Sunday, December 31, 2006


So I guess I ought to catch up a bit. Just rolled in from Chicago by car about ten hours ago. T came back with us, thank god. That meant I got to sleep in between driving shifts.
Christmas was as usual: fun with the b.h.'s parents, way too many gifts, working until the last minute and then hitting the road. Rolled into Chicago late on the 23rd (after an uneventful trip), ate pizza, slept, and went to family parties on both Xmas eve and Xmas proper. No children at either to speak of, but my aunt and uncle have a 5 month old puppy. She's half dachsund and half chihuahua (I prolly didn't spell that right, but you get the idea). Awesome. Made me miss my boys, though. The family is well and as insane as ever. It was nice to see everybody, even if it's a little like being in a foreign country. My godfather still thinks I live "with a bunch of hillbillies"--hilarious considering that I am surrounded by half million dollar homes and some of my family is a bit red of neck themselves. Whatever. I usually laugh and ask them about the weather.
So everyone was far too generous there as well. I am set for books for the next year or so, and I got an Edward Gorey planner, which I need to go start filling up ASAP. I really love Amazon wish lists.
My dad is now semi-retired, so rather than running off to work before we were up every day, we got to have coffee and wrestle the crosswords together. It was much fun. Also, thanks to Jamie I discovered the wonders of fruitcake. Holy frijoles. My mom and I had to be restrained so we wouldn't end up drunk at breakfast.
I am hoping to take T to yoga class on Tuesday. The instructor I prefer is rather... esoteric I believe is the term one might use. One might also choose "crazy, but in the really fun way." The guy is just hilarious, and it makes me happy.
So tonight we're headed to Atlanta to see Centro-matic open up for the Drive-By Truckers. Much as I loathe the drive (and Atlanta in general, and frat boy Trucker fans in particular), we have a shoe to return. That's another story for another day.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I just finished making:
-peppermint marshmallows (no, I did not buy marshmallows and dip them in peppermint- I went all Martha Stewart on that shit and made them myself. They are not as pretty as Martha makes them, but what the hell.
-chocolate espresso rounds (most of them burned, but the good ones are really good).
-orange ginger cookies (dough's done but will be baked tomorrow, as I am simply too tired to deal right now).
-chocolate covered butter mints.
-chocolate dipped pretzels.

Tomorrow, date nut bars, coconut cookies, and my extra special, Total instead of Rice Krispies so they look like holly when you dye 'em green and put cinnamon candies on marshmallow treats. Ahh, the holidays.

Feeling a bit trepidatious about the Xmas party tomorrow night. It's not like my co-workers need an excuse to get drunk and annoy the shit out of me, but now they have one.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


I have been incredibly lax lately in my blogging, and I wish that I could say, this time, that I have been far too busy- working on my thesis, or feeding the homeless, or developing a new theory of somethingorother that was going to change the course of human history. Alas, these things are simply not true. In fact, I have been hard pressed to even pick up a book in the past couple of weeks, preferring instead to recieve my entertainment via magazine articles and -gasp- television. It really is a good thing that we don't have cable, and are therefore unable to recieve any channels at all, because in my weaker moments I am prone to lying on the couch for hours on end, taking in whatever trash is available. That trash has mostly been in the form of The Sopranos recently, so i don't feel all that bad about it.
Work has been okay, mostly. Last Wednesday was magnificent, though, thanks to the guys in Centro-Matic. Will even did the toaster dance for us. Having these guys play reminds us all why we do what we do. One good wednesday can erase weeks of shite jam bands and crap metal wannabes. Likewise, one night of serving bartenders, waiters, and similar professional drinkers makes up for the hordes of mouth-breathing, no-tipping redneck jackasses and frat boys that we see on a fairly regular basis.
On that note, many people have asked if we are upset that the bar can't be open this year on New Year's Eve because of the draconian Blue Laws (don't ask--just know that it's all about Jesus). The answer is a resounding NO. I actually dtest working on NYE, because as every bartender knows, it is ametuer night--the one night of the year when virtually everyone feels the need to go out and get drunk and clebrate... well, celebrate not ever going anywhere or knowing how to deal with people, apparently, because every jackass and his toothless cousin is out pounding drinks and looking to score, and this invariably leads to more fights and broken glasses and urinals being ripped from the wall than the whole rest of the year put together. So do I regret not being able to work that night? Hells no. In fact, I'll even THANK Jesus for the opportunity to stay home. This year the b.h. and I are considering going to Atlanta to see Centro-Matic open for the Drive-By Truckers, but we haven't made a definite plan. Mostly that's because I hate Atlanta and as much as I can appreciate what the Truckers do, I am not fond of the aforementioned drooling jackass masses, and they'll have more than their share. We may be returning from Chicago on the 30th with our friend T, but that will depend on whether or not he can escape his corporate hell for a few days. I am crossing my fingers.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I'm not the first to say it, and surely I won't be the last:

Best. Bond. Ever.

And now, it's Sunday. Back to my pajamas.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Party Like It's 1989.

So the other night we had an industrial band play. I've seen them before, and it's not my thing, but they're really nice people, so I was okay. I was in a pretty good mood, in fact. My favorite customer was a young, gay, goth guy who bore a remarkable resemblance to Elrond from the LOTR movies. By the end of the night, he was so drunk that he tried to close his tab several times, and he was slurring in the most lispy and hilarious voice. It was very amusing. I did get fucked by a stripper. She was crazy and drunk when she got there, and proceeded to order and down a number of shots in less than an hour. After buying several rounds for her and her friends, she tipped me like five percent. Ugh. Ridiculous. Fortunately her co-workers made up for her.
The best part of the night? Ten minutes after the smoke machine started (yes, they had a smoke machine)I took a quick break to skip to the loo, and it was like An AMerican Werewolf in the Ladies' Room. The way the HVAC system works in our building, the air near the stage gets sucked into the air return and spit directly in there. Warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and filled with fog on Industrial Night. Fantastic. Wish we had room for a tub in there.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Finished the class. Got new power cord for the laptop. Additionally, I have sent my Christmas cards and done most of the shopping for my holiday baking. I have done almost no reading and almost no writing lately, but I am working on getting back to both.

Have put aside the Shakespeare book for now. Back to old reliable Terry Pratchett, as my brain couldn't handle much more. Got Eric Kraft after reading a recommendation on McSweeney's. It's interesting so far, but not really grabbing me yet.

Thought after such a long absence I would have more to say, but it turns out I am much more excited about the baking than I realized.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Crossing My Fingers.

So we found a new home for the girl. No calls or responses from the fliers, but thanks to our friend B, she now has some deoggie friends and four acres to roam on. Thanks, B. Also, I have ordered a new power cord for the computer, so hopefully by this time next week I will be able to spend enough time online to blog something more interesting. Until then...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Time, Flies.

So it's been forever since I checked in. Things have been somewhat busy and insane, and at the same time pretty effing boring. On the home pest front, I seem to have conquered the moths at long last. The mice, however, are an entirely different story. We keep catching and releasing them, and they keep reproducing. I guess it keeps the dogs busy.

On the dog front, we have another dog. Not on purpose, and not permenantly (she said, crossing her fingers), but at about two in the morning a week ago, she ran out in front of my car and I got out and chased her down. She had a collar, but no tags. SHe was obviously an inside dog, and had obviously not been out for long. She was clean and fed, and that's what makes the whole thing even weirder. We have contacted various vets, animal control offices in both counties, and hung up fliers all over the place, and nobody has called looking for her. WTF? How is this possible? Look at this face!

Seriously, how can she not be missed?!

So the bed has been a bit crowded, but we are all adjusting. And Sunday we had yet another emergency visit to the vet, this time with KG. He's fine, but it was a good reminder that we realy can't afford to keep the new girl.

Work has been mostly boring. We are fortunate enough to have made some money in the past two weeks, and so were able to pay the vet, but the coming weeks are not looking good. And for whatever reason, the cold weather has not brought our fruit fly problem to an end. In fact, they seem to be taking over. It's pretty gross. At night they tend to spread out over the mirrors and shelves, hovering just out of reach, while I stalk them as nonchalantly as possible with a towel and a spray bottle full of windex while the customers are looking the other way. I had to chuck out an entire bottle of Wild Turkey, which is apparently their preferred brand of liquor, after noticing (thankfully *not* while attempting to serve it) twenty or thirty of them floating in one bottle.
Other than that, I have been trying to keep up with my online class (two weeks to go and I am about two weeks behind), fighting a nasty cold (I lost), and writing Christmas cards (don't be too impressed, I'm not likely to actually send them before the 23rd). Oh yeah, and our computer is effed up as well. So yeah, it's been a little hectic. And now the holidays are looming. Yikes.

So hey... anybody want a dog?

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I guess it's been awhile, huh? My Parents were here for a week's visit, after which I managed to pull a muscle somewhere in my neck/upper back area that rendered me mostly immobile for a few days, after which the dog got sick and was dry heaving for almost an entire day-- which meant, of course, no sleep for me. Oh, and the b.h.'s granny was very seriously ill for a few days, too.
So now my folks are gone (it was a very nice visit), granny's better, my neck is better, and it's back to the daily grind.
The dog is also better. The vet didn't have what I would call a good bedside manner. I basically took him in because he had a stomach problem of some sort and she took a bunch of x-rays and did blood work (both very expensive, x-rays were probably not necessary). She showed me the x-rays (which look remarkably like bones and multiple globs of nothing, really-- at least if you took English Literature instead of Science, which I did), and before the blood work even came back she started talking about barium and more x-rays and -wait for it- EXPLORATORY SUGERY. Well, that's not what you want to hear after not having slept all night because you were up with a sick dog and you have just drained your bank account for the current visit. When the bloodwork came back, she wrote a prescription for antibiotics, and now he's fine. I still kind of want to kill her, though. Our usual vet is an older guy (Doctor Bob, we call him, because we like the way it sounds better than his last name), but obviously it was an emergency so we had to get in immediately. Ugh. I need a beer just from talking about it. Anyway, the girl who printed out my paperwork and ran my bank card actually gasped when she looked at how much my bill was. Then she said,
"Don't you just wish you could put your pet on YOUR health insurance?" Which is somewhat hilarious, because that implies that I HAVE insurance, and I haven't had it in over ten years.
Ah well. Back to normal now, I suppose.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Good Start.

Well, Majority in the House and Senate, and Rumsfled is finally, finally, finally gone. No, it's not perfect. But now I at least dare to hope. I saw this quote today and it seemed appropo.

"Americans will always do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the alternatives" - Winston Churchill.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Way Scarier Than Halloween.

Yeah, so it's Election Day. I don't think I need to tell anybody why that terrifies me. I have serious doubts that we can change anything anymore- what with the Diebold machines and all (I'll be using one to cast my ballot), the Republicans can act as worried as they want to, but we all know they are practised at stealing elections and the country is practised at shutting up and going along. There are already irregularities being reported at all kinds of polling stations, and I've only just got out of bed. Ah well, we'll just have to see.
My parents are in town, which is fun. I don't really have much else to report. Just sitting here holding my breath.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Busy Busy.

The rest of last week was busy, but not blogworthy. Halloween was totally fabulous- no surprise there. There was a Cramps cover band at Tasty World, and since the chick playing guitar was in her underwear, The Creepiest Guy In Athens was there, standing right in front of her and taking a million pictures. I took a few myself, as you can see. The drag queens were a hoot, as usual. The Ramones cover band rocked. Good times were had by all.
I'm not really feeling very chatty at the moment, so I think I'll let the photos speak for me.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Tusday the b.h. and I went up to the mountains for a belated anniversary-type celebration. We took the dogs and went to a state park to do some hiking. Let me tell you, nothing reminds you just what kind of crap shape you are in like huffing and puffing your way to the middle a one and a half mile trail and finding the group of octogenarians that started on the other end of the trail, at the same time, having beaten you there, laughing and smiling and breathing quite normally. I surmised that they must live in the mountains, and therefore be used to the thinner air. Or something. Anyway, the colors were fabulous. The highlight of the hike was a wooden platform we reached after carrying Wyatt up and down several flights of stairs (the metal grates scared him). The view from it looked something like this:

The whole "panoramic shot" thing doesn't work well unless you have a camera that was made to take them, so I didn't bother.
After hiking, we went back to Mack Aaron's Apple house for a bag of Arkansas Blacks and a few fried pies. Yum.

Bloody Good.

Saw A.J.'s movie on Monday. It was really, really good. Called to mind 28 Days Later, but with more A.J. so it was quite sexy overall. Seriously, though, good shit. Wonderful cinematography, the actors had great chemistry, and I had to turn away from the screen several times, which is always a plus on a horror movie.
Congrats, my friend. And safe travels, if you ever get Ray Nagin back from those fuckers at the Mercedes dealership.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I'm not sure exactly what this thing is, but it sure is loud. And annoying. And of course, since they are working on a regular daytime schedule and I don't, it intereferes quite a bit with my sleep schedule. Mostly because I can't find any earplugs to fit the dogs.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Despite the fact that I have been tending bar for almost ten years, I am still occasionally surprised at how unaware the average customer can be. Tonight for example, the bar was three people deep, everybody wanted a drink with at least four ingredients, and nobody had their money ready or their shit together. I was extremely patient. I was in a good mood. I was kicking much ass. Midway between pouring three Jager bombs and collecting money for two Bud Lights and a Newcastle, I asked the next young lady (I use that term loosley, as she had been flailing her arms at me and acting quite put out that I wouldn't drop everything and rush to take her order- not terribly ladylike behavior)in line what she wanted. She asked me for a vodka and tonic, I got the Bud Light and Newcastle guy his change, took the money from Jager bomb guy, and grabbed a glass for her drink, carrying it to the ice well and filling it while handing Jager guy his change. I told her how much she owed me. She told me to get the order from two people next to her. I replied that I would get to them in a second. She responded by telling me that they had been waiting longer than she had. I said something to the effect of
"Well, it's not like I know how long each person has been here. I'm just getting whoever is next in line, and if you would just give me your money I can get to them straight away." Or something like that. But I said it very loud (a casual observer might have construed it as yelling) and with a lot more expletives thrown in for good measure. When I finally pushed the drink to her and looked up at her face, her mouth was hanging open and she looked like she might cry.
"I was just trying to help them out," she said.
"Well, I'm sure they appreciate that but you're really not helping anybody so could you please just shut up?" I said, smiling and looking directly at the people who had been waiting. They looked a little uncomfortable. The guy ordered three purple hooters. Seriously.
Three. Purple. Hooters.
I asked to see his I.D. and the girl's.
"She doesn't have one. She's not drinking."
I can't remember the last time I have been asked for a purple hooter. In fact, I wasn't entirely sure what a purple hooter consisted of. But I thought I knew, so I winged it. I poured vodka, razzberry (no, that's not a typo, the shit is just that cheap) schnapps, and a splash of sour mix over ice, shook it, and strained it into three shooter glasses. I took their money. I took the next guy's order, and brought them their change while I poured him a Crown and Coke. A couple minutes and several drink orders later, the Purple Hooter people waved me over. They had not touched their shots.
"What are these?" the guy asked. I had to ask him to repeat himself because the din from the surrounding crowd was so loud.
"Three Purple Hooters. That's what you asked for, right?"
"They look different."
I smiled, opened and closed my mouth several times, censoring virtually everything I was about to say (keeping in mind the exchange I had with my boss about the difference bewteen calling a girl a cunt and telling a girl that she is acting like a cunt), and I finally just walked away without replying.
You may be thinking that this is not good customer service, but if you are I beg you to consider the fact that most people don't know what the hell they are ordering, especially when it has a cutesy name, and that a shooter is going to be gone in one swallow, and that they were reddish, which is the color they are supposed to be. I did, in fact, attempt to look up the ingredients for a purple hooter in the middle of all the mayhem. When I couldn't find it on our house list (again- not a popular drink anymore, due to the fact that the eighties are long gone), I asked another bartender just to see if I had come close to making it right. I had. In fact, I was only off by a splash of Sprite*, which wouldn't have made much difference anyway. I guess my point is that beggars with underaged girlfriends who don't know what they are drinking can't be choosers. Especially when I'm that busy.
Other than that I had a lovely evening. I love working with A, as his attitude and demeanor and sense of humor are very similar to mine. He always keeps me in the right frame of mind and I wish he was around more, and that we worked together more, but I'll take what I can get.

*This according to her recipe, and recipes differ from bartender to bartender, as well as bar to bar, as do names for the same drink. (See also: Liquid Valium, Liquid Cocaine, Dead Nazi, Chipmunk, Duck Fart, et al.)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Down By Okkervil River

Can I just say that Okkervil River totally rules? Well, I guess I did. That show was amazing, despite the world's crappiest sound at the Caledonia. Thanks to the band for not pointing it out and/or getting bitchy about it. I was struck by the professionalism, actually, and Will even managed to make a rather funny joke about it. Most of their crowd likely had no idea that anything was wrong. The fans were quite young, you see, and obviously didn't get out much. My favorite was the girl who brought her clueless idiot friend, the guy who I overheard saying "I'm not feeling it. The guy's just arrogant," while standing front and center and talking through half the songs. She was trying way too hard to talk him into liking it, explaining the meanings of songs and quoting lyrics. I hated them. Since my elbow digging into the guy's back didn't seem to have any effect, I was relieved when another guy finally turned around and told them both to shut up.
After that, it was amazing. Brilliant.
They even played The New Single, which everybody seemed to know already, so I guess word is getting out. Hopefully since the show sold out we can get them back soon.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


With thanks to Andrew Sullivan, for finding it:

"I remember a time when, following an event of international significance, the world would wait to hear what the president of the United States had to say about it. In Britain we would have an impatient few hours before America had woken up. Because until the President had spoken, you couldn't be sure of even the shape of what might happen next.

On Monday we woke to the news of North Korea's nuclear test, and to a banal commentary of people who didn't really know what to say about it. Just when you wanted some real insight and even facts, the [BBC radio] Today programme again indulged its tiresome obsession with Iraq, focusing upon whether Tony Blair's actions there had made this move by Kim Jong Il more likely blah blah. That didn't surprise me. What did was my instinctive reaction when George W. Bush did speak much later in the day. There he was gravely intoning on one or other news channel that this "constitutes a threat to international peace and security", and "Oh sod off" I heard myself muttering, with no desire to hear any more. It was as much ennui as irritation: I didn’t believe he would have anything useful to say and found it faintly annoying that he spoke as though the world would care.

One reaction from a completely insignificant voice in the political process. Yet it reveals, I think, a sad truth: the 43rd President of the United States of America has squandered the political authority of a great country,"
- Alice Miles, The Times of London.

Amen, sister. And you don't even have to live here.


Strippers? Great tippers.

That is all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Not sure about a title for this one. Went back up to Ellijay on Monday with Jamie. Different yet still lovely route. The pumpkin patch was pretty much the exact opposite this time around- loaded with stupid, stupid people and their annoying kids. But we got pumpkins. Which means we will have Halloween decor and pumpkin seeds. Arkansas Black apples are now in season, much to my delight. They are crisp and tart and absolutely lovely. Oh, and there was fried pie of course.
Yesterday the b.h. and I (well, mostly the b.h.) made an apple pie and sat around and watched movies all night by the fire.
Today we worked, and we will be returning to work again tonight. Tomorrow: Okkervil River at the Caledonia. Hell yes. Very excited.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ahhhhh, Sunday.

Big, fuzzy robe. Flannel jammies. Actual *paper* copy of New York Times. "This American Life". Java log for the fireplace. B.H. in the kitchen. I made a cardamom banana bread before walking the dogs earlier. Life is good.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Faith Restored.

So last night I saw Manchester Orchestra at Tasty World. They were not only fabulous, but also very young and very nice. And they had obviously spent a lot more time and money on their instruments than their hair, unlike virtually every other band I have seen from Atlanta. Also on the bill was Sovus Radio, who remind me a lot of The High Strung, but with more toys. Dream Girls opened the show. I believe they are also from Atlanta, but I can't be sure. In any case, I will no longer immediately roll my eyes when somebody mentions that a band is from Atlanta. I once again have hope. Thanks, guys.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Garden Update.

Despite the fact that it is October, my plants can't seem to stop producing. Fabulous, yes? Well yes, except the f*!king grasshoppers are still getting my tomatoes. I even went so far as to tie small pieces of screen around each bundle of fruit. It didn't even slow them down. They ate through the screen.
Right now I am sitting on the couch, sipping coffee with the sounds of construction raging behind me. Yes, the condos are coming right along.

I realize that this post may sound negative or somewhat despairing, but I assure you my mood is quite the contrary. I love October more than any other month of the year. It is about seventy degrees outside, it is 3pm, and I am lounging on the couch with both doors propped open, cofee in hand and short, fat dog afoot (he likes to sleep on them, and I don't complain). Oh, and the grasshoppers apparently only like peppers in small doses, so we have lots of those.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Game Day.

Imagine, if you will, a somewhat peaceful and very laid-back town of roughly one hundred thousand. "Downtown" consists of about four square blocks, occupied by clothing boutiques, coffee shops, record stores, second-hand stores, restaurants, bars (many, many bars), and various law offices, banks, and whatnots. Business is easily done. Errands are more of a quick walk in the sunshine than the headache-inducing nightmare that I used to endure in The City. I can make copies, mail a letter, run to the bank, get a haircut, pick up a baby gift, and grab lunch without ever having to move my car. (Alas, I do need my car because I live far enough away in an area that is not safely reachable by bike). I am on a first name basis with more than half of the people that I encounter on these journeys.
Now imagine an extra hundred thousand people descending onto the scene in roughly eight or twelve hours. Yeah. Not pretty, is it? A sea of red and black (team colors), peppered by a hideous shade of orange (like a push-up pop; the other team's color). A big, drunk, unfashionable sea, it was. Men in pink (formerly red) pants everywhere. (Where do they buy these?)If they are not wearing red pants, they are definitely wearing red shirts, and sometimes, alarmingly, they are wearing both.
The b.h. and I managed to get a primo (legal!)parking space, despite getting to work just before half time. A good sign. There was a guy in a polo shirt and khakis (oddly, his clothing did not swear an obvious allegiance to either team) was asleep on a cement platform next to a car.
"Do you think he has any money on him?" I whispered loudly to the b.h. as we passed the passed-out man.
"Not anymore." The b.h. is much, much funnier and more clever than I am.

We walk into work. There is chaos. J and H and S have already been at it for ten hours. We are their relief. They seem relieved. I tuck a bottle opener into one back pocket, a towel into the other. I approach a customer.
"Can I help you?"
"Yeah," he says, leaning in conspiratorially. "Can you pour a shot of whiskey and give it to the guy in the red shirt?"

Saturday, October 07, 2006


So Stinky P has left town. Apparently, he swiped some liquor from a group of tailgaters, and then proceeded to brandish a rusty hunting knife at them (in front of the bar, no less) when they caught up with him. Jackass. After that, he ran inside and locked himself into a closet to hide. Not very smart, nor is it good for business. Then again, meth and crack are not generally known to promote intelligence.
Four days prior to this incident, Stinky P arrived on the doorstep of a guy we know (I'll call him L). It was two in the morning, and it was pouring rain, so L let him in to crash on his couch.
"But you have to shut up and go to sleep," L said firmly, "'cause I gotta get up at seven for work."
An hour and a half later, L was awakened by screaming. L ran downstairs.
"What the fuck?" is effectively what he asked Stinky P.
P had no idea where he was or what was going on, and he threatened L. L told him to either shut the hell up and go to sleep or get the fuck out, which is much nicer than what I would have done.
P threatened L. L told him to get out.
L got a few hours' sleep and went to work, and stopped for a drink later that night. When he saw Stinky P, P sat down and asked L for some of his beer. L refused. P got angry. He was apparently unaware that anything had happened the previous night. So basically, he flipped out a little. This was the pre-flipout flipout. Then he really flipped out, got banned form the bar (after the knife brandishing incident), and was heard to say
"I think I'm gonna split for awhile" before apparently splitting.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Thou Shalt Not Work When Will Plays.

Last night was the first Musickfest show. Musickfest is a benefit for Wendy Musick, a local Athens rocker who had to have emergency surgery recently. Since Wendy, like so many of us, is without health insurance, she has accrued massive medical bills and this is the local community's way of trying to help out.
So yeah, it was a great cause and a great night of music. The highlight for the b.h. and me was a fabulous solo set by Will Johnson. We only get to see him a few times a year, and we have a house rule about not working when he plays. Fortunately, everything worked out fine and there were plenty of people to staff the bar so we didn't have to.
In addition to Will, we got to see performances by Clay Leverett, Dave Barbe, and Dave Marr, who brought along most of the Star Room Boys for a really beautiful set. I got to see my friend M, who I rarely see anymore, and who is considering a move to either NYC or Chicago sometime next year (go for it!) as well as P (but not Stinky P, who has been officially run out of town- more on that later). There was an auction, and a guy who is sort of a friend of ours dropped at least a couple grand on multiple items. What was so nice was that I suspect that he didn't even necessarily want a lot of the stuff he was bidding on, but he drove the prices up to give more money to Wendy. Very few people know him, as he is not an easy person to know. I don't claim to know him very well, but I do know that he is financially well off, and that he has a true appreciation for music (and Musick). What a guy.
In other news, i am making some progress on Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, despite my inability to stay awake for more than ten minutes when I get into bed every night. Very much looking forward to seeing Okkervil River in two weeks. They have a new song streaming on their label's website and it is just awesome. My plan is to sit as close to them as possible without their noticing and hope that I can somehow become more clever/poetic by osmosis. Seriously, they are ridiculous. Awesome. And if you really have some time to kill, go to their website and check out the videos. Wow.
Sorry, did I get off on a tangent there? Okay, gotta go eat before work.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Can't Talk Now...

Too busy watching my new dvds. I feel like I have waited forever, but it was well worth it. The Tick is the best cartoon ever made. Ever.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Today I find myself at a highly unusual loss for words. Perhaps it is because I took some extremely potent over-the-counter allergy medication and was forced to sleep for almost twelve hours. All I can remember to report right now is that last night was a fantastic show, and my favorite quote of the evening is
"Women are crazy-ass BITCHES, believe me. I know from experience."
It was shouted by an obvious crazy-ass bitch, and it was very amusing. Hopefully i will have more to say tomorrow. For now, i am off to brew some tea.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

It's A Living.

Thursday: scantily clad young ladies in an old-timey burlesque show. The women of Effie's Club Follies are a real hoot.

Friday: Drag queens and frat boys clash as pop/rock meets fat guys in dresses. The chap in the backward (on multiple levels) "W" ball cap did NOT appreciate getting his junk grabbed by Pebbles, the drag queen so out of control that even the other drag queens steer clear. At night's end, Pebbles was strutting her stuff (there was more of it than I care to remember) on Broad Street, and the local cops and campus police seemed reluctant to do anything about it. Do I blame them? Hell no. In the end, she found love, but not before her ass found the sidewalk multiple times.

Tonight: Unknown Hinson. Man, I love this place.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

How About Them Apples?

Went up to Ellijay with Jamie on monday. It was the usual- awe inspiring, lovely, and totally relaxing. Ate fried pies, stopped at multiple apple orchards, bought stuff.

Highlights included an incredibly idyllic little pasture that I immediately wanted to live on,

the aforementioned fried pies, the ugliest ice bucket I have ever seen (not pictured to protect Jamie's privacy-I made her hold it for the photo. It was owl shaped, and made of some kid of cheap metal and plastic), and

...flipping off a Hummer in a parking lot for the FUH2 Site.

My favorite new discovery? The pumpkin place.

Has anyone else ever seen a blue/green pumpkin before? Because I sure haven't.
And they had a whole lot of 'em. Neat.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Of Mice and Moths.

I have just finished completely cleaning and wiping out, for the second time in a year, my Very Large Bookcase Thing. I got the VLBT in Chicago at Salvage One in about 1998, and it is my favorite piece of furniture, despite being impossibly heavy, difficult to move, and a veritable playground for mice.
The VLBT was taken out of a building in Evanston prior to that buliding's demolition. It had been built in to the kitchen in an apartment, and most likely used for dishes and food and other kitchen cupboard-like items.
In my house the VLBT has always housed books, CDs, magazines, and various memorabilia* which doesn't have a proper place anywhere else. It holds a lot of stuff. So you can imagine my dismay whenever I discover that we have once again been adopted by a mouse, and I must once again go through each cabinet and drawer, sorting out which of these I can salvage (Ron Jeremy autographed photo, X-Men Playing cards, most of the CDs, all of the books, a disposable lighter bearing the WILCO gas station logo), and which have to go (various old music magazines, a polaroid camera which seems to have been doused in mouse urine, our only non-cordless phone**).
Today was one of those days. In a way, it helps me to be less attached to material things and less of a pack rat, which I suppose is good, but mostly it is just a pain in the ass--and it is pretty gross.
It doesn't help that we have also had a fairly major moth problem intermittently for the last couple of months. I have thrown out more tea, flour, rice, pasta, dried fruit, bread, cookies, and crackers than I care to think about. I have spread bay leaves and lavender about the cupboards to try and repel them naturally. I am not willing to "bomb" the house with any kind of chemicals because a) that shit is toxic, and b) I would have to wipe down and launder and steam clean every surface and item of clothing in the house, and I would still not feel that the dogs were safe. Dogs will eat anything, and with my luck they would find the one corner I didn't get to, or the sock under the couch in the corner that didn't get washed, and they will eat it and get sick and I will never forgive myself. Rational thoughts? No. Real thoughts? Yes.
Anyway, I did finally find moth traps at the (big box excuse for a) hardware store. Also very gross, but so far very effective. Next on the list is a no-kill mouse trap. Maybe I'll fill it with CDs and magazines instead of peanut butter.

*An autographed picture of Ron Jeremy, for example, and an activity book entitled "My First Presidentiary, by George W. Bush", as well as a paper doll book of Bill clinton and His Family.
**It's good to have one of these around in case of a power outage. Hard to call the power company when the phone doesn't work.


It has taken me three years, two houses, and countless packets of seeds and bags of soil, but I have, at long last, managed to grow my very own Moon Flowers. Only wish I knew how to post their lovely scent...

In other "finally" news, it is finally Sunday, which means my weekend can finally begin. I always forget how much football season annoys me until it actually starts. At this point it has been quite tame. Next month is when the real games (and the real hell,) start.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Somebody's Gotta Do It.

And I know that AJ probably won't brag himself, so I'll just tell you: He got signed by CAA.

Way to go, buddy. I didn't even know they represented porn stars.

It Wasn't All Bad.

Lest I leave anyone with the wrong impression, I must state for the record that the weekend was not all about the end of Lunch Paper. Tasty World celebrated it's Ninth Anniversary on Friday night, with the always awesome Grand Buffet headlining a spectacular show. Those guys are always a treat, and this time there were finally some people there to see them. Some of them even started throwing money at the end of the show so they'd play another song. One of those people might have been me, but I can't be sure because I was very busy losing my mind. If I ever find myself sitting on a large enough sum of money, I will buy a camera, take two weeks off, and get in the van with those two. Also, I saw Modern Skirts kicking much ass for the second time this week. I really hope there is a new record on the horizon because I am about to wear out the one I have. Well done everybody. And congrats to Murphy on staying alive for so long against nearly impossible odds.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish.

Or beer. And stuff.
Yep, the venerable Lunch Paper has closed its doors forever. The b.h. and I went down there today to help take down the sign and scrape the window stickers down and whatnot. It was kind of depressing, in a way, but it also means a new start for Monty, so that's good.

I met a lot of good people at that place, many of whom are gone and a few that I still see all the time. It was one of the first places I ever felt at home here in Athens.
R.I.P., L.P.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And Now I Really, Really Feel Fine)

So there was an R.E.M. tribute show last night at the 40 Watt. It was a benefit for some local charities, and there were sevral bands playing that the b.h. and I were excited about seeing. These included Five Eight and Modern Skirts among others, and since the Skirts are getting so popular these days and Patterson Hood is almost as good as Dave Schools at dragging out a million frat boys every time he plays, we thought we would go ahead and get our tickets in advance. That turned out to be a good decision, because the show sold out and R.E.M. actually played. I have seen Michael Stipe and Mike Mills around town several times since I moved here, and I have also seen a couple of impromptu performances, but never with the whole band. They got up and did a couple songs, and then took turns popping up onstage with the other bands. I am still a bit too giddy to properly convey the spirit of the evening, but suffice to say (for now) that everyone was fantastic.

One highlight that springs to mind is the version of "Driver 8" performed by Five-Eight that was about the West Coast tour they did with R.E.M. The last line was something like "Five Eight take a break we're taking Now It's Overhead to Europe." I know this is not translating well, but it was hilarious. And the last song they did (they headlined) was "It's The End Of The Wolrd..." Many of the band members that had played, including R.E.M., got up onstage with them and totally rocked it out. People went insane. (Present company very included.) I found myself screaming out the lyric, jumping around and losing my mind. When it ended, I discovered that I was actually propped up on an amplifier, one leg dangling several feet above the floor and the other wrapped around the bannister on the stairs that lead to the stage. My voice was horse, my head was spinning, and I couldn't remember having been that excited for a long time.
The thing is, right now it does sometimes feel like the end of the world, and as much as I wish I were able to just stick my head in the sand and say fuck it, that is simply not in my nature. Between war and crime and poverty and the environment and our fucking joke of a government, there are days when I wonder why people even bother to try and do the right thing ever. But then there are moments when everything else is gone and all I feel is unbridled joy and the pleasure of simply being alive. Many thanks to everybody who made that possible, and so sorry to those of you who missed it. I was with you all in spirit.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and Hitler's World HQ

So Lincoln was really cool. It reminded me of Champaign-Urbana in all the rtight ways. I met all of the b.h.'s friends, who made me feel welcome right away, and heard all the stories that old friends tell when they get together. It was great fun and I only hope that the b.h. likes my friends from home half as well as I like his (especially since we see my friends so often). In addition to the people, I got to see the Capitol Building (below), a very large phallic structure with a statue of a man on top who is -wait for it- sowing seed. He is in fact called "The Sower". I don't know if you can see him in this photo or not, but he's there.

Apparently, this building so impressed Hitler that he decided that it would be his world headquarters after he conquered the United States. We managed to get in about fifteen minutes before it closed on Thursday, and a woman who was perhaps the nicest State Employee I have ever encountered insisted (after she discovered that we were from out of town)that she get us up to the 14th floor observatory before we left. The building was really, really, beautiful, and after taking the tour I could see why Hitler was so enamoured of it. Again, I doubt the photos will do it justice but I am posting them anyway because they make my blog more interesting to look at.

After we left here, we drove around in search of the neighborhood with the black squirrels, which we never found, and then met the gang over at Yia Yia's for another round of pizza. The b.h. got his with white sauce, potatoes and capers. I got mine with broccoli, white sauce, jalapenos, garlic, and potatoes. It was fabulous. That place is great and I can't wait to go back.

We left around 7pm, rolled into Chicago around 4am, windows down and slapping myself in the face to stay awake for the last twenty miles. Got up around eight thirty, left my sister's house at 9, and took the el to the airport.

Got there in plenty of time, but still decided not to check bags after the last nightmare. Turns out that the security people in Chicago actually give a shit about their jobs, so despite the fact that I had thrown out the matches and the lighter, they wound up going through all of our bags. I was told to get rid of my nasal spray and my eye drops. I put them in the "discard" bin, and the other security woman picked them up and told me I could keep them
"This is prescription, right?" she asked, inspecting the nasal spray.
"Yes m'am."
"You can keep that. And these (eye drops) are less than four ounces. You can keep those, too."

I was baffled, but relieved. Turns out, though, that I could not keep the Burt's Bees tinted facial moisturizer, or the Oil of Olay, or what was left of my very empty (thank gods) Aveda hair product. Bumble and Bumle conditioner that was also almost empty? Oh, that you can have. And toothpaste, despite the fact that the first woman (who nixed the nasal sparay) was screaming at all of us to get rid of it. Spray on sun screen had to go, as did the roll-on deodorant. And a (probably very expensive) small bottle of herbal dog shampoo that I had forgotten my sister gave to me. So the moral of the airport story, I guess, is that allthough we are obviously no safer, we are more wasteful than ever. Fantastic. I hope to never get in another plane again.

I fell asleep in the plane (antihistamines-woo hoo!) and slepty most of the way back to Atlanta. The downside of this is that I never realized that I dropped the book that I was attempting yet again to read, one that my good friend Jamie had loaned me, and that I had yet to get past the first ten pages of due to extreme exhaustion.
When we got off the plane, we took a MARTA train through ATL to our friend Dave's neighborhood. The train styopped at the station before his and a very, very sketchy looking guy came through the car, looking nervously around and eyeing everybody up and down. The train stayed still for much longer than it should have. It felt like it was having trouble powerin g up or something. There were a few announcements about how we would be moving on in "just a minute here." I was contemplating jumping off the train and calling Dave when the doors started to close. There was an announcement that "Any police in the train should report to (muffled words)." The sketchy guy stuck his head through the doors as they started to close, causing them to open again. I was on the verge of screaming and physically attacking him when the train finally started to move.

I don't think I have ever been so happy to see Dave. The b.h. got into the front seat after stowing our bags in the back, and I was sprawled across the back seat asleep before the car started moving.

Woke up about ten miles from our house. Got home, scratched dogs, changed clothes, and went downtown to meet b.h.'s parents for a belated birthday dinner. Note: twelve dollar pasta dishes are no more impressive than five dollar pasta dishes, but the beer waqs cold and fabulous and the coffee was pressed to order. I had two of each (beer and coffee, not overpriced pasta dishes) and headed to work. Got home in the 4am range and slept for about eleven hours. The end.

P.S. I got another copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell on Sunday, and am well over a hundred pages in. Harry Potter for adults-yay!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Time Flies (& Flight Times).

Closed the bar Monday night.
Woke up at 7am on Tuesday.
Left for thye airport at 7:30.
Got to the airport in PLENTY of time, so stood in line (incredibly long, as everyone now has to check bags) to check bags.
Got to the freont of the line to find that "You have to check your bags at least 45 minutes before your flight." Our flight was in thirty minutes. We gathered that the woman behind the counter didn't really give a rat's ass that we had in fact gotten to the aiport well over an hour before our flight. Though we had been there in what should have been plenty of time, the "Terror Alert Level" (TAL) is now orange, and no liquids are allowed in carry on luggage, including toothpaste, shampoo, and other things that every hygienic and not wealthy person on earth has to pack for a trip. So we flew standby, along with at least twelve other people who were obviously so silly as to expect that being there when you are told to be there would be good enough.
We sat separately in the plane, the b.h. and I, but were lucky just to have gotten on. I was happy that by checking bags I was able to bring the kudzu blossom jelly that I had made at Jamie's house on Monday. None of my Southern friends had heard of it, so I figured it would be a real treat for my Yankee family.
I had forgotten to get some antihistamines out of the bag that was now sitting with the b.h. several rows behind me (and also in a middle seat, so I wasn't keen on trying to retrieve anything from him). My teeth felt like they would rip out of my head for the last thirty minutes of the flight.
The b.h. made an interesting discovery mid-flight while rummaging around for the headphones in our carry-on, which had not been opened or even glanced at in security. I had, in my exhaustion while packing the night before, left in the bag a disposable lighter, spray on sunscreen, liquid roll-on deodorant, and multiple cosmetic type items that were less than solid, as well as a pack of matches. Coupled with the no less than six electronic items for which there are various wires and power supplies, one might have thought that security would have at least looked a little sideways at these items. Not in Atlanta, apparently. Incidentally, one might also wonder why the hell I didn't pack two separate carry on bags, as the one we had was clearly jam-packed and uncomfortably heavy. I can only say that I was really, really tired, and perhaps not making a lot of sense.
As we sat at the gate waiting to get on the next available flight, there were constant announcements over the loudspeakers that "The Department of Homeland Security would like to remind us that the terror threat level is now at orange, and that any and all people should be viewed with suspicion and possibly killed, or at least turned over to the authorities." Or something like that. We were also intermittantly treated to loud, repetitive,Brazil-like alarms going off at various doors leading to the tarmac, doors that no one was even close to, alarms which were mostly ignored by the airport staff. One might think, if one were a cynic, that these people were trying to frighten us.
More later- I need more coffee.

Wow. New discovery, from A Cook's Guide To Chicago: Cardamom coffee. Just crush two green cardamom pods up, mix in with ground coffee beans, and brew. Good stuff.

So where was I? Oh yeah, at the blessed airport. Waited about three days for baggage at Midway Airport, then called my mom who picked us up and brought us to lunch. Stopped at three different Dry Cleaners by my sister's house, where i learned that "Same Day Service" is only available if you drop your clothes off before 9am, no matter how much money you offer them. One guy looked at me like I was a total assshole, even after I explained that I had just gotten off a plane and that I was leaving for a funeral the next morning at six. Seriously- you'd have thought I was asking for his first born son.
See, the b.h. and I aren't really the type of people who like to play dress up, so not only are our options limited, but they are also worn very infrequently. Since our house has but two window air conditioning units (rather than central air, which is more, um, centralized), and since it is hotter (and much more humid) than hades here in the summer, our funeral-appropriate clothing, having spent at least ten consecutive months in the closet, was less than fresh. The good news is that *Dryel* sheets work perfectly well with a quick tumble on the warm cycle, and they cost about twenty dollars less than a dry cleaner. Also, my sister is quite skilled in ironing and managed to rescue the b.h.'s shirt from me before I left any permanant marks.
So we waited at my sister's house for my dad to get home from work, all the while enjoying Goose Island's lovely Summer Ale and coming down from the sleep deprived airport nightmare. When my dad arrived, we all adjourned to a local pub (where they make their own veggie burger patties, and where if you ask very nicely, they will add swiss cheese and vidalia onions to said patties-yum!) and continued to unwind.
Got to bed early, got up around five-thirty, and were on the road by six am.
I had forgotten just how gorgeous Iowa is. No, I am not kidding. Anyone who has had the pleasure of driving back and forth through central Illinois a million times has a real appreciation for landscape, and this was amazing. I'm not sure what kind of justice th photos will do it, but it's worth a shot I guess. Check it out:

Yep- sure is lovely, right? Well, it gets even better. We stopped in Iowa City around 10, and were lucky enough to stumble into a coffee shop that brewed gourmet coffee by the cup. Awesome. Twenty ounces and a quick breakfast later, we were back on the road. We had to skip the World's Largest Truckstop for lack of time, but we did stop for gas here:

I couldn't believe this place. Bummer was they didn't have any lighters, matches, baseball caps, t-shirts, or anything else with their logo on it.

So we hauled ass through to Lincoln, and went straight to Yia Yia's for a slice of pizza and a much needed beer. I had heard so much about this place from the b.h. that I almost expected to be let down, but I wasn't. The stoners in the kitchen screwed up our order the first time around, and the second time it was half right and all the way delicious. I have never been in a bar with more varieties of bottled beer. I could have stayed there forever, but I was too tired to have more than one.

Monday, September 04, 2006


I just finished watching Westway to the World- the documentary about The Clash- again. It is a really fantastic movie, but the end is really sad. It's clear that both Joe Strummer and Mick Jones had a huge mutual respect, and that they wished things had gone differently, etc. I had heard rumors for years about a possible reunion, but I learned not to get my hopes up. I was eleven when they played their last show together here in the States. What I wouldn't have given to see them live. I remember the day Joe Strummer died. It felt awful then, and watching the movie makes it even worse. The world (and especially my world) needs bands like The Clash now more than ever. Punk rock has become a cartoon. But then, so has politics. The unfunniest, Nancy-esque (allthough Family Circus may have been worse) comic strip of all time. I'm still pissed that they never made up.

We got a phone call the other day from one of the b.h.'s old friends. It seems an old friend has killed herself. They hadn't talked in awhile. That didn't make it easier. It may have made it harder.

Tomorrow we leave on a flight to Chicago, after which we will drive eight and a half hours to attend the funeral of a woman I have never met, who he hasn't seen in years, but who knew the b.h. for longer than I did. We will be there for about twenty four hours, then we will drive back to Chicago and fly back home. I have to work that night. Things will have to go on.

Also, RIP Steve Irwin. At least you died doing what you were supposed to do.

Customer of the Night, part 73

Friday night, a Paris Hilton lookalike (wannabe?) who had a purse that cost more than my rent ran up a hundred and thirteen dollar tab and tipped us ten bucks. Stupid cunt. She was obviously wealthy, and she was from Texas. The credit card was her dad's.(duh)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Comedy, Errors.

Yesterday I got to work to discover that the ice machine was full of water. Under normal circumstances, this would be problematic, as people tend to like their drinks cold. This particular week, it was a veritable catastrophe, as we were expecting 85,000 extras on our set. That's right folks, football season is upon us again, and I for one could not be more excited.
Actually, i have a love/hate relationship with football season. I love the money, but I find the people for the most part pretty horrifying. Anyway, after multiple phone calls and a bad diagnosis from the ice machine repairman, it was decided that I would drive to Atlanta to pick up the part we needed, so as not to have to wait an extra day for them to overnight it, which they told me would not happen until Thursday, which would mean that the part would arrive on Friday, rendering the machine totally useless until Saturday. (Please keep in mind that Atlanta is about seventy miles away, and the company that was fixing the machine is auite large, and under normal circumstances one would expect that a company like that would be able to get the part here without inconveniencing me to this degree.) Then Carlie, the lovely assistant on the phone at the ice machine fixing company, had the gaul to lay into me about it!

"I just want you to know that we don't DO this, " she said, scolding me. "I mean, I know everybody is freaking out because its the first game day weekend and everything, but we DO NOT DO THIS."
"Really? That's a coincidence, because I DON'T EITHER, you stupid bitch" I wanted to say.
"Well, I understand that, but this is really important and I really appreciate this" I said instead.

So basically, I spent five hours in my car today, driving through torrential, Biblical rain (I saw three wrecks- one in Athens and two within a mile of each other in ATL). Add to this that the guy on the phone in Atlanta gave me the wrong directions, and that when I called back to get redirected, it was raining so hard that I couldn't hear the woman on teh other end of my cell phone.
And when I stopped at a gas station to get a soda on the way home, not only did they not have regular Coke in cans (I can't fit those giant bottles in my cup holder, and besides, who the hell needs that many ounces of liquid at once?), but the cheddar cheese cracker Combos that I bought wound up being stale, due to a hole in the bag, which I did not discover until I had already gotten back on the road and put some in my mouth. They tasted like dust, and as I spit them into a napkin, scraping the remnants from my tongue and gagging uncontrollably, washing it down with a (not) tasty Coca Cola Zero. Seriously.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Nameless Post.

I went out with K on friday might. Started with a cup of coffee at the restaurant where she works, and she read from the journal of her hellacious (and hilarious) trip to Mexico. Next we moved on to the 40 Watt to see Maserati. Outside in line, I overheard some balding, twatty-looking jackass remark that
"If this was Atlanta we could smoke inside." To which I responded
"Yeah, and you could pay twice as much for your drinks, too." Jackass.

I know that the smoking ban is a pain in the ass, but there's just something about fucking Atlanta people and their attitude that kills me. With a few exceptions, I think the whole of Atlanta is mostly shit. It is not a city so much as a sprawling mass of suburbs-- strip mall after strip mall after subdivision, with a million different winding roads going nowhere. I could go on and on about my dislike for Atlanta, but instead I would like to talk about Maserati.
They were fabulous. The drummer is possessed. He's like a machine. It's bizarre and awesome and I didn't want the show to end. I only wish their records were as interesting to me. Somehow, it just doesn't translate. Anyway, we moved on to the Manhattan when they were done, and had a few beers (which are not officially permitted in my diet at this point but which were also light*, so I didn't feel quite as bad as I probably should have.
Saturday was okay. Went writing with my friend A in the afternoon. Survived the Loudest Barrista In History again for over an hour before retreating back to the house to eat. Work was fine. The Dictatortots played a great show opening for some band that has apparently backed Outkast before. They were good for what they do, I suppose, but what they do is not really my thing. We were prepared for the shit to hit the fan, because apparently some people were iunder the impression that Outkast was actually playing (as if--I know, but people are not smart). Well, it never hit. Everything was fine, and my week ended fairly quietly. Perfect.

*Thanks to the fine folks at Amstel, for making light beer that tastes like something. Now, if I only could get Sierra Nevada to do the same...

Friday, August 25, 2006


Smelly P was there first thing again today. That's the second time in a week. Fuuuuuuuck. I had taken some heavy-duty cold medicine last night in an attempt to sleep despite the inability to breathe through my nose. The funny thing about this particular medicine ("The nighttime sneezing, sniffling, coughing, aching, stuffy head fever so you can rest medicine") is that it usually knocks me out cold, and I sleep almost too well, with all kinds of trippy, lucid dreams and whatnot. Every once in a while, though, it just makes me wired. It was that kind of night. I might as well have drunk an entire pot of coffee at 5am as taken that crap. So I tossed and turned, sweated and flailed, and "woke up" (though I hesistate to use that phrase as it implies actual sleep) feeling even more foul. And I drove to work in a haze. And a delivery that we desperately needed never came.
On top of that, we got a tip jar ripped off tonight. I knew exactly who did it, but without my Nancy Drew Fingerprinting Kit there was no way to prove it, and I trust the local police to be about as helpful in such matters as they are about everything else (which is to say, fuck it up completely and find a way to both make it my fault and write me a ticket). So yeah, I'm not very perky right now.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


INTERIOR A nightclub, on a busy Saturday night.POV is the bartender's. There is a DJ on a stage in the background. Dance music pumps loudly. Colored lights spin, many people are drinking and dancing and sweating and generally having a good time.


A thirtyish man, reaches across the bar, grasps a Bud Light, using his other hand to pay the BARTENDER three US dollars.



The camera pans up, and over the shoulder of the CUSTOMER.

On the dance floor, a space has cleared around one particular couple. The WOMAN, who is young and very attractive in a not un-Salma Hayek way, is bent at the waist, grinding her ass in what she surely percieves as a seductive and possibly romantic way, against a YOUNG MAN who in return grinds his hips into her with much gusto. Unbeknownst to the woman, he also happens to be having a very animated conversation on a cell phone.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


P emits an odor that seems to have not only shape, but possibly personality, or maybe even free will. His voice is loud and nasal(that observation coming from a bona fide loud Yankee, mind you), and it carries. Despite the air conditioning, and the ice machine, and various fans, as well as the television and the hundred plus feet that separate us, it carries, and it touches a nerve somewhere deep within my spine.
P helps out at work, doing odd jobs that I can't or won't or don't have time to do. I'm actually glad to have him around--I just don't want to talk to him before I've had a cup of coffee. Sometimes I have to.
I woke up late for work. The b.h. was awake but apparently not paying attention to the time. I jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes, and put enough water on my hair to flatten it out a bit (prior to this I appear much like the "Mr. Heatmiser" from Rudolph's Shiny New Year). I don't think my eyes were even open all the way when I pulled out of the driveway. The upside of going to work in this condition is that I am not conscious enough to feel the weather, get pissed at other drivers, or think about how much shit I have to do when I get there.
The downside is that rather than having some time to mentally prepare for all of these inevitabilities, when this happens I usually find myself getting hit with all of them at once, starting when I have to find somewhere to park. After circling the block about seven times, which takes forever because it is the lunch hour and there are many, many pedestrians, (Note: No speeches about how much gas I wasted or riding my bike or taking the bus--if it were possible for me to do this differently, I would. It isn't. Save your breath.) I finally managed to find a parallel spot to squeeze into. It is on an incline and my boss's car is behind it. Fortunately, my boss is even less observant than I am about his car and will probably never notice the mark I left on the bumper.
So I got to the front door and it was already unlocked. And when I opened it, I saw the bike leaning against the pool table a split second before the smell hit me.
"Hey, P." I grumbled, and headed straight for the coffee maker.
"A fucking cop slashed my tent last night, man."
"Wow. That sucks." I have no idea what the hell he is talking about, but this is nothing new.
"Yeah, I helped out down at (another bar) last night, and it was just starting to rain when I left. By the time I got back to my tent by the tracks, it was a fucking deluge, and my fucking tent was fucking slashed. It had to be a cop, because if it was a homeless guy they just woulda took it, ya know? I hate fucking cops. I had to sleep down by (yet another bar)."
I used to feel bad about this type of thing, until I realized that P can afford to have a home (or at least he could if he chose a roof over say, drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes), he just chooses not to. He moves with the weather, and unfortunately, we get him in the smeller (er, summer).
It strikes me that this is my cross to bear, as others bear the "water cooler small talk" one. Ah well, at least I don't have to wear panty hose.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I got to work early. The band was a favorite, it's members good friends of ours. There were a number of people already there, drinking and smoking and eagerly awaiting a good rock show. I knew everyone. Waiters, bartenders, bar managers, bar and liquor store owners. Service industry veterans. So you can imagine my surprise when, upon entering the stall in the ladies room , I discovered that somebody had dropped a small pair of scissors and a large nail clipper into the toilet. And left them there. Surely they just hadn't noticed? The plumbing being questionable at my place of employment on a good day, I knew that these items would mean certain doom within the hour. I had no gloves. I had no tool or device with which I could fish the items, McGuyver-like, out of the toilet. I had to pee.
I took a deep breath and plunged my bare hand into the toilet, grasped the items and threw them into the trashcan.
I boiled and scrubbed my hand with a lot of soap.
I hadn't even clocked in yet.
I definitely picked the wrong week to go on the wagon.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I drank my Sunday beer on Friday night again. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, Sunday Beer is what a person who lives in the Bible Belt has to consider on Saturday, due to what are known as Blue Laws. Blue being from the Latin root Blu, which loosely translates to "We're not separating church from state and if you don't like it fuck you." Here in Georgia, beer and liquor may not be sold on Sunday. Not in bars or liquor stores or grocery stores, anyway. We are welcome to get as drunk as we like in restaurants, or in bowling alleys that sell crap second-hand sandwiches and nachos. (But not in the Jesus Bowl--we can't even cuss in there).
Anyway, it was just as well this week, because I had plenty to drink on Friday and Saturday.
Friday night was a benefit for AIDS Athens featuring drag queens, drag kings, and belly dancers. Pretty much business as usual, with a side of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Cold Stoli Orange. Good times, until I had to wake up on Saturday. Actually, I think it was probably the million cigarettes I smoked that did me in, but I can't be sure.

Whatever the cause, my hangover did not stop me from going out on Saturday with Jamie and our friend R. We had lunch at Siri Thai (Thai iced tea is one of my most recent and best beverage discoveries), then headed over to the Manhattan for a couple of drinks. (Truth be told, I had three, and they each had one. So I guess that evens out, right?) Good food, good conversation. Good times.
Sunday we had a work meeting. Pretty straightforward. Lots of coffee. Yaddah Yaddah.
Today I have done almost nothing. Have been reading everyone else's blogs and several books and magazines. Day one of the diet and I have not broken down or killed anyone yet. 13 to go.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


As in, "Things are getting progressively worse."
The b.h. and I went and voted in the Republican runoff on Tuesday, and despite the fact that Lyin' Brian Kemp, developer extraordinaire, lost the bid for Agriculture Commissioner, I don't forsee the over-development situation getting better any time soon. Just a couple weeks ago, the b.h. and I were pulling out of the driveway when we noticed that the hilarious sign* advertising "Luxury Condominiums--from $455,000" was now sitting in the middle of a field surrounded by suspicious-looking orange tape.
"Oh well, not to worry," we thought very wrong-headedly.
So just three days ago, we pulled to the end of the driveway and saw this:

Yes, it has begun. And now not only will our relative quiet be shattered, but the rows and rows of trees and vegetation will be replaced with rows of cars and stacks of expensive bricks. Oh yeah, and the people. Boy do I love more goddamn rich people.
Speaking of which, can anybody tell me what's wrong with this Volvo? I can't quite put my finger on it...

*The sign is hilarious because, we thought, no one in their right mind would ever consider paying that much for a glorified apartment in this part of the country, especially not in this fucking county. There are many cheaper places, for example, in posh neighborhoods in Chicago.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Home Again

The drive back was fairly easy.I managed to nick over to Allerton Park while we were going through central Illinois on the way home. I hadn't been there in at least eight years, and I always threaten to show it to the b.h. but somehow never get to it. I seem to be having trouble uploading photos right now, so I'll have to try again later. Damn you, Blogger!* Anyway, I spent a lot of time out there during my college years, often alone and writing and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Never did figure it out, mind you, but it was a beautiful place to try.

The one thing that tends to be diffficult on these long hauls is finding anything to eat. Being a vegetarian, there is almost no fast food that I can eat, unless I want french fries (which would probably be cooked with some animal product anyway) and soda to sustain me for twelve hours. In light of that problem, the b.h. and I usually pack plenty of snacks and whatnot in a cooler. Not so this time.
This time, we stopped in Southern Illinois on a Sunday night at almost 9pm. Remarkably, there were a number of places still open. Unremarkably, all of them were fast food chains. We sucked it up and went to a Subway. Normally, I would rather eat french fries and a coke for dinner than what passes for a vegetarian sandwich at Subway (Two very small slices of cheese, split in half, stuck to a piece of bread that, when all the air is squashed from it, would fit into a thimble, covered in rusty shredded lettuce with a couple very pale and very thinly sliced tomatoes and slathered with mayonaise). Having just stepped on a scale before leaving my parent's house, however, I decided that some vegetables, regarless of quality or lack thereof, were in order. So we waltz in, and the girl behind the counter is very obviously cleaning and closing, and being service industry people, we ask politely "Are you closed?" And being a remarkably responsible and awesome person, she replied in the negative. We not only got sandwiches without nasty looks or complaints or shitty attituide of any sort, we got good sandwiches. It was stunning. She must have just finished prepping for the next day, because all of the vegetables were fresh and crispy and tasted like- wait for it- vegetables. It was amazing. So if you're listening, guys in suits at Subway central, the night shift girls at your store in Benton, Illinois just won you back a potential customer. Seriously. I'm not gonna start getting lunch there everyday or anything (that would be insane considering the number of independently owned and very tasty restaurants we have to choose from here in town), but hey- now we know where to stop when we drive up at Christmas.

So now we're home. Nothing's changed, really. Except of course, that I officially weigh more than I have ever weighed before in my entire life. I usually pride myself on not paying attention (or at least giving a shit) about that sort of thing, but after a total lack of any physical activity over the last six months (I used to take martial arts, and I fully intend to do so again SOON, as soon as my ass is small enough to get back into my uniform) and having had pizza at least four times in the eight days I was home, I was silly enough to step on the scale ("devil box") at my parent's house. So now that I am back at home, I am scarfing up every beer and sweet thing in the fridge and cupboards, and officially getting on the wagon just as soon as it is all gone. (At the current rate, I imagine that should be about twelve or thirteen hours from now.)
You see, if I don't get rid of all that stuff first, it will only sit there and mock me. I know myself well enough to know that my self control only goes so far, and that the power of Lindt dark chocolate is not to be underestimated. So here I sit, Tupper's Hop Pocket Ale in one hand, genuine Italian bakery cannoli in the other, watching Bridget Jones (cliche', anyone?)and being alone for the first time in TEN DAYS.
That's the thing about vacation. You always run the risk of being twice as exhausted and insane when you get back.

*Obviously I was able to remedy the problem. Below is a picture of me attempting to cartwheel across the Fu Dog Garden. This is not nearly enough to express my joy at finally returning to Alelerton. Above is an actual Fu Dog.

Rock Saves Lives.

After the Art Institute we walked over to Millenium Park (pics to follow when located). Interesting. Touristy, but interesting. It seems that the city has finally figured out that providing evening entertainment to tourists will keep them spending money.
Went for a drink with T and R after. R was leaving on a 6am flight to attend a shotgun wedding for an old friend in Virginia. Given the temperature in Chicago at the time, I can only image what kind of pain he was in for. Plus, it's VIRGINIA.
Friday we headed out to the P's house in the burbs again. Ate pizza (our third of the week, which I will discuss later) again, which was incredibly enjoyable, and hung out with my family, which was also awfully fun.
Saturday we went to dinner at a fabulous tapas restaurant in the city, then popped over to T's house for beers before going to see The Drams at Subterrrenean. Though family time is good, it can also be quite stressful, as I am sure anyone can relate to. We're a bunch of loud, boisterous storytellers, and though I wouldn't have it any other way, it can be pretty exhausting sometimes. It was good to get to T's for a pre-show break. Smoked, drank, hung out with T (male- one of my closest friends at home) and T (female, other close friend at home) and her husband D (also a very close friend). I have known all of these people for twenty or more years. T (female) and I are friends since first grade. It is always incredibly comfortable and fun to be around them, and the b.h. fits right in. We never run out of things to say and I always wish after being with them that they would all (along with R and my friend A in California) just break down and move to fucking Athens.
In short (too late!), it was fantastic. And that was only the beginning. T and D headed home at around midnight, dropping us off in front of the club on the way. We were just in time, and only had to wait a few minutes for the rock to start.
The Drams, in case any of you are so unfortunate as to be unaware, are three former members of Slobberbone plus two guys who, coincidentally, also fucking rock. Brent Best is a fucking genius (I am a lyrics girl, so I am completely biased). Got the new album, took a bunch of pictures (see above), left feeling completely satisfied and very much looking forward to their shows in Athens and Atlanta next week.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Well, not so much fartsy, really. But we saw a whole lot of art today. The Art Institute has free admission on Thursday and Friday evenings from 5 to 9pm. Since we rarely go anywhere before two in the afternoon anyway, this seemed like a reasonable time for the b.h. and I to check it out.
We have been there before, and though neither of us is all that terribly into art, we always enjoy it. Being in the presence of original works is quite overwhelming, really. Since I have seen so many photos and posters of so many Monets, Renoirs, and Van Goghs, it is both very surreal and very humbling to stand inches away from them and to be able to see every brush stroke.
Strange thoughts come to mind. Why, for example, did Van Gogh decide to use green in his beard when he painted that self portrait? And did he know The Drinkers?

Favorite discovery of this visit: The Picture of Dorian Gray. Will be posting more photos when I locate disc that they are downloaded to.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Just for the record, anybody who thinks it is always hotter in the South is dead wrong. Same for those who thought it couldn't snow in San Diego. No, all sorts of weather is possible (dare I say probable?) just as long as the b.h. and I are on FUCKING VACATION. The heat index in Chicago today was like a hundred and seven. Right now it is almost midnight and informs me that though it is currenty a mere eighty-four degrees outside, it feels like ninety-one. Athens, Georgia? Seventy-seven. And it feels like seventy-seven. Fuckers.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Quote of the evening.

Last night, overheard on the patio:
"They were stupider than dirt!"

That's it. I have no response.

My job can sometimes be exceedingly difficult, even if it is just a matter of shutting my fucking trap.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Let the Games Begin

9pm, at work but not yet working. The Spike channel is on, featuring a competition for WWE (formerly WWF) "ring girls," in which scantily clad women in preposterously high heels run through an obsactle course to the delight of a 14 to 34 year-old adolescent male audience of thousands. They army crawled across the ring, they climbed a wall, they ran a lap, they jumped rope. It was terrifying. The winner was a Scary Spice lookalike who looked like she'd give any of the wrestlers a run for their money. AT some point during the second round, J walks in and goes
"What's this, the fucking Stripper Olympics?"
We all cracked up, and then started discussing the possibility of actually having stripper Olympics at the bar. It would, we reasoned, be profitable, and certainly not the cheesiest thing that's ever happened under our roof. Then I had a better idea: STRIPPER SPELLING B.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Civic Duty

Voted yesterday. Second time in this county, first time as a --wait for it-- Republican. You see, the Democrats that are running right now are so uninspiring that I can't bring myself to care which one of them loses the gubernatorial race to that jackass Sonny Perdue, but I was more than happy to register and vote against Ralph fucking Reed. Apparently the b.h. and I were not the only ones who felt this way, because good ole Ralph got his ass handed to him. And so did Brian Kemp, who is yuppie developer scum of the fist order, and who has the fucking audacity to be running for fucking Agriculture Commisioner. So yeah, I went to the church to vote, I checked the box next to "Republican," and I did my civic duty. It felt pretty good.

Finished Demonology, which was great in a totally depressing Raymond Carver-type way. My favorite by far was the one about the mix tape. I assume these are actual liner notes to actual mix tapes of an actual friend of Rick Moody's, and if I had the opportunity I would ask for a copy, as they are fantastic. Getting back on that Shakespeare bus, and the reading is going much faster now. I made the mistake of leaving it next to my bed, and since the book is almost as heavy as my eyelids by the time I climb in, I was making almost no progress at all. Anyway, I have moved it downstairs to the coffee table and now I'm tearing it up. And I also just found a book on the life of Elizabeth I (I think the title is something obscure like "The Life of Elizabeth I," or some such) at the Goodwill store, so I am up to my ears in British. It's all very interesting. Also started a Biography of the Mitford family on loan from my mother-in-law. It's called The Sisters. More on them later.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Up With The Sun.

Still up, that is. I finished Popcorn just after six a.m. Not my favorite book ever. Not a total waste of time, but mostly. If it had been a more difficult read I would surely have tossed it aside. In any case, it kept me awake long enough to see a very large and beautiful bird land on the dead tree outside the window. I couldn't get a picture of it because there wasn't enough light. Maybe next time. After it flew off I was too excited to go to sleep, so Wyatt and I wandered out to watch the sunrise. I did get this great shot of the dead tree (post bird) in the first light.

I finally dozed off around 7:45 or so, but not before I snapped ten or twenty pictures with our new (second hand) camera. With the hours we keep, it's rare that I even see our yard in the morning light. The results are fantastic.*

*The first shot is off the bedroom balcony. What you see through the tree is the pond, reflecting both the tree and the sky. The second shot is the dead tree I spoke of, the third shot is also the pond, with my basil plants in the foreground. Fourth shot is straight up sky.