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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

You Might Be a Redneck...

"Oh, good lord. There goes my trailer park accent again," I moan to A.C.
"That was kind of..." she says. "Say refrigerator!" (a word I had trouble enunciating while taping a commercial yesterday)
"Fredgerayterr," I laugh. "No, friedgermater. That's where you keep your garden vegetables, in your friedgermater."

Tongue-in-Cheek

"That babaganoush is to die for," E.B. says to me. "But now I have garlic breath."
"Yeah, me, too. But it's so good that I might just eat my own tongue."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Foot-in-Mouth Disease

"Hey, Alice, you should get pregnant. Then we could call you 'Chalice.'"

Cutlines

A.W.: "Oh, Black Snake Moan is coming."
Me: "Probably not to Augusta."
A.W.: "Well, it's the same guy who did 'Hustle & Flow.'"
Me: "Yeah, but it's hard in Augusta for a pimp."

Brain Eggs

Driving to the radio station to cut a commercial, discussing the upcoming issue of one of the magazines...

A.C.: "I can't wait for J.W. to see that story and watch his head explode."
Me: "Right. Maybe we should warn him in advance to avoid all the brainy mess."
A.C.: "There won't be that much of it."

I'm a Rock Star

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 By

We were cutting a commercial at a local station for the upcoming issue of Metro Augusta Parent Magazine, and in walked Jared from the Subway commercials. He was like, "Stacey Hudson? Is that really you?!" I was all, "Yeah, dude, I know. Don't get excited." But he had to have a photograph taken with me, of course. (sigh) Celebrity is as celebrity does.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I Hate People

We have to move and change our telephone number to an unlisted one because people keep calling us with stupid freaky messages. What is wrong with you morons? I write about pretty pictures and music, with some dancing and theater thrown in for good measure. Scott writes primarily about county commission and school board meetings. Go bother Billy Morris or Champ Walker and leave us the hell alone. We have a week to move, but it may take the entire week with a 2-year-old screaming I help! as she chucks my shoes down the stairs.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

New Baby Essentials

Saturday, February 24, 2007 By

After two years, we have pretty much figured out what equipment we needed, and what marketing professionals sold us, when we had our baby. This is the list of Stuff We Could Not Live Without.

1. Feeding equipment - Buy the Dr. Brown bottles and drying rack. I do not care how many other companies claim to keep air out of little tummies. This valve system is the best. We tried everything. Emmie was born with a very sensitive digestive tract, and it took a long time to find what worked. The drying rack is needed because they come with little pieces that can get misplaced. But when your pooper starts teething, they will want something more substantial. Emerson loved sucking on ice chips in this mesh feeder, or chewing on whole peas and other chilled, smooshable vegetables and fruits.

2. Soothing tools - these include swaddling blankets, white noise makers or classical music CDs, a soothing swing or sturdy bouncer (this one is both!) for when your arms get tired and a mobile that really catches the attention of your short-sighted little shorty. If you are in doubt, just watch The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD. This stuff really works. And it is not always about the baby being happy. Sometimes it is about mommy and daddy getting a break.

3. Long-Lasting Furniture - Okay, having a baby is expensive for a lot of people, and we did not forsee the ability to buy nursery furniture, then toddler furniture, then child-sizes furniture. So we spent a little more on convertible furniture that saved us money in the long run. You will need a one-hand release system, and if you have hardwood floors like us, you will want a changing station. Our sweetie is 2-years-old and we still use it. I wish I had seen this one, which converts four ways AND has an attached changing station that converts to a nightstand. Now that is innovation.

4. Sams Club Card - Most people do not know that the difference between baby formulas is negligible, because products marketed for infants are so heavily regulated by the FDA. Also, if you do the math, you can deduce the following: there are three or four formula factories in the U.S., but more than a dozen brands. Same for diapers and wipes. Buying these three items in bulk, in the store brand, saved us at least $1,000 the first year.

5. Memory-making - That first year - heck, the first week - are so full of surprises, changes, excitement and wonder that if I had not owned a digital camera and a computer, I might have spent $10,000 on film development and postage. Yes, digital cameras and computers are expensive, but only initially. After that first purchase, they are almost free - well, if you own a Mac. They do not require the constant attention to virus software that PCs do. So, I recommend a 5 mp Sony Mavica camera, because it is a high-end camera that is priced like a low-end camera, and it burns photos to a CD instead of a memory card. That negates the need for a card reader, and worrying about cross-platform b.s. If you are in the market for a computer, I highly recommend a Mac, either the new MacBook Pro or the iMac Desktop. They are versatile and run all of the essential business programs, plus they come with a whole host of fun and complimentary software.

6. Safety First - We had the house child-proofed before she was even born. But if you like being able to open your kitchen cabinets without cursing - at least before your little pooper learns to open them herself - you can skip padding the entire interior of your home until the time comes. But start with a good, convertible car seat. Like the camera, the furniture, and the computer, it is a little more money at first. But the long-term savings far outweigh that issue. A convertible car seat can be used either rear facing or forward facing. They have higher weight limits in the rear facing position, making them a good choice for bigger babies who are likely to outgrow their infant car seat before their first birthday. Children can ride forward facing in a convertible seat up to approximately 40 pounds. There are also some convertible seats that can transition into a booster seat to accommodate children up to 80 pounds. For a newborn, most come with an insert to provide needed extra support. I happen to like this one, because you may never have to buy another. I have also loved these outlet covers, these cabinet locks, this baby gate (which also works for our dog), this first aid and grooming kit, a basic crib bumper, and this book.

7. Warm and Snuggly - Of course, clothing your baby is essential, but remember that they could care less what they wear. If you buy three or four of these sets, you will be set for almost the entire first year! These socks never get lost, and these shoes are super cheap and cute! This company has a selection of hats just $2.50 apiece.

8. Transportability - Your world contracts when you have a baby. It is no good to anyone if you stay cooped up in the house. Get out, and take your baby with you. The sights and sounds of the world outside are better stimuli than any Baby Einstein product could provide (although these and these are good for rainy and sick days). You will need a good diaper bag with a lifetime warranty (they get a lot of use). Try these two backpack styles - this and this. We could not have survived our first year if we had to hang one off our arm. You will also need a stroller or your arms will fall off. You might consider a frame stroller for when your baby is still an infant, and then a simple umbrella stroller for when your baby is older. Those big travel systems are nice - we bought one - but not very manueverable in small spaces like stores. Keep your baby warm with a seat cover, and cool with a stroller fan.

9. Cleanliness is Next to Baby Sitters - Children are messy and dirty and will eat anything off the floor. You will need bibs to cover their clothes, and a convertible bath tub to clean them up.

10. Love and Patience - They are not available in stores, but if you can stock up on those before your bundle comes, you will do well for the first year. Good luck!

Achtung, Music and Book Lovers!


We are moving, and thus downsizing, because we are tired of clutter. Clutter is bad for the brain. It clogs up my synpases and halts their effective conduction of neurotransmitters. Put simply, clutter makes me grumpy and stupid. And it stresses me out. So, along with clothes and assorted household items (how many freaking coffee cups do we really need?), we are ridding ourselves of hundreds of books and CDs. Ah, CDs, you say. The Hudson quaintness reminds me of the old days back on the farm. Yeah, whatever. If we had said records, you would have been all impressed with us.

Anyway, if you are in the market for CDs or books, we have some really good ones. Just let me know what you want. You can have it for $1, or $4 if I have to mail it.

You can compare that with the prices offered on Amazon.com and see that we are utterly reasonable people.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Department of Redundancy Department


This e-mail came in to our news reporter. I think it's kind of dangerous to be tossing the word URL around like that. I bet it's one of the acronyms that the National Security Agency looks for in terrorist dragnets.

Thank you for your note. After some investigation, we've found that our
system cannot crawl your articles because of the format of their URLs.
Following the general technical guidelines below should help our crawler
find and index articles from your site correctly:

1. In order for our crawler to correctly gather articles, each page that
displays an article's full text needs to have a unique URL that doesn't
change. We can't include sites in Google News that display multiple
articles at the same URL.

2. The URL for each article must contain a unique number consisting of at
least three digits.

For example, our news crawler wouldn't crawl articles with the following
URLs:
www.google.com/news/article23.html
www.google.com/lemurs_in_the_mist.html

It would crawl these pages:
www.google.com/news/08112003/article.html
www.google.com/news/lemurs_in_the_mist/23467.html

3. Keep in mind that we are unable to include sites for which the URL of
the main page includes a date. URLs with dates in them often change on a
daily or weekly basis. This prevents us from crawling the site for new
content, as we're unable to detect the most current URL to be crawled.

For example, if a URL changes from /novembernews.html to
/decembernews.html, Google will continue to crawl the novembernews.html
page, and thus not find any new content.

An example of a site that we're able to crawl successfully is
http://english.chosun.com. Please note that each article on this site has
a unique and unchanging URL.

If you're able to make changes on your end that would allow us to crawl
your content, please let us know.

Regards,
The Google Team

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Break-in II: Electric Boogaloo

So the police recovered my purse with my wallet and my ID (which is how they found me) and Social Security Card. But I can't have it. They called merely to taunt me. The officer who found it turned it in to police property, and I can't have it unless I have the receipt. Except that I don't have the receipt, because I'm not the one who turned it in. Here's my question: Um, hello? My ID is in there. Who could I be? Scott's gone all kinda crazy and says that he is going to call the sherrif, himself, and make the department fingerprint the bag, etc. Whatever. I just want my lip gloss, man. I'm all chapped.

<---- This is the perpetrator. If you see him, he will be wearing lingerie, brushing his teeth and taking pictures with two digital cameras.

I'll Tell You What I Want (what I really, really want)

Augusta, GA - I cannot find my Converses this morning, but I don't want to wear sensible loafers yet again today. Perusing my sad little shoe collection - why do I even own anything in brown? I never wear them - which consists of two pairs of loafers and a passle of heels that I never, ever wear because my feet shriek in protest, I see the Skechers I bought for $15 about 10 years ago at the JC Penney outlet in Atlanta. Oh, yes, I think. I am about to look super cool. Everyone will be dazzled by my innate sense of style and beg me for fashion tips. Prepare to be astounded, fellow employees!

I walk into work, and the first person to notice them is the copy editor, A.W.
"Hey, 1992 called and they want their shoes back," she laughed. "Are you actually joining the Spice Girls?"

Hmmm. I think I can go home and change at lunch.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

James Brown's Last Interview

Augusta, Ga., has long enjoyed the generosity of the late James Brown: turkeys at Thanksgiving, and toys at Christmas. But perhaps the people who need it will miss him most this holiday season, as the future of his estate will likely not be settled by then. But here are photos of his last interview, at his last toy giveaway, being questioned by my husband, Scott Hudson, of WGAC News/Talk AM 580.

Fave Spam of the Day

Subject line: deoxyribonucleic deportation.

Alliterative, and yet painful.

The Fast Samurai

"My husband came home from Target last weekend with one of those Velcro wallets," A.C. said.
"Oh, no," I moan. That is a bad sign.
"I was like, 'Are you 17?'" she said.
"That's just... unless you're storing Ninja stars in it and have to get at them real fast," I laughed.

The only problem is that, with the Velcro, they'd hear you coming.

<--- J.C.'s first victim

Another Stupid Band Name

"There's a band named Rat Babies?" A.C. asked.
"Whhhaat?!" I said.
"I'm surprised Alice didn't mention it to you."
"Hmm. I'll have to get on her."

Mongo Smash


I was working in the Metro Spirit offices from about 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Sunday. I can't say exactly when the vandalism occurred, but some genius smashed in my back passenger window, damaged the bottom of both doors on the driver's side, rifled through my glove compartment and popped the trunk to get at my satchelww bag, which contained both my digital camera and the Metro Spirit's digital camera. They also took my wallet, my electric toothbrush, and a bag from Target that contained a new set of underwear. So, I guess we should be on the lookout for a lingerie-clad gentleman with shiny white teeth, carrying a lovely big purse and snapping a vast array of photos. If that's the case, it won't be long before they catch him.

Look, the replacement window is going is be $150, and the cameras will be at least $500 to replace. We worked hard to be able to buy our used 1999 Dodge Stratus, if that tells you anything about our tax bracket. The vandals didn't hit some Hill-billy. They hit working class folks. It isn't right. This hits our pocketbook pretty hard. Or it would. If I had one. But it seems to have disappeared.

Anyway, maybe this is the excuse I need to convince my husband to let me buy the kind of camera that I've been wanting. It would be worth the investment. I could do well with a Sony Mavica (see above photo, honey! Thanks!), but there are others that are nicer: This one, This one, Or this one.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Buzz on Biz

Top 5 Reasons to Join the BzzAgent Network:
  1. Discover new products and services first
  2. Prove that your voice and opinions matter
  3. Always have something to talk about
  4. Get free stuff
  5. Find pirate treasure — or influence companies and brands — either way
And, hey, if you sign up, put me down as a referral: stacey_hudson@bellsouth.net.

A Pretty Good Year

The 2007 book releases from Penguin feature a thriller about an author who believes he's being stalked by a character in his latest book, a sci-fi novel about a hard-bitten wizard detective and a nonfiction read about the economic crisis facing young Americans. It is a good year for the literate. Check out those books and more.


Gusto! is this new free travel site that - oh, I am so sorry: travel = lifestyle site - that is user-based. It helps you plan, daydream and share memories of your trips, with unbiased member reviews and online photo sharing. In short, it is like any other site, but it is not trying to sell you something - other than a good time. I was amused by how outdated the information is for Augusta. I hope that people use this service more, if only to fix their review.

Foetus Gets Back Together

Playing soon at Sector 7G is another of my favorite lame band names: Massacre of the Umbilical Cord.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mad Cool - and a little 1984ish


Reveal the hidden world behind your browser! This site, me.dium.com, has a Firefox application that lets you see what your friends/ family/ co-workers are doing online. But not in a creepy stalker way. They have to sign up for the service, too, before you can see that. So if they refuse to join, you know they spend a lot of time on porn sites. Horny bastards.
Anyway, as one reviewer said, it finally gives users the sense that the vast, cold, Matrix - I mean, the Internet - is alive with real people. You can watch them like you are walking down the street, all: Hi, hey, how is your mom? Oh, good. See you downtown!

It is pretty darn cool.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

On a lighter note...

My favorite spam message line of the day, from Marquis Cameron, bless his heart (and you Southern ladies know what I mean by that), is: didactic biathlon. That would have made high school more interesting.

Please Help This Little Boy



This little boy, Ezekial, just 2-years-old, was abducted by his drug-using noncustodial father on Jan. 31. He is the relative of some friends of mine. Police believe that the father, William Brown, who was a golf pro at Jones Creek Country Club, is in Mexico City, due to charges on his credit cards. He is abusive and unstable.

If you know anything, or if you see anything, please help. Brown is not expected to return without a serious incident, and Ezekials mother is beside herself with worry, as is Zekes 6-year-old older brother, Harper. Call 706-394-3799 any time day or night, or e-mail missconsign@hotmail.com. Visit bringzekehome.com.

Friday, February 16, 2007

New Blogger

My husband, Scott, wants to join me on my blog. This is both good and bad - good because it means more content for readers. Bad because he tends to be a lot more serious than I am. He'll write about local politics, theater, and culture. Hopefully he'll blog the struggles with his book and his play. We'll see what strikes his fancy. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!


I totally and completely forgot about V-Day. I sent my husband an e-card that was pretty great, but still... e-cards are lame. Mr. Perfect came home with flowers.

"Hey, those are gerbers! Just like we had at our wedding!" I exclaimed, delighted by the personal symbolism.
His eyebrows went up. "Yeah!"

(...)

"You didn't even think about that, did you?"
"Uh, no."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Momnesia: I almost forgot what life was like.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 By No comments

Before I went all insane and decided to throw caution to the wind and have a baby, I wore clothes that fit and that matched. They were usually clean. I took a shower every day and I did girly things to my face. I read magazines - I love Smithsonian - and never had to endure 15 rewinds of the same scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I read literature, not picture books - I may not have fully understood all of it, but by god I plodded through Thomas Pynchon. I had friends who were taller than three feet. I had conversations into which never entered the topics of pooping, peeing, or boogies. I ate really good food. I drank whatever I wanted, whenever and wherever. And however much of it I wanted. I watched movies in the theaters. I slept late on weekends and no one ever threw up on my face. I did a little traveling and never worried about leaving at naptime and arriving before such time ended. Did I mention that I slept late on weekends? In fact, I slept. That ability seems to have deserted me.

But even though I enjoyed my life and recreation, no one ever gave me ice cream kisses. No one ever belly laughed at stupid faces I made. No one ever asked me to snuggle with them, or hold them. No one requested "mooshes and a bid hud." No one infected me with excitement about watching birds outside the window or squirrels on the rooftop. No one ever asked me "Wha coh-yor ih dat?" and pointed to plaid. No one ever splashed with me in puddles after a rainstorm. No one lit up when I walked in the room. No one said, "Good morning!" at 6 p.m. when I picked them up from day care. No one ever made me scared enough to cry.
No one ever held out their arms and asked "Hohd you?" No one ever clapped when I finished the dishes. I have to tell you, that is really nice. Sometimes I look at myself, picking dog hairs and wiping milk mustaches off my clothes, rushing around to get "see-rahl and mee-yohk" in the mornings, washing the vomit off of every blanket and sheet that we own, and gazing wistfully at my computer just a few feet away. I always complained before that I spent too much time on it. The last couple of days I cant seem to get just a couple of minutes on it to do real work for which I get paid actual money.

Nothing and no one stood in my way when I was younger. I was free to do as I pleased. But I never knew what that was. I never really discovered what pleased me. In an irony single and childless friends can never really appreciate, marriage and children have brought me greater clarity and purpose than I ever found when I was still searching for clarity and purpose. Now that I have stopped actively searching for my purpose in life, it seems that my purpose in life toddles over to find me whenever it pleases.

I have less control over my life than I have ever had in the past. The demands of family and professional life far outnumber the demands I ever placed upon myself and make it almost impossible to do the little things I took so much care before to accomplish - from waxing the stray facial hairs that irritate me so much, to walking through the nearby park, to sitting blissfully alone in an independent film showing in a theater - but now I am certain that although other things exert their gravitational pull against me, I am the center of the universe. "Mommy, come on!" my 2-year-old daughter calls from the doorway, her head cocked to one side and a grin on her face.

I am there.

Ah, motherhood...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 By No comments


You never know how much you love someone until they throw up on your face. Here is Emmie on her second birthday. I hope she stops vomiting before her third.

Bacon to the Rescue!

I am kind of wanting to chop open my face right now so that I can wear a slab of meat on it.

And then blame it on my husband, of course. Happy Valentine's Day!

One of my co-workers needs a spanking

He's a funny man, but I will take my toddler over to his apartment and let her vomit all over his sheets. She is so cute that he will not mind. But I will have my revenge.

Grammyphonehttp://www2.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif

It just me, or does John Mayer bear a striking resemblance to Edward Scissorhands?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ni how, Beautiful!






I don't have the slightest idea what this person is talking about, but it's one gorgeously designed site.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Zombie Wars: A New Hope

An overheard post just for me:

Emeril's Secret Slave Workforce
Mom: What was it we needed to do again?
Daughter: Get pepper for the zombies.
Mom: Oh, yes, right.

How does pepper deter a zombie attack? I don't know! Someone tell me how to add it to my arsenol!

General defenses include barricading well-stocked living quarters and avoiding the following mistakes:
  • Sheltering in a vehicle to which you do not have the keys
  • Leaving weapons for zombies to find
  • Teaching zombies how to use firearms
  • Giving your only weapon to anyone who is hysterical
  • Retreating to a basement or cellar without taking supplies with you
  • Getting into an elevator in a building infested with zombies
  • Letting personal feelings and arguments get in the way of survival
And for today's lesson, discuss the following logical posit: All zombies are undead, but not all undead are zombies.

It's not "Healthy." It's "Healthful."

It's Friday and that means my trash can is full. See all of the styrofoam food boxes? That's because I'm an environmentalist. And a health nut. Because there's a Diet Coke on top. And that pretty much sums up my nutrition.

Freezy Friday



It's cold in the office. Alice is wearing my mittens and we're all wearing sweaters. I wish I had on an extra pair of socks. Scientists say that one of the reasons that people are so fat these days is because of air conditioning. If that's true, we should be hippos by the end of winter. Sorry, Alice: your diligent fitness routine is all for naught.

Pink Cadillac (well, actually, it was a Ford Escort)

This is one of my favorite stories to tell, because it is so absurd, and yet, 100 percent true.

When I was 24-year-old, I was driving from Milledgeville, Ga., to Athens, Ga. It was 7:45 a.m., and I was hoping desperately that I would not be late, as I had to be at work at 8:30 a.m. in Watkinsville, Ga.

At 7:45 a.m. in middle Georgia, I pretty much had the roads to myself. Every once in a while the stretch of fields, hay bales and forest would give away to a trio or quartet of driveways that wandered back into the treeline. It was rare to be able to see one of the houses from the road, but mailboxes marked these largely dirt tracks as driveways.

I came upon one of these strips and saw from afar that one of the mailboxes had been painted like a cow, and a plastic flamingo had been stuck in the ground next to it. "Oh, great," I thought. "Kitschy crap in the middle of the rural South. Could it be more cliche?" And then, as I drove closer, the flamingo turned it head. It was a real flamingo in the middle of nowhere, Georgia. Shocked, I punched the accelorator accidentally, just as the flamingo spread its wings and began to take flight... right into my car. Had I not sped up, the bird might have escaped the death trap hurtling towards him-or-her at 70 miles an hour. But I did. And pink feathers exploded in the air around me. I screamed as a loud thud vibrated through the car. Swerving too late to avoid the collision, I careened into a shallow ditch while the air settled and the Escort I was driving ground to a halt.

I don't know what the bird was doing in the middle of farmland, the closest zoo two hours away in Atlanta. I don't know why it kamikazied my car. And I don't know what happened to its head. I only know that I was so very happy that a self-service car wash sat on the main drag in Sparta, Georgia. Because I had a lot of bird guts to wash off my car.

And I was definitely late to work.

Batting 100 today.

Yes, sports fans, I meant 100, not 1000. It's been a nutty day already.

First, this morning, as I was rushing through my shower, I knocked myself over. I didn't slip and fall. I was washing my face frantically, because I had to get the baby into school early, when somehow I hooked my finger up my nose and knocked myself over onto my ass in the bathtub. I laid there for a few seconds, amazed, while the showerhead poured water down onto my face. Then, uninjured, I just got back up and finished the shower. But I have a little soreness in my tushy right now.



Then, as I was driving to work, I continued my coughing that I've enjoyed for about a month now. Up came a lovely glob of mucus, and me without my hanky! Heaven forbid. So I slowed the car to a crawl, opened the driver's side door, and hocked it onto the pavement. Except that I missed. I missed the ground. What is it that Douglas Adams said? Learning to fly is just learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss? Anyway, my loogee didn't fly. I splatted onto the car door. Awesome. I had to scrape it off with the outside of a billing envelope.

Telephunk


"Hey, A., what's the number for Sector 7G?" I asked our copy editor.
"I don't think they even have one," she replied. "They're too punk for that."
"Well, I realize how
bourgeois that is, and all, but how do you call them?"
"I just use their myspace page," she said.
I think that is ridiculous. So I call directory assistance.
"HA!" I cry, in triumph.
"What, they have a number?" she asks in amazement.
"Yep. But they probably never answer it. I bet their answering machine message is 'London Calling.'"

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Stealing Material

Sorry about the unoriginality. But this made me laugh: Rob is a commercial saturation diver for Global Divers in Louisiana. He performs underwater repairs on offshore drilling rigs. Below is an E-mail he sent to his sister.

Just another note from your bottom-dwelling brother. Last week I had a bad day at the office. I know you've been feeling down lately at work, so I thought I would share my dilemma with you to make you realize it's not so bad after all. Before I can tell you what happened to me, I first must bore you with a few technicalities of my job.

<> As you know, my office lies at the bottom of the sea. I wear a suit to the office. It's a wet suit. This time of year the water is quite cool. So what we do to keep warm is this: We have a diesel powered industrial water heater. This $20,000 piece of equipment sucks the water out of the sea. It heats it to a delightful temperature. It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose, which is taped to the air hose. Now this sounds like a darn good plan, and I've used it several times with no complaints.

What I do, when I get to the bottom and start working, is take the hose and stuff it down the back of my wet suit. This floods my whole suit with warm water. It's like working in a Jacuzzi. Everything was going well until all of a sudden, my butt started to itch. So, of course, I scratched it. This only made things worse. Within a few seconds my butt started to burn. I pulled the hose out from my back, but the damage was done. In agony I realized what had happened. The hot water machine had sucked up a jellyfish and pumped it into my suit. Now, since I don't have any hair on my back, the jellyfish couldn't stick to it.


However, the crack of my butt was not as fortunate.
When I scratched what I thought was an itch, I was actually grinding the jellyfish into the crack of my butt.

I informed the dive supervisor of my dilemma over the communicator. His instructions were unclear due to the fact that he, along with five other divers, were all laughing hysterically. Needless to say I aborted the dive. I was instructed to make three agonizing in-water decompression stops totaling thirty-five minutes before I could reach the surface to begin my chamber dry decompression. When I arrived at the surface, I was wearing nothing but my brass helmet.


As I climbed out of the water, the medic, with tears of laughter running down his face, handed me a tube of cream and told me to rub it on my butt as soon as I got in the chamber. The cream put the fire out, but I couldn't poop for two days because my butt was swollen shut.


So, next time you're having a bad day at work, think about how much worse it would be if you had a jellyfish shoved up your butt.

What a Great Response!

I love writing about art. Every story I write has the potential to help a starving artist to eat a little better. At least, that's what I tell myself; but I rarely see evidence of that. Until today. This story I wrote featured Broadstrokes Gallery's Share Your Heart With Art event tonight from 5-8 p.m. It's about how art is a gift more precious than jewelry. It was schmaltz, a poorly disguised plea for people to appreciate our local arts community and to support them financially. But, apparently, it worked. Owner Lillie Morris called to tell me that someone she had once worked with called and said, "Pick out something of yours that's red and here's my credit card number." I am so happy for Lillie. And, to be honest, that is the most wonderful thing that can happen to a journalist: to have a positive response from an article you have written. I hope that everyone resoinds to the many pleas to support the arts community this way. Let's face it: money makes the potter's wheel go 'round.

Here are some of the beautiful pieces at Lillie's gallery - of course, a photograph of a painting does it no justice:




Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Geek Guessing Game

Match the staff member to their juvenile delinquency.

Which staffer:
1. Used to skip school and go to “museums and the state capital?"
2. Used to skip school to sneak into school at a nearby university and listen to lectures?
3. Used to skip school and head into Harvard Square?
4. Used to raid a friend’s grandmother’s liquor cabinet and play Frisbee golf?
5. Used to skip school to:



Choices:
A. R.D.
B. S.H.
C. E.B.
D. A.C.
E. J.W.

Did you guess correctly? I'll never tell!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Buggin'

Everyone who has ever met me knows what an irrational and immature fear I have of insects, and spiders, and anything with an exoskeleton... and also slugs. I recognize that they don't have exoskeletons, but I still include them in the "bug" category. I mean, once I ate some escargot, trying to be sophisticated and all, at the now-defunct Le Cafe du Teau. And escargot, as we all know, are snails, and snails are nothing but slugs with shells. But then you take the shells off to eat them, so they're just slugs again... and excuse me while I go vomit.

But, anway, because this is the South, where the predominant lifeform is not human but Palmetto Bug, every once in a while something brown and chitinous will divebomb your head. It's just what happens and most people learn to deal with it by about age 12.

Not me. I have been running and screaming from tiny little terrorists since the day I could crawl. I've been screaming since the day I was born. So imagine how delightful it is to be stuck in a situation where I can neither scream, nor run, nor do much at all to get away from the weensy little wonders whose very presence can make me shudder to death (touching one gives me an instant heart attack). Today, in the middle of a bathroom break, I saw something out of the corner of my eye: a spider! On my scarf!

To put it delicately, getting up simply was not an option. I am proud that I kept the presence of mind to remember that, because normally in that situation there would be running, screaming and flailing. And that, my friends, would have been messy.

My heart beating like conga drums, I froze and reached for a wad of toilet paper. And then the spider moved! Ohgoditwasgoingtoeatmyface!

But it wasn't. I was safe. Because there was no spider. There was only a fuzzy thing on my scarf.

I think everyone I work with - or, at least, the women who use that bathroom - can appreciate the bullet that they dodged when I realized that. Because I wasn't quite "finished."

Monday, February 05, 2007

Bravo!

"Can I change 'Bravo Network' to 'Food Network?'" A. asks.
"Why? Wasn't 'Top Chef' on Bravo?" I ask, concerned that I might have gotten something wrong.
"No, I think it was on 'Food Network,'" she replied.
"I swear it was 'Bravo,'" I insist, because I don't even have cable and all, so I must know so much more than she does. Right.
"'Top Chef' was on 'Bravo,'" E. says.
"Ha! Suck on that, A.!" I crow. She is unfazed.
"No one will be sucking on anything."

Pansy-Ass Cracker

"Does anybody know where C. went?" T. asks
"Yeah," I reply. "He ran out screaming and saying he couldn't take it anymore. And crying. There was a lot of crying."
(general laughter)
"That C. always crying," A. said. "Pansy-ass C."

House of Tarot Cards

The horoscope people just won't let up. Another one came into the office today and said that she doesn't read the (free!) paper since we took out the horoscopes. I didn't realize it was such a dealbreaker for some people. Still, the readership survey showed that very few people read them. But this vocal minority makes it seem like the paper is a mere shell built around the half-page we had previously dedicated to the petty prognostications. I love alliteration, even if it does come off as cheap.

Oddballs

I'm getting more of the Elixer of Life (Diet Coke, breakfast of champions) from the fridge at work when J. comes in.
"We need a new coffee maker now, don't we? Now that we have a big-boy refrigerator," I comment as J. pours himself a cup.
"Yeah, it's been in a bad shape for a long time," he says.
"We should take up a collection. I don't even drink coffee, but I'll throw in some money, just to keep from cleaning up the mess it leaves," I say.
"You're a writer and you don't drink coffee?" he says, in mock horror.
"I know. It's unamerican," I chuckle. "I tried when I was younger, but I pretty much was drinking cream and sugar with a little bit of coffee flavoring - and I still didn't like it."
"Yeah, I drink a coffee milkshake," he said. "But I thought all writers, graphic designers and photographers had to drink coffee," he grins.
"No, that's a graduation requirement that Augusta State waived just for me," I say.
"Well, I'm a musician and I don't drink," he says as we make our way back to the office.
"Me neither," I say. "I guess that means we'll live long and boring lives."

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Po-po WOW

A RCSD was telling stories from work yesterday:
"I got a call to respond to a domestic dispute once. After so many years, you know, you get used to saying, 'Oh, I'm responding to a domestic,' and just cruising along. When I got there, I found a woman on her front lawn who'd been stabbed 17 times. You'd think the dispatcher could have relayed that information to me."

Yes, that seems fairly important.

Friday, February 02, 2007

She's only 17...


Sing that headline to the tune of Winger's horrible hit (oh, yeah, Kelli, I said it. Cry over your boyfriend to someone else).

This chick cracks me up. And she's only 17. But she'll show you snarkiness like you've never seen... Anyhoodle... methinks she will be giving the college boys a serious run for their money. I hope they appreciate her like she deserves.

"February 8-14 (oh god I do not like Valentine’s Day...I don’t care if I’m single or not - it was clearly a holiday created to ensure that middle-aged men will buy their estranged wives diamonds and overpriced flowers once a year. Every time a guy gives me chocolates I’m like, "Thanks, you ass. Now I have to go to the gym for an extra FIFTEEN HOURS." This is because, if chocolate is put in front of me, I will eat it. This is a prime example of the random musings I earlier warned you about."

By the way, an older (hopefully wiser and less permed) Winger put out a new CD last year.

I kind of went on a Winger kick, there, but I hope the anti-Valentine's Day sentiment is not lost on everyone.