. He can jump up to 10 feet in a single bound. Cool, eh? I think this is the guy who never drinks water. He gets his water from whatever food he eats.

This is a desert coyote. We heard these guys howling last night when we went on our walk. They like to eat prickly pear cacti.

There are lots of other animals we've learned about. I'm working on a story which I think will be called Coyote Canyon, Coyote Moon, or something like that.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Sunny Southwest
Well, here we are in warm and dry Yuma, AZ. This is not a tremendously gorgeous city, but it is warm--even on March 6.

We drove near the Sonoran desert today, where Saguaro cacti are prevalent. Saguaro is pronounced Saw-WAH-roh, and when you think of the typical cactus you drew in the second grade, it's a saguaro.

I picked up small book on them today and we read about them in the car on the drive from Phoenix to Yuma today. They can live to be 200 years old. They are very slow growing. In the first four-five years they only grow to be about an inch tall. Their structure helps not only to preserve the precious little water that falls in this desert region, but the strong cylindrical shape also becomes a haven for many types of birds, including some flickers and owls. This photo shows a saguaro with nest holes.

So here are things we saw today: dustdevils, tumbleweed, saguaros, and places with great names like Jackrabbit Trail. I feel a story brewing about the desert.

Tomorrow we head to Tucson. No, Judy, no rattlesnake recipes yet!! But it did taste interesting. :)