Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Courting in the time of Instant Communication

Mental Rehab Post #45
Odd conversations. We're not even going to discuss the opera singing at work or the idea that my Caucasian coworkers found the white racial slur that blacks can't use comfortably as topics here, although they may find their way here shortly. Some days you just want to get your whiskey in an IV.

Spanky hit me up the other day and asked why guys don't court anymore, why they just want a "one timer" or a quickie? What happened to dating and going out and the like? First I wanted to ask why she chose the term "courting", as though we were living in the 1890s, and then I wanted to ask what brought on this round of questions. (Spanky does this sometimes, with a round of questions that appear to come from the blue, then losing interest quickly.)

Yeah, what happened to it?

Life happened to it. I so wanted to tell her that what she was getting was the mirror action of, me having been made privy to these actual occurrences by various friend-girls, of women in a froth of lust simply riding by their chosen male's house and "getting them some." No action needed to be taken by the men, and these women presumably left satisfied....with the decision they had made. And in this age of equality, why is it suddenly okay for a woman to get her some with no strings, but not okay for a guy to ask for the same thing? The double standard is a funny thing, isn't it? That's what I wanted to say. And still might.

What I did say was that in this modern age with our instant gratification/hook-up culture, we have reversed it, with the courting and dating coming after we've "gone all the way." Our view of sex has changed and with it a number of the traditional cues that signify relationships have changed as well, if not thrown out the window completely.

She didn't like my answer.

I find it interesting that we all still want that traditional love at the end of our experimental love stage. Makes me wonder why we even bother with the experimenting.

Oh yeah. I know. Ohhhh yeah.

Barkeep. Two Sex on Beaches and one Hot Toddy. Yeah.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oh the Holidays.

Family Post #2
Where would I be without my family? I don't really think about it, until I realize that a lot of people I know have lost a parent, or both and are literally doing what they have to do - not just financially, but emotionally. My peoples is getting on in years. It's why despite the idea that this traveling for the holidays is getting old, I still making the effort. I mean damn, it's family.

For the first time in a while, I had five consecutive days off. I don't take a whole lot of time off, because I'm afraid I'll forget to go back to work. But then it really wasn't a vacation like break for real or nothing, because it was the holiday and so of the five days off, I spent three with family.

God love family.

My Christmas present to myself was that I got to spend an hour hanging out with my Grandmother. I know it sounds corny, but so what. She's my grandmother and so you can be mad.

I didn't get back into town until Saturday night, driving in the fog and wondering why folks was driving so damn fast. Maybe they had to go to work on Sunday. When I got back I hooked up with Spanky for a hot minute and had dinner at the City Cafe on 10th street. She's just finished renovations on the house, and it looks good. Kinda like it should have when she moved in, but that's a story so long even I'm not long winded enough to tell it. Again. This soon. Right now she's on a pendulum between modern woman and "fell and bumped her head", another long story I'll have to figure out how to tell soon. I have such interesting friends.

Sunday was the now usual Fish Fry at my RP's house for the game. He's a little scared it's starting to get out of hand, when people he didn't tell are starting to call and ask what time to be there. He's trying to keep in small, 10-15 people but he's so well known - and folks always figure what's a few more people - that these things, as I said, get out of hand. I reminded him that the season is almost over, so just ride it out for now. Unless we turn around it's 65 folks at the door.

I was good for the first game. Carousing, making drinks, laughing. Atlanta won so the house was happy.

Then the Cowboys played. Sporty and I chatted on BBerry during the game, as I lamented my teams complete fucking sell, snatching defeat from the mouth of victory. Her team did get in, so that's good. On the bright side, if you can call it that, my football season is over so I can concentrate on Law School. So I got that going for me. Yeah right. And now for the SuperBowl party, I don't even really need to watch the game. Great!

Just a reminder, in a couple of days it's back to pure sobriety for a few months. Maybe four this year. My liver can't wait. And school too! Wow...

Then I stumbled back into work. Never should have taken that damn time off. This short little period has been the "oh, we do need to get this done before the 31st for tax reasons" in repeat form again and again and again. I so contemplated not going in today, but that little buster who is my backup already took off, so I was trapped. I swear, I'm gonna start buying lottery tickets regular at this rate.

Barkeep, something smooth.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sometimes it's simple stuff

Mental Rehab Post #44
What can I say. Sometimes it's not the dreams of wealth and excitement, it's more than that. And if you don't get it, I've been around the folks with pockets full of cash and I've seen how when they think they really got it all, they generally look around and find out they're missing something really important. Then they find their keys, and start thinking about relationships.

I really like Arlo and Janis. It's a simple cartoon strip about a couple getting a little older and still being in love. Which I my age honestly, I want to STILL be, not find myself hoping to be.

Little strips like this is where I'd like to be in my life.

Hey, I said I was a romantic. Jeez

Barkeep...shots of that new Patron

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Um...there ain't a whole lot more after that.


Bad Economy.

But it's allowed us all to get back to basics, to understand that the Holiday isn't about what we get, it's about love and family and friends and celebrating another year of health and happiness, and knowing that during those moments when things are a little less bright, some will be there.

Beautiful, isn't it? But a 50 inch plasma flat screen sure would have been nice.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Errant thoughts

Relapse Post #4
You have to be honest with yourself if nobody else. If you're gonna eat that last piece of pie, say I'm gonna eat it, it's wrong cause I'm a diet, I'm the one messing up here, and eat it anyway. So later when you look in the mirror, you'll know. Not that I haven't lied to myself. Or ever will again. But I'm a shyste-mofo...I expect foolishness like this from me.

Okay...this just straight honesty here. I miss Sporty. Still.

We still hit each other on the BBerry convo, she's taking classes too and we mostly discuss how that is going or how my classes are. When she has a moment of doubt that she shares with me, I try to bolster her thoughts. I'm not sure what we're doing anymore. We're still trading "love u" and "miss u" in that texty conversation sort of way...but I'm still lost.

Is it wrong that when I spot a new restaurant I still instantly think of "us" going there?

I haven't lamented about her in a minute, but I figured my loyal readers - both of you - were tired of hearing about that. I torment one of my co-workers, a man in his late twenties who refers to women as "scary", that even though I have a number of opportunities, I typically don't pursue them. I guess it's because deep down those women don't interest me like Sporty does, did, whatever. And I like aggressive women!

When you can get beyond the physical to find someone you can really connect with is rare. It's why most of my female relationships last so long: I actually like them as people and not just bodies. Not that some of them ain't fine as hell, now...I'm not slow. And maybe that's part of the problem is that unlike the rest of the civilized world I was doing it backwards, actually getting to know and like the person FIRST. I mean how could I have been so stupid?

Sill I miss long quiet dinners with Sporty. They somehow spanned hopes and dreams, thoughts and opinions, silliness and goofy all between the crab cakes appetizer to the cheesecake dessert. I haven't had Indian food since she moved away.

Will this last forever? If you invest some emotion into someone and it doesn't work, and you can walk away clean, then you invested less than you think....and maybe that's why it didn't work. No, this won't be forever, but it's been a while and it's gonna be a while.

Not that nothing else will ever come along. Lighting may strike again. But then I've always been picky as hell, so don't hold your breath.

Barkeep - Whiskey. Top Shelf. You know what I like.

Monday, December 22, 2008

One of them weekends...

Mental Rehab Post #43
There was a time when as a young man, I could hang out till 5am, go home shower and shave and turn it back on just like that until quitting time the next day - then crash. And sometimes I could do it two or three days in a row. But as I've gotten a little older, I may have to start taking vacations to recover from my time off. Or as a friend of mine said, "Man, after this weekend I need to get back to work so I can rest!" I need to get back into party shape. Where can you find a party trainer?

The problem with limited time off is that you try to squeeze everything into those few scants moments. In my case, three weeks off is not enough. Friday night I stayed home and enjoyed the private pleasure that only red kool-aid, sugar laced snacks and Grand Theft Auto can provide. Sometimes that shooting things - if only a video game - can be soooo soothing. When my excitement waned I would pause the game and read some of the novel I started before law school or watch a movie that I paid for two months ago when I thought I might have time to watch it or surf the web looking for stuff that was probably old now but I had missed in throes of education. The back to the game.

To put it bluntly, I nerded out. On a Friday night. In Atlanta. Seriously...what the fuck?

Yeah, trying to cram way too much in.

Saturday was the Come as You Are Cocktail Party. We have it pretty much every year, a drop-in with a drinks and food and people you know. This was early for us, usually we do it between Christmas and New Years, but the end of this year is so crowded. The function is an informal affair, and we usually get a nice small manageable crowd or around 100 or so.

The party went down at it "the Estate", which is how I'm going to refer to that particular venue. It's where we held the Halloween party and had people parking down the street. It's fairly big house on 12 acres with requisite pool and jacuzzi, wine cellar, playroom and wet bar. We're thinking of having the SuperBowl function there. It's nice.

In any case, we cooked up some pasta - veggie and regular, boiled some crab legs, fried some shrimp, broiled some fresh lobster tails, and warmed up some pizza rolls. Hey, we happen to like pizza rolls. They're really good, especially the sausage and pepperoni. Then we turned on the Cowboys - Ravens game and opened the doors.

I miss nights like that. It was unseasonably warm, chicks had the arms out, short skirts were worn. I met a chick with January tattooed on her back (Okay her last name was January, but it still sounded hardcore at first, didn't it?) and ran into a few people's I hadn't seen in a minute. Serve and I will have to work on some memory mnemonics for her, as she could not remember the names of people she hung out with regularly just two years ago. Even my junior drinking partner showed up for the first time in a year, told me she was into S&M cause she thought my spiked wristband was hot and just like the first night I met her, I made her breakfast at 4:00am from what was left in the kitchen - a spicy scrambled egg hash with sausage and shrimp sprinkled with a Spanish rice. If she hangs around long enough this time, she might even qualify for a nickname. Even my "Hoodlum Friends" turned up, which is misnomer for a group of girls who really are cool as hell.

The party lasted until late, because unlike other parties where we close the bar to speed up the end, I in error left that racket open till 2:30am. I ended up paying for breakfast for "security" - two chicks who sat at the bar all night and had a ball harassing people and actually paid my impromptu bar back. As such by the time I got loose, after clean up and excess liquor putaway, the party was effectively over. I finally pulled up stakes at around 4:30am. And I should have stopped for breakfast because...

...Sunday might have been the laziest day in recorded human history. I awoke sometime after 1pm. I was asleep by 9:30pm. I took a nap somewhere in the middle. I might have forgotten to eat. During that time I was supposed to do some laundry, do the dishes, go out and do the little bit of Christmas shopping I was going to do, go and see a folk or two and in the end I did just about nothing. I did wash the dishes. But I didn't leave the house, or do that stuff in the yard, or take out the garbage or anything. I almost didn't get out of bed. Schmoopy is gonna be so mad at me.

In two weeks that will not be possible. The grind will be back on. Law School Part 2 promises to be no joke. And I stop drinking too? Noooooooooooooo!

Barkeep. Two shots of Patrone with a Henie on the float.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Mental Rehab Post #42
They say when you get knocked off the horse you need to get right back on it, before you can even think about it. The basis for this is usually if you think about it you'll realize how dumb it was to get on that particular horse to start with, so you got to move before your brain figures out what you're doing. When you're smarter than the average bear it's not bravery, it's calculated odds.

My weekend for the first time in a long time was filled with the fun and excitement that usually only follows attractive women in short skirts with frisky attitudes. You know, the way it used to be. This will be an really long post...maybe.

Let's just Friday I had a plan. But that's all I had. Friday I was going to three functions, a little law school drop in, a party for an old co-worker, a fashionable Christmas party. What I got was my parents and my living room and conversations concerning my age and where I'm going.

Because when you finish your first semester of graduate work, that's what you want to do the first weekend. Yep.

I had expected my folks to be tuckered out by the time they got to my house. They would have had a full day with my brother, they would get to my house around 8 or 8:30pm, be in the bed by 9:30 or 10. Then I would slip away into the night and see what I could find. That was the plan.

My parents didn't show up until 10pm or so. Then we had to discuss law school. Which seemed really quick until I looked up and it was quarter after 11. I gave up at that point, kicked off my shoes and settled in. We still have more to discuss, but they finally headed off to bed around midnight.

After my parents eased out mid-morning it turned into a Schmoopy day. She and I had agreed a few weeks ago to catch up after my finals, and since Buckhead/Sandy Springs is halfway between her house and mine, we try pick a spot up in that area. This weekend it was the Flying Biscuit on Northside Drive just off West Paces. We were going to try the OK cafe, all upscale dinery, but the line outside was big and building. The Biscuit, by contrast, is colorful and vibrant and damned if the wait was less than five minutes. And we was hungry.

Schmoopy, who I know reads this occasionally, looked fabulous. Scrumptious. Sexy even. She claims she needs to lose ten pounds, but if she keeps talking like that we're going to fight.

I wish I could remember what we ate, but I can't so this won't be a restaurant review. But I do remember the "grits soup" I had and the fine company. She seems surprised every time she remembers how long we've known each other - we met in fall 2001 when we worked together. She claims she doesn't really have any other friends she's known that long. But I prefer to engage in long term hangouts. They're richer, fuller.

We spent 2 hours just chilling, talking and generally hanging out. We talked about family issues, we talked about her penchant for cutting off dudes who don't call in the 72 hour get back window, we talked about why her love life situation ain't as bad as she thinks it is, we talked about her future education concepts and work. We just talked and the time flew by. That was cool because for the first time in a while I wasn't worried about getting started on a paper or doing some reading or briefing a case, but could just relax.

We agreed to meet up later and hang out, since I had not done so the night before, which again was cool. I use the word cool a lot.

So at 10 I got all gussied up, figured out parking was going to be an arm and leg and headed in to Midtown. To tell you how long I've been out of it, I originally drove to Buckhead and went to Twist, then had to turn around and go back to Shout which is where the party was. The party was nice, a good mixed crowd with quite a few of those women that make Atlanta famous, a DJ who mixed it up from the latest cuts to old favorites and a bartender who remembered what I ordered last time. Schoompy showed up with her running buddy, and that's when one of those funny moments happen - she knew this story would end up here: - So Schoompy, her girl and I all move from the patio bar inside to the back bar. I'm about ten feet behind them and as I watch, guy after guy gives them that, well, predator look as they pass. Even the security guy turned his head to follow them. The girls thought this was hilarious, but it just proved to me that she didn't need to lose any weight.

It was a good night. I got felt up by at least three different women, one of whom was Schmoopy who just couldn't keep her hands off my ass. If I didn't know better I might have thought something of that. The other two women didn't have to be coy about it, as they snuck felt me up as I passed though the crowd. That I was getting pickpocketed, one. In either case I enjoy the attention. I'm not easy, but I do come with instructions. And for a while, I only knew one other person in the spot, a rarity for me. But that didn't last - I had a woman cross the club who knew from my RP's parties and then the fellas showed up. The Ques. So you can guess how that went.

I finally called it a night around 1:30, and I left Schoompy in the company of a possible new paramour. She was grinning so I figured he was up to snuff. But then I talked to her today...and let's just say she's got a new space available in her phone.

I awoke late, took a shower and headed over to my RP's house. He was having another fish fry drop in and football watching party just like last weekend. It's basically a lazy way to spend a afternoon with friends.

But then me and the boys have never been what you call average. First, there is the model from NY who comes in, and looks like...well, a model from NY. A tall and slim and fine, you know. Runway stuff, some print. She's cool. And we just hang and chill - drinks are made, food is eaten, shit is talked. Then the second model shows up. Half Mexican-half Korean, kinda of a lightweight drinker but a heck of a card player. The picture on her phone indicated she was more the pin-up model than the other kind. I recognized the pic logo and may have to look her up.

So a reasonably ..., er fairly attractive..., um, not ugly guy (that would be me) goes to a drop-in somewhere in the suburbs of Atlanta and meets two models in one afternoon? Yeah, that's normal. I'm not even gonna mention the other two stunners who wandered in.

And then the Cowboys dominated the hell out of the Giants! How about 'dem Cowboys!

I got home around midnight on a Sunday. Man it's been a long time since I was able to say that. So all in all it was a good weekend. True a couple of things I had planned on Friday didn't pan out, but we don't always get everything we want. But then I learned that a long time ago.

Barkeep. A little ease off and some cold water.

Friday, December 12, 2008

...and that's two.

Mental Rehab Post #41
A friend of mine makes a list, a long list, of things they want to do before the year is out. It's kind of like an extended list of resolutions, but doable. Some are big (like buy a new house), some are small (like try the swordfish at Johnny's), but in the end he finds himself motivated because he ends accidentally accomplishing so many of the small things that he wants to do more. I don't make that list. I just make things happen.

I took two whole days...for someone who has taken off less than 5 days in three years, that's saying something...two whole days to get ready for my last exam. I realized the utter futility of the concept halfway through day one. Unlike the first test where it was regurgitation of knowledge, this was applied information. Meaning no matter how many times I went over the notes in front of me, until I set foot on the field and saw the defense and made my adjustments, I was just wasting time. (see Ren Sharperson Method)

So I got it together, coalesced my information and sallied forth to win the day. I'm a man like that so deal with it.

I'll put it to you this way. Four questions. Nine pages.

I finished with three minutes to spare. Or rather I finished writing with three minutes to spare. Or more precisely I just stopped writing with three minutes to spare. And my answer to the last question included the phrase "gay porn." Really it did.

So now, what do you say? What time do the party start?

Well, there is party one in Decatur where it's greater for an old co-worker and some of the office fillies are sounding frisky, another in Little Five Points with my new law school "we finished first semester" compatriots and then the smooth finish over by my house at the spot called the View for a little Christmas party. And gas is cheap too? Well, maybe I get to some of that. My folks are in town. Yes, two weeks before Christmas and they're in town. And instead of staying with my brother in the 10,000 square feet with unfinished wings...they'd rather stay with me. Oh joy.

So...that was fun.

I got three weeks till the monster wakes back up. I just don't know ya'll, I just don't know.

Barkeep. I'll have a tall glass of Hi-C fruit punch. Man, my momma is in the house, you betta stop playing.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Quick Restaurant Review - Ray's on the River

If you've lived in Atlanta more than say, I don't know, a week maybe, you've heard of Ray's on the River. It is quite frankly an Atlanta Institution. Oddly, most of this jewel of the south's "institutions" are places to eat and not places of great triumph or happenings. But we do know a great restaurant.

So anyway, it was Serve's birthday, and I decided since I hadn't been out in forever, and I'd always wanted to go to Ray's on the River - it was on my list for me and you know who - that I should take this opportunity to go for their famous brunch, eat hearty and enjoy the river view. Why yes, it does have a river view. It's called Ray's on the River for a reason.

The decor is nice, smooth with the mood waterfall wall in the front and row after row of wine bottles. I liked it. My party is in the lounge and we are, as black folks tend to do, waiting for everyone to show up. I'm hoping CPtime comes to end when Obama is inaugurated, but I doubt it. It's then I realize what Ray's's a 50's bar. They've got pictures of the Rat Pack on the wall and Frank on the sound system and it's cool. I almost feel under dressed, and I'm in slacks and suit jacket. We're a foursome waiting for a moresome for about thirty minutes or so, and I like to think I'm convivial and personable. I like to think that because the bar doesn't open until 12:30.

The rest of us FINALLY arrive and we're seated at a nice table with a view of the river and that's when my imagination and reality diverge.

Now, as I said, Ray's on the River is an Atlanta landmark. I had heard about this brunch for ages. Let's just say my expectations were high. Very high. Statospheric even.

This is not to say it wasn't good food, or plenty of good food, or a vast variety of good food, but when you're expecting say...a Kobe beef steak, that Angus beef hamburger is still a let down. Good, but a let down.

Brunch at Ray's is really the best of what they have. They renovated two years ago and I swore what they would do, since brunch is such a constant, is set up a special brunch area, or one that converted easily to brunch specific. It appeared to me like they took out a row of tables here, took the stools from the bar here, and opened the door for feed.

Now, they had an omlette station with more toppings than whoooo, prime rib, ham, a baked salmon puff pastry, the standards of eggs, crisp bacon (hard to do in quantity), sausage, eggs Benedict, hash browns, cheese grits, Belgian waffles that were simply amazing, salmon, shrimp, a beef in this sauce that was good, the baked fish in a lobster sauce, the sesame chicken. And that's just what I sampled. They must have had 23 kinds of dessert, with cookies, red velvet cake, chocolate mousse, brownies etc.

Don't get me wrong, the food was great. The restaurant looked smooth. The people I was with were for the most part fun. Serve apparently has a new man, because he didn't even flinch when she wiped at his eye.

But in the wasn't the manna from heaven in the form of brunch I had been lead to believe the good Lord had placed here for the hungry. It was just, well, brunch.

On the upside, since brunch lasted from 11am (when we were seated) until the bar opened, what a lucky coinky dink, I found out the real treasure of Ray's. They serve brown liquor.

Most bars in town don't carry a lot of brown liquor outside of the standards - a bourbon, a rum. High end vodkas they might have by the crate, but the browns get no love. Not at Ray's, they had Knob Creek, they even had Booker's which is a rare find indeed. As we sat having our after brunch sip, and considering sneaking back into the food line, I marveled at the sheer numbers of bottles containing brown liquor.


In the end, is the brunch worth it? All you can eat in a swank joint? Sure. Will it be the end all be all of brunch experiences one might have been lead to believe?, what a view of the river!

Barkeep....we're gonna see what's in them brown bottles.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Last Education Weekend - For now.

Mental Rehab Post #40
As the first semester of my return to the collegiate experience comes to a close, I know that one day I'll look back upon this time and laugh in wonder, and think of how grand and special these times were. At least I freaking hope so. 'Cause right now, you don't even want to know...


So, Friday night, after a 24 hour or so break, I get after the next final. I have a loose outline of the class and what we've gone over, so what I decide to do to get my mind focused is transcribe my class notes. This will re-familiarize me with the material and get me in the proper frame of thinking, right?

You know, my handwriting really is small.

Everyone who I write out notes to at work always so two things. One, that my handwrting is so neat. That comes from having a schoolteacher for a mother, a woman who stressed education. Okay, this woman also tended to get upset when i bought "new" books as opposed to re-reading one of the several hundred I already had. Okay, they were comic books...but they were still books. And two, that my handwriting is ridiculously small. I prefer to think of it as compact and neat.

But after page thirty five, I was trying to figure out why this asshole couldn't have written larger, then remember I had wrote it, then had the same thought. So Friday is spent typing. And typing. And slowly going blind.

Saturday morning is spent frustrated.

Because I had typed everything on the laptop, because I'll take this final, like the last final on the laptop and I'm trying to stay used to typing on it's keyboard. But my laser printer is connected to house computer. The house computer as opposed to the Win98 computer, which I have because sometimes the old programs work better, you know what I mean.

But anyway what I had done was type it up on the laptop, save it to my jump drive and then transfer it to the house computer so that I can print it out to take to the review session Saturday afternoon. Only, at that moment, inexplicably, the hub won't read my jump drive. My USB hub appears to have gone kaput. No big, I got a reserve and a just for emergency hub. Switch out to the reserve, reboot, and nothing. All the ports on hub are stone dead. Repeat the process with my emergency hub, same answer. Plug the jump directly into the port because I'm running out of time, and nothing. Did all my USB ports on the main board just go kablooey?

At one point I'm using my BBerry as a line tester and considering breaking out the computer repair tools, but I need my review. So I saddle up and ride.

We go through the review, I realize that I might have had my eye on the wrong dog. Whereas the other professor liked loose knowledge (just throw it on in, if was something he'd taught he'd give you points for it), this prof ain't like that. He's looking for A and B, there will be no extra points for C, D, or even K. So that goes well. Four questions, three hours. What do you think?

And the girls I will refer to as the Sisters still aren't talking to me. But that's a whole other story.

So then it's back to the house and more computer repair. Well, once I realize that device manager won't even start, which if you don't know is a fairly bad sign, I know I got problems. I think something has corrupted itself and I might be done, since I can't tell what broke so I can fix it. Then after one more reboot it appears to fix itself. I think. Only now I got no audio.

You try watching a dumb ass YouTube video with no audio. See where I'm going with that?

By the close of business Saturday I've done no studying, but I have re-familiarized myself with the inner workings of my computer and general computer repair, and everything is working. I think. Maybe.


So Sunday, after I left Ray's on the River (see other post), instead of toddling back to the house like a good little boy and doing what good little boys should, crack open, i.e., crack open them books and get at it, I rode out to my RP's house. He had the game on and some food made and it was just a lazy ass Sunday afternoon.

I haven't had one of those in ages.

Spanky showed up and we had a TV moment, BBerry chatting across the room while everyone else watched the game. Then Shade called and we set up a phone hang out, a first for me. Shade specializes in long distance relationships, so she phone dates quite a bit to get by, but this was her first phone hang out and I honest found the whole thing silly, but we agreed. Ah, the digital age.

Back inside Spanky and I continued, with her at some turning off her brain as the conversation veered into an instance proposition that had me invent the hood hero Captain Savahoe's new social issue fighting partner, Princess Savabusta. It would have been Mistress, but princess sounded better. That's a whole story in and of itself I must relate someday, but not now.

As I'm getting ready to leave, and as most functions always do, our conversation (me, my RP, my RP's sister, Spanky and one other guy) turned to as they always do when you have more than one sex, relationships and state thereof. Which was another 35 minutes of standing in the kitchen metaphorically finger pointing and blaming, which is never productive. Or used to not be productive, but we guys are getting better. Touche, pussycat!

Then it was off to the homestead. I've printed out my study materials and started with a basic review just going over the stuff in my head again and again. Monday I look over the practice problems the prof gave us. Tuesday I'm going to do two. Wednesday I'm taking off from work and going to four or five, and Thursday I'm taking off as well, going to three more leading up to the test. It's a plan and it's workable, I know most of the stuff it's just a matter or refreshing my memory and getting up to speed.

But then Shade calls at the appointed hour, I'd forgotten, and we have our phone hang out. She's just broken up with the man she wasn't going out with and she's feeling lonely in DC. Yes, I wrote that correctly. She's feeling lonely in DC although the man she wasn't going out with whom she just broke up with lives in Atlanta. I don't ask too many questions, I just let her talk. She's a young resident and still working on her specialty, so her time is very very limited, and since the capitol in the winter is like, um, really really cold, she's not being very social right now. So this breakup with this guy she wasn't going out with is really getting to her. Yep, that statement still reads just like I wrote it. It's a hour of me telling jokes so she can laugh and put that behind her.

I do manage squeeze in a bit more reading before I call it. So the day wasn't a total bust.

Next weekend I'll be free for a minute. No test looming, no cases to read...just a few functions to fall through.

Yeah. Cool.

Barkeep...gimme my usual. What do you mean you forgot what that is?

Friday, December 5, 2008

And that's one...

Mental Rehab Post #39
I've been told that sometimes, if you make the fear big enough, you over perpare and when the emergency comes it appears as if it was nothing. And if you're and idiot, well, you get a disaster. And heading into finals week, I didn't seem to be able to muster up enough excitement to say I'd had over prepared. So here we go.

Last night I took the first of my two exams for the semester. Well third, no really the fourth since my papers were really the grade know what? Last night I took the first of my two exams for the semester.

My professor is tenured.

Those of you who've had a tenured professor, let that sink in a moment. My classmates and I have spent the last many weeks poring over his old tests - the ones with questions that go on for two pages and fact patterns that are interwoven with Elizabethean drama, real cases, various Opera plots and Three Stooges references. Yeah those. But he knows his stuff backwards, forwards and sideways. So you read, and hypothosize, mix and conjure and ...almost sounds like we're in wizard's school, don't it?

So last night, I sat down and with heart pounding in chest, throat dry and praying I didn't just look at the first page and blank out...and opened my test.

Do you know I ran out of time? I thought the last half of the test I would trying to find things to add for more points, my meager knowledge depleted and me grasping at metophorical straws. But that three hours went by so fast it was scary, and although old girl sitting behind me was typing away from the second we started like pro steno from the typing pool (old 50's reference) I figured three hours is forever, why rush? But then I got into it. This morning when I woke up I was still generating answers and arguements in my head. I typed for three hours and had more to say. I felt pretty damn good about it. Even the part I was weak on, I think I gave some pretty damn strong explanations!

Moments of great stress bring people together. Last night I also had dinner with nine of my classmates as we all prepped and sweated in the face of the looming monolith of education we were facing. You, know, the final. Only test all semseter. Basically...your grade. That monolith. Okay dinner was a mix of chicken sandwiches, hamburgers and pink ice cream, but as it was, them french fries were the best i ever had. We theorized and told ourselves test-ghost stories. One classmate went around the table trying to meet people he been class with but didn't know, which amounted to everyone at the table.

For some reason, everyone knows me already. I don't know why.

We gathered briefly outside after the test, against the advice of those shouted out test tips in the weeks proceeding, and marveled at our own brillance. Or stupidity. We'll know which in a few weeks.

I went home...ate some cold pizza and started getting together my notes for the next buzz saw of education.

Barkeep...two shots of that good whiskey. That will have to hold until next week.

Monday, December 1, 2008

And just when you think it's over....

Relapse Post #3
Sometimes things happen. You don't know why, but they just do. And if you're smart, you stop asking questions and just pick up your winnings, or step back onto the curb, or whatever it is you would do to silently accept your blessings, and just keep it moving. This was one of those moments. Again.

So the Wednesday before Turkey day, when I'm supposed to be packing and getting ready to ride out to see family, I get a BBerry instant message. And since lately it's been Spanky blowing me up, I figure there is a new "situation" that I need to chime in on. But lo and behold, it's Sporty wishing me a happy Thanksgiving. So I hit her back and wish her one as well and then we get into a conversation like we used to. But she leads off with something I honestly hadn't expected.

Her engagement is off.

Oddly, at that moment I didn't feel happy, or elated, or jump for joy, or scream in celebration, or any of the other triumphant gestures like I thought I might. No, my first thought was "is she okay?" or what might be wrong. I was sad and frightened for her. And I felt helpless because I could not help her.

Read into that why don't you?

a whisp of life

She didn't want to talk about it, so we didn't but instead we talked about everything else. We just talked. And talked. That felt good.

I don't know what the future holds. And I don't even know if the engagement is off for good. For all I know, next week it will be back on like this never even happened. But I do know that when she needed someone to chat with, if only for a little while, I was there.

And that's what friends are for.

Barkeep. Corona's...because that's we used to drink.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ah the Holidays...

Family Post #1
Sometimes you need to look at the people who were there before you, blazing the trail so you didn't have to. I'm not talking about the figures we read about in history books. I mean the people who paid the mortgage month in and month out, the leaders who went to college, 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.

This weekend, after spending the first part of the week sweating out two legal memos, I went and spent some time with family. I loaded up the ride, scooped up my brother and headed into the wilds of lower South Carolina to re-visit where I come from. And maybe remember why I'm headed where I'm headed.

I would say I first went to visit my people in the country, but that wouldn't be right, because ALL my people is from the country. So let's just say, I went to vist my maternal folks first.

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. Macoroni 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 buffett 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.

Then before it got too late, I went to visit the paternal peoples. My grandfolks are nearing 90, and my grandfather still won't sit still. He's such a busy body, my grandmother made the old boy get a cell phone. Yes, my 90 year old grandfather has joined the cell phone generation, showing off his new phone and even playing me a few of his custom ring tones. This was one of life's jaw dropping moments.

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.

How deep in the country was I? Well my people have a gas stove...powered by the gas tank in the yard. At night you can see the stars in the sky (and if you think that's easy, go outside and try it). Furniture and fixtures from the 1970s...and that's the new stuff!!! I mean thirty five minutes from town...where the town is forty minutes from a slightly bigger town...which is an hour from any reasonable sized city. Both times.

I've been to the middle of nowhere. It's where I'm from. And my family is still there.

Barkeep. I think my uncle used to drink that Crown. So set'em up.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The obligatory James Bond Post

I am a James Bond Fan

James Bond

I like the character James Bond. I've actually read the novels and found him interesting. The movies have ebbed between glorious (Goldfinger or Goldeneye) and "what the hell are they doing" (see Moonraker or Licence to Kill). But much like the dedicated person I am, good or bad, I still follow along.

Kind of like a Trekkie, only cool.

I wasn't all that big on Daniel Craig. I admit it. And I'm not too particularly crazy about the raw Bond they have him portraying, all force and blunt trauma and little of the refined cool that Connery started. Okay, Connery's Bond did once strangle a woman with her bikini top, but it was a cool strangulation. Moore, who was my first Bond, was almost comedy, but he still was cool and debonair if even in an odd sort of way. And honestly Dalton was just a mistake. Don't get me wrong, Dalton is an okay actor, just not James Bond. But I was impressed with Craig's ability to look like an agent with a license to kill.

Now if he could just look like James Bond.

And that's just it. James Bond is mostly defined as the cool and and capable, suave and refined character that most of the first 15 movies portrayed him as. He is the secret agent that we all wanted to be. This new incarnation is brooding and brutal and the writing lacks the essential quality of just off kilter humor that the older series was rife with. Look back:

-- Brosnon's Bond in Goldeneye with Xenia Onatopp in the sauna and "No more foreplay".
-- Connery's Bond in Diamonds for Forever, when after throwing Plenty O'Toole from the hotel window remarks "Nice shot", and the heavy says "I didn't know there was a pool down there."
-- Half of Moore's Bond's dialogue. Just pick something.

Recent critics are just that, recent critics, and their comparisons of the new Bond to the Jason Bourne character make me wonder where they think the whole concept for Moonraker came from? When you've been a movie icon for forty plus years, you can borrow from the next new thing. We real fans don't mind. You halfway expect it. The movie character is older than I am...jeez, would they expect us to shoot the remake of Knight Rider with a TransAm?

But who in the hell watches a Bond movie for character development? He's James Fucking Bond.

Okay, we've had our fun experiment. Bond's a whole man now. So let's get back to the just a bit smoother than the rest of them man about time I enjoy.

Barkeep. Vodka Martini. Shaken not stirred. And Yes, I do give a damn.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Got it in One

Mental Rehab Post #38
Law School's first semester is closing out in stages. First the study guide class, then the writing and research class and then the "substantive" classes. Looking at the whole thing, I'm curious as the reasoning and rationale of the order. I like to believe it's a time honored traditon that has planted the seeds of legal genius, and not simply because these are the professors available. I guess I need to become a legal genius to find out.

The more I see of law school, the more I realize it's all just a trick. One big weird puzzle that to join the secret society, you have to be able to relax your mind and see the pattern in the madness. Or it's just really really hard.

I finished my two legal memos, realizing as I devoted six days to the project - Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a little part of Monday for polish and printing - there were a lot of obvious clues that the system put in my path that my previously untrained eye had missed. The professors were correct in that the previous methods we had used to prepare ourselves for educational input would be for the most part useless in the study of the law. Oh how I wish they weren't.

Now I got two finals in two weeks. The first promises to be a education in creativty, as the first prof - in looking at his previous exams - is a man who really likes his work. Previous exams have included issues set against Elizabethean drama, while others have intergrated in The Three Stooges and Buck Rogers. Sadly in reading those previous exams, once you get past the drivel and his odd sense of humor, he actually knows the issues he's talking about too, so the idea is not to get distracted.

The other guy promised open book and open notes for his test. Which scares the bejeesus out of me. My classmates don't seem to realize...THIS MEANS HE CAN ASK US ANYTHING!!! I for one would like to admit now: this ain't gonna be pretty.

But between now and then, I got Thanksgiving. Which I'm planning to try and spend home with the family. Which means a drive down to South Carolina and back in 48 hours so I can spend the weekend handcuffed to a book, because my light in the ass backup is now claiming he won't be able to fill in for me on the day of the final...and I'll have to go to work and then go take a comprehensive test that is the only grade I get for the semester.

Oh joy.

Well. Here goes nothing. Really...nothing.

Barkeep. Set'em up 'cause I got to get it. We'll start...with the Rum.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Drive By Updates...

Quick and Dirty Post
There is no august lead in. No great or even insipid guide to what's on my mind or even a ludicrous but oddly true story or concept to get you warmed up. Don't have the time. Be happy I even got this up. Dutty somambeetches.

It's Wednesday. And it's on.

By next Monday, meaning that all blog entries will be written on the job when I can't steal the time to study, I have to complete two legal memos. Neither of them went especially well the first time, but I've got prayer and a mildly unhinged mind on my side. And some determination. And at least six precooked meals.

It's amazing now that I look back on my life pre-law school and realize that man, I hung the hell out a lot. A whole lot. And now I'm in a book six nights a week. The seventh is usually spent sleeping.

If I'm still sane on the other side of December 11th (the final final of this years's finals) I just need an outing. Something with possibility. It will be the Christmas Party Season and I know that I've got at least one holiday cocktail party to host. I hope.

Why is it all summer nothing was going on, and now everything happens at once.

Let's see: Finals. Papers. Still haven't' gotten a bill for the security home improvements so that's hanging over my head. Went to see the dentist and oh, I need my wisdom teeth out and he'll need about of $5000 (and have I thought about braces?). Car still needs a touch of work. Still living with one apartment's worth of furniture in a four bedroom house. Yard improvements. Massive yard improvements. New bills.

This could just get depressing if I keep going.

And if last weekend was slow, this week it's going to stop. I started working on Memo one last night, will finish up the basics tonight (some of it at work!), and then work on just citiations and format Thursday night for four hours. It's gonna take that long. Then start on Memo two on Friday night, which is going to be a beast. I don't expect to actually recognize it's Saturday on the day, but have a little Saturday commenoration on Sunday night. Then I start the studying for finals in earnest.

Oh the joy of education.

Dutty somenabeetches...

Barkeep. Just start pouring.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Office Moguls

Mental Rehab Post #37
More of the detritus of the many days I've spent. Suddenly things are in flux, and I haven't had the time to stick more than a minute into anything. And I'm suddenly concerned about things I should have taken care of weeks if not months ago. A simple error may have life changing consequences. But more about that later. Now, more crap from the back of my mind.

In my office, for the past few months, I have been victim of someone who does not have enough to do.

I've unfortunately become intimately aware of a number of things in his life...his apartment break-in, a piece of land he owned jointly with his sister, what he hoped to do with his land, his sister's objections to his plans, his plan for the house on said land, the hybrid car he bought, a certification he wants to get, the certificate for his new certification he didn't get, his entire stock portfolio, his theory of stock activity and market movement, how much he got when he sold the land to his sister, the house he wants to buy, the other house he wants to buy, what he'll have to do to this other house to make it livable, what his doctor said, the joy of his new iPhone, his political opinions and the fact that he didn't know if he was registered to vote or not, his unique brand of sarcasm, his new diet, this other house he's looking at, his new found joy of cigars and if you'll note...

....I haven't mentioned his actual JOB once. It's not that I'm listening. He's an older guy, who looks much older than he is and who sits a row over from me and has apparently no perception that sound carries.

The office rule is you do not as him questions if at all possible. Especially not his opinion.

He sits next to another older guy who enjoys snakes, playing videos of his cello concerts on his computer for whole office to hear and talking about his own meager stock portfolio. He also has no perception that sound carries. I have no reason to part of his conference calls, which he perfers to have on speaker phone. He doesn't understand why I have a problem.

I knew I should have taken that office with a door when they offered it to me.

I make this entry, because as I plod through my day, it has dawned on me that neither of them truly understands what they're doing. Guy B understands more than Guy A, but only by a little. And both of them understand less than that.

These two guys are the reason that Bush's plan that everyone needed to invest their retirement accounts in the stock market was flawed. It assumes that A) either everyone will know what they're doing or B) those that don't know what they're doing will be wise enough to consult a professional. As I listened to someone admit they'd emptied their 401k to do some investing ( he freely admits he's day trading his retirement ), it occurred to me that maybe...just maybe... the stock market isn't for everyone.

That same idea also strikes me when one of them can't comprehend why everybody keeps saying everything is so bad because the stock market hasn't completely crashed and gone to zero. The idea that all the financiers who supply the companies they want to invest in are writing down billions and staring down the concept of going belly up doesn't register with these "traders". They are apparently in the 10% who think the country is on the right course. Guy A is still trying to figure out how he can "flip" a house.

With no studying of the data, fueled only by "somebody told mes" and an "I figure" based on a blurb or apparently gut feeling (I haven't seen a single copy of the WSJ or even Fox Business news or Bloomberg or anything even semi-research related) they invest for hours at a time on the company clock via their PDAs and company computers announcing loudly $500 losses or $50 gains and wonder why their bosses think they're not really working. These are the men who will need Social Security or a well managed pension fund.

But maybe its that I'm not that bright. Because both of them make more than I and obviously aren't busy all day. So maybe I need to shut up and pay attention.


Barkeep - Cutty Sark. And Boone's farm for my friends.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The First of the Slow Weekends

Mental Rehab Post #36
There are days I think maybe God really likes me. There are other days I'm almost certain that God has a wicked sense of humor. And then there are days I think God went to the bathroom during the commercial break that was sometime in 1700s and is just now walking back in having stopped to make popcorn. I mean, if God can let me imagine it, how wrong could it be?

When I was in college, one Saturday morning I had a conversation with my father that I swear was a dream. My roommates remember me answering the phone however, which lead to a rather comical scene a few minutes later. You see my father had an odd penchant for calling at 7am on Saturday mornings when all good college students are up and ready to chase the day, don't you know. Up until my roommate asked me what my dad wanted, I had regarded the whole episode as a very weird dream. A very vivid hallucination.

I bring that up for no reason at all.

So Saturday I realized that law school really is hazing, but the lawyers write the terminology so they're covered. After reading through cases and laying out the simple parts - well, not simple, the parts of the memo I understand - I moved onto the slightly more difficult parts and realized I had been tricked and bamboozled. The whole basic structure we'd been taught so far doesn't quite match this set of facts. It takes too long to explain here, but what it means is what I know of how to do this is just shy of useless.

So Saturday was spent cursing the heavens. And cleaning my house. I got out a contractor's size garbage bag ( larger than a lawn bag) and got to work. Cleaned up the kitchen, cleaned up the living room, cleaned up dining and room and threw out countless old issues of the Wall Street Journal. Washed clothes, put up my scent diffuser, washed dishes, cleaned out the fridge, swept and swiffered. Cleaned some more, and cleaned up.

Man my house was dirty.

That kick on Friday showed maybe I was a little lower emotionally than I thought. Not a good situation.

Sunday morning, (because describing the continuing cleaning and reading through cases would be boring), I continued with cleaning and read through even more cases. I re-arranged and folded clothing, I tried to figure out transitions and logic, I swept, dusted and washed, and looked for legal standing on due process throughout the ninth circuit. And around four in the afternoon I finally said fuck it, I was going to ride over to my RP's house for a fish fry and chill out for a couple of hours, then get back at it.

And lo and behold, the car won't start. Dead Battery. How's about that for timing?

Spanky shows up and checks out the house, then marvels at my cable TV for few hours. She's mad because apparently, in a shocker, every contractor doesn't have your renovations done in seven days like on Extreme Home Makeover. Golly gosh darn the luck. So she watches the house, and also car (okay she watched my TV with a keen ear for my car), while Tom and I went down Walmart to buy a battery. I mean really, where else was I going to get a car battery at 9pm on a Sunday? God bless America.

I hit my man off with a few bucks for gas, and finally eat dinner at midnight, when I realize I haven't eaten all day.

Now, see if you can spot what's missing from this weekend.

Barkeep. Let me get a glass of the Pinch. Bit of branch water.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Night and Day

Relapse Post #3
Sometimes, 24 hours makes all the difference. What was an issue, now has an answer. What was unbelievable, is now within your grasp. What you didn't know yesterday is now a concept in full as you watch today's sunrise. Those are the 24 hours that change lives. This wasn't one of those times. But man that was dramatic, wasn't it?

Last night I went home to an empty house, ate a bowl of cereal for dinner, sat on my couch and looked at my homework - didn't really do any, and finally just went to sleep. It might have been 10pm.

Last night was one of those nights that affects a nearing middle aged person who knows he's missed opportunity and has ducked around his potential. A night where you riff back through the "I should have's" and the "I wish I had's" and try to figure out how you ended up wherever here is. It used to be called doing a little soul searching, but I guess now you might call it something different, it being the 21st century, but I don't know what. Rarely does this turn out well for anyone. It's a gateway feeling to depression.

I've had a great number of opportunities in my life. Probably more than most people. And I've stood there with my proverbial hands in my proverbial pockets and shrugged, like I had too much going on to be bothered. And as you get older, the excuses as to why you haven't achieved this, or gotten there, and made this happen start to run thin, if only to myself. Suffice it to say here is not where I intended to be. Way off. And so each opportunity for success or happiness starts to gain a little more value.

So this morning I woke up and futzed around the house. I futz around especially well on days I don't have class, because I really really really - really - don't want to go to work. I don't really like my job. I could crisply and efficiently get up, clean up and neaten, get showered and ready and actually be in the office by issue. My alarm goes off around 5am. Well in reality, I actually wake up, refuse to crawl of bed, get showered, get on the internet, get ready, and then show up at the office on those days I can stay late a little closer to say ...9:30 or 10am? Did I mention I'm not really that happy with my job?

So this morning I'm on the internet, futzing around and looking at nothing: email, news, porn, whatever - when my doorbell rings. Which is odd. And they keep ringing it, all silly. I start to get a little perturbed.

It's Sporty.

God is funny like that. Because damn if my house isn't a pigsty. And I look like hell. But I'm still happy to see her, and she's apparently happy to see me. She looks beautiful. And she tells me I need to clean up.

My boy Tom, whom I used to walk with in the park, has a saying: "A good woman will make you want to do better. Make you want to be a better man." There's more to that saying but it's not really applicable here. In a large part, Sporty made me WANT to be better. I haven't met anyone else that makes me want that.

If she has time we're supposed to get together before she heads out again. Which would be cool. She told me the one thing she wanted to make sure of was that she saw me. And just to make sure, she ran by my house.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. Still, to me it's betta than nothing.

Barkeep. Her drinks are on me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted.

I voted today at 11:55am at my local precinct.

I had been in line since just before 8:30am. The line wasn't that long. Or so it seemed.

After heavily medicating myself - Airborne, Zicam, and then Comtrex - I arose with only the vestiges of symptoms of what I call "the sneezing death" and trundled over to my polling place to cast my ballot. Thank god I brought a book.

The book was Ross Thomas' "The Backup Men" and is good with a sparse writing style that is highly steeped in reality.

In line I developed a distaste for the elderly.

Apparently if you're over 65, you can go right to the front of the line to vote. Health and all that. And there are an astounding number of elderly people in my neighborhood. Astounding. They came in waves of 5 or 10, on walkers and with canes, moving slow, some had help, others bravely going alone. Every 10 minutes or so, a fresh batch appeared. And each and every one voted before me.

And having voted, they're going home to watch a little TV, get a nap, maybe eat a little bit.

And I still had to go to work.

What really upset me, after standing behind the lady who was on the phone the entire time and in front of the mother and son who complained about everything - the weather, the free doughnuts, how slow the line was moving, what somebody else was wearing - for a period that was roughly half of my day, when I walked outside of the polling place....THERE WAS NO LINE.

Had I waited till lunch, I could have been in and out in thirty - thirty five minutes. Why couldn't the older people have waited until afternoon to vote?

In any case it's showtime.

Have the polls been wrong? All 150 of them? We'll know in a little while. Hold on tight, because here we go.

Barkeep, it's only cause I KNOW my boy is going to win, I need a Gentleman Jack and sprite.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Last Weekend Roundup

Mental Rehab Post #35
Sometimes in the course of living, we live just a little too hard. And then comes a reckoning, and then shortly thereafter, nachos. Or is it pie? In either case, as I've told many a folk, most of things that happen to me are my fault. I either didn't plan for the eventuality, didn't prepare going in, or whatever, but's my fault. So read this and when I'm complaining in a few weeks, you'll know why. To wit, my weekend... of my profs plucks my name from the ether to give a presentation last Tuesday. I mean I talk a lot in class to avoid moments like this, what gives?

I have my normal complement of reading and the case briefings.

.... two papers due, one reconstruction and the other from scratch.

... a mock final on Saturday that's gonna snatch three hours.

....and I need to start getting together my outlines and other study methods so I can master these finals in a month.

And then as it turns out I'm hosting the Halloween Party on Friday night (Silly me!), folks from out of town are dropping through, my website is in dire need of an update, I'm losing at BabyCal throw, my house is approaching pigsty status, I need to wash clothes, the loss in hours at work due to school means me es a broke, I'm starting to come down with something and I think my blood pressure medicine is not working right anymore.

So Friday night is party night, as my RP calls twice to see if I'm on the way. I had halfway figured this, so I was ready.. studied for the mock final Wednesday and Thursday, and since it was open book and notes I figured I would be straight. Home by 1am, up by 8 and at the test at 10am. Great plan.

The party is a flashback to how we used to do it. The women are frisky, fine and most are in costume. And the dudes show up empty handed. And ask for the top shelf liquor. The naughty nun doesn't give me a second look, the Serena Williams thinks I'm cute but crazy, miss sailor wants me stop serving drinks so we can get cozy, the dominatrices don't show up until midnight and foolishness is in the air. It was an good night. I need to have more of those.

The one picture I can show you...

So Saturday morning I'm up, and ready and you got to be tripping. The mock was a waste of time. Only four people show up to take it. The 2Ls and 3Ls are not happy. We 1Ls are not appreciative, apparently. Or serious.

So I go home Saturday and nap. And do my contracts reading. And sleep. And play BabyCal Throw. I'm sore from the night before, so I don't clean up and by the time the evening rolls around, I just make some chili dogs and make me some fresh cut fries (one potato - one knife. the basics), crawl into the couch and pass out. Man that's a nice couch.

Special note - Not everyone has an unlimited text plan. My people from out of town are in town, and end up canvasing for Obama (I find out via text) and then get tickets to the Hawks game (I find out via texts) and then run late (texts) and so we don't do dinner (texts) then after the game end up at Barley's in Midtown (texts) then the next day want to go a mall (text) and then are running late again (texts) and stop at the corner so they don't get to the restaurant early (text) and etc ....

So I get up, don't clean the house...again... and go down to eat on Camp Creek with my internet buddies. Who are fun people and have fallen into the trap that is Atlanta - Come for a weekend and you'll want to move here. And since they had the primo tour I can see why.

After eats I run by and catch my tutoring session, which as usual is more informative than the class in most respects. Then after the session my fellow presenters get together and gnash over the fact pattern for our "presentation". THIS fact pattern was described by our prof as a "finals" type question.

For dinner I've planned a thick steak, baked potato and fresh bed, gravy and onions...I have three bowls of Rice Krispies. Great plan.

And then bam! Suddenly I'm sniffling and sneezing! Bad sneezing. What gives?

Barkeep. Whiskey with a Thera-flu back.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


she comes into my dreams
she is an unforgettable whisper
a fantasy
thoughts of her grin still warm my heart
that look that I miss every day I do not see it
she is the beautiful
from the first time I saw her
until forever
and she always will
as long as I breathe
and have her face
tucked away in the recesses of my mind
that mind...
they still come unannouced
unintentional emotional eruptions
I have to carefully conceal
and so I am a liar as to
my disappointment in happenstance
in stark contrast
to the persona i inhabit
only God and I know
in my mind
and the in strands of memory
I will cradle in my heart forever
the love I feel
it never goes easy
it never leaves at all
I will carefully fold it away
an heirloom
as all great loves should be.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Other Phone Thing

Mental Rehab Post #34
Bad habits, annoying traits, things we do that we do and have been doing for ages for no good reason at all. You all do them. Okay, I do them too. And some of them desperately need to be fixed, as some are just not good for continued operation of this institution I call me. It's more from the closet of my psyche, and as they say the first part of working on an issue is realizing you have an issue. And boy, do I got issues.

I need to start calling people back.

I have a horrible habit. It is one that comes from a combination of a general overall aloof, a bit of self doubt and the amazing fact that it continues to happen again and again. To wit: If you give me your phone number, there is a 85% chance I will never call you. And if you call me and I miss it, there is a 50% chance I won't call you back. Oddly, I don't ever screen calls though.

Women frequently offer me their phone number. I have no idea why.

One night in a bar as me and one of my partners sat drinking good liquor, smoking cigars and talking cash money shit a young lady wrote her number on a napkin - practically unheard of in the age of cell phones - and molded her body to mine to make sure I got it. I don't think her number made it out to the parking lot. And she was cute too.

In college one of my junior partners called her buddy over and after we all got blitzed drunk I woke up with her buddy's phone number in my pocket, with no recollection of asking for it. I don't even remember the game of strip spades we apparently lost, which mean she saw me naked and drunk and gave me the digits anyway. Seriously, I don't think I look that great naked. What did I say to that woman?

Another instance, in fact I think I related part of it on this blog earlier, I had ducked out of studying a few weeks ago and found myself in the Castleberry district drinking away someone's birthday. I think I spoke to this woman for all of five minutes. She'd been sitting on a table edge revealing a generous portion of rather attractive thigh just opposite me for about a half hour and so at some point I got up, walked over and opened a napkin, then placed it on her lap to cover her, joking that she was being entirely too distracting. She laughed back and said that she'd worn the dress to show her thighs, they were damn good thighs and I could keep my damn napkin. The rest of our conversation lasted maybe two minutes. I didn't even ask her name. Yet as I was leaving she walked across the room and presented me with her card, put her number in my phone and suggested we hang out. Her number is still in there. And I still haven't called.

I am not a male model. Not even close. I am not rich. Working on it. I don't pretend to be either, although the male model thing should be evident fairly quickly. Immediately is probably a more accurate term. So how is it this keeps happening to me?

Don't know, don't care.

But I sure hope it keeps happening. Because one day I'm going to start calling.

I keep trying to figure out when I stopped trusting the phone. I'd had your typical youth phone conversations, with the classic sitting on the phone listening to each other breathe and other silly things you do, and I've seen the worst of it with breakups by phone and watched and listened as hurtful lies were told. You know, the usual. But I've always preferred face to face communication. A medium where I can see and gauge and react to the non-verbal as well as the verbal cues people give off. I mean sometimes you can feel a conversation veer off even when the words don't match up if you're in the same room.

Maybe it's because I'm not even aggressive enough in matters of a social nature.
There are a lot of reasons I guess, but I don't know most of them.

In any case I need to start calling people. And calling people back.

Barkeep. Hello, Barkeep. Barkeep. I mean to call for real, seriously. I lost your number...Barkeep?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Ren Sharperson Method

Mental Rehab Post #33
More from the back of the old psyche closet. Sometimes I'm amazed at some of the stuff I remember, like an old song I heard back when I was five, or a scene from a film that pops into my head for no reason, or an article that I read ages ago, or a memory of a moment that just resonates like you'd tapped my head with a ball peen hammer. Or something like that.

I went to high school with a guy named Ren Sharperson. At 17, he was a powerhouse football player with that athletic frame we all once had (no really, I was in shape once) and still somehow managed to look like he was in his mid forties in that first glance. But then it was South Carolina, and there was a slim possiblity he might have actually been only thirty five.

Ren was among other things, our resident philosopher. But his methodology was unique in my opinion, in that the man could break down any situation and I mean any situation down into understandable and uniquely logical terms of football. Ren occasionally springs to mind when I'm trying to explain something and looking for a metaphor to get my point across, and I end up defaulting to football terms.

For instance, Ren would consider getting a date to throwing a pass. The pass couldn't be to hard or too soft, it couldn't be underthrown or overthrown, and the recieiver had to be looking for the pass. Translate that into real terms and it made a young brother think about who he was asking out and how.

Another Example of a Ren Sharperson concept would be articulated as "In life, you need stop trying for the touchdown and just try to move the chains. If you move the chains enough times you'll get the touchdown anyway." Or for the non-sports person, this would translate into "stop going for the big accomplishments, break it down into smaller accomplishments that don't overwhelm you and as you get those done, you will inevitably get closer and closer to your goal." This is fairly good advice. Actually it was extremely astute advice coming from a guy under 20. And we were all football players who hung around other football players who talked about football all the time, so I'm a guessing that's why his thoughts resonated with such force.

I saw Ren last Christmas and he's a bit "rounder" now, to put it pleasantly he would be "more full through the body" so I feel better about my efforts body wise and about my fairly limited but about to get back on it work out ethic, but he looks his age now. Which means I must look mine.

Which is why old girl in the elevator at work called me sir. Which is something that can just ruin a damn day.

Every now and then when I'm faced with an issue, and nothing else seems to be helping me wrap my mind around it, I'll revert to the "Ren Sharperson" method.

And yes, it does sound silly. Until you realize it works.

Barkeep. Give me a cold one. Brand doesn't matter, as long as it's cold.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So this is what's left of my Weekends?

Mental Rehab Post #32
As the weekends get more boring, as if that were really possible, as they get more boring I'll try not to elucidate to much on the minuate, the silly and the just plain well, hell, it's boring. I do however promise it will get better. Eventually. I mean everybody keeps talking about how bad the first year of law school is. The rest is supposed to be a breeze. Relatively speaking. I hope.

It's been a long-ish weekend. Longerer. Felt like a week.

Friday was so blah the manager let eighty percent of the team leave early. Friday night was home looking at cases and trying to see what I could remember from the Westlaw Training. So by like what eleven-ish I was zonked? There was a time when I would start the night at Spot One, breeze over to Spot Two after a little while, end up at a third and sometimes a fourth spot all before 1am. And then afterwards go to breakfast...

What is the world coming to?

Saturday morning I awoke and breezed...okay, rushed in late, to the career planning seminar for Part Time Law Students. It was rehash of the basic stuff: don't wait until the end, you can do this or this, this is what's important, etc and so on. This time however, unlike undergraduate I'm actually going to use the career center. And I'm going to have to take issue with the school soon, as they appear to have no concept at all of weekend parking. It's an urban campus, with my count, six or seven huge parking decks, NONE of which are open on the weekend when they do have events and other goings on. Who's running this joint?

Then of course, I wore out my debit card. Unlike most people, I'm not a big believer in cash. I have this crazy tendency to spend it. All willy nilly. Two dollars here, a dollar there, a magazine, a soda, candy bar and zip flash what did I just spend all that money on? So I use a debit card pretty much exclusively. And once every 10 months or so...I literally wear the magnetic strip off that puppy. I found this out at Walmart, buying the small detritus of life, and luckily the machine took it on like the fifth swipe ...there was no one else in line... so I have to get that taken care of. Like Today.

So, now cash deficient I swung through the grocery store and semi stocked up at least through Wednesday and hunkered down. After I made a baked spaghetti (two kinds of cheese, tomato and bacon crumble), I did my case readings and figured out after Halloween I'm on a four week sprint to the finals. I have two legal memos due, my classes and now I'm going to have to incorporate studying for the finals into my meager time allotted. Flash cards, writing and rewriting outlines, reading and re-reading old material. It's about to get bumpy in here.

Sunday was social calls, as Spanky, revealed not only did she go phat on the furniture she's also remodeling the house which gives the impression Scotland paid very very well. With that AND the furniture, I'm officially jealous. Jealouserer. Talked to my brother who is working on semi-big things - finally - but until that's settled, it's all hush-hush. And after I found I had to defrag my hard drive on my main computer and thus couldn't do my case searches...I actually got to watch about a half hour of football. I have no idea who played. I did find out the Cowboys won though. Yeah!

Sunday evening I re-read for both classes and made notes. Then futzing around because I used the oven instead of the microwave to heat up a dinner portion of the baked spaghetti, I pizza burned it. It was still good though, but I wanted the cheese still gooey, not that golden color that means you've started to burn it. I used to work pizza delivery...another story... and yes, that golden cheese is really burnt cheese. Tasty burnt cheese, but burnt.

Sunday night...I um...what did I do? Oh yeah...I read through even some more cases for my legal memo.

Man this an exciting read isn't it? Okay, let's be honest. It's kinda boring, and it's gonna stay that way until the 2nd or so week in December. After that there will be a short period of intense relaxation. Then we'll kick off the new year with new classes and hopefully some new nicknames.

Did I mention the Halloween party? The last party of the fall? No...well...oops.

And since this post is going up Tuesday not Monday when I wrote it, I'm glad I didn't mention that damned party. Because although I had figured out that I could squeeze in one last night of the good time...why one of my student groups decides to hold it's Mock Final on Saturday morning? In the one class I can't find a representative final on? So I have to freaking go.

Do they understand just how lonely I be? They're killin' me...


Barkeep. One last one for the road. Lemme get a high and tight Manhattan.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Apparently Like Black Shirts

Mental Rehab Post #31
In an effort to complete this mental/emotional rehab, I've decided to start posting what would considered to the undiscerning eye to be some general crap. It is not. What you are seeing here is like when you re-organize anything - the stuff you forgot you had has to be moved as well. Mentally, these are little tidbits of trivia and silliness is that box of stuff in the back of the closet with that "omigod, I thought I'd thrown this out" stuff in it. And shirts.

In looking at my laundry, which was still folded on top of the dryer when I went looking for a shirt last (fill in any day of the week here), I came to a realization that I am a very dark person. And by that I mean I must own 15 or 20 black shirts. Long sleeve, short sleeve, pullovers, button up, polos, collar-less, faded, sharp black etc. And a lot of dark blue shirts as well. I have a few tan shirts, and like two red. And one purple that will probably never see the light of day again. And, maybe two green, I think I remember a green polo from like three years ago. But all of them together don't add up to the number of black shirts I own.

Shade may have been correct in her thought that black is my favorite color. Sporty used say I looked good in a black suit.

I like dark fabrics. Slimming. Okay, most of my underwear happens to be black or dark blue as well, but I can explain. I moved from white to colored underwear in college to simplify the laundry process, an important factor when you don't own you own machine. I've had a machine of my own for all but three of the years I've been in Atlanta and for those who don't know - first you buy the house, the second purchase is the the washer and dryer. You can get the lights and water turned on in a day or so, and furniture can come anytime later. Damn a fridge or a stove. I mean you can always eat out, but a laundromat visit can ruin your whole weekend.

And in my current neighborhood, I ain't just trying to milk the chicken with that thought.

And jeans. I need to buy some jeans. My office is like supremely casual, and when I say that I mean we run the gamut from sport coats and khakis to hipster motorcycle boots and metal band tees to football jerseys and knee shorts. So nice jeans and shoes with a shirt means I'm one of the better dressers on staff. Only I need some new jeans...and I suck at clothes shopping. I mean that. You should see some of the stuff I've bought. Other than the black shirts..

That maybe why I own so many black shirts.

If get some Grey shirts, too flashy?

Barkeep, get me a black Russian. Get it...Black... I like black... wuteva, Makers and sprite.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Musing's Fall Comment Drive

This would be a Post. Right Here. Posting.
I listen to the classics on WABE in my local area, and right now they're in the middle of their fall pledge drive, raising money to keep public radio public. And no, I have yet to donate. According to their numbers it takes about three to five years before a listener donates, so i got at least another year. Okay...maybe I'll donate. But in any case, it gave me the idea for this!

Welcome to the middle of our Fall Comment Drive. The writer of this blog in conjunction with the fevered recesses of his mind and the occasional help of frustration and Maker's Mark (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 sultry wit and dashing style. Salsa.

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 Second Life, as opposed to actually living the First Life. So...what is the old whiskey soaked, but reasonably good looking, old man sniffling on about?

My ego needs stroking something fierce!

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 a comment you'll get not the tote bag, not the 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 musical double CD - the one of me singing West Indian Celtic Folk tunes on disc 1, and me breaking to causation and economic theory of Congolese monkeys 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 Me, the venerable and always funny Myself, and cool and collected and add another adjective here, Aye, 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 and continuing writing (breathe) but said comment would be greatly appreciated.

Operators are standing by....

Barkeep...a round of drinks on my tab. Of course I'm good for it.