Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Waiting on Food

Here I am this am with much to blog about. Only not.

I could tell you about going to a former student from HHS wedding on Saturday night.

It was hot, muggy, and the only other flaw was that they waited so long on the food. The wedding was at six; we were FINALLY served food at 8:15. I went to the wedding with Wingate, my old comrade in arms.

When we got to the reception, a few of the caterers were circling the joint with appetizers. Folks jumped on them like deer on a salt lick. I had one stuffed mushroom and one unidentifiable cheese puff. By the time, they opened the doors to the buffet, Wingate and I were first in line.

It helped that the line began right next to the air conditioner vent of which I stood over to allow air to blow up my skirt; other wedding goers found this amusing. I mean, seriously, if I was pulling a Marilyn Monroe, those guests would be pulling one eighties.


Wingate and I were both sweating like we had the fantods. Weddings receptions should not be held in June in old plantation houses where the ceilings go up two floors, the windows are thin as ice, and one of the bars is outside. Hello?

My husband dislikes weddings -- he says, "weddings and wakes begin with the same letter. That's divine intervention." He also calls the food at weddings "recreational." He thinks, if they wanted you to eat, they would bring it to you -- when you have to go get it -- it's not serious.


The student's wedding I went to is the only student that I have ever taught who went to Harvard. True story.

He just finished getting his MBA from Stanford. I guess that's impressive too. He and his new wife will live in San Francisco, which is where, according to him "the money is."

I've always wondered about "where the money is." Figures that Ben would know.

I sent them their wedding gift to California, and I wrote on the card addressed to his then fiancee: "you have won the lottery." At the wedding, she chuckled (I think) and reminded me of my note.

Why is it that people remember what I say? I taught school for thirty years and none of them remembered what I said, unless they shouldn't have. Argh.

Another liability of going to a former student's wedding is running into other former students. Four of whom talked to me like myna birds -- another who looked at me like I looked familiar, but she wasn't about to find out where she knew me from. I never do that -- I always find out where I know someone from. I have threatened perfect strangers in public places with "did I teach you?"

Yep, former students are a disadvantage to run into at any event. At least this particular group had been away from me for 15 years and were done with their therapy.

One, whose parent was also there, introduced me to her father who said, "Oh yea. Kill 'em Gill'em."
I'm taking that as a compliment.

Another student said, "All we did was write. That's all we did. We wrote. We wrote. Then we wrote some more. The writing class from hell."
I'm taking that as a compliment too.

Another one said, "I was Ben's friend. I wasn't smart enough to be in your class. I knew of you. I heard horror stories. I mean, you were HARD."
*roll my eyes*

I'm thinking he turned out okay. I mean, other than the fact that he's balding. I don't know if I could have stopped that if he was in my class.

At one point, the groom, Ben, and I had a moment. He told me how much it meant to him for me to show up at his wedding.

I said, "I was just thrilled to be invited. You know, having your former teacher out in public at your wedding where she could embarrass you."

He said, "I wanted my wife to meet you. She's heard stories."

Later when I did meet the wife, I whispered, "You look fabulous. I have no idea who you guys are, but I was down the street, saw there was a party, and thought I would stop by for the chocolate fountain. I had three marshmallows, one pretzel, one graham cracker, and three strawberries. Absolutely delicious."

That's how I handle stories about me. I just act like I have no idea what they are talking about.

She looked at me oddly and thanked me for coming.

I can't wait to hear from Ben on that one.

And for now, that's all I got.

BTW: No sand ceremony. No one was mixing sand colors at this wedding. I do admit, however, that if they had, I was so hungry, I might have tasted it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

BIG TV: to have or not to have?

So, my brother is a TV crazoid.

He has this huge TV that makes me bleary eyed to watch -- I don't know -- if is it 50 inches or 70 inches -- but it's the size of a Toyota Prius. When I visit him at his home, I had to sit in the kitchen to watch the tv in the den that thing is so big.

Last time I visited him (he lives out of state), he was watching a football game (which was in HD before HD tv was so common), and the numbers on the jerseys were two feet tall. I could see the nose hair on some of those players. It was unnerving -- it was like being next to a Clydesdale.


He doesn't have cable or satellite -- he just has the channels you can get with an antenna, and then he spends the rest of the time on Netflicks where he watches old TV shows from the 60s.

Today, he told me that he had just finished watching Mission Impossible. I was like -- the Tom Cruise one? He said, "No, the ones from the 60s that are so lame."

I said, "why?"

He said, "Well, we [meaning my family] didn't see 'em the first time."

I was like, Okay.

Growing up in the mid sixties, my parents, especially my mother, thought TV was evil. Kind of the way the parents of the early twentieth century felt about novels.

You know -- passive attention, no brain growth, full of fantasy, romance, and likely to lead you to commit immoral acts. All of that sitting and staring and wishing to be a tv star was bad for the brain. I now see what it has done to the butt. My mother had such foresight, but I digress.

At one point in my life growing up, the television was broken for two years. The picture tube was broken, and it probably cost 25 dollars to replace, and well, my mother was in no hurry. She was an early caller of it for what it was to her: the idiot box.

Which makes me think of an no longer needed vocation -- the TV repariman.

These dudes would come to your house, take the back off your television, spread the innards across the hardwoods, replace some tubes, check the schematics and voltage charts, and charge fifteen dollars. House calls is what they were.

A whole different world... some savvy people could actually fix their own tvs with parts they bought at a hardware store. I remember stories of my friends' fathers who would put their heads inside the picture box of a tv, fool around with unscrewing this or that, and get shocked. They always survived, or all the ones I know did, but they never walked quite straight again.

Because we never watched tv during the week and even perhaps when the tv was broken, my best friend Marcie, on the walk to grammar school each morning, whose parents "allowed" her to watch tv, would tell me whole episodes of Bewitched of I Dream of Jeanie.

Marcie was so detailed oriented (she could even remember dialogue --I know you have friends like that) that I always felt like I had watched them too, and when other kids would talk about what happened on a tv show, I would act like it was a part of my life too.

I mean, I was in elementary school, you had to be part of the norm or, well, you wouldn't get to play kick ball at recess. You would be relegated to sitting on the unmoving swing, dejected, ostracized, a type of social leper.

I guess all that time on the swings turned my brother into a TV maniac. He is, however, not a slave to what's on tv -- but to the tv itself.

He hates the news; "If it bleeds, it leads," he likes to say, but he loves to watch what he wishes to watch -- and he has never, I mean never, had cable.

When he visits me, he watches C-Span cause "he doesn't have it." *roll my eyes*

Yep, really. I could not make up my brother.

So, he bought himself a TV the size of a small country and watches what he wants when he wants and if he wants, and he's really proud of himself. I told him that I really like this show called Burn Notice, and he said, "well, I'll watch it in a couple of years when it's out on Netflicks; I'm in no hurry."

What was I blogging about?

Oh yeah, my brother has gotten my husband thinking about a bigger tv. My brother told me on the phone today that Costco was running a special on 65 or 70 inch tvs, and that I needed to tell my husband.

I was like 65 inches? As in across?

He said, "duh."

I said, "that will take up one wall."

He said, "Your point?'

I said, "never mind."

Men, they love what they love.

But the more I think about it -- hmmm.... Steve Burton -- 65 inches across and in HD and in my living room.... doesn't seem like that bad of a way to go blind.

It could be worse -- it could be Peter Graves.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson...

Guess what spurs me to write tonight?

Yep, Michael Jackson.

I made fun of his world tour earlier in the month on my blog -- do you know how that makes me feel? Yeah, lousy.

The news are all over it.. it is like a part of our collective memory has been opened up and now is on view.

50 years old --- seems young to me.

When he sang songs like "A, B, C," he was a kid --- as part of the Jackson Five. I saw him on Ed Sullivan (go ahead and google it)... and he was so cute and so talented.

I will admit that when MTV was in its early years, Michael Jackson ruled the video world. I remember being mesmerized by "Thriller," "Beat it," and "Billie Jean.' He brought the dancing ensemble to the video, and perhaps made it a viable "art" form. I still never tire of those videos -- they are fascinating.

Later in his life, he acted a little too whacked for me. I'm not being irreverent here; I'm just putting some truth out there as I'm sure as the world mourns him in death, we'll forget some of his more unusual interests, not even thinking about his "trials" and tribulations.

I found him sad. He was scared of the world, didn't really know who his friends were, and must have questioned the high cost of fame.

All of this frenzy will just escalate as the days go -- I remember 1977 when Elvis died, before we had CNN, it was a circus. I can only imagine what these days will be like....

Meanwhile, here it is...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Oh No! Jillian says bye to Mark!

This is what happens when I am comfortable on the couch, Keats has her head on my lap and partly my laptop, hubby has gone to the back of the house, and ABC News is over.

(The remote is across the room, and yes, I would have to move THE CAT -- you know what that entails -- that pitiful cry of Meeeeeeooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww. )

Entertainment Tonight comes on. It's not like this has never happened to me before --it's an experience that I have had more than I like to admit. Why oh why do I let this happen? It's like I have "what happens after ABC News if you leave the tv on amnesia."

This is what I am subjected to:

The tease story is Jon and Kate.

Who are they?
Why are they also on the cover of People magazine?

They have like eight kids.

Why don't I know who they are? Are they famous? For what? For breaking up? For having eight kids? For being pretty and still having eight kids? Are all of those kids going to college?

They must be this summer's version of Anna Nicole Smith. I didn't really know who that woman was either, but a few nights of accidentally allowing the tv to run introduced me to her and her "lovely" story.

As my Alabama girlfriend says to me all the time, "Lawd."

I also learned the following:

Ryan O'Neal is gonna ask a dying Farrah Fawcett to marry him. (and boy this is our business)

Which Oscar winner trained as an opera star? Meryl Streep.. in case you wondered. I guess this is good for....

*scratches head*

Ron Devlin got married in Tuscany.

Hmm. Devlin? Should I know him?

Do you know that there is a new reality show called Prep School Students Gone Wild? Looks like the "privileged teenagers" of New York City's elite are apparently buying 300 dollar t-shirts, going to nightclubs, studying, and having their chauffeurs drive them all over New York. They will be doing other "dirty" and "illegal" things of which I do not wish to type or blog. This is gonna be a show to watch. Only not.

I'd rather watch that guy on the Travel channel eat eel corn dogs and fried wheat worms.

While I was typing this....

OMG -- it's the Bachlorette. I gotta get up and move.

Jillian just said, "Goodbye to Ed, and at the rose ceremony, she has got to say bye to Mark."

She and the rest of the eight bachelors are heading on a Canadian train trip.

Did the announcer say, "Dramatic rose ceremony"?

Did Jillian say, "I need to focus on these eight guys"?


Do people I know watch this?

*drops laptop*

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Smart Hall of Fame

Okay, okay, you guys are gonna get bored with me, but I have read something else that has made my mind freeze and my thoughts go "pause." This is something I want to think about, and I want to think about its implications. (There are so many puns in that opening, but only puns to me since I know where I am going...)

This is just an open conversation with myself here -- you may want to go and see what's on Bravo or play another game of Grand Theft Auto IV.

I just read the essay, "Brain Gain" by Margaret Talbot, in the New Yorker from its April 27, 2009 issue. (I so stay behind on these -- thank goodness, TNY are not a timely magazine.)

I can't believe the coincidence that I read this article after completing the Ishiguro novel.

Whoa. Is this divine intervention?

I am not going to make the segue for you since if you haven't read the novel and you might still desire to, I don't want to give anything away.

The gist of the Talbot article is that we have entered the age of "cosmetic neurology" for those, of course, who can afford it or should I say those who want it. I'm thinking that I may want it. I mean, I do, but then I don't, and then I have to think about it.

There is an ever increasing awareness that certain drugs like Adderall, a stimulant prescribed for children diagnosed with attention deficit, can give any of us an added brain boost. If you have too much on your plate, you can pop a few milligrams of a drug like this, and presto, you can stay up later, focus better, and even perhaps score better on a test. Does this sound like a good thing for our competitive society?

Maybe? Maybe not?

Talbot did interesting research -- she interviewed a Harvard student who took this "cognitive enhancement" in order to finish a essay, conduct a organization meeting, and, of course, to do the quota of necessary "partying" associated with attending college.

She discussed these drugs with psychologists, researchers, drug executives, as well as a professional poker player who made millions while taking a drug that allowed him to focus on the play at hand. No pun intended, of course. (He already had a natural propensity to succeed at poker -- in no way did it make him have the ability to play -- it just enhanced his concentration.)

In our world, America, where "over the top" is a the norm, this idea that we can chemically enhance ourselves to be better students, better workers, and perhaps, better competitors with world markets, is a tempting concept.

Do we go there? I guess, it doesn't matter since it looks like we already have.

Talbot made comments, some tongue in cheek, about this "lifestyle improvement market" that is so typical of our society, as we hurry from one entertainment to the other. If the eventual "quality of life consultants" want to prescribe medication to make us "think" better, then who am I to say, "Oh no, let's do it the old-fashioned way."

How interesting would this have been in my classroom where my previous students could hardly concentrate on Spark Notes -- when they could have not only had the ability to concentrate on Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, but to maybe, gasp, have them talk "smarter" about it?

*shudders for a moment*

Shazam. This sounds like teacher's nirvana.

But is it?

I hear the Twilight Zone music as well as remember Shakespeare's words.. "it's a brave, new world." The folks in The Tempest weren't sure they wish to embrace it... do we?

Is this ethical?

Do I want a little milligram or two to go with my morning crossword? To allow me to have more stimulating conversations with Harold at Publix? To help me sort out the technology of my Apple TV instructions?

As Talbot points out -- is it any different than caffeine, nicotine, or the the idea that we were encouraged to eat "fish" right before taking our SATs?

Talbot concludes that we are living in a "knowledge based economy" (boy, are my former students in trouble) and that if we need the "mental energy, fitness, or horsepower" to get the job done -- is there any fault in that?

Will "academic steroids" keep us out of the Smart Hall of Fame? That's my question.

What do you think? (without the Adderall)

*tee hee*


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Never Let Me Go

For the last three days, I have been immersed in Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Lindel and Dr. P commented that they both liked the novel, and I will join them in that I liked the novel. Love it, no, but yes, I found it fascinating.

Narrated by Kathy H and set at in a rather vague time, she reminisces about a place called Hailsham, a private school set in the English countryside where the students were protected from the outside world, a world in which they had little curiosity. From early age, the young were educated and particuarly encouraged in the arts. Kathy tells us about her relationship with two other children, Ruth and Tommy, two products of Halisham whose story will intertwine significantly with hers.

The name Halisham simply makes me think of Dicken's famous angry jilted spinster, Miss Havisham of Great Expectations. If I were teaching this novel, and thankfully I am not, I am sure I could make connections between the name and the Dicken's character. Kathy H is not Pip, but perhaps they are both victims of a manipulation of which it took maturity to comprehend, not exactly a foreign concept for any of us. It is with retrospection that we get clarity. Their clarity will be somewhat creepy and unfortunately border on enough truth to give all of us pause.

Never Let Me Go could be discussed as a novel that has no real niche -- is it an adolesecent novel about cliques and groups? Is it a mystery novel about who are the shadowy guardians of Hailsham who protect these children? Is it a social commentary about scientific ethics?

It reminded me of Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale as well as Huxley's Brave New World. (Lindel commented that it reminded her of Huxley.)

Whatever Ishiguro intended, he had me reading it.

I read Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans by Ishiguro as well, both good reads, the first for its view of servitude and loyalty, the latter for its story of family.

Put him on your reading list.

Meanwhile, it's hot as all get out. I watered plants on the porch early today, but I spent the rest of the day inside --- when hubby got home from work, I went down to greet him in the garage, and having the garage door open was like having Satan's workshop wide open for business.

Gawd. It's hot.

It's June.

Just imagine July and August.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Coffee? Despair? Carolina wrens?

I've been flat lately -- hard to explain exactly.

I've search on a superficial level as to what could be the reason for my temporary malaise. If this were the nineteenth century, a doctor would make a house call, give me a dram of laudanum, whisper to my husband, " she just needs some quiet," and I would sleep like Keats.

With a little thought, I've figured the possible source of my "out of sorts"; it could have been, it might have been, or it may not at all have been -- my lack of coffee for the last few days.

Yep, on Wednesday, I made up my pot of coffee, and then I did my normal morning activities. I went to pour myself a fresh cup of java -- and the pot was dead. Dead as in no light on, no coffee in the pot, no heating element -- dead. I was like, "Dang." I unplugged it; I jostled it like my cell phone; I talked to it. Nada. D.O. A. The coffee pot was done. It wasn't gonna all of sudden give me my morning drink.

I did not allow enough time for this wrinkle in my morning -- I couldn't run out for a cup, and I had no time to regroup and boil water on the stove like it was 1965. It was a no coffee beginning.
I had that "missing" something that you feel some days when one variable of your schedule is not the same.

So, later in the day, when I was talking to my sister, she told me that she had a coffee maker that she was no longer using since my brother-in-law quit drinking it two years ago. She said, "I'm pretty sure it's still in the basement."

BTW: To give you a little overview --- my sister's basement is like that scene in National Treasure when they open up that door and you see all of that "treasure."

That's my sister's basement except it's junk. It is packed from top to bottom, from side to side, and it runs the full length of her house. If you go through it, you have to cut a broad path with a machete like Vazquez de Ayllon.

For 10 years she hasn't passed a yard sale without stopping and thinking she has a bargain nor has she turned down anyone who has asked her this question: "Do you know anyone who wants a ________________? We're giving it away."

Fill in the blank -- if you need it, she's got in her basement. I have a nephew who went down there to get screwdriver, and we never saw him again. Oh, we searched for him, but he totally disappeared.. it's like the black hole of her house. I have seen the surviving nephews open up the door and just toss an item... it's that scary.

Her mini van was a Conestoga wagon ready for crossing America. She has unloaded a pin ball machine, an old roll top desk, 44 years of Life magazines, and once, she bought three Oriental rugs at a bargain. She would say, "well, you never know when you need to put down a rug."


So, I stopped at her house to pick up the coffee maker. She was gone for a few minutes, and before I was worried enough for a search party, she pops back out of the basement, and tells me it was right where she didn't look -- "in front of her."

When I got home, I decided that, of course, I would need to clean the carafe, cause I mean it had been "underground" for a couple of years, and lo and behold when I opened the box, the carafe looked "misty" and "foggy." I opened up the top, and GROSS... whoever packed it up did not take out the old filter. That sucker was adhered to the side like paper-mache paste. I washed it and washed it with hot water and ammonia, and then set it up for the next day's use.

So this morning, I'm all perked up for the coffee, after not having it for two days, and so I make it up, and head off to do my Friday morning cleaning. When I came back, all ready for the my coffee and the Internet, there was no coffee in the carafe. Instead, the water was in the top of the basket, leaking out the side like a jetty, and water and coffee grinds were everywhere. I mean, everywhere.

Keats was at the back door off the kitchen. She had been keeping watch that no "vermin" had dared to come on the deck, and when I came into the kitchen, she looked over her shoulder at me and the mess and gave me a look like "yeah, I saw all that, but there was this thug squirrel that was struttin' on the porch that I needed to glare at."

Two days now -- no coffee .. perhaps the source of my despair.

I bought a new coffee maker at Target today; I'll let you know if it helps tomorrow.

Jamie and Kara, former students, called me -- they were giggling like seventh graders on the phone. Their theory is that I was a little down in the dumps cause I missed them. Only not.

Kara has been smackin' her boyfriend too much, and Jamie has been playing softball in the 100 degree weather. I'd say both of them are suffering from a little "heat" stroke.

We have a family of Carolina wrens who have made a nest in our lantana. The momma sits right outside the nest trillin' like a trumpet. There were three eggs in the nest, but momma pushed one to the side. Either it is an interloper, or momma already know she got a child that's gonna be a deliquent.

That's what I know.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Reading...

I just finished The Emperor of Ocean Park over the weekend, and the novel resonated with me for many reasons.

Multifaceted, this novel by Stephen L. Carter, who is a law professor at Yale, tugged at me. On one level it was about the importance of family -- the extent to which a parent will go to for a child, the perspective a child has about a parent, the complicated jealously and misunderstandings among siblings, as well as the difficulty and frantic nature of a marriage when balancing two demanding careers and trying to raise a child.

On another level, the novel was a mystery. Full of nuances and twists of plot, the family gathered for the funeral of their father, a powerful but eventually fallen judge, who ruled his children with an iron fist, but had a mysterious and enigmatic past. A secret in his past -- which leads the youngest son and narrator of the novel into the intricate world of power --

The novel was also an inside look at the politics, collegiality, and pressure of being a professor at a law school.

It also touched on race in America.

This is one of the best books I have read in a while.

Carter won me pretty quickly with his ability to write with both intellect and wit while he wove his story.

I loved many of his pithy comments, some funny, some thoughtful:

"He found Jesus without the inconvenience of going to prison."

"The way belief in right and wrong can interfere with human communication."

"How can a civilized world preach the idea of no judgment?"

"Anger is not a right -- it's an emotion."

"Wrong [is] a word that has lost its meaning in the new century."

"I don't know is pure Hamlet."

"I don't start rumors; I spread them."

and one of my favorites .. "Irony gets me nowhere."

I wrote Mr. Carter an email today, and he kindly replied. Those of us who are readers really should take the time to let the authors know we are out here.... reading what they have written.

Next up: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro -- so far, it reminds me of someone telling a story under water -- it's muffled and murky... we'll see.

It's odd.

I like Ishiguro; I'll give it a hundred pages.

That's all I got.

Bull Sluice 2: End of the really not a story at all

Well, after I posted all of that stuff about Bull Sluice, then I realized that this was all there was to it.

It was pretty.

There was some excellent people watching.

We saw four kayakers take on the rapids as well as four yellow rafts of whitewaterers tackle Bull Sluice.

I was amazed at the professionalism of the young whitewater rafters guides. They were all relatively physically fit, and well-trained in what to do -- all was orchestrated, organized, and safety oriented.

At one time, the guides brought a whole group of rafters to the rocks to observe other rafters go by. Everyone wore a helmet and a life jacket -- the "safety" element was out in force. They sure managed to right a raft that got turned around, they used rope to pull folks in who happened to be tossed out, and they had one guide on "life" duty at all times. It was smart fun.

[This is the group who were watching the others come down the sluice -- so they could see how it was done. I called them Storm Troopers .. cuz that's what they reminded me of with their matching helmets, life jackets, and oars. LOL]

Hubby and I enjoyed it, but after the white water rafters tumbled on down the river out of sight and we saw no more kayakers taking the plunge, we had a little incentive to be done --- folks with too many kids and not enough hands to hold them showed up -- a cue for these two (us) to wave bye to the Bull.

A young couple layered with five kids, and the wife, pregnant, begin their descent. We heard them before we saw them -- but mom started handing kids over the wooden fence to daddy, the kids came spelunking down the rocks in age order -- three boys, maybe 11, 9, and 7 and a little girl about 4 ---and daddy, kept saying loudly and clearly, "Who's idea is this?" "I'm not liking this one bit." "Hey [insert kid name here], wait a minute, you can't go down there."

I was like, "Amen, brother."

The family continued to be out of sync as they tentatively pawed their way down to the edge of the bank following the boys who were already in the water, swimming across the river, and heading to jump from a rock into the rapids. The parents were trying to hold one little girl back from the water all the while swinging a two year old between them. This was not a Kodak moment -- this was 911 on speed dial.

I felt a little tightening in the tummy (could be the shorts), and nudged hubby that we ought to head on out before we watched an all American family tragedy.

Hubby was done -- the girl in the bikini had moved off -- the insanity had arrived -- he'd gotten his money's worth. Nothing spells L-E-A-V-E to my man more than unsupervised children, unless it's supervised children in the booth next to you at the Red Lobster.

We turned west on 76, we did not stop and get any "peeches," and I totally missed Santa Claus on the way back -- I did manage to catch a glimpse of "School Bus Entering the Road" sign. That last sight always gives me the shivers.



Monday, June 15, 2009

Bull Sluice

Hubby and I just got back from the mountains. He always, and I MEAN ALWAYS says when we get to the Gwinnett County sign on I- 985 -- "Welcome to the uncivilized world." He is so funny, but he has such a small repertoire of jokes. Maybe one of my blogs will tell you all three of them.


Our mountain house is 7 miles south of Clayton, Georgia, in a small, yet active town of Lakemont. Since we own property, hubby has suscribed to The Clayton Tribune, a weekly newspaper. His favorite section is the police blotter, where he finds out who stole Jimmy's blue tick hound or who's selling crystal meth out of the Chevron station. He told me once, "you need to know your neighbors."

I said, "these are our neighbors?"
He said, "you know what I mean."


We recently received a brochure in the Clayton Tribune titled "See Rabun County," so on this past Sunday, we picked a place to check out, and after lunch at our favorite place, Grapes and Beans, we headed on our first Rabun adventure, ironically which isn't in Rabun Co. at all, but just across the South Carolina line. We headed for Bull Sluice, one of the many waterfalls within 25 miles Clayton.

We headed east on Hwy. 76 past the 76 East Motel (original), Kingwood Golf Resort, Rainey Mountain Scout Camp, Good Orchard Baptist Church, and entered the Chattoohoochee National Forest. On the left and right we passed family cemeteries, Godfrey's and Mize's, and roads obviously named after the families who lived on them -- McWhorter Lane, Claude Smith Road, and B. Carver's. Coming from the east were mostly pick up trucks, SUVs, and motorcycles -- we saw few sedans like ours...

Hwy. 76 had its own mountain road kitsch. One yard featured a plastic Santa Claus atop a huge tree stump, another had a yard sale with a sign that advertised proudly "Turkey Roaster, hardly used," and one road side stand that boasted of the "world's best boiled peanuts," "canteelope," and "peeches." Many of the home sites were trailers which had been fixed up with wooden porches or decks. The most usual, yet unusual, side show were the tractor trailers nestled here and there on the side of the road, abandoned like huge animal carcasses; they sat there truck less, and wheel less, their commonality -- rust.

As the odometer showed us that we had gone about 12 miles, Chattoga River, Southeastern Expeditions came up on the right, and we made a left turn just across the Sumter Co. line into the parking lot for Bull Sluice.

I knew things were gonna be "ripe for spectating" when as we pulled in, I spotted several young men wiggling into their wet suits, muscles bulging and chests bared. I said to hubby, "lookee -- folks are changing their clothes in the parking lot. I'm already having a good time." Hubby rolled his eyes and insisted that I change my Birkenstocks for my Nikes. He quipped, "I don't want you falling down and hitting your head on a rock." I retorted, "it would be a shame to have to be rescued by one of those half naked men."

We walked down a paved sidewalk, very steep, for about a 100 feet, made a sharp right, and immediately were thrust into shade and an unpaved path. Sunlight dappled through tall pines, mostly hemlocks, lush ferns hung on the side of the bank, and mountain laurel still bloomed its pink.

It was a festival of green -- all colors, vibrant, and ripe with that dank smell of moist earth. The path was not treacherous, but I had to watch my feet, safely encased in my Nike's, cause tree roots humped up were just waiting to trip me. Landscape timbers, rotting in places, bordered each side of the path to keep Sumter County from law suits or at least to show the city folks where to go. We headed down at a steady incline for a quarter of a mile.

On the left, I could hear moving water, and through the trees, I could see flecks of blue and yellow rafts. Even though the rushing water drowned out most of the noise, you could hear human activity. As we made our way down, we passed no one, but a young guy in red swim trunks came out of nowhere behind us, said "'scuse me" and bounded down the trail like a young buffalo.

We eventually came to an abrupt halt and a wooden fence -- and there was Bull Sluice: loud, raging water, big rocks hunkered up against the banks like football bleachers, and tall pines that shaded the area -- which provided for us and other spectators a great view of the Chattoga River. We were at one of the favorite rapids for kayakers and white water rafting. We carefully stepped down about 15 feet to a big boulder and took a seat.

Several people were already perched here and there, mostly in front of us --- a couple with a young son (his t-shirt said "Know Your Bears"), a girl in a rather small bikini but with a huge Phoenix tatoo above the curve of her spine, two young guys in flip flops who jumped rather precariously from rock to rock, their flops slapping the rocks like otter tails. Hubby and I were closest to the bank, by choice, while the others were closer to the water. We had a great view of the white water rafters as well as the kayakers.

BTW: Mr. I'm in a Hurry who busted by us on the trail -- had shed his clothes and was swimming in the water against the rapids like a big, old salmon.

Tomorrow, what we saw...

Friday, June 12, 2009

I'm busy. You can tell.

6:45 stretches, watches the first 10 minutes of GMA

7:15 has coffee, reads a few headlines on Internet

8:50 is done with the news on the Internet

*checks clock*

8:51 phone rings

*shakes out cobwebs and answers phone*

8:52 nephew has a question about George Orwell, hands phone to mother at 8:53.52

9:45 gets off phone with sister

*rubs ear*

9:46 checks Internet to see if anything else happened

11:28 - finishes with the Internet, puts laptop down for the day.


*wonders why leg is asleep*

11:29 moves laundry over, checks the deck for squirrels, folds other laundry, throws away notes to self about "new project" ideas, picks up novel

12:01 - eats a peanut butter sandwich

*checks Internet*

1:19 - husband calls, asks me what I'm doing?


Nothing, but I've been busy.

2:03 finishes emailing back in forth with friends in Canada, California, New Jersey, and Maryland

2:28 takes shower

2:49 picks up laptop, checks Internet, answers emails

and my hubby can't figure out what I do all day.


I bet you can see I'm busy.

Keats is busy too.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dudette to Dude

Chasity Bono will undergo Gender Reassignment surgery.

I'm processing.

Apparently, Chasity decided to be reassigned to another gender when she turned 40.


I find that word choice fascinating.

I do.

I'm not sitting here in judgment. I'm really in awe.


Sounds like she is moving from one location to the other, and in the process, she will go from one gender to the other. She will be given handouts, maps, and highlighters. She will attend seminars, listen to speakers,look at references, watch videos, listen to tapes, and be given "gender" specific directions.

Doctor: Chasity, I mean Chaz, open this door. Go in. When you come out, you will be reassigned to the boy's locker room.


Her spokesperson also said that she wished "to honor her true identity."


I'd like to honor my true identity too as I know who I was meant to be: 20 lbs lighter, 400 million dollars richer, 5 more I.Q. points smarter, and married to Steve Burton. Now that's what I call reassignment.

Oh yeah, I might need to be younger too.


The reporter used the phrasing that she was "transitioning" from female to male.



I read the article aloud to Keats. She licked her paws and meowed that "she would just like to transition from the front door to the back door and pick up her canned cat food on the way."

Reassigned? Yes, to the deck, where baby birds, all fat from mom stuffing them with worms, would fall out of the sky into her mouth.

I'll have to ask her if she'd like to be male. I'll have to get her attention again -- she's rather bored with me these days.


This is like a science-fiction movie.


*hears Twilight Zone music*

I don't think I need to go to the news again for my blog topic.

I think I will stick to Publix.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dr. Parrott, Cracker Barrel, and the Blog

this just in from MSN. com gossip -- Jessica Simpson might be pregnant!

Paparazzi video of the outing prompted "Entertainment Tonight" to wonder if the reason why Jess, 28, outfitted in a clingy black dress, gray wrap and vertiginous ankle-strap stilettos, was being "secretive about her stomach" and "protecting" it from the shutterbugs is because she might be expecting.

I copied and pasted this because I was impressed with the writer's use of "vertiginous" to describe Jess's shoes. Do you suppose people who care about this overrated pop culture vixen can define "vertiginous"? That's what I want to know. *shrugs*


I had lunch with Dr. Parrott at the Cracker Barrel today in Canton, Ga. When I called her on her cell phone to tell her I was running ten minutes behind, she was already giggling. She told me that I must have picked Cracker Barrel because of the fodder it would give me for my blog.

Me: No, I picked it because you gave me three choices -- Cracker Barrel, Longhorn's, and Chick-Fil-A.

The Dr. says she never said "Chick-Fil-A." I beg to differ.

When I arrived for our lunch, she was sitting in one of their signature white rockers on the front porch and grinning. The Dr. and I don't even have to talk -- if we see each other, we crack up for no good reason. The first comment out of her mouth was "no one under 75 years of age has entered the Cracker Barrel." Needless to say, our first guffaw.

The Dr. and I have a long history of "fits and giggles" over pretty much anything. One time, when we worked at HHS, and the school had these spanking new copy machines, we jammed the thing on our first try. By the time we thought we had examined every nook and cranny on the copier machine to see where the jam was, we would find another drawer and burst into laughter. That copier machine had more drawers than Maidenform.

Our "giggles" have been known to make both of us laugh so hard we have to tell the other one to "shut up." When I was Star Teacher at KMHS one time, the principal gave me a book bag which she held up in front of the faculty to show off -- the Dr., who was sitting next to me in the meeting, thought it was a "saddle." She said, "Are you getting a saddle? That looks like a saddle!" [KMHS mascot was the Mustangs ] We fell to laughing so hard at that meeting that I was doing that awkward snorting noise, which, of course, increased the merriment. Good times. Good times. Everyone needs one good friend like that...

I happen to like the Cracker Barrel because whether you order mash potatoes in Gasden, South Carolina, Franklin, Tennessee, or Suwanne, Georgia - it's the same..not the same potatoes, but the same taste, the same look,the same deal. You gotta love a place that brings out mayonnaise packets and individual syrup bottles. That's class. You can't just get that anywhere.

My favorite soap star, Steve Burton, says it's his favorite place to eat in the South. Do you suppose they don't have Cracker Barrels in California? I can't imagine why not. Surely, those folks get tired of tofu, vitamin water, and lettuce. I always wondered if you had to eat that diet so that you could get botox. *scratches head*

The Dr ordered pancakes -- butter, no syrup. (she has the palate of a third grader)
I ordered chicken sandwich with cheese and French fries.

After lunch we took seats back on the porch in two white rockers where we mused and chatted about whatever came to mind. The blog was first. The Dr. is my press agent.

Note I call it THE BLOG -- like it's a horror movie or a stain on the carpet -- but right now I am struggling a little with what to write about... (uh, you can tell?)

Anyhow -- the Dr. and I, not to be confused with The Blog and I, minded the front of the Cracker Barrel until Shannon, Cracker Barrel employee with the worst job (she was putting price tags on the rocking chairs), got close enough to our chairs for us to think we had sat long enough.

The Dr. thinks I have a future as a blogger. I'm not so sure.

Carry on.

ETA: Thanks to Jessica, my former student, who corrected me about my fortunes. She commented that they are not "fortunes" but "advice." Gillham Guidance Cookies? Not sure there is much of a market for those -- good thing I wasn't countin' on that to bring in the dough. No pun intended.

Argh. I hate all this white space!!!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Food is Better at Jimmy Wong's

I've been contemplating new careers today -- mainly because "people wanna know."

At my workout place: "So, what are you gonna do with yourself now that you don't have to teach?"

Me: I don't have to teach in the summer.

At lunch with a friend: "Have you thought about working at KSU?"

Me: Is that rhetorical?

An email from my brother: "Why don't you check out private schools. Here's a list in your area."

Me: *delete*

Sister conversation, live: "You might need some "mad" money, later."

Me: Later?

It seems that everyone but me wishes for me to get on to the next thing. Do the next thing. Become the next thing. Just do it. The world needs you. You can't just sit around and do nothing. That's un American -- it's so lazy. So boring. So not you. Who will you make laugh?

Well, I found my dream job. I'm gonna write fortunes messages for cookies.


Gillham Fortune Cookies Messages

If there are roaches in the corner, sit in the center of the room.

You are never selfish with your advice. Thanks for that. Only not.

Good neighbors stay in their yards.

Don't propagate ever.

Don't upset the squirrel today.

Friends don't let friends watch Fox News.

Happiness is so not coming to you.

Don't count on the guy across from you paying the check.

Agree with your wife so you can get some sleep.

Most people do not meet the loves of their life. So if you are looking for love, you might need to settle. If she's/he's sitting across from you already, yeah, you've settled.

I know there is a fortune in her somewhere. Only not.

Don't expect to die of old age. Think botulism.

You have made some SERIOUS mistakes in your life.

The food is better at Jimmy Wong's.

You can never be certain of success so why try?

Everyone feels lucky who doesn't' have you as a friend.

Don't ever listen to yourself; in fact, don't talk at all.

The opening of this cookie just cost you another five bucks. 不成器的人

*tee hee*

Vocation idea for tomorrow: You guys got any ideas?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Nick Nolte: Get out of my Dream

I've had four dreams about teaching since school was out -- most of them involved classes of sixty two out of control kids wearing hats, smoking cigarettes, and making threatening gestures at the wall posters (well, they were -- I think it was Wingate's poster of Lenin). I have no idea how that poster arrived in my dream.... Wingate took that poster and vamoosed last year. Wingate told her classes how her sister smuggled it out of Russia in the 1960s. Myth? Maybe, but it sure made a good classroom story...

Dreaming about the classroom is nothing new to a teacher (even now apparently a retired one)-- usually my nightmares include showing up to teach in my underwear, being unable to find my classroom or my classroom has moved, or perhaps, even having to teach physics or Algebra I. I taught Algebra I once in my dream; I was very good at it. I had linear and quadratic equations on the board and radicals and quasi-radicals on worksheets. I was as uncomfortable as a poor girl at the ATM. I woke up in a cold sweat from that one. I blame the cold sweat on the residual effect of being taught Algebra I in ninth grade by the legendary Reverend Rogers; needless to say, I was a lousy math student. As I have said on more than one occasion, "I liked math until they added the abc's."

Aside: Yep, Reverend Ruth Rogers, scariest human on earth at the time --- she called the roll by calling each student Brother and Sister. I can still remember the roll -- Brother Blair, Brother Coppolino, Brother Davis, Sister Finch, Sister Finch (twins), Sister Floyd, and so on -- until she got to Sister McDaniel -- I still get chills. Rev. Rogers wore polyester shirtwaist dresses with a black belt cinched at the waist, thick support hose, and practical shoes. She probably weighed close to two hundred pounds. Her practical shoes were black brogans, capable of stomping my little puny self to death. She told me once when I tried to fake my way through a problem at the board that she was gonna "smother me in my sleep" if I ever tried to pull that kind of shenanigan again in her classroom. She used to bring burly football players to their knees. Yes, she was an ordained minister with a mean streak. She was also female, and well, in my high school years, female ministers actually given their own church were few and far between. Perhaps, Reverend Rogers was miffed that the Lord made her deal with "dimwits and scatterbrains." She was a fabulous teacher who somehow placed fear and intimidation into a learning experience. I learned Algebra; I had no choice. Either learn it or die .. what a great teaching strategy!

Last night I dreamed that I was moving out of my classroom on the first day of school, and Nick Nolte was helping me. Yep, he was packing boxes of temper paint, ice cream sandwiches, and lots of pencils. The classroom I was in was full of shelving and doors -- the whole back of the classroom was lined with shelves full of all kinds of junk: boxes of rubber bands, drinking glasses, and the usual classroom fare -- pencils, pens, paper, file folders, books, and dittos. Nick helped me pack by wielding a huge box cutter that he kept slinging around like a serial killer. I kept thinking he was gonna cut me or himself or the students who were looking for the teacher who was supposed to be in that classroom. I found myself apologizing for Nick, the box cutter, the mess, the misunderstanding that this wasn't my classroom and the fact that I wasn't teaching anymore.

Meanwhile, Nick broke many of the glasses from the shelf. I found myself with a broom in hand and stepping on the glass. I was carrying that broom around with me as I tried to pack, answer the door, and keep away from the box cutter.

Every few minutes, it seemed, an administrator would show up with a clipboard, a stopwatch, and highlighters. All of them wore matching shorts and t-shirts that blazoned "Charge." I remember thinking how odd the shorts were -- I guess I was never concerned about the meaning of "charge." It was a confusing dream full of worry, angst, and a feeling that I was never gonna get that room packed. Nick didn't stay the whole time. Later he changed into Steve R. a former student of mine at DCHS who became a policeman. Steve did not have a pair of box cutters; I guess Nick took them when he left. I woke up in the night, got up, and made some notes on the dream so I could write it up. That's when I know that I am already worried that I might have to tell another Publix story.

I wonder about the meaning of Nick Nolte, the box cutters, and drinking glasses. Yo, Phillip, if you are reading my blog, perhaps you can do a little dream interpretation for me?

That's all I got.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Welcome to the Hallway

Five o'clock on Sunday...

Hubby and I have wrestled with working together on a new cabinet for the office. He swears. I leave the room. It's all about what a hammer, nails, screwdriver, paint, and projects can do to a marriage.

We recognize that we don't share well, however, that never keeps us from pulling out the crayons, the Donald Duck coloring book, and arguing over the colors. I think that projects build relationships... or at least helps me with my vocabulary. *shrugs*

Meanwhile, Keats has a streak of white paint across the top of her head because wherever I don't need the cat, that's exactly where she is. She loves a nice drop cloth too -- in fact, she mostly likes to mess it up after I have straightened it out. She's the Anse Bundren of help.

Today at church our minister announced that he had taken a new job in another city. The initial news is the same feelin' that I got in seventh grade when my best friend Marcie moved to the other side of Atlanta. I felt a tad sick, a little sad, and then kind of abandoned like somebody is getting to do something better than me, more fun that me, and they're gonna like the new thing better.

I know from experiences in churches, in life, in work, in friendships that things shift -- we think it will never be the same -- that somehow this will "change everything," but it doesn't. We adjust. We refocus. We make new friends. We accept new ministers. We move on. That's the power of embracing change, I guess.

What am I rambling about and why?

Really, no real purpose to this except that it continues to help me adjust to what big "move" I just made in my life. I told hubby in the car after church that the minister's leaving was just like my leaving teaching -- God calling us to another place, another experience, or at least somewhere where our jokes and stories will be new. *scratches head*

Meanwhile here is a quote that I just read on another blog: "When God closes one door, He always opens another. Meanwhile, it's interesting in the hallway."

Welcome to the hallway....

I shall sit on my mountain porch and contemplate the hallway...

I think it needs new paint. Maybe, hubby and I will get on that project next. *giggles*

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Shee Wee

is the airbrushed license plate I saw at Publix this a.m. I walked the aisles of the store in search of "Shee Wee," and I never felt confident that I encountered her. Yep, back at Publix this am.. pitiful, but the cave man I live with needs his dino burger....

No sign of Alex. In fact, I didn't run into anyone I knew, which is shocking, unless you count my favorite bag boy, Harold. He actually pays attention to separating the vegetables from the meats, a policy I held fast to in my classroom.

Harold is sixty-five years old and works at Publix to get away from his wife. He's retired army, and apparently since he retired, he gets on his wife's nerves. He goes to work instead of being relegated to the basement or "the dog house," which is his word for the "shop" he has set up "forty five feet from the hen house."

Harold spends time in the "dog house" "sawing, nailing, and creating things for the dump."

His current project is to make his granddaughter a table for her outdoor wedding for the "sand" ceremony. Harold said that he didn't go to his "trailer in Florida" so that he could work on his project.

On the way to the car with my groceries, I educated Harold on this "new fangled symbol" of unity currently the rage at weddings. He said that he asked his wife about it, but that she said, "Humph, it's heathenish."

The Unity Sand Ceremony is known all over the world for its beauty and sanctity. Couples add this ceremony to their weddings as an alternative to the unity candle ceremony because it so elegantly captures the meaning of their two lives becoming one. And it creates a lasting keepsake of that special day.

I googled it and this is the explanation; I wish I knew all this to tell Harold... but my explanation to him was close. It's all good with Harold, I'm sure.

Apparently, there is a unity sand ceremony hotline if you have questions on how to mix the sand. I believe that you can get sand for each "branch" of the family and mix 'em all up. I just know if this were my family that we might have a showdown over who gets the blue sand versus the red sand -- and Lord help the incoming outlaws.

I don't know if it's pagan, but I do know that it's relatively new.

I'm laughing, because all that came to mind to me at the moment is Huck Finn's comment about Mary Jane Wilks: "for a girl, she had the most sand."

In my family, I definitely have the most sand, no matter what color it is or whose sand box we're in.

I'm going to a few weddings this summer myself -- maybe, I shall see my first "Sand Ceremony."
I'll keep you posted, or should I say, I'll keep you blogged?

Note of interest: Apparently Michael Jackson is headed back out on the concert circuit this fall. According to one reporter, hyped up like a toddler with excitement, and I quote, he's "master of the moonwalk, freak show extraordinaire - who doesn't want to see that concert?"

*raises hand*

Uh, me.


I hope that all my stories do not evolve from Publix. It's hard to know.
I'm retired, you know.

Since Dr. Parrott told me I needed pictures .. here is one couple who seemed to be ecstatic over having just been through the sand ceremony..

Random header image... Refresh for more!

Man, that is bliss.

Happy Saturday....

ETA: Uh, looks like on the blog view, you can only get half the picture -- there is a guy beaming on the other side of the girl.
I'll be working out this little kink.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Baketan 2 Ghost Radar

Looking for blog topics that don't involve the squirrels on my deck, the former students I run into at Publix, the hilarious garbage man who sings "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" as he slings my garbage container onto the back of the truck (this am. 8:35), or lunch with Vederick, I decided to type in WEIRD.

I think I got it.

You see, I think cell phones have complicated the world not simplified it, thus why I have my handy - dandy Go Phone, and I can kick it, drop it in the sink of water at a restaurant, sit on it, and actually leave it places, and it keeps on ticking. I have picked up the pieces so many times, and watched the sucker come back on. LOL

Even though I don't text ...I still think the cell phone is an complicated gadget for a complicated world and while I have your attention ---whose most annoying feature is call waiting. I've done little with the CW feature except hit random buttons and hope that I can catch whoever it is -- I rarely do. Most of the time I leave the person I am talking to on hold, then drop him, all the while never retrieving the caller who is apparently "waiting" to talk to me. Kicking my cell phone across a continent apparently will not disengage this wonderful feature.

Call Waiting is definitely one of the most annoying things presented to man by the Phone Gods.

To me -- this is what I think of when I think of CW. The good old days of "Call Waiting" meant that I was sitting at my house like a hostage and waiting on a phone call from a man who couldn't live without me, a job I couldn't live without, or a poor person cold calling folks from a list about sales at their store.

I had that job one summer -*shivers* cold calling folks about sales at a department store called Rich's. Each "bite" I got was the elusive commission. The worst job I have ever have -- not only was it boring, it was lousy pay, and when I did get someone to listen to my spiel, she usually said at the end, "no thank you." Horrible. I mean wretched way to make 1.50 an hour. But, I digress.


This is what I found on the Internet this morning. A charm can be added to my Go Phone that detects ghosts. Yep, indeedy.

There is only one time that I could think of that I needed a ghost detector.

From 1972 to 1976, I attended a small Southern college close to the Alabama border. The town was so small that it only had two fast food places-- Jack's and McDonald's. It had a town square with a nice little green space, and the town square was surrounded by Mom and Pop businesses from hardware to a haberdashery. Most popular store in town was called Mansour's. I visited the same campus in 1996. It was not the same place -- at all. Progress ate it.

The college itself was limited to about ten acres made up of four or five dorms, a student center, two classroom buildings, one administration building, a library, a cafeteria, a chapel, and a plot of ground that hosted a huge tent where drama productions were performed. The old drama building/theater had burned to the ground a few years before, and the school was raising money to rebuild it, which they did by my senior year. My freshman year they put on Fiddler on the Roof, and since my dorm faced the tent, with the windows open in the fall against the heat (yep, no air conditioning) I went to sleep or tried to study, all the while performers were rehearsing songs. "If I were a rich man, la de da," and "sunrise, sunset, spreading quickly through the sky." I can still sing those songs, not well, but I know the lyrics. :)

I lived also not only in the dorm that faced that tent, but also in the dormitory building that apparently hosted, besides forty or fifty crazy to be out of their parents sight freshman girls, a ghost. The ghost was supposedly aptly named Johnny Blue since during the Civil War, the dorm was a makeshift hospital for the wounded. Johnny Blue died in that hospital, but not before he had given his heart to a pretty nurse who stayed by his side until he died. So romantic. Pretty much bull, but a nice story for young freshman girls to believe.

One night I came back late from somewhere (it was college -- I was always coming back late from studying *cough, cough*), and I was walking down a corridor dimly lit by a central hall light to my room which was the last one on the left closest to the fire escape. I thought I heard whistling, so I turned around and looked back down the hallway. I saw a figure, really a shadow, male, leaning against the wall with his foot propped up against it. For a brief second, I saw it -- a ghost, or not, but regardless, I got the heeby jeebies, turned around, turned back around, and he had vanished cause that's what ghosts do.

Yep, the hair stood up on my arms .. I ran to my room, woke up my roommate to tell her. I was spooked, no pun intended- but totally an appropriate word here.. and she said, "Shut up and go back to sleep." I said, "I wasn't asleep." She said, "You were. You were dreaming." Uh, no, but I couldn't convince her otherwise. I mean, we all wanted to see the ghost, and she sure wasn't gonna give me the satisfaction of having done so. I probably didn't see him, but I sure thought I did, or wished I did, or perhaps even believed i did.

Now - what is the point of that story? None. This little gadget (following piece) did conjure up that particular memory of mine.

I wish I had the following charm to detect that Johnny Blue was really there, but I guess that I really wished I had a cell phone with a camera too, so that I could have the shadow of Johnny Blue.

I won't tell you that each of the three floors of the dorm had a pay phone in the middle of the hallway that all of us had to share. Yep, pay phone -- and when you got a phone call, whether from your parents or your beau, a girl would answer and scream down the hallway "[Insert name here], youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu haveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee aaaaaaaaaaaa phoneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee calllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll."

Another story for another blog --- maybe, maybe not. Pay phones.....

Regardless, this little ditty below is taken from a website called News of the Weird.

Today you can do a lot with cell phones. Now you can detect ghosts with it by attaching this cell phone charm called the Baketan 2 Ghost Radar cell phone charm. All you have to do is push the button. If the light starts blinking blue then there aren't any ghosts, if it blinks red then you just found a ghost. You can buy one here if you want to try it out.



Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dang. I have followers?

Isn't that Biblical?

I feel a little pressure now to basically entertain you with quips, funny stories, and observations about my day.

Only not.

I think I am gonna write until something comes to my mind.

I met a high school friend for lunch today. She and I have known each other for more than 40 years. She knows my material and still laughs. She told me that I am the funniest person she knows. Did I tell you that she's actually a recluse? She knows four people. Two of them are herself. I guess I am funny after all.

Anyway -- she has one child. Her daughter just finished ninth grade. She said that she purchased a "Yearbook" (70 bucks -- she about choked on her diced tomatoes) and then she laughed. We used to call them "annuals" she said. Every time, she said "annuals," her daughter must have thought she was talking about verbena or marigolds.

Anyway, her daughter was interested in seeing her mother's "yearbook," so my friend goes to the basement, moves boxes, dusts them off, and lo and behold, voila, she has two "annuals" from the same year. Puzzled, she pulls 'em out and finds out that one of the "annuals" is mine. I guess I gave it to her to sign back in sophomore year [since we were bff, I guess I reserved her a page], and she never gave it back.

Can I tell you how many times I have searched for that yearbook?


That's how important they are.

Forty one years later, she brings me this annual, and folks signed my annual in the following ways:

"Remember Grant, Remember Lee, to heck with them, and remember me."

Frank. Did I know a Frank? I think he was recuited by the CIA -- he was covert in high school.

"See you next year."

Did I? See him next year? "Tommy? Can you hear me? Can't you see me near you? Tommy? Tommy, Tommy." *channels Pin Ball Wizard by the Who...*

"We had a grate time at the cornival. Next year we hafta go agien."

Was she really that bad of a speller? I mean, surely, I wasn't friends with someone who couldn't' spell carnival.

"What a good time we had in Latin making Burger crazy. I can't wait till next year for more fun and games in Latin III."

I took Latin III? Really.
"amicus verus est rara avis" -- my friend is a bird?
"Vini. Vidi. Vici." I came. I saw. I beat you up on the playground?

My friend and I were crackin' up, and the fact that our waiter's name at California Pizza Kitchen's name was Vederick.

Me: Vederick?
Vederick: Mom's German and Dad's American.
Me: Oh. I think I'll have the avacodo egg rolls.

Yeah, my days are a riot.
Only not.

I've decided that right now my favorite song is "Here By Me" by 3 Doors Down.
It's a sappy love song, but I like the gravely sound of this singer's voice -- it's like he's talking to someone who broke his heart. :)

Eh. I need to learn to upload videos.

Random comment: A girl pretending to be a teenager on The Young and the Restless just excused herself to write an essay on The Pearl. LOL -- that's so realistic. Only not. When a teenager excuses herself to go upstairs on a soap, she usally sneaking out to see her boyfriend, eavesdropping on her parents, or *sorasing into someone ten years older for the next day on the soap.

That's what I got.
It aint' much.

I'll keep you posted. No pun intended.

Random observation: Obama's speech in Egypt? Not a fan.

*soarsing is the soap word for making children one day 8 and the next day 18 -- it's all plot points and bad character development.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New life?

Well, each day I get up and think that "this is the [fill in the blank] of my new life," but somehow, I don't feel different or like anything new has started. Maybe tomorrow?

Today, I thought to myself:

Self, you are not going there again.

To mimic Hemingway: "In the fall school was always there but I was not going back to it anymore."


It's June.
I've had 50 of those that I can remember, and they always involve thoughts of "when I go back to school."

So what to do with myself.

1. I think I need to keep the shutters closed -- birds are flying into it like it's the tunnel to heaven and knocking themselves silly. One was knocked so dizzy today, that David picked it up and petted it like it was domesticated. It was stunned... and you know birds -- not that much gray matter to shake. I checked on him a minute ago -- he's sitting in the hen and chicks and muttering to himself.

2. I went to Publix. I ran into a former student, of course. Alex. S. His first question is -- "so what are you doing with yourself, now that you are retired?"

Me: I'm going to the grocery store. You work here?
Alex: Yeah, I work here.
Me: No, I mean work, not that you are employed. Different words.
Alex: Why you gotta be so mean?
Me: Why you wanna know what I'm doing?

*he slinked off into the canned food aisle*

Later I saw him and asked him to take out my groceries. He looked at me like I asked him to read.

Alex: I can't do it. They 'd fire me.
Me: Makes sense to me. Only not.


Publix is always an interesting place. You should have seen the woman juggling five boys like a circus performer. She wasn't smiling..she's was grimacing. She wished school was still in session.

3. I spent a while on I-Tunes, listening to songs recommended to me by a friend. One of them comes from a band named, Theory of a Deadman. *scratches head*

4. I sat on the deck. Lannie, the dog who belongs to the neighbor behind me, barked at me and every blade of grass. She's delusional. She hallucinates. She's looking for sheep to herd. She's a border collie. She wears herself out running back and forth beside the fence. I guess she's looking for something to herd. Keats stares at her and smirks. Bad Keats.

5. I'm reading The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter, a work of fiction about the upper crust of African American society and the inner circle of an Ivy League law school. The main character's name is Talcott. So far -- is good. I just finished The Laments by George Hagen. I emailed Mr. Hagen and gave him some feedback on his novel. He emailed me back telling me how much he appreciated "my giving time to his work." I should have told him -- yo, buddy, time is what I got.

This is my blog. Welcome to it.