Friday, January 11, 2008

If Life Were a Drama

Dramatis Personae
Matt: First appears on-stage as the grudging IT of anyone who can claim relation or acquaintance of any sort. He's got a ready, slightly crooked smile, older-brotherly advice, and offers companionship when it is most needed. He's also just a little too smart for his own good --"Does anyone want to play chess with me?"

Jeremy: Once the child who "only like[d] cheese on Mondays," not much has been lost with ascent to adulthood. His latest harebrained schemes include evading campsite fees by pitching a tent on an 11-foot inflatable raft (how about that sleepwalking?), and planned decimation of the nearby carp population, thereby reaping a triple profit (financially, environmentally and angling-ally.)

Curt, Jen & Phillip: The "tenants" of the house who are soon revealed to be much more. They're a ready support group for distressed students, advisors in all areas of life (the essentials, the practicals, and the frivolous), and always ready for a culinary adventure or late-night talk. Phillip is quite obviously the live-in comedian: his impersonations & suggestions ("can we put socks on the fishy?") and even his speech (how does a seminarian's son say "truck"?) will bring laughter no matter how down you can be.

Steve, Laurie & Co.: the family who's distant geographically, but close in every other way. Laurie's quick wit, rapid thinking and unending activity leaves the watcher with the urge to rewind and replay her in slow-motion. Steve and she possess a whole family of little gremlins/comedians (the pictures I could post! :)

Jonathan: Of course you've heard of the superhero "Margarine Man"? That's him. He's also Jalopy Jon, the Jungle Jop who devours live and flipping fish. He's the energizer bunny who zigzags the road others struggle to finish, and the foreign correspondent who's epistles are much appreciated (hint hint!)

Mother: Well, she's just that: motherly. Still preparing tea for breakfast, brown-bag" lunches and made-from-scratch suppers, still scolding about messy rooms and socks left inside-out, the way she pampers these kids one wonders if her children ever really grew up?

Dad: A former third-grade teacher with an affinity for third-grade humour and hinkpinks". Also an avid naturalist with an encyclopedic knowledge of birds, trees, and the "smaller" wonders of the universe. He's got an open ear, a wonderfully absorbant shoulder, and an overflowing fountain of wisdom.

So there you have it: the people God's put in my life. The more I get to know them, the stranger they get... and the stranger they get, the more I want to know them :)
Love you lots!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Public Safety Announcement: Mango Poisoning

Well who could have guessed that something so lush and sweet, the very essence of "tropical beauty" itself could leave in its wake an dermatological disaster? Chrissy, Abby and I certainly didn't as we slurped it in our delicious smoothies... nor did I the next few days as I had a daily mango, even though small and menacing bumps began to appear around my lips. However, when Sunday brought hampered speech and the complete inability to smile, it was apparent that something was up. I did a little research, the findings weren't terribly encouraging...

So here are the facts for you. Mangos are in the same family as poison sumacs, poison oak and poison ivy. Apparently it's the mango skin that causes reaction, so wash your hands after preparing it, and don't eat it!

Still, I'm thankful for frank friends and relatives who don't bother to soften the truth with tact "Have you gotten a lip job? Botox or collagen?" but cast it all in a humorous light "Circus makeup? You missed the upper half of your face!"