Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Really Really?

Ramblings Post #162
There is a saying. Okay, there are a lot of sayings, but this one is particularly apt: One shouldn't have any regrets, because at one time that which you regret was exactly what you wanted. It's a pithy little saying, probably made up by someone who just wanted to stop somebody who was complaining way to much. Still, there are moments when you just need a regret or two, to keep you from making the same decision again.

A few weeks ago, Spanky's new man told her...point blank...that his "rotation" was good and she needed to bring more the to table. There is more to his actual statement, but civility and the fact that I couldn't' believe he even "went there" forbid me from going further. Seeing as how she brings quite a bit to the table under any circumstances - brains, looks, will support with time and energy, cooks, etc - I was at a loss to what else he might have expected. But he'd showed his hand, she said it was over, and I figured there would be the usual few weeks of moping before the next "temp" appeared on the scene.

To bring you up to speed, years ago when we first started hanging out in Atlanta, Spanky wouldn't hesitate to cut a guy off with a quickness. So, because learning their name wasn't worth the effort if they might be gone the next week, I started referring to all her potential man-friends as "temps".

Anyway, messing with Spanky last week I hit her up about some foolishness that occurred in her neighborhood. The kind of stuff you post on Facebook because if you just tell somebody about it, nobody will believe you. We text back and forth for a minute, then I suggest we "go get drunk", a way of saying lets go out have some food and drinks and BS for while. It had been a minute since we'd got together, finals and all, I needed a night out and since her incident I figured a night sippin' might brighten her spirits.

She can't. She's "busy".

I'm pretty, but I ain't slow. Well, not that slow. Slowish. So I'm like "that was a quick, a new temp already?"

"Nope. Same temp."

I think I'm about to have to stop talking the Spanky.

According to her, ole boy apologized and claims he was "just testing her loyalty". Which sounds way past childish as old as we are. In his apology, he brought up marriage to her again, something he did early on in the relationship. I think is part of what has her hooked. Spanky has been anxious to tie the knot for at least the last five or so years. Okay, anxious is a understatement.

This is way way bad though.

You kinda hate to see your people get played, but you can't body block folks off from living their lives either. I've told her I don't think this is the best idea, and she claims she's knows he ain't serious or worth a damn anymore, but she's gonna give him another chance. Maybe. Or maybe she's just lonely. I can tell you that I'm not looking forward to the aftermath of this.

Barkeep, set up the tequila. And just keep it coming.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas is Family...

Ramblings Post #162
I've had a long childhood. I came to that realization when talking with some people I hadn't seen in ages over the holidays. People my age have kids in college, and I'm still trying to score free drinks. I've got, or at least been told, that I have a lot of potential. The notebooks and hard drives full of half finished projects are a testament to that. The failed relationships only underline it. I need to do better.

Historically, as a child, my holidays were spent in the car. We'd rise and open presents, eat, then load up and go visiting. Visiting was riding an hour to see my father's parents, my grandparents, where my aunts and uncles would have gathered at the farm they'd grown up on. There we'd spend a few hours before bundling back into the car and visit to my mother's family, where again aunts and uncles would gather to celebrate the season. We visited my father's family first because they were closer. Invariably we'd ride back home in the dark.

Because this ritual continued from childhood through college and onto adulthood, I now dread spending the holiday in the car. But as the younger generation, my people are long lived, you kinda don't really have a choice.

For this year's holiday, my brother and I rented a vehicle to ride home in. A first. This is at the suggestion of my psuedo cousin, who explained the benefits of a lack of wear and tear on our own cars and issues with insurance, all of which made sense. I reserved a economy something and started packing.

Note: Packing for me involved all electronics that might be attractive to unwanted visitors. The PS3, computer, monitor, etc. No need to take chances.

The good folks muffed my reservation, so we got I guess "upgraded" to a mini-van. Which turned out to be not bad, further indicating my advanced age. It turned out to be roomy, handle well and not that bad on gas, which surprised me and my brother. After the ritual running around that accompanies all trips of any distance, we made pretty good time.

The family was good. We only dropped in on my Grandparents, who are getting on into the advanced section of advanced age. It was quieting, calming and made me wish for days gone by. It's hard watching people you've known your whole life get old. I hope it means I've got good genes.

The end of the day came when, after we'd trundled back home, I took a quiet few minutes and opened up the box of gifts Sporty had shipped me.

So, I wrote all that to say that as I grow older, the holidays have come to mean different things to me. And although I loathe the riding around on Christmas, I understand its purpose. My family is important, and due to my educational efforts and the time commitment necessary to make that happen, I've seen little of them lately. It's not about the gifts, it's the thought. It's larger than just me. That and morning after Christmas we awoke to snow, which got us on the road earlier than expected...and proved the handling of that mini-van was nice.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Maybees..

Ramblings Post #161
One day, you start to add it all up. Where you've been, what you did, what you've left behind, what your plans are, and its fairly certain that when you finish with all the figuration and guesstimating, you're gonna realize that the number is a whole hell of a lot smaller than you could possibly have imagined. Therefore, I would suggest, if at all possible, putting that day off for as long as you can.

I have the Christmas blehs. Or maybe just the general blehs, and it's Christmas time. I'm not quite sure what the "blehs" are, because I just made the term up, but right now I have them.

Maybe life's little pressures have started to catch up with me, now that I find myself with a moment to breathe and nothing left to distract me. Maybe it's that as I calculate up my personal life scoreboard, I suddenly realize I'm gonna need one hell of a second half. Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's age, maybe it's the diet, maybe it's the lack of structure, maybe it's the feng shui of my kitchen.

Maybe its the inevitable changes in my life that comes with time and making decisions...or in some cases, non-decisions. Maybe it's an awareness of my mortality, a certain degree of loneliness, or maybe I just need to clean up the house. Maybe it's that when I imagine all the possibilities for my future, the bad ones are starting to out number the good ones. Maybe it's that I've gotten into bad habits I know are bad, and haven't found the will to make them better.

Maybe I've been in the same place too long. Maybe I need a change of ...something. Maybe it's that my dreams are too large. Maybe its that I'm frustrated with too many things to list. Maybe it's that those things that made it all bearable are too few and far between now. Maybe I'm on the wrong path, maybe I'm headed in the wrong direction, or maybe I just need a nap.

Maybe I need a drink.

Maybe I need a salad.

Maybe I need a brownie.

Maybe I need a hug.

Barkeep, maybe something different.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bar Chatter

Bar Chatter #18
Sometimes it just ain't enough to make a post, but it's still needs to go's just bar chatter.

I've been getting a lot of traffic on here lately. Okay, I've been getting a lot of traffic on one particular page because it seems that a picture I posted now comes up in a Google search and its very, very popular.


And since its the look I'm going for with my radical physical change, that would be a good thing, right? But in reality, all its really doing is screwing up my numbers. Oh, well, even bad publicity is still publicity, right?

Friday, December 17, 2010

What Now?

Ramblings Post #160
Sometimes you just need a kick in the ass. I've always been a slow starter. But I build momentum as I go, and by the end I'm running like a freight train down a track, all inertia and mass and no way to stop it immediately. I have slow down my focus gradually, pulling back slowly on the brakes as all that I am behind that impetus has to lose its direction. Which explains a lot.

I've been trying to get into a writing mood, but lately I've been so blah.

My original intent was to start on my new series The 5594, a science fiction epic, or possibly a story I started tentatively titled Low Wave, the characters of which have been having conversations in my head all week as I test out dialogue. They're relatively new to the Cross Mind Distillery process, but I was excited about them, heck, I was even looking into commissioning artwork for the sci-fi epic. Worst case, I'd start on the re-write of Bohemian Cooker, Evolution of a Dog or something.

Instead, I've spent the last few days since the end of the semester slouching about the house, gorging on whatever I want as I'm off my diet until Monday, NOT playing video games and avoiding Christmas parties. Bleh. I'm so out of party practice, so out of the party milieu, that although I know where the parties are, I'm still not going. But I do have a law school thing tonight I'm going to have to fall through, and a law career thing tomorrow I'll probably have to go to...and maybe a run by my old college roomie's function so I can meet and get formerly treated with a brazen indifference by Melyssa Ford (putting an end to that fantasy). So, work related stuff, socializing, getting rejected by SuperModels...the same ole' same ole.

Oh, and I'm having car issues, house issues and the afore mentioned general background concern regarding grades.

About that eating whatever I want again: The size, after the three weeks of off plan because of finals, surprisingly hasn't popped back. I do however miss the fruit and the vegetables and the structure. Which I guess was part of the program, to get you used to eating that stuff. Plus, since I've stopped that part...I feel fat, which is amazing because I'm still on the same belt loop! I refuse to believe that feeling skinny (-ier) is as good as chocolate brownies taste, but I will admit I like the thinner shape on my frame. So back we go.

And I should note them weight loss folk effectively tricked me. Off plan, I went out and for the first time in five months and ordered wings and fries, got a tall ice tea and fifteen minutes after eating was zonked. Knocked out. Done. Itis. Woke up on the couch with my book reading me. It turns out my body can't take it any more. So, what I'll be doing is going back to the basics, the fruit, the veggies, the schedule, but with a few minor additions.

But I will get started on something.

I got to.

Barkeep, something brown for inspiration.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

After it's all said and done... this semester

Ramblings Post #159
I have dreams of the next chapter. Some of them are dreams of grandeur. Others just the idea of doing something else, something other than what I've been doing day in and day out for the past few years, my mind numbing slowly at the pace and growing lazy when facing the pedestrian challenges placed before it. Some are of failure. I run the full spectrum. I have's part of studying for this "advanced degree".

This is the part of finals I hate.

As soon as the finals are done - the last word written, the last cite made, the last argument crafted....I instantly think of things I should have said or done differently.

A fact that I used but didn't reference properly or a argument I could have put together better, or ruling that might have made a point clearer. Sometimes I barely make it into the hallway before a thought strikes me. For all the stuff you did check, it suddenly hits you what you didn't. I hate this. And because of the verbose nature of the law school exam and the time it takes the instructor to wade through the same argument 40 times trying to gauge who hit all the high points, we won't get the results until mid January, a few weeks into our next classes. So for a month you just don't know.

The other thing I hate is when folks say "Well, you did the best you could, so put it behind you." Um, right. Call me crazy, but I look at previous mis-steps so that I don't repeat them. But for a month, you have no idea which step was the wrong step.

SPECIAL REMINDER NOTE: Just make the damn lasagna.

So this year, I made the lasagna. It's a metaphor. I made it plain with the cheese just like they asked. I hope. They asked for this and that and damned if I didn't make sure this and that was in there, and none of the other I've been so fond of tossing trying to make myself look good. Hubris and arrogance are bad things in law school. But did I learn soon enough?

I felt okay leaving or turning in the tests. I thought I covered everything, feel I was thorough, kept it all in front of me, so to speak. Until I woke up this morning the day after it was all over with a bad case of the "Shouldas".

It's a oddly hollow feeling in my chest. The same feeling I get when I feel like an one of those "moments" passes when I should have seized the day - made that speech, said those words, etc and so forth. Regret is never good, and I have a lot of it because I have way too much I want to do that I never get to because life or my ego get in the way. Most days it can be tamed, but there is a lot riding on this.

I've calculated it out and if all goes according to plan I should be able to get this wrapped up in 18 months. Provided I keep the lasagna to the recipe.

Barkeep, the suggested way to combat the "Shouldas" involves mild amounts of inebriant I understand.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Ramblings Post #158
Sometimes you think your situation is bad. Real bad. I remember a speaker one time who said that if everyone in the room brought him one problem...their mortgage, the divorce, their issue...he would make it go away. The deal however was that to get yours taken away, you had to then come down and blindly pick up someone elses. Their lives put in perspective, he got no takers.

Life popped my girl Spanky in the forehead. Again.

But she, like a lot of the women I know, is extremely resilient. I mean, Slim had her house broken into twelve times and still lives there. I've had two break ins and I'm halfway out the door already. Spanky has had her entire house pilfered and shrugged it off. Resilient.

Her relationship woes however, usually give me pause. The term "piece of work" was invented to describe some of the guys she's gone out with. But I think I'm glad I never met this last brother. After his previous declaration that he wasn't looking for a girl, but she wasn't going anywhere, he topped himself.

His statement to her last week: "I have a pretty good rotation right now, you need to bring more to the table..."

It's one thing to have it like that. It's another to just put it out there. Even I was like DAMN.

Now Atlanta, for those uninitiated, is the a city where, for all intents and purposes, men can act like women. And I don't mean in the mid-town Atlanta sort of way - pride flags, antiquing and man hugs - but where a reasonably attractive guy with a little bit going for him can treat women in a fashion that women usually treat men. It's just that thick, and there are more lonely attractive women than you believe. I've witnessed this "reversal" situation on more than one occasion.

Side Note: And for all my study I still haven't figured it out. I don't possess the swagger, or something with the eyes I can't do, or maybe there is a cologne I'm not buying. That, or I just don't have it in me to use somebody like that. I'm thinking of taking a class. Right now I'm really more of the reverse of a booty call, you know, where a guy who wants the sex but no relationship calls certain women. I'm the reverse, women who want the relationship without the sex call me. I apparently give GREAT relationship. Which is why I've hit yard sales, set mouse traps and learned to eat brunch. (By the way, I have come to love brunch).

So Spanky hit me today the BBchat with that info and she asked why her. Whereas I can think of a lot of women in Atlanta who might become better people after seeing the game from the other direction, she wasn't one of them. She was already pretty cool. As I've said before, she is a I was glad that she a) finally indicated she was dumping him, b) took the Christmas present she bought him back and c) finally didn't call me in the midst of the crisis.

That last part I liked the most. I've been on the end of too many crying jags I had nothing to do with.

And it's moments like that where I'm glad nobody I ever went out with did me like that. Or at least had the decency not to throw it in my face like that.

Except for them couple of times. Kinda.

Barkeep... tequila. Lime. Salt.

Monday, December 6, 2010, win?

Ramblings Post #157
Someone once said you should never have a regret about a something in the past. That's because at once point, that thing you regret is exactly what you wanted and got. Which makes the other statement, be careful what you wish for even more apt. One of the great problems with wanting something you don't have, and that in reality, you don't know what you're gonna do with it when you actually do get it. Makes you think.

For the first time I can remember, I am less than enthusiastic about a Cowboys win.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they won. They went in there and held on, played good ball and took advantage of the opportunities afforded them. However I am less happy than normal.

My team is the Cowboys. But Sporty's team is the Colts.

You see there are a lot of great qualities about Sporty. After a few Cowboy losses she was nice enough to send a quick text telling me not to let it get to me. What can I say, I do love her. I also love and know that she is a fierce competitor, serious about her game (whatever the sport), always comes to play and even in a support role, will be there for her team. That said, she has a real problem with losing. Anything. At all.

To reiterate, losing does not sit well with her. Just doesn't.

Being a Colt fan living in Dallas doesn't help. At least not this week. On Mondays, she usually sends me a email or text to get the week started, a bit of encouragement because she knows where I work, and that I'm in school, and that the we're all up against it to some degree. A few kind words mean a lot.

I don't see me getting those words until Tuesday. Maybe Thursday.

In fact, I may just send her a few words instead. I mean, once Peyton pulls it together the Colts are still in the hunt, whereas the Cowboys are just playing playoff spoiler for somebody late in the season. And for Sporty's sake I'm hoping it wasn't the Colts.

Barkeep, my girl needs a pick me up and I need something to keep my mouth shut before I celebrate my ass into a corner.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Something is not right...

Ramblings post #156
The mighty beast that is law school rears its head once again, nipping at that those of us who have ventured into its valley. We are all warriors because we have no choice. And once again, the fiercest of battles is to be met. Because if we are to make it, we are to be forged in blessed fires of semester finals. And this only shows, I really need to get some sleep, I got a test coming up.

My first exam, Wills and Trusts is of all nights, Friday at 6pm. Our teacher has explained that she wrote a three hour exam, and we have roughly three and half hours to finish it.

I remember the last time a professor made a statement in that vein.

I was in an undergrad accounting class and the tests came back horribly. We'd not only failed, we'd crashed and left educational debris scattered for miles. Like many professors who've taught for a while, our professor couldn't understand why we weren't getting it. The idea that students change, and therefore the methodology has to change didn't sink in.

He said, and I believe even now almost twenty years later I can quote him, he said to the entire class "That you should have all done well on this test. I myself wouldn't have made a hundred, and some of your other professors might have had some problems, but you should have passed."

Other professors would have been stymied. People who study this and teach this would have had issues. The instructors would been stuck, and we who had only seen this material a few days ago should have been able to piece it all together? Yeah right.

Ever hear of Deja vu?

I write this from the library. My current outline for Wills is at nearly 60 pages. And I'm using 10-point fonts! Never mind that it is officially all over the place, because my notes are all over the place, because my professor was....well, you see where that's going. And sadly I'm not the only one here, doing the same thing, with the same comments!

Frustrated doesn't' even begin to describe this situation. And yet, the cold prickly feeling of dread, that nervous that feeds my energy to get moving and study harder hasn't materialized. At least not for this class. And that lack of nervous..makes me worry.

Barkeep, I need brain food, and brain drink, and brain brain if you got it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And begins

Ramblings Post #155
There are moments that define our lives. Hopefully this will not be one of those moments. Hopefully, this will be one of those mundane moments that slips by unnoticed, barely to cause a ripple in the synapses responsible for memory. Hopefully this will not be a moment looked back upon except to say, "Man it sure got cold fast." Because if this isn't one of those moments, it means everything went just like it was supposed to. I hope.

Once again, we arrange our thoughts into the patterns which are now familiar, with thoughts of relevance and standings, of legal standards and concepts emanating from holdings. And once again, we ask ourselves why did not like ourselves enough to subject ourselves to this madness. Once school finals are upon us.

As a part time law student, I again have three finals: Wills Law, Family Law, and Evidence, in that order.

The wills law test is open book, open notes, open everything. Which means in the grand scheme of things, our professor will attempt to pull out those little idiosyncratic facts that she only glossed over for seconds in class, in an attempt to see just how good your notes are. Which really isn't testing! I have my outline fleshed out with an old outline from a previous class of hers ( the handwriting of my notes in class left just too many gaps) which I will be reading and re-reading until test time, and then beyond.

The Family Law test also, is open book. And three days long. You see we download it and then have seventy two hours to finish and upload. And considering there were classes we didn't even touch the assigned reading, this promises to be a whole different kinda test. Especially since she's looking for crafted legal opinion based upon a given set of facts...and those are always tricky, seeing as how I'm just still a law student. At least she was nice enough to give us an example.

The evidence final is my only closed book final. Which makes me feel good, as it limits the amount of a mental frustration. I've been working the flash cards...for which I'm getting the right answers but giving the wrong reasons...and breaking down the case file she gave us for the big questions.

I'll admit studying has been off and on all last week. I would do some flash cards, then laundry. Read through an outline, then watch some TV. Look through my family law notes and the example, look at my new slimmer figure in the mirror, pose for pictures. Okay, let me stop joking...I didn't do that much laundry, mostly folding.

Most law primers say you should start studying for the final in week one. Which would be great, if our professors didn't say "don't concentrate on the final". Which is odd, since our entire grade is usually based on that one event. It both is, and is not, helpful. So you can't start studying, if you have no idea how the professor is going to test. Details? Grand concepts? Do these people realize I still have a full time job? 

Barkeep. I will need fifteen shots of Jager, two lemon drops, and one shot of bourbon, rum, and moonshine. And when I finish drinking that, point me to the books...

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Family Post #2
Sometimes you need to look at the people who were there before you, blazing the trail so you could walk easily. I'm not talking about the figures we read about in history books, Martin Luther King or Shirley Chisholm. I mean the people who paid the mortgage month in and month out, that ones that looked out, the heroes who get up every day and go to work so that small children can experience childhood as it was meant to be. The ones who worked hard so I could dream, the ones who sacrificed so I could have. I'm talking about family.

In the past, the trip home for the holidays was mandatory. Nothing could stop or hinder it, nothing could have impeded it. Then as I got older, things changed. It was okay to miss one. In the past loading up whatever I was driving and heading into the wilds of lower South Carolina were a must. It was in some ways a re-affirmation of my identity. Who I was, where I came from, who my people are.

In 2008 I wrote about my trip to see my family.

When I was younger, going to my aunt's house for Turkey day was a magical trip. They would start cooking on Sunday. Two or three turkeys. Chicken. Ham. Venison. Ribs. Rice and Gravy. Macaroni with Cheese. Stuffing. Green Beans. Butter Beans. Peas. Candied Yams. Buttered Rolls. And this is just what i can remember eating. There might be ten different desserts. Going to their house was a feast, there would be enough food for a hundred, with family and relatives you might not see again for months. Folks and neighbors would float in and out all day. It was time to catch up, to hear all those funny stories day I'll speak on my cousin Ray...and reconnect with the folks who will care for you, no matter what. My brother thinks it's more important than the insanely over commercialized Christmas. I think he's got a point.

Earlier this year, one of my aunts on that side of the family had a stroke, and so we visited them. The usual buffet was set out in the kitchen, okay maybe food for fifty this time, and we all passed in and out of her room so that she could have visitors. She's come a long way, but she's got a ways to go yet. But her sense of humor hasn't been affected one bit. She cracked jokes with every other sentence, keeping us in stitches as we all made the best of what it was.

It's moments like this, when family means something.

Now, almost three years into law school, struggling with the daily grind of work and education, and the minutiae of existence that bogs us all down, I am once again not going home for the holiday. My auto, on the verge of being paid for, is of course having issues. And my brother's car is having issues, but then he's been payment free for a while. And finals are around the corner. And the job is in transition. Life is happening.

People were headed that way I could have gotten a ride, but nobody's coming back for a minute, and I've got study sessions and work...not to mention I'd like my stuff to be there when I got back. My house hasn't moved, the neighborhood is still "in transition". I couldn't have gotten down there and back on a reasonable schedule without way too much rigamarole, getting back too tired to do those things I need to do. My mother agreed, but then she's big on the school thing, and the keeping my stuff in my house thing.

I miss my grandmother, who I really wanted to see this year.

From 2008:
I also renewed the deal I have my grandmother that we're going to dance at my eventual wedding, which to her means she can't "go anywhere" and has to keep active. It's the same deal we've had since I was 15, although now she razzes me about great grand babies now instead of wives. I remember when I was a kid, that house my grandparents lived in seemed so big, and now it seems crowded whenever you have more than four people in the kitchen. And just like when I was kid, even from her wheelchair (sigh), I watched grandma take a few minutes to make sure my granddad's hair was okay.

When I talk about love...65 years like them is what I mean.

Life isn't fair. Just because.

Family is important. Today I'll probably head down to my uncle's for some turkey and see a cousin or two. Then head back to the house and start going through my flash cards, and over my outline...which I need to retype from scratch...and get my mind on what I need to do, to get through this next phase.

Still, it would have been nice to stand outside my grandmother's house and look up at the Milky Way. From her place you can see it.

Barkeep. My people drink brown.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Next Phase

Ramblings post #154
They used to say that the only things for certain were Death and Taxes. Now, with the latest Republican congress, I ain't so sure about Taxes. But I am sure about one thing that should have been there. Change. You can be certain that change will happen. If only that's tomorrow you're one day older than you were yesterday. The only things certain are Death and Change. Just doesn't have the same ring to it.

For them that know, and them that don't, for the past few years I have been attempting to transform myself.

I'm not happy with my job or career path, and other items way to numerous to mention, and as it turns out strangely enough, that when I finally get tired enough I actually do something about it. So I've been writing a lot more, I went back to school for new skills, which in turn got me focused, and this past summer I decided to something about the physical.

Yeah, it turns out despite being an intelligent, employed, warm, affectionate, good credit having, educated, take a sista out regular, well read, romantic, witty and adventurous modern day renaissance hero (not to mention modest)... I wasn't what the women were looking for.

So, after gathering my fortitude, and enough money for the fee, I joined a weight loss program and got started. So with much effort and determination...okay, some determination... well, after it actually started working...I said let's do this and put my mind to it.

I started at 307 pounds.

I've lost a little bit since then. 52-ish pounds. A little bit.

And whereas I think I'm the same, the world...or at least when I'm paying attention some parts of it...looks at me different. Or at least looks at me.

The trick now will keeping it off. The weight loss phase I paid for is now exhausted, and we go to the maintenance and upkeep phase. The program has a system, but I got gym time planned and exercising I want to do on my own, so we'll see what happens., Crystal Light Orange...with a shot of vodka? Let's see how that works.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bar Chatter

Bar Chatter #17
Sometimes it just ain't enough to make a post, but it's still ne
eds to go's just bar chatter.

I am apparently uninterested in thousands of hits and lots of traffic for this blog.

I've visited other blogs, nosed around a bit, and since this blog contains no nudity or links to it, no funny or artsy picture cavalcade, and only limited political and sports commentary, it's not exactly what you would call a "big draw".

I've considered putting in deceptive search terms to draw in the crowds, but I have to ask myself what am I really looking for in a reader? I'd prefer someone who actually reads this stuff as opposed to someone who clicked in to see the crazy imaginary subject. The lonely soul who might click through to see "buck naked whatever" or retort to a screed such as "that politician is a hucky muck" really aren't my intended audience. I realize the hypocrisy in that statement because I write it, then go look at the stuff, but logic is convoluted. And purple.

This would be a lot easier if I was a comely young coed, who occasionally posted risque personal photos among her mental musings, fashion and weird photographic discoveries. I note that some of those blogs have thousands of followers. But as I is no longer young, and decidedly male...although I am rather good looking, but not comely..., and have decided to continue to post mostly my own written content with the occasional photo enhancement. Okay, it's really that I don't look that great in a thong, so this is what it gon' be.

Still a few comments would be nice.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter (As required by Internet Rule #47854b)

Ramblings Post #153
It's that time of year, when it gets a little chilly. When the coats come out, the hot chocolate starts its mojo and the snuggling is the lick. And because we don't ice skate in the South, people release movies because they know we don't have anything else we want to do. Because it's cold outside. And the movie theater has warm popcorn. Warm-ish, anyway.

I actually read the first part of one of the Harry Potter books once. It was during a long road trip, there were too many folks in the car of disparate ages so the consensus radio station pick pleased no one, and I technically will read just about anything.

I was surprised first to find it was a children's book. The tome, and it was a tome - meaning a thick piece of book - that I picked up looked daunting to the experienced reader. That a child would sit down and read it in depth gave me the impression that inside must be damn good writing. Note the use of the term "impression".

Apparently my tastes in literature had matured.

I read a quick hundred or so pages during the first part of the ride, wondering what the fuss was about. [ In the interest of full disclosure, I hope I'm never in a situation where I have to read any of the Twilight books. Not ever. ] Maybe you have to start at the first book, but good book series' make you want to go back. When we stopped for gas, that book made me buy a magazine.

And now, who knows how many years later, they've been adapted to the movies, which I understand are in a decidedly un-Hollywood fashion "true to the source material". I think I watched the first two. I mean the HBO is paid for, so why not? And because all good things eventually do, that series is about to come to an end.

And the internet tears are starting to flow.

I am unamused.

Maybe it's that I didn't really find her writing all that appealing. It is rare that I'll start reading something that I don't want to finish, because I've found something I want resolved, and then I just want to finish. And the one I started reading, I remember the lead character going to a Quiddictch tourney or something and they had to "camp" out wizard style. The story didn't really have an impetus to me, but like I said, maybe you had to start at the beginning.

Maybe its that I just don't appreciate magic stories. Stories with magic are usually sloppily written, with the character always finding or finally getting right that one spell they need for that one heroic occasion, just in the nick of time. To build needed story tension, most times the author has to telegraph this intention with obvious clues way too early. I like a bit more sophistication in my writing, stories where I have to flip back and forth to make sure they really did do X fifty pages ago, because it was so subtle you would have missed it at regular speed.

Maybe it's petty jealousy, because I've never been able to finish anyone of the many series I've started in my head. Way too often a new story idea pops its head up because that's how my brain works, and rather than lose the idea I jump on it....which puts everything else back. I say way to often because in the past month a new story idea popped out, and today, yet another. And I have finals coming up so all I can do is jot down some notes. Frustrating.

But in any case, I'm just unamused at this outpouring of emotion.

And then the author, Ms. Rowling, has hinted at yet another Harry Potter book, even though she pretty definitively ended the series with the epilogue of the last book. So a "next chapter" in the story makes no sense. The only reason to write another one, because she surely doesn't need the money, is ego. That, and perhaps my suspicion that she got lucky with this story idea and is afraid (or unable) to craft anything else that doesn't borrow heavily from this. Writing a second story line that either doesn't touch or or lightly brushes the old character in an established universe takes talent, but writing something entirely new with the same breadth and scope means you might be related to writing wunderkind Stephen King, if only spiritually.

And I quite frankly don't think she has it in her.

I won't see this movie until, in a Pirates of the Caribbean fashion, one of the cable channels gives us a 16 or 20 hour Harry Potter marathon weekend. And then only if I can't find the remote.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bar Chatter

Bar Chatter #16
Sometimes it just ain't enough to make a post, but it's still needs to go's just bar chatter.

I've been on this weight loss plan for a hot minute now. And the mix of school, work, study and sleep along with no comfort food is a trying concept. That coupled with the reality that I have like negative social life due to my hectic schedule leave me feeling blah on many a day.

But yesterday at work I showed up to a meeting that was later canceled.

That's where I got a little ego boost, like maybe I'm doing a little something right. To get back to my little corner of the chicken plucking factory, I had to walk through the main "plucking" floor. As I ambled towards the stairs I saw one of the women look in my direction, then look again. She wasn't even subtle about it either. Then she waved a hello.

Yep, I got me a genuine double take.

Now I need to get a double take with an inadvertent "damn!"

I dunno. When all you get is crumbs, the whole cookie would be nice sometimes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Movie Scene

Ramblings Post #152
He is responsible for more bad movies and television than quite possibly any other character in literary history. And by that I mean more actors, directors and producers have tried to capture his magic and failed than any other. He started a craze, engendered an idea, and has been in more films than Godzilla...maybe. I read the books, watched the movies, and pray that there is never a television series. Not even on HBO.

I've been planning a movie, actual film in camera movie, for years now. Only life, work, money, and that pesky law school have kept me from stumbling onto to stardom. [Indulge me, geez!] This will of course lead to another movie, then another, and finally the big time. And one of the things I want to do when I get there, is to shoot one of the greatest scenes of all time. Well, at least to me.

The scene is the pre-credits sequence in a movie I conceived ages ago roughly titled Supply Man, with a its lead character a low level grunt in one of the cliched no name super secret spy agency who is charge of finding things for actual spies.

[Open Scene]
Our erstwhile hero would be playing cards in a club somewhere, considering his cards and toying with his chips. An older man would make an off screen comment regarding his slow style of play, and the camera would pan over to a grizzled Sean Connery.

The next player would counsel patience, and the camera would slide over to Roger Moore.

You would cut back to the hero, still looking at his chips who then make a half-assed comment trying to appear casual.

Timothy Dalton, from the other side of the table would question him as to the meaning of the hero's statement. He would look a little agitated.

Pierce Brosnan would say something that sounds as though it's in the hero's defense, then crack a joke at our hero's expense.

The last card player, who returns from getting a drink would be Daniel Craig, who would complain that we were still playing the same damn hand. At this point the hero would fold, and gather up his meager funds.

As the hero leaves, a new guy - George Lazenby - would enter, stop the hero and ask how the game is going. The hero would make a comment about how he realizes he's out of his league, wish the new fellow luck, and then the opening credits would roll.

The chances of me, or really anyone, actually shooting this scene are just the other side of impossible, as Sean Connery said he'd never shoot another movie again and I'm not even sure George Lazenby or Roger Moore is alive. But it's still a great scene, the kind that since nobody's name is ever mentioned, the appearance of Connery would shock, and then Moore, would have some waiting to see if they popped back up again. Maybe at the very end.

The question would be...would anyone even understand why George Lazenby gets a seat? And if Woody Allen stumbled in and asked "what?", would anyone even get it?

Barkeep, a drink for my dreams.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When the dark clouds gather on the horizon...

Ramblings Post #151
Sometimes the clouds look nasty and foreboding, and you turn on a old movie and get a big bowl of popcorn...or boil some peanuts... and get ready to hear the sound of rain drops, or lighting. If you're lucky, you got somebody to forget the rain with. So, like I said, me, I get a blanket and old movie. There is nothing like being bundled up when it rains. That said, this post is about football.

This past Sunday, the Cowboys spoiled my whole afternoon. I had expected to get some studying done, what with the upcoming semester finals and all. I had not gone to two or three functions making sure I had it all straight in my head - doing the flash cards, going over the hypotheticals, etc.

But, because the Cowboys had changed coaches, I felt compelled to at least watch some of the game. I tuned in and was pleasantly surprised to see them ahead. But then the 'Boys have scored more than 20 points six times this season, so it's not necessarily the offenses' fault. But as I watched, it looked like the Cowboys were playing they had a pair!

So instead of watching ten minutes of the game and going on to studying in disgust, I watched the whole thing. Wrecked my whole day.

Then after class on Monday, I clicked on the Monday Night game to get the score. I swear I thought it was a graphic error, then Mike Vick hit the blue x button on his controller and did this juke move and it was 35 to nothing. [ Note: I said it before, but know had Vick played for the Cowboys, dog fighting would be legal in Texas. Arthur Blank is frustrated as hell right now] Vick's performance simply had to be mentioned.

But what remains to be if the Cowboys are the coming of a storm...or just a cloudburst.

Still waiting.

Barkeep, get me some waiting beer.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ancient History come to life

Ramblings Post #150
Life is full of regret. I regret my instinct to buy that shirt. I regret not getting the caramel toppings. I shoulda just said yes and got in the Ferrari. I mean, if you have no regrets, then you probably haven't made very many choices, because the odds of all the choices you have made turning out in your favor are slim to none. You can't dwell on them, but use them as tools to learn to live better. But every now and then you have to wonder how things would have changed if you had...

I would be getting old. Older.

Singe is a mother.

Now I've never actually met Singe, or even talked to her on the phone, or anything like that. We've only ever conversed over the internet. But oh what a hot little virtual affair it was. A decade or so ago, wandering the internet back before the rise of Google and Yahoo, back when finding stuff on the internet meant actual forethought and diligence, when Netscape Communicator was a viable browser, I found a little...well, internet gated community.

This was pre-MySpace. Back when Geo-Cities was the lick, and you had to actually look for your adult entertainment. It was a little off the beaten track message-board, one sitting on a server because somebody got bored and wanted a place to just talk shit. Now a decade later its still there, still kicking along. People have come and gone, but I still check in almost daily just see what's up. There are few things I use on the internet enough to feel compelled to contribute to it's upkeep, but that message board I have actually sent real money to so the owner will keep it functioning. That reminds me, in January I need to tighten her up again.

That's where I "virtually" met Singe. This was 2001 or so, and thinking back, she might not have even been of legal drinking age when we first started chatting and I guess virtually flirting. I remember when I used to work the overnight at this one job, and our conversations floated in and out between actual work, sometimes keeping me from setting that joint on fire. From the pictures she frequently posted to the board, the consensus was that she was, um, cough, "fiyah" and from her posts about as opinionated as you can make a New Yorker. For some reason we hit it off immediately.

When the message-board put together a pass around soap, each member writing a section that the next would have to pickup and continue, we quickly became a virtual couple in the story. Online we flirted and acted like we lived down the street instead of half a country away. Sure, we both had actual lives, and real life partners who wandered in and out those lives, and this was just online play, but there were times she appeared to express actual real jealousy when I did certain things. She actually mailed me stuff . Not email, real mail. The power of internet connections is mystifying. It was weird, but nice.

Plane tickets aren't that expensive you might think, and since I'm in Atlanta and she is in New York, and there are at least eight flights a day on Airtran alone, Singe and I should have at least shared a meal or two over the course of the last decade. I don't think it ever occurred to either of us. And, after as somebody put it on the 'board: "special actions usually create the expectations of special favors" the idea was a definite no. On a business trip, Spanky and her hooked up to hang out, but that didn't go well and I think they still don't talk to one another.

We're facebook friends now. Although she's still a member of the spot, but doesn't visit anymore. And its been six or seven years since we've flirted like that.

The new baby, by the way, is beautiful.

Life keeps giving me these reminders that at some point that other people are living on the own schedules, got their own agendas, their own life plans.

Makes you wonder what if?

In both directions. Forward and back.

Barkeep, I'm gonna need a tall drink for me, and fruit juice for shorty over here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It rains in Dallas

Ramblings Post #149
And lo, in the shadow of the long history of the team wrought in the hands of he who was called Tom, a dark season arose. Heralded as champions they broke in the face of challenge, with penalty and miscue the items of their destruction. And the deluge came, wiping the smiles from the faces of those in the city of Texas. And beset with troubles and tribulations, Jerry Jones said, let there be change, and thus did fire Wade in disgust.

We can just put this cut out on sideline.

I cannot competently or unbiasedly comment on the goings on in Dallas.

I wasn't entirely comfortable with Jerry buying the team in the first place, but I guess a few Superbowl wins early in his regime mollified me as much as it did everyone else.But still.

But for decades the Cowboys had a system that worked. Then Jerry came along and quite honestly, bought his way into pro football. And since he bought the team he would run it his way. And as a man who made enough money to buy the damn team, you would think after all this time he would have figured out that he doesn't know how to run it.

As the venerable Jed Clampett once said: "You don't change horses in the middle of the stream". True that cataclysmic shift suddenly makes the team of interest again, as instead of a coach who knows the door is around the corner going through the motions but not killing himself to win, you now have somebody trying out for the job - and so every game will matter to him in the most important of ways: his future.

I hope Garrett can impart some of that urgency unto the team. Okay, maybe the playoffs are out, but right now you play for pride. Because you're a Cowboy. Because winning is fun. Because playing spoiler is even more fun.

How about them Cowboys?

Well...I'm waiting.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Photography 305

Ramblings Post #148
As a general rule, I don't usually ask someone to do something that I have the ability to do, but choose not to do for what I can only consider dubious reasons. That said I do have a lawn guy, despite the fact that I barely have a lawn. But my own reluctance to impose is the truth. Most of the time.

Sporty asked for a picture the other day.

Of me.

This request made me realize, that although I used to get on her about not taking any pictures - that I don't like to take pictures. But then she's a cutie with a smile that hypnotizes and I just have a nice personality, the latter of which generally needs a special lens to capture, so there is a slight difference. But since I'm down a couple of pounds she wanted to see the progress.

So I stopped studying for a hot second to take a picture. Forty five minutes, two locations and three wardrobe changes later, I had a single fairly decent photograph. Just the one.

Photography is hard.

When Sporty lived here, I had one or two good pictures of her. One she gave me and the other I took of her at one of her games. I framed the game one and actually gave it to her as a present. But she was adamantly against the idea of regular photos - at least in regards to my requests, which is why a lot our hanging out is memorialized not with candid pics of us at various restaurants, but with a thick sheaf of restaurant receipts and ticket stubs. Now that I think about it, it probably is better there are no candid shots, because it would have been the "before" me in all those photos.

When I say "the before me", since I was on the computer, I found a picture from before the diet and put it with the pic I had just taken and I could see the difference, clearly. Makes me realize I'm not quite done. My plan is to hit the gym after finals and start to tone this up a little more, and by the spring I'll be looking for any excuse to take my shirt off. Need help moving? Let me take my shirt off. Want to shoot some hoops? Let slip my shirt off. Would I like a plate of pasta? Don't want to get my shirt dirty. But right now, I'm still not quite photo ready.

My goal at one point was to have a kind of fashion spread type photo or two of Sporty, which I would have framed and on my wall in what was to be my office, back when my future house was to have had an office [My future house will, so the plan is just "on hold"]. Not the crazy fashion spread, well, okay, a crazy eclectic fashion spread, but something fun, not like on the model shows which get all weird about it. When she lived here I once toyed with the idea of paying for a photo session, but we talked about it and we both knew she'd never do it. Back then. Apparently Texas is much more photo conducive, with the good light and air and all. Either that or she finally took her digital camera out the box. Not that I'm complaining.

But I still want something that just captures her essence. Because I will get it blown up, framed and hang it on the wall. So that one day when my kid asks about the picture, I will lean down to him, look around and make sure we were alone and whisper to him, "Well, she was supposed to be your momma."

With any luck, he'll look back at me and say "But that is my momma!"

By the way, Sporty liked the pic. She said I look fantastic.

I ain't asking no questions.

Barkeep. One good whiskey. With just a hint of branch water.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lowcountry DTUD & BBQ.

This is a Political Post...

Who exactly is running the Democratic Party? I have to ask, because it looks like it's run out of the back of a comic store between World of War-craft missions. The country is at stake, the minions of darkness are running rampant [aka the Tea Party] and the people who pulled the country back from the chasm are now vulnerable politically. It's like they got the ship off the iceberg, got it patched up and now the guys who hit the iceberg in the first place by forgetting the safety precautions somehow convinced the passengers they didn't do it.

I ask who is running the Democratic Party, because I need to let them know that Lowcountry Dirty Tricks, Underhanded Dealings and BBQ, Inc is ready to pick up the ball and run with election...because they really need some help. Why the Lowcountry? Because they practically invented dirty politics in South Carolina. We know our stuff.

I kind of envision the whole operation as occupying some offices a block or two off the capitol building, serving top quality BBQ with all the fixings [ Texas Toast, Brunswick stew, Baked Beans, Macaroni with Cheese, etc] and running counter political psy-ops out of the backroom. There will also be a pool table. Maybe even beer on tap. Now, to be clear, there wouldn't actually be anything illegal happening - just the common sense arguments you see from your local comedian or on the Daily show actually applied along with some candidate coaching, consulting and prep. The name however is an attention grabber.

Opposing candidate claim that the Democratic candidate is and elitist and over educated?

Cut to a commercial - featuring a casual doctor, making fun of patients and guessing at diagnosis, then an engineer building a bridge guessing at the measurements, then a "pilot" boarding a plane making remarks that he'll figure it out once they're in the sky - story point: Sometimes you want an expert.

Opposing candidate claim that the Democratic candidate is out of touch with the mainstream?

Sit the candidate down for three or four days with the people, in a hotel lobby or store front. Have him listen and talk to the folks from sun up to until he passes out - Story point: We've talked to the people (And not just supporters, people who are mad at him too!)

Opposing candidate claims he'll lower taxes and that will increase revenue?

Cut to commercial - featuring two little kids dividing up money. Have one little kid explain to the other how less money is more money - story point: You can't take in less and get more.

Think of the LDTUD and BBQ as a little propaganda think tank for the Democratic Party that makes a sweet but hot sauce you want to run your bread through after scarfing down a plate of the pulled pork. You know, that trademarked yeasty Texas Toast we'll serve.

Because although the the Republican party has been hijacked, and the vast majority of their programs are special interest directed, they've become very good at selling their message in the past few years. What the Democratic Party party really needs is better signage, a larger social presence. The truth in a brown paper bag seems to only get you so far these days, people need packaging and ribbons, to be entertained.

We'll skip the fear, and go straight for making laugh, then get them to think the arguments through. The key is making people feel like they're in on the joke.

It's worth a shot.

By the way, if this doesn't work I'd like to meet with the heads of the NBA, NFL and MLB to discuss my idea for Grown Man, Inc, a kind of program to teach athletes how not to end up a) destroying the league image and/or b)blowing through all the millions they're about to earn.

Barkeep, vanilla shake. I really, really want a good vanilla shake.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Serious Men

Ramblings Post #147
I alluded to this document here, so I felt compelled to post it. It stems from a comment I heard, this young woman once said her problem was she didn't know how to make her man get serious. My thought was that her outlook was the problem. She needed to stop trying to make the man she wanted become serious, but look for a serious man she could want. To sum that up, I penned this:

Who are the serious men?

Serious Men come in all shapes and sizes. They’re not just male model types, but regular guys. Just as beautiful women don’t only come in a size two, the serious men don’t all have six packs. Some are sharp dressers and some just put on clothes, but a serious man is concerned about his appearance, he just doesn’t obsess about it. A serious man cleans up nice, but doesn’t look like he’s putting on a fashion show just to go to grocery store. His style is flexible, but usually not trendy. He knows the labels, but makes up his own mind as to what works for him.

Who are the serious men?

Serious Men are men who have a game plan for life, not just the now. Their weekends aren't this club and that party all the time, they tend their property, their plan or a personal project regularly. They know more than the sports page, they know the front page and larger issues. They can go out and have a few drinks and be the life of the party of that's what's called for or sit quietly and watch when it isn't. Some drive the same car they drove in college because its paid for and they can put the money to something else. Some drive the latest car because they realize they need to project that particular image to get to what they want. Some drive that car because that's just what they want. But they all live within their means, so that they can continually expand those same means.

Who are the serious men?

Serious Men haven't given up on the dream, they've just reformulated it. They're not trying to get a record deal, they're trying to run a record label. They realize they're not going to be a pro athlete, so they begin to plan to buy a pro team. Serious men put their old dreams aside so they could pick up new dreams. They are educating themselves, through study or life experience to get to the next plateau. Serious men know where they want to go, and realize there aren’t shortcuts to get there.

Who are the serious men?

Serious men are the guys you talk to who expand your mind. They are the men you ask for advice when you want more than a emotional opinion. Serious men can see both sides of the argument, and conversations with them that are insightful and knowledgeable, spanning more than their circle of friends, more than their locale, more than simply where they are right now life, and take into account the larger dynamic. Serious men ask questions because they want to know, not because its expected at this juncture. They get their news and other information from various sources and conceive their own opinions, they don’t parrot other’s words without confirmation. Serious Men don’t let their egos get in the way of learning, of listening, and understanding.

Who are the serious men?

Serious men grow over time. You don’t look at him and see the same person from five years ago. A Serious Man self renovates, and though he may be on the same path, over time he has adapted his plan when faced with new obstacles, he has adopted new tactics if they appear more effective and if where he’s going becomes unattainable, he’s prepared to re-direct his energies. Serious Men don’t stagnate, they evolve.

Who are the serious men?

How do you recognize a Serious man? You can’t tell who he is by just looking at him, you have to observe him. You can’t tell if you’ve met a Serious Man in a day, in a weekend, or a month. It takes time. He's not Hollywood blockbuster, he's timeless classic literature. He is the guy who takes an interest in your activity because it’s YOUR activity, and if he commits he gives all his energy, he goes about it whole heartedly. He is a missing element when he is absent, and solid team player when there. He’s rarely the superstar, and usually recognizes those who help him, even in private. He's honest, even when it doesn't help him. Often people mistake his kindness for weakness, but a he’s the guy who will go all in if necessary when others disappear. He is the man you can count on…before you’ve been naked with him. He’s the guy you can count on…after you’ve stopped getting naked with him. You can count on...even if you never get naked with him.

Who are the serious men?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Because I went to FAMU...

Famu Post!
When former President Humphries would take the microphone at the Homecoming game, and start the could feel the electricity. There are couple of extra lines in the official version, but this is one we like the best.

When the dark clouds gather on the horizon,
When thunder and lightning pierce the skies,
When fate is but a glare in the eye of a fallen Rattler,
and hope….a lost friend,
When the sinew of the chest grows weary from those hard charging linebackers,
And the muscles in the legs grow tired from those hard charging runningbacks,
You must always remember….the Rattlers will

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Do You Really Know How to Date?

Ramblings Post #146
I stole this topic. Don't worry, I told the person I stole this topic from I was gonna steal this topic and he's good with it. I got from my message board, the only one I ever joined for the conversation, and where I've been a active participant for a long time. It's like an internet gated community. The original answers to this question were funny, thoughtful, and insulting. And I found out a lot of folks really aren't satisfied with "dating" as they see it. Kinda sad.

Do you really...really know how to date?

Let's see. For most of us, dating in our twenties was a movie, where we sat in the dark and watched in silence, then a bit of awkward conversation over a rushed inexpensive dinner at the local mid-range chain ( Applebee's, TGIF's, Red Lobster, etc. ) and then off to someone's place for sweaty heing and sheing. Not much later, the non domiciled participant would be expected to leave. Then after a month or five, everyone would switch partners.

This was dating? Really?

I'm older. Not necessarily wiser, but definitely older, and I'm not happy with where I've been and where it looks like I'm headed. But I know that this was was "seeing" somebody, not really dating. It struck me once, that the sum total of a relationship that was about to get intense, consisted of maybe six hours of being together (over the course of three dates) and four or five phone conversations, one of which was a call to tell me she needed to push one of those dates to another time. From strangers to grooving in less than seven hours.


Spanky once asked me what happened to courting? Where a man got to know a woman before they got to the tricky tricky, and I told her that somewhere we'd all reversed the game. A confluence of events conspired with fate and Starship. Men, aware of the sad reality of the "friend zone" and the reduced status that came with it sought to move up the endgame. Women, liberated and free to do as they pleased after ages of repression, decided that they didn't have time to waste, and indulged heartily. People got straight to the doings, before they found if they actually could stand one another.

I mean, let's be honest here, for the first date, you aren't yourself. You're an extra clean, slightly smoother version of the normal you. The second date is worst than first, because you weren't sure of what you getting into at first and now you're spiffing up with an agenda. By the third date you're just about a completely pretend human, synthesized to fit the other person ideal so you don't talk yourself out of the naked cha cha slide you figure is still on deck.. Which is why after a month or two, I'm guessing thirty to forty hours of real time interaction, it is only then that you realize that this person is, and always was, a less than worthy candidate, or worse...a psycho. And then you move on, find a new mate...and repeat.

So what is dating? Or as Spanky called it...courting?

It's taking the time to get to know someone. Really know someone. A month or two. Or five. I was appalled the first time I heard a woman say she had a minimum of ninety days before she'd go there with a guy. Unilateral decisions regarding co-physication have always been abhorrent to me, and still are, but.... I now see that she was expecting "courting". The getting to know someone before the getting to know someone, in the biblical sense. And that there was a strong possibility that she understood that love meant more than just quality time. That the quality time she was looking for was two souls sharing existence, liking each other, before touching each other.

Dating is more than movies and dinner. It's talking, about life, loves, hopes and dreams. Its when you see what the other person is really about, not the show they can put on. Figuring out if they're hanging around because of the way your hips look in them jeans, or because of how much money they think you have. And a lot of us don't do that because, as we like to phrase it, "we don't have the time." All we got is time. Time to that or be lonely and mad, because nothing comes prepackaged. And honestly, at times learning who someone really is can be painful, which I think is the deeper reason we don't want to fool with it. When you've taken the time and turns out they were just a good performer, it stinks.

As I've stated before, and will state again: The best couples are people who actually like each other. You know, friends. I also know most of the world does not agree with me. But then I am who I am, so go figure.

Let's see, counting up the number or euphemisms I used for sex. Eleven, man I'm good.

Barkeep, eleven shots of tequila. No, I'm not gonna drink them all myself. I need six volunteers.

[Update: I missed one. There are actually twelve. It was bad]

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm Not Who I say I am...Most of the Time.

Ramblings Post #145
I feel like ...well, sometimes I, Well. Dude, I just so want an ice cream sandwich about now, man you just do not know. But one would be a box in like 10 minutes. Ice cream sammich. Patience. Patience

Looking back at some of my former posts, one might get the impression that I'm a negative person. Okay, one might be convinced that I'm a negative person, because some of this stuff is less than happy. Some of it is downright depressing.

Right now, I'm at period in my life where a lot of things aren't working out quite the way I had planned, I got a lot of stuff going on and this blog was always supposed to be me screaming into the virtual darkness with my frustrations regarding my own personal reality.

But I've never been a quitter.

My Philosophy: Once you're committed, you have suit up and go out and play. Even in the fourth quarter, far behind and failing - you can't give up the struggle. Or at least I don't. It's why I get up and come to a job I lost respect for long ago, day in and day out. Sporty admonished me over and over for never taking my vacation, but I honorably told them I would do the job -- and since I had no backup, and try to take responsibility seriously, I did what I had to do. It's why a lot of times I'm lingering around far too long after a wiser man would have cut his losses and moved on. I don't lose...I run out of time.

There is an old southern saying, it goes..."I will meet you in the middle of the field with a broken bottle and chain. I might not win, but you will know you've been in a fight." When I look back at it, 95% of the time if I don't like something, I will do those things within my power to change that something. But I'm a very patient person by nature, and it just usually takes me a while to get from just complaining to actually really not liking something these days.

Don't like the job enough. Find another one. [I'm in school for this, otherwise I'dve been gone]
Don't like the spot I'm living. Start figuring out how I can get out of it. [ I'm looking at renting it out now]
Don't like the way I look, start working out or loosing weight or something. [see previous posts regarding "looking sexsay"]

I come off here a little dark, but if you were to meet me, I'm funny. Light hearted. I smile a lot although I'm gonna need dental work at some point. I'm generous. Helpful. These are hardly the actions of the man depicted in a lot of these posts. I don't guess I'm intentionally distorting who I am here, but let's just say I don't really feel the need to "celebrate" into the virtual darkness. That would not be good, not at all. I mean, I have real people I can talk to. Y'know?

A lot of what you read here are the echos in my mind. The self doubt and mental questions that make me want to get up and get better. Get better so I can make those echoes go away.

And it shall always, get better.

Barkeep, Knob Creek. And one cube of ice.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Who we need is UN Jefferson

This is a political post.

This guy. This guy right here. This is the guy I elected. Well, I thought I elected.

The problem I have is the problem the tea partiers and the Angry Voters have. I don't want wise words, intelligence when making decisions, adherence to process, political compromise for long term sustainability or patience to wade through the morass of emotion. I want strength and instant results. .

But only for the stuff I want done. My stuff exclusively.

Apparently a lot of Americans would love a dictator, if he was on their side (see Bush Administration - indefinite detainment). They don't mind inequalities, as long as the inequality is in their favor (see Bush Administration - larger tax breaks for wealthy) . And shredding the constitution is horrible, unless by doing so the changes I want can happen faster. (see Bush Administration - Fourth Amendment issues)

Lately, as the mire of economic woes seems get darker, we all want answers and fixes and we all want them now. And a lot of the frustrations that occur to people putting in a lot of work for a little effort is becoming more evident. A lot of expectations - expectations that as a function of national expectation are way out of line with reality - are not being met. And as a result, a lot of Americans are exhibiting behavior that at five years old would have earned them a "butt cutting". Threatening folks, yelling and not listening, not compromising on anything, etc, you know, just anger looking for outlet. Or to put in a better perspective, if was being done TO their five year old, they would be at the school trying to sue somebody for bullying their child. Or in some cases, fight somebody.

And if you age my five year old example up to teenage years, what you get is the crux of the issue. You see the liberals are the sweet little dweeb whose mother dresses him funny, and the Republicans are the cool guys who smoke behind the gym.

Everybody wants to hang out with the cool guys. They wear the leather jackets, and have the nice stuff. Once they get their band together, and make some great music, we'll all be superstars. And no one ever notices that their grades aren't good, or that they're parents pay for everything, and that in the end the only ones that benefited from anything they talked you into is them. But they're just so cool.

The, liberals on the other hand are the kids dress a little funny and know all the rules. They can hold real conversations, remember your birthday, help you study, actually care how you feel, and will spend their own money to make sure the homeless guy down at the bus station has a sandwich on a cold night. They're great guys. Only no one really wants to chill with a guy who is willing to work all night on that paper and get them a good grade. They want to hang out with the guy who can score them some beer.

Now, despite the continuing series of political roadblocks and blind obstinacy to anything with a Democratic name attached to it, analysts are still seeing this as an extremely productive Congress. A lot of legislation was passed that will benefit all Americans on its face, instead of a small who group who will in turn help everyone else. It's the same as if the little guy, that dweeb, despite the fact that everyone else is out texting or hooking up, worked all night to make sure everyone's prom wasn't ruined. And his thanks? The same thanks the real people who put it all together got. Just about nothing. We'll even elect the cool guy prom king just to rub it in.

Just like in high school, the cool guys [the conservatives] just tell a better story.

We hoped, when we voted him in, that we had found our own UN Jefferson. If you don't remember, UN Jefferson was the black savior of the nerds from the 1984 film Revenge of the Nerds. At the end of the movie, UN arrives, stands up to the obnoxious bully boys and gives the nerds a chance to speak, allowing everyone to realize that most of us are disadvantaged. That we're all just feeding into a system we all want to be a part of - the wealthy and well to do - but will never be able to join. It's why now although most of us will never be millionaires, half of us are battling for their right to privilege. Because we think one day we'll be there too! Um....yeah, right.

UN Jefferson

In a few weeks, we'll all get to vote again. And this time, hopefully we'll turn it into one those uplifting stories, where the guy who got picked on and did all the work finally gets his due. More likely however, the cool guys, having done nothing will win again.

Where are you UN?

(okay, we'd settle for this guy)

Barkeep, I need some Booker's on this one.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So exactly what do you mean?

Ramblings Post #144
We all want to find the one. Okay, when you're young you want to find the two or the three depending on your personal appetites, but in the end you want to the find the one. And it will be great, everything will fall into place, your needs will be satisfied, and you can rest easy knowing they are there. So, you're looking for the one. But when you get down to it...what does that really mean?

Where we all want to be in the end.
(someplace warm, I mean. Tropical shirts and all that)

Lately I've been trying to figure out what is it women mean when they use the term "good black men". Do they mean money? Actions? Ideas? A combination? And it's different for every woman. It confounds me, primarily because despite my concerted effort to be something else, in essence I've always been the guy who ascribed to the imagined ideal of what a guy should be [ at least by standards set by the influential media of the late eighties - early nineties of my formative youth]. As a old high school friend put it even then, my problem is that "I actually gave a damn."

This comes up because of two videos I recently saw on Youtube, Black Marriage Negotiations and it's companion piece Black Dating in a Hip Hop Society. Both of which depict an "extreme" and at times hilarious perspective on our modern day relationships, and the influences it looks like we draw from to reach those conclusions. A number of people I know found it funny, a bunch of other folks I know are upset because the way they feel it degrades the black woman. It has been remarked that if the video upsets you, then it must hit a little too close to home. [ Note: I didn't say that, it was some chick on Youtube here.]

I know a lot of black women. A lot of independent black women. A lot of single independent black women.

I realized watching those oddly compelling videos is that a lot of younger women have no idea at all what a good black man looks like, or acts like, or does. And if you don't know what you're looking for, how can you expect to find it?

A confluence of events make this possible, some of which are the ascendancy of the single mother household, the rise of the "gangster mythology" in black media and the natural rebellion and the desire for excitement. I don't have the time (law school studies) or the energy for a complete analysis right now, and I don't want to lay all the blame on the women, men ARE responsible for their share of this mess. But I'm going to focus on the women's issues for the moment, these three in particular.

The ascendancy of the single mother household : Believe it or not, those of us with two parent households learned a lot simply by breathing. My parents worked hard to make sure we had what we needed, but the real key was the incidental life lessons we learned as their relationship made it though year after year. Children in this situation see a relationship - and the interdependence necessary to make it work. Somethings you can't tell a person, they have to witness. But young girls raised by single mothers see only independence. Which is great, until you realize you can't be independent in a couple..

With no constant father in their life, a lot of young women [and men] grow up not knowing how a real relationship works. The details and nuances that only come from seeing it happen, this informal life lesson, is lost to them.

The rise of the "gangster mythology" in black media: Snoop dog has been a gangsta for twenty years. Jay Z is in his forties talking about dealing that happened over a decade ago. Weezy can barely speak and resembles by his own admission, a goblin, commands media attention from jail. When I was young, we didn't idolize the criminals, not even in the black community. Now, because the music that permeates our neighborhoods and the accompanying videos dancing across our TVs glorify an unsupportable lifestyle of loose money, expensive cars and jewelry, this life of excess is now how we grade success, it's become what we aspire to, what we expect... not the houses our parents and grandparents struggled to get.

With our values skewed, the idea that we won't "settle" becomes a mockery. Determination to achieve excellence is laudable, even admirable, unless your excellence is an almost cartoon fantasy of an existence. And that's about where we are.

Natural rebellion and the desire for excitement: Everybody wants to hang out with the fun people. People who study long hours, follow instruction and obey authority are boring. And between fifteen to twenty one or so, the idea of future is a fantasy, not the constantly arriving destination it becomes with maturity. So young girls chose the exciting guys, the cute guys, the guys who superficially satisfy the fifteen year old mind. And I can't blame them one bit. This one I got no answer for. Nerds ain't sexy. Girls just don't dream of marrying an accountant or a claims adjuster. Even without the fantasy enhanced by the media, it just isn't going to happen. But...

We need to instill in our daughters the idea of marrying a doctor or lawyer, and raising a family. Going back to the rise of the single mother, too many daughters see independence as their key, but yearn for the opposite of family. Those girls need to be told: it's okay not to be independent.

[Full disclosure] Would I recognize a good black woman? In all probability, no. Not unless she looked like Melyssa Ford or some other model type. At least not in the instant tense. Attractiveness is what it is, you have to want to start the conversation, geez. I'm far, far, far from perfect, but since most of my relationships are built on trying to enhance relationships with women I already know and care about, a lot of this only mildly applies to me.

So I ask again. What is a good black man? I wrote a piece called "Who are the Serious Men" a little while ago [ I just realized I didn't post it here - so later, I promise], and I hope they qualify as good guys. But I said before and I'll say it again, if you're not sure what you're looking for, how do you know when you've found it?

Barkeep, I would like a Manhattan. I have no idea why.