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

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Waterlilly Watch

Last week, I came to the conclusion that there were just too many plants in my ponds. A couple of months ago, I bought a few floating water cabbage plants. They flourished in the pond and before I knew it they had taken over. It had gotten to the point that you couldn't even see the lights in the pond at night because the plants had gotten so thick. So-- I pulled out most of the water cabbage and gave it to some friends, and then rearranged all of the plants in the ponds so that all of the water lillies were in the largest pond, and everything else went into the two smaller ponds. I thought this might get the lillies to grow a little more and possible get some blooms. Well, last night we noticed a bud on one of the water lilly plants-- it was small, and I probably wouldn't have even noticed it if I weren't so obsessed with the ponds! I went out and checked it this morning and saw that it was bigger, but still too tight of a bud to see what color it was (although I thought I saw a little hint of white). Later in the day, Michael called me to report the bud had opened and the lilly was in full bloom-- it wasn't white, but yellow. By the time I got home, the bud had closed (they do that as the sun begins to set). I snapped this picture of it. Hopefully I'll get to see it open tomorrow and can get a better shot!


We catered the Georgia Author's Book Bash (GABB) at the Margaret Mitchell house today. It's always fun to be in that building-- it's such a piece of Atlanta's history, and therefor it's a piece of my roots. Today's event was really cool-- 50 authors from Georgia were there to sign their books. I bought Hollis Gillespie's "Confessions of a Recovering Slut (and Other Love Stories)". She's been one of my favorite writers for years, and today I finally got to meet her. She wrote in my book "To Brian- my fellow slut. Love, H. Gillespie". Hmmm..... I wonder what she's heard???

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Day in the Hood

So... for my anniversary present to Michael, I decided to install some garden walls to keep the mulch from covering the walkway edges that he took so much time to trim and edge. We spent several hours in the yard today working on this project, and meanwhile every 3-eyed-lion in East Point showed up to visit their insanity on us, as I trimmed the front yard with my orange-handled scissors!

Let's start with the little girl across the street. It's not Peaches, but another girl of about the same age. She rode her bike around the driveway in a circle for about two hours. The entire time she was talking to herself loudly, and even arguing with herself about wether this was a "restaurant or a gas station". We tried not to pay atention to her, but suddenly she pulled out a bullhorn and started screming her argument so that no one in the neighborhood could miss the argument that she was having with herself.

Adding to the madness, there was a party a couple of houses away-- a mariachi band blasted the neighborhood with their trumpets. Our neighbors, the Van Meters, stepped outside (with their hair in rollers) to ask if there were any noise ordinances that they could have enforced.

Michael and I decided to take a little walk to check out the fiesta going on nearby. As we turned the corner, we noticed that the street was lined with cars on both sides. We also noticed the parking attendant holding a sign reading "Parking $4". We discussed the fact that our house was closer to the party and that maybe we could charge 5 or 6 dollars to park in our driveway.

As if all of this wasn't enough, there was an older man in an Infiniti that kept cruising the street. The first time he drove by he was picking his nose and blaring country music. Soon after, he reappeared with the windows down and playing BB King. A few minutes later, he circled the block again with a honkey-tonk song blasting and a kind nod and wink as he drove his car in reverse down Westwood.

All in all, it was a great anniversary party that the neighborhood threw for us in absentia. Michael was very pleased with the garden wall, and the free sangrias that we enjoyed as we crashed the neighbor's party. It was a good day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Baby!!!

This Saturday will be our 6 month anniversary. It's hard to believe that it's been that long. On the other side of the coin, I can't believe it's only been 6 months!

At this stage of my life, I never thought that the love bug could strike me like it did. I had grown content with the idea that I would always be alone. I was prepared for it; even accepted the fate.

I used to be an overly sentimental fool. If I went to a movie with a guy, I would save the ticket stub. It'd be nice to have that in case the guy turned out to be a permanent fixture in my life. I always figured that I could surprise them with a scrapbook containing a ticket stub from our first date! Well, after years and years of lots of first dates with no second dates to follow, I ended up with a box full of ticket stubs and restaurant receipts. By the time that Michael and I finally got serious, I was a little jaded. I didn't save momentos any longer. How I wish that I had!

Six months may not sound like a huge milestone, but to me it's a miracle. The fact that I have found a guy that puts up with my insanity-- let's me unleash my anger and still smiles at me-- is amazing. The fact that I have a guy in my life that accepts me just the way I am, warts and all, leaves me speachless.

I want to spend the rest of my life with him. He makes me that happy.

Thanks, Michael, for the past 6 months and for giving me a reason to believe that life can be a dream!
"For to love another person is to see the face of God"~~ Les Miserables

I Should've Stayed in Bed....

Today wasn't the greatest of days for me--- first of all, my assistant, Heidi, turned in her notice this morning. She has accepted a new job that offers more benefits than I am allowed to offer. I can't blame her for leaving; I would probably do the same thing if I were in her shoes. I guess the days of sticking with a job until retirement age are a thing of the pasts. Everyone seems to jump from job to job these days-- it's pretty much the only way to get pay increases, I guess. I've always been of the school of mind that if I stay long enough, good things will happen. Usually my theory has panned out. Hopefully this is a good jump for Heidi, though. I will hate to see her go for many reason, topping the list is that because of her I've been able to enjoy at least one and sometimes 2 days off each week, for a change! I guess those days are coming to an end-- I'll be back to working 7 days a week again until I can find a replacement. Damn it!!!! I will also miss Heidi for personal reasons-- she's been a great friend and a loyal employee-- it'll be sad to see her leave.

What else happened today??? Oh yeah, Michael told me today that a friend of ours needed to borrow a dog crate that we had in storage. I made arrangements with the friend to get the crate and have it at my house in time for her to pick it up at 5pm. Well, the day started to get away with me, and I didn't get to the gym until 3pm. How would I have time to work out, swim, go to the bank and the storage unit in time to meet her at 5pm. I cut the workout short... skipped the pool... raced to the storage unit. It took about 30 minutes to search the unit and locate the crate. I got it loaded in my car and headed home with about 5 minutes to spare. Just then I got a message from the friend that she had found someone else to borrow a crate from, and she wouldn't need ours after all. What a waste of time. Now I have a dog crate taking up my back seat-- who knows when I'll have time to drop it back off at the storage unit.

Today was my Uncle's birthday. I had the best of intentions of sending him a card and a gift. My mind has been so frazzled lately that the date slipped in and out of my brain. I thought about it again last night and realized that it was too late to send a gift/card in time for his birthday, so I decided to send flowers. The thought crossed my mind several times, and I swore that I would call the florist all day. Well, the day ended and the florist was never called. I guess I'll have to settle for sending an email birthday card.

Not to be such a downer, I'll look on the bright side: no one in my family died, or was sent to the Emergency Room today (so far..... knock on wood). If you remember my post from a couple of years ago (June 2006, http://brianarcher.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_archive.html) you'll recall that June 25th is my family's bad luck day. As I'm typing this, there is a sting operatoin going on on my street... men dressed in bullet-proof vests and carrying rifles are hiding behind parked cars and waiting to attack. I'm thinking it's probably a good day to stay inside and not tempt fate-- the pond and gardens can wait til tomorrow to be tended to!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Weekend Recap

This weekend felt like a marathon!!! I worked for a few hours Saturday morning, and then Delia, Barbara and I did a cooking demo at Piedmont Park's Green Market. After we got everything set up, another chef came by to tell us that he was scheduled to do his demo on the same stage, at the same time. At first we blamed the staff of the park for double-booking... but it turns out that our publicist got the date wrong. We worked it out with the other chef and abbreviated our demo so there would be time for all of us to do our thing. Barbara is the owner of one of the new Biscuits that are scheduled to open this Fall. This was her first demo as a "Biscuiteer" and she did a phenomenal job!

Later in the afternoon, Michael and I went back to Mary Catherine's house for another get-together. This one was for my cousin Courtney's wedding shower. She's getting married near Charlotte, NC in late August, and I'm hoping that everything will work out and we can make it to the wedding.

We couldn't stay at Mary C's too long, because we wanted to go to Tim & John's house for a party that Beverly was hosting there. It was a nice party and we spent most of the night sitting around a huge fire pit in the backyard-- gossiping, trading stories and roasting marshmallows for s'mores. Good times!

We left that party around 10:30pm, and headed home to change into our outfits for the Corner Tavern's Karaoke Pajama Party! We wore pajama bottoms, T-shirts and slippers. Michael wore a robe too, so that we'd have a pocket to keep keys and money in. We looked like we were ready for bed, but we headed for the Tavern instead. Imagine the look on our faces when we walked into the Tavern and realized that we were the only customers dressed in PJs!!! Oh, did I mention that Michael was wearing a huge pair of Homer Simpson slippers?!?!? Most of the staff were wearing pajamas, but we were the only customers sitting at the bar looking like fools! It was fun, though!

Today's party was at the home of Mar & Ray McCune in honor of Ray's retirement. It was a great party, and Mar served the punches that she's famous for: Champagne Punch, Whiskey Punch, Southern Comfort Punch, etc. She also had the food catered by Oceans-- a catering company out of Jefferson Park. The food was incredible, and the company was a lot of fun.

It was a long and tiring weekend, but I wouldn't have changed a thing about it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where to Begin???

OK-- I've got sooo much to fill you in on! This is going to be a long one-- so sit back, relax-- grab a cup of coffee and get ready to hear about the last few days in the "Life of Brian"! Michael told me today that he wished that I would post a blog because it's the only way that he knows what's going on my life. He also mentioned that it's the only way he knows what's going on in his own life, since all I seem to blog about is him! Ouch!!!

I guess I'll start with the drag show. As I reported earlier, I was really nervous a few days before the show. I didn't have an outfit, my regular makeup artist backed out, and my back up makeup artist was out of town. Michael was sweet and volunteered to paint my face for me. The day before the big show, we went to a beauty supply store and bought everything that we thought we would need. We came home and he proceeded to start the paint job. We tried all of the different items that I had purchased-- experimented with color, etc. Well, we tried to use the liquid eyeliner, but it ended up running down my cheeks and smudging. Next we did my lips with a liquid lipstick--- not good. It run down my chin and got all over my teeth. When we were finished, I looked like a messy vampire with black eyes. You thought I was nervous before???? Now the nerves were really kicking in. The next day we were leaving the gym and noticed a store called the "Make-Up Bar Lounge". I half-jokingly said "Hey, I should go there for my make-up". Michael agreed, and a few minutes later we were in the reception area of the Lounge. I was trying to discreetly make an appointment to be transformed into a woman. There was a man in the waiting area, and I was a little embarrassed about my request-- especially when it appeared that they had never had a man come in requesting a female make-over. The man in the waiting area chimed in that my request wasn't so bad-- after all, he was recently forced to dress up as a chicken for an event! I didn't ask any questions about that, but felt reassured that at least he wasn't judging me! When I told the ladies that I was going to be in a show (fundraising for homeless children), they got into the spirit. One team of ladies was fluffing my wig-- another was picking out jewelry and accessories, while Eldna was working on my face. They were all so sweet, and I couldn't have asked for a bigger or better entourage to help with the transformation. I was very happy with their work, and highly recommend them to everyone. They were cheap too-- only $35 for all that they did!

OK~~~ Showtime!!! The crowd was huge- and included most of my friends-- the Biscuit folks turned out once again-- Delia, Wendy, Molly, Wesley. It was great to see Stephanie (from my Oz trivia team) there too! (I'll post pictures from the show in the next entry). The only downside about my performance in this "booger drag show" was that the spotlights were mounted on the stage-- as soon as I came through the curtain, I was blinded. I couldn't see the audience, I couldn't see the people that were standing in front of the stage waiting to tip me. The whole time I was afraid that I would fall off of the little stage and into the crowd or onto the ground. I'll have to suggest a different lighting setup for next year, because it really affected my ability to put on a good show. It also prevented me from seeing a lot of my friends that I didn't even know were there. The following day, Michael listed all of the people that he ran into at the show. I didn't see any of them, even though I might have come to the stage and handed me a dollar or two. I don't know if anyone else had such a hard time with it-- but there were plenty of other malfunctions that seemed to plague just about everyone-- wigs falling off, props falling over. Even Ginny Tonic's famous act of jumping rope with her pearl necklace failed, no matter how many times she tried it. If I learned one lesson, it's that I can't wear sleeveless outfits in future drag shows-- I looked more like Xena the Warrior Princess in this year's show! Next year, I vow to tone it down a bit and wear something that completes the illusion more effectively! All in all, everyone had a great time, and we raised over $6100 in less than 2 hours for Jerusalem House. Not too shabby, huh? I don't know how much each performer brought in in tips, but I would guess that about $6000 of the donations occurred during my performance! (Just kidding!)

The following day was Father's Day. We went to church and witnessed our new priest's first service at St. John's. Afterwards they had a Southern-themed reception-- we filled up on fried chicken and deviled eggs (my favorites!). Within a couple of hours, we met Michael's dad and his friend (Francis) for a Father's Day lunch at Red Lobster. We had a good time and even managed to down a little food there-- pretty incredible given the fact that we had just eaten, and that Michael's shellfish allergy prevents him from eating 99% of the Red Lobster menu! After lunch, we went to Westview Cemetery to visit my father's grave. I know it sounds cheesy, but I've been wanting to introduce Michael to my father for a while, and since it was Father's Day, it seemed to be the appropriate time. We brought hydrangeas (leftover from the church luncheon) to Dad's grave. The family marker in Dad's plot has a vase built in. Since no one has ever taken flowers to his grave, the vase was rusted and packed in with dirt. We used Michael's wine key to pry it loose and placed the flowers. I was unexpectedly moved when we left-- I shouted out "Happy Father's Day, Dad" as I walked towards the car. I teared up at the same time, and even cried, although I don't think Michael saw it. Father's Day is hard on me-- when my Dad died, I wasn't really an ideal child. I was going through a rough patch-- failed out of college, drank too much, couldn't save money, dead end job, trying to salvage a dead end relationship and on the verge of bankruptcy. I like to think that when I visit Dad's grave that he is looking down on me and sees that I didn't end up as a complete loser. I'm sure if Dad could read this he would comment: "no one is complete". That was one of his favorite lines. Anyway, I seem to have my life together now-- good job, good house, good friends, good car, and an incredible "partner" (sorry, Michael, if it sounds like we're in business together!). I guess the part that bothered me is that at lunch (the second lunch that day at Red Lobster), Michael told his father several examples of what he learned from his old man growing up. Michael said that he learned to be a hard worker-- if your lot in life is to be a ditch digger than you should be the best ditch digger there ever was. Whatever you do, try to do it better than everyone else. I learned a similar lesson from my Dad, but never got the chance to tell him. It sucks to lose your father when you are barely an adult. In your teens and early 20's you still think your parents are idiots and that you know more. Time changes things and I realize how wise my Dad was and I hate that I can't tell him "Thank you". Hopefully he knows.

Wow-- that got a little deep, huh? I'll close on a lighter note- a picture of my new pet! I was completely surprised, and even did a double-take, when I saw a frog in my pond yesterday! I don't know where it came from-- maybe one of the tadpoles that I bought last year? Maybe there were frog eggs attached to some of the plants that I installed a couple of months ago? Maybe it was just hopping it's way up Westwood Ave and heard the sound of water nearby and decided to move in? Who knows, but I'm really happy that he's here! I'm very glad that I took this picture because no one else has seen the frog. I've taken Michael to the pond several times in the past 24 hours and the frog is hiding every time. But I swear that I do have a frog and here's the proof!

Pics From the Possums Show & After Party at the Tavern

Some of these came from my camera-- others I swiped from the Possums (http://www.eastpointpossums.com/) and Omar (http://www.theothero.com/). Check out these sites for more photographical coverage!

Friday, June 13, 2008

This Weekend!!!

Friday Funny

Monday, June 09, 2008

Onset of a Panic Attack!

The fundraiser is in 5 days. I am very unprepared. I haven't confirmed most of the key elements of my presentation. I do have a song picked out, and a couple of "maybe's" when it comes to make-up artist. But the biggest problem is that I don't have a thing to wear. Shopping for clothes has always been an obstacle for me. I don't understand women's clothes. The sizes don't make sense to me, and I get overwhelmed. Throw in the fact that my waist is still the size of Twiggy's and my shoulders are are getting more and more the size of Mario Lopez's-- I'm sure I'd give any professional wardrobe consultant a run for their money. What a challenge!

I went to Marshall's today in hopes of finding the perfect outfit. I found it there last year, and I was hoping that lightening might strike twice. It didn't. I thought for a moment that I was onto something. I saw the perfect pair of high-heeled "hooker boots". I waited for all of the ladies in the shoe department to leave and then I swooped in to grab the boots. It turned out that they were 2 1/2 sizes too big, so I quickly put them back on the shelf and left the shoe department, hopefully undetected by the other shoppers. In hindsight, I should have bought them and stuffed them with socks to make them fit. Oh and by the way, how many women wear a size 11.5? And also by the way~~~ why does my alter-ego always dress like such a slut at these fundraisers? I sometimes regret that I didn't adopt a more conservative persona. There were plenty of floral dresses and appliqued sweatshirts to pick from at Marshall's today. No such luck-- I had to take on the persona of Keisha Lorraine- a big old party girl who's most comfortable in a leather zip-down jumpsuit and thigh-high boots.

So-- today's shopping spree was a bust (speaking of bust, Keisha needs a bra, too). I came home with nothing that I needed. Although, I DID find a nice birthday present for my friend Bruce- he'll be very happy with my gift when I give it to him on his birthday----in October! OK, I got a little distracted and couldn't leave empty handed.

I'm sure everything will work out. It always does. Check my archives from June of the past several years and you'll see that I go through the same angst each year, yet it all turns out ok. Fingers crossed once again!


I learned today that Michael and I share something else in common: we both look pretty good in cowboy hats! Michael's picture was taken last night; mine was taken a few years ago. YEE-HAW!

Cool Picture

Michael took this picture a few nights ago. I've tried several times to get a picture of my yard at night, but I could never make it happen. Michael has suggested that I turn the flash off, but I don't like to mess with the settings on my camera-- what if I could never get the flash to come on again? Anyway, Michael took it upon himself to adjust the settings and capture the picture that I've been looking for-- a nightime view of my yard in all of it's midnight glory. I think I've counted 47 outdoor lights in and around the garden-- this picture only shows a few. Something else you can't see--- a woman's face! When I viewed this picture on my camera, I zoomed in on the living room window and saw a woman looking out of the living room window! She had the drapes pulled back and she was looking at the garden! I wish I could blow this picture up and enlarge the window so you could see her, but all of my attempts have failed. So... whoever you are: I'm glad you are enjoying my garden--- maybe you can pitch in with the watering and weeding sometime soon!

Some Pics of my Flowers

I am having an ongoing war with Mother Nature lately. I have planted and replanted the flower gardens several times. Most of the plants that I've had success with in the past are refusing to stand up to this heatwave. Michael and I planted the gardens full of flowers and they looked pretty for a few days. But even though they were labeled as "full sun" plants, they began to wither. They would revive after I watered them, but a few hours later they would dry up again. I moved all of these plants into the shade of the Bradford Pear and they are doing better now. I replanted the garden with a few more flats of "full sun" plants, but I'm having the same problems. The only plants that are flourishing are the hanging basket, the cannas, the daylillies and the marigolds. Oh yeah, the plants in the pond are doing great-- I had to thin some of them out yesterday, as the pond was getting overgrown. Hopefully, I'll have some waterlily pics to post soon, but til then here are a few glimpses of the flowers that I do have.