Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On The Road

My first Christmas without my dear husband was spent flat on my back on my sofa, barely conscious. It was a miserable day. I don't think I even ate anything, just spent the day whimpering and gobbling anxiety medicine.

Last year, I felt up to spending the day with my best friend and her family, who are like a second family to me. It was good to get out and be around friends, and good to come home to some quiet.

This year, I'll be with Le Boyfriend. My life has changed so much in the past three years. This latest development is one I frankly never expected. I'm still feeling my way in many respects, and I know he is as well.

But we're in this together.

Monday, December 22, 2008

To Do List

Make a special request chocolate chip sour cream pound cake? Baked and cooling.

Pick up an iTunes gift card for Le Boyfriend's son for his Christmas present? Nicely packaged in a special gift card box.

Clean the house? Standards for what constitutes clean are diminishing as we speak.

Pack for trip to Le Boyfriends? I've thought about starting, does that count?

Still on the schedule for today-dentist appointment at 12:15, pedicure at two, grab a bite to eat after that & then back to the house.

Should have scheduled time for a nap.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bathroom Pics!


The curved shower curtain rod-it really does
add a lot of room in the shower.


Guess what this is! My shadow is
an added bonus.


The new vanity


The light over the sink-still waiting for this
to be hooked up and the ceiling light
to be put up (and the installation of
an electrical outlet).


I realize that without 'Before' photos, there isn't much context for the 'After', but trust me, the 'Before' was reeeaaalllly bad.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bathroom Pics and Other News

Bathroom pics this weekend-I was waiting until the ceiling light was in and mirror hung, but my hopes of that happening before New Years have dimmed.

Today is our last day at work until January 5th-rumor has it some sort of 'brunch' will be provided. Because that's what we need at the office-more food. There have been so many treats and goodies delivered this week that I'm sure I'm due to explode any minute.

Still mighty warm here. Had the ceiling fans on last night & I'm mighty tempted to bump the AC on just to take the edge off. Forecast for Monday-high of 49. At least I get to wear my new jacket.

My Christmas present to me: four new tires, at almost four hundred dollars. They're rated to 80,000 miles, so at least there's that.

And off to work for a day that will be over around eleven-I do enjoy the perks of this job.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Per Jennifer's Request

Grits and Sausage Casserole:

2 lbs mild ground pork sausage*
4 cups water
1 & 1/4 cups quick-cooking grits, uncooked
4 cups (1 lb) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
4 large eggs, lightly beaten

Brown sausage in a large skillet, drain and set aside
Cook grits in 4 cups water, simmer five minutes (be sure to let them cook down pretty good) stirring occasionally
Remove from heat, add cheese and next three ingredients, stirring until cheese melts
Stir in sausage and eggs (grits are tempered from the milk and cheese)
Spoon mixture into a greased 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish. Bake, uncovered at 350 for one hour or until golden and set up
Let stand at least five minutes before serving

I've found this works best when you make it up the day before and keep it in the fridge overnight. Let it sit at room tempurature for 30 minutes before putting in the oven.

*You can mix it up with a pound of mild and pound of spicy/hot sausage. Also, you can experiment with the seasonings--I've found Tarragon mixes well with either the Thyme or the Garlic Powder.

This is a great Christmas or New Years Eve dish. It keeps well in a covered dish in the fridge and reheats nicely.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I've Been

trying not to talk to much about my usual 16 days off over Christmas (a perk of working for a school district), because its 1) obnoxious, 2) other folks don't really get this kind of luxury even in good times and 3) these ain't such good times.

I have to say though that next Friday cannot come soon enough. I'm not going into boring detail except suffice to say I began the day by shooting off a snotty email to a coworker (that I later apologized for-not so much because I'm really sorry but hey, I do have to work with the guy) and ended it by almost hanging up on someone from the state department. And had to call her back and apologize. She was just doing her job, didn't deserve my shit. On top of that, it took five attempts to send a photo to the newspaper because their system kept kicking it out, and I keep getting messages here at home from a collection agency for someone who is not me.

I was just ill-natured and cranky all day. The last couple of years around this time, I could sort of blame it on the ole grief monster.

But at this point, it just boils down to the fact that I'm a bitch.


ETA: I just finished whipping up my sausage & grits casserole to take to work tomorrow & the mere act of doing something* for someone else has improved my crankiness somewhat.

*Does it count as 'doing for others' if I'll benefit too? Because I lurves me some of this casserole, but the recipe just makes way too much for me to fix for myself. Hence the 'treating the office' dealaroo.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Goal for Saturday

Make a run to the nearest shopping mecca-like town for all those giftie things for co-workers, co-worker's children, manicurist and hair dresser.

I have a coupon for CostPlus World Market. I plan to be there when the doors open at nine, finish in there by ten or so, blow through Target, grab some early lunch and hightail it back here to Tinytown.

There had been some discussion (and by some discussion, I mean one person in our office was agitating for it) that we eat out for our Christmas lunch, but the decision was made to do what we've done in the past, which is for the maintenance guys to grill out & folks bring a range of desserts.

So the one person who wanted to eat out is pouting. I want to punch him in the nose. Whilst bellowing 'STFU, dickhead'.

What? Not so Christmassy cheerish? You seem surprised. I thought I'd established the not feeling it thing earlier.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Things Are

quiet around here. The bathroom saga is ongoing. I 'might' get my mirror hung and the electrical issue tended to by this weekend.

It seems as if folks around here are laying low, due in large part to the economy. So many of the jobs in this community come from some sort of government funding, be they state jobs at the various agencies or with the school district. We're all waiting for another budget cut. While there probably won't be any jobs lost on our part at my district, it's still hard to know your friends and neighbors are hurting.

It's a vicious cycle, isn't it? I admit, I hadn't given much thought to how interconnected everything is. But if the two car dealerships in town have slow business, then they cut back on the advertizing. Which directly affects the local weekly paper and radio station.

It's hard to celebrate the drop in gas prices, although that has brought some relief. The thing is, we're at the mercy of whatever they want to charge. It's not like if you find a deal on soup and stock up on some cans. You can't really 'stock up' on gasoline. Who knows what price they'll stick it to us with next summer?

Uncertainty. It's the new black.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Sunny

and warm here today.

Tomorrow and Wednesday? 70's and rain.

Thursday into the weekend? High's in the fifties.

Like a weather yo yo.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Treat

It Happened on Fifth Avenue, along with Miracle on 34th Street, is winging its way to me from the faboo Buy.com as we speak. I know Le Boyfriend will probably find IHOFA terrifically schmaltzy, and I don't care. Into each life, some schmaltz must fall.

In a few, I'll be off to snap some photos of our town's Christmas parade for the paper, then a run to the grocery store and Dollar General to stock up. Beyond that, it's going to be a quiet weekend at home catching up on laundry and other household tasks, with a break mid-afternoon to take in Holiday Affair and The Shop Around The Corner. I'm a sucker for those old Christmas movies, in case you hadn't noticed.

Be gentle with yourselves.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Christmas Treat




I love this movie. I can remember watching it every year on Channel 44 out of Tampa, Florida. It's a great story that manages to focus on a couple of post-war issues including profiteering and the housing shortage without beating you over the head.

My present to me!

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Bathroom Saga

Day Six Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Eight, and fourteen minutes.

So when I said 'This time Monday', I hope you noticed I didn't commit to which Monday. Because apparently 'finished' will be over this weekend.

The biggest work inside is done-I now have a bath towel bar and tp roller. Still no lights. Maybe tomorrow for those. The last two things to go in will be the hand towel bars and a mirror-but I'm thinking the better bet will be a wall cabinet. Which means a trip to C-town, since the likes of that won't be found here in Mayberry. Works out that I have meeting up there Friday.

As for the trash in my backyard-it's been piled into a trailor that as best I can tell will probably be there until Head Blind Monkey again needs said trailor. Because he's an idiot. And possibly the laziest human being that is able to walk upright.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I spent it in Georgia with Le Boyfriend. I whipped up the T-day meal for him and his mom. They cleaned their plates, so I reckon it was all good. The stuffing was moist and the gravy was only a bit lumpy, so I'm calling it a success.

Photos of the bathroom will be posted once all is complete. Woo hoo.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Bathroom Saga

Day nine thousand, four hundred and sixty two. And three hours.

My landlord's cousin is here installing the sink/vanity. In fact, I hear water running now. The electrical guy is supposed to come tomorrow (another long story, just not going there tonight).

As for head blind monkey, no sign of him today, but he's promised to come tomorrow and really, really, really finish.

Not holding my breath.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

By This Time

Monday, my new bathroom should be good and finished.

Keep in mind this 'three day job' started Tuesday...last.

As best my landlord and I can figure, she accidentally hired blind monkeys to do the bulk of the work. She was over here today to paint & she and her husband will be back tomorrow to install the new vanity and put the lights in.

I had the pleasure of a trip to Lowe's today to indulge in a curved shower curtain rod (like in them there fancy hotel rooms) and a new vanity light.

Head blind monkey is scheduled to return Monday to reinstall the bathroom door, put the cover back on the crawl space, and do some fixup work on the bathroom floor. As they say in the TV biz, hilarity will likely ensue.

I've been using the spare shower for the past week. Said spare shower is about the size of a small broom closet and I'm certainly not the size of your typical broom. Made for fun times, let me tell you. Rest assured that shaving of various things was not even a consideration. Sasquatch lives, I'm just sayin'.

But the redone bathroom is really coming together. The landlord and I agreed on a nice khaki & white color scheme for the bathroom, replacing some truly hideous wallboard along with wallpaper that my grandmother would have considered out of date.

Everything should be usable by tomorrow afternoon, and I plan to take a celebratory/inaugural shower about this time tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Great

platter caper is solved. It was under my bed--I remembered it was too big to fit in the cabinets here in this house.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Okay

Who hid the turkey platter? 'Cause I need it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Classmate

passed away early Wednesday morning.

I've just returned from a two-day trip home. It's an eight hour drive, one way, and to say I'm physically whipped is an understatement.

It was a lovely service, as those things go. So many of our classmates came, and that was most touching.

I spent Thursday and Friday night with another classmate who's been battling her own troubles-cancer, being hit from behind by a drunk driver, family issues, you name it.

Yet she opened her home to me, someone she hasn't seen or talked to in almost twenty years. I felt at home, immediately felt a part of the family. That's really precious to me.

The funeral was Friday morning, and Friday afternoon was spent sharing wine and memories and catching up with several classmates, including a fellow who was really my best friend in high school. I've always been a little in love with him, in the most innocent way.

He's still a sweetheart. I hadn't realized just how much I've missed him over the years.

I'm fixing to watch Carolina play Florida, mostly through my eyelids I imagine.

Be gentle with one another.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

As You Can See,

there has not in fact been a post reviewing 'Real Housewives of Atlanta', as promised earlier.

Life, in its way, intervened.

I received one of those, 'Classmates.com' update emails & clicked through, to learn that a classmate, who has survived one round of cancer, has had it return, in an even more ferocious form.

Hospice has been called in, and in email updates from another classmate, I've learned they don't really expect her to last the week.

She and her husband were high school sweethearts, they've been together almost thirty years, and just welcomed their first grandchild this past week.

My thirtieth high school reunion is on the horizon for 2010. It seems impossible to believe I won't see this beautiful, vibrant girl that exists in my memories there.

I hate the idea of thinking of one of my classmates, a sweet, lovely boy, as a widower. Living what I've been living these past 2+ years.

Sigh....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

An Actual Post*

on an Internet discussion board (and posted in all seriousness):

"Ohmigod, what if he actually is the Anti-Christ?"

Then you'll experience the Rapture all the sooner. Isn't that what you want anyway? I mean, if it's your belief that the Rapture is the ultimate actualization of your faith, then what are you so scared of?


Also posted on the same board:

"He's asked Rahm Emmanual to be his CoS--an Isreali! What does that mean?"

And this would be your typical Isreali from...Chicago?



*Trust me, I wish I were creative enough to make up this kind of shit.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Has A Nice Ring To It

I think:

President Barack Obama.

Yep, rolls right off one's tongue.


Tomorrow: I will discuss the cultural relevance of 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta', proving once again that I am Bravo's Reality TV bitch. Y'all, those ladies are comedy gold. Wait till I tell you all about it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

As I

just emailed a friend:

I know President Elect Barack Obama is going to do some things over the next four years that will piss me off. But that's all right, because Michelle will be right there to keep his ass on the straight and narrow.

Talk about marrying up.

I Got

to my polling place at 6:45 a.m. to find a line of about thirty people, with a steady stream of folks coming up into the line behind me. It was a bit breezy, cool, with a light, drizzling rain. When one of the pollworkers, someone I know*, stepped out and saw the line, he did a true doubletake, let us know to turn off our cellphones, reminded us we had three minutes to vote, and proclaimed it a great day.

When I pressed the box to vote for Barack Obama, I thought to myself, ‘three minutes be damned’. I had to stand there for a moment, savoring this day. A day, I will be honest with you, I did not think I’d see in my lifetime.

If you had asked me a year and a half ago, I would have said I’d be voting for Hillary for President and likely Barack for Vice President. And that would have made for one hell of an emotional moment.

Because I figured I’d see a woman President in my lifetime. And a Black Vice President, probably two or three. If I did get the opportunity to vote for a Black President, it would likely come when I was much, much older.

So I took a moment to savor the feeling, the emotion, of being a southerner who entered Kindergarten with integration, who has seen the use of the ‘n’ word fall away in the last forty years (but not go away completely, as I am continually shocked to discover in this day and age), a southerner who was voting for a Black man not because he is Black, but because he is what I believe to be the best choice for this country that I love.

Driving home, I became very emotional, wishing my dear, late husband were still here to see this day.

I still find myself becoming emotional, teary. I’m at turns excited, nervous, and frankly, scared. Because if he is elected, you know the hard-core crazies will come out of the woodwork.

I’ve been watching reruns of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for most of the day. One of the Daily Show ‘correspondents’ was doing a piece where he interviewed folks at both a Palin and an Obama rally. There was an older lady, with a light foreign accent being interviewed at the Palin rally who declared she was very scared of Obama being elected. She said, more or less, “America as it is today won’t exist if Obama is elected.”

One can only hope.

*It's a town of 3500, eventually you know everybody. I knew most of the folks in line too.

Proof


Election Day!

Go Vote, if you haven't already.

And offer up thanks that all these g*&%#!m political ads are done with for awhile.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Back To

work today. Spent the morning clearing out my inbox and the afternoon in training. It was all good, including the tray of subs, along with the neverending chocolate chip cookies and potato chips. Why is it we believe food eaten at meetings doesn't count? Anyway, I hope it doesn't, because three Subway chocolate chip cookies in one day probably begin to add up at some point.

One of the pleasures of working for a school district are the random days off we get, such as...Tomorrow!! Couldn't come at a better or more needed time. I'm still kind of wore out from last week. Plus we'll dismiss early on Friday because the football team has to travel way upstate for the first game of the playoffs. The week is looking better and better.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Le Boyfriend

hit the road early this morning-a combination of the time change and I'm sure a desire to be back in 'his space'. My space this morning has seemed more quiet than usual. It sure was nice to have a 'man around the house', if only for a few days and nights.

I got a taste of what it's like to live in a house divided last night, as Carolina began bulldozing over the Vols early. I was cheering & he was mighty quiet. We shuffled off to bed at half-time, with the final score not much of a surprise when we opened the Sunday paper this morning.

It's looking to be a beautiful day here, and I may convince myself to put the Italian sausage I found at the Pig this morning on the charcoal grill for my dinner.

More from Tinytown as updates warrant.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Back

today from the Myrtle for my annual fall conference, with an overnight side trip to Charleston yesterday evening.

Le Boyfriend has been with me for the week, and he's been wonderful company. We chowed down at Hyman's on Meeting Street last night, even after over-indulging on seafood throughout the week at the beach.

Bless his heart, he dutifully tramped down from our oceanfront room and sat in on the conference general sessions, even the one with our state Superintendent of Education-that's gotta be either love and devotion, or outta his mind-I'm not sure which.

Anyway, we've unpacked the car and now we're piled up watching some college football. Dinner tonight is pizza from the local greek joint-with nary a hint of seafood to it. I can't hardly wait.

He's back home tomorrow, and I fear this little place will feel a mite empty. I'll be over to see him for Thanksgiving, though, so there's that to look forward to.

More from Tinytown when I recover. Go Gamecocks!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday

It's cool here this morning, overcast & still drizzling from the first real cold front of the season. Supposed to fair off later today. All in all, shaping up to be an ideal fall weekend. I have errands to run and since the house refuses to clean itself-selfish bastard-I guess that's on my agenda as well this weekend.

I'm sick of this election, sick of the sound of my own voice talking about it. The constant noise machine that is the Main Stream Media is enough to try Jesus' patience. Is it November 5th yet? No? Damn.

Carolina plays LSU tonight at 8:00 on ESPN, which means I'll last till about half-time before I have to hit the hay (time spent asleep on the couch while 'watching' the game doesn't count).

The weather does call for a pot of something bubbling on the stove, though. Can't say I'm in the mood for vegetable soup quite yet. Maybe some chili with piping hot cornbread baked in the cast iron skillet. Yep, that's the ticket.

I feel better already.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Paying Taxes

From Thomas Friedman's column today:

Criticizing Sarah Palin is truly shooting fish in a barrel. But given the huge attention she is getting, you can’t just ignore what she has to say. And there was one thing she said in the debate with Joe Biden that really sticks in my craw. It was when she turned to Biden and declared: “You said recently that higher taxes or asking for higher taxes or paying higher taxes is patriotic. In the middle class of America, which is where Todd and I have been all of our lives, that’s not patriotic.”

What an awful statement. Palin defended the government’s $700 billion rescue plan. She defended the surge in Iraq, where her own son is now serving. She defended sending more troops to Afghanistan. And yet, at the same time, she declared that Americans who pay their fair share of taxes to support all those government-led endeavors should not be considered patriotic.

I only wish she had been asked: “Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects — printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?” That is not putting America first. That is selling America first.

So in her and her husband's version of 'middle class', you know, the one where she gets to bill the state a travel per diem for nights she spent...at home, paying taxes is unpatriotic.

I'm not a Friedman fan, but I love his response-how will body armor for her son be paid for? In fact, how will the paycheck her son will receive for serving be backed, how will a million other things get paid for?

It's an issue that drills down to the local level, as all politics do (hat tip to the late, great Tip O'Neal). Many folks here in my community are completely unwilling to back a bond referendum for new school buildings-never mind the most recently built of those we're using is approaching fifty years old.

I've heard otherwise perfectly reasonable people say why should they pay school taxes, they don't have any children in school. Once my head stops spinning at the utter wtf? inherent in that thinking, I tell them, 'You know, there's a jail building over there behind the sheriff's department. I pay taxes for it, and gladly. I don't ever plan to use it, but I'm glad it's there. We have one of the finest rural fire services in the state in this county. I pray I will never have to call on their services, and damn glad to pay a dollar to have it.

Roads, textbooks, computers in classrooms, libraries, fire trucks, and police officers don't come for free. They're the best of what our taxes go for. Is tax money wasted? Well sure-a certain 'bridge to nowhere' comes to mind. But unpatriotic to pay taxes? Lady, you're really barking up the crazy tree on that one.

And Another Thing

I've had my beefs with TVLand in the past, the most recent being their abrupt lineup change replacing Night Court in the early morning with MASH.

Now I see it as a delightfully subversive move, as they are running the Frank Burns seasons. What the show has to say about honor, security, heroics, patriotism, and freedom is as cogent, and maybe even more so today as it was in the seventies.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I Am

coming around to the belief that the Republican National Committee is throwing this election, and John McCain (who they really kinda hate) under the bus, willing to concede it, along with some house and senate seats to Democrats and Progressives.

And they're doing with a long-term goal in mind: to hand the mess in Washington over to whoever (they don't really care), then spend the next four-eight years 'Clintonizing' that person & party, and positioning Sarah Palin to run for President in either 2012 or 2016.

There are those who are predicting she'll slink back to Alaska with no chance of reemerging on the national stage. I don't think so. She is steadily pushing the shiv into John McCain's ribs and she will stand on his neck in those heels to get what she wants. I joked to some of my coworkers back when he first picked her (and I'm beginning to believe he had nothing to do with picking her) that he might want to hire someone as his food taster. It's not sounding so funny these days.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

From the Wasilla, Alaska Newspaper of Record:

FRONTIERSMAN EXCLUSIVE: Palin responds to questions

Published on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 12:39 AM AKDT

Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP vice presidential nominee, agreed to a request by her hometown newspaper, the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, for an interview by providing written responses via e-mail to the following questions. The responses here were not edited and are preceded by the verbatim questions posed to her.

My analysis in italics following her answers, because I know you're breathless with anticipation.

1. Your name had been whispered as one of any number of potential Sen. John McCain running mates for months before the official announcement. At what time did you realize you had a legitimate chance to be that choice?


I first met John seven months ago in Washington. I was immediately impressed by the Senator’s candor, warmth and humor. We are both mavericks, and we hit it off right away. The idea of this being a possibility became real when I flew to Arizona three days before I was announced as his selection.

Kinda confirms that there was no serious vetting, eh?

2. What successes did you have and what mistakes did you make during your time on Wasilla City Council and as Wasilla mayor?

Since my time as a city councilmember, mayor, and now, of course, as governor, I’ve been an active reformer. Right away, I think I saw that Wasilla’s government as a “good old boys network” — and knew we had an opportunity to change and progress this city. When I was elected mayor, I immediately took charge and shook things up, as you know. Our tax cuts and strategy for growth were big successes. The big mistake is always underestimating how much opposition you face as a real reformer, but I love the valley so much I was going to do what the city council staff and I felt was right for the people who live and work here.

Good answer, albeit typical politico answer.

3. We’re confident you were aware that being added to the presidential ticket would open up your personal life to public scrutiny. Were you prepared for the level of media and tabloid coverage of your past and family? Please explain how you and your family are dealing with this and whether you believe your family — and those of the other three candidates on the national ticket — are out of bounds, or does the public have a legitimate interest in the private lives of candidates?


Nothing really prepares you for hatred and made-up stories. But it’s nothing like the hard times of a family that’s lost a job, lost health insurance, or lost a son or daughter in battle. I would hope that the privacy of my children would be respected, as has been the tradition for the children of previous candidates. Obviously, it hasn’t been so far. I think part of the media frenzy is because I haven’t been a part of the Washington establishment and that I’m not as well known to the powers that be in Washington. I’m not going to win over anyone in the media elite — I’m going to do my best for the American people. And of course all candidates want to shield their children from the rancor and bitterness. My personal e-mails being hacked into really took the cake because of all the violation of confidence and privacy that others felt when they saw the e-mails they sent to me were posted on Web sites around the world. Concern for my family’s safety was also paramount because pictures and contact information for my kids were published and their receipt of all the harassing calls and messages has been very concerning.

She's right about what caused the media frenzy, and she's right that her kids shouldn't have been dragged into it. My follow-up question would have to be 'Define media elite'.

4. As you are traveling around the country, what are you hearing from Americans about the energy crisis and what do you think Alaska can contribute to solving the problem?

The American people understand that we are on an unsustainable path — we rely on countries that don’t like us very much to provide fuel for our cars and trucks and oil to heat our homes, places of business and schools. John McCain and I know that we need a comprehensive “all of the above” approach, keeping all options on the table including more domestic drilling, wind, solar, hydrogen, natural gas, clean coal, geothermal and bio fuels. As governor, I pushed for the largest infrastructure project in North America, the natural gas pipeline that will provide new supply and price relief from Alaska to Americans in the Lower 48. We are maximizing the recovery of resources and minimizing waste, helping lead to less dependence on foreign supplies. Our dependence on foreign energy must end, and Alaska, with all its resources, will play a major role. It’s been great being able to tell that story to America and world leaders who are excited about Alaska’s role in our world.

She does appear to be fairly well-versed on energy issues, based on this and some clips I've seen of her on this topic. However, it tends to be Alaska-centric. Not surprising, but Alaska is a special place. And I don't mean that snarkily.

5. Since your campaign began, you’ve stated you opposed the “Bridge to Nowhere” and have called it that. What caused you to change your stance on building the bridge? Also, do you still support construction of the Knik Arm bridge? Why or why not?

After taking office and examining the project closely, realizing the Feds were not going to fund it as Alaskans had assumed was the case, I cancelled the project. Even the Alaska Democratic Party credited me, or blamed me, with killing the bridge to nowhere until I became the vice presidential nominee and they removed this reference from their website. Alaskans will have to prioritize for the Knik Arm Crossing if it is truly a top state priority because Congress won’t fund it either. John and I believe there will be earmark reform in Congress because it’s a corrupted system.

Lying liar.

6. During your tenure as mayor in 2000, then police chief Charlie Fannon commented in a May 23, 2000 Frontiersman article about legislation Gov. Tony Knowles signed protecting victims of sexual assault from being billed for rape kits collected by police as part of their investigations. Fannon revealed then that Knowles’ decision would cost Wasilla $5,000 to $14,000 a year, insinuating that the department’s policy was to bill victims for this testing. During your tenure as Mayor, what was the police department and city’s standard operating procedure in recovering costs of rape kits? Were any sexual assault victims ever charged for this testing while you were mayor?

The entire notion of making a victim of a crime pay for anything is crazy. I do not believe, nor have I ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test. As governor, I worked in a variety of ways to tackle the problem of sexual assault and rape, including making domestic violence a priority of my administration.

Non-answer answer. And lying liar.

7. Reporters from around the globe have been investigating policies and decisions you made during your time as Wasilla mayor. Regarding the flap over questioning then library director Mary Ellen Emmons, at the time in December 1996 you said inquiries you made to her about censoring materials in the library were “rhetorical.” Please explain. Were there books at the library at that time you wanted removed? Was there ever a list of books you didn’t want at the Wasilla library? Also, a San Francisco man recently donated two books to the Wasilla library that attempt to explain homosexual family life to children. Do you see any reason these books should not be placed on the library’s shelves?


As people there know, all questions posed to the library director were asked in a context of professionalism, regarding the library policy that was in place. Before I became mayor, there was conversation in our community about what sorts of books were appropriate for the public library. I asked the librarian about the process for answering that question as a way to familiarize myself with city staff and the issues being discussed in Wasilla at that time. I certainly never advocated banning books. This was a ridiculous, false claim. Supposedly one of the books the media claims I banned was “Harry Potter,” which wasn’t even published back then. There were never any books banned and any reports claiming otherwise are grossly false.
I’ve always believed the government closest to the people governs best, so I won’t try to second-guess local officials back home.

She gets an A for this one. Internet maguffin. Unless it's one of those lying liar things. But without being able to read her mind, have to give her the benefit of the doubt here.


8. If the McCain-Palin ticket is elected, you would be the first female vice president and it’s conceivable you could be the first female president in the history of the United States. Can you put into words what this means to you and to women everywhere?


First and foremost, my selection means there is a clear answer when you ask “who are the real reformers?” in this race. John McCain and I are the agents of change. This is a great responsibility, but it’s wanted and appreciated. I’m not going to let women, or John McCain, or anyone else down in carrying out the responsibilities I have as a candidate and hope to have as Vice President.

Non-answer answer. Blew an opportunity to discuss how one can be a conservative and a feminist. The two are not mutually exclusive.


9. You’ve stated on the trail that you would be an advocate for families with special needs, yet the state of Alaska has a Developmental Disabilities Waiting List with more than 900 people waiting for the critical assistance they need. The latest report said it would take $45 million dollars to eradicate this waiting list. What is your administration doing to address the issues that families with special needs face?

In March 2008, I signed legislation reforming Alaska’s education funding formula to bring more accountability and predictability. The legislation increases funding for students with special needs from $26,900 to $73,840 per student. It is our hope that by providing the necessary funding support, we can touch more children with special needs who did not have opportunities before due to the prohibitive costs of providing the appropriate care. I’m an advocate for special needs children. Ever since I took the chief executive’s job up North, I’ve pushed for more funding for students with special needs. It’s touched my heart for years, especially with the beautiful addition to our family 13 years ago, of our nephew with autism, then with the birth of our beautiful baby boy, Trig, we joined so many American families that know that some of life’s greatest joys come with unique challenges. We’re going to make sure the government is on their side. John McCain and I have a vision of an America where every child is cherished.

Maybe the ultimate non-answer answer. Alaska has a seperate agency, as I'm sure most states do, that deal with disabilities and special needs. What they do and what is required through the school system are two different things. Did not address the waiting list, which is available as a PDF at the Alaska DD Agency website.

10.Alaska has the third worst children’s health insurance program in the country. It covers children who live in families that earn up to 175% of the poverty level, while 47 other states do much more. Is your administration working on a plan to improve this?

I know the challenges that families without health insurance face. I know about the tough decisions and I know about their worries. There were times that Todd and I didn’t have health insurance. Believe me — that is a very scary thing for a family. John McCain and I have a detailed plan that includes providing a $5,000 tax credit to families so they can buy health insurance. That policy will be theirs — it will make quality health care accessible and affordable. I’m going to work to put this plan in effect so that every family in America can have access to quality, affordable health care.

Doesn't address the question...Surprise! They're asking what her administration as Alaska Governor is doing to address the issue.

11. Prior to the Aug. 29 announcement of your choice as the Republican vice presidential running mate, you addressed what has become known as “Troopergate.” At that time, you said you would welcome an investigation into the controversy. Please explain why now state employees are not responding to subpoenas from the Legislature’s investigators.

I am an open book on this matter and am fully cooperating with the non-political, legally appropriate and independent investigation of the Personnel Board. I have agreed to produce all documents, and am scheduling meetings with its investigator, Mr. Petumenos. Todd is also willing to speak with the new investigator, as are staff members. Walt Monegan has acknowledged I did not, nor did Todd, nor did any staff member, tell him to fire anyone. Walt was offered another position because he was not willing to implement the Palin-Parnell administration’s agenda to find efficiencies in every state department so that the public could be better served, and to fill the vacant trooper positions that I fought hard to fund. As far as those who work with me in state government, I know that the Attorney General is questioning the validity of the subpoenas and has asked the Court for guidance. Once AG Colberg receives guidance, I am sure that he will pass along his professional opinion to the government employees. The threats against my family that were made by an Alaska state trooper are a separate issue and the details of “Tasergate” are in the political record now.

An open book with no print on the pages.

12. On Sept. 19, Attorney General Colberg wrote a letter stating he had confirmed with bar counsel that his contact with former Commissioner of Public Safety Walt Monegan did not create a conflict of interest. If this is the case, why have you hired private counsel in the Monegan inquiry? Are attorneys from the McCain/Palin campaign advising the Department of Law as well as Thomas Van Flein?


The subpoenas were responded to. The Attorney General has determined that there are valid challenges to the subpoenas, so he filed a motion to quash the subpoenas in court. Until motions are decided, the employees are not obligated to testify. We hired private counsel to assist us with the legal questions that have arisen in the course of the inquiry and to ensure that Alaskans would not have to foot the bill. McCain-Palin lawyers are not advising the Department of Law, and of course Thomas Van Flein consults with attorneys as he determines is necessary.

An A for this one, as well.

13. Being on the campaign trail, how involved are you in the day-to-day operations of running the state of Alaska? Following up, to what extent is the McCain-Palin campaign involved in state government operations?

I have contact every day with staff. The McCain-Palin campaign is not involved in operating state government. The day-to-day operations of Alaska are foremost on my mind as I speak to Americans about our great state and how Alaskans can contribute to the future of our nation. There is great satisfaction in knowing that the Alaskans who work with me know my priorities and know the direction in which I want to take this state. They continue to work on my priorities while I remain on the road. The campaign is not involved in state government operations. The campaign is responding to the hundreds of media calls coming into Alaska not because I am Governor, but because I am a Vice Presidential candidate. I appreciate the support and the ability to keep my state staff separate and apart from the campaign staff.

Sounds good, although there have been reports that calls to the Governor's office were being redirected to the McCain campaign and there have been a lot of protests in Alaska. I can only take her word on this one, since I don't live there. If any of my Alaska readers want to chime in, feel free (that's a joke, btw).

14. What message do you have for the people of the Mat-Su Valley and state of Alaska from the campaign trail?

Americans are excited about Alaska, and everywhere we go, people bring out their Alaska ball caps and Alaska flags and other memorabilia that says “Alaska.” The warmth and support Americans have toward our great state grows every day and I so enjoy sharing our story. John McCain and I continue to provide hope to those who want change in Washington. We can bring the reform from our states to the nation’s capitol, and I look forward to doing it with your help and support.

Good answer. I think she really loves her state.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tactic vs Strategy

From Merriam Webster's online dictionary:

Method
One entry found.

Function: noun

Text: the means or procedure for doing something

Synonyms: approach, fashion, form, manner, strategy, style, system, tack, tactics, technique, way

Related Words: mode; blueprint, design, game, ground plan, intrigue, layout, line, plan, plot, program, route, scheme; expedient, move, shift, step; practice (also practise), process, routine; project, proposal, proposition; policy

And remember kids, it wasn't a plan, it was a series of actionable items.

My Father

was 50 when I was born, and I was born in 1962. And since that's math even I can do--that means he was born in 1912. Which means he lived through the Depression. As did my maternal grandparents (and paternal grandparents-but I never knew them, they died when I was a baby).

I do recall a story my dad told a long time ago about his father being run out of business as a barber in upstate Florida because he put a sign for a presidential candidate in his store window. The sign only had the last name of the candidate, and I think it was Wilson.

My maternal grandparents were from the Bristol TN/VA area-very much the heart of Appalachia. I think it's a safe bet they knew from the Depression. I can remember my Grandmother saying they actually didn't notice the Depression that much. I reckon because when things have always been hardscrabble, a Depression is a distinction without a difference.

My granddaddy died in the early seventies, and never came back around to trusting banks, although he and Granny had accounts. When my Grandmother died in 2001, she had a bank account with a little bit of money in it. Don't be fooled, though, because a couple of my uncles knew exactly where to go to find the cash she had hidden, a lifelong habit, learned from hard experience.

I see today where everyone is on the bandwagon of raising the FDIC limit from $100,000.00 to $250,000.00 per account. Which, nice but, it's been widely reported the FDIC is so underfunded now that it couldn't handle paying out its current obligations, so how could it pay...more?

And there's a lot of talk that the Community Reinvestment Act is at fault for today's mortgage and financial crisis. This analysis from Businessweek explains why that's just not true. But hey, never pass up a chance to blame the poor.

A pickle jar stuffed with cash in a hole in the backyard is looking better and better.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Still Timely

Red Barber discussing Branch Rickey* and Jackie Robinson



*Man he was a crafty bastard, no? He knew that without Red Barber on board, the whole thing would likely blow up.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Because I Can't Resist

Re: Sarah Palin & 'experience':

I toured Cape Canaveral a couple of times, so I'm qualified for...Director of NASA, right?

Autumn

In the South, it means the humidity abates, the nights are cool, the mornings crisp as you head for your car.

Where there is no such thing as 'transitional clothing'. In other words, I Have Nothing To Wear. Because it won't stay cool enough through the day to wear a sweater, even a short-sleeved one. It's a week away from October 1st, so linen capris look, well, silly. And it's really time to put the sandals away. But it's still too warm for most pants and I just can't wear khakis every day.

Aargh!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Last of My Little Family

My kittie, the dear, odd, pretty little calico Allie, slipped away last night. She was on the bed with me, she sighed and shivered a bit, then she was gone.

She's gone to be with her bubba and her sissy, all born from the same litter, and my Huckleberry friend Donnie, of that I'm sure. Those three cats loved nothing more than to spend hours jostling on his lap for the best spot. Of course, Donnie loved it most of all.

Now it's just me. The last piece of my life with him is gone.

I'm sad this morning.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lipstick on a Pig

Had a conversation yesterday with some friends who are all smart, capable folks, and they were on the 'outraged' bandwagon concerning this remark that Obama made about Sarah Palin. But that he really didn't. It wasn't directed at her, and anyone who's seen the clip in context knows that.

And I gently explained and corrected them, that he was not talking about her. I could tell they were not convinced. So I went on to say: "And so what if he was? Bitch is playing with the big boys now, and national politics is mean and nasty. What is she, a special snowflake that has to be protected and petted? If that's enough to hurt her little feelings, she either needs to grow a thicker skin or get out of the game.

Got a few open-jawed stares, but no responses.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rudderless

It's how John McCain appears these days.

And he's come by it honestly. Because he has to know, deep in his heart, that bringing Tucker Eskew, who was the guy on the ground here in South Carolina for the infamous smear campaign the Bush camp orchestrated on McCain during the 2000 primary, means the last vestige of any moral high ground, or soul, or even those pesky little ethics thingies, have dissipated from his core.

McCain came into South Carolina in 2000 off a 19-point drubbing of Bush in New Hampshire, a completely unexpected win. McCain was flying high here, and with good reason. He was well-liked here, and had strong support from the active duty and retired military in this state.

Then the whispers* started. That voters in South Carolina allowed these whispers that were the essence of the lowest level of racism and misogyny and old fashioned fear of crazy people to sway them to Bush says so much more about the voters than about McCain.

But it's eight years later. And McCain wants to be President. And apparently he believes that to achieve that, he must cut loose all the things that made him 'Not Bush'.


*Those whispers included talk of McCain's instability, due to his legendary temper. It was wrong for the Bush campaign to do that in 2000, and it's just as wrong for the Democrats to do it in this election.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9-11



And Shanksville, PA. And the Pentagon.

Never forget.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bullet Dodged

in regards to Hanna. But Ike is roaring along there, and making Miami sweat right now.

Storm season in these parts tends to keep our nerves on edge-I'm not close enough to the coast to have to be terribly concerned with a direct hit-but Tinytown is along the evacuation route from the coast and the middle and high school serve as shelters.

So my boss and I have to monitor the situation, stay in touch with emergency preparedness folks, and weigh the pros and cons of closing school, putting buses on the road, etc.

Makes us tired.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Anyone Else

find themselves wishing a piece of roofing tile would make a direct hit upside Jim Cantore's head? No? Just me? Alrighty then.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sarah Palin and The Media

My first impression of Republican VP Nominee Sarah Palin was: Silly. She opened her mouth, spoke for about thirty seconds and I thought, silly.

I'm not impressed, but who cares, I'm not who the Republicans are trying to impress. Or maybe I am, which means they really don't have a fuckin' clue. But frankly, she strikes me as George Bush lite, and who thought you could get more lightweight than GB?

Having said that, it took the Media no time at all to develop their narrative about the chick, did it: "She'll pull in the Hillary Voters who feel wronged by Obama"--meaning, I think, that those of us who are vaginally gifted will automatically vote for her in solidarity. "She hunts, and has been to Iraq", which I guess we're supposed to believe gives her foreign policy credentials. "She was profiled in Vogue", maybe to appeal to the Paris/Nicole/Olsen twins demographic?

Of course, right off the bat we had the obligatory review of her 'fitness routine' that also discusses her diet. Because the most important thing about a woman is what she puts in her mouth and how she in turn doesn't allow that to turn into dun.dun.dun, fat.

And I'm already tired of the 'Naughty Librarian' tag. It was funny and cute and kind of sexy when Craig Ferguson did it, but begins to look a little mean-spirited when Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert both go there on the same night.

And note to John McCain-surrounding yourself with all these young chicks doesn't make you look younger, it makes you look Hefneresque. And that stopped being cool about twenty years ago.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Original

iteration of this lovely slice of internets tubes heaven began as a spittle-laced diatribe during the 2004 election campaign. The author soon (okay, it was months later) tired of listening to herself rage against the machine & began posting minutiae about her life, because who doesn't find that kind of stuff endlessly fascinating/scintillating?

But here we are in 2008. A Black American is a candidate for president. As a child of the South, who started school in 1969 in the first integrated class at my elementary school, I've seen the South change tremendously during my lifetime, and in many heartbreaking ways, stay exactly the same. To wit, people my age (46) who still use that word in casual conversation, and who get all flustered and bent out of shape when I call them on it.

If you had asked me a year ago, when Barack Obama's name began surfacing as a truly viable candidate for President, I would have told you he'd be Hillary's VP. That I could and would see a Black Vice President in my lifetime, probably more than one. But even with the changes, with the strides that have been made, I really wasn't sure I'd see a Black candidate with a greater than even chance to become President.

I had a conversation with a fellow yesterday who was stuck on the 'Obama doesn't have the experience to be President' cant. The fact is, noone does. There is no training program, no crystal ball to predict that what previous Presidents have faced will be what the next one will face.

The thing is, when I hear that 'He doesn't have the experience', it's hard not to wonder if what that really translates to is 'Here's my get out of jail free because I'll be damned if I'm voting for a Black for President' card.


Tomorrow: Why the Media is already pissing me off about Republican VP Nominee Sarah Palin.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

College Football Season

begins for me Thursday evening, when my Alma Mater, Charleston Southern, takes on the University of Miami.

You may watch the slaughter...er, game on ESPN360.

One can always hope for an Appalachian State-type surprise. But I wouldn't bet on it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Beach Trip

is alas, due to that mean ole Miss Fay, now kaput. The $23.oo worth of sunscreen purchased yesterday will be taken back to the drugstore today for a refund.

Oh well. I'll just take a case of Yuengling with me to Georgia* with which to console ourselves for the weekend.



*Le Boyfriend says this lovely brew is not available in Georgia, so I'll do my best Smokey and the Bandit routine & smuggle some across state lines.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Productive

Today's productivity?
  • Used up two (two!) Mr. Clean magic erasers cleaning fingerprints off door jambs and marks off baseboards.
  • Ran the brushy attachment thingy on the vacuum along said baseboards
  • Washed five loads of clothes-still need to do the sheets-they're next and the last load
  • Packed my beach bag with my really cool new beach towel, new Sperry Topsider beach flip flops and a couple of good trashy novels
  • Started a side of ribs for today's dinner with a nice little butt rub recipe I came up with on my own; also fixed shrimp fried rice with jasmine rice, green peas, roasted garlic rice vinegar and soy sauce for lunches this week
  • Cleaned out the fridge

Right now I'm taking a little break, and in a bit I'm going to start packing my bag for the beach.

Oh, did I mention I'm headed to Panama City Beach for a little vacation the end of this week? No? Well, I am. Me and Le Boyfriend. Oh my.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

John Edwards is

a. A Bastard

b. Faking for all he's worth being truly remorseful for a middle-aged mistake

c. Mortified to learn he had, in fact, not been where no man had gone before, but in fact, had been where almost every man who got within dick's length of the skank ho had gone before

d. All of the above

Monday, August 11, 2008

Have been

in an Internet-free zone since last Thursday evening when the DSL modem decided after about four years or so of service to do a swan dive.

It was nice but a bit disconcerting to not be able to get online for the weekend. But I survived.

Some topics to look for this week: John Edwards turns out to be as scummy as I'd hoped he wasn't, and, Women are special snowflakes who are incapable of standing up for themselves.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

One Reason Why This Might Work

I spent the weekend before last with Le Boyfriend, to celebrate his birthday. We took his son out with us Friday night for some dinner and to see the minor league team in their town play.

We went to this great local bbq place that's in the town's former bus station. The bbq is pretty good, the spicy sauce is just spicy enough and they don't cook their vegetables to mush.

But this isn't a restaurant review, per se. As we were wrapping up our dinner, the wait staff gathered and started that clapping and singing thing, heading our way to wish someone happy birthday. Turned out it was a happy birthday for the fellow in the booth behind us.

But not before Le Boyfriend gave me a horrified look and said something along the lines of that show better not be for him.

I assured him I wouldn't dream of it, and made it really clear he better not ever dare do it to me.

So there's that in common. Yay!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Voice of Baseball to Me

SAN FRANCISCO -- Suddenly there was no longer reason to use the word devastating when talking about the fact that Tim Hudson won't pitch for another year. The greatest loss during a season hindered by injuries wasn't truly realized until Sunday, when the Braves lost a legend, and more importantly, a dear friend.

It may take days or weeks for the magnitude of the loss to be realized. But the Braves family is certainly already mourning the loss of Skip Caray, who passed away while sleeping in his suburban Atlanta home on Sunday at the age of 68.

"This has been a really horrible year with all of the injuries and stuff," John Smoltz said. "This puts it all in perspective. We have lost one of the greatest figures in the city of Atlanta's history."
Caray began broadcasting Braves games in 1976 and continued to do so until Thursday, when he and Pete Van Wieren called their final game together. A working relationship that spanned 33 seasons and created the opportunity to form a brotherly bond came to a close without any visible reason for them to issue each other a lasting goodbye.

As Caray battled multiple ailments that affected his heart, liver and kidneys over the last year, Van Wieren had made multiple trips to the hospital and seen his buddy in much worse shape than he had been earlier this week.

Even when Caray was unable to broadcast this past weekend's series against the Brewers, there didn't seem to be reason to worry. Numerous times over the past year, he had always battled back and regained the ability to enjoy his love for baseball and the Braves.

"I'm absolutely shocked," Van Wieren said. "I thought he was doing a lot better. I thought he had more energy this week and seemed more like his old self. It's like losing a family member."
After the Braves claimed their 5-0 win over the Brewers at Turner Field on Sunday afternoon, Van Wieren boarded the team's charter flight bound for San Francisco and had every reason to believe he'd see Caray when the team returned home next week to begin its next homestand.
But 40,000 feet above some of the same homes within which he and Caray had served as national voices for the Braves on TBS, Van Wieren learned of his friend's sudden passing.
After an e-mail message alerted the Braves, manager Bobby Cox woke a sleeping Van Wieren and provided him this shocking news that brought mourning to the entire Braves family.
"I know my jaw just dropped," Van Wieren said. "I lost a good friend and broadcast partner and that is tough for me personally. But anybody affiliated with the Braves who listened to him or knew him over the last 33 years lost something, too. He was as important to the Braves as any player, manager, coach or executive. There's no way to replace him."

When the Braves begin a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday, Van Wieren plans to call the game with a heavy heart. It won't matter that Caray's health had restricted him to only doing home games this year.

Although he wasn't scheduled to make this trip, Caray's absence will be realized.

"Tomorrow, a baseball game will be played by a lot of young men with heavy hearts," Smoltz said.

For the first time since they were joined on a broadcast team that included their mentor Ernie Johnson Sr., Van Wieren will deliver a broadcast knowing that he'll never have the opportunity to work alongside Caray again.

Those days of sharing dinner and drinks after games had been replaced with the exchange of tales about their grandchildren. Through it all, they developed an incredible sense of respect and admiration for each other.

"We had a lot of fun," Van Wieren said. "It was never like going to work."

"This has been a really horrible year with all of the injuries and stuff. This puts it all in perspective. We have lost one of the greatest figures in the city of Atlanta's history."
-- John Smoltz

Whenever Caray came to work, he carried his dry wit and ability to mix humor with sarcasm. During those days following a bad loss, he often preceded Cox's pregame radio segment with a sarcastic comment that regularly caused the veteran skipper to smile.

"This was completely unexpected and is a complete loss," Cox said. "I had just spoken with Skip this week when we did the radio show and I didn't know he wasn't feeling well. He seemed in his normal good spirits.

"We've all lost a very good friend. For me, he was a good buddy -- at the park and away from the park. We always had a lot of great laughs. He will be very sorely missed."

When Smoltz was first introduced to Caray in 1988, the Braves were the laughing stock of the National League. Over the next 20 years, the laughs these two shared together instead often had to do with Smoltz's hitting abilities, or just one of the jokes they had reserved for each other.

"Back in our lean years, when we weren't very good, he was able to entertain with sarcasm," Smoltz said. "Then, when we turned things around and starting winning every year, he made the transition and had the opportunity to make the greatest call in Atlanta Braves history."

Caray was behind the microphone the night that Sid Bream slid home with the winning run in the 1992 National League Championship Series, and the night that Andruw Jones drew a walk that sent the Braves to the 1999 World Series.

But the one Smoltz was referencing was the one that preceded the eruption the city of Atlanta realized when the Braves won the 1995 World Series.

"It was just fitting that he got to do that because he meant so much to this organization," Smoltz said.

Caray's call that night was:
"Fly ball, deep center field, Grissom's on the run ... Yes! Yes! Yes! The Atlanta Braves have given you a championship. Listen to this crowd. A mob scene is on the field. Wohlers gets them, 1-2-3."

Mark Wohlers' perfect ninth inning that night preserved the one-hit gem that Tom Glavine produced in eight innings against the Indians. Whenever Glavine listens to that call, the 300-game winner will draw memories of a grand night and hear the unmistakable voice of a true friend.

While he was with the Mets the past five years, Glavine regularly received e-mails from Caray, and he continued to get more when he rejoined the Braves this year. The words always included a sense of sincerity.

"I knew he cared about what I was doing and what was going on," Glavine said. "He was always good to me. It's a shame. We all lost a friend today."

Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur grew up in suburban Atlanta and has known Caray's voice for a good portion of his 24 years on this Earth. Since coming to the Majors in 2005, he came to realize this familiar voice was produced by a man with a big heart.

Last week, Caray approached Francoeur and told him that he was happy to see that he was smiling and laughing again amid the struggles of an offensively frustrating season. The conversation then turned to Caray's health, and never once was there an indication that the end was near.

"He told me, 'I'm hanging in there,'" Francoeur said. "He loved the Braves and he loved his job. He wasn't ever going to let anybody or anything tell him he couldn't do his job anymore."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I can hear his voice, the sheer joy as he called the play at the plate in '92, Sid Bream running like he had a piano on his back and sliding into home: 'Braves win, Braves win, Braves win!'

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saturday

The dishes are washed and the errands around town are taken care of. There's some homemade guacomole chilling in the fridge, Office Space is playing on the dvr, and I'm sipping a decent little Barefoot Pinot Grigio.

Once Office Space finishes, there's a stack of summer reading here next to me to crack into, and the Braves (who are looking mighty woeful these days) are on tap later this afternoon.

All in all, a delightful, lazy day. Goodness knows, we all need one on occasion.

Stay cool, y'all.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

TVLand

A channel that appears to delight in roping me in with a great morning line-up and then inexplicably changing it on a whim (like dropping Wings with no warning--bah on you) has been airing 'Designing Women', the later episodes.

Here's a show I loved when it first ran. I watched it to the bitter end, and that's an apt description. I doubt it was that apparent to me back then, but watching it now, well, those gals have not held up well.

Julia Sugarbaker went from a crisp, intelligent, warm woman to being a shrill, annoying, bad-tempered bitch. And do heavens, Judith Ivey was pouring on that accent like I do the maple syrup at IHOP.

Here's a prime example of a show that went on at least one, if not two seasons too long.

Where's Suzanne Sugarbaker for some real comic relief when you need her?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Things Here

at 'Casa de Where in Hell did that Spiderweb Come From' have been kind of quiet. There's been some housework done, some more stuff tossed out. I think 'tossing s**t out' is as cathartic for me as 'burning s**t' is for the poopster. Wish I lived next door to her (for so many different reasons) so she could burn what I toss. A certain symmetry and elegance there, I think.

The house next door is all but empty. There has been an estate sale and a subsequent auction. I went over there the other day to check on things, as I've done every week or two for the past couple of years. My friends had many lovely things-they were into antiques and nice furniture and to see the place empty of those things, with only the detritus that seems to come from nowhere in rooms when you are at the end of moving, was a jolt.

It's very warm here, which, duh. It's July and all. But I mean, it's really hot. Too hot to eat, too hot to move. I see a ham and cheese sandwich washed down with an ice cold Yuengling for supper. Then I plan to melt into a puddle. Until October.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Pleasure

and I'm not even going to characterize it as a guilty one.

TCM aired 1776 late on July 4th and I got lucky as far as seeing it on the schedule and setting the DVR.

I bet I've watched it three times since then. I saw it in school at least twice, back when they used to herd all of us into the auditorium to be exposed to 'culture'.

I'd forgotten just how rousing the music is in this film. And it's downright bawdy, even by today's standards.

William Daniels and Ken Howard are immediately recognizable, of course, but there are other actors in this film that upon seeing it again made me go, 'Hey, it's that guy'. Like the fellow playing Edward Rutledge of South Carolina--John Collum, likely more well known these days for Northern Exposure, and for playing Mark Greene's dad on ER. He's of course quite young, and rather pretty, here.

The movie itself holds up historically as well. While it takes a few dramatic licenses, they are understood within the context of creating tension. The relationship between John and Abigail Adams in particular remains particularly well-drawn, even in light of the exhaustive McCollough book and HBO mini-series. In fact, there are lines in the songs that are directly from their letters.

I'd like to see a revival of this in the movie theater. The subject matter is timeless, and certainly on point in this day of the 'Patriot Act', and politics over policy and substance.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mamma Mia

What a sweet, sunny, fun movie. Everyone seems to be having the best time. It also has some touching moments that made me kind of misty. And the sheer, joyous abandon of the (mostly middle-aged) women in the first big set piece set to 'Dancing Queen' makes you want to get up and shake a booty with them.

It's always refreshing to me to see stars who have aged naturally, albeit well. Pierce Brosnan certainly fits this description. And the always luminous Meryl Street.

Which makes folks like Christine Baranski, whose eyes look a little wonky in this film, gotta tell ya, stick out like a sore thumb. And by stick I mean, girlfriend, please, eat a carb. Hell, go wild, eat two.

I will warn you that Pierce really can't sing a lick. But the fact that he just jumps in there and does it with a sense of joy makes it all right. The other two male leads, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard, won't be signing any recording contracts either, methinks.

But who cares. It's freakin' Pierce, Colin, and Stellan. I wouldn't turn down any of them.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

So The Week

or so of not posting lasted two days. Sort of a week, I reckon.

I know I'm late to the party on these two subjects and how they are connected, but both keep rolling around there in the back of my mind.

Subject 1: The Christie Brinkley-Peter Cook Mess

First off, Peter is apparently a little smarter than your average sack of rocks, by wisely taking the settlement before the Simon & Simon brother private investigator guys took the stand with what was likely to be evidence of a scumfest of major proportions.

And while Christie has never struck me as the sharpest knife in the drawer (based primarily on those terribly stilted home gym thingy ads she does with Chuck Norris), anyone who has 18 investment properties in the Hamptons is clearly rocking some smarts somewhere.

Plus, Miss Fifty-something was seriously working the clean, crisp, preppy, tailored look.

Subject 2: Brad and Angelina's Twins

Thank heavens she finally had them, because there was going to be a collective media head-exploding incident if she hadn't.

What connects these two is the fact that both were headline stories on network news for days. I can see a mention at the bottom of the broadcast for either, maybe. But the opening story? The twins were the headline story on the Sunday Today show this past week. The settlement between Christie and Peter was all over the 24 hour news stations as it was happening.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy some good celebrity dirt and gossip as much as the next person, but for the birth of twins to two fairly marginally talented actors (albeit remarkably pretty, marginally talented actors) or a divorce settlement between people who are famous for being famous are not what I consider 'headline news'.

As Good an Example of Any

why employers should cross-train.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Knotty

little problem holding up a new project at work appears to have worked itself out; if the boss ok's the solution today, then we're off to the races.

Beyond that, nothing much happening here at Chez Life Goes On, Whether You Want It To or Not. Trying out some new summer recipes, wondering if the kittie has gone completely off her rocker based on her loopy behavior this morning, and hoping for an after-All Star Break miracle for the Braves. In other words, same ole, same ole.

Gonna take an official break from here for a week or two, see if inspiration will rear its little head. There's a stack of books here by the sofa to get to, and as always, more crap to toss out of this house.

While you're talking to the Big Guy (or Gal, whatever your wont), offer up a word for my widda friend Stacie's boss, who is battling lung & stomach cancer.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Ahhh, Vacation

And today on my vacation, I:
  • Spent about four hours at the office & running around to several of the schools
  • Been to two different meetings in two different towns for the newspaper
  • Did two or three loads of wash
  • Unpacked from my visit with Le Boyfriend last week

Fun times, fun times.

Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm Exhausted

Well, not really, but I'm kinda cranky because I didn't get a nap today.

On the up side, the 2008 Fiscal/Project/School year is in the books and all 2009 projects have been submitted to the state department for review. I spent most of today at the office, working with our CFO to close out spending and put together last minute amendments. I left her there, ordering about $12ooo.oo worth of supplies/goodies to spend out the last of a grant. And now, glorious July stretches in front of me, and I'm not officially expected back at work until the first week of August.

For tonight, I'm here on my sofa, finishing up some laundry and making a packing list.

Tomorrow I'm off to see Le Boyfriend, where we have a semi-quiet week on tap. There's a day reserved for visiting Warm Springs and the Little White House, and I'm taking my shrimp and grits recipe with me to fix one day.

Y'all be good and don't let the fireworks land on the roof.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cleaning Beyond Cleaning

You know, the kind of cleaning you probably should do every two-three weeks but if you're me and you have 'dirt blindness', you...don't.

So far this morning I've: washed, dried & rehung the front room curtains, washed the shower curtain & liner, and cleaned the filter and front casing on the window air conditioning unit.

Still on the list: toss some more crap out of this house, wash the kitchen curtains, wash down the microwave & cart, and sweep/mop the kitchen floor.

I think I'll save cleaning the fridge for tomorrow.

Gotta have something to look forward to.

Monday, June 23, 2008

One of My

favorite features with the satellite tv is the 'Caller ID' feature.

The phone rings, and the caller id notification...flashes up on my tv screen.

I do make myself move around once an hour or so-I wouldn't want to become permanently attached to the sofa.

It won't fit on the bed.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It's Been

a long, quiet, lonely day.

Sometimes Sundays just totally suck.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Yummy




Really, sweet with just the right amount of tang and bite. I had it on a ham sandwich with swiss cheese and mixed greens and farmhouse-style bread.
And I have a notion for a salad made with the greens, diced avocado, fresh corn, green onions, and a dressing made with this mustard emulsified with a bit of olive oil and white vinegar.
I'll let you know how that turns out.

A Skosh of Stress

My major yearly project, with a June 30th deadline, sits barely begun, due to a number of factors. A change in schools and their makeup on my end, the rollout of an online application on the part of the state dept of education end.

The information I needed to provide to them (from another unit at the state dept located...in the same building where these project folks are-dontcha lurve bureaucracy?) was faxed first thing Tuesday morning. I've been expecting the online app to be updated anytime since then.

Just got an email from my contact that the changes should be online...Monday. Because, you know, I don't have anything else to wrap up by the end of June.

Please, do take your everlovin' sweet time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Made a Quick

road trip to my favorite place on Earth, Charleston SC, yesterday evening to hook up with a widder friend, take a nice walk up and down Meeting Street, and have a helluva meal at Oak Steakhouse. It may well have been the best filet and creamed spinach I've ever had.

My friend and I had a good time and a terrific conversation. Only a little bit about widowhood and a lot about...just life.

And how could we not have a good time? We were in Charleston, after all.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

What a Difference

a week makes.

The weather has taken a milder turn. Not quite so stifling these last few mornings, a bit of rain Thursday afternoon that seemed to pull the humidity from the air. And rain is forecast for tomorrow.

These next two weeks at work will be buuusy; I'm stuck with a couple of projects until my CFO can give me some figures, she's kind of stuck waiting on some data from the state department. I love my job, I love my job.

And I really do, because once I get past these two weeks, I'm off. Technically for the entire month of July, but there's always this and that to do along and along, so I find myself up there for a half-day here and there.

Today has been a lazy day, for the most part. I straightened the kitchen earlier and a couple of loads of clothes are in the system. Spent about two hours out back this morning reading 'In Cold Blood' and I'm fixing to crack that back open here for the evening. I know I read this book in high school, but it's been a wonder to come back to it. My interest in re-reading it was piqued by catching bits and pieces of Infamous on HBO. One of those books I could find myself staying up all night to finish.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Great Weekend

with Le Boyfriend. We explored the myriad small towns surrounding Madison Ga., all of which feature the ubiquitous Confederate Memorial statue on the courthouse grounds. We lucked into a dairy festival in one town, saw preparations for a wedding on the courthouse steps in another. All in all, a fun, relaxed, hot time.

And by hot, I mean the temperatures. Whoo-ee, I just don't know if I'll be able to stand the summer if what we've had the last few days is any indication.

The highlight (beyond time with him, of course) was Saturday dinner at the Blue Willow Inn. If you live near it and have never been, shame on you. If you're planning a trip to the Atlanta area, it's worth the drive down I-20 to partake.

Friday, June 6, 2008

It's 7:40 a.m.

and the A.C. is on a roll. The May light bill? Barely $100.00. The June light bill? Not gonna think about that right now.

We've begun summer hours at work, ten-hour days with Fridays off. Although I'm seriously considering going in on Fridays, if only to keep my A.C. costs down.

I grew up on the Florida Gulf Coast, and we were regularly inundated in the winter months with that delightful breed known as 'snow birds', couples from the northern states in their big, honkin' Caddies and Lincoln's, clogging up the roads and the restaurants, waiting out the cold on our sunny, mild shores and heading back when the humidity began rolling in.

I'm beginning to see the attraction.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday Morning Coming Down

and it's hotter'n Hell with the blowers on.

I've been out in the backyard enjoying my anti-gravity chair and my book (If Chins Could Kill, by Bruce Campbell, coolest guy ever), but the breeze died down and the shade disappeared, chasing me back inside.

On tap for the day? More reading, the Braves at one, some red beans and rice with sausage for dinner and maybe back outside later this afternoon.

Stay cool y'all. Cross your fingers for the Braves, although it would be cool to see Ken Griffey Jr hit his 600th homer during the game.

Thank goodness for air conditioning, satellite tv and 32'' hi-def flat screens*.


*Le Boyfriend has upped the ante on this-just installed a 46-incher. Said last night it was like living in a sports bar. Maybe I'll get him a neon Corona sign for his birthday to add to the ambience.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Why, Why, Why

can't the Braves win a game on the road?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

She's All Better

That’s what they say, I reckon. Or maybe even the dreaded, “she’s over it”.

But I’m not so much. Better in many ways yes, but not ‘all better’ and certainly not ‘over it’. The thing is, you never get over it, the death of a spouse, but I reckon you get through it. And by my reckoning, the through part takes a lot of slogging.

One of the things that makes it hard is that no one ever mentions him. His sister and I talk-we laugh and reminisce about his humor and his foibles. But around here, even with people who knew him longer than I did, it’s as if he never existed. And the fact that they don’t mention him kills me by inches.

It’s knocking me hard these days because tomorrow is his birthday. It would have been his seventieth. June 27th would have been our fifth wedding anniversary; this coming November would have marked fifteen years together. All these milestone dates, and yet there’s no one here with whom to celebrate. The calendar is both an easer of grief, and disrespectful of it, the way it just keeps relentlessly moving forward, moving on.

It’s likely the day will come, nine years and a day from now, when I will have lived as many years without him and beyond him as I did with him. I try not to think of that too much, because it just hurts so damn bad.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hungover

from margaritas (lost count, but at least 3-4 on the rocks in the 12 oz Tervis tumbler) yesterday afternoon, cramps (don't let anyone fool you, perimenopause doesn't mean ain't nothin' happening in the 'cycle' department) and Motrin in the middle of the night.

I've managed to make it out to the grocery store, where I bought a few groceries, got to the car, and remembered the other half of my mental list, so had to go back in and do it again.

The ole brain is not firing on all cylinders this morning. Bleahh.


ETA @ 3:55 p.m: After three bottles of water, two glasses of root beer, and some dinner, I'm in better shape. The idea of a gin & tonic flitted across my mind, but I think resisting that temptation would be one of those better part of valor deals.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

KitchenAid Porn

Ooooh. Me really likey.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oh My Stars

my workplace is a suckhole of suck these days.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Name,

I'm thinking, says it all:

The 'Shamwow'* miracle towel. Having said that, one has to admire Vince's spokesperson ability to suck you in and watch the entire thing. I think I have a little crush on him, actually. Must be that fuhgedaboutit, minor-league, Goodfellas vibe he's working.



*I wanted to embed the youtube video, but there weren't any with decent sound quality. And this is one you have to hear. Trust me.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pictures from the Braves Game














Smoltzy being honored for his 3000 strikeout-I didn't know
this was going to happen at this game, what a great
extra treat



That's Chipper at third.
Matty Diaz in left field, almost close enough for
us to touch from our seats. Unfortunately, game
officials tend to frown on that sort of thing.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's a Beautiful Mornin'

It really is, pretty and mild outside. I was afraid the humidity was here to stay last weekend, but it's taking another little break. My light bill and checkbook thanks it.

On tap for today? A ride to Columbia to meet a friend, do a little shopping, grab some lunch at a really cool place I should hit more often.

Get on outside folks and enjoy the world. If you live to be 1oo, you'll still only see 100 springtimes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Day Job

I love it, I really do. It's challenging, task-oriented, involves problem-solving, long-term planning, all those things that make a creative chick on the Ausperger's end of the spectrum like me hum.

Having said that: Egad, sometimes I have to wonder where my coworkers leave their common sense. And I also have copious examples of ego and superego at work.

State standardized testing began today. I'm the district test coordinator. Being the helpful girl that I am, I made the rounds of the schools that were testing this morning just to check on things, make sure everyone got off on the right foot. Keep in mind this is statewide testing, and test security is a biiiig issue (and probably is with standardized testing in your state as well). There have been test security violations in other districts that have led to State Law Enforcement investigations, loss of jobs and teaching certificates, and in one or two cases, jail.

All I'm gonna say about this morning is this: I'm thankful for sheer dumb, fucking luck. I'll take it over bad luck or none at anytime. Sheesh. I'm sure there's more gray under my natural red after this morning.

As for ego and superego, nothing beats a spoiled twit with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. There is a position open in our district by dint of a grant I wrote. A teacher in our district, who has been out of the classroom for a couple of years has been told they will be returning to the classroom next year. Teacher no likey this development. Teacher sent a letter asking to be considered for the grant position. I confirmed receipt of said letter, and said further communication concerning interviews, etc, would be forthcoming once the newspaper advertisement ran. Said teacher point-blank: 'I thought if you had a person in-house qualified for the position, you didn't have to advertize outside?'.

I'm hoping my silence in the face of the question spoke the volumes to this teacher I wanted it to.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Le Boyfriend

I spent four whole days and four nights with him last weekend. The visit revolved around baseball (one minor league game & one Braves game), and just hanging out.

We spent most of Sunday afternoon on his patio, drinking Sam Adams Irish Red and listening to the game on the radio. Later we switched to gin & tonics to go with our dinner of grilled ribeyes, oven-roasted red potatos and carrots (homemade garlic bread was also prepared, but I burned it-I blame the g&t's).

We started out watching the game on tv, cuddled up on the sofa. I got a bit teary-eyed, because it was all so...normal. Just a quiet Sunday at home, having coffee, reading the paper, and relaxing together.

A recurring theme on the widder Internet board I frequent is 'the new normal'. This is a new normal I can get used to right easily.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Good for a Giggle

1PM In Fairness, the Employee Is 83 Percent Correct
Office drone #1: Where is the Pentagon?
Office drone #2: It is in Washington, DC...
Office drone #1: Oh! Isn't it that big hexagon shaped building?
Office manager: [Walking away] Oh Jesus fucking Christ...

Washington Avenue
Portland, Maine

Overheard by: brian brinegar
via Overheard in the Office, May 1, 2008

Home is Where My Butt Is

for tonight, at least.

I have been up and down the road since last Thursday, to Columbia that morning, then five hours to Georgia Thursday afternoon. I came home Monday, made a quick trip to the office, and covered a meeting for the paper.

Yesterday morning I scooted down the road to Charleston for a two-day meeting and back home today.

I'm wore slap out. Great weekend with the boyfriend--more on that later.

Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Plans

Today: Meeting in the Capitol city. Then hit the road to see 'the boyfriend' for the weekend.

Friday night: Minor league ball game with said boyfriend.

Saturday night: Braves vs Reds, field level seats along the third base line. They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. The way to my heart runs right smack dab through Turner Field.

Sunday: Maybe a trip to Warm Springs and 'The Little White House'.

Monday: Back to Tinytown, and the work week.

Okay guys, small-town rules apply: keep the dishes washed and the front room picked up.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I Will Be

Forty-Six on Thursday.

The years have slipped by so quickly. I've invented and reinvented myself at least two or three times in this life.

And here I am, doing it again. Reinventing, rebuilding.

I'm tired.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Dollar Store

Isn't it the coolest place ever?

Today's haul? A copy of the Mike Wallace book Between You and Me, and Bruce Campbell's If Chins Could Kill. Plus a tube of lavendar-infused lotion and a two-pack of rain ponchos for me and the boyfriend in preparation for attending a Braves game in ATL next week.

And all of that for less than five bucks! America's a great place. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

48% GeekGuess what shot the score up? That I knew the Ferengi had terrifically sensitive hearing. See, watching Star Trek is not a waste of time. You learn things.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Something's Gotten Into Me

I've never been one much for yardwork. When I was a kid, my mom would send me out to water her impatiens. I hated that chore, I hated those flowers. Never thought they were attractive.

Another reason is that back in the day, I seemed to be allergic to...everything. If I touched any kind of flowering/blooming/green thing in the yard, I'd break out.

My dear late husband loved to work in the yard. He'd spend hours cutting vines and dragging branches to the street.

The first year after he died, frankly, my emotional, physical and give a damn reserves were just too spent to care how the yard looked. I was fortunate that my neighbors were kind enough to keep things mowed and generally neat looking.

But some things I did care about, read: send hubbie out to tend to, such as trimming back the azaleas, were just left undone.

I noticed recently these same azaleas were looking quite overgrown, and in the case of one bush, well, dead. I think it might have taken a lightning hit, or a curse. Who knows.

So I spent some time today trimming and dragging the trimmings to the street for the truck to pick up tomorrow morning. And I really got the best sense of accomplishment upon stepping back and seeing the azaleas looking decent for the first time in two years.

I also see that I need to get a rake and some gloves tomorrow to tend to the pin oak leaves that have gathered behind the bushes at the front of the house.

I'm looking forward to the raking, just taking on some good physical activity with a defined starting and ending point. That when you finish, you can look back and see the results of your labors.

Plus it would be a bit much to expect my neighbor, who is kind enough to zip across the street on his riding mower to take care of my postage stamp of a yard to also do the trimming and raking and weeding.

Wouldn't it?

DC Pics

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Little Blue Today

On the Internet support board I frequent, there's a topic named 'Beyond Active Grieving'. I feel like I'm there, as if I've been there for awhile.

But days like today suck me right back. It's one of those endless Saturdays, I'm tired from so much running up and down the road and coming home to just the kittie.

What I can say is, as blah as today is and has been, it's nowhere near as bad as things were those first months.

So there's that.