Friday, June 30, 2006

The Livin' Is Easy.

I have woken up, for the second day in a row, with the door to the balcony wide open. And remarkably, I am not sweating like a--like a big sweaty animal that sweats a lot. I suppose this means that it is less than ninety degrees again, though I have not actually consulted a thermometer.
We took the dogs to the river the other day. As you can see from the photos, Kilgore is a swimmer, while Wyatt has a decidedly unswimmer-like build.

He weighs about 45 lbs., but his legs are so short that his belly nearly scrapes the ground while he walks, so rather than get in the water, he crouches, catlike, until KG gets out, and then pounces on him as he comes up the bank. All in all, it is good fun for everyone.

I could not help but notice, as we walked into the park from the parking lot, that the city of Athens has taken a stance against outdoor smoking in the park. You should also know that there are BBQ grills dispersed throughout the park, so the issue is not, obviously, fire hazard. It's nice to know that I can bring a bag of smelly, chemical-soaked charcoal, set it aflame, and pollute the whole park with charring meat fumes, but that should a person attempt to light a cigarrette, the authorities will be alerted and said person issued a fine.

The practice of men and boys hooking up with married and/or closeted gay men and buggering them in the woods also remains unchecked, by the way. I am glad they've got their priorities in order.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Not Even Side By Side...

I finally tried it, and I still can't decide. Bryers cookies and cream ice cream, or Bryers mint chocolate chip ice cream? I don't know. Perhaps a spoon of the coffee flavor will help...
Nope. Now it's a three way tie. It's really good to be a grown up.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I mean that literally, of course. Not only did it finally rain, but it is only about 87 degrees today. Often rain in the middle of summer is merely wet, making this already very damp place even more damp and, somehow, hotter. But not today. Today I stood outside on the deck feeding the turtles* without shoes on and I didn't burn my feet. This calls for a field trip.

*Turtles bob for apples in reverse, by the way. The apple bits float on top of the water, and the turtles pop their heads up and grab them very quickly before scooting away underwater. It is very cute.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Athfest, Part Two

We stopped over at Tasty World, but we had just misssed Betsy Franck and the Bareknuckle Band, so after catching a couple songs by The Dictatortots at The Roadhouse, we hit the 40 Watt in time to see the best We Vs. The Shark set ever. They were on fire. If I ever decide to be a lesbian, Sam will be at the top of my stalking list. I don't think the b.h. would even mind, really.
Caught one and a half Lona songs, but my boss, ever the optimist, insisted that I be there "just in case," so I went there. I was not needed. I am not bitter. Promise *crossing fingers behind back*.
Saturday we loafed about the house all day and then got downtown in time for some excellent Indian food at the Bombay Cafe' and then to see Don Chambers and Goat(see above). That was the best set of the weekend for me--period. I hope to god the rest of the world discovers this band, so they don't die in Athens-induced oblivion like so many other fantastic bands I have seen.
Hats off also to the fabulous Lake City, who played as well as I've ever seen them play. Move along with that recording now, won't you boys? A girl can't live on second hand board mixes forever. Heros Severum played their last show ever on Saturday. I always forget how much they rock until I see them. Ah well, at least I've got a record.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Discovers How To Link...

Our friend T is in town, taking a break from the daily grind in Chicago, USA. This is not the same T that visited us last week (two weeks ago?)--he of the inability to convey schedules or even make a bloody phone call to tell us he's here--no, this is another T, he of the motorcycle which has been driven many miles in all directions. We are very happy to have him. I have in fact, been trying to convince this T to move here since I moved here myself. I believe he seriously considers it every time he visits. You see, Athens is a virtual mecca not only of fabulous music, but also of beautiful women, often scantily clad (especially in the current 100-plus degree weather, which is typical for this time of year, but no less painful each time it comes around), and often sporting guitars (twice as attractive as high-heeled shoes and scantily-cladness any day). This weekend is brimming with both types, and T is brimming with enthusiasm. God, I miss having him around.
So last night was the first official night of AthFest. We got some dinner at The Grit, which is a local vegetarian restaurant, because T and I are both vegtarian and both grew up on the South side of Chicago, a distincly non-vegetarian part of the universe (Remember The Jungle?). Even now, I find it difficult to explain to folks there that chicken is, in fact, meat.
After dinner we watched Five Eight(fabulous!!), and then a new band called Fabulous Bird (less fabulous, but pretty damned good). The sky started to look ominous at that point. The interesting (or perhaps completely typical) thing about that is that we havent had any fucking rain here in weeks.
So we need rain, but maybe the middle of our outdoor music festival isn't exactly the place for it. We return to the main stage area. awaiting The Fountains, who have moved to various points North but have returned to our fair city to reunite and give us all a bit of Woody Guthrie, right in the kisser. There is a certain poetry to the fact that it started pouring rain just as they started to play. The technical guys started running around covering everything with tarps, and several people ran for cover, but The Fountains continued to play, and their fans continued to watch, all the while getting soaked. We (the b.h., J, T and I) were able to seek shelter under the awning at Flicker (a great little bar), which provided us not only with a good view of the stage, but also a legal place to stand around and drink while watching.
The b.h. bolted for work in the middle of the shower, and the rest of us went inside between bands for a bevvy. We accidentally missed The Summer Hymns because we were all caught up in conversation, but were back outdoors in time for Modern Skirts. They are the Band Most likely To in Athens right now, and they showed everyone why last night. Fucking brilliant. We stood in the rain (we'd had drinks by then, remember) and watched their whole set. The funniest thing about this set is that many of the Skirts' fans are of the blockheaded fratty type. If watching sorority girl walking on ridiculous platform heels is amusing in dry weather, it is downright side splitting in the rain.
Imagine, if you will, a young girl in a skirt the size of a postage stamp, in a shirt that she has no breasts with which to support (I'm sure that phrase is grammatically irresponsible, but hey-I'm on a roll), and shoes that only a drag queen or a stripper can reasonably navigate. She has spent hours picking this outfit, one of several hundred that her daddy bought her, varying only slightly in color and style from everything else she owns and will discard within months, and more hours on her hair, which at this point resembles a sticky bird's nest, and her makeup, which is now running down her pouty little face (because it is verboten to either carry an umbrella or wear any sort of rain gear--not slutty enough). So this girl is storming down the street, probably angry that it had the audacity to rain tonight, or perhaps that she has been left behind by her "friends." She is pissed, and she is walking as quickly as she can, despite the fact that with each step her heels slip from the back of her hideous and incredibly tall shoes. I stand and smirk, silently hoping that she will wipe out (make no mistake, I am a terrible cunt sometimes), and remembering a phrase I'd read earlier in the day: "There is no better sight in life than that of a crestfallen twat."
Well said, jb, and twats come in many forms. No "football" here for two more months, though. Thank the gods.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Now THERE'S One I haven't Heard Yet...

Kid: "Can I get a Miller Lite?"
Me: "Yeah, can I see your ID?"
Kid: "What?"
Me: "Your ID. Can I see it?" I am holding my right hand up as if I am holding the card in it--the universal bar sign for "i-den-ti-fi-ca-tion."
Kid: "I can't hear you."
Oh well, I guess I'll just go ahead and get you a drink then, huh?
There are very few people in the bar. It is not loud.
Me: "You don't have a stamp on your hand, which means you obviously didn't come through the front door, so I need to see your ID."
Kid: "Oh, I need a stamp? From the door? I came in with the band so I didn't know.
The band is not famous. They have no pull, and dropping their name or suggesting that you are somehow connected to them is meaningless. If this boy had ever been in a bar before he might know that.
Me: "Okay, then. You don't need a stamp, you just need to show me your ID."
He walks off, vaguely looking like he is going toward the stamp guy at the front door. He does not return. I see him with a beer in his hand about fifteen minutes later. I do not care. Props to him for feigning deafness. I wonder if that has worked for him somewhere before.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


So I guess summer is finally arriving. I know this because I actually burned the fuck out of my hand when I went to put my seatbelt on today. Work has been painfully boring, but I have high hopes for the Electric Eel Shock show tomorrow night. Nothing like a naked Japanese band to light up your friday night.
Our friend T was in town for a couple days, and he regifted us a very large coffee mug full of biscotti made by a bakery owned by a family friend of his in Ohio. It rocks. In fact, I'm going to have to go chase one down before I continue. (Makes to get up)...Crap! Wyatt just decided to rest his head on my foot. Now I don't have the heart to make him move and I'm trapped, biscotti-less and sweaty of foot, lashed to my computer until he decides to get up and bark at something.
Oh well, more of my week then. T, as he is wont to do, popped in without telling us when he would be arriving. As a traveling musician, he is used to being on his own schedule and is almost comically incapable of conveying it to anyone. Three weeks ago, I e-mailed him to ask if he was planning on staying with us on the night of his show here. The reason I asked was twofold: One, we needed to know whether or not we should schedule the night off from work so we could all hang out. Two, we needed to know whether we were going to have to allow another human being access to our house, which would first require a thorough cleaning, which would require at least two full days of effort. So yeah- simple e-mail. "Are you staying in town that night or going to your brother's house?"
The reply came several days later. It was a couple paragraphs long and carbon copied to a woman at his record label. "Okay to get cds sent to your house? What's your new address?" and that type of thing. Nothing about staying.
My reply to both T and the woman at the label was of course yes, followed by the address and another question regarding his plans for that night.
A week went by.
The b.h. asked if I had heard from T. I explained the situation. We cleaned up the guest room and knocked out some of the laundry that had been piling up. I sent another message to T: "I know you are busy, and I was just wondering... no pressure, just let us know if you think you might."
Another week went by.
I finally got a message, three days before the show, stating that he might in fact be in town the day before the show, and could he crash at our house? It was as if this was occurring to him for the first time.
"Of course," I told him in my reply, you're welcome to stay whenever. Give me a call and let me know when you will be here." I began by cleaning the bathroom about four minutes after hitting the send button. The b.h. cleaned the kitchen and we split vaccuum duty. I did the laundry while he mowed the lawn. The house looked splendid.
I had still not heard back from T, but the day he was scheduled to arrive we mostly just layed around watching movies. It got to be time for us to go to work. I e-mailed T to make sure he had our cell number. We went downtown. It got late. I finally called him around 11pm, just to see where he was and if he was still coming. I left a message. He called back fifteen minutes later. He was. In fact, he was only a few blocks away at that time, sitting in a restaurant. He came over.
He stayed two nights. His show was great. We hung around a bit. The cds never came from the label. He left.
I was a little busy so I hadn't checked my e-mail while he was here. When I did, There was a message from him that was a reply to my last message. "I'm here in town. Checking e-mail at the library." That was pretty much it. No call at that time, though, and I have to wonder when he would have called had I not called him. Ah well, at least I am used to it.
The cds arrived via UPS three hours after he pulled out of town.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Coffee, Cream, and A Large Box of Tissues

Domestic bliss, it is. Perhaps it is merely the "honeymoon phase" I have oft heard described derisively by my now-divorced friends, but this is so far a very successful recipe. It is allergy season, you see, so all of us (dogs included) have unusually high nasal activity. This usually peaks around 10am. More often than not at this hour i will have only been asleep for four or so hours, in which case I usually get up, let the dogs out, blow my nose five or swix times, and then drift off again. Today, however, I feel quite refreshed, having gotten to bed early, and so I am up. I even made the coffee. It's pretty good. The garden looks lovely, and since the sun isn't already scorching, I actually got to spend some time in it. And now, in a sudden fit of carpe diem madness, here I am at the computer. The b.h. is in the other room on the other computer, feeding his news addiction.We are exchanging sniffles and snorts from room to room. The dogs have returned to their natural state (passed out), the kleenex are piling up, and all feels right with the universe.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Yes, it's friday, and I just finished feeding the turtles. Now I am going to loaf for at least the next four or five hours. At some point I will surely require pants, but I haven't gotten there yet. The tomato plants are tall enough that I can go out to the deck in boxers to feed the turtles without offending (or more likely blinding) passing traffic.
The tomatoes, incidentally, look terrific. And I just spotted a very cute and very tiny praying mantis on my lemon basil. Sweet. That should cut down on the pests. I have high hopes for my moonflowers. One of the first batch actually bloomed and is growing nicely up the back of the house. I had to do a re-plant after my box o' seedlings got flooded, but I planted directly into flower boxes, so at least I know that won't happen again.
I am barely able to read Fast Food nation, because it is so bloody infuriating and depressing. Not that I didn't already know most of it, but you know. It's a lot like that Wal-Mart documentary The High Cost of Low Prices. Just a confirmation of a lot of bad stuff you already knew.
That's why I picked up Terry Pratchett. He always makes me laugh.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Steven Colbert Tried to Warn Me...

So Monday night I'm at home alone. The weather is fantastic, so I have both the front door and the back door propped open, and a cool breeze rustling through the makeshift screen door. I'm sitting here at the computer when the smaller of my two dogs (Wyatt) starts barking frantically in the yard. Now, anybody who is a dog owner knows the difference between a playful or possibly alert bark and a "Heywhatthefuckisthatthingrightthere- ohmygoditscomingtowardusrightnow!" bark. This was most definitely the latter. I jumped up and ran to the door, calling him to come in. Wyatt, you see, thinks he is very ferocious because he has a big dog (German Shepherd) body. the problem is that this body rests on little dog (corgi) legs, which at four inches or so long, means his belly practically drags the ground and he doesn't move very fast. Anyway, Kilgore (who is seventy pounds and has normal legs and is therefore more of a "protector," as it were) runs right past me and goes to investigate. I can hear something out there, and it isn't rustling around so much as it is stomping around, in the very tall grass at the back of the property where I cannot see it, but it does sound vaguely like it might be coming my way.
My first thought is that somebody is out there, and I'm home alone, and I don't have a gun, so i had best get everybody indoors. This is not easy, because again, Wyatt is hell bent on protecting the yard. I try to call the b.h. at work and see how soon he will be here. I consider just getting in the car (it's five feet from the door) with the dogs and getting the hell out of here. I can't reach the b.h., so i don't know if he is on the way or not. i also can't reach J, who is giving the b.h. a ride home. Crap. So I get the dogs in, lock the doors, and turn off the inside lights. I layed in the living room and watched a movie, never hearing another thing, with the dogs posted at the door. Okay, false alarm.
So the b.h. gets home, and I tell him my story, and I laugh at myself a little for being so paranoid. Then the b.h. gets up this morning and finds this in the paper:

Bear making tracks in Clarke, Oconee, callers say
Single male, probably lonely
By Josh White | Banner-Herald Intern | Story updated at 12:46 AM on Wednesday, June 7, 2006

West Athens may have a new resident. He's hairy, stays up late and may root through garbage.
Sources, however, say he might be passing through.
Several callers from western Athens-Clarke and northern Oconee counties reported seeing a black bear during the past week, according to Alex Coley, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Natural Resources' Region 3, a 20-county area that includes Athens, Atlanta and Augusta.
"There have been no problems," Coley said of the bear. He - likely a male, anyway - has not become a nuisance, and the DNR has not dispatched employees to capture the bear, because so far he has minded his business.
Athens-Clarke Animal Control is not equipped to handle bear capture, said Superintendent Patrick Rives, and therefore relies on the DNR to handle such reports.
"We (the DNR) do not go out and try to catch the bear unless it becomes a real nuisance," Coley said.
The bear also is in a localized region in western Clarke County, and is not traveling across a wide area, Coley added.
Melissa Cummings, the regional public affairs coordinator for the DNR, also confirmed the reports of the bear.
"We certainly don't have the resources or personnel to chase after every sighting," Cummings said, adding that the DNR responds to animal sightings only if the animal poses a risk to humans or becomes trapped.
The DNR's most common means of wild animal capture are traps or tranquilizer guns, Cummings said
The most recent sighting came Monday evening on Mars Hill Road, where eyewitness claimed that the bear ran across the road. People also have spotted the bear behind Sam's Club on Atlanta Highway, said Coley.
"In most cases, these guys will keep moving along and get as far away from people as they can," Cummings said. Coley hopes the bear will find his way back to suitable territory away from people.
Having black bears move through populated areas, Cummings said, is typical of this time of year, when the bear population is moving more than usual.
This is mating season, which often causes increased aggression in older males to forcibly send away younger males. Most displaced bears are 1- to 3-year-old male bears.
The black bear population has increased during the last decades as well, and most of the good habitats are saturated with bears, Coley said.
"All the good places to live in the mountains are gone," Coley said.
Mating season will end in July however, and Coley predicts that bear sightings in populated Georgia regions will taper off.
The DNR is currently tracking the Athens-area bear through eyewitness reports, as well as one reportedly seen in Duluth, Coley said.
There have been very few black bear attacks in Georgia - and no fatalities - and only two documented fatal encounters in the Southeast, according to DNR data.

Okay, so add BLACK BEAR to the growing list of wildlife here at Chateau AGOI. Yikes. False alarm, indeed. Needless to say, i will be making a trip to the dog bakery today.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


It seems like everybody I know has or is having a baby. Which is fine, so long as I don't have to. Just went to visit our friends in the hospital yesterday, and the whole thing is just too surreal for words. They are thrilled, of course, and we are thrilled for them. But I can think of about a thousand other painful things I would rather do.
"Do you want to hold her?"
Um, no.
Luckily they are the sort of people who understand.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

And Justice For... ? - News and Events

If you don't know anything about this, please take the time and read it. See the movies, see them again, tell other people to see them. Donate your time or money to help these guys out. Because, especially now, it could be any of us. Really.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Summer finally arrives...

...and I retreat indoors. This is the official "adjustment" period for me, when I remember that I live in the South and why I have air conditioning. I will be fine in a couple weeks, I'm sure. But right now, I am hiding indoors with a big glass of iced tea and lemonade (that's an Arnold Palmer, right?) and many, many books. I finished Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut in a mere day and a half, and have now moved on to Fast Food Nation, which is making me incredibly angry, as well as The Radical Center, which is both helping me cope and giving me a little hope. I recommend this book to anybody who actually cares and pays attention to politics at all, because it is not about bashing either party. Instead, it actually talks about the shortcomings of both our political parties, and also has ideas about how we can and must change the way we do things. That's right folks: Actual Ideas. Not just bitching and finger pointing. It rocks. See the current proposed health care initiative in Massachusets for a good example. It is straight out of this book. Still reading the Shakespeare book, but it is slow going.
On a musical front, I am back to playing both An Epic at Best and Modern Skirts ad nauseum. I'm starting to think the b.h. might kill me soon if I don't knock it off.
Just found out my friend T is probably going to visit for AthFest. Could not be more thrilled if I tried. There is just something about old friends...
Anyway, the sun is setting so I can finally creep outdoors and water my very abundant tomato and pepper plants. A glorious day to all.