Wet reflections off the cold asphault.
Bare trees still.
Soldiers at attention.
Ominous storm clouds.
Grey and forbidding.
Drops bounce off the windowsill.
Plummeting towards the earth.
Wind gusts past.
Sharp and cold.
Winter's chill hangs.
A few of my favorites are:
#3 Thrift-store scavenger hunt: Anyone who's a regular at the area Goodwills, Value Villages and the like knows that there are some items you'll find at any thrift store in America. Other items can be found with regularity but are far from sure things. Look for a copy of Rush Limbaugh's wretched The Way Things Ought To Be -- every Goodwill in America has at least one. The same holds true with What to Expect When You're Expecting.
#7 Free billiards: A handful of places in Charlotte offer free pool for folks on a budget. Elizabeth Billiards, a smoke-filled favorite among certain past and present CL staffers, is known to give out free pizza on Fridays. Of course, they probably want you to shell out a couple of bucks for beer (that free pool ain't paying the light bill). Invite your friends and look thirsty. They owe you money anyway.
...and of course:
#8 Greyhound station sightings: Snobs may sneer, but for my money (or lack of) the bus station on Trade Street provides excellent fodder for people-watching. Remember: Bus stations don't typically employ metal detectors (though I have seen a drug-sniffing dog or two) so the bus depot is where you see the seedier side of interstate travel. Nor do people take buses on business trips, so their travels are more likely to involve a story. And if they're going Greyhound, they likely have plenty of time to wait and might not mind telling a tale or two. Sit around and look bored. You'll see things (601 West Trade St.).
*People watching is one of the best sports ever. Not a sport, you say, oh foul naysayer!? Of course it's a sport. Much effort and concentration is put into effective people watching. And it is not just the watching. The creativity and skill required to evoke believable (or not so much)KGB/007/Jason Bourne type stories is a unique talent not owned by the teeming masses. Catching the drops, watching the eye contacts, seeing the acknowledgements and understanding the hand signals is a gift. Truly it is. Try it sometime, and see how much the CIA really is watching you. (the conspiracy theorist in me rears it's well masked head)
I thought I could add a few of my own favorite cheap dates to the list.
1. Wal-Mart Super Center: Everything from Big Screen TV's to yogurt can be found in this mecca to the consumer gods. Strolling the aisles can open new worlds of people-watching as Wal-Mart cuts a large swath out of America's hierarchical cross section. From welfare folks to Saks 5th Avenue types, everyone needs something at Wal-Mart. The toy section is the best place. I once got chased by a security guard as I did laps on a Razor Scooter. During the summer, you can try out all the different kinds of lawn furniture and dream of your perfect sun-room.
2. Shopping Mall Window Shopping: Near my home there are two large shopping malls and multiple shopping centers. I love to wander the shops and check out sales and people watch and try things on and sample the "Try Me" items, listen to the sales pitches from the kiosks and go in stores in which I have no interest in buying things just to make sure the minimum wage earning teenager is not playing on their cell phone. I rarely buy things unless I'm actually on a mission for something, but the energy that I gain from the interaction is invigorating. The sounds and scents and eye candy is great entertainment. And it's free (as long as you're not duped into buying something you don't need anyway). This last point does not count for shoes. There is never a wrong time to buy shoes.
3. Going for a drive: Where does this road go? I think I'll turn right here. There's a sign for a park, let's check it out. Wonder what the houses on this street look like? I love to wander around town and look at houses and trees and find out what roads connect to what. Charlotte is set up like a wagon wheel, with Uptown as the axle and main arteries spreading out in all directions. The 485 freeway is the tire as it circles the entire city. The rest of the roads are a maze of curves changing direction and name at will. Some roads, you actually have to turn left or right to stay on the same road, if you go straight through the light you will be on a different road. Driving around Charlotte is always an adventure. *Always travel with a street map in case you get lost. I don't trust Garmin's. Also, with the price of gas inching up, this date might not fall under the $5buck range. If not, you should probably buy a new car.
4. Tour Uptown and Check out Hotel Lobbies: D and I spent the last 3 days Uptown and wandered the streets taking pictures of architecture and Christmas decorations.We toured the grounds of an old church and graveyard. There are many hotels in the city and they all have nice open lobbies. You do not have to be a guest to sit and enjoy the lobby area. Most connect to some type of restaurant and bar area with a TV set on and possibly a water feature. You can relax on a couch and read the newspaper, catch up on the sports news and maybe partake in the buffet (again this would be more than $5bucks but you could do it if you wanted to). As long as you are unassuming and do not draw attention to yourself, you could hang out in a lobby indefinitely as they are open 24 hours. I do not recommend spending more than a few hours in one, then move down the block to the next fancy hotel lobby and try out their sofa's.
5. Open Houses and Model Homes: Viewing Open Houses and touring Model Homes is a good time waster with some fun, cruel and productive results. Not only can you create fantastical stories of your Southern California real estate market pre-bubble bursting bankroll that is burning a hole in your pocket, thus raising the hopes and dreams of a struggling real estate agent, but you can get great decorating ideas as well. You can also see why Martha Stewart should have stayed behind bars as the perfectly themed rooms vomit their excess into the hallways. And see why the mover-outers are moving out when you hear the next door neighbor screaming at his ever barking dog, and the teenagers across the street revving their rice rocket engines. Usually there are some kind of goodies to partake of and brochures & flyers galore.
These are just a few of my favorite things. Dear Lord, I am bored.
Christmas started early for me this year. D surprised me with tickets to see Handel's Messiah at the Belk Theatre on the 19th. I had never heard the full version of the Messiah before. It was so dramatic, with the orchestra and soloists and choir. When the audience stood for the Hallelujah chorus, tears pricked my eyes. The dedication and obvious enjoyment by the artists was striking.
We had dinner before the show at Morton's Steakhouse. I had the double cut Fillet Mignon (yum)! D wore his suit and I wore my fancy maroon velvet dress. A drunk lady in the restroom told me I looked fabulous. Always nice to hear.
My sister came down for the weekend and we had Christmas morning early on Sunday. We opened presents and ate pancakes and laughed. She flew out to Texas the next day, I'm so glad I got to see her and spend time together. Our friendship really has grown.
I only had two Sunbeams in Sunday School, but we had a great time making paper chains with the Christmas story pictures on them. My kids got to take home the decorations for their own tree and they can tell their family the story of the Saviour's birth.
D had yet another surprise for me, a 3-night stay in the Marriott in Uptown Charlotte. We checked in on Sunday night and I was speechless when I saw the jacuzzi tub!! It was big enough for two and I took full advantage of it. D and I toured downtown and took pictures of the Christmas decorations. We relaxed in our hotel room and soaked in the tub. I feel so spoiled!
2. I've come to realize that when I talk:I should probably shut my mouth and think first.
3. I've come to realize that, if I love someone:I need to have realistic expectations.
4. I've come to realize that, I need:different things than I thought I did.
5. I've come to realize that, I lost:something I didn't even know I had.
6. I've come to realize that, I hate it when:get lost in my own head.
7. I've come to realize that, if I'm drunk:I need to talk to the Bishop.
8. I've come to realize that, marriage:is a lot more than just living with someone.
9. I've come to realize that, my faults: are not as bad as some would have me believe.
10. I've come to realize that, I'll always be:God's daughter.
11. I've come to realize that, I have a crush on: he who makes me laugh.
12. I've come to realize that, the last time I cried was: when I was begging for something that I'm terrified to get.
13. I've come to realize that my cell phone: gets more attention than more worthy things.
14. I've come to realize that, when I wake up in the morning: I choose how my day will be.
15. I've come to realize that, before I go to sleep at night: I need to slow down my thoughts and just breath.
16. I've come to realize that, right now I am thinking about: going back to bed.
17. I've come to realize that, babies are: God's gift.
18. I've come to realize that, when I get on Myspace:it's the pictures that make my day.
19. I've come to realize that, today I will: actually be productive and give myself credit for what I have done and not hound myself on what I didn't get done.
20. I've come to realize that, tonight I will: thank God for the day.
21. I've come to realize that, tomorrow I will: have the opportunity to start over again with a clean slate.
22. I've come to realize that, I really want to: know if I can do it on my own.
23. I've come to realize that, the person who is most likely to re-post this:probably has better things to do, but is intrigued by the answers they will find within themselves.
It has come to my attention that many you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday at this time. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, then just GET ALONG WITH, AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santa's and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.
If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is My wish list. Choose something from it:
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.
4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.
9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.
10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.
Don't forget; I am God's Son and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember........
I LOVE YOU,
“EMILY is every woman who has ever sat at a business meeting while someone else took credit for her good work.
EMILY is every young professional who’s been told to wait her turn and every seasoned one who’s been told she still has to pay her dues.
EMILY is every working mom who’s managed to balance a checkbook, who’s managed a clean house, a corporate budget and a 12-year-old’s basketball tournament in one day.
EMILY is every stay-at-home mom who has ever been asked, “No, I mean, what do you do? What do you really do?”
She is every woman who’s ever had to defend her right to be pro-choice. She’s every woman who’s ever had to explain her choice not to have a child.
She’s every woman who has ever demanded a raise because she’s been doing the same work as the man in the next cubicle for the same number of years, and she’s still not getting the same pay. She’s every woman who has ever wondered why the company won’t cover her contraceptives, but will cover that same guy’s Viagra.
EMILY is every working mom who has ever fought for quality day care or family leave time. She is every woman who has given up a single day of vacation to care for a sick child or a sick parent.
EMILY is every girl in every classroom whose hand was still in the air after the boys got their questions answered.
She’s every athlete who’s ever been told, “She throws like a girl.” She’s every candidate who’s ever been asked how she can run for office and have a family at the same time.
She is every African-American woman who has had to work three times as hard to be considered as good as her white male colleague.
She is every Jewish woman who has ever been called a princess.
She is every Hispanic woman who has been asked how long her family has been in this country.
She is every woman who has been called too soft or too strong or too aggressive or too nice or too ambitious to get the job done.
She is every woman who has ever been measured against a glossy picture in a magazine.
EMILY is the seamstress who has sewn the graduation gowns for years but has never worn one.
EMILY is every woman who helped set up this room today and who will clean up after we leave
… and that same woman who only wants her daughters to dream big dreams, because EMILY knows that young girls cannot be what they cannot see.”
Instead of paying at the pump, I walk my hiking boots, dirty jeans, wrinkly shirt, hair in ponytail, no make-up wearing booty in to the mini-mart.
I grab some crackin' seeds and stand in line. Skinny as a bean pole 17year-old looking gas station attendant checks me from head to foot.
I laugh inside.
I smack down my seeds and say "Fill it up on 9".
He hands me back the seeds and says "Just pay at the pump."
Stumped, I look at the seeds and say " I can't pay for these at the pump."
He does his best James Dean and says, "It's cool."
I shake my head, "No, it's cool. I'll pay for these and put $35 on 9."
He shrugs his shoulders.
The line behind me grows.
He rings up the seeds.
He curses under his breath, deletes both seeds and tries to give them to me again.
I smile patiently with all the effort of not outright laughing at him, and wait for my total.
Swiping my card, I PIN in with the final total, snatch my paid for seeds and say, "Thank you so much."
I walk out, shaking my booty just for heck of it.
Back at the car, I throw the seeds in, look at the pump and...
I'm on pump 10, dagnabbit!
I walk my booty back inside, stand in line, watch him smile knowingly like I came back just for him, get to the front and say,
"Just because I wanted to make you work for your paycheck today, I told you the wrong pump number. I'm on 10."
He smiled his dorky little grin and said as smoothly as any gas station jockey could "I know. I watched you get out of your car and I knew what pump you were on. I got it right."
Alrighty then. Back at the car, pumping my gas. Do-de-do.
I top off at $32. Dagnabbit!
I walk my booty back inside for trip 3. Are seeds really worth all this!?
I grab a cup for my cracked shells and stand in line behind an old man in a tux who danced to the tunes of Marvin Gaye over the mini-mart's rocking surround sound system.
Back at the front of the line.
"Change on 10 please."
He smiles knowingly. He really believes that I did all this just to put on a show for him. Sad little boy.
Anyways, I get my $3 bucks change. I read his extra cool name tag and say,"Michael, thank you for all your hard work for me today."
I sashe' back to my car. Inside I arrange my seed cup, and proceed to have difficulty opening up the seed package. I have not yet driven away from the pump.
Who do I see walking up to my car with paper in hand?
Michael, the oh so sauve keeper of the gas and all mini-mart goodies!
I roll down my window and ask "What did I forget?"
He hands me a slip of paper and says, "This is for your car."
It's a ticket for a FREE Ultra Carwash!!
He then hands me another piece of paper with his name and number written on it.
"And this is for me". His smile has all the desire of 17year-old boy looking at a girl. Seriously!
Before I go on I would just like to say how very flattered I was at this move. I was so not trying to be extra cute or funny or flirty or anything. Just being me. Also, I was very impressed at his self-confidence. He was not the cutest thing since sliced bread and could use some ProActiv, but dang! He straight out gave me his number! That took some huevos!
But I still shot him down. What could I do?
I pointed at my ring and said, "Thank you so much, but I'll have to give this back to you."
I handed his number back to him.
He looked at my ring, crestfallen, and said "Oh sorry. But you can still have the carwash."
"Thank you! That's really awesome!" I reply.
He ambles back to the store, a bit broken hearten.
I drive through to get my Free Ultra Carwash, ego boosted.
Moral of the story: It pays to be nice, even to the guy at the gas station.
A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up "Hey you! Can you help me out?"
The doctor writes him a prescription, throws it down the hole and moves on.
Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up
"Father, I'm down in this hole, can you help me out?"
The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
Then a friend walks by. "Hey Joe, it's me, can you help me out?"
And the friend jumps in the hole!
Our guy says "Are you stupid? Now we're both down here!" and the friend says,
"Yeah, but I've been down here before, and I know the way out."
Remember, that your friends and your family will be there for you. Cause they will have been where you are and they can help.
Promise I will write more and put up some new pics when I'm done.
PS. I'm thinking of taking a writing class. What do you think?
New job and nothing to do. Alrighty then.
Love my Mickey watch, but I keep looking at my phone for the time. Old habits die hard.
Can't wait to see Transformers again. And Die Hard.
Lack of sleep and too much sugar equals aware meloncholiness.
Even in the middle, I still need a new bed. HHGregg? That would work. Why the heck not? What's a little more credit?
Babyshowers are more complicated that one would think. It was easy when I just had to buy some diapers, show up, eat some fingerfood, play dumb games and leave early.
D is a much better homemaker. Maybe he's right.
Adopt by next year? *bite my nails 'till they bleed*
I make such a cute Minnie Mouse.
What movies are coming out this weekend? Maybe I'll go out to the movies by my lonesome tonite.
Wonder whatever happened to Erik Ziegler?
Hope Wanda Jo is doing ok.
Liquid Hot "Magma"
I need more toys.
Why can't I sleep?
Idaho in March!! There'll probly be snow!
I wonder what the average really is?
How many will it take?
Magic 8 Balls don't really have all the answers. Don't believe packaging.
Alright, back to my "work".
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
WILLIAM E. HENLEY
Jade was escorted to her cabana by a nice valet named Joseph who moved to the resort from the big island of Tahiti, “to get away from it all”, he said. He politely opened the sliding glass doors and ushered her into luxury. The king sized bed was centered between the palm leaf ceiling fan and smooth bamboo floors. Marble and granite gleamed along with the brass fixtures in the Jacuzzi tub bathroom, and both windows looked out onto open water. In the middle of the floor stood a 3 foot square, glass box. There was no floor underneath it, just water straight below. The valet flipped a switch on the wall and watery blue light glowed through the box, filling the room.
“Underwater lighting attracts the fish at night.” he said.
Jade could see a man-made reef directly under her cabana, teeming with tropical fish of all colors and shapes. She could watch this for hours.
One last rundown of the amenities and Joseph took his tip and left Jade alone for the first time since she arrived. She felt the warm breeze dance on her skin from the open window and could hear the saltwater lapping under her feet. She wanted to be enveloped by it, but the bed called her name. Stripping down to her birthday suit she climbed into the soft, white covers. Burying her face in the warm down pillow, she laughed inside at her good fortune. This is a dream, she thought, I hope I never wake up from it.
Insomnia does not take a vacation. Nor does it stay behind for one. Jade dozed for few hours, drifting in between sleep and awake. In that place where your dreams are real and you can still feel the world around you. Small sounds catch your attention and won’t let you go. Sleep was not to come this night. Well, she thought, if I’m not sleeping, at least I’m not sleeping in paradise.
Jade got out of bed and flipped the switch on the underwater light. Pale blue light glowed through the glass box and the fish came in swarms. She grabbed a soft terry cloth robe and sat on floor. Her legs crossed like child sitting in a reading circle in Kindergarten, waiting for the story to unfold. Rainbows of fish in all colors and all manner of sea creature swam in and out of her view. They shimmered and danced in the glowing light. They fed off the small reef and played games with each other. Shining lights reflected from their glittering bodies. Blues and yellows, large and small, round and thin. They danced in circles and enthralled her. She had never seen such a beautiful display of color and grace. So fluid, so peaceful. The light reflected off their sleek bodies and moved with the water. Silver and gold.
Gold. A golden colored fish just at the edge of the light, caught her eye. It didn’t come closer to the reef and play with the other fish. It stayed just at the border of the glowing shafts of light, as if it was scared to come in. It stayed. It didn’t swim like the other fish. Indistinct in the watery beams. Was it moving at all?
Jade focused on the golden fish and realized that fish don’t stay still this long. What was it, if it wasn’t a fish? She stared through the glass and tried to focus on this new find. It was nearly impossible to make out at the edge of the darkness. It stayed perfectly still, shining like gold. What is that? she thought. Immediately she decided that she had to know.
Dropping the robe, she opened the sliding glass door, the warm night air breathed over her bare skin. She wouldn't bother to put anything on. It must be around 3am, no one was up. She looked down the walkway connecting the bungalows to the shore. Small lights spaced along the path glowed a soft yellow. She could see the main hotel and make out the roofline of the beachfront suites. The moon was nearly full and the clear water inviting. She hadn’t even dipped her foot in since she’d arrived and thought, what a perfect time to start my real vacation.
A short set of curving stairs directly in front of her door led into the water. She stepped down softly and glanced back toward the hotel, just to make sure no one was watching. The water touched her toes and she sank into the sweet warmth of tropical paradise. Enveloped by the welcoming water, she slowly sunk under. No sound, no world. Just serenity and peace.
Bit by bit she broke the surface of the water. A few smooth strokes and she floated, looking up at the near full moon. No one could see her here. She heard no sounds of life or the world. No stress of phones and faxes, voicemail and meetings. She was alone and she loved it. She let the tender water wash away the weight of every day and felt reality slip past. Jade held up her hand and watched the water run through her fingers, tinkling back to where it belonged. She could almost believe that she belonged here too. The world would wait for her. And if it didn’t, would she really be missing anything?
Your Love Life is Like
"Would you like me to seduce you? Is that what you're trying to tell me?"
His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one those boxes with a pinhole in it.
She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.
The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.
The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.
Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.
John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.
Even in his last years, Grandpappy had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
"Oh, Jason, take me!"; she panted, her breasts heaving like a college freshman on $1-a-beer night.
He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
The knife was as sharp as the tone used by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) in her first several points of parliamentary procedure made to Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) in the House Judiciary Committee hearings on the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton.
The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
She was as easy as the TV Guide crossword.
Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any pH cleanser.
She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.
Her voice had that tense, grating quality, like a generation thermal paper fax machine that needed a band tightened.
It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.
The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.
3. Its always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.
4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
5. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.
6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
9. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is probably not for you.
10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.
12. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
13. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.
14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
17. Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
19. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.
20. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
Needless to say, it has not been a healthy working environment for a large multitude of reasons. Alas, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And it is NOT the train!!
I GOT A NEW JOB!!!
Master's Transitions Director! I will be bringing on large producing, independent advisors to the platform. No More Banks!! I will also be traveling out to the advisors offices to help train their staff and get them up and running.
I'm very excited about this. I got a very nice raise and a promotion, from Manager to Director!
Today was a good day!
2. D makes me glad I chose him, everyday.
3. There was a PostSecret event in Savannah today. Wish I could have been there.
4. What will my next postcard be?
5. I got new hiking boots, and they're waterproof!!
6. People are mean sometimes, but it's only words.
7. I thank God everyday that He chose me to find His true Gospel.
8. I love camping.
9. I miss my friends in Cali (and carne asada burrito's)
10. I GOT THE JOB!!!
Term Of The Day: Acquisition Indigestion
A slang term describing an acquisition or merger in which the
companies involved have trouble integrating with one another.
Acquisition indigestion may also describe a situation in which
the purchasing company has difficulty making the most of a
Indigestion occurs when you eat too much or when you consume
food that doesn't agree with your stomach. The same outcome
relates to mergers and acquisitions that have gone sour, as
companies may get indigestion when acquiring too many targets
or purchasing firms that don't integrate well.
We camped at a private little campground where the owners lived in a house right on the campground. It was their property and they let people camp there. What a dream job! The campground was very well taken care of and the bathrooms had hot water and clean showers! We will definitely be going back.
Saturday morning we drove out to a trailhead at Linville Gorge "The Grand Canyon of North Carolina". The trees were so dense it felt like a rainforest, not like hiking in Cali at all.
The trail was pretty easy as we started, but got steeper the closer to the Gorge. There were some pretty crazy switchbacks that didn't seem like trail at all. Then you come around a corner and see a huge wall of basalt columns and water trickling down.
The moss grew everywhere and the ground was soft with layers of leaves and pine needles.
Beautiful flowers of all colors sprung up out of crevices in the rocks. Trees grew between cracks, the never ending battle between wood and stone.
This is our first view of the Gorge floor and Liville River. We hiked down about 1000 feet. The trail was a bit treacherous in places. There is so much rainfall here that the trail has to be rebuilt regularly. It is cut out of the side of a mountain and the fall is straight down.
It's September and the river is low. In the spring these rocks would be covered with water. The river runs about 10 feet deep during the spring. We played around down at the riverbed and took pictures and ate some snacks. There were little fish in the river too. A little trout, a catfish and a sucker-fish that D called an Oscar. I also saw a huge millipede. It was longer than my finger and had a thousand little tiny legs that moved in waves down it's body. The hike back up took my breath away, literally! A thousand feet ascent up a steep, switchback, mountain trail. The rocks and roots made for interesting footfalls. But it was worth it. Back to the truck, we're off to check out the waterfall at the head of the Gorge.
Linville Falls has an easy trail from the parking lot and there were a lot of visitors on Saturday. I heard a few different languages and saw some interesting folks on the way down and back.
The falls start with a little rapid spilling into a large pool. This would be a nice place to swim and play in (if the people who owned the National Forests, ie, us, could actually use them, but I digress). All we could do was take pictures. When I first saw these little rapids, I hoped the Carolinians had a better definition of 'waterfall' than this. I turned to my right and saw...
This picture is straight down. The gentle pool of water funnels into a tight crevasse and spirals down this chute of chimney rocks. This would be an awesome inner-tube ride! In the spring, the water finds it's way down a few different routes.
Here is a shot from Erwin's Viewpoint. The falls are gorgeous, the hiking superb and the scenery enveloping. We ate lunch at a sweet little restaurant called Famous Louise Rock House Restaurant. It is situated on the border of 3 counties and has signs inside indicating what county your table is in. I moved across all three counties to check out their brochure rack. I felt like such a traveler!
We had a great weekend away from the world and computers and phones and bills. There are few things in this life that are more rewarding than sitting by a campfire listening to the sounds of the night. Hiking down a trail to turn a corner and see the beauty that God has created for us.
I hope that we will step outside our front doors and look around. Take a walk down the street, a drive to the country, a weekend in a National Forest. The world is waiting.
I was so excited to see him when he came in I jumped up and kissed him!
What an awesome husband! It's like he has ESPN or something.
Come, Thou fount of every blessing,
Here I raise my Ebenezer,
Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Oh, that day when freed from sinning,
Who are these "other sheep"?
...a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas (including the ancestors of the Mayan's, Inca's and Aztec's) and contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting gospel.
The record gives an account of two great civilizations. One came from Jerusalem in 600 B.C., and afterward separated into two nations, known as the Nephites and the Lamanites. The other came much earlier when the Lord confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel. This group is known as the Jaredites. After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.
The firearm death rate in Washington DC is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period.
That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in the US Capitol which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq.
Conclusion: The US should pull out of Washington.
-Courtesy of Mike McLean's MySpace!
And today is Friday for me.
And I got a massage.
And I recommend watching "The Ultimate Gift". Very good movie!
And we're going out to lunch today.
And I'll be staying at the Marriott for the weekend.
And people make me laugh.
As I rubbed off the dirt and clay I noticed how cleanly the stone had been broken and it's relatively straight angles. I continued to play with the stone as I walked back in the house and talked with the guys. My coworker looked at the rock in my hand questioningly, but didn't ask. When I got home, I scrubbed off the last of the dirt with an old toothbrush and have been studying it ever since.
Why am I telling you about a rock? Why am I going into such detail about something so plain? Because I do not see it as a plain rock. I see it as a beautiful creation and evidence of God's miracles.
I once received a fortune from a cookie that read "You find beauty in ordinary things. Do not lose this ability." Finding beauty in ordinary things. I do truly see this as a gift, a talent given to me that I have helped to hone.
What do you see when you look at a tree, a leaf, a flower, a rock? Do you just see the tree? Does the rock catch your eye or your interest? I see the designs and patterns in the bark, the reaching of the branches towards the sun. I hear the symphony in the wind through the leaves. The pattern of veins in the leaf, giving route for water which is life. The delicacy of the petal, the perfection of the stamen waiting for nature to take it's course and bring the pollen. Life continues.
And the rock. The stone. The pebble. Where has it been? Did it start out on the mountain top? What has it's journey been like? Brought by the river, over the waterfall? Did it get pushed up from deep in the earth by heat and force? Was it carried by glaciers from far continents eons ago? What has it seen? Where will it go next?
Look at the cracks created by force and pressure. The minerals pushed inside bring color and diversity. Red is iron, white is quartz, green is copper. Water smooths the edges while heat and force sharpen lines. See the shape and feel the texture. Add it to my collection.
I wonder what other eyes would see in my shiny white rock?
I have tried them on and they are just plastic! Wouldn't your feet sweat in them? Then you would have weird dirty sweat marks on your stinky feet. I think they were designed for people who work in hospitals. D says it's easier to wash the blood and guts off of them. I see them everywhere now. From little kids to soccer moms to Capri clad grannies speed walking in the mall.
Jelly shoes are back too! Remember Jelly shoes? They cost about a dollar and you could buy them at the grocery store. They lasted about a week, then would break and you'd get another pair on the next grocery run. I remember the dirty lines on my feet from playing on the playground in my Jelly shoes. I guess these plastic hospital gardening shoes are this era's Jelly shoes!
Fad's flabbergast me.
(and I don't poke anyone in the forehead to get it!!!)