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

Friday, April 28, 2006

Time Flies

I can't believe it's been 16 years since my father died. So much has changed since he's been gone. My nephew, Jaime, was 6 months old when Dad passed away. They were both born on October 21st. They shared a birthdate, but never a birthday. Now Jaime is 16 and driving his own car. He has no memories of "Papa Lew", besides the old photos that he sees every once in a while.
When my father died in 1990, I was 23 years old. I had spent the last couple of years as his caretaker. I lived in the apartment above his home and I was on-call 24 x 7. The last year or so was hard. I had a full time job, I was in school, I lived with my partner at the time, ran my father's business and took care of him through his many illnesses, and later throughout his coma. We'd visit him every day for months, but he was never awake. He probably didn't even know that we were there. The night before he died, my brother Joel and I went by the hospital. I don't know why- we were probably checking to see if any flowers or cards had come. That was about the only reason to visit in those days. Normally we would sit in the room and watch TV, while Dad layed in bed on a breathing machine and unconscience. But this night was different. When we walked in the room, Dad's eyes were open. He was awake and out of the coma. He couldn't talk because of the breathing machine, but he could write. He wrote us notes and told us that he loved us. He also wrote down hymns that he wanted to be played at his funeral, and some info about his finances that would come in handy later. It was an amazing night and we went home with such a positive feeling that things would be better. The next morning, I got the phone call that things had taken a turn for the worse. The doctors were asking if we'd like to increase the morphine to an extreem degree, "to help ease the pain". I was young, but I wasn't stupid. I knew what they were saying. They were asking if I wanted to euthanize my father. I couldn't make a decision without talking to my brothers first. We met at the hospital and agreed that it was the right thing to do. They allowed the family to come into the room while Dad passed to the other side. My mother was holding his hand and whispering into his ear as the bleeps on the heart monitor got few and far between: "You are a good man-- I loved you so... so much", she sobbed. My grandparents held his other hand, but couldn't say a word. The rest of us held on to any body part that we could reach, and we were all touching him when the monitor made it's final beep. What a way to go- surrounded by all of your loved ones-- a circle of love around a dying man in a hospital bed. Being held by your wife, your parents, your sister, your sons, and the tiny hand of a baby that shared your birthdate. Four generations of Burnetts in one room, with one common goal-- to comfort a man as he slipped away from us and into another world.
Believe it or not, life moved on after that. It's been 16 years and we've all grown up, and things have changed since that cold Spring morning. I've somehow forged out a life, and I like to think that my Dad would be very proud of me if he could see the man that I grew up to be.
I miss you, Daddy.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Technology Advances

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Brush with the Divine

I had a blow out yesterday. It's not shocking- it happens about once every couple of months to me. I think in a previous life, I must have never had a flat tire- now I'm paying for it in this life! When I had the blow out yesterday, I was already driving on a spare tire. I pulled over to the side of the road and tried to figure out what I should do. I didn't have a spare tire (it was already in use) and my car had landed on the curb of a highway exit ramp. Luckily, I had a cell phone. I called the Goodyear dealership and a tow truck and everything seemed to be working out. My friend Rob said he'd pick me up and I got the feeling that everything would be fine.

As I got out of my car, I saw a skinny black woman walking towards me. She was wearing faded jeans with a halter top. She had long hair, mostly purple. As she approached me, she introduced herself as Evangelist Pamela. She told me that she was there to help and then she said a little prayer for me. Then the holy woman had a few words of advice for me: "You need to move your car before it gets fucked up!". She was right, my car was parked kind of dangerously.

I got in the car and started to crank it. The evangelist lady was behind the car with her hands planted on the pollen-crusted trunk, ready to push. I leaned out to tell her that it didn't need to be pushed, but by that point she was speaking in tongues and asking God for the power to push my car. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I could drive on the rims. So I turned the key, put it in drive and eased my car up onto the curb as the evangelist praised God for the strength to push a car.

When I got out of the car, she came to hug me and say another prayer. Of course I noticed when one of her hands clamped onto my butt during the prayer. Just after she finished praising the Lord and singing a chorus of "Alleluia", she told me that she was 50 years old. "Don't you think I look damn good for 50?", she asked. As I gathered my things from the car I assured her that she looked good for her age. "I got 7 grandbabies, too", she informed me. Did she think that would turn me on? Was she hitting on me? Did she want something? The questions were flooding my mind. Maybe she really was an evangelist. The most foul mouthed evangelist I've ever met. Maybe she was a hooker. Homeless? Scammer waiting for a victim?

"May the Lord bless you and keep you" she said. Those words were followed by "Do you have any beer or cigarettes? I'm thirsty and need a smoke after pushing that car". I thanked her and gave her a smoke and started to walk away. "Have a blessed day" she hollered as she ran back into the woods beside the freeway.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

"Like a Dog on Linoleum"

I went to see Leslie Jordan's one-man-show tonight with my friends Wayne, Michael and Dewberry. Of course, we loved the show and got a chance to talk to Leslie afterwards and get that all-important celebrity photo-op that I'm getting famous for! I realized tonight that I need to get a picture of myself with Dewberry-- his appearance on "Hell's Kitchen" last year has turned him into a reality show icon! People in the audience recognized him; people on the street afterwards called out his name as we walked past. I've never really thought of Dewey as a celeb, I guess because we were friends before he went on TV, but he's really catapulted himself into the celebrity arena. He's already recorded a voice over for an episode of a new animated series that should be airing on Cartoon Network soon; he's also making a guest start appearance at the Reality TV Stars Convention in Nashville, TN in June. I better strike while the iron is hot and get a picture with him soon for my "Brushes with Greatness" album on my PhotoSite (see link to the right)!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Wedding Annoucement

Keisha's cousin, Candie, got married last weekend! I know it's a surprise- it was a shock to all of us! Candie met Spud Webber a couple of months ago at the Golden Arches Trailer Park's St. Patrick's Day party. Candie, being a long time resident of the trailer park and Co-President of the Neighborhood Association, was in charge of the days festivities. It sounds impressive, but in reality her only job was to pour the green food dye into the creek that runs behind the motor homes located in slots 13 and 14. Spud wasn't a resident of the trailer park, but he'd seen an ad for the party on a telephone pole, and thought that it sounded like fun. Free Schlitz!!! Who could turn that down?
As fate would have it, Candie had just started pouring the green dye into the creek when Spud wandered behind slot 14 in search of a private spot to take a leak. He didn't even notice his future wife, with her legs straddled over each side of a drain pipe at the mouth of the creek. Candie was so involved in her project that she didn't notice her future husband as he proceeded to drop trou and feed the fish his "golden nectar".
Candie was putting the lid on her empty food dye jar, just as Spud was shaking off the last couple of drops before zipping up. Their eyes met and the rest, as they say, is history. By the end of the party that night, they had promised each other eternal love and were engaged. They didn't want to rush into marriage, but that's what happened!
Candie always imagined a big wedding with her riding in a horse-drawn carriage up to the alter while Dolly Parton and Trisha Yearwood sang a duet of "I Will Always Love You". What she ended up with was a shotgun wedding held in the field behind the Golden Arches Trailer Park, alongside the creek that Spud now calls the "Yellow River". But, she's not disappointed-- in fact she's proud to be married to the man who won "The Best Yard Sale" category in the 1986 issue of the Creative Loafing.
Congratulations to Spud and Candie Webber!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Another Brush with Greatness!

I catered an event at the Margaret Mitchell house tonight. It was a book-signing event, and the guest author was Mary Higgins Clark (the author of twenty-four worldwide bestsellers). Accompanying Mrs. Clark was her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark (also a well known author). They are on a tour promoting their new books. I got to meet both of the authors prior to the event and they couldn't have been nicer. They both posed for pictures with me, and thanked me for catering the event. They couldn't eat prior to speaking, so we packed them up some plates of food to take back to the hotel after their engagement. When I delivered their to-go plates to the "green room", they thanked me again profusely. They were such classy and sweet women-- they even came out of the green room to applaud when they heard the Flying Biscuit being mentioned as the caterers.
It was a great experience and I can't wait to cater more of these events in the future.

Wednesday Funny-- ha, ha!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Reflections

I'll summarize it: It was my best Easter ever!!!!! The sunrise service was very moving. I can't believe it but, I was actually crying when Rev. Jim pronounced "The Lord is Risen! Alleluia!" as the darkened church was lighted up and the alter was decorated with dozens of bouqets of flowers and candles. It was a very moving service.

Afterwards, I had a brunch at my house. I had spent the previous couple of days getting the yard ready-- I planted 4 hibiscus trees, three flats of impatiens, weeded, edged and mowed the grass. I planted and installed some window boxes in the front windows, too. The front yard was transformed into a garden and everyone seemed to enjoy it as much as I did today. We all got a little sun, and sipped mimosas in the flower garden.

My only regret is that Bruce, Beverly and Kevin weren't around, but I know they had other obligations. Other than that the day was perfect: I was surrounded by good friends, good family, good food, great weather and an extreem feeling of peace! It was also nice to have all SIX of my "children" (of the four-legged variety) here to celebrate Easter with me!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Casper, the Friendly Food Runner

Do you remember Casper the Friendly Ghost? If not, I'll fill you in. Casper was a ghost. Casper was a very friendly ghost. He could sneak into a room unseen, and you'd never know he was there. That's about all you need to know, and I all that I can remember about Casper the Friendly Ghost.
Very different from the guy I witnessed at Jock's & Jill's this weekend. There was one similarity, though. His name was Casper, too. He was the food runner at the restaurant. His job was to carry the food to the tables. When I first saw him, he was carrying three plates of food to a nearby table. He didn't go unnoticed by anyone. We all witnessed his struggle getting from Point A (the kitchen window) to Point B (the table). The condiment cups were rattling, the plates were shifting in his arms, and he was struggling. After delivering the plates to Point B, Casper had to take a rest. He sat at a nearby vacant table and complained to the partons at Point B that he would be sore tomorrow after carrying all of that food in one trip. After his rest, Casper left Point B and returned to Point A to retrieve the food for my table (now known as Point B). We were a party of three and we joked that Casper would never make it to our table with all three plates intact. Our boy didn't let us down. He made it to the table (Point B), but after setting down the first two plates, he lost it. My Classic Club on whole wheat toast flew into the air. Some of it landed on the table, some on the floor and most of it on my friend's jacket that was folded neatly on the empty chair of our table. Casper apologized and cleaned up some of the food before returning to Point A. We had a good laugh, especially when we looked down at the floor and saw the carnage of Classic Club on concrete. Our server came by and noticed the mess and said that Casper wasn't having a good day. Several other servers and a manager also surveyed the carnage, and commented that this just wasn't Casper's day. Of course, none of the restaurant reps that saw the spillage bothered to clean it up. They just looked at the mess and shook their heads.
I remembered the story of one of my servers that accidentally spilled hot coffee on a guest. That spillage cost our company close to $100,000. I thought that maybe if I played my cards right, I could get Casper to spill something hot on me. I wouldn't mind a scar. With that kind of money, I could get some plastic surgery and end up better than before, with a little money left over to live on for the next couple of years.
I noticed Casper about halfway between Point A and Point B (Point A.5, maybe?). He was carrying my plate of Classic Club in one hand and a bowl of sour cream in the other. A few paces away from Point B, the bowl of sour cream flew from his hand and did a slow motion flip in the air before landing on the concrete floor of the patio. The ceramic bowl split in half as the sour cream shot a splatter trail over 8 feet long. Casper recovered quickly and made his way to Point B. As he placed the plate in front of me, I whispered "It'll get better". He replied "No, it won't."
On his way back to Point A, the manager confronted Casper about the sour cream spillage. Casper denied the whole thing. "It wasn't me" and returned to Point A, while everyone on the patio sat in disbelief, after just witnessing the "crime" that he denied.
We didn't see Casper deliver any more food while we finished our meals, so I didn't get a chance to have anything hot spilled on me. Maybe next time.
On the way to the exit we passed Casper at Point A, trying to get a grasp of four plates of hot food. He had the look of impending doom on his face and I wish we could've stuck around to see his delivery. I'm sure it might have been his last.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Spring has Sprung

I love watching my yard each day this time of year. Things change in the blink of an eye. This morning, my tulips all had buds, but no flowers. This afternoon, they were in full bloom. I love the fact that I spent about an hour (or less) planting those bulbs a few years ago, and every year they come back and show off for me again, trying to outdo last year's performance.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Still Holding a Grudge

Janice is tired. She works full time in the Customer Service department at Atlanta Gas Light. She spends 40 hours a week declining her customer's requests, as well as maintaining her lovely 2 bed/ 1 bath bungalow. Janice lives alone, and that brings her down. She longs for a companion. Male or female, she doesn't care. The upkeep on the house is too much for her.
She has to do everything for herself. No one helps her at all. Just last November she spent every weekend lining her home with Christmas lights. They were having a sale at Dollar General and she bought 8 strings of icicle lights for a dollar each; enough to line the front of the house. They were so pretty that the neighbors voted her home the "Christmas House of the Year". Janice basked in the glory and decided that the Christmas lights should stay up a little longer.
Spring came and Janice noticed that pollen was collecting on the strands of icicles that outlined her home. Some of the light bulbs no longer glowed as brightly after they were coated with pollen. Janice went outside with a bottle of no-name brand window cleaner and a roll of paper towels and set upon her mission of cleaning the bulbs. It was then that she discovered the squirrels. Apparently, squirrels like to eat Christmas light cords. Janice noticed that when she plugged in her lights each night, several strands didn't light up anymore. Maybe there's a reason that other people take down their lights as soon as the holidays are over? Janice didn't want to give in. She decided to spend all of her free time on her front porch. She sits there with a broom in her hand- ready to swat at any rodents that she catches gnawing away on her remaining lights.
Poor Janice. It's no wonder that she's so tired and hateful all the time. At least her job brings her a little satisfaction-- cutting off people's gas always brings her a little happiness.
It's been several months since Janice had the satisfaction of cutting off my gas and doing everything within her power to prohibit me from restoring service.
I still hate her.

Monday, April 03, 2006


"The Rise of the Southern Biscuit" is airing this week, April 5th at 7pm (PBS, channel 8).