Wednesday, August 31, 2005
The Burn
On one of the calendars we have here at work, someone marks thru each day as it passes. So I am sitting here looking at August, with 30 of the 31 days marked out, thinking, what did I do this month. Really.

Figured I'd share some details of the bachelor's paradise that is my life with you. Monday evening, I decided to lie down for a nap around 6. Woke up around 7:30. That was really nice. I don't remember much else about that evening, just sitting around hoping the power didn't go out. Yesterday, since the rain had stopped, I went running. Came home, showered, and fixed tacos. By the way, tacos at home are sooo much better than Taco Bell. Then I ate while watching Tommy Lee Goes To College. I actually enjoyed it, which is odd since I mostly despise reality TV. But I sure don't remember tutors that hot when I was in school. Also watched a little of the US Open, enough to see Andy Roddick lose in the first round, which I really didn't mind.

Sitting in the movie theater Friday night, I wondered to myself why all these people came to the movies. To laugh, I supposed. To be entertained. I guess movies provide a little escape from reality. Much the same reason I always loved going to theme parks. It's nice to escape reality from time to time. Then I wondered something about the line between fantasy and reality. Then I thought about one of my favorite movies, Sleepless In Seattle. Surely that could never happen. Obviously, life is not like the movies. But then I thought, sometimes it is. I mean, people still fall in love. Sometimes. People still experience magical moments once in awhile. Sometimes they even base movies on real life. And then I started thinking that maybe life would be more like the movies if people were only willing to take more chances, more risks. If I was willing to take more chances.

As long as I can remember, I have always had an urge deep down inside to just pick up and move far away, to some city, and find a job, and just start everything over. Is that normal at all? I mean, there's something to be said for contentment, right? Maybe movies poison us and lure us into dreaming of a fantasy world that we can never attain but still strive to, nonetheless, futilely. But there's something to be said for dreams, too. For living life and not just watching time pass by. Right? I'm sorry. I am rambling. This is all really random and raw, and I'm sure deeper inside my head than you want to be, or should be. It's complicated. Or maybe it's simple.

Maybe it's as simple as hopping on a plane and flying completely across the country.

Like in the movies.

Then the twenty minutes of previews, commercials, and theater messages were finally over, and my popcorn was already almost gone.

"Where I come from isn't all that great. My automobile is a piece of crap. My fashion sense is a little whack. And my friends are just as screwy as me..."
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Audiopost: First Attempt
this is an audio post - click to play
Monday, August 29, 2005
Hotpantsky And Nashville, Narcolepsy And Hurricanes
Thinking out loud...
I can't touch her, but I can feel her.
I can't see her, but I can see forever.
I can't put my arms around her, but I can't let go.
It breaks my heart, but it makes my heart pound.
It's way too much to handle, but I can't seem to get enough.
If it ended tomorrow, I would be so very thankful that it ever happened at all.


Unfortunately, I can't blog about all that has been going on lately. To sum up the weekend, I didn't get to sleep until 4 AM Saturday morning and Sunday morning. Here's the spaces in between...

Friday
I went to see 40 Year Old Virgin with Amber. The chest waxing scene had me in tears. It was so funny. It also made me reconsider my own chest situation. I like movies that make you think. We went to the theater in Florence and it was very nice. I think I've decided that I'm never going to a movie in Decatur again. The theaters there are so crappy. Years of spilled soft drinks, popcorn butter, bodily fluids, and no telling what else, caked up on the seats... yeah, not a good thing. You would think at 8 bucks a pop they could afford to make them a little nicer. Got an interesting phone call at 3:30 AM Saturday morning.

Saturday
On four hours sleep, I worked 9-3. Right before I left, I somehow hit my head really hard on the bathroom doorway. It left a big knot and my head ended up hurting the rest of the day and all day Sunday. Anyhow, came home, changed clothes, and headed to Kyle's. We headed up to Nashville for Shane's surprise birthday party. On the way up, I got to see Kyle curse at an insect and a hamburger topping. That was interesting. We arrived at Shane's about 6:30. When I walked in the door and saw his wife's parents and a couple of other 40-something couples and their kids, I knew this was going to be a blast. Fortunately, there were a few single people there, including one guy who looked exactly like Jared from Subway. Unfortunately, he didn't bring any sandwiches. I also learned the names of all four Wiggles... Murray, Jeff, Anthony.... er, I seem to have forgotten the fourth Wiggle. When you walk into a party and spot four Wiggles dolls, you know it's happenin'. Despite that, we left the party kinda early. Sarah, Kyle, and I headed downtown for a bit. Buffalo Billiards had a waiting list so we went over to the Tin Roof and some other places I had never been before and listened to Henry Murphy & The Seahawks and some other really good band. I was really dozing off on the way home. Woke up to hear the radio talking about Big Foot in Ohio and giants. Weird. Got home about 2:00, I think.

Sunday
Mostly rested. Did laundry. Went to Wal-Mart, where I got three new CD's, among other stuff: Weezer's latest, SmashMouth's Greatest Hits, and Will Smith's Greatest Hits. (I know, you're wishing you could hear them right now.) The greatest hits were like ten bucks, so I couldn't pass them up. Went running. And that was about it.

OK, that's it for now. Guess I'm gonna go and see what Katrina does. A couple of people have asked how it's affecting me. Very fortunate here to be 300 miles inland. They're still expecting flooding and possible tornadoes and power outages in this area. Some of the schools here are even letting out early today. This is a big one. Thoughts and prayers are with those in danger.

You had to be there
"What are you guys doing up here?"
"Uh... we're measuring each other."

"Wears high heels when she exercises. Ain't that beautiful..."
"Uhh, you do know that was out loud, don't you?"

"You know the Wiggles?"
"Yep, Murray, Jeff, Anthony, and _____."
"Wow, you rattled those off like John, Paul, George, and Ringo."
"What's the other guy... Captain Swordfish or something?"

"You look hot, Sarah... temperature-wise, I mean."

"You're really good with kids. When are you going to become a Mom?"
"Are you volunteering to help?"
"Hey, can one of you guys change the light bulb?"
"Uhh, I'll get the light bulb. Kyle, see if you can help her with her problem."

"If you said goodbye to me tonight, there would still be music left to write. What else could I do? I'm so inspired by you. That hasn't happened for the longest time..."
Friday, August 26, 2005
Blerds Anonymous
(It is probably only a matter of time before this information appears on mayoclinic.com.)

What is a blerd?
Blerd (sounds a bit Danish, doesn't it?) is arrived at by combining the words "blog" and "nerd". The term first appeared in OC Girl's blog. She is an admitted blerd.

How do I know if I am a blerd?
Here are some signs and characterisitcs:
- Your first thought when anything slightly out of the ordinary occurs during your day is "I'm blogging this."
- You are upset or disappointed when no one has commented on your latest entry, and it's only been 30 minutes since you posted it.
- Rather than a phone number or email address, you find yourself giving out your blog address to people you meet, often for the main purpose of eliciting more comments.
- You've surfed Blog Explosion, not to look at other blogs, but simply to create more hits for your own blog.
- You've experienced "comment envy" towards more popular blogs.
- You've emailed someone to ask them why they "haven't blogged yet today."
- You have told someone or thought regretfully, "I have nothing to blog about."
- You have asked someone for an idea of what you might blog about.
- You have emailed something you are considering blogging to someone else to get their approval before you actually blog it. (Also known as pre-blogulation.)
- You would be embarrassed to tell someone how often you hit refresh or check your blog for new comments throughout the day.

What are the treatments? Is there a cure?
There is no known cure for blerdism, as it is a relatively new condition. The recommended treatment is to enter yourself into an online Blerd's Anonymous program.

So stand and repeat after me. My name is _____. And I am a blerd. And remember denial is the surest sign :-)

Have a terrific weekend... ya bunch o' blerds!

"I am waiting for the light to come. You and I could get away now. Do you know? Cos I don't know how, and I don't know where, we are, we are. And I don't know why, and I don't know if, we are, we are..."
Thursday, August 25, 2005
When two become one
The first time I met the older gentleman, he had seen at least seventy-five summers, maybe eighty, although I did not know it at the time. And he was a gentleman, in the truest sense. In a new place where most everyone was friendly anyway, Mister Clark stood out. I would come to realize later that he was one of those people who never met a stranger. And he would always find something good in everyone. Bring up any person, and there might have been ninety-nine bad things one could have said about this person, and only one tiny redeeming characteristic. But you can bet that was the one thing he would always point out. The good. And never the bad.

He loved talking to people and he could tell the best stories, in the way that only someone who has lived a long time can. He loved to talk about his great-grandchildren. He loved his wife. Like my mother's mother, his wife never learned to drive, which wasn't uncommon in their time. In his later years, he had gotten to where he could not see real well. But with her helping him see, and him driving, they still got around, slow though it may have been.

He grew up with my mother's family, working from dawn until dusk in cotton fields, and later in factories. I would come to learn that the house he lived in was next door to the house my grandparents had lived in when my grandpa was still alive. My grandpa died when I was three, but I remember being very young and whenever I would walk into the house, he would swat me with a fly-swatter. I remember there being chickens in the yard, and cotton fields behind the house that seemed to go on forever. And there was a plum tree, and as a kid I always felt like finding fruit growing somewhere was the best thing ever. Apples, plums, grapes, blackberries. Eating them felt like I was doing something I shouldn't have been doing.

Anyway, Mister Clark knew my grandfather and most of my older uncles better than I did. And once he knew who I was, many of his stories would refer back to them. And I loved to listen to those stories. They were different stories than what my mother had told me, probably because she came along later. They were things I had never heard, and I lapped them up like a starving man eating a bowl of homemade soup. And he never failed to say something like your uncle so-and-so was a good ol' feller, when referring to one of them.

After eighty-some-odd years of living, Mister Clark developed cancer. There were good days and bad and then I did not see him for a long time and I knew it must have gotten worse. So I stopped by one day. He had come home for good. I went into the bedroom to see him. It was bad. The tumor was protruding from his stomach. It was one of the worst things I have ever seen. Clearly, it was just a matter of time. But he still knew me. His mind was good. He still had a sense of humor. I think he even talked of getting back to his old self again. Less than a week after I went to see him, he was gone. His son had been there when I stopped by once. He had taken me aside and told me that Mister Clark had asked that I be a pallbearer at his funeral. I had only known him three or four years. It was an honor.

At the funeral, I remember looking around at all the people and thinking how much he would have loved to have been there. He loved people and he would have had a ball talking to so many friends and family members, some of whom I imagined he had not seen in months or years. I remember thinking he would have much preferred them to have stopped by a month or a year before just to talk. But I suppose that goes for me, too. I never stopped by to see him until he got sick. Why must I keep learning this same lesson over and over?

I missed his stories. I still do. Having lost both of my grandfathers before I was four, maybe I looked at him as filling that role, at least in part. I went by to visit his wife one day not long after he passed. We had never talked a whole lot, just standard greetings, hellos and how-are-yous. And occasionally she would have to help him remember some part of some story he was telling me. I think part of me thought that I would be able to still see part of him thru her. Maybe selfishly I hoped she would be able to tell me more stories of my family and it would be like he was not completely gone. But she didn't. Maybe she couldn't.

When two people truly become one, and one of them dies, that really only leaves half a person. And sitting there talking to her that day, I saw very clearly that half of her was gone.

"Today I braved the graveyard rain, and placed a rose between their names. That's the most that ever came, between the two of them..."
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Dea-Vinci Code
I kept meaning to post this Seinfeld triva game. There are ten multiple-choice questions each day. My user name is "yev" if you check it out.

Text-oglyphics?
Text message exchange from today...

Her: H, hay? Iaob. Icnwtgh!
Me: iao. tdigss! icwtghe.
Her: IichyakwIas, aIakwyas?!
Me: y, iic. ihgtbat! ayahn?
Her: N! Iasawu3. Stbm! hh.
Me: iasaw, t. batgh. iadbt!!!!! tic!!
Her: Yii!! Icwtri! Ittyl, o? Tc! (:

Do you understand that? Oddly, I do. For some reason, Dea and I are able to communicate like this. Occasionally, it takes a minute or two to decode a message, but usually just a few seconds. We have never met, and I don't even remember how it started. But it's just kinda weird. (The first person that can decode the above, even like 80% of the above, wins a date with Bone... assuming you are cute... and female.)

Much randomness
My sister and her friend are having a yard sale this weekend. So I have to spend tomorrow evening getting some items ready and priced and such. There are certain things that I simply cannot do until the very last minute. This is apparently one of them. Packing for a trip is another.

She (sis) called me last night to tell me she found gas for $2.39 a gallon. At first, I was excited. Then I remarked how sad it was that she was calling me to tell me she found some "cheap" gas, and said gas was $2.39. Ugh.

I think I caught Pablo watching TV the other night. When I am at the computer, I am between him and the TV. He was looking this way, but not directly at me. I think he was watching TV. It was cute! Then again, he does have that fish eye. You know, sees all.

Where I come from (and where I live), people say things like dadgummit and dadburnit. Evidently our ancestors had dental problems and liked playing with fire. I should really do an entire entry dedicated to these types of things.

In the past two days, I've seen an Oldsmobile Toronado and a Chevy Chevette. Both running! What are the odds of that? Astronomical, I would say.

Sometimes I think I spend way too much time at maps.google.com. It's just so frickin' addictive. Of course, I now know exactly where all of you live. *evil laugh*

I have thought of doing like a favorite posts section or link. What do you think? At first, I always thought that was so egocentric when I saw other people doing it. But really, people do not have time to browse archives. I know I don't. I do good if I get to read blogs once a day. Is there anything wrong with featuring what I think are some of my better posts? I think I might start to work on that. If you have a favorite or come across something you really like (this all sounds way too full-of-Boneself, sorry) let me know.

Why do I feel this entry was not very entertaining at all? I'll try and do better next time.

"She let herself go on her first blind date. Had the time of her life with some friends at the lake. Let herself go buy a brand new car. Drove down to the beach, he always said was too far. Sand sure felt good between her toes..."
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
The Tradition
These are a few of my favorite things!


"And believe me, to have been in the city of Tuscaloosa in October when you were young and full of Early Times and had a shining Alabama girl by your side--to have had all that and then to have seen those red shirts pour onto the field, and then, coming behind them, with that inexorable big cat walk of his, the man himself, The Bear--that was very good indeed." - Howell Raines

I cannot imagine saying it much better than that.

Got my season tickets yesterday. I wish that I could adequately convey the feeling Alabama football gives me. And not just me, but thousands of others. The experience of watching a game. The history and tradition that you can sense in the stadium. There is nothing like it to me. I went to my first game when I was eight. Alabama beat Vanderbilt 28-7 in Nashville. I went to my second game the following year. Alabama beat Arkansas State 34-7. It was 1982, Coach Bryant's last year, and I'm so glad I got to go. Although I remember little about it, I do remember spotting that houndstooth hat standing by the goalpost. My Mom took me. In our family, Mom lived and died by Alabama football. Dad couldn't care less. Meanwhile, Mom would get in the floor and yell and scream at the players and the coaches. Many times I've heard her yell, "Am I gonna have to come down there and coach?!" After Coach Bryant passed, before a big play, she would look to the heavens and say something like, "Oh Bear, please look down on us one more time." And I have a sneaking suspicion she wasn't alone. Alabama fans are kindred spirits. Total strangers can talk for hours once they discover they are both Bama fans.

"A tie is like kissing your sister." - Bear Bryant

One of my earliest memories is of listening to a game on the radio in the car. We were sitting in the parking lot of Hills Department Store when the game ended. Alabama had tied Southern Miss 13-13. It was 1981, I believe. My Mom was crying. I couldn't understand why she was crying over a tie. After all, it was better than losing, right? I would come to understand that all very well one day soon.

"I thought Nebraska was the most football-crazed state until I came to Alabama. Coach Bryant got up and introduced members of the 1925 Rose Bowl team, and he got teary-eyed, and so did all the people in the audience who welcomed the team with an absolute admiration that is hard to describe." - Author James Michener

Yes, it is hard to describe. Unless you're from Alabama... for Alabama. I remember reading somewhere that one reason Alabama football became so popular was that it gave the people of the state something to be proud of. Always near the bottom in civil rights, education, and other areas, football was something in which Alabama could be the best. That probably has some truth. Another thing is that the state has no major professional sports franchises. But there's more to it than both of those reasons. Much more.

I did not attend another game until 1993, although I watched faithfully on television. I started getting season tickets (to all home games) in 1997. I've lost count, but I've probably been to somewhere between fifty and seventy-five games. There's nothing like gameday. The drive down to Tuscaloosa from here is for the most part along a two-lane country road, passing numerous barbecue joints and not much else along the way. I imagine they must have been put there in large part just because of Alabama football. The feeling in the stadium is completely unexplainable. A few years ago, the University put together a short video that they show before every home game. It's a montage of highlights of each national championship team, including the Goal Line Stand, with Coach Bryant talking throughout. Chills! Everytime. Then the team comes running out as the band plays "Yea, Alabama." Not to mention the beautiful southern Bama belles all dressed in their crimson Bama t-shirts and earrings or carrying their Alabama purses. Nothing better.

"If someone in Los Angeles asks you and you say 'I played at Alabama,' everyone knows what that means. If you had to say 'I played at Auburn,' that would be about like saying 'I played at Rutgers.' People aren't even sure where it is." - Leon Douglas

Had to include some humor. So, what is the big deal? It's just a game. Why do people get so worked up over a game? I don't know. I can't explain it. This all probably sounds really silly and hokey, maybe even a little exaggerated to some of you. But it isn't. If anything, I have understated it. Maybe if you had grown up here, you would understand. I have heard many stories of people who had never been to a football game, or even those who rooted for other schools, being brought to a game in Tuscaloosa, and falling in love.

To this day, anytime there is something on television about Coach Bryant's death, I get teary-eyed. Everytime. Sometimes when I am at a game, I will blur my eyes, and try to imagine that it is thirty years ago, and wonder what it must have been like to have been there, to have seen history in the making. I can only imagine. If I were to make a list of reasons I am thankful to have been born in Alabama, it would start with Crimson Tide football. I am so thankful to get to experience this.

As silly as that sounds.

"From Carolina, down to Georgia, smell the jasmine and magnolia. Sleepy, sweet home Alabama, Roll Tide Roll..."
Monday, August 22, 2005
Bone's Hottest Over 40
I love this from "The Pez Dispenser" episode...
Guy: "Why won't you go out with me? Is it because I'm a bartender?"
Elaine: "Look, I don't think this is appropriate right now."
Guy: "Is it because I have a tissue in my nose?"
Elaine: "You're getting warm."

How cute is this!


Happy belated 3rd birthday to this cute boy (the dog, not the teddy bear). I am sooo gonna have dalmatians one day. There's a story that goes along with this dog. It's been a couple of years now, but once I left a tshirt over there and he kidnapped it. They could ask him where I was, and he'd go and get my shirt. How cute is that!

Weekend rewind
I had dinner at David's Catfish Cabin Friday night. It was my second time to feed the fish. It is really cool, I tell ya. Saturday, I worked 9-3. My boss came by and at some point he said to me, "I've noticed the Big Sweaty can be standing in a real cool place, and sweat will just be pouring down his face." I was like, "Yeah, I've noticed that, too." Hung out at a friend's place Saturday night. Did not get home until 3:30 AM. Not good. Last night, I ventured into the local Wal-Mart for the first time since the hostage incident. Scary stuff. Fortunately, no one asked me to speak Hebrew or bow towards the east or anything.

The AC is dying here at work, apparently. It's hot in heauh! I bet Big Sweaty lost at least five pounds this morning. Oh man, he's got big sweat stains under his arm. One of them looks sort of like Castro's profile.

40 Hottest Over 40
VH-1 counted down their 40 hottest celebs over 40. (Here's a partial list.) But this is the only list you need. Bone's official top five over 40:
1. Michelle Pfeiffer
2. Meg Ryan
3. Kim Cattrall
4. Sandra Bullock
5. Teri Hatcher
(I reserve the right to alter this list as often as I deem necessary.)

"May you never take one single breath for granted. God forbid love ever leave you empty handed..."
Friday, August 19, 2005
Shall we play a game?
Because Lass said I had to :-) I figured it would be good to do this on a Friday. That way, I'll have to weekend, if needed, to come up with answers. No guarantees I can do all seven for everyone. I'll do the best I can. I personalized #3 ;-)

1) Put your name in my comments and I'll respond with something random about you.

2) I'll tell you what song or movie reminds me of you.

3) I'll tell you which Seinfeld character or episode you remind me of.

4) I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me.

5) I'll tell you my first memory of you.

6) I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.

7) I'll ask you something I've always wondered about you.

8) If I do this for you, you should really post this on your blog.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

"Ciga cigar, right from Cuba Cuba. I just bite it, just for the look. I don't light it..."
Thursday, August 18, 2005
The Box
There's a box in the top of a closet. I usually don't go near it. I know what's inside. Cards and letters and photographs. Memories of us. At first, I would open it up every few months, and sift through the memories. Perhaps I thought it was some sort of therapy. It would hurt. But at the same time, part of me wanted to go back, remember how things were. And then, after awhile, I could only get through one or two or three cards and it would become too painful. The last time I opened it was months ago. Until tonight.

The power went out here a little after 9:00. I lit a few candles. And after a few minutes, I decided to get the box out of the closet. So I sat on my bed, opened it up, and by candlelight, began to read. Valentine's, birthdays, anniversaries, thinking of you cards. Handwritten letters. There are so many beautiful thoughts, phrases like "meet me halfway" and "I don't want to lose you." Sometimes I think that I just read right over them then, without really thinking about what she was saying. I almost know I did. Reading all those words of love and forever, it is still hard to believe that I lost it. Maybe not hard to believe, but to accept. Even now. To look back on something and see so much promise, and know that it is gone. It's not easy. Even now.

Some of the cards and letters are from times when we were having problems or had gotten into an argument. It's hard to see the pleading in her words, her apologizing to me, when I should have been the one apologizing to her. Too hard. After five or six cards, a few pictures, and a letter or two, I can't handle anymore. I close the box and return it to its place in the top of the closet. I notice one corner of the box has split. I think to myself that I will have to tape that up.

Why do I do this to myself? It's not like I do it often. As I said earlier, I keep thinking maybe it is therapeutic. But maybe I shouldn't look back at all. It opens old wounds and puts that most awful of all empty feeling back in the pit of my stomach. And I am back to beating myself up for mistakes that I have already paid for. She and I made our peace. We even became good friends. She has forgiven me. I guess the hardest thing to do sometimes is to forgive yourself. I thought I had.

A few minutes later, the lights come back on. But sometimes it feels like I'm still in the dark.

"Remember me when you're out walking. When the snow falls high outside your door. Late at night when you're not sleeping, and the moonlights falls across your floor. When I can't hurt you anymore..."
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
This one's for the children (that I may never have)
Does anyone remember when they used to have those big domino setups on That's Incredible! And John Davidson would say something like, "He has spent eighty-seven days setting up these two hundred thousand dominos." And something I would always wonder is, what does this guy do for a living? Who has eighty-seven days with nothing to do but set up dominos? I mean, are domino guys typically independently wealthy?

The heat is on
I don't know if the heat has seared my brain or what, but I have been in a dry spell for blog material. Seems like I have had a lot less time for blogging or blog reading the past week, so that probably has something to do with it. Maybe things will slow down a little. J-Mo got a new '05 Accord yesterday, so we went for a cruise in that last night. Sharp. I love that new car smell! Had dinner at AB's. It was humorous to see him looking outside to make sure no one parked too close to it.

Oh, speaking of heat (and sweat), I come in this morning and cut the air down from as cold as it will go to average temp for normal human beings. Big Sweaty remarks, "Are you cold?" And I'm like, "Yeah." Then he says, "You know, your blood might not be circulating right. Has anyone ever suggested you might be anemic?" WHAT IN THE CRAP!!!! Has anyone ever suggested YOU might be a couple hundred pounds OVERWEIGHT??? Has anyone ever suggested you might need to cut out four or five meals a day? Has anyone ever suggested you emit a foul odor? Has anyone ever suggested you might need to exercise? A couple of deep knee bends or something. Your momma's anemic!

The Blue Escort
Figured I'd continue the story from Monday. I think actually my first date was in my Mom's car. Anyhow, I went out with the algebra teacher's daughter twice. The first time I drove my Mom's car, because obviously, I had the 1984 baby blue Escort with sport stripes and black louvers on the hatchback. We stood outside her house and made out until like 1:00 AM. Then someone started turning the porch light on and off. Uh-oh. Time to go. Looking back, that was much better than her dad coming out with a shotgun or something. Anyway, for our second date, I drove the 'Scort. Did I mention it had a six-band equalizer? Of course, with factory speakers, that doesn't really help all that much.

I don't remember exactly what we did on either date, but I do remember we went to the mall on the second date. And for some reason unbeknownst to normal heterosexual man, I bought a New Kids On The Block cassette. (Why does it always seem to come back to NKOTB?) Except it wasn't even the good cassette. Ooooh no. I already had that one, so I bought this one. (Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.) Oddly, or not so oddly, we never went out again.

"That's when a smoke was a smoke, and groovin' was groovin'. Dancin' meant everything. We were young and we were improvin'..."
Monday, August 15, 2005
Rollin in my 5.0 3.8
I was going to do another pseudo-weekend recap, including my missing the cut at the PGA Championship Friday, then shaving my head and filling in for Paul Shaffer while he attended the Pamela Anderson roast. (I turned that mutha out!) But, it didn't seem all that exciting. I had a conversation yesterday about parents buying cars for their 30-year-old "kids", which led me to think about my first car. I already posted briefly about the cars I've had last March, but this will be a little more detailed.

Venture back to 1989, a time of stone-washed jeans and denim jackets. Virtually every girl at my high school had a perm. The favorite request on the late night dedication shows was "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison. And I had just discovered Milli Vanilli and New Kids On The Block.

In February, I turned 16, and my parents decided that I would get Mom's car and she would get something newer. So there it was, a black 1980 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. And it was all mine. Sure, it had a few miles on it. How many, I'm not really sure because the speedometer had already broken. But I knew it had power. A 3.8L V-6 under the hood. (Parental warning: I don't recommend giving your children this much power when they're 16.) Vinyl seats. Wire wheel covers. Stop drooling.

Sure, there were a couple of quirks, as there are bound to be with any old classic car. There was a slight hesitation problem with the accelerator. It did not exactly have the lightning fast response one would hope for. It took a little sputtering and three or four seconds before those 229 cubic inches would kick in. It also featured the always popular AM/FM radio with the cassette player which only had fast forward, no rewind. So I would have to flip the tape over and try to guess at how long to fast forward it if I wanted to listen to a song again. What genius came up with this brilliant cost-cutting brainstorm? How much extra does it cost to put a simple rewind button on there? Anyway, last, but not least, for some reason the car would not stop running for a few seconds (or a minute) when the ignition was turned off. I remember many days pulling up to the Piggly Wiggly (my first job), turning off the car, taking out the keys, and getting nearly to the door before it would completely cut off. Funny thing was, when I would start it back up and back out, it would go dead if I didn't jam it from reverse into drive and give it gas in less than 0.4 seconds.

There were good things about her, though. The cloth interior had come loose from the ceiling and hung fairly low. So, if I rolled the windows down (which I often did since the air didn't work), the wind would give it this super-cool rippling effect. You might be surprised at how much attention this drew around town. Oooooh yeah! Everyone wanted to get a look at Bone and his sweet ride.

Anyhow, I drove the MC for a few months. Oddly, I never had a date in that car. Now that's weird. Working at Piggly Wiggly (where my uniform consisted of a brown smock over a button-down shirt and one of those 80's solid colored nylon ties) and driving that marvel of modern machinery, one would think the ladies would be all over me. (GW Bush voice:)I guess I must have been too fast for 'em. Heh. Couldn't catch me. Heh.

Nope, the first official one-on-one-pick-her-up-take-her-out-and-bring-her-home date did not occur until I landed my next ride. A 1984 baby blue Ford Escort, with sport stripes down the side and black louvers on the back window. Went out with the algebra teacher's daughter. But alas, that's another story for another day.

So, what was your first car?

"Girls don't like boys, girls like cars and money. Boys will laugh at girls if they're not funny..."
Friday, August 12, 2005
Can't you see I'm busy?
This'll be quick. I promise. (Hmm, seems as if I've said that before.)

It Works!
Lindsy sent out an email the other day that reminded me of the Seinfeld where George constantly acts ticked off at work. Eventually, Mister Wilhelm tells him to take some time off because he must be working too hard. This actually works. Sometimes Most of the time, I will go around looking peeved and sighing a lot, so that everyone will think that I am busy, and won't ask me to do anything for them. Sometimes, I will rub my temples as if the unbelievable stress and pressure I am under is causing my head to hurt. (I really shouldn't do this, because I do occasionally have terrible headaches.) Anywho, a couple of days, the secretary has even said to me, "Why don't you go home early? There's been plenty of times when you've worked over." So, it works!

Tennis with the Cap'n
Cap'n Carl (new nickname) and I went and hit some tennis mid-afternoon yesterday. We decided to play over in my borough for a change. I had not visited the tennis courts here in several years. Well, it appears that I may very well have been the last person to actually play on these courts. The nets were sagging like an old woman who hasn't exercised in thirty years. There were cracks so big you could lose a small kid in them. (Hmm, I'm thinking apartment-wide field trip to the tennis courts!) And on one side the fence was leaning outward at about a fifteen degree angle. It was like some sort of tennis museum. Tennis in the Mesozoic era. I kept looking to see "Rod Laver wuz here" written somewhere on the concrete. Nevertheless, we got some sun, which was the main point of the outing.

Why?
I hate to see someone settle for something or do something because they think they have no other choice, or that this is the best they can do. Why do people stay with or go back to someone who has basically treated them like dog vomit? This goes for life, too, not just relationships. Have a little confidence. Expect the most from yourself. Take me, for instance. I mean, when I started this blog, I didn't know the first thing about a subject as fundamental as... risk management. And now. Well, hmmm. I guess I still don't. Eh, I forgot my point.

I hope you all have a super-terrific weekend! Last Friday, I heard "Word Up" by Cameo on the radio, and that really set the weekend off to a good start. This morning, I heard another classic, from Dexy's Midnight Runners. Come on, Eileen!

EDIT: Actually, I probably won't be going anywhere this weekend. Gas is now $2.49 a gallon for low grade, so I can't afford to go anywhere. It has gone up 23 cents since last Thursday. How much is it where you live?

"Move yourself. You always live your life, never thinking of the future. Prove yourself. You are the move you make. Take your chances, win or lose her..."
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Unmelted Snow
I suppose that most every couple has affectionate pet names that they call each other. Names like Honey, Baby, Sugar, and Sweetheart. And I am sure that she and I used many of those names and others during our days and nights together. But the one that stands out the most, and always will, is Sunshine. She could say, "Hey Sunshine" in her cheerful voice, ever so full of life, and it would completely illuminate my whole day, completely change my mood. "Sunshiiine," she would stretch it out in her sad, pleading voice, if we were fighting. And it would break my heart. And I could not ever really be angry with her for anything. It was always just silly stuff. Just making up stuff to be mad about. How sad and stupid and foolish that was. I know that I have and will use names like baby and sugar and sweetheart and darling time and again. But I will never call anyone else Sunshine. And I hope that she will not, either.

Two or three years after I lost her, I was leaving for work one cold February day. For some reason, I noticed a little patch of snow just by the side of the building. It was only a small area, maybe twenty square feet, at most. It had snowed two days before, and not much at that. As is typical in Alabama, it had been just enough to cover the tops of the cars and most of the ground. And it struck me as strange that this patch of snow was still here. For it was a sunny day, and all of the other snow had melted from the roads and the cars and the grass and the trees. It was gone. But here was this small bit that had survived the winter sun in the shadows on the north side of the building. And all at once, I had the thought that my feelings for her were like this unmelted snow.

Not supposed to be there.

Should have been gone by now.

But still, there it was. Hidden from most everyone. Almost entirely unnoticed.

Surviving in the absence of Sunshine...

"I keep seeing pictures now of me and her and those summer nights. My mind fills with her. Oh, but it's alright, cos I laugh everytime I start to think about us..."
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
I'm in blog heaven!
Well, the new computer came in yesterday. (Dude, I got a Dell.) I had an attempted delivery sticker on the door when I got home from work, so I got on the phone to UPS. Eventually, I got the driver's cell phone number, and he actually came back by around 6:30 and delivered it. Can't beat that. What can brown do for you? Got everything up and running last night. So, needless to say, I will not be leaving the house for awhile, except to go to work. It's weird to have a computer that doesn't rattle and make clicking noises. Weird, I say.

Lesson Learned #1367: Don't put wax paper in the oven
I learned this one over the weekend. Funny how you can live 32 years and never come across that morsel of knowledge. Eh, it's always good to smoke up the apartment every so often. Sort of like a natural fumigation, I guess. Or at least like an impromptu fire drill. Or not a drill at all.

Adventures in Schweatyville
So I have a bad habit of eating a mid-morning snack, everyday, usually consisting of something sweet and a soft drink. So I'm eating some M&M's and drinking a Coke yesterday, when Big Sweaty says to me, "What are you doing, man? Why do you do that? You're killing yourself." Ooooooh Nooooo! I know he just di-unt! Let's step back (get a wide mirror) and assess the situation here. Which one of us has the body of a taut, pre-teen Swedish boy? And which one us looks like he belongs in a production of Weebles On Ice? Now, that's better.

The Seven
Nothing more to blog today. So I'll share some dialogue from "The Seven" episode of Seinfeld, which was on last night:
Kramer: I can't eat that. You can't eat a sandwich without dijon.
Jerry: Yeah, you're right. I really should keep more of your favorites on hand.
Kramer: I'm getting a vibe here. Are you unhappy with our arrangement?
Jerry: What arrangement?
Kramer: Well, I was under the impression that I could take anything I wanted from your fridge, and you could take whatever you want from mine.
Jerry: Yeah, well let me know when you get something in there and I will.

Jerry: Is this your half a can of soda in the fridge?
Kramer: Nope, that's yours. My half is gone.
Jerry: What?
Kramer: Yeah, I put my half a can here on the tab. Why, what's your beef?
Jerry: You cannot buy half a can of soda.
Kramer: Well, why not?
Jerry: Well, I don't wanna get into the whole physics of carbonation here, but you know the sound a can makes when you open it? That is the sound of you buying a whole can. And the same goes for this, OK? When you pierce the skin of a piece of fruit, you've bought the whole fruit. Not a third of an apple, not a half of a banana. You bite it, you bought it.

Kramer: Hey, Jerry, if you're gonna be snacking on these, you can't expect me to pay for the whole box.
Jerry: All right, Hobo Joe. I didn't wanna put a damper on your little smorgasbord here, but it's the end of the week, so I added up your tab.
Kramer: Yikes!
Jerry: I know. Pretty steep.
Kramer: Well, I don't have this kind of cash.
Jerry: Few do.

"She wrecked the car and she was sad, and so afraid that I'd be mad, but what the heck..."
Monday, August 08, 2005
Nocturnal Phantasm #805B
Presenting another in a long line of fun, if somewhat disturbing, dreams...

I had been at this somewhat formal gathering, maybe some sort of church thing. I'm not sure. But it was at an apartment building, and there was a group of people there. Every street seemed to be lined with these multi-storied apartment buidlings. Whatever I was at (we'll call it "the thing") ended. There was a long break, or maybe there was a morning and an evening session. Anyhow, in between we had done something involving water. Swimming maybe. I can't remember. So there is this guy there, who I don't really know all that well in real life. I more or less just know who he is. I knew him a little back in high school, even though we went to different schools. Then I didn't see him for a long time and suddenly I ran into him again. He's kind of a husky guy and he's in a band. Anyway, I ask if I can go back to his place to shower and change.

So he lives a street or two over, again on a street that is lined with tall apartment buildings. To get into his apartment, you have to climb thru this little tiny window, probably about three feet wide by two feet high. That is the only way in as far as I know. There is no door. Well, as soon as I get thru the window, I am in the shower. Except there is no tub or anything. It's just a shower head on the near wall of this fair sized room. The entire room has a tile floor, and I guess that the floor sloped slightly away from the wall with the shower head, to a drain or something. There are maybe a couple of things in the room sitting on the floor, and maybe a piece of furniture. There is no shower curtain or anything. So I get down to my underwear and he is still in the room, so I'm just standing there thinking, isn't he going to leave? Well, finally, he goes thru a door on the opposite corner of the room into another room I guess. So I start to shower, still somewhat uncomfortable, being there in this big, open room.

Well, the shower is like a super high powered car wash. Water is going everywhere! I can't even see because of the forcefulness of the flow and the mist which is spraying everywhere. It's like what they use to bathe circus elephants or something. Well, I just had to set my clothes across the room on the floor, because there was no other place to put them. And these were the nice clothes that I was planning to wear back to the thing that evening. They were getting soaked. So finally, I was done showering and it was getting close to time to be back at the thing. So I asked husky guy if I could put my clothes in the dryer for just a bit, but for some reason, he wouldn't let me. Seems like maybe he said the electricity would be too expensive or something. So then I get my wet clothes on, except they aren't the nice clothes any longer. Now it's just like a tshirt and shorts and flip-flops. Just as I climb back out the window to leave, another dude who I just barely know in real life is coming over. They are planning to jam for a bit. He asks me if I am going to stay for awhile. I tell him no, that I have to be going. Then, I can't remember for sure, but I think maybe he gave me a hug. What the crap?! So, I get back to the place where the thing is. I just remember sitting in the parking lot, being embarrassed because I didn't have my nice clothes to wear.

And that was the end of my 100% hetero dream.

"The sky it was gold, it was rose. I was taking sips of it thru my nose. And I wish I could get back there. Some place, back there, smilin' in the pictures you would take..."
Saturday, August 06, 2005
The fish formerly known as...
Driving to work today, I encounter a chicken crossing the road. No. Really. I did. And you thought that was only a corny joke. Well, it's about halfway across my lane, walking toward the middle of the road, so I think by the time I get there, it will be over the center line. Well, apparently, it heard my car. So it stopped, did a 180, and trotted back to the side of the road. (Is that what they do, trot? It looked like a trot.) I had to swerve hard into the other lane to avoid hitting it. Man, I gotta get out of this place.

Happy birthday, Pablo
Someone is three months old today! OK, so I don't really know how old he is, but I got him three months ago today, so we are celebrating his birthday. I think I will change out his water, and maybe give him a fruity pebble again. He seemed to like that. He has been looking at me all day, so I figured I better blog about his birthday. Of course, he pretty much always looks at me when I am here. I think he wants to change his name to The Betta Formerly Known As Pablo, and be represented by this symbol: ><>

Feed The Fish
We had dinner at David's Catfish Cabin in Hartselle Thursday night. If you are from this area, I highly recommend you try this place. After you eat, they give you a bag of fish food, and you walk out back onto a promenade over the water and feed these humongous catfish. There are lights on the water and it is just neat. There were even a couple of solid white albino catfish when we were there. Not to mention the food and service were great and they give you big portions. It's a good date activity, just something a little different from the norm.

"It's the remix to ignition, hot and fresh out the kitchen. Momma rollin' that body, got every man in here wishin..."
Friday, August 05, 2005
Her favorite song...
Her favorite song was Pachelbel's Canon. She always said she was going to play it at her wedding. At our wedding. I never listened to it then. I have listened to it at least a hundred times since.

There are many things that I still remember about her, and I hope that I always remember. Sometimes I think I am forgetting. Well, I know I am forgetting. I suppose that is inevitable. I know that I forget a little more everyday. And that scares me, because the memories are all I have now. And once they are gone... Well, I would rather not think about that.

Her green eyes were full of life. Full of hope. Her view of life and of the world had not been jaded like mine. She saw the good in life. She saw the good in others. She was caring. And compassionate. Many times I can remember her going out of her way for someone else.

She would sing along with the radio when she was driving. She loved the movie, Message In A Bottle. She liked jalopenos on her nachos, and pickled okra on her salad. Her favorite candy was hazelnut chocolates. She always liked to wear socks around the house. Sometimes she even wore them outside. She hardly ever went barefooted. She was born in Germany. Sometimes she could be a bit of a drama queen. It only made me love her more.

Not everyone liked her when they first met her. But everyone liked her eventually. She overflowed with likability. She never tried to be popular. It just happened. She was genuine. She was real. Thougtful. Loyal beyond compare. A friend that anyone would love to have. She placed the utmost value on honesty. I like to think she got a little of that from me. I was proud of her so many times for so many things. But I thought it much more than I said it.

She loved strong and true. She loved the way you are supposed to love. All or nothing. She gave everything she had. Maybe more than anything, she made me feel like I was so much more than I really was. And I think that the way someone makes you feel about yourself is maybe as important as the way you feel about them. She took an interest in my interests. She built me up. I was never more confident and never felt better about myself than when she loved me. I was too foolish then to see that it was not me at all, but her, that made me feel that way. But I am straying here.

Her voice... her voice is indescribable. It is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. One word from her lips and everything else in the world immediately disappeared. We used to sit and talk on the phone until the early morning hours, often until one of us would fall asleep, not wanting to let each other go. Several mornings I can remember waking up and seeing the phone lying beside me on the bed, knowing immediately what had happened, and smiling. It was good to be so in love, to feel like you are a part of each other. Why can't those times last forever? To this day, just the sound of her voice would instantly bring a smile to my face.

Falling asleep on the phone is a memory I thought I had forgotten, but it has just come back to me now while I am writing. Writing is good. Still, I cannot just sit down and write every single memory. They do not come back all at once, just one or two at a time. And even now, I realize that as much as I still remember, I have probably forgotten even more. And it deeply saddens me.

If you saw her, you would see how beautiful she looked. And then the first thing I would tell you is that she is even more beautiful on the inside.

Yesterday was her birthday. Coming home last night, I rolled down the window, put in a CD, turned it up loud, and listened to her favorite song.

"Her favorite song was In My Life. I memorized her every move. I knew her books, her car, her clothes. But I paid no attention to what mattered most..."
Thursday, August 04, 2005
I love t-shirts!
I again encourage you to sponsor Kerry during the upcoming blogathon this Saturday. I found Kerry when we were both featured in the Decatur Daily article on blogging last year. And she will be blogging for a cause that is near to her heart, I know. I would encourage you to support me, but I did not enter, because I probably would have fallen asleep after the first post.

What I really did
OK, since some of you didn't buy my headache story, here is the slightly embellished story of what I did yesterday:
Right after waking up, I called the New York Times and informed them that the steroid that Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for was indeed stanozolol, also known as Winstrol. Sorry, Raffy, but the truth had to be told. I mean, come on. The cat, reeeeeear, is out of the bag. The jig's up. Just come clean. Players with 3000 hits and 500 homeruns: Aaron, Mays, Murray.. Palmeiro? It just doesn't fit.

After that, I had to do a spacewalk and repair some of the heat shield damage on the bottom of Discovery. You may have seen my picture on the news. It wasn't a very good shot, what with the space suit on and that crappy camera on the robotic arm. Come on, I have Asian friends with nicer cameras on their phones. Fortunately, I trained on the Fisher Price Pound-a-Peg, so it was a relatively simply procedure. Things can get kind of jittery sometimes up there. I like to relax with some Michael Bolton or Richard Marx tunes on the iPod.

Amazingly, I made it back in time to have a late lunch with Jen. She is taking this Brad thing so well. Don't believe what you read in the tabloids. I would have hung out with her all afternoon, but I had to be at Martha Stewart's 64th birthday party at 8:00, so I went home and fixed up a delicious, yet easy-to-make, grape salad. Needless to say, it was a late night.

I love t-shirts
This conversation occurred the other day:
"Coney Island?"
"Yep."
"I bet that's a neat place."
"Yeah, it's pretty cool."
"Is that where you got that shirt?"
"Well, no. But I do have another shirt that I got there... and I did have a coney at Sonic Saturday night."

I love to find cool t-shirts. Just anything different. I guess that's not a unique thing at all. But anytime you have on an uncommon t-shirt, people are always trying to see what it says, making comments about it, or asking where you got it. A t-shirt is an inexpensive way to make a fashion statement, although that's not really why I like them. Maybe I just like the attention.

Sudokus
I am addicted to these little puzzles they have started putting in the USA Today each day. I guess it's because I can actually solve them, unlike the crossword puzzle, which I would usually only be able to figure out a handful of clues to.

Can I end an entry with "clues to"? No, I can't. I did order my new computer last night from Dell. Estimated ship date is August 11th :-)

"She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends. How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat. Some dance to remember, some dance to forget..."
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Debilitating
Sorry for no entry today. I had a migraine today at work, and I think it was the worst one I have ever had. I tried putting my head down for an hour or so, but finally had to leave and come home. I slept for about three hours, and feel much better now, just the lingering, dull pain. There are few thing worse than when you first sense the blind spot, and then you know there's nothing you can do to stop it. Ugh. A few years ago, I heard someone describe migraines as debilitating, and as soon as I heard that I knew it was the perfect word to sum them up. Mine are not as severe as some. I have heard of them lasting for days or weeks. Still, they completely knock me off my feet. The best thing I can do is try and go to sleep as soon as possible and hope that it's gone when I wake up. I don't have them that often, maybe twice a year. But today was worse than I can remember. The blindness was more severe, the pain was worse and lasted longer, and for the first time in a long time, my stomach felt a little sick. I hope this is not a sign of things to come.

OK, have I griped and complained enough? Geez, what a whiner. I'll try to do an entry later this evening or tomorrow for sure. Actually, I had a dream about Dea while I was napping, so that's probably why I feel better.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Why am I still dreaming
Had an uneventful Monday, which was nice. The big excitement for the day was that my most recent order from Old Navy arrived. So I started washing each item, one at a time. Do you wash clothes before you wear them the first time? I used to not, but now I do.

Took about a two-hour nap, trying to catch up from yon weekend of sleep deprivation. Caught a classic episode of Cheers on TVLand. It was the one where Sam plays a practical joke on the gang, making them think a mob boss has bought out Gary's Old Towne Tavern and having him threaten them after they play a joke on him. Sam sends them off on a bus ride to North Dakota to supposedly protect them from the mob guy. They get dropped off by a phone booth and he calls them and says 'gotcha.' Then they're walking down the road and Woody says, "Well, at least out here, we're safe from that mob guy." It's great. Cheers was my all-time favorite show before Seinfeld.

I haven't been running in about a week. Lass is going to kick me. Someone should.

A new computer
You think your computer is old? Outdated? Well, if you saw my computer, you would... well, I don't know what you would do or think. I bought the computer itself at a used computer sale from the company that my sister used to work for. It's a 400 megahertz speed demon (and I do mean mega), with 4 GB hard drive. (Yes, I said 4. No, I did not leave off a zero.) And lest I forget, 32 megabytes of hard-driving, scintillating RAM. Let's not even get into video cards and sound cards. And the monitor is still the monitor I had from the very first computer I bought myself, which was probably back in about 1996. So, beat that.

As you can see, it is past time to order a new computer. I've been looking around online today, and I think I have found the one I'm going to order.

Nocturnal Phantasm #805A
I dreamed that she was getting married. She told me she was pregnant. Maybe she had already gotten married. I can't remember. Either way, when she told me, I fainted. Yes, fainted. Or maybe I faked fainting. It's not really clear. Anyway, we were at some outdoor event or ceremony or something. I first thought it was the wedding, but it wasn't anything like a wedding. Some people I knew where there, friends and some family, like cousins or something. Then, at some point, we were at Sonic, or actually Cardinal. She talked to me a few times. I don't remember what she said, but I sensed this wasn't what she wanted. Or maybe I just didn't want it to be what she wanted. Then they were leaving, and I was trying to fly a kite. (I know I dreamed that because Biff was trying to fly a kite last night on Letterman.) That's all I remember now.

Why am I still dreaming about her all these years later? I don't understand. It has been six freaking years. Why is she so deep into my subconscious? Then again, maybe I enjoy dreaming about her. Maybe there have been nights I have gone to bed and wished that I would dream about her. Maybe there is something wrong with that. Or maybe there isn't. Maybe that's OK.

"I'm ninety-nine for a moment, dying for just another moment. And I'm just dreaming, counting the ways to where you are..."