Thursday, June 26, 2008

Then karma hits me square in the mouth

Sometimes, the hints you get in life are subtle, and we miss them in the hustle and bustle only realize later that this was a clue that maybe, just maybe you'd missed an opportunity or let something get past you. You realize later that if you had done X or said Y the whole outcome would have shifted.

And then there are moments like this.

When the clue is obvious, so blatant, it's like God grabbed to top of your head, twisted it around to where he wants you look and says "here stupid", like you're Curley in a Three Stooges movie or trying to shove the dog's nose in it's mess to show it's mistake.

Short version - Sporty and I were still doing whatever it is we do. She texted that she misses me, and she'll be in town on x-day, etc. So we're now dancing around a new concept, trading I miss you's and I love you's when her "man" proposes to her...on my birthday.


There are 364 other days in a year and he picked this one?

Thinking maybe I missed something? Think God is saying for wasting all this time...take that? I'm getting that feeling.

Her message says "I was presented with an engagement ring". It ends with "luv u."

I've always been a little slow. But damn. Shit. Why can't she just say it? I'm gonna get up and do something, been in bed since I got home. Lifequakes and aftershocks.

The Dumbing of America

A few months ago I was without my keys or my cell phone via circumstances too convoluted to go into here. I was then that I realized I was significantly dumber than I was four years ago. I realized that at that moment I only KNEW two phone numbers other than my own. My mothers and a single friend of mines.

There was a time that I knew fifteen or twenty numbers by heart. Someone would ask and I could rattle one them off without thinking about it. Now with a need to call someone for assistance, I was befuddled. Bedeviled. Bestupided.

This only occured to me again recently when as I stood outside Party B trying to figure out how to the get Party C, the person I was trying to get directions from told me that although they had been to the place before, they did not know how to get there. "I just put the address in my GPS" was the memorable statement in the explanation. I realized that now people didn't need directions, just the address and trust whatever spit back out of the machine. Isn't this a fine kettle of fish. So now we've not only forgotten phone numbers, we've forgotten how to get places.

I suddenly want to give a party that only has directions, no address. And when you get to the yellow house, you'll be there.

I understand modern conveniences, I myself just bought a blackberry. (It's great too, you should get one) But I didn't turn on the GPS function. So there. And true back when I could remember phone numbers I didn't have a cell...which lead to me getting cell phone calls on other peoples phones. Which is funnier than you think, since it meant they assumed I was with that person, but they didn't want to talk to them.

I'm now trying to figure out what we can forget next so I can invent a machine that does it and make a fortune. Phone numbers have been done, we stopped doing math when we got calculators, and now getting places. Maybe I could re-invent meals in a bag and when people as what's in it the eater won't know - just say it's good. Wait, they call that a restaurant. I'll think of something...just you wait.

Barkeep...lemme have, I have to tell you what to put in the glass.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Long Slow Restaurant Review - Canoe

I realize that normally my restaurant reviews are neither really that quick, or ultimately a review of the restaurant but this weekend I spent a few hours at a spot that I like immensely. Back when Shade and I hung out, like in 2002, it was a little spot we'd hit when she needed a boost. Apparently she needed boosting often back then, as usually the manager would come and chat with her whenever we strolled through. So when she called me last week talking about celebrating her finally getting her MD (yep, all the women I know are doing thangs!) I already knew where we were headed.

Canoe is a lovely little spot in between Vinings and Buckhead, right on the Chattahoochee river. I mean right on it, like the gardens in the back abut the water. The food is American, with rabbit on the dinner menu, the decor is early hunting lodge and the service is incredible. And for the first time since I started going I saw a waiter the same color as me. Astonishing. Great guy, his wife is studying for the bar, his kid looks like a future little heart breaker.

I digress. Back to the story/restaurant review.

Shade calls me last week and makes sure I have the date free for brunch and lets me know that she'll be bringing a male friend, which to me means I'm off the hook for a gift and paying for her meal. I'm guessing she said that as it's usually me and her that go to Canoe, even when it's a group, and I'm not sure if she was clearing the decks or she just wants to make sure there were no misunderstandings. Right. So I'm paying for just one? Cool.

So we meet up at 2-ish and get an outside table. There are six of us and three have never been, so I know they're in for a treat. Before I could ask if Scoop was coming, Shade explained that Scoop and her were mad at each other again - again - and when last they'd spoke Scoop was leaving church to go spend some time with her husband. I didn't ask for an elaboration or what that was code for.

I'm going say now, possibly the one bad thing about Canoe, for the first time I've ever gone we had a small flying bug issue. Never had one before and Shade and I have eaten outside numerous times so I'm not sure what was going on. It wasn't that bad at first but it became an issue later. They may want to invest in some of those citronella candles or something.

Appetizers are the arugula salad with a citrus thing going on, and the she crab soup, along with some sticky buns sprinkled with nuts. They looked so good, somebody is going to be cursing me on her elliptical on Wednesday. It was still brunch - we'd made the last sitting - and so we split the table with orders both lunchy and breakfasty. Two orders of the roast chicken, someone got the salmon, Shade got the shrimp and grits, one eggs Benedict and the always popular always tasty extra good waffle house upgrade redux for us un-imaginative eaters i.e, me - the Riverside: eggs, bacon, hash browns and french bread topped with fresh fruit. See, something for everyone.

Them eggs Benedict.

The three new folks raved about the food, as though they were surprised. I wondered if they thought we were going to take them someplace bad? Have they met Shade? Do they know the girl loves food?

Now this is a long slow restaurant review not only because my dining party was considerably larger than the usual twosome but also because we arrived at 2-ish and when we left we nearly met the dinner crowd walking in at 5:30. We were there that long.

It was a lively group, everyone at the table is theoretically single. I know this because one of the young ladies let us know she was hosting a function the next night at the Grape in Inman Park just for singles, and everybody said they were coming. I say theoretical, because I'm also fairly certain that Shade's companion might have been hoping for a different ruling. So the conversation veered between single life in regards to all the usual topics that make up polite dinner conversation when you really want to be talking about ...."benefits", yeah, that's the term.

We got a bottle of the Cava and toasted Shade's graduation. We were reminded that if you don't look people in the eye during a toast then it's seven years bad sex...then everybody toasted again, except the guy on the end who claimed he wasn't interested "benefits." At all, with anyone. He'd just gotten divorced and that wasn't what he wanted, though he apparently had offers. Insistent offers. Cheeky bugger.

And as we kept talking, the dessert came. Or rather desserts. We ended up with every dessert they had. The chocolate cake looking souffle was awesome. The creme brulee a wonder. They had something in a pineapple glaze, a peanut buttery something, more something else. Somebody adored the sorbet. I'll have you know that I couldn't eat after this meal, my day was shot, I had to go home and lie down. So that's a good indicator.

Shade and her Congrats Chocolate was good though.

Now at this point, it's us and the people who work at the restaurant getting ready for the dinner seatings. I know they had to be mad at us. Probably thinking: Geez, don't these people have homes? I think even the bugs were ready for us to leave at this point. And even after we finished, there were still the obligatory pictures in the garden. Thank god the only thing on TV is baseball. I had planned anything else that day it would have been a travesty.

I guess you can call this review biased (it is) because I really like Canoe as a special occasion spot. I'd suggest it to anyone who asked, although as of late the clientèle has gotten kind of casual - shorts and sandals. The food is still good and the service is still excellent despite this lax of customer mores, and when you toss in an after dinner stroll through the small but very beautiful garden, it's a place all it's own. That, and the sweet tea was great!

Barkeep...more sweet tea!

Friday, June 20, 2008


I awake every morning
each day fresh
numbly yawning at the dawning
another daylong session of control
as struggle to keep
the tightest grip on my soul
I can feel the pressure behind my eyes
tapping on the windows
as I contain the all feelings inside
it takes a moment to become the facade
the one I've constructed
crafted and worked on so hard
the smiling face and understanding grin
Mr. No I'm good
one more time I become him
a quiet voice in the face of rage
with the coming of the sun
he steps out onto life's stage
and no one knows the inner me
shrouded well
where no one can accidentally see

I keep close at heart the secret truth
the loneliness, failures
the days and nights of wasted youth
support given and not to be returned
opportunities missed
romance spurned

because sad is lonely
and nobody I know wants to be alone

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Odd Quotes

Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.

- Somebody really smart

Thursday, June 12, 2008

At least I got a good night's sleep

"What I to go to sleep in the arms of someone who loves me. Is that too much to ask?"

In college, after a particularly painful ending of a situation I thought might become something more (and with my imagination the things I can dream up are boundless) I went to my apartment and didn't leave for two weeks. I lived off potatoes, ramen noodles and water. I didn't go to class for a month, ultimately blowing off the semester. I was at less than my best with that whole episode.

I'm trying not to repeat that situation here.

Last night Sporty and I went out and got Japanese at this little spot in Midtown. She called unexpectedly, I thought she'd left already but I can always make time for her. At the end of dinner as we sat there half looking at each and talking around things on a small patio with the sound of Peachtree street behind me, she told me she'd found that she was "going to get but what she hadn't already gotten." That's how she phrased it. Like she didn't want to say it either. We just looked at each other.

Why did she tell me this?

It was a quiet few more minutes at the table, as I tried my best to not a] ask her marry me right then, which was my first instinct (but like she needs more pressure) or b] collapse into weak man jelly (which is never attractive) or c] turn it into an explosion of pent up feelings which I'm fairly certain wasn't going to end well. My stomach tightened and I think most of the rest of whatever conversation occured with my eyes closed. A good bit of it was a blur.

When we fianlly got up to go I told her I was going home and going to bed. She said "yeah, my stomach hurts too."

In the parking lot we shared one of our little moments where I think we really are in sync, then I got in my car, drove home and got into bed. It was 8:20pm. I didn't get up except to go the bathroom. I didn't turn on any lights. I did a lot of thinking. A lot of praying.

This morning I made myself go to work. Two hours early. The longer I stayed in the house, the more likely I wasn't going to go. And if I didn't go the first day...I might not go back.

....and the band played on.

We chatted to today on the BBerry, which i purchased specifically for this purpose. We have these heartfelt conversations then whoosh, it's like we're 2 years ago and nothing's changed. I'm so confused. She knows how I feel about the whole thing. I still just want her to be happy.

I would be a schmuck.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When it's time to leave....running.

I went to a bachelor party the other night. I find that idea interesting, because NOBODY I KNOW is getting married. So I showed up late and tried to duck into the back. It's an odd habit of mine.

I don't really like adult "entertainment" that much. The idea of being viewed like a human ATM - they just have to figure which of my buttons to press to make the money come out - lost it's appeal years and years ago. I used to help hold down the wheel of a little shake joint and I guess after a while of four nights a week I kinda burnt out on the whole thing. So although I live in Atlanta which has more little spots like this than you would believe, I'm not a fan.

But I do know this. The kind of dancer who would choose a private party over a club is someone who would be, and I'm trying to put this delicately, would be a less than superstar contestant. A few points less than a ten, ya know. But the party is around the corner and I was bored, so what the hey.

And wouldn't you know it, I was right.

So I spend most of the function in the kitchen, away from the main event. It's a "New Skool" bachelor party, as there are women as well as men enjoying the "entertainment." The music is whatever plays next on the CD player and the living room which probably looks huge with five people in it was shoulder to shoulder to dancer. It's a typical low key affair that just chugs along as everybody has a good time. But as long as everybody has a good time, it's all gravy.

Now another interesting feature is that the host thoughtfully installed is a pole. Which is really interesting because none of the dancers can well, to a woman none of them is, of the right make best use of the item. It just kinda stands there. But pole was finally why I knew it was time to leave.

So as the function wound down, the entertainment is ...lounging...and somehow without me really paying attention the after party becomes Pole Dancing 101 - for beginners. A few of the dancers have to be "helped" into position before they're attempts at acrobatic tricks fail. It becomes a comedy moment. Then a few of the remaining female patrons decide to give it a try... but are no better. I think I just jingled my keys in pocket, an absent minded gesture that was perhaps fate's way of saying "and that's your cue."

So this GUY grabs the pole...yes, a man. He swings his body around and does a pole slide. Seriously.

The women laughed themselves into hysterics, the "entertainment" applauded and I found the exit so fast you would have thought I'd discovered teleportation. Not my kinda party. No sir. No siree Bob. I thanked the host, who in typical fashion was at the in-the-street talking about nothing for twenty to forty more minutes afterset that happens at every house party.

But that which as been seen cannot be unseen. got any eye bleach?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Quiet Moments

Sporty and I did lunch on Sunday at this little Indian place in Norcross. Moments like that are why I wonder who we are to each other. She was fresh from sport, but looked radiant. It was a place we'd been before, Himalayas Restaurant on Peachtree Industial, and the food was again great. Last time we went they had a large party, a group of 25 with multiple small kids running about in the small space, so it was good but not good. You know? This time it was low key Sunday Brunch kinda chill. They were a little mad we didn't get the lunch buffet though.

In a missive a week before I had declared who she was to me. The next week we're chatting on BB and it's just like old times.

I would be confused.

She got the Vindaloos and the waiter suggested the Balti for me, the naan as always was fantastic, the little onion part of the appetizer set it off just right and the food came quickly. We talked about ....well, we just shot the breeze. A little of this, a little of that. She asked about my family, we talked about vacations, she joked about me having to go to work the next day. Ha ha. I get her, but I don't. She was hungry as she cleaned her plate, and I swear the waiter was about to fight me if I didn't take my doggie bag. Friendly little spot I tells ya.

...and the band played on.

Later that night she texted me that she was going to get more Indian takeout for dinner. I let her know I'd just finished eating my leftover takeout. So it was like we had dinner together again. It felt like we were in sync again.

It was a quiet moment. And with her I like those.


I do not like Mondays. Which is interesting because I have no affinity for the weekend either, so I'm kinda up the creek on this one. I would say I "hate" Mondays, but that would imply emotional commitment to a specific allotted 24 hours, but it's not that serious. Let's just say I'm less than happy to see Monday roll around again. Again.

Last week was a mental/emotional roller coaster, as I got some legal things squared away that I thought might be an issue, I got some work done at the house, I found out that my A/C unit works - but needs to be "charged", and I started looking towards the future and this fall.

I discovered the A/C thing on Saturday..when after being home all day, the internal temp of the house got up to 92 degrees. Now I'm not a man to give in to the baser instincts of society's need for eternal comfort, damn the expense, but I figured that since I'd already showered twice and was about to sweat through my couch, the very least I should do was take the edge of the heat. That's when I made my heated discovery. The unit comes on...runs, the fan cool.

At one point it's cooler outside than it is inside. So I know the insulation works. So I got that going for me.

I got a tree downed (one the city said I could cut down) and got another trimmed back, so now i can see the street light. My replacement little old man who does yard work is starting to get on my nerves. I have to explain to him that my salary will not support the both of us, so he'll need to dial it back. He's helpful and all, but it seems like everytime he needs a buck I'm the first place he stops. I miss my old original little old man who did yard work. He wasn't as much of a hustler as this character. But he won't be back for a minute...'

The future...well is the future. With luck...everything will change by the end of summer. Well, not quite everything. I'll still be black. But I'm starting my secondary education, looking for a new daytime gig that will let me concentrate on my new secondary education, looking for some sanity and peace since romantic things have gone awry (On the upside, I'm down at least 15 lbs behind that) and trying to recapture some of the hedonism that made my alter ego such a great guy to know.

But for's Monday. Damn Monday.

Barkeep... let me get a Thursday with a slice of evening.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Obama: One down, one to go.

It's all over. Well almost.

One down, one to go.

Last night a major political party in the beacon of democracy for the world chose one of it's formerly downtrodden as it's candidate for what is still the most powerful office in the world. Said candidate will face off this fall in a battle that both aspirants have said will be civil and above board.

No, not the woman. The other one. The black man.

And in the face of a missed last second political half court heave, Hillary flipped open Karl Rove's playbook and sold her soul to a Republican. Whoops, I mean the devil. Reality Re-alignment. In her version it's only a real democratic process if she had won. My mother told me a long time ago that you don't change the rules in the middle of the game, that would be cheating. But that's all the Clinton campaign has been howling about doing since Super Tuesday. At first I was this doesn't matter, then I need it so put it back in (MI & FL). Then it was a matter of not counting these votes over these votes (caucuses vs. ballots). Now it's we should decide by popular vote, when she knew the delegate count would be what they went by when she started. The rules only started matter when it looked like she wasn't going to win.

Now, instead of bowing out with grace after being mathematically eliminated (true the Superdelegates can change their mind before the convention but what are the odds?) and asking how "we" can work together on this thing, she's loading up to cause enough issues to ensure the person that beat her doesn't win to general election.


I didn't watch her "And I'm telling you, I'm not going!" speech last night, but I understand she invoked messianic imagery, self serving democracy and the idea that without her some 18 million Democrats are somehow invisible. Sorry didn't see all of ya'll there. My mistake. Where did all you come from? One reporter invoked the imagery of people who looked angry enough to set small brushfires.


The way Hillary sounds right now, she's more likely to end up as McCain's VP nom than she will Obama's. I'm not sure McCain is foolish enough to do something like that, but anything is possible. Right now she is raw naked ambition and she's willing to tear down the church if she doesn't get to lead the prayer at the dais.

What happened to the good of the party? What happened to the will of the people? What about the other 18 million who didn't vote for her? Apparently these only matter if the it's in her favor.

She has exposed herself as yet another candidate who promised to unite rather than divide, yet when it comes down to it, in a moment of character faithfulness and truth to oneself, shows that's it's not really about all of's just about them.

And is that really presidential timber?

Barkeep, you got anything that will make all this go away?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hillary Plays the Long Game

I've been staying out of the fray that is the looming presidential campaign lately from a blogging standpoint, as it proceeds to get less than pretty out there.

I've watched women screaming out about how unfair it is the Hillary is being treated the way she is. The fact that she can no longer mathematically catch her opponent, her continuing gaffes are turning her into a political liability, and her long "dubious" political track record would destroy her in a general election have no bearing. I have seen an aboriginal racism develop in a number of people that I think has even surprised themselves.

Why is Hillary still running?

The reasonings that everybody's vote counts and that sometimes the campaigns run long are transparent fabrications along the lines reality shaping of the current administration. The popular vote is moot, Gore won it in 2000 and see where it got him. The delegates are what counts, and Hillary's argument that every vote should count only makes sense when her supporters add up the numbers. Her questionable count that includes Michigan will again be contentious after June 3, especially if Obama hits the "magic number". But then Hillary is playing her own game now, and the endgame comes in 2012.

The fact is the Democrats will need to time to heal the internal divisions created by this fracas. By staying in the race longer, by pretending to not own up the actual reality Hillary and her campaign are creating fault lines for the Republicans to force open this fall. I'm certain that by the end of June or sooner she'll capitulate after a quiet conversation in a smoky room with a old and wise conversationalist, but by then it will be too late.

Her actions will have created enough of a rift for McCain to win in November.

Her followers, angry and much like the woman screaming outside the Reporters outside the Committee meeting on Saturday about how she'd vote for McCain before she'd vote for Obama (indicating a racism so perverse it would throw away the chance for change just to keep a black man out of office) are indicative of the response you thought you might only get in a parody on Saturday Night Live. But it's a reality. Had this ended in April or early May the idea of a black leader would have had time to marinate in the minds of Democrats. It would have become palatable. Doable.

Instead, if Hillary keeps her threat alive and keeps going to the convention the idea of the black candidate will be broken out of the gate. The Dems need to sell him not only to the undecideds but to Hillary's supporters as well as someone who shares a great deal of the same concepts. Even now Hillary knows she wouldn't win if she somehow steals the nomination at this hour, as the African American base will be disenfranchised. She's threatened until August but what she just needs to do is keep the game going long enough for McCain to eke out a victory.

In four years with the current policies, the dollar will be in the toilet, the military in shambles, our world reputation a joke and our debts eating away at our current paychecks and not those of our children. Into this world Hillary will appear as an American Joan of Arc. We'll carry her into office.

In March, someone hypothesized that Obama although leading the venerable senator from New York who just wouldn't go away after the Super Tuesday showings and losing eleven states should have for the good of the party stepped down and let Hillary have a go at it. The turn of statesmanship would tear the party, doom Hillary's chances and hand Obama the office in 2012.

I think somebody else just found that article and changed the name slots.

Barkeep. What do you drink when you figure out about the shenanigans?