Thursday, January 17, 2008

Since I've no place to go

To me, snow is truly a wonder. There's a magic to it. A beautiful quietness that can only ever be matched by the next snowfall. Snow brings out the the kid in me, the dreamer, and the believer. It restores hope. I figure if it can still snow here, anything is possible.

It reminds me that God is still there. And for a few all too brief moments, it feels like nothing very bad can happen with the world...

It snowed!!!

No, I'm not on vacation in Greenland. It snowed here! In Alabama!

Our forecast for yesterday didn't mention snow. It called for rain possibly changing over to sleet. So naturally, it started snowing around 2:00. It began as light flurries and looked for awhile as if that's all it would be. But by the time I left work, it was--to quote a lady who called the office yesterday--"snowin' like crazy."

When I got home, I opened the blinds and watched it for awhile. Then I put on my gloves--which quite possibly might be the first time I've ever worn them even though I've had them at least two or three years--and went outside to play. I mean, um, to take pictures. And make snowballs. Or, a snowball, which I managed to construct from snow that had accumulated atop my grill.

It was a little vexing as to why no other kids in my 'hood were outside playing. I considered having a snowball fight with myself, but again, I just had the one. So I came inside and put my snowball in the freezer alongside the artificial boutonniere (don't ask). I then made some hot chocolate, drank it too fast and scalded my tongue. I guess when you don't drink hot chocolate that often, you kinda get out of practice.

Our local TV stations were breaking in every ten or fifteen minutes with snow updates. Sure, we barely got a dusting and there was never any snow on the roads, but it doesn't matter. In the past, schools here have actually closed just because there was a possibility of snow. Nevermind the fact that we've had exactly two snowfalls of more than an inch in the past seven years.

I know the amount of snow we got might not amount to a hill of beans in a lot of places. But this is our hill, and these are our beans. (Bonus points if you know what movie that's from.) Even the smallest amount of snow is a big deal here. We call friends and relatives to see if it's snowing where they are. There's a buzz in the air, a tangible excitement seemingly shared by everyone. It's snowing. And for awhile everything seems to revolve around that fact alone.

My sister called to tell me she was "getting" to drive home from work in the snow. When I told her I had made a snowball, she started laughing and said, "That's funny. I just talked to Dad. He was making snowballs at work."

A grown man making snowballs. Who ever heard of such.

"Remember me when you're out walkin'. When the snow falls high outside your door. Late at night when you're not sleepin', and moonlight falls across your floor. When I can't hurt you anymore..."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Your text is on my list

"How was your Christmas?"

The text message came as a surprise. I don't recall where I was when I got it. Work, maybe. As we texted back and forth a few times, I began to wonder how long it had been since I had heard from her. I wondered where she was and what she was doing. I wondered if I should read anything into her texting me, beyond just keeping in touch. And not least importantly, I wondered who she was.

That's because, though I've had my Blackberry Curve for two months, I've still yet to transfer the names and numbers from my old phone to it. Therefore, I had not the slightest idea who I was texting.

My last phone was so old, all I had to do was pick it up and say, "Sarah, get me the drug store." No, seriously. It was so old that the sim card wasn't compatible with the Blackberry. So the only way to get all my numbers on the Blackberry is to enter each one manually. Think of it as the technological equivalent of needing to transfer all my Tom Jones 8-tracks to iTunes. In both cases, I've yet to get around to it.

Cell phones have completely ruined me from remembering phone numbers. I feel lost now. I know like eight phone numbers, total. Even those I have begun to recognize, I mostly know only by the area code or prefix. I still couldn't dial the entire number from memory.

Incoming calls aren't so bad, as I can usually recognize someone's voice within the first five minutes of a conversation. But anytime a text comes in, unless it's one of the eight I've committed to memory, I sit staring at the ten digit sequence like it's one of those 3D pictures. And maybe if I squint a little harder and concentrate a bit more, the name that goes with the number will magically come to me. Which, by the way, is also pretty much how I approached most of my tests in college.

Texting has become like my own little game of 20 Questions. I send a series of fairly general, innocuous messages, until finally the other person unknowingly reveals some clue as to their identity. During football season, I would typically have two or three people texting "Roll Tide" to me before, during, and after games. To this day, I'm still not certain who a couple of those people were.

My call list on the Blackberry stores twenty numbers, and has become my ad hoc phone book. If you're not one of the last twenty people who have called me or who I've called, there's a decent chance I won't be able to contact you until you call me again and get your name back on the list.

Anyway, back to the conversation which inspired this post. The unknown "she" eventually sent a message asking, "What is ur address?" Still unsure who this person was and only knowing she had an out of state area code, I chose not to respond. I mean, as a semi-popular blogger, one can never be too careful, right?

About a week later, after a complex process of research and elimination, I finally figured out there was a 99.95% chance the mystery texter was Lil' Booty. (That's almost as good as a DNA match right there!) I called and gave her my address, and we shared a laugh.

And no worries about me getting all my numbers transferred onto the Blackberry. I've officially put that on my bucket list.

"Jenny, I've got your number. I need to make you mine. Jenny, don't change your number. 867-5309..."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Leaving Atlanta

Leaving Atlanta on Sunday afternoon was always the same. The cityscape fading into the haze and over the horizon. Ten lanes changing into eight, six, and finally four, as we chased the sun for awhile across the western sky. There is always something lonesome to me about leaving behind the life and excitement of the city.

We would stop before we got to the state line to fill up with gas, get a cold drink, and buy a lottery ticket. Back in the car, we'd talk about all the things we would do if we won, what we'd buy and the places we'd go. They were always different, but always the same.

Almost invariably, she would fall asleep. And I would listen to the 80's station out of Atlanta until the signal faded into unintelligible clutter. Sometimes I would be lost in thought and not even notice the static.

Birmingham always woke her. Turning her head to look out the window, realizing where we were, she would offer a soft smile. One of those lovers' smiles that says things words could never hope to express. I can still see her sleepy eyes if I close mine...

Today, Atlanta still has Six Flags and the Braves, and a beautiful cityscape. I don't think they have the 80's station anymore. Last time I was there, I couldn't find it. But you can still stop at some little store near the state line and get a lottery ticket. And think about the things you'd buy if you won.

Or maybe about the things you can't.

"Put her there in the front yard swing. Cotton dress, make it early spring. And for awhile she'll be mine again, if you can paint me a Birmingham..."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

When I come to Myrtle Beach, will you teach me to shag?

The National Blog service has issued a Severe Randomness Warning for the duration of this post. Those in the path of this blog can expect widely scattered thoughts, which may or may not include such topics as Newhart, why the bank always asks for your mother's maiden name, and poke salad.

Since I haven't blogged in a few days, as you might imagine, I have quite a few things to talk about. I figured I could either divide them into several separate entries, or throw them all into one. Guess which one I decided to do.

In many ways, the past few days are a perfect microcosm of my life. Friday night, I hung out with three lovely ladies. (I know this same routine every weekend must get old to all of you.) OK, perhaps I should mention the three ladies were my aunt who always gives me $10, another aunt, and my Mom. We went out to eat for other aunt's birthday.

After that, we hung out at K-Mart, sorting thru the discounted Christmas merchandise until the break of 9:00 PM. OK, really just 8:30, but that sounded kind of early. I looked for a new Festivus pole, but they must have been sold out. I got a new Christmas tree at 75% off.

In other news, it looks like the the Darryls and I will be going to Myrtle Beach for our annual beach trip this year. I brought up the idea Saturday night. And since the Darryls never make any decisions and pretty much go along with whatever I suggest, I guess that seals it.

On the homefront, GabeKaplan--the fish, not the actor--has been doing swimmingly. He's almost out of food though. And by almost out, I mean the box is empty. So for the past few days, I've been on my knees scouring the carpet for pellets I may have dropped. I really think I found the last two today. Guess I'll have to go to the store.

Yesterday, my right arm itched all day. I was afraid I might be coming down with another rash. I thought maybe I'd gotten into some poke salad. But then I googled poke salad and it didn't appear to be known for causing rashes, just potentially fatal gastrointestinal problems. Anyway, around 10:00 last night, I was scratching myself and a fabric softener sheet came out of my sleeve. That's not some magic trick I do. That's my life, in a nutshell.

And what about this weather? The temps have been in the seventies the past two days. I'm wearing flip flps and short sleeves. And I finally broke down and cut on the AC last night after getting hot taking down my Christmas tree.

It's like I retired and moved to South Florida, except there's no shuffleboard and I'm still having to go to work everyday. It's really messing up my Seasonal Affective Disorder. I can't even get good and depressed anymore. There are no seasons, I'm not affected, therefore no disorder.

I don't know what's going on, but I did pass a church sign on my way home the other night that said "Eternity is straight ahead." You know, it would really be helpful if they'd put some sort of mileage estimate on that. Do I need to get a bite to eat? Should I stop for gas? I don't start out on I-10 and see a sign that says "California is straight ahead."

Regardless, I just kept driving. I mean, I spent my Friday night hanging at the K-Mart, I'm crawling around on all fours looking for fish pellets, walking around in public with fabric softener sheets in my clothes. What am I clinging to?

"Down on Peaches Corner there are Good Ol' Boys. And Mother Fletcher's makin' lots of noise. They're dancin', shaggin' on the boulevard..."

Friday, January 04, 2008

3WW: Frozen

(This week's words are button, luck, & pretend)

i wish i could leave
but i feel stuck in place
with this same expression
always frozen to my face

i'm not all that happy
think maybe i'm just cold
the scarf is nice but not much help
when it's twelve below

i don't mind the sun
it's better than the rain
maybe with a little luck
i'll just melt away

i don't mind this button
but pretend my eyes are blue
who thought it a good idea
to give a statue a broom

i'm off to the village
and there's that silly cop
like me, does he ever wish
this carousel would stop

"We start out loudly and go in circles, all things converging. We find an end to each day, slowly melting..."

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

You say you want a resolution...

I'm not big on resolutions. I don't have any philosophical reasoning for this, but one time I heard someone say they didn't believe in resolutions, and it sounded good to me. It's kind of like if someone said they didn't believe in working. That's an ideology I think I could really get behind.

I prefer to focus on the positive, the things I did accomplish in 2007. A little affirmation, if you will. I have changed a lot over the past year. Oh sure, maybe not from outward appearances. I still live in the same place, have the same job, the same car, the same underwear rotation, etc. But look closer. Deeper.

For starters, I bathed... every day. And according to my limited research, that is more than 25% of Americans can say, a couple of whom I think I worked with.

I also got out of bed every day. This despite having no real motivation most of the time for doing so.

I threw out a bottle of ketchup... which had a 2004 expiration date on it. I wish I were making this up.

I bought girl scout cookies. Because--and some of you may not know this--I believe the children are our future. Teach them well. And let them lead the way. And also because thin mints are like getting a box of crack for under five bucks. Not that I've done crack, but I hear things.

Oh, here's a rather important one. I breathed approximately 8 million times during the past year! OK, so most of you are probably right there with me on that one. Just remember, life isn't measured by how many breaths you take, because really, who can keep track? That's why we use years.

And then there was... hmm. Well the hour is getting late. And since I can barely remember what I did Monday, much less last February, I will let my blog tell you the rest. Presenting Bone's 2007, The Year In Blog:

1. Coming out (I outed my relationship with Nan.)
2. A hat for all seasons (Axl and I, and his four hats, attended an Alabama basketball game. AKA The Mentos Incident.)
3. Nuvaring is not for everyone (I voiced my displeasure with the commercials aired during General Hospital.)
4. Do Not Open Until 2017 (I turned 34.)
5. Roast-a-Bone (There was the first ever Bone roast. Strange that this would be one of my most commented on posts ever. Hmph. Odd.)
6. How I Roll (I began a fun new blog feature about my previous rides.)
7. "You can all sleep sound tonight..." (I proposed a new ad campaign for Lysol.)
8. If they take my stapler, I'll set the building on fire (I saw Office Space for the first time! Frickin' A.)
9. Putting the fun in reFUNd (I proposed a few innovative tax code changes, which inexplicably have yet to be enacted.)
10. The fashion evolution of Bone (I admitted to once wearing Wranglers. And also proposed the outfit flow chart, which to date, hasn't become a reality. Why? No resources, no skill, no money, no time.)
11. 52:45 (I ran my second-ever 10K.)
12. Remembering Pablo (I said goodbye to Pablo...)
13. Sam (...and Sam...)
14. Will Neuter For Plinko Chips (...and Bob Barker.)
15. Nine iron over the starboard side (I rediscovered golf, and the uncanny ability to lose golf balls. It's like riding a bike.)
16. What's my age again? (I also rediscovered Nintendo...)
17. To caulk or ford? (...and the Oregon Trail...)
18. Opening up the AT40 Vault (...and Casey Kasem!!!)
19. ...But somebody's gotta do it (I pondered an exciting career change...)
20. Things that make you go hmmm, in Hazzard (...and The Dukes Of Hazzard.)
21. Sundays with Chachi (Scott Baio became my relationship mentor.)
22. The voice of a not-so-new generation (I coined the phrase The Sitcom Generation. And also the word bacheloronomics. OK, seriously, how did I have this much time?)
23. Panama City '07 (I went to the beach...)
24. Grillmaster B (...and grilled. Though not at the beach.)
25. iTunes aNonymous (I came to terms with one addiction...)
26. The Great American Coke-Out (...and tried to curb another.)
27. That 70's Fish (I said hello to GabeKaplan...)
28. Take those old movies off the shelf (...and old movies.)
29. I wiki, therefore I am (I wiki'd lots.)
30. Bone's 3rd Annual Festivus For The Rest Of Us (And of course, there was my third annual Festivus party. Next year, I plan to present the first annual Online Festivus party, so you can all air your grievances here.)

If you really want a resolution, I've always thought one of the best is just to make sure that you live every day. Laugh, cry, think, feel, see, listen. Experience life with all your senses. Savor the days with the value their brevity demands.

Thanks for stopping by during 2007. And may you have a happy and healthy 2008.

"I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass..."