Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

They were just really happy

"Hey, look at this headline: How to plan your perfect trip to Amsterdam," I said. "One: pack a bong. Two: pack a suitcase. But let's get our priorities straight, people. Pack the bong first."

"A friend of mine when to Amsterdam for a week and was staying in this hotel," A said. "He didn't find out until later that it was a gay-friendly man's hotel. He said, 'I just thought they were really nice and everything had rainbows on it.'"

Hellmonkey - Year Three Begins

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 By 1 comment

Emerson turned two on Sunday. We started celebrating on Saturday at my mom's house (a.k.a., "Branny" as Emerson calls her) with my nephews Jacob (9 years old) and Jackson (2.5 years old). My sister's birthday is the day after Emerson's - hi, Kelli! Happy Monday Birthday! - and my friend, Penny, celebrates the day after that - hi, Penny! Happy Tuesday Birthday! Anyway, we had a second party at my in-laws' house on Sunday (more cake. Apologies to the dentists of the world), and then a little too-dah at her day care center on Monday. By the time I picked her up at 6 p.m. on Monday, she was running in circles saying, "Emmie buh-day. Moh cake? Cake? Cake? Emmie buh-day!" And she has not stopped since. Clearly, her third birthday will require an undertaking equal to the Academy Awards. We may need to bring in monkeys.

Here she is on day one of the birthday celebration, delicately picking candies off the top of her cake:



















By 6 p.m. the next day, she had degenerated into almost sticking her face right into the ice cream cake her Nona bought her:

That is not a smile of joy. That is mania brought on by a sugar overdose. I thought we were going to have to bring her down with a tranquilizer gun.

Here's one more, but before you view it, prepare yourself. The abundance of cute just might kill you:

She got a lollipop stuck in her hair. Because I am such a good mom, I did not pull it out. I took a picture. Then I took her upstairs and put her whole head under a cold tap. I had no idea how terrifying it would be for her. It was as though I had put her whole head under a volcano.

But, anyway, all better now.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Thanks for the Rebuttal

I appreciate whoever reads my blog having taken enough of an interest to leave a printout on my desk from Wikipedia regarding my rant against The New York Times. I am happy that people have responded to that post because it was important to me.

The printout was this page, which describes Clarkston, Ga., in detail. You'll note that it states that the population was 7,231 at the 2000 Census. I had taken issue with the New York Times' population estimate for the town.

While the census may, indeed, be closer to the Times' estimate than the 15,000 or so people I had in my mind, I'd like to point out that again that:

1) The article is still a mischaracterization of the area, seeing as how it's a 1.1 square-mile-area of land we're talking about - and a lot of people squeeze in that small area - in a largely urban environment. That's like taking just the downtown Augusta area and calling it pastoral because there are a couple of parks in the vicinity;

2) The racial and ethnic cross-section is a larger issue in the story, and there is nothing to dispute the fact that the Census estimated the city was 55% African-American, 9.61% mixed race, and 4.61% Latino (which is a notoriously undercounted population when you consider the number of illegal immigrants in Georgia);

3) The Times still got the damn number wrong.

But, hey, here's to a healthy debate. Disagreements can exist without people being disagreeable.

Friday, January 26, 2007

What a hole-in-one gets you at Augusta National

Fashion Police

This Augusta native is not a fan of baggy pants. Here, he tell us why.

Rhonda, what are you doing here?!


Just kidding, Rhonda, but A.C. pointed it out to me. This was on the site of the magazine Gothic Beauty. Amy was in the market for some black hair dye and a good corset. Not the modern kind of corset with the metal stays. She wants the old-fashioned whalebone kind, now with more murdered whale goodness. In fact, she's going a-hunting for some whales herself. When she finds one, she's going to harpoon it with a baby seal. And then dance on its carcass while eating Endangered Pitcher Plant Salad. She's a horrible woman.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bob is a Comic Genius

Daily Grind


It seems they stole their dictionary, too.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mud Pies and Baked Crow

Listen, I don't have a degree in journalism and I don't have a masters degree (yet). But I do know that when you write a story, and you place it in a context that skews the reader's perception from one that is realistic to one that is not representational, you have done your public a disservice. With that, I open myself up to gobs, heaps and mountains of criticism with some criticism of my own: I have grown very dissatisfied with "The New York Times."

There. I said it. Sort of. What I really wanted to say is "I hate that frickin' paper," but that's simply not true. I revere it, and I read it, and I follow its decisions with rapt attention, as does anyone who works in journalism, no matter what they say.

However.

The Grey Lady's coverage of all things Southern leaves a lot to be desired. Case in point: this story on a town near the one in which I grew up. I don't know where the writer got his census figures, but once you get inside the perimeter in Atlanta, there are apartment complexes with more than the 7,100 that this writer claims lives in Clarkston, Ga. He calls it a "small town by the railroad tracks," which makes it sound like something out of "Steel Magnolias" or "Fried Green Tomatoes." Some place that time forgot with ladies in white gloves all dolled up on their verandahs drinking sweet tea and lamenting the state of things with all the darkies moving into town. It's ridiculous. The truth is that the population seems small because the according to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.7 km² (1.1 mi²).

I don't know what they teach at Columbia but at Augusta State University they teach that a city 1.1 square miles large, inside a heavily populated county (in this case, Dekalb County) that has been noted for decades for its arts, culture, and diversity, is not one on which to base a story about a small-town immigration "crisis." Talk about the one ignorant mayor, but not the city as a whole. There are 675,000 people in that county alone and driving those roads and one cannot tell where the city and county diverge. Oh, and trust me when I say that none of those roads have diverged in a wood in several decades.

I grew up in Atlanta, and Clarkston is not a town of 7,100. It has been a diverse area since the 1960s, when the whole "white flight" thing began. Here's an area that hasn't been "mostly white," as the Times put it, since before I was born, but their whole story hinged on the contrast between race and culture changing the face of the suburban landscape. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, if the truth be known, is probably looked upon by members of the national press corp with some bemusement. "Look at these guys," they nudge each other in the ribs while sitting on their behinds waiting for their Pulitzers to arrive. "What is there to report on in Atlanta?" But my beloved AJC wouldn't have gotten it wrong. Of course, they can probably look out their office windows and count the population of Clarkston, but anyway...

Well, how about the fact that despite the prevailing stereotype of Southerners as a bunch of overall-wearing, tobakky chawing, barefoot racists, Atlanta is one of the few cities that experienced Caucasian residential growth within its urban areas? So don't believe the Times' portrayal of the South as some embattled area still coming to terms with Reconstruction, grumbling about the Emacipation Proclamation and wondering how, how, how on earth we are going to get all this cotton picked by harvest time. This is the same paper that writes stories about every 5 years or so about how Southerners eat dirt. But they'd better be careful. Soon, many of their subscribers, despite the paper's northern appellation, will be in the South.

And we don't eat dirt. If you're looking for Hollywood stereotypes upon which to hang your lead, look to Julia Sugarbaker who said: "I have been a Southerner all my life, and I can vouch for the fact the we do eat a lot of things down here... and we've certainly all had our share of grits and biscuits and gravy, and I myself have probably eaten enough fried chicken to feed a third world country - not to mention barbecue, cornbread, watermelon, fried pies, okra, and... yes... if I were being perfectly candid, I would have to admit we have also eaten our share of crow, and for all I know - during the darkest, leanest years of the Civil War, some of us may have had a Yankee or two for breakfast. But... speaking for myself and hundreds of thousands of my Southern ancestors who have evolved through many decades of poverty, strife, and turmoil, I would like for Mr. Weaks to know that we have surely eaten many things in the past, and we will surely eat many things in the future, but - God as my witness - we have never, I repeat, never eaten dirt!"

Or chitlins, mountain oysters, moon pies, moonshine, opossum, squirrel, rabbit, salt pork, oxtails, pigs feet, or pickled eggs.

UPDATE:
There is a reason that there is no such thing as "Northern food." Here's a list of Southern foods to eat, and love: fried okra, sweet potatoes any way you want to cook them, field peas, boiled peanuts plain and Cajun, black-eyed peas, gumbo, etouffe, hoppin' john, grits, burgoo, crawfish, pecan pie, Brunswick stew, mess o' greens (turnip, collard, or mustard greens), country ham, catfish, red-eye gravy, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, benne wafers, cornbread or hoe cakes, andouille and boudin sausage, and most important of all: biscuits. Because when you're eating any of the above, they go perfectly with them. And when you're done, they're good to sop up your leftovers. And if you're still hungry, they're good by themselves.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Nicely, Nicely, Thank You

Can I just reveal a secret to you? "Guys and Dolls" (there! I resorted to Wikipedia, Alice! and now my brain is on fire!) is my favorite all-time musical. I know every word to every song and most of the dialogue as well. I own the movie and although I can neither sing nor act, I volunteered to work as a stage hand at my high school production just to be near the people who could, in fact, sing "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat." (Look, those hosers made Oprah. Ew.) I am that big of a dork. Now the Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre is playing the musical only a couple of miles from our house! It is like destiny! Scott and I will definitely be at that show. He doesn't know that, but he will because, hey, when you see a guy reach for stars in the sky, you can bet that he's doing it for some doll.

Couldn't Have Predicted This...

I love me some horoscope people. They are a fun-loving, creative bunch. When the newspaper for which I work decided that, due to low readership, it would no longer run the horoscopes, we all just shrugged our shoulders. We don't read it, either.

Not so fast, suckers! The horoscope readers are up in astrological arms. They've consulted their star charts and found that today is a day for action. But, being the peace-loving people they are, they decided on a passive protest, and - apparently not being environmentalists - decided to litter our little corner of Broad Street, Augusta, Ga., with some hilarous signage.

Here they're posted in order so that you can see how they are able to rhyme horoscope with so many things.





















London Calling

You might be a journalist if...

... your morning wake-up call is from the BBC office in London.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Flashback: To-may-toe, to-mah-to

Me (with exuberance): Hi! Welcome to (name of establishment withheld)! May I start you with a beer, or perhaps a glass of wine?
Guest (quietly, never raising his head from menu): I'll herbaschmerbanerbatwerba.
Me (with joy): I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. Did you ask for herbal tea?
Guest (sighing): I said I'll habaschwabataba.
Me (with a zest for life rarely seen in humans not vying for canonization): Wow, the music is so loud. One more time, and I'll have it.
Guest (head bursting into flames): I SAID I'LL HAVE A SWEET TEA!
Me (spontaneous combustion being a daily occurance): Great! I'll be right back with that!
Guest: mmbaporchwatina

Flashback: What a feeling

Me: Hi! Welcome to the (establishment name deleted, where sexual harassment is a way of life). What can I get you to drink?
Elderly Lady: I'll have a sweet tea, and he'll have unsweetened tea.
Me (returning): Here we are. Sweet tea for the lady, and unsweetened tea for the gentleman. Now, have you had a chance to review our menu?
Elderly Man: Miss, I asked for unsweetened tea.
Me: Yes, sir. (nodding and gesturing to the glass) This is unsweetened tea. Would you like to hear about our featured items?
Elderly Lady: No, honey, he wanted UNsweetened tea.
Me (confused): Yes, ma'am. And this is unsweetened tea in this glass here. Yours is sweet.
Elderly Man: Look, can I just get a glass of UNSWEETENED TEA?
Me (giving up): Sure. I'll be right back.
Elderly Lady (as I walk away): What happened to the good service we used to get?

Purging my other blog

Sorry for all the food-related posts, but I'm purging my old blog from when I thought I could be a food writer. It got boring after a while, and I haven't posted anything in months. So here's another story.

There's a lot to be said about "beach casual," a state of being where your hair never quite dries, your skin always feels a little tight from sun and salt, and a neverending supply of mysterious and sandy grit remains 'round your nether-regions... which are my favorite regions, by the way.

Something at the beach keeps the smell of fish from being offensive - the briny air? the unending supply of alcohol? sunstroke? Whatever the combination, I always find myself craving Los Frutas del Mar - oysters, shrimp, any kind of fish - although non-shellfish that are also non-salmon don't usually register in my Craving Index.

Perhaps that's the draw of Rhinehart's. The picnic tables, sandy floors and weathered wood takes me back to camping in the Keys - without thieving raccoons rampaging through our tent in the dead of night. Tony's terrified face is forever burned onto my retina.

Anyway, besides the prices (cheap!) and the attire (just cover the nether-regions!), there is a strikingly simplistic menu comprised almost entirely of seafood, with two chicken dishes and one beef dish thrown in. I don't like places like The Cheesecake Factory, where the menus remind me of my $95 college Geology textbook from which I have never recovered and I'm sorry, Dr. Breuer, but everything still looks like granite.

Most everything is fried - it's okay! you're at the beach! you'll swim it off - and that would normally be a turnoff except for the batter they use. It's awesome. I swear, if Rhinehart's served deep-fried balls of crunchy batter, I'd eat a whole plate of it and thank them for the heart attack later. It's an adventure!

Go and get a bucket of beer - real beer, not the schmancy-diet-light-low-carb-crap, and set aside your cariologist's stern recommendations for the evening. Butter won't clog your arteries if it's melted.

Mama Ida was a real smart lady

Smell is our most powerful sense, according to scientists. It's the first sense that we develop - babies can smell their parents before they can see them clearly - and it's the sense that brings back the most visceral memories. Since taste is 90% smell, food is an incredible storyteller in a person's life.

I have fond memories of coconut cream cake, my favorite. My great-grandmother used to make a coconut cream layer cake about every time we came to visit. She would put each minute of her 75 years of cooking and baking into that cake. It was always deliciously savored after a big Southern Sunday Dinner (which non-Southernors call "lunch). God love Mama Ida, but I found one better.

Very Vera is a catering company off Washington Road with a small cafe, gourmet casseroles, and a thriving mail-order cake division. Touring their facilities today, I saw red velvet cakes, strawberry layer cakes, choco-latte (mocha flavored) layer cakes, a variety of pound cakes... you name it, it was there. But Kyle, the cafe manager, had a suprise for me: "I cut a slice of coconut cream cake just for you," he said.

Oh, Kyle. My new best friend.

Ya'll, I'm not one to gush unless something deserves it, and I will say that since I usually eat sugar free everything, the slice of cake was on the too-rich-for-my-blood side of the sweetness scale. But my childhood memories of the Cedertown house Mama Ida bought when she sold the farm came flooding back. The cast-iron clothes iron that served as her kitchen doorstop. The expanse of flecked Formica countertops that stretched from one end of the kitchen to the other. Finally, the wall that separated the kitchen from the dining area. On the back side of this wall was a series of shelves. On the bottom shelf sat Mama Ida's glass cake case. In the case... oh, baked heavan.

Mama Ida was a humble woman, a farmer's good Christian wife, who usually wore a button-up patterned polyester shirtdress and always had an apron on over it. She kept her grey hair in a bun, and was hard of hearing. She called the seafood fast food place, "John Long Silver's" and pronounced pizza as "pie-zah." She thought the moon landing was staged. She was patient, kind and wise, but knew her limitations, and never took offense when we bratty great-grandchildren found comical her octogenarian ways. But the woman got much respect in the kitchen. Scratch biscuits kneaded by hand. Beans slow simmered with pork seasoning. Mashed potatoes fluffy like a cloud. Roast beef so tender it would melt in your mouth. And, again, that cake.

But the cake from Very Vera would make Mama Ida want to slap herself it was so good.

I am a person divided over this cake. Part of me is sorry that I tried it. It destroyed a closely-held childhood memory of the Greatest Cake Ever. Part of me is happy I found something that comes even close to matching it. It gave me some nearly tangible part of my childhood. But all of me is certain that I'll be back for more cake at Very Vera's, particularly when I'm feeling down or childlike, as though The Great Big World is ready to swallow little ol' me.

Sometimes we have to go back to go forward.

Flashback: The Sequel

Lady: I'd like the hot wings. Now, are those hot?
Me: They're about medium, I'd say.
Lady: How hot is that?
Me (midway between hot and not-hot?): I suppose hot enough to taste, but not hot enough to burn.
Lady: Okay, but I want them double fried.
Me: Sure, I -
Lady (interrupting): I don't want them fried twice as long. I want you to fry them, take them out of the grease, sauce 'em up, fry them again, and sauce 'em again.
I have no intention of telling the cooks this because they will never do it. It will render the fryer useless for the rest of the night.
Me: Sounds great. No problem.

Later that meal...

Me: And how do we find our meals?
Lady: These wings is greasy. See?
She is actually squeezing the wing. She wanted her wings fried several times - did she think they be low-fat? But, seeing as how I don't really give a crap...
Me: Would you like for me to have the kitchen make you another batch?
Lady: I don't know. These is making me sick.
Me: Shall I get you something else?
Lady: Just give me some fried cheese sticks.
Me: So, because they're too greasy, you'd like to replace fried hot wings with fried cheese sticks?
Lady (oblivious): Yes, thems sound good.
Me: My pleasure.

Flashback

I am happy that I don't wait tables anymore, even part-time, which I did until I got pregnant. It was good money on the side, to supplement the mediocre wages of the community news industry. But the experience still leaves me chuckling at the absurdity of the behavior that normal people exhibit in restaurants. My only conclusion is that sometimes people want to be difficult. There can be no other explanation.

Me:
And do we have any questions about the menu?
Cretin: What's this? (pointing precisely to the Southwest Chicken)
Me: The Southwest Chicken? Oh, it's delicious. It's a -
Cretin (pointing furiously): No, THIS!
Me: Oh, that's the Chopped Sirloin.
Cretin (rolling her eyes): Yes. What is it?

It's made out of chicken, lady. What do you think it is?

Nicoderm Wave

Scott is trying to quit smoking, thanks to the surprise arrival of a free two-week supply of "the patch." He's down from 20-25 cigarettes a day to 5. That. Is. Amazing. You have no idea how proud I am of him! He's been a little grumpy, but in good humor. Part of it is his supply of gum that I brought back from the store yesterday... and lemon drops... and lollipops... and gummy bears... and basically anything to keep his mouth occupied. He's been using them, and the combination is working. But it's not all smooth sailing. Mornings are hard.

Scott: Can I just say that gum and coffee tastes like [crap]?
(I laugh)
Scott: Gum and coffee: [crap]. Coffee and cigarettes... beautiful.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Thanks, Imperial Theater!

Link
Now that The Metro Spirit has been vindicated in the "James Brown Birth Date Scandal of 2006," I'm posting a photograph of one of our favorite supporters: The Imperial Theatre in Augusta, Ga. They trusted our reporting enough to use our dates (1928-2006) when everyone else was using the Associated Press dates (1933-2006).

Thanks, Imperial Theatre!

I can't tell you how many calls we got from individuals berating us for using the wrong dates, accusing us of apathetic reporting. Apathetic reporting happens when writers go by the "generally accepted" information, instead of getting their facts from the primary sources (i.e., court documents, birth certificates, and the horse's mouth). In our case, we had it from the horse's mouth long before anyone else. James Brown told columnist Austin Rhodes several years ago that he had changed his birth date when he was in his early twenties to avoid prison. Making himself five years younger meant that he received a juvenile sentence for criminal activity he committed in downtown Augusta, Ga.

Energize!

It's almost impossible to get us to stop talking at work. I don't even know how I manage to write so many fantastic stories every week when we're all so busy talking about the cover of US Weekly. Because, as I frequently point out, we are serious journalists who care about the stories that matter. Oh, look, is that Brittney Spear's vagina? Again?

E: You know, his mother is Gloria Steinem.
A1: What?
A2: No, way.
Me: He's English.
E: Bet me a quarter.
Me: I'll bet.
A1: I'm in.
A2 (checking imdb.com): She's his stepmother.
E: Oh, stepmother.
Me: Pay up!
E: I really thought she was his mother.
A1: Ah, ah, ah... pay up!
A2 (reading): His father married Gloria Steinem in 2000.
Me: Yeah, you know she was like 60 when she got married? She held out a long time. That's a lot of batteries to go though.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Came across this...

I frequently make notes to myself to blog certain conversations - only then I usually can't remember what the hell I was writing to myself about. "Chicken fly swatter" - what the hell does that evenMEAN ? Sometimes my desk gets messy - oh, correction: my desk is messy most of the time - but not now because I cleaned it and I found an exchange I meant to blog about two months ago.

Me (on the phone with a co-worker across the office): Yeah, her last
name is Estrella.*

J: How do you spell that?
Me: E-S-T-R-E-L-L-A.
J: B-F-T-R-B-L-L-A?
Me: ... What? No! What would that even spell, J.?! Oh, christ. I'm coming over there.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Bestest Smelling Perfume in the World

















We went into The Swank Company in Surrey Center last week, to browse their Christmas specials, and I came across this perfume. It smells nothing like marshmallow. It smells like sex and forests after a warm summer rainstorm. It is amazing. I would like to smell like this every day.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Hello, I'm up here!

"Honey, does this shirt look good on me?" I asked Scott. He appraised me while I looked down at the shirt. I think it's too tight across the stomach. I look up. His eyes are still appraising the same spot.
"Yeah," he says, appreciatively.
"Uh... honey, you have to look at more than just my boobs."

Don't Rock the Boat

I just had a very frustrating experience at CVS, and I'm not sure if it says bad things about me, or about the other people involved. All I know is that it's left me very sad.

I went to pick up Emerson's prescription (and don't get me started on that. It's a whole other story) that I had dropped off this morning before work. It was 7 p.m., and there were about 20 people waiting around for their prescription, and just one guy working the desk. I stepped in line to wait, with just two people ahead of me. When it came to be my turn, a woman on my right, leaning on the counter, said, "Hey, I know my prescription is ready by now. All you gotta do is stick a label on it." And pitched such a fit that they took her and the guy behind her before me. I tried not to be angry. I know how frustrating it is to wait for a prescription - I usually wait 30 minutes at this pharmacy - and it's not like Emerson was on fire and waiting for water. But the lady in front of me kept on bitching about her prescription, with the guy behind her chiming in, like no one was even there. Like I didn't exist. Like the dude behind the counter didn't exist. Like they could just be assholes and it affected no one. She turned slightly toward me - by this time, I was squatting on the floor - and made a half-hearted apology.

"I don't mean to be rude, I'm just tired of waiting," she said.
"Oddly enough, I know how you feel," I retorted, with a pleasant smile.
"Hey, we've been waiting," the guy behind her said.
"Haven't we all?" I said, again with a pleasant smile.
"Hey, I got a kid who needs his medicine," he glared at me.
"As do I," I said evenly.
"McGowen?" the pharmacy tech inquired and I looked up at him.
"Yes, that's me," the woman in front of me replied with more than a hint of impatience.
"Hey, that's my maiden name," I said, with a smile.
"Yeah, probably because your grandfather owned mine," she spat, with no hint of humor.
Oh. Hell. No.

Now, I'll admit that I don't know much about my geneology. But I know that was uncalled for. And although I've only looked over the work that my aunt did on my mother's side of the family, as far as I can tell, they were just dirt farmers who hardly owned their dogs, much less other people.

Let's just say that there never was much to pass down to future generations.
But instead of being drawn in by her bait, I just smiled and told her to have a better day tomorrow because you never know who you might meet. It might be a long-lost family member.

Even if that family member does want to stab you.

Speaking of bad band names...

Blue Horse Music Hall
For Immediate Release

Regarding: Closing
When: Immediately
Location: Corner of 10th & Broad Streets

It is with great disappointment that we announce the closing of the Blue Horse Music Hall. As of today, Monday, January 8th, the Blue Horse Music Hall will close its doors. It has been a rough, but exciting road for the Blue Horse since the first concert on July 6th.

The past six months included sold out shows from Corey Smith and Edwin McCain, appearances by Shawn Mullins and Emerson Hart and concerts from the best local bands in and around Augusta. Unfortunately, the sold out shows were not the norm. Lack of support for live music has long been a problem for promoters in the Augusta area and it is sad that this issue was the primary factor in the decision to close the Blue Horse Music Hall.

With tickets prices typically in the $8-$12 range the Blue Horse staff believed that the average resident in Augusta would be able to afford to attend shows. Blue Horse also worked with local lawmakers to create an ordinance that allowed in music lovers under the age of 21. The venue was always smoke-free and had acoustics that both artists and fans raved about after each show. Even wit hall [sic] of this, Blue Horse Music Hall was still unable to sell tickets to shows featuring up and coming artists or unknown talent. Which is too bad, because there are so many amazing artists - local and traveling through Augusta.

A big thank you from the Blue Horse staff to those who came to a show, enjoyed the intimate setting and were exposed to music they may have never heard before. It is the sincere hope of everyone related to Blue Horse Music Hall that the next time a venue opens in downtown Augusta it will build upon the foundation Blue Horse started.

Um, maybe if they didn't make people sit in place for the shows (lame-o) and if it didn't remind people of my elementary school cafeteria, which had a handy stage over to the side, then people might want to hang out in there. The floor was made out of the same tile, which is the kind of tile that should just be painted on each square with the sign "Slippery when wet." I mean, let's just balance the equations, people:
(beer + spill = fall) x (slip + drunk = sue) = ?
Let's see... that's... add beer and spill... then add slip and drunk... so:
(fall) x (sue) = ?
fall x sue = ?

Yes. We all know what the "?" means. It means "print" in BASIC.
No! I kid! That was my geek joke for the week!

It means a lot of money going into pockets other than the owners of the Blue Horse Music Hall.

More bad band names

Some people would benefit from a really good stabbing - in particular, the idiots who came up with these band names:
"Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza" (Who's the boss that approved that name?)
"A Girl, a Gun a Ghost"

Alice read the second one off to me and I threw up a little in my mouth. The name was Vogon-poetry bad.
"What?" I asked incredulously.
She repeated it. These people and their stupid names make my head hurt.
"Oh, god, for real?" I whined.
"For real?" A. mimicked. I made fists and smacked my desk as A. laughed.
"Don't make fun of me!"
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. I just couldn't help it," A. said.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Te of Potty Training

Yesterday was a landmark day: Emerson went poopy in her potty. We'd been keeping an eye open for an opportunity to plop her on the potty so that she could plop something in the potty, and yesterday she was doing the thing that told me I was dangerously close to fishing another floater out of the bathtub. So I snatched her up and sat her down, and she went and we all cheered like crazy. She pointed repeatedly and said, "Emmie guh poo-poo."

The problem is that Emmie hates to go poo-poo. She holds it until you think her little ass will explode. I tell you, if I were ever looking for a way to smuggle a watch out of a P.O.W. camp, her butt would be the ideal place to hide it. She clenches her little fists and stares wide-eyed and intense, shaking and sometimes wailing with the effort.

In short, she's nutso. But that's to be expected, coming from our collective gene pool.

I know everyone is just SO happy that we've entered into what will probably be a six-month obsession with where, when and how much Emerson makes a doody deposit. So just stay tuned. There's more to come.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Name-Calling

Saturday, January 06, 2007 By 1 comment

It's Saturday morning and we're carrying Emerson's breakfast to her little table and chair - peanut butter and honey sandwich, as she requested - and we pass the open bedroom door where Scott is pulling on his socks.

"Cock!" Emerson exclaims as she points, then toddles on.
"Hey... don't call your father names like that," I laugh.
"She didn't! She was saying 'sock!'" Scott insists, as he puts on his shoes.
"I don't know, Scott. I think she's smarter than that."

Friday, January 05, 2007

Dirty Girl

Friday, January 05, 2007 By 2 comments

"So, now, I've gotten Emerson to say 'sock' like "sssss-cock," I inform Amy, with a roll of my eyes.
"Well, that's better than 'cock,'" she encourages.
"Hey, nothing is better than...," I start with an evil grin. "Noooooooo. I'm kidding!"
"I zoned out for a second. What did I miss that was fun?" Erica asks from the desk behind me.
"Stacey's talking dirty to me," Amy laughs.

The newest food sensation! Brealunchinner!

It's 8:45 a.m. on Friday, which means that it's time for...

A.: Okay, I'm already thinking about lunch. What time are we going?

By 9:30, it sounded pretty good to me, too. Let's hope I haven't had another birth control lapse.

Captain Obvious!

Me (irritably): Why do I smell banana?
Corey (from behind me): Because I'm eating a banana.

Oh.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hammer Won't Hurt Me!

From: mchammerblog@gmail.com
Subject: Re: [MC Hammer Blog] 12/29/2006 06:05:04 PM
Date: January 3, 2007 8:41:09 PM EST
To: stacey.hudson@metrospirit.com

Love U Back !!!

Hammer

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Tao of Poop

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 By 1 comment

As a first-time mom, I don’t have a lot of advice to offer to other new moms. My two-year-old daughter still doesn’t sleep through the night; I don’t know how to wean her off her pacifier; and potty training seems distant. But there is one thing you learn quickly and Corinthians 15:51 sums it up best: "I tell you a truth hitherto kept secret: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed."

We called our daughter "Frauline Poopenstein" because for the first several weeks of her life if she wasn’t expelling something terrifying from her body she wasn’t doing much at all. To be honest, it was okay when she was a newborn and made her first "stinky."

"Oh, look," I exclaimed, delightedly, while relatives dove for air freshener. "Her first doody! I shall name it Fred."

Now it is less than delightful. It is an insidious thing. Like evil, it can take many forms.

One form is Rabbit Turds. These little pellets are hard and sticky, but also small and light like invisible tape so that they sometimes affix to unexpected things. You might discover this later in an unfortunate way, as I did.

"Honey, I’m off to the store. Are you sure you don’t want to go?" I asked my husband.

"No. My back really hurts," he moaned.

"Poor baby. If it makes you feel any better, I found baby poo stuck to the side of my hand this morning after I changed Emerson."

He grinned: "You know, I do feel a little better."

My suffering is worthwhile if it eases the anguish of others.

Silly Putty is similar to Rabbit Turds, but larger. It's sticky, but heavier, so it is easier to handle. But watch out! If little legs kick when you're changing, these can become dangerous projectiles. During one particularly difficult diaper change, Emerson kicked her dirty diaper as I was pulling it out from under her and sent the silly putty flying.

"Gah!" I screamed.

"What's wrong?!" Scott barked anxiously from the door. I merely pointed. "It" had hit the wall, stuck and slid down a couple of feet. There almost wasn’t enough bleach on the planet to make the room feel clean again.

But if your walls need more than cleaning, wait for the Spackle. This substance would make millions for an inventive hardware store if not for the unfortunate brown color. It's gooey, spreadable and dries almost instantly to an impenetrable crust. I’ve taken Emerson straight from the changing table to the bathtub several times.

I asked my daughter about how she’d prefer that I handle this situation. She chewed one of the dog’s toys thoughtfully then said, "Dhet!"

Which brings us to The Poop of a Different Color. There are some hues that do not appear naturally among vegetables of the world yet your child’s doody may contain them anyway. Remember the old Crayola 64 boxes? I know how those were invented. Some sleepless parent looking for an earthly explanation for this unearthly phenomenon.

Once you start on solid foods, it’s a whole new ball of… well, you know. So, beware, chumps. Little tummies aren’t always ready for progress, so sometimes what goes in comes out in exactly the same form and what you get is Vegetable Soup. The reason, I’m certain, that Campbell’s markets their canned foods to children is that none of their parents will touch it. It’s too metaphoric.

For these reasons and more, Emerson has been the proud owner of a training potty since she was about nine months old. She was using it as a step stool, but recently began actually sitting on it… to watch television. We’ll post more information as things progress. We can: we have plenty of adhesives here. Too bad it’s brown.