Random Owl

Sarah took a step out the front door last night when she jumped. I stuck my head out, and there is an owl. Sitting on the rail. The rail of the stairs going up to our door. We both crept outside. It remained not even 6 feet from us. It wasn’t going anywhere. Just staring at us. Then we noticed it was leisurely eating a bug or something it had in its right talon. That’s something you just don’t see every day. I’ve always thought owls were one of the coolest things wildlife offers. After about ten minutes of just watching it, I decided to see how close it would let me approach. It was about three feet before it casually swooped up to our neighbors rail, where it stayed long after we went back inside.

I have no idea what kind of owl it was. It was a small one. Either a baby barn owl or something, or a fully grown Elf-Owl. Pretty far north for an Elf-Owl. Yes, I graduated from the University of Google. It looked like the picture though. Anyway. It was awesome to have a staring contest face to face with an owl. And, as Sarah said, ‘with no glass between us or some guy with a leather glove’.  We lost the staring contest.

MST 3K / Cinematic Titanic

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I nearly cried with joy when I heard most of the original, and later-season Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast was doing a live Riff for the USA film festival at the Angelika theater near our place here in Dallas. They’ve only done it a few times. There was going to be a panel for a couple hours, then the movie where they do their live heckling on mics. I quickly bought the tickets. I later found out I probably could have gotten in free because my work supports the festival. And by supporting, I mean Randy and I get to make dubs. Randy made the dub of the actual mystery movie that they were going to riff. So I found out early that it was going to be the “Wasp Woman”. They also said they were going to make a DVD of the live show.

In short, it was fun. It was awesome. I was surprised to hear of some behind-the-scenes personality clashes over the years of MST. The show seems so absolutely home-sprung and grass-roots that I guessed everybody was the best of friends behind the scenes… which was pretty much true for the MOST part.

I’m not one to care much about meeting famous people, but it was a total dream to meet Joel Hodgson, Frank Conniff, Josh Weinstein, Mary Joe Pehl, and Trace Beaulieu… albeit just a handshake, a hello, and an autograph. Sarah got a chance to zing Joel. He said ‘thanks for coming’. She said ‘Thanks for being so funny’. He said ‘Thank You’. Sarah pointed to Frank and said ‘I was talking to him’. They laughed. (yay). I got my MST volume 1 DVD set signed. I also had to check out a private after party that Laura at work so graciously gave me. Apparently a party with the MST 3K guys, Meat Loaf, and Rip Torn. Wacky combo. Sarah and I quickly noted it was a poser-fest of the tragically hip and uber-wealthy, so we left pretty quick. It actually heartened me to note the Cinematic Titanic (MST) gang were pretty much sticking to themselves with the same expressions Sarah and I seemed to have. Okay, so I’m weird. But meeting them is one of the better things to check off my ‘things to do before I die’ list.

Pipin’ on a Boat

It’s been a bit too long since I blew my bagpipes. I had to blow the dust off them first. My job prevents me from ever hitting practice, so my kilt was turned in awhile ago. But mr. Tim Wylie at my work caught word that I play. He’s the commodore or admiral or something of a Dallas yacht or sailing club of some sort. He was determined to get me out there and play for an annual race they have. I guess it’s tradition to have some priest bless each boat that passes en route to the starting line, while a piper plays. Weird but true. So I had to get my chanter out of a display box at work and practice in the parkinglot of work every day after hours. It’s the only place and time I have to practice. I had to just make sure my fingers still work reasonably well, and my brain still remembers at least a couple tunes. Luckily the pipes sounded surprisingly okay for not having been touched in like a few years, and the music came back to me after a few days.

In short, I spent my Friday morning driving up to lake Texoma, hopping on a boat with a group of people I didn’t know (but they were fun) and playing the pipes while keeping my sea legs under me. And back in time for work. A nice break from the routine, and something to remember.