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.