This is intended to be a "say something amusing, get out, go to bed" entry. Whether that will actually happen is problematic. For one thing, I haven't gotten Jace's latest letter to Sandy taken care of yet, and I'm already a day late on that. New schedule (I think): Sunday nights for my fiction entries over on Messages from Mâvarin.
I felt remarkably good today for someone coming off 3 1/2 hours of sleep last night, but that doesn't mean I was terrible productive. And I made mistakes here and there. At church today I played emergency backup lector, which is to say that I stepped in at the last second to do the first reading. The second reading is always from an Epistle (read by a subdeacon) and the third is from a Gospel (read by a priest), so the first readings come from everything else. This functionally means key Old Testament stuff, Revelation and Acts. Today being Pentecost, I knew the reading would be from the bit in Acts when the Pentecost took place. So I stood at the lectern, looked down at the open Lectionary, and read aloud,
"A reading from the book of Joel." Huh?
Proscovia, who manages the acolytes, quietly made no, that's-not-right noises. Father Smith came over and, convinced the book was open to the wrong place, started flipping pages. It was on the right page, though. Right page, wrong reading. The passage from Joel was listed in that version of the lectionary as being for a vigil mass before Pentecost. The expected one from Acts was further down the page. Too bad I didn't notice this before I started reading. When Father Smith stepped away, I looked down at the correct passage, took a deep breath and told the congregation:
"Correction. A reading from the Acts of the Apostles."
I didn't exactly bring the house down, but I definitely got a laugh. After that I was home free, except for the laundry list of home city states of the people who heard the Apostles speak. How is one supposed to pronounce Cappadocia, Phrygia and Pamphylia? I had no time to puzzle it out, but just did the best I could.
After church was Coffee Hour, as usual. Unlike Duane and, I suppose, most other adults, I despise coffee; but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the company of my friends, a plastic cup of ice tea in hand. I decided to tell Mary, who is in the church choir, about a little parody I wrote this week. You know I'm not big on talking about politics, much less singing about it; but Mary talked me into singing my snippet in duet with her to at least seven different people at Coffee Hour, one at a time. It's based on a Homeland Security report that justified cutting funds by 40% to New York City (at least in part) by claiming that New York City has no icons and no national landmarks. Here it is:
New York, New York!
It's an icon-free town.
No strategic value can ever be found.
We don't much care if it falls to the ground.
New York New York:
Not a pork barrel town!
Despite the fact that Mary and I didn't end on the same note even once, these little command performances went over surprisingly well, with only Mary's musicially sensitive brother grumpily shaking his head. One guy, who I think is an EMT, said that he actually does training for the D.H.S., and that he's quite annoyed with the agency now. Someone else mentioned being very aware of the situation, due to having family in NYC.
After another nice mention of this blog, specifically my posts about Barbara Bauer, Jess asks,
Writer's Weekly Question #18:
Have you ever had an experience where someone tried to trick you into believing that something big was about to happen to your writing, when in fact, they were taking you on what could be a huge ride? This can include a contest, an agent, a publisher, or anyone.
I actually haven't. Oh, I've gotten offers in email for poetry contests and even publishers, but never pursued or even perused them. I don't know whether any of them were legitimate, but I guarantee that none of them were with Tor or DAW or any other major imprint.
On the other hand, I drew a cat once in a free test from Famous Artists Studios, which used to sell art correspondence courses. (They still do this, I'm pretty sure, but under another name.) I was in about sixth grade, and working from a little book on how to draw cats. Instead of a genuine free evaluation, I got a call from a saleswoman who claimed, "You do have the talent," end of critique, and tried to sell me the course. I didn't gripe too much when my mom said no. Even at that age, I could tell that their estimate of my "talent" as a visual artist was money-driven.
See, by and large I don't fall for stuff too often, even though I'm kind-hearted enough to give people the benefit of the doubt a bit longer than reason would dictate. I tend to think of myself as not being a victim of anybody, because I generally have no enemies. Besides, I do a plenty good job of victimizing myself. I don't need any outside help to wreck my sleep schedule and fail to get done what I need to get done.
I wasn't a victim, but I was on the receiving end of a little weirdness today:
1. A homeless guy was hanging out in front of the shopping center I went to this afternoon to buy chicken wings. I thought about commenting on the weather to him, just to be nice, but I chickened out. He walked ahead of me, all the way to the chicken place, stood on the far side of a pole, facing it, and put up one hand as if to warn me not to come any closer. That would have meant stopping just short of my destination, though, so I averted my eye and went on past. There was no doubt what he was doing. I could hear the splash. He was in full view of the chicken wing restaurant's customers and staff.
The woman at the chicken wing counter was shocked. "Is that guy...?"
"Yup. He is," I told her.
On my way back to Safeway at the other end of the building, I saw the guy sprawled on a bench. "Dude, there's such a thing as a restroom," I wanted to tell him, but again I chickened out. I reluctantly reported him to the manager of Safeway, and both he and the chicken people called the cops. The guy's been warned before. Yes, he's got a tough life, and yes, it's unfortunate that the homeless aren't exactly welcome at most local businesses. I hope he gets counseling, a place to stay, and whatever else he needs, including a job if possible. Still, don't you think the management of both the wings place and Safeway would rather have him use their rest room than not use their rest room?
2. In the latest round of the Barbara Bauer Wikipedia controversy I mentioned last night, the guy who took out the text that I restored last night removed it again. He later deleted my well-reasoned comment about why the text should stand from the entry's discussion page, following it up with a request for people to stop deleting things from the discussion page (which you're not supposed to do). I pointed out that nobody but him deleted anything, and restored my comment. Someone else did the same. Then he accused the other person of "threatening" JC-Hosting, a charge I researched and found to be utterly baseless. Gee, this stuff never stops, does it?
Other than that, the main thing I did today was work on the Route 66 episode guide, compiling the Season Two table. Then the other main recent contributor posted a slightly better version than the one I hadn't finished yet. Good. Let that person do the other two chapters. I've got to sleep!
The Jace Letters installment is going to have to be Monday evening. Sorry.