Tuesday, February 28, 2006
"You must remember this..."
She was lying on her back. On her bed. By the open window, which let in the cool night wind. It was March. Or April. I had been coming over like this for a few nights. After work. After midnight. I was never sure if her parents were OK with this. Or if they even knew. I would find out later the answer to both was no.

I wasn't sure what this was. But I knew I liked it. I knew I didn't want these nights to stop. We would just talk. For hours. About everything or nothing at all. Then I would leave.

On this night, there was a pause in the conversation. I couldn't tell you now if it was five seconds or five minutes. Probably somewhere in between. The radio played softly in the background, as it always did on these nights. The room was dark, as it usually was. But I could see the silhouette of her face. Against the background of the moonlit night. Which I had never noticed being so bright.

I looked at her. She appeared to be looking straight up toward the ceiling. I supposed she was thinking. I wondered what about. Her lips were slightly parted. I just sat there. Staring at her.

Then without even thinking, I leaned over her body and pressed my lips to hers. It just seemed right. I kissed her. For the very first time. She didn't kiss back. Told me later it was because she was so surprised.

It was the most truly spontaneous first kiss I've ever experienced. Never wondered if I should. Never wondered if she wanted me to. I actually don't remember thinking about it much at all. Which is odd for me. I usually overthink everything.

I don't remember if we kissed again that night or not. It's irrelevant anyway. But from that moment on, our relationship was never the same. A little over two years after that kiss, we were engaged. Two more years, and we weren't anymore. Four times around the sun is a lot for anyone.

Sometimes a certain wind. A certain time of the year... I'll be driving with the windows down. And that same cool night air will hit me. And remind me. And I can almost see her silhouette. Just beyond the headlights. Just beyond my grasp.

It wasn't my first kiss. Nor my last. But out of ten thousand kisses, there are a precious few that you never forget.

"I worked so hard for that first kiss. And a heart don't forget something like that..."
Monday, February 27, 2006
Shirt and shoes required
I have a friend, who I'm fairly sure does not read this blog. This friend, we'll refer to him as Screech, has a problem. He has this one green shirt. Well, mostly green. And I'm almost positive he's had it since high school. I'm not exaggerating. He still wears it. A lot. In public.

You probably know the shirts I'm talking about. Long-sleeved. Sort of polo style. They sometimes were multi-colored. The collar was usually like a white or a tan. Worst of all was that horrible denim-colored collar. Well, the collar on this one is sort of ridged. And the shirt is so old and has been washed so much that the collar curls up underneath itself.

So anyway, he has this green shirt and one other shirt. And those are the only two long-sleeved shirts I can ever remember seeing. Other than Alabama tshirts or sweatshirts. Like I stopped by Friday night for a bit. And he was wearing an Alabama tshirt. Those are fine. But I guess he considers those his casual wear for around the house or something. When it comes time to go out, here comes Mister Green Shirt. It's like that's his nice, going-out clothes. Ugh.

So what do I do? What can I do? I'll be the first to admit I'm not on the cutting edge of fashion. Don't really care to be. I know the basics. Black belt, black shoes. Brown belt, brown shoes. A few other things. But not much more. Everything I know or have learned about what's in style, I've learned from girls. That's where you come in.

Ladies, this is my plea to you. Help your guy friends. We can't help ourselves, for the most part. And we sure can't help each other. I can't very well say to another guy, "You're not gonna wear that shirt with those shoes, are you?" Or "I think you need to have one more look in the mirror, mister. I'm not going out with you looking like that." I can't. I won't. It's awkward. It's wrong. But you, ladies. You have the power. We'll listen to you. Heck, I'd probably still be walking around in Levi 505's right now had some girl not shown me the light.

After all, why do guys even buy clothes? Why do we even care in the slightest what we wear? Simple. For women. That's the only reason. If it was up to us, we'd all be walking around in our underwear and a white tshirt. Unshaven. Hair uncombed. It's not like we're trying to impress the other guys. You don't believe me, go to a prison. No women there. No one shaves. No one combs their hair. Or stop by my house on any given Saturday. But, if you tell us you like it. And us in it. Chances are we'll wear it. At least once.

So back to Screech. The problem is he's not dating anyone. And I'm not sure how many female friends he has. But apparently the ones he does have aren't doing their job. And as previously stated, I simply can't say anything. That would be a direct violation of the hetero bylaws. So what's left?

How about a fashion intervention? I think interventions are grossly underused in our society. Why should they be limited to alcoholics, addicts, and suicidals only? I say, if someone has a bad haircut, get some friends together, bring a mirror, and tell them about it. Someone's house always a pig sty? Boom! Intervention. Bring some Endust. Someone still wearing his tapered leg jeans from 1989? Get a few friends together and confront him. Nothing like a Friday night with the guys, hanging out, and talking fashion.

Besides, there's safety... and heterocity... in numbers.

Now, when and if the shirt issue is resolved, then we can get to work on the shoes.

"If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife. So from my personal point of view, get an ugly girl to marry you..."
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Falling
One lesson learned from yesterday's post: Less is more.

Pia at Courting Destiny has been nominated for a Koufax Award for best writing. And no, she's not paying me to mention it. Far as I know. We have a NYGH relationship. She whets my appetite for New York. I give her daily synopses of General Hospital. Hopefully she'll never realize she's getting the short end of that stick. Now on with today's post...

The names you call me, I haven't heard in so long. You make me feel interesting. And good. I'm beaten. Broken. Torn and tattered. But somehow you see through all that. You see something. What is it that you see? Could you show me, so I will know that's still someone I could be?

I'm at the edge of a cliff. I have peeked over a time or two. You're at the bottom. I think I want to fall. I think you'll catch me. But what if you don't? What if you can't? What if you change your mind? I've taken this leap before. You might think it would get a little easier each time. But it gets harder instead. It feels safe here. But lonely. So I look again. I think I see your arms outstretched. Waiting for me.

Why do I feel like I'll be drawn to your lips the instant I see them? I think I want to watch you breathing. I think I want to feel your heart beat. I think I want to know. I think way too much.

Wait. Don't leave now.

Don't ever...

"Darkness hangs overhead. Close to the point where angels fear to tread. I close my eyes and think of you instead. And pray you'll be here soon..."
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I always believed...
I always believed in love. Always believed if I loved someone enough, I could win her over. I've poured my heart out in letters. Tossed pennies into fountains. Left notes under windshield wipers. Fought losing battles. Trusted. When every sign and everybody told me not to. All for the chance. The hope. I always believed in love. But maybe I've been poisoned by movies and fairy-tale endings. Always just wanted to be Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle.

So why do I always end up feeling more like Bill Pullman?

"Sometimes you can still lose even if you really try..."
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
This blog is not meteor-proof
Monday night has become my TV night. My night to unwind and recover from the weekend. After 24, which was better than last week but still getting increasingly far-fetched, and not in the ways you might think, I watched the replay of General Hospital on SoapNet.

Robin has apparently caught the virus. Near the end of the episode, someone had sent a vial of the antidote to GH. They switched from them opening the package to a shot of someone in black gloves. With like a whole box of vials. Then, they showed her. I wasn't for sure who it was, but only one name came to mind. Could it be? It's been years. So I went here. Sure enough. It's her. Holly is back.

Since probably 98% of you have no idea who that is and/or don't care, I'll move on now and spare you my full three-page synopsis of yesterday's episode. I've been in a creative drought lately. I sit and stare at the blogger create-a-post screen. My mind is barren. Empty. Like the pages of Gary Coleman's little black book. Then when I do type, it ends up reading like the minutes from an Elks Lodge meeting. Boring.

I have enjoyed the johari/nohari windows from yesterday. Although I wonder why several people picked "embarrassed" as one of my weaknesses. Even though I also picked it for myself. Then I was wondering about calling myself modest. Is that some sort of paradox in itself?

Changing gears... Something I don't understand is all these impossible, cartoon-like truck commercials I've been seeing lately. Perhaps you've seen some of them. In one, a truck gets hit by a meteorite. In another, a truck gets washed out to sea. Then there's one where they dump a ton of trash on a truck. Completely bury it. And in all three cases, the trucks drive away.

First of all, they all start with some sort of message saying this is a dramatization, or this isn't real. So, basically, what they're saying is, "Our truck won't really do this. We just thought it was kinda cool lookin." Second of all, what planet are these people on that meteorites are such a concern to the prospective truck-buying public? And lastly, who are they marketing to? Although I'm sure there's some redneck watching, who has no idea what dramatization means, and thinks he's getting a meteor-proof truck.

I guess I just don't understand the purpose. Maybe I'm too logical. Whatever happened to horsepower? Payload capacity? Towing package? Miles per gallon? Cost? You don't see jeans commercials where some guy in a pair of Levis gets attacked by a pack of rabid wild dogs, then set on fire, finds himself in the middle of a gang war, gets shot in the leg. Yet escapes, gets home, and his jeans are like new.

Oh, and there's one more where this truck is getting slightly crushed from the front and back by two bulldozers. Yeah, thanks for that. If I ever find myself sandwiched between two bulldozers, each creeping towards me at 2 miles per hour, I hope I'll have enough swiftness (and incentive) to undo my seatbelt, remove my Hans device, and climb out the window.

Yep, it's NASCAR season...

"We took one more trip around the sun, but it was all make believe in the end. No, I can't say where she is today. I can't remember who I was back then..."
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Bad week gone good?
I'm still alive. Thought I should mention that. Since I haven't blogged in three days, and had mentioned I was sick in the last post. Feeling much better tonight. Took some Nyquil just now. Just in case. Figured I'd milk it for all it's worth. Blogging on Nyquil. This should be fun.

Please stop by here and here when you have a couple of minutes. It's a little personality window thing, and you get to describe me! (Link permanently borrowed from Pia.)

Ended up going out Friday night. Went to eat and wound up playing poker and spades. I know, I know. I should have stayed in. But I was getting restless. Cabin fever. And, I finished second in Texas Hold 'Em.

Being single and living alone, sometimes I start to feel isolated. Like a leper amongst the Israelites. Especially, but not only, when I don't go out for a few nights. I always think about Sandra Bullock in The Net. What if something happened to me? How long would it be until someone thought something was wrong? Until someone found me? Work would be the first place probably. But what if I worked from home? Or didn't work at all? I could be here for days. Weeks, even. Is it morbid to wonder things like that?

Pablo would miss me. His tank is on the chest of drawers next to my bed. And lately, in the afternoons. When I have been napping. He'll get down at the very bottom of his tank, in the corner nearest me, and "sleep" with me. It's the cutest thing. He doesn't usually do it at night. Just when I nap during the day. And while I've been sick.

Had tickets to the George Strait concert Saturday night. Mom had given them to me for Valentine's Day. But that only gave me four days to find someone to go. And I started getting sick Tuesday night. I didn't want to invite someone not knowing if I'd even feel like going myself. So I didn't. I never invited anyone. Then, Saturday morning, she called. I had mentioned the concert to her a few weeks ago. She had to work Saturday, but ended up meeting us at the concert a little late. I had to meet her at the door because I had her ticket. Walking back to our seats, I took her hand to lead her through the crowd...

The week started with Valentine's Day, which honestly, hit me harder than it ever has before, for some reason. Then I got sick for the first time all winter. That's always about as fun as a rectal thermometer. But things worked out, as they always seem to do in the end. And the weekend was good. Really good. At some point during the weekend, I found myself in the kitchen, in my underwear, dancing and singing "Word Up.". And any weekend that includes that scene can't be too bad.

"Wave your hands in the air like you don't care. Glide by the people as they stop to look and stare..."
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Mystery Illness?
I'm home sick today. That's at home, sick. Not homesick. I hate calling into work. But that's another post for another day. Or actually, probably not. Can't imagine that would be very intersting to read. Anyone have Tor Eckman's number?

When I was but a lad, maybe eight years old, (I called Mom to ask and eight was her guess) I was in the bathtub one evening. All stories have a great opening line, right? It was the best of times... Anyway, I felt my knees lock up. That's the best way I know to describe it. I don't know if I tried to get up. Maybe I did. But I knew I couldn't. I started screaming.

Dad came to see why I was screaming. He thought I was just trying to get out of going to church that evening. So he yelled at me to get up. I still rag him about that to this day. I wasn't that creative. I couldn't walk. I was bedridden. And Mom or Dad had to carry me everywhere. I never remember it being a painful thing so much. Although it may have been and I could have forgotten.

The doctor first told my Mom he thought it was just "growing pains." No lie. What the crap? Finally, he said it might be rheumatic fever, and that it usually lasts around six weeks. Six weeks? Mom called school to tell them that I would be out for awhile.

I don't remember exactly how long I was bedridden. At least a week. No more than two. Then one morning I woke up and just knew that I could walk again. I hopped out of bed and, sure enough, I could. I ran to tell Mom. And I'd never been so happy to go to school.

Looking back, I can't imagine how worried my parents must have been. Not getting a definite diagnosis. Probably wondering if I'd ever be able to walk again. That thought never occurred to my young mind. Today, I can still remember very well that awful feeling of my knees locking up and refusing to move.

Since then, I've always wondered what that was. It didn't last as long as rheumatic fever usually does. And I remember the doctor saying I would probably have a heart murmur. But I never did. So I've never been sure. As I've gotten older, I have read more about it. Two things in this article caught my eye:

An inverse relationship between severity of joint involvement and risk of carditis appears to exist.

Carditis: This occurs in as many as 40% of patients and may include cardiomegaly, new murmur, congestive heart failure, and pericarditis, with or without a rub and valvular disease.

The first would seem to explain why I've never had any heart problems. The "joint" part of my ARF (acute rheumatic fever) was very severe. And the second just indicates that not every ARF patient will have heart problems. From what I understand.

Other things I have read say that patients should be put on continuous antibiotics for ten years or until they are 18. I was never told that. And also that ARF is sometimes difficult to diagnose. And doctors are hesitant to diagnose patients with it. Because it leads to lifelong complications, and can make it difficult for them to get insurance. So maybe he did me a favor.

Also read that ARF patients are more susceptible to future attacks and future bouts of strep throat. I've had strep throat at least a handful of times, although it's almost never accompanied by a fever. My throat started getting scratchy this past Tuesday night. And is much worse today. I hope that's not what it is.

So basically, this whole post was born because I had a sore throat. It reminded me of this childhood story, and I thought I'd share it. Aren't you glad?

So here I sit. Sick. By myself. As I've said before, that's the absolute worst part of being single. When you're sick. No one to bring me juice. No one to make me soup. No one to rub my forehead with a cold washcloth.

Maybe I am homesick :)

"I can't sleep sometimes but I've been told. It's a lonely condition called growing old..."
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
VD and Road Rage
Hope that you all had a happy Valentine's Day. Or, if you're like me, that you survived it. Got my yearly call at 12:01 AM, making sure I had made it thru yet another birthday-13th-Valentine's Day on my own.

Couldn't blog yesterday. Valentine's Day kept creeping into everything I thought to write. And honestly, I grow to dislike the day more and more every year. Still, I think, if you aspire to be a writer, or at least a decent blogger, shouldn't you be able to write something relative to the day? And I couldn't. I mean, I could, but it just sounded like what a thousand other people would have blogged yesterday. And I didn't want that. So, I'm posting it today instead :)

Actually, on Valentine's Day, I always think about girls who are lonely or alone on that day. That becomes my concern. And I wish that I could help every single one of them. Usually, I send out cards, e-cards, emails to every girl I can think of. I didn't even do that this year. Got on a couple of websites yesterday to send out ecards, but they were overloaded and slow or stopped. I consider writing and helping others my two passions. And I did neither yesterday.

I did get a Coffee Break Club card at the coffee shop yesterday. Just ten punches and I get a free latte. Happy Valentine's Day to me! Except they don't really punch, they just mark thru it and initial it. Gunther knows what I get now. He just asks what size. He seems cool enough. I just wish he was a cute girl.

Random things have been running thru my mind lately. Like how long can you wish someone a belated birthday? I mean, when does it just become too belated? Two weeks? A month? Their next birthday? "Happy Birthday! And oh by the way, happy belated birthday from last year, too."

Was involved in an incident of road rage Saturday night as we were leaving Nashville. There was an SUV going like 15 or 20 miles per hour. Granted it was thru subdivisions. But honestly, they looked like they were lost. It was 10:30 at night and had been snowing, so there was almost no traffic. So when we got to a point I could see downhill, I passed them. For some reason unbeknownst to sane man, they get right behind me and turn on their bright lights.

Now, I believe the only way to stop road rage is to confront the ragers. If we let these people go on honking, tailgating, cursing, and displaying rude hand signals, with no repercussions, they'll never stop. So I calmly stopped my car and rolled down my window. I waited for him to pull up beside me and asked if he had a problem. He seemed surprised that I had stopped rolled down my window. See? They never expect that. Sure, there's a slight risk of being shot. But I mean, you could die anytime. You could spontaneously combust, for crying out loud. (At least according to That's Incredible.)

Why is it that some people cannot stand to be passed? What is it about being in a vehicle that gives people this anger and boldness? You never hear of sidewalk rage. Or pedestrian rage. I mean, if I pass someone running in the park, they don't get mad and speed up and try to pass me. If I pass someone on the sidewalk, they don't get right behind me and start stepping on my heels.

Or what about airway rage? Can you imagine if pilots behaved this way? No. But somehow, cars provide people with this shield. And it's a false sense of security, really. Because basically, they're just betting we're in too much of a hurry that we won't take the time to stop and open up a can on them.

So, back to Saturday night. We had a nice conversation. And as he started to pull away (he was turning right, I was going straight), I pulled forward as if I was going to hit him, laid on my horn, and took off.

See? No reason to get upset.

"Restless tonight, cos I wasted the light. Between both these times, I drew a really thin line..."
Monday, February 13, 2006
Useless Knowledge
boo' ty li cious (adj.) [booty, buttocks + delicious, tasty.] sexually attractive, esp. in the buttocks.

If I had to use one word to sum up my birthday weekend, that would be it. Although not for reasons you might think. From that definition, I can't help but be reminded of Forrest Gump. ("Bit me right in the buttocks.")

First, let me say thank you for all the birthday wishes, comments, cards, ecards, text messages, IM's, and phone calls. Clearly, I've tried to make it as easy as possible for you to wish me a happy birthday :)

Back to my weekend. Hung out with my old roomate Friday night. Ended up in Nashville Saturday night, where it snowed!! Sure, it wasn't a lot. Maybe a quarter to a half inch. But it was enough to cover most of the ground and the tops of cars and houses. Enough to make a few snowballs. Did mostly family stuff Sunday. I know, I know. Exciting. Pretty soon, you'll all have to have an emergency medical team on hand and an ambulance on call just to read my blog. ("Give me the bullet, Barney.")

There's a peacefulness to a freshly fallen snow. A thin blanket of snow putting a single finger to its lips, almost magically quieting the Earth. To fall from a point so high and to land without a sound... It's softer than soft. I find it inspirational. Driving thru quiet neighborhoods, my head was filled with wonderful prose. Ideas. Memories.

We played this Trivial Pursuit: DVD Pop Culture Edition 2 game Saturday night. For some reason, everyone wanted me on their team. Apparently, there's a widely held perception that I know a lot about pop culture. And apparently, that perception was accurate.

I always claim to have a lot of useless knowledge. But I have always said that half-jokingly. Well evidently, it's no joke. This became more and more apparent as the game wore on. I was answering questions about everything from Oscar de La Hoya to Monk to "Wanna Be Startin Somethin" to War Games. However, it was not until the "For The Win" question that it became ever so crystal clear that I know way too much. About nothing. The question asked, what word, inspired by Beyonce and meaning sexually attractive, became an official entry in the dictionary in 2002?

We all sat there for a few seconds of clueless silence. Finally, I said the only thing I could think of. The only word that popped into my head. Never dreaming it would be right. Everyone laughed.

They laughed even louder when the correct answer, my answer, popped up on the screen. I have way too much useless knowledge.

"And if I had to walk the world, I'd make you fall for me. I promise you, I promise you, I will..."
Friday, February 10, 2006
Time flies when you're...
Not planning on blogging much today. Gonna take it easy and enjoy the weekend. Trying to get my mother to write something. And then blog it without her knowing. That's not blogiarism, is it? She can write really great stories. She started talking about the day I was born, and the days just before and after. And was telling me stuff I'd never even heard before. So I told her she needed to write it down. We'll see.

Flashback, 1989... My nickname for the last two years of high school was JT Love. (Yes, I know, now you've heard of me.) It came about the day we were ordering our National Honor Society shirts. (How many great stories have started with that line.) The faculty sponsor mentioned almost in passing that we could get our real name or a nickname on the back of the shirt. So NG suggested that I get "JT Love" on mine. It sounded like a good idea at the time. Much like I'm sure that New Coke sounded like a good idea at the time. And having Chevy Chase host a late-night talk show sounded like a good idea at the time. Anyway, it stuck. And it actually wasn't that bad. Even today, someone will occasionally refer to me by that name. But I'm a different man today. With a different body.

Flashback, 1980... I cooked supper last night and had family over. It was good. We sat around the table talking for half an hour or so after everyone had finished eating. Then my sister saw my Atari Flashback 2. Back in the day, Mom used to play Pac Man. She had a pattern she'd always follow and everything. I couldn't remember if my AF2 included Pac Man or not, but I hooked it up to see. It did not. However, my sister and I started playing against each other. Frog Pond. Combat. And eventually, Pong. Well, who knew in the year MMVI, Pong could still be so much fun? I mean, seriously, I could have just about designed this game on my old TRS-80. But somehow, the old Atari provided at least an hour of fun and laughter for us. After my sister and her husband left, Mom and I played a game of video checkers. I won. She left. And I felt bad for winning.

This post really has no ending. I used to lie awake at night and think I'd be thankful if I just lived to see the year 2000. I always felt I'd die young. Maybe everyone does. I don't know. Never could imagine myself being an adult. Just doesn't seem possible that JT Love is about to be 33.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. And if it snows where you are, please post pictures.

"Fifteen, there's still time for you. Twenty-two, I feel her too. Thirty-three, you're on your way. Every day's a new day..."
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Third latte discourse
This post is dedicated to Lizzie, everyone's favorite Starbucks-loving-cute-glasses-wearing-bloggette.

Jerry: "Hey, hey, hey! Slow down, Eddie. What what's the matter?"
Kramer: "Oh, they're making faces at me cause I've had a couple of cafe lattes. But I'm entitled to them. I can have as many cafe lattes as I want, that was the settlement."
Jerry: "That's it?"
Kramer: "That's it. You want one George? Cos I can get one for you. No problem. Jerry, you want one? They're delicious. My pleasure."
Jerry: "You've got to stop it. You're all hopped up on the caffeine."
Kramer: "Well, I feel like I'm talking a little fast but it's very hard to tell."

So, I had my first cafe latte Tuesday. And I had my third one today. I've never been a coffee drinker. Well, there was a short time when I was a teenager than I started drinking coffee, but that only lasted for a few weeks. And I tried some kind of caramel-cappuccino-something-or-other a couple of years ago, but didn't care for it.

Well, recently, I stopped by a local coffee shop on a Saturday morning, because I got word there was a cute blonde who worked there. There is. I just got coffee. And then it turned out to be help yourself. There were four kinds, and I had no idea which to pick. Then I had no idea how to work the dispenser. I was squeezing two buttons on the side of it to no avail, when I finally realized there was a lever on top. Whew. That would have been embarrassing. "Um, excuse me, Miss. Could you show me how to make the coffee come out?" That would have to be among the great come on lines of all time.

So Tuesday, I decided to stop by to see her again on my way to work. After all, there's nothing like a beautiful woman to make a man try a latte. (You may replace "try a latte" with... well... pretty much anything there.) Naturally, she wasn't working. Instead, it was some cheery guy who reminded me a lot of Gunther. So since I never actually figured out how to get the lever to stay down on the coffee thing Saturday, I decided I'd order a latte, which they would have to make. This after consulting a friend who determined I would probably prefer a latte to a cappuccino. She was right. It was delicious. After I added some sugar.

Look, I just wanted to get in on this coffee shop craze live everybody else. I'm tired of being the last one to assimilate to everything. I don't have an iPod. No Tivo. No DVR. And I didn't throw away all my tapered leg jeans until like three years ago. And by throw away, I mean, quit wearing. In public.

One concern I do have, however, is possibly looking back one day and wishing I had never started. I wonder if this could be like wanting to shave when I was little. And using Dad's shaving cream and razor because I wanted to be grown up. Then, it was fun. Now, I hate shaving. Every single day. It's so tedious and time-consuming. (Note to self: Never do a google image search for "shaving" again at work. Yikes!)

So what if I become addicted to the caffeine? And can't stop? (I guess that would be what addicted means.) And what about all the side effects that could arise from excessive caffeine intake. Copious urination? What the #&!@ is that? I definitely don't want to mess up anything in that area of my life.

But what if I'm already addicted? I've had three lattes in three days. Gunther has been working each morning. However, this morning, the ratio of female to male customers was 4:1. (With the one being me, for you Auburn fans out there.) You know what that means.

Let's recap:
3D/Gunther + 4F/1M = another latte for me tomorrow (where Gunther is undefined)

All this on top of the fact that Lesley Lu started convulsing at the end of General Hospital yesterday. I don't know how much more I can take. I think maybe I just need another latte.

"You scream and you holla 'bout my Chevy Impala. But the sweat is gettin' wet around the ring around your collar..."
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
If I had only known
As a blogger, one never really knows how any post will turn out. How it will be received, nor what the feedback will be. The Groundhog Day post turned out to be one of my best ever. Not because of what I wrote. I was very underwhelmed by my writing on that post and by my choice of days. But because of all the interesting and amazing memories that so many of you shared. Some in the comments and some on your own blogs. If you haven't read the comments to that post, I would encourage you to do so. Again, thank you all for your comments.

More than one of you decided to take a different angle on the post, choosing to pick a day, perhaps that you have regrets about, that you would like to relive until you get it right. That made the comments even more interesting. And, it caused me to consider what my day to relive until I got it right would be. Not sure if this is it. But this is one.

It was our last night together. A Friday night in June. We had planned to go out to eat and she had driven. As I did too often in that last year, I found some reason to be in a bad mood. To start an argument. If there wasn't a reason, I would make up one. We had gone to eat, but we never made it to the restaurant. She missed a turn. I had pretended to be asleep, then pretended to wake up. I asked where she was going. Then acted angry that she had missed the turn. I had no idea that this would be our last fight for no reason.

She decided just to drive back home without eating. We hardly spoke the whole way, nearly an hour drive. There seemed to be tension mounting, begging for a word to be spoken. Looking back now, I guess it was already over. But I didn't have a clue. I was probably waiting for her to apologize to me. Expecting at any moment that she would beg me not to be angry. What did I hope to accomplish with these senseless games? I guess I could blame it on immaturity, but that seems too easy. Sometimes we get exactly what we deserve.

To prolong the awkwardness of the drive home, we got stopped by a train. I did not think it at the time, but after we were over I always wondered if that train was sent at that time to stop us and give us one more chance to work things out. I would like to think that. But I guess it does not really matter. The train crossed, and we continued. Still not speaking. Why could I not simply utter the words "I'm sorry." It might have changed everything. Maybe not. Of course, I'll never know.

I do not remember much else about the drive home. I remember a particular song that was on the radio. And everytime I hear that song to this day, I think about that night. I remember not speaking much. And I remember the train. Anything else that happened has been forgotten by me and lost in time.

When we got to my apartment, instead of parking, she just stopped to let me out and did not turn off her car. We did not kiss. We did not hug. I think maybe we said goodbye. I was still angry. But if I had known this would be the last night we would be together, I would not have been angry. I would have been sad. And I would not have left the car. I would have done everything I could to make things right. And maybe if I had done that then, she would be here now, and I would not be writing this.

I did not hear from her again until Sunday night. A day or two later, she gave me back my ring. I still have it. A heart-shaped diamond solitaire that once represented abundant, seemingly unstoppable love. But now serves only as a bittersweet reminder of something that I lost. I'm not sure why I keep it.

Although it's basically no consolation at all, I learned a lot from what happened. Love is a gift and a blessing above all others. Not something to be treated carelessly. I no longer look for reasons to argue. I hate arguing at all. I don't see how anyone could cause hurt to someone he loves so deeply, even though I did it. I don't see how anyone could bring tears of sadness and hurt to a lover's eyes. I try and treat every heart with the extreme care and love it deserves. I still mess up. But I'm better now. Because of what happened with her.

I still cross those same train tracks at least a couple of times a week now. It never fails to bring back at least a brief memory of that night. It's a little haunting. A little sad. But sometimes, I smile. Because we had a lot of good memories. A lot more good than bad. And I like to remember the good.

I remember the first time that I got stopped by a train at those very tracks after we broke up. I did not smile that time. It was only sad. And I wished it was that night again. And that she was with me.

I think once a certain amount of damage has been done to a relationship, you can never get it back. Who knows exactly what that point is. Maybe it's different for everyone. But I think it exists. Once things get past a certain point, it's only a matter of time. Like a train that cannot be stopped.

But if I had only known that was to be our last night together, I would have surely found a way to stop that train.

"Remember me when you're out walking. When snow falls high outside your door. Late at night when you're not sleeping. And the moonlight falls across your floor. When I can't hurt you anymore..."
Monday, February 06, 2006
Crying wolf snow
Went to bed last night shortly after watching the local news. The weather forecaster displayed a colorful, easy-to-read map indicating expected snowfall accumulations. My town appeared to be in the dark blue band, representing 2 to 3 inches of snow! Now, where you live, that might not be a lot. But here in the deep South, it's a rare and delightful treat. I was excited. OK. Not really. I woke up this morning and hurried over to the window like a child on Christmas morning running to look under the tree. What did I see? A bag of switches, pretty much. "Hmm," I thought to myself. "This snow bears an uncanny resemblance to rain."

That's pretty much par for the course for our local weather forecasters. To them, accurately predicting snow seems to be about as difficult as picking the winning Powerball numbers. As a conservative estimate, I'd say they've called for snow at least seven or eight times this winter. That's roughly equivalent to the total number of snow flurries I have seen all year. Seven or eight. So honestly, I didn't get excited when I saw the forecast. It's pretty much just a big joke around here now.

Maybe I could be a local weather forecaster. There seems to be no job accountability. And I love their excuses. "Sometimes snow can be hard to predict." Really now? That's like a baseball player batting .200 saying, "A baseball is hard to hit." What a nice little built-in excuse. The weather is hard to predict. So basically, their whole job is based on predicting something that they've already admitted cannot be predicted. And I'll bet the only people who disagree are the weather forecasters. And their mothers. And even some of them are starting to get suspicious.

As Seinfeld says: "What's with the five-day forecast? That's something else they try to pull over on us. There is no five-day forecast. If the five-day forecast was accurate, we'd only have to watch the weather every five days."

Oh yeah, the Super Bowl was last night. Here are my thoughts:

- I never remember this much talk the day after the Super Bowl concerning the officiating (here and here). There were for sure a couple of big penalties at curious times.

- The commercials were the least-interesting that I can remember for a Super Bowl. The car commercials, especially. I think I'd not buy one of those just because the ads were so bad. I did like the one commercial where they were playing backyard football and the guy planted his girlfriend. That was hilarious.

- All Super Bowl halftimes are pretty much boring to me. This one wasn't much different. I am, however, amazed that Mick Jagger can still run and jump around like that. They've got to be well into their sixties.

- And most importantly, why are they still counting Super Bowls in Roman numerals? I'm sure when it was I, II, and III, it was kinda cool. But I mean, really. In four years, we'll be watching Super Bowl XLIV? I think it's time to let it go.

And, that's about it. 24 is on tonight! That makes me happy. And GH is on SoapNet after that. Port Charles is about to be overcome by an encephalitis epidemic! It's really stressing me out. If anything happens to Luke, I'll boycott TV forever. (OK, probably not really.)

"Her hat is hanging by the door. The one she bought in Mexico. It blocked the wind, it stopped the rain. She'd never leave that one..."
Friday, February 03, 2006
What's your Groundhog Day?
Doing a Groundhog Day post the day after Groundhog Day... it just loses something. You'll have to forgive me though. Robert Scorpio is back on General Hospital! (Xinh, Pia, are you reading this?) After seeing that last night on SoapNet, I was shocked beyond coherence for the rest of the night.

My idea is based on the premise of the movie Groundhog Day, which I'm sure many of you have seen. In the movie, the main character keeps waking up to the same day over and over. So my question is, if you had to pick one day of your life to live over and over again, which day would you pick?

So I asked myself this question. Which day would I pick? Which is another reason I never blogged this yesterday. I couldn't decide on one day. Now I'm aware that most of us would not want to live the same day over and over. But just for the sake of a blog entry. I thought about doing a top ten days that I would pick. But no, that would not be fair. If I'm asking you to pick just one, then I have to pick one as well.

I thought of many days I could easily pick here. I considered days when I was a kid. And life was carefree. And my grandmothers were alive. I considered the day I got engaged. I considered vacations. Fourth of July in New York. California. My first time to fly. Road trips. Beach trips. Any day spent at the beach is a good day. That is where I feel the most peaceful and at ease. I considered the day she and I went to Six Flags, and all the way there, it poured like I think it only can in the summertime in the South. I drove my Jeep, which had no AC, and we couldn't take the top off because of the rain, so I just took the back window out. And the rain kept the crowds away. And we were soaking wet and in love. And on the way back we did things you really should not do in rest area parking lots. Yeah. I considered that day a lot.

But I had to decide on one. So I decided that I would pick my 26th birthday. I don't remember a lot about the early part of the day. It was a Friday, which is always good. I just remember the evening. She had planned a surprise birthday party for me. And I had no idea. Those few seconds... Walking into a restaurant. Seeing a couple of your friends. Thinking how odd it is to run into them there. Then almost in the same instant seeing more of your friends and realizing exactly what is happening. Those are priceless. That feeling of complete surprise is rare and indescribable.

So there you have it. It doesn't feel like I picked the right day. But I don't think it ever would. I guess I went with more of a fun, light-hearted day. Everyday would be my birthday. That seems a bit selfish. But the main reason I picked that day is because most all of my friends were there. Along with my sister and my closest cousin. And I'm sure I saw my parents at some point during the day. And to relive a day over and over where you get to see so many people you care about and enjoy being around. Well, that's not bad. That's not bad at all.

So what about you? If you had to pick one day of your life to relive over and over, to be your Groundhog Day, which would it be? And why? It's harder than you might think. At least it was for me. Feel free to blog it yourself or leave it in the comments. Or both :-)

Have a super weekend!

"I don't care if Monday's blue. Tuesday's gray and Wednesday, too. Thursday, I don't care about you. It's Friday, I'm in love..."
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
The Lone Frolfer & Must See TV?
The following was written between the hours of 11:30 PM and 12:30 AM.

OK, it's well after midnight now, and I can't think of a title for this post that doesn't sound completely lame (aka Mid-week recap, Monday Night TV). So I am taking suggestions. If you can come up with something creative, leave it in the comments. You could forever have a part in If You Read Only One Blog This Year.

So it's February. What a great month! One might think having a birthday so close to Valentine's Day, I would continually get, as the kids say, shafted on gifts. Surprisingly, it hasn't been that much of an issue. Especially recently.

I have started back running some. What, you didn't know I had stopped? Well, I didn't say anything, lest Lindsy and Lass scold me. While running Tuesday, I saw a lone frolfer in the park. When I first saw him, I thought I might say something to him. Then, on my next lap, I noticed he had like an open bag or backpack or something that he was dragging along. What is that? Does he have several frisbees that he carries? Maybe a heavier frisbee for windy conditions. Is there frolf gear that I don't know about? Goggles? Gloves? Then at one point I thought I saw him skipping. Not skipping a hole. But skipping, as in "a quick gait of alternate hops and steps." That was just a little too jolly for me. I decided to steer clear.

Remember when Thursday nights used to be TV night? At least that's how it was for me. Cosby. Cheers. Seinfeld. Even Friends. Must see TV. Whatever happened to that? I don't watch a lot of TV these days. At least I don't think I do. There hasn't been a show that I've made it a point to watch every week for an entire season probably since Seinfeld.

Until now.

24 is awesome! It's so intense. Every segment of every episode. This past Monday night, when Logan told Pierce to do his job (and stop Jack), and Pierce shot back, "I am doing my job. I'm protecting the President of the United States." I kid you not, friends. I. Got. Chills. And the thing is, I never really liked action shows all that much. Except for Hunter. And Magnum P.I. And Miami Vice.

So Monday night is TV night now for me. After 24 went off, I started watching the Flight 93 movie on A&E. Found it very difficult to watch. It's just too real. Some RFK conspiracy thing came on after that. It's sad to me that most of the Kennedys are gone. I would have loved to see what JFK Jr. would have done. Of course, there's always Ted. He's like the Keith Richards of the Kennedys.

The other night before bed I was wanting to turn off my computer monitor. So inexplicably, I picked up my TV remote and pointed at the monitor. I clicked two or three times before I realized what I was doing. Silly Bone.

"There's got to be some good reason for your little black backpack, up, smack, turn around he's on his back..."