Time Vampires Blow!

I know it appears I have been neglecting my blog-y duties, but I would like to make it clear to everyone that it is not my fault I have missed two out of my last three posts. I really did try to write a post for Friday. In fact, I did write a post for Friday, it’s just I kept falling asleep while writing it. The third time I woke up in front of my computer and realized it was 3am, I decided no one was going to be up to read it anyway. I intended to get it posted early the next morning, but then there was cooking that needed done and…

Sunday, Downton Abbey kicked me in the shins. Hard. And I still posted. Sorta.

Tuesday, oh Tuesday. I know bad weather has been a time vampire before. I’m fairly sure tornado warnings have even made an appearance. What I don’t think we’ve talked about before is tornado warnings in fucking January! I was running late on writing my post, for various reasons, but I was just about to pour myself a glass of wine and sit down to write it when my phone starts making a godawful noise. My roommate came down to see what was going on and I checked it. It was a fucking tornado warning. I knew we were under a watch from the front coming through, but a warning is a different thing.

Now we know I have an underdeveloped self-preservation instinct. I’m not going to lie, my planned course of action was to bring my laptop downstairs, pour my wine, and write my post (way safer than doing it from my bed upstairs). But when I noticed roommate getting out the cat carriers I realized she had other plans. To my credit, I followed her lead seamlessly enough I think she didn’t notice I was not planning to run from the tornado.

We got the cats in the carriers, threw on some shoes, and went to the basement of the building next door. Said basement is composed of two rooms—the laundry room and the room full of storage lockers. Roommate decided that the latter was safer, so we trudged in there. There we discovered some neighbors we have never met and their kitty. Four humans, three cats, one narrow little passage. Nothing but a hard linoleum floor to sit on. And nothing to do but sit. And wait. Awkwardly. For the next hour. One hour of thinking, “Why didn’t I grab a sweater? Why was tonight the night I washed my hair? Uh oh… I think you can see my nips through my pajama top… Forget the sweater, why didn’t I grab the wine bottle?” And there we sat till 2am. Ugh.

So no, after all that I didn’t write a blog post. Truth be told I chugged my wine and went to bed.

Coffee with… Mary Todd Lincoln

Would we drink coffee with Mary Todd Lincoln?

Kristy: Yeah.  I’ll confess it’s out of sick curiosity as much as anything.  Mary Todd has a reputation for being less than sane and I’m curious to see if it’s deserved.  There’s way too much evidence for me to believe it’s all made up, but you have to wonder if it’s been exaggerated.  To be fair, the woman had every reason to be insane–she outlived three of her four sons and watched her husband get shot in the head and then take all night to die.  That would do a number on a person.  I’ve also been reading a lot on the plight of mothers in the Western states (Western being everything to the left of the Ohio River) and it would be cool to collect a first hand account from her.  On the other hand, I’m going to make sure I arrange for someone to call me with a very important fake phone call half an hour in, in case she’s not a fun kind of crazy and I need to get out of there.

Cammy: How about I volunteer to make that call?  While I would like to know if she was AS nutty as history claims, I’m not interested enough to risk having to deal gracefully with that nuttiness (because you know there’s definitely some). I’d feel awful because I really do pity the woman for the series of tragedies she had, but I’m not well equipped to deal with craziness, even when it’s understandable.   And since Kristy’s willing to be the sacrificial lamb on this and get the information, I can be content to sit over in the bar with my cell phone.  And hey, Kristy, while you’re prying into how far she’d really gone ‘round the twist, try this angle:  was she having serious hormonal imbalances?  I only ask because I’ve seen what rampant hormonal imbalances can do to women in my family–it’s one small step away from calling a Catholic priest and breaking out the Holy Water.

Kristy: Hormones are a definite possibility.  She also suffered at least one significant head injury.  It’s also possible her insanity was exaggerated by her son (who received control of her finances after having her committed).  I would also like everyone to note Cammy’s self-preservation instinct kicking in again.  This time she’s just feeding me to a crazy person though, not a zombie.

Still Not a Midwesterner

Let me just say now, for any MTV, MPB readers out there who may not fully appreciate this, that whenever Cammy reads this she will be intermittently rolling her eyes at me and yelling cross country at me for my stupidity and lack of self-preservation instinct.  And when Cammy gets mad her Texas twang gets stronger, so let that amusing image warm your heart.

As previously mentioned, I’m a military brat.  I grew up a little bit of everywhere, but mostly on the east coast.  A childhood in Florida gave me a more than healthy fear of alligators and crocodiles (I know there’s a difference, but if one is close enough to me for me to care, I’m not taking the time to analyze snout shape).  I have a healthy respect for hurricanes.  But tornados?  Not really part of my world.

Yes, they happened every once in a while.  Yes, I know that they’re devastating.  No, I would never be one of those idiots on the weather channel deliberately parking my car in the path of one.  But mostly we made fun of my father (who grew up in West Texas) for going out on the porch during storms and watching the sky.  Somewhere between becoming a mother and evacuating a roller coaster in a thunderstorm my sister became afraid of tornados.  When I told her I was considering a university in Missouri she looked at me in shock and said, “But it’s in tornado alley.”  In her mind, that should have absolutely ruled out going to school there.  This has naturally resulted in my mocking my sister a bit.

I moved to southern Indiana instead of Missouri.  My current town of residence sits at the bottom or a bowl so we rarely get tornados.  Or so the old timers tell me.  And so I tell my mom.  Who bugs me constantly about buying a weather alarm.  My stance is, I live in a second floor apartment, what the heck am I going to do even if I know there’s a tornado?  (Yes, yes, Cammy, I know, hug the toilet).

If you needed further evidence about my lack of healthy fear of tornados:  I saw my first funnel cloud this summer.  I was driving home from Indianapolis when I got hit with a nasty thunderstorm.  Suddenly, I looked across a field and way over there was a funnel cloud.  It wasn’t on the ground and it wasn’t moving towards me.  Still, my reaction?  Nearly crash my car going, “Dude!  How cool is that?  It’s a funnel cloud!”  Whereas I’m reasonably sure most of my new Midwestern friends would have gone, “Oh shit!  Oh shit!  Oh shit!”

This morning I thought, “Oh shit!”  Right after discovering I was under a tornado warning.  But it wasn’t because I was afraid of dying.  It was because I was about to catch the bus because I wanted to get to campus early to finish my Middle English reading assignment.  (Margery Kempe’s autobiography.  Summary:  She talks to God.  She cries.  People are mean to her.  She cries.  She talks to God.)  I’m having a crazy semester and there is no room in my day planner for a tornado warning.  It’s not like they cancel classes for this crap, so there’s no benefit to this.  Just an annoyance.

So what it meant in the long run was I caught the 10:15 bus instead of the 9:55 bus.  (I got the all clear text message as I was locking my door).  I faked my way through the end of Margery Kempe.  And I realized that I may never be a good Midwesterner.

Coffee With…Santa Anna

Cammy: Would I have coffee with the man who led the attack on the Alamo?  The quintessential “bad-guy” in Texas history?  Oh, hell yeah, I would!  I’ve wondered for years exactly what tenor his brand of insanity took.  Clearly he was a megalomaniac, but was he just plain crazy to boot? How would he attempt to justify his back and forth, in and out, this-side then that-side behavior in so many events in Mexican history?  There was so much more to this guy than his role as the adversary in the Texas revolution, and I’d give my eye teeth to try and get him to give up more information.  Granted, I’d take it all with a large amount of salt.  I’ve no doubt the man would be a master at bullshitting to impress.  I’m sure he’d be more than happy to talk about himself, but I’m not going to bank on any of it being true.
Kristy: Um… I think I’m gonna go with no.  I’m tempted for all the reasons Cammy mentioned above.  From an historical perspective it would be beyond fascinating and probably help clear things up.  But I just don’t know that I can do it.  Not so much for the whole leading a couple massacres angle–I already agreed to have coffee with Henry VIII and Elizabeth I about whom the same could more or less be said.  I’m afraid of the legendary temper.  Granted, based on his political success, the man had to be able to turn on the charm when needed.  It’s just to hard to know which personality would show up for coffee.  I’m going to break with my normal character and take the safer option.  But I’m totally going to try to get video or audio of Cammy’s coffee with him.

Cammy: Hey!  When did you steal my self-preservation instinct?!?

Coffee with… Thomas Jefferson

Cammy: Would I have coffee with Thomas Jefferson? Is the Pope Catholic? Hell, yes. Intellectual property law might seem new and cutting edge, but my fellow W&M alum, TJ, had a deeper and better understanding of the topic than most people do now. Seriously, how could I not want to sit down and hash out intellectual property and the general state of government today over a cuppa Joe with the first Patent Examiner in the US, the author of the Declaration of Independence and the dude on the nickel? I’ll admit, I think I’d be just a bit intimidated by his intellect to begin with, but the guy used to break it down on a fiddle at Chowning’s Tavern, so he’s got to be at least somewhat approachable, right?

Kristy: Most definitely. Say what you will about him, that man could turn an eloquent phrase. And was miles ahead of his time on issues like religious freedom and education. But only if Cammy’s there with me. No, I’m not scared off by the less savory aspects of Mr. Jefferson’s reputation. But they say TJ was “that guy” who isn’t much of a public speaker, but if he corners you at a party won’t shut up. I’m afraid coffee with him would take hours and hours, and while I’d love to spend time with TJ, I have things to do. Actually… second thought. I’m not bringing Cammy. Cammy has an over developed sense of self-preservation and the second the conversation gets tedious she’ll excuse herself to go to the bathroom and never return. Yeah, I know your ways, Cammy.