Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On Music Collecting

Today I'll be talking a little about music collecting, one of my favorite things to do for fun.....

If you don't follow a majority of the current trend of music like myself, I'm sure you'll find yourself looking around for older (and much better) stuff at the used music CD stores.

Unfortunately one of the best chains for new and used music closed down over the past few years, and one time, a friend and I were lucky enough to walk into one of their "closeout for good" sales, in which most of their merchandise including CD's were 80% or more off. For a little over 20 bucks each, we walked out like bandits. Prior to then, they had great sales on used discs and older slimline CD singles, such as 3 for $5.

Another good place to find used music at a steal is Half Price Books, and I know several people who shops there for music. Although their more recent used CD's are priced between $5-10, many of the local HPB locations have awesome clearance sections, priced at .50 cents to $3 each. Some of the stores just price them all at $1. And at each location, you're sure to find that damned used copy of the second Wilson Phillips album nobody wanted (Shadows And Light from 1992) in the clearance section. I would say close to half of my CD collection came from HPB, with all the good stuff I've found there for virtually a buck each, old and recent. And yes, I bought that not-as-good-as-the-first-one Wilson Phillips album LOL

Being a music collector, you'll find out in many cases the entire catalog of the artist or group is no longer in print, and sometimes you'll be paying outrageous prices for them on eBay, Amazon, etc. Again, used CD stores and places like Half Price Books comes in handy, because I can't tell you how many out-of-print CD's I've found at regular used CD price, and avoided paying $40 and up for it online. I generally keep a list of what to look out for, that way I can save $, plus 9 times out of 10, I soon find whatever CD I was looking for used at one of these local places. When push comes to shove, I've been lucky enough to find a copy of the hard-to-find disc's at reasonable prices, although still paying a pretty penny more than the original retail price.

Some dance music geeks collects the remix maxi CD singles, also known as EP's. Usually they feature remixes of the single, and in some cases, exclusive live tracks, or unreleased songs. Half Price Books usually has several of these, and I've stocked up on some of the best older singles, and have uncovered some really good remix versions of those classics.

An interesting note about CD singles, is sometimes you'll find a different version of a standard jewel case CD single, with the same artwork as the commercial version, but with a different (and usually better) track listing. I assume these unusual releases are promotional-only, and are rare finds that you'll only find among used CD's. Some of the promo singles I've found only have 1 track, and some only have artwork on the back of the jewel case (track information), with no cover artwork as the way it was distributed.

I have to say that the import versions of singles are some of my favorites, that I've gotten my hands on thus far. Japan and Germany especially catered to the dance music enthusiast needs at the time techno was the "in" thing. A great place I personally enjoy shopping at is Total Recall, located in Germany. Their prices are reasonable, but the shipping will kill ya when you order several items. It's still worth it, though. Check out Total Recall's website, and be sure to click the English version, and convert the $ to USD (the default is German and priced in EUR).

And luckily, I have some great friends across the country, and sometimes I'll get a surprise in the mail, such as an out-of-print 1990 CD Miss Mary Brewster found for my last birthday, that generally would have cost around $30. If I remember correct, he paid less than a couple dollars for it at his local used music store.

More on music collecting for another day!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Recipe: Collard Greens

Here's my recipe for collard greens......

3 large or 4 medium-small sized bunches collard greens
5 cans chicken broth
1 small package of salt pork (ham hocks are ok)
1 small jar minced garlic
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes

* Bring 4 cans of chicken broth, the salt pork and your desired amount of minced garlic (I use 2-3 tablespoons) to a boil in a large pot, and then simmer on low for 1 hour, covered.

* Chop 1 bunch of greens at a time (discard the end stalks), and add to broth (stir in and wait for greens to wilt a little before adding the next bunch). Use additional broth to submerge greens. Bring to boil.

* Reduce greens to low heat, covered for 1 hour.

* Bring to a boil again, and add red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer again on low heat for another hour, covered.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Falwell Blast From The Past (GLB May 2007)




















Three hilarious blasts from the past.....

Part I: Falwell's Dead:

As you've probably heard by now, Jerry Falwell has kicked the bucket.

React to it how you will.

I'm THRILLED!

It's hard for me to gather sympathy for a person who's profited off demonizing homosexuals. He's responsible for deaths, job firings, gay bashings, ruining family relationships with gay family members, bigotry, and much more.

And I'm surprised Fred Phelps and his klan at Westboro hasn't jumped on this news yet. You'd think they'd be throwing a holy ghost mardi gras over there in Topeka right about now. Maybe they're too busy dancing and speaking in tongues to type anything at the moment. But you can bet they'll be hauling ass to his funeral, picket signs and all.

PART II: Falwell's Message From Beyond The Grave:

To: gayleftborg2@yahoo.com
From: satan69@hell.net
Subject: FW: Falwell's Message From Hell

Hey Scott,

Thought I'd share this email I received from that fool Jerry Falwell this morning. Pass it on!

S.
"Prince Of Darkness"

--------------------------------------------------

Dear World,

It's been a few hours since I've arrived in hell, after quickly being rejected from entering the pearly gates.

How can I describe the place?

Well, for starters, the only thing that plays on TV is back-to-back episodes of The Wonder Years, Full House, and that lip-synching show Puttin' On The Hits, from the 80's. Occasionally, we'll get a treat episode of Sister, Sister or Moesha. So be sure to tell Beverly LaHaye to get her fill of Desperate Housewives while she's still alive, because she won't be drooling over Jesse Metcalfe's bare ass when she gets down here.

None of my favorite foods are on the menu in hell. There's no triple-batter-dipped deep fried onion rings, no deep-fried Coca-Cola, no all-you-can-eat pizza buffets, no booze, nothing. Just brussells sprouts. Please warn Bill Donahue to upgrade from a fork to a shovel, and get it while the getting's good before he dies.

In the "ex-gay" wing of hell, there is only heterosexual porn available. In other words, Alan Chambers, Peter "Porno Pete" LaBarbera, Randy Thomas and Matt Sanchez will go berzerk once they get here.

Gay republicans are automatically sent to have their mouths sewn shut upon arriving in hell: for one, nobody wants to hear them to begin with; and two, to keep them from sucking dick, since they hate gay sex so much. The Log Cabin Republicans are the pariahs of hell, and are subject to the beatings they encouraged onto non-republican gays while they were alive.

Hell is an awful place for the likes of myself, but I'm not all alone, and that's good. Jim West of Spokane is my new boyfriend, but Satan won't allow us to get married! That's discrimination!

There's so much more to tell, and so much free time ahead in hell. I'll be keeping in touch with everyone!

Jerry Falwell
tinkywinkyluv@hell.net

Part III: "Farewell Falwell" Party, Anyone?

Is anyone planning on having a party this weekend, to celebrate Falwell's journey to hell?

If the weather is nice, why not fire up the barbecue and have the friends over for a "No More Falwell" party.

In remembrance of that sorry sack of shit Jerry Fallwell, why not play some fun games to ring in the rest of life as you know it without that fat hog!

Here's some ideas that'll keep the laughs going.....

PHOTO BURNING:
A classic protest game: tear and burn photo's of Jerry Falwell. Simple enough.

FRIED FOODS EATING CONTEST:
Always a favorite of Falwell's. Deep-fry everything in sight, and the person who eats the most greased-up food without vomiting wins a free bible. You may have to get yourself a new Frydaddy after this contest though, as it'll get quite the workout.

STOP INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE:
Contestants must strap on 800 pounds of sand bags (to simulate Falwell's size), dress up in their Sunday finest, and line up in front of the house in which the party is going on. When the whistle blows, contestants must run as fast as they can, bible in hand, to the nearest courthouse, screaming "GOD HATES NEGROES!", "STOP INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE!", "SEGREGATE BLACKS!", "BI-RACIAL BABIES ARE HELLSPAWN!", "NO MIXING SALT AND PEPPER!", and other quotes from Falwell's early days (which his goons tried to sweep under the rug in recent years). Extra points are awarded to those who are genuinely panting, losing their breath, and sputtering - just like Falwell after walking just a few feet across the room when he was alive. The first one to make it to the courthouse (or the last one to pass out on the way there) wins.

HOMOSEXUAL EXPERTS:
A heartwarming "christian" favorite that brings the family together (and proves who's REALLY straight and who's not). Split everyone into two teams, and begin shouting compassionate "christian" knowledge about gays back and forth, such as "Gays are going to hell!", "Homosexuals must be executed, by the glory of God!", "All gays do crystal meth!", or simply name off any weird and obscure sex act that only Peter LaBarbera researches and informs everyone that gays allegedly do. If you run out of things to say about homosexuals, just start making shit up. "Christians" do! The team who can think up of the most vile things to say about gays are totally heterosexual (right).

Sounds like good fun to me!

So get on the phone and make some arrangements for this weekend! Have fun!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Driving Miss Mollie















Last week, I was asked to drop Mollie (Great Pyrenees) off at the vet when they opened, as she was scheduled to be there all day for a grooming, and the works.

The neighbors left their Four Runner in the garage for me to transport her slobbering self, and I had no idea how difficult it was to get her in the back seat.

First I tried setting a "baby cookie" in the back seat. She attempted to jump, and just stood there with her front paws on the floorboard. I looked around for something suitable to use as a makeshift ramp, but couldn't find anything. She then started avoiding the truck.

We were running late, so I had no other choice but to set her front paws on the back seat, and fucking hoist her 160 pounds of mostly dead weight up there.

I also picked her up from the vet that night, and she was ready to go. She tried diving into the back seat once again, but didn't quite make it - so again I had to hoist that big bear skin rug into the seat!

They done a really good job though. The above is a "before" picture, and will soon post something new.

Monday, November 5, 2007

How To Deal With Men Part III

This is too fun - on with the third volume......

HOW TO DEAL WITH MEN, PART III

* THE TALL-TALE QUEEN *

Thank God for internet in this day and age; one of the safest ways to get to know men before you decide whether or not you actually want to go through meeting them in person.

But some of them are just too ridiculous not to turn down. You know, when they're so full of shit, you just have to meet them in person to see what they're really all about. I can't help myself!

One case in particular was this guy in his early 20's, who first claimed he owned a hotel chain. Unless his last name was "Hilton", I had my doubts. And then he owned a horse farm. And then he owned some then-current fancy new car. And then he owned a bakery, and he was the head chef. With each conversation, the guy piled on his "have's" just like Sally Struthers piles her plate at Thanksgiving.

Finally we met one weekend day, and I was proven right when he pulled up in some boat, some 1970's luxury car - probably older than me! He then tried to explain the car belonged to "one of his cooks". Yeah.

The obvious look of shock and disbelief on my face cut our conversation short, and I never heard from him again - until a year or so later, when some friends and I ran into him at a club. Of course he continued to pile on whatever new things he owned, and I had to leave.

Now don't get me wrong - I'm no materialistic person. He could have pulled up in some battered pickup truck in the first place, and I would have had no problems with it. As long as he didn't make up some tall-tale that he was going to be pulling up in a Porsche! If he's going to lie about the obvious things that I'm eventually going to find out, why should I believe anything from him that concerns a relationship?

Guys, come on. Unless you're trying to get your hands on some trifeling gold digger, why make up a bunch of bullshit to impress somebody?

* THE PSYCHO *

Out of all my dating experiences, this one probably takes the kooky cake.

I was asked out by this guy in his mid 30's, and we agreed to meet at a bar for karaoke night. I'm not a fan of karaoke in the first place, nor am I a fan of going to bars, period. We went, we had a fun time, and we sobered up at the local Denny's - the after-hours gay club hangout everywhere in the USA. After that, a hug in the parking lot, and we went our separate ways.

He called the next night, and asked if I wanted to go out again. Although I didn't want to, I did anyway. Same routine as the first night.

The third night, yet another call from him. He wanted me to meet him at the same place again, and I frankly told him I didn't feel like driving 30-45 minutes to get sloshed and listen to horrible singers for a third night in a row. He seemed disappointed, but accepted my decision.

Less than an hour later, he called again, and once again asked me to come out to see him at the bar. I told him "no". He continued to bug me, and I told him "no" every time.

Not long after that, another call. This time he was completely hostile, and fucking DEMANDED that I get in my truck, and be there by a certain time, giving me about 15 minutes to arrive; nowhere near the normal driving time to get to this place.

OK, VERRRRY important rule - I take requests, but NEVER command me to do something, like I'm your little kid. That doesn't go over too well with me.

Again, I told him "no".

He called back again, yelling into the phone. I hanged up.

He called again, to apologize. I told him I still wasn't going to the bar.

He called several more times over the next few minutes (none of which I answered), to the point that I had to pull the phone cord out of the wall. There's no telling how many messages he left in those few minutes; I didn't bother listening to them. Just "delete", "delete", "delete", "delete", "delete".

Surprisingly, that was the last I heard from him.

As much ranting as I'm doing, I'm sure several people who will read this can relate to these situations. Dating is one of the bumpiest roads in life, but it's fun, and can be fucking hilarious. Does it scare me off? Hell no! I love men too much to give up! It's just much better when you finally meet the rare guy who's laid-back and less, how do you say, FUCKED?!?!?!?

How To Deal With Men Part I

How To Deal With Men, Continued

How To Deal With Men, continued

Actually I had written a "Part II" on the old blog, on abusive boyfriends/husbands, but I've seemed to have lost it. Oh well - I'll repost if I ever run across it.

HOW TO DEAL WITH MEN, CONTINUED.....

After writing about my little experience from this past week, it got me thinking of all the other retards I've dealt with in my 10 years of dating and getting to know men. Unfortunately, many are best avoided (if like myself, you prefer drama-free relationships). What "OTHER" types of men are out there which I can discuss today.....

* "THE EX-OBSESSED GUY" *

When getting to know a guy, it's always good to hear about his previous relationships, and get to know what he's about, and where he's been.

One of the most frequent issues with men is they seem to be obsessed over an "ex", usually his last relationship. If the guy was burned, it's perfectly fine for him to get it off his chest and discuss it.

The problem begins when he seems to be more interested in his "ex" than he's interested in you. I've been on at least one date where all he talked about was his "ex". He loves the "ex", he hates the "ex". Oh, we can't go to this place, because it reminds him of his "ex". Oh, we can't listen to that song, because it reminds him of his "ex". Don't do this, don't do that, because it reminds him of his "ex". It can sometimes seem like his "ex" is on every corner - in the real world AND in his mind. In most cases, you'll frequently be compared to his "ex", to your face.

Just.....NO!!!!! Until this dumbass can get over his "ex", he has no business going out with you, or anyone else. Nothing is more inconsiderate than some guy casting you into his "ex's" shadow, of which there's really no competition. In 99 out of 100 cases, you'll lose. If the guy is actively pursuing the "ex" while dating you, it's time to send the guy home for good. Please don't waste your time!

* "THE BITCHY FRIEND" *

When you're dating a guy, at some point, you're going to meet his friends. And that's a good thing, because if you're planning on being around this guy often, you're going to have to deal with these guys too.

I had already been dating this police officer who recently got out of an abusive relationship (and the hilarious thing was HE was the abused!) for a couple months already, when he introduced me to his friends; and we all went out to dinner and an amusement park that night.

As much as I tried to have a good time with everyone, there was one little problem that kept nagging at me the whole time - a friend of his, who looked like that nelly queen from Queer As Folk (Emmett?). That skinny little bitch was staring daggers at me from the moment we met, until the end of the night. Everyone else seemed to like me though - it was just this one queen who had issues, and quite frankly, seemed hellbent on ruining everyone's fun time.

Surprisingly, I have good manners and I'm well behaved in person, at least around people I DON'T know (different story when we become close friends LOL). I didn't give this queen one reason to dislike me, but for some reason, it was obvious he didn't like me. I thought he had a wicked sense of humor, and of course I immediately liked HIM! I assumed it had something to do with him keeping an eye out for his formerly-abused friend - which shouldn't be a problem, because I'd never raise my fist or voice to anyone who doesn't do it to me first!

Our last stop of the night was this queen's house, and I had it all figured out by then: he was a bitchy, single, unhappy, prissy queen who isn't happy unless he's controlling his friends relationships, to his own liking. If the bitch has his mind set that he doesn't like you, then he's never going to like you. You can do backflips, or whatever for him, and still it's not good enough to win brownie points with this queen.

You'll be spending your time trying to please THIS bitch, when you should be spending your time on the guy you're dating. With some of these lonely queens, it's almost like you're dating them, and not the guy who you're supposed to be with.

For me, that's reason enough to kick the guy to the curb. But then again, I try to live life as drama-free as possible; and if your potential man has a good friend who will never accept you for whatever lame reason, then you need to send the guy back to his mom, I mean, his bitchy friend. If the guy won't step in, and tell his friend to back off, consider him a big-time loser who's not worth the effort. Why waste your time on THAT shit?

The funny thing is several years ago, I had a "bitchy friend" too. The bitter single queen was always on a mission to prove my then-boyfriend was cheating; even going as far as trying to seduce him, to prove he was a cheater! He succeeded in ruining that relationship, which he took great pleasure in. After that, I no longer told him the name, or gave him any info on any guy I was talking to. Of course this made him furious.

And guess what happened to him? Curb.

I'm just getting started.....stay tuned for "Volume 3"

More: "How To Deal With Men (Part I)"

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Gloria Estefan Memoir

Another favorite of mine is a Gloria Estefan memoir, contributed by a Cuban-American friend of mine from Miami. Back then, I was working on a multi-post series which focused on 1 artist/group. Needless to say, after 2 or 3 volumes, I kinda forgot about that project. What can I say, I'm a fickle writer! LOL









"The Miami Sound Machine's original lineup included Gloria, Emilio, Enrique Garcia, Juan Avilia, and Merci Murciano (Gloria's cousin), and helped launched backup singer, Jon Secada's solo career. The group released four Spanish LPs in the early 80s: Renacer, Otra Vez,
Rio, and A Toda M√°quina.

In 1975, at the urging of her mother, Gloria Fajardo (her maiden name) sang some songs at a wedding, which was being entertained by a local party band, The
Miami Latin Boys. The band leader, Emilio Estefan, was so impressed by her smooth alto voice that he hounded her to join his band. She reluctantly agreed, but only to sing on weekends. No longer all boys, the band was rechristened The Miami Sound Machine.

My first encounter with the Miami Sound Machine took place in June of 1976, when the group was hired to play for the junior prom at the middle school where I taught. Locally, most if not all of the teenagers in
Miami knew about the group, and my students were very excited to have the Miami Sound Machine play at their prom. If I remember correctly, the total price for their appearance was about $700.00.

The students danced to many salsa tunes, and they were also engaged in slow, romantic dancing, while listening to Gloria’s beautiful ballads such as “Renacer” and ”Otra Vez”. The evening was truly successful, and the rest of the band’s success is history.

I also felt very good that night. I felt very proud that one of my compatriots was the “main event” that evening. Today, my feelings have not changed."


How To Deal With Men, Part I

As some of my GLB readers may notice, this is another favorite from the old blog. I've been cleaning out some of my old Word documents, and have been running across these old posts, and wanted to re-print a couple. And the following project was one I liked enough, that I'll likely continue the "series" in the future:

I'm going to have some fun today, since I don't talk enough about one thing I (and surely many of my readers) love - MEN!

There's all types of men out there, but which one is right for you? Which types should you avoid, and which types should you stick with? A comical look at a few of them, based on personal experience and stories from friends and their experiences.....

HOW TO DEAL WITH MEN PART 1: "THE GIFT SHOWERER"

There's nothing wrong with doing the old-fashioned thing and showing up on a first date with a single rose or something cutesy like that. I personally think it makes a good first impression, and depending on the guy, could even score points with me!

But the problem starts when EVERY time you see the guy, several days in a week, he has something for you. A stuffed animal one day, a bouquet of balloons the next, and so on. The recipient of all this so-called "love" may possibly start to feel cornered, trapped, and absolutely drowning in love, hearts and gifts. And then they flee.

I'm saying this from experience, on both ends.

When I was first coming out at the age of 20, and being all idealistic about relationships with the first couple of boyfriends, I had done pretty much the exact same thing. Possibly one too many Hallmark cards and other surprise gifts were to blame for them getting overwhelmed and less interested in me. Oh well, live and learn. They were horrible in bed anyway, so no big loss!

A few years later, my past actions came back to haunt me, fucking tenfold! A blind date with a guy a few years older than myself turned into a situation similar to the song "Spiderwebs" by No Doubt.

The first date, got flowers - cute.

The second date, stuffed animal - ok.

Each additional date, something different. Stuff I didn't need, want, or could use (I later ended up donating most of the items, many still new and unopened). Even on that Christmas, I told him not to bring me any gifts, as I told my friends not to bring anything but themselves. And what did he do? He brought 5 gifts!

It was an overwhelming experience, and I had to break it off before it got any crazier. No matter how much I told him to stop bringing little gifts, he would continue anyway.

As if I didn't see it coming, the breakup was followed with him casting guilt at me, and whining "now I'm going to grow old, decrepit and single" (until, of course, somebody else after me comes along). The guy was only in his early 30's, get a fucking grip!

And the funny thing is we were only just casually dating, and nothing more. Nothing romantic, no sex, nothing that would make us seem like a couple. You would think a man would stop giving you things if he wasn't getting any in the bedroom! Not this guy.

The gift showerer types generally means well, but in many cases, their nonstop giving can be a sign of infatuation (especially if the guy is young, or newly "out", no matter his age). If you enjoy nonstop adoration and appreciation, more power to you. It could possibly be a good match in the longrun, once he gets past that nonstop gift-giving bullshit.

Some aren't as nice, thinking everything they give totals up and obligates you to them exclusively, and the two of you are going to be together forever. The sooner you can detect this type of guy, and get him out of your hair, the better. Because the longer it goes on, the more hellacious the breakup will be later on.

So for those of you out there dating and getting to know the mens, beware the gift showerer. Don't confuse this with the guy who surprises you once in a while with something. That's not the problem. The problem is when you receive enough stuff in a week to open a little store.

For those of you prone to being a gift showerer - STOP IT!!!!! If you want to make a good first impression, go for it. But just once! If things are going well after a few weeks, feel free to repeat. But don't you dare bring anything on the 2nd date! Unless it's a bottle of wine for the two of you to share, leave it on the shelf. Sometimes less is more; and the more you give, the quicker you may possibly scare off the object of your affection.

Pentecostal Zombies Trilogy

A favorite of mine that I wanted to reprint is the "Pentecostal Zombies" trilogy; three short true stories of my dealing with pentecostal folks over the years:

PART I: "Pentecostal Zombies"

We all make mistakes, and one of mine was attending a private "christian/southern baptist" affiliated college upon high school graduation. It wasn't all bad, but the loons I encountered there will provide some nice story material in the future.

Although the school was supposed to be "baptist", the biggest religious influence in town (I later found out AFTER becoming a student) was "pentecostal". And with a fair percent of students being local commuters and pentecostal, you were sure to see lots of new students being sucked into that hogwash.

Even the manager/franchise owner at the part-time job I got in town was a pentecostal - and she was converting employees, one person at a time. One week, an assistant manager was a pretty cool person and had somewhat of a filthy mouth. The next week, she was speaking in tongues and loosely quoting the bible. Another assistant manager got transformed as well. The crazy bitch couldn't sink her talons into me, therefore, I was the spawn of Satan. Hiss!

Towards the later part of my second year at the school, I "came out"; first, to my best female friend/first friend I made before we became students (at a high school statewide event), Tanya. Of course she was accepting and nothing changed about our friendship.....

until one night when she returned to campus with Sara, another female friend of ours. They had been on a church visit - with "one of them".

The next day, both girls had dramatically changed everything about themselves. They stopped smoking cold turkey, and drinking, because it "destroyed your temple" they said. They no longer dressed casual - both would be wearing long dresses, and their hair was put up in a "bun" - which by the way, looks ridiculous on any woman. Although they were never particularly hateful towards me personally, they did ramble on with the tired "hate the sin, love the sinner" thing. It was a weird sight for the rest of our group of friends, as if Tanya and Sara had been bitten by a pentecostal zombie or something.

This went on for at least a week or so. "Love the sinner, hate the sin", "sha-la-ba-za-ca-la-ba" and all that other stupid speaking in tongues bullshit.

At one point, I thought the girls were playing a prank or something. It was just too ridiculous to be true.

Then magically, as if some secular fairy flown through the window and sprinkled "get some fucking sense" dust on them overnight, they were back to their old selves again. I welcomed my fag hag back with a cigarette, and we partied all night long.

The end.

PART II: "Pentecostal Zombies Part II"

Almost a year after that fiasco with my friends and their "pentecostal" phase, I had visited my former college town to visit Tanya, who decided to continue at this school.

Once again, she had been bitten by the pentecostal zombies, and this time, it was good old-fashioned congregation acting that reeled her in. She told me an older lady at the pentecostal church she was brought to had approached her and made some psychic prediction that Tanya seemed "lost", and needed to make friends with (their twisted version of) JC.

Tanya invited me to her new church that evening, and since we had got ahold of some pretty good weed, I thought I could use the entertainment. The church was a nice little drive from the main part of the college town, and was located by itself along the highway.

And side note: this time around, my friend remained secular, still partied and everything, although she attended this pentecostal church. Maybe the reasons she enjoyed going was because of what I was about to see with my very own eyes.

As everyone was socializing before service began, I noticed a couple familiar faces - my former manager, and one of the zombified converted assistant managers. A handful of college students and other people I recognized were there as well.

Unlike any church I had ever been to, this place had a rock band up front, complete with drums, bass and guitar, piano, and the whole shabang. In addition to standard hymns, several of the songs were up-tempo rock ditties.

If the music wasn't entertaining enough, the 1-armed preacher bumbled around to the music onstage. Two preteen girls in front of Tanya, her room-mate and I were doing the "butterfly", which was a popular urban dance at the time. So we didn't look conspicuous, our little trio joined in and bounced along with the congregation - like I was going to take a chance on being addressed or called out by that insane loud-ass preacher! It was bad enough we were in the back row, with me certainly looking suspicious and "new".

At some points, it got too weird for me. Some people were crawling up to the front stage and freaking out, some were shouting and shrieking, and a few were making weird retarded movements while they were walk-running through the aisles between pews, and talking jibberish.

After three'ish hours of this, we hads to go. They were still going apeshit to their music as we quickly slinked out the door.

Never.Again.

PART III: "Right Nextdoor To Hell"

I was exposed to pentecostal zombies from day 1, as my original childhood/teen years neighbor in my longtime neighborhood was a kooky pentecostal lady named Marcy. She was always acting like she was medicated, and it wouldn't surprise me if she was. The rest of the family were pretty decent folks, and the son and daughter socialized with the rest of the neighborhood kids.

As I said in the last post, women can be gossipy bitches too, and my own mom got busted for running that gator of hers, when she noticed Marcy's huge weird blue and white "Miracle Whip" brand logo umbrella she was using for sunbathing (her husband was a grocery manager in town, so I assume that's where she got it; free tacky perk, or something like that). Mom poked fun at the umbrella to our neighbor on the other side of Marcy, and of course that no-BS woman repeated to Marcy what she said. Needless to say, she wasn't amused, but I thought it was fucking hilarious.

When I was a teenager, Marcy became creepier with age, and because I was the typical 90's teen into rock music and wearing t-shirts of my favorite groups, the nutty lady branded me a "Satan worshiper", and "a Satanist". She also based this on the fact I had slightly long hair at the time - so I wonder if that makes JC himself a "Satanist" too, because he looked like some long-haired hippie to me!

While my parents were away one weekend night, my younger kid brother and I noticed Marcy outdoors in her above-ground pool, and decided to play a little prank on her, and fuck with her mind. If she thinks I'm a "Satanist", dammit, I'm gonna give her "Satanist".

We opened the windows on that side of the house, played the KISS Destroyer album with the volume turned up real loud, and began flipping the lights on-and-off repeatedly in those rooms while screaming like banshees and ghosts. I can imagine Marcy's eyes probably fell out of their sockets, because she quickly jumped out of the pool, wrapped up in a towel, grabbed her shit, and took off like a thief in the night towards the back door, and slammed it shut.

We had some good times returning the harassing Marcy always gave us as kids. If you deal with fundies bugging you, try it sometime - it's fun!