Daily thoughts by a guy that doesn't like to think deeply too often!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I'm Ready For My Close-Up

Turner South filmed a documentary at the Flying Biscuit today. A year ago, I was camera shy. Not anymore! Today, I played a waiter. If the show ever airs, you'll see me in the background waiting tables and running through the kitchen with a plate of biscuits in one hand and a couple of menus in the other. The shoot took about 4 hours of my day today, and for that I wasn't happy. I am so far behind with work- I've got stacks of urgent projects on my desk now and I'm doing so many other things instead. I feel like I'm not doing my job anymore- I'm doing so many jobs that didn't exist a year ago, on top of what I was hired to do. For example-- today I got to work a couple of hours early to deliver a catering order, then had a meeting to design our ad for Creative Loafing, then I had to babysit a camera man for a few hours, play the part of waiter, and end the day by delivering a dozen biscuits to the Gospel Network in College Park. Remind me again-- what is my job description? I was hired as a bookkeeper! Did I keep any books today? Don't get me wrong-- I love my job. I love that it's different every day and I get to try new things. But... for every minute that I'm standing behind the camera holding a cue card for Delia to read from, I'm neglecting something else that's crucial to the operations of a successful restaurant chain. I'm learning though-- national exposure and media coverage take priority over entering yesterday's sales into the spreadsheet and paying bills. Maybe I should've gone into advertising-- that's the one part of my job that I love, and most of my days seem to center around advertising the restaurant and finding the ultimate photo op.

"Tired in Atlanta"

I didn't write this poem~~ I found it online tonight. I think it kind of sums up my point of view on life and I thought I'd share it with you:

(for Chris)

I'm not a supermodel, but I'm not ugly;
I'm far from being a troll---decent and cute.
It took work to look this way--- rivers of sweat pouring down my back and skimpy meals a starving man would turn down.
I'm not the most intelligent guy on this planet, but anyone who talks to me knows
I'm far from stupid.

Give me a task, give me a book-- I'm quick to learn.
You won't have to ask twice.
My flaw is laziness; I need inspiration.
I'm creative. Whether you think my poems are bad,
whether you think my poems are good,
you have to give credit to my creativity.
You wonder where it all stems?

I'm unique. I'm not mainstream; that's good.
I question- ask why and how; that's good.
I challenge the norm; that's good.I'm good.

I've never claimed to be cliche, mister nice guy,
but the truth is:
give me simple respect and I'll move mountains for you.
Overlooking the sincerity of my heart only breaks it;
I'll put it back together, but won't ever let you touch it again.

I'm not your average gay guy in this city.
I don't do drugs,never even tried them.
I'm not seeking a life of retail,
and you can't find me clubbing every weekend.

Understand what I'm saying--love me for who I am,
never ask me to change a single part of my being
nor compromise my thoughts or beliefs on any level.
Only ask me to stay true to being me.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Lost, Again!

As you might remember, I was bummed last week when I had to miss the season opener of "Lost" due to a power outage. Matt & Dustin told me that they had Tivo'd it and were nice enough to invite me to their house this week to watch last weeks episode, followed by episode two. But, I saw a commercial last night that said that they will be rerunning last weeks episode on the same night as this weeks, so I'll be able to see them both anyway. Thanks anyway, guys! We will have to get together to watch the finale, though!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Memories, Like the Corner of My Mind

While I was getting things together for next weekends big yardsale, I found a box full of pictures that I had forgotten about. I'm working on a scrapbook for my upcoming 40th birthday, so I decided to go through that box this morning and see if I could find anything useful. Wow, talk about a trip down memory lane!
I found pictures of some of the houses I lived in-- especially ones of the Racquet Club that I rented in college. I had forgotten that there was a big sign on the side of the house with a list of rules for using the tennis courts. I found lots of pictures of old college friends that I had forgotten about. Luckily, I was smart enough back then to write names and dates on the backs of the pictures, so not only did I get to see some old friend's faces, I could even remember their names! I feel like I just attended a one-sided Homecoming. Someday I'll try to look some of these guys up and see what became of them.
I found a few pictures of my first boyfriend, Paul Barnes. I still believe that he was the nicest, sweetest man that ever walked this earth. We had only been dating about a year when he passed away. I believe that we would still be together today if not for a freak accident that took his life.
Of course there were lots of pictures of Steve-- the only guy I ever had a serious long-term relationship with. There were pictures of us in Hilton Head, at lots of parties and some inside our favorite neighborhood bar, Copperfield's. My friends and I would all meet at Copperfield's after work on Friday nights for Happy Hour- the old style happy hour where you got two drinks for the price of one. They always had a free buffett, and sometimes live music. But the best part of Copperfield's was the waiter, Cam. This guy had movie-star looks and a body to match. He wore short shorts-- so short that they were hidden by the little waist apron that was part of his uniform. He was just a kid then (about 20), but we were kids back then, too. I found a picture of Cam in the box- I guess I saved it because I figured he'd be famous some day and the picture may be worth something! I wonder what ever happened to him-- he's probably about 40 now, too. I wonder if he's moved on to great things, or if he's still waiting tables in someother dive!
I loved all of the baby pictures that I found of my nephew and neice-- pictures of different Haloween costumes and pictures of them on vacation with us in Hilton Head. They were so cute and angelic back then!
I had lots of pictures of pets-- I think I felt that it was required to take a picture of each pet, on each roll of film. There were lots of pictures of my cats (Chester, Festus, Frisky, Midnight, Stormy, Jesse, Gizmo & Bixby), dogs (Happy, Charlie, Edward, Winnie, Gabby and Betty), birds (Nicky & Chris, Romeo and Disco), and rabbits (Beulah and Snowball). There was even a picture of my gerbil, Georgette. She was dead in the picture, but you'd never know it-- just before I buried her, I realized that I had never taken a picture of her (I was about 10 years old), so I propped her stiff body up on her exercise wheel and snapped a picture. God, I was a weird kid!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

In the Dark

The past 24 hours have been a trip. It all started last night-- I watched the new Martha Stewart "Apprentice" show (very good!). Afterwards, I switched over to watch part II of the season premier of Lost. I got about 10 minutes into it and the power went off. My natural instinct kicked in and the first thing I did was look out the window to see if it was just me. The city's cut my power off so many times that I always assume that that's the case. This time I was relieved to see that the street lights were out and all of my neighbor's houses were dark, too. The first 10 minutes were fun: looking for a flashlight in the dark-- finding one and realizing the batteries were dead-- searching for new batteries in the dark-- finding them and repairing the flashlight. I found some candles and lit the house back up again. What to do now-- I can't go to bed because I needed to set my alarm clock first-- didn't want to oversleep. So, I decided to go for a walk around the block to see how many other people were suffering the effects of a power outage. I figured I'd run into lots of neighbors, sitting on their porches, having a late night beer and complaining because they missed part II of the season premier of "Lost", but grateful that they at least got to see Martha Stewart's new show. I was disappointed. There were very few neighbors out looking into the sky and asking God why the streets had to be so dark, and why we had to miss part II of "Lost". The only people I saw were the non-English-speaking Mexicans down the street- they were on their front porch, drinking a cerveza. I said "Hola!" to them, but they didn't answer back; probably bummed about missing part II of the season premiere of "Lost" and didn't want to talk about it. Then I remembered all of the lighted candles in my house and the houseload of puppies that are visiting- I envisioned little tails wagging and knocking over the candles. I rushed home, blew the candles out and got in my car. I just needed to see how far-spread this blackout was. After a few minutes of driving I realized that it was just my block. I came home and sat in the sunroom and stared at my backdoor neighbor's house. She had plenty of light. I almost felt like she was rubbing it in- spot lights were shining on her backyard- the whole place was lit up. I figured she was just showing off. After a couple of hours, it dawned on me that I have an alarm clock on my cell phone. I set the alarm and went to bed. Within 2 minutes, the power came back on again. I checked the TV, just in case they had delayed the programming because of the blackout on Westwood Avenue, but it seems that the world carried on without me-- the news was on and they didn't even mention the blackout.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Babysitting Tale

As some of you might know, I'm keeping my Mom's dog, Lady, and Beverly's dog, Cletus, at my house. Cletus arrived yesterday and Lady arrived here today.

I wish someone had been hear to see what I saw when I got Lady to my house. I let her off the leash and she ran into the backyard. The boys (King & Cletus) ran up to her and started playing roughly, like they do with each other all the time. Lady wasn't used to it, so she fell to the ground and layed on her back- an act to show submission. It didn't stop the boys. Their mother, Clara, saw what was going on and she ran over and laid her body on top of Lady's to cover her, and she snarled at the boys whenever they came close. After a while, Lady felt comfortable and Clara let her up. Lady started walking around and the boys came up to smell her. Clara ran back over to her and jumped up on her back, still trying to keep her covered. The boys learned their lesson and started playing nicely with Lady. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen. I guess Clara does have some motherly instincts after all!

Results are in...

Maggie won. I'm glad Ivette didn't win, but I wish I could be happy about this! Maggie got $500,000 for being quiet for four months. Maybe Ivette learned something- keep your big mouth shut and don't argue against everything. I hate the fact that Ivette didn't leave empty-handed... she ended up receiving $50,000.
A wrap-up from another Blogger reads: "
Maggie Wins: The World Goes 'Meh'
Big Brotherby krisSep 20th, 2005
Tonight Maggie won Big Brother 6. It's hard to put her up there with such past champions as the great and evil Dr. Will, isn't it?
Here's how the votes broke down:
Beau: Ivette
April: Maggie
James: Ivette
JBlow: Maggie
Janelle: Ivette
Rachel: Maggie
As I predicted, it all came down to Howie and he, like his partner Rachel, went for Maggie. So basically, Ivette lost $450,000 (the difference between first and second) by being a complete and utter bitch to Rachel in her goodbye video. Don't get me wrong, I hate Ms. Smuggie Maggie, but I do take some satisfaction in the fact that Ivette lost because she couldn't keep her trap shut for 30 seconds. At least Ivette is young, and hopefuly she'll learn from this adventure. Her girlfriend, Tush, seems cool and maybe she can help her get on the right path. As for Maggie. It's too late. She's like a cult leader, but without the charisma. What makes me most physically ill about her victory is knowing that she'll probably somehow share some of the cash with the hateful Eric. I barely watched the first few weeks of the show, but that was enough to make me despise Mr. Cappy. Blech.
The most interesting parts of the show tonight dealt with the jury and early evictions. The jury debates, led by James, really came down to who they felt played the best game and, on an even grander scale, what constituted "a good game". Of course, when all is said and done and you look at those votes you know that what really happened is that each player voted for who they liked best. Wow, isn't it amazing that someone as colorless as Maggie could win what eventually became a popularity contest? I loved that some houseguests were called out on their BS. April had to watch herself call Americans "pieces of shit" for voting for Janelle to win an America's Choice contest. Howie had to watch himself blow up in an ugly controntation with April. And, speaking of blowing, Jennifer was confronted by Kaysar for her out and out deception that led to his eviction.
A few closing notes on the show:
I was always sort of "iffy" about James, but tonight I liked him. Looking at his face when he saw Sarah again after all this time, I could see that he really loved her. Looking in his eyes, I saw love. That was nice to see in a man who played the game without having his emotions engaged.
Janelle & Kaysar got a rousing round of applause from the studio audience. Kaysar seemed shy and embarassed by it. Janelle seemed born to it. She's like the opposite of Maggie.
JBlow is still just awful. Every time she rolled her eyes I wanted to punch her in the throat.
I thought that Janelle & Michael's reunion looked a little hesitant. She's made no secret that she's way into him. Could our girl have scared him off?
Cappy's still a horrible little man.With that, we end another great season of Big Brother. I didn't like the winner, but I enjoyed the journey. Oh lord, I sound like a contestant on The Bachelor. Somebody shoot me now!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Big Brother 6

Tonight is the last episode of the season. Unfortunately, it's down to two of my least favortie houseguests- Ivette and Maggie.

Ivette (left) is a total bitch in my opinion. She is always griping and complaining and backstabbing. I haven't heard her say a nice word to, or about, anyone since the show began a few months ago. It should tell you something when even her mother and partner are routing for Ivette's arch enemy, Janelle. Ivette is going up against Maggie (top right). Maggie was quiet during most of the season. She did her share of backstabbing and gossipping, but I didn't hate her. I didn't love her either. Of the two, I guess I hope that Maggie wins.

My favorite houseguest this year was Janelle (left). She's smart and beautiful. She's been a Big Brother fan since season one. She knows everything about the game and she lasted til the end and ended up in third place. I think we'll see a lot more of her in the future. My favorite episode is the one where Janelle sat in the kitchen drinking wine-- she got drunk and loudly insulted everyone in the house. She didn't care that she was nominated for eviction that week. She read everyone in the house for filth, and somehow she survived that week, and made it through to last week. I loved her!

My other favorite houseguest was Kaysar (right)-- the hot Muslim dude! He was smart and sexy, but he was evicted. He was out of the BB house for a week, and then he was voted back in through an audience poll. He returned to the house, but was immediately put back on the eviction block by the gold-digging slut, Jennifer. Kaysar was evicted that week and Jennifer was kicked out the next week.

Tonight is the finale-- I'll update the blog when the winner is annouced.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Growing Up Southern....

"In the South, we don't hide our crazy people- we bring them right out onto the front porch for everyone to see. " Julia Sugarbaker
First I must confess that I have never lived north of the Mason-Dixon Line (as we like to call it, but most of us don't really know where that line is), so some of the things I mention here may be common traits to "Yankees", too. I guess I should also mention that I don't speak for everyone that ever lived in the South- these are my own views.
I loved growing up in Georgia. I didn't know that to some people, snow lasted for months. For us, we would get snow once or twice a year and that meant that school was cancelled. We'd wake up and see snow on the ground and then rush to the TV to see if school was cancelled due to snow- usually it was. In the icestorm of 1972 (I think people are still talking about that one), it was beyond our imagination. This snowstorm lasted more than a day. Back then, I lived in Decatur and we were without electricity for over a week. My parents got us together and helped us walk a few miles to my grandparents house- they had a fireplace and a gas stove. We roughed it for a week in front of the fireplace, but we made it fun. We didn't have TV or radio, but we had each other- we roasted marshmellows and popped popcorn in the fireplace, and Grandaddy cooked hamburgers on the gas grill outside while the ice and snow were still falling around him.
Southerners are typically close to their families. For most of my life, everyone that I was related to lived within a 10 mile radius. Some people might hate this idea, but to me it was heaven. I had a furnished bedroom at Mema & Papa's, and one at "Mommo & Granddaddy's (grandparents). I spent Summers with Aunt Jane & Uncle Hub, and Aunt Evelyn & Uncle Larry. My cousins were all about 5-10 years older than me, but we all got along and they took care of me and kept me out of danger.
In the Fall, our whole neighborhood would pack up their RV's and we'd all had to Stone Mountain for a weekend. We'd get trailer sites together and build a campfire and we'd all sit around it. Some of the men would play their guitars and everyone would sing. I still remember Polly Cantrell- the artist of the nighborhood (damn, she was good with macrame!) - singing "You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille" by Kenny Rogers, as the rest of us kids got ready to go on a snipe hunt in the dark (snipes are imaginary creatures, but no one ever told us that they weren't real and we'd search all night to find one).
My childhood memories of growing up in the South are cherised and many- eating boiled peanuts in a backseat and throwing the shells out the window-- listening to a guitar played by a campfire -- snuggling next to a few cousins and brothers to keep warm under a blanket during an icestorm, milking Rosebud at Mathis Dairy, fishing in a stocked lake with Miss Polly, sitting on a front porch swing waiting for the neighbors to all applaud when the street light came on, catching lightening bugs in a Mason jar, tying Junebugs to a string so they could fly around me, fieldtrips to the Grant Park Zoo & Fernbank Museum, skinny dipping in our neighbor's pool, jumping on the trampoline (we called it "tramping" back then), and eating strawberries in the garden- straight from the vine.
I might talk trash about my family sometimes, but God know that I love each and every one of them for giving me these memories.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Cool Quote

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow, what a ride!'."

Popsicle Sundays

There's a little girl that lives across the street from me. She's about 4 years old, and she lives there with her mother, grandmother and grandfather. I don't know any of their names, but I refer to the girl as "Popsicle", because everytime I see her, she's got a melting popsicle dripping down her hands and arms. When my puppies were only a few weeks old, I used to take them into the front yard to play. Popsicle and her grandmother would come over to visit and play with the puppies. Maybe they felt some obligation to do this, since my puppies and their mother are the offspring of one of their dogs. I didn't mind their visits, and the puppies loved having a little kid to play with.
Then the weather started getting warmer. My neighbors don't have AC, so they leave their windows up all the time. They have a screen door in the front- the screen was ripped a few years ago, but they've never gotten around to replacing it. It's the perfect height for Popsicle. She can stand in the front door and stick her head through the opening and watch my house for signs of life. Maybe they don't have a TV and my house and street is her version of watching TV.
On Sunday mornings, I like to work in the yard. Popsicle likes to watch me work in the yard. She starts off by screaming "Hey". I've learned to ignore it, because if I acknowlege her she'll go on and on about something that I can never understand. Working in the yard is like meditation to me- it gives me time to think and I don't want this time to be inturrepted by an hour long conversation with a 4-year-old neighbor that is standing 50' away. "Hey", she yells again. About the fourth or fifth time, I start to feel bad. How can I be so heartless as to ignore a little baby girl that's trying to get my attention. I turn around and say "hey" back to her.
"Where's your dogs?", she asks.
"In the backyard", I answer, and the tennis match begins.
"I want to see them".
"Not now, I'm busy".
"Where's your dogs?"
"Inside, sleeping" (will she notice that I just changed my story?)
"I want to see them".
"They need their naps"
"Bring them outside".
Then Popsicle goes into her monologue-- one sentence after another. It lasts about 15 minutes and I don't understand a word of it. While she rambles, I try to pull weeds. Each time I look away, she punctuates her sentence with "Hey!". I look back her way and she continues. Finally she starts to wind down and there's nothing else she can think of to tell me. There is silence for about 15 seconds, followed by "Where's your dogs?".
"Where's your mother?", I respond.
Popsicle pulls her head back inside the screen and disappears. Is she going to get her mother? Did I just invite the family over for playtime with the pups? She's gone for a while and I think it's over with, until I hear: "Hey-- where's your dogs? I want to see them."
Yardwork time is over for now. I'll try again next Sunday.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Death of a Fisherman

A couple of years ago, my neighbor (I'll call her "Mary") called to let me know that her father had died. Mary invited me to the funeral, a graveside service in Hapeville. Of course Mary was the only person there that I knew-- I didn't even know the man we were burying that day. I met Mary's cousin, Cookie, at the grave site. She had secured a nice seat in the front row, under the tent and out of the sun. I'd never thought about it before, but I wondered "Is it really appropriate to be smoking so close to a casket?". I guess Cookie thought it was okay, as she smoked her Marlboro red and basked in the glow over the fact that she had the best seat in the house!
It was almost time for the service to begin. The family started taking their seats under the tent. The greiving widow sat next to her daughter who sat next to Cookie on the front row. I was relieved to see that Cookie did have the good sense to stomp out her cigarette just as the preacher began the service. I stood on the sidelines, watching the service- more of an observer than a participant- the whole time thinking "Why am I here?".
The service was going along nicely. The preacher made some parables about the deceased. He loved to fish and he loved to spread God's word. He was a good man and he used God's love as bait. It was very sweet. We were asked to bow our heads and recite the Lord's Prayer. As soon as everyone had their heads bowed and their eyes closed, I saw Cookie lean over to retreive her purse from the ground. I was intrigued- is she going to pull out a Kleenex or something? Did the prayer move her to tears? Knowing Cookie, she might even pull out a Budweiser or something! Her hand fumbled around inside the purse as she prayed "Our Father, who art in heaven..." (fumble, fmble, fumble), "hallowed be Thy name...". She didn't let me down- she pulled her hand out and she had the pack of Marlboro reds and a lighter! Oh my God- she's not going to light up during the prayer is she?!?!?!? "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done..." (insert the sound of a Zippo lighter) "On Earth as it is in Heaven". I have just witnessed the biggest example of white trash that I think I will ever see! "Amen" was followed by a big puff of smoke from the front row. The mournors all raised their heads, opened their eyes and looked at Cookie in disbelief.
OK, now it was time for the audience-participation portion of this funeral. The preacher asked those in attendance to share memories of the deceased with the group. His request was met with complete silence. I started to think that maybe I wasn't the only one there that didn't know the man. Surely someone had something good to say about the man in the coffin. The silence was very uncomrtable and it grew and grew. We spent about 5 minutes in silence-- people looked at each other and nodded as if to say "he was a good man and that's understood- no words needed". But the preacher wasn't going to let us off the hook until somebody said something. Cookie looked down at her watch - maybe she had somewhere else to be. She decided to call the preacher's bluff and get this show on the road. She stood up and walked a couple of steps and turned around to face the audience- standing in front of the coffin- a cigarette in one hand, a Kleenex in the other. She took a looong drag and threw the cigarette on the ground (about a foot away from the freshly dug grave) . She stomped it out and kicked the butt underneath one of the flower arrangements. She dried her eyes and composed herself. I was waiting with baited breath- what will she say? What deep revelation will she reveal about the dead fisherman that laid in the casket behind her? Then she did it- she summed up the man's life in one sentence "He loved to fish!". That was it- just "he loved to fish". Cookie held the Kleenex to her nose as she walked back to her seat and sat down. The preacher asked us again if anyone had memories they wanted to share. Again it was met with silence. Finally he asked the greiving widow if she had anything she wanted to share about her husband. Through tears she said- "He did like to fish". I guess that summed it all up. The service ended and everyone was invited back to Mary's house for a meal.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Dumpster Diving

I just finished reading a book where one of the characters was a dumpster diver-- she would go out at night on her bicycle (complete with a rickshaw), and go through her neighbor's trash. She'd find treasures (including a frozen turkey) and load them into the rickshaw and bring them home. I thought she was so funny, until I realized that she's me. I don't ride around at night going through dumpsters or trashcans, but I occassionaly I do peruse through other people's "curbside leftovers". For example, this week I was in Candler Park and I saw two perfectly good toilets sitting in a parking lot beside a sign that said "Free". I looked them over and, although my toilet is fine, I couldn't pass by the opportunity of getting something for free. I loaded one of the toilets into my trunk and started trying to figure out how to replace my current toilet with this new one (which happened to be identical to the one I decided I need to replace, but at the time it made sense). I drove around for a couple of days with the toilet in the trunk-- I didn't want to unload it because that would mean there would be an extra, nonworking toilet in my house and I was afraid I might get confused and use the wrong one!
On the way home last night, I drove by a house on my street where the residents have recently moved-- maybe evicted, maybe a foreclosure, who knows. They left a truckload of stuff on the front porch-- I've been eyeing a headboard there for a couple of weeks. Well, last night I realized that the pile had moved from the front porch to the street- so it was fair game! And the headboard was still there, to my surprise. I got out of the car and looked it over. It had a couple of rips that I thought I could hide, but it was in okay shape, so I loaded it into my backseat since the trunk was full of toilet.

Today I was in that Candler Park parking lot again and I saw someone hauling a huge fan to the dumpster. My first thought was- that would be great to use in the garage during the summer-- it would keep the dogs cooler and it'd be a great back up inside the house in case the AC fails again. I asked the guy if it worked and he said it did- he was just throwing it away because it was rusty and he had a new one. I decided to take it, but then remembered that my trunk was already full with the toilet in it, and the back seat was full of headboard. I had to make a quick decision- which did I need the least: a toilet that was identical to the one I already have, a ripped up headboard or a fan for the dogs. I opted to chunk the toilet and keep the fan. I returned the toilet to the same spot that I found it- the "free" sign was gone, but I guess they'll put it back up again tomorrow when they realize that the toilet had returned.

I unloaded the car tonight and took the fan into the garage. I plugged in the fan and found that it didn't work afterall. Damnit! I sacraficed my new toilet for a rusty old broken down fan. I felt like one of the contestants on "The Price Is Right"-- I should've picked curtain number three! So, tomorrow the fan will go back to the dumpster it was originally intended to go into, and hopefully the toilet will still be there. The headboard was beyond repair, so it was delivered back to the foreclosure house today.

Dumpster diving: it's right up there with EBay in my book- lots of adventure, some disapointments, but always a good story to tell!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Breaking News

A little birdie just told me that Brittney Spears is in the delivery room, giving birth to a little baby boy. Hang in there, Brit. Push, push, push!!!!

Deep Thoughts

My Aunt Jane & Uncle Hub gave me a book 25 years ago, May 1980. I don't remember the occassion-- could've been graduation from elementary school, could have been my confirmation. Anyway, I probably said "Thank you", and shrugged because it was just a book-- as I always did when I was a kid and received books or clothes as a present. If it wasn't a toy or cash, I wasn't interested. But this particular present found it's way into my life. The title of the book is "You Can See Forever". It's full of poems, inspirational thoughts and quotes from famous people . Looking at it tonight, I realize that sometimes we give gifts and we feel that we aren't thanked enough-- sometimes we feel like the gift wasn't appreciated because we don't see it when we visit the homes of the receivers. But we're often wrong-- sometimes the gifts are treasured too much to leave out for others to see. That's the case with this book. I was 14 years old when I got it, and I've kept it all these years. When I'm down, I open the book and read a few pages and I feel better. Thanks Aunt Jane and Uncle Hub-- I might've blown it off 25 years ago, but the little book you gave me has turned into one of my prize possesions:

  • "You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one"~ James A. Frudge
  • "It ain't no disgrace for a man to fall, but to lay there and grunt is"~Josh Billing
  • "You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you"~ James Allen
  • "Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly"~St. Francis De Sales
  • "If we are not responsible for the thoughts that pass our doors, we at least are responsible for those which we admit and entertain"~Charles B. Newcomb
  • "What happens to a man is less significant that what happens within him"~Louis L. Mann
  • "Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing; 'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But he that fliches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed."~ William Shakespeare
  • "Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens"~ Epictetus
  • "The mind is everything. What we think, we become"~Buddha
  • "The best time to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust"~Josh Billings
  • "You probably wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do"~ Olin Miller
  • "Whether four years of strenuos attention to football and fraternities is the best preparation for professional work has never been seriously investigated"~ Robert M. Hutchins
  • "You have not converted a man because you have silenced him"~ John Morley

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Blog Pause

I thought I was playing safe by blogging different lists-- favorite movie lines, houses I've lived in, jobs I've had. Pretty safe stuff, I would think. I steered clear of the controversial subjects of politics and religion (although I did write that I had some involvement with the church 25 years ago). I've been criticized about my Blog- that it's all fantasy. Particularly my list of homes. I swear to God that I told the truth in my descriptions. I talked about the house that I grew up in - it was huge and the nicest place I've ever lived in. Everything I said about it was true. I was faulted for leaving out the important information , or the "gaps that I couldn't face".

I guess that I should have mentioned the fact that my parents fought a lot there and my father had affairs with other men while we lived there, and that my parents got a divorce. It's no secret; I'd tell that to anyone. It wasn't relative in the story I was telling on this blog. The subject was houses I've lived in, followed by descriptions of the houses. If the readers think I'm trying to hide something, they're wrong. I was sticking to the subject.
If I was going to write about what happened to me in each of these houses, I could've included other facts: one of my roommates beat me up and tried to set fire to my cat just to see her run through the house and burn me and my father to death-- another one pushed me down a flight of stairs and then kicked me in the chest until he broke several of my ribs- I attempted suicide in one of the houses that I mentioned- I had roommates at the Metropolitan that fought so much that the police were called to my apartment almost nightly- the same thing happened with roommates I had in East Point, there are still broken windows and pizza stains on the walls to prove that they lived here . I could have mentioned all of these situations and more, and elaborated on them in my original post, but I didn't because the subject was "the houses I lived in".
I tried to describe the houses, not what happened to me inside each of them. My life is an open book and it's hardly been a fantasy.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Almost forgot...

My favorite movie lines of all time come from "As Good As It Gets" :

Simon: Melvin, I love you.
Melvin: If that did it for me, I'd be the luckiest man alive.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Best Movie Lines

Here's a list of the greatest movie lines , in my opinion:

  • "I am big. It's the pictures that got small." Sunset Blvd
  • "I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special. " Steel Magnolias
  • "As God is my witness, as God is my witness, they're not going to lick me! I'm going to live through this, and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again - no, nor any of my folks! If I have to lie, steal, cheat, or kill! As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again." Gone With the Wind
  • "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Mame
  • "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night." All About Eve
  • "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." Silence of the Lambs
  • "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." Casablanca
  • "Then close your eyes and tap your heels together three times. And think to yourself, 'There's no place like home'." Wizard of Oz
  • "Are those pussywillows?" Serial Mom
  • "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way." Roger Rabbit
  • "Frankly, my dear. I don't give a damn." Gone With the Wind
  • "Every time you hear a bell ring, it means an angel's just got his wings." It's a Wonderful Life
  • "Surely you can't be serious."- "I am serious, and don't call me Shirley." Airplane
  • "I'm not crazy, I've just been in a very bad mood for 40 years!" Steel Magnolias
  • " Oh! You cursed brat. Look what you've done. I'm melting! Melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness." Wizard of Oz
  • "I do wish we could chat longer, but I'm having an old friend for dinner." Silence of the Lambs
  • "You want the moon? Just say the word, and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down." It's a Wonderful Life
  • "I'm NOT gonna be ignored, Dan." Fatal Attraction
  • "Years from now, when you talk about this, and you will, be kind." Tea & Sympathy
  • "I'm in love with you."- "Snap out of it!" Moonstruck
  • "Face it, girls, I'm older and I have more insurance." Fried Green Tomatoes
  • "Listen to me, mister. You're my knight in shining armor. Don't you forget it. You're going to get back on that horse, and I'm going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we're gonna go, go, go!" On Golden Pond
  • "I was a better man with you, as a woman, than I ever was with a woman, as a man. Know what I mean? I just gotta learn to do it without the dress." Tootsie
  • "You wouldn't be able to do these awful things to me if I weren't still in this chair."- "But cha are, Blanche! Ya are in that chair!" Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
  • "Don't fuck with me, fellows. This ain't my first time at the rodeo." Mommie Dearest
  • "There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance...." - "Which one am I?"- "You're the worst kind. You're high maintenance, but you think you're low maintenance." When Harry Met Sally
  • "Well, you know what they say: if you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me! " Steel Magnolias
  • "You a low down dog is what’s wrong. It’s time to leave you and enter into the creation. And your dead body just the welcome mat I need." Color Purple
  • "I don't care, quite frankly! I am tryin' to quit smokin'! And the two of you are gettin' on my nerves!" Sordid Lives
  • " Oh, bite the weenie, Riz." " With relish." Grease
  • "I want a whole lot more than the boy next door. I want hell on wheels." Grease 2

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

My Homes

Here is another list-- houses and cities that I've lived in:
  • My first home was on Holly Hill in Decatur. I only lived there a couple of years and really don't remember anything about it.
  • When I was two, we moved to Lamp Post Court, also in Decatur. It was a Spanish-style house with a court yard in the front. My Dad was a novice landscaper and he loved the Spanish style and he loved cacti. We lived here until I was in the 8th grade-- sharing a room with my brother, Jim. Our room had a bicentinial motif- red/white/blue wallpaper and blue furniture.
  • The next house was on Smokerise Court. We were the first residents of an upscale neighborhood. We had a 5,000 square foot, contemporary home. Our living room ceiling was over 20' high! My brother, Joel, and I shared a floor, while Jim lived one flight up and my parents were a flight above him. We had a backyard full of woods and a creek running along the property line.
  • After highschool, I moved to Athens and attended UGA. I lived in Russell Hall on the 17th floor. My roommate was Jay. We shared a room that was about the size of my current bathroom, but we had everything we needed-- two beds, two closets, two desks and a bathroom down the hall. I only stayed in the dorm for a year.
  • Sophmore year, I moved to a home that was the former Athens Raquet club. I lived with four other guys-- Jay, Keith, Mike and Dan. We had a full bar, tennis courts in the front yard, and the Yellow River running through the backyard- and we were surrounded by woods.
  • The next "house" was the 1 bedroom apartment that was over my Dad's house. I had one room, but it didn't stop me from getting roommates. The first one was my best friend, Chip. Next was my boyfriend, Dennis Chapman. After Dennis moved out and the relationship was over, my brother Jim moved in. He was only there for a few months. I had a going-away party for him when he moved to Athens. I met Steve that night at the party and he moved in with me the next day. We redecorated the place with a black and white theme. awe got rid of everything we owned that wasn't black or white.
  • Jim moved back in town with his new wife, Angie, a couple of years later. Steve and I gave up our apartment and let Jim and Angie have it. We moved to Tahoe apartments and had a huge two bedroom place. We had a dining room and sundeck. We also had a lake nearby where we fished and raised our puppy, Edward. It was 1989 when a stray cat showed up at our door. I fed him and named him Bixby.
  • My father passed away in 1990, so Steve and I moved back to his house on North Decatur Rd. This time we lived downstairs with Joel. Jim & Angie, and their new baby Jaime still lived upstairs. We all lived together a couple of years, but there were too many of us under one roof, so we sold the house, shortly after Steve and I broke up and he moved out.
  • My next apartment was in Norcross. I lived with my friend, Kent. The apartment was cool- a roommate floorplan. We had a pool and good neighbors. But.. I didn't stay long. Within 10 months, I had a lead on a great house in Midtown.
  • I moved to Argonne Avenue. It was a three story townhouse and I loved it. I painted and wallpapered and landscaped. I built a waterpond in the backyard. I got a puppy I named Betty. I lived there a couple of years before I had a falling out with the landlord and he doubled my rent. I moved out that night and moved in with my friend, Debbie.
  • Debbie and I lived on 11th Street in a home that once was very nice. It had been divided into three apartments that were pretty scummy. I loved spending time with Debbie and our puppies-- she had a greyhound named Gabby and I had Bety and Bixby. We got a couple of ferrets and some lovebirds, and a bat that lived in our fridge. We were walking distance from Piedmont Park and loved taking our dogs on walks around the lake there.
  • The next home was the loft in Atlanta, the "Metropolitan". I moved there with Betty and Bixby. Our loft overlooked downtown Atlanta, Woodruff Park and Five Points. This is where I met my friend Carmen. She had a dog named Free that Betty fell in love with. I lived on the 16th floor for a year and then moved to the top (17th) floor into a 2 bedroom. I lived in the bigger space for another year before the building turned condo and I had to move.
  • I ended up at the Cotton Mill Lofts, in the Old Bag Building, in Cabbagetown. I loved the 20' ceilings and exposed brick walls. We had a great pool and cool neighbors. Then we had a huge fire and the building next to mine burned to the ground. All of a sudden some of the neighbors that I thought of as friends became activists- assuming the role of victim and fighting for payment of expenses that they didn't have. The whole attitude of the place changed and I had to get out. Betty, Bixby and my new puppy Shelby moved to East Point.
  • I bought a house on Westwood Avenue. It's a 2 bedroom/ 1 bath craftsman bungalow. I first fell in love with the huge backyard and sunroom. If I had it all to do over again, I'd buy a house with a smaller yard. I've been here for 5 years and I love it. The house is now 55 years old and is beginning to show it's age. I throw some paint on it every now and then and pretend that it's upscale! I've met some good friends here, and said goodbye to Bixby- he died last year at the age of 21. I still have Betty and Shelby, and have added two more dogs to the family- Clara and her son King.

My List

OK-- I promised this a week ago and I've been thinking about it ever since. Here is a partial list of things I want to accomplish in this lifetime, in no particular order:
  • Become fluent in a foreign language.
  • Be attracted to someone that is attracted to me.
  • Have all of the rooms in my house clean at the same time.
  • Write a check without first having to remember what my balance is.
  • Take a group of friends or family out to dinner, and be able to pay for it.
  • Look in the mirror and not notice the flaws.
  • Own an Armani suit.
  • Take a trip to Paris with my partner in the late Fall and eat roasted chestnuts under the Eiffel Tower.
  • Have a stranger ask me for my autograph.
  • Attend a red-carpet event in Los Angeles.
  • Live in a beach house for a summer.
  • Finish writting the book that I started 15 years ago.
  • Set a Guinness Book of World Records record for something!
  • Visit a museum full of pieces from the Titanic.
  • Find out what happened to ONJ's BF

Like I said, it's a partial list- I'm sure I'll think of a few more items to add to it.

Monday, September 05, 2005


This is my youngest pup, King, a couple of hours after he was born. Originally I planned on naming him Clarence, after the angel in "It's a Wonderful Life". But, he was born on MLK day (Jan 17, 2005), and he was the biggest of the litter, I figured the name "King" was more appropriate.

King had a rough start in life-- the night he was born, in my garage, it was 19 degrees outside. The fuses in the garage blew, so the heat lamps and space heaters stopped working. He and his littermates were shivering and most of them didn't make it. I brought the survivors inside and made some home-made baby formula out of milk, water, yogurt and sour cream. I got them through the first night and then got some real puppy formula from Petsmart the next day. I took care of the babies as best as I could, but I ended up burying 6 of them the first week. The babies had to be fed every three hours. Thank God for Beverly. She took the daytime shift and I took the nights. I didn't sleep more than an hour a night for weeks- as soon as the last one finished eating, it was time to start feeding the first one again. Anyway- things were going well until the fourth week. I fed the pups in the morning- took pictures and emailed everyone about the progress the pups were making (I took this picture that morning). They all had their eyes open, they had learned to walk and they were just starting to eat a mush of dog food and milk. I got home that night and found King in a ball-- turning in circles and flailing his legs. I rushed him to the vet to find out that he had had a stroke. They gave me lots of medicines to give him, but they didn't give me much hope. I didn't give up on him- I took him to three different vets that week. None of them gave me any hope. I seperated King from his brother and sister-- they were in one box in a room and he was in another. I was back to bottle feeding again with King. Between feedings, he would lay in the box: legs still flailing, still turning in circles, and crying.

One night, a week later, I was laying on the couch, between feedings and I realized that I didn't hear him crying. I looked down at the box and King was standing on his back legs, trying to get out of the box. He wasn't having seizures, he wasn't turning or flailing. He was a normal puppy again! I took this picture (above) that night.

He still had trouble walking-- I have hardwood floors and he couldn't get any traction. The other puppies were running around and and testing their new legs. King was still trying to walk, and when he made progress, it was always in a circle.One day I took him outside and let him run in the grass. He got good traction outside and he finally found his legs. He was able to walk again-- he didn't walk normally, pretty much just hopped like a rabbit. But he could walk! It was a miracle and I knew that he would be okay. I took this picture (right) that day. Have you ever seen a happier puppy?

Over time the circles got bigger and bigger. He still walks in circles, his head is still leaned to the side sometimes. He will always have problems, but he's learning to compensate for them. At the age of four weeks old, the doctors told me that if he survived, he'd probably be blind and/or deaf, and/or paralyzed. Well, they were wrong, King is a joy to be around. He's calm, but he can play with his brother, Cletus, like a normal puppy. He was completely house broken by the time he was 5 months old. He learned to sit and shake on his own at about the same time- no training required- he learned it on his own by watching my older dogs do their tricks for me.

Now he's 8 months old, practicly grown up. He's taller than his Momma- even taller than my other "big" dogs, Betty & Shelby. He's a big boy, but to me he'll always be the little creature that I brought out of the cold in the palm of my hand that first night, cried over in 3 different vet's offices, and obsessed over for months. After fighting so hard for the other babies that didn't make it, I vowed that this boy would. He had my heart from day one, and he always will.

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday night we went to "Flashback". Once again I walked in the place swearing that I wouldn't be seduced by the kareoke microphone again. It turns out that there is a country singer somewhere deep inside that's screaming to get out! I started off by singing "Margarittaville", then Friends in Low Places". The drag queen diva came out in me and I sang "We Are Family" with all of my friends dancing in the background. Oh yeah, Beverly started the kareoke by signing up to sing "Macarena"- she didn't know the words, so we all joined her to help. It was fun- we didn't know the words either, but we learned a new dance. I have a feeling that we'll try that song again- who cares if we sing or not- the dancing part was fun enough. I sang the "Three's Company" theme song with Adam & Kris. I sang this song with them last week, too. Maybe this will be our tradition-- it's not a bad song, we just need Kris to sing one or two lines. We'll have to work on that! My last song was "Losing My Religion" by REM. A favorite of mine! I have a feeling that I'll stick to these same songs from now on. They all felt comfortable to me and people said that I sounded good, too.

Saturday was dull- I did laundry and some yard work and swore that I wasn't going to leave the house. It was a nice day to do nothing. I watched the Tom Hanks marathon all day.

Sunday- got a hair cut, bought dog food and watched TV most of the day-- the "24" Marathon was showing on A&E. Then I went to the Tavern for Kris's birthday party. Our new friends, Matt and Dustin, were there. They are nice guys that seem to fit into our group-- I hope they like us as much as we like them! Maybe they'll even earn the title of "Pubcrawlers" someday!

The best news of the weekend-- Bruce's friends from Biloxi have been found! They have been missing for a week and Bruce was about to drive to ground zero this week to try to locate them. I think he found out that they were out of town when the hurricane hit... I didn't get all of the details- just glad that they are safe.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The ONJ Game

You might have read in the news recently that Olivia Newton-John's boyfriend of 9 years, Patrick Kim McDermott, is missing. He went on an overnight fishing trip on June 30th. He was on the ship that night, but not there when everyone got off the ship the following morning. Poor Olivia- I really do feel for her. She's always been one of my favorites.

That being said, my friend Janet and I have begun a new game called the ONJ game. We try to update each other daily about McDermott's disapearence, but we do it using acronyms and abbreviations. Most, if not all, of our updates are fictional and just an attempt to one-up each other.

No disrespect to Olivia- it could be any topic, but it just happened to start with her, since Janet always refers to her as ONJ.

OK-- here are some examples of our conversations- try to figure them out:

"ONJ's BF is MIA, according to MSNBC"
"411: LAPD, NYPD & CSI issued APBs"
"ONJ's BF, on PCP & LSD, is AWOL"
"CNN, AOL, AJC reported ONJ's BF's MO"

Yeah, we have a twisted sense of humor. I admit it. It's so not funny.