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

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blue Light Special

I just totally, deservedly got pulled over. I ran a red light right in front of a cop at the corner of Crawford and Walton Way. It was my fault, one of those times where being a mom and being, well, ME don't really gel.

Emmie was caterwalling in the back seat. Chinese food was falling over in the floorboard. A stack of books was sliding off the passenger seat. And I looked up and suddenly there was a yellow light in my face. AH! Brake, accelerator, brake, accelerator - aw, shit.

I check my rearview and, OF COURSE, RCSD is right behind me. Crap. I pulled over in the gas station parking lot before he could even get his blue lights on. He pulled in right behind me. Meeeehhhhhhh!

I took my seatbelt off and put it back on, and then realized that he probably didn't have enough room to pull his car in behind me. I pulled forward about two inches before I heard BANG BANG on the side of my car. Shit! I can't do anything right! I bet I just ran over his foot!

I flung open the door. "Yes, sir?"
"Were you just going to drive off?"
"NO! I was just thinking you couldn't get in the parking lot and I..."
"Are you okay?"
"Um, yeah, but I thought for a second that I ran over your foot."
"Not yet."
Oh, gee, thanks.
"Do you have your license?"
"Uh, yeah..."
I look in my purse. In my wallet. In the console. Fuck! Where is it?
"Ha HA!" I cry in triumph and brandish it like a sword. Suddenly it occurs to me that it's probably not a good idea to pretend-rapier a police officer. I drop my arm meekly as he examines it, the corners of his mouth twitching. Emmie waves merrily from the back seat. The last of the books slides off and lands on my foot.
He looks at me stuffing things back into place, giving Emmie the pacifier she dropped, forgetting that I didn't put the car in park and letting it jump forward.
"AH!" I shriek. "Oh, god, I'm sorry. Are you okay?"
"Yeah..." He watches me for a minute and then sighs and hands me back my license.
"I see your wedding ring," he says. "Can I suggest that you let your husband do some of these things in the future?"
"Um, well, okay. But he cleaned the house today."
"Mmhmm. Look in the closets. That's where I usually put things," he says as he turns to go. "And drive carefully. Especially when there's a cop behind you."

Well, I dunno. If they're all this nice, I might have to drive dangerously.


This is Alice concentrating.

This is Alice telling me to go screw myself.

It's not the chef's choice. He was born that way.

AUGUSTA, GA. - I'm desperate to find a story for "In the Mix," because Intern J. has fucked off. Again. So I'm looking for stupid questions to ask some poor, unsuspecting server. A.W. had suggested Homokaasu. So I go there.

Let me suggest that you do not.

"What's wrong?" A.C. asks.
"Uhh... I think this is not the right website." I want to cover my eyes, but then I can't see the close icon on the pop-up windows that are steadily overtaking my screen.
"What is it?" she asks.
"Homokaasu," I answer. "I think that means gay porn in Japanese."
"No, it's like in sushi. It means 'chef's choice," she says.
"Well... I don't think we're talking about the same thing," I say, and turn the screen towards her. "And I'm not having THAT for lunch, no matter what the chef says."

She meant "Omakase."

This is not even close to the last time I will annoy the universe with photos of my kid

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 By

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Atcher service

AUGUSTA, GA. - So Scott was out at the Coliseum Authority meeting, covering a group of people so frequently inept that the organization would probably function better if they forgot to hold meetings at all. He had just opened the door and hopped in his company car when a man jumped into the back seat.

"Augusta Mall," he says.
Scott chances a look back. The man is well-dressed, wearing a suit, and seems polite. Most certainly not a hold-up.

"Excuse me, sir?"
"Augusta Mall, please," the man says.
"I'm... I'm not going to the mall," Scott stammers.
"Well, can you call me someone who is?"
"Sir, did you read the signs on the side of the car?"
"No," the man looks irritated. "I didn't bother to read your advertising."

Most of you have not seen the clown car. Every time Scott gets in, I expect an army of midgets to spill out. I saw an elephant park it for him once. It bristles with antennae to signal the clown car mothership. It has a spinning yellow emergency light on the rooftop. It is plastered from trunk to hood with varying versions of the radio station's logo and call letters:

!!!!!! It proclaims to the masses.

But this man thought he was a cab.

If it had been me, I'd have taken his butt the 10 minutes to the mall and charged him $20.
But Scott has more pride.

And fewer $20 bills.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sticking in Your Brain...

Monday, September 24, 2007 By 1 comment


This little guy was in a bush outside of the Ruby Tuesday's in North Augusta. I was interviewing the To-Go 'Ho there and was positioning her for a picture. I thought she was going to jump out of her skin when she saw the praying mantis.


"I'm going to post more video to my blog later, but it just takes so long to upload the motherfuckers."
"Nice language, Mary Poppins."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

How do you solve a problem like my Emmie?

Saturday, September 22, 2007 By No comments

Friday, September 21, 2007

I feel this man's pain.

Touche! via E-mail

Austin Rhodes: Stacey, Can I get an OFF THE RECORD AND NON-REPEATABLE preview of how I did in the Metro best contest? - Austin.

Me: Austin, I think I can safely say that you are the most obnoxious DJ in the CSRA - but I can't tell you how our readers voted! - Stacey "So Pleased With Myself Right Now" Hudson

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just an observation

Sending threatening e-mails to journalists isn't an original idea, nor does it faze us much... especially when you send it to the WRONG JOURNALIST AT THE WRONG NEWSPAPER.


Local, Original Art at a Fraction of the Gallery Price

Friday, Sept. 28, from 5-7 p.m., the Metro Spirit will hold a reception in our offices at 700 Broad Street. The paintings will be sold to whomever has posted the highest bid at 7 p.m.

Requiem for a Dream

Tom got a bag o' treats for his birthday. Snack bags galore! He passes them out to us all.
"What should I put on Angel's desk?" he asks.
"Cheezits!" Amy cries. "For Corey!"
"Yes!" we all agree.
Erika raises a Cheezit in the air: "I eat this Cheezit in the name of Corey Pein!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

TV Prep: A Dance Marathon

I left my notes at work. I have an ear infection that blew out one of my eardrums. I have a notorious tendency to stammer, babble like a maniac and laugh like a hyena when I'm nervous. I know! Let's put me on TV!

Sweet. As if I haven't shown my ass enough in this town.

So this morning, I pluck my eyebrows and jump in the shower. A word to the unwise: DO NOT exfoliate right after you do this. 'Cause ouch.

I dry my hair and panic. It's not working! The hair! I mean, it never works, but at least it only screws off in front of 15 people, not - hey, how many people watch this show, anyway? As hair goes, my headful is the lazy brother-in-law who can't hold a job OR his liquor.

Desperate, I run out and point to my head. "Eh!" I squeak.
Scott turns away and holds up his hand for silence. The cell phone. It is stapled to his ear. Soon, it will be shoved up his... nose.
I run back in the bathroom and hack at my bangs. Meh. MEH! Marginally better.

Makeup. Uhh... where is it? I can't even remember the last time I saw my makeup bag. There! It's in the closet. What IS half this crap, and why did I buy it?!

Let's see... green tinted concealer to hide the weird redness in my whole face. Brown eyeshadow because that's all I have. Eyeliner? Eyeliner? Anyone? Bueller? Nothing. Fine. Moving on. Ooh, the cool mascara that's supposed to make you look like someone glued a squirrel to your eyelids. Hmm. Not bad.

I run out and point to my face. Scott gives me a thumbs up with his free hand.
"Mmmhmm. Mmmhmm. Yeah," he comments into his phone. I'm going to give that thing a name and file a lawsuit against it for alienation of affection.

Perfume (because you never know who is harboring an old Smell-o-Vision) and brush the hair. Gah! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! More hacking at the bangs... ehhhhhhhhh.... Fuck it. I run out and point to my hair. Scott gives me a thumbs up. I'm not sure he even knows what he's approving.

I run in and put on my dress. I run out and model it for him. I'm pretty sure Scott's thumb has been up the whole time (what it's been up, I dunno). Hello? Are you even looking at me? Bootyshake... Macarena... Tap Dance... Hello? Nothing? Cabbage Patch... Dirty Bird... Moonwalk...

Hey! Boobies!
Ha! You're lookin' now aren't you?

I run in and grab pantyhose and run out and hold them up. Hose? Bare leg? Hose? Bare leg? No, boobies aren't an option. Eh, screw it. I'll wear hose.

I run in and grab shoes and run out and hold them up. Red? Black? Red? Black? Thumbs up from Scott. Big help. Red, it is.

I run out the door with more makeup on than Joan Collins and enough support undergarments to fix a bridge in Minneapolis. I get to the station and realize I've forgotten my notes. Fine! I can wing it!

As I get out of the car, the wind blows my wrap skirt open. Great. Thanks. I don't think anyone saw that...

I rush up to the receptionist and give her a winning (red) smile.
"Hi! I'm here to make a fool of myself in front of all of Augusta!"
She doesn't even look up.
"What?" she asks.
"Uh... noon show with Liz Hill," I stutter.
She opens the door and points: "Through there."

I see a friendly face as I enter. But I can't remember her name.
"Hi!" I sing.
"Hey," she says with a slight smile. "Through there," she points and goes back to her work.

A man stands when I enter. He's a nice man, but he thinks his project is the only story in town. He expects us to print every update he has. We spend a long uncomfortable time talking about whether "Angela" will write the story he gave her. That's not even her name.

Liz Hill walks in and schmoozes us for a minute. I'd feel better if she wasn't so fucking pretty. Can I sit next to the ugly anchor, please?

More talking while we watch the monitors of the various studio feeds. The wind is blowing Tina Terry's hair all crazy as she stands in a parking lot somewhere, and Liz actually does a booger check. Yes! Love it!

Oh, crap. I need to do a booger check, too!

Somebody comes out to put on my microphone. But he's afraid to touch my shirt. The boobs are FIERCE! Then I'm walking in the studio.

Wait. I didn't fix my hair for this side! Can I switch? Nope. They're already counting down.
Great. I'll just look bald.
Where do I put my feet? No one can see my cute shoes!
Wait... is she already talking to me? Oh, is it my turn already? Uh...
Mumble mumble "super fun!"
Fuck, what camera am I supposed to be looking into?
Mumble mumble "like..."
Hey, there's the monitor! Jeez, how many chins can one person have? Oh, shit, that's me!
Mumble mumble "awesome!"
And then it's over.

That's it? Seriously?

I crack a joke to Liz. "Hey! No vomiting!"
She's talking to someone else.
No one notices me leave.

I walked in there like some bumpkin wearing overalls and chawin' on a stalk of hay all "Imma beon TeeeVeee" and I left with the certainty that 12 whole people saw me.

Twelve? Sweet! I'm famouser!

Television will never be the same

So I did my first live TV broadcast on the retiree-heavy noon show on NBC Augusta. Clearly, they were desperate for guests. But I didn't get all dressed up for nothing. It was an incredible two minutes, one that will be remembered in Augusta history.

Okay, well, I didn't vomit or pass out, so in my mind that was a good day.

I got home later and wanted Scott's analysis.
"What did you think?" I asked.
"You looked great!" he answered. ...
"Well, you would have looked much better if I'd been standing beside you."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

To Emerson

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 By 1 comment

This month, you learned to act. It was as I feared: your father's DNA has taken control.

"You hear it?" you have begun frequently asking, hands to your cheeks.

I stop and listen. "No, sweetheart, what is it?"

"You hear Pizza?"

No. I definitely don't hear pizza, although food does often call to me. Thus: my butt.

Anyway, they've nicknamed you "the actress" at day care, because you don't so much converse with people there as you do perform in a one-woman play which we will call "Emerson: The Musical." You tap dance, frequently burst into songs completed by a "big finish" with a loud and prolonged final note, and if we start to sing along with you, you throw up your hand and sternly declare, "No! MY turn!"

Just so you know, Woozie: It will always be your turn.

More dang hippies... who at least can read...

AUGUSTA, GA. - So we lost the super great Corey Pein to Willamette Week (oh, screw 'em with their Pulitzer Prize. Lah-di-dah), but we've been reading his stuff online. Can't live without the sly wit he brings to his stories.

Yet, even more interesting are the comments people leave at the end of his stories. I'm accustomed to the Augusta Comical's readers leaving comments that can be categorized in two ways. One, "You're obviously a liberal and why do you hate America," or two, "You're obviously stupid and why do you HATE AMERICA?!"

But apparently the Portlandish way is to don a tweed coat and take out their organic pipe weed and ruminate on punctuation. What’s up with the grammar Nazis up there? Corey used the word "ubiquitous" in a story, and I'm pretty sure he used it correctly. But not according to the smarty-pants Portlanders. There was a whole series of comments about his use of the word. “While I agree he used the word incorrectly... blah blah history of the suffix '-ous' blah blah 'I'm so smart' blah blah 'Pity the poor moronic journalist' blah blah 'food not bombs.'”

I don't care about their hippie crap. It's just that they aren’t even worrying about the content of his very fine stories; they’re focusing on ONE SINGLE WORD.

It’s like they can’t see the forest for the spotted owls.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hee Hee... I mean, Hey!

"Did you tell Scott you're going to be on NBC tomorrow?" A.C. asks me.

I laugh. "No. I'm not looking forward to it."

I can hear her chuckling to herself: "Is he going to be jealous? Is he going to insist on standing next to you?"

We all laugh.

Hmmm. Maybe.

(luh-boo honey!)

Slow Speed Chase

I'm trying to get Scott off the computer so that I can look up providers on my insurance company's website, but despite the fact that I have lain my Diet Coke and breakfast on the desk in front of him and am standing over him and that I have said "I need to look up doctors" he cannot be torn away from the headlines on

"I can't believe this," he says, staring at the screen. "OJ is in jail without bail. How is he going to find the real killer?"
I laugh. "Where else can he possibly look? He's exhausted all of the golf courses in the world."
Scott nods. "Well, they'll give him a mirror in jail."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Frickin' Hippies

I lurves me some New Moon Cafe, like really a lot. But I didn't know they had breakfast sandwiches. I stopped this morning to grab me some of that. BUY LOCAL, PEOPLE! McDonald's doesn't need anymore help!

These are about the nicest people I've ever seen in a restaurant at 7:30 a.m. Cheerful. Pleasant. Happy to see me. Happy to be at work. Just super great attitudes all around. I didn't catch the Bearded Wonder's name, but I think I want to marry him. (Sorry, Scott, but you have to admit you're kind of grumpy in the mornings - except you were pretty great this morning. Hmmm... Premonition? I don't know. Anyhoodle...)

But why does it take so long to get food in this town? I mean, I know we're not going anywhere, really, but eventually I should get to work. Like, 15 minutes later, I get my bacon-egg-and-cheese.

Same thing happened at Mellow Mushroom today. Took them 10 minutes to take my order over the phone, then another 10 while they got the manager to run the credit card, then they told me it would be 30 minutes before our sandwiches and salads were ready, then I went there and waited another 30 minutes and for Jeebus sake, people! Just toss my salad already!


Monday, September 10, 2007

We're joking about all of T.G.'s many packages of Saltines. His wife jokes that you can always find him by following the empty American cheese wrappers. It morphs into the idea of eating crackers when you're sick. I don't know how, but that's where we went.

"Crackers?" T. asks.
"And Sprite," A.C. and I agree.
"Crackers and Sprite?" he questions.
"Yep. If you can't keep those down, my mother's wisdom said, you can't keep anything down," I laughed.
"It doesn't stain if you throw it up," J.C. tossed in. Thanks for that, by the way.
"Okay, crackers and Sprite." T. says, shaking his head.
"And bananas," A.C. says.
"Bananas?!" I ask.
"Banana popsicles, maybe," J.C. says.
"Well, no, bananas," she insists. "The doctor always said bananas, crackers, Sprite, applesauce..."
"Applesauce?!" I repeat. (You'd think I have a hearing problem).
"That's those Statesboro doctors," J.C. jokes.
"Is that where the doctor and the vet are the same person?" A.W. asks.

At least he's not also the taxidermist.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Brains... need brains...!

I've been sick and a little loopy as a result. When Scott got up this morning I had a chance to run out to the car to get my decongestant without Emmie screeching, "No go work, Mama! I come too!"

So I stumble outside (bright light! bright light!) and push the button to unlock the car. Nothing. I stop and frown in confusion and consternation. I push the button again. Nothing. I move to unlock the car manually, and the key doesn't fit. Suddenly I realize: I'm holding the television remote control in my hand!

Cackling and looking around to see if any of our neighbors have seen my stupidity, I sprint back inside.

"Hey, honey," I call when I open the door," oddly enough, this won't unlock the car door."
Scott doesn't even blink: "I'll check the batteries."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I am Me

So I'm at the bank today, which sits catty corner from my office. The tellers can watch me walk from the front door of the newspaper office to the counter without missing but a second of my stroll. I know all of these tellers. They know where I work. I go in this branch - and only this branch about 3 times a month. There is never a line. They recognize me by sight and many of them recognize me by name, too.

"So because you're completing a counter transaction today, Ms. McGowen, I'll need to see a secondary form of I.D.," the teller says to me, with a robotic smile.

A what?

"Uhhh...." I pause, trying to think.

"Your Social Security card, a credit card...?" she prompts. Nope. Got nothin'. I don't carry my SSC and I don't have a credit card.

"Your insurance card?" she inquires politely. It's in the car.

"A bill?" I pay them all online.

"Well, it doesn't have to have your photo on it..." she muses, while I rifle through my wallet. I come across a small bit of the documentation from when some doofus smashed in my car window and stole my purse out of the trunk.

"Hey! How about my Richmond County Sheriff's Office Evidence Tag?" I laugh, holding it out to her. Her eyebrows go up as she examines it.

"Yep, that'll do," she grins, and hands me a $20.

Hey... I guess crime does pay.

What's that Smell?

...and my perfume today is Mango-Orange. No, I didn't choose it. I was unwittingly sprayed by the automatic air freshener at Emerson's day care.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Long Trip

Long story short - though more blog entries are to come - we managed to turn a 3 and 1/2 hour trip back from Myrtle Beach into a 5 hour trip back from Myrtle Beach through my husband and mine's collective stupidity. By the time we got back, it was 10:15 p.m., and Emerson had completely skipped her nap for the day.

Ten minutes before we pulled into the driveway, she was babbling away. Suddenly: silence. I looked back. She was fast asleep.

When we pulled into the driveway, I got out and unbuckled her many many seatbelts. Her eyes popped open and she gave a hearty laugh.

"I jus' closaeyes, mama. No sleepies!" she explained.

Ah. That explains the snoring.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Translation: Fun's Over

Saturday, September 01, 2007 By No comments

Emerson was lying in bed with us, unbeknown to Scott. He rolled over and she patted him on the face, startling him into wakefulness. "Hey, little girl. How did you get in here?"

"Iba choo an' den a banket an' I kime a feeno inda for a BID one an' den a bear and a ayyigatowr an' a chooma-chooma toona feeba inda howe."

"In other words, you climbed out of your crib?"