Tuesday, July 31, 2007

From the crisis we’ve created with our self-indulgent ways

I don't have much time to post today, I'm again working every single flippin' day this week, straight through Sunday, but I did want to share an article I saw with y'all.

It's about blogging and what it does (or apparently does not!) add to our culture.

Somebody the other day asked me if I didn't think blogging was a narcissistic waste of time. Obviously, I don't think that, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it. When I started, I was just looking for a way to improve my writing and tell some of the stories I had picked up just from living here, but I also discovered some great blogs as I surfed around. Maybe it's just the archaeologist-historian in me, but I think everyone has a story to tell, and most of you tell it incredibly well. Some of you were and are writers by trade, but some of you are metal workers, nurses, moms, dads, regular people telling incredible stories about yourselves and your lives.

This article is a bit cynical, and it makes a point, but this guy has obviously never read any of you. If he did, he might be a bit hopeful.


Oh, and a quick side note, the program director at the classic rock station I worked on last week has decided I do, indeed, need to have my picture on the website. I hemmed and hawed and then he told me he could put a picture of Paris Hilton in my place. I told him if he put my name underneath a picture of the walking hazardous waste pit, I'd quit. So, I get to have "my picture made", as they say here in the south.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Somethin' that you said burnin' in my head

Lyric courtesy of Alice Cooper, "I'm So Angry"

And I'm not particularly angry today, really, but I've been tagged for a meme about things that annoy, provoke, anger, perturb and bother you. (Why, yes, I have recently bought a thesaurus!)

I was tagged for a "Moaning Meme" by mjd over at Return of the White Robin. Go over and see her if you haven't yet, she always has the coolest pictures.

4 things that should go into Room 101 (see Orwell's 1984) and be removed from the face of the earth.

  1. Poverty

  2. Bigotry

  3. Okra

  4. Crappy drivers

3 things people do that make you want to shake them violently.

  1. Animal cruelty

  2. Serving me okra

  3. Child abuse

2 things you find yourself moaning about.

  1. Okra

  2. These rotten kids today, with their loud music, and their strange ways

1 thing the above answers tell you about yourself

  1. That I obviously hate okra, and that I didn't take this very seriously. (Oops, that's two, I don't follow directions, either.)

I'm not going to tag anyone specifically here, because half of the people that read are on vacation! So, if you stop by, you can leave a list in the comments section if you so desire....


• Link to the original meme at freelancecynic.com!

• Be as honest as possible so people get to know the real you!

• Try not to insult anyone - unless they really deserve it or are very, very ugly!

• Post these rules at the end of every meme.

And now, I'm off to work afternoon drive for two different people this week. Today, our "Top 40/Hot AC" station, where I get to talk to lots of 12-year-olds who want to do "shout-outs" to their friends.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Five

Finally, I made it to Friday. The best part is, they are actually giving me tomorrow off. So, there will be no post tomorrow, as I will be at the beach, pretending I get an actual vacation. But in the meantime....I kind of ripped this idea about movies from Jo Beaufoix. She has a great blog, and her stories are awesome, and if you haven't gone and read her yet, you are missing out. So, hopefully she'll see this as imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. Right, Jo?

Five Movies I Love that are More Than 20 Years Old.

It's the best Billy Wilder film ever made, and if you've never seen it, you need to rent/download it NOW. It stars Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe. It also has the best ending line in a movie, too: "Well, nobody's perfect."

This is a Marx Brothers classic. Someone once said there are two types of people in the world: Three Stooges Fans and Marx Brothers Fans. I admit to being in the latter camp. The movie has it's typically thin Marx Bros. plot, but most of their films were like that. It was their act that made their films soar, and I love this one. It was also the first Marx Bros. film without Zeppo. Which was just fine with me.

Does this really need any explanation? Oh, all right. It was watching this movie for the umpteenth time (but this time, as an adult), that I finally understood why millions of women and Lauren Bacall swooned for Humphrey Bogart. It's got a great last line, too, but my earlier assertion about Some Like it Hot still stands.

Okay, this one is a squeaker as far as age, but it's a fabulous movie, and the book was fun, too. I fell in love with Mandy Patinkin here, and learned about all his other great talents (besides fencing). This movie is a bit like taking The Pirates of Penzance and having it staged by the Marx Brothers. And Christopher Guest plays the best villain. I saw the movie twice before I realized it was the same guy from Spinal Tap.

The original, silent masterpiece. Sometimes called the original horror film, it is beautifully filmed. My husband and I saw this on Turner Classic Movies a couple of months ago. They do a silent feature once a week, and this film reminded me of why I love silent movies when they are well done. The actors act, but don't emote. Lon Chaney is largely forgotten now, but he was a king back then, and he designed most of his own make-up. The other cool thing about this film is the bits of colourisation throughout, like making the Phantoms clothes appear scarlet in the rooftop scene.

Okay, those are my five...enjoy your weekend, y'all, I'm surely going to enjoy mine!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

You've got double trouble coming down

A double post today, because I saw a story I wanted to share, and because I wanted to address some of yesterday's comments on radio stuff.

First, the radio stuff. jrh, from Turkey on Whole Wheat, was nice enough to say this: "I believe you greatly underestimate your appeal, my friend..." and it was in response to this : "If you actually knew what I looked like you might not be so quick to call." While I appreciate the compliment, dear, what I said still holds and this is why:

I will never look how people expect me to look.

It is the way radio is, but it I think it's worse for women. No matter where I've gone, no matter what jobs I've done, I always get the same reply, even from people who work in the business:

"You don't look like what I imagined."

And then it's followed by something like this (these are just a sampling of some that I've heard)

I thought you'd be taller.
I thought you'd be blond.
I pictured you as a red head.
I thought you'd be thinner (!)
I thought your hair would be longer.
I thought your hair would be shorter.
I pictured you as a brunette (when I had red hair).

Usually, they're all saying the same thing (especially if they're guys): "I pictured a six-foot tall swimsuit model wearing a bikini standing behind the microphone". I once had an intern say those very words to me. And I am none of those things.

I'm 5'6", I weigh more than 150 lbs, I wear jeans and t-shirts (not bikinis!), my butt is a little on a the ample side, and I favour Converse high top running shoes in various bizarre colours. I occasionally wear heels, but generally not to work. Not when I have to stand for fours hours. And this doesn't mean I think I'm hideous, I just don't look like Pam Anderson or whatever fantasy babe our listeners have in their head.

So I think maybe putting me on our website might be a good thing, because then it would shatter whatever preconceived notion people have of me, and I wouldn't feel like I'm disappointing our listeners every time I meet them.

Okay! Now on to this story...

Oscar the Cat is the Angel of Death. No really. There's a story about it here, although you may have already seen this somewhere else. It's a little uncanny, but I also think it's nice, especially since he's apparently not a people cat. I always liked the idea of animals working in hospice care, but then, I like animals.

And speaking of the animals, we've discovered that Chloe has an intestinal buggy. It's called Spirometra erinacei (don't read that if you're just having a meal, really). It can eventually turn into a tapeworm thing. It's actually fairly rare (our vet said he sees a case maybe once a year). How did she get it? By eating an "aquatic animal", such as a frog, or a lizard. She's going to be fine, but I'm left wondering how the hell a cat who's been in a shelter for six months could eat a frog or a lizard!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Invisble airwaves, crackle with life

An Open Letter to All Radio Listeners

Dear Radio Listener,

I have a few things I need to discuss with you in order for us to have a pleasant working relationship.

First, I know change can be hard. I'm sorry the guy that "always" plays your requests is on vacation, and that I'm the one filling in for him. If I don't get your request on the minute you ask for it, there's no reason to become abusive. Because if you do become abusive, I just won't play your song. Tough titty. And also, please don't request songs you know damn well we don't play. I will not play Amy Winehouse "Rehab" on a Classic Rock station.

Secondly, I know there hasn't been a female jock on this station in a while, and though it's always nice to hear a raspy voice on the other end of the phone telling me how much you'd like to have me on the back of your pick-up truck, calling once an hour is more than enough. Six times an hour is excessive. Please arrange a schedule with other listeners so I only need to deal with one of you at a time. I will endeavour to have my picture placed on the website. If you actually knew what I looked like you might not be so quick to call.

Lastly, if you don't know the answer to whatever trivia question it is I'm asking, please don't call in for the contest. Even though you need to be caller nine, you still need to answer the question as well. I only have four minutes to get caller nine, record caller nine, and then put caller nine's information into the computer. If I have to take caller nine through fifteen, of people hemming and hawing, and saying "Hell, I dunno the answer, I just wanted to be caller nine", no one ends up winning, and I get very cross.

I think by following these rules, everyone's radio experience will be more pleasant. If you do not follow these rules, you FAIL at radio, and I would thank you to turn in your listener card.


Jen, the Fill-in Chick

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sexbomb, sexbomb

My husband is irresistible to women.

So irresistible, in fact, that our cat, Chloe, spent five minutes yesterday trying to claw her way into his arm pit just to roll in his antiperspirant. Take that, you stupid Axe commercials!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Give me a head with hair, long, beautiful hair

Or at least hair that doesn't look like I fell head first into a bucket of Clorox. As promised, here is the Great Hair Saga.

Actually, this is really my fault, I think. I'm pretty sure I miscommunicated what I was going after, and I paid the price for my niceness.

For the last few months, I've been keeping my hair in a short, pixie style. It took a lot of courage for me to get my hair all cut off in the first place, and I had it done before we moved here from Raleigh. My impetus for cutting off my locks was that I was sick of colouring my hair, but it was two-toned where the roots were growing in. I figured the easiest thing to do was to cut it all off, and I was really pleased at the results. But as so often happens in my life, just when I finally feel settled somewhere, we end up moving. Radio's a little like being in military, but with more moving, and weaker morale.

So, I had to go in search of another hair stylist. I tried to call a few, but unfortunately, we moved at the height of prom season, and I couldn't get an appointment to save my life. I ended up going to a place in the mall, and the woman didn't listen to anything I said. I wasn't happy. So, the search continued. Then my husband suggested this little place in Rincon (the town we're closest to) that he went to, to get his hair cut. He wears his hair very short, so I figured they at least knew how to cut hair short. So I went, and I was very happy.

The place we go to get our hair cut (yes, the whole family), is locally owned place and is the epitome of the small-town southern beauty salon. It's in a tin-roofed house, across from the elementary school, with a few women with very blond hair who call everyone "honey". Imagine Trudy's salon from Steel Magnolias and you'll get the idea. You'll see everyone in there, from old ladies, getting their permanents and blond rinses, to men getting their hair shaved close.

So, I got to feeling bold this past week after my haircut, and talked to my stylist about highlights. She thought some blond streaks would be good, and I agreed, so I went back in Thursday afternoon.

Well, she broke out the frosting cap. For those not in the know, a frosting cap is basically a plastic bonnet with holes in it. The stylist then uses what looks like a crochet hook to pull strands of hair through the holes to colour them, leaving your natural hair colour underneath. Now, I was thinking maybe a few foils, a couple of blond streaks in my normally brown hair. But we got to talking, and she got to pulling and before I knew it, I looked like a Barbie doll with a bad haircut. I also thought we were going with a "golden" or "honey" toned blond. And I'm pretty sure I wound up with bleach on my head. This was the result:

Not pretty, I know. I look a little like Taylor Hicks. But the good thing was you really couldn't see my gray hair. Of course, you also really couldn't see any of my hair . I was in shock. I thought maybe if I lived with it for a couple days, I'd get over it. But Ray didn't really like it, and the more I looked at it, neither did I. The worst part was, in my zeal to trim up some of the more damaged ends on my bangs, I inadvertently snipped off part of my left eyebrow. No, I don't have a picture of that, so don't bother asking.

So I sheepishly called the salon Friday morning, and asked when I could colour over what we'd done. To her credit, my stylist, Jessica, said if I wasn't happy, she would fix it for free. I was so overcome with relief, I almost cried right there on the phone.

Back I went, Friday afternoon, after taking the cats in for their vet appointment. Back I went to the chair, and this time, instead of the cap, she painted over my head with a lovely chestnut brown.

However, it was hotter than hell in that salon. Did I mention they don't have central air conditioning, and that it was 98 degrees Fahrenheit outside? Oh, that's about 37 degrees Celsius for my friends outside the U.S. They had two window units for the whole house. So, here I was , my head wrapped in plastic, a plastic cape wrapped around my neck and covering my body, and I was headed to sit under the big dryer, which was located in the back of the house on an enclosed porch, with very little insulation.

Quick aside: I've loved these dryers since I was a kid. I always thought they represented something rather glamourous, ladies lined up with these giant heated helmets, reading their fashion magazines. I've always been fascinated with them, really.

But it was so hot, I thought I was going to die. And then Jessica asked me if I wanted a Popsicle. I thought the heat was making me hallucinate, or the sound of the dryer was affecting my hearing, but she asked me again, and in a daze I answered yes.

There I was, not the picture of glamour, wrapped head to toe in plastic, head trapped inside a beehive shaped heater, sucking on a grape Popsicle. And yet, I was strangely contented.
The good news is, these were the results:

I am so grateful to Jessica for fixing my hair, and doing it with a smile on her face. She put it back to it's original colour, but better, because now that I've washed it a few times and been out in the sun, the parts that were originally bleached are lighter than the darker parts of my hair, so it actually looks like I have natural highlights now.

And Jen's hairs all lived happily ever after.

The End.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Five

My, my, how the weeks just seem to fly by. Time for another edition of the Friday Five. Y'all may not hear a whole lot out of me for the next few days. Starting Saturday, I'm on the schedule for sixteen days straight with no break, so my posting my be a touch spotty. I know I have more awards I need to get out, plus I need to write about my..erm, run-in with an overzealous hair dresser. I told y'all yesterday I was going to get highlights. I may need to go find someone to do some low lights. That, or pray that my hair grows fast so I can cut out some of this blond.


Five Things I Love About Where I Live
(picture above, fountain in Forsyth Park, Savannah, GA)

1. Humidity.

This sounds stupid, I know. Everyone always complains about the humidity: it messes up their hair, makes them feel sweaty, whatever. All I know is, it's nice to not have to run a humidifier so my husband can breathe. I also like the way the air feels first thing in the morning when I open the door. It's kind of damp, almost caresses my face, like it's just trying to let me know it's there.

2. All the young men call me ma'am, all the old men call me dear, and all the women call me honey.

There are women in this world who find it demeaning when an elderly gentleman calls them "dear", but I find it endearing, as long as it's not in a lecherous way, and it almost never is. And while some people feel old when someone calls them "ma'am", I think it's a lovely mark of respect that we just don't see much of anymore. As for the women, well, I also call everyone "hon", especially if I can't remember their names! I think, perhaps, I was born to be southern.

3. The Food.

No question about it, I love southern food: fried chicken, grits, greens with ham hock, pecan pie, fried pork chop sandwich, barbecue. About the only thing I can't handle is okra. I had a bad okra experience in my teens.

4. Rainstorms

Now, I don't like severe weather (does anyone???), but I love the summer thundershowers we get here, usually late in the afternoon. It's a product of the humidity. It's almost as if the sky just gets so full of moisture, it just can't handle it anymore and it explodes. And it really does help the heat a little bit. Just as soon as I think I can't handle the oppressive heat outside anymore, one of those lovely cleansing storms opens up and drops the temperature about ten degrees, and I can open the windows for a while. The best part is, we rarely get tornadoes here, so I can at least not panic too much if they declare a severe thunderstorm warning.

5. The Beach

I've always been a water person, ask any of my family. I grew up around the Great Lakes, and now I live less than an hour from the Atlantic ocean. The sound of waves and the smell of the sea calms me down, and I love watching The Four Year Old run in and out of the water. She's happy, the husband is happy, and I am happy. While I wouldn't mind living in a beach cottage year round, the great thing about living this far inland is if we get something less than a Cat 2 Hurricane, I probably won't have to evacuate.

Okay, that's my five. I get to play radio DJ star for the next two weeks filing in while other people take vacation, so don't expect me to post every day. I'll try though, if only because you have to see this ridiculous hair.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

This here's a story 'bout Billy Joe and Bobby Sue

Okay guys, I don't have much time to post today. I'm still trying to get TFYO and the kitties to play nice. We're getting there. TFYO doesn't shriek with delight anymore when she sees them (she whispers it, instead), and they don't automatically hide under my bed when they see her. And Zoe and Chloe have both spent some time being petted by TFYO, so like I said, we're getting there. Chloe has also demonstrated she is a talker, by talking from about 1 a.m. this morning until I finally got out of bed around 6:30. She's now comfortably sleeping in my spot on the bed.

I did manage to get my driver's license yesterday, and I owe a big apology to everyone who lives here by assuming that y'all would be as insensitive as the folks who work for the DMV in South Carolina. The people who work at the Georgia Department of Driver Services are lovely,pleasant, helpful, and didn't say "boo" about my Green Card. The only hitch is that they will only issue one year licenses to folks who have a Green Card issued prior to 1990, which the lately nicely and logically explained. I'm okay with that, doesn't bother me to come back every year to get it renewed. The picture wasn't half bad either. I'll write about it a bit more later. I'm off to have my hair highlighted today, I'm feeling very brave and lucky, so why not?

In place of a regular post, I thought we could try something that Willow Tree does, when he's too lazy to write anything *grin*. I'll give you a sentence, and you all can write a story/poem/whatever in the comments. I give you the first line, then you guys continue with each comment. Your regularly scheduled Friday Five will occur tomorrow.

"There was a little girl, who had a little curl...."

So, let's see where that story takes us!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bringing it All Back Home

Okay, that's an album title, not a song lyric, but I don't care because....


Yes, the folks at the Humane Society of Savannah-Chatham County untwisted their knickers long enough to approve us. Actually, what happened was the lower level worker brought our application to the director, who approved us on the spot. We got the call after all getting our hair cut yesterday. We were just on our way home when Ray's cell rang, and they told us we could pick up Zoe and Chloe that day. So we rushed over to the local pet supply store for everything we needed (like cat carriers, we gave ours away when Grimmy and Puck died).

And here they are:

Zoe is on the top, Chloe is on the bottom.
These pictures were taken this morning. What these pictures don't show are a couple of cats very content to take over the sofa, lounge across laps, and sleep on the bed with us. Of course, it also doesn't show them investigating every nook, cranny and closet in the house for all hours of the night, either.

They both seem pretty well adjusted. They've both already eaten, and found the litterbox. The best part is, they both have wonderfully developed and individual personalities. So, we finally did it. Now the hard part is getting TFYO to understand that the cats won't ALWAYS want to sleep on her bed!

And thanks to all of you for your kind words and encouragement over the last few days. You are all awesome and make me proud to know you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

These things are gone forever, Over a long time ago

If anyone knows the song that lyric came from, the title might make more sense. It's a Steely Dan song, if it helps. Gurnal should know it, and no Googling people!

So, this is sort of a round-up of various things, not really connected, but sort of. Er, yeah.

UPDATE : Okay, I never had this many friends in school. I'm feeling a little embarassed, because...well, because I tend to curl up into the fetal position when I'm given compliments. I've been given more awards and a wheel barrow full of compliments from my friend The Rotten Correspondent. I've said this before, but she is one of my very favourite people in blogdom.

So, she's given me a Rockin' Blogger award ( I always wanted to be a rock chick, no really!), and she's also given me a :

I've already given out two of these, and now I get one back! Must be some good blog karma going around.

And yes, I'll get around to passing these on, I swear. Once I uncurl from the fetal position under my desk. Now, back to your regularly scheduled posting.

First up, you may have noticed I've gleaned another award. I suddenly feel very important and egotistical. Which means y'all might not want to give me anymore of these. My head might get too big to fit in here.

This one comes from the lovely Mya over at Missing You Already. She even managed to do this while on holiday in England!

Mike from Ordinary Folk who designed the award says, "Schmoozing as defined by Dictionary.com is the ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection." I think I agree with Mya that this definition makes all of us award winners sound a bit like slimy ass-kissers. She says it's really meant to be warmer, and nicer, more of a "getting-ready-to-meet-new-people" kind of thing. And since I've been given this award, I tend to agree. I think I'm supposed to pass it on to five more people, but I'm going to wait a week, just to be a pain in the ass, and because all of us seem to be winning the same awards.

On a completely unrelated note: the cats. We still haven't heard anything, and the Humane Society worker we talked to yesterday (after she dropped her snotty attitude) said she'd just love to let us adopt Zoe and Chloe, but her supervisor is a real stickler for complete forms. My husband told her that if her supervisor has an issue she can call us. It's not looking good. However, we can always adopt from another rescue group. I'd be happy to have them do a home visit if I thought it would help. I could also just go hang out in the city for half an hour and take the first cat that followed me home (and I mean the four-legged kind!).

And finally, why is it that on crayon boxes they always print "NON-TOXIC CRAYONS"? Does that mean there's someone out there actually selling toxic crayons? And if they were, does anyone think they'd tell us? I mean, would they print "GENUINE TOXIC CRAYONS" on the boxes? I could just see the advertising campaign now: 'Genuine toxic crayons, guaranteed to grow you a third eye, burn through skin, and contaminate your bloodstream, or your money back. Assuming you survive."

Right, that's enough rambling. I think I'll go polish my awards.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Keep your suspicions, I've seen that look before

UPDATE : I have not gone to get my license, because we are going around with the Humane Society. First, they told us our last vet claimed we'd had our cats vaccinated only once in 12 years, which would have been a good trick considering we only lived in Raleigh for a year and a half. Now the Humane Society is saying that if we can't find documentation for the last few years of our pet's lives we will not be considered for adoption. If I'd known it would be so important to keep all of the receipts from my cats vet visits, I would have. We may not be getting a pet at this time. Yes, I am incredibly pissed off!

I have been putting off the necessary for about a month now. I have to go get a Georgia driver's license.

I'm convinced that if Hell really existed, it would look a lot like a driver's license office. Pea green walls, nasty posters exhorting you to be a better demon (or driver, take your pick), and scary looking women peering at you from the counter while you wait in long lines, like cattle for slaughter.

Okay, maybe it's not that bad. My husband went and got his a few weeks ago and said everyone was lovely and nice. But my husband doesn't carry a Green Card. Now, I don't look or sound any different from any of the yokels around here, except maybe I don't pronounce vowels with extra syllables. However, the law says I have to show my Green Card when applying for a driver's license, so I do, because I'm the law abiding type. The last time I had to do this in the DEEP south, I had to call the office of the Governor of South Carolina, because I got accused of carrying a fake document.

Back then, I had a radio show to talk about it on. And I got a lot of quick calls back from the government over my complaint. I just worry I'm going to go through the same conversation again this time.

Me: Hi, I need to get a driver's license, here is my Resident Alien card.

Crabby Woman: This isn't real, it has no expiration date.

Me: Check the date it was issued. It was issued prior to 1990. Those cards don't have expiration dates on them.

Crabby Woman: What are you, some kind of terrorist?

This was just after 9-11, folks.

Me: Lady, I've waited in line for over an hour, and I'm showing you proper documentation, what the hell kind of terrorist do you think I'm likely to be?

CW: Well, I can't process this. I don't think you illegals should have a license, and I'm tired of you people thinking you can scam the government. You should go back to where you came from.
Me: I'll swim back to Canada just as soon as the ice floes break up. Where is your supervisor?

CW: I AM the supervisor, you need to leave this office, before I call the police.

I was so stinking mad and more than a little humiliated, but I was also a little panicky. What if I needed to get a new green card? I called INS. And after being transferred to four different people (one of whom asked me if I need a translator!), I finally got someone who's answer was this:

"Aw, Jesus, I hate these local idiots, thinking they're saving the world. What's your nationality?"

When I told him I was a Canadian, he laughed, said there was nothing wrong, and I should go back and get my license. No such luck. I went back and another person told me that unless I had a Green Card with an expiration date, she couldn't process my paper work.

So, I called the Governor's office, and let fly. I was so angry at this point. A moron with six DUIs can still get a license, but I just might be a terrorist because I don't have an expiration date, so no license for me. I then went on my radio show and told the town about it. Of course, we probably only had three hundred people listening, but it made me feel better.

Eventually, I got my license, by going to the main office in Charleston, after some official from the state called down there. There were no problems, no issues, and the scary looking woman behind the counter even told me to have a nice day.

So, here I go, worrying that the person behind the counter won't know what a Permanent Resident Alien card is, wondering if I'm going to get hauled off to jail for looking suspicious and not having an expiration date.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Crunchy Frog, I mean, MEME. Crunchy Meme

Tagged again! By Jo Beaufoix, with the following assignment:

To write about 5 of your favouite restaurants/eating places.

Other rules include:
*Link to the person who tagged you. (Click Jo's name up above, or in my blog roll)

*Include the state and country you live in.

*List top five favorite local restaurants.

*Tag five other people and let them know they’ve been tagged

So, here we go.

Savannah, Georgia is an awesome place to get seafood, we are right on the coast, and so far I haven't really had a bad experience anywhere. I'm going to include Charleston, SC in this post, because it's only two hours away. Their seafood is good, too.

1. Uncle Bubba's Oyster House - Wilmington Island

A little gimmicky, because he's Paula Deen's brother, but the food is really, really good. I don't like oysters all that much, but the chargrilled ones are awesome. They crack open an oyster, put it over a charcoal flame and then as it cooks season it with salt, pepper, and a little Parmesan cheese. The shrimp and grits are good also, as well as the key lime pie!

2. Hank's on the Market, Charleston, SC

This is technically known as Hank's Seafood Restaurant, but everyone calls it Hank's on the Market, because that's where it is. It's expensive to eat here, and I've only done it a couple of times, but if you ever get to Charleston it's so worth it. They serve she crab soup, which is basically cream, butter, salt, pepper, crab meat and crab roe. After it's heated, it's served with a dollop of sherry on top. It is heaven in a bowl.

3. Sticky Fingers - Southside Savannah

These folks are actually a chain throughout the southeast, and they do southern style barbecue. I love barbecue, and it's the one thing I miss about living in Memphis, TN. I haven't found any good local 'cue pits here, other than this chain. The dry rub ribs are almost as good as those I had in Memphis. And the pulled pork is always tender. The actually ship their stuff around the country, but I don't know if they'll ship their sauces to England or Australia. Sorry, guys.

4. Tubby's Tank House and Seafood - River Street, Savannah

Ate here with my friend, Jill. We had flounder and salad and watched an old guy play saxophone next to the river. We also had some fabulous Buffalo Shrimp. The food was good, but I think it was more about the atmosphere, sitting up on a balcony, watching the boat traffic on the river.

5. Clary's Cafe - Abercorn St. Savannah

This place was made famous in the book and movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". Ray and I ate here a lot when we lived up the highway in Charleston. Once, while I was pregnant and crabby, he said "Let's go get a cheeseburger!" I said okay and we got in the car. We were driving, and driving, crossed a few rivers, headed out of Charleston southward, and I finally asked "Where the hell are we going to get this cheeseburger?"

"Clary's" was his only reply. They make awesome cheeseburgers and fabulous malts. It's tiny, and cramped, and sometimes the service is less than helpful. But the food is pure Americana. The breakfast is good, too. Best Eggs Benedict I've ever had that I didn't make myself.

Some of you may be wondering where Paula Deen's restaurant, The Lady and Sons, is on this list. Well, I have yet to eat there, because the line to get in usually wraps around the block. I hear her fried chicken is absolutely divine, and so are her greens, but I'm not patient and waiting two hours to get in anywhere is just too much. I think we're going to try for lunch at some point, soon. I'll let you know what it's like when I do.

I know I'm supposed to tag five people, but I'm tagged out. So, anybody who reads this, you can be tagged. Put it in the comments, put it in your own blogs, whichever you prefer! And now I'm off to talk to the 12 or so people who listen to me on Sundays. It's a shame most of them are under 16 years old. As Gurnal would say, oh, well.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Wake and find you're covered in cellophane...

That lyric has nothing to do with anything. I just like it. I'll send a prize to the first person who can name the song and artist correctly in the comment section (but you'll have to e-mail me your address). It's not much of a prize but you can say you got something from me!

Speaking of prizes:

Jo Beaufoix has given me an award!!!

"The Thoughtful Blogger Award is one of five distinct awards in a series of awards created by Writers Reviews' intuitive, creative and most thoughtful blogger herself, Christy Zutautas. There is a specific description for each award listed here along with the award rules. Writers Reviews has created a way to honour the bloggers we admire in a personable way on an individual basis, that frees us to celebrate each blogs unique contribution.”

Or so it says on Jo's blog. I've never won an award for blogging before, and I feel honoured.

My task is now to give out five awards as well.

So, without further adieu...

mjd at Return of the White Robin gets a :

jrh at Turkey on Whole Wheat also gets a:

Robot Lord of Tokyo at 10001110101 gets a:

(They didn't have a smart ass award, sorry!)

Saphyre Rose at Sun and Moon Sorcery gets a:

Because she kicks ass.

And nate over at shut the kids up. gets a:

because his art is some of the most creative stuff I've seen.

There's my five, oh, and Jo also tagged me for a meme, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow! Sorry!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Five

Quick thank you to everyone who posted in the comments yesterday. You already know I think this, but y'all are great. We're headed to the shelter this afternoon. And Willowtree, it's funny that you mentioned those two cats (Zoe and Chloe), because those were the two I suggested to my husband. We're also thinking about Lucy the basset hound, and a couple of the other dogs we saw. However, they apparently have a bunch of animals who are not on the website, so we shall see...

Today's Friday Five....

Five Favorite Pieces of Art (in no particular order)

This Friday Five was inspired by a discussion my husband and I were having about the Sistine Chapel. Yes, we sometimes have strange discussions....oh, and all of these pieces have wiki links, just click on their names.

I love this piece because of the sorrow so evident on Mary's face. It's apparently the only piece that Michelangelo ever signed. Technically it, is of course, a masterpiece. The marble looks positively fluid as it drapes in the folds of the cloak. But it is an emotional piece first and foremost for me. Perhaps I appreciate this piece more now that I have a child.

I always wished my first kiss was this enthralling. It's the woman's face in this one that gets me every time, the complete surrender to a kiss that's not even on her lips. Chaste, and intimate at the same time. I suppose they look a little like they're about to have a very naughty picnic.

I've always loved Van Gogh, and this is my favorite of his. I know he had vision problems, and some experts theorize that was why the stars look the way they do in so many of his paintings. I honestly don't care. I just love the way this scene always looks like it's on the move.

Caravaggio was the bad boy of his day (back in the 1600's), he was always drinking and brawling and yet put out art that looked like this. The lighting is magnificent. I also like the fact that there was a bit of a scandal associated with this painting. Caravaggio took a lot of criticism because he painted the Virgin with a slightly bloated stomach, showing a woman who had obviously given birth at some point, which was at odds (some thought) with the idea of a "virgin". He also apparently used a well known prostitute as his model for Mary.

I've always liked Georgia O'Keeffe's way with bold colour and form. Anyone who knows me, knows I like red, although I never used to think it was one of my favourite colours. If someone wanted me to define red, I'd show them this painting.

and an extra:
Sunset Tree, by my mom (sorry, no wiki link for this one)

My mom doesn't paint much anymore, but she did this one back in the late 1980's. I've carried it with me ever since and it's always been on a wall wherever I've gone. This picture doesn't do it justice, but you'll just have to believe me on this. I love the sunset colours, and I like the feeling of quiet this painting gives me. And that's all that matters, doesn't it?

Okay, that's it. Go on and post your five. I don't care if it's a masterpiece by da Vinci, or your five-year-old's crayon scrawl. Art is open to interpretation.
Oh, and I'll post pics of the new pet as soon as we figure out what we're doing. Have a great weekend y'all!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Singin' the blues while the lady cats cry...

Thanks to the Stray Cats for the lyric.

We've decided to look for a pet, and no, for my regular readers, it will not be a goat.

These were my two cats, Grimmy and Puck. I got them during my sophomore year in college (you do the math!), and they both passed away last year, about seven months apart. They pre-dated my husband and my child, and moved all over the damn country with me, and I miss them terribly. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure I'm ready to go looking for love again.

But lately, The-Four-Year-Old has been saying she misses them, too. She's been drawing lots of pictures with her and the cats, and her and animals in general. That, and the adorable pictures of Willowtree's zoo has been getting me thinking of sharing my home with animals again. So, we've been looking.

At the moment, we've been trying to decide between a dog or a cat (or multiple dogs and cats), and we've been weighing the pros and cons of each.

Pros of getting a dog:

It poops outside.
We can take it to the beach and the park.
Dogs are loyal.
It can eat the roosters keeping me awake.
It can scare away the ducks and buzzards hanging out on my lawn.
It can chase off the neighbour's chihuahua that keeps pooping in my yard.

Pros of getting a cat:

Usually quieter than a dog.
Won't kill off the grass in my yard with it's urine
Won't bug me for walk at 4 a.m.
Generally, cat poop is smaller than dog poop.
Cats have a better chance of hiding from The Four Year Old.
Won't snort guests' butt or crotch.

I've leave it y'all to come up with the cons. Alright, I'm being a little facetious. I like both dogs and cats, but we're still having a tough time deciding. TFYO is a little nervous around dogs, but I think it's just because she's only lived with cats. We also still don't have a fence around our backyard, but that hasn't stopped our neighbours who let their beasts roam at will. At the moment I'm leaning towards a dog, maybe one on the smaller side (beagle or basset hound-ish).

Either way, our new family member will be coming from the local shelter. There's actually a ton of shelters and rescue leagues in this area, and they all hang out at the PetsMart in Savannah. We went last weekend, and there were probably four or five groups there, with animals in every aisle. I was lucky to get out of there without TFYO taking every dog and cat in the place with her. I think we're going to the Savannah-Chatham Humane Society this weekend. Wish me luck. I'll post pics here when we finally make up our minds, or an animal makes up it's mind for us.

Oh, and as Bob Barker says "Spay or neuter your pet!"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

We chickens tryin' to sleep....

Thank you Louis Jordan.

Sorry for the late posting, kids, my brain isn't quite functioning yet. I was woken prematurely by roosters and a four-year-old.

As has been mentioned before, I live out in the country. For the record, I'm not one of these stupid yuppies who build McMansions out in a rural area, and then complain that everything smells like cow shit. Honestly, manure smells don't bother me. I had two indoor cats for thirteen years who shared a litter box, and nothing smells worse than a three-day-old litter box.

But the roosters are new. They weren't here when I moved in. I'm not sure, yet, where they've moved in to, because the land is flat, and sound travels a long way here, but since they're roosters, they wake up at the crack of dawn.

Many moons ago, when I did morning drive, this wouldn't have bothered me because I used to get up before the roosters. Now, my husband is the one to get up at 3 a.m. and I get to practice going back to sleep, until recently. For the last two mornings it's been cock-a-friggin'-doodle-do just as I settle back to sleep, 'round about 5 a.m. A little crowing wouldn't bother me, but with all that cackling going on, it's a little like listening to an interview with Graham Norton and Joan Rivers.

TFYO hasn't really seemed to notice, but she has been getting up much earlier than usual. So after the cocks stop crowing and I close my eyes to the blessed silence, I hear this:

"Yacky! It's morning! GET UP!"

Oh, yes, TFYO has given us all new nicknames. She's named herself "Quacky", I am "Yacky", and her father has been dubbed "Shmacky". No, I have no idea why. But for now, I'm blaming it on the roosters.

Anybody got a good recipe for coq au vin?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Don't sit under the apple tree...

I had a really great entry all planned out for today (no, really, I did!), but then this story caught me eye. You can go here to read it in full.

Apparently, some guy in New Hampshire thought it would be a brilliant idea to rob a Citizen's Bank dressed as a tree.

Now either this guy was a sniper school reject, or he spent waaaaay too much time hanging out in the silk foliage department of his local WalMart. It takes camouflage to a whole new level. Looking at his picture I kind of get the feeling that he was that kid on Halloween dressed in the flowery bed sheet.

I suppose you could say he wasn't so much "armed" as "limbed". And I can't help but wonder if he asked the teller to "give him all the green". And if she told him to "make like a tree and leave".

My question is, what kind of town is Manchester, New Hampshire, that a tree walking into a bank is not something that draws the attention of the security guard? I mean, I'm all for freedom of expression, but if somebody walks into your bank deciduously dressed, don't you think they might be, just might be, up to no good?

I know we need to give our plants the benefit of the doubt. There would be nothing worse in my mind than profiling based on leaf shape, but unless it's in a pot, I would think a tree in a bank would stand out. I wonder if this means that all potted palms are barred from banks from now on. I don't know about you, but that maple in my front yard is starting to look awfully suspicious.

The best part of this story: the bank was on Elm Street.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Don't You Think It's Weird

I'm not telling you where that song lyric came from. I'm too ashamed to say I know the lyrics to that song.

My child is weird. There. I've said it. And I have no hesitation in saying it, because I know she gets a lot of it from my husband and me, and I think I'm okay with my weirdness, but there are times that I worry a little bit. Here are some examples why.

Dietary Habits

Now, I know every four-year-old is a picky eater at some point. However, it's not just that The-Four-Year-Old is picky, her tastes are bizarre. Until recently she refused to eat anything made with ground beef, buts eats blue cheese by the fistful. Her favorites are Gorgonzola, Danish Blue, and Maytag. TFYO even asks for it in the store. "Mom, I think we're out of blue cheese, you need to buy some!" She also prefers to eat spinach salad (again, blue cheese dressing or Green Goddess dressing only, please), and likes carrots and celery, but if you serve her a cooked vegetable she freaks out. She eats fish and chicken (especially if it's breaded), but beef is pretty much off the table. Pork chops are out, but she rivals Elvis in her love for bacon (my apologies to all my vegetarian friends, the meat thing is almost over). The caveat to this is I can usually coax her into eating anything if I put hot sauce on it, or give her a kosher dill pickle to eat along side of whatever else has been served. Sometimes she just wants to eat the pickles out of the jar.

Musical Tastes

I was going to blame this one on my husband, but I suppose this is my fault too. Mostly his, though. My daughter is in love with Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. When my daughter was just shy of her first birthday, I bought my husband a Rat Pack DVD and CD set. When Dean showed up on the television screen, my baby hauled herself over there and plastered herself against him, howling with anger when I tried to pull her away. It's been that way every since. If we get in the car, "Moooooooom! I don't want to listen to your music, I wanna listen to MINE. I want DEAN." She also loves Glen Miller, Rosemary Clooney, and James Taylor. She also likes the Beatles better than the Rolling Stones. If she's given the chance to choose, though, it's almost always Dean Martin. The worst part for me is that she's taken to copying Dean's jokes from the DVD. I can just see her waltzing in to her first day of Pre-Kindergarten this fall. "I don't drink anymore, I freeze it and eat it like a popsicle." On the upside, her comic timing is impeccable.

Which brings me to this: Her Sense of Humour

TFYO knows if her father or I are mad about something, the easiest way out is to make us laugh. This would be okay, if she wasn't so damned good at making me laugh. One night we were having a tough time getting her to settle down to bed. She kept giggling, and I finally went in there and said "Just what the heck is so funny about bedtime?"

"Nothing," she said.

"Well, if nothing is funny, then why are you laughing?" (See, I'm playing the straight man here)

"Because nothing is funny. Nothing is just sooooo funny!"

"Alright, now, settle down. If nothing is funny, there shouldn't be so much laughing."

Then up pops a little hand from underneath the covers, and the hand says to me:

"I'm Nothing, and I'm hilaaaaaaaaarious!"

And just while I was trying to keep it together, her other hand popped up and proclaimed:

"And I'm Anything, and I'm funny, too!"

I had to leave the room. Her right foot has since been named Something, but it isn't quite as hilarious to Anything and Nothing who seem to delight in picking on her. And for some reason Anything sounds like James Mason. Or, at least, James Mason imitated by a little four-year-old girl.

The last thing weird about my kid:

Her Life, the Musical

TFYO loves to sing, and I mean SING. She's always been musical, she's been teaching herself simple songs on the piano since she was two years old, and we've always sang songs to her. But some days, I feel like I'm living in the Rabbit of Seville. Does she want to eat? Loud and clear and almost Wagnerian : "Yeeeees, Mommeeeeeee, I would like to eaaaaaaat! To eat, to eat, to eat would be sweeeeeeeeet!" The same goes for the playground, the bath and bedtime. Everything can be made into a song. There are occasions when this makes other children avoid her, but she doesn't seem to care. Generally, it doesn't bother me because her pitch is good, and she's rarely flat, and her sense of composition is pretty decent for a four-year-old. It's just when she wants us to join in that we have a problem. That, and the Twyla Tharp style dance numbers.

So, The-Four-Year-Old is weird, but I still think she's wonderful. I can give her a stack of books, and she'll read them to me while I try and get some housework done. Or she'll create little scenarios for her dolls to act out. Or she'll draw on every available piece of scrap paper until she's reduced to drawing on the backs of cereal boxes. And I love it. I love every minute of it.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Friday Five

Okay kids, gather 'round, time for another edition of the Friday Five. I'd also like to say "welcome" to all of the new people who've wandered by here this week, you are a fascinating bunch.

This week's Friday Five is....

The Five Stupidest Things Ever Said to Me (counting down, in order)

5. "Hey, let's move to Alabama."

This was said to me by an ex-boyfriend whom I thought I was going to marry. We were going to school at Western Michigan at the time, and I think the snow was getting to him. So I moved to Alabama, but he changed his mind, both about being married and moving to Alabama. I've since forgiven him...mostly.

4. "I think you've got an ear infection."

This was said to me by my family doctor in Charleston, when I went in complaining of nausea three weeks after my honeymoon. The diagnoses was based a negative pregnancy test in the office and some "redness" in my inner ear, as he called it. At the time, I was wearing headphones for four to five hours per day. Oh, and my home pregnancy test was positive.

3. "C'mon, just try and work with guy."

This was said to me by my manager at a radio station a while back. I'd been put on a morning show with the original host who didn't want a co-host and made it plain to anyone who asked. He didn't want me there, and after working with him for a bit, I didn't want to be there, either. To be fair, we had differing ideas of what my role should be, but even after management sided with me, he held firm. It ended in an ugly way, but I kept my job, at least for a while.

2. "If you use anything other than **NAME BRAND** cream on your nipples while breastfeeding, you will poison your child."

This was said to me by a nurse I affectionately named "The Boobie Nazi". The Boobie Nazi was the teacher of my breastfeeding class. She showed films that bordered on soft core porn (no I'm not a prude, even my husband was uncomfortable). She also lied to me about using this "special brand" of lanolin cream to help prevent chapping. I'm allergic to lanolin. I panicked my way through the rest of pregnancy, until a nice lactation consultant in the hospital where I gave birth confirmed my suspicions that The Boobie Nazi was stupid. She said "Oh, I know her. She's an idiot, really." And then the nice lady gave me some vitamin E capsules, and told me to feed my kid.

1. "There will be some minor discomfort."

This from every gynaecologist holding a speculum.

Okay, that's it. You can list yours in the comment section. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

PS I just found out my friend taqdeer is getting married and will no longer be blogging for my amusement. taqdeer, I've really enjoyed reading your blog and your comments here. You were one of my very first readers and you will be missed more than you know. Congratulations on your wedding, and may you and your bride have a beautiful and fruitful life together. Y'all go on over to his blog desertscape and offer your congrats to him before he vanishes for good.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack...

Ah, the Great American Institution of Baseball. My husband loves this game. He can't remember where we had dinner last week, but if you ask him who won the World Series in 1962, not only can he tell you which team won, but how many games it took, and what the score in the final game was. I learned to love this sport from him, and some our happiest moments have been sitting up behind home plate in a minor league ball park, eating hot dogs and drinking beer.

We finally made it to our local team's game yesterday for the Fourth of July. As you can see, they play in an older stadium, it's not new or fancy, but given that we're in Savannah, a new ball park would make much sense. That, and the Savannah Sand Gnats (a New York Mets affiliate) only play Single A ball.

Oh, quick aside for folks who don't know anything about minor league baseball:

AAA (Triple A) league is closest to playing in the majors. Guys who play AAA usually move up pretty quickly.

AA (Double A) is the next league down.

A (Single A) is the bottom rung, where the youngest players are, or ones who need more development.

Here are some of the guys doing warm-ups before the game.

Attendance, as usual, was a bit low, but it meant we got those much coveted seats directly behind home plate, just up a bit.

We weren't the only ones interested in those seats. In the section just in front of us, talent scouts were everywhere with their radar guns and video cameras checking out the pitching prospects. My husband explained to me that the major league trade deadline is nearing, and so the scouts and "player development" folks were out in droves to see who might make a good trade for a major league prospect. Or some extra equipment maybe. Okay, just kidding on that one.

Here my daughter is being attacked by a giant Sand Gnat, the mascot.

His name is Gnate, he took over for his brother Gnic a couple of years ago. And Gnate has his own MySpace page. He's a tad vain, so friend him.

I tried to get a picture of Frank the Beer Man, the guy who roams the seats and bleachers selling the brew, but every time I bought a beer I was too busy paying him to get out my camera. Frank is going to be leaving us after many years as the beer man for Grayson Stadium, because he's getting married, which I think is lovely. Frank is a retired Army Major, and he sells beer here and at Jacksonville Jaguar games in the fall (football team, AMERICAN football, mind you). He went back up north to his high school reunion, met his old high school sweet heart and fell in love. I think it's a great story, and there was much congratulations all around from us. There's a link to the story about it in our newspaper, here.

There was a young guy behind us who was very vocal, but he always tried to keep it clean because he knew The Four Year Old was there. There was an old guy sitting next to us who talked Ray's ear off, because he used to be in radio, too. There was a family sitting up a few seats over and behind us, and their son got into a horn blowing contest with TFYO. They were practically nose to nose, blowing these silly little party horns that the stadium staff were handing out to the kids.

The grown ups also got some really cool stuff, including a bag full of skin care products from a foreign dermatology company and single servings of microwaveable Hamburger Helper- Just Add Water, Dried Beef Included! I'll have to make some of it, and show all of you unfamiliar with the dreck Hamburger Helper is. But they are one of the team sponsors, so we get free Hamburger Helper.

Oh, yeah, and we won, 6-2. Not bad, considering we lost pretty much the first half of the season.