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

Friday, February 29, 2008

We Suck a Little

I was standing by H.Y.'s desk when J.C. answered his phone.
"How may I help you? Mmmhmm... Well, I'll be honest. I'm not sure I'm the best person to help you."
He glanced in my direction. I shook my head vigorously. He grinned.
"Let me transfer you to Stacey Hudson."
"Dammit!" I flipped him double birds.
"He's on line one."
I skipped over to my desk.
"This is Stacey. How may I help you?"
"Yeah, I wanted to order The Metro Spirit for my son. He's in prison."
I peered over at J.C. to make sure he wasn't crank calling me. He didn't seem to be, but you can never be too sure around here. (At the moment, J.C. is using his speakers for evil sound effect torture on the rest of us. It's repeating "Grey... Sweater!" in robotic tones. I get the message, already! I'll buy another color besides grey! And let's just say that B.L. is in for all kinds of telephonic fun when he returns from vacation)
"Excuse me, sir, are you saying that you would like to order a subscription?"
"Yes."
"Well, you know, if they allow him access to a computer, he can read us online at no charge."
"No, I don't think they do."
"Okay, well, I don't think that we usually do subscriptions, but let me give you to M.F. He might be able to help you."
I put him on hold and grin.
"M., line one!"

That was 10 minutes ago. He's still on the line with this guy.

UPDATE: Murphy managed to parlay a prank phone transfer into an actual story. Where's the funny in that?

I LOVE This Guy!


From: Michael Thames [e-mail redacted]
To: Stacey Hudson
Re: Victory is mine!

Just so you know...my name is no longer Michael Thames...

It is now Vorgon, Destroyer Of Freakishly Large Black Widow Spiders!

I laugh in the multi-eyed face of Shelob and her ilk! BWA HAHA!!

....and yes. It's that kind of morning.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yum!


AUGUSTA, GA. - I know this isn't a grocery blog, but a friend of mine recommended this meal when we were browsing through EarthFare this past Sunday. Was she ever right! I love the straightforwardness: it’s Tikka Masala sauce and Paneer and nothing else.

There are 6-7 one inch cubes of paneer cheese that microwave tender. The sauce is a mild, tomato-based sauce that is rich and a creamy consistency. It's unbelievable. If you’ve never had Indian sauce, anything with masala is the place to start. But plan on serving this frozen meal over rice. We didn't, and it's very saucy, so I grabbed a whole wheat tortilla out of the fridge - it was delish!

My Bad

I generated three whines this week, people, (THREE!!!) because I identified Blaine Prescott as the frontman for the long-defunct band DieAgnostic, or however the hell you sPeLl iT. He was the guitarist. I got that wrong.

I apologize. It happens every once in a while, because I didn't live here 20 years ago when the band was still together. I mean, not everyone lives and dies by the Soul Bar's message board - no offense, Coco and Jayson. I think it's cool. But I do have other things going on in my life.

And, also, I didn't grow up here. I came here from Atlanta, where there are so many bands that they come and go like traffic on I-75 - Except for Impotent Sea Snakes, which has existed in some incarnation or another since I was about 10 years old, and was once featured on "Jerry Springer." It was all kinds of trashy awesomeness.

But back to my point: I don't know anything about DieAgnostic (which has a myspace page - who knew bands that were no longer together still kept their myspace pages going? But it took me seven Google pages in to find it, so sue me if I didn't have all frickin' day), because I didn't major in History of Bar Music in Augusta. I majored in communications, and generally speaking, I do that pretty effectively, with spellchecking and all that fancy stuff.

I did get Blaine's employment descriptor wrong. Still, three whines on one part of one sentence? A.W. is betting it was the other three former members of the band, who apparently have over-sized egos.

"[Name redacted] asked them if they would open for this band he was in a few years ago, and they were like, 'No, that would be a step back for us to open for another band.'"

And when the drummer sets up at the show, he had a drum kit on which you could fit an entire family of narcoleptics.

"I was like, who does he think they are? Dokken?"

Dear God, let us hope they aspire to be more.

Punk'd

Ed Turner walked into the office to chat for a minute. He and the band, Number 9, have an upcoming series of shows to benefit the CSRA Humane Society. As it turns out, he walks his dogs down on the canal a few times a week and was stopped by NBC Augusta reporter Navideh Forghani. She asked if he would mind being interviewed. "Of course not," he responded.

And when the show ran, his name appeared at the bottom of the screen as Arthur Vandelay. That's actually the name cult figures from the Seinfeld series, a moniker that is so popular, it also inspired a band's name.

Ed says he's been getting calls from from friends and family members, whining about laughing so hard they're about to wet themselves. Heck, my goal in life is to find something that makes me laugh that hard!

See a clip of the report here.


Enjoy this clip of Ed Turner and Number 9 performing
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

Calling Mother Nature...

It began about two weeks ago.
"Uh! My allergies are killing me!" I said to A.C.
"I know," she said. "Usually I have a couple of months of relief left this time of year."

And yesterday, when I went to get in my car after a long day at work, there was a fine sprinkle of yellow dust on my windshield. Pollen. In February.

A friend came down from Atlanta, and we took Emerson for a walk around the neighborhood. "Look, that's a Japanese Maple," she said.

I noted that few buds were on the tree, because all of its flowers were fully opened. And then I started noticing other Japanese Maples around town - I'd never noticed that Augusta had so many!

I was reminded of my hometown, Conyers, Ga. It claims to be the "Crepe Myrtle Capital of the World." That because we planted them all while I was in Campfire Girls & Boys. Every time something happened - someone died, a library branch opened, Arbor Day came around, or we passed a blade of grass - my mom, who was our troupe leader, would run over to Pike Nurseries and pick up a friggin' tree. Out came the shovel and I knew I was digging a hole somewhere. I wonder if some little girl in Augusta's Girl Scout troupes had an experience like that, and perhaps that little girl has a blinding hatred of gardening, too.

Anyway, could someone wake Mother Nature and ask her if she could get to work? The party, madam, is over. Toss all the vodka bottles and find yourself a nice hangover cure. We want winter back.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Patio Homes - Bah!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 By 1 comment

AUGUSTA, GA. - My husband and I have our sights set on buying a house. But there’s something missing from all of the homes that companies are building these days: a real front porch.

We don’t want the kind of tacked-on fencing that barely fits a rocking chair, bound by cement and topped by a two-by-four that doesn’t even keep off the rain.

I remember my mother sitting on the concrete creation that served as our front porch, on a cane-back bench, watching over the holly bushes as we played in the front yard. Those bushes always got the better of our whiffle ball tournaments.

But the real frustration came from the three feet of space that separated the outer wall of the house to the railing that ended the porch. You could read hardly a newspaper comfortably. Mama always wanted a big porch.

And from that experience, Scott and I know that we want one of the old Southern-style porches, verandah or not, that fits five rocking chairs, a swing and a lawnmower underneath. We want to look under the porch for lost balls and misplaced mittens. We want ceiling fans for the summer heat and room for running rugrats. We want a real front porch, not these tacked-on afterthoughts that people only use for salespeople and unwelcome company.

A real front porch gets practical. It’s an outside haven when the family inside gets too much. It’s also an inside haven when the outside weather gets to rough. It’s extra storage space, extra seating and extra protection for windows against the brutality of the Southern summer sun.

A real front porch gets used. You can look at the railing and see the sweat rings left by years of sweet tea glasses. If you bend down low, you’ll see crayon markings on the side of the house where the kids got a little creative. There’s always a book sitting beside one of the chairs.

I remember my little brother running Matchbox cars along the edges of an acquaintance’s vast wooden porch. It’s where the adults sent us when they wanted to talk about naughty stuff. Our cue to cut through the hallway to the front door was the phrase “little pitchers.” The front porch was actually the best place to hear these stories. We could still hear them; they just didn’t know that, so they spoke as loud as they pleased.

A real front porch gets dirty. Southerners leave their gardening shoes on the front porch (and on the back porch, sometimes you find their overalls) alongside the kids’ baseball bats and butterfly nets. The front porch is where snap beans get their snap. Mudrooms are for northerners and devotees of Martha Stewart. Southerners have porches and worship Paula Deen.

But it’s not just an issue of regional culture. Porches are practical.

I spent the majority of my childhood tromping through the woods with friends, chasing crawdads and poking each other with sticks; swinging into creek beds from heroic heights and discovering haunted places. Many a day my mother made us strip and hose off in the back yard. The back porch (concrete abomination that it was) kept her from having to tear out the living room carpet — and her hair.

A real front porch gets noisy. Wood planks creak at night, making sure that teenagers coming home too late don’t go undetected. Wind chimes alert residents to changes in the weather. Children pound across them to alert grandparents of an approaching attack. The rhythm of a porch seat swinging lets kids know where to find their parents at dusk. Yes, some people find the squeal of a porch swing irritating; but it can just about lull me to sleep.

Speaking of sleep, in the South B.A.C. (before air conditioning), many homes used to have what they called a “sleeping porch,” a covered section of the house on the side that got the least amount of direct sunlight. In torrid summer weather when the interior of their homes got too hot to breathe, families napped or slept entire nights without blankets n these screened-in wonders. At night, cool breezes dulled the humidity and allowed people to get comfortable at the end of a long day.

In fact, the whole deck phenomenon of the 90s and early 00s was just an extension of the inherent knowledge that a porch is the great connector between any family and the outside world. But the reason those wooden structures are falling out of favor is because the back yard simply isn’t the front. And the front is where all the action is. It invites both visitors and voyeurs, because a front porch is as perfect for watching people as it is for hosting them.

Seventeen Cents

Dear Stacey K McGowen-Hudson: This email confirms that you have received a donation of $0.17 USD from Amber Carlson.

Gee, thanks, Amber. Please donate to the McGowen-Hudson Fund for Underprivileged Children (It's really just one child - ours - but see the orange button on the top right of the page). With a few more generous souls like this one, we might make ONE WHOLE DOLLAR!

The Pacifier: Day Two

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 By No comments

Much to my delight, my husband got stuck with baby duty (and doody, hee!) the second day of our anti-pacifier campaign. Mondays are my late days (Tuesdays are his) and it just so happened that it fell this way.

I came home at 9 p.m. fully expecting Emmie to be in full-on hissy fit mode. I pictured my husband frantically trying to quiet her, when like Glenda the Good Witch I swoop in and rescue them both. I pulled up, took a deep breath, and swept into the living room like an opera singer.

Only the dog - and silence - greeted me.

Scott came in from the kitchen.
"Hey, honey. How was your day?"
"Fine... long... where's the baby?"
"Asleep."
"What do you mean 'asleep?'" I eyed him suspiciously.
"As in 'in her bed.' Asleep."
"She's not crying?"
"No."

What was wrong here? Ah-ha! He must have found an errant pacifier around the house. We were bound to stumble across one eventually.

"You found a chupo!" I exclaimed, narrowing my eyes.
"No. She asked about her chupo once when I picked her up, and hasn't asked since. She got all of the smiles on her responsibility chart, brushed her teeth and everything, and went right to sleep."
"Oh... well, good work, honey!" I feign delight.

In truth, sometimes I want him to be an incompetent. Every once in a while, I'd like a little helplessness on his part when it comes to parenting. He never is. I couldn't ask for a better partner with whom to raise Emerson. Damn him and his awesomeness.

Oh, well. I can always complain about the laundry.

Sometimes I Hate Science

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 By No comments

A report by Sharon Begley,Posted Monday, February 25, 2008 4:35 PM on Newsweek.com, says that "antidepressants only work on a small number of the most severely depressed patients, and that the majority (80%) of people are helped just as much by a placebo."

The specifics: "There was virtually no difference in the response to drug vs. placebo of patients who suffered moderate levels of depression, and a small difference for patients with very severe depression. Even that small difference was clinically insignificant. That means that the difference was so small that government health authorities do not recognize it as a meaningful improvement: on a standard scale of depression, patients should improve by 3 points, but the spread between placebo and drug was only 1.8."

"The reason for the tiny, or nonexistent, differences? Patients respond so well to placebo—to the mere thought that something might be helping them—that there was little room for an actual drug to do more."

Now, I wonder if they're going to do a study on the people on antidepressants who are MORE SEVERELY DEPRESSED because they read this story and now no longer believe that their antidepressants work? Measure that, smarty pants science reporter lady!

The World's Shortest Fairy Tale - Thanks, Randy!

Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl 'Will you marry me?' The girl said:'NO!' And the girl lived happily ever-after and went shopping, dancing, camping, drank martinis, always had a clean house, never had to cook, did whatever the hell she wanted, never argued, didn't get fat, traveled more, had many lovers, didn't save money, and had all the hot water to herself. She went to the theater, never watched sports, never wore friggin' lacy lingerie that went up her ass, had high self-esteem, never cried or yelled, felt and looked fabulous in sweat pants and was pleasant all the time.

THE END

Monday, February 25, 2008

There Will Be Blood

Monday, February 25, 2008 By 1 comment

Emerson has been latched onto her pacifier (that we call a "chupo") since about her 5th day home from the hospital. We've never been able to separate her from it. We were surprised at that. We had made a pact: NO PACIFIERS long before she was born.

At four (or... five?) months old, you couldn't pry the thing out of her sleeping hands.

Oh, how the high and mighty fall - and quick! After the first few days of inconsolability, I referred back to "Happiest Baby on the Block" DVD, which recommends that parents view pacifiers as part of the natural instinct of a baby. Since I wasn't able to breast-feed, and felt horribly guilty about it (and since during the few moments of the day when I was not kicking myself for failing to produce milk like the proper bovine I should be, someone from la Leche league was just frickin' bound to stop by and chastize me for "making that choice;" I mean, did they have me on a schedule? Did they synchronize their watches?!), I eventually gave in to the pacifier.

Soon, it became the central object around which our lives revolved. "Where is the chupo? Do you have a chupo? Have you washed the chupos? DearGodIcan'tfindthechupo!" That was three years ago. From time-to-time, we'd toy with the idea of ending the chupo. The pediatrician said, "break the habit before she's 18 months." Then she went into day care. Then he said to break her before she hit 2 years old. Then she couldn't have a chupo in the 2-year-old room, but she needed it at night to sleep. Then he said, "Break the habit before she is 3 years old."

Emerson and chupo at 14 months... or somewhere roundabout there. Why is her head so huge?!

Well, her third birthday came and went a month ago. And she still had that idiotic thing stuck to her face. Of course, it's my fault for not breast-feeding her (Are you all thinking about my boobs now? Stop it!).

And then, the day came. We had run out of chupos. I think we left the last one in Fort Discovery's theatre. It might be in their parking garage. Whatever; it was gone. So last night, at bedtime when she asked for her chupo, I told her: "I'm sorry, honey, but I can't find it. We'll find it tomorrow."

Immediately she sprang out of bed, palms in the air: "We gotta fine it! We gotta fine da chupo!" I gently put her back in the bed.
"No, doodle; I'm sorry. The chupos are all gone. We'll have to find them tomorrow."
She looked up at me, eyes wide. "Dey aw' gone?"
"Yes, doodle. Maybe we'll find it tomorrow. But you can sleep without it, just like you do at school."
She stared up at me. It was as if I'd lapsed into Mandarin. "We gotta fine' da chupo!"
"It's time for sleepies now, roodle-doo. Let's lay down and close our eyes."
"NOoooooooooo!" she wailed. "I nee' my chuuuuuuupooooooooo!"
"No, ma'am," I said, more firmly. "We will look for it tomorrow. But tonight, you will just have to live without it."

As you can see here, she's happy with a lollipopstuck in her hair so long as there's a chupo in her mouth.

Oh, my god, the screaming. I just knew the neighbors were going to call the police. But she's not usually like this. She hadn't had a nap yesterday, and we'd been to the HiFi Felix Show and Fort Discovery and Target and finally had just run out of energy. If there was one day that we should have avoided the chupo issue, that was it. But it was too late. I soothed her as best I could, and then closed her door.

It wasn't until I could hear her gasping for breath that I thought we should go check on her. She really was hysterical. After a while, Scott leaped up and grabbed his keys. "I will find her a chupo if I have to drive to Wal-Mart."

I sighed, hauled myself off the couch and crawled into her toddler bed with her. She snuggled up next to me, spooned in the crook of my arm, and sniffled and hiccuped until she was more calm. "Mama, I needa chupo," she said, softly, plaintively.
"I know, sweetie. But we don't have one right now. Mama will stay her with you."
"Chupo is for little babies?" she asked, the way an adult might when searching for the meaning of life. And, truthfully, this might be the most demanding thing we've ever asked of her.
"Yes, I guess so."
"Mama, I a little baby," she said, and rubbed her cheek on my shoulder.
"You are?"
"Uh-huh."
"You'll always be mama's little baby."
"Yeah..." she snuggled up next to me again. I laid there for a minute in the silence, smelling her hair and trying to find room for my butt on the tiny bed. Suddenly, she turned over and patted my face in the darkness.
"I lub you," she said, and I could see moonlight glinting off her teeth as she smiled.
"I love you, too, woozie," I said, happy to chop my butt right off if that's what it took to make it through the night with her in this bed.
But sooner than I expected, she was fast asleep, breathing heavily and making little smacking sounds with her lips. If she couldn't have a chupo in real life, it seems she would find one in dreamland. Slowly, carefully, I slid my sleeping arm out from under her sleeping head. But she sighed and hooked one arm around my arm as I tried to sit up.

I guess the laundry can wait.

Emmie, just this past Christmas.

On to Greener Pastures

Monday, February 25, 2008 By 2 comments

So, our former creative director, Betsy Hartman, and her husband, Ed Everest, left the Garden City for earthquake-prone Hollywoodland. As it turns out, they're kind of enjoying it. Here, Betsy schmoozes with some guy. I don't think I recognize him, but he's apparently pretty famous.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ran Into My Imaginary High School Boyfriend This Weekend...

Sunday, February 24, 2008 By No comments

Oh, hello, Daniel... I didn't see you there. Why, thank you. You look fantastic, yourself. Yes, it has been a long time since we've seen each other. No, I'm not... "dating" anyone right now. (Hey! He didn't ask if I'm married!) Meet you later? I guess I could - wait..


Are you wearing two gold hoop earrings?
Where is your sword, then, Pirate Man?


OH.

Boring...

Sunday, February 24, 2008 By No comments

This outfit was so boring that the caption-writer for the Associated Press couldn't even concentrate long enough to talk about the actress wearing it: "Actress Keri Russell arrives for the 80th Academy Awards Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008, in Los Angeles. Diaz will be a presenter during the Oscars telecast."

Oscar Nominations

The makeup artists for "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" were nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup, or whatever the category is called. Oh, yeah, real hard job, making Johnny Depp up to look even hotter. That's a real freaking stroke of creative genius.

Then I saw this picture of him at the Oscars and I thought it would be better had they nominated Depp himself, because he's managed to make himself completely absent of hotness. How did he work himself into a negative hotness measurement now?!

I'll tell you how:
  • Giant 80s glasses.
  • Hairstyle of a 14-year-old boy locked in epic hair control battle with his parents
  • Giant-ass collar
  • Itty bitty tie.


His girlfriend is all, "Yes, beetches. I am French and you cannot have heem." That's okay with me. I have someone else, now.

Hello, lover!

Alice said: "Hasn't Johnny Depp worn that same outfit to, like, the last five Oscars?" I think she may be right. Let's look:




Hmmm... I see a running theme with the floppy bow-tie, which I'm sure has a name. I dunno. Somehow, it just lends itself to the kooky mystique.

Ooh! Did I mention that Daniel Day-Lewis ALSO wears spectacularly bad suits on many occasions? Here, check out this gallery.

This hat is not too small - it is his brain that is just too big:


Sharkskin suit because he's just about the only man on the planet who can pull it off:


Full-on plaid suit for the upcoming biopic about Golfer and Lover Chichi Rodriguez:


Here, he stars in "Don't Welsh on Me: Celtic Fishermen and the Ladies Who Love Them"


But sometimes he can be normal and I am reminded of what attracted me to him oh-so-long ago:

Of course, this is how I'll always remember him, standing with his arm around me as a wee high school lass:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Recycle to Win


Have you ever thought about what to do with that last cell phone or computer? MyBoneYard®.com will reward you for recycling your used electronics. And shipping is free! Recycle a cell phone, PC, laptop or flat screen through MyBoneyard.com for a chance to win $2,500!

See the World From Your Living Room


AUGUSTA, GA. - View hundreds of live webcams positioned across every continent — when access to the world is this easy, who needs plane tickets to experience the globe?

EarthCam.com collects views from some of the planet's most visited hotspots. Take a trip to New York's Central Park Zoo, experience Seattle from the top of the Space Needle or penguin watch on the Antarctic Peninsula all from your Internet browser. Most of the locations feature a live video feed (some capture photos and refresh every several seconds) and give you a little background information about what you're looking at.

Start off by taking a look at EarthCam's Featured locations (including the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and Times Square cams). Find something you like? Take a picture and keep it for yourself or e-mail it right to a friend. Once you've got the hang of it, get a webcam and set up your own page! EarthCam will provide you with the software and host your camera images, so you can share your world with the rest of the world.

Really, I Can't Recommend This Stuff Enough




New Oust® Surface Disinfectant & Air Sanitizer is the only spray that both eliminates germs on hard, non-porous surfaces and also kills odor-causing bacteria in the air. Instead of just covering up odors, this spray eliminates germs and odors and provides a fresh scent.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ruining it For the Rest of Us... Thanks, Maxim

Friday, February 22, 2008 By No comments

NEW YORK - The Black Crowes are lashing out at Maxim magazine for reviewing the band’s new album — apparently without actually hearing it first.

The review, published in Maxim’s March issue, gives the Crowes’ “Warpaint” a rating of two-and-a-half stars out of five.

“The writer — who has not heard the album since advance CDs were not made available — wrote what appears to be a disparaging assessment anyway, citing, ‘it hasn’t left Chris Robinson and the gang much room for growth,”’ said a statement on the band’s official Web site.

The band’s manager, Pete Angelus, said the magazine explained that its review an “educated guess.”

“It speaks directly to the lack of the publication’s credibility,” Angelus said in a statement. “In my opinion, it’s a disgrace to the arts, journalism, critics, the publication itself and the public. What’s next — Maxim’s concert reviews of shows they never attended, book reviews of books never read and film reviews of films never seen?”

Me Like Code Monkey Back

I know that I am a giant dork who likes novelty songs. I DID spend my 16th birthday at a They Might Be Giants concert in Atlanta, a night which may still be the greatest experience of my life sorry about that Scott and Emerson. But neither of you can rock an accordion. (I called Dial-a-Song! I did! I own "A Tale of Two Johns!" It's an illness, I tell you!)

My new novelty musical obsession: Jonathan Coulton. I can't help it! He's a guitar-playing nerd with floppy hair and glasses! I am genetically pre-determined to fall in love with him!

Sigh...

So, that being said... Here is my several-videos-long homage to Code Monkey himself.

"Re: Your Brains"


"I Crush Everything"


"Code Monkey"


Supposedly True, But Who Knows?

AUGUSTA, GA. - The HYPE: This is an actual letter from an Austin woman sent to American company Procter and Gamble regarding their feminine products. She really gets rolling after the first paragraph. It's PC Magazine's 2007 editors' choice for best web mail-award-winning letter.

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your 'Always' maxi pads for over 20 years and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core or Dri-Weave absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from The 'curse'? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my time of the month is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently Surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call 'an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.' Isn't the human body amazing?

As Brand Manager in the Feminine-Hygiene Division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers' monthly visits from 'Aunt Flo'. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying, jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend's testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey's Anatomy was written by a bunch of drunken chimps.

The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in Capri pants... Which brings me to the reason for my letter. Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi-pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: 'Have a Happy Period.'

Are you f**king kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness - actual smiling, laughing happiness is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak girl, there will never be anything 'happy' about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreen's armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.

For the love of God, pull your head out, man! If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like 'Put down the Hammer' or 'Vehicular Manslaughter is Wrong', or are you just picking on us?

Sir, please inform your Accounting Department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flex-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bullsh*t. And that's a promise I will keep.

Always.

Best,
Wendi Aarons
Austin, TX

Off the Record

AUGUSTA, GA. - So I was talking to some folks about an upcoming holiday story for the Metro Spirit. I shall reveal neither the holiday nor their names, but they had some GREAT stories...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"[Name redacted] was trying to cut through the parade lines before it started, and, I mean, he's my cousin. He's not a small guy, and I organize the parade. Anyway, he was trying to cut through the [high school name redacted] band to get across the staging grounds and they stopped him. They told him, 'Nobody breaks up the band line.' He was like, uh, okay... and just did an end run."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

They were getting a parade started one year, when one of the parade lines started marching out of order.
"Stop the parade!" came over his radio.
"What's wrong?" he walkie-talkied back.
"Row D went before Row C!" a voice came back, in a panic. The row are set up with little blurbs for the local broadcasters, so they'll have something colorful to say about each group as they pass the cameras. Out of order meant that their info sheets were all wrong.
The event planner was unfazed.
"Look, calm down. Ten of us know how this parade is supposed to go. Eight of you don't matter. The only people who matter are Bill Botham, Cher Best and Minnesota Fatz - and I'm sitting right beside them. I'll let 'em know."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"We flew out to Utah to see a Georgia Tech/BYU game. Tech lost. We were pissed. Anyway, after the game, we decide to go see the [Morman] Tabernacle while we're there," he tells me. He's with a friend and his friend's father. As they approach the temple, they see a number of very attractive young Morman women who are acting as greeters. He's eyeing one of them when his friend's dad (we'll call him Moe) leans in to her.
"You believe in Jesus Christ?" he barks at her.
"Well, yes, sir, we do. It's right in the name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."
"Hmm..." Moe considers this, then eyes her again. "How're we different?" he demands.
She explains that Mormans believe that the second coming happened already, that Jesus returned to earth in upstate New York in the 1840s.
Moe looks at her, incredulous: "You mean to tell me that Jesus Christ came to Syracuse?!"

Stupid Quote of the Day

Friday, February 22, 2008 By No comments

HAVANA - Fidel Castro said Friday that he's relieved to be stepping down as Cuba's president, complaining that the process of selecting Cuba's next government "had left me exhausted." After nearly a half-century in power, Castro announced Tuesday that he wouldn't accept another term when parliament selects a new government on Sunday. "The night before, I slept better than ever," Castro wrote in a newspaper column. "My conscience was clear and I promised myself a vacation."

Yes, I suppose 50 years of running a brutal dictatorship and oppressing one's own citizens can leave a man all tuckered out.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Stupid Headline of the Day

Thursday, February 21, 2008 By No comments

Wolves to Be Removed From Species List. Take them off the list if you want, but I'm pretty sure they're still a species.

These Are Supposed to be CREATIVE People!

So because my husband and I can't seem to get a babysitter so that we can ever leave the house, I had to give my movie tickets away for tomorrow night. I e-mailed a bunch of staffers and told them that the first person to respond with a joke could have them.

I've never heard such lame-o jokes in my whole life.

From J.C.:
  • A grasshopper walks into a bar, bartender says, "Hey, we have a drink named after you!" The grasshopper looks up at him puzzled, "you have a drink called Steve?"
  • A sandwich walks into a bar, bartender says, "sorry, we don't serve food here."
  • String walks into a bar, bartender says, "GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE, WE DON"T SERVE STRINGS!"
    So the string leaves, puts a hat and mustache on...walks into the bar, bartender says, "I TOLD YOU GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE, WE DON"T SERVE STRINGS!"
    After a few more unsuccessful tries, the string goes into the alley and starts twisting himself up and getting all tangled and bunched up, real raggedy. Walks into the bar and orders a drink. bartender brings the drink over and says, "Wait a minute, are you a string?"
    String looks up and says, "I'm a frayed knot."
From H.Y.:
  • What did the fish say when he hit the wall? "Damn!"
From J.R.:
  • What’s the cross between an elephant and a rhino? "Elephino."
From M.T.:
  • What do you call a leper in a hot tub? Stew.

The Only Funny Thing Sarah Silverman Has Ever Done...

... and most of the funny derives specifically from Matt Damon's involvement. If not for that... meh.

Creating a Monster

Thursday, February 21, 2008 By No comments

My friend Penny came down to visit this weekend. Let me say, briefly, because I deal with it in my Mouthful column next week, that certain downtown restaurants sorely disappointed me while she was here. Thank you to New Moon Cafe for redeeming us all.

That said, she brought numerous belated birthday gifts for Emerson, including a dress-up doll that Emmie has named "Petunia." Oddball. Anyway, if Emmie were of dating age, I'd think she was in love with Penny. She showed off, danced, made jokes, and jabbered the whole time Penny was here. Her excitement was barely controlled. But finally, Penny had to leave. We said goodbye in the parking lot of another disappointing downtown restaurant, and Emmie immediately began to shriek.

She cried and shrieked so loudly that when we pulled up beside Penny at 13th and Reynolds, I rolled down the window and pretended to conduct Emmie's vocal symphony. Penny and I laughed. There was nothing else to do. There was just no stopping Emmie's fury.

After a few miles without the onslaught letting up, I finally pulled over into a church parking lot, got her out of the car and just held her.
"Roodle-doodle! I don't understand! What's wrong?"
"Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"
"Oh, Emmie, you're freaking me out. Tell me why you're crying, please!"
"I'm saaaaaaad! I miss my Penneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey!"
"Honey, she's been gone for 17 seconds. If you're this freaked out now, what are you going to do when we send you to a convent?"
"Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

I know she has no idea what I was talking about, and I just strapped her back in and drove home. There was nothing else I could do. When we walked in the door, she ran crying to my bed, crawled in, pulled the covers over her head, rolled over and fell immediately asleep. I just snuggled her exhausted little self and hoped that she felt better in the morning.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Yeah, I'm Cheap...

"I got this huge pork loin the other day for $5," I told A.C.
"What?! Where?"
"Wal-mart. It's frozen, so that makes a difference," I said.
"MMmm. Yeah." She agreed.
"But I was like whaaaaatever. I'm not making carpaccio."

Ha! Pork loin carpaccio!

Actually, Scott marinated it in this last night (except it is now in new packaging), and baked it with onions and asparagus, and it was about the most amazing thing he's ever cooked.

For Alice

D.I.Y. Emergency Dis-Services

One of the writers at the Spirit encountered a confusing situation. This is not precisely the conversation that took place...but he says "Memory is a tricky thing, ya know."

911: Augusta 911, what's your emergency?
Me: Yes, I am driving up Broad Street near Eve Street and there is quite a bit of smoke in the area.

911: Are you in any danger?
Me: Uh, no. Like I said, I'm in a car driving up Broa…

911: Is anyone in the house with you?
Me: No, you don't understand. I am in the car. Driving. Up Broad Stre…

911: Can you see the fire?
Me: Uh, no. I don't know where the smoke is coming from, but there's a butt-ton of smoke blanketing the whole area.

911: Are you in any danger?
Me: ...you're kidding, right?

911: Sir, please remain calm. I need to know if you can see where the smoke is coming from.
Me: I just told you that.

911: Told me what?
Me: Told you that I don't know where the stupid fire is. I am trying to find it.

911: Are there any hot doors?
Me: Hot what?

911: Hot doors, sir.

(incredulous pause)

911: Sir?
Me: Ya. Give me a sec. I am checking. Let me pull over.

911: Okay...
Me: Holy Crap, you can't be serious! Are you reading from a script? Are you referring to a script so you know what to say next? I mean, are you even listening?

911: Sir, I…
Me: No! No there are no hot doors on the vehicle I AM DRIVING UP BROAD STREET BETWEEN EVE AND MILLEDGE!

911: Okay, sir. Thank you. Hold please.

(2 Minutes Later... whatever is burning now is probably fully engulfed.)

911: Sir, can you try and get people away from the fire.

(another incredulous pause)

911: Sir?
Me: I'm here. I just don't know what to say at this point.

911: Can you get people away…
Me: Okay, I heard ya. Sure thing. I'll get right on it.

911: Can you direct firefighters to the scene?
Me: Oh my God! What scene?! It's like 10 square blocks covered in smoke! I don't know where the stupid fire is! Are you even listening to what I am saying?!

911: Sir, please remain calm. Thank you for your cooperation. Emergency crews are en route.
Me: Actually they're not. I just passed the fire station. You know, in my car.

911: Thank you for your assistance. Please direct them to the fire.
Me: Sure thing. Actually, it's probably the Station that's on fire. They probably let dinner get out of control. You know those crazy firefighters. Always burning stuff just so they can put it out.

911: That's great! Then they're already there!
Me: Actually, I think the school just burned down. And I just saw a flaming puppy run across the street. Those poor children…you know, the ones who are at school at 11 o'clock at night.

911: Wait, the fire is at the school?
Me: Dunno. Probably should start the search there, huh?

911: Thank you, sir.
Me: Holy Crap…I give up. Have a great night reading.

911: How did you know?
Me: Just a hunch. Goodnight.

911: We'll call you if we need anything else.
Me: Please don't.

Okay, that last part was hyperbolic. But when he drove past the fire station, they were opening the doors to bring out the trucks and the dispatcher asked the writer to find the fire and direct the firefighters to it. So for 20 minutes, he and the fire trucks criss-crossed the streets of Harrisburg, passing each other and looking, like Keystone Kops on a chase.

"Finally, they stopped and asked me why I was following them. I told them what the dispatcher said, and they were like, 'Yeah, thanks, but we've got it from here.'"

If you've ever met this guy, you'd know he'd never stop if there was even a chance he'd be useful. It's too bad that Augusta 911 doesn't have his ethics.

By the way, M.T., can I do my impression of me at the ice cream parlor again? You seemed to really enjoy that.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And This is a PROFESSIONAL E-mail Exchange

A.C. to J.C.: I am ready to update my production report for next week, but need to make sure the paper is gone so I don’t mess you guys up… because I do that enough already!

From J.C. to A.C. : its not quite ready... Crystal is still working on it. Don't forget, Bob will be gone next week so we need all the pick ups as possible since I will be building the paper all by myself.

A.C. to J.C.: Don’t worry dude, I already planned for that because I am the coolest.
We need to do something for Bob on Friday. Any bright ideas? He is turning 40 after all. How about a male stripper?

J.C. to A.C. : Male stripper? Hows bout the Metro Spirit review, Me, Tom, and Murf sweatin to the oldiest in assless chaps.

A.C. to J.C.: Are not all chaps assless?

J.C. to A.C.: only when you wear a thong under them like I do.

An Example of that 'Metro' Spirit

AUGUSTA, GA. - B.L. comes over with a stack of pages for copy editing.
"What?! No!" A.W. complains. "I have website stuff to do!"
"I'm already done with that. Catch up!" B.L. said.
He hands some stuff to A.C.
"Get your... vacation happy face out of here," she commands.
"Why do you get to go on vacation?" A.W. demands. "Didn't you just start back working here?"

Zing!

Monday, February 18, 2008

This Taste Horrible! Try It!

Monday, February 18, 2008 By No comments

This woman has given me nightmares for more than a year. Really.

And now, I share her with you.



Honestly, I think more than 50% of her behavior is an act - for the cameras, sure; but also a ploy to retain control over her family.

Stupid Quote of the Day - Actually, It's Funny in a 'Kiss My Grits' Kind of Way

Monday, February 18, 2008 By No comments

Explosion Rocks West Texas Oil Refinery

BIG SPRING, Texas (AP) - An explosion rocked an oil refinery Monday in a violent blast that shook buildings miles away, authorities and witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

"All I know is that it blew up," a Howard County dispatcher said.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Queen of the Crapper

AUGUSTA, GA. - So, many many people will laugh at this post. Well, I will just have to live with that. Because I am going to crow about an accomplishment I have completed.

Sidebar: Do you complete an accomplishment? I don't know. It feels like you might reach an accomplishment; that "accomplishment" implies completion. Fine, then: I reached an accomplishment. I attained it in all of its completed glory.

What IS this accomplishment, you might ask? Do not argue with me on this point... you very well might. And then, you would hear a tale of woe. For, for a week, now, our toilet handle flusher thingie has been broken. The plastic rod attached to the flusher thingie went and snapped off at the flusher thingie. And thus began a week of hauling the giant ceramic lid off the back of the toilet and reaching into the clean- yet-still-associated-
with-a-toilet-where-you-make-your-stinkies-water in order to vacate the toilet itself.

Tonight, however, JUST NOW, I have replaced the part myself. As it turns out, there is a name for the plastic rod flusher thingie: flush lever. And it comes in quite the variety of colors, styles and materials. In fact, it took me about 10 minutes to find the "silver-colored-not-plastic" one that I imagined in my head. Hark:
It was buried on the bottom shelf of a display with things that were made of "tumbled bronze" and "brushed nickel" and "frotterist silver." Shit that looked like this:



Yes. Some very gay French fellow is in desperate need of an ass-beating.

As it turns out, it was quite easy to install. The old handle simply unscrewed, the new handle screwed on, and you hook the chain through the pre-drilled holes on the lever itself. But the point is that I had never done it before and Scott and I didn't even get into one of those arguments that devolves into "Here, let ME do it. You're doing it wrong," and "Oh, you're so smart, how come you can't put your BOXERS in the LAUNDRY BASKET. You want me to DRAW YOU A MAP?"

So, to recap: home repair, done it myself, no one died. I am proud.

The end.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"Lost" Comes on Tonight!

Catch up with all you need to know about the ABC series... and laugh your butt off at the synopsis.

Check out the NEW Indiana Jones Movie Trailer

A Great Party

Click the ad to enlarge it.



Now you can bid in advance on exquisite art, one-of-a-kind jewelry, parties, getaways, unique dining opportunities, and other items guaranteed to delight and surprise. The Morris Museum Gala Auction is coming soon!

The online auction will run from Feb. 18 to March 5, and the bidding will resume as a silent auction on Friday, March 7, at the Morris Museum Gala. Auction proceeds are directed to the Morris Museum of Art Endowment Fund.

The 2008 Morris Museum Gala features artist John Baeder, one of America's most renowned contemporary realist painters. His paintings, prints, and watercolors, documenting roadside eateries and celebrating the down-home dining experience, capture the pulse of America. As Food & Wine magazine has noted, "in diner menu jargon, his work is golden."

Pleasant Journeys and Good Eats along the Way: A Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings by John Baeder is open at the museum through March 9.

Don't Waste Your Money!


AUGUSTA, GA. - Unless you've found a way to completely avoid buying things, you've probably been the victim of a rip off before. Whether it was a scam, fraud or some unscrupulous company, RipoffReport.com claims to give you a voice when battling Big (or little) Business. Just be careful to obey the laws, people. Remember that words have ramifications.

Current Polling Info


AUGUSTA, GA. - Of course, I can't endorse their methodology or results. But for an interesting glance at where Americans stand on every issue - from the next President, to immigration to alternative schooling — Polling Report has a lot to offer.

At Polling Report, they say that they pull data from surveys from dozens of sources such as CNN, Gallup, TIME, CBS News, Harris and Pew (just to name a few) and update whenever new polls arrive. And they're independent and nonpartisan, so you don't have to worry about any hidden agendas.

The site touches on nearly every trend in American public opinion: Religion, politics, stem cell research, same-sex marriage, global warming... there are over 50 topics, each with their own poll results. So take a look at PollingReport.com, you'll probably be surprised to see where the nation stands.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Sweetest Thing

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 By No comments


AUGUSTA, GA. - Went by Shanhil Sweets' open house for their new digs last night. Let me tell you that it was CROWDED.

It was a very nice turnout in support of Shannon Powell and this original businesswoman's efforts to get a local economic par-tay started. There were cupcakes, cakes, cheesecakes, truffles, white and dark chocolate barks, cookies, coffees, teas and about a hundred other products to sample, all for free, as a way to re-introduce the business to the community after it moved to a new home.

I took Emmie, because I'd been promising to take her to "the candy store" for a week. But we didn’t get to stay long. My daughter is a kleptomaniac, and I couldn’t keep her out of the candy bins.

I was shuffling her out the door when Shannon chased after us, and I explained that Emmie was stealing all her candy and there’s no way she could make a profit with my toddler in the room. Just then, all too wily for her own good, Emmie turned around and smiled at Shannon and said, “Daynts SO MUSH for all da cannee.”

Shannon’s brain visibly glazed over from the Onslaught of The Cute. And, in her defense, there simply IS no defense from it. Women confronted with the Power of Emmie have their ovaries and uterus wrap themselves around their hearts and squeeze any semblance of defiance right out. Resistance, as they say, is futile.

Firmly in the palm of Emmie’s hand, she said, “You can have all the candy you want, Emmie.”

Thanks, Shannon. Mommy appreciates that SO MUSH!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Kinds of Stupid

AUGUSTA, GA. - Scott calls from Atlanta with some interesting news about the Augusta Commission's meeting with the area's legislative delegation. The commissioners have about 30 minutes a year to present their ideas for legislative changes, that they believe will benefit this area, in front of all of our members of the Georgia congress. It seems that two or three of our esteemed commissioners had a bright idea of their sleeves.

"Rev. Hatney and Corey Johnson made a proposal to create a municipal police force under the control of the commission," Scott reported, glee in his voice. It's not often such a boneheaded move presents itself and only one reporter is present to hear it.

"They what?"
He repeated himself. No, I didn't experience some auditory hallucination. I think our elected Sheriff, Ronnie Strength, will have something to say on the matter.

I relayed the info to A.C.
"What?" she stared at me, incredulous.
"Yep," I answered. T.G. was on the phone confirming details with Scott.
"They gon' dep-yoo-tize them some people?" she laughed while imitating a thick Western drawl.
I joined her: "It's gon' be like Dodge City 'round here!"

Daddy Daze

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 By No comments

Emmie and I went to Atlanta to visit my family this weekend while Scott worked the political scene in Augusta. He came up about 2 hours before we were going to leave on Sunday, while Emmie and I were napping. When she woke up, I pointed to Scott, lying prone and semi-conscious on the bed.
"Who's that?" I whispered.
"DADDDEEEEEEE!" she shriek-laughed with joy. Scott's eyes cracked open just in time to protect his face from 36-lbs. of flying toddler as she launched herself onto his stomach.
"Daddy!" she giggled excitedly, and grabbed the sides of his face. "Daddy, I lub you so, so much! I miss you!"
"I love you, too," Scott smiled, but she kept a firm hold on his cheeks.
"I lub you so much, Daddy!"

But just a couple of hours later, we had to come back to Augusta. My dad drove us back, and we had a nice conversation in the van on the way back. We've had a nice couple of days. Sunday night we snuggled in the bed and ate granola bars and watched the BBC broadcast of "Pride & Prejudice" with Colin Firth.

"Who dat, mama?" she asked, pointing at some lengthy camera shot of Mr. Darcy (Firth) glowering across the room at Elizabeth Bennett (Jennifer Ehle).
"That's Darcy," I answered.
"Ohhh.... he sad," she worried.

Last night, we came back to my office while the staff was on deadline, and then went to the "Hello Dolly" rehearsals by the Augusta Players to take pictures. Then we went home and wrestled in bed until my sides hurt from laughing, and then we snuggled together and slept. In the morning, she ate granola bars in bed and watched "Curious George" try to start an animal band while I took a shower.

I thought we were having a really great time together, and I think we were. She hasn't had a timeout or an unmanageable "toddler" episode. I've thoroughly enjoyed our time together.

But this morning, as we were turning onto Warren Road from the bridge, I glanced into the rearview mirror and saw her face. She looked like she was about to cry.

"Honey? What's wrong?" I asked, alarmed. "You look so sad."
She didn't look up, just shook her little 3-year-old noggin slowly, staring forlornly at the back of the seat in front of her.
"I loss my daddee," she said. "I ca't fine him."

Limerick Contest

The Metro Spirit is hosting a Limerick Contest (e-mail your local limericks to spirit@metrospirit.com), and we were discussing the headline "Man from Nantucket comments about Augusta."
"What are the actual word to Man from Nantucket?" A.W. asked.
"I don't know. I'll find it."
I read the clean versions. They're lame. Then I come across the obscene one.
"Yeah, I'm not reading this out loud. I'm not even e-mailing it to you," I said. "Look it up yourself. It's pretty ribald."
A.C. looked up immediately.
"Ha!" I laughed and slapped my desk. "I just used the word 'ribald,' in a room with actual other people in it."
"I can't believe you did that," A.C. laughed.

Oh, just... Nantucket.

Now I'm Not Sorry I Missed This Show




Footage of Li'l Wayne at the James Brown Arena. What are all those women screaming about? This is just stupid behavior.

Lunch Time!

AUGUSTA, GA. - There are so many things to love about The Cotton Patch in downtown Augusta: exposed brick walls, a quaint French Quarter-style courtyard with fountain and I will argue (with fisticuffs, if need be) that their spinach and artichoke dip is the best in the CSRA.

BUT...

When I walk in a restaurant and hear the theme song to the movie "Breakin'" (or it's evil stepsequal, "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo"), I tend to lose my appetite. Even if that movie was the debut of TWO esteemed actors: "Law & Order: SVU" regular Ice-T and martial arts master Jean-Claude van Damme.

An Intereting Site That Boasts Current Polling Information


AUGUSTA, GA. - Of course, I can't endorse their methodology or results. But for an interesting glance at where Americans stand on every issue - from the next President, to immigration to alternative schooling — Polling Report has a lot to offer.

At Polling Report, they say that they pull data from surveys from dozens of sources such as CNN, Gallup, TIME, CBS News, Harris and Pew (just to name a few) and update whenever new polls arrive. And they're independent and nonpartisan, so you don't have to worry about any hidden agendas.

The site touches on nearly every trend in American public opinion: Religion, politics, stem cell research, same-sex marriage, global warming... there are over 50 topics, each with their own poll results. So take a look at PollingReport.com, you'll probably be surprised to see where the nation stands.

Monday, February 11, 2008

New Film Series


AUGUSTA, GA. - Professor Steven Clements and the students at Augusta State University are delighted to present the short but excellent Monday Night Film Series for spring.

"Guantanamera,” a Spanish language film from Cuba, opens the series on Monday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in University Hall, Room 170. After a world famous diva dies, her family must accompany the casket on an absurd journey to the funeral, accompanied by a pair of truck drivers. The truckers and the mourners inspire new love in each other. This is a colorful, dark comedy, equal parts romantic comedy and critique of the crumbling Communist political system.

Here is what critics have said about the film:
  • "Funny, rueful, infinitely moving, 'Guantanamera!' does not take its leave without a lovely touch of magic realism."—Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
  • "'Guantanamera' celebrates Cuban paradoxes in a cheeky little comedy about two romances that endure through the years."—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
  • "In essence, 'Guantanamera!' is a love story. But what sets it apart from most glossy Hollywood romances is the depth and the range of its plot. Written by Alea and Tabio with Eliseo Alberto Diego, the film is a thoughtfully woven quilt of life-altering and life-affirming situations."—Maria Tarradell, Dallas Morning News

On March 3, ASU will present Marion Cotillard portraying famed French singer Edith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose,” for which she has received an Academy Award nomination.


On March 10 ASU will look at gender discrimination in Iran through the film “Offside,” which was filmed without the knowledge of the Iranian government.

Empty Bowl: Probably the Best Fundraiser Ever - March 2

AUGUSTA, GA. - I bought our tickets today (hi, sweetie! Hope you don't mind!) for Empty Bowl, an event that I love. I won a gorgeous piece of hand-painted pottery last year - rather accidentally - in the silent auction; but the best part of this event is picking out your own free pottery that comes with every ticket purchase.

Admittedly, some of it is a little kooky. There are some fourth graders in this, after all. And there was a lot of pottery left behind last year, and I don't know where it all ended up. I haven't seen an artistic invasion of Goodwill lately, so maybe they store it and put it back out another year? I dunno.

But what DID go were some beautiful botanical-themed pieces that are meant to hang on a wall, some very professional-looking pieces from the Davidson Fine Arts students, and some wild and crazy creations. For example, I picked up a bright kelly/neon green coffee carafe, which is utterly useless because the interior hasn't been glazed. So I can't actually PUT COFFEE in it. And one of the feet is all wonky. And the lid doesn't quit fit. And it is TEN KINDS of awesome.

Really, I can't even explain it. It is: useless; painted a color that does not occur in nature; of a function for which I have no use; and awesome. That pretty much sums it up. Scott has at times threatened to use it as target practice. But he has not yet. I think it's because it has slowly infiltrated his brain.


AUGUSTA, GA. - The original EMPTY BOWL event served lunch guests a simple meal of soup and bread in a beautifully hand-crafted ceramic bowl made by local students and artists. The guests would then keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world... humble beginnings have grown to a community event helping many each year.

COME & ENJOY a Sunday Brunch, Lunch or early Dinner with us...featuring a wonderful “all you can eat” soup-kitchen style buffet consisting of a wide variety of soups, breads, beverages and desserts!

All foods are donated by the CSRA's best restaurants, caterers, and food companies.
It is an informal and fun event for the entire family. We have a KIDS' CORNER featuring foods for KIDS of ALL AGES. Take-out containers will be available, too.

Everyone chooses a handmade ceramic bowl made by local students and artists to take home with them as a reminder that their day of fun helped ease someone's hunger in the CSRA! FIRST 200 GUESTS RECEIVE A FREE T-SHIRT!

Sunday, March 2, 2008
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at the
Augusta Jewish Community Center
898 Weinberger Way
Evans, GA 30809

TICKET PRICES:
Advance Adults: $15.00 Children 2-10: $5
At door Adults: $20.00 Children 2-10: $7.50
So buy your tickets early!
No charge for infants and toddlers under 2.
Additional bowls may be purchased for $10 each.


SILENT AUCTION: 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. - Bid on items contributed by area potters, artists and merchants. There will be a “BUY IT NOW” price for those patrons who truly want item(s) and don’t want to wait until auction is over.

We have added a new program this year to involve all family members... the Kids "Can" Help RAFFLE! - For each can of food a "kid" brings, they will receive one raffle ticket. Bring 5 cans; get 5 tickets! Great Prize for the winner... but the feeling that everyone "can" help is the best prize of all :)


2008 RESTAURANT & FOOD PARTICIPANTS

  • A Piece of Cake
  • Applebee's (N. Belair Road)
  • Atlanta Bread Company
  • Augusta-Richmond Co. Civic Center
  • Augusta Tech
  • Barberitos
  • Blue Sky Kitchen
  • Boll Weevil Café
  • Bombay Central
  • Cadwallader's
  • Calverts
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Craig's Place
  • Christie, Shirley
  • Cinnabon
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Cutie Pies/Garlic Clove
  • Daily Grind
  • Da-Vinci Cakes & Celebrations
  • Denny's
  • 1102 Downtown Bar & Grill
  • Earth Fare
  • El Alazan Mexican
  • El Valle Mexican
  • Evans Diner
  • Fresh Market
  • Giuseppe's
  • Goolsby's
  • Just Fresh
  • Kree Brulee
  • Longhorn Steakhouse
  • Luciano's
  • My Friend's Place
  • Panera Bread
  • Patagonia Grill
  • Piccadilly Cafeteria
  • Pinnacle Club
  • Pullman Hall
  • Quizno's Subs
  • Ray, Meredith
  • Red Lobster
  • Roly Poly
  • Ruby Tuesday (Martinez & Evans)
  • Ryan's
  • Salsa's
  • Shanhil Sweets
  • Sixth at Watkins
  • Something Sweet
  • Teresa's Mexican
  • Very Vera
  • Villa Europa
  • Village Deli
  • Waffle House
  • Wild Wings Café
  • Yo Pizza
  • Zaxby's
2008 SILENT AUCTION MERCHANTS
  • Calvert’s Restaurant
  • Cudos
  • Estate Jewelry Center
  • Henig Furs
  • Hoehn's Interiors
  • Jeweler's Bench
  • Main and Taylor
  • Mellow Mushroom
  • Origins Skin care
  • PF Chang
  • Sandwich Shop
  • Shaper's Hair and Nail Salon
  • Stein Mart
  • Summerville Rags
  • Susan's
  • Tastefully Yours
  • TOAST
  • Westlake Country Club
  • White Crane
  • Windsor Jewelers
  • Ya Ya Beads

Plus designer handbags, jewelry, signed prints, UGA hand-crafted bulletin board, and more!

Friday, February 08, 2008

I Would've Guessed Paul Bunyan

AUGUSTA, GA. - Alice saw a friend of hers. She was wearing a new pair of jeans with a patch on them.







"Do you know who that is?" she asked.
"uhh..."
"It's the Zig Zag Rolling Papers guy!"
"What? I didn't know! I thought I was making a statement!"
"You are," Alice said. "You're stating that you're a giant pothead."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Blind Melonheads

AUGUSTA, GA. - I was driving back from an appointment in North Augusta the other day when a red SUV cut over into my lane right on top of me.

"Gahhhhh!" I screamed. I hit the brakes. We do NOT have the money for major accident repair right now. The SUV closed the lane gap like nothing out of the ordinary happened and drove on.

Irritated, but happy not to have been crushed to death, I calmed my rapidly beating heart and accelerated from "Old Lady Sitting on a Phone Book to Drive" to "Nothing to See Here, Lookie-Loos. Go Back to Your Knitting." But I was a little irritated.

I changed lanes from the right to the left, in anticipation of hitting the left turn lane onto Georgia Avenue from Martintown Road, keeping a wary eye on the red monster nearby. It's a good thing I did. Without so much as a howdy-doo - and obviously without using a frickin' turn signal or anything - the stupid blankety-blank swooped into my lane.

"HEY!" I yelled as I slowed down on the mercifully unoccupied yellow line. I gave the driver a brief blast of my horn. "What the (#^@%) are you doing?!!!"

The turn lane opened up very quickly, and I was able to slip into it before engaging an oncoming car in an inexplicable game of highway chicken. As I slowed to a stop behind another car, I cringed as the red SUV passed me.

And then I saw it: the reason they'd almost killed me twice was that I was in their blind spot. And their blind spot, for reasons I will never understand, was the entire left side of their car because they'd repaired a busted window with frickin' plywood.


















Genius.


I Also Love My ATL

From the Blotter, a regular crime column in Atlanta's Creative Loafing:

When a woman tried to exit a local grocery store, a security guard observed a large ham fall out from under her dress. Demonstrating the ability to think quickly, the woman turned and yelled, "Who frow dat ham at me?!"

Oh, Alice. If only we had material like that in Augusta.