7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 169)

April 13, 2012 | 80 comments

— 1 —

I’m flying out for that filming of LOTR next week,  and I’m worried that I haven’t been getting enough mileage out of the fact that Life on the Rock uses the same acronym as the Lord of the Rings.  I’ve tried my best to work it into conversation, but I’ve found that the acronym thing just doesn’t work that well when it’s spoken. When I say, “Hey, I’m going to be part of L-O-T-R!” people don’t make the connection between the Lord of the Rings acronym, they wonder why I didn’t just say the name of the show, and it’s weird. Then I tried doing it in writing. I told a friend “I’ll be at the LOTR studio on Thursday — hope I don’t run into any hobbits!” and she was like, “Why would there be hobbits? I thought it was run by the friars of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word.”

This has become a high priority for me, as I will feel like this whole trip to Birmingham will have been an incomplete experience if I don’t get at least one good LOTR joke out of it.

— 2 —


— 3 —

We’re moving. I don’t know where to, we’re just…moving. Don’t be shocked if I and my five kids show up at your house tomorrow and ask if we can crash at your place for a while.

— 4 —


— 5 —

[That last take was my attempt to convey the sound of a shriek of mortal terror-anger-despair. Not sure if I quite captured it.]

— 6 —

Right after I finished typing take #1, my son was stung in the face by a scorpion while he was sitting on the couch. I will not be able to write anything else today, because I need to go stare at my couch and scream. If you would like more details, you can see the blow-by-blow tweets from this afternoon, or just wait for the epic post that is sure to follow.

— 7 —

For your viewing pleasure, I took a video of what happened after I hosed this thing down with Raid. AFTER. See? It’s like it liked it! I daresay this thing was frolicking on my chair, just waiting for a tophat and cane to do a little rendition of Singing in the Raid. (By the way, you should probably watch it on mute. I didn’t entirely intend to put it on my blog when I decided to hit that Record button on my phone, and thus I cannot be held responsible for anything I said during the filming.)

UPDATE: No, I have no idea what that green goo is that you can see on the back of the chair at :20.

UPDATE #2: Dorian Speed‘s review of my directorial debut is in:

I watched your short film. I am still processing my trauma. Gritty realism; horror; impotence as Raid proves worse than useless. I felt I was THERE.



  1. Emily

    Sooo those grunting and such quick takes are basically my life right now.
    And good luck moving. I have to do that soon. AHHHH.
    And I hope your son is ok. I’m going to be more terrified of scorpions when I visit the south. That’s scary.

  2. The Ubiquitous

    This is my favorite Quick Takes ever.

  3. Beth Anne @ The Catholic Couponer Blog

    I just moved but I have a feeling your not moving and just said that do to the scorpion freak out. I think that would freak me out too and I can take a lot of bugs. It was fun to watch the twitter blow by blow while i was at work today 🙂 Can’t wait to see you on LOTR hope it is online 🙂

  4. George @ Convert Journal

    FWIW, I thought LOTR was the Lord of the Rings when I first read it and wondered what that was all about. On #7 – ewww. A good use of video though and I laughed at Singing in the Raid.

    My entry this week… Several new vocational videos. An update on a falsely convicted priest. Issues for Catholics, other Christians and all Americans to consider in November. It’s back to church time at the White House. Jesse Jackson: Jesus was an occupier. Catholic church bowling alleys – who knew? Born again Catholics.

    • JC

      Ditto to the LOTR thing.

  5. Valerie @ Momma in Progress

    Your scorpion stories, while hilarious, give me the heebies. I am not watching this video. I think it may scar me for life.

  6. nancyo

    At first I was just scanning your quick takes and saw LOTR and thought: “cool. Jen’s talking about Lord of the Rings.”

    So sorry about the scorpion. I seriously could not cope with that. It took me years of living in the South to even begin to adjust to roaches.

  7. Kara

    Um, I was all jealous that you were going to be seeing LOTR somehow, and was totally confused HOW and wanted in on that, until I figured out what you meant. Shame on everyone else for not getting your hobbit jokes.

  8. Kendra @ The Nerdy Wife

    I was following your scorpion tweets live today, and I was horrified! I have to say that if I found one of those while home during the day with my son, I would probably call my husband at work and demand he come home immediately to deal with it….and if he couldn’t, I would have just bawled and left the house. EWWWW.

    • Sharon

      I called the hubby home when we had a snake in the basement. He only came and caught it because he knew I’d call 911 if he didn’t. I think scorpions would put me in a coma, but at least I wouldn’t care! 🙂

  9. Kerri

    Oh, my… I’ve only been stung on the foot. I cannot even imagine the pain of being stung on the face. Hope your son is ok. I thought I recalled you getting quarterly pest control. Austin scorpions must be tougher than Hill Country ones :^/

  10. Kara

    Also, as scary as your scorpion encounters are, they are absolutely hilarious. I was dying reading your tweets earlier today.

  11. Linda Wightman

    Not “Singing in the Raid.” “Stinging in the Raid.”

  12. Becky

    I don’t want to minimize the dangers of getting stung by scorpions, but insecticides are also not good for people and other living things. Except, apparently, scorpions. It seems to me that your financial support of the exterminators might be doing the economy some good, but it is not getting rid of your scorpions, and there are likely to be long term health consequences to all the exposure to chemical poisons.

    However, if you don’t want to think about scorpions or insecticides you can come and stay with us in Md. I am sure you are getting lots of offers of places to stay while your son is healing, so you can stay a week at one place, a month at another, and be a real Roamin’ Cathollic.

  13. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    Sometimes when contemplating our family’s future, job paths, etc, I wonder if we’d like it in Austin. And then I always remember your scorpion stories.

    Makes me feel like a wuss complaining about the mosquitoes where I live 🙂

  14. Laura

    Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who fell for the LOTR joke! The Midwest doesn’t have scorpions and up here we have 4 seasons 🙂 Just in case…
    God Bless.

  15. Julia at LotsaLaundry

    Not a chance I’m EVER going to Texas! I’m staying in New York City, where it’s safe.

  16. Jennifer Fitz

    I think the LOTR joke is hilarious. Other people must be living a drab existence indeed.

    So,um, scorpions helping you get excited about moving? And does this mean we should all compete to find the best new employment offer, with the winner getting the chance to bring you a casserole and help you move boxes?

  17. Sara H

    Completely thought this was going to be about Lord of the Rings while clicking from FB. Also despise all bugs…ick!

  18. Theresa in Alberta

    Rattlesnake clause?!?!? scorpions in the house?!?! I will never complain about enduring minus 30 degrees with snow again eh!

  19. Diapeepees

    I can’t believe that you were serious about the scorpions. That tail! I assume it’s not a pet shop plant. I can’t believe it had the audacity to disturb the sanctity of the baby feeding chair, the solitude of the thomas the train corner. Or, maybe it’s because of that graham cracker you left out on the chair rest (is that what it is — a graham cracker?) Scorpions are definitely attracted to graham crackers. This was totally funny. Glad you captured it.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      ROFL! No, it’s not a graham cracker — you can tell because, if it were, it would be covered in ants. It’s a coaster that was upside down. 🙂

  20. Michael

    I hope you’re moving to a place without scorpions!

  21. Bonnie

    I was about to yell out to Travis, “Jennifer Fulwiler is going to do some kind of filming thing for Lord of the Rings!!!” when I skimmed ahead.

    You can say it, “sucka” 🙂

  22. Judy Dudich

    1) I TOTALLY thought that you meant flying out for the filming of LOTR, as in the new Hobbit movie coming in the Fall…I was just about to scream with excessive jubilee to gather my teens so that they could read it for themselves…when my eyes scanned ahead to the next few lines and I realized what you were ACTUALLY talking about. So, there you have it. Your experience is worthwhile and fulfilled because “YOU GOT ME”! LOL

    2) I could not even SLEEP knowing those things were in my house. GOD BLESS YOU JENNIFER FULWILER. You are ONE. BRAVE. TEXAN.

    3) If you move, does that mean YA YA is moving, too?!

    4) No scorpions here in PA. Coyotes, rattlesnakes, copperheads, bears, and cougars…but NO scorpions! We’d love to have new neighbors! (And there’s land for sale behind us! Woo hoo!)

  23. Joe Wetterling

    Of course they’re Franciscan Missionaries. You can tell from the hobbit they wear.

    Anyway, have a great trip! Getting on LOTR is really moving up in the world. You were beorn for this. A big eo-win for you.

    Don’t do anything to become a thorin their side; these are contacts you want to keep durin you’re whole career. I’m sure you’ll get a lot out of the trip. Fr. Anthony and Doug really know what they’re tolkein about, and you’ll learn moria think.

    (Just don’t bring up how a couple of years ago they got riddemark.)

    • Tina

      OooOOOOOOOOOOhhh!! That’s a really bad pun!

  24. Rosemary

    1) I first thought LotR when I saw take #1, and totally thought you were going to be traipsing about with hobbits. 🙂

    2) That video is horrifying …I’m hoping that we never have to move away from the cool climes of Pennsylvania!! Uggh.

    • Amanda

      I also fell for the LOTR thing, I’ll blame pregnancy brain though 🙂

      And yes, Pennsylvania is sooo much safer than Texas. We have 4 seasons, and thus far I’ve only seen one fly here and maybe a bumblebee. Sure beats Georgia where we had spiders, cockroaches, fire ants and wasps galore. And there’s a Catholic church seriously on every.single.corner here. I could walk to 3 from my house. Seriously I’ve lived in 7 different states and PA is so far #1 or #2 (I really miss Massachusetts sometimes), mostly because of the lack of poisonous insects. When my husband and I lived in Georgia and got home from our honeymoon I found a cockroach under my pillow and refused to sleep there that night. Within 3 months we moved far far away! Cockroaches also laugh in the face of Raid…and then they fly at your face. Not cool.

      “Singing in the Raid” has me dying over here, haha!

  25. Jennifer Fitz

    Joe W., I’m laughing out loud here. Brilliant.

  26. Jeanne G.

    LOL: LOTR!

  27. Gina

    If it’s any consolation, I thought “Lord of the Rings” the second I saw your acronym!

  28. Gina

    Oh — I just saw “Singing in the Raid”! *dies laughing*

  29. Kaitlin @ More Like Mary

    What? Who wouldn’t think Lord of the Rings? My first reaction was “They’re filming another one??”

  30. JoAnna

    I’d offer you houseroom in AZ, but we have scorpions here, too. And the last one we found in our house (RIGHT ABOVE OUR BED!) was enormous and took ages to die after being sprayed with Raid. My hubby sprayed it, and sprayed it, and sprayed it, and then gave up and smashed it with a book.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      And with that, I will never sleep again.

  31. Joy @ Joy In This Journey

    Apparently I’m enough of a nerd to do a triple-take at the LOTR reference in quick take number 1. conclusion: you don’t have enough nerd friends in real life.

    Don’t they make scorpion killer? Surely you’re not the only one who has to deal with this. For now, I’d get yourself an unabridged dictionary and keep it handy next to that couch.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Funny you should mention the unabridged dictionary — that’s exactly what I threw on it. And can one ever really have enough nerd friends?

  32. JC

    On the scorpions thing, I still thing you should try either a hand-held bug-zapper or a cattle prod. Nothing like a little lightning to end the Singing in the Raid. 🙂

  33. Dwija {House Unseen}

    I swear I had not read this before I wrote mine. I swear. The fact that we are both screaming our faces off today is COMPLETE coincidence and just means that a large percentage of homeschooled Catholic children are now scarred for life.


  34. Tina

    Up here in southeastern PA we do not have any scorpions. Or tornadoes. Or earthquakes. And if and when we get hurricanes they are usually much weakened because we are so far inland. Come on up and enjoy the life!

  35. Marian

    Unsettling. Very unsettling. I second the recommendation to come join us in PA. No scorpions. Though people here might tell you that the mosquitos are bad, they have no idea what they’re talking about. There really aren’t many. (Having spent many of my growing-up years in Wisconsin, where itchy welts and the sound of bug-zappers frying mosquitos at night was and integral part of the ambiance of summertime, I feel quite qualified to judge the topic.) Stink bugs we do have. If you get a good-sized infestation, yes, they’ll dive bomb into your hair… but they just stink, not STING! Big difference! My couch is open in Pittsburgh; come on up!

  36. Amy

    I’m so sorry you have to deal with scorpions! Up here in the Pacific Northwest, the worst we get is spiders. When we discover an interesting spider upstairs, my daughter likes to capture it with a wide-mouthed glass or jar. We observe it for a few minutes then let it go in the garden outside, where I’m sure it makes its way back into our basement within five minutes. How about clamp a jar or glass over the next scorpion you see, slide a piece of card stock under the mouth, take it outside and smash it with a mallet? It’s just revenge for stinging your son in the face – death by bludgeoning. It works better than Raid. Good luck with that move! Seattle has no scorpions, but it’s a trade-off since the sun is rather rare around here.

  37. Beth (A Mom's Life)

    Why don’t you move to North Carolina? We have NO scorpions! We do have mosquitoes but you can’t even feel them when they bite and you really can’t even see them.

    And I love that during your video of the scorpion (in your house!!!) you are telling people there is a nice house for sale in central Texas if they are interested. Your realtor will probably make you take that down!

  38. Marcy K.

    We live in Florida and our nemesis is the Palmetto Bug. I’ll keep those over scorpions any day. My husband encountered a 5 inch Scorpion at his work in Ft. Lauderdale years ago. The thing was in the middle of the floor defying him. He sprayed it with shellac! It died, but dried in its attack position. My hubby kept it as a decoration for years until it fell apart. Perhaps you should invest in a can of shellac, though perhaps the furniture would not like it. What about one of those bug vaccuums? Or since it is so big perhaps a regular vaccuum cleaner would do the job. It is a good excuse to change the bag or empty the container.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Shellac? Seriously? WOW that is awesome.

  39. Marie

    Move here to Michigan! We do have snow. But we are totally scorpion-free. You and I could be best friends! But don’t worry, I’m an serious introvert as well, so I won’t bother you too much.

    • Jenna@CallHerHappy

      Yes! MI is the best…although I am in MN for this year!

  40. Linda

    Good luck with all the things! You have a lot going on there.

  41. MemeGRL

    Come to Pennsylvania! Hang out with Rocco and groupies like me! And–no scorpions!

  42. GeekLady

    Don’t feel bad, if I was taking that video there would be

    1) much, MUCH more swearing
    2) footage of my capture and torching of the scorpion. Plastic cups and poster board scraps ar how I catch spiders that are in the house, the technique should work for scorpions too.

  43. Karen

    Oh my, that scorpion would scare me to death. I doubt I would have been able to stay in the house long enough to take a video of it running all over the chair. I’m so thankful that we don’t have those here in NJ.

  44. Jackie

    OMG!!!!!!! That’s terrible and horrifying , I don’t blame you for wanting to move . I’d have a nervous breakdown if I knew my house had scorpions.

    You could pick it up with tongs and put it in a bottle of alcohol like my mother did when she found a scorpion -the only one she ever found , thank God- when we lived in Algiers.

  45. Jamie


  46. Michelle

    You must not have the right nerdy friends if they do not get your LOTR references. And it might help if you pronounce it, as our family does, LOTER (long o).

  47. bobbi

    I saw LOTR and thought, doesn’t she mean The Hobbit?

    The other day I was killing a big spider in my room and wondered to myself, how does Jen do this with scorpions? Then I read your post. Scary!

  48. Kayla @ The alluring world

    If it’s any consolation, the first time I read the first sentence, I thought Lord of the Rings, and got really excited. I wondered what possible spin-off story line the movie would have and what character you’d play. I decided elf because in the movies they were very tall. Then I read the rest of the paragraph and felt dumb.

    That first sentence gets me every time though.

  49. Barb

    I thought Lord of the Rings too!
    Two years ago, we went to Texas on vacation and because of your scorpion stories, I must admit I was a bit nervous everywhere we stayed. I kept looking for them but alas, in ten days time, I saw not one. Thankfully. I will stay up here in Ohio where it’s not so hot in summer and there are no scorpions. And Mrs Darwin is not too far away…

  50. ceciliamaria

    I was beginning to feel like a bad Catholic because my first thought was Lord of the Rings. And it took me a few minutes to remember what show you were actually referring to… Reading the comments was a relief! At least I wasn’t the only one…

  51. Jennifer Doloski

    I am impressed that your son is not screaming in the background from said scorpion sting. . . Yep – I would have moved before I had time to take the video. . .

  52. Trisha Niermeyer Potter @ Prints of Grace

    I wonder if there’s some person in your neighborhood who’s really into getting rid of scorpions and could be on-call 24/7 for neighbors especially. I know you’re not much one for spending lots of time outside, but this could perhaps be a worthwhile way of networking about this serious community need to squash the scorpions. You could also get a pet that eats scorpions or perhaps borrow one for a few hours a week who is very efficient at his job and is ravenously hungry upon arriving at your house.

  53. Brianna

    Oh.my.goodness. No words. Just sheer terror.

    You Fulwilers are MORE than welcome to come to our place in Denver…but we might need to quarantine you first! Eek! 🙂

  54. Lisa

    You know, I thought the NINETEEN ticks I”ve found INSIDE my house in the last two weeks were bad. Turns out, not so much!

  55. Incomplete

    You can move in with us! Wisconsin has been pretty warm this year, but without the scorpions! We could take a side trip to the only approved Marian apparition site in the U.S. I’ll be waiting to hear you knock on my door….

  56. Carrie

    I don’t know which story is more disturbing. This one or the story of your friend with the baby rat couch? You should move to Southern California. Still nice and warm but no crazy things sneaking around the house stinging people. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I lived in Texas. haha

  57. Lisa

    We vacationed in the Ozarks last summer. I had just put 4 toddlers to nap in the same room and sat on the bed to nurse the baby when what should come out from under the bed, bare inches from my foot, but a SCORPION. Your scorpinator stories sprung into my head as I watched that thing scurry across the floor like the Alien that attacked Ripley. It was horrifying. I couldn’t scream or make a fuss because then the kids would wake up and be traumatized; they would never sleep in the family cabin again. Scorpions do smash nicely, though rather gooey, with your foot–if you can time it right. More effective than bug spray. 🙂

    If Ya-ya moved into your house, she could take care of these problems as they spring up. It might be a trade-off, though.

  58. Tamara @ Living Palm

    I can NOT believe the size of that scorpion. Ever since we moved to Austin (from upstate NY) this past August, I’ve paid close attention to your scorpion posts because I figured if you could make it, I could too. We’ve had about a dozen scorpions in our house and on our back patio since moving here but I have NEVER seen one yet the size of that one on your couch. And I NEVER realized they might crawl up into the furniture. I might need to go throw up now….uggghhhh!!!! (also, last week our neighbor got bit by a rattlesnake weeding his front flower bed!) not sure how long we’re going to make it in Texas!

  59. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    Gross. Gross. Gross. Scorpions make me want to cry. Also, I totally thought you were talking about LOTR at first…as in Lord of the Rings!

  60. Mark S.

    Oh my….wonder if wasp spray would work. Quick knock down power. Welcome in beautiful Valley Forge PA. No scorpions. Some bs, birds, squirrels and deer. Weather is good, too.

  61. Mark S.

    That bs is bugs…lol

  62. Lisa V.

    I will never complain about a stink bug again. Here in hunterdon county, NJ that’s the creatures we deal with inside that won’t go away. But oh my, that video is startling. I’d say you sounded way calmer than one normally would be in that situation.

  63. Mary

    Oh my. I TOTALLY thought Lord of the Rings when I read that first sentence and I was so excited that you were like somehow part of filming the new Hobbit or something. Um…but Life on the Rock is cool, too. Maybe not Lord of the Rings cool but there is a friar with the pseudo-hobbitesque cape 😉

    And I don’t even know what to say about the scorpion. I can’t even go there.

  64. Genevieve

    I showed my husband the video and followed up by pointing out we would NOT be buying your house or moving to Texas ever. His comment: we could just get some meerkats.

    So that is his recommendation to you, because, if meerkat manor is to be believed, meerkats thrive on hunting down and eating scorpions. Think of them as the Texan barn cat.

  65. Catholic Grammie

    So, I was totally jealous when you said that you were going to go film LOTR – my mind immediately went into “wait – they are somehow filming another Lord of the Rings story and Jen is lucky enough to be in it!” And, then I was immediately confused by “what is Life on the Rock?” I’m sorry – I’m so out of it. I have a hard enough time with spiders – you have convinced me that i made a wise decision not to move to Arizona with my little ones many, many years ago! However, I have plenty of extra space right now in my old Victorian in Indiana if you need a break!

  66. Jen G

    For what it’s worth, I immediately thought Lord of the Rings when I read you post. They’re filming “The Hobbit” now, so I wondered if you were headed off to New Zealand 🙂

    I live very near Birmingham if you’re ever in need of a place to stay. My house is scorpion-free, I promise!

  67. Andrea Parunak

    I was going to pop in cheerfully and tell you that I totally thought you were going to a Lord of the Rings filming. But then I read the rest, and now I’m just kind of quivering. It makes my carpenter ant infestation seems kinda like dust bunnies.

  68. Linebyline

    So does this mean scorpions are now the new book edits?

    I get the impression that the scorpion was offended by your previous post and came back to remind you of his place in your life.

  69. Jamie

    I didn’t read any of the other comments, so this has probably been said, but I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking, “Wow, there’s going to be more Lord of the Rings?!? and she’s going to be there for the filming??”

    I’m rather glad that my Florida house just has lots of harmless lizards, not scorpions.

  70. Elizabeth K.

    Holy cow that thing moves fast. At least it goes in a circle, instead of leaping. . .right? (Shudder).

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