Monday, December 31, 2007

What I Learned This Year - 2007

With apologies to Esquire, from whom I shamelessly have "paraphrased" this concept I'm going to start annually listing what I learned from the previous years here. Hopefully you'll read them and gain a modicum of knowledge, insight and understanding...and in a slow moment or two I'll re-read them and not repeat the same mistake twice.

I'm fairly certain that in a few years when I'm chronicled in that august periodical, i can refer back to this entry as my first baby steps at philosophy.

Good isn't the same as popular.
God has a really weird sense of humor. Sometimes it's the only explanation.
People who care are concerned all the time, not just when you're in trouble, or it's convenient.
Love is funny. If I didn't think it was funny I'd be dead by now.
I'm surprised at the things that hurt me. Sometimes it's as little as the wrong word at the wrong time, or a bad concept, and those pains are few and far between. But when things hurt I need the world to stop for while, because they hurt bad.
I'm normally a very private person.
People tell me I'm a good listener, but that's usually so I don't have to talk about me.
I'm responsible for 95% of things that fuck up in my life. The other 5% is fate, but I'm working on that.
I've have three women propose marriage to me on four occasions. I should said yes to one them.
I don't like to give advice, because I then feel responsible. I prefer to ask you the questions you should be asking yourself, then you can reach your own decision.
Nothing is more painful loving someone who doesn't love you back...but then still wants to be friends.
It's not what you said, it's what they heard. It's not what you did, it's what they saw.
The secret to life is to finish what you started. I must have a half dozen half finished projects. If I can get one done I will have beat the world.
Real love doesn't' stop. It can't end. It can suppressed, ignored, subverted, denied...but it's always going to be there.
Sometimes you need to choose the next best option.
Some of my happiest moments of late have been sitting with my grandmother.

Barkeep...a Bookers. No ice.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Quick Restaurant Review - West Egg Cafe

As Sporty was with her new man, I slipped out on Sunday with another friend who I'll call Slim to the West Egg Cafe on Howell Mill. We were going to try Slice for brunch, but Slim is a strict veggie and didn't feel the almost $15 for the all you could eat buffet was worth it, as she couldn't figure out what was pure veggie.

West Egg it was then.

It's a converted garage that is akin to an upscale super hipster cool Waffle House. And considering the aggressiveness of the crowd, I prefer Waffle House because I'd expect WF folks to act like that. There was the usual twenty minute wait from what looked like a frat boy fresh off a hangover host, and into the garage like waiting room with few chairs. They have a "lounge" in the back but it was clearly over full.

After ten or so minutes the jaded waitstaff (all in various West Egg gear - tees, hoodies, jackets - I looked for a gift shop) offered us a seat at the bar and we could eat "right now." How homey. We took the bait and grabbed a couple of chairs next to the coffee station and between the door. I really wanted to yell out "steak and eggs, well scrambled, scattered smothered" because if it hadn't been daylight I could have sworn this was the Waffle House.

I can say this, table service was quick. Of course sitting by the coffee bar the waiter was essentially standing right there making espressos and lattes whenever we needed anything, but it was a nice touch. The food arrived briskly. Maybe too briskly because the breeze between the seven feet the food had to move between the ready bar and in front of me chilled the grits to a cold soup. Slim complained of course (ah, the black woman) and we got free potatoes, which were pretty good. And the reheated half my grits. I don't even want to know what happened to the other half.

Slim, my dining partner, is diametrically the opposite of Sporty. Whereas Sporty and I's conversations wandered all over the map, our conversation seemed focused on property values and trends, home security, her new recent ex and skiing. Okay it sounds all over the map but one thing lead to another. Sporty and I would talk movies, then furniture, then go over old times and somehow end up on painting and cheese. There was a certain something about us.


Now perhaps our taking the bar seats was our own fault. Before the food arrived several people leaned over me to get coffee or sugar or tea without thinking. After we finished eating a mother daughter team fresh from Romania literally stood behind us waiting for our dismount to take our places.

All in all the spot maybe okay if they're not as rushed. I've eaten brunch a number of places (I love brunch) and they know they can do better. I'm not in a rush to do their brunch again, but I'd try them if I could get a table maybe. And hot food the first time. But then I'm a forgiving soul.

Barkeep. Mimosa. I love brunch.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Greed slips and falls

Eventually, not quite as sure as death and taxes but certainly a front runner, karma settles up. It has currently called in the books of the mortgage industry for a review and people are less than happy.

Much like the bubble, the mortgage bubble seems to have popped. Or rather exploded, and rather messily leaving a number of people with a great deal of mess on their hands. Again, we're not all going to be rich! It has been blamed in the past few days on 1)Alan Greenspan, 2) speculators, 3) the government 4) and in the next few days the Illuminati in some form or fashion. What's really happening is a basic law of common sense - what goes up must come down. And since it rose so high so swiftly, the expectations of the fall had to be great. Or should have been.

Now comes the clean up, and the fun begins. Much like the bust, a lot of folks need to go to jail.

You see there is an interesting caveat in the mortgage securities sales, one that is about to drive up shredder sales. If it can be determined there was fraud in the origination of the loan, the seller has to buy back the security at the value it which it was sold. And if you got a home loan in the past five years, you KNOW there was fraud. Which means the banks which packaged it up and sold it the market might have to buy it back, by now at 60% or less what it was priced at when they were the seller.

This would cause a complete collapse of several major banks, investment firms and mortgage lenders. This is because the amount needed bring the loans back in house is more than they have in funds...combined. Essentially anyone who is not the Credit Union up the street would be in a mess of trouble. Let's not even get started with the lawyers. And since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also are heavy into this item, guess who would have to raise taxes on somebody. White House, we're looking in your direction.

Which is the idea behind our current "best fix" - freezing rates for five years. It puts of the next wave of foreclosures in the next administration, which the Republicans have just about conceded to the Democrats. It should all blow up right around the 2012 elections, forcing higher taxes, a meltdown of financial institutions and putting economic fear back in the populace, just in time for the Republicans to save us. It also gives those responsible time to retire quietly to some warm with lots of rum drinks and women in bikinis.

Now that's what you call a long term strategy. Karl Rove must have dropped in for lunch.

As papers decry the death of personal responsibility on the part of the homeowner, the lenders are slowly backing out of the room before they get noticed. Because nobody told the lenders to give Mary who already had two houses foreclosed on the money to buy a third (with those marble floors she loves) because the fees were outrageous. The people who signed the loans are responsible, but the lender who played with the numbers, the appraisal that said it worth 40% more than it was last month, the manager who let it all ride and the senior management who knew a continuous 35% increase business and fees over 4 years was crazy were all a little bit at fault as well. And since they all got the economy stagnated, these educated folks of finance had to figure it would give at some point.

And that point for argument's sake would be now.

We're just now getting to where it's gonna get interesting. I'm going to suggest everybody get what they can now and get ready for a long dry spell. In addition to the Georgia drought.

Barkeep. Everclear. No ice.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bar Reading

I think it needed to be said. Looking at what's coming I'm not sure I wouldn't want to leave him his legacy...but we need a strong hand in the future.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A proper hello

Her breath shuddered, from anticipation or excitement she wasn't sure.

His palm on her thigh made it's way up to cup her chin slowly, the pressure of his palm and fingertips thrilling her. His hand never left her body as it made the trip, the heat of hand left her thigh and moved up to her hip, pausing for a moment on her the full ripe apple of cheek. It circled her waist in a detour, the small of her back, then slid glacially up her side, touching the spots most other men would pass over, fingertips dancing.

At her bra strap he paused for a moment, and for a instant she wondered why she'd even wore one. That roving hand traced the line around to her breast, the flat of his palm against the fabric causing a deep gasp. It lingered only for a second, just long enough for her to imagine his hand there without the fabric, just long enough to kick up the heat just another tick. Fingers now guiding, his reach fanned out across her upper chest, and taking care not get lost in her collar, reached her neck.

From the front, his hand slid along the nape, just above her shoulder, that lone hand circling her to the back, the moist heat of it now clearly felt where before the clothes had denied her that last sensation. A finger touched her spine, then even more slowly the hand started forward again, the fingernail of the thumb on her lobe sliding, the light touch of just the tips on the supple flesh of her neck. His finger kept forward until with just the curl of his finger held her chin.

His eyes had never broken contact with hers, his hand hand traveled into view almost on instinct, the pathway of desire on her body clearly marked.

"Hey you" he breathed. His breath was minty mixed with touch of lemon.

"Hey you," she smiled back, trying to gather herself after his nearly intimate hello.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Quick Restaurant Review - Eclipse di Luna

I hadn't been to Eclipse in ages, since the time Kebo had thrown a little soiree around the corner and afterwards some of us wandered back for drinks and to hear the band. How long ago was that? Well, the parking lot was still gravel and they hadn't put on the extra wing. A long ass time ago. Well, Sporty and I popped in as I'd been meaning to take her forever.

Yes, we're still hanging out. Why I don't know. I'm apparently very very stupid.

Anyway, on Wednesday's it's crowded but not as crowded and the music is live. Sporty said she got confused upon arrival, but I informed her this was not the kind of place you stumble upon. You kinda have to know where it is. We were seated immediately...that won't happen on a Weekend....and settled in. She had the mango mojito and me the Sangria. And they make some good Sangria.

For dinner it was the chorizo with the jelly, the hanger steak, the spicy potatoes, the duck breast, and the short ribs. If you didn't know, the Luna is tapas, with long tables and short tables interspersed so that you can order a lot of plates and share. We doubled up on the chorizo and potatoes. Damn good. When mixing the potatoes and they're mustardy sauce with the chorizo and it's dark jelly, the taste was hauntingly good. The short ribs were dry, so maybe a no.

It's not the kind of place you take someone not adventurous, as the menu is eclectic and the waitstaff almost too happy to serve. Our server was the topic of conversation for a good portion of the meal, he was so lively. It's that kind of place.

The Luna hasn't lost a thing in the years since I went last. Now if I can just hold Sporty to her word she won't bring them "others" through here, it'll be good.

Barkeep, another Sangria. Yeah.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It Continues - Family

I had been in my own house roughly three months, maybe a little more. I've yet to put my stamp on it, to make it mine - I'd only just painted, there was no art, little furniture, the landscaping and yard work months away in the spring. It's a shell, a work in progress at best.

Then my father moves in for a week to recuperate after an operation.

You would think I was staying with them, not them staying with me. I watch little to no TV as my parents are ensconced in living room. I cannot cook as my mother has taken the kitchen. They control the heat or cooling depending on their whims. I am an errand boy at best, eating alone in my unfurnished kitchen as they watch FOX news. My mother criticizes my housekeeping and occasionally my clothing selection. My father, as he is prone to do, gives sage bits of advice at what can only be described as inopportune moments.

I love my parents, but thank god it is only a week to ten days.

Barkeep. Everclear. Straight. I just need to make it a little bit longer.