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

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Shattered Dreams

I think I was about 5 years old in this picture. I remember it like it was yesterday though! I was a student at Teague Pre-School. They brought Santa in on the day of my birthday and I got to sit on his lap and tell him everything I wanted and I truly believed that I would get everything that I listed. It was shortly after this picture was taken that Leila Shambarger confronted me in the sandbox during recess and told me the truth about Santa Claus. My world was shattered, but I carried on the act of pretending to believe in Santa for a few more years, just in case my parents didn't know that I knew.

Rerun with Update

Last year, around this time, I wrote a story about the ornament that my father gave me the Christmas before he died. When I wrote the story, the tree was already up and decorated and I couldn't find the ornament to photograph it. This year I took a picture just after I hung it on the tree, so you can finally see the real thing. In case you haven't heard the story behind it, or don't remember it, I'll re-post it below:

"My father gave me a Christmas ornament the year that he died (1990). It was in the shape of a cat and it played a Christmas song if you pushed the button. It wasn't expensive, it wasn't even that nice. But it meant a lot to me later. Every year I unpack the decorations and push that button on the cat ornament to see if it still works. It always does. The cat sings "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and I feel like my Dad is there. I'm always amazed at how long the batteries have lasted in that thing. It's a miracle every year when it still works!

Last year was no exception. I placed the ornament on the tree and i
t played it's little tune. My family came over for Christmas and they were amazed that it still worked after all of these years. Before they left, my bother pushed the button on the cat and it started to play. And play and play and play. It played "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" for three days straight. I began to hate the tune and figured out various ways to make the music stop-- boiling it in a big pot of water, throwing it into the fireplace, etc. Eventually, the batteries did die without intervention, and it turned back into an ornament that I could tolerate. I decorated the tree this year and as I hung the cat ornament, I feared pressing the button-- what if it sings again for three days? What if it doesn't sing again-- ever? I pushed the button and nothing happened. I squeezed it, shook it and twisted it and it didn't make a sound. I hung it on the tree anyway. Before going to bed, I pushed the button one last time and a split second sound came out of it-- it said "We...". I realized that that would be the end of the tradition and the last sound I would hear from my father, 15 years after his death. "We". Merry Christmas, Daddy. I miss you.
posted by Brian at
3:41 PM on Dec 04 2005"

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I Need to Check my Calendar...

...this can't be right!
It's not even December yet, but my house is fully decorated for Christmas! I've got the tree up, and even lots of wrapped gifts under it already! Christmas cards are filled out and ready to mail. I only have a few more gifts to buy and the hussle and bussle of Christmas will be over!
On today's agenda: Church at 10:30am, followd by brunch with Kitty, Rob & Anna. Afterwards I'll meet Patrick at the gym for a work out and then we're going to do some shopping at Camp Creek (hopefully I can get those last gifts!). Tonight we're going to break in the new grill! I filled the propane tank yesterday and tested it out-- it lit like a charm! I bought a shish kabob rack and skewers on sale yesterday, so it looks like we'll be having shish kabobs tonight.
Most of my family will be on the road to Memphis soon. The boyfriends (Tim & Denny) left yesterday- Tim by plane, Denny by car. This morning, the Burnett caravan consisting of my brother, Angie and the kids will pull out. Angie's mom, Debbie, will stay on in Atlanta to visit other friends and she'll head back to Memphis next week. Safe travels to all- it's been a fun few days!

Feeding Frenzy!!!

How many people can you pack into a small kitchen? I count 6 people wedged into this photo- I'm sure there were more outside of the camera's range!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Glimpses of Thanksgiving Weekend

Angie and her friend Carrie created this flower arrangement that served as the centerpiece throughout the weekend. The tangerines in the vase added a nice touch, huh?

The newest member of our family, Tim, took over Joel's kitchen on Friday night and created a scrump-dilli-icious Roasted Salmon (with Orange Reduction) dinner for us all! Of course, salmon is my favorite food in the world, so he won me over with this dish! It's nice to have an executive chef in the family!!!

Joel's dog, Lucy came to the party wearing her new party dress. That "bitch's" wardrobe is bigger than mine! I've never seen her wear the same outfit twice!

My brother Jim & I devoured the appetizers and kidded around in Mom's kitchen while waiting for the main course!

Everyone gathered around the computer to watch a DVD of Ashley's latest horse show -she won a 2nd place ribbon! She lost out to her arch-enemy Meredith. You should hear how Ashley pronounces the word "Meredith"-- I've never heard so much venom come from an 11-year-old's mouth: Mer-e-dith (always said with a sneer).

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday Frenzy

When I arrived at Best Buys this morning at 4am, there was literally a mile-long line outside. They were giving out vouchers for the various items that were advertised and by the time I got there, all of the vouchers had been given out already. I continued on to Circuit City and found the same situation. So, I mozied over to Home Depot and found that there was no one in line-- I was the first one! I had my eye on a stainless steel grill with side burner. After talking to the employees, I learned that they only had 3. Joel wanted to get a 32" flat panel TV and I found out that each store only had 8 of them. I called Joel and got him out of bed and he headed towards his local Home Depot. He was 4th in line. The people in line behind me were as nice as they could be. One of them went to Quicktrip and got coffee for all of us.

Home Depot opened at 6am and I suddenly lost all contact with the crowd that I had bonded with. As soon as the doors opened, we all scattered and ran to the objects of our desire! As far as I know they all got their TV's, and I got my grill. (Joel reported that he got his TV, too!). I can't wait to get my propane tank filled and grill up a steak or two in the very near future!

After Home Depot I went to Lowe's, Old Navy, Curcuit City and Linens-n-Things. I can't say what I bought because most of the things will be Christmas gifts, but I will let you know that I got some incredible bargains. By 10am, my car was filled to the gills, so I had to return home to unload. I'm going back to the stores this afternoon-- I regret that I didn't have room for the 13' ladder that Home Depot had on sale. Hopefully they'll have at least one left when I return this afternoon after a much needed nap!

A Few Thanksgiving Pics

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm Thankful For...

This is a partial list-- there's no way I can put into words all of the things that I'm thankful for. I've got a lot to be thankful for. Think of your list as you read mine:

  • My Family: Not only my parents and siblings, but all of the generations that came before me. Through all of their efforts, I became the person I am today.
  • My Friends: They are angels that remind that every day is worth living.
  • My Car: It gets me from Point A to Point B on a consistent basis.
  • My Job: It pays the bills and allows me to come in contact with some of the most interesting people.
  • My House: The one place in the world that I feel that I am truly safe.
  • My Dogs: Betty, Shelby, Clara & King for their daily affirmations that I am the greatest person in the world, in their eyes.
  • My Health: I continue to beat the odds- I never expected to make it to 40!
  • My Spirituality: It reminds me that I'm not the one in charge and that there is a bigger plan for me than I can always see.

That's my list. I'm sure I'll think of a few more things after I post this. We've got so much to be thankful for. What's on your list? You don't have to post it publicly as I have, but at least take a few minutes to think about all of the things you are grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!


For a 3 day work week, I had a lot of drama!!! It started with a power outage on Sunday that wasn't repaired until Tuesday~ followed by a break in Tuesday night, and a resignation from our latest Kitchen Manager on Wednesday morning. Is it possible to pack any more drama into a few days?
The work week came to a nice conclusion when Angie and Tim arrived for lunch and I was actually able to sit down and join them. I was all prepared to not like Tim, seeing how he is my brother's "replacement". But he turned out to be a nice guy. We had more in common than I imagined we would- he also works in a restaurant (he's a chef). I liked him so much that I would've encouraged him to apply for the Kitchen Manager position, if he didn't live in Memphis!
So with the work week over, it's time to focus on the stuff that's really important-- family & shopping! I'm looking forward to a few days off and spending lots of time with my family. I don't get to see them often and I miss them so much between holidays. Besides family time, I'm planning on doing some major shopping. It's been my tradition to hit the stores around 5am on the day after Thanksgiving. I've gotten some good deals over the past few years and hopefully this year will be no exception. I found a website that has a sneak preview to all of the "After Thanksgiving Day" sales for the major chains. I've printed out the things that I'm interested in. I made charts of stores that are selling the same items at comparable prices (just in case one of them sells out, I'll have an alternative). Normally I walk into the store blindly and buy whatever I can find on sale; this year I've got it all planned out!
Once again, Happy Thanksgiving to all! Be grateful for your many blessings!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Something in Common with Satan, Perhaps?

My friend Bruce just dropped off a gift for me from his recent trip to Hawaii-- a Prada shirt! It's my first! I've probably bid on at least 100 Pradas on EBay over the past couple of years, and I was never able to outbid anyone. Now I have one of my very own! Thanks so much for thinking of me, Bruce! I'm overjoyed! I can't wait to wear it-- I think I'll wear it to Thanksgiving lunch at my Mom's house!

Speaking of that-- my former sister-in-law Angie and her boyfriend Tim rolled into town last night. She called me today and we set up a lunch date for tomorrow. I haven't seen Angie since last Thanksgiving, and I've never met Tim. It'll be nice to be able to spend a little one-on-one time with them before the fiasco known as "Thanksgiving" begins.

In case I don't post anything on the Blog tomorrow, I'll go ahead and wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all get your fill of Turkey, Tofurkey and/or Turducken & enjoy some quality time with your family/friends.

Thanks again for the Prada, Bruce. I'd love you even if you didn't give such great gifts!!! :)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Vacation Wrap-up

Vacation is almost over-- did I do any of the things that I planned for this week? No. Clara's surgery was postponed til next week, my house is just as filthy as it was before, there are no new flowers in the gardens or window boxes, and there are actually more leaves in the yard now.
It was nice though. A good change of pace. I'd forgotten how different it feels to grocery shop during the day when there are no crowds.
I got to work out with my friend, Patrick, a couple of times this week. It's much more motivating to have a workout partner. Hopefully we'll be able to work around each other's schedules after I go back to work. I met with a trainer today and worked out with her for a couple of hours. Sweet girl, but she's a slave driver! She must be a dominatrix on the side. I hope I'll be able to walk tomorrow after all she put me through.
So, just one more day "off". I have a catering job in Powder Springs at noon, so I'll be going to the 8am service at church; yet another opportunity to sleep in lost! After catering is over, I'll come home and hopefully accomplish some of the goals that I had set for myself earlier in the week. Or maybe I'll just lay on the sofa and watch TV and relax for a change. That actually sounds like fun!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sea-Monkeys® (and other attempts at greatness)

Do you remember those Sea-Monkeys ads that were everywhere back in the 70's? I remember seeing them in the back of my comic books-- they were amazing! If you clipped the coupon and mailed it in to the company, they would send you hundreds of Sea-Monkeys eggs. All you had to do was dump then in a tank of water and the eggs would hatch! According to the ad, Sea-Monkeys were very talented- they could be trained to jump through hoops of fire (as a naive ten year old, I didn't question how you could get a hoop of fire under water). They could be trained to walk on a tightrope, do flips, somersaults and even jump on teensy weensy little pogo sticks! They were amazing! I figured this was my path to greatness! I could only imagine how great my life would be if I had a tank full of fish that could perform circus acts! I would be the envy of every kid in a ten block radius! Unbeknownst to my parents, I clipped the coupon and mailed it in, checking the COD option as my form of payment. I knew it would take 4-6 weeks for them to be delivered, so I set about doing all kinds of odd jobs to raise the money-- I cut my grandfather's grass, I did my brother's chores (in exchange for their allowence), and I picked up lots of cans and took them to the recycling plant near my house. Within a couple of weeks, I had raised all of the money I needed. I was sure to be the hit of the neighborhood and the envy of all when everyone heard that I had real live Sea-Monkeys! It was summertime, so there was no school. I had no committments- just lots of free time. I would get up every morning and stuff my money in the pocket of my little cut-off jeans and proceed to the curb beside the mailbox, where I'd wait for the mailman. Every day my heart would skip a beat when I'd see the USPS truck pull into the cul de sac. Every day I'd ask the mailman if he had a COD package for me. Every day he said "No, sorry". He would hand me all of the other mail and I'd make the long walk down the driveway, back to the house, where I'd hand my Mom the mail with great disappointment. Then I'd return the following day and wait again. One day, the mailman pulled up- skipping the other houses and heading straight to my mailbox. This was the day!! He pulled up and I ran over to him. He said "Son, today is your lucky day! It's finally here!". He had me sign a form and hand over all of the change that was in my pocket. He handed me a little envelope in exchange. I thanked him and ran home with my envelope, leaving the mailman to put the rest of the mail in the box. I ran past Mom and into my bedroom, where I had stowed a big clear-glass vase that I'd found under the kitchen sink cabinet. I followed the directions by filling the vase with room temperature water and then I dumped the envelope full of Sea Money eggs into the water. I gave it a gentle stir and waited for the magic of life to begin. It was so cool-- the little "seeds" that I dropped into the water began to swell up and then move. There were hundreds of them- all swimming around in my vase! How cool! But how do I teach them to do tricks? There was no instruction book included for that. Maybe they were so talented that they didn't need instructions? Maybe they had already been trained to do their tricks before they were freeze-dried? I made a ring out of my grandpa's pipe cleaner and lowered into the vase. To my surprise, not one of them made an attempt to jump through the hoop. Then I remembered that they could also jump on a tiny pogo stick. I searched the envelope, but there was no tiny pogo stick included. I worked with the Sea-Monkeys for days: begging and pleading with them to do a trick, any trick! I was anxious to show them off and become the coolest kid on the block. On the 5th or 6th day, I woke up to find that they were all dead, floating on the top of the vase. What I rip off, I thought as I poured the contents of the vase into the toilet and flushed it, along with my dreams of sudden popularity.

But I did have a Plan B in my quest to be the BMOC. It was 1976- the year of America's Bicentennial Celebration. One of the local radio stations was having a contest for kids-- decorate your bike in red, white and blue and win $100. I imagined what it would be like to win the contest and the $100. With that kind of money, I'd be able to take all of the neighborhood kids to Dipper Dan's and treat them to ice cream cones-- I could have a playhouse built somewhere in the subdivision with a statue of myself near the front door. Beneath the statue there would be a bronze plaque that read "In Honor of the Children of the Georgian Woods Subdivision", with my name and the date etched beneath it. I had no concept of the value of money. I set about decorating my bike. I tied red, white and blue crepe paper streamers to the handlebars of my white 10 speed bike. I dressed in the patriotic colors- red socks, blue shorts and a white shirt. I rode my bike for hours each day- waving at every person and every car that I saw. "Somebody will notice me, they'll notify the radio station and then I'll win the prize and the admiration of all", I thought to myself as I rang the little blue bell on the handlebars. I rode my bike all around the subdivision for about 8 hours each day. I'd park it outside the Magic Market while I was getting a slushy and without even being asked, I'd tell the clerk "yeah, that's my bike out there", as if he cared or even knew that there was a bike out there. After weeks of riding the bike while smiling and waving, I heard that the contest was over. Some little red-haired girl with freckles had won. All I could think was "Bitch!".

Plans A and B in my quest for greatness had failed that Summer... Plans C through Z failed in the years to follow. I'm currently working on Plan Sigma (yes, I've moved on to the Greek alphabet now).

My Domestic Vacation Continues...

Was it the Army commercial that used to say "We do more before 9:00am than most people in an entire day"? Whoever's slogan that was, I'm adopting it this week! By 9:00am, I've already been to Sandy Springs and back, reseeded my backyard (as if the dogs will allow me to grow any grass back there!), washed a load of clothes and prepped my supper for tonight. I dug out the slow-cooker that I've had for at least 20 years and dusted it off. I added all of the ingredients for a pot roast- onions, potatoes and a 3 lb. roast! Of course, I had to take a picture! I'm sure this will nauseate you vegetarians- a huge slab of raw red meat, but you should smell it! The most incredible smell is filling the house, and I'll have to be content to smell it for the next 8 hours. I can hardly wait to dig into that tonight! Of course, I'll be eating pot roast for the next several days, but who cares-- think of all of the money I'll save!

Here's a picture of my old slow-cooker. Like I said, it's at least 20 years old. It still works and I've made plenty of good meals in it. Actually, I have two identical slow-cookers just like this one. Mom gave me one for Christmas one year, and then another the following Christmas. She must've forgotten that I already had one. I've never had an occassion to use both of them at the same time, but I guess it could happen!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wrong Week for Vacation

I picked this week to use up my vacation time before it expired at the end of the year. The reason I selected this week was about the only week that I didn't have any catering jobs scheduled. Well, as soon as my vacation time officiall began, the catering cell phone started ringing off the hook. I ended up taking orders for every day this week and like a sucker, I volunteered to come in to work to make the deliveries. I know what you're all thinking, but catering is my pet project and I'm the one responsible for it. Besides, it's not a lot of work on my part- I go in for about an hour, make a delivery, earn a little money for the delivery charge (and possibly a tip) and I'm back home by 8am. At least it gets me out of bed in the morning and I get my day started early- otherwise I'd be sleeping in all day and then getting hooked on my usual morning shows that I used to be addicted to. This way, I'm up and dressed, finished with work and ready to begin a day of leisure around the time the sun is coming up.

Yesterday was an incredible day! I hit Camp Creek Market Place and did the rounds! First, I went to the gym and had a good workout for about an hour. Then it was on to Pier One Imports to return the candleholder that I had planned on returning the previous day. Then I realized that there was a Planet Smoothie at CCMP. I had never noticed it before, it's kind of hidden. Planet Smoothie is owned by the same company that recently purchased the Biscuit, so I feel I need to support it. I had lunch at the new Jason's Deli (my favorite!) and did a little grocery shopping at Publix. Afterwards, I went to Lowe's to purchase some more flowers for my gardens and window boxes, but the selection wasn't very good. Either they've already sold out of the good pansies and snapdragons, or they had to clear them out of the way to make room for the Christmas trees that should be arriving any day now. I'll have to check at Home Depot and see if there selection is any better. Maybe I'll do that today after the gym and a visit to PetSmart and Planet Smoothie!

I could really get used to this lifestyle- it makes me look forward to retirement, which is only about 25 years away!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Vacation Time (at last!!!!)

My vacation officially begins today! No, I'm not jetsetting to Hawaii, or Mexico, or any other exotic hot spot. My vacation will be spent at home, in "Fabulous East Point"! This is my favorite type of vacation- a week with no plans! I am looking forward to having a clean house and yard by the end of the week. Hopefully there will be a few more pansies, snapdragons and flowering kale adorning my window boxes and gardens by the end of the week. If all goes as planned, Clara will have her first visit to the vet's office this week for a much needed round of shots and the big "snip"! This is not an event that I'm looking forward to, as it will require a heavy dose of tranquilizers in order to make her fall asleep- a rushed trip to the vet's office while she's passed out, and enough sedatives to keep her in a twilight zone for a couple of days. This could be the best thing in the world for her- it may make her calmer and more approachable. Or the entire traumatizing process may send her even more into reclussion. It's a gamble I have to take. Keep your fingers crossed for me that this process goes smoothly!
Today's mission: returning a candleholder to Pier One Imports-- I saw it yesterday and fell in love with it. I thought it'd look great on my mantle. It didn't. Maybe I'll find something that looks better, or maybe I'll just get a refund. Sounds like an exciting day, huh? I'm not complaining!!!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Tree House

When I was a kid, I had a treehouse. It was nothing like the one pictured here, it was more of a platform with walls, high up in a tree. The treehouse was in the woods behind my house. The woods didn't belong to my family. The tree house didn't belong to my family. I'm not even sure who built the treehouse, but it been there since I was old enough to find it while wandering around deep in the woods one day. It became a hangout for all of the neighborhood kids. Every day after school, all of us would meet at the treehouse. I don't remember what we would do there... probably just play around it, climb the nearby trees, etc. There really was nothing to do In the treehouse- it was just a place to meet, but we all loved it.
One day I was sitting in the treehouse with my friends when all of a sudden several uniformed policemen appeared from nowhere. They had been staking the place out, waiting to catch some potheads that someone had reported. They asked us if we had any marijuana. I was about 10 years old, and very naive. I had no idea what they were talking about. None of us had ever heard the word marijuana. The more they asked us, the more it sounded like we were lying. How could we have not ever heard of marijuana? They told us that there was a report of some kids doing marijuana in the treehouse and they were trying to catch them. It was obvious that they had the wrong kids, but they had peaked our curiosity. For weeks, all we could think of was getting some marijauna, whatever it was, and taking it to the treehouse.
One day when I got home from school, I saw firetrucks all over the neighborhood. The woods were on fire. We were told that the fire was probably started by the potheads- a careless cigarette or joint probably ignited a pile of leaves or pine needles. All of us kids stood nearby and cried at the thought that our forest home was burning. My Dad and our neighbors formed a bucket brigade- pouring water on as much of the woods as they could in order to save our nearby houses. Their efforts payed off- our homes were saved, but there were acres and acres of charred landscape abutting our backyards. And our treehouse was history.
Shortly afterwards, the land was cleared off and new homes were built. A subdivision known as "King's Row" was born. Instead of a tree house, we had dozens of new families with kids our age to play with. Some of the kids that moved in are still my friends today.
To this day, I still wonder about the validity of the pot heads-- I don't think they really existed. I think it was a story made up by a greedy developer that wanted to build a subdivision. I guess I'll never know for sure.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Job Update

Actually there's no update. I applied for the Catering Director job last Thursday night. I figured that the resume that I submitted would be just what they were looking for, and my phone would ring with a huge offer the next morning, or at least a request for an interview. But my phone has not rung. Perhaps the higher-ups are having meeting after meeting about the consequences of removing me from my current position. Maybe one of the executives has created a power point program, demonstrating the disasterous effects on the Biscuit if they had to rehire someone to fill my position. There's a chance that they didn't receive my application, and I guess there's a chance that they did receive it and I wasn't what they were looking for. Or maybe they were flooded with applications and it's going to take them a few days to weed out the good ones from the bad ones. The waiting is killing me, but I have to remind myself that it's only been 2 business days since I submitted the application. They will call. Right?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Les Dames

Today was the Les Dames d'Escoffier Festival. Les Dame is an organization that hosts this fund-raising event each year- the purpose is to provide scholarships for culinary students. Delia has been itching to be invited to participate for years, and this year it finally happened! The price of admission was $75 per person, but that included all of the wine and beer you could drink, and all of the food you could eat. It's held at Serenbe, a beautiful organic farm in Palmetto, GA. It was an impressive event, and I hope we get to attend again next year.

Below are a few pictures from today:

More pictures from today...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Once Upon a Time

You've probably all heard this story, I'm sure I've told bits and pieces to you over the years. But it's important for me to be able to put it all together. So please be patient...

I was hosting a going-away party for my younger brother in August of 1986. He was moving all the way to Athens (about an hour away!). My friend David brought a date to the party. His name was Steve. The second I saw Steve walk through my doorway, I knew he was the one. I flirted all night, when David wasn't looking... and I kissed them both good night as they left. Nothing serious, just a peck, but that peck was my insurance policy on what I hoped would be something I could count on the rest of my life.

Later that night, after the guests were all gone, I was in my living room cleaning up the mess. I heard a knock on the door and was happy to see Steve. He had dropped David off and returned. (Before you get the wrong impression- David and Steve had just met that same day, so I wasn't really breaking them up- they weren't together to begin with!). Steve spent the night with me that night and within the week he had moved in with me. Everyone said that it wouldn't last-- we were very different. We didn't have much in common- except long hair, slim waists and a burning desire to be together.

I won't take you through the details, but we lasted 7 years together. He stayed with me and helped me care for my father during his prolonged illness and eventual death. He was with me in the waiting room when I first saw my brother bring my nephew out of the delivery room and announce "It's a boy!". I sat next to him during both of his parent's funerals. We were the closest thing to a marriage that I've ever experienced.

Eventually, Steve got a job offer in Alabama. He decided to take the offer, I decided to stay in Atlanta. This was my home- my family and friends were here. My job was here. I'm not one to pick up and leave. I regret that. We didn't break up, just went didn't ways. We both wanted different things- he wanted small town living, I longed to live in the city. We both got our wishes. He now lives in a cabin on the top of a mountain.... I moved from loft to loft in the inner city before settling in a bungalow 10 miles from downtown Atlanta. Even though we were seperated, we talked on the phone often. But the phone calls grew fewer and further apart. Eventually we lost touch.

Fast forward a few years.... Mom decided to take the family for a day trip to NC. She packed each of us a lunch that we would enjoy while riding on a train through the Smokey Mountains. Imagine my surprise when it was announced that the conductor of the train was my Steve. Mom had planned this surprise reunion, with Steve's help, and they pulled it off flawlessly! She even had a boxed lunch for Steve. Way to go, Mom!

That was about 6 years ago. We've talked on the phone at least 3 times a week since then, and we've visited each other a couple of times each. We're still connected, although our lives took different paths than we could ever imagine. He got exactly what he wanted-- a small town, no nearby neighbors, a place to ride his dirt bike and pick his guitar. I got most of things I wanted, too- a house, lots of dogs to love on, a great circle of friends that support me no matter what. Every week we fantasize with each other about selling our houses and moving out West and starting over together in a new city or town. At this point in my life, I would do it in a heartbeat if I thought he'd follow through.

Applicable quotes from "Moulin Rouge":

* Christian: The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

* Toulouse-Lautrec: Christian, you may see me only as a drunken, vice-ridden gnome whose friends are just pimps and girls from the brothels. But I know about art and love, if only because I long for it with every fiber of my being.

* Christian: Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. And then, one not-so-very special day, I went to my typewriter, I sat down, and I wrote our story. A story about a time, a story about a place, a story about the people. But above all things, a story about love. A love that will live forever. The End.

Debbie Downer

Classic sketch from SNL

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Price is Wrong!

Poor Keisha and Billy Bob-- just the other night they stopped by to brag. They sent a ticket request letter to "The Price is Right" a few weeks ago and they finally received their tickets in the mail last week, for an August 15th taping of the show. Billy Bob says that he is a wiz at those pricing games- he's spent countless hours watching Keisha ring up groceries at the Save-a-Lot, and he's got the prices memorized by now. He doesn't want to play that golf game, or the Alpine Mountain Climber game. The ball under the peanut shell game confuses him, too. He wants to stick with guessing what items cost more than the other items, and he wants to spin that big wheel. He was bragging that he could probably make that wheel spin so fast it'd fall off it's axels. He's a little worried about the Showcase Showdown, too. How do you possibly put a price on a new dirt bike and RV Camper? He's afraid he'll overbid and be disqualified.

I guess they haven't watched the news lately and heard that Bob Barker is retiring in June. They haven't named a new host, and the show may not even be taping when Billy Bob and Keisha take their trip out to LA to use their free tickets. I don't want to be the one to tell them, though. I don't want to dash their dreams of spinning the big wheel and battling it out in the Showcase Showdown.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wish Me Luck!!!!

I finally put in my application for the Director of Catering/ Events job that I've been dreaming of! It was a struggle to get to this point- I had to get permission from Delia and John to even apply. It's awkward to have to ask your current employers for their permission to apply for another job. But, since the job I'm hoping for is with our parent company, it's not as if I would be leaving the company, just changing to a new position and leaving a vacancy that would have to be filled. Delia and John were both encouraging and gave me their blessings, so I went for it. If I get the new job, I will be in charge of Catering for 10 restaurant chains (currently about 500 individual restaurants nationswide, and growing at the rate of about 100 per year!). This job is HUGE, maybe more than I am qualified for, but you never know if you don't try! Even if I don't get this job, at least the parent company will have seen my resume and cover letter and will know just how many hats I currently wear and they may think of me when another position becomes open at the corporate level. Nothing bad can come from throwing my hat into the ring, so I did just that. Keep your fingers crossed for me! I'll keep you posted!