Category Archives: The Baboon Congress

Johnny

Today’s post comes to us from Ben.

Pastor Mike married us. And he baptized both kids.

A few years after that he moved back out to the West coast; a place where his soul really belonged.

We’d message on FB occasionally. He was learning to play guitar and I’d ask what he was listening too or what he was learning to play.

Johnny Cash was a common subject for both of us. Johnny’s ‘American’ series of recordings were some of our favorites. Mike would give me a verse from Tennessee Stud or Delia’s Gone and I’d give him the next. It was a neat way to connect with one of my favorite people.

Mike died of a brain tumor this winter.

I’m lighting a production of ‘Ring of Fire’ at the Rochester Civic Theater. It’s a Johnny Cash retrospective. Not much story, just a lot of his music played by 5 different singer/musicians. The other night at rehearsal they practiced Delia’s Gone.

I thought of Mike and how, maybe to no-one but myself, this show was for him.

I left rehearsal and headed for home. Checked some fields along the way. Stopped to check on our neighbor’s house since they are gone on vacation, stopped to close the gates at the end of our driveway and saw a motorcycle coming down the road. And I sort of groan inwardly… dang bikers. Thought I better get the gate shut quick.

As the bike gets closer I see it’s more of a scooter and a couple about my age on it. I say Hello and pull one gate shut. They pull up a little closer and call my name. And when they take the helmets off, it’s John and Mary.

Pastor John who was associate pastor with Pastor Mike.

I’m pretty sure Mike sent them out to see us tonight.

And I thought of this group of Baboons and Serendipity again.

Got a favorite religious person?

 

 

Faux Sacrifice

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown.

A few weeks ago I was laughing out loud at the following exchange on The Trail:

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NorthShorer

March 10, 2018 at 10:49 am

Another funny moment in my “annals of kindness” I often leave a loaf of bread hanging on the door of our next door neighbor when she comes home from teaching music all day. I left a loaf Thursday. I just found a note telling me very tactfully that she has given up bread for Lent. 🙂

PlainJane

March 10, 2018 at 12:41 pm

Guess she doesn’t want your wonderful bread to go to waste.

littlejailbird

March 10, 2018 at 2:28 pm

If I was your neighbor, I would never give up bread for Lent.

Of course, I’ve never given up anything for Lent, but if I did, I would give up something like liver or blue cheese.

PlainJane

March 10, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Tut, tut, ljb, it’s supposed to be a sacrifice.

littlejailbird

March 10, 2018 at 4:25 pm

how did you guess that it wasn’t?

PlainJane

March 11, 2018 at 9:56 am

Just a hunch.

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Although Lent has already come and gone, if you were going to give up something for Lent that was a true sacrifice, what would it be (knowing that it was just for a few weeks)?

What would be your faux sacrifice alternative, like ljb’s liver or blue cheese?

Mission Baboon – Accomplished!

Time to celebrate.

We’ve officially made it over a year on our own and now we’ve covered the cost of the Trail for the next year.  261 posts.  We average 1,085 comments a month with an all-time total of 131,623 comments.  Every week we average between 850 and 1,000 views and a whopping 806,982 total views over the years with 6,276 followers.  Our most active time of day is 9 a.m.  I think the baboons are thriving!

We’re celebrating. What would you like to see at the party?

On Being Funny in Unfunny Places

I will retire in 2021. I set as my goal for the next three years to be as appropriately funny at work as I can.  I love my agency.  We have had a rather rough time over the past couple of years. We are understaffed and stretched to provide mental health and addiction services to an increasing number of people. There are new service initiatives and an  electronic health care  record system that will  start soon. Change is always difficult in government, even when it is positive change.  To complicate matters, in the past two years, five employees have been summarily  escorted off the premises and ordered to not return. This included our top administrator, two senior supervisors, someone from my department, and an administrative assistant.  It has been a little grim. We need cheering up.

I find that pointing out the absurd,  the silly, and the comically sweet  goes  over quite well.  I never tease or get personal. I  find that humor seems to liberate people and makes them bolder.  We need our staff to not be afraid of being leaders in their daily work.  No one seems to be annoyed with me yet. I alternate humor with serious discussion and sound advice.

How do use humor in your daily life? When does humor work the best? When doesn’t it work?

Jurassic Coincidence

Last summer I read a string of books that I didn’t enjoy – all from my self-imposed “lists”. I beat myself up for a bit and then went to the library website and typed in “dragon”.  All kinds of books came up, from all the Ann McCaffrey books to The Black Dragon River (a book on a journey down the Amur River) and then Dragon’s Teeth by Michael Crichton.  I’d never read anything  by Crichton (not sure how I managed that) so I put it on my waitlist.  This was the book that his wife found among his papers and published posthumously.

I just finished it and really enjoyed it. The postscript shed light on which characters were fictional and which were historic.  Charles Marsh and Edward Cope were real people – famous in paleontology for their 19th century rivalry.

Fast forward 24 hours. I just started A Brief History of Almost Everything by Bill Bryson (about the only Bryson I haven’t read yet – but that’s another blog).  As I got to Chapter Three, suddenly he is talking about Marsh and Cope and their rivalry.

I understand in my head that coincidence is just coincidence, but sometimes in my heart I wonder how I can go six decades and never discover something, then within a day or so, run across it again. And we’ve talked about it here before – including pointing out that it is common enough that there is a phrase for this – Baader Meinhof.  We’ve even put this phrase in our Baboon Glossary.

But it still amazes me when it happens.

Any coincidences in your life lately?

Bah…..

This is hard to write, but I’m thinking my troop of baboon friends can help me out.

I am not a Christian, but I love Christmas. I can massage almost every Christmas tradition into something meaningful for my Yuletide/Solstice beliefs.  I love the feeling of hope and redemption that comes with the season.  I love having a tree filled with lights and ornaments, I love making gifts for my friends and loved ones.  I love baking holiday cookies, I love cookie exchanges.  I love getting cards and reading people’s newsletters.  I love holiday movies (although I will admit I like older stuff better than current films) and I love holiday music.

For decades I have listened to my holiday CDs at the office during December. For many years I played them using my computer but these days I have a little teeny radio/CD player.  I tend to the more traditional music; Mommy Kissing Santa Clause and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer aren’t in my collection.

This past week I began to bring in my CDs and (as always) I said to all the folks who sit around me that if the music bothered them to let me know. In fact, just this morning, two of the folks who sit on either side of me chimed in on what to play next.  So it was shocking to me when my boss emailed me in the early afternoon that someone had come to her and complained about the music.

I’m broken hearted. Not because I have to use headphones or ear buds to listen to my music.  I’m broken hearted because someone who sits nears me, someone who has worked besides me for YEARS (we haven’t changed seating arrangements in about 4 years) thought it was better to complain to our boss than to stop by my cube and say “Hey, I’m having a bunch of calls today, can you turn your Christmas stuff down?” or “I’m having a really stressful day and your music is distracting – do you have ear buds?”  It’s completely disheartening to think that anybody who knows me even remotely would be able to imagine me getting pissed off about something like that.

I feel like a balloon that’s been stuck with a sharp pin – deflated and completely spiritless. I know it’s just one person, but I’m having trouble shaking my doldrums.  Nonny is coming next week and I have a serious list but right now I don’t feel like doing anything but sitting here feeling sorry for myself. I’m not even in the mood to go downstairs and make hot chocolate.

How would you cheer up an unwilling Scrooge?