Saturday, January 31, 2009


This whole recession thing is big. Really big. I thought at first that it would leave me alone, but that's not the case so much anymore. Everybody is cutting back, and one place "they" are cutting back is education. It seems counter-intuitive but it is often the case. "They"are talking about cutting the National Board certification pay out of my wife's pay.

This amounts to about $10,000, and yes it would hurt us if "they" decide to not pay her that amount anymore. To add to it, somewhere, somebody recognizes the quality in the National Boards, and we would likely move to wherever that is. This is in the preliminary stages at this point, but I'm not going to pay Hilton Head prices if "they" don't want to pay up themselves.

It would probably wreck our fiances and generally make a big mess. That is coming, no matter what we do or where we go. But it is still a ways off, we'll see. It's funny, that one place or person would see something of value while another would not. We will try to go where they will appreciate us... where that is, remains to be seen.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Classic Film Friday: Dimples

Mrs. MH here. I was "caught" watching a classic film while MH was busy doing something else. So, now of course, I'm tagged with the responsibility of writing about it. What's that they say about teachers? Oh yeah...when it began to snow during the school day one time, all of the children began to run to the window to "ooh" and "ahhh". Just then, Johnny yelled, "Stop, don't do it! The teacher will make you write about it!" And yet, here I am. :)

I've been in love with Shirley Temple movies since I was a child. I used to curl up on my grandma's couch and watch them just about anytime they were on. Of course I saw the popular ones like The Little Princess, Curly Top and Heidi too many times to count. But then, here it is to my surprise, a Shirley Temple flick I've never seen. Or at least don't remember seeing. And it was on the Roku (which if you haven't noticed my husband is in love with). So I settled in to watch it.

In this 1936 film, Shirley plays Dimples, a talented street performer who is basically exploited by her grandfather , Professor Appleby played by Frank Morgan, so that hey may cash in on his sticky finger occupation. In the middle of it all, she befriends Mrs. Drew, a lovely, lonely older woman who also happens to be rich. The woman tries to convince Professor Appleby to part with the little girl for a the sum of five-thousand dollars. He wavers back and forth and somehow gets caught up in owing money eventually leading him to give her up for the money after all. It goes around and around and in the midst of it all, Shirley ends up starring in a theatrical production of Uncle Tom's Cabin which is where it all comes to a head. The theatrical production does include "black face" actors which was indicative of the time. This was a sweet movie that is somewhat typical of the Shirley Temple movies I was accustomed to watching where the down and out, troubled little girl, finds her way to happiness. That and singing and dancing...all good stuff in my book!

Warning: The end of the clip might be a bit of a spoiler to how it all ends.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Sandbox

Yes, the picture in yesterday's post was revealing wasn't it? Not only am I ugly, I tend to wear strange things and I'm a pilot...(also I have the ability to look drunk even though I'm not inebriated). Ok not really, that was taken at the Sandbox which is on Hilton Head Island. It's for little kids... 3-6 years old, and in concept seems like a money maker.

But it's not, at least that's what they say, and who am I to argue? A children's museum, you think they'd have them everywhere. But anyway, we're thinking of having my daughter's 3rd birthday there. So we went over and checked it out, because you've got to do due diligence right?

It's pretty cool, at least while we were there, I'm sure if more people were there... like during tourist season, I might feel differently. But they weren't crowded, in fact at one point we were the only people there. They offer a membership, like the YMCA or heath club, and as nice as I think the place is, I just don't know if I (more than likely my wife and daughter) would use it that much.

Still, it is nice that we have such a thing here, and we'll probably have my daughter's birthday there. But I don't know about the membership... yet.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our Flight to Atlanta....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Garden Update: Week 17

So another week has come and gone, I will say that taking the cover off seems to have helped. But I could be the victim to rotten timing. The spinach is doing good (bottom right) and soon it looks like we'll have some salad. Anyway, it better hurry up because summer planting is not all that far away...

Why Is It...

That on a weekday, when I must get up to go to work... I can't or at least don't want to. And on a weekend or holiday I'm up at the butt crack of dawn, raring to go? Seriously, I have arisen from sleep on a weekend and tried to go back to sleep, laid there for hours, and bupkis.


No sleep. No rest. Nothing...

But along comes a weekday... forget it, you can't pull me out of bed.

Monday, January 26, 2009

To The Dump

I had a little housekeeping to take care of... basically I had a whole shit load, yes that's right, the cuss word means something, of boxes to get rid of. I along with my wife and older daughter crammed, jammed and made it fit into my otherwise cavernous SUV, so I could take it all to the dump.

It was pretty crazy. I just kept going back to the car to get yet more and more cardboard. I also had this song in my head, and on my car's CD player:

I'm cool like that, I think anyway. All of my Christmas (which there was a lot) and other stuff too, plus my wife finally decided the dishes we got from Linens and Things were crap, we pretty much knew that after the first time we ate on them, or washed them, but we finally decided to do something about it. My wife ordered some Pfaltzgraff instead. Why didn't we do that in the first place? Who knows, but I can definitely see why Linens and Things is belly up now.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Almost Made It

This is what happens to lazy gardeners. Up until this last freeze it had been alive and flowering (it was an impatient) Now we can just think about what could have been, what might have been, what should have been. Still, it's lasted longer than anything else tropical we've planted. R.I.P. impatient!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

King Cake

You know how I mentioned that this time of year brings King Cakes and Mardi Gras, at least for those who happen to be from the New Orleans area. Well, unbeknown to me, my wife was planning to make a King Cake, from scratch. My oh my, this is a new wrinkle to me. I could never remember as a child making a King Cake. We'd always go to a bakery or more likely the grocery store.

Now we have laid down a foundation to not have to pay $40-80 on getting a King Cake shipped to us. It wasn't perfect, but it was a damn good start, and if you look at it... almost imperceptible to what we'd pay to have a King Cake mailed to us.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Classic Film Friday: Charade

This classic from 1963 really has it all. Suspense, comedy, mystery, and even romance. Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) is a woman, who through no fault of her own, is going through some changes. She meets Peter Joshua (Cary Grant), and tells him to look her up while in Paris. She is going to get a divorce, but instead winds up a widow, and all of her possessions are gone since she comes back from holiday in the Alps.

It's hard to describe, but she is not really that tore up about her husband's death, or the fact that he was murdered. At her husband's funeral three men come to say their goodbyes, but really they are looking for clues as the dead man and the three men were in the war (WWII) and they pilfered some money, from the US government. They never quite got around to divvying the money up, so now they think Ms. Lampert has the money.

She gets summoned to the US Embassy by a CIA agent Hamilton Bartholomew (Walter Matthau). He asks her to help find the money and insists that she has it.

Peter looks Reggie up and try to figure out what to do. That's where the fun starts. People start getting killed, Peter isn't exactly who he says he is, and Reggie doesn't know what to do. I could go further, but really you need to see this one yourself. On the Roku or right here if you like.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Old Sheldon Church Ruins: A Photo Blog

We wanted to do something last Saturday, we thought we were going to the oyster roast in Port Royal, but it was too cold for that. So instead we went to Yemasee. What's in Yemasee you say? Well the Le Crueset outlet for one thing, and old Sheldon Church.

It's a bit of a drive, and it was cold, but we could get out of the cold by simply jumping back into the car, we bundled up and went on in. I have to first say that my wife, being Catholic and a bit superstitious thinks there are ghosts around. She says her little prayer, makes the sign of the cross, and we're off again. I think the whole thing is cute, she is serious though, so I acknowledge her healthy respect of the dead.

I could go on about how cool it was, but why not show you instead? Sheldon Church was burnt down... twice. In the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Also there are graves around the church, dating back to the 1700's. If you live around here, you really ought to go see it. We went when it was freezing cold, I've also been in the Spring/Summer... and been eaten alive by biting insects. Snot nosed or bug laden, the choice is yours. Or you can vicariously live through the pictures here...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yeah, Probably...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Kelly Cary Report

You know I haven't really posted about the school or the school board. There is a reason for this, basically because my wife is a teacher. Well we have a school board that cannot or will not know the rules. It's still the old Whale Branch High School dilemma....again.

Mr. Campbell thinks that he is the only person that goes through hardship because he's black. Guess what? My daughter endures an hour long bus ride... every day. Every single day. We live only 3.5 miles from the school. So you see Mr. Campbell it is not just your black people that have to wait for long bus rides, white kids suffer too, on overcrowded buses at that.

We have the same problems now that we had back then. Except now we have this economy to deal with and there is just not enough students in the right places. They needed to move attendance zones, they needed to do so, before they asked for the referendum money. They didn't, and now we have what we have. Which is a bunch of shit... basically. They can try and assign whatever they like as to reason why they think the school is needed, but in all honesty the school, even reduced is too big and still too far away to make any difference. And the rest of us will pay, pay in tax money and resources that could have been better spent. Thanks School Board.

Garden Update: Week 16

So I took off the plastic maybe a week too soon, it is bone chilling cold, but all and all everything is still living, so it is all good. Maybe even signs of growth...

Vacation Time

I'm one for history. I think blogging helps one to mark time. But I for the life of me can't remember when I came back to work. I don't see any posts about it, It must have just slipped my mind, or my mind slipped on it. I think I came back in late January early February. I wanted to mark to occasion, because beginning next month, I actually start to accrue vacation time again. I've worked for over a year with no time off, came in on Saturdays and Sundays to make up time, it's been a rough haul.

Now I basically was out of work for over 2 months. The fact that everything worked out as good as it did... minus the stroke of course... is really damn amazing. I came back to work, running, no back log of work to do. I just went with it. I can't thank my boss enough. He was even good enough to pay me during everything, and he didn't have to, but did. I don't think if I worked for anybody else on the planet would they have done that at least none of my former employers.

So I'm looking forward to this summer, where I can finally take time off, legally, and enjoy myself.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Google Somebody

You ever think of somebody from your past, google them just to see if maybe you can see their doings? I'm guilty of that. I went to public school in Maryland for one year. And it was my first exposure to the public school ever. Add to it, pre-teenage angst. You have me in a lot of fisticuffs matches. It was unbelievable, but I think it would happen if I were on Mars or France or right back home in New Orleans (probably worse).

So anyway I got to looking around my old middle school. Easy enough. In fact anyone can do it. Then I saw the name, and I figured, what the hell, why not write this individual. To see how they've been and to say thank you.

So I was all set, ready to go, but then... i get... the undeliverable message. Damn, now what? I guess even though the internet makes the world so much smaller, there's only so small it can make it. Ah well...

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Ok I'm not really into the latest greatest in the world of internet, or really anything. But an acquaintance of mine showed me something, and I think it's only right that I pass it on.

It's Pandora, and it's free. Basically you type in a band that you like and they'll try to give you other bands you may or may not like. You then give each individual song thumbs up or down and it will give you more recommendations.

Think about it, eventually your internet radio will know you better than you know yourself. King of weird aint it? Now maybe you know about this already and this is a big "no news" to you, but to me I think this thing is great. No commercials, no nothing but music you like. Crazy huh?

I'm sure they have some kind of tracking cookie or something on it, but you give them an email, a zip code, year you were born and gender, and that's it. Pretty sweet. And yet another way that may get me exposed to more/different music.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Oyster Roast

Do you like a good oyster roast? How about beer? What about both? Yes?

Then you should get down to Port Royal this Saturday (today) and partake. I'm gonna, and it will be damn good. The only part that is no good is the price. $25 in advance, which really isn't bad... if you eat oysters. But what if you don't? Well then it is not such a deal. And many people don't like the oysters... Hard to believe huh?

So we have to work something out. But wait... The high Saturday is only going to be in the 40's, the low in the 20's. Um, errr, I'm not so sure now.

I can have oysters and beer at my house, much warmer there, and will probably cost the same or cheaper.

6-pack of beer- $5-10 depending on what I get
1-bushel of oysters $30 (and I will never eat them all.)


$50 for just the adults (in advance), god knows what the kids will cost, or eat.

Hmmm, I have some thinking to do. But it looks like if I do it myself, I'll come out ahead and I won't have to shiver nor will I put my family though the whole rigmarole of driving out there, find a parking spot, walking down to the place, waiting in line to get in, waiting in line to get a beer, waiting to get a spot for oysters, then waiting for the actual oysters... this is sounding less and less appetizing by the minute.

Friday, January 16, 2009


How do I extinguish the rage I have?

My daughter, the older one, the soon to be dead one, she has been doing conditioning at the school in order to try out for school soccer. I had trepidations about it, but I figured, why not?

Everything is going fairly smoothly, until they, they being the school, has physicals. We waited for an hour and a half. We did not know that they were having physicals, so we were basically blind because my child would not let us see. She could have told us about the physical, and thus eliminated any fear from us, but decided against it. she could have called and told us at any point of the day that she would be late, but figured it was more trouble than it was worth.

First my wife waits, for nearly an hour, and the only reason she gave up was because our other daughter had to pee... So I took over, and I walked, and walked, and walked all over that school, and still never found her. I also looked for a phone number of someone who might be a coach.... no good. I looked for some kind of person in charge at the school... a principal or something... nothing. So after going around the school grounds for an hour and a half, my wife and I start to get worried.

What if she went off with a boy, what if she's been kidnapped, the ideas swimming around in your head are incredible when push comes to shove. We feel that we have no other option but to call the police. Then I see her, laughing and carrying on with her friends, acting as if nothing is wrong, there is nothing wrong in her world.

We sent her to her room, after a good, stern talking to, with no dinner. She messed up everything, but she has no clue about that. Try as I may to set her straight, and believe me I did, it really won't do any good. And I don't know what else to do, other than take away soccer. She was playing just so she could chit chat with friends, not become the next Pele.

So I aged a year or more in that hour and a half. What do I have to show for it?

Classic Film Friday: Come to the Stable

This 1949 classic is about two nuns who come from France to build a children's hospital. Sister Margaret (Loretta Young) and Sister Scholastica (Celeste Holm) are on a mission from God. Basically they have impossible odds, but there is something that blind faith builds that anything else can't.

You see they were in France during the war (WWII) and they received a post card with a nativity scene entitled "Cone to the Stable" by a Miss Potts. And it told all about this town in New England called Bethlehem. They promised god that if they made it out alive, they would go to America, and build a hospital. Sounds far fetched doesn't it? Well get over it, because the far fetchedness is just beginning.

They meet Robert Masen (Hugh Marlowe) their neighbor, eventual detractor, and savior. They tell him their story and what they plan to do. He doesn't believe it, but nobody wants to say anything to a nun. They have to go to New York City, and find a mobster to see if he would be interested in donating some land. Against all odds, he is. They see the property adjoining them is for sale, and it has a building (witch hazel factory) already on it, they enter into a deal to purchase it. They only have 3 months to do it. So they come up with all kinds of different ways that they can make it.

There's laughter, there's hope, there's a little bit of everything.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sgt. Jasper Park

This past Saturday I went to Sgt. Jasper Park with the kids. The wife was doing her LCI Master Naturalist thing, and it was supposed to be a fairly warm day, so I figured we'd, the two girl and I, do something naturey. Sgt. Jasper Park was just the thing, not too far away, doesn't cost anything, and it gives us something to do.

And so, off we go.

I should say that as far as state or county parks go, this one is clean and kept up. I should also say that it's right next to I-95, and as such, doesn't exactly offer "peace and quiet" it just can't. But otherwise, and especially for what I was wanting to do, it's just right.

Yep that's me, and the 2-year-old

My 2-year-old is still suffering from a prolonged cold, she gets kind of weezy/coughy and we have to give her nebulized alburterol every 4 hours. So I didn't want anything too hard, or too long. What Sgt. Japser has to offer is a trail, about 1/2 a mile that goes around a pond. We walked around and looked at things, mostly pine cones, because they were everywhere and my little one likes them.

They also had fish, but for whatever reason, we could not coax them out. I guess we would have been better off feeding the fish in our pond, but C'est la vie. We made our way around the pond spotting a deformed tree or two, and lots and lots of pine cones. There's also this disc course, you throw a Frisbee or something like it, kind of like golf, but for slackers and hippies. Actually I have no idea about who does that sort of thing, It might be fun, not necessarily my cup of tea, but fun all the same.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Corn... Corny, get it?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Garden Update: Week 15

Ok, I don't know if this is the right or wrong decision but I pulled the fence posts and no longer have anything to "protect" the plants from the elements. I'll either kick myself for doing it or for not doing it sooner, we'll see. You can see the spinach is coming along nicely... and a few weeds as well.

I'm Ready... I think.

In case you didn't notice... all two or three of you... my other blog The Masochistic Pessimist kind of languished. I haven't made a post since I've adjusted to being off some medicine. That caused me to view things a little differently. So anyway, it was never meant to be a daily type thing, just if I found something that was of consequence, them I would jot it down there.

Mostly about my kids, because they do weird/crazy/stupid and/or the most remarkable things. Children are the worst best or the best worst thing that anyone could do to themselves. They are funny, amazingly so... sometimes... and equally dejecting the other times. You just never know what or who, or how or why or when they will surprise you next. They are the ultimate "Wild Card". They might be the most adorable children to your friends, but just 10 minutes before you had to threaten them with death if they didn't do their homework or chores. It's just like that.

Kids... hmpf.

Anyway, back to the other blog and the medicines I was on. Pretty soon I think I'll be ready to post again. I didn't want the initial coming off the medicine to affect anything, which was overly negative and I think for the most part I'm through that stage. There was a point where I would just snap, and it was not pretty, in fact everybody around me was begging me to reconsider and go back on the medicine. Thankfully they put up with me, and I got better, even if that guy who cut me off had to cross three lanes of traffic to do so, and flipped me off in the process made me want to rip his head off and use his headless body as a dart board, I'm all better, or mostly better now. I mean though I'm still pissed at the guy, because he's a selfish asshole, I don't want to do him harm anymore... mostly.

I didn't want to get caught up in that whole negative feeling thing, and then have to go back and apologize to everyone later, and have hurt feelings and that stuff. So while I know there are still the mean spirited idiots among us, I did not want to become one of them, pleasant buffoon or likable ignoramus... sure, but not so much on the evil.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Which Is It???

I'm at a bit of a crossroads. Well not really, there's no choice involved. But still, I can't wrap my head around two, very different accounts of the same thing. Is it hot or cold, blue or red, rough or smooth? The reports I'm talking about are:

The Best Careers for 2009


A Look At Hospital Troubles Across the Country

One looks at the future and one looks at what's already happened. I just don't get it. I work in the health care business and I tend to see things from the latter viewpoint, because that is what is, and the other is just wishful thinking. Sure you could snag yourself a job in health care, but what happens if a hospital closes? All of those people are now also looking for a job. Maybe if you are mobile, single and don't have kids or own your house... maybe then... maybe...

I think we are in a recession and that means everyone is cutting back and shopping around for the best deal. It can't be helped can it? Hold on, try to hold on, and maybe we'll all make it out of this. We'll see in the coming months I suppose, because nothing is as relentless as time.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Valentine's Day... Maybe?

I just have write about one of my Christmas presents. It was a manicure/pedicure at one of the local places. Some Vietnamese girl did it, and I know I'll lose some man points by having this done, man does it feel good.

I could do without the manicure, it just doesn't do anything for me, but the pedicure, Oh... My... God. It's been a week since I went in and I still feel the after effects from it. My shoes seem to fit better, my socks come off easier, and all in all I feel cleaner. Sure go ahead and laugh, but I'm serious. I have a hard time getting to my feet, my 6'4 frame really doesn't allow it and since I've had the stroke I'm not as dexterous as I might have been. Plus having someone else rub on my feet, sounds gross, or even illegal, but it feels so good.

So here's my Valentine's Day tip: Go to your local nails place and get a gift certificate for the one you love and yourself. they will thank you, you don't have to worry about gaining weight (like a dinner or chocolates will do), it's a lot cheaper than diamonds, and it's something that you both can enjoy. I mean it, hell, I'll give it a poolpooping seal of approval!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Trouble With Living in The Lowcountry

And so we started taking all the Christmas down last weekend. I can not believe how much house we have until January. We are blessed, or lucky, or whatever. I put it all away in the attic. There was one caveat though.


I mean hundreds if not thousands of gnats. You'd think that with the freezing temperatures in the past few weeks would have killed them off, but no, that's not true at all. In fact, they seemed to be pissed off and biting extra hard or something. Which of course, made getting the lights outside more of a chore. So much so, that my careful wrapping of lights so as to not have to de-tangle them next year quickly became a memory, and just getting the lights inside... away from the gnats was the priority.

Now I just have to remember to let the kids get out the lights next year... muwuhahahaha...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Classic Film Friday: Kiss of Death

This classic from 1947 is a film noir, which is basically a crime drama. It involves Nick Bianco (Victor Mature) and he is an ex-con trying to live right, but circumstances make him go back to crime. He gets caught again, but doesn't snitch on the people who helped him in return they are supposed to take care of his family. They don't. They never do, do they? His wife commits suicide.

Nick gets visited in jail by Nettie (Coleen Gray), the woman who is heard narrating throughout the movie and was his kids babysitter. Nick and Nettie eventually marry. But first she tells him that his wife had an affair with Pete Rizzo, if you can believe that, Rizzo was one of his accomplices. So Nick decides to switch sides and start talking. He informs Assistant District Attorney Louis D'Angelo (Brian Donlevy) that he's ready to talk and wants his kids back in return.

So Nick names names, and starts talking. And the big name that comes up is Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark) who is just crazy. Nick and Tommy have it out, because Nick has to testify against him. Remarkably they acquit Tommy anyway, so there's the setup for the showdown. Who will come out on top? Hmmmmm... That's why they call it film noir.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Only New Year's Resolution

I'm not really one to make resolutions, as they seem to be a setup to fail. But I feel I can at least try. My wife said to me, why are you not more romantic with me? I thought about it, and I can give her no good reason, so, I will show her that I love her.

Now most women probably want their men to be more romantic with them, I openly admit that. The day in... day out, routine of things kind of makes a guy forget. I mean I still take fault but at the same time realize that it's just the sign of how in our complicated world, the simplest things should be remembered... and really aren't. Go to work all day, figure out what's for dinner, sign any papers for the daughter, have the other daughter climbing up your leg wanting a cookie, pay bills, give baths (to yourself and anyone else), check emails, get ready for the next day, on and on and on.

So I'm going to resolve to show my wife I love her more. There really is no other person that is more important than who you pick to go through life with, and that person should know how much you care for her. Now I don't mean spending more money on her, or somehow making more time, where there is none. I'm simply going to take a little more affection and thus channel it more appropriately.

If this means, taking the 2 year old to bed, or cooking dinner, or just holding her while we go to sleep, then so be it. I haven't really been holding up my end lately (like for a year... because of the stroke), but I'm willing to at least try.

And if you see me still in love with my wife in a year, consider it an auto-renewing resolution, since it worked so good last time. :o)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Garden Update: Week 14

Another week gone by. Though my wife says we should have hit harvest time by now. I don't really know. The lettuce is the best thing growing, and it really isn't that big, but I got nothing but time, so it doesn't matter to me. We'll see. Another month or so if we don't have anything we may pull the plug, but really taking a picture of it and writing about it in the blog... that's the only amount of time I've dedicated so far.

Nope, Not Looking Good...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Your Face

I've been playing me some Guitar Hero, for my therapy and just for fun. You can download songs for a price but they also have some that are free. The songs are $2 each, and I guess if you think about it kind of a rip off. That's why I try not to think about it really. You get a song that you can play and enjoy, and if you've already played the rest it is nice to download a song or two to keep the whole thing fresh.

Anyway a song I got for free is called "Your Face" by Pepper, and it rocks. I've never heard of them, but I think I like them. Maybe you will too. I do think it's ironic that a game is introducing me to new music, when all other forms, mainly radio, clearly have not. Here's the video and here's to more music and the internet which, without that component we would have been stuck in the musical rut.

Monday, January 5, 2009

All Is Not Lost.

I know, all the celebration and holiday-ing is over. But not if you're living in New Orleans. After Christmas, and New Year's, there's the Carnival season which ends with Mardi Gras. Basically it's "King Cake" time. A pleasure you really don't know until you tried it, and we found King cake at Publix last year, a trend I'm hoping to repeat.

Anyway to any and all: look for it around the 6th, I certainly will. And even then as far as celebrations go, the party never really stops in New Orleans, because then there's Jazz Fest, and along with St. Patrick's day (you too could be vieing for a cabbage or carrot in a crowd) and Easter into the summer with picnics and BBQ's.

So if your a bit down thinking you have nothing to look forward to, you're in luck, even in the "toe" of South Carolina as my mother calls it. Have a King cake and watch who gets the baby, because I would be hitting them up for the next King cake ASAP.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

S.E.E. (Significant Emotional Event)

I was in the Army when I had 3 really significant emotional events happen. First I should tell you that I was a bit of a tough guy, or at least I thought I was because I was a lot taller than other kids. I basically could bluff people into solving whatever life's problems had between me and said person. That's not to say that everything was hunky dory, there were times that I had to get physical, sometimes I lost, most times I won, but that was nothing compared to the Army.

The first BIG event was bayonet training. They gave us these giant Q-tips and a special helmet. I thought I was pretty good, and while their was never any danger involved, the guy I was going against literally cleaned my clock with the first hit. From there I held my own, but I could never clear the cobwebs of that first hit. I don't even remember who won, but I knew that I didn't want to do that again. Crazy man, crazy.

If that weren't embarrassing enough, later we did hand-to-hand combat training. Everything was going well, we were learning how to flip our opponent, and blam... The guys next to me were a little to close, or I was too close to them... anyway the guy being flipped tried to move my head with his combat boot. It took off a couple of layers of skin, not to mention hair (not that we had much hair anyway) and it was the only time in my life that I saw stars flying all around me. Oh and I kept trying to say I was ok, and get up, but I kept falling down, and I wasn't ok at all. I had a concussion or whatever I might have even lost conscienceness. It was a hard hit.

Then there was the time that I was in the "slow" running group. And we just got done with 3 or 4 miles of running, not to the drill seragant's liking of course (I was for all intents and purposes a "bad soldier"). So he decides that a fireman's carry race is what's needed. It just rained, we're all sweaty and wet, the ground is too, and he picks a spot on a hill, because it's good cardio right? Anyway there's extra KP duty or something for the loser. I hook up with a guy, we're all ready to not be the last one in, no matter what. Then as we're traversing the race I slip, because it's wet, and don't worry, I use my head to protect the guy I'm carrying. Literally the guy fell on my head, then we proceded to skid (with him still on my head) down the road. I have scars from that. On my arm, shoulder, and head.

Good times I tell ya, good times.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Indian Pipe

When I was a boy, like around 10-13 years of age, I met my neighbor (because we recently moved from New Orleans to Picayune MS) and by neighbor I'm talking about 1/2 a mile away. Yes it was a bit of a culture shock. Anyway the neighbor, Miss Virginia Burgess only stayed in the house on weekends. She lived in New Orleans, like me. Because at first I too would only come out to my father's house on weekends.

She had a glorious house, and was set to build a bigger and grander house still... then her husband passed and she no longer needed or wanted the house. The original was good enough. Anyway this place was called Indian Pipe. Not knowing why what Indian Pipe meant until I talked to her about it. It's a flowery plant that grows in rich soil. Usually around dead or dieing plants.

Anyway, me and this woman had a good relationship. Pretty much until I left for the Army. She would tell me about plants and Indian artifacts and about New Orleans. She was high society, but I didn't know, or really care. She was old enough to be my grandmother, and had so many experiences to share.

Originally from New York, she had a grandson that was my age. Sometimes he would come down for the summer or Christmas. But I could tell it was not the places he was used to. Nestled right up against a game preserve, there were deer, rabbit, squirrel, armadillo, 'possum, coon, and all manner of snakes and turtles. Even a few alligators (they were being introduced, though not native). There was an Indian mound, miles of forest, all kinds of fishing and hunting, and creeks to go swimming in. It was great. But it wasn't Central Park.

So anyway, as the years went on I started to watch the place for her, and she'd give me some money for my trouble, which was really no trouble at all. After I went off to become a man and all that business in the Army I lost touch with her. I also heard that her place got broken into and that she had fallen on ill health. I think I know who broke in, and if it is any consolation he is dead, killed by police or a train, depending on who you ask.

I'll never forget our conversations about a bunch of nothing, usually about art, or artifacts, or school. I'll never forget that house built by hand, it is probably just like I left it... with the gold leaf balls along the ridge line and the antique horse buggy beneath. Or all the arrowheads and the dammits (when a Indian was making an arrowhead and messed up, we called it a dammit).

It was a time before any cell phones or internet. Though all those things were close. If you wanted to know something you either asked someone who knew or you researched it at the library. I'm sure she has long since passed, but she is not forgotten.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Classic Film Friday: Monkey Business

This 1952 classic features Cary Grant as Dr. Barnaby Fulton. It seems the good Dr. Fulton may have stumbled on to a formula that enables one to get their youth back. He is a chemist and he's working with chimpanzees. Ginger Rogers plays Mrs. Edwina Fulton, the doctor's wife. And Marilyn Monroe plays a dim witted secretary, and it seems her character shows no other purpose than to have her breasts ogled.

As for the movie, it's a slapstick comedy, as both Fultons take turns with the formula and a few board members as well. It proves that you really can't go back again, even in a movie. And as it turns out Dr. Fulton is not responsible for the formula. The monkey, Ethel is the culprit, or genius as it were.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Garden Update: Week 13

Yes I know, I'm late again. Not much to say The lettuce is doing great. The spinach is too, you just can't tell from this picture. Anyway here's week 13:

Happy New Year!

I guess I could pine over the year passed, and say what a great year it was and how much better this year will be, but I don't think so. If you have made it this far, then certainly there is reason to look forward to "something". I just don't know if I can do all that, not that I don't like the past, I do, it's what makes us, but I or you can not change it, so other than being nostalgic or wanting things to go back the way they were, I'll just look forward instead.

There's lots of things going on in my world. My youngest is fixing to turn 3, my oldest may die at 13. My wife is president of some kind of teacher organization. Me, I'm just here, watching things around me. I guess I'm still recovering, that and I really don't like to toot my own horn.

My point is, no matter what you can look at things with whatever color your glasses happen to be and go from there. We can be gloomy or hopeful or scared or worried. The funny thing is, you can't really affect the change, whatever change that is, of the world. If your business is going into the toilet or is in high cotton it probably has very little to do with you. At least from my view of things. Just take a seat and relax, there are going to be up's and down's, but nothing to get all that worried about.... really.