Somewhere between Branson, Missouri and Hollywood, California

Yes, the last couple weeks have been lousy. I have not penned a single word, even in twitter. There have been tears. It’s just been icky, and stressful, for no reason (no reason that I choose to validate, anyway).

There, done with that. No more dwelling.

Except to say what the heck was up with the Golden Globes last night? Not that they caused tears; the opposite, in fact. I watched the first half hour or so, feeling more and more uncomfortable as Ricky Gervais kept sort of spewing bile, and the audience kept getting more and more grim.

I wouldn’t have minded his bile, if Hollywood could have sucked it up and still entertained. But they were wooden, cranky bastards last night. There was no spark anywhere. J Lo seemed to be the only professional there, but her fairly authentic laughter sounded bizarre in that place.

Eventually I scared the hell out of my roommate by shouting, “Insipid!” and turning off the TV. I still had 7 rows to go on my gloves, too. I swear, I used to enjoy those award shows. When did they become so joyless?

Or is it just me?

That’s not dwelling, I swear, just a question.

Speaking of awkward encounters, I was checking out my trip photos today and ran into this one, from the Precious Moments Park and Chapel near Branson, Missouri. That’s Stripes, my traveling companion, perched on top of the wee angel’s halo.

I had actually visited hoping to find a Precious Moments crucifix (can you imagine those doe eyes peeking out from under a crown of thorns? No luck; they are all about hope, not suffering) but I found the place simply awe-inspiring. Pretty much everything you would expect a Precious Moments Complex to be. There’s a tender, sweet story behind the company, and I think by mocking it I am going directly to hell, but… what the heck. I was probably on my way anyway.

The main event was a big choral show, with lights, and water fountains, and stirring music… with a person of diminutive stature starring as the main gospel singer. Seriously. They hired a small person to lead the show. Tell me that wasn’t purposeful. Thank goodness he wasn’t in tattered robes.

I took a handful of snapshots with Stripes, until I realized that it was earning me outright glares. I understand it was a Chapel, their Chapel, but I wasn’t belting, “Kiss me, Satan,” or tagging the murals. Stripes posed everywhere, from the National Cathedral in DC to the Forevertron in WI. And yes, I have put him on Jesus’ head for shots in several locations. It’s just an “I was here,” nothing sinister about it.

But o lord, it felt sinister. Even after I put the camera away I had little old retail clerk ladies shadowing me around the gift shop, quick to warn me that certain items were breakable and not to be ‘messed’ with. And I was in that odd, awkward position of having perfect actions, but intentions that were maybe not quite pure. It was like they saw through to the heart of me.

Very awkward. The second half of my visit I barely remember, since I was doing my best to clear my thoughts of any evilness. I stumbled out, loving it and hating myself.

Much as I imagine Ricky Gervais feels right now.

I’m sorry, sugar. You weren’t doing anything that wasn’t anticipated, or that others haven’t come close to before. You maybe went a wee bit over the line, yes, but f’ em if they can’t take a joke.

Also, did someone kick your puppy before you took the stage?

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