Monday, July 27, 2009

A Man's Home is His Castle

This is a Political Post

“I’m up with a gentleman, says he resides here, but was uncooperative, but keep the cars coming,” the sergeant said.

These are the words of Sgt. Crowley as recorded by the Cambridge police during his incident with Professor Gates, a controversy I tried my best not to write about because politics are really more my brother's bag than mine. But today a facebook friend of mine denied their was any racial profiling because the 911 call did not mention race. A black friend of mine. Time does change people.

When the white people are more upset at treatment towards you than you are, then I think you missed something.

At the point in the incident the officer spoke those words, I'm not sure if Prof. Gate had produced identification or not. But I do know that once the Professor had properly identified himself as the resident, and proved it was his house (as he did) the officer should have "switched modes" and gone from investigator/defender to public servant. If you don't know what that is, it's the point in the coversation where the "sirs" change hands, in the beginning you call the officer sir, at the end he should be calling you sir. In this case, that didn't happen. Shortly thereafter, the Harvard scholar was arrested for disorderly conduct, or as the supporters of the sargent say, the gentleman was being belligerent.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. - Harvard Scholar
Photo from Wall Street Journal

Only, you can't arrest someone for just being belligerent in Massachusetts. It doesnt' matter if the Gates went on a tirade and threatened at one point, "call the officer's mother". It doesnt' matter if Gates pulled the race card or not. In Cambridge, which is in Massachusetts, you can do that. It's called protected speech. In fact, the Massachusetts courts have made it clear that a person who berates an officer, even during an arrest, is not guilty of disorderly conduct.

So why was Gates arrested? What was the officer's rationale? The REAL question is whether the officer wants to be a racist or a abuser of power? I remember watching a video a long time ago where a person getting a ticket blessed out the police officer, and I marveled because the officer took it with a straight face, never taking it personally. But here, the officer suddenly felt there was an issue with a slight man who walked with a limp (I don't know if the cane was seen) to such a degree that he would ask that they "keep the cars coming"? Black or white in the original call at this point fades from the consciousness, as here the officer is on the scene and can see who his facing. In this case the officer, perhaps a little perturbed, arrested Prof. Gates in what was an obvious show of power.

Power. Respect.

The question of the day is: Was it a show of power over everyone, to respect the police? Or was is a show of power over this little nasty black fellow, to respect the police?

I dunno. But either case, it seems I'm gonna be siding with the little black fellow. Because he can be as nasty as he wanna be. That's what the law says. So the officer, was wrong.

Barkeep...I need something that will make me grit my teeth.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Current State of Urban Flava

Ramblings Post #48
There are times when you discuss in a intelligent fashion, with voice modulated and facts clear as to your disagreement, and there are times when you just lean in close to your opponent and make your insults as personal as is humanly possible. I try to stay away from the second, but every now and then, you gotta go there. This is so I don't have to go there with somebody.

I used to listen to a lot of rap music. I mean a lot of rap music. I came up in the golden age of rap music of Sugar Hill Gang, RUN-DMC, Whodini and Public Enemy , when a rapper made his name with what he could do on the microphone. I found quality in the music from the West Coast, which in my opinion was basically the Dr. Dre sound and concentrated more on the weave of music and word than just the lyric base employed by East Coast rappers. And I went to school in the South and enjoyed many a musician who was "world famous" in Florida, and where if the beat was raw enough you could grunt and sell a million copies.

As you can see I've considered the variance in music tastes, can appreciate the difference between a party song and a message cut and I have actually argued the merits of proximity to the major media outlets in gauging group popularity vs. raw talent in minor market making a major splash.

Lately, though, I've had to stop listening to most new rap. Maybe it's age, maybe it's maturity, maybe it's that I've heard it all, but a lot of the new stuff is either a) repetitive, b) simplistic or just c) uninspired.

Rappers....en mass.

By repetitive I mean that how many times can you play the thug role? How many minor variations can we get of performers who tip a hat to the side, put on a white t-shirt, let their pants sag and claim a criminal past? Do we really need another? And since we've been in "thug mode" since NWA in the late 80's, we have to had every iteration. What happened to the likes of another Kwame? Or another Digable Planets? What happened to creativity or style or really anything other than the latest gangster stereotype paraded out with a new coat of paint?

It's way too simplistic for the most part. If you've listened to rap music for a while, you can hear the difference between the new music for the most part and the old classics, in that there seemed to have been more care put into crafting the actual words than today. The current form embraced by a lot of artists today is something espoused by Biggie, in that he didn't write any rhymes he just spoke them. Which is cool if you can do that, but I think if listen to Biggie, the complexity indicates that whereas he didn't write, he did take the time to craft his rhyme. A lot of young rappers seem to believe they can just create on the spot. There is a song the one southern rap artist admitted it took only 30 minutes from the time they decided to CREATE it to get it in the can, I wish I could remember what it was.

The great lyricists of the earlier age - guys like Ice Cube, Dana Dane, LL Cool J and other guys who in course of song could tell a whole story or talk on a whole concept, would actually *cough* wrote stuff down. You still can listen to the songs 10 or 15 years later. When you don't write you get a jumble of musical images tossed together or worse, repetitive lyrics indicating a lack of forethought. Rappers used to refer to their rhyme book in a very real sense.

And how more uninspired can rap be right now? I appreciated Nas with "If I ruled the World" which gave a diatribe about how he would change the world given the chance as opposed to ....well, pick a rapper. You can almost see the game plan in the studio:

>Producer: So, DJ Suka Punc, you ready?
>Rapper: Aight, son.
>Producer: Okay, remember to say something about selling drugs, big rims, reference a Bentley and motorcycle riding, use the term ballin, toss in some unrecognizable street slang and this time go easy on the strip clubs and derogatory references to women, this is supposed to be a love song.
>Rapper: I'm holla 'bout money and my tatts too.
>Producer: Cool. Here we go.

Where are the modern day concepts like "My Adidas" and "My Rhyme ain't done"? Or a something like a Ice Cube's "My Summer Vacation", "It Was Good Day" or Slick Rick's "Children's Story"? Does anyone really think they made up these songs as they went? There a few talents out there, T.I. is one as well as Eminem or Mos Def, but for every guy who obviously sat down and thought about it, there are twenty guys who approach the studio as if they were Parliament Funkadelic on the three day bender, forgetting those guys were trained musicians and most of today's artists are just, well...friends of somebody with talent, family of somebody with talent, or lucked out.

It's a shame but now I listen to most songs for the music more than the words, to get the groove. Every now and then I'll hear a groove with a good hook and a couple of lines that I like and kick it to that for while. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good party song just as much if not more so than the next guy, but the vast majority of rappers today are pure image, a "thugged" out appearance and a cadre of great producers.

I miss rap. I wish it would come back.

Barkeep...Koolaid. Red Koolaid.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bad Concepts

Ramblings Post #47
For many years I didn't have a cell phone. I was one of small group of individuals (I think the other six folks in Atlanta are still holding out) who felt that if you needed me, you could reach me at home. When I had no phone, plans didn't change enroute, things didn't get canceled at the last minute, and people would complain when their phone would ring and it would be for me. Then I got a cell phone. And I stopped remembering phone numbers. And plans could change. I could text. I was mobile. That little box links me to the world. Oh mighty cell phone.....

If there is ever a question about whether something is a bad concept or not, then it probably is.

Case in point, my RP and the rest of the wild and crazy gang decided we needed to have a pool party this last weekend. And that was a Bad Concept. Why was that a Bad Concept you ask? Why would getting together friends and other various hangers on, raising a cup or two in celebration while enjoying a few noshes and gallivanting about in fun and frolic a Bad Concept? Why it sounds positively great you say. So why, oh why is it a Bad Concept?

Because we did it on a Sunday.

Apparently for a lot of people in Atlanta, going to work on Monday mornings is strictly optional. Or there are a lot more unemployed folks hanging out than we realized. I say this because we hoped the crowd would slowly drop off the later the evening got, due to people having things like, say, responsibilities. Be home and dry by ten, eleven at the latest. Instead it seemed to pick up and we literally had to close up shop at eleven pm and even then the stragglers still kept hovering over the bar.

Okay, I did see a few folks that I hadn't seen in a minute and it was great to get out for the first time in months, but even when I was younger, you got a day to "recover" from the madness. You would have danced up a storm, stayed up too late and the next day you were able to sleep in and have a hearty brunch. I can't remember all the times I woke up late and hooked back up with the folks I'd hung out with just the night before over some grub to recount our antics. Instead this time I got up and had to go to work. My back hurts, I'm tired and if I could just get up and go home, I would.

Sunday parties are not a good idea. AND I lost my cell phone.

Barkeep. Water. Dry.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Actual Musings

Ramblings Post #46
Sometimes, you just got stuff to say, but not enough stuff to constitute what you think is enough for a single post. So instead of letting it slide or putting together a "best of" compilation...assuming I had a best, and there was more to compile, and that this was repeats and not just stuff in my head.. you slap together something and let it fly. Well, I'm too good for that. Maybe. It's early. In any case, these are what I guess the title of the blog really is...Musings from the Dark End of the Bar.

I think I need some B-12 or a ginseng or something. The last few days I have been tired. I was asleep last night by 9pm, and over course I woke up at 1am and was up until whenever. This morning I could feel myself getting tired as I drove to work, my eye lids drooping slightly. Which is extra dangerous on 285, a kind of perverse cartoon hybrid of a roadway that lies like the greens at Augusta, simple when you look at them, ridiculously hard to play. I perked up when I saw the seven police cars at the interchange trying to get to the car that was comfortably nestled amongst a stand of trees that stood there. That would be no way to start a morning. I got enough problems without adding random fate to it. Is my body clock off?

Yesterday Sporty sent me a picture, which is kind of a big deal. Although she is a cutie, and I tell her so frequently, she hates pictures of herself. But then I don't like pictures of me either, all of the ones taken are horrible. I mean, the damn things look just like me! So for Sporty to take a photo and send it is akin to winning the lottery. The sun where she is has her skin a deep nut brown and has turned her formerly brown/chestnut hair into a ash blond. That or Ms. Clairol. She looks like a little chocolate superhero. I need to stop.

The moguls are ...well, moguling. Chatty Mogul is getting a dog. Wait, he's taken a 30 day option on a dog, and has been regaling everyone who'll stop for more than 5 seconds passing his desk about dog management, dog theory and other things possibly dog related. That and carpet cleaning. Naive Mogul is back after his latest weekend incident, it's always something new, which I refuse to go into. Let's just say even the other managers were upset at the sweet treatment he's getting. I'm not even sure Daddy Mogul is here.

I'm in the vast gulf of 30 days between the end of summer classes and the start of the fall session and I'm so out of practice. Thomas, my former walking buddy and finisher of the 60 day fast, asked me what I was doing Friday and I honestly did not know. I had no class to study for, no brief to write... I was at a loss. He's grilling out this weekend, so I might stop by. I hollered at Schmoopy, who says we'll get together for grub at some point, and of course my RP scheduled the party this weekend with my being out of school in mind. I haven't been to a party in months, so I'm looking forward to it. But then there is family, who I need to drive down to Carolina and see, the yard work I promised myself I was going to this summer, and the books I bought but didn't have time to read, and the million and one other things I'm going to try to have to cram into three weeks.

I say three weeks, because I will be reading ahead this semester. Believe that. I got to have it.

So much to do, so little time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One last Sucker Punch!

Ramblings Post #45
Getting ready for a long trip, have you ever get packed the night before, make sure you have everything, check the vehicle and make sure you've gassed up, then get a good night sleep and wake up at 5am ready to go...only to have an accident happen on your main route and you may as well have slept till noon because you're stuck in traffic anyway? Yeah. Kinda like that.

If I catch that prof in the street, there will be some furniture moving I tell you that. Last night I took the last exam for the shortened summer semester. I'd taken the other exam last week and felt good about it, reading through the problems and classifying them all quickly, then going back and articulating clearly and in a efficient fashion my answers. It was how an exam should have felt.

So last night I felt good. I had the book (it was an open book test), the supplemental book with the Rules governing this section of law, in addition I'd gone though my class notes and picked out the specific rules we'd touched on in class and typed them all out just to be sure. Eleven pages. In addition I had ALL my class notes, a separate quick summary of the whole class and all issues touched, and had been going over it for three days. I'd done the readings (one bad weekend I missed one but I made it up) during the semester, in class I'd participated frequently giving good answers, thought I understood what he was talking about, and was ready to whip out my knowledge and rub it all over the page.

Five minutes into the test I was about the stand up and start cursing folks out.

photo from

Let me state this clearly: Since the law is rarely clear cut or absolute, it makes no sense to create a multiple choice test that requires clear and absolute answers. And yet there they were, multiple choice questions.

Which would have been no issue, after all I'd read the material backwards and forwards and reviewed throughly. But then all of that is worthless when the questions appeared to have been generated by Random Test Question Maker 2000, and only marginally cover the subject you studied. It was a three hour exam and the few - less than 25 - multiple choice questions took up nearly 2 hours of the allotted time.

The essay question was by comparison very easy. I argued both sides of the situation, point by point and notated each rule and how it would be effective in turn. I was quite proud of that part.

Afterwards during the often warned against post mortem that occurs after every test, classmates gathered in the hall, everyone looked at each other with confusion regarding those mysterious multiple choice questions. The question of where they came from, why the bulk of them covered a single section and why the choices given seemed so random in and of themselves was everyone's lips. One can only hope that it bodes well for the curve.

I'd hoped this summer to be the start of my tighten up tour, as my previous two semesters had been less than what I'd hoped to achieve. I spoke to my brother earlier today and suddenly he knows a litany of one year law students who threw in the towel, a concept heretofore unmentioned in my evaluation for law school or any conversation we'd had before. Now he tells me? I wonder if friends and family said the same to them as they say to me now.

I didn't start this with the purest of heart, I will admit. But I've never been a quitter. Or an abject failure. And my dinner with Sporty from a weeks ago is still resonating in my mind, in that maybe my priorities job/school wise need to be examined. If I'm gonna do this, and I'm pretty much in it, something has got to give. The world is a funny place.

Barkeep...I got one more done. Break out the Champipple!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Office Moguls Strike Back!

Ramblings Post #44
Less than 48 hours ago I thought the madness was over. Oh how wrong I was. To fully articulate the foolishness, I've had to give the Moguls, that lovable trio of office rogues, delineations and designations to keep the comedy clear. One only hopes that one day, when I quit this gig to move on to law, I can find a rationale reason to post their pics so you can see of what I speak.

I was wrong. The band of office investors have not realized that Wall Street is like Vegas, no matter how good a player you think you are, the house always the best game in town is to be the house. They haven't wised up, learned or gone broke; they were merely looking for a new game to play.

Today Naive Mogul was ten feet away from me, trying to explain to Daddy Mogul how stock options work. Which is a really funny conversation when you consider that Naive Mogul, who got the money from his daddy to invest, is talking to Daddy Mogul who is actually investing his own real money. And Naive Mogul is making it sound like he's discovered a new trick that nobody else knows about. He's been reading up on options online, well one site really, all morning.

ALL morning. And this guy is a manager. (With work, work interruptions, and editing it took me 4.5 hours to write this piece. He's been back twice already, one time to "hide.")

The only real way to win with options is to get them for free, a'la as part of a compensation package. I know that sounds odd, but since options are really bet, the idea that they paid you with a bet sounds even odder. So options handed out in most compensation packages - in which the company loans you the money to buy them - are free. I know this because I went to undergrad for business, studied this and other financial situations, read up on finance regularly (because I love to read and it is an interesting subject) and generally stay aware of my surroundings. The vast majority of NM's stories start with the phrase "I was at this bar..."

Naive Mogul will tell you he is as good as anyone on this trading floor
Trading Floor - UBS Investments Sec. - in Connecticut.

From what I could overhear of this conversation, and it's not like Naive Mogul is whispering, I know he doesn't understand the intricacies or even really the nature of what he's proposing to do. He's heard somebody made money doing it, so he's in. He's read a quick internet summary of the basic concept and now he's a veteran. His short term memory, in that he heard people had made a whole bunch of money investing and when he tried he didn't do so hot, that has evaporated like the fog in the sun shine's glow. In a sense I envy that unabashed confidence.

For every guy that makes a mint doing something, there are a thousand who bet the farm and lost. And I don't think anyone of these guys ever met a guy who no longer has cows.

Naive Mogul leads the charge, followed by Daddy Mogul, who has a kid to consider before he starts tossing money down this hole. And before long, Chatty Mogul ...the one who just bought the house...will take what's left of his meager fortune and find a way to throw a few bucks into the dark abyss as well.

Chatty Mogul is naturally, the talker. With only the slightest provocation, he'll tell you any story you want to hear. Want to hear his investment strategy? Want the latest stock tip? Want to hear about his house? About his Prius? About his new product design for something nobody needs? About how he got back a crown he accidentally swallowed? His political views? His new diet? [That last one is a bit of joke, as CM resembles an overstuffed man made of dough and I once witnessed him eat 50 wings in one sitting. To the bone.] His need for a dog? His medical issues? Just stop in the vicinity of his desk for for 30 seconds and wait.

Which makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong, because I don't have loot like this to toss around. The moguls "invest" thousands. Two guys in the other adjacent department bought the new Iphones outright, at $700, even though they already had working Iphones...THAT STILL WORKED. Did I miss something? Guys investing, guys throwing loot at super phones, vacations in really think I missed something.

But I'm not stupid. I just missed it.

Barkeep. Ice Water. I'm not taking no chances around these fools.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Office Moguls Change their plans

Ramblings Post #43
For those that work, and everyday there seem to be less and less of those, there is usually that person in the office that you can't really figure out why they are still...or ever got to be...employed there. They don't seem to do a lot, or are really abrasive, or just are generally unpleasant to be around for what could be a variety of reasons. I've termed one such group the "Office Moguls". Read on..

The office moguls have finally figured out they're not going to get rich in the stock market.

And finally, after twelve house inspections, pissing off five or six real estate agents (which is pretty hard to do in a down market), one of the office moguls finally closed on a house. You have no idea how happy the people who sit near him were to finally be given the date in which the endless calls to the realtor, the seller, to the attorney, to the various inspectors and any one else he could bug on company time would finally end. There was a hiccup when although the closing was Monday afternoon, he was ready to walk away from the deal because they didn't want to send him all the paperwork five days in advance (he's not a lawyer) or give him the final figure three days in advance. His repeated protestations that he could "always just go buy a house for cash in Acworth" still resound through the halls.

Repeated explanations that these processes were normal (y'know, where the professionals you were paying actually got a chance to do their job) did not satisfy him.

But then on Monday, that faithful Monday, he dutifully went down and in what he considered a "hostile" purchase because nobody wanted to sit down and explain every single line to him on every single page, he signed.

We nearly had a keg party.

So the Home Buying Saga is over. Its been replaced by the Renovation Tales. First the carpet in the basement had mold, and he decided to steam clean it instead of replacing it. Then he decided to do his own fridge ice maker install and a pipe burst so the carpet got soaked anyway, and then the deck fixing up and so on and so on. It is an exquisite form of torture I guess. And I really really wish it would stop.

This situation in my office reminds of a old comedy skit on what I think it was MADtv, where a spaceship lifts off from the moon and the captain asks for the first mate only to find he's inadvertantly left the first mate on the moon. He radio's the moon and the first mate radios back with a measured, "First, I would like to apologize for anything I may have said or done to make you mad." The captain springs into action and calls for the Head Engineer to see if they can figure out a way to go back for a which the the Head Engineer, also left on the moon, says slowly, "First, my captain, I too would like to apologize for anything I also, may have said or done..." I thought it was hilarious.

And with that in mind : At this time, karma, I would like to apologize for anything I may have said or done to offend you and beg your forgiveness.

For the time being the other office moguls seem to have curtailed their "investing" and the like as well. I found out one of them actually whined to his father to give him money to invest because the rest of his group, the other moguls, were doing something he wasn't. It put a new spin on the concept of I made a few hundred dollars they used to crow about. Some days I wonder.

I think we're gonna need a bigger boat.

In other pressing personal news, finals for the summer classes are this week and I'm stressing. Now, I did really well in the actual classroom, participating and understanding the theory, but this one test shot to show and prove, really has me stressed out. I didn't do great on this system in the past two semesters and I'm a little concerned now if I can actually do this, meaning become a lawyer. Splitting my time between a fairly demanding and emergency driven job and a detail oriented school is hard, and as Sporty put it, exactly how good did i expect to do when my brain is maxed out?

In less pressing, but still apparently relevant news...was Micheal Jackson this big? They shut down the streets in LA during rush hour to move the body, every channel carried his memorial...including I think ESPN and Al-Jazerra, and most of friends on facebook spent the bulk of the afternoon commenting and commemorating his life as they watched. Educated, degreed, and for the most part employed people. Sporty sent me a text on it. I think I missed something. I mean, I liked his music, a few are classics...but um, I'm just not feeling it. I feel bad and pray for the Jackson family, and his kids (losing the only father they've ever known has got to be rough), but um....nope. Went right past me. Sorry.

People in line for Micheal Jackson Memorial.
Photo from NY Times.

And so toils on life.

So, seriously, we're not getting a company paid hour to mourn Micheal Jackson? I sir, am appalled. Okay, not really.

Barkeep, I need a vanilla milkshake to soothe my nerves.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Fifth of July

Ramblings Post #42
As of late, the great holidays in which I had vested so much attention, Valentine's, Memorial Day, Cinco De Mayo, summer, the 4th of July, have all had to take a backseat to the what I'm hoping is my future. But with the recent spate of celebrity demise, I begin to wonder if I'm not wasting time, and that the future I'm looking forward to, I've already passed. Or I'm just lonely. One or the other.

My long lost buddy Shade called for the fourth. She's in DC, finally having moved into the condo of her dreams - walking distance to work, swanky, pool on the roof, other swanky stuff, etc - and now she's about to give up on men. Again.

What seems to be passing for attractive. Dare I say...trifling?

Her quick assessment was that all the men she meets are trifling. Which was bad assessment, because after she explained to me, one was just plain a liar. The rest were as she put, less than worthy with stood up dates with no call and the like. Yes, she'd come into contact with a number of trifling men, I have to admit. Including the one determined to stay out of the friend zone. We never got around to what the alternative would be, but since she rarely makes my dreams come true - it will probably just be a dating sabbatical for a while.

I spent the holiday in the books otherwise. I have two finals in the next ten days and I intend to ace them both. Then apparently have to go see family, as my father was quick to mention family reunions when i spoke to them as well. But already got a something for that first weekend. So I got that going for me.

Sporty is still in town, but she has tons of other friends here and as much as I would like to monopolize her time, or at least keep bugging her, I'm not. I'm nice guy. And you see where I am right?

She told me some things at dinner on Thursday that made my first free Friday in a while into a series of naps - up at 10am, study, nap at 1pm, wake at 5pm, study, nap at 8pm, wake at 11pm, waste time - which is a sure sign of either disease or depression. And my doctor just checked me over, so I'm betting on depression. It gnaws away at you when you can't help someone you care about, and I'm a little short in what Sporty needs right now.

So Friday was sleepy, Saturday was slow except for a few phone calls (and Steve McNair apparently getting clipped by the other woman), Sunday was slower with more studying and less thinking.

A famous comedian, Jerry Clower, once asked the philosophical question:"Where will you be when you get where you're going?" It may not be the most highbrow way to ask an existential question, but it does the job.

Where will I be when I get where I'm going?

Barkeep. Ice tea. Sweet. No lemon.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Throwback Restaurant Review - Kevin Rathbun's Steakhouse

I had dinner with Sporty.

Last week, for my birthday, I gave myself a present and sent Sporty a book I made by hand, just for her. In was some poetry, some quotations and a story I wrote that put on the table the reasons for a whole lot of things. I was my birthday and I can do as I damn well please. So I sent her a book. A book I wrote for her.

She said it made her laugh, and it made her cry. That will be the best review I ever get for anything I'll ever do.

So, anyway, this morning at she hits at before dawn, letting me know she's on the plane. When we were rolling, I used to know her whole travel schedule, so this is a throwback move. She's in town for the weekend, seeing everybody, but tonight it's just me and her hanging out. Dinner is at seven, but after three I suddenly get the willies...I'm nervous about seeing her again. But I suck it up, and head down to Kevin Rathbun Steakhouse down in the Inman Park area.

I actually run into Sporty in the parking lot, as the valet is taking our cars, so there is no movie moment of drama. It's just two folks who hadn't see each other in a while happy to see each other. She was beautiful. Her skin was brown as a nut from the sun and that same light had her hair turned a bright blond, dressed in white pants and black black tank with a black vest...(and wait, I had on a white shirt and black pants. Spooky?)

Rathbun's Steakhouse is a nice spot and worth the money you'll pay. Done over in a brick with sleek black booths and seats, our waiter Charlie was quick and always within visual range, unlike a lot of restaurants where every so often you wish the servers were GPS enabled. There is kind of an arty feel with antler-ish chandeliers and jazz playing in the background. Sporty liked it.

We got the crab cake to start, and I had the fillet and she had the ribeye. The steaks are juicy, the mashed potatoes are light and airy, and just so you know, the scalloped sweet potatoes have cheese in them. Sporty tried them but they switched her to the twice baked potatoes, which again had taste we couldn't identify, but were still good. We skipped dessert.

She and I ate, drank and told stories...for the better part of three hours. Our waiter, the formerly happy to have us there Charlie had to wonder why we'd locked down his table, but he did stay friendly.

We talked about Dallas and it's schisms and how she misses Atlanta. We discussed her school and my school - she made the most compelling argument for full time law school I've yet heard - and we talked about her old situation and then, for a long while, we talked about God and faith and where she is spiritually right now. She told me I need to ask God for what I want....but then what I want is her, so there you go. But I'm a firm believer in that when you love someone, you care about them more than yourself. So again, there you go. She's turned into a real philosopher since last I spent time with her. She's different...but the same. It's a zen thing, since we dressed as yin and yang. She got my jokes when I tried to be funny, but she was thoughtful, and made me think. She was Sporty.

And I still love her.

If you need a steakhouse and aren't afraid to spend a few bucks, Mr. Rathbun has a fine establishment, if this there is no doubt. And if you need a good waiter, ask for Charlie. And if I don't go back to being a broke student immediately, and if Sporty comes back and wants to go again (although we did agree if I go to law school full time we'll hookup at the Waffle House on her return trips)...I'd gladly take this steak. It came with good memories.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Alright, Enough Already...can we let this go?

Internet Fodder Post #4
This will actually cover more than just the internet, because this time more than just the internet is responsible for this lunacy. I wish we were better than this, that in some way we as the citizens of the world could recognize when things get out of hand, when things go too far. And at that moment, we stop, take a deep collective cleansing breath, and back away from the lunacy. We haven't reached that point yet.

Okay, I realize that Micheal Jackson was an Icon, beloved by millions around the world, musical genius and all that, but this is getting silly. Why is it still in around the clock coverage on a major news networks, no, let me strike that because I have no idea what's on Fox News, but why is CNN covering it like lives hang in the balance?

Mike's kids will not starve. This I promise you.
Mike's money is gone. And it ain't coming back.
Mike's family had some secrets. But then, we all knew big whup.

The new major offensive in Afghanistan? Relegated to the crawl along the bottom of the screen. Larry King will be live from the Neverland Ranch at some point! Maybe I miss heard them, but I swear it was breaking news that they...were moving his body? Um...other than the family, do the rest of us really need to know that, and why is it news?

CNN needs to do better. I live maybe fifteen minutes from CNN center, and I'm tempted to go down there and throw a brick at a programmer. There was a coup in Honduras! Amjabaa-bitty-boop boop or whatever threatened us again. They're still killing folks in Iran for talking back. Our own government passed climate legislation and CNN has a nurse who says Mike couldn't sleep. They will hiring at CNN soon, because there will be some firings shortly. Or at least there needs to be.

And lo, I wish it was just CNN. The number of Micheal Jackson stories I have read this week:Mike was fine, Mike loved his kids, Mike was broke, Mike was sick, Mike couldn't speak, Mike got duped into the comeback concerts, Mike knew what he was doing, Mike was a pawn, Mike had a gay lover whose got pictures to prove it, Mike's accuser lied, Mike was frail, Mike was practicing for this show, Mike has a million songs stashed away, Mike was on meds, Mike thought he was going to die, etc and so on from Newsweek, The Huffington Post, the Daily Mail, and every other junior bootleg site is ....well, seriously..has anything else happened?

For the sake of the family, who actually lost a brother/son/father...can we all just let this go? Please?

Let the Jackson's mourn in peace.