Thursday, July 29, 2010

Harder than anticipated

Relapse Post #6
Still here. Still believing in the same dream that didn't work out last time. Trying to breathe life into something that may have never actually existed anywhere but in my mind. Knowing the effort is futile and still trying. Did you not understand the word "hopeless" in hopeless romantic? That's love. That's me.

Don't worry about me, I'm worried about you.

Well, that was quick.

I've been trying to reconcile the concept of Sporty reading this. It will not be as easy as I first thought.

At one point I'm trying to express who am, and with that those associated feelings I have towards her, without ... well, you know. But then a lot of what I write has a natural dramatic tension, so it's again, a balancing act of sorts. This little internal drama stems from me trying to write a blog post and re-reading it I found myself with an "odd turn of phrase". I had to question if I wrote it just to elicit a certain response from her.

For clarification, the bit of writing that troubled me was about that day I know is coming. The day when she says something along the lines of... "I've met this guy".

It doesn't promise to be my best day ever.

She and I don't normally talk about other guys. Or, now that I think about it, girls in regards to me. Not normally. It didn't really feel organic in the past, and now I think I'm scared. And we talked a lot. So I know when she brings it up, whoever she'll be talking about, whenever this is, will be, well, someone er, of note.

You see, in trying to describe that day I know is coming in the future, I started to write about how she first told me about the guy she eventually agreed to marry from before. I went all sound and fury, signifying nothing. Reading it, I couldn't decide if I was being overly honest or desperately dramatic. It felt manipulative. It read like the post I made the day after it happened, but like I'd run the memory through a pity filter trying to highlight particularly painful colors of the moment. It was either poetry or pure shit. I couldn't decide which.

By the way, I can clearly say that day she told me, also wasn't the best ever. So I got one down, and one coming.

But as far as this here blog goes, I got to figure something out. I don't want to compromise my voice, end up whispering into the darkness instead of screaming, and she doesn't want me to. But how do make sure I'm just saying what's on my mind, and not subconsciously directing something at her.

Tricky. No subliminals.

So I got a plan. Might work, might not.

Before there was a blog, I had a little thing I wrote that I updated from time to time with my feelings about me and her. She says I do a lot of words, but for a while, words were all I had. Over the course of, I guess three years, I would update it when the mood struck with what was going on, frustrations, hopes, thoughts, how I felt about things. There is actually less writing there than I remember, since months went by between updates, but it is : unfiltered, uncut, pure. Not really intended for publication, ever. It includes times when I felt good and bad about hanging out with Sporty. And conveniently, at least for these purposes, it stops on Monday, November 19th, 2007.


I'm going to cut it up in small chunks and see how that goes. Between now and when that runs out, I'll either have balanced how to say some things without ulterior motives, or I won't. And we'll see from there. know.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Playlist

Ramblings Post #123
I love music. There are songs that I haven't heard in 15 years that if the music started I could sing like I'd heard it yesterday. Every so often, at a personal crossroad, I would hear a song that perfectly captured the moment. Like God was sending me a message. Sporty once sent me a song that...well, set my dreams on fire. Music is a powerful thing.

My Playlist. While plucking chickens, I need music that soothes and keeps me from, well, things not suggested by the local constabulary. Plucking chickens is stressful.

As I've indicated before, I love music. Well, it's in here somewhere (oh, yeah, see the intro). At one point I even was deluded enough to believe I could sing, then I turned nine. My tastes are eclectic, from rap to soul, to country and electronic, jazz and classical. I'm flexible.

This playlist isn't new songs, I like familiar sounds, at least when I'm working. Let's me concentrate.

And it's got a theme, which is guess is um...appreciation. In some form.

Promise - Ciara
Ooh Ooh - Cheri Dennis
Brotha - Angie Stone
Stay for a While - Angie Stone
Baby - Ashanti
Slowly - Syleena Johnson
Always Will - Tweet
Cater to You - Destiny's Child
Truth Is - Fantasia
Opera - Floetry
Always be my baby - Mariah Carey
Wanna be with You - Mary J. Blige

Well, I am a romantic at heart. Think about it. A few songs bring certain people to mind, which is always soothing.

Barkeep, turn on some music I can drink too!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A voice in the darkness....yells back.

Ramblings Post #122
Ever taste something so good, that you just don't want to stop tasting it. Because you're old enough to realize that great tastes don't come along everyday, that the next bite won't taste as good as this bite, the next meal won't be as good as this meal, right here, right now? And once you've had that taste, that perfect taste, you'll eat as long as you're able trying for that moment again. Man, ice cream sandwiches are scary.

It's real complicated.

I'm still putting my words to print, so I guess I'm still doing this.

Well, it seems not only does Sporty like my blog, she actually indicated she would be mad at me if I stopped. So, I guess we continue on. And yes, that does read exactly like it should.

This will be my third attempt to write this. My two previous attempts have ended with segues into what I guess are potentially whole other topics involving self examination and personal insights I may or may have not covered earlier in this blog. They may have made, or will eventually, make fairly good posts. But they are really too divergent for this situation.

You see I made a rather startling realization, well, startling to me. In re-reading this blog, I'm finding out things about how I felt during several things during the thick of it , in a honest "screaming into the electronic darkness moments" kinda way. There are quite a few of those in there. And I guess Sporty is seeing some of them too. Not a magic moment, but at least something that catches the eye. Let's just say I knew those pictures looked familiar.

I guess part of what I'm doing here now is seeing if I can still give the unfettered, uncensored, unexpurgated commentary about my life, dreams ... my love...that I used to give, but knowing someone specific is watching. I mean, if it was that easy to do this, these would have been conversations we had and not posts on a blog. But we've never been orthodox as an "us", so maybe this will just be a new way we communicate.

And communication is good.

Barkeep. One for me, one for my girl.

Editor note: Man, you know looking back, I am really really grateful I never really went into some of my, graphic .. um, thoughts.. Whew. That would have been embarrassing.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Frying Pan. Fire.

Out of the Blue Post
Did ever wish you could turn back the hands of time? Realize that sometimes the good deed ain't the best deed? Realize that maybe you really were better off being an ass? Think that every once and a while, you could just see the accident and keep driving? If you answered yes to just one of these questions...then I'm not alone. Read on.

Next time, I'll just not answer the phone.

Apparently neither Scoop nor Shade understand that people sleep at night. This morning at 1am or so, my phone starts buzzing and my mind immediately goes to the worst. Family? Sporty? Spam in my inbox?

But it's Scoop. And she's apparently taken the time to write me a little letter explaining her side of the current conflict with her former friend Shade. It's a rather long writing, at least on a BBerry it is, and at 1am, with the attached writings takes some scrolling. What it said I'm not sure, because I didnt' read it. I might, but at 1am with nobody dead or pregnant, I just didn't take the issue as as especially pressing.

You see, the only real issue now is extrication. Of me. From this disagreement.

I've talked to one about it, and now I'm gonna talk to the other one. With any luck, I will convince both of them I am wholly uninterested in the details, or even the consequences any longer. I mean, I hate to see people once so close now at odds, but in reality, if they never speak to one another again, it wouldn't be the end of my world. They're both good people at heart, who mean well towards one another, but I'm guessing the words are coming out wrong.

I hope.

I'm promising myself I'm not going to try to fix this. I'm promising myself that I'm not picking sides. I'm hoping that I can get out of this still able to talk to both of them.

Barkeep. Man, if I pull this off...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Are you happy?

Ramblings Post #121
Sometimes life doesn't work out the way you figured. You get exactly what you asked for, only to find out it doesn't work quite the way you thought it did. That candy bar you wanted has Brazilian nuts. Your dream car doesn't have manual transmission option. That tall fine sister in the short skirt is an idiot. So you gotta make the call. Is that piece I'm giving up really that important?
And for the record, she wasn't all that fine.

Spanky hit me up.

Okay, I hadn't hollered at Spanky in a month. She's in "relationship mode" which for her usually involves an all consuming faithfulness to the object of her affection. She cooks, cleans, calls, cuddles and will hop on one leg and bark like a dog - a big dog - if you ask. Her level of commitment is complete. It's actually a beautiful thing to watch.

Provided the guy deserves it. Usually they don't, in my opinion, but then I'm not doing the choosing. Eventually she figures that out too, but it takes a while.

So, Spanky hit me up. Which means something is wrong. As I've related earlier, she can complete the rotation from strong career woman striding the earth with purpose to needy self conscious little girl and back again faster than you can run the hundred. And on more than one occasion I've been her cheerleader, life coach, cat wrangler, confidant, spiritual adviser, psychiatrist, and drinking buddy, so it's understandable. She called this time to tell me she almost broke it off last night with her current beau.

So I asked why. Touch my bass? She just noticed he has a artificial leg? She discovered he's a Young Republican?

Turns out he something to the effect of : I'm too old for a girlfriend, what I really need is a best friend. And I know you're not going anywhere, so just f-ing deal with it.

So I started telling her about my diet.

Like I was getting into the middle of that mess? Okay, I did ask her the only question I ever really ask anyone at at moment like this: are you happy with that? Not can you get by, or does that work for you, there are a lot of things you can work with that make you miserable. Are you happy? There are so many other aspects to life which can throw you, so a relationship should be your bastion, it needs to make you feel better, even if only in little increments. The Pros have to outweigh the Cons or you're just wasting time.

You can do bad by yourself.

But then she said she's not going anywhere. That's what she said. I checked her on it a few times. So it must be better. Or she's whipped.


We'll see.

Barkeep...let me get a Screaming Viking. Only lightly bruise the cucumber, please...

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Ramblings Post #120
We all have something. That something that is the "certain something" that without it we are less of a person. For me, other than say, a certain somebody, my certain something, my addiction if you will, is a thing of which I'm not ashamed. Okay, I am a little ashamed of it, but I won't bring it up if you won't.

I have a thing for pens.

I mention this because as I was doing some training and pulled a new pen out of my bag to make notes for the trainee. The pen looked the way it was supposed to, but wrote funny. I tried three times, then apologized to the trainee and pulled seven or eight pens out of my computer bag. Seven or eight IDENTICAL pens. It was to ensure I got the correct kind. The trainee claimed I had a tinge of OCD concerning pens. It is a distinct possibility.

My preferred pen is a Zebra F-301.

Nice, isn't it?

I have used this pen, pretty much exclusively, for the past 10 or 12 years. Okay, preferred is probably a bad term. I'm very serious about this pen.

When I started at the "chicken plucking plant" years ago, one day I needed a pen. I indicated to my co-workers and my boss that I needed my pen. They offered the standard fare - bic, el cheapo pen, inkpushers, etc, and instead I got up, took the elevator down the ground floor (it's a big chicken plant), got in my car, drove to Walmart and bought pens. Two packs of F-301s. Really. I try to keep one on me at all times.

It is a smooth writing, fine point instrument for writing.

I don't like the F-402, or the G-301, only this particular pen. And I'm not too fond of the red ones, which you get in the pack of four. I'm thinking somebody snuck that G-301 - the offending wrong pen - into the four pack I'd just bought, which means the four pack is now off my list. And since the two pack counts out at roughly $2.50 a pen, it's a fairly expensive addiction.

But considering the alternative addictions - drugs, alcohol, 19th century french party dresses - I think I'll stick with my pens.

They are kinda neat.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Swerve Hard to the Left

Ramblings Post #119
To get into a pool, you don't wade in, you go to the deep end, close your eyes hold your breath and step off the side. Wading in gives you the full COLD experience, where you have a chance to rethink your position. And you hesitate and waver. Stepping off the side commits you. The problem is knowing when to step off the side, and when to wade in. I've been wading too much lately.

I joined a Cult!

Or rather the cult is trying to get my undying devotion, they already got my money.

No, I will not be handling snakes or shaving my head anytime soon, but neither will I be chanting my new peoples mantra "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels". The people who can say that with feeling have never tasted ribs.

As you may or may not have sussed, true to my previous promise, I am currently on a diet. Or rather, not on a "diet". What I have done is I have made a fundamental change in my future dietary habits for the betterment of my overall health and welfare, because as we all know, diets do not work. And if you're any kind of thinking adult, you know that statement to be a crock.

A little bit too close the truth, thank you.

By that I mean that most people on diets are looking for a short term solution to a short term issue : they need to fit in a particular piece of clothing or look a certain way for a certain event. The people who tell you diets don't work assume that the dieter thinks that by not eating, I dunno, fill in the blank here, for a short amount of time that they'll suddenly be a size 2 or whatever - you know, like an idiot. Best case scenario for the dieter, it leads to bigger, smaller things. With this program I check in and get weighed two to three times a week, keep a tight food diary, and currently have less food in my fridge than I've ever had since I had a fridge to call my own.

Okay, this part of my change...the ultra strict part - practically no salt, no sugar, fresh fruit and veggies, limited select carbs, etc a temporary situation. Another couple of months, by which time my dietary habits ...and hopefully my taste buds... will have adjusted. I'll be, well, we hope I'll be my same weight as when I graduated high school. Or close to it. Back when I was fine. Man fine. "Cock Diesel" we used to call it.. Then we go to a stabilization and maintenance part. That whole "good gift in a bad package" thing Schmoopy said kinda ....irked me. But if we get to the end and I find out I can never have pizza or ice cream again, the phrase you want to use "there is gonna be some furniture moving". I got dinners and brunches ( i love brunch) to eat with my peoples! And my peoples is important!

My end goal. Cock Diesel.
Okay, not really..
He don't look like he eats well.

Important people. To me. Family. Friends. It brings us to the point I originally meant to make: dieting is selfish. Very selfish. And rude.

Perhaps the average person can attend to a party or social function and not eat or drink anything, or can socialize with only water and not your standard recreational lubricant, again and again and again, but I doubt it. Nobody likes the person who ALWAYS brings their own food, or asks for something special, or whatever (unless it's a serious medical condition. And even then, a trip to the emergency room isn't the end of the world). A diet makes you plan your day around eating. You don't go out to eat because they don't make the food correctly (or worse, EVERYTHING will have to be special order), or go to a party because you can't eat X after six, or you need to eat Y at least three hours before bed. Food becomes your life.

And that's odd. Because a diet is supposed to get your focus off food.

I think about all those girls drinking bottled water at the parties and I know social interaction is a trying thing for people on a fixed diet.. Those are some mean women. And how do you go out with friends who are -- sharing nachos, tasting the shrimp cocktail, splitting an order of wings, etc, and not appear rude by not at least tasting something? One of the big things in Law School is the Thursday night hangout after the last class of the week - which involves both drinking and snacking! To go and neither eat nor drink? Really? And forbid you find yourself in such a situation as a bit of social lubricant would make a evening just a bit more bearable. You torture yourself by sticking around, or insult your company by leaving early. Somebody has to lose.

It's why my grandma was a little upset I didn't eat when I saw her, and why I had to leave the wedding reception early.

No, a diet, and having to refuse to break bread with friends and family, is by in large rude. And as a reasonably sized black guy in a world not my own, rude things are not really an all too exciting option. It may work for a your small blond female (i.e, diet counselor) but if you're a guy whose less than a 10, and little shy - well, shy when sober - you're really in trouble. But they're your friends you say, they'll understand. They may the first or second time, or even be accommodating as we go on, but the difference is there.

How do I know this?

A friend of mine stopped drinking, and we stopped hanging out. Not that I'm a inveterate drunk, but a large number of the social functions I attend -- my social circle, if you will - revolves around potential inveterate drunks. And their tool of choice. So he stopped hanging out to avoid the temptation, and we stopped kicking it regular. He's still invited, he just chooses not to make the trip for his own well being. Changes to people, sudden dramatic changes, change relationships. When you stop doing those things that brought you together, even if those things were socially inconvenient, what's left? I mean we still talk, but it ain't the same.

I'm on a, I've made some changes to my intake, which means changes to my life. I don't go out as much, or do as much because of it. And to those who think, you just need "new" friends, you need to remember you can't just run down and pick up some new buddies at Walmart. Real friends don't just pop out of the air. Friends take time, and since I got work in the daylight and school at night...when is this time supposed to happen?

How I'm supposed to look from the side when it's done. Hopefully the woman will be included

Health is one thing. Friendship another. Balance.

I've worked to hard and too long on these relationships to break them up over something like this. And yes, you read that right.

Barkeep. Apparently I'm not supposed to be drinking. So give me a Whiskey!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I watched this movie...

Ramblings Post #118
I like good movies. I even like stylized bad movies, I mean, I like Hudson Hawk. But every now and then something is made in Hollywood that just says we know you aren't paying attention. Not only is what we're saying not plausible, some of the basic stuff is silly too. And you'll pay $9 a ticket to see it. And they wonder why people bootleg.

The other night, I watched the movie 2012 on one them channels I pay for. They need to stop.

I am more convinced than ever, than ever, I can be a Hollywood screen writer.

This movie throws so many basic common sense concepts in the garbage, so many simple ideas out the window, that when it was done and viewed as whole, I'm surprised they didn't market it as a comedy. Laughable is the word I want to use. It was as though they stuck every bad screen writer in Hollywood together in a room and mixed whatever came out all together. I kept looking for the name Peter Griffin, executive producer.

Transcript - 2012 - film overview meeting:
We need an action movie. Okay...Government conspiracy. Check. Speeding car scene. Check. Oooh, make it a limo. Good, good. Last minute plane escape. No, two last minute escapes by plane. No, not last minute, last second! Yeah. Wait, you know what's better than two? Three! Throw in a noble sacrifice or two, rich guy learns a lesson, poor guy gets family back and a couple of assholes who get trumped in the end. Now we got a movie!

I am so hurt.

Let me start at the beginning of things that irritated the life out of me about this film. Here we go....

Our hero in California takes his kids on vacation for the weekend to Yellowstone National Park. By car. Three states away. Not three states like Massachusetts to Maine, but three big Western States. California, a little bit of Nevada, Utah and Idaho or Wyoming. In a weekend. In a car.

They jump a fence, get picked up by the military and meet the head of the project. The head of a top secret project in the middle of the biggest event in history, with the fate of the humanity in the balance, and he takes a few minutes to check out the trespassers. And then lets them go?

The Dad drives back from Yellowstone to LA in one day. Half a conversation with a conspiracy nut, an earthquake and snarky comment from a little kid and suddenly...he pieces it all together? Rutabaga? Kiss my ass.

The racing out of LA...both the limo and the plane flight. That he was able to rent the plane for a watch is baffling.

Why did the Russian billionaire walk out of the fight, since he was STILL in Vegas that next morning? What was the rush?

They're actually there when the super-volcano under Yellowstone blows. (This part is actually based on something real, there really is a super-volcano under Yellowstone. Only we've got somewhere between 100 years and 10,000 years in the real time line. But that's creative license, so okay.) But they're within sight of it when it blows. And don't die. Outrunning it and an earthquake in a Winnebago. The father crawling out of the crevice to get on the plane know what, I let that go.

Why was the President the only one conscious when the aircraft carrier hit the White House?

When they were halfway to China and knew they would be short of fuel, whey didn't they dump the cars then? The plane would have been almost 20 tons lighter? Um, more flying time? Duh.

> China moving to them was actually a fairly neat script idea though, I will admit that.

> And the "Bentley start" scene was funny.

These people have the greatest cell phones in all creation. The Indian guy is standing there, looking at the tidal wave racing at him and calls his buddy, who gets a signal in China. Inside a mountain. Who is their carrier?

Why weren't the arks submerged when the water got there? They were high up on cradles like targets.

How did they get the Chinese workers to agree to build them, and not give them seats? Especially when a random workers brother apparently knew enough to get his Grandparents to safety, so it wasn't like the workers didn't have a clue. Once the arks opened up and started boarding, it should have been a free for all. Or were they all hired at the "Minion Academy"?

I sat open mouthed at the stupidity of waiting until the last second to board the "Arks" on which they'd sold seats at a billion euros a pop ( which at the time of the movie meant roughly 2.4 billion dollars) to the wealthy, and expected these people to keep civilization alive. It was the rich people and the military. Really? What would motivate the military to keep following the rich folks? Didn't Douglas Adams explain the stupidity of this in Life the Universe and Everything almost 40 years ago?

Why did you have to close the door to start the engine? Seriously.

Let me do all the escapes scenes at once : He got there in the nick of time to save, got to the airport in the nick of time to get on the plane, in the nick of time before the volcano goes, and the nick getting out after, can you say nick of time flying out of Vegas, nick of time catching the old lady's attention, to the nick of time just as the ark was sealing up. Really...not one miss?

And finally...and don't know how many folks caught this at the end, but a remark from the captain just clicked. Africa rose a thousand meters. Whole continent. And probably didn't flood. So probably more than a few million Africans survived. Which suddenly made the surviving half a million or so Caucasians and Asians a decided minority. Made it a much better movie for me.

Now this is from watching the movie...ONE TIME. These were glaring, neon glowing head scratcher moments. These are the ones I could remember. I can't imagine how many issues I'll find with repeated viewings.

I am stunned that this movie got made. That nobody thought this through. That even in the name of fun adventure escapism, you wanna kinda do a little better than this. And I'm putting this here, because it irritates me that ideas like this see the light of day.

I think this why I read a lot.

Barkeep, no, you really don't have anything strong enough.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Weekend recap: Making a run...

Ramblings Post #117
Somethings in life you gotta do. You gotta double down on 8s or 9s. You gotta own at least one time in your life, a leather jacket (even if later you join PETA). You gotta go see family. You gotta honor them that look out for you. Life is too long believe you can make it on your own, and too short for you to learn all you need to learn. Oh, you gotta, one time you gotta, look chance in the eye, take a deep breath and go for it.

It's not often that I get outside of Atlanta. I have friend who regularly posts Facebook photos from her jaunts to China, or Switzerland or where ever it is her job takes her, and another whose life has let him be able to honestly give himself the nickname "Globetrotter". I think he's in Stuttgart, Germany right now. I, on the other hand, joke about how I might have to renew my passport to go outside the perimeter ( the affectionate nickname for the highway that circles the city). Which is odd because I dream of traveling. So me heading out to town for family was kinda of a big deal.

I stayed in Friday and tried to do a little writing. That didn't work because I got distracted - making dinner, calling Sporty, eating dinner, internet, picking music to write by. Okay, so I did a little writing, maybe three paragraphs, but I need to get up to 5 or 10 pages a sitting. Not a day, a sitting. But I went to bed relatively early because I had a big day on Saturday.

As a suggestion, in the summer time, make sure the AC in your car works prior to long trips.

My plan was to get up between 6 and 7am, clean up the yard a bit - they only just finished repairs from the break-in, clean up the house and be on the road by something like 9am. So, at about 11, I got on the road. Yeah, Right.

The ride through the GA was hot. Like Africa hot. Picking cotton hot. Ya'll stop playing hot. I stopped in Augusta for water running about 20 minutes ahead of schedule, and decided to take I-20 to I-26 to Hwy 301 all the way to the little town of Santee, a few towns over from where I was going, instead of my normal ride through the back country. This way I could keep the breeze going by not having to slow down in all those little towns whose budgets run on speeding ticket money.

You ever go back someplace you hadn't been in a while, and something has changed...weirdly. Because for some strange reason, there was traffic on I-26. Like bumper to bumper Atlanta rush hour style traffic. On your standard, in the middle of nowhere, no city for miles highway. On both sides. The entire state of South Carolina has half the population of the city of Atlanta, and the only time I-26 is supposed to be crowded is USC is having a home game. Only this is miles and miles from the USC stadium. No accident, no construction work, just traffic. For no good reason. This is the highway where, as a youth, due to the lightness of traffic I regularly clocked speeds in excess of 100 - 120 mph (the car I drove closely resembled that of local law enforcement). This highway isn't supposed to have traffic!

I-26 on a Saturday afternoon, ain't supposed to look like this!

And if you've just driven for three hours, with no AC, at the apex of summer, and suddenly run into stop and go traffic, let's just say you aren't always the happiest person in the world.

Note to self: get AC fixed.

I finally arrived in my own personal sauna, only 40 minutes or so late.

My grand mother and grandfather were fine, with her imploring me for her great grandchildren (although there were at least six or seven in attendance) and him razzing me about not coming to visit more often. I saw my aunts, a few cousins from the DC area who don't get down much - including one with a surprise wedding announcement, and uncles who only now are starting to look a little old. My mom pulled out pictures of my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary - this year was their 70th - to embarrass more than a few of us with the candid awkward photos of youth. (My brother has hair!)

Family pictures would go here, but...
I'm still awaiting photo approval from some cousins.

After a few of hours joking my peoples and refreshing family connections, I went back to my parents house and from the heat and hunger passed out, er..went to sleep. Slept good too.

I rose the next morning and did a repeat in reverse to slide back Atlanta in time for co-workers wedding. They're both long time employees of the "Chicken plucking factory" and so there were a lot chicken pluckers in attendance. So it felt a little like I was at work. The invitation said 4pm. I got back, got showered, rode down to the Southside and showed up right at 4pm. Um...right.

The invitation said 4pm. For the uninitiated, had the real start time occurred between 4pm and 4:30, we'd have been on what African Americans considered "Colored People Time" or CPT. We breezed past 4:30 with the ambiance music still playing. Any start time after 4:30 for a 4pm event...well, then we just on N-word time. The actual ceremony started at 4:49pm. I know the exact time because I had turn off the game on my phone and the exact time flashed before my eyes. Please note the wedding party came in, the reverend ad-libbed, the vows were said, and the wedding party receded 5:14pm. I know this exact time because that's when I sent a text Sporty - former co-worker so she knew these folk - to voice my irritation.

Sporty found my irritation funny. Apparently the reception is the long part.

I briefly checked into the reception, then faded out. It would have been cool to hang out with the co-workers for a hot minute , but I was not in the mood for repeating myself from the day before. Took my well traveled butt home and crawled in the bed for some much needed Air Conditioned rest.

This week I'm gonna start getting some structure back. I beginning to think I need structure.

Barkeep...whatever you can put in a glass about yea big.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Internet Rule #47854

This is an Administrative Post
As a brief explanation, every now and then I'll feel the need to explain myself. These will be administrative posts. There is a high probability however, you'll leave more confused than when you arrived. So, everybody clear on what probably isn't going to happen? Good, tea and crumpets all 'round then?

I've referred to this internet rule in the past, and I think it bears some explanation. It's a little known internet rule, unlike say the infamous Rule #34 - if it exists, there is porn of it - or Rule #1 - you don't talk about... well, you know that one, I mean the internet is a shifty bunch. Sometimes I think that this rule specially applies to blogs written by black guys. It requires the writer to comment on the major topic of the moment, whether he wants to or not, to stay relevant in the eyes of his adoring masses.

Thus I've written about things I really have minimal interest in, usually letting you know that I have minimal interest in them and usually why. (See posts regarding Halo and Lost)

Which unusually makes for a fairly decent post. Damn. The rule does work. Funny, I didn't see that coming.

You have now been warned.

Barkeep, a quick shot while everybody's looking at the slides.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fighting out of the Blue Corner....

Ramblings Post #116
Sometimes people disagree. Tense words are said. Emotions are rubbed raw. Opinions turn into weapons and before long somebody's underwear is on fire and you have to pull forks out of the ceiling. Or so I've heard. Those things don't happen to me. I have always been the cool one. The patient one. The level headed one. I'm the one you call so the the cops don't HAVE to take you to jail (don't laugh, it has happened). And I sit quietly and listen to people's issues, ask a few questions and before long most folks have solved the problem themselves, once the emotions have drained away. This is not one of those stories...

Scoop and Shade are battling. Again. Again.

When I first met these two chicks they were closer than sisters. I don't think I ever saw one without the other. They traded clothes, bought matching outfits (they claim) and hung out in that elite round of people who knew just about every spot in Atlanta in which good time could be had and libations were available. They were part of my circle and there were things about each that made them both cool to hang out with and amazing to watch. They had a crazy fun vibe.

Then Shade went to medical school. And Scoop got married. And somewhere along the line something hit a snag, the gloves came off and they started these little ...disagreements? Brawls? I think they were closer to the those domestic disputes, and resembled in many aspects a couple, fighting and then getting back together again and again. You know, this month they're talking, the next month they aren't etc, and so on. I have been lucky in that I haven't had to pick sides and they are both still friends of mine.

Now, like an old couple who know each others weak points a little too well, it seems like they're re-enacting a bootleg version of the War of the Roses.

As reported earlier in these writings, Shade took some time off from her residency (which is less like Scrubs and more like say... Saw, than you would imagine) to fly down and see Scoop for her birthday, and to help comfort her through this first year of grief from losing her husband. But the wrong things were mentioned, rehashed, brought up, whatever... for the umpteenth time, a "disagreement" ensued and so she called me for a spot of relief. As the unofficial cut man in her corner, I counseled her that she needed to exhibit patience, charity, kindness and more patience. All moments of rough were to be met with displays of sisterly affection. Light and healing would reign in the House of Scoop. And as duly reported earlier, that trip did not go well. And by "did not go well" I mean in the sense that it was an unmitigated disaster.

I was not, and don't wan to be privy to the details.

So when my phone started buzzing one morning at 4am, I almost relived to find it was Shade venting to me about her and Scoop's latest shenanigans instead of a call from Texas with an emergency.

Apparently somewhere in the virtual darkness off in the distance, text message bombs were being tossed as quickly as fingers could dance across phone sized keyboards. And Shade assumes I turn my phone off when I go to sleep ( I don’t) so what was supposed to be a soap opera morning was a tense few moments in the early am. And well I guess it was venting, or something along those lines. And I'm not sure if there is a comment I can give. Or even want to give. Well, I didn't then, I went back to sleep.

Those pesky messages were still in my phone when I woke up. So, now I have a dilemma. What is the best way to just bow gracefully out of this conflict? I mean technically, I only have Shade's side of the story, so I don't really know all the facts. Man, law school comes out of you in everything doesn't it. I will not be choosing sides here. This is clearly no win, at least for me.

I talked to Shade later that day, and it seems like the friendship might be over, which is kinda sad. I've never really thought of friendships as being over, just on hold. My girl Spur once told me that people come into your life "for a reason, a season, or a lifetime." It had been so long, they'd been through so much, I knew this was a lifetime friendship.

But a lifetime ain't over. Yet.

Barkeep. No, I ain't even buying them ladies a drink, get me a Bud light in a plastic cup. But leave the bottle.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I was just thinking...

Ramblings Post #115
There are a lot things I could have done with my life if I had taken the opportunity. I once had a friend of a friend offer me a six figure salary to do something in a field I'd never worked in, and damn if my personal ethics didn't make me say no. And had I stuck around a bit longer, maybe I could have been in that film in college, the one that started a bootleg, but thriving film company later. Or, had I packed my bags at 18 like I planned and just drove to Hollywood, I could be having drinks with Brad Pitt and trying to figure out how to re-fire Jay Leno. Ah, the possibilities.

Hollywood has this really horrible habit of taking classics (see The Karate Kid, Longest Yard) and remaking them. It allows them to give a proven star a vehicle he almost can't miss in (see Longest Yard), but usually does, or a takes a chance to make a star where there was none before, (again see Karate Kid.)

And I understand the Hollywood rationale of remakes on a investment concept: you get a property that was popular (i.e. turned a profit ) and update it, and theoretically minimize the financial risk. It's why the old TV properties are currently being plastered all over the movie house screen in the form of the A-Team, the GI Joe movie, Speed Racer and the oft talked about and sure to be horrible Three Stooges movie (Although to be fair, the Stooges were originally movie shorts, so it's more a remake of a old movie). You've got a built in audience who already loves the story, and all you have to do is shoot it.

Please note, none of those films mentioned were blockbuster hits.

Oh, they may make money on them with the arcane accounting used in southern California, but what they really do with modern merchandising and ties-ins is stick a knife in my childhood and twist.

I just abhor the concept of taking something people like and ruining it by removing it from the context which made it popular, or enjoyable - (see any American Pie after the 3rd one) .

Life would be so much better if Hollywood took films that were horrible the first time around and remade them into something watchable. There are a host of films that with more than a weekend of script writing and some middle ground actors could actually be something watchable - or at least HBO worthy. The number of halfway flicks you could redo for $10 - 15 million and get back 30 or so is staggering. The big flicks? Let me pitch these at you, spitball, see what you think...

First, we remake Leonard Part 6. I realize Bill Cosby would rather we forgot this film ever existed, but this could be something. Okay, the storyline involved a retired spy, a Porsche with a cannon on top, psychics, vegetarians, and a climatic scene of the Cos riding an Ostrich, but we can fix it. I'm thinking it star Andre Braugher, Dennis Haysbert (from the Allstate commercials) or Mykelti Williamson (Bubba from Forest Gump) and we lose the ostrich. Kind of a black, older Jason Bourne with a few dashes of comedy.

This really was the movie poster.

And then somebody needs to redo Showgirls, only this time as an actual X-rated big budget movie, like Caligula. A fast $40 million and a decent script would work wonders. There really isn't anyway to shoot it and do it justice without all the pervasive sexuality that makes in a "skin-e-max" special, the obvious fakery of which is what halfway ruined it. It's like all promise and no delivery. That half assed approach to the sexy and that semi weak story just hung there. The porn star who can act, the one from the Girlfriend Experience movie - Sasha Grey - could star. If she can dance. Seriously. And give the script to an actual writer, like maybe.

Side note: They should re-shoot Exit to Eden, the film that gave us Rosie O'Donnell in bondage gear. And they need to re-shoot it with Rosie O'Donnell. In bondage gear.

Yes that is Rosie and Dan Ackroyd in bondage gear.
Now imagine it as...say, somebody hot..but funny.

Then somebody needs to get the rights and re-shoot Battlefield Earth, the film that John Travolta should be ashamed he wrecked. Okay, I liked the book. I read it before I knew the author was a egotistical nutjob. But the book is good, well paced, with a good plot and a lot of detail worked out. A decent imagining should be shot in pure CG like Shrek or Toy Story, and it needs to be in parts, as the book is over 1,000 pages. It might even work best as a six or ten part mini-series on HBO. Provided this time, they stuck to the book and didn't get fancy.

Think this, not Travolta.

Then there is The Avengers, (I refuse to link it) that drek whose only redeeming value was that Sean Connery got a check out of the deal. Other than the names Steed and Mrs. Peel, you could start from scratch here. There is bad movie making, there is the Rocky Horror Picture show, which was bad picture making on purpose, and then there is this.

You know, just reading through this, I have to wonder how hard it is really to work in Hollywood. I've just pitched five decent ideas - okay, four if you count the Rosie O'Donnell one - in less than five minutes, without trying. I guess it really is who you know.

Barkeep, so you say the guy who cuts your grass knows the brother of the guy who supplies the place that washes the cars that Tyler Perry's assistant brings in? Well, I got this script....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

World Cup Fever

Ramblings Post #114
Sometimes, we look for excuses to do things. Like if I take the long way home to enjoy the car ride and de-stress, I can stop by the ice cream place because its on the way home and get that caramel shake with the chocolate bits that should be illegal for consumption it tastes so good. Or if we go ahead and do a test cook on the pie, just to make sure I still know the ingredients, well, then of course I'll have to taste it just to make sure. You know...excuses. So guess what I'm trying to make an excuse for now.

I was pulling for Paraguay.

I watched a little of the World Cup this summer. I'm not a big soccer fan (football fan for my international readers) and so it was kind of a passing fancy, something on TV. Like many American kid born after 1965, I played soccer as youth - in the city leagues where my team dominated (to the point we used to let the goalie score when we got bored) and in high school - where we got thrashed regularly. Side note - in high school I lettered in football and soccer.

So I'm familiar with the game.

And playing is different than watching, and I'm aware that watching soccer is...well, boring. For long stretches, nothing happens. But then so is baseball, hockey (soccer on ice), most tennis, etc, well, at least to me. The idea that it is bigger than "American" football to me is on some levels mystifing and on other levels completely understandable.

I mean, to play soccer, you need an open field, a ball, some guys and some space you consider the goals. Thus you can pretty much get it going anywhere, for very little start up cost, and the game you're playing is identical to that of professionals. It is no wonder that most of the world plays this and that it catches on very quickly.

For everything else you need some very specialized equipment - baseball: gloves, bat, baseball diamond - basketball: ball, hoops, special court - football: pads, helmets, ball, field, etc.

So I watched America get tossed, and the noted the fallacy of blind umpires was not confined to just this country, but what I was really hoping for was for Paraguay to win.


In case you hadn't heard, Larissa Riquelme, a big fan of her home country Paraguay and something of a model, said that if Paraguay won the World Cup, she'd run naked through the streets.

Here is a picture of Larissa. Or two.

So, when Spain knocked out Paraguay, let's just say, when does the NFL pre-season start?

Oh, wait. Law school. Yeah right.

Wait, what's that? She's getting naked anyway to salute the hard work of the Paraguayan Team? Don't you just love patriots?

Barkeep. Something strong. And from Paraguay.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A voice in the darkness

Ramblings Post #113
The movie version of me, and we all have a movie version of ourselves, is a little taller, a lot thinner and just a little bit more confident than I. But at this stage in the drama (er, well comedy drama) that is my life would be like the end of a Bob Hope movie I saw once. After all his adventures and saving the day, his partner Bing Crosby gets the girl - and this from a 2 minute cameo just seconds before the closing credits. It’s your life, but I suggest you get script approval.

Things are...complicated.

Is this over?

I found out recently, and apparently for some time now, that Sporty has not only located but has been reading this blog. She let me know when she referred to herself as "Sporty", correcting me in a text when I called her Sunshine, a allusion to how she brightens my day. To put it mildly I was a little surprised. Then I thought about what that means.

And its kinda good and kinda bad.

Good in that a lot of stuff I probably put in here are things I should have said to her, and now she knows them without me actually having to voice them. That and she's not mad at me for writing about her. And bad because knowing she's reading may affect the honesty of future disclosures [self censorship] and the overarching concept of "screaming into the virtual darkness". Kind of a toss up really.

One can't really put something on the internet and expect no one to find it, especially since it's linked to my Facebook page, and she's one of my FB friends. But then so many people on Facebook never look at any thing beyond their own page after the first few days, so you figure, why not?

But then the girl has always been full of surprises and has a need to know, which is part of the attraction. *sigh*

In reality, there is hardly anything magical in here, nothing Sex in the City movie-esque as when Carrie found the emails from Big (yes, I did watch the FIRST movie). Some of the more intense things she's probably seen before. One or two moments when I really was "screaming into the virtual darkness" she probably hadn't, but realized must have happened. Nothing soul shattering. And since I'd made it fairly crystal clear to her my feelings, and we both know that they're closer to drug fantasy that any real possiblity, what I guess she would see in here is a few fleeting moments where I indulge in that fantasy. And talk about law school and politics. And restaurants.

It does however paint a fuller picture of me.

Wait, there goes that pesky hope again. Sometimes you get a little disoriented when you have to reclassify a hope as a dream. And hope is something I can't afford.

Barkeep. Riesling. Two glasses. Thanks.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Summer Comment Drive

Ramblings Post #112
It takes actual thought to concentrate on the goings on of the world, and since I don't want to comment on the Kagan confirmation hearings (political) or the state of summer television, or really anything, else. And right now I'm not in the mood. So, I'm gonna semi - recycle something I did two years ago. And no, I still haven't donated to WABE.

Welcome to the middle of our Summer Comment Drive. The writer of this blog in conjunction with the fevered recesses of his mind and the occasional help of frustration and Booker’s(fine whiskey) work hard to bring you the reader a compelling and interesting read. We cover a broad range of topics from stuff that doesn't matter to stuff that doesn't matter even less, all with sly eye for wit and a dashing raucous style.

And it's not cheap.

I know you're thinking: what is he talking about? The internet is free. Or at least the part he's on. And if this fool thinks we're going to pay for this... Hey, hey, calm down. Not that. But here at the virtual bar we've got a virtual tab that has be calculated by the same virtual computers needed to mathematically figure why people play World of Warcraft for any reasonable amount of time, considering the challenges of this World. So...what is this old whiskey soaked, but reasonably good looking, old man sniffling on about?

My ego.

I said my EGO! E - G - O. Minds all in the gutter, but then that's why I like you.

Feel free to comment, leave a note, get a word in, drop a line, ask questions, correct me, make a speech, get your point across, put in your two cents in, be wrong, start an argument, make a false assumption, lie, conspire to make me a better human being, attempt a verbal coup, lay it all on the line, tell me off, but jeez, just say something... dammit.

So, you come and read the fine stylings and occasional rant, and decide to contribute a comment or at least a snide remark, what do you get?

For one comment you'll get NOT the green lifestyle tote bag, NOT the handcrafted coffee mug, NOT the key ring with the craftily designed extractor of caps which enclose liquids (i.e., bottle opener), NOT the nine piece dish set or the my double CD - the one of me singing Old Showtunes in Russian on disc 1, and me giving Charleston and French lessons on disc 2. No, you'll receive the Grand Prize, and since I don't actually have any of the afore mentioned stuff, what is really the only prize: A really good feeling for having said something.

And it will feel great. Well good anyway. Okay. It's not a bad feeling. Think of it as finger exercise.

The staff here at the Musings, and by staff I mean when I talk to myself in the kitchen, would like to thank you for checking in, and ask that you do your part to support this fine bit of foolishness we've thrown up and nobody has been smart enough to take down yet. Your comment and $1 wouldn't buy a cup of coffee, but a comment might just help out a guy writing because he likes it and who probably keep on writing in any case, keep on writing for reasons other than the reasons he's already got to keep doing what he's already doing but that said your comment would be greatly appreciated.

Operators are standing by....

Good help ain't cheap!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tiger what have you done?

Ramblings Post #111
I've talked about Tiger Woods a lot, and this is yet another Tiger Woods post. I am at once shocked and surprised at this whole thing, and really really trying to wrap my head around the idea that the people who advise him get paid in real, not monopoly money. Apparently life really is more about who you know than what you know, in many, many instances.

Do pre-nuptial agreements not mean anything any more? I'm fairly certain the damn thing Tiger had her sign had a "if I ever cheat on you" clause, and if it didn't Tiger's lawyers need to call their lawyers, because that looks like pure malpractice, and I don't even know enough law to matter.

How much is your privacy worth?

$750 million?

Because according to some sources, that's how much Tiger is willing to pay his soon to be ex-wife to never speak about his affairs or life in any public forum. Which is in my professional learned semi-legal opinion, is in-fucking-sane.

Tiger needs new handlers, point blank. Early on they have apparently counseled him to protect the wife at all costs - she was brave and pulled him out of the SUV, she didn't hit him with the clubs, I have a sickness, it's all my fault etc, - and she is repaying his efforts by trying to fleece him. His handlers need to realize Tiger's marketable reputation is trashed. The endorsement money is gone and ain't coming back for a long, long time, if ever. The idea that lurid stories aren't going to float around for the next half century if you get ONLY the ex to promise to keep quiet is ludicrous. His handlers need to realize that his future earnings (which what presumably they are trying to protect) have been shattered, and what he really needs to do is work on keeping the money he has now. Somehow he's gonna have to get by on that mere billion dollars or so that he's already got for fifty years or so.

As a friend of mine put it, $750 million is "playing with little boys" money. As far as we know, no children were in involved, just skanks of varying persuasions, so... what ELSE is there to keep quiet about? That he's a slob? He's a cheater too. That he's egotistical? Um, Tiger Woods on the course, 'nuff said. That he made her dress up like chicken? Be happy he didn't make you dress up like a waitress. Does he have gay tendencies? You ain't the first to say it. He accidentally gave her something? We'd be shocked if he didn't. So what secret is worth that kinda loot?

Should have married a sista.

If she wants to write a book and give interviews and tell the worst about him, fine. His people need only remind her that no matter what happens, he's still her children's father, and that it will only hurt the kids in the long run. I'm not psychic, but unless she's crazy vindictive as all hell, that should put the brakes on the worst of it. Maybe. And chances are, in this day and age if somebody besides her knows this secret, the dirt is gonna leak anyway, so you're paying her for.... you lost me.

Look, yes Tiger was wrong (plus) hanging out like that, and yes, Elin deserves to have her life back, but their agreement prior to the marriage was if XYZ occurred, QRS would happen. Well XYZ occurred. Now you want to change the plan? Who are his lawyers? Who are his handlers?

But.... if she gets the money...Elin, baby, I know you been hurt, but what you need is a strong brother to help you spend the, take the pain away.

Barkeep, a whiskey and soda, and a roofie-colda.

[UPDATE] Well, it turns out "sources" were wrong and she's only got get a $100 million. Boo hoo. She is still getting five times the amount in the prenup. The kids won't go hungry, which was in the important part...but I don't anyone ever thought that was gonna happen.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Life Changes

Ramblings Post #110
My first post, oh so long ago was about changes. Okay, looking back, it was the third post actually. And a lot has changed since I started writing this. Okay, a lot has changed and lot hasn’t. Most of it was things I could control. But I have an odd tendency to place my bets on the things I don’t. Oh, imagine me with a gambling problem and some money.

During a quiet evening with Shade at Intermezzo, I made the statement to her, "Think about it, I'm funny, warm, kind, thoughtful, intelligent, I'm the perfect guy. You just don't want to see me naked."

She did not disagree.

And earlier I had a discussion with Spanky about the different versions of herself, the 2003 version vs. the 2010 version, and how they are different people in the same body. She later asked me what the difference was between 2003 me and 2010 me. She’s still waiting on that answer. My answer is a little more complicated than I’m willing to admit, because a while a lot has changed a few fundamental pieces have remained unreasonably static. And that needs to change.

So I'm starting on a new course, making some life changes. I have a problem with procrastination that I’m going to work on, and I have a horrible tendency to get off on tangents. And with any luck, and little perseverance, in about four or five months I'll be significantly "less bulky" that I am now. A new diet, a new gym commitment, a new attitude.

Okay, I've made that last promise before, a couple of times. Okay more than a couple of times. A few times. This time I'm serious. Well, more serious than any other time. So far.

We shall see.

I did decide to go to law school. But then I beginning to think I went for all the wrong reasons. But I think I’m gonna be staying for some completely different reasons.