Thursday, June 29, 2006
I haven't ranted about Reflector Man in some time, mostly because he moves very quickly when he crosses our property ever since John hid behind the azaleas and let PJ go after the insipid little cretin and his yappy dog.
A good time was had by all. //snort//
Reflector Man is another one of those fixtures in our area, like Wheelchair Man and Menace. It turns out that others in our neighborhood, experiencing these nuisances too, have their own nicknames for the careless and clueless characters who move within their own universes.
Reflector Man received his moniker because of a reflector vest that he wears in the early morning and twilight hours. The other two wackos could learn from him, but let's not encourage the over all behavior, mmkay?
Anyway, Reflector Man's particular transgression is that he walks his dog in everybody's yard. His yard is pristine, but you can find little turdlettes scattered all over everybody else's yard in the neighborhood. One guy, who didn't have a dog and was clearly fed up with RM's unneighborly behavior, posted a wacky sign in his yard to try to educate the inconsiderate old coot. I don't know that it worked, but it cracked us up.
Ever since the PJ incident, though, RM moves across our job quickly. If I see him coming up the street, I'll get PJ, just to serve as a reminder. It bugs me that the old guy could possibly feel that consideration and rules of behavior don't apply to him. It was very evident this morning, as I was zipping down the hill to go to work. Who was standing in the middle of the road with the dog leash let out about 20 feet, effectively blocking the road?
Reflector Man, who else.
It was darn funny. I know he fears me, in that paranoid she-has-it-in-for-me way. Of course it's my fault for being an ugly neighbor. He's never pondered why. Anyway, as I was zipping along down the hill, I could see the fear and hysteria in his eyes. The jerk thought I was going to hit him, or his precious barking rat.
It's way more fun messing with him.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
My morning started with a call from John that there were downed power lines along the stretch of road I take in the mornings. It was a nice warning that undoubtedly saved me a great deal of time, with the bonus that the alternate route took me down some lovely scenery. Atlanta is still a beautiful city in spite of the new development craze to mow down all the trees. You just have to know the right neighborhoods. Decatur is one of those areas where the foliage is worth the investment. Anyway, the drive was very pleasant, and I got the incredible bonus of hearing Barry White. Does he have an incredible voice, or what???
I was momentarily transported back to slow dancing in the 70's. Um. Strike that. I forgot my kids read this.
Then, after turning up the airconditioning, I switched stations to listen to NPR's morning report. Yes, more fodder for the accusations that I am a closet liberal, but the news, while woefully biased, also contains a lot of colorful stories, and today was no exception.
There is a trend for doggie day cares. Yes, you can read about it here, but between the snorting and mockery that flashed through my mind, I started thinking about the interview with the pet owner, and something he said really struck me. The point of the report is that pet owners are sending their dogs to day care so the dogs don't sit at home all alone. One of the owner's pointed out that when she picks up her dog, he has played all day and is tired out and ready to go to sleep. She likes this, by the way, because she called it a bonus. Another guy was followed into the daycare and back into his car for the ride home. The highlight of the drive was the dog's snoring, albeit tenderly laying it's head on the owner's hand. What?
The reporter's tone indicates that this is the purpose of the daycare--so the animals are less of a nuisance and demand less when the owner's get home. He had the unbridled audacity to say this is a good thing for the busy professional who still wants the companionship of a dog.
Um. Excuse me. Why not get a stuffed animal then? I am offended, and I don't even like dogs. Just ask anybody that knows me.
And finally, I arrive at the college. Actually, I arrive at the Quik Trip. Sometimes I treat myself to a cup of coffee. It's the best coffee ever. Better than mine, better than that frou-frou expensive place, better than the mud they make in the office. So I go in and smile at the clerk and get my cup. I am almost bowled over by a short fireplug of a woman with the gigumbous size frozen slurpee thingie that she has layered in a lame attempt to achieve the rainbow they use in the ads.
I go to my check-out line, and she goes to the cigarette counter. Then she proceeds to argue with that clerk because the lung-ripper menthol cheapo cigarettes are not on sale at this store, and she insists that she must have two packs at the price she demands. Evidently, she doesn't have enough cash for lung collapse AND brain freeze. Or maybe the original problem is brain freeze.
Whatever the mess, she lost in the battle to save 37 cents, so she brings in the hysterical artillery, yelling at the clerk at the top of her (malfunctioning) lungs, "I'm a diabetic and my doctor says I should have all the cigarettes I want!"
Man. And here I was eating oatmeal and cutting down on the soft drinks.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
I took his picture this morning while there was still dew on the web. But that's about where my interest ends. I mean, I'm not going to look him up or anything, in case he's poisonous and then it ruins my joy. As far as I'm concerned, his scientific name is noseynomeimporta, commonly called that big yellow spider in the bushes.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Each culture showcases some tasty treat in its interpretation of the food, so of course, there's plenty of pork in Miami fare, and the German version had, I recall, quite a bit of cabbage (where do you think saurkraut comes from?).
It's a no-brainer to realize that the local Chinese restaurant in the booming metropolis of our little bedroom community in the outskirts of Atlanta should serve fine barbecued ribs and chicken. Hate to continue with that cliche, but you can guess what kind of fruit they put out on the buffet. Yep. It sure is.
Anyway, I don't know anybody that doesn't like something in a Chinese restaurant, even if it's just munching on the fortune cookies (do you ever play that game where you read the fortune and then add "in bed" to the end of it? I know, it's crass, but it's funny).
Well, our local restaurant is the melting pot for the community. Typically, there's a steady turnover of Mexicans early in the evening as they get off the factory shift, and then it kind of segues into the hospital staff coming over for a shift change or a quick dinner break, and then it's really a mixed bag. Tonight I was fascinated by the clientele because the owner's wife doesn't speak English. Instead, she's pretty fluent in Spanish. I wonder about her, I mean, it's not terribly useful to speak only Chinese, but to speak Chinese AND Spanish. Well, what can I say?
Anyway, that dynamic is already pretty interesting, but tonight there was a guy from Ethiopia speaking Tigrinya, and rather loudly by the way. Why do we speak so loudly on cell phones? Anyway, I was waiting to see how that played out with the cashier, but there was no great entertainment there. After all, numbers are numbers, and ordering is, well, by the numbers. That, and have you noticed that all Chinese restaurants have the same picture for the Happy Family and General Tso's Chicken?
Anybody ever wonder who is General Tso and why we want his chicken? I digress.
The point, and I have one, is that everybody likes chinese food. It's like comfort food, only without the macaroni and cheese.
Evidently it's not enough to be hassled by family for not updating, I had to get it long distance from Down Under. OK OK. See the picture.
So what has kept me so busy?
- Well, one day I had a migraine (I'm starting to connect the headaches with barometric pressure). Most people predict the weather with a bum knee or achey shoulder. Me? I couldn't be like everybody else. My head explodes.
- Jonathan apparently has a social life.
- I'm working. Remember?
- I decided to clean the kitchen thoroughly, which included taking degreaser to the stove for the third time since John grilled up 300 burgers and started a grease fire. Oh, and then I threw in the towel, defeated, because just as I wiped down the last traces of streaks on the shiny aluminum, he walked into the kitchen and made himself a couple of burgers. Feel free to keeps comments about the purpose of a stove to yourself.
- And finally, I just didn't have anything clever or amazing to report. Of course, that was before I got two independent reports of a white wheelchair man in Old Town. You know what they say, seeing is believing, so be on the lookout for that update.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
I don't feel like looking up the Celsius conversion. Ok, maybe I will, just because it's unbelievable. It's 37.8 degrees Celsius.
For the nerds out there, the formula is:
I don't even know what that means. I used a handy dandy converter available here.
Meanwhile, the local weather people are freaking out, and giving fans to old folks. Crazy.
Gilderoy Lockhart--looked good, no follow-through.
Remus Lupin--tremendous guy, likeable, dedicated, suffered from a personality disorder when the full moon came out.
Madeye Moody--another great guy, did some good when he had to, but was brought in only temporarily
Delores Umbridge--makes a lot of changes, stickler for accountability, works for the Ministry of Magic.
Is this amazing, or what? I'm dying to read the next book to see if the trend continues.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Maybe not appropriate. The Eucharistic Congress yesterday was an exciting event. We got to the convention center a bit before 8, and wandered around looking for the Rosary Army booth, which we missed over and over again because of its prime location, but eventually caught a glimpse of Greg’s shiny head and were able to settle in with our food and junk.
The girls took off to see the procession, and somehow, I didn’t even have time to get the new shirt over my head before the people were clamoring for the free rosaries. I didn’t stop until about 5, when we totally ran out of everything, otherwise, I think I’d still be there.
There were a couple of breaks to run to the ladies room, and I took like 15 seconds to wolf down a sandwich, which I had to put down because of a crowd (and which Greg almost threw away) and maybe not a nice image of me wolfing down food, but I was getting faint.
I have no idea how many knots I tied, and I lost track of how many rosaries I made on the spot and gave away, but I can say I easily made over a dozen chaplets for people while they waited. That was the most fun—I managed to talk most of them out of taking the full twine, and use a starter kit to get them going. Consequently, I got a lot of practice putting on crucifixes, because I’d give people the twine, get them started, pocket THEIR crucifix and send them off to a seminar with instructions to finish the chaplet neatly and return for the crucifix.
HA! Sneaky? Yes. Effective? Most definitely. At the very least, I was able to experience many many expressions of joy and accomplishment when they returned with their completed chaplets, and I pulled out a crucifix to complete it for them. At the end of the day, I had only TWO crucifixes in my pocket. That’s amazing.
There were several people who then went off with full twine and returned with completed rosaries. I think those will be very meaningful to them. One gentleman came back with his finished rosary for me to seal the twine, and by then we had run out of rosaries. As soon as I sealed the ends, he gave his just-completed rosary to a woman I had to turn away. That’s what it’s about!
It was the most work-fun/fun-work I’d had in a while, and let me say it was non-stop work. I could fill up volumes about the day, but let me just share a list of highlights:
- Father Roderick rocks!
- I like this year’s RA t-shirts—nice dark blue.
- I have a gigumbous blister on my finger.
- Walt and Sam are funny guys.
- Blue is a very popular rosary color, followed by many requests for purple.
- I met Father Krunk, who does a culture spot on Q-100.
- I met a lot of people who only know me as Jellybean.
- I met a lot of people who now know me as Mumblty Mumble.
- I can’t keep up with GregsMom and Joe’s Flying-Fingers-of-Rosary-Making.
- Communion at the convention center was not only organized, but efficient.
- Did I say Father Roderick rocks?
- Even the clumsiest people can make good knots if they stick to it.
- And finally—it is better to give than receive—what a day full of blessings for me.
check out Fr. Roderick's pictures here.
Friday, June 16, 2006
OK, maybe not. We talked through the whole concert. But we people-watched. Yeah, and boy were there a lot of people to watch.
Gotta post in a hurry because I've got to be up in a few hours for the Eucharistic Congress, but here's some pics of the evening. Take special note of the guy in the tux followed by the chick in the obligatory black dress. For a concert. In retrospect, the crowd was like a toned down leftover of Woodstock, only without the naked people. There was a lot of alcohol, in the affected, affluent way that hippies have. You know, so much for anti-establishment.
They are babyboomers, man.
SUv's and trendy cars in the parking lot, lots of hippie jewelry and long gray hair, but over all a nice cowd. I got the demographich wrong. I was sure we'd stick out like a sore thumb. Maybe we did. After all, we didn't have linen table cloths and champagne. We drank Mango Mania and other cheap, canned iced teas.
On second thought, Linda drove her trendy, boxy, tangerine car and I have long gray hair. Oh. I just realized we probably looked like a couple of aging dykes.
I have posted several times in the past about a man in an electric wheelchair that rides up and down a busy stretch of road, tempting fate, death, and calamity. The police have been to our home to take a statement of complaint. Unfortunately, that was a public relations ploy, because the nut is still on the road, but I have thrown in the towel, given up my crusade. In short, I have ceased and desisted the complaints. It's probably bad karma to just not care about it anymore, but that's where I stand at the moment. The man clearly has no cares, and the police certainly don't do anything about it. I refuse to believe that with the amount of patrols in that area that a cop hasn't seen him. Whatever.
Well, now my uncharitable behavior (and thoughts) has indeed resulted in Karma finding me.
Get this: my African-American-Man-In-An-Electric-Wheelchair-Rolling-Along-Busy-Streets citings have increased 400%.
- On a family outing to a state park with a giant carved rock, we saw a black man in an electric wheelchair holding up traffic on a busy state road.
- On my exit from work earlier this week, I spotted a different black man maneuvering his electric wheelchair over rough terrain on the side of a major avenue headed towards the interstate.
- Yesterday on the way home, yet another guy rolling along a hilly access road.
- And finally, this morning, YET ANOTHER ONE menacing the morning commuters in a residential area where everybody is trying to get to the interstate or other throughways.
Do you think this is just some new trend in cheap transportation? Could these men be involved in some grassroots effort to influence gas prices? Could this be their answer to fuel conservation?
Maybe I'll just start a letterwriting campaign to the EPA.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
maybe I should post something, and update, add some news, I dunno, a generalized "hello" to the world
Maybe not. Discipline for writing is writing. We know this. You can think about writing all day long, but if you don't do it, then all you've done is...thunk about it.
So, I've been filled with "technical" writing all this week. Hence, the briefness of these lines. Anybody notice that connection, too? No? Sorry, it's the writing teacher in me.
Anyway, I wrote 4 different curriculums (curricula?) this week, and now have a clean, neat desk in the presidential suite. Incidentally, A Power That Be's pops his head in the office the other day to remind me that I shouldn't get too comfortable there, and then in the same breath tells me it could be another term before I'm out. OK. And they say women send mixed messages. Which is it?
My prediction is that they will move me again in the next couple of weeks because I am starting to annoy them again with my infernal presence (imagine that! I actually keep office hours). Anyway, it seems they use the conference room and adjacent office a bit more than they anticipated. Also, I know when they go in there to use the bathroom (it seems to me that some things ought to be taken care of at home, barring some urgency[wink wink]).
Otherwise, I happy and content and other feelgood things about the place. I'm enjoying myself. And, I have a neat desk--maybe I'll get some other writing finished. Maybe. Don't hold your breath, now. But maybe.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Plus, it's the last day of the term--I have exams to correct, grades to assign. In short, more reasons to be passive aggresive in my refusal to actually sit down and grade. After all, the grades aren't due until tomorrow. That's LOADS of time to squander blogging.
Or not. Back to work....
Monday, June 12, 2006
To my absolute horror, I overslept on final exam day. What a loser.
Which led to this tragedy--no time for coffee.
The dog could care less (I think I will do a 12 of 12 for him next month--what exactly would a dog do all day?)
Doing purgatory time on earth. I made it to the exam with some minutes to spare, and now I can't spare a minute to get them graded.
The pooch, clearly exhausted from a long day of...whatever.
A devastatingly awful game of yahoo-canasta
The King comes home and we make coffee. My first cup of the day. I even forgot I had a caffeine headache most of the morning.
The King holds his audience in the office. See the jester? I can't explain the other one.
At some point I'll have to make dinner, but it's been a long caffeine-free day, so I thought I'd do the Fabo on the way to another refill.
A pathetic dinner of mac 'n cheese, and that cuban concoction of unfermented Guinness beer, Malta. Yummy. I promise we're not poor, it's just that somehow, we forgot about dinner.
Why does Blogger hate me? I've had to open a new post.
That's it. I'm throwin' in the towel. I'm turnin' in. I'm gonna watch a movie in bed. (To Catch a Thief, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly)
BONUS: 10:00 AM
Instant messaging with Vic when we realized it was 10 and time for the pic (this one courtesy of Vic)
Afraid you have a lame existence? Hesitant to share with the entire universe that you don't do anything interesting? Have an inferiority complex because your cubicle is sad and pathetic and you don't have the presidential suite, like me?
Never fear, my 12 of 12 will be here soon! Observe how pathetic I can be. What's lamer than grading papers? What is duller than teaching grammar? What's more pathetic than not even having a cube space to call my own, that I am shuttled from office to office like a squatter?
Instead of moping, let's celebrate the mundane, and have fun with our day! Share the moments that when added up, serve as proof to our families and friends that we have indeed had a long day.
Unless, you are my dog, in which all the pictures will look the same.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
What elicited today's rant? After dropping off the boys downtown, I found myself close to the main road that leads to my office. Sure, it was going to take me through neighborhoods that might slow me down (the interstate going out of the city would be empty) but the houses and trees and parks would make the drive at least pretty.
Well, this morning I encountered a sign advertising the Hosea Williams Bail Bonding Service. That part didn't really bother me all that much, I mean, Hosea Williams was a pretty famous guy in the Civil Rights Movement. He was, actually, a very interesting man, who had distinguished himself prior to his involvement with the civil rights movement by serving under Patton in an all black unit, getting a purple heart, going back to school to not only finish high school but get both a bachelor's and master's degree in chemistry. He was a pretty smart guy. He also started an initiative to feed the homeless. In short, a man who accomplished quite a bit and earned himself the distinction of being an icon in the African-American community.
The Bail Bonds connection actually makes sense in this context. During the volatile days of demonstrations and arrests, black leaders encouraged protestors to get arrested as a tactic to over tax the judicial system, from law enforcement to the courts. It was a pretty effective strategy, and organizations such as the NAACP defrayed the costs of those arrests by financing the bail bonds to get the protestors out of jail.
So far, all you have is a history lesson. That's because I haven't described the artwork on the advertisement. Another missed photo opportunity that I want to beat myself over, so my description will have to suffice. Imagine, if you will, a caricature of Hosea Williams riding atop a pimp car. Yep, that's what I said--a great big shiny cadillac in bright bright red. Tacky, huh?
But wait, there's more.
He is driving away from a jailhouse that has had its bars ripped out by the cadillac. Yes, in the cartoon you can see the rope tied to the bars being hauled by the car. Man. That really offends me.
That is the equivalent, in my opinion, of a Cuban in Miami advertising for his pool supply store by posting a cartoon of a starving, sunburned, dehydrated balsero, bobbing in the Gulf Stream on one of the store's fancy vanity rafts. Tell me somebody wouldn't burn down the guy's business.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
She's come to the conclusion that she doesn't want to be anybody's "office bitch." Yes, that R-rated language came out of that precious mouth (let's not delude ourselves about it being infrequent). In sharing with me her disgust at having to take orders, and in this case, produce a web design that may or may not be what she would personally like, she stopped everything to demonstrate how our friend and her former boss, Greg, gets home from work.
She stepped out into the garage, and then re-entered, quite dramatically, and half-trudged/half-stomped to me (pretending to be her) and she (pretending to be Greg) thundered, "Vicky, whatever you do, work at something you love!!!"
It's like that credit card commercial:
hourly wage: $9.00
hours worked: 30
state and federal taxes withheld: obscene
Welcome to the world of work. Study hard, sweetie, so you can be the boss.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
I don't ever recall an evening when there wasn't some freakshow for entertainment. Mostly, it's the drunks, but every once in a while we'll get a real winner. Tonight we hit the jackpot, not once but twice. Well, maybe it was once, but with a bonus.
There was a group of young men who joined the festivities outside. I couldn't see them, but I sure heard them. Sooooouuuuuthern as southern can get. I mean, fried green tomatoes southern. They were drinking and smoking and trash-talking, but generally not being bothersome. Suddenly, an old Crown Victoria pulls across the parking lot and double parks right in front of them (and us) with a gigantic fat lady dressed inapproapriately too revealing (please, just don't ask how I know she was in a too-tight sundress) in the driver's seat, and an equally huge and very intoxicated man hanging out of the back seat window yells at the guys. "Hey Playahs, I'm riding in the backseat of the Po-Po."
Wow. I have no response to that. I was trying to figure out if he was in the backseat of a real police cruiser, or if they were just making fun of the Crown Vic. I think, maybe, he was serious that they bought it from the Police auction. Um. Wow, and aren't there open container laws? He was drinking the very cliche Colt 45 out of a can. I couldn't make this up.
They said their goodbyes, which included a brief exchange on their real experiences riding in the back of the Po-Po's cars, police cars for those of you lacking the urban vocabulary.
Which of course brings me to the next point. Those good ole boys were dressed in the finest Fubu fashions. They looked ridiculous and somehow wrong. I mean, I think overalls and camouflage fit better with their accents and lifestyle choices. Face it, the cool urban blacks I know drink Hennesey, not Colt 45. It's about the image, man.
Well, they were just a gigantic ball of southern cliche when their dates show up. I'm embarrassed to say, the "ladies" completed the picture. I really resent, being on the plus side myself, how some women dress to accentuate what they really don't need to be showing. We were assaulted by the white trash ensemble that would have been trashy on Britney Spears. Yech.
Proof that you can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the redneck out of the boy.
On the other hand, this fine gentleman on my left is George C. Scott. Another George, verily, but not as attractive, at least, not now. (actually, isn't he dead?). Anyway, today at lunch at that venerable eatery, Casa de Waffles, the waitress approaches Clooney Wannabe, and says, "You remind me of somebody famous. Yeah. George...." and she draws a blank. Vic, naturally, goes into an apoplectic coma, mortified at the idea that this woman might possibly say George Clooney, but my child is rescued--spared the emergency resuscitation machines when the waitress says, "George C. Scott."
"Patton, " The Father deadpans. What? Whatever. There's no accounting for what people think.
I'll just cleanse my visual palate with the real eye-candy.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
The band banquet was lovely, albeit wrought with technical difficulties in showing the seniors in the DVD. Not a loss, as we bought it in January and can see it in the comfort of the big cozy bed/home theater whenever we want. Vicky snagged a pretty little award, and Vichka nabbed the big one. Am I the only one to see the delightful irony in this? Incidentally, she's the very short one in the ROTC pic below. She's really very tiny--everybody else was ducking for the picture.The pass in review (passing review? passion review?) was equally lovely. A bit of a tearjerker for the retiring Top, but very nicely executed. Note the graduation cords for graduating seniors, and the clearly missing ones for Vic. See the later graduation pictures for a way better and funny solution to this childish debacle instigated by the Captain.
My lovely child has grown to be a striking woman. In one shot, looking all sophisticated and mature.
Graduation morning was beautiful. It stayed cooler longer than I expected, but it was still a scorcher. Check out the special appearance by the Lady Chablis. It's quite a drive from Savannah.
The happy crowd awaiting the arrival of the grads. I think the club selling concessions made a killing with the cold drinks.
Where's Waldo? Guess who smuggled a digital camera in the Mortarboard? HA! Brilliant!
Food. Food. And turtle pie. Yummy. (I think there's a piece left).
And finally, the very last senior activity at church, with a special blessing for the grads, a roast, and some more goofing off before they are off to young adult programs. I was glad to hear of their interest in continuing their involvement with ministries while at college.