Monday, January 29, 2007

And then I used HIS Name in Vain & Some

(continuation of 'No I did NOT meet Jesus in a bar')
So, with his long legs & my spatula like hips I flipped this fellow to the floor. After apologies, I went on my way, fluttering back to the dance floor.
At quitting time, my girlfriend & I ventured to the door. I could hear feet pattering up behind me & it was him. He wanted us to go to breakfast with him, which we did. He wanted my phone number.
Uh, no way...even if I did think you were Jesus, I'm not giving that out. Thirty minutes later & about thirty minutes before the sun rose, I tucked his phone number into the back pocket of my well-worn, hand-me-down Levi's.
About two weeks later, I called him. We talked on the phone for about a month. Finally we decided to meet one another out. He lived closer to the city & I let him pick the place, I'd be there.
I ventured the 45 miles south to the city & found myself pulling up to a restruant/bar which seemed to be standing room only... about 45 minutes late. I weaved my way through the patrons on the deck & into the bar.
Oh Crud! It's two stories tall inside...wall to wall people, mainly men... mainly men with long hair, many of which, in my current sober eyes I could see as looking like the fellow I'd met a month and a half earlier.
Unsure of what to do, I snaked my way to the bar where a gentleman actually gave up a stool for me. I ordered a was a dime! What?! A dime?! What is going on?!
The bartender explained.... it was Ladies Night, Progressive. No cover for women, 10 cent beer, oysters & wings for the first hour, 25cents the second hour, fifty cents the third and one dollar til closing.
Great market scheme: bring the girls in free, offer very cheap eats & drinks and the men will follow....lots of them, too! Hmmm.... I ordered a beer & a dozen oysters.
After finishing my dozen & brewsky, I scanned the crowd looking for 'Jesus,' whose actual name was Ricky and whom I called Ricky-Man.
The fellow beside me said you look like you are looking for someone. That I am! I told him the story & explained how I was perplexed as I really couldn't remember what he looked like ... other than the fact that he looked like Jesus.
Great ~ he was going to help me find Ricky-Man! He spotted a fellow with long flowing brown hair & soft looking skin scanning the bar & pointed him out to me. 'He's looking for someone... it might be you & maybe all he can remember is that you were some skinny little blonde.'
OK. I approach this fellow with an 'Excuse me....are you Ricky-Man?' smile.
He smiles right back & quickly replies....'I don't know....should I be?' I laugh & walk away. He follows me.
I end up telling him about my search for Ricky-Man & he decides he'll hang and help me find my date.
Thirty minutes, another dozen and another beer down...I spot Ricky-Man. I point him out then race to greet him 'Hey! You are Ricky-Man, aren't you?'
Quickly he replied, 'Well, if I wasn't before I am now.'
Hmmmm..... this is not my Ricky-Man!
I apologize for the confusion & walk back to the bar.
He follows.
We tell him the story & he decides to join us in the quest to find the guy who looks like Jesus.
Ok, well no Ricky-Man, but I am having fun... these fellows are nice enough so I settle into a night of good-times with new friends when I see someone out of the corner of my eye.
It's him! I spin in my stool & throw my bony arm out, like a stop sign on a school bus & scream "Ricky-man!" Suddenly stopped, this man turns to me & says 'No it's Rick, not Ricky. Do I know you?'
Ummmm, no. You don't, I'm sorry. Have a good time man
Ahhhh, man! I'm having fun...but I am disappointed. I want to see my Ricky-Man!
I'm about to give up, it's 11 o'clock...I've had several beers & lots of good eats & now have a party of three with me when I notice this one fellow sitting there with his friends staring me down. I wonder is this him? Has he just been sitting back in the shadows this whole time, watching me?
Rick, not Ricky, comes up & disturbs this little daydream...' So, who is Ricky-Man & why did you think I was him?'
While I repeat my story one more time, I am ever aware of this long-haired fellow in the corner booth checking out my every move. Hmpft! It's gotta be him.
So I order another beer & confide in my new found co-horts that I believe I found him & that he has been watching me make an ass out of myself all night long.
They say, ' Well then, eff him!'
I agree. For a minute.
Then I get up & march over to this booth. There are several guys sipping on brewskies there, but the one fellows smile grew as I came from the bar towards the table. Yep, that's him alright.
'So, have you been enjoying watching me go on this wild goose chase?'
Laughter bellows out of him, then quietly he says 'Matter of fact, I have.'
'I can't beleive you!'
He laughs again, 'It's all good. Here sit down.'
I tell him, 'No I can't. I have people here with me now...there's not room for all of us.'
And I saunter my way back to my cohorts to tell them that I was right... he was there the whole time, just watching & laughing!
They crack up laughing & ask me what I planned on doing? Nothing.
Then they pointed up that my Ricky-Man was gone.
Only he returned with stacks of chairs under his arms, which he pushed in around his booth full of buddies. He came up to the bar & invited me & all of my cohorts to join them.
How nice! So, we all trapsed over & before you knew it, we were enthralled in a good old fashioned game of and about 8 long-haired, Jesus-look-alike Ricky-Mans.
Not long before closing, I looked up & gasped at what I saw. It was Ricky-man...the real Ricky-Mann. One look & I knew.
I turn to the fellow who had hid in the shadows 'You're not Ricky-Man are you?'
He laughed, 'Girl, I am whoever you want me to be, but my real name is Mike.'
OMG! What to do! I was frozen. I watched as Ricky-Man walked through the bar. My table was dying with laughter.
One of them said 'Well, well, well...there he is. Are you going to go get him, like you got all of us?'
Nah.... he's late, very late & I'm having fun! I tuck my head into Mike's shoulder as he walks by our table on his way out.
Jesus leaves the bar.
The guys make a toast... to the best pickup line ever...

'Excuse me... are you Ricky Man?'

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hmmm.... I'm lovin' this

The Stairway to Heaven.
Led Zeppelin, who I have a lifetime love of.

Although , it trips me out to know that some folks know 'Behind Blue Eyes' by Limp Bizkit but don't know The Who version, I found this particular 4 1/2 minutes to be most captivating...

I love how Gabriela plays percussion on her guitar, especially towards the end. Who knows?maybe someone out here blogland might enjoy this as much as me...I'm lovin' it!

Click Here If You Want To Hear Stairway To Heaven by Rodrigo y Gabriela

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

No, I Didn't Really Meet Jesus at a Bar

The Caboose. A old, local landmark.
In my twenties it was a rock-n-roll club, and I beleive my sisters did the disco thing there ten years prior.
It's been a fine dining restruant & a gay night club & everything in between.
I'm not sure what it is now, but I'm sure it's still there.

While most folks my age were just getting into raves, I would love to go to the Caboose.
The Caboose was dark & murky inside.
It had a musty old smell and the carpet seemed to stick to your shoes as you walked around the bar.
Most of the folks there wore black, had long hair & tattoos.
But there was always live music & a welcoming dance floor.
There, on the dance floor you could escape the murky stench of stale beer and cigarette smoke & your shoes didn't stick to the flooring.

Wound up like a towel twisted for fly swatting, I gave it all I had.
I was there to dance.
When the band breaked so did I, running to the bar & restroom.

Apparently, I cut too close to the corner of the bar on one of my trips in between songs.
I felt my hip clip something as I rounded it.

Then I saw him... flat on his back...knocked from his stool like a fly.
With his breath knocked out of him, disoriented & dazed, he muttered something and reached up.
I took hold of his hands.
He was so calm & never bug-eyed me.
He said 'What happened?'
I began with a ramble & ended in a whisper...
'I can't beleive I just knocked you down, I am so sorry.
I was walking too fast & I didn't see you.
My hip, your knee...
I am so sorry, really, I didn't see you.
And now that I do, I think you look like Jesus'

We never know how we may meet someone.

Artwork compliments of my sweet soul sister:)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Just Another Tricky Day...

In 2005, a psychologist named Cliff Arnall declared that he had devised a formula to calculate the worst day. That year, it was Monday, Jan. 24; last year, Monday, Jan. 23. So watch out, because today may well be 2007’s most miserable day.

Or maybe not.

Arnall’s so-called formula looks like this: [W + (D-d)] x TQM x NA.
All of the letters and symbols apparently represent a sort of mathematical code to track the following:
W: How bad the weather is at this time of year.
D: Amount of debt accumulated over the holidays minus how much is paid off.
T: The time since the holidays.
Q: Amount of time passed since New Year’s resolutions have gone south.
M: Our general motivation levels.
NA: The need to take action.

So, I woke up feeling pretty good this morning...the dogs were all barking, the phone was ringing, the dear hubby was snoring...all good signs to me. It meant that the dogs were alive & well, ready to go out & accidents inside hadn't yet happened. It meant the phone company hadn't yet shut me down for lack of payment & that dreaming was something still imbedded in this house.

Then, I read this & I thought, hmmm.... Maybe that was yesterday.

Yesterday when the rain never stopped. Yesterday when we had pancakes for breakfast & again for dinner because flour is cheap & we have it here at the house. Yesterday, when I finally got to see a picture of Baby Peyton Belle via the internet & found myself hating the fact that I live a state away from the bulk of my family. Yesterday, when I rec'd three emails from collectors asking me to call them. Yesterday, when I boasted to my neighbors that I hadn't broken any News Years Resol
utions because I hadn't made any. Yesterday, when the cold motivated me to lay down and take a nap on the sofa, but not motivated enough to crawl in the bed, so I woke up with a twisted neckache. Yesterday, when I got lost for hours researching the relationship between things such as HIV, Cancer, abortion, infertility & such. Yesterday, I wondered if I would ever have kids & if so, if I would live long enough to see them into adulthood.

Yesterday,I wondered if the broccolli & carrots would be prime for the picking after the rains. I wondered if the pansies would flourish in the soggy georgia clay. I wondered if I could master waffles from scratch for a Valentine's morning surprise breakfast in bed. I wondered if Baby Peyton Belle would sleep well on her first night at home from the hospital. I wondered how many 1000's of other folks rec'd the very same collection emails & if they, like me, were thankful that the tauntings came via the internet & not via the telephone, I wondered if I would go bike riding this week & if I would change jobs this year, I wondered if would get to make it to the beach in July to see by siblings & the latest addition to our family. I wondered if I would sleep good throughout the night.

...and I did sleep good, real good.
I still feel good.

Maybe ignorance is bliss.
I didn't know these were the worst days.

To me, it's just life...
we do what we gotta do...
rain or shine, debt is a constant & if I didn't have debt I probably wouldn't have any teeth, Christmas is on its way 364 days a year, resolutions don't come at New Years but when it is time to make a change, naps are a luxury even if induced by cold & rainy weather, diseases don't discriminate, someone else has always got it worse & love, still, grows.

Next rounds on me...even if I gotta charge it

complete article on formula above

Saturday, January 20, 2007

KFC & Hillary Announce her Race for Presidency

Look closely at the sign, then tell me what you are having for supper tonight...

Katrina, Petey, Trading Spouses & Creative Expression

Last night, my DH & I watched a TV show called 'Trading Spouses.' I don't watch much TV & most often I just hear it in the background drolling out non-sensical (is that a word?) crap out at my DH but I wanted to see this show last night. You see last year I saw it & there was this religiously extreme, opinionated & melo-dramatic woman on there who almost hurt my eyes, my ears, my heart & my beleif in the southern spirit(regardless of religion). Anyway, this woman was due to come back on last night & I wanted to see her.
Why, if she was nearly painful, would I want to see her tyrades again? Entertainment? Perhaps. But after seeing her last season, I realized that she... in all of her antics, anger & assaults, awakened a realization in me. She made me think... about intolerance & understanding, about fate & free-will, about balck and white, the financially poor & rich, the spiritually poor & rich & all in between.
If you've never seen the show, I don't blame you. It really is absurd. It is a reality-based show whose premise is that two very different households will swap Mom's for one week. The poor get to see how the rich live. The spiritualist gets to experience the religious right lifestyle. The homeschool mom gets to experience the private school world, etc. At the end of the week, the reward is 50,000 cash which each mom gets to spend for the other family.
Moving on, last night had this bible-thumping woman on there & she was swapping lives with a racial-extreme mom. The religious-freak mom once said that she didn't have a problem with Jews as long as they accepted Jesus Christ as the Son of God. I tell you this so that you can see how closed her mind is and/or how ignorant she is. OK, so now she's thrown herself into the home of a couple who professes that they are racially prejudiced for the black people. The life goal is to provide for the return of black Americans to their home country from which they were forcibly removed several generations ago. They run a TV show & work diligently for this cause.
Religious-extreme mom is from New Orleans & is white. They survived Hurricane Katrina. Racially-extreme Momma, like her husband, beleives Katrina was an assault by the white man against the black man. I won't get into the details of their perspectives, but will say that I understand the basic points of both parties. During this show, racially-extreme momma wanted to drive through the 9th ward & her week-long foster family accomodated her. The devastation & destruction was still evident. The streets were still lined with piles of debris pushed to the side to allow for vehicles to travel down the ravaged road. Houses still sat over parked cars. Chandaliers still hung in living rooms stripped of their walls, their furniture, their flooring & left with black mold. Numbers spray-painted on the exterior marked the number of bodies found inside. Moving on towards a commercial break, the TV show posted a tidbit...
'More Than 1800 Lives Were Lost in Hurricane Katrina'
Whoop. There it is. A tidbit I have tried to find out, figure out, uncover since Hurricane Katrina. A tidbit that I think may not be known by most people because it's never really been highly publicized...just how many lives were lost....1800+.
Having lived in Pass Christian, which was devestated by the Hurricane, I found myself saddened deeply by Katrina. I found myself praying, crying for dear sweet Petey. I dug out my yearbook & searched through the pictures, knowing that many of those faces were no longer, knowing that entire families were no longer, knowing that Katrina reached out much further than the 9th ward.
You see, when I lived in Pass Christian ( a town devastated also by Hurricane Camille) it did not have gambling or luxorious beachside accomodations. We did not have a traditional grocery store or hardware store. We had a catch all store. We had a used shoe store. We had Durbin's (where Kimbies worked & which made soft-serve ice cream daily) We had a desolate beach where the birds would attack you & the sea threw driftwood and age-old bottles at your feet. We had a highway lined with antebellum homes & shanties one block back. We had a blackberry field across the street from our house. Hidden in that blackberry field was a house number nailed to a tree, as evidence of a home that once sat there. That blackberry field contained the foundation (and one toilet) of an apartment complex, which claimed the life of over 200 people. Those blackberries were all that was left of some families.
My friend Petey survived Camille & I wonder if she survived Katrina. Our High School, a hurricane shelter, did not. Petey's church, also a shelter, did not. Petey was a working class woman who lost 21 members of her family in Camille. In fact, she & her son were the only members to survive Camille. She was left paralyzed from the neck down. Her son was my age & I hope he was able to get his family out of there before Katrina came rumbling through. I think about Petey & her inability to drive, her lack of financial resources, her lifelong loss and all I can do is hope & pray.
Not that it matters, but Petey was black & I, well, I was a skinny, little white girl. She volunteered at my school, where I worked in the front office. She & I hit it off immediately. I invited her to dinner & she came, bringing her son. My family, so large & blessed, fell unabashedly for her & her family, left so small & yet somehow still so blessed despite such devestation. Our families would dance together in our kitchen...yes, Petey could dance in that wheelchair. She'd spin it in circles & nod her head...while her eyes, voice & spirit danced, swooshed & dipped to the rythm of the music.
When the night was done, my father would scoop Petey up...her son would grab her wheelchair & tote it down the front steps & Daddy carry her down. She looked at him with such hope, such faith & beleif....each time growing. It was more than a race thing, more than a economic thing ... it was a people thing and a race thing, an economic thing, a social thing & it went deeper than skin or religion.
Leaving Pass Christian left only one regret...that we could not take Petey & her son with us. Momma cried. She knew this was Petey's home. She knew that she had lost her world there & that what was left of her world was still there & that she would not leave. She talked Dad into leaving one of my parents two cars there with Petey, along with our refridgerator....although she couldn't drive & her son was only 12...he could drive around town or in an emergency and she could have a neighbor drive it for her should she need to go somewhere important (keep in mind our town at the time did not have a doctors office, a dentist or even a pharmacy, much less a hospital)
I doubt that Petey still had the car, but God, how I hope she was able to get out of town before Katrina came. After Katrina came, Kim & I huddled on the fear & in tears, over our little Pass Christian & the buildings, lives, families, gene pools even, washed away by that storm. What could we do? I gathered clothes, coats, shoes, towels, blankets, sheets from the home. I bought flip-flops, toothbrushes, toys & all that stuff for the safety houses here for Katrina victims. So little.
And I drew this picture calling it, 'Just Lemme Pray.' I'm not the exceptional artist that my sister is :) but I did want to express something other than tears & charity in the aftermath of Katrina.
More Than 1800 Lives Were Lost in Hurricane Katrina.

*Photo is of what was left after Katrina of our school, the very same building which saved Petey & her son's life during Camille.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

And The Circle of Love Grows...

My Dear Sweet SisterKimbies, however young herself, is May-May twice over now. After 18+ hours, Kimbies oldest daughter has brought Baby Belle to us. She finally arrived after midnight with light hair, long toes, round eyes & good health.

Love Grows.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Romeo, Romeo...
Rest in Peace


...named for all of his love.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Streets, Roads & the Walls of my World

Blount Street & Eastbrook
Sylvan Drive & Mohican Trail
Palmer Avenue & Pass Christian
Gerhardt, Garrett & Clearbrook
The Black House & Country Place
The White House & The Second Black House
The Last House on the Left & Sterling Highlands
Rolling Green Trail& Bladon Avenue
Roswell Road & Tall Oaks Drive
Florida Ave & Orange Ave
Meadowbrook & Scott Drives

These are the streets of my life... the walls that run through my world

Friday, January 12, 2007

Hurry Up & Wait : Everyday Contradictions

Hurry Up & Wait.
As we hustle & bustle our selves back and forth to work, to the grocery, to the gym, to school, to the doctors & where-ever else we may venture, we repeatedly find ourselves in this predicament... Hurry Up & Wait.
On the road, racing from one stop sign to the next.
Pushing our buggies up & down the aisles.
Getting to the doctors at our scheduled time.
Hurry Up!
Now wait.
Wait for the light to turn green, wait for the lady in front of you who plunders through her food stamps, wait for the nurse to call you to the back waiting room....

These are the things that I have been doing.
I've been racing about & allocating my time.
I am like a chicken with my head cut off.
Hear me roar?
My own voice echoes in my head with my first cold in years...I guess I'll just have to wait this one out, the traffic & the auditors, the rung-jumpers & shoppers, the partners & doctors... I'll wait 'em all out.