Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday Dinner

Finishing off leftovers from Christmas--the last of a standing rib roast that came out perfectly, along with dressing, mashed sweet potatoes and this delightful Shiraz, enjoyed in one of my new stemless glasses:

Friday, December 28, 2007

Is There

anything better than after-Christmas sale shopping for stuff? That you didn't necessarily set out to buy, but have a good use for and found great deals? By which I mean, a new bamboo pillow*, a new book**, and stemless red and white wine glasses that were 60% off.

*I discovered bamboo pillows and sheets at Target in 2006--they have completely eliminated my waking up 'stuffy' every morning.

**How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gill, son of legendary The New Yorker writer Brendan Gill. That's gonna be Sunday's treat.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

May peace and love be with you today.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Surprisingly

smooth and delightful Shyraz is going down easy as we speak. Lunch was homemade chili with a coconut custard pie for a bite of sweet as a chaser. I've been watching 'Ebbie' with Susan Lucci. I'm a sucker for any kind of remake of 'A Christmas Carol'. I have 'Diva's Christmas Carol' saved on the TiFaux and I'm thinking I'll put that on as soon as the local murder count/weather hallucination finishes up.

I'll be taking my life in my hands tomorrow by heading over to the nearest metropolis with a decent grocery store and a Target--I'm thinking a nice standing rib roast for Christmas dinner (with a notion to cook it on the grill); cat supplies need replenishing as well. Plus I've got a hankering for some chips and salsa at Chilis.

This Christmas is shaping up to be less crappy than last, but it still bites the big one. I miss my friend. I'd give all I have and all I could steal to have him right back there on the computer or piled up on our bed writing a letter.

Here's wishing all the blessings of the season to my friends. Your continued support, encouragement and love mean the world to me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bah Humbug

Winter hibernation

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Colleague

who is just about one of the finest ladies I've ever had the great fortune to know has just discovered she has cancerous lumps in both breasts. A double-mastectomy is scheduled for next Friday. Please send up your good vibes.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Chocolate

Sour Cream Pound Cake* is resting and cooling as we speak, prepared for our office Christmas dinner tomorrow.

The kittie stayed completely underfoot the entire time I was putting the thing together, so much so in fact that I had to put her in the bedroom and shut the door, because the only thing she hadn't done during the process was shove her face in the batter, and I swear she had the look in her eye.

But I reckon her whacked-out behavior was likely confusion due to my using the kitchen and my nice equipment, such as my KitchenAid Stand Mixer, in a manner in which she hasn't seen in almost twenty-four months. The most she ever sees me do in there these days is open her Fancy Feast or make myself some toast with Nutella or fry an egg.

*This is the perfect cake--comes out really moist due to using a box of chocolate pudding in the batter and it doesn't require icing. The recipe does suggest sprinkling powder sugar on top, but it's really gilding the lily, if you ask me.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mr. 37 Year-Old

has been blocked. Just a combination of weird things, inconsistencies and other random stuff that made my radar ping. And the hackles on my neck go up.

In other news, nothing so much happening here. Except for the five day, 80 degree heat wave we've been...enjoying. More 'seasonable weather' (as the forecasters say) is expected tomorrow.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

So There's This

rather cute 37-year old guy that's emailing me on Myspace. I think he's real and not a Nigerian dating spambot.

Oh my.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Then There's This:

What Does It Mean About Me That I Was Disappointed The Score Wasn't Higher?

You Are 34% Evil
A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Explain This Phenomenon

wherein I can keep my cordless phone next to me here on the end table all day long & it doesn't ring, yet it almost immediately rings when I decide to put it back on its charger? And it's always one of those 'unknown' numbers.

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Couple of Beers

I had back-to-back meetings up the road yesterday & today. Hung out yesterday evening with a colleague who's a great gal & we've gotten to be good friends over the past two years.

We went to a really cool place and settled at the bar. She was expecting someone else to meet us, a guy she'd dated a few times after she'd divorced,but is now just good friends with. He showed up after we'd had a chance to talk for a few minutes.

He was a nice guy, just came across as decent and down-to-earth. And I found myself not talking about my late husband as a defense mechanism, as I have in the past when around 'an eligible man'. Movement towards my 'Chapter 2' I reckon.

I can hear some of you saying 'good for you, girl, keep taking those steps'. And I know it's a good thing. But I've still had a damn good cry about it this evening anyway.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

All Is Right With The World

Kathy Griffin has a new stand-up special tonight.

Man how I wish she'd bring a stand up show to my neck of the woods. That's a ticket I'd buy in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Made Me Laugh Out Loud

12PM Relax -- That's Just Canadian for "Good Morning"

Overworked CSR: Sir, at any point in our conversation today did I provide you with my name?
Customer: No.
Overworked CSR: Good -- fuck you [hangs up].

Toronto, Ontario

via Overheard in the Office, Nov 28, 2007

My Friend

the Poopster has tagged me with a meme and so here goes:

Things I am not:

Patient: Been known to snap my fingers at the microwave to encourage it to hurry up.

Vegetarian: I'll take the New York Strip, medium with a fried pork chop on the side.

Damn, this is kind of hard. I'll have to give this some more thought and come back to it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Instead of

dealing with the crowds the day after the Thanksgiving bacchanalia of turkey overdosing, I took a ride to Mepkin Abbey, the Trappist monastery near Charleston for their fifth annual Creche Festival:

I was drawn to the faces on this Bolivian Creche.
The figures are barely two inches high.

This was just so pretty.
There were 42 Creches on display. The experience was truly spiritual-it was almost awe-inspiring in which each artist took the same idea and brought forth an individual representation.

College Football Overdose

First there was the Arkansas-LSU game, which left me feeling like I'd been run over by a truck (3 OT's!). Then there was the Tennessee-Kentucky game, which made Arkansas-LSU look like amatuer hour (4 OT's!).

Which brings us to Carolina-Clemson: Clemson-24, Carolina-21. Aaargh!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Haven't Seen

Elf, but I'm planning on watching it at some point this weekend. If only to see the scene in context where the guy announces Santa is coming and Will Ferrell screams Santa! in such complete joyful abandonment.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I Wish

things were different.

Blessings to all my friends.

And thank you Jennifer for the sweet comment. I needed that.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Because I'm Trump's Whore

and because there is no resisting a damn good celeb reality train wreck, I'm so there for this:

`Celebrity Apprentice' Stars Announced
By FRAZIER MOORE – 7 hours ago
NEW YORK (AP) — At a locked-down news conference in Manhattan last month, the cast for "Celebrity Apprentice" was introduced to members of the press. Everyone was sworn to secrecy.
Now the secret can be told, says NBC, which made public Monday the names of the cast members.
Not that they needed any introduction. Not all of them, anyway.
Not Omarosa, remembered for making everybody mad as a contestant on the first "Apprentice" season in 2004.
Why did Omarosa agree to come back?
"I did it for redemption," she told reporters.
Vincent Pastore (aka "Big Pussy" from "The Sopranos") was also instantly recognizable.
So was Stephen Baldwin, who explained his participation by noting he already had "done a bunch of reality ... I thought it would be fun to play the game."
Likewise Gene Simmons of Kiss, star of his own reality series and unabashed self-marketer.
"I'm in the Gene Simmons business," he said, so doing "The Apprentice" can only help promote his many other ventures. "Everything helps everything."
But others on hand did need a bit of introduction.
Like Nely Galan, former entertainment president of the Telemundo network and executive producer (and "life coach") of "The Swan," an extreme makeover program that aired on Fox a few years back.
Or the vaguely familiar-looking woman introduced as Marilu Henner, best-known from the sitcom "Taxi" a quarter-century ago.
The 14 celebrities won't be vying for a job with Donald Trump, as in the previous six "Apprentice" seasons, but instead will compete in business-oriented tasks around New York City to raise money for their favorite charities. The official "Celebrity Apprentice" will win a $250,000 bonus to donate.
Tasks will be judged in the boardroom by executive producer-host Trump and his advisers, including, once again, his children/colleagues Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr.
As they met with the press in mid-October, the gathered rivals were set to face their first challenge the next day, when taping began. The show debuts Jan. 3.
Cast members for this rejiggered "Apprentice" — which in the past relied on scrappy, ambitious star-wannabes — were selected from a field of some 125 celebrity applicants, Trump told reporters.
"They were all begging to be on the show," he said. "The hardest thing was breaking it down to these 14."
One deciding factor: Each of the chosen has had experience in business, Trump said. "These people have all done something very dramatic with money."
Can they do it again, with cameras watching every move?
Actress-model Carol Alt acknowledged some initial nervousness.
"They're going to follow us in real time and that's scary, of course," she said. "I think with most all of us, we want control of our image — it's part of the work that we do."
Galan echoed Alt's trepidation.
"I've produced reality shows," Galan said. "To be on the other side is a little creepy. It's my karmic boomerang."
Other cast members include country music star Trace Adkins, Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Nadia Comaneci, Playboy Playmate of the Year Tiffany Fallon, Olympic softball gold medalist Jennie Finch, heavyweight boxing champ Lennox Lewis, "America's Got Talent" judge Piers Morgan and Ultimate Fighting Champion Tito Ortiz.
NBC is owned by General Electric Co.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I Think I'm Coming Around

to the belief that it may not be PMS, but that this is my actual personality.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


This stuff will cause you to spend hours trying to figure out how to unhinge your jaws to allow for maximum stuffing of what can only be described as 'Nectar of the Gods' into your system.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Eight Random Things

Because I'm kinda scared of Jennifer & she double-yada yada yada dared me (and, well, everyone else, but let's not quibble):

  1. It's candy corn time! I love candy corn. But really, who doesn't?
  2. My Aunt has been emailing old photos that she's having a blast scanning into the computer and saving (see recent post where I am totally 'rocking' my Brownie uniform). It's created no small amount of cognitive dissonance with me, because I remember myself as a chubby kid. And that is one bony little thing in those photos. What's up with that?
  3. Is it just me, or are the clothes in the stores this fall just about the fugliest crap you've ever seen?
  4. Well, except for Talbots. And I've just discovered there is a Talbots Outlet about two hours away from me. Methinks this calls for a road trip up Charlotte way over Thanksgiving weekend.
  5. Do you ever want to just toss everything in your house out in the front yard, set it on fire and start over? Yeah, me too.
  6. I have quite the little girl crush on Heidi Klum.
  7. A website I must check every day:
  8. And another dirty little weekly obsession.

Project Runway

returns Wednesday!

And Bravo is treating me with a marathon of last season's episodes. I still lurves me some Laura Bennett. Still have found no redeeming qualities in Jeffrey's personality. And Vincent? Vincent still totally squicks me out.

Maybe I take my reality tv just a tad too seriously.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dear Mr. Nigerian Dating Scammer:

Just a few tips based upon my review of the following message you sent me on my 'Myspace' page:

Hello Gorgeous,How are you doing?

I hope you get this mail and it finds you well in Goodshape,Sorry for writing this late as I have been very busy lately with my flight arrangements and appointments.I was glancing through profiles when your gorgeous picture got me attracted while your lovely words had me write really was marvelled reading your profile and i enjoyed doing so.The first thing that came to my mind when i saw your picture was..''re drop dead i thought i'ld take out time to introduce myself. I'm Dennis Hughes 46yrs 5'9inches tall" 175lbs blonde hairs,blue eyes.Originally from cedar grove,New Jersey but presently embarked on a business trip to the United Kingdom to purchase some Furniture Wooden Antiques .

Widowed ,was born by a british woman from London,UK with a white man from cedar grove,New Jersey .I relocated to staying in cedar grove,New Jersey after i lost my dad...died an Asthmatic Patient,but grew up with mum in London,UK.Studied in (oxford university London) had degree in Arts And Sculpture.I'm a proud contractor,deal in making arts piece and also into sales and marketing of furniture wooden antiques.I receive the most compliments on my eyes (Blue), legs (shapely/muscular) and my thoughtfulness (very). I consider myself very versatile and I have to be because I have friends and business associates of all races, ages and socio-economic backgrounds. I'm very laid-back and down-to-earth. I'm also very old-fashioned when it comes to my respect and treatment of women...As for my hobbies...Hhhh Like camping,fishing,golf,watching movies,not much into sports but also do the side

I like spending time with loved ones,i don't smoke and i don't drink .I really don't have much time for the common 'traditional divorced scene' but thought i'ld give it a try,besides, i have a few friends who have had good experiences.I'm an honest and straight forward man not into playing games. Seeking a woman with the entire provabial package,beauty and morals.With self respect,understanding caring heart and not into games.Looking for a serious woman to settle with spend the rest of my life with,would take things easy but if sparks fly,then so be it.

Sorry for the lengthy note,however my aim is to give you a full picture of who i am.But I would be very glad if you respond with the hope of corresponding,and also hope we get to know each other better as i look forward to reading from you soon.Till i hear from you,have a blissful time and stay with God's blessings. i got im on yahoo instant messenger u can aslo reach me on there on if u have yahoo u could aslo let me know so we can chat there ok. Many Thanks Dennis Hughes

Tip #1: Maybe get someone who learned to read and write English as their first language to compose these missives for you--the fucked-up syntax, inappropriate capitalizations and overall lack of understanding of proper punctuation are kind of a dead giveaway.

Tip #2: Keep your stories straight-at first you say you are widowed, then you talk about not liking 'the traditional divorce scene'. I'd stick with widowed, just for the sympathy vote.

Tip #3 and this is a biggie: I have never heard an American male of any persuasion describe his legs as 'shapely'.

And just out of curiosity, what the Hell is 'the side thing'?

Good luck in your search, and be sure to let me know if I win the lottery.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Kittie

woke me up at six-ish; we were up and about, morning routine. I went to get the paper paper. I hate it when the Sunday paper is late.

Except it really wasn't, because it was about then that I realized it was actually five-ish, since I learned a long time ago to wait until the next morning to put the clocks back in the fall.

At this point though, it feels as if I've been up for just about freakin' forever.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Just So You Know

that reading this blog is not a waste of your time:

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Soup's Bubbling

From a recipe in Woman's Day, that called for a package of Knorr Leek Soup mix, swiss chard, canelloni beans and kielbasa sausage.

My grocery store didn't have the Leek Soup mix, so I substituted a package of Knorr Vegetable Soup mix, they didn't have any swiss chard, so I picked up some baby spinach. They did have Kielbasa and canelloni beans, so I'm good there. It's starting to put off a nice aroma as we speak.

I've made the rounds to all the local holiday market/open house deals this morning; the Vandy-Florida game is on and the Gamecocks are on tap with the Arkansas Razorbacks later this evening.

A pretty good fall Saturday, all in all. Hope y'all are getting to enjoy some nice, crisp weather.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday Night

And I'm watching 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. Because I lurves me some Johnny Depp channeling Keith Richards.


I'm the incoming president for our state association next year, which means I'm in charge of our big fall conference. We traditionally work with one of our major vendors to put on a 'dinner dance' and the president picks the conference and dinner dance theme.

So the vendor and I discussed this briefly last week at the Myrtle and I mentioned a western theme. I'm a redneck girl, through & through, and my vision, as it were, was along the lines of country line dancing and a karaoke machine--true to my honky-tonk roots.

The vendor emailed me today with her 'vision'-a hoedown, to include...square dancing lessons.

Yeah, not so much.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I Had

a dentist appointment today. Got in the chair and the hygienist began looking at my chart, made a clucking noise, then asked "What are you here for today?"

I think I made her mad when I said "Uh, Y'all called me."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Holidays

As in: The holidays are just around the corner.

I subscribe to Woman's Day and the latest issue came with a stock paper cover advertizing something that I care nothing about. I turned that stock cover to get to the actual slick cover and was met with: How to Have the Best Christmas Ever!

At which point the magazine was given a violent sling into the nether reaches of the living room. After careful, thoughtful consideration of my behavior (read a hysterical, slobbering, sobbing meltdown) I determined why the cover, and the realization that the holidays are actually going to come around again this year, affected me so.

Last year, I was focused on getting through them, getting through the *first* holidays without my Dear Donnie. And I did. And I remember telling someone that it was pretty awful, but that they would be the only first ones I'd have to get through. I obviously wasn't in a place to think long-term about the reality of there being second and third and so on holidays without him.

And I can't say for certain I'm in a place where I can do that now. Not that I have much choice in the matter.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Family Album

Me in my Brownie uniform (I'm about seven in this picture), my bubba Michael and our baby sister Tricia (who is now 38). Where does the time go? Are there even Brownie Scouts anymore?

Friday, October 26, 2007


Been offline all week. I'm thinking I need to do that more often.

Update tomorrow. Be good. I'm going to bed reaaalllyy early tonight.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

randomsoutherner Goes Green...Sorta

Just mopped the kitchen floor with a mixture of warm water, white vinegar and baking soda*. I sprinkled extra soda on a couple of tough spots (like the ring around the kittie food bowl-what's up with that?) and it is now pretty sparkling clean.

And there is no 'cleaning solution' aroma remaining. And my kittie isn't walking on chemical residue. And I'm not sneezing my head off & in imminent danger of an asthma attack. All in all, a win-win situation.

*This a great toilet bowl cleaner too. Just pour in some vinegar, a good handful of baking soda & let the fizzing & bubbling do all the work.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

It's A

particularly crappy weekend here at Casa de Widowhood Sucks. Thank goodness for a comfortable sofa, a 32-inch flat screen and a surfeit of mindless yada yada on the satellite.

I'll be beyond busy at my conference next week--might get an opportunity to update sometime around Wednesday--surely someone will have done something silly or humiliating* by then.

*The good money's for that.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Ellen Degeneres:

You screwed up. Now shut up about it and stop being a famewhore.

Dear Lady Who Runs the Amimal Rescue from where Ellen Degeneres Adopted:

Please consider scheduling the surgery to remove the stick up your ass as soon as possible. I can assure you, you will feel much better afterwards. Also, shut up about this situation and stop being a famewhore.

Dear Britney Spears:

Oh Dear God, why am I bothering? A letter is written by a sender on the premise that the receiver can read. And in this case, I believe it's genetically impossible for the child to stop being a famewhore.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


'Boone' arrived yesterday. I'll take it with me to the Myrtle, 'though I'll likely not have much reading time.

Things at work are about the same--suffice to say there appears to be a couple of folk who are bound and determined to continue to propel themselves towards an end goal that, as best I can tell, is fraught with those 'pesky little unintended consequences.' Which is fine-I can only hope they're prepared. But I know they're not. These are the kind of middle-aged people who are afflicted with severe cases of 'Rampant Adolescentism'.

On my to-do list for the weekend: a mani-pedi; a trip to to the discount liquor warehouse for some supplies for next week and packing.

And thank goodness this week is closer to the end than the beginning.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I've Pre-ordered

this from (great site for books, electronics & lots of other goodies) & it's supposed to ship tomorrow. Daniel Boone is one of those people that I think I know a lot about, but I also think a lot of it is myth and tall tales. Likely due to a childhood that featured daily doses of Fess Parker as the eponymous Boone.

One story I have heard about the man that I think is true: He was looking out of his cabin window and upon seeing chimney smoke from a cabin about a mile away said, "Time to move on, neighbors are getting too close." My sentiments exactly.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

More Celeb Brilliance

Learning Four-Syllable Words Has That Effect on Many Celebrities
Lindsay Lohan, about being in rehab: It was a sobering experience.

via Celebrity Wit, Oct 12, 2007


isn't it, what a weekend of beautiful weather, a brisk walk in the early morning cool, a bout of productive and fun work and a good meal out of town can do for one's psyche.

What also helps is coming around to the realization (for the millionth or so time in this life) that one cannot control certain events or the behavior of others.

Right now I'm watching The Iron Giant, a wonderful, witty movie from a story by Ted Hughes, written during the height of the 'Red Menace nuclear attack' hysteria. Funny that's it's still timely and on point all these years later.

Tomorrow it's back to that place with those people. Maybe I need to dig out my copy of this little gem and do some reading later.

Speaking of work, this year at our annual conference I'm responsible for the vendor hall. Filled with vendors. Who are, in theory, business people. Late Friday, my association president forwarded me an email from one vendor rep who related that she was promised setup/conference information on August 30 and that, quoting now from her email, "it is now 12 days before the conference and I DO NOT have any information."--capitalization hers, mind you.

I've sent the information out three times, once in a letter about a month ago and two mass emailings since then. I responded to her by letting her know the information has been sent three times, to the representative indicated on the registration form--which on this company's form, was someone else, not her.

I recognize this is something of a customer service situation. These vendors are paying us for space in the hall and we have a responsibility to ensure they get what they've paid for. But in this instance, it goes beyond that. They're paying for space in the vendor hall to get to school district representatives who have money to spend. And I'm one of them. Now I have a feeling that Miss Thing may have figured her little missive was probably going to get some clerk or secretary in trouble--because that's how some folks roll, you know, getting off on causing grief for some underling.

But what she's done is piss me off. I'm certain she will want me to come by her booth and listen to her spiel in the hopes I'll drop some green with her company so she makes a nice commission. I can't wait to tell her that she has blown her opportunity with me and the reasons for that.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


totally suck right now, mainly professionally, but there's some personal suckitude going on as well.

And it's just too mundane and prosaic to relate here.

I'm at the point where I'm getting on my own nerves.

Don't look for much* here over the next couple of weeks--maybe I'll be recharged after my conference at the Myrtle week after next. Anything's possible.

*An ironic use of a figure of speech; I can't imagine anyone coming here looking for 'much' of anything these days.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Actual Internet Headline

'Manhunt 2' game still banned in Britain.

Aaand Franco is still dead*.

tm Chevy Chase. Man I'm kinda old.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Preacher

from my church has resigned. Well, I say my church--I attend, but have never moved my letter from my previous church.

This hurts me in a couple of ways. One, because of why he is leaving. He's leaving because there is a small group of truly horrible people in the church who have now successfully run off two young preachers, through their petty insults and nastiness, combined with almost daily street talk about this preacher and the previous one at the local diner. Nice fucking Christian behavior, huh? Among the reasons why I do not refer to myself as a Christian and generally take the head off anyone who accuses* me of being one.

Two because, this preacher had only been at the church a few months when my Dear Donnie passed. He came to the house that day, and called me at least once more. He also performed Donnie's memorial service; he and my Donnie never met, and yet you would have sworn during the service he and Donnie had been best friends for twenty years. In other words, he made the effort.

I've spent most of the day composing a note to this man in my head; seems like such an insignificant way to let someone know you will never forget them and be grateful and thankful to them always for bringing you a moment's peace during the worst time ever.

*And by accusing, I mean even if someone innocently asks me if I'm a Christian. I always tell them I certainly want nothing to do with the likes of those people.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Definition of 'Geek Heaven'

for me at least:

The programming for C-Span's BookTV this weekend is from the National Book Festival held yesterday on the Mall in D.C.

Yesterday was broadcast live (I DVR'd some of it while the Carolina game was on-saving that for after the Braves game) and now I'm watching what they taped yesterday, beginning with a discussion of the new (and last) Halberstam book about the Korean War that includes a panel of Korean Vets.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

They Really are Accurate

The last line of my horoscope yesterday read:

Make plans with family, children, or the people you love.

Yep, that'd be about right.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I Think I Talked to This Fellow Today

5PM Or, As I Affectionately Call Him, "G Love"

Employee on phone: G as in 'Jesus.'

8604 Cliff Cameron Drive
Charlotte, North Carolina

via Overheard in the Office, Sep 28, 2007

Still Here

y'all, and still wicked busy. And will be through November. I have three, yes count them, three, programmatic monitoring visits during three subsequent weeks in November. Federal monitors are coming the first week of November for our reading grant program; state monitors for the big pot of federal formula money we get the second week of November and an Office of Civil Rights review for our English as Second Language students the third week of November.

Plus two grant proposals due by mid-November; parent letters for free afterschool tutoring services to be mailed out by October 10th (about 550 letters total-with a letter that runs to four pages due to all the required information); interviews for a new school nurse and oh did I mention I'm second-in-command for our annual three-day statewide conference the fourth week of October? At least it's at the Myrtle, so maybe I can get in a few walks on the beach.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Soo Tired

The last two weeks at work have been wild, to say the least. Today I was able to catch my breath and get caught up on some things, which was nice.

I'm still right bone-tired from last week; drove back and forth to downtown Columbia Wednesday and Thursday for jury duty, then back to another part of Columbia for another meeting Friday. Spent Saturday night in Greenville with some of my crazy widda friends; that's a three hour or so drive one way. Left Greenville at about 5:15 yesterday morning and was home before 8:00; spent pretty much the rest of the day right here on my sofa, except for switching out laundry.

I have one meeting this week, and my manicure Wednesday and other than that, my butt's gonna be at home every night & in bed by nine or so. Not going anywhere next weekend. In fact, I think I'm sticking close to home for the weekends until my conference at the beach in late October.

And: Braves win! Braves win! They won Saturday & Sunday, and the Phillies obligingly lost. There are six games left & the Braves are 5 1/2 back; if the Mets & Phillies go on a losing streak, the division could be ours!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The American Justice System at Work-Round Two

We returned yesterday for the trial.

The prosecution put their case on in the morning and we broke for lunch around noon. There was no defense presented; the defendant didn't testify. I wish he had.

There were closing arguements. The prosecutor restated the facts plainly and simply; the defense attorney was left to attempt to poke holes in the prosecution case-at one point I found myself thinking 'Okay, Matlock we get it. Enough with the theatrics.'

We returned to the jury room and the clerk brought in the evidence. Without going into much detail, we found him guilty. But only after one of the jurors decided that apparently he was in a remake of 'Twelve Angry Men' and began picking apart all kinds of ancillary things that weren't germain to what we were to decide. Like why didn't the sheriff's deputy at the scene charge the young man that night with the federal gun charge. I explained he didn't because a county sheriff's deputy doesn't have the power to do that; federal charges are handed down by grand juries. He nitpicked a number of other things and I've come to the conclusion that he was doing it because our purpose there had suddenly become real to him. We were deciding the future of a 25 year-old young man.

We ultimately found him guilty and I'm confident we made the right decision. The prosecution's case was sound; the judge's instructions were clear.

I'm trying not to let the fact that I've just read in the paper that this 25 year-old will likely get Life without parole due to federal sentencing guidelines eat away at me. The paper described us as 'a federal jury'. Like we were important, smart, wise. I can't say as that's how I think of myself right now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The American Justice System at Work

I went forthe first of my three days of jury duty this morning. One must first run the security gauntlet, which consists of showing your ID & letting your purse (with a couple of 'girly things' cause it's that, ahem, time in it) then we're sent over to sit on a bench and wait for a marshal to come get us.

I slip into the ladies room before our escort comes and of course on the way up in the elevator, she proceeds to explain we aren't to use the public restrooms because the public could be in there talking about the case. Been here five minutes and I'm already in trouble.

So we hang out in the jury room, making small talk for about ten minutes, when the US Marshal who will be in charge of us comes into the room and immediately shows us the high sign to give him when we have to use the bathroom because "the Judge has a steel bladder and I like to take care of my juries." A man who understands that sometimes you just have to go pee--I'm in love.

Another twenty-thirty minutes go by and the Judge, a teeny, 50-something Hispanic lady who comes across as totally cool but also tough and kind of scary and someone I don't want to be on the wrong side of comes in to explain there's been a problem and the case has been continued until tomorrow. We're given instructions to call the 800 # after 5:30 today to see if we are to return tomorrow. If we are to return, the case is on. If not, it will be continued to the next term and we're excused.

I just called and we're on for tomorrow. Updates as they are warranted.

I have to add that they make it clear not to bring your cell phone. At jury selection about a week and a half ago, I went to lunch with several ladies I was sitting with and one said, "I just hated locking my phone in my car. What if my car is stolen?"

I'm thinking if your car is stolen w/ your cell phone in it, the missing cell phone is still gonna be the least of your worries. You'll likely be able to find a phone.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pay Attention!

If Men Got Their Periods

Dude: Can you help me? I'm bleeding.
Chick: What's the matter?
Dude: I'm fucking bleeding!

--Baruch College, 25th St

Overheard by: Adam Nathan

via Overheard in New York, Sep 17, 2007

Reading List

I haven't read any Stephen King in ages, and I'm the poorer for it. I'd forgotten just how rich and true his characters are; how he's able to weave the mundane, everyday world and whatever fantastic place he's taking us to together and make it all seem...real, touchable.
'Lisey's Story' is about a widow, and about so much more.
First the 'widow' part. I kept finding myself double- and triple-checking the publication date (2006), because frankly, it was hard not to think the man has been living in my head for the past 20 months or so. Lisey is as alternately focused and scatterbrained and tough and fragile as I or any of my widow friends are. Then there's the portrait of the marriage he gives us. Because the fact is, no matter how deeply and thoroughly we know our spouse, there are always places we don't know.
Second, the fantastic world he weaves. Not a false note anywhere; you find yourself believing the world exists, in all its breathtaking, frightening glory. I'm not going to write too much about it because I don't want to ruin it for anyone & I couldn't do it justice anyway.
If you're a widow, there are things in here you know, that you've felt and thought. If you were ever a scared little kid, well, there's stuff in here you know that you've felt and thought as well.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday Dinner

Butter beans, leftover roasted pork loin 'repurposed' as chopped BBQ and apple cobbler.

Spent the morning in the back yard finishing 'Lisey's Story' by Stephen King. More on that later.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I'm Here

folks, just trying to catch my breath after the second week from hell in a row at work. Hopefully the ole, tired brain will regenerate before the weekend's out & I'll have a little somthin' somethin' for you.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I've Seen

Britney Spears described as 'out of shape' in various Internet articles based on her appearance at the VMA's Sunday night. If this is 'out of shape', there is something seriously wrong with our perception and standard of what 'in shape' is.
Now that's not to say she's not a train wreck, y'all.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Conversation

with a friend yesterday:

She: "I'll be home tomorrow night, watching Georgia beat Carolina*."

Me: "Huh. I'm watching the game tomorrow night too. Except the game I'm watching is the one where Carolina beats Georgia."

Her: "Yeah, right."

Final Score
USC: 16
Georgia: 12

To my friend: neener, neener, neener, ha ha ha.

*This is a huuge rivalry. Georgia hates Spurrier and we hate Georgia.

The Week, in Review

Federal Jury Duty Selection? Yep, I was picked. Always am. The trial is September 19-21st.

We held a public meeting Wednesday evening concerning a 'major project'* the district is hoping to undertake. Mostly folks for it came; all the against folks, of course, couldn't be bothered to come get the facts and chose to make up their own and disseminate them in all the town hotspots. For example, the local greasy spoon, the afternoon coffee hangout and the filling station where all the old farts hang out. On the one hand, their monstrous ignorance is laughable. On the other hand, their monstrous ignorance is...scary and distressing.

The Braves decided to start winning again on Wednesday, and did it in a hell of a way. Yes, I've already written about this. Deal. If they stay in the playoff hunt, it won't be the last you'll hear.

Yesterday evening I was too tired to stay up and too tired/achey to relax and get to sleep. Finally dozed off around midnight after two arthritis-strength Tylenol and two Tylenol PM.

Felt marginally better this morning. Overall general feeling good improved after a 1) pedicure, 2) excellent Cobb salad at one of my favorite local places (Fatz--if you have one near you, aren't you lucky?) and 3) an hour-long nap on my sofa after returning home from my morning errands.

Right now? USC is beating Georgia at the half and Atlanta is two up on the Nationals. Shaping up to be a good day.

Shout out to Jen, whose WV Mountaineers took out Marshall. But Marshall made them earn it.

*Can't say much more about this, due to ethics issues, etc.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Shades of '91

The Braves won today in spectacular fashion, 9 to 8, with two outs in the 9th.

My mood has improved tremendously.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day

and I'm laborin' a bit. Been to the office for a few hours & now I'm at home finishing up a mini-grant that's due via email tomorrow.

Later on, I'm going to put some pork backbone ribs in the oven and simmer some butterbeans on the stove, while finishing up 'Under the Banner of Heaven'.

Later this week? Federal jury duty selection. Woo hoo!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Too Good to Pass Up

... Or Odds-I'll-Retain-Child-Custody-ville
Britney Spears, asked if she had Broadway aspirations: I would rather start out somewhere small, like London or England...

Overheard by: Denise

via Celebrity Wit, Aug 31, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 31

I'm happy I did this challenge. It's made me think, each day, about happiness, what I'm happy about. It's been good practice for life.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Happiness Challenge Redux-Day 30

A Crazy Blonde's Sweet Dreams Can Be So Wrong
Jessica Simpson: I aspire to be Patsy Cline.

Overheard by: heffalumpalicious

via Celebrity Wit, Aug 30, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 30

I hear rain coming!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 29

A three-day weekend on the horizon. After the first few days of this work week, that's bordering on ecstasy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 28

As this is winding down to the end of August, I must admit there's been more than a time or two when I was initially stumped when trying to determine something to be happy about. And I reckon there's been a post or two that has come across as trite or silly.

But every one of them was true, in regards to my happiness, either for that moment or that day or even for the foreseeable future.

For today, I'm just happy. Happy to be here. Yep. Happy to be here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 27

I'm sure happy this work day is over. It's entirely too banal to discuss. And redundant, frankly, since most of y'all have jobs & I'm sure we've all figured out by this point there's crap at every job.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I'm proud as hell to call a friend.

Happiness Challenge-Day 26

I'm happy the cat-bathing ritual is over for the month. Actually, the kittie and I are always both happy with the outcome, it's the process that practically kills both of us.

Makes for a good aerobic activity, though.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 25

It's raining! A nice, steady rain that is turning my yard to goop. Yay! Which means it's cooler, too. :->

There is

an itch, of sorts. A whisper, if you will, at the edges of my mind. The time is near for a decision.

Where do I go from here?

Friday, August 24, 2007


are the first of my 'preparing for fall' purchases. From JC Penney & they're even cooler looking in person.
I ordered them online & when I do that, I have the stuff shipped to the office. Which means everyone's all 'what'd you get, show us what you got'. I pulled them out & slipped them on, prompting one of the gals to say:
"You a ho."
They are a bit...much, but I don't think they're ho-much. More like, naughty secretary. Wonder what she'll think when I wear them with my new black pencil skirt & hose with the seam up the back. And a blouse or sweater, of course.

Happiness Challenge-Day 24

That silly Fruit-O-The-Loom commercial w/ Vince Gill where they croon "No castle in the South of France, but what we had was underpants." It tickles me.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 23

My pay increase showed up in my check today.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 22

I write for the local newspaper & I mostly cover town council meetings and hospital board meetings. It makes the geeky policy wonk in me happy to be able to boil a forty-minute report on a town's financial situation down to a crisp, well-written paragraph that gives folks in the community a snapshot of what their elected officials are doing with the tax money.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 21

Braves win two in a row! Yaay!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 20

As the 100-degree days continue, I'm happy I have working air conditioning.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Chateau Elan

Sauvignon Blanc went down smooth with some oven-roasted salmon fillets & a black bean & shoe peg corn mixture.

I'd like it (the Sauvignon Blanc) to be a bit crisper, but it's got a nice, buttery texture of its own I'm really digging.

Happiness Challenge-Day 19

Yesterday I headed up the road* to Chateau Elan to meet up with some of my widda friends. It's a lovely place, great buffet at The Versailles. I can also recommend Paddy's Pub, where they are not stingy with the margaritas, and the Winery's Pinot Noir. I'll review the Sauvignon Blanc

Most of us there were at least a year or more out on this journey, but there were two fellows who were 5-6 months out. Both of them said they'd almost backed out, but made themselves come** and both said they enjoyed just laughing and being at ease in a group that could completely understand their situation.

How does this relate to happiness? Well, I was surely happy to get home after being in traffic with Georgia drivers (egad!) and I was happy to see friends I've made along the way on this journey and to make new ones.

*And thank you Mapquest for taking me down every country road in the vicinity of Athens, GA when I could have hit 441 and taken a straight shot as I discovered on the return trip--but it was some pretty countryside to look at.

**A feeling every one of us 'vets' confirmed to them. My first get-together was in Greenville last October & I had pretty much talked myself out of going by the time I rolled into G-town. Made myself go anyway and as Mr. Frost said, it has made all the difference.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 18

I'm happy to be home. More tomorrow.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 17

This one made me laugh out loud, which counts, I think. I love everything about this. The incorrect and over-use of commas, the attempt at snarkery that only serves to make her look dumb and bitchy. Haven't we all worked with this chick at some point?

ETA: But then one surfs a bit further and discovers this. Don't suppose it's the same chick, do you?


Somebody please help this child.


ETA: See, one of the first things I do when trying on an outfit is to test whether any bits show when I raise my arms (and by bits on middle-aged, roundly-figured me, I mean any portion of my tummy). Even with her arms down, there's a pretty good opportunity for folks to see London and France.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 16

And maybe this should be filed under 'guilty pleasures' too.

Reruns of JAG on USA network every morning. Oh how I love that show. And while I dig me some David James Elliot, I wouldn't throw the Admiral out of bed for eating crackers, either.

ETA: Let's not forget the Gunny.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 15

A new post from my friend poopie.

Oh, and a fresh manicure.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 14

I'm happy that the fabulous Tim Gunn is returning to Bravo on September 6th. Gives a girl something to look forward to during these summer doldrums.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 13

This may not be in the spirit of the challenge, but here it is. I'm happy the teachers/staff only come back to school once a year. Any more often than that & I don't think I could take it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 12

A nice cup of lemon ginger tea to sooth my poor sore throat.

If today was a work day, I'm willing to bet my laryngitis would make some others happy.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 11

Nice little storm moving in and a break in the week-long heat wave forecast for tomorrow. Yay.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 10

Thank you for this day we have not seen before and will not see again.

Clearly a Movie I've

spent entirely too much time watching, let alone thinking about:

'The Devil Wears Prada', about life as an assistant to the icy, flinty, impossible editor of the fashion magazine, 'Runway', Miranda Priestley.

Now Meryl Streep? She is delicious* in this movie, from the way she quietly bites off "That's all." when she's done stripping the flesh from some poor underling to the sheer magnitude of her annoyance that is revealed when she purrs out "Why is no one ready?" drawling out ready until it becomes almost an epithet during a session to determine a magazine cover. She never raises her voice, yet she scares the poo right out of everyone. Including me.

Having said that, the protagonist, Andy, played with wide-eyed, dewy innocence by Anne Hathaway, needs to be slapped. She is the epitome of today's over-indulged, everybody gets a trophy 20-something who thinks they're supposed to be petted and their self-esteem bolstered every time their job.

Don't get me started about her friends. Frankly, the best thing she could do is leave that bunch in the dust. Early on in the movie, she meets them for dinner, bringing a crapload of free bling she's scored from her job. Her girlfriend immediately knows the handbag is a Marc Jacobs and how much it costs, yet continually sneers at Andy's job and her increasing interest and fascination with the fashion industry. Two-faced, hypocritical snot.

And how does Andy leave this soul-sucking job that has robbed her of all of her integrity (petit larceny, to be sure)? By walking off from her boss during a work event and tossing her one assumes work-provided Blackberry into a fountain. After which, she scores a great job with a newspaper, because Miranda has sent the perfect reference for her. Gaa!

*I want Meryl's shoulders. And the perfect gray hair she sports in this flick.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 9

This site might not make me happy technically, but it sure tickles me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Oh My

it's just miserable hot here. I've actually pushed the thermostat up, because my poor air conditioning system has been running about non-stop for the last twenty-four hours. And it's gotten rather warmish here in the house since then.

The word of the day? Still. As in: "I'm sittin' still. It's too hot to live."

Happiness Challenge-Day 8


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 7

How nice to come home to my pretty little calico kitty. She's waiting at the door for me every day.

Of course, she's also loudly declaiming for me to get it in gear and give her her afternoon share of Fancy Feast. But I like to think the first words out of her mouth are: "Hi mommy, I missed you." Followed immediately of course by "Now get me my treat, bitch."

Monday, August 6, 2007

Happiness Challenge-Day 6

My sporty little Chevy Cobalt came standard with a remote start. I can start the car from my office. This makes me happy in many ways, but on a day like today where it hit 101 degrees at 2:20 p.m., I'm particularly happy because the car was already cooling off as I got in to head home.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

I'm Ambivalent

The Braves have already won today; the Mets play the Cubbies in about an hour. If the Mets lose, the Braves move to three games back in the NL East. But Tommy Glavine is on the mound for the Mets and tonight could be his 300th win.

Even though Tommy's not in a Braves uniform anymore, I still love him & I want to see him get to 300 and beyond (partly because he may well be the last major league pitcher to get to that achievement, with injuries and the way they constrict guys on pitch counts these days. But not on a night when my Bravos could move up a game, with a three-game series against the Mets coming up on Tuesday.

Baseball was designed to break my heart.

8/6/07: ETA Tommy won! Which means the Mets won, which means the Braves didn't move an inch. But, Yay for Tommy!

August Happiness Challenge-Day 5

This happened yesterday, but I'm still right tickled about it today so it counts. Because I say so.

While at The Gap trying 18 blue million pairs of jeans (and as annoying, perspiration-producing & nose-running inducing as this task is, you realla gotta try on that many pair to get to the right ones), I demurred over a particular pair of jeans because I didn't think they were 'age-appropriate'. The sales gal who was helping me said, "Why would you think that? They're perfectly appropriate for a lady your age. You can't be more than 35*, right?"

When I told her I was 45, she appeared genuinely floored. And yes, I bought the rockin' jeans that probably are somewhat age-inappropriate. I think I look damn good in them.

*Maybe that's why I can't get a date with a guy I think is in my age range. They think I'm too young for them. Yea, that's the story I'll stick with for the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Gave the new

FX show, Damages, a looksee this afternoon.

I was figuring it was a can't miss: Glenn Close as a flinty, take-no-prisoners lawyer, Ted Danson playing the CEO of a firm that financially imploded, leaving former employees broke a la Ken Lay/Enron, and Zeljko Ivanek as his lawyer (sort of John Malkovich-lite. Loved him ever since he played DA Danvers on Homicide).

Except, not so much. Spoiler Alert! if you've TiVoed/DVR'd it-stop reading now: There's a character who is key to Glenn Close's lawsuit against Ted Danson, but she won't roll over. Until she finds her puppy dead in her kitchen. Turns out Glenn's character had it done.

First of all, I don't do dead or mistreated pets (turned off Will Farrell's 'Anchorman after the totally not funny scene where Jack Black kicks the dog off the bridge-seriously, wtf? I'd have been kicking Jack Black's ass off that bridge) and second of all, way to ruin Glenn's character right off the bat. She can't win unless she's all underhanded and cold, evil bitch and crap like that? Lazy, lazy, lazy writing & plotting.

Happiness Challenge Post-Day 4

Scored two pairs of jeans that fit great! A pair from The Gap and a pair of Ralph Lauren (dressier, dark rinse) from TJ Maxx. Yaay!

Friday, August 3, 2007

August Happiness Challenge-Day 3

It's a 'school supply' sales tax holiday here this weekend!

Gonna indulge my 'office supplies' addiction. Been jonesin' for some new Sharpies.

And I'll probably buy some shoes. 'Cause you know, girls and shoes.

ETA: Saving this spree for Sunday: OfficeMax will be having a 15% 'fill-up-the-bag' deal. No Sales Tax and a sale at the office supply store? Makes my ole heart go pitter-patter.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

August Happiness Challenge-Day 1

Pretend I posted this yesterday:

My late husband had a 1-carat diamond ring in a yellow gold setting. It was too obviously a man's ring for me to get away with wearing it as it was. Besides, it was a little big on me and I'm not really a fan of yellow gold.

It's been in my jewelry box since he passed away & I got to thinking about here in the past few weeks. I had three choices: leave it hidden away in the jewelry box or sell it (because even if I ever do meet someone else, I wouldn't give it to that person to wear) or have it remade into something pretty for me to wear.

Which is what I did. I had the stone put into a white gold, filigree setting--I wanted something antique/estate ring looking and that's what I found. My jeweler did a beautiful job resetting the stone; he's really an artisan in his work. They called me Tuesday to tell me it was ready. I picked the ring up yesterday and have been wearing it ever since.

And how does this relate to a daily 'happiness' post? Because I've come to the realization in the past little while that I've been 'happier' since I've had the ring on. I moved my wedding band to my right hand May of last year and stopped wearing it altogether back in January*. There's something about this ring--I feel connected to my late, beloved husband without feeling as if I'm trying to unrealistically cling to something that no longer exists. Plus it's pretty.

*The only thing I can say about taking it off was the right time for me. I've not given it a second thought since I took it off.

Discovered this

challenge in a roundabout way.

Of course, I'm already behind, but better late than never, so here's my first 'August Happiness Challenge' post...on August 2nd:

The Braves made some brilliant moves on trade deadline day, picking up Mark Teixeira and deepening the bullpen*. Mets & Phillies, here we come!

*I will save the comcomitant sadness in Julio Franco being designated for assignment & placed on waivers due to the trade for September.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Commercial Guys I'm Totally Crushing On

1) The young William Shatner look-a-like waxing poetic about the Coors widemouth can.

2) The Holiday Inn guys--I'm such a sucker for dorks.

3) The fellows who gather together to jump in unison to help the the other fellow get that laast drop of A1 Steak Sauce from the bottle-a totally guy thing to do.

4) Of course, Mr. Priceline himself, Shatner original version.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


was spent at a 'Grammar & Proofreading' workshop.

While I learned & re-learned plenty, there's one thing the instructor* covered that was worth the price of admission.

Ever been confused about when to use who/whom?:

Who = he; Whom = him.

*Turns out the instructor's husband passed away about two weeks before mine did. I think she's still having a tough time of it. I gave her my email** address. I hope she uses it.

**By the way, either email or Email is correct & it no longer takes a hyphen. You're welcome.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The week

looks an awful lot like a work week for someone who's supposed to be off in July.

I need to go in today and Thursday (and likely a few hours Friday) to work on a grant proposal that's due on the 30th; I'm off to a workshop tomorrow to refresh my grammar & proofreading skills & have a technical assistance meeting on Wednesday.

I see it as a blessing. If I'm off doing this, then I have a legitimate reason to avoid the housework*. Not that I can't create what I consider to be legitimate reasons anyway--'Ooh, I need to finish this book; Hey, there's a baseball game tonight. You get the picture.

*Although I was right productive with it this weekend: cleaned out two kitchen drawers, switched out the bed linens, scrubbed down the shower and washed the shower curtain & put up a new liner.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Internet Dating

is not for sissies. May I also add that if I send you my photo, for you to just fall off the face of the earth without ever responding, makes you appear to be quite the dick.

Just sayin'.

Monday, July 16, 2007

It is

definitely the dog days of summer here. It's so hot, I could melt. But I will not sweat while doing it. Because we all know, belles do not sweat, we...glisten.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Heckuva

storm just blew through here; knocked out the satellite, then the power. Windy enough to blow over my rollcart & I had to make a dash through the rain to keep it from drifting into the street. Fun times.

Friday, July 6, 2007


frosty mug + 3 scoops of Haagen Daz Vanilla Bean ice cream + 1 can of ice-cold A&W Root Beer = the best damn root beer float evah.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Reading List

I'm on the fence about this one. On the one hand, it's incredibly well written. Moehringer has a wonderful way with words and vividly evokes a sense of place and the characters in it when he discusses Publicans, the bar and its patrons he says taught him how to be a man.

But there's this undercurrent of...glossing over that reminds me, and not in a good way, of James Frey's Million Little Pieces*. This feeling comes on in two places in particular in the book; early on, when he introduces us to two fellows who run a bookstore and take him under their wing, thus almost magically ensuring his entrance into Yale and later, when he reconnects with his dad, long absent from Moehringer's life. There's a particularly uncomfortable passage where Moehringer, knowing full well his dad is a raging alcoholic, almost pours the liquor down the man's throat because they're getting along so well and he doesn't want it to end.

*Which was so obviously fake I gave it a violent throw into the 'books that are dead to me' corner, which also includes 'The English Patient' and 'The Hours'.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Dinner on the 4th

A perfectly grilled burger & an ice-cold Yuengling. Hit the spot, I'm telling you.

I'm home from Daniel Island, appeased Mrs. VanAstorButt (aka the kittie) with a can of Fancy Feast and now I'm piled up on my sofa contemplating an afternoon nap.

Later today I'll probably roam about two blocks over to the sports complex for the town's annual 4th celebration. There'll be some pickin' & singin', boiled peanuts, a concert by The Tams and a jim-crack dandy fireworks show to top it all off.

Y'all stay cool and give thanks and offer up a prayer for the members of our volunteer military serving across the globe.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The plan

for burgers and corn-on-the-cob cooked up on the grill has been shelved, due to the big ole storm cloud hovering. Instead, I found a nice piece of salmon at the Pig that I'll put under the broiler, the corn will be nuked for about six minutes and I have a nice tomato to slice.

The burgers will save until tomorrow.

The birthday party yesterday was exactly perfect; the grown-ups sat by the pool and watched all the fearless 'tweens leap off the diving board; we chowed down on hot dogs, chips and a scrumptious birthday pound cake and the little lady we were honoring zonked out during the present-opening. I did the same as soon as I got home and hit my couch.

Best time I've had in I can't say when.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Reading List

This guy is such an incredible writer and this is a fantastical, breathtaking tale. I checked it out from the library and read it last year (you know, when I was out of my mind) and while I remembered certain elements, I'd forgotten how beautiful and lyrical it was.

I picked it up at the bookstore a couple of weeks ago and finally dug into it again last weekend. I'll likely finish it tomorrow--one of those books where you are both racing to see how it ends and dragging your feet because you hate the idea of leaving the world it weaves.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


The 06-07 school year is over. All my projects are turned in, all but one final report is completed and submitted (the remaining one is not due until August 1st-turning it in now would just be showing off) and I am off until July 16th*.

Next week? Off to Charleston for a real, grown-up party for the 4th. There's an overnighter to Greenville planned for the 14-15 with a few of them wild widders and an overnighter to Hilton Head the first of August.

Oh yeah and on Saturday? A birthday party. For a one-year old. It may be what I'm looking forward to the most--it's a co-workers child and I love her like she was mine. I imagine it's gonna be a real wingding.

*I have to go by on the 10th for one little errand, but other than that, I don't intend to darken the door at work until the 16th.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Today would have been our fourth. Toasting you with a nice Grand Marnier Margharita Donnie. I miss you every day.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I tried. Really I did

My best friend said to me the other day, "You need to get out there.", in reference to me & dating. She couldn't exactly tell me where 'there' is--pesky little detail, that.

Anyway, I live about an hour away from Aiken, South Carolina, which is a lovely, charming town that has managed to retain its small-town southern sensibilities while shrewdly catering to an influx of polo folks from around the world.

As for there, I decided yesterday it was an Aiken Foxhounds game. I reserved a box seat on the Internets and headed on over.

You know what the problem is with activities like this? Turns out all these...people show up. Like the immediately overly-friendly middle-aged guy seated next to me. Who was dressed as if he'd just finished cleaning his garage & decided the next thing to do was head on over to the game. And who also immediately creeped me out*.

Next came the yuppies who were seated behind me. The one couple wasn't too bad-had a baby who was able to sleep through Dad's constant obnoxious remarks to the ump & the home team players. He was for the visiting team. Thanks for sitting right behind home plate, dude. And shut up. The other gal with them who was herding three girls, a toddler & two others in the 5-6 year old range, would.not.shut.up: "Eatyourburgersweetieyousaidyouwanteditnoyou'renotgoingtodrinkallofmommie'sdrinkohdearshedoesn't
getcottoncandy." in the first forty seconds alone.

And the kids were bored. They couldn't see & one of them was bothered by bugs and her sunburn. We know this because of the ongoing whine from her of "There are bugs and my sunburn hurts and I want to go home." every minute or so like clockwork.

So when the two twenty-something guys stuck with a couple of little brothers for the evening showed up at the bottom of the second inning and sat in the bleacher seats to my left & the two younger kids immediately started bitching about the seats & that they were hot & couldn't see perfectly because of the fence...I knew my time was up.

Came home, put on my gown, grabbed a Yuengling Black & Tan, fired up my 32-inch flat screen and reveled in the quiet.

I'm going to give it another try. I scoped out some bleacher seats that looked like the best in the house & I do like a live baseball game. I see this 'there' thing is going to take some work.

*I kind of berated myself about being immediately creeped out by the guy because he was...too friendly. But when he became impatient with the gal who was taking her handicapped sister around, snapping a few pictures of her at the ballpark because they blocked his view for all of about twenty seconds, I mean sheesh. You paid 8 bucks for the seat at a minor league game. A $150.00 seat at the world series, it ain't. Get over yourself, Jerk. Reminded me to always trust my instincts.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Memorial Service

for the nine Charleston firefighters can be viewed at the SCETV site. It's touching, bittersweet, funny and heartrending.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Firefighter's Prayer

When I am called to duty, God
Whenever flames may rage,
Give me the strength to save some life
Whatever be its age,
Help me embrace a little child
Before it is too late.
Or save an older person from
The horror of that fate
Enable me to be alert and Hear the weakest shout,
And quickly and efficiently
To put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and To give the best in me,
To guard my every neighbor and Protect his property
And if according to my fate I am to lose my life,
Please bless with your protecting hand,
My children and my wife.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday Dinner

Center cut pork chops & new potatoes cooked on the charcoal grill along with a nice little fresh spinach salad.

I love food cooked on the charcoal grill.

The Braves are losing as we speak and tomorrow it's back to work.

Hope y'all are having a nice Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A nice soaking

thunderstorm made its way through here last night and dropped temperatures by about ten degrees today as well as perking up the grass and flowers. The rain was welcome and coming as it did at bedtime, it was a nice way to be lulled to a mostly dreamless sleep last night.

We're under a thunderstorm watch right now & I'm hoping another nighttime storm will meander its ole self down this way again tonight. There's something soothing about laying in bed listening to the rain patter against the window.

Braves versus the Twins tonight--shades of '91, the series that broke my heart. Tomorrow I'll make an evening road trip to Charleston to see a widder friend for dinner, then head on back for work Thursday. We've started summer hours, so now till August is three-day weekend time. I predict quite a bit more stuff will be leaving this house for various destinations, including the Salvation Army and the landfill.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

So Paris

was released due to 'medical reasons' after only three days of confinement.

I didn't realize whore-itis was now a recognized medical condition.

ETA: Turns out she 'has a rash'. Yeah, I'll just bet she does.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

More on 'TB Guy'

"I know if he had any thought whatsoever that he would put others in harm's way, he absolutely would not have gone," said David Rich, a Nashville attorney who was Speaker's law school roommate.

"If you subtract this TB thing from Drew Speaker, he's really a pillar of the community," Rich said.

Yes, much in the same way many women say, "Aside from the fact he gets liquored up every Saturday night and beats the shit out of me, he's the best husband in the world."

Friday, June 1, 2007

The TB guy

The CBS Morning Show began today with the line: "We're learning more details about Andrew Speaker."

Here's a detail about him I don't need to learn from the newscast: He's a selfish, spoiled asshole. Bet he's a delight to work with.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What we thought we heard

The other morning I was piled up on my sofa, eating my breakfast with TVland playing (I'm still lost, lost, lost in the mornings without Imus-alas, that's another post). Anyway, a commercial for a snack food came up and I swannee, I heard them say 'Jesus sticks'.

Now, I'm as up for a tasteful, well-done sacriligious joke as the next one, but I gotta say, I believe I have a problem with 'Jesus sticks'.

Turns out they were advertizing Cheezit Cheese Sticks. Which, all right then.

Monday, May 28, 2007

On this Memorial Day

Donald W. Swoyer
May 28th, 1938-January 29th, 2006
US Navy
Service on the USS Forrestal
From today's State Newspaper:
The Friday ceremony
By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY - McClatchy Newspapers

Memorial Day weekend is the beginning of summer fun for most Americans, and as I’ve done before, I want to pause to take note of the real reason there is a Memorial Day.
It’s meant to honor and pay our respects to those Americans who’ve given their lives in service to our nation, who stand in an unbroken line from Lexington’s rude bridge to Cemetery Ridge to the Argonne Forest to the beaches of Normandy to the frozen Chosin Reservoir to the Ia Drang Valley to the sands of Kuwait to the streets of Baghdad.

Over the last 12 months, 1,042 soldiers, Marines, sailors and Air Force personnel have given their lives in the terrible duty that is war. Thousands more have come home on stretchers, horribly wounded and facing months or years in military hospitals.
This week, I’m turning my space over to a good friend and former roommate, Army Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, who recently completed a yearlong tour of duty in Iraq and is now back at the Pentagon.

Here’s Lt. Col. Bateman’s account of a little-known ceremony that fills the halls of the Army corridor of the Pentagon with cheers, applause and many tears every Friday morning. It first appeared on May 17 on the Web-log of media critic and pundit Eric Alterman at the Media Matters for America Web site.

“It is 110 yards from the “E” ring to the “A” ring of the Pentagon. This section of the Pentagon is newly renovated; the floors shine, the hallway is broad, and the lighting is bright. At this instant the entire length of the corridor is packed with officers, a few sergeants and some civilians, all crammed tightly three and four deep against the walls. There are thousands here.
“This hallway, more than any other, is the ‘Army’ hallway. The G3 offices line one side, G2 the other, G8 is around the corner. All Army. Moderate conversations flow in a low buzz. Friends who may not have seen each other for a few weeks, or a few years, spot each other, cross the way and renew. Everyone shifts to ensure an open path remains down the center. The air conditioning system was not designed for this press of bodies in this area. The temperature is rising already. Nobody cares.

“10:36 hours: The clapping starts at the E-Ring. That is the outermost of the five rings of the Pentagon and it is closest to the entrance to the building. This clapping is low, sustained, hearty. It is applause with a deep emotion behind it as it moves forward in a wave down the length of the hallway.

“A steady rolling wave of sound it is, moving at the pace of the soldier in the wheelchair who marks the forward edge with his presence. He is the first. He is missing the greater part of one leg, and some of his wounds are still suppurating. By his age I expect that he is a private, or perhaps a private first class.

“Captains, majors, lieutenant colonels and colonels meet his gaze and nod as they applaud, soldier to soldier. Three years ago when I described one of these events, those lining the hallways were somewhat different. The applause a little wilder, perhaps in private guilt for not having shared in the burden... yet.

“Now almost everyone lining the hallway is, like the man in the wheelchair, also a combat veteran. This steadies the applause, but I think deepens the sentiment. We have all been there now. The soldier’s chair is pushed by, I believe, a full colonel.

“Behind him, and stretching the length from Rings E to A, come more of his peers, each private, corporal or sergeant assisted as need be by a field grade officer.

“11:00 hours: Twenty-four minutes of steady applause. My hands hurt, and I laugh to myself at how stupid that sounds in my own head. ‘My hands hurt.’ Christ. Shut up and clap. For twenty-four minutes, soldier after soldier has come down this hallway — 20, 25, 30. Fifty-three legs come with them, and perhaps only 52 hands or arms, but down this hall came 30 solid hearts.
“They pass down this corridor of officers and applause, and then meet for a private lunch, at which they are the guests of honor, hosted by the generals. Some are wheeled along. Some insist upon getting out of their chairs, to march as best they can with their chin held up, down this hallway, through this most unique audience. Some are catching handshakes and smiling like a politician at a Fourth of July parade. More than a couple of them seem amazed and are smiling shyly.

“There are families with them as well: the 18-year-old war bride pushing her 19-year-old husband’s wheelchair and not quite understanding why her husband is so affected by this, the boy she grew up with, now a man, who had never shed a tear is crying; the older immigrant Latino parents who have, perhaps more than their wounded mid-20s son, an appreciation for the emotion given on their son’s behalf. No man in that hallway, walking or clapping, is ashamed by the silent tears on more than a few cheeks. An Airborne Ranger wipes his eyes only to better see. A couple of the officers in this crowd have themselves been a part of this parade in the past.
“These are our men, broken in body they may be, but they are our brothers, and we welcome them home. This parade has gone on, every single Friday, all year long, for more than four years.” (Copyright 2007 by Robert Bateman; reprinted here by permission.)
Thanks, Bob, for this Memorial Day gift.

Mr. Galloway is the former senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

This whole 'dating' thing

And what I mean by that is this whole 'not dating' thing. The funny thing is, the expectation that I be dating, or 'have a friend' (this is a new one--must be some new middle-aged single parlance) comes from most of my circle of co-workers, close neighbors and friends.

It's not a question of ready/not ready because let's be honest. Who is ever ready to date? Name a system that is more awkward, miserable and emotionally scary than dating. Go ahead, I've got time. Yep, me neither.

I'm mystified by their expectation. They're lovely people who care about me, but they are also, apparently, blind. I believe in being pragmatic, realistic. I see me for what I am--and I see myself the way men see me. Plain, fat and middle-aged. And based on my perusal of men's profiles on a couple of the dating sites, guys want 'average, athletic, toned'. There are a few who say 'curvy' but what they mean by that is skinny with big boobs*. The other (decidedly amusing) hallmark of their profiles is the age range of women they're looking for. Almost to a man it's 25-40. I'm talking about guys who are 45+ years old. Yes, they want to date 25 year-olds. And they do. Because they can.

I'm finally getting to the point where I'm re-finding my own rhythm in turns of living & being alone again. All those years of my twenties when I didn't date, I found contentment in doing things by myelf. It was all I knew. It's been harder this time around because I know the difference between being alone & not being alone. The trick to being alone this time around is to learn how not to compare it to what I had with my late husband.

My point, and I do have one, is that I know my friends mean well, and they ask because they care about me and don't want me to be lonely; they want me to be out, having fun, enjoying some companionship. I wish I could find the way to gently tell them how much it hurts when they ask me about dating, because all it does is reinforce how lonely I am and how unrealistic 'dating' is, for me anyway.

*Big boobs I got. Skinny, not so much.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I sort of

imploded the original randomsoutherner. Don't ask how. I'm not teknerlogiklee inklind. Case in point: the still-unassembled tabletop charcoal grill here in my front room that I had hoped to cook my Memorial Day t-bone on tomorrow.

But the itch to get back on this blogging thing has been at me for the past week or so and here I am.

My old blog talked a lot about, well, mostly blather. There were some nice posts on there about my life with my late husband. And a few nifty little fiction pieces I wrote. There were three or four folks who found it amusing. Hopefully they'll come back.