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Friday, April 10, 2009

45: Good Friday, isn't it?

Well crocker stalkers, we are very very close to the E-day here, which I must admit I'm looking forward to as this week's posts seem to have fallen off the fun-wagon somehow. I realized today that using my brain at work may actually distract me from using my brain not at work! I suppose it also keeps me from being entirely rusty - the doing things involving thought and words, but it also makes it less appealing to come home and produce anything fantastic by way of brain to hand to computer interaction if that's what I've been doing during the day. Even there I'm too lazy to add the dashes that probably should go between those words! But thank all powers in the universe that I have a job, many times over. Please do not think I'm complaining about that, just noticing that this week's entries seem to be running out of steam at the very point that they should all be accelerating into one last great creative effort before Easter happens!

Instead of thinking of wonderful ideas to share, I just watched the season finale of Friday Night Lights and am in the midst of emotional overload! But even though my brain may not be thinking of wonderful ideas to share that are new and original, I can still be heartened by being that emotionally affected by someone else's wonderful ideas shared on screen and the acting that conveyed those ideas. I guess that's why I am a t.v. lover, because it gets me, often times more than movies - certainly more often than the crappy ones.

Again, the show is so good that I cannot believe that these families aren't in Dillon, Texas right now. I also kind of want to go to Texas immediately.

Aside from absurd humidity and a whole lotta guns, Texas does have a fantasy appeal to me. I like cowboys and steak and boots and beer. And outlaw country music! I'm sure there'd be plenty to not like - aforementioned humidity, cockroaches, dust - but Texas is not a dirty word to me as I feel it is to many. Texas pride does not make me angry, as it does to others who cannot stand Texas thinking itself better than the rest of the states. Maybe it's a Pittsburgher's sympathy for the necessity of defending one's homeland as superior to the last swig of beer in the bottle an the last adjective available in the positive word section of the thesaurus, no matter how valid the claim, but I don't mind a bit of Texas swagger. The University of Texas marching band wears burnt orange fringed cowboy outfits, for goodness sake. That's a whole different kind of swagger, and I respect it.

A Texas-sized shout out to one of the fantastic early influences on my love of a story well-told - Aunt Jeanne, the Texas relative.

My grandmother's cousin grew up in Pittsburgh, but married a man who was destined to go search for oil in Texas and find it. I remember that it really was not until adulthood that I figured out she was not from Texas for all time. Because to me, and to my life experience, she was from Texas for all time, and always would be.

When we were young, Aunt Jeanne would record stories about monsters on tape and send them to us. I remember the fruit monster very vividly. It was a story about a monster who wanted to eat all the fruit around and not share it with anyone. Aunt Jeanne would embellish with dramatic elements like voice changes and suspense-building pauses, and she really knew how to build a story until we could not take it any more and simply HAD to know what happened to the characters. How did those children escape the fruit monster? How did that situation get resolved? Could the fruit monster find redemption if he learned to share?

These are the questions that kept us enraptured as we listened to her voice through the tape player. I loved those stories. And the monsters.
The monsters, even though they ate things like fruit, not children, were still sources of worry until the very end, when usually the kids figured out a way to deal with the monsters in question. Again, story was key - Aunt Jeanne kept us on the edge of our seats until the very end, and that was what made the stories such good stories.

Hopefully, I picked up some tips from Aunt Jeanne's Texas tapes. At least a healthy love of fruit, that's for sure. But even if I did not inherit the ability to craft ideal story arc, I definitely gained an appreciation of an arc done right.
Which is part of why Friday Night Lights is a story I like to follow.

Soon we have to figure out the end of this story - the fish tale of fishcrockpot! What to do without the onus of Lent hanging out there in the cosmos? Luckily, the onus is, much like the eyes of Texas, upon us for a while longer.


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