Archive for August, 2006

Aug

19

Georgia on My Mind

12:52 pm · category: Hotel Hell

I’m leaving today for a training session in Atlanta and won’t be back until next Saturday. While there I’ll get to meet my second WDer in person, as Rob and I are having dinner Monday night. So if you never see me again, find out where Rob lives and look for my rotting corpse in his basement. He works in software development, and I’m afraid he might have been the inspiration for Ted.

Aug

10

What’s New? Pussycats!

1:16 pm · category: A Couple of Pussies

This whole living alone thing really suits me, but last week I realized that a cat would suit me even more. (I’ve been missing Rupert something awful.) So I went to the shelter to adopt a kitten.

The shelter currently has about 100 kittens. It’s a good thing I’m a pushover, because I never could have chosen one of the precious, desperate little felines as they wove in and out between my ankles and climbed my legs, begging for attention. I finally asked the woman in charge which would be the least likely to be adopted, and she said plain blacks and gray tabbies are least likely to find a home.

I took one of each.

It’s terrible that when you get those frisky kitties home, they stare at you with abject terror. The pair wouldn’t leave the pet carrier for the first hour, choosing instead to sit at the open door and just eye me warily. “So you guys are just a couple of watchers, huh?” I asked rhetorically. Which is when I realized I was naming them Quentin and Nigel.

Quentin, the gray tabby, is the loner. He’ll disappear for hours at a time (He spent the first two days hiding behind the couch.) and prefers to sleep alone, although he’s always up for a rousing game of chase. I haven’t heard him meow yet, so I think he’s pretty content.

Nigel, on the other hand, shadows me all day long. He even goes to the bathroom with me. (I”m going to put a stop to that, though. I’ve seen him eyeing the toilet paper roll with curiosity, and that will just lead to two-ply badness.) And it weirds me out that he, like Rupert, wants to sleep either on my chest or under the covers.

I’d forgotten how active kittens are. The greenery is strewn all over the house, the incense box is overturned every morning, and I can’t leave napkins out unless I want to clean up what appears to have been a midnight papier mache party the following morning.

On the up side, Nigel and Quentin love each other. They were part of the same “community group” at the shelter, so they’ve always lived together. Quentin quickly tires of Nigel’s antics, but Nigel really helped Quentin acclimate to the new environment. They both love to play Who’s a Little Fear Demon. (Or, at least, they’re humoring me for the time being.) And they groom one another, which is just too cute.

Pictures will come as soon as I remember to pick up batteries for the camera.

Aug

9

Dear Boys

1:16 pm · category: House Calls, Kids Are All Right, The

The boys have added another member to the band, bringing the total to six. If they add another member on by their next visit, I can get a fancy dress and sing to birds. (I already assigned appropriate names to these six. I really pushed for a keyboard player with severe allergies, but I bet they don’t heed my suggestion.)

Actually getting to the gig was a feat in and of itself.* And once I was there, it was uncomfortably apparent I didn’t belong. (Thus lending credence to all my prior lame excuses for not showing up at their shows.) There is no reason for a 32-year-old woman who spent 12 hours on the clock dealing with insolent CEOs while wearing hells and a business suit to spend an evening in a dank, subterranean outpost (venue name: The Cellar) with a bunch of teenagers on a Thursday night. I slipped in and stood in a corner (which, incidentally, smelled like cat litter) trying to become blinvisible, only to have a 17-year-old boy accost me for not paying the $5 cover charge upon my arrival 15 minutes earlier. Of course, then he couldn’t change my $20 bill. (And where was he when I arrived? I suspect he was snickering at what he thought were double entendres in the latest issue of Highlights.)

After the show I learned that the band’s merch guy was slated to become the new guitar player in September. That’s because the current guitarist has decided to become a full-time elementary art teacher, which totally gets my respect. (Casual readers will assume I’m being snarky. They can bite my ass.)

The next two days I had a mighty nice time with the boys, although I spent over $250 on them. (That’s a chunk of change for me to drop in a weekend, especially if it’s not on home improvement or auto maintenance. Again, I am very old.) Two of the boys had asked about watching Buffy (I got them hooked on their last visit.), but we ended up watching Freaks and Geeks. (I might have found a new TV obsession. That was some good stuff.) So for two days we watched DVDs and ate a lot of delivery.

There’s something very not right about a 32-year-old woman watching TV in her 6×5 living room with six college-aged boys, but it feels perfectly normal when you’re doing it. I fall somewhere between a queen (“Would you get me a Sprite, please?”) and a mother (“For the love of God, who’s up next in the shower? You all have to have one before you go, because you reek.”).

Twenty minutes before the boys left, four of them lined up at the bathroom door. The stench permeated my home for the next six hours, despite the fact that I gave them a pack of matches. And that’s how they left me.

Except it wasn’t. Because when I entered my bedroom two hours after their departure, I found all the blankets neatly folded and my bed made. And they’d taken two pieces of ribbon and formed them into the shape of a heart on my pillow.

Dear boys.

*Short story: The friend who was supposed to go with me cancelled thirty minutes after the show had started. I locked up the house and got in my car, only to realize I’d picked up my work keys instead of my personal keys. I jimmied open a window, but I couldn’t get into it because I’m too short. So I “borrowed” a cooler from my neighbor’s garage and boosted myself in the window. Then, about half-way to the venue, I got thirsty. When I pulled into the parking lot I realized I’d left my wallet at work. So I drove 15 miles back to Magnolia, picked up my wallet, and drove to El Dorado. I arrived in time to hear the last three songs.

Aug

4

The Boys Are Back In Town

4:00 pm · category: House Calls, Kids Are All Right, The

Yesterday afternoon Jordan called me. The conversation went something like this:

Him: Hey, little lady! What are you doing?
Me: Taking a nap.
Him: Oh. Sorry.
Me: No problem. What’s wrong?
Him: Nothing’s wrong. Why do you always think something’s wrong when I call you?
Me: [dead silence]
Him: Right. Anyway, we’re back in Arkansas and we’re going to play in El Dorado tonight. Isn’t that only 30 minutes away from you?
Me: Yes.
Him: So you’re going to come see us play, right?
Me: I guess.
Him: Great! And after the show we can all hang out, right?
Me: Yeah. No problem.

Of course, as soon as I disconnected I realized that “hang out” was likely a euphemism for “crash at your place.” So, yet again, there are a bunch of college boys in my breadbox. Except they added a new member, so now there are six of them.  Six people (and I make seven) in my 450-square breadbox of a house. And they’re staying two nights.

Also, I got two kittens yesterday. Needless to say, they’re completely freaked out and have taken up residence behind the couch. I hope they don’t stay back there forever.

Aug

3

Staying Informed

11:19 am · category: Uncategorized

I live in south Arkansas now, so all of my news comes from Shreveport local stations. This means that I get a lot of footage of OJ Simpson racing through the airport to get to his family reunion. (Which is kind of ironic, if you remember those Hertz commercials he starred in before his, um, legal trouble.) It also means that I am constantly trying to remember the difference between Nacogdoches and Natchitoches, because now I’m in the Arklatex and have to know major cities in three states instead of one.

But before I moved here, I’d spent my entire life in central Arkansas. So when a legend like Paul Eels dies, you’ve got to let me know. Hello! Voice of the Razorbacks! “Touchdown, Arkansas!” “Oh, my!” Pretty much every significant sporting event I’ve ever watched that wasn’t the Olympics was called by Paul Eels. Remember that long ass game against Ole Miss? Paul Eels helped me through it. Remember when Jason Jennings was drafted by the NBA? Paul Eels was the one who confirmed it for me. Remember when Sidney Moncrief played a hell of a ballgame instead of selling cars? Paul Eels was the one who called those games.

So when Arkansas newscasters go to meet their Maker, be sure to let me know. I predict that they’ll announce any day now that that overbaked Ned Perme has a raging case of skin cancer. And if Tom Brannon gets bitten by a rabid pigeon in the KTHV weather garden, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit. (I don’t know why, but the guy just bugs me.)

Which reminds me – is Beth Ward still alive? She’s sort of frozen in time, isn’t she? She’s like the female Dick Clark.

Aug

3

I Don’t Know Much

9:52 am · category: Uncategorized

Yesterday I visited with a local minister. (Her name is Rev. Love. How great is that?) When I mentioned my thesis, she was intrigued and asked to read it. Rev. Love then mentioned that she was considering taking a creative writing class at the local university just for kicks. Then I was intrigued.

My BA is in communications with an emphasis in print journalism, and I’ve worked in the newspaper business off and on for the last 18 years. I’ve always loved research, because there’s a ginormous nerd inside of me who is hardwired to be obsessed with any subject into which I’m told (or paid) to delve. When I taught high school, I hired out as a research paper ghost writer, which can bring in some serious cash. My seminary thesis was fun (Yes, fun.) as much because of the research process itself as because of the subject matter. And I have (I think, anyway.) awesome proofing and editing skills, thanks to a kick-ass advanced comp professor way back when.

But I’ve never really thought of myself as a creative writer. The closest I’ve come to creative writing was as a columnist for the high school newspaper wayer back when. I’ve always been taught that a writer should write what she knows. I don’t know much. So how could I take what little I know, knead it into something fictional, and make it interesting?

Still, the mere idea of the creative writing class is enough to make my brain tingle.

I like to tingle.