Monday, April 28, 2008

Amy can't come to the blog right now, she's lost in Isaiah

Isaiah, oh Isaiah. With your endless chapters of prophesies that all boil down to the same scenario – Israel as the flashy chick who dumps God, then discovers that all the other guys (idols) out there don’t do it for her, and comes back groveling on hands and knees. And God will take her back, but only after rubbing her nose in how badly she treated God. You WHORE, ho ho ho.

Um, you’re putting a slightly negative spin on it, don’tcha think? Because most Happy Chipper Christians read it and praise God for taking back a nation of people who weren’t worthy. That He will always take you back, no matter how hard you far.

Yeah, yeah, but then there’s chapter 47

1 "Go down, sit in the dust,
Virgin Daughter of Babylon;
sit on the ground without a throne,
Daughter of the Babylonians.
No more will you be called
tender or delicate.
2 Take millstones and grind flour;
take off your veil.
Lift up your skirts, bare your legs,
and wade through the streams.
3 Your nakedness will be exposed
and your shame uncovered.
I will take vengeance;
I will spare no one."


I am never getting out of Isaiah, folks. I’m stuck here until the end of time. I have daydreams of someday reaching the book of Acts, which I’ve always wanted to read, but context is so important to me, which is why the idea of reading the Bible chronologically in the first place was appealing. But here in the wilderness of Isaiah, I’m just dying. Dying in the dust alongside the bared wady legs of the Virgin Daughter of Babylon.

This weekend kicked my ass allergy wise. Housesitting with Ginger Puppy and Basil. Normally, I can handle their fur. But I can’t handle their fur, extreme heat and Griffith Park dust.

So Saturday, I’m cowering in the TV room, trying to watch > To Catch A Thief, deciding that there simply is no one more lovely than Grace Kelly in that first ice blue dress, and dying because my nose is now a raw red mushroom on my face. Ginger Puppy is staring at me but, but, but, I don’t understand! Why don’t you stick your nose on the top of my head and rub my ears like you usually do?! Don’t you love me!? GASP! YOU DON’T LOVE ME! Oh my GAWD! What’d I do!? What’d I DO!? You’ve shunned me like some Virgin Daughter of Babylon.

I’m popping Benedryl, Claritin, Alavert, I’m sleeping every twenty minutes, and waking up when I can’t breathe.

And finally, even though I think it’s stupid and petty, I send up a prayer to God, Dear Father in Heaven, I would really really really like to breathe, pretty pretty pretty please.

And no lie, within ten minutes of shooting that desperate missive up, I CAN breathe.

Now, do we think that’s God unblocking my nasal passages? Do we think that’s coincidental timing, and it really was the massive amount of loratadine finally working?

I guess it’s however you want to call it. And though Sunday was still an I Can’t BREATHE/ Hey, One Nostril Is Better Than None tug of war, the whole weekend is a reminder that God is not a genie, and my prayers aren’t answered instantly. Sometimes it takes ten minutes. Sometimes it takes ten years. But it’s never ever ten seconds.

Everyone cheer for Carlen. , she’s kicking mucho ass on Script Frenzy. Gooooooooooo Carlen! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Where My Head Goes

So in my further travels in reading the whole Bible, I can say I was a little disheartened to get somewhere around Psalm 90, and realize there’s still a good 60 chapters left.

Keener Bible readers than me will groan loudly when I venture to say that the Psalms started to get kinda boring after awhile. They all seemed to follow the same pattern of Praise God! God’s Great! I Was Miserable And Bad Things Were Happened To Me But God Rescued Me! Or Maybe I’m Still Waiting On Him To Rescue Me, But I Know He Will! Yay God! God’s Great! Made me think paradoxically of the Smiths song, “What Difference Does It Make,” especially when it gets to very end of that song:

Oh, I'm too tired
I'm so sick and tired
And I'm feeling very sick and ill today
But I'm still fond of you, oh-ho-oh

Yes, I admit it’s not the best example. But that’s where my head goes.

Then I hit Psalm 105 and 106, which are a handy dandy history lesson for those for us who aren’t reading the Bible in chronological order, and haven’t already read Exodus and Numbers.

But I perked up a bit when the psalmist in 106 namechecked Phinehas in verse 30 and 31. But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked. This was credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come.

I had forgotten about Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron and a priest of the temple. In Numbers 25, Israelite men start sleeping with Moabite and Midianite women, God tells Moses to kill ‘em all, kill ‘em all, and in the midst of Moses telling his troops to kill ‘em all, kill ‘em all, an Isralite dude named Zimri and a Midiaite woman name Cozbi decide to give a metaphorical finger to God, Moses, and anyone else telling them where they can or can’t have sex, and decide to get busy IN the temple, apparently in front of everyone. Phinehas responds by taking his spear and running it through the couple whilst they were in the middle of whoopiemaking.

To which I thought, Hey! I’ve seen that before!

(okay, first I thought, GROSS.)

But yes, I’m right, I have seen that before. See?

That’s Jeff and Sandra from Friday the 13th part 2. See, you thought the Friday the 13th movies were just a gratuitous slasher series with no redeeming social value, didn’t you? NOOOOOOOOO PEOPLE! YOU’VE GOT IT ALL WRONG!

Director Steve Miner and writer Ron Kurtz are very obviously crafting a biblical metaphor, where killer Jason is a stand in for Phinehas, Sandra is Cozbi, Jeff is Zimri, Camp Crystal Lake is the Jewish Temple of Meeting, Scott, Terry, Vickie, Mark, Ginny, Random Policeman and Crazy Ralph are all sinning Israelites that need to be purged.

This also means that Mrs. Vorhees is God.

I think we all owe Mr. Miner and Mr. Kurtz a big apology for thinking their movies are black holes of plotless gore filled with vapid characters absent of any logic. Because they are clearly much more religious than any of us ever gave them credit for.

And this is where my head goes.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Five minutes a day


My head’s all fuzzy from allergy medication. At least three times today, I’ve caught myself staring off into space and thinking about sleeping. With my eyes open. Just a warning, people.

In my skimmings with the Christian entertainment community, I find it interesting that there seems to be a prevailing persecuted mentality of sorts. Newbies to the city consistently ask me if I’ve ever been discriminated against because I’m a Christian. To which I always reply “Nope. You’re more likely to be discriminated against if you’re a Republican.” (though I find it fascinating that nobody has ever had a co-worker who’s part of that scary scary, no I’m not typing it here religion that certain celebrities jump up and down on Oprah’s couch about.)

And it’s true. Nobody has ever treated me differently because I believe in God. I don’t stand on my desk and preach to everyone going to the break room, but that’s because I believe in God AND I’m not a moron.

It’s kinda weird how the questions always come. Almost as if they’d like to think the reason more Christian entertainment isn’t happening is BECAUSE Christians are thrown to the Dilbert Workplace Lions.

But it’s simply not true. I’ve worked for Christians, Jews, quasi-Buddhists, none of them gave a toss what I was. You could believe in Ceiling Cat and they wouldn’t care as long as you were competent.

I’ve given church recommendations to fellow co-workers in the copy room. I told my boss “Maybe we should pray” when 9/11 was going down (his response was “thanks” and hung up to watch the tv.)

Currently at the Miniature Golf Network, one of my co-workers has a wooden church on her desk counter where everyone sees it when they walk by, and keeps a copy of the Bible by her computer. And another one of my co-workers, counting down the days to her impending nuptials, had a conversation with me last week about how she’s always been able to feel God’s presence. To which I grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her senseless, screaming “Tell me the secret! Tell me what you DO!!!”

She says that she makes sure that she takes time out every day to Be Still And Know That I Am God. “Don’t even pray,” she says, “Just sit and listen.”

So I’ve been working on it. Five minutes a day, just sitting and concentrating on God. No prayers, just the discipline of me continuing to focus and refocus on God. And it is a discipline, because my thoughts always want to run and skip in the meadows of When Is Lost Coming Back On, I Need New Workout Shoes, I think The Mist Is Frank Darabont’s Meditation On Faith.

So far, all I’ve gotten is that five minutes goes much faster than I realize. But I think the start of every new endeavor begins pretty inauspiciously for me. So on I go.

But the important part is, I got the idea from a co-worker. In the Entertainment Industry. So there ya go, naysayers. No discrimination here. Go find something else to keep ya down.

You know, if you drink one Starbucks Vanilla Frappucino while on allergy medication, the back of your hands get numb. Interesting. What happens if I drink TWO?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Requiem for my camera

I absolutely love being away from L.A. I mean, I could amend that slightly to I absolutely love being out of my house, as my many dogsitting stints with Basil and Ginger Puppy will attest to (two gigs in April! Yay! Yay! Yay!) Are you dating me? I wanna stay over at your house, because my house has Roomie Heckle and Roomie Jekyll, and I get tired of tripping over them, and we’re having plumbing issues that make the whole house smell like hamster shavings.

But yes, I love getting away from L.A., because well, L.A. is great if you have money and it sucks if you don’t. I’m scraping by, but not enough to love L.A.

So the family wanted me to join them on a trip to Cedar Key, Florida. This would be My Mother, The Phone Harpy Whom I Love Very Very Much; My Dad, The Great Stoic Wonder; my sister Agatha; her husband, Mr. Agatha, and Bug, my almost six year old niece. My parents picked the spot, as the original choices of St. John and Mexico proved not to work scheduling and money wise.

To go from thinking Caribbean! Woot! To the sleepy town of Cedar Key, where 900 people live, there's a strip of sand about 2 feet wide, and brown water was not quite what I had in mind. However, it was NOT Los Angeles, and that was good enough for me. (and to be perfectly fair, we did spend days at Ft. Walton Beach as well, where the sand was white and water was blue. Don’t look at those two places on the map and ask me why. Just…don’t.)

We had so MUCH family time, my GOODNESS it was a lot. I have learned that Bug cannot keep a secret to save her life, so she is not the best person to have on your team when you’re playing Clue, she is not the best person to watch a repeat of Food Network Challenge: Cake Challenge: Disney Villains with. She misunderstands the reaction of don’t tell me that! to really mean what a clever girl you are to share your knowledge with the world! Please do go on. No really, don’t stop.

We walked to the grocery store. We walked to the bookstore. We walked to the cutest little public library (with free wi-fi!) We walked down the “main strip” of gulfside bars. We took an island (use that word oh so loosely) boat tour where they told us Cedar Key’s two main industries are tourism and clams! Clams! The clamming industry is aces in Cedar Key! The one island we did stop at, where Cedar Key was harvesting the Cedar trees to make pencils in Pennsylvania, was infested with mosquitoes.

And I would have plastered pictures of all this on the blog, but I have learned the hard lesson that the worst place to lose your camera is in Cedar Key. Because even though you absolutely know where you last left it (Seabreeze On The Dock, oh yeah, I’m calling them out) the staff is less than helpful in trying to help you get it back. Even though the service is slow, the staff suddenly is too super busy to answer your queries of “Is there a lost and found?” “Well, everyone here has their own idea of what that is.” “Is the manager here?” “She left to get change.” (the next day) “Is the manager here?” “She left, she’s coming back, but you know, it’s Prom Night, we’ll be real busy.”

Prom Night!? Prom Night at the rockin’ clam industry town of Cedar Key!? Kiddies, whatever you do, DON’T BRING YOUR CAMERA! YOU WILL LOSE IT AND NOBODY THERE WILL GIVE A SHIT!

I am pissed, and not just because of the completely illogical reality that my camera, which I originally paid less than $250 for on Amazon in 2006, is now retailing for over $600 at the same site.

There are two possible options here:

1. A staff member picked it up, took it God knows where, and is blind/deaf/dumb to not hear that a Los Angeleno has left messages with her number to please call her if you have it.

2. A restaurant patron stumbled upon it and thought to themselves, hey! Free camera day for me!!!! Wasn’t mine two seconds ago, it’s mine now! Get me some clams pronto!

Which upsets me, even more than the September Break In at the house. Because that was deliberate, that was a criminal targeting the house. This was a chucklehead who stumbles over something that’s not his and decides to keep it rather than do the right thing of Turn It In, You Moron, It’s Not Yours.

I hope the clam industry is positively thriving in Cedar Key, because the tourism BLOWS.

I’m thinking it’s option number 2. I’m thinking it’s a chucklehead patron, as opposed to the steely I Can’t Help You, Please Leave Me Alone glares of the Seabreeze On The Dock staff.

Let’s pray for the chucklehead, okay? C’mon, it’s supposed to be a God site, we should rally here.

Dear God. Thank you for being Lord of my life. Thank you for allowing me to live in L.A. and pursue my career of being a paid writer for as long as I have. Thank you that I had money to buy a camera. Thank you that I had some great times with that camera for two years. Thank you for the geniuses who came up with digital photography in the first place.

And Lord, I’m not ducking responsibility here. I know it’s my fault that I left the camera. You know me, because You created me, and You were witness to the Let Your Anger Go conversion that happened around 2005, where I stopped losing things because I wasn’t panicked 24/7 like I used to be because I Let My Anger Go. Except this time, I did lose the camera, not because I was angry, but because I was finally relaxing and not paying attention to every detail.

Lord, it appears that a chucklehead in now in possession of my camera. They know it’s not theirs, and yet they’re hanging on to it, though they’re doomed once the battery dies. And though a very large part of me wants You to smite them, curse them, rain down huge heaping gobs of bad luck upon them, the snotty little Good Girl in me says I can’t ask for that. Ugh. Instead, ugh ugh ugh, I pray that you please bless this chucklehead. Rain down huge heaping gobs of blessing upon them. Open the proverbial floodgates, so they’re drowning in love, money, good fortune, and puppydogs. Let them win the lottery. Let them meet their soulmate. Let them bear above average children. Turn their lives around professionally and personally, so that they don’t have to resort to hanging on to things that aren’t theirs. In Jesus’ name, amen, amen, amen.

P.S. Please let me find another camera that I can afford. If You have time. Thanks!

Love, Amy The Writer.

Let us all mourn my camera by looking at the last shot I managed to transfer onto my computer before it slipped through my fingers. Behold: BUTT RUB.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The worst part about being away...

Is all the crap you have to catch up on your return.

So posting will happen, er, um, sometime this week?

How very irresponsible of me.