Monday, December 22, 2003

...so...we gotta wait until 4:30 today to close out Ye Olde Student Affairs and head out for Ye Olde Holidays.

And...I'm bored.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

So, it's been a couple of days. I would lie and say that I've been busy what with my LIFE and all, but that'd be utter crap. I've just been procrastinating. Sue me.

******

Today, I cleaned my apartment. And we're talking full-on cleaning -- the floors were mopped and waxed; the countertops were all scrubbed; the kitchen sinks are now scrubbed out; the over top got scrubbed clean; lots of dusting on the wood objects was done; laundry -and- dry cleaning taken care of in one fell swoop; and I even cleaned out that second spare junk closet in my bedroom. Now I can see the floor in there. The only thing I neglected to clean was the bathtub. But that's because Cricket will be getting a bath tonight, and I didn't want to clean it before she got cleaned. That would just be, oh, dumb.

The reason I got all Crazy Cleaning Guy is because when I leave here for the holidays, I don't want to come home to dirt. It's weird, yeah, but I'd rather spend a day BEFORE I travel getting everything all nice and shiny than to have to deal with dirt when I return. It's a me thing. I'm kooky like that.

******

So, while I was cleaning, I decide to drink the coffee a friend gave me for the holidays. However, she made a TERRIBLE faux pas. See, she's known me for almost three years now. She should be well-versed in my coffee drinking habits at this point. However, she bought me the one style of coffee which I don'tt trust: flavored coffee. This whole Hazelnut, Irish Cream, blah blah blah...I don't TRUST flavored coffee, because there are no flavored coffee plants. If I want my coffee to have a chocolate taste, I'll bloody well PUT cocoa in it, thank you very much. Yet, she buys me...Peppermint flavored coffee. Peppermint. --- so, in the spirit of the holiday season, I opt to try it. And Pepperminty is isn't. More like UGH flavored. I never knew that coffe could taste THIS bad, especially coffee that I make. I know the old adage of a poor workman blaming tools and all, but I just really had NO raw materials to go with here.

Therefore, Sonny's gonna have to make a better pot tonight to rid the taste of this putrid java from my memory.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

STUDENTS: gone.

ILLNESS: gone.

MENTAL STATE OF BEING: gone.

BLOGGING: on.

New rants to come Monday.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Just woke up to go pee. I can not feel any part of my body right now, and I'm seeing little stars.

This is so freaking cool...

Monday, December 08, 2003

The local Sam Goody store is going out of business.

All CD's are at least 60% off...and the stock had been WELL picked over before I got there.

But, I managed to snag a copy of The Pixies' debut album (Surfer Rosa) on CD for $4.

We have a full moon and I have a migraine.

Next up -- tap-dancing jackals!!!

******

Well, my karma wheel got shot to shyte this morning -- we had some homeless guy panhandling on campus outside of the building I live in. Given the LARGE number of break-ins at the fraternity houses and the general paranoia of some of the students here...I told Security about it. And now I feel like a total tool.

If anyone needs me, I'll be in my office clubbing baby seals...

Friday, December 05, 2003

Sonny Really Does Not Belong In The South Sign #47 : I laughed at the people walking to class today all bundled up like they were expecting a massive frozen mad storm. Like, these people are strutting about in giant freaking PARKAS, gloves, ski caps, and probably thermal underwear like there is no tomorrow.

Me? I just wear my swearter, suede jacket, and I grin like a fool because I love the cool weather.

Now, if I were in, say Chicago, NYC, or somewhere else where the cold weather was bitterly ooky, then I might have a different theory about the lack of warmth. But, as it is...eh. Whatever.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

For those of you who give two tosses about such things...


The Darkest Night of the Year
, by Over the Rhine.

BEST. HOLIDAY. ALBUM. EVER.

Listen and love.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Today is a good day.

Much like all 33-year-old heterosexual men, I keep a pair of "skinny pants" in the back of my closet, hidden far away from the rest of my clothing, for fear of intimidating them. These "skinny pants" were purchased a few years ago (in Grad School, for those of you with a Rosetta Stone for the timeline) and promptly fell into disuse due to, oh, my ass getting larger. However, the looked good, they felt good, and gosh darn it, they were the pride of my "dressy" clothes.

Since arriving in Jackson, I have not put on said "skinny pants" for fear of becoming insanely depressed because they didn't fit. But, my lethargic non-laundry-doing self was left with little choice this morning. Try on the skinny pants, and wear them, or come to work in sweatpants. Or nude.

-- and dude...yeah. The SKINNY PANTS FIT. What's more, is I have room left OVER in said skinny pants. Rock on. And my hotness factor increased by a level of twenty-seven points.

So, I'm celebrating by drinking an Egg Nog Latte. Screw it -- I can afford to gain a pound or two.


Tuesday, December 02, 2003

I had this really long rant to go on about, but now I'm just tired and want chocolate.

******

BUT...allow me to just start off by saying that I am now officially financially bereft of any solvency. Millsaps just announced that our insurance rates will go up in January.

By. Twenty-nine. Percent. 29%. Almost a third.

This means also that all co-pays will double, and all prescription refills just (at least) doubled as well. Couple this with the fact that in the three years I have been here, we have gotten one (1) raise...two and a half years ago...of 2%. There have been no cost-of-living increases, and any time that additional duties are assumed, there has been no monetary -- or hell, any -- compensation.

Due to this, I am now going to bring home less money each month than I did when I started here...and I have not added or changed my payroll deductions at all.

Cricket and I are both about to have to start eating dog food.

Monday, December 01, 2003

This will be the first of two (in a series -- collect 'em all) posts today. Why? Namely, because I have the Return of the King soundtrack blaring out through the speakers at my computer inspiring me to literary greatness, but also because I refuse to do anything productive at work, especially following a "break." My sinuses and allergies are trying to compensate for me being in relative good health all summer, and they're on full-blown attack mode.

******

SIGNS YOUR LIFE HAS BECOME A SELF-PARODY: I noticed something this morning when I was getting dressed. (Get your mind OUT of the gutters, children.) My clothes...all the clothes I am wearing today came from Ye Olde Bananae Republike. The socks. Skivvies. T-shirt. Belt. Pants. Button down jacket (suede, to boot). Jacket. Hell, the only articles of clothing that aren't from the Banana are my glasses and shoes. This, dear friends, is the end result of having a nice outlet mall, oh, three hours from your doorstep.

Last year (almost exactly a little over a year ago, in fact), I was in Birmingham to go see Tori Amos in concert (and meet up with a friend who I was ill-fated to eventually get a crush on and blah blah blah whoa-oh-oa-oh feelings etc. ad nauseum heartache yadda yadda move on). ANYWAY, I got there a little early, and I decided to scope out the local sights that were not terribly far from the concert arena. I'd seen the signs for this "Outlet Mall" several times before, but -- since I was normally on my way back to J-town when these signs came into my life and I was not particularly interested in spending any MORE money, I always opted to not take the road less traveled by (thereby going to what I thought must be an Outlet Mall with a selection of purchaseables on par with the average Shell gas station) and just jet on back to the land of crazed college students. But, since She Who Must Not Be Named Ere I Choke Up and I were not slated to meet for an hour or so, I decided to go kill time. "What do I have to lose besides a few scoffs at these simpletons and their shopping abilities?"

And...(in Comic Book Guy voice) this turned out to be.... The. Worst. Idea. Ever.

Holy Cats -- this place was like a shopping Mecca in the middle of a freakin' serial killer's dream locale. The Outlet Mall (hereforeafter referred to as "The Bleak Discover Card Draining Zone") is located in what looks to be the outskirts of a gravel pit, down County Line Mule Trail 409 or something, next to the saddest excuse for an amusement park ever created ("Vision Land," which sounds like an optometrist's dream world). TBDCDZ has the standard Outletty things -- shoes, books (where I bought the damn funniest book I've ever seen; Juice, you're getting a copy of this from Sonny Claus, bud), and a Banana Outlet. A HUGE Banana Outlet.

-- and since I do feel the need to look my best for all the many dates I go out on (translation: zero), as well as looking good at work (translation: after being kept up all night by the jackass stunts of college students, I HAVE to compensate for the dark circles under my eyes by looking as stylish as a mofo), well...shirts at half-price? A CASHMERE SWEATER FOR $20? Belts, good nice pet-able leather belts, insanely priced at three for $30?

My car weighed a little bit more on the return trip than it did on the way over. Didn't mind a bit that I got home at three in the morning wearing a coffee stain on my left shoulder from where I fell asleep while driving.

But, y'know, the fact that I now look like a walking billboard for the Gods of Style...I am disturbed. I am bothered by the fact that I am wearing all similar labeled items. It's like Grranimals for Adults.

Now, in my own defense, I have not nor shall I be a slave to A Label. These are quality clothes that don't fall apart after three washings. The fact they're all...from the same bloody place...well. Then. Only I know, and it is my shame to carry.

And now you all know. Please feel free to mock at your own peril.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

...ah, Thanksgiving...I get to stay here in the wonderful world of Millsaps until the residence halls close at 3:00 pm. Then, we initiate a room-to-room, building-to-building sweep of all the halls to make sure people are not squatting in their rooms over the break. We HAVE to do this, as the halls close down when the offices are closed, and I have caught people hiding in bathroom stalls and closets before. No joke. Thursday morning, I will begin the trek to Ye Olde Homesteade of Starkville for the EGG BOWL. I get to see my parents and sister (hoo-ha) and we can see if I can make it into the driveway and put my car in park before we all erupt into a skirmish. The day will consist of me trying to explain what I cooked and brought with me (I tend to cook foods that are a WEE bit healthier than my biological relatives are used to), followed by a lengthy debate on why I'm not married, why I'm a heathen, what exactly it is that I do (which, after working in Higher Education for ALMOST TEN YEARS NOW, one would think my parents MIGHT "get it"), and just how much cooler and socially acceptable my jackass kid sister is than I am. It's like a holiday special with the most dysfunctional family imaginable. But, there's a lot of love. It's normally found after my mom gets tipsy from the TWO glasses of wine she'll have. Lightweight...

Thursday night I will drive home, and sit my frazzled ass down back at home and watch the walls for three or four hours, just to de-stress. Friday I may try and fight the moonlight (sorry; I mean "traffic") and go hunting the ever-elusive bargains that strike on Black Friday. -- oh, who'm I kidding? I'll just rent movies and order pizza. Screw the mall. Especially Friday. All I'd do is buy crap for me and then complain about the inbred locals who go to the malls on the Friday after Thanksgiving at 2:00 am just to get that extra 5% off their framed duck prints at Kirkland's.


Tuesday, November 25, 2003

I look forward to out weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly staff meetings about as much as I would getting my eyeball pierced. Our monthly staff meetings used to consist of boring people going around the table explaining what all is happening in their specialty areas, while I spent the time writing out a suicide letter that I would use if the meeting didn’t end quickly. Now we have monthly STAFF DEVELOPMENT meetings where we all have to learn to play nice and bond with one another. I'm planning on intentionally having an aneurysm one Friday during these torture experiences, just to get out of it. I now understand why animals in the wild sometimes chew their own legs off to get out of traps.
So, for the first time in -- oh, over two months -- I have been able to start exercising again. And yes, by exercise, I mean I'm getting back into my Yoga regiment. Why? Well, there're a couple of reasons:

(a) It's the holiday season, and people cook. TOO much. And, with this food that they prepare, they expect me to eat said food. And these heathens do not cook with soy, organic food, or even anything lite or diety. These culinary Nazis use full-fat foods and heavy cream. Ergo, if I want to keep my waistline under 48 inches, I must Yoga-ize;

(b) For the first time since I started having these ******* chemicals injected directly into my noggin, I feel like doing physical things again. Unfortunately, some of the physical activities I would like to engage in, I can not, as I have no monogamous partner in which to engage...playing Trivial Pursuit (gutter minds, the lot of you; I know what you were thinking);

(c) Sadly, it makes me feel good. The idea that I am can stretch myself out on my living room floor and hear and feel the muscles and joints popping and stretching BACK into the shape they were in before I took a sabbatical...well, damn, but it makes me feel good about myself. Plus, it helps with posture; and

(d) I bought all those ******* DVD's, and I'm bloody well going to get my money's worth out of them.

Granted, my stomach, legs, thighs, arms, and back all hurt like hell right now, but I'm sure I'll be all suave and sexy by March.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Well, let's see -- this morning, I have managed to drop my dog off at the vet (check-up and tooth cleaning); I have had to buy Pepto (leftovers hurt); and my CD-ROM drive on my computer is acting all funkified.

...today is really Monday, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Here is a sad and shameless plug for a friend's little blog critter.


Suddenly I remember why I hate the holiday season: food.

Think about this -- I am stuck in a quad of fat. My birthday leads into Thanksgiving which leads into Christmas/etc. which leads into New Year's. I believe that at this moment, my fridge contains more food in it in the form of leftovers than it has held in the entire three years I've been here. And it's only going to get worse. My family and friends (damn you all) get this cooking bug lodged up their collective asses and decide to cook 46 metric tons of food to feed eleven people...and then it falls to the people who do NOT reside at the principle establishment where said food is consumed to transport this food back to each respective home.

Cricket loves the food, but please -- don't make my puppy a porker.

...and you people wonder why I prefer to volunteer at someplace like Stewpot for the holidays...I get to GIVE AWAY food, not keep it.


Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Crap, but you people are nosy...


NO, I WILL NOT DISCLOSE THIS PERSON'S NAME OR IDENTITY. Please. Gentlemen don't do that.

Anyway, if anything, this last post has made me realize that some people monitor this Blog thing closer than I thought. Remind me never to put anything personal up here that could cause anxiety. Buncha hooligans...

******

RA evaluations are proceeding apace. In the last two days, I have seen three of the four people I was the most afraid to have a one-on-one with, and they've all been well without incident. One person even commented that they were "pleasantly surprised" with the level of professionalism I exude, because they were convinced I was tearin' it up, and having drunken sex with my RA's and residents on a regular basis. [Okay, maybe not literally, but that's what it felt like I was being accused of.] I just smiled and told this person -- in professional terms, of course -- that I have come to believe that they weren't the sanctimonious egotistical prat that they come across as being 90% of the time. Civility coupled with politics. Fek aff.

******

The new Tori Amos CD and the 4-disc The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers both came out today. I am $40 poorer for it.

******

In an hour, I will go to the third celebratory birthday dinner in as many days. God bless my expanding ass...

Monday, November 17, 2003

Well, I finally bloody well did it.

-- y'ever have that certain someone, that special person who...you really can not explain why...but you've gotten close to them. You share something, something completely inexplicable...something that defies a rational, logical definition. This person, in my case, may be someone who you have parenthetically known for years. Someone who you've known OF, but not really known. Yet...you're brought together through circumstances that will make you feel an aneurysm coming on if you try and explain it.

This is a person who you have gotten to know REALLY well over the course of two and a half years...a person whose personality and yours may not have matched perfectly at first...but you've both grown. And grown together...and towards one another.

A person who you trust implicitly...who you could be just at home with lying next to them in flannel pajamas as you would be sitting in the finest restaurant...who you can share your deepest darkest secrets with as well as mock the passersby with. Someone who is YOU, but isn't you. Who compliments your personality in ways you never knew you needed...who helps complete a circle you never noticed was an ellipse...

Someone who, despite your best efforts and calculated attempts to not...someone who you have developed true, real, and sincere feelings for.

...and then you share said feelings, ready to take the risk and be shot down with.

...and, after sharing said feelings, the response you're given lies somewhere between "Oh, that's so sweet" and pure "But you're just a friend."

Yeah. Happy freakin' birthday, there, Sonny. No wonder Christ died when He reached your age (33). New beginnings, my flippant arse.


...and now, I will go and drink. Alone. In the dark.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

The Matrix Revolutions made me realize exactly how much my head hurts. I wanted to get an Occipital Nerve Block in my EYES after wathing that piece of dreck...

Monday, November 03, 2003

Yesterday was Sunday, November 2, 2003.

It was 87 degrees outside.

-- Look, I don't know about you, but to me, there is something INSANELY wrong with this.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Last night, I went to go see the lovely rendition of Fiddler on the Roof that was put on by the college. And it was amazing. The sets, the costumes, the actors...while not a "professional" production, it was damn close. The only letdown was the guy who played the lead. He was rather weak, and at times, I felt like he was just reciting lines he'd read from somewhere with absolutely NO charisma.

Plus, the sound just went...weird...when he tried to sing. Oh, and he tried. In vain.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The next band I'm in? I've already got the name picked out -- CRUNCHY LIKE STYROFOAM.

Yeah...

Well, THIS will make you feel damn old...

Remember when keyboards had cent signs?

Millsaps does the darndest thing -- they help to co-host the Southern Circuit Film Festival, and we get some of the wierdest (and best!) independent films available as a part of this little shinding.

Last night, for example, we had a screening of The American Astronaut, and it...was...amazing. I liked the darn thing so much I bought the soundtrack. I'm listening to it right now, while waiting for my brain to explode.

"WHAT DID YOUR FATHER TEACH YOU?" "MY FATHER TAUGHT ME TO KILL THE SUNFLOWER."

******

The Matrix Reloaded comes out on DVD today. [insert pure apathy here]

******

Monday, October 13, 2003

Forget the idea of an essay as part of the Admissions process -- I am now a staunch advocate the idea of a mandatory psychological screening for incoming students.

In the last day or two, let's see -- we've gotten reports of strippers, pot-bellied pigs, and drunken first-year students standing on the lawns of the fraternity houses screaming that the men in the fraternities "don't know how to treat women right."

PLUS...there is the added advantage of the lovely story of one of my residents coming to see me, claiming that their roommate is doing drugs, and that she confiscated some of the paraphanelia. "Great," thinks I. "This day is turning out to live up to the ideal of a Monday the 13th." So, I see the baggie containing the drug-related material. It includes: (a) a bottle cap from Michelob Lite, (b) a tube used for yeast infections, and (c) something that smells an awful lot like cranberry potpourri.

I'm just looking for the hidden cameras now. My life makes utterly no sense. *sigh*

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Squirrel hazing is a terrible crime, and the victims go unmourned year after year.

The madness must end.


(Really...some of my students would be THIS weird...)
Clearly, I am not well enough to begin my Yoga practicing again, as I just fell flat on my face. Literally. Ker-splat and all that jazz.

I'm just going to get some water now, and then begin the morning routine. Sans exercise.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

And thus didst Computer Services fixeth mine PC so that I might post upon yon Blog upon the end of weeks...

Currently, I'm listening to Ohio from Over the Rhine (GO. BUY. IT. NOW.) while sorting through several boxes of comic books. I'm about to begin a HUGE round of sell-offs at ebay to either (a) go for that "minimalist" lifestyle I've always wanted, or (b) help to pay off the national debt/medical bills I have.

Oh -- and I would say that I'm holding down my breakfast and lunch, but I haven't eaten yet. :)

Friday, October 10, 2003

Much to the chagrin of my staff, the amazement of my co-workers, and the annoyance of my physician, my happy arse is sitting in my office right now.

I shan't be here all day, but...it's a start.

Oh, and apparently my PC has been repaired, so I can email from home again. Joyous. Now I get to go back to working 24/7, 365...

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Still reeling from a day that defied all logic.

******

Everyone, go pet some small fuzzy animal. I hear that helps...

Monday, October 06, 2003

It is raining outside.

The Kava House is out of House Blend Starbucks (TM) coffee.

...welcome to Monday, kids. The sledgehammer is in the corner. Let's all take turns playing "Whack-a-Sonny."

******

In news of a lesser suckage, I found a still-sealed copy of Over the Rhine's Till We Have Faces CD (on the IRS label!!) at the local Border's. Yes, this is a good thing, troglodytes.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Today, I proctored the LSAT and had a cup of Chai Tea. These were the highlights of the day.

...somewhere, someone is now shaking their head at my pathetic existence (hi, mom).

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Tonight is the season premiere of Angel. It is in all likelihood the last season of Angel.

I have a bottle of Cabernet sitting at home with David Boreanaz's name on it. Tomorrow, I will probably have an hangover with David Boreanaz's name on it, the bastich.

******

Okay, we're still nine days away from a full moon, yet the first year students here have decided to go ahead and get all lycanthropic on me.

Last night, I got a call about a cat fight. An honest-to-goodness, hair-tearing, face-scratching, tooth-biting cat fight. Between two women who -- as of two weeks ago -- were ready to declare war on each other. The best part is that when each were asked separately if they wanted to move, they both said "no." They both agreed they'd try to get along.

Yeah. THAT really worked.

******

...and a shout-out to Lane. What up, yo?

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I am now emotionally scarred.

THOSE OF YOU WHO ATTEND THE AS-YET-UNDISCLOSED-BY-NAME-YET-TERRIBLY-EVIDENT-BY-INNUENDO COLLEGE THAT I WORK FOR...do NOT eat the Cool Ranch Doritos (TM) in the Kava House. They have no flavor. Two people -- plus me -- have all opened separate bags, and have been psychologically damaged by the absence of Cool Ranchy goodness. These are, simply, naked and flavorless corn chips.

Sweet Canadian Mullets...what the heck will happen next?!?

Sleep. I remember this theory. It was a good one, at one time.

As it stands now, I think I'm getting it in three hour (or less) increments. I don't think it's scientifically possible at this point for me to sleep more than three hours and four minutes at a stretch. This is, logically, followed by me getting insomnia for a good half an hour before I conk out again. Rest is for the weak. I acknowledge it not.

-- and no, it's not due to unnatural caffeine ingestion. I didn't drink any coffee products last night.

Part of the problem (I believe) comes from the fact I'm not taking my medication right now. Now, before I am burned in effigy, it's because I was asked to see if I can keep from doing so before I take yet another return trip to the Friendly Neighborhood Neurologist, and they run another shiny, happy series of tests on me to see what in the name of Xanadu is wrong with my head. So, Sonny has unnatural pain in his noggin (including, but not limited to, a scalp that is so tender that it hurts to wash my hair) and this makes the resting on the pillow to be an accomplishment in and of itself.

Feh.

Monday, September 29, 2003

It's been one of THOSE Mondays; I'm not my biggest fan right now. I'm just taking the attitude the rest of the free world has adopted -- apparently, I got "666" tattooed on my forehead last night or something...so, come on! The game is called Pile on Sonny!

I shall now go and seek therapy through caffeine. Of course, my bloody espresso machine WOULD choose this weekend to completely, utterly, and unfixably break (as in, knobs -- PLURAL!! -- fall off at random). Now I must buy another before I am comforted. I'm tellin' ya -- it never rains. It pours.

This. World. Blows.

When's the train for the next one?

Good Lord, but some of you people are bloody impatient. "Sonny, where's the latest news?" "Sonny, where's the love gone?" "Sonny, have you seen my shoes?" Forgive me -- sometimes this job thing of mine takes hold and eats away my time.

Like today. It's Monday, ergo, one must contend with the madness of the previous weekend. However, there was no madness. All flash, no crash. Not that I'm COMPLAINING, mind you...it's just that this means I get to spend multiple hours digging through paperwork.

My desk is now clean. -- okay, "clean" is not the best descriptor. It's "free from a lot of random crap being piled on top of it." Better?

******

It's been very interesting to observe the changing of the interoffice dynamics here since new people arrived. Those who have been here for a while and have done a lot of work [raises hand] now appear to be on the outside looking in. Oh, it's not that I wish I spent multiple hours in meetings, but...

Picture this: you've been working in a certain field, say, higher education administration, for nigh on ten years. You feel that you've done a more-or-less non-utterly-sucky job at it. You've worked at, say, three different institutions. You've been given an increasingly larger number of priorities and assignments. Let's also just hypothetically state that the merest possibility exists that at the current institution you work for, a person or persons who are in a higher position than you have been providing moronically less-than-quality work, and you -- based on who you are and the damnable work ethic you possess -- have, again, hypothetically speaking here, covered the arse of said person or persons above you on MULTIPLE occasions.

-- and yet, somehow, with the changing of the guard, a division line now exists. An almost-visible, almost-tangible "us" (the people on one hallway) versus "them" (the people on the other hallway) mentality. A feeling of how the "uses" are like batteries, and we're interchangeable, no matter who we might be. A cabbage could come in and do as effective a job as you are doing.

Welcome to the "us" -- or rather, "me" -- feeling right now. ...and yes, I can see how this might fly in the face of my earlier posting about Jessica. But, it doesn't. Swear to G-d, if it was not for the RA's, and some of the students here, I'd blow this joint in a heartbeat. People wonder why I put up with this? The "kids." I honestly love the ideals of higher education, and by G-d, I they are the reason I do this, have done this, and will continue to do this. The administrivia is just a bad, bad, by-product of it all.

But...my gracious and giving nature can only extend so far. I'm burnt, and burnt badly. I'd like to be appreciated as a professional for a change. Call me mad, but that's my wish. Unless something MIRACULOUS happens in the course of the next few months...

I leave in May. Or June, at the latest.

It's best I leave here before I leave the field.

And you've heard (okay, "read") it here first.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

I think I just had a religious experience.

After two days of trying to download the new trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, I finally succeeded in proving my geekiness and did so. Just about three minutes ago.

Holy Elvis, this looks amazing.

I've read the books at least a dozen times. I've read The Silmarillion, and the "lost" writings of Tolkien. I freakin' KNOW what's going to happen in this movie, but...I honestly don't have any breath left to be taken away.

Unreal. Amazing. And still two bloody months away. *sigh*...

Saturday, September 27, 2003

...sometimes, after literally sitting around and wondering if you make any difference in the world and in anyone's life...wondering if they couldn't just hire some yolkel off the street to do what you do, because you feel about as appreciated as a cold sore...sometimes, just one sentence will pop out at you that makes you realize that, in some small, infinitesimal ways, you might matter.

Like last night. I had a couple of my RA's over to watch A Mighty Wind. (Hey, someone has got to assist with the education of the young and impressionable. Might as well be my dorky arse.) So, we're sitting there after the movie, talking, laughing...and then, Jessica's phone rings. She answers it, and it's a call from a friend of hers at home. Now, keep in mind -- I have no clue who this person is, and they sure as cocoa don't know me. But Jessica makes one comment, probably totally off-the-cuff, which made time freeze for me, and was the nicest thing anyone has said about me in, oh, forever:

Her comment was something along the lines of, "I'm over at my boss' apartment. Yeah, he lives on campus, and he's my boss, but he's more of a friend than anything." [Emphasis added by me.]

I slept more soundly last night than I have in months. No joke.

And, unless the little brazen hussy finds this posting, she'll never know what a huge, huge, huge difference her comment made in my life.


Crap. Now I'm feeling things again. I think I liked it better when my soul was devoid of life and there was just a dark, empty place where my heart used to be.

Friday, September 26, 2003

In a move to either push me off the cliffs of insanity or to make me become the newest poster child for AA, one of the fraternities here on campus is finally getting taken off social probation this weekend.

So, clearly, they need to have a party to celebrate this fact.

They're having the Official Hooray, We're Off Social Probation Party. And yes, that IS the registered name they've given it.


Gotta admit -- it beats the heck out of the Catholic Schoolgirls and Drunken Old Perverts Swap that a fraternity here held last weekend.


Note to self -- find a new life. Fast.
Well. This has been just one big ol' week of firsts for the Sonnster. Last night (don't worry -- I'll give the whole story later on), I managed to find myself at The Forum.

-- now before you ask, no, The Forum is not a place where men in togas go to spout off philosophy. God knows I couldn't be that lucky. No, the Forum is...well, let's just start at the beginning, 'kay?

A friend of mine is turning 34 today. Bemoaning the "loss" of her youth, she asked me and a few people out for drinks after work. Lager's -- the candy store of imported beers here in Jackson -- was the designated starting spot. I don't have a problem in the world with Lager's. They serve me Beamish. This makes me happy.

Anyway, after Karen polished off her eleven-hundredth Appletini, she slurred out the sentence "Heylet'sgodancingoveratTheForum'causeit'smybirthdayblaargh." Now, I had avoided The Forum up to this point, for one reason and one reason alone -- Better Than Ezra. Oh, it's not that I have a burning hatred for BTE. Quite the opposite, in fact. It's just...I bloody well refuse to pay $25 to go see a band I saw DOZENS of times for FREE while I was in college. Call me crazy. It's a me thing. So, by association, I refuse to support any dive hole in the wall that would force me to turn over some of my heard-earned money (that could be better spent -- I don't know -- buying sea monkeys over the Internet) to go see a band that I pretty much own stock in.

But, this being Karen's birthday and all, I go.

...and here my troubles began.

Words fail me. I can not describe the enormity of the travesty that is The Forum. In between the hoochie mommas, the mullets, and the bartender whose cup size was clearly DD and her shirt size was XS (and it was an open chest shirt as well, much to the pain of all)...there was a kid there. A. Kid. She couldn't have been more than 13, and she was shooting pool. In the back room -- which was located next to the most unkempt and hygenically impaired kitchen imaginable. The best part was listening to the mouth on this kid. Man. She has a future in sales, lemme tell ya. I don't think that I've ever used some of the words she did. She dropped the "F-bomb" so many times, it was like experiencing Bosnia.

After some woman who looked like the body double of Patsy from AB FAB grabbed my ass while I was standing slack-jawed at the inbred troglodytes around me...I cashed my chips in. Birthday be damned, and the vodka tonic I was drinking was weaker than my fortitude at this point. So, I left. I went someplace sane -- Fenian's. Nothing says "Welcome Home" like an Irish pub. -- yeah, okay, so it's in Mississippi. Big deal. Like I care.

...'course, I did eventually come back to campus to see a "WELCOME, HELL'S ANGELS" sign on the side of one of the fraternity houses here. And people wonder why I take so much medication for migraines. Honestly.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

So, last night, I was introduced to yet another Jackson Landmark -- the Cherokee.

Now, I've lived here for three years. I've avoided a lot of the local "hot" spots, mostly because they induce self-destructive and suicidal thoughts. I mean, Jackson is the capital of Mississippi, yet there are (a) no dance clubs for people my age and those close to my age, (b) no GOOD bars -- meaning, those that aren't frequented by bleach-blonde floozies lookin' for a GOOD MAN, and (c) no artsy places. Granted, as far as a social life goes, the artistic stuff can fall to the wayside nine times out of ten, but...eh. It's still worth mentioning. 'Cause some days, you just want a good museum. Or film house. Of which we have neither.

Anyway, the Cherokee was reportedly this oh-so-kewl place to go. Every time that I drove by there, it was packed. Packed. People were lining up out the door, and -- in spite of the 1950's sign (which wasn't retro; it was authentic) announcing "Cold Beer," -- it seemed, from the exterior, to be a happenin' little joint. So, when two women of the Major Babeage Persuasion (both friends, both in committed, happy relationships, damn their souls) ask me if I'd like to join them for a drink after work at the Cherokee, I was more than willing to give it a go. Mostly for the company, but hey -- it was going to be a new experience for Sonny. I was up for it.

So, at about 6:00 pm, I steeled my nerves and entered Yon Cherokee.

Oh. My. Freakin'. God.

-- y'know, I am open-minded. I am a well-rounded fellow. I tend to not be judgmental in all aspects of life, but THIS place...to call it a "Greasy Spoon Diner" is a gross understatement. It was more like a "Greasy Full Utensil Drawer" taken to the max. Let's start the descriptions with the physical building and move into the clientele, shall we?

THE BAR -- looked like it was ripped out of someone's wood-paneled, shag-carpeted basement. Not ONLY did they not have a liquor license, they also did not have any imported beers, thereby leaving me with "Bud" and "Miller" as my ONLY two drink choices. I've honestly seen stage sets that looked more authentic. I've seen men's restrooms in freshman residence halls that were cleaner.

THE BOOTHS -- were booths. As in picnic benches, with plastic red-checkered covers. For those of you who have been to the typical Southern deep-frying catfish huts...yep. Looked exactly like that. Oh -- and they were sticky. Some of the booths were built into the walls, and they were a little more stable than an epileptic Tasmanian devil.

THE FOOD -- I'm sorry, but I just could not bring myself to order food that looked like the primary ingredients were fat, grease, and more fat and grease. Ugh.

THE REST OF THE PLACE -- the men's restroom did not have a door leading to the toilet. You open the door to go in, and if you open it wide enough, people walking by could see you doing your business; the hallway leading to the restroom was poorly lit, and had five or six free-standing video games in it. I did not make note of what they were, for fear of my brain imploding; the juke box (yes, and authentic juke box) held such new releases as...The Joshua Tree; the patio -- behind the restrooms -- looked to be where the Jackson chapter of the Women Who Are Krispy Kreme Overeaters and Like To Wear Stretch Pants Three Sizes Too Small was congregating; the kitchen was, I believe, behind the three uncovered-and-filled-to-the-brim-to-the-point-of-overflow trashbins.

THE SERVERS -- the less said the better. I think they imported cast extras from Deliverance -- as in they were that old, that ugly, and they seemed to want to tell us we all had purty mouths. One of them looked to be wearing a shirt that was so covered in various and sundry stains that the original color was lost some time around 1987.

THE CLIENTELE -- well, I had to take an anti-depressant after I got home. Does that sum it up? Puffy hats, unkempt facial hair...if I had seen this crowd when I was a teenager, and thought that THIS was what I had to look forward to once I became and adult, I would have killed myself before high school was over.


Mercifully, we were only there for two hours. One of the parties I went with had to go home to watch The Bachelor.

I went home and cried. And drank. Alone. In the dark.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003


Migraine + migraine medicine + empty stomach
= waking up at 3:00 am, sweating, and having to lie down on the cold bathroom floor while the alien bursts through your chest cavity.

I'm gonna go get some more Pepto, now...

You kids play nice. See you in a day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The Humorous Recap of Sonny & Mike's Excellent Adventure Continues...

PART THE FOURTH -- in which we learn How Not To Stage A Protest...


So, Chuckles and I park his car, and the we begin our trek across the campus of USM looking for the protest site. Amazingly (he says, rolling his eyes as he types), the protest area was not clearly delineated. Shocking, I know, but bear with me. Mike was told via his listserv that the protest would take place at the "Main Entrance" of USM. If you've ever BEEN to USM's campus, then you realize that USM has about 17 "main entrances" -- we were unclear if the Nazis were going to be located at the main entrance by the Student Center, the main entrance by the giant marquee, the main entrance by the football field, the main entrance by the main driving thoroughfare...decisions, decisions, decisions.

Have I mentioned it was WET lately? No? Well, it was. And getting muddy and drenched while surrounded by a gaggle of 4-H alums and future slaves to the monkey grinder was NOT how I was planning on enjoying my Saturday. I'd rather have been at home, with my lazy arse on my couch, watching reruns of GODZILLA films or something. But, how many chances would I get to see humanity at its worst, all up close and personal like this? Not many. I tend to avoid racists and bigots. It's a personal thing.

So, after passing the alumni house (and not being offered a refreshing adult beverage -- and I was even inadvertently wearing USM colors!! So much for Southern hospitality...) we located the mass. Located at the front driving entrance (for maximum visualization, no doubt, as they wanted EVERYONE on hardy Street to see and hear their message), they were easily noticeable by the gaudy and hateful signs they were carrying.

God Hates Fags.

Thank God for September 11.

God Blew Up the Shuttle.


...and so on. Close to a whopping total of a DOZEN of Fred Phelps Whelps were there. A. Dozen. Fifteen at the most. And on "our" team? Tons more. Oh, to be sure, the GLBT Group hadn't taken into account the ran that was coming down (as all their signs were running and streaking -- through, mercifully, none of THEM were running and streaking -- due to the fact they used colored markers and construction paper), and the group never stayed at a constant number (due to the fact that there WAS a football game going on; hello!). But...but...there were a lot of students there.

Fraternity members would walk by and voice their support to the counter-protestors. Granted, a lot of them were drunk, but on more than one occasion, they would remark -- to the Phelpsites -- that they should get off their campus; that they weren't welcome here; that USM didn't want their [insert expletives here] hate here.

People drove by in droves, honking, cheering, and waving at the counter-protestors, voicing their support, and -- in one case -- blatantly flipping off the Phelps crew while shouting vulgarities at them.

The news crews came, and the USM students looked and sounded calm, rational, professional, and they expressed genuine pain that people could hate them so much, just because of who they were.

Students unaffiliated with any group would come by and express support for the counter-protestors, staring in genuine disbelief at the Phelps crew.

And the Phelps team? I'll not give them one iota of free space to those people. Just know that it was clear who the calm group was.


THUS ENDS CHAPTER FOUR. Coming Soon -- Chapter Five: The Endcap.

Monday, September 22, 2003

The Humorous Recap of Sonny & Mike's Excellent Adventure Returns -- now with added riboflavin!

PART THE THIRD -- and the boys brave the campus...and the loons...

Ever seen Hattiesburg during a home football game? I swear, I think everyone in the bloody city comes out (ironic choice of words, no?) for the game. Partially, because they're probably all alums, but also because there's nothing else to DO in Hattiesburg.

Anyway, Mike & I drive from the "mall" over to the campus of USM. Now, keep in mind, that this is an SEC-wannabe school. They try to do everything the BIG SEC schools do, including, but not limited to, letting their student body run free and drink unchecked on campus during a BIG GAME weekend. I should know. I worked for one of those BIG SEC schools. I have a cowbell to prove it.

So, we drive around the campus, looking for a parking place. That takes all of five minutes. All the bloody lots are full -- full of campers, RV's, tents...I think I even saw a family BBQ taking place. It wouldn't surprise me. So, after agreeing that parking on campus makes about as much sense as me wearing something that's not an earth tone, we head across the street.

Now, caveat here folks -- please insert any and all stereotypes of Mississippi you would care to at this point. When I state we're going to park across the street, this means Mike and I will leave his car in a field, tromp through wet grass and mud (gee, glad I dressed for this), and then cross four lanes of traffic: Highway 49, which is actually one of the two or three main thoroughfares for Hattiesburg. Sad, really. Two wet, white guys sprinting across the road, hoping that the souped-up truck bearing down on us does not have a "roadkill" sighting.

Blah.

So, we march for about three minutes (which feels like seventy minutes -- IT'S RAINING, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!), and we make it onto the campus of USM. Now all we have to do is find where the damn protest is supposed to take place. All we see are bubbas, beer cans, and the ugliest cheerleader and dance team outfits ever known to man.


THUS ENDS CHAPTER THREE . Coming Soon -- Chapter Four: God Hates Fags. Apparently, though, He is supposed to give his support to hatemongers.
So, after a three year gap of not knowing where the hell he was, I finally -- through searching for minutes and minutes on the Internet -- locate my old college roommate from the days of the undergrad.

Turns out the chunk is living in our shared old hometown of Tupelo, teaching at our shared old Junior High (now Middle School) of Milam.

The more things stay the same, kids...


Oh, and he's no longer a card-carrying member of the "She Dumped Me, Dave" Club (and if you catch that reference, give yourself a pat on the back of your straightjacket, you sad, sad little person). He's dating again after She Who Must Not Be Named (Version 1.0) ripped the poor schlub's soul out. I'm proud of him. Of course, if he's gained weight and lost his hair and he's still got a significant other...whatever. There is no justice in the world. There's also no coffee in my mug, so if you will excuse me...

Hey -- didja catch the Emmys last night? I DIDN'T. I was running helter-skelter in the rain last night, dealing with some jackass political morons (translation: "Republicans") who were going door-to-door in the residence halls, soliciting personal information from the students. Like, say, their SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. I almost got to call the Jackson Police Department and get people arrested!! Yay! Still wouldn't make up for MISSING JON STEWART'S MONOLOGUE, but...see, solicitation of ANY sort is HIGHLY against all 'Saps rules, but especially in the residence halls. So, I got to deal with some puffed up self-important fat, balding, white guy who thought he could toss his Boss Hogg self abouts and think I would cower in fear. Ask my RA's about my 'tude last night. They all got a scathing voice mail from me. If this appalling ham creature thought he'd intimidate me...feh. Go back to the county fair and get on a soapbox, slappy.

Other bit of random ulcer-inducing news: my coworker, Mike Coogans, likes to walk around the neighborhood for exercise. I do Yoga. I can't judge. Anyway, Mike, my clearly not-heterosexual coworker, calls me on Friday afternoon to tell me that "some hottie chick" pulled over in her $80,000,000 Mercedes SUV to try and pick him up. Pick. Him. Up. The last date I had came in bag of dried fruit. And this cheeky bastich is being hit on by the gender he cares nothing for.

I quit. I'm going to get a less-stressful job, like manhandling HIV-positive cobras or something.



Saturday, September 20, 2003

Oh...my...achin'...head.

I have a migraine the size of Topeka. Seriously, I understand the principles of folding space now -- the area inside my cranial cavity seems to be contracting and expanding at some kind of supernatural rate. I'm seeing stars, and the Emmys haven't even aired yet.

Ergo, blog-free Saturday. Maybe once the witch doctors come and shove needles through my eye sockets. Ow...ow...ow...need a hug.

Friday, September 19, 2003

INTERMISSION -- observation from College Center, Room 310

I need to get a new pot for the Peace Lilly in my office. See, I wouldn't know to do this on my own. It took a rude comment from some random student walking by for me to realize that my pot-size-to-plant-size ratio is askew.

...sadly, these ARE the moments my life is made of. Joy. Bloody savages...

PART THE SECOND -- In which our intrepid heroes drink a lot of caffeine.

So, it was raining on Saturday. Not a hard rain, but one of those steady ones where if you stand outside for, say, two hours, you're bound to get drenched. Faboo.

Mike & I headed out at approximately 1:30, bound for Hattiesburg, armed with a bag of pretzels, a Diet Vanilla Pepsi, and a Diet Dr. Pepper. We knew there would be war, and we were prepared. An hour and a half later -- and after a lengthy debate on the differences between a "sanatorium" and a "sanitarium" (don't ask; you'll only hurt yourself) -- we arrived in H-burg. We still had an hour to kill, so we went to the local "mall" for a quick cup of coffee for me, and a quick run to the parfum counter at McRae's for Mike, so he could re-apply some Polo Blue.

At The Coffee Beanery, Mike and I overheard a few USM students talking about the impending arrival of the Phollowers of Phelps, and how the USM GLBT (that's "gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered") Student Group and the USM Chapter of Amnesty International were going to be armed to the teeth with posters and the like to show up the nuts that were going to be protesting. I have to admit, it made me feel good to hear that the students were up in arms about this. As someone who is a card-carrying Ally (loose translation: someone who is heterosexual but is a supporter of friends and family members who are g/l/b/t), I felt really, really good that here -- in the buckle of the Bible belt -- there were people who weren't willing to condemn the GLBT group, and were genuinely p*ssed that this schmoe was coming to their school. It shows me just how far Mississippi in general has grown, and how much support people are willing to show to their fellow human beings. It's called "being decent," for those of you who are caring-impaired.

And thus armed with a Mocha Latte, and smelling well, Mike & I left the mall...for the drive to USM, and the confrontation with...the bigots.


THUS ENDS CHAPTER TWO. Coming Soon -- Chapter Three: Holy Shyte, I'm Cold.
Son of a -- well, it appears that America's Single Most Crappy ISP Ever Invented (i.e.: our campus server) has gone wonky again. Ergo, this frees me up a li'l time to provide the Humorous Recap of Sonny & Mike's Excellent Adventure to Hattiesburg to go deal with the hate mongers.

For those of you not in the know (and shame on you if you don't know), this jackass by the name of Fred Phelps (a native Mississippian -- go fig) has taken it upon himself to become God's Instrument of Divine Retribution...against people he finds that are different from him. That would be most of the civilized word, but I digress. Anyway, this charming pinnacle of dickhood was also the dimwit who decided that a protest at the funeral of Matthew Shepard (feel free to visit the memorial site at http://www.matthewshepard.org/) was something that was clearly in good taste. I've had the opportunity to hear Judy Shepard, Matthew's mom, speak, and it left me feeling like someone had torn my soul out. If wish that I could I have 1/1,000th of that woman's courage and strength. Amazing.

Mike Coogans (-ha!- names have been changed to protect the hip and trendy), the other AD at The College I Work For is on the Equity Mississippi listserv, and he was given notice that the Phelps Phanatics would be staging several protests in the state of Mississippi, both at several churches and at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

...now, before I proceed, I feel the need to toss out a nice little caveat: despite the beliefs of others, I myself am one of "those others" -- a heterosexual. Yes, I admit it. I dig chicks. I might dress nicely (for the most part), have an odd addiction to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and spend way too much time making sure that my apartment and I both look good, but...eh. I'm straight, but not narrow. Most of my male friends are indeed gay, but -- good Lord, I'm a single male working in Student Affairs. We're stereotyped. Diogenes couldn't find an honest man, and it's about as difficult to find one of my kind working in Student Affairs. [insert obligatory lamp/flame one-liner here]

THUS ENDS CHAPTER ONE -- for I am hungry and must eat.
T-FREAKIN'-G-I-BLOODY-F.

Ah, Friday -- when a young man's fancy turns towards alcohol. Or something like that.

For those of you who were expecting bloggage yesterday, sorry. I have this thing called a "job" that I use in lieu of a "life," and it eats up some of my time. But...fear not. Later on today, the Humorous Recap of Sonny & Mike's Excellent Adventure (to go see the hate-filled protest led by Fred Phelps' Phanatics at the University of Southern Mississippi) will be appearing.

Consider this your teaser trailer.


Now begone. I hunger.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

"...and we're back. Thanks for holding. Caller #3, you're up next."

Ah, me. It's just another day in this fine little slice of paradise called Jackson. Whoo-ha.

Those of you familiar with the 'saps will find great humor in this -- the Kava House, the lovely little coffee shop on the first floor of the Student Center is now serving Starbucks (TM) coffee. Yes, Starbucks (TM) coffee. Because, clearly, Starbucks (TM) coffee is superior to all else.

[For those of you with a scorecard -- we've gone from Broadstreet to Millsaps to Starbucks (TM). That's a new food carrier/provider for every year I've been here. "Heavens, what shall they do when I leave," he asks, mocking sincerity obvious to all...]

At any rate, we've got Starbucks (TM) coffee...with the typical Kava House service. I just walked upstairs after spending five minutes waiting for someone to come to the front and actually check me out. -- okay, so I actually walked behind the counter and poured my own...three...to-go cups of coffee (I like to share), but still...one would think that with a huge corporation like Starbucks (TM) to provide Starbucks (TM) brand coffee we'd get Starbucks (TM) brand service. But noooo....

Shoulda just gone to the freakin' Caf and gotten yogurt.

Oh -- and I'm now getting notices from friends of mine who live in coastal areas along the east coast that they're either (a) evacuating due to that "hurricane" thing that's coming by, or (b) they're evacuating because -- as in the case of the College of William and Mary -- the whole bloody school is shutting down to evacuate. Godspeed to you, Jack. May your students be bright enough to evacuate. MINE AREN'T.

-- case in point: the last BIG storm we had this summer, when all the sirens are going off on campus, and Campus Safety is having to go into the Writing Center to evacuate it , what do I find? Three drunk little fraternity boys hanging out under a tree. Drinking. Sitting on a blanket. 'Cause they thought it's be cool to watch the storm come in.

Yeah. We have such bright ones here...

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

...and it's almost 7:00 pm CST. I'm back in my office...because...[deep sigh]. Again, I have no life.

Well, I did just finish watching two episodes of Angel Season Two, so maybe I need something to make me happy. Like coffee.

Hrm...so, the question has been asked: "Why the crap are you blogging?" (A word I will never, ever get used to...).The reasons are varied, and quite entertaining:
(a) Well, when I'm not working on judicial cases for this place, it will give me something to do besides read;
(b) There are enough random things that happen in the course of a day that it needs to be documented somewhere;
(c) Once the Internet gains sentience and destroys all carbon-based life on this planet, the machines will keep me on as a comedian; and
(d) To prove I'm a nerd.

So. There ya go.

Welcome, one and all, to yet another pointless blog. Blog. I give it three hours before Webster's picks this up as a new term to include in the increasingly depressing dictionary.

Anyway, welcome, pull up a chair, and pour y'self a cup of coffee. I'm on my third.