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

Monday, July 31, 2006

On the Road Again


Keisha has packed her bags and she's ready to hit the road! Some people fantasize about shaking pink sand off their feet in the Bahamas. Some people dream of sipping a latte in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Some think of the perfect vacation as a week of spa treatments, or gondola rides through the canals of Venice.
Not Keisha-- she's all psyched up about our trip through the Redneck Riviera... one day of touring the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Followed by a tour of the Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. As if that weren't enough... Keisha can't wait to get to Pigeon Forge to visit her Mecca, Dollywood! She looks forward to meeting Dolly, even though I told her that Dolly's a busy woman and I doubt that she actually works in the fun park each day. Keisha insists that Dolly Parton is a ticket-taker at the front gate every day. I guess there's always a chance, though.
After Dollywood, we'll head to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a full day of shopping. I've been there before and I don't remember any great shopping there, but I guess we can get a handmade candle or something. We'll also ride the ski lift to the top of the mountain. I don't know why people do that- especially in August! There's no reason to ride the ski lift in the middle of the Summer. You get to the top, look around, take a few pictures, stroll through the gift shop and then ride back down. The only good thing about it is that you get your picture taken on the ride up. I think that's the part that Keisha is looking forward to the most. She loves the camera, and she's selected a beautiful evening gown to be photographed in. I keep telling her that an evening gown won't look right in a ski lift picture, but she insists that it'll be perfect.
It's going to be a fun-filled five days, traveling with Keisha on her dream trip tour of SE America (she told her friend's at work that she's going to South America- she gets a little confused sometimes). We'll keep you posted!

While I'm Away...


I'll be out of town for the rest of the week and I need you guys to do something for me while I'm away. Vote for my friend, Christian! The last time I asked you to vote, he moved into first place. It's been a couple of weeks since I last asked, and now he's lst some ground. He's in 3rd place now, with only a few weeks left to go til the end of the competition for the "Hottest Bartender in America"! Please vote for Christian- and vote daily (hint, you can vote several times a day if you wish- you just have to wait a few hours between votes). Voting is quick and easy, so I hope you'll do this for me, and please encourage your friends to vote, too.
Hopefully, when I get home on Saturday I'll find that Christian is once again in 1st place. You can do it! I have faith!
Thanks!

http://cg.channel.aol.com/hottest-bartenders/finals-guys

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Gay Pride, from a Priest's Point of View

Here is a letter that my Priest mailed to the congregation this week. What a cool perspective! Enjoy:


A Moment of Truth in the Gay Pride Parade
Charlotte and I changed clothes at church and took MARTA to Midtown to join the Gay Pride parade. I had never marched in the parade before, and even on the train I still had mixed feelings about it. My concern came from my awareness that the parade engenders a festive, carnival atmosphere, and that many of the people marching and watching are intentionally flashy, glitzy, gaudy, flamboyant (add your own adjective). Although the Mardi Gras and Carnival parades in New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro (for example) involve more lavish costumes and outrageous behavior (and dwarf the Gay Pride parade in Atlanta), they are not associated primarily with the gay community, and people do not tend to see them on the news and think, "That's what heterosexuality is all about". My concern has been that the news always shows the most sensational footage of the Gay Pride parade, and many straight people who do not know gays living quiet, responsible, faithful lives see a ten-second clip on the news and, having no other frame of reference think, "That's what being gay is all about". It is not fair, but it may be a reality, and I was hesitant to contribute to it.When Charlotte and I arrived, we were quickly discovered by other Episcopalians and taken to the staging area. About fifty Episcopalians from around the diocese marched together. Most wore beautiful purple tee shirts that said, "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You". I wore my clergy shirt and collar.Before we started, the Rev. Mac Thigpen, rector of St. Bart's, called us together and reminded us that for many in the parade and on the sidelines, we would represent the only message they had ever gotten from a church that God loves them. "How true, and how sad", I recall thinking.We marched from the Civic Center MARTA station to Piedmont Park. Despite threatening weather, the streets were lined with spectators. I was struck by how many, both gay and straight (I knew some of them) gave us a heartfelt "Thank you". It was simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking.For folks that are uptight about seeing men in drag wearing large headdresses and such, this would have been an uncomfortable event. For Charlotte and me, it was more fun than Halloween. It was indeed a festive, carnival atmosphere, and everyone was having fun.When we got to Piedmont Park, the weather stopped being threatening and delivered on it's promise. The rain came down in sheets, and Charlotte and I, who had no umbrella or cover, were quickly soaked to the bone. After a wet lunch, we hiked through the rain back to the MARTA station and rode home looking like drowned rats!Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY! Ironically, it was the media I was worried about, and it was the media God used to show me that I was in the right place. During the parade, a camera crew came up to me (no doubt because I was wearing a collar). An interviewer stuck a microphone in my face, told me what outfit he represented (I couldn't make it out, but it was not CBS News or the like) and asked my name. Then he asked, "What message does God have for gay people today?".Wow! Talk about cutting to the chase! Without thinking, I said, "You are my beloved children." The interviewer seemed surprised and, after a pause, said "How nice!". I traveled on.Would I march again? The opportunity to say that into a microphone to so many people for whom such a message is revolutionary, undelivered, and unheard Good News, made it clear to me that I was in the right place. The message to my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters is the same as it is to my straight brothers and sisters: "You are my beloved children".The Rev. James H. Pritchett, St. John's Episcopal Church, College Park, GA

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Keisha....

in a moment of deep thought:

Keisha's Nephew, Leroy

Monday, July 24, 2006

My Family, July 2006

Wedding Picture


Here's a picture from my cousin Allison's wedding last month. She and her brand new hubby Lee are dancing in the foreground and Mom and my brother Joel are in the background. Allison and Lee drove down from NC today to visit my Mom while she's recovering at Aunt Jane's house.
Mom had the house to herself for a couple of hours today and she took full advantage of it. She walked from the house to the lake and back (almost a mile total) all by herself. She's loving the feeling of walking without a limp for the first time in over a year. She's going to be fine, and she's come a long way from where she was this time last week.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Good News, Finally!

Mom was a new woman when I saw her yesterday! She was able to take a shower by herself. She changed into her own nightgown and robe. She fixed her hair and put on make-up! After moving around a little bit, she realized that she doesn't limp anymore! She still has some pain from the surgery, but she has come a long way in a very short time.
Mom was released from the hospital today and she will spend the next week or so at her sister's house in Fayetteville. She always loves to stay with Aunt Jane for any reason-- she lives on a huge "farm", on a lake. There is a beautfil garden surrounding the patio, where Mom can have coffee each morning- she really loves that part. I'll be spending the day with her tomorrow, so that my Aunt and Uncle can get out for a little while and she won't have to be alone.
Thanks again to all of you for caring. We got her through this and I'm hoping she can continue to get better and better, and will feel up to making the vacation with us the first week of August- a whirlwind tour of Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina!

Saturday




Another productive, pre-dawn day! I was out of bed and in the shower this morning by 3:30am! I had a catering gig at the Botanical Gardens this morning- breakfast for 150 people. I wish I would've taken the camera to the Gardens so I could've taken a picture of the food table-- it was incredible! I had 18 feet of table space for food and drinks, and every inch of it was filled.

By 7am, the catering job was finished and I was back at the Biscuit pinning the new shirts to the walls in the Bakery's "Retail" showcase! The new shirts look great, at least I think so. Very different, very whimisical! I spent a couple of hours folding, bagging and stocking the new shirts, and we actually sold 3 of them the first hour we were open!

Then it was time to water the flowers that I planted outside of the Biscuit a couple of weeks ago. They are growing like weeds (actually, one pot is a weed, but it has pretty blue flowers, so I left it when I was repotting everything). I wonder sometimes why I'm willing to do extra stuff like this? It's a weekend morning and I was free to leave after the catering job ended at 7am, but I stayed and did some extra work. I guess I do it because this is the fun part of my job-- I really enjoy the catering, the retail side of it, and of course the flowers outside have become my private project and retreat. When things get hectic, I go outside and dead-head the flowers, or water them. It's peaceful and I get satisfaction knowing that I am keeping the plants alive despite the drought and high temperatures. (I planted 7 or 8 other planters, too. The front of the Biscuit is covered in flowering plants, but for some reason I'm not able to download the other pictures to the blog).

When I got home, I spend about 30 minutes playing fetch with my wild-child dog, Clara. She really is pretty good at that game. Despite the fact that she doesn't feel comfortable with people, she will get the ball and bring it back to within a couple of feet of me. I can't wait til the day that she actually lets me pet her. She's getting braver and braver. After 2 years of working with her, I've come to accept the fact that she will probably never get past her fears, but she is a very lovable dog otherwise. Her former family must've really done a job on her. I keep working with her as often as I can and maybe someday she'll learn to trust me.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Other Side of Brian

I'm normally a well-mannered, nice and sweet Southern guy. I go to church every Sunday; I pray several times a day. I do my best to understand where people are coming from and try to empathize with them. But... I've learned that there's another side to me. It only comes out in certain situations, but I know it's always lurking, just beneath my skin. Y'all wouldn't recognize me this week. I've gotten in more than one confrontation with the nursing staff at my Mom's hospital. I don't mean to do it, but it happens. When we buzz the nurse for help and they don't respond for over an hour, I get mad. When this happens, I go to the Head Nurse and complain. It doesn't do any good, and nothing changes, but I feel better for being able to express my feelings. It's gotten to the point that the nurses always ask my Mom if her son will be visiting each day. One of them told Mom that she was written up due to my complaints. Good! I can't say that I dislike this alternate persona; I know that I'm right. I just want people to do their jobs.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Mom's Surgery (and Updates)


My mother had her surgery at Northlake Medical Center this afternoon and everything seems to be fine. She had to have a section of her colon removed, along with a lot of scar tissue. I talked to the Doctor after the surgery and he said that he got it all and she should be fine in no time. I had to ask him if she'd be able to play the violen and he said of course. That'll make her happy- she's always wanted to play the violen!
It was agonizing to see Mom when they rolled her to her room. She was crying and in so much pain. I've never seen anyone hurt as bad as she did, and there was nothing I could do to comfort her. After taking her vital signs, they gave her a couple of shots and she was out like a light. The nurse assured us that she will not wake up until tomorrow and the pain should subside greatly by the time she wakes up. I sure hope so! In hindsight, I feel extremely guilty for leaving. I should have planned on spending the night- I don't know what I was thinking. What if she wakes up alone during the night? What if they don't keep her medicated and she wakes up in an unfamiliar room by herself in pain and doesn't know how to contact the nurse's station? I called the nurse when I got home and spoke to Madonna (!) and she again assured me that everything was fine and they would be paying close attention to her throughout the night.
She'll be in the hospital through Friday for recovery and observation. I know she'll feel 100% better when she comes home, I just hate to see her hurting so much in the meantime.
Please keep my Mom in your thoughts and prayers this week.
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UPDATE (July 19, 2006) - Yesterday and today were still very painful, with very few signs (if any) of improvement. But-- tonight at 5:45pm (exactly 48 hours after her surgery) we witnessed a mini-miracle. I won't get graphic, but if you're eating while you're reading this, you might want to come back to my Blog later! Mom has felt nausious (sp?) for 2 days now. She's been on medication to help alleviate that symptom, but it hasn't gone away. Anyway, tonight she asked for her pan and proceeded to vomit twice. Immediatly afterwards, she was a different person. The light came back into her eyes, she was able to sit up in bed and talk and laugh and feel less pain. We helped her out of bed and the nurses changed her linens, and gown after giving her a full sponge bath. She actually felt good for the first time! They put her back into bed and gave her the pain medicine again and she was zonked out again when I left. She was able to go a lot longer without pain killers today... normally she gets them every four hours and after an hour she's asking for them again and has to white-knuckle it for the next three hours. Today she was going 5-6 hours between meds, and didn't really mention it. Hopefully they can wean her off the pain killers by going 6-7 hours between treatments tomorrow. She is scheduled to go home (to my Aunt's house) on Friday.
One thing that really bothers me (there's a whole list, but I'll just point out one item) is that they didn't have her IV inserted properly following surgery. It wasn't going into a vein, just into her hand. So, for a day and a half, all of the medicine they injected didn't go into her bloodstream, just stayed in her hand. No wonder she was in so much pain. A family friend of ours (a nurse) came to visit last night and she noticed how swollen her right hand was. They removed the IV and placed it into her left hand (this time into a vein!) and it's working so much better now. Her right hand and lower arm are swollen up like balloons and numb. Thank God for a visiting nurse for pointing this out. We've kept warm towels on her hand and arm all day, and hopefully the swelling and bruising will go down soon.
She's still got a ways to go on her route to recovery, but I thank all of you (on Mom's behalf) for your phone calls, "Get Well" cards, flowers, prayers and good thoughts. They seem to be working so please keep it up!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wow! Four Years!!!!!!!!

Happy 4th Anniversary to the Corner Tavern. I can't imagine what my life would be like today if it weren't for you! I wish you many years of continued success!

SOS (and Updates)


I need your help!

My friend, Christian, won AOL's contest for the Hottest Bartender in LA! Now he's moved onto the National competition for the "Hottest Bartender in America". He's not doing so well in this contest, although it only started a few days ago. He's currently in 4th place (out of 10). I've emailed this request to pretty much everyone in my address book. Now I'm turning to you-- the Cyberspace Society! If you read this Blog, please take a minute to vote for Christian at the link below. Please send this request for help out to all of your friends, too. The more votes, the better! Thanks for voting- every time I see his numbers go up, I'll know it's because of you!!
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UPDATE- July 19, 2006~~ Oh my God!! You guys are the best! Thanks for all of your votes, and please keep up the great work!!! Christian has made HUGE strides in the voting since I posted this SOS message on the Blog! In a few days, he's gone from 4th place to 1st place (in a tie for 1st, though). Let's keep up the momentum! He needs to be in first place with a very comfortable margin between 1st and 2nd! I know we can do it! Thanks again for voting! We've got about 3 weeks til the end of the contest!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Barbarella Revealed:


Beverly's evil Siamese sister-- actually her dearly departed, conjoined twin. She wasn't always the sad sack that Beverly was forced to carry around - she was actually a beautiful woman, in her time.

Here's a morphed image of what Barbarella looked like in her prime!

Spoils of the Day!

I had an early wake up call today-- the alarm went off at 4:30am. That's just not right- especially on a Saturday, when the rest of the world is sleeping in. Anyway- the alarm sounded and I hit the snooze button the obligatory 2 times. I get 9 minutes rest between each snooze button, but I set my alarm clock 18 minutes fast so that I can get up early enough to hit the snooze buton twice and actually get out of bed at the time that I originally plan to. I know it's crazy, but that's how I roll!
Anyway, I had an early catering job at GA State, followed by a couple of hours of folding and bagging some new T-shirts for the restaurant. Then Delia and I headed to Phipps Plaza for a cooking demo. The theme of the demo was "weekend brunch", and we served omelets, sausage links, arugala salad and biscuits to a packed house! I always enjoy spending time with Delia outside of the office- we talk about things that we would never discuss at work. On days like this, I think of her more as a friend than an employer. It's good bonding time, combined with good PR.
As a reward, I came home with some new cookware that looks fabulous hanging from my rack in the kitchen- Calphalon sautee pans, sauce pans, frying pans-- all with glass lids. The sautee pan is teflon coated, and everything else is brushed stainless steel- thick and heavy with beautifully curved handles. Real quality stuff that I would never be able to afford in my wildest dreams! Now I just have to save up some money to buy some groceries so I can actually try the new stuff out!
Tomorrow is Sunday-- a rare day off! I'm going to church in the morning and then I have no plans at all for the rest of the day! I am so looking forward to a day of napping on the sofa and doing absolutely NOTHING! I don't think I have any more days off the rest of the month, so I have to make this one count!

More Morphing!


I finally got a picture of my friend, Rob, the other night!! I spend a few hours working on the picture and I finally came up with this modified version. For anyone that hasn't seen Rob lately- don't worry- he doesn't have black sideburns in real life-- there were some shadows on his face that came out looking like sideburns-- I couldn't do anything about them.
P.S. I owe Rob big time! I had to work today and I had forgotten that I had scheduled a visit from the DirectTV repairman. Rob volunteered to sit at my house for several hours and wait for the repairman to arrive. Thanks to Rob, the TV in my sunroom is 100% operational now!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Midnight Train to Georgia...

I hinted about this story a couple of weeks ago-- here it is. I swear to God that it is entirely true-- I wouldn't believe it if I heard it either, but it really did happen:
We were on the road towards home after my cousin's wedding in Gastonia, NC. It was a late afternoon wedding, followed by a lengthy reception so we didn't get on the road til after dark. A few hours later we found ourselves in Duncan, NC. We pulled into a truck stop around midnight to refill the tank and empty our bladders! The first thing we noticed was that there was a room in the truck stop that was full of arcade games. Joel had a bag of quarters that he was itching to spend so we figured we'd break up the long drive by playing a few games. The first game that sparked some interest was one of those boxes that's full of prizes beneath a big claw. Joel said he always played them, but never won a prize. He was determined that this would be the night for his victory. We all played the game for a while- but none of us won a prize. I should mention the prizes: mostly a variety of Barbie dolls, lipsticks and some bracelets in boxes labeled "male enhancers".
After we gave up on that game, I spotted a huge machine called the "Dance, Dance, Dance" machine. For $1 you could stand on this platform that would light up in the spots where you were supposed to step to learn a dance. I really wanted to give it a try, but Joel pointed out all of the burly truckers that were hanging around. "You'll get killed if you try to dance here", he warned. I listened.
We headed into the store part of the gas station and we were blasted with the music: "I'm Coming Out" was the first song we heard, followed by "It's Raining Men". I joked to Joel that we were in a gay truck stop! We had a good laugh over that. Then we found their video section- they were selling VHS tapes for $2 each. We were thumbing through the videos (while tapping our feet to Abba's "Dancing Queen") and we suddenly recognized a theme. Every one of these videos were gay! Yentl, Victor/Victoria, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, To Wong Foo, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Trick, Making Love, etc. Joel and I had to get a shopping cart!
When we left the "truck stop", we saw a sign that said "Easy access to the Highway". We followed the signs and they lead us to an abandoned trailer park. Lord only knows what was going on back there! We made a quick U-turn and got back onto the highway.
My only regret was that I didn't buy an extra copy of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", and that I turned down the chance to dance on the "Dance, Dance, Dance" machine!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Busy 24 Hours

Last night I went to the opening night showing of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" at Atlanta's newest theater, Atlantic Station. I was joined by my Mom & Martha, my brothers and my niece and nephew. The movie was incredible-- great special effects, and interesting storyline. Although the movie was over 2.5 hours long. I don't like any movie that lasts more than 2 hours. But I have to say that Atlantic Station is THE place to be on a Friday night... it was crowded and there was eye candy of every sexual persuasion! The shops were nice, but very expensive. I stopped shopping after I read a price tag on a pair of gym shorts ($38!!!). I can buy the same shorts at Target for under $10. Anyway- the whole place is glamorous and I can't wait for the Flying Biscuit to open it's next store there soon! I saw three other Raving Brands chains there (Moes, Boneheads and PJ's Coffeehouse).
I hurried home and got a good 3 hours of sleep before returning to work. I had a catering job in the Bridal Suite of the Marriott at Perimeter Mall that had to be delivered by 6:30am. After that I went by Lowe's and bought enough flowering plants to fill my car. I went back to the Biscuit and planted all of the flowers in the pots outside. By 8:30am, my workday was done-- and the potted plants looked incredible.
On the way home from work, I decided that today was going to be the day to finally tackle my flea problems. I stopped by the vet's office and bought 3 treatments of Frontline, then I went to the hardware store and got flea spray and foggers. I came home and treated the dogs, then cleaned the garage (the nerve center for all flea activity on my property). I sprayed the garage and then set the foggers off in the house and in the garage. I dare any dog to scratch in this house tonight!
Part of cleaning the garage was moving to the curb: two washing machines, two beach chairs, 1 dog crate, 1 dog house, 8 cubicle desk tops, and some lumber. I also swept up TWO garbage bags full of dust, dog hair, rat droppings (left over from the rat infestation battle I fought and won last year), and other assorted dirt.
While cleaning the garage, I found a piece of yellow-lava counter top (same material as my kitchen counter). I moved it into the house and replaced my old desktop with the yellow lava piece. The yellow lava counter weighs at least 250 lbs-- maybe more. It's a foot wider and an inch deeper than my old desktop was. The end result is that I think it looks better, it gives me more room on my desk, and my deskchair now fits underneath the desk. If I end up with a sore back and a hernia tomorrow from carrying that massive piece of lava, it's worth it!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Much Ado Over the Spelling Mansion

I found this article online today-- it's about the widow of Aaron Spelling putting her house up for sale. In case you haven't heard, Spelling died last month and left his estate to his widow. Spelling's widow has put the house up for sale and she's asking $150 million for it. Of course the media had to put it's ugly spin on the story and make her look like a gold digger, since she and her husband only paid $47 million for it when they purchased it FIFTEEN years ago. Read the story below and the comments that were posted:
Spelling Mansion Secretly On the Market

TMZ has learned that Candy Spelling, Aaron's widow, has quietly put the Spellings' legendary mansion on the market for $150 million.
Sources in the real estate industry say Westside Estate Agency (WEA) has a pocket listing on the 56,000 square foot estate, meaning it is quietly being shopped among realtors and select buyers. The mansion, located in the exclusive Holmby Hills area of L.A., was completed in 1991 for around $47 million, which includes $10 million for the land.
One real estate source says Candy Spelling has let a lot of people on the staff go and that the buzz is that she is going to shut the house down so it can be shown by realtors. Aaron Spelling died on June 23.

Reader Comments(Page 1)
1. whoever (if anyone) buys this place is a complete moron!!! what an absolute waste of money!!! if you even have this much, give it to some people who can't even buy a meal!!!!!! (Brian says: Yes- she's being so selfish. Doesn't she know that she's obligated to give her money away to charity? It's not like she or her husband earned it, huh? She has the right to spend her money on whatever she wants to spend it on- if she wants to help the homeless she can; if she wants to keep her money for herself, she can.) I can't believe Candy would try to make such a crazy profit!!! (Brian says: Crazy profit??? She and her husband bought the house 15 years ago for $47 million--- my house has appraised for almost twice what I paid for it 6 years ago-- and I don't live in Beverly Hills!) WHO WOULD WANT TO BUY A HOUSE THAT SOMEONE DIES IN ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Brian says: People have paid top dollar to live in the Amittyville Horror house where a whole family was executed)

2. I think most actors are over-paid A LOT. Aaron produced the shows we all watched for years. He deserved the house & all the perks that went with it. If his wife got her share of his wealth-she's set for life, but IF she gets what she's asking for the house, I definately think she should donate a LARGE portion of the $ that she'll probably never live long enough to spend to worthy causes-like homeless shelters, food for the homeless, clothes, child care, etc. (Brian says: That would be nice, but I wouldn't think any less of her if she kept it for herself. She's not obligated to give her money to any charity. Why don't you give your money away if you want to.) Thanks for listening-BJ Leeps. go ahead & use my name &/or e-mail address.

3. Star Jones reportedly wanted to buy up this pad, but since she was canned from The View, she now claims she can only afford a trailer home in Texas. (Brian says: Good one! Although, don't you hate her too? She's been on "The View" for 9 years-- she made several million a year. Shouldn't she deserve to give it all away and live in a trailer home? )

4. GIVE ME A BREAK! AARON HASN'T BEEN DEAD EVEN A MONTH YET, AND HERE SHE IS TRYING TO MAKE A BIG PROFIT ALREADY! OF COURSE SHE WILL KEEP IT TO HERSELF AND WITHHOLD GIVING ANYTHING TO TORI, WHICH IS SO HER!! SHE'S PROBABLY GOING TO SHARE IT WITH HER NEW BOYFRIEND AND GO OFF TO SWITZERLAND!! WHATEVER!! (Brian says: Folks, she can only sale the property for whatever the fair market value is. No one's going to pay her more than what it's worth. A home of that size in Beverly Hills is probably worth $150 million. I'm not crying for Tori, either. She's made millions of dollars as the most untalented actress I've seen in my lifetime. She can cry all she wants to the press that she wasn't given the lion's share of the inheritance, but the truth is that her Daddy left his estate to his wife of 38 years (her mother). As far as I know, that's commonplace. Spouses normally leave their estate to their spouse. The spouse that survives the longest leaves it to their children. Grow up, Tori- you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. You'll get your multi-million-dollar inheritance soon enough from your Mom's estate-- unless you keep whining to the press and dragging your Mom's name through the mud!)

Brian vs. DIRECTV

I've been having problems with my satellite receiver in the the sunroom for a couple of weeks. Basically, the problem is that I don't receive a signal. Therefore I have no TV in my sunroom. Not a problem, if I didn't watch much TV or if the sunroom was a place I never visited. But, since I spend 75% of my "at home" hours in my sunroom (and I'm a TV addict), it is a problem.
In order to solve the problem, I went to DIRECTV's website yesterday. I went through their FAQ's and didn't find a solution to the problem, so I e-mailed their help desk:
"Dear DirectTV, I am not receiving a signal on the receiver labled as "office". My other two receivers are working properly. I have tried resetting the receiver, but it still does not receive a signal. Please reset the "office" receiver from your end. Thank you."
Pretty straight to the point, huh?
I received this reply:
Dear Mr. Burnett,Thanks for writing. I'm sorry to hear that you're having technical trouble with your DIRECTV system. If resetting the receiver doesn't fix the problem, since you have the DIRECTV Protection Plan the best way for you to get help as soon as possible is to call 1-888-667-7463 and choose the option to speak to a technical assistant. You may also find some helpful information at the DIRECTV Technical Help forums on our web site. Just visit http://forums.directv.com/pe/index.jsp to find answers to your questions.Thanks for your patience while we work to identify and correct the trouble.
Sincerely,
Divina
DIRECTV Customer Service
I guess that Divina's job at the help desk is to direct people to go elsewhere. Although she was very polite, she basically told me that she couldn't help. I was fired up and replied:
"Divina~~~ Just asking-- are you working to correct the problem, or are you just refering me to another department? I appreciate your response, but it really is not helpful. I could have called customer service to begin with, but I found this link for customer service through the directtv website. What's the point in going to the website helpdesk and getting a response that advises me to call another helpdesk? Why don't you call the technical assistant in my behalf? How many emails and phone calls willI have to place in order to restore my service on one of the TV's in my house? As a Customer Care rep, can't you take care of resetting my signal? Why would you refer me to another website or another help desk? Just fix the problem, please. I have not received a signal from one receiver in a couple of weeks. Will I get a credit for that?"
I didn't receive a response.
Big Brother has it's season premiere tonight, and I'd like to watch it in my sunroom/office. So I'm desperate. I followed Divina's advice and called the help desk. I talked to a woman named Agnes who had me jump through several hoops-- unplug your receiver/plug it in/unplug your cable/plug it in/tune your receiver to channel 401/tune it to 402/cross your legs/uncross them/blink your left eye twice, etc... Nothing she suggested seemed to help. After an hour on the phone, she determined that she needed to have a technician look at my receiver. She scheduled a service call for the next available time slot, July 15th between 8am and 5pm. I explained to her that by then I will have missed two episodes of Big Brother, but it didn't seem to help. They'll be here a week from Saturday and there seems to be nothing I can do to speed up the process. She had the nerve to complete the call by asking: "Did I resolve your problem today?". I responded by saying "Other than the fact that I still don't have TV and can't hope to have TV until a week from Saturday, I guess so." She replied "Thank you, Mr. Burnett... I'm glad I could solve your problem."
After I hung up the phone, it hit me. I recognized that voice! She might've said that her name was Agnes, but I am 100% sure that it was Janice from the gas company. She's come back to haunt me from a different company! Hell, she's probably also posing as Divina on the website's help desk as well. She wasn't satisfied with just cutting off my gas last Winter, now she's trying to cut off my TV. The next thing you know, she'll get a job with the US Postal service and refuse to deliver my mail. She's got it in for me, I know it. I hate still hate her!








PALS 2006


My friend, Daphne, just posted a recap of the PALS benefit show on her Blog-- check it out by clicking the link to the right "Dishin' with Daphne". She also linked Omar's site, which is just full of great pictures from that evening. The only flaw with that site is that there isn't one picture of Keisha! There is one picture that's labled "Keisha Lorraine", but it's actually a photo of Mimi Simone. I'll take it as a compliment!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Glimpses of Gods


I see him across the room. Actually I see him, in different versions, very often. Tonight's version is named Alex. He's dressed in black slacks-- tight black slacks. Tight enought to show the curves in his legs, and tight enough to accentuate the bubble butt that follows him wherever he leads. He's wearing a dark blue, button down dress shirt. He has it unbuttoned one or two buttons past where I would feel comfortable. But he can pull it off, and he knows it. The unbuttoned shirt reveals a tight chest, and pecs that any man at the gym would trade his soul to the devil for. He has a six-pack of abs that are visible even through the material of his shirt. His face is a work of art: strong jaw line, dark hair cut short and perfectly manicured sideburns. On top of that he has the most amazing blue eyes.
Do I want him? Yes. Do I think I could ever have him? No. Would I want him if I had a chance? Probably not. I just want to look at him. I want to take in the glory of being around him. I want to imagine what it would be like to be him. That's it. I want to imagine being him. Life for him must be so easy. He can walk into any room and command attention by doing nothing more than being handsome. He doesn't have to be smart. He doesn't have to be rich. He just has to take a shower, put on some nice clothes and wallah!
This time he was Alex. Tomorrow I'll see a different version named Thom- a buffed up, pierced and tattooed, skateboarding kid. The next day I might run into Nicholas- the tennis pro with the legs to die for and an English accent to boot.
I see different versions of the perfect man daily. I usually think that I look at them with lust-- now I realize that it's jealousy. I invison that they live perfect lives and everything in their world is rosey. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe their lives are as dull, depressing and mundane as mine is at times. Maybe they have aging dogs that are nearing the end of their lives, too. Maybe they have a dripping kitchen sink that they can't fix. Maybe they have bill collectors calling them day and night, too. Maybe their families don't love them, or they have no family.
It's easy to judge a book by it's cover. It's easy to judge someone's Insides by how they appear on the Outside. I'm sure Alex, Thom and Nicholas all have real problems. I probably wouldn't want to trade places with any of them, any more than they would want to trade places with me.
But it's nice to look... it's nice to fantasize, I guess.
I'll see you soon, Alex (or whatever your name will be the next time I see you). I hope you don't mind me staring. I hope your life is everything I imagine that it might be.

Catching Up...

It's been a few days since I've posted, but I've been a busy boy!!!
I went to a wedding reception Monday night. My friend Melody married her highschool sweetheart, Frank (they were reunited 20-somthing years after graduation!) in Hawaii last weekend and they had a reception at The Little Gardens, in Lawrenceville. Melody and I worked at ESC together up until a couple of years ago, and most of the people that came to the party were former co-workers of mine. We fell right back into our nitch and really enjoyed ourselves. It was so great to see Melody, the Jims (Jim W. and Jim S.) and Jenny again. It made me wish we all still worked together and got to see each other daily. I've got to do a better job at keeping in touch, though. I hadn't heard about Jenny's recent fight with breast cancer. She won the fight! I'm sorry I didn't know about her troubles.
The following night was the 4th of July party at my cousin Mary's house in Roswell. It was more of a neighborhood party, with a few of us relatives thrown into the mix. We had BBQ ribs, tenderloin, pasta salad, corn on the cob and any other traditional 4th of July food you can imagine! After supper, we were offered a dessert buffet consisting of mango pie, home-made pound cake (made by my Mom!), a variety of cheesecakes, blueberry pie and in keeping with the holiday, a red/white/blue truffle (blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream in layers).
I got back to East Point in time just in time for the fireworks. Unfortunately, the the thunder was roaring, the lightening was striking and the rain was pouring down. I watched the fireworks as I sat in my car in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I had intended on meeting friends at the Tavern, but there was so much traffic and all of the streets leading to the Tavern were closed. After spending about an hour in late night traffic, I gave it up and headed home.
The EP fireworks were incredible. EP puts on a very impressive show! I just wish that I could've enjoyed it with friends instead of by myself in the car. Oh well, there's always next year, hopefully!