Thursday, May 31, 2007

"A 68 is Passing in Alabama..."

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,
Blowing down the backroads headin' south.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You're an idiot, babe.
It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

I tried my best to keep from laughing when I heard a young lady from my Anatomy class speak those words; "Hell yeah, a 68 is passing in Alabama." But in the process of trying not to laugh, the slight depression set in. The depression of a former teacher who is surrounded by people who probably would have been responsible for her five gray hairs had these folks been in her class.

It really annoys me how so many people place little to no value on education or intelligence. The perfect example of this is my Anatomy class. I make really good grades in that class's really friggin' easy. It's not like a pre-med anatomy class. It's more "Anatomy Lite." It's all common sense and a little Latin. In any case, I continue to get flashbacks to high school because I often get comments like "What'd you make, a hundred and three?" and then I am ignored. You might as well put a stamp on my forehead that says "pariah."

It's not that this hurts my feelings anymore because it doesn't. I learned my lesson about being needlessly embarassed by my grades in high school. My frustration has absolutely nothing to do with me. I just really worry about the state of the world when a 68 is considered a good grade.

Over the years, the manner in which we do things has become less and less "thought-friendly." Instead of reading books most folks just watch a movie or TV. Education promotes test scores as opposed to actual knowledge and students aren't taught how to think or apply what they've memorized. Often, conversation is limited to gossip or what we saw on that show or that. Instead of getting outside, a lot of folks just stay in with the Playstation or whatever the big game machine is now.

Now, this is not to say that these things don't have their place. Yes, I miss my cable sometimes and yes sometimes my conversation is limited to music or movies. I watch movies all the time and I admit that I am slightly addicted to Civilization III and The SIMS. Everyone should enjoy these types of simple pleasures. My concern is the total lack of any desire to do anything that might make a person actually THINK. A lot of folks will do anything in their power to avoid answering a tough question or solving a difficult problem or reflecting on an issue.

I'm probably just babbling, but this really bothers me. What is this country's problem with being educated or smart? All the way up until about 1930 or 1940, everyone was still taught Latin. Latin is a major key to so many other things: law, composition, medicine, physics, foreign (romance) languages, etc. Now you're doing well to find a high school (or college) that even offers it as a course. Meanwhile, overseas, it's not uncommon (AT ALL) to find someone who can speak at least three languages fluently. A lot of Americans still struggle with English.

I recently saw Idiocracy. It's a dreadful movie, but it makes an interesting point. Most of the movie is set in the future. It's a future in which humanity has actually deevolved. Instead of getting stronger and smarter, human beings had gotten considerably less intelligent - almost a regression back to cavemen. The cause for this (as explained in the movie) was an oversaturation of advertisments (i.e. corporations control EVERYTHING - I mean EVERYTHING); too much reproduction from the *ahem* shallower end of the gene pool; and too little reproduction from the deeper end. It's a silly idea, but one that anyone (especially anyone surrounded by Jerry Springer episodes) can easily see the basis of. It's scary to think of it, but I could almost see this being a possible reality.

I hope I'm not coming off as elitist or snooty. I just wish the populous would develop a natural curiosity for more than pop singers and reality shows.

Being maybe slightly hypocritical in my choice of video today. Just seemed appropriate. :^)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Holiday Lag

Front door's shut
Back door too
Blind's pulled down
What you gonna do

It's just like jet lag (I assume) in that you have no idea of what time it is - only in the case of holiday lag, you're missing an entire day. Kinda messes with you a bit. But it's completely worth it as I'm sure 99.9% of the world would agree.

Twas a very full weekend, and as usual did not last as long as I really would have liked. But it was enough to throw me off a bit. And it probably will be throwing me off all week. All four days of it. :^)

Friday night, I dragged The Gentleman to Cartersville to see some musician friends of mine play. It was really wonderful, especially since I haven't seen most of those folks in a really long time. The amazing Gary Greene was there of course; as well as my friend Montie who now lives in Pennsylvania; and another old-school Coffee Shop buddy, Andrew. The whole show would have been a lot better had I been able to hear them playing better. They had no PA and there were a lot of people and a lot of kids about making noise and talking too loud. *sigh* Oh well. But I did get to hear Gary play his own and a couple John Prine tunes, and Montie played her really spectacular cover of "Romeo and Juliet." Even though she does the Indigo Girls version as opposed to the original Dire Straits version. Montie is the only person who can sing it that way without me begging to hear Mark Knofler instead. It was really beautiful and I'd forgotten what a remarkable singer she is.

The Gentleman I think made a pretty good impression (although Montie now agrees that we need to work on his handshake). Andrew and he have a love and knowledge of plays and theater in common, so they were able to talk on terms of great equality. Montie and he didn't really speak much, but Montie did insist on giving him a hug (I assume as opposed to the afore-mentioned handshake). The Gentleman was particularly fond of Gary (anyone who doesn't at least respect the man obviously has no soul), and I'm sure would love to see him more.

All in all, it was a really good night. I was a little concerned at Andrew's behavior. I don't know if he was just tired or what, but he seemed very stand-offish, and looked as if he wanted to do anything but talk to me. I don't know. Anyway, The Gentleman and I are planning on going to see Andrew's theater company's newest production at the Sunday matinee, so maybe that will make up for whatever it is that has offended him.

Saturday, I spent the afternoon visiting with my folks. My brother and sister-in-law came up for the afternoon since my folks were keeping my niece (the other brother's offspring) for the weekend. We just visited and went to see my grandmother and had supper. But it was good to see them, even if Mom and Daddy are still being grumps. At least they were a great deal less grumpy since Lydia was around.

Sunday, I saw dear sweet Adam and his dear sweet little boy while The Gentleman went on a brief hiking trip with some friends. It was really good to hang out with Adam. We had lunch and stayed talking at the restaurant for a good two or three hours before his son got a little restless. So I went with them to a nearby playground so Adam's little boy could blow of some steam. He's a good kid, and I'm so proud of Adam for being such a good dad. He really has raised a great kid. We didn't see each other for so long, but Adam and I have always been really good friends, and we're good at taking each other's crap. Sometimes I really wish he lived closer by. Oh well.

Yesterday was wonderful. Because we did absolutely nothing useful. The Gentleman and I just hung around my apartment watching movies (he liked my movies) and getting a good buzz on before two p.m. We have such a good time together. We don't even have to do anything. It's wonderful.

Anyway, now that the weekend's over, it's nice to think that this is a short week. Plus, tonight is my last night of Document Processing. Because I've finished all my assignments, the instructor is going to let me go ahead and take the last test - and then I'll be done. And I'll only have two more Anatomy class periods to go. I'm so ready for this quarter to be over. *swoon*

And now, because I love this friggin' song, here's the Dire Straits version of "Romeo and Juliet":

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

When you live next door to a Jerry Springer episode

Well I was drunk
the day my mama got out of prison
and I went to pick her up in the rain
but by the time I got to the station
in my pick-up truck
She'd got runned over by a damned ole' train.

It was a peaceful night. Very peaceful. I had just finished my homework and set the alarms on my cell phone. I was all set to get to bed at a decent hour (one a.m. for me) because I was exhausted.

While I was completing my final task of the night (marinading a chicken breast for this evening's supper) I suddenly grew aware of the great row that was occuring next door. The young lady who lives in the apartment next to mine is recently divorced. It's the same ole' story: married/had a kid with babydaddy way too young, got divorced, babydaddy went nuts.

There was screaming, yelling, name-calling and ransacking all going on next door to me and I didn't have a clue what to do. I wasn't really afraid of the ex-husband (who apparantly thought my neighbor had stolen the tag off of his car), becasue he's obviously an idiot, a coward, and so insecure in his manhood that he feels the need to lord over his young and excruciatingly naive ex-wife. But I do know that a crazy man+a stupid girl+a sleeping baby in the same apartment (often) = bad news (and an episode of Cops).

In any case, when the yelling got worse and I saw the guy storming in and out of the apartment, I went to my bedroom and got out my night stick - just in case. I know these things can tend to spill over, and if dude had made a swing at the girl, I would have gone after him. Given my brief experience with an abusive significant other, I'm a bit more protective of people in that situation than I once was. One of the last things I heard before he left was a threat, and then he threw something at her. When he was gone I immediately gave her my work cell to call the fuzz, which she did.

Long story short, I had to wait up with her - well, I felt like I should. Even though her description of the damage he had done in her apartment was exaggerated, I still felt bad for the girl. But I didn't get to bed until nearly three a.m., and this is after a late night the night before, eight hours of work and five hours of class. So I'm downright "somebody-prop-me-up" exhausted today. And I have a test in class this evening.

Yeah, I'm thinking I might need to move.

Anyway, it's not my favorite band, but I dig this song and it almost fits.

Monday, May 21, 2007

In Deep Smit

You try to tell yourself
the things you try tell yourself
to make yourself forget
To make yourself forget
I am not worried

Okay, so maybe I am worried. About a great many things - because that's what women do when we suffer estrogen poisoning - our girlitude goes up about twenty notches and we get neurotic - more so than usual. Sometimes it really sucks being a woman.

NERA (f%@#!) :

But before I get into it, I just have to vent a little here about something that makes me worried. And that is the whole NERA/319 Grant thing.

First of all, I have never had anything to do with any sort of grant before. So I have no idea of how the process works. I have no idea of what goes into it and I'm still trying to figure out exactly what "40% match" means. I have an inkling, but that's it. Secondly, I just got roped into this whole grant committee thing anyway. I never asked for it and when I went to the first meeting, I was mislead into thinking it was a group thing and I would not be the only NERA member there. But I took it in stride and tried my best to keep up. Now, I have absolutely no clue about what's going on because the only meetings that we've had lately have been in the morning when I can't make it because I have a job other than working on this grant thing. And the obnoxious County Controller with no personality is pretty much deciding NERA's role in this whole thing on her own.

Meanwhile, I've heard nothing from our so-called "executive director" and I haven't tried to call him because it's useless because he never answers and he never calls back. I also haven't heard anything from the rest of the NERA board despite several e-mails sharing Grant information. How the hell did I get stuck in this? I have no idea of what to do and I don't know what to tell the Grant Committee and I don't even really know what to tell NERA. I've e-mailed NERA's board proposing a meeting for next Monday, but Lord knows if they'll respond despite my fervent plea for them to do so. WTF?!

When I got into this, I just wanted to be the quiet little secretary taking notes at the meetings and making out forms and spreadsheets and whatever other little secretarial things they'd need me to do. I also thought I might be able to get down and dirty and actually do some things like river clean-ups and whatnot, but again, those are often scheduled during the day when I have to work. What the hell?

All I know is that I'm about ready to say screw it and resign, but I really believe in the cause and I just can't give up on the group yet. The last thing we need is for someone else to give up and not tell anyone.

Okay, now that my rant is over:

The Gentleman:

The Gentleman continues to improve in my eyes, and I am now indeed in deep smit. So very smitten. We had a truly remarkable weekend that included a walk at Ridge Ferry Park in Rome, lunch at Schroder's, a really good chai tea frappaccino at Rome's inflatable Starbucks, organic strawberries, champagne, chocolate, and cheese. Just...amazing. He's such a good man and we have a blast together.

But we've been dating about a month now, so in comes the estrogen poisoning. The Gentleman is a self-professed pseudo-hermit. He likes his alone time. Granted, so do I. But I still haven't been to his house (despite the fact that he lives maybe a mile down the road from me), still haven't met his kitties, I don't know what his handwriting looks like, and I didn't even know he was left-handed until this past Thursday. I know these concerns are silly, but it bugs me for some reason.

I just don't want to get emotionally attached to someone who I'm not going to be able to get inside of. By "getting inside" I mean getting to a point where I can kind of sense what he's thinking, know what he's about, understand his thought process, etc. I know it's possible because I've been able to do it a couple times before. But the older they (and I for that matter) get the harder it is for me to crack 'em. That's what happened with my last relationship. I just couldn't get inside him. I really really really don't want that to happen again. I think that The Gentleman and I have really amazing potential. I just hope that he thinks so too.

I'm pretty sure that he's in it for a while at least. He'll usually come by my house if I get out of class early - even if it's just to "kiss me goodnight." And he likes for me to call him when I get out of class anyway. And we did agree to reach a happy medium as far as the whole "pseudo-hermit" thing goes. I'm perfectly cool with it, because, like I said, I have my hermit moments too. I reckon I just hope the hermit tendencies don't develop into tendencies toward neglect. I've been left hanging way too damn many times and I just don't think I could take it again.

Anyway, here's some old school Counting Crows. Shut up, they rule! :^)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tom Waits is Even Better When You're Dancing with a Man Who Knows the Lyrics

The bats are in the belfry
the dew is on the moor
where are the arms that held me
and pledged her love before

Yep, it's all fluffy bunnies and happy flowers with The Gentleman and I. I'm still afraid of when the skeletons in his closet are going to jump out at me, though. He's such a decent man, but I'm terrified that I'm missing some gigantic red flag. Maybe I'm just shell-shocked and he really is as remarkable as I think he is.

I only got to see him Saturday, but we spent most of the day together. We went to Rome for lunch and just walked around Broad Street and the Pedestrian Bridge and along the river (looking for more turtles). It was really a lovely day. Well, except for the suspicious ribbon of some cloudy something in the river (grrrrr...).

After a while, we decided to give the new Starbucks in Rome a spin. Yes, Rome has a Starbucks now. And it went up in like...three hours. It hadn't been long at all since the last time I drove through there, but all of a sudden, there's a Starbucks. Are they inflatable or something? Anyway, the folks there were really nice (I wonder how long that will last), and my Chai Latte was pretty good. I still don't like their burnt coffee, but oddly enough, we heard two more Tom Waits songs at the Starbucks (yes, Krishna, Tom Waits at the Starbucks!!). When we got back to Calhoun, I made him supper. He really loved my chard, brown rice, chicken stuff. :^) In any case, kinda sounds dull, but as usual, it was wonderful.

Other points of note for my weekend: My mom really liked the Gift Certificate from Mother Nature's Eden that I got for her Mother's Day present. I'm glad she did, but man, she and my Daddy are making it rough for me to enjoy visiting them lately. A couple of big ole' grumps all the time!! But Mom has some reason to be a grump, I reckon. She's worn out from taking care of Grandmother and from her allergies and whatnot, and she lets stuff get to her way too much. Daddy....well, Daddy's just Daddy - a 61-year-old man who complains like an 80-year-old. *sigh* I wish they'd both just chill out a little.

I also got a new cell phone. I hadn't intended to get one. I went to Rome Friday as The Gentleman had made pre-Jennifer plans with some friends to see what he called a "noise show" in Atlanta - he said it was pretty interesting. Anyway, I just felt like shopping. I decided to stop off at the Verizon store to see if my "New Every Two" thing had come due, and the lady said it had. I looked down at my little phone with its obnoxious orange blob in the middle of the screen. The blob had been there since the phone was a month old (pressure damage isn't covered by warrenty, apparantly) and I just never got around to getting it replaced. The $50 I would have spent on the deductable always seemed to belong elsewhere. So my friends always received text messages that seemed to be written in pig Latin. In any case, I figured "why not" and went ahead and got a super spanky new-fangled phone. I got the LG Chocolate one - the one that's an MP3 player too. I reckon it was about time for me to join the 21st Century. I even got the cool red one.

Well, that was my weekend, such that it was. And today actually isn't as bad as Mondays go because The Gentleman is going to take me for supper tonight. :^) He's such a doll. *sigh* *giggle*

So Here's some more Tom Waits. One of my favorites of his in usual unusual Tom Waits video form. So sue me, we had a moment with this song.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Squishiness Abounds - "Tra la la la!!"

You and me
Sittin' in the back my memory
Like a honey bee
Buzzin' 'round a glass of sweet Chablis
Radio's on
Windows rolled up
And my mind's rolled down
Headlights shining
Like silver moons
Rollin' on the ground

Monday continues to suck more and more just as John Prine describes in "Long Monday." But at least the reason for it in my case is the fact that my weekends are such a joy lately.

Of course, my weekends are a joy because The Gentleman is a joy. I mean really. I don't know if I've ever been able to be truer to myself around a man. I don't know what it is about him that makes me so comfortable, but there it is. I reckon we just kind of understand each other. We really do have a whole lot in common - beyond the usual "what you like" standards (as in music, movies, etc). We hold to a lot of the same ideals and ideas. It's just...refreshing.

And did I mention how hot he is - and how completely unaware he is of that fact? Bonus. Oh yeah, and hiker thighs. Oh yeah. Double bonus.

So needless to say, I had a wonderful weekend. The Gentleman and I went out Friday for supper, then came back to my place just to hang out. Saturday, I had to help out at the "More than a Taste of Calhoun" booth NERA had reserved at the last minute. It was actually a pretty cool little shin-dig. It was nice to see this type of downtown festival in Calhoun. Our downtown is sorely taken for granted.

In any case, my duties to NERA and The Gentleman's promise to hang out with friends kept us busy separately Saturday. Alas.

Sunday, we had an absolute blast. Nothing big. We just headed to Rome, got us some iced chai lattes and some pastries and headed for Myrtle Hill. For those of you who are not familiar with the thriving metropolis of Rome, GA, Myrtle Hill is a very large, very beautiful graveyard that's situated on a rather large hill in downtown Rome. It may seem odd to enjoy pastries and frappaccinos at a cemetery, but it's a habit of many Romans, and it really is a beautiful spot. We just walked around talking and laughing and looking at oblisks and interesting markers. Yes, that is my idea of a good time. :^)

After Myrtle Hill, we went by Ridge Ferry Park, another Roman institution. Again, we just walked around talking. We stopped at the rocks on the river, and I nearly killed a kid who poured half of his drink into the water. I told The Gentleman he might have to hold me back, and he kind of turned me away and hugged me when the kid did it again. Why are people so mean to the rivers? Don't they know that's our lifeblood for God's sake?! (Sorry. Diatribe over.) In any case, after Evil Peon and his family left, The Gentleman and I went up to the little platform where they had been and watched the water. WE SAW THREE TURTLES!!! The Gentleman knows that I am a great fan of sweet little cute turtles, so he said it'd been a "Three Turtle Day." I thought that was sweet. :^) Good times.

We had supper at the Landmark (another Roman institution) and then he took me home. He would have stayed longer if he didn't have to go make sure his grandmother took the right meds (yes, he's sweet to his grandmother too!).

Anyway, I really like him more and more. He's got a natural curiosity and reverence for the world that I really appreciate and understand. And it's just...nice to be around him. Really really really really nice. We can talk about anything and usually do. He's just so...comfy, but still extraordinarily hot. I keep trying to figure out what's wrong with him, but I haven't seen anything thus far. And it's a little spooky, because I'm just so used to the bottom falling out in one way or another. We'll see.

Now I'll just go and think squishy thoughts. :^)

Here's some more John Prine - along with Iris Dement - doing "In Spite of Ourselves." This is one of the best songs ever.

What would you most like to see on my new website for unpublished writers?