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.