Monday, June 27, 2005

So I did the 'religion selector' quiz *again*...

...after a couple years of not doing it. My attitudes have changed, and I know I chose different answers, but somehow I still ended up 100% Unitarian Universalist. Not that I mind, don't get me wrong - I wasn't fishing for Southern Baptist - I just wonder whether it's a function of the test or of the religion that I end up with the same results. Knowing nothing about the Unitarians, I can't help but think that this test is an odd mission of theirs to enrapture the masses who spend their time taking internet quizzes for shits & giggles - like it's their version of the door-to-door of the Jehovah's witnesses. Smart people, those Unitarians, if that's what they're up to. Either that, or they're smart for maintaining a religion where you can hold different facets in higher or lower regard and somewhat change your mind and still fall under the umbrella - they let you figure it out. All the Unitarians I've met have been very nice people - and most of them have been in with a yoga-practicing crowd. I almost want to go sometime just to see what they're really like. I'll have to put them on the list of my religious establishments to visit - which currently stands as follows:

1. A Reformed Jewish synagogue, for Natha to go to Hebrew school. I think we have to be members for that, though. Natha could benefit from the belief that you're considered a man in the eyes of God when you turn 13. That would keep him out of some trouble, we'd think.

2. A Ba'hai center, because they've always seemed like they had their stuff together (like the Universalists) and they've managed to get government-offical-looking signs pointing to where their centers are - if they've permeated government to that degree, I feel as though I need to know more about what they're preaching.

3. A snake-handling church, because I love snakes, and I think it would be an interesting time to add to the list of 'things to do before it's too late'.

4. A Holy Roller Revival, because I'd like to see the passion with which things happen. I would have already been to one but I'm a bad liar, and not being part of the congregation they'd see me as a wayward puppy who needed a new master and I'd have a hard time explaining to them that I was just there to enjoy the theatrics.

5. A Christian Science Reading Room, because I'd like to see the display of books available - do they all center around Christian beliefs, Science beliefs, or do they have rousing 'classic fiction' and 'horror' sections? Is the purpose to read and study Christian Science things, or just literacy in general?

I was also thinking about my family the other day, and pondering why I'm not particularly close (i.e.- speaking on a frequent basis) with any of them. I don't mind their company, heck most of them I enjoy quite a bit... so I wonder why it's not in my list of inclinations to spend more time talking to them. Mind you, it's not like I talk to some of my family more than others (excepting my mom, with whom I email about 3x a week and talk to her once a week) because I correspond next-to-never with each of them both individually and as a group. The reason I started thinking about this was that I was thinking about musical influences that I picked up from various members of my family in different ways, realized that I thought of them fondly, then wondered to myself, then why don't I talk to them more. So, until I figure out the reasons behind it, here's my credits (AKA shout-outs) for musical tastes and other vignettes I remember:

My stepdad for my taste for bluegrass and things like Emmylou Harris - he listened to it in the car a lot, and I liked it. I still do. My parents also got me hooked on Manheim Steamroller, also known as the only Christmas music I can stand.

My mom for my taste in all things Country, namely Shania Twain (which played on a loop in my mom's car for at least 3 of my high school years), Randy Travis, and Restless Heart. The last two were favorites of my mom's back when Donna was her best friend, and they'd listen to that and whatever late 80's-early 90's stuff was on the radio.

My dad for my taste for the Doors and Queen - I always felt like Fat Bottom Girls was my dad's reference to my mom, along with the unrelated John Cougar Mellencamp 'Jack & Diane' - I also remember seeing a cassette tape with 'John Fogarty - Centerfield' written on the little white sticker on the side in his black thin-line engineering marker in his everyday block print and wanting to listen to it, but never having a tape player at that exact moment. That tape stayed around for a long time, and I think it was only a couple of year ago that I threw it out. He also used to call my sister and I the Twisted Sisters and make other references to Dee Snyder. If only would I have known to enjoy them more then. He also got me hooked on Monty Python with the Lumberjack song and Mad Magazine with the fold-in graphic on the back cover of the magazine - and I was 11.

My Uncle Andy for my taste for Patsy Cline - I was the least musically inclined child with the most respect for Patsy Cline at the age of 12. I still get mad when I hear someone else's version of one of her songs... she should be the only one allowed to sing them, and other people should just be arrested for blasphemy and put on the rack.

My dad's parents, Grandma & Papa, for my taste for Big Band music - Particularly the Glen Miller Band and their song 'In the Mood'. They had this tape they only played for my sister and I that came with their new Mercury they bought in the mid 80's called 'Sounds of the 80's' or something like that - and my sister and I loved that tape. I've wanted to buy it for her for a long time. It also had Hall & Oates, 'I can't go for that', and Alabama's 'Mountain Music'. The tape had a cover with a light bulb on the front, I remember that.

My mom's mom for Gershwin - I hald always liked Rhapsody in Blue, but when I found out it was my Grandma's favorite song, I liked it even more and it became of of my professed favorites instead of something I liked if asked.

My mom's dad for my taste in steel drums - he likes both hillbilly music (no steel drums, but I like the pickin') and tropical music laden with steel drums being played. I remember listening as we played darts outside. There was a dartboard outside at their house in Martin Downs with a plastic fish mounted on the wall next to it, and I always managed to hit the fish instead of the dartboard. I knocked it off the wall at least 4 times each time I was there, if not more, and put several holes in it... all to the sound of either hillbilly pickin' or steel drum solos. He also *loves* Benny Hill. I remember when I accidentally changed the channel to Comedy Central at their house in the North Carolina mountains and the Man Show was on. Since he controls the remote, my mom, grandma, and myself had to sit there and watch the Man Show - the whole thing - including the girls on trampolines.

Ok, there's a show on Discovery Kids called 'Prehistoric Planet' that is narrarated by Ben Stiller, of all people. That's about as funny as the Thomas the Train episode narrated by Alec Baldwin. Anyone else got any funny unexpected-narrarator stories?


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