Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blue Moon

Some say tonight's full moon is a blue moon.
Some years ago I fell in love with a c.d. by Nanci Griffith, and the first song is "when you have two full moons in the same month, why, the second one is called a blue moon." I dug the c.d. out today, and popped that song on and sang every word, like I just listened to it yesterday. I'd bet it's been some years since I've last listened to it, and Nanci Griffith's not exactly on the top 40 list.

Another favorite song on there is "Workin' in Corners" for the line, "At my back door, there's a porch light that's shinin'. Hey I just don't mind living here by myself if I leave it on."

I tried to take a photo of the blue moon, but the rediculously bright street lights facing each other on this block, and my lack of any photographic skills, kept me from getting anything.

Still, it was a pretty moon. From where I was looking, it had a bit of a halo about it.


Blue moon
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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This article is about the astronomical phenomenon. For other meanings see Blue Moon (disambiguation).
The term Blue Moon has at least four related meanings. One is a common metaphorical phrase for a rare event that really has little to do with the moon itself. Full moons are given names in folklore, and two definitions of blue moon are a name for a rare full moon that does not have a folk name. One modern blue moon definition is a result of a misinterpretation of the Maine Farmer's Almanac, where a second full moon occurs in a calendar month. The older definition of blue moon is for an extra full moon that occurs in a quarter of the year, which would normally have three full moons, but sometimes has four. Oddly, it is the third full moon in a season that has four which is counted as the "extra" full moon and named blue moon. According to certain folklore, it is said that when there is a blue moon, the moon has a face and talks to the items in its moonlight.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Greener Pastures

These are some photo's I took at his house. I'm having trouble arranging them in a pretty format, but still, they're pictures.

Ticks and Biscuits

At the risk of saying, “Oh what a wonderful boyfriend have I, blah blah blah” . . . . I drove over to his house on Saturday morning, just after drowning a baby squirrel in a fish pond. In my defense, I tried to save it. And on the other hand, it was just a squirrel. Plenty more rodents from where that one came.

Got to his house just in time to be mad at myself for not having stopped for a snack, before I got on Rose and rode. He and his favorite niece had already saddled up and had a little girl on for her first ride (the little girls, not the horses). Quite the cute little princess she was, and after she was off, we were all set to go. Rose had the privilege of holding up my 300 lbs again, while they were on Sable & JoJo. It was a nice ride, the usual land we go through, with the added bonus of her riding up on a water moccasin. I’d had sense enough not to start riding through the creek bed just yet, so I didn’t have to turn and ride away.

This same favorite niece of his spent the weekend doing quite the unlady like things, such as farting and belching and claiming she wanted to catch a live green snake so she could dissect it (some sort of forensic biology major), with me telling her over and over again that she’d best find her a very country, very rural, practically backwoods fellow, because not many city boys would know what to do with all that farting and belching.

This ride hurt the lower part of my back, which is probably quite normal for a 37 year old, 300 lb, fellow sitting atop a horse for 2 hours. Even today, it’s a bit sore. Three ticks found on me have me convinced that I have already contracted lyme’s disease, and am just waiting for the symptoms to set in. Not that I know what they are, but I am sure they are horrible. Horrible.

I did get to meet “the gay brother” who is more open and out gay. All their protestations to the opposite, he seemed nice enough. He spent quite a fair amount of time within a stone’s throw of me, going to a late lunch in town with us, and a family cook-out for supper, and a visit to the morning flea market. I’m sure we can all have our drama moments, and I’ve no doubt he can as well. What I think they see as a bitchiness, I may have seen as just trying to hold your own in a family so large. I will admit to witnessing one moment when I thought he was truly rude, answering the phone. With no caller i.d., in a house that you no longer live in, a simple, “hello” is all that’s necessary. But aside from that, I thought he was mostly nice enough. Not that he needs my approval at all.

Saturday night brought a cooler temperature, which was a nice respite from the day’s warmth. Especially so since My Fella had refused to turn on his air conditioning unit yet. I thought it would be well past warm in his home that evening, but I will admit to a secret – the breeze was cool, and gave me a wonderful night’s sleep. It was a touch romantic too. It was cool enough that it kept us close for warmth, but just barely so. Just perfect. And I should admit that, waking early and looking out his bedroom window at the pasture is a far prettier sight than my bedroom’s view to the parking lot.

The flea market was interesting, with the differences between the truly trash to the fun-to-look-at flea market stuff, and the difference between “the old area” and “the new area.” One section was just trashy, the kind of trash full atmosphere that makes you wonder, “What kind of people are these?” Dirt and dirty, and items just thrown perchance on an old, rickety table as if they were ready to be thrown away. Then the new section with concrete walks and an open air market feel. Just odd. There wasn’t much in the way of people watching, most people looking like they were just from the area. A slight mix of latinos/Hispanics, but other than that a very Caucasian group of buyers.

On the very plus side, the cook out was delicious, with My Fella commanding the grill and every member of the family admonishing him to “cook the burgers” and not pile up a plate full of red meat. His dad made two homemade coconut pies – delicious. And of course, thankfully, the morning brought a country breakfast with his Dad’s biscuits, eggs from their chicken coop, and country ham. I had four biscuits. Two each with eggs and ham, then one with molasses and one with homemade apple jelly. (Do not put a fork in that jelly, the tines will tear it.)

It was a very nice trip, even if it was cut a bit short by my need to return home and pick up my friends at the airport. Even if I am slowly dieing of lyme’s disease, even now.

General Blog

-Internet access is intermittent, having been spotty since Comcast took over Time Warner, and growing progressively worse. A service call for Wednesday should clean it up

-A trip to Bubbles' office today to send out "network letters" which are unsolicited letters, with my resume, to professional contacts

-The occasional scent of a cat upstairs has me bothered. I've never been bothered by neighbors sounds or noises before, but a cat, a cat is a different story. Although it's not new to smell fragrances and scents (usually strong cooking or pot smoking odors) from the above apartment, the scent of a cat has required that I call the landlord for a look-see into my ductwork for any possible holes.

-Lunch with My Fella, who had driven down his aunt and cousin for a visit at the hospital with his uncle. The uncle is, if I understand the myriad of family-conversations to which I have been exposed, under an induced coma after last week's accident. Today's lunch was my attempt to whisk him away, but the immediate return call said, "Three for lunch."

-Some thoughts about which I have intended to blog lately, but been unsuccessful at starting *my great grandmother *faux or semi-in relationships and responses *sleeping

Friday, May 25, 2007

Just a day,

not much to blog.
- Got a call from my friend who helped me get the interview. They told her they were impressed and I really knew my stuff, but they needed a few days to mull over the department themselves, since the org chart had just restructured to have them in charge of it.

- My Fella was in town last night. His uncle (if his dad is in his 70's, the uncle is at least late 60's) was thrown from a horse and somehow landed with some serious head injury and practically the whole family converged last night here in town at the hospital. I ended up taking a clean shirt of mine for his aunt to wear, not particularly stylish for her, I'm sure, but at least sans the blood of her husband.

-Did my volunteer work today at the literacy council. Only 4 people in the lab.

-Pending what My Fella thinks they are doing tomorrow regarding the uncle, and his subsequent surgery on his noggin, I am driving over there. My Fella said he could use the distraction, and his parents most recently said they were not driving (riding with one of their adult children driving) back over here tomorrow.

-Cat was killed in the parking lot last night, and I think I may have done it. I hate the cats, feral beasts that they are, and I have tried to tell Foo Foo Neighbor for months now that it was foolish to bring them over here. They are, if anything, less safe here than where their wild mother wanted to birth them. It is, after all, a parking lot. She either needs to treat them like pets and take them in, or treat them like wild animals. But she's preferred this half-and-half situation where she feeds them at her back door and they run all around the apartment parking lot. It looks like something out of a bad white-trash movie.

Anyhow, I left around midnight for a quick run to the store, and 20 minutes later one was dead in the drive. Which makes me wonder if I clipped it as I left. But it could of been anybody. And I think it's death may (hopefully) have been the impetus Foo Foo needs to get the damned cats a home.

-Had two comments from other bloggers. They were my first. It was a surprise when I found them. So I've added their blogs to My Favorites list, and when I stroll through blogs, I click on theirs. (Hello to both of you, Walt & Mirage Chopper).

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Etheridge Knight

a poem by Etheridge Knight, borin in Corinth, Mississippi in 1931.

Taped to the wall of my cell are 47 pictures; 47 black
faces; my father, mother, grandmothers (1 dead), grand-
fathers (both dead), brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts,
cousins (1st and 2nd), nieces, and nephews. They stare
acrosss the space at me sprawling on my bunk. I know
their dark eyes, they know mine. I know their style,
they know mine. I am all of them, they are all of me;
they are farmers, I am a thief, I am me, they are thee.

I have at one time or another been in love with my mother,
1 grandmother, 2 sisters, 2 aunts (1 went to the asylum),
and 5 cousins. I am now in love with a 7-yr-old niece
(she sends me letters in large block print, and
her picture is the only one that smiles at me).

I have the same name as 1 grandfather, 3 cousins, 3 nephews,
and 1 uncle. The uncle disappeared when he was 15, just took
off and caught a freight (they say). He's discussed each year
when the family has a reunion, he causes uneasiness in
the clan, he is an empty space. My father's mother, who is 93
and who keeps the Family Bibble with everybody's birth dates
(and death dates) in it, always mentions him. There is no
place in her Bible for "whereabouts unknown."

Each fall the graves of my grandfathers call me, the brown
hills and red gullies of mississippi send out their electric
messages, galvanizing my genes. Last yr/like a salmon quitting
the cold ocean-leaping and bucking up his birth stream/I
hitchhiked my way from LA with 16 caps in my pocket and a
monkey on my back. And I almost kicked it with the kinfolks.
I walked barefooted in my grandmother's backyard/I smelled the
Old land and the woods/I sipped cornwhiskey from fruit jars with the
men/I flirted with the women/I had a ball till the caps ran out
and my habit came down. That night I looked at my grandmother
and split/my guts were screaming for junk/but I was almost
contented/I had almost caught up with me.
(The next day in Memphis I cracked a croaker's crib for a fix.)

This yr there is a gray stone wall damming my stream, and when
the falling leaves stir my genes, I pace my cell or flop on my bunk
and stare at 47 black faces across the spaces. I am all of them,
they are all of me, I am me, they are thee, and I have no children
to float in the space between.

- - He dropped out of school at age sixteen (as soon as he was old enough to join the army. From 1947 to 1951, Knight served in the U.S. Army in Korea, returning with a shrapnel wound that caused him to fall deeper into a drug addiction that had begun during his service. In 1960 he was arrested for robbery and sentenced to eight years in the Indiana State Prison. During this time he began writing poetry.

-- This poem was printed in the bullet at church this past Sunday. The southern words and ways touched me, though I sometimes suspect we Southerners hold no monopoly on feelings of closeness to family and land. Perhaps I am wrong, I do not know. But his words of Mississippi hills and gullies, of Old land, reminded me of my own grandparents who lived, and now are buried, deep within the imaginary map boundaries of the state of Mississippi.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I felt like/feel like it went really well. He told me starting off that they "just got the department at 11 this morning" which is very typical casino. lol. I feel like I spoke with confidence, and was positive, but not overly so. I gave an example of what I wouldn't do, as an example of just spending/wasting money on something I know is fairly common in that particular segment of business, but I have never thought was a great idea (remind me to sometime blog about my first "gay love" which is sort of related though, lol) and I talked about ways to look at business that are using resources probably sitting right there, just with nobody to do it, I talked about my style of management, etc. blah, blah, blah-blah-blah.

Anyway, here's hoping - fingers crossed.


I have called to confirm the interview time. I have shaved, found the belt, polished the shoes. The shirt is pressed, and I have clean underwear waiting, along with matching socks.

All should be fine.

Monday, May 21, 2007


My Ruby Haired Princess (I'll have to get a shorter nickname for her than that, for the purpose of anona-blogging) has a job interview for me. Yeah me! She's been pushing and pushing my resume around her place of employment, with the strict conviction that I am perfect for the job. Which, of course, I am. The constant restructuring in gaming properties has finally (hopefully) left this step child of a position with some steady bosses who want somebody in there to get the job done. So tomorrow at 3, I'm gonna strap my fat-azz into my suit, tell myself I look good, and go get that job.

I've made all the cross-your-fingers-for-me phone calls - my parents, Sissy, My Fella, G, etc. My mother's going to the church to light a candle even. You know those Catholics.

I told G that I'd have to reserve a table for like 15 to cover all the folks who've bought me meals since I entered this unfortunate-period-of-under-employment. "Table of 15, one check, please." To think, so close to employment. So close to being able to over tip my favorite waiter at my favorite joint just so I can cop a shameless, self-gratifying feel of his perfect buttocks.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

General Blog

I'm finishing out a very nice weekend, sort of a long one, I suppose. My Fella came on Wednesday til Saturday morning. Our relationship has settled down nicely. We're as comfortable meeting friends out for dinner, as we are heating up something on the stovetop and watching an old movie on cable.

I had dinner tonight with Lil' Bit, a bite of Mexican that is touching off some heartburn, and I had a nice chat with Sissy. Kitten & Spyder are on their way back from a weekend trip, so Sissy & Sass had a girls weekend.

The only thing that's bothered me is a missed phone call from one of Sissy's cousins, a cousin-to-my-heart, who called one night this week. I missed the call and waited til today to return it. He's been home from Iraq for like 2+ months, he works contract over there. Imagine my surprise when I had to call his sister to learn he's gone back. So he's been home 2+ months, and waits until he's out of town to call me. I'm more than a little tissed over it. I try and I try to not put demands on his time when he's home, since he's always doing a tour of service either with the Reserves or the private contractor. But waiting til you're heading out just ticks me off.

Sissy is going to our hometown Friday, and I'm going to ride down with her and see my family. I'm looking forward to it.

G Time

G Time is very important to me. G is one of the first friends I made when I moved here. There’s a little cluster of folks I look back on, a cluster of friends that were just kind of waiting when I moved here. G was one of them. I used to say that, among those friends, if they were a mall, G was one of the anchor stores, like a Sears & Roebuck. Steady, true, dependable, and almost predictable, but with surprises. You know how you know when you go into a Sears that they have clothes, appliances, and really dependable products, but then there’s just some quirky something. That’s G. With her grandmother’s antique lace doilies. That’s the one that always surprises me.

G and I get along like. . . . like lovers, if lovers were a dykey lesbian and a big ol’ queer. She lets me have my drama and took all the horrid (horrid!) aspects of my former love life, and always answered the phone. But the more fun part was when I moved to town, and discovered there were (gasp!) gay bars right down from where I lived. I remember calling her one time and saying, “Did you know there’s a gay bar right behind . . . “ to which she answered, “And you have to go to work in the morning.” Buzz killer. When I moved here (and still occasionally) I would get horribly lost, and have to call G, who would ask where I was at the time. “A corner with a Wal-Greens and an Exxon” to which she would reply, “That’s everywhere!”

So, with G’s other half and two kids gone for a few days, I got to have me some G Time this week. Keep in mind, G Time has to be on her terms. She so seldom is without the maelstrom of two teenage boys & wife, that she uses their absences to catch up on stuff, lots of stuff. So G Time is shared time with her to-do list. Yesterday was a trip to a hardware store (where she ooh’d and aaah’d at all the air compressors) to buy a 3 sided sharpening stone, and a trip for some utilitarian shorts from Wal-Mart. Someday I may get her to buy clothes from a female department, but I figure it will be a reincarnation and another century. But my G and I rode down to get “the sign” as mentioned in a previous blog. Armed with a small crowbar and hammer, G strode up to the telephone pole, gave the sign 3 strong jerks and it pulled it right off the pole. That’s my G.

Today, I texted G for some lunch, but G is early to bed, early to rise, and early to eat. She was about to “set snaps on MG top. Come over.” I wasn’t sure what “set snaps” meant, but the MG is a blue convertible and we have high hopes to refurbish it one day. Or days. One project at a time. Today’s was the after-factory top that came with it. With no silly hopes of being air tight, just the hope of being able to leave it out in the rain. The top looked like it had been wadded up in the trunk since she bought the car. Sissy called and said, “So she’s doing most all the work and you’re watching?” I thought it was pretty hateful. Accurate maybe. You know how I like to say, “Just because we’re all thinking it doesn’t mean we have to say it.” Besides, if anybody’s going to punch a permanent hole in the wrong spot of a hard to find convertible top, it should be the owner. All the snaps and snooks are in place (one thing isn’t a snap, I’m not sure what it’s called) and the top is on the car. She’s waiting on an air filter to come in this week, only $4 but never on the shelf. Both seats are currently in, and it’s running with a license tag. That could be a first.

After the MG project, we ran up the street to this little sidewalk café I forget about, but has really great food, and an even better patio. We had a little universe-surprise in the way of a Sunday afternoon musician. A songstress, I’d say mid 20’s with long dreadlocks. I hate dreadlocks, but we were both kind of enchanted by her. “Only here” we said could you find a black singer, singing bluegrass music. No blues. Not jazz. Not R&B. Bluegrass. Very-Ricky-Skaggs bluegrass. She sang and sang and sang, and a boy with beautiful brown hair joined her playing a mandolin. She would tell us about when she wrote the songs (“I wrote this one while I was playing on the street in Berkley” or “This one I wrote about my nanny who took care of us growing up”). G had just recently made the comment “Only here” to which I then said, “A nanny?” So she sang on a beautiful Sunday afternoon a repertoire of self written blue grass songs. Sometimes, I couldn’t understand the words, but understood the melody or the tone. My favorite was the “happy love song” written in Berkley, but another favorite was, “She was in my bed, she was in my bed, that bitch was in my bed.” I think another Sunday may find us on that patio again.

What a perfect way and a perfect day to spend some G time.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Daily Ramble

My Fella rolled into town late yesterday afternoon. He's in town "on business" and I love saying that for the fun of it. We went out to my cousin's last night for supper. His wife wanted something easy for everyone, but filling, so we decided on make-your-own-subway style sandwiches. She bought good hoagie style buns, and spicy brown mustard, and a collection of meats and cheeses. I think there were four cheeses. I sliced a white onion and a tomato. And no party is complete without melted cheese ala rotel.

It was a good night. My Fella seems to enjoy them, and they seem to enjoy him. The baby is cute cute and growing. And my cousin's wife surprised My Fella with a t-shirt we had been working on for him.

It was a good night.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Rain

The rain comes down, hard and fast, but not soon enough to explain my refusal to go to a job fair. I think in the end, I just didn't - I didn't want to be unemployed, I didn't want to go out there and look unemployed, I didn't want to look at all those employers behind a six foot banquet table who really just wanted a day out of work or were looking for either a brand new college graduate or a fry cook. So I just didn't.

And now comes the rain. Too hard to go out into for any decent reason. but not soon enough to use as part of my excuse for not going.

On a positive note, I spent Saturday afternoon with my Mom & Dad, who came to town to run a few errands. We met at a Steak & Shake for lunch. The food was good. I would tell you about the service, if we'd had any. I first drove them to a cowboy supply store where I told one of the young ladies, "Go flirt with him. He's wanting to buy boots" and $100 later, he's got a brand new pair of Justin black cowboy boots. It was a nice afternoon with Mom & Dad, and Dad was in a good mood for most of the day.

Yesterday was Spyder's birthday, and I'm glad Sissy called and reminded me. She allowed me to invite myself to his birthday dinner. Sometimes I think that child is so much like me, there must be some genetic connection, or perhaps environmental sway. Others, he is just his father's child - too too something. . . . something . . . to be anything but his father's child. Sissy reports he woke up early, to get a start on celebrating his birthday. That's definitely me in Junior. He wanted pancakes from Cracker Barrel. Not exactly me, but I do enjoy a good breakfast for supper.

Upon receiving his birthday card from me with ten dollars, he promptly held it to the light to see if it is counterfeit. THAT would be his Daddy's civil engineering side coming out. Just because somebody gave you a ten spot doesn't mean it's a ten spot - check it. His mother giggled and faux-scolded him, telling him he didn't have to check money from me, and he just replied, "You can't be too careful." It really was funny.

On the sweet side, he walked up to me in the parking lot and said, "Give me a hug."

In his honor, I ordered Moma's Pancake Platter - with 2 eggs and sausage. His Dad ordered a fried plethora of breakfast goodies, his Mom ordered a 4 vegetables plate, and his little sister had pancakes too.

All in all, a very nice birthday dinner.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Jesus is coming soon

or so the sign says. . . . . on a telephone pole on a highway, coming into town. A friend of mine sent me a text message telling of it's arrival, the signs', not Jesus. She knows I'm a collector of this stuff, considering it "rural Americana art" . . . . I have collected several of his "pieces" off the road side in the past. A few friends fought me for them, I say fought, in the sense that they would stop on the road and gather them before I could.

In the past, they have typically been attached to a metal road sign post, so I went with trusty clippers and pocket knife in hand, not realizing two sturdy nails would hold this one to a telephone pole. I couldn't even pull it off. So tomorrow, I go back with a crowbar and a friend.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Just a ramble,

Last week was a bit of a rough week for me emotionally. I’m determined to make this a better one. I think the long standing unemployment is wearing at my mind more than I had realized, with so many jobs to which I have applied and so few calls for interviews. Even close friends & business associates will call and say, “I talked to so-and-so and they’re going to call you.” And nothing happens. Then I had a bad phone call with the unemployment office, and to top it all off, something was going on with my family at home. I found myself the other night with my friend SO, and then a day or two later sitting in a restaurant with my G, on the verge of tears. It’s just all a bit more than I can take. But I’m going to make this week a better one.

Here’s some positive things to remember:

Late Friday evening, as My Fella and I were falling asleep, he whispered, “Today you walked taller, you spoke with confidence, and I know that’s where you need to be. I hope you get that job at the casino.” He has said many supportive things, but that one deserves remembering. He hasn’t wanted me to pursue a casino job, remembering the odd hours. But he noticed a change in me Friday that I didn’t notice myself. I could of made sweet sweet love to him for that remark. I settled for letting him have the inside of the spoon most of the night.

Yesterday I went for one last lunch from the downstairs McAlister’s. Waiting in the long line for the Big Ol’ Boy, I got to the front and said succinctly, “To go. Soup and salad. House. Blue Cheese. Chicken tortilla. Unsweet, no lemon.” He said, “That deserves a discount.” That man gave me three dollars off, just for knowing what I wanted to eat! I think he wants me. There was a time, he could have had me.

Today, I am going to a luncheon for a local group that focuses on sales and marketing in the tourism industry. A friend of mine is picking me up in a little while and taking me as her guest. It should be a good networking opportunity. Lunch is usually banquet-ish. You know, chicken salad on a croissant, or three green beans with some hollandaise sauce over them. But the important thing is I have shaved, showered, I have the perfect business casual outfit. Blue and white striped shirt, khaki’s that will be nicely pressed. Calling cards.

Last night was A.I. night and “Mother C” had us as guests in her home. Her son and I share a love for all foods bad for us, and for childhood memories of boxed potatoes and such. To make her son happy, his mother had a supper of “Bucket Chicken” with biscuits, mashed potatoes and whole kernel corn. Yum yum. For supper, a cherry pie and ice cream. And she did that neat trick where she kept the bucket chicken warm in the oven, so it was crispy and fresh as if the Colonel had just fried it.

Yesterday I applied on line for a floor salesman job at one of the area office supply stores, and I think I’m not through there. I need a job, and I am going in search of the polo’s and t-shirts. Target Red? Best Buy Blue? I’m going to take charge of this one way or another.

Right now, I need to iron those pants. Got to look good eating my chicken salad.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Daily Ramble

These photos were taken a while back, during one of my afternoons with the chirren, Spyder & Sass. There is a short desk for children with a back lit top, and theses plastic pieces. They have pre made patterns that are supposed to resemble stitch or embroidery patterns from some third world country. But sometimes it's fun to just make your own. I don't remember now which one(s) Spyder did, and which one I did, but I think I did the rather mudane black and red one.
The important thing is, they are a nice little memory from the day. Not whether Spyder is more creative than me.
Nooooo, that doesn't matter at all. No reason for me to be bothered that my design is two colors and mundane, when Spyder's shows lots of color and creativity.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Courtyard

The courtyard. I’ve often described the building as “surrounded by the black wrought iron fence, and we have a little courtyard. It’s great.” The courtyard has changed over the years I’ve been there. I was told that not long before I moved in, the wooden fence making the North wall was installed, with the wrought iron marking the East and West sides. A total of three gates, one with a curved arch.

Our building is L shaped, giving the courtyard an L shape as well. Or perhaps it’s capital Gamma shaped. Either way, in the beginning, years ago, there wasn’t much to it. We had a sense of camaraderie, those of us that lived there and sort of bonded. Some plastic lawn chairs and a hand-me-down picnic table. Many a night with friends dragging a chair out, or trying to avoid splinters on the weather worn picnic table.

Bobby, Joe, Jennifer, and later Carrie. All gone now, and likely to not be a reoccurring part of any blogs. First names common enough that I don’t have to hide them. But important enough people in the past, and in the make up and texture of the courtyard, that they deserve to have their names. Jennifer, beautiful, strong, seemingly independent. Hopelessly in love with Joe. Bobby, who could of starred as a lead singer for Nickelback, except he had no musical talent. Fun and (mostly) honest. Later Carrie would come into the building, with a beautiful dog and a sexy, earthy appeal. Carrie was the kind of girl that would still wear a bit of a midriff after she got a wee bit of a muffin top. And somehow, I found it strangely sexy on her. Like she was saying, “THIS is what a real woman looks like.” Carrie moved in after asking me one day if I knew a place she could live, laid back, where no one would care if she smoked a little dope. Well, that was our place. A tree with long branches hanging down obscured details of a lit end from prying eyes. The biggest risk to a dope smoker was that the two brothers at the end of the building might want some. Carrie and her dog loved living here, until a baby, a baby’s daddy, and an aging father made a need for a home to include a house.

I could write and journal for pages, and probably never fully describe the relationships betwixt and between so many of the residents and myself, and the courtyard. I could tell the story of the tenant, about to be evicted, who made a vignette on the sidewalk out of his belongings. Or the couple who would fight, he would sleep in his truck. She would tell me, “I swept today. You wouldn’t believe how many leaves blow into this corner in a day” and I never did, until she was gone, and I had to sweep for myself. Or I could tell about names written in wood, with dates and memories, now painted over in dark green. I could wonder how many beer tops and bottles are on the other side of the green fence, where trees and bushes grow tall, reaching for the sun, adding to our courtyard’s almost New Orleans-esque atmosphere. I can remember days of a neighborhood festival, with all my building-neighbors dragging out card tables to hold crockpots and coolers and bags of chips, with a motley assortment of lawn chairs.

Slowly, time passes, and keeps on passing. In the life of an apartment building, had it life to live, probably just a day or two. To me, a few years. And all are gone, except me. One lady remains upstairs, but has always remained upstairs, never a part of the courtyard. I alone bridge the gape from then to now, from who was, to who is. No one bridges the gap from before me deeper into the beginnings. Like a guard who knows the man he relieved, and the man who joins him, but not the one before, and not yet the future.

Time passes, and keeps on passing. The courtyard has changed. Patio bricks line the North wall, red squares to make a solid surface for a large, glass topped patio table and chairs. A wrought iron end table sits among three patio chairs. A climbing red rose covers the archway, bushes out on top, and tries to reach towards the wrought iron fence. White lights dot the patio umbrella and stretch down the dark green wooden fence. Dotting the yard with specks of sparkle are hanging lawn ornaments that may sparkle at night in the flickering of torches. Mulch covers garden areas where first season plantings attempt to make their stand and bloom. And some nights, the new things come out, paper lanterns recently bought, not yet left to the whims of weather. Fall and winter brought a brass fire pit, now retired for the summer, amid laughs to one neighbor-tenant who is known as the building pyromaniac. Six packs of beer have been replaced by a pitcher of champagne mixed with Fresca, or a bottle of red wine, or white if you have it. Vodka mixes add to a night’s revelry. Boxes of chocolate. Dinners on the patio with homemade meals of roast and potatoes. Plates of burgers and fries, all under a lit canopy. Such luxury as the patio has not seen in my time.

Harsh winter brought a seasonal close to the patio, for all except the pyromaniac. The rest of us staved off winter as long as we could, using the fire pit to hold back the chill of Fall. But in the South, even the harshest of winters doesn’t last long. We were peeking our heads out near the end of March. Now into full blown May, the lights are lit again, and meals are beginning to cook. The glass table top has been cleaned, and ants make their way like tiny soldiers.

But underlying all the accoutrement of the patio are the neighbor-tenants living there. Foo Foo girl who loves her red wine, and whose normally slightly nasal voice goes into a higher pitch with each glass. The Gay Couple, each handsome in their own way, with two feisty little jack Russell terriers for children, who love vodka and anything. The pyromaniac comes back down. Youthful, blue collar, in the evenings looking and smelling like a fresh shower, with a cold mug of beer. Each so distinct, their personalities. Such a nice addition to the fabric of the courtyard. But all of us temporary, I know. Like knitting yard and running out of a color, leaving it in and starting with a new one. Someday, I will be gone. I have hopes and dreams that may take me from the courtyard. I imagine they each too have dreams that don’t include forever in the courtyard. But for now, each of us together, peeking our heads at night with our voices high, “You stepping outside? Just let me get a drink and I’ll be out there.”

“The world is changed.
I feel it in the water.
I feel it in the earth.
I smell it in the air.
Much that once was, is lost.
For none now live who remember it.
And some things that should not have been forgotten, were lost.
History became legend. Legend became myth.” - LOTR

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Fingers Crossed

Keeping fingers crossed, for a job interview tomorrow afternoon.

The position would report to a man for whom I have worked in the past. I think all that went well. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

McAlister's Deli

I just love me some McAlister’s Deli. There is one in the bottom floor of this building, and a big ol’ beefy man is the manager. The kind of man that looks like he knows how to fix a hamburger at the house, or a piece of steak. I just love big ol’ men. I like ‘em big like on Strong Man Competitions, or big like they’re handsome but ate just a little too much. I just like a man to look like he’s a man. And this man looks like he’s a man.

So I stop in there most mornings and get a tea. Only about two mornings did I get sweet, finally realizing just how much white sugar is in that stuff. So I’m “unsweet, no lemon.” If I can, I go to stand in the big beefy guy’s line. It’s a small perk to my day, but a perk just the same.

Sometimes I meet Sissy at a McAlister’s across town, not far from where I live and closer still to where she sometimes works. You know, it’s all the things a chain restaurant should be. It’s consistent. It’s clean. And it has a clear food product & niche. There’s a level of service that makes it restaurant-ish, with a level of q.s.a.that makes it fairly quick and efficient. The food at the one downstairs tastes just like the food at the one across town. I like that in a chain restaurant. Staff are friendly at both places. I like that in any joint.

With Sissy, I’ve been having a half muffuletta. Today I had soup & salad, choosing the chicken tortilla (is there any other kind?) and a garden salad. I didn’t stand in the big beefy guy’s line, the other was considerably shorter. But I did manage a discreet walk around the seating area to get a look at a table of four guys out of place in this very white collar office building. Each in sleeveless t-shirts, two skinny with arm muscles, one a sort of “daddy” look with arm muscles, and one who caught my eye - who looked like he belonged on a Strong Man Competition, with upper arm tattoo’s that have that glisten of new ink. Yum yum. Someone in this slew of office buildings must be moving. I took a seat in the “waiting for a to go order” area, the seat closest to the boys. My back to them, I couldn’t see them, could only barely hear them over the din of restaurant noises. But after a moment, I could smell them. That good smell. Honest. Hardworking. The kind of smell of new sweat in clean clothes, working just half a day at that point, and probably mostly inside moving furniture. You either know what I’m talking about, or you’ll never understand it. But there’s something aphrodisiacal about the smell of a hard working man on his midday break. When the sweat is evaporating in the cool of an air conditioned building.

But you know, I did actually eat lunch. The soup can’t really be healthy, but I like to think it is. Enough cream in the broth to make a cow begrudge that which was taken. Chunks of white chicken, and vegetables. The garden salad was just the way my simple tastebuds like it – plain lettuce. No fancy stuff. Some tomatoes and cucumbers. A very hearty and filling meal. A loaf of that bowl bread good sopping and dipping in the soup. That’s good stuff.

It was a good lunch.

slew 1 also slue (slōō) Pronunciation Key n. Informal A large amount or number; a lot: a slew of unpaid bills. [Irish Gaelic sluagh, multitude, from Old Irish slúag.]

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Bubbles on hauling hay

My Fella and I had a tiny misunderstanding (argument) last night. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve seen each other and I’m feeling a little down over the job sit, and I’m missing him (whiny sigh), etc. So we were going to spend this whole weekend together, probably with me going there.

First came the comment that his sister in law (who I’ve met and I refer to as ‘his brother’s current wife’) is graduating from nursing school Saturday and they are all going. That didn’t bother me. I volunteered to ride over with them, and rather than have Jamie traverse all those steps in an auditorium, I said, “Yaw go. I’ll take him for a Coke and we’ll walk through a store or something.” Then the comment “We might have to haul hay this weekend.” That caught me off guard, I don’t remember when hay season starts. I know it’s a big deal, if they help this cousin cut, bail & haul hay to sell, they get all they want/need for their barns/horses to feed them for the winter. A friend of mine with a bit of a horse & farm background says hay isn’t cheap and I need to understand it, so I do. But I was ticked. So I said, “Are you telling me we won’t see each other this weekend?” for the third weekend. He thought quick on his feet and said, “I’m telling you that since I’m out of school for the semester Wednesday night, I’ll take 2 vacation days and ride over after class, and spend Thursday and Friday with you.”

Well now, I’m happy again. Until last night when he told me to “pray for rain” because only if it rains will he come. WHAT? “I told you.” “Uh, no you didn’t. You told me you were coming Thursday and Friday because you’ll spend the whole weekend either at the graduation or bailing & hauling hay.” He said, “Which we won’t do if it rains. If it doesn’t rain, we’ll do it in the afternoons on Thursday & Friday. I told you.”

Uh. No. You didn’t.

So we had a little sort of telephone argument with him telling me he’s going to drive over Wednesday night and he was hoping I would drive over sometime late Saturday after the graduation and we should both hope for rain. So I’m really confused and just darned annoyed by it all.

So I’m telling Bubbles about it this morning while I’m playing Girl Friday and Bubbles said it was freaky enough when I said, “I’m going to ride a horse” but if she heard me say “I’m going to haul hay” she was going to call my family and have an intervention.

I said, “Don’t call my family – call G, Red and 9. What if I never listen to dance music again?”

She said, “I’m not calling G. She’ll realize how bad it is and think it’s funny. She’ll go buy you a pick up truck. If I call Red and 9, they’ll fly right up here with martini in hand, realizing how serious it is. G’s just going to watch it happen and laugh.”