Monday, December 20, 2004
Friday, December 10, 2004
Written by Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, and Judd Winnick. Art by Ed Benes, Phil Jiminez, Rags Morales, Ivan Reis, and Jesus Saiz. Cover by Jim Lee and Alex Ross.
Or, for the alternate cover...
Yep. I'm a geek.
Monday, December 06, 2004
Yeah -- so, I survived a near-death experience in an automobile, only to spend two days shopping for gifts for friends and family (and pretty much all I bought was a sweater and some coffee for me), only to watch Auburn almost blow the SEC Championship, only to discover...
...I'm getting sick. I think I'm coming down with that change-of-the-weather crud/flu that everyone gets.
Crap. It means (a) my sinus cavities are opening and draining, meaning a LOT of airflow comes into my nose, drying out my throat. Bloody good thing I don't have to, oh, TALK at Interest Sessions for the next day or so..., and (b) I get to take drugs, slowing me down, and making my reaction time on important things -- like work -- worse than it already is.
I just want to go homer and watch Marx Brothers movies now. Good thing I don't have to be at work until 8:00 tonight. OH. WAIT. THAT'S RIGHT. *sigh*
(This, kiddies, is a rant. A small one, but that ol' vim, vigor, and pissy attitude is rearing its ugly head.)
Thursday, December 02, 2004
White chocolate mocha, double shot of espresso, with a shot of raspberry syrup.
Problems? Wha'problems? I'mdrinkin'coffeesillypeople...
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
I see that I have guests. Welcome.
To all of you who are stopping by from Lara's site, please excuse the mess. It's been a while since I've cleaned up, and there are random postings still scattered about.
To the regulars, be nice. Don't scare the nice Lara away. This means YOU, Ordoyne. :)
But for the uninitiated, here's the simple FAQ on the site:
- Yes, the name of the site is in reference to a song -- and an album -- from the choir. My history with Derri & Steve is far too complex to go into in this little diatribe. And yes, I did have hair akin to Derri's once upon a time...ah, bangs. How I miss thee...
- Yes, I am a single, white, heterosexual male working in student affairs. I'm waiting on National Geographic to come by any day now to start filming a documentary on me due to the rarity of my species.
- Yes, at times, the humor is self-defeatist. That's my defense mechanism. That's also my unfortunate reality: I get pooped upon a lot of times. Sad.
So, welcome to the Rantings. They will get funnier. Promise.
Oh --and hi, Ash. Enjoying the readings? Have I mentioned lately how much I love you? Please don't hit me...
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Some days -- like today -- I feel as if I'd need to have a shower afterwards. I'm feeling very used-car-salesman in my feelings about work after dealing with some coworkers this morning and afternoon.
Thankfully, I will have coffee to see me through.
Monday, November 29, 2004
I hate the coming back. I have a candidate on campus to interview for a job, and I have to present an In-Service for the RA's tonight. Guess what I'M going to be researching this afternoon? Ironically enough? The topic?
Relaxation, and how to not get stressed out at the end of the semester.
-- shut the hell up, the lot of you. I can hear your laughter.
Once I catch up on the inane amount of work related emails sitting in my Inbox, if I have the strength, I'll be sure to regale you with the stories of my Thanksgiving, which culminated in me having very little sleep, taking someone to the ER, how I subsisted on coffee and cookies the day after Thanksgiving, and my coming out of the nerd closet to someone ("Yes. It's true. I...read comic books.").
Until then, go watch the trailer for the next season of 24.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
If you like yourself in the least bit, you will go buy this CD. It's restoring my faith in music as a viable medium to convey the beauty of life.
And yes, I am a fan. Deal with it. My opinion may be biased.
Monday, November 22, 2004
If you've ever wondered what it feels like to live through the opening of one of the seals referred to in the chapter of Revelation in Bible, welcome to the Office of Staff Development and Judicial Programs at UGA.
I looked, and there before me was a black coffee! Its drinker held a swizzle stick, and he was given a biscotti, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
So, I'm 34 now. (Geesh, that hurt to type). On November 17, I celebrated the 5th anniversary of my 29th birthday.
Now, bear in mind that the last few years have...well, sucked. Those of you who know me -- and know my history -- can and will understand that the location of the last few birthdays (since the big 3-0) as well as the general crappiness in the synchronicity of my life have contributed to me having less-than-good birthdays. And less-than-good years to accompany said birthdays.
However, this year, my 'tude since -- oh, May -- has been that I am in a new town, a new state, and a new place in my life. Rebirth. Renewal. Let my heart sing for a change. Try and enjoy life, and not let my sarcstic mantra be "I am God's ashtray" any longer.
-- and amazingly, I have friends who are willing to help me.
Ashley, one of the Residence Hall Directors here at UGA, arranged a surprise birthday party for me, in a location that holds more nostalgia and pleasant memories than I could express in words here. I could wax on for hours on end about how much it mean, what all it symbolized, how my birthday was nothing but a day of allegories...
But instead, let's just talk about how as the evening went on, the drunken louts around me kept asking how old I was, an Tamara -- an Assistant Area Coordinator here -- kept making me younger. I started off as 34, and by the time she left, she was telling people I was 22.
Now, really. LOOK at that photo to the right. Do I look like a freaking 22-year-old to you? Granted, not a single person believes I *am* the biological age I am (thanks to my acting like a goof most of the time), but 22? I'll give you that I could -- and have -- passed for 27-29, but 22?
It's all about having a young spirit, my friends. That, and a really good facial cleanser. Wash after going to a smoky bar, and you can purge the nicotine, tar, and other sources of bleah straight offa yer face.
...and now I'm just making crap up. I'm going to get coffee....
Oh, and for those of you who know her, Cricket went to the vet for the first time since coming to Athens. Clean bill of health for the little girl. She even made new friends with the other pups there. Gotta love my 11-year-old fuzzball.
Friday, November 19, 2004
I'm looking at the massively large stack of...things...on my desk, and wondering where to start.
- I've got to finalize the print ads for Recruitment and Selection;
- I've got to craft the new draft of the posters for R&S;
- I've got to go through the new applications we got in last night;
- I've got to email people about hires for the Spring 2005 semester;
- I've got to locate a room to teach ECHD 3010 in next semester;
- I've got to balance my checkbook;
- I've got to work on a new draft of the schedule for Winter Training in January;
- I've got to figure out the movie rotation for Housing 12 for the next two weeks; and
- I've got to try and remember where I put my breath mints. They're those neat little "Ice Breakers," and I mistakenly referred to them as my "little blue pills" one time to a certain individual who took it upon herself to get this demented twinkle in her eye and begin telling everyone I was taking Viagra. Regardless of the rantings of this heinous sarcastic she-beastie, they're good. And I miss them.
So. The first thing I'm going to do?
Go to Jittery Joe's for fuel. I'm so predictable...
Thursday, November 18, 2004
- seeing The Violet Burning in concert for the second time
- all the fun stuff I've learned from working in Housing here at UGA
- all the fun stories from the ECHD 3010 class I teach (and how I got roped into teachng it again next year as well as a section of ECHD 3050)
- all the presentations I've been doing
- alll the work on Recruitment, Selection and Training the Resident Assistants, C.L.A.S.S. Advocates and Village Community Assistants I've been doing
- all the fun coffee I've had at Jittery Joe's
- all the various and sundry puns, jabs, and slams by cohorts here have been tossing at me as of late [and yes, Ashley, I am calling you out specifically]
- all the changes in my life -- both personally and professionally -- that have been going on
- all the stress I've been feeling over applying to the Ph.D. program
- all the fun I've had reading Max Lucado's Traveling Light
- all the smiles -- and tears -- Ive shed in the last six weeks
- all the happiness I've felt over certain turns my life has taken...
But, instead, I'm just going to let you kids know that...I. AM. BACK.
Hide the lattes. Oz is going to dedicate himself to blogging again. I mean, geez, I've been tearing it up OFF-line in several jurnals, so I might as well keep up the on-line stuff as well. I mean, how else will you kids know what's new in my life, you who don't see me on a daily basis?
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Soon, I will have reached an age that goes past what the historical Jesus was supposed to have reached before His death (and eventual resurrection).
For those of you who have forgotten what ya learnt in Sunday School, Christ lived until the approximate age of 33. I am about to surpass this. This does not make me, my hairline, or my waistline happy. In fact, I'm feeling damn near melancholy.
There are a lot of things on the mind of one Sonny Lemmons these days, boys and girls.
Mayhap I shall share with some. I need to, before I explode...
Monday, October 04, 2004
-- yeah, I realize it's been well over a month since my last posting on this thing. Why? Well, I've been engaged in life. Life in all of its myriad forms. Life in all of its annoyances.
Life in all of its...whatever.
I've been in a lot of meetings.
This of you who know me well understand my disdain for meetings that aren't necessary. Those of you who know me from the days of Millsaps know my annoyance [okay, the proper phrase is "general pissy attitude"] over the fact that Mike & I were left OUT of a lot of important meetings -- the ones that affected aspects of our jobs -- and how we both expressed a desire to be more involved, and to have a greater stakehold in the administration.
Y'know that phrase "be careful what you wish for?" Yeah.
Oh, trust me -- I am intelligent enough to understand that this is the nature of the beast. Larger institutions form standing committees on committees. "Administrivia" is a way of life and a facet of joy for some people.
I'm just about ready to set myself on fire in protest like I'm a freakin' monk from Vietnam.
I am, however, nearing a nice break, whereinwhich I can and will update the old heads (hi, Lane), humor the newbies (hi, Timmy), and start to create this nice amalgam betwixt the leaving of Mississippi (something I oh-so-regret...), and the adventures here in Georgia land.
Until such time as this, however, go do something constructive with your time. Like, eat fruit for health.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Sadly, I have begun to realize that -- more and more -- I am defining myself through my work, and I think I might just have a nervous breakdown were I forced to actually have a discussion about something in my LIFE that did not reflect back upon, or relate directly to, work. ...not that there's much of anything worth mentioning going ON in my life at the present time...but still. I think I need perspective. I think I need an outlet. I think I need a back massage. [Hey, as long as I got a wish list going on...]
I came to this realization about 15 minutes ago when Jim, my boss, asked me how I was doing, and I babbled something about Housing 12 (the UGA TV station I am in charge of somehow), and evaluations from Training. When he replied with the obvious"That's great -- but how are YOU," I am pretty certain I started stammering and in a desperate ploy to not have silence in the room due to my inability to carry on a conversation like a civilized human being, I gave him a recipe for red beans and rice, or something just as intellectual.
I think maybe I should start updating my resume now...
Oh -- and today is my mom's birthday. Yay.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
An average of four hours of sleep a night.
An average of one meal a day.
Approximately 200 staff members.
One night. One closing ceremony.
...and they gave me a standing ovation.
Makes every headache, heartache, stress-related headache, and days when I sat in my office near tears worth it. Beyond worth it.
This is why i do the job I do.
Now...all we have to do is survive opening weekend.
Check back next week -- the post-mortem blogging of UGA Residence Life Training begins...soon...
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Adam and Eve had an ideal marriage. He didn't have to hear about all the men she could have married, and she didn't have to hear about the way his mother cooked.
[A tip o' th' hat to Mrs. Hunter for the laugh of the day.]
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
However, I never knew how big of a nerd I am and how totally, totally, totally "into" grammar, sentence structures, and the like until I started reading and laughing out loud at Eats, Shoots and Leaves.
Some of you will need this book (if your emails are any indication of your writing skills, God help graduate schools everywhere). Some of you don't need this book but will appreciate the refresher. Some of you need neither the refresher or the book, but will laugh hysterically at the mockery of the grammatically challenged. And the uniquely UK slant of the book.
Read it. Buy it. Buy several copies. Give them as gifts.
Join the revolution.
Friday, June 25, 2004
After revamping the layout a little on my blog, I took time out of my busy schedule here at UGA to answer a few emails from some friends of mine. One individual in particular, a Mr. Eric Fritzius, had sent me quite a few missives. Personally, I don't consider this to be a problem in the least bit. No sirree. Eric n' me go way back.
In fact, I think he "blames" me in part for his construction of what is quite possibly one of the funniest blogs I have ever read: Tales from the Liberry. See, Eric works in a public library. Whereas I just deal with social reprobates, bohemians, and the dregs of society in college, Eric gets to see these same types of people all growed up and trying to function in society. We're kind of like a "one-two" punch with our commentary on the lives of the people we interact with.
However, Eric is a MUCH better writer than I am.
As Eric has stated before, there was an Evil Triumvirate of Co-Hosts for the late, lamented Four Colour Theatre (heard on WMSV in Starkville). Long before Joss Whedon came up with the idea of the Three Evil Nerds (for reference, see Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Six, now available on DVD), Eric, Joe, and I were there. "O.N.'s," if you will.
Joss Whedon has just started writing a brand new X-Men comic book for Marvel Comics (Astonishing X-Men, the first X-Men book to have a REASON behind its title), and Eric emailed me to ask me if I'd read it. He also sent me an email showing me Joe's new puppies. Ergo, the nostalgia kick that started this entire somewhat free-form email. Ergo, the reference to the Three Evil Nerds. Ergo, the comment about me getting to be Andrew. Ergo, the --
Oh, shush. I've not had enough caffeine this morning. So what if this is rambling.
Now excuse me. I must go design RA Training.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Anyway, let's do a quick bullet-point update on the Life of Sonny. Grab a cup of coffee (or your favorite beverage of choice), and get comfy. This might take a minute or two:
- GEORGIA ON MY MIND: you know, aside from the fact that people here don't dress or act like simpletons, one might think one was in Mississippi. Oh, to be sure, there are a few good things about MS (most of these "good things" are undoubtedly reading this at this time), but GA -- has, so far, been a very warm and inviting place. Many might claim that GA is just MS without the negative image, but let's not forget this state was originally settled as a penal colony, 'kay? The people here are very well dressed, polite (to a degree -- MS does win for being more hospitable), and I don't see the typical "Wal-Mart" crowd everywhere I go.
Atlanta, of course, is just damn spectacular. I've only been over there once since moving, but I assure you, many, many, many, many more trips will be in my future. Booyah!
- NOT EXACTLY OLYMPIC: Athens is just...cool. This place screams "college town," and as more than one of my friends have remarked, this is the town I was born to live in. Artsy, folksy, alterna, and just OUT there enough. I really can not explain how at home I feel here. It's almost as if my entire life, my spirit has resided here. I feel renewed, refreshed, and reinvigorated to just be alive. -- and more than one of you [hi, Corrie] will know that it has been YEARS since I have felt this good...about me, about my life, and about the way things are going.
People, I smile more often than not. THAT alone should illustrate the point.
- IT'S PRONOUNCED "UGH-AH:" work continues to confound, amaze, and make me feel a little just...different. This position (Coordinator of Undergraduate Staff Development) is SO totally different from anything else I have ever done professionally that it was a bit jarring at first. This position is FAR more administrative, and far more upper-echelon administrative than I knew. I have two (2) grad students who assist me (one of 'em's a DOCTORAL student; eep! Intimidation issues!), and I have two (2) administrative assistants in the office. Oh, some people might argue that the physical layout of the office was a step down from my prior role; going from a newly constructed office building and into an office located in a residence hall (I JUST BLOODY WELL MOVED OUT OF ONE! ARRGH!!!) might be seen as a lateral move at best by some, but y'know what? It's gonna keep me in the thick of things (where I like to be, given how much I enjoy working with students), and it also makes me feel a little more grown-up due to the fact that I *have* to work all collaborative-like due to the committee-laden approach this place runs on.
However, at the ripe old age of 33, and due to the fact that I *need* to be getting on up that leadership ladder, this position will be great for me. I smell nothing but potential (okay -- and a little fear on my part).
Now begone. I thirst for coffee.
Friday, June 04, 2004
My cup of feeling overwhelmed doth runneth over. This job is SO different from what I've spent the last ten (10) years doing, that...I dunno. I feel like at any given moment, my new boss is going to walk in, state she didn't know what in the name of Fig Newtons they were thinkign when they hired me, and toss me out on my ear.
I know, I know...one I settle in, I'll be fine, but...urgh.
As soon as I get over the anxiety attack of it all, I will begin the detailing of the ******* trip here moving, Why BellSouth Is Run By The Antichrist, and how much a bloody parking decal here costs...
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Monday, May 03, 2004
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: I have an on-campus interview set for next Wednesday. This is the one job I am REALLY angling for (due to the fact I can work on my Ph.D. as well as be employed).
APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY: told me that I suck and that they were going to hire another person. Boo.
MERCER UNIVERSITY: told me that I suck and that they were going to hire another person. Boo.
LYNDON STATE COLLEGE: had a phone interview with these monkeys today. Went well.
TULANE UNIVERSITY: am expecting to hear from them by week's end.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI: Oh, shut up. It's employment.
Sunday, April 25, 2004
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, Student Development Specialist -- phone interview held on 4/24. I should hear back this week if they'd like to invite me for a campus interview.
APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY, Residence Education Instructor/Area Coordinator -- phone interview held 4/21. Again, I should hear back this week if they'd like to invite me for a campus interview.
MIAMI UNIVERSITY (Ohio), Coordinator of Residence Life -- phone interview held 4/sometime (a coffee spill blurs the date). I have heard nothing from them since the beginning of this month.
MERCER UNIVERSITY -- they've called everyone BUT me, it seems...and I was told the position was on "hold,"whatever the hell that means
EMORY UNIVERSITY -- no communication from them yet, but my resume did only get sent off early last week.
GEORGIA TECH -- no communication from them yet, although their website shows the search for the position continues. I'm 99% sure I can write this one off.
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Many of you have been with me through some very difficult patches of my life. Many of you have become closer than family to me, and your love and support these past three years has been something that I could not have lived without. In many ways, I owe you all my life, both personally and professionally. Heartache, headaches, and gut-punches...we've been there for each other, and we've grown to be more than co-workers. We've become friends.
We've laughed, we've cried, we've yelled, we've been through some of the most random and bizarre moments (i.e.: the flooding of New South).
Therefore -- with shaking hands and as all the blood drains from my fingers due to my nerves being shot -- it is with nothing shy of remorse that I announce that next year...you'll be dancing without me. I am leaving Millsaps, effective May 11, 2004. I'm sticking around to help you all in the closing of the halls, but in the fall, the College will be Sonny-less.
I can't give more information that this right now, and even though I know that some of you will be suffering through bouts of depression, anger, and some of you little pookas will be throwing a celebration, I ask please -- give me a few moments (translation: days) of quiet before the questions arise.
It's been an honor.
And dammit, now I'm crying.
Monday, April 05, 2004
Kurt Cobain died ten years ago. Say what you will about the man's personal life (which you have no right to judge, by the way), but his music and his life touched and gave a voice to a generation. Mine.
I'm still saddened by the loss of his life.
Here's to his daughter -- may she get all the happiness she's deserved, especially after the loss of her father and the [BLEEP]ed up mess that her mother is.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
-- see, last weekend, I went to the local coffee roastery, and they had this rather large-ish sign up that stated "ASK ME ABOUT MY GOAT." Never one to pass up a perfect opportunity to ask about farm animals, I inquired about said goat.
It turns out that "goat" does not, in fact, refer to any animal which bleats or eats random bits of material lying about. "Goat," in this instance, refers to the fact that the coffee roastery took a lot of miscellaneous coffee beans, tossed 'em together, and roasted them. Amazingly, this hodgepodge of flavors tastes GREAT. So much, in fact, that I bought a pound of goat beans.
Saturday, I made a pot of goat. Now, the thing that I love about the weekend is that once I get up and make coffee, after I settle onto the couch, I could just fall back asleep. I can not do this on the weekdays (like I wanted to today) due to this "employment" problem I have. The sad part of this tale is that after I was all nuzzled and nestled into my big comfy couch, I was ready to just kick back and fall asleep...but there was a half-full pot of coffee still sitting there, ready to be ingested.
When inquired about why I didn't just go to sleep, my response -- without thinking -- was, "What, and sacrifice my goat?"
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Now I *KNOW* this day is going to be quite maddening. Submitted as evidence -- the text of this message I received this morning:
I was walking in b/w Sullivan Harell and Murrah and I saw a cat caught in a cage in the bushes. There was a plaque that said 'MS Animal Rescue' or something like that. I don't know if there is a movement to remove the cats from campus or provide some interesting meat in the caf, but I just thought I would let you know. I really wanted to set him free, but I decided against it b/c I don't know the circumstances surrounding his captivity. I don't know why I'm telling you--guess it's a feline res life issue. Let me know if you hear anything.
Sunday, March 21, 2004
On Saturday, you manage to watch two complete movies: X2 [or, X-Men 2] and Mona Lisa Smile. That night, you drink an inordinate amount of water, causing your body to have pressure on your bladder while you sleep, causing you to have weird dreams which meld the two movies together. Write an essay detailing what your dream would be like.
Mine involved my grandparents' house, gloves, antique shopping, a yellow shirt, The Wizard of Oz trading cards, Boy scout merit badges, children, mud wrestling, alcohol, and sex. -- oh, and people trying to swipe into the residence hall I live in while school is closed.
And no, I ain't givin' details.
Saturday, March 20, 2004
I spent 2.5 hours out in the sunshine today, reading The Life of Pi, and watching a little Cricket puppy frolic at my feet. Top that off with the fact I did Yoga this morning -- for the first time in a LONG time -- and that I had an apple for lunch...
I am positively healthy today.
...clearly, this means something bad is going to happen soon.
Friday, March 19, 2004
Our air has been out for about three hours now. And, since when the building was constructed they conveniently forgot to incorporate WINDOWS THAT OPEN, it is fast turning into a pressure cooker in here, both from the temperature -and- the temperament of the individuals stuck in here in this stuffy humidity-laden building.
Hokay -- rant of the hour: this is the 21st century. We don't have personalized jet packs, nor do we have rocket cars to propel us to Sirius IX and back, but we do have the ability to utilize little plastic cards (debit/check cards) to pay for items now. So, why, in the name of the sacred Kenyan AA Organic coffee I got this morning, do people STILL...WRITE...CHECKS...IN...PUBLIC?!?!?!??
Case in point: yesterday, I decided to go shopping. This, in and of itself, is nothing new or noteworthy. As far as I am concerned, shopping centers exist for people like me who are clothes, shoes, books, and electronic gizmo junkies. I might not buy anything, but I will visit the same stores again and again.
Anyway, since it is now March in Mississippi [and the start of the nine-hour-long Spring season which then catapults into the 260-day-long Summer season], this means the temperatures will start to climb into the 400's during the course of the day. Those of you who know me well enough also know that my wardrobe can come across as rather monochromatic [black] with a little variation [dark/navy blue, grey, or dark/forest green]. I prefer to wear long sleeved button-down shirts, as -- in my opinion -- short-sleeved button down shirts should be reserved for accountants, used-car salespeople, or others ho happen to look better in them than *I* do.
So, I decide to go trolling for "light" or "summer" colored clothes, to supplement the three (3) non-dark colored shirts that I currently own.
-- now, at this time, I feel the need to add a comment. I am an albino. That guy from POWDER has seen more sun than I have. This is not only the unfortunate side-effect of being in an office an awful lot, but also because it's just now starting to get sunny [ha] outside. Additionally, I feel a little bit...uncomfortable...sitting outside in the sun, clearly for the sole purpose of getting some pigmentation, while my students are frolicking, tanning, and/or making out in the same grass. Part of this can be contributed to body image issues, and part of it can be contributed to the fact that these kids just REALLY don't need to see their AD in a seemingly partially disrobed state.
But I digress [TM 2004 Peter David].
So, I'm in Old Navy, looking for bright, cheery clothing that won't make me look like I'm trying to come across as younger than my already-way-too-freakin'-close-to-mid-thirties self is, or that I'm jaundiced. I decide upon a few bright-ish colored "polo" shirts, and a pair of khaki shorts to match [I can see your eyes getting bigger and that grimace settling across your face. P*ss off -- even *I* have to wear shorts when it's THAT hot outside]. I also grab myself a nice little long-sleeved button-down shirt (on sale at some insane price that I'd be a fool to pass up), and I head to the check-out lane.
And then, I remember why I HATE shopping here.
First, there are the ADHD children running about the line like they just ate a three-foot tall Pixie Stix, stepping on my toes, and bouncing off my legs like we're in some twisted pinball experiment. Then, there are the 67-person-long lines, and it always feels like I'm in line with the in-bred mongoloid manager's cousin trainee running the cash register. EVERY time. Then, there's the fact that the people who shop at said establishment [at least, here in J-town] ARE -- in some ways -- the one trying to recapture their youth by ignoring the fact that they've had 4.3 kids [and all of them are currently engaged in p*ss*ng me off -- see above] and that there is NO WAY they will fit into those capri pants.
And then, on top of it all, JUST to spite me PERSONALLY...they all write checks. All of them. -- okay, there was the one "grand-mamma" in front of me who paid in the change she took out of a plastic Zipoloc bag in her purse, but I forgive her. She's old. She'll die soon. She should get her kicks where she can, and if she pays for $60 worth of clothes for the kids with pennies that smell like Juicy Fruit, well then -- more power to her!
But these people who WRITE CHECKS...and then the check has to be approved...and they NEVER partially pre-fill the amount out...and then they ask to whom the check should be made out to -- as if they've forgotten where it is they're shopping!!!...and then the manager, the associate manager, the Pope, and Mothra all have to come and authorize the check...AND...they have a bloody debit card sitting IN THE PURSE, in the checkbook they just wrote the check out of!!!!!!
Look, I can sort of understand the paranoia of some people who think the guv'mint's gonna track them down through every swipe of the stripe [I was a big X-Files fan, after all], but for the love of all that is sacred and holy...WHY! WHY! WHY!!!!! must you, Soccer Mom, write checks when a perfectly acceptable and FASTER method of payment is staring you in your Mary-Kay-OD'd face? Why?!?!?!?
Save those checks for when they'll be needed -- like, paying for your kid's therapy bills. Or Jenny Craig.
Thursday, March 04, 2004
That silly little band with that "Closing Time" song may have just gotten it right.
Submitted as evidence:
Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Sex and the City.
Buffy -- even on DVD.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (on DVD).
The Lord of the Rings trilogy -- even on DVD.
2004 is shaping up very fast to be a year involving a series of endings. If I were to sit down and map out the past twelve month, making note of the vast, vast number of things in my life...important, valuable [to me] things which have shaped and direct me and my personality...these things which have helped to make me the Sonny that I am...and how most of them have ended, running their full course...
Serialized, sequential television will hold no longer hold interest for me, save for 24.
My reading habits will take a nose-dive [thereby making me read a buncha nerd texts, things that deal with issues in higher education -- and I'll be reading these for pleasure, God help me].
My grandfather, one of the single most influential people in my life, has gone on to finally rest, leaving me with a lot of memories...and helping to sever any strong ties I hold to this region.
...okay, so all of this has made me a tad melancholy. I look behind me, and I see nothing but a series of closed doors. And yes, heathens, I am well aware of that whole "door close/window open" dichotomy that so many well-intended people espouse. It might upset me more if I did not know that these doors close (for the most part) of their own free will. Some things -- like Jay -- have run a natural course, and there comes a time when such things DO end.
I do not find myself diminished due to these closings. They are helping, in some ways, to propel me forward. I draw strength from their memories and their lasting lessons [even in the case of BUFFY, which has made me quite quick with quips], and there is a quiet smile hidden behind the lines surrounding my eyes of late.
There are people in my life who are important to me and who give me strength to carry on and keep going [hi, Katie], and these people...they help me to see the endings for what they are: opportunities for growth.
The endings are, thankfully, ending.
The beginnings will start soon enough.
Sunday, February 29, 2004
"Hi. My name is Sonny, and I am a caffeine-aholic."
-- yeah, right. "Big whoop," I hear you saying. "Like that's news to ANYONE." But, y'see, I never knew how insanely true it was until yesterday. Or, rather, approximately 4:30 this morning.
A quick recap for those of you with ADD: I like coffee. A lot. So much so that when I was an undergrad, at one point a friend of mine and I had a drinking contest. Now, whereas others of my age group and limited mental capacity [translation: dumb freshmen boys] were having drinking contests incorporating White Man's Firewater, he and I had a drinking contest over coffee. It seems that this wee bastard thought he could out-drink ME, and, well, my friends weren't going to tolerate this pathetic posturing prat, and so they arranged a drinking contest to see who could ingest the most coffee in a 24-hour period. Armed with a panel of judges, as well as the impartial opinions and verifications of faculty and staff members of our college who really should have known the hell better and not tolerated our shenanigans, we began out contest.
I, of course, kicked his arse. In the course of twenty-four hours, he wussed out after five pots.
Me. Eight. And a half. Do the math, kids: that's theoretically 100 cups of coffee. Due to this one day, I don't think I'll ever have to worry about certain digestive problems that occur with the onset of advanced age. Fortunately,we never tried anything as insane as this while I was still in puberty. Otherwise, I'd have gotten stuck at 5'2" and never grown.
Anyway, in spite of my love of the java, I am NOT the type of person who HAS to have "a cuppa" first thing in the morning, or otherwise I'd eviscerate anyone that comes near me. In fact, I've been told that first thing in the morning, I'm somewhat coherent and moderately tolerable. [Must come from living in mortal terror of having to go to the hospital at all hours of the night...every...evening...of...my...life, and therefore my facilities kick in as soon as my eyelids open. God bless living on campus.] I don't threaten the lives of those around me before I have my 2-3 cups of coffee, and my dog does not run away to hide under the bed when I roll out of bed. All things considered, I'm fairly cuddly.
This past weekend, I spent Friday night and Saturday at The University of Mississippi, to attend RADCoM [the Resident Assistant Drive-In Conference of Mississippi, a little convention for the RA's]. We lodged our little Millsapian butts at the Days Inn of Oxford [big spenders, we are] for Friday evening, rather than drive up to Oxford at the crack of dawn.
As is now the "in style" thing to do, the room came equipped with a coffee pot -- one of those little 4-cup deals. This caused me great joy, as this meant that in the morning, I could have my normal amount of black gold before having to deal with screaming, cheerful, and joyful college students. I love those who love what they do, but damn. They can be a noisy lot.
However, I forgot that the quality of the coffee that comes in-room is...well, bad. It tasted only slightly better than what I imagine drinking water that comes out of a drainpipe in the French Quarter the weekend of Mardi Gras would taste like. The coffee available at the continental breakfast of the hotel was not much better. There's only so much one can do to dress up Folger's. This meant that I would need to either find a decent coffee shop fast, or just go without. And, since Oxford has this "issue" with chain restaurants, my blessed Starbucks was going to be in absentia.
So, Saturday, February 28, 2004, I went without caffeine. ...yeah, okay. I ate a chocolate chip cookie. And had about 6 ounces of a Coke. But that was it.
Surprisingly, my day was not wretched. I was a little sluggish by the end of the day, but other than that? I suffered no ill effects. I wasn't any more bitchy than I usually am, I did not call for the decapitation of anyone around me, and I managed to contribute to the conference in a professional and dignified manner. This thrilled me to no end. Here, I thought was the herald of a new day. A new era in Sonny-dom. No longer would I have to get up and grind the beans everyday. No longer would 37% of my paycheck be direct-deposited to Cups. No longer would I have my hands automatically assume the "I'm-holding-a-hot-mug" position. Yes, I was free. Free, to experience the joys of using my tastebuds again.
...this, of course, all changed when I woke up at 4:30 in the morning with the worst damn splitting headache I could imagine. Oh, this was not a headache set on by my trigeminal neuralgia. No, this was the headache that only a caffeine-swilling, Gen-X cynic can have. It hurt like a beastie. I got up, took three Alleve, and prayed for swift death. After eventually falling back to sleep, the first thing I did when I woke up this morning was make a full 12-cup pot of my Organic Sumatra Mandheling, and drink the whole pot while watching the fourth disc in the Angel Season Three DVD set.
Welcome to my world. We have good coffee, and we're learning our limits. Care for a cuppa?
LESSON ONE: DENY NOT WHAT YOU ARE. IN MY CASE, I LIKE -- AND NEED -- COFFEE. I AM THEREFORE AN ADDICT.
Thursday, February 26, 2004
I just have to ask this question, though -- HOW is it that I can go for DAYS without anything resembling a smile crossing my face? All during the daylight hours, due to stress, trauma, and out-and-out MADNESS in the office, I have been angry, mad, and nursing an ulcer [this is not an exaggeration]. I've never wanted to shake some people SO BADLY in order to try and get some common sense into their skulls, and then -- BAM! -- walking home, I have an RA of mine call me a "Hoochie" (out of love, I assure you), and I remember why I love working with these students?
Amazing. One little word, and my heart gets lightened.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
"-- ling? Hello? Ca -- ...nyone hear m -- ...hile since I've been he -- ...ostings have been sporadi -- ...ime consuming little shi -- ...esume later today if I am luc -- ...peat: This is Sonny calli..."
[insert the sound of static in the background, and the noise level continues to grow, drowning out the voice of Sonny]
Friday, January 30, 2004
I’ll be leaving Jackson as soon as I hear what the arrangements will be, so please forgive me if you email me this weekend and I don’t immediately respond. My technophobe/closet Amish family does not have a computer.
Monday, January 26, 2004
For those of you who have asked where the angry ranting has gone, p*ss off, you whining little punkas.
...and before you ask, yes, I DO hope that one day my grandchildren can say such things about me as well. It will mean that they have learned about life, they accept the fact that everything is temporary, and that they rejoice in life enough to joke about death. 'Cause, y'know, "forever is a mountain we've yet to climb/tears are a part of what is yet to leave behind."
Monday, January 19, 2004
The news about my grandfather has waffled from "slight recovery and things don't look as bleak" to the latest...which was my father calling to tell me that it might not hurt for me to go ahead an make sure I've got a bag packed, including a suit, because things don't look too good.
This latest news comes on the heels of an emotionally traumatic week, full of ups, downs, sideways shifts, and full-on emotional inversions. It wasn't until this morning that I realized the reason I haven't slept for, oh, close to a week [and that what little sleep I have had has come through the magic of sleeping aides], and that I am so tense and on edge that I might as well start that heroin habit I seem to act like I'm on.
I finally almost came close to cracking when my mother called me last week [Wednesday, as a matter of fact] to start the "up/down" teeter-totter. She told me that Jay wanted to make sure that I knew he loved me, that I always was -- as he put it -- "the apple of his eye" [being the eldest grandchild has a few perks, I guess], and that he remembered all the good times we shared [including a highly embarrassing viewing of Snoopy, Come Home when I was a Little Sonny...a story that I shan't share here, as it is quite goofy].
This just hit me like a ton of bricks, and I really would have preferred it if someone had just told me that I was actually going to be fired. This was the first time that...well, the fact Jay is dying really felt real. I guess in my mind I've mostly felt like he was just sick...again...and that, yeah, he might not recover, but that doesn't mean he's going to DIE or anything. He'd just...y'know...be OUT for a while. He might even be GONE...but not GONE gone.
But...now I know. For as strong and as "He's ready I'm ready blah blah blah" as I've been, I know now that I'm going to feel my heart break when he's gone. There's going to be a Jay-shaped void in my life. This man, who has always been a constant source of joy, happiness, and whose very existence embodied to me the good memories of my childhood...I'll be left with only my memories, and there won't be that tangible presence in my life any more. Plus, the old goat'll expect me to assist in the upkeep of the cemetery plot. Bastard.
Additionally, once he's gone...I'll have no grandparents left alive. These non-existent children of mine will never get the chance to meet their great-grandfathers or great-grandmothers. The winter holidays will seem that much more cold with one less stack of gifts to hand out under the tree. The circle of my life will grow just a little tighter.
Mortality blows. Me and this "God" person are gonna have to have us a long damn chat one day. I wonder if it would be considered a mortal sin to call said Creator of All Things a sucker-punching prat for giving us all such miniscule lifespans. I mean, really -- think about it. I'm thirty-*cough* years old, and I'm just now starting to get a freakin' handle on a lot of things. If I were born with maturity and intelligence, maybe I might not be as bitter as I am right now. But...
Feh. Someone bring me a damn Mac Cloud of the Clan Mac Cloud. I want a Quickening. Or Nestle Quik. Something.
Sunday, January 18, 2004
I'm about to go hitch up Cricket, take her for a walk, and maybe...MAYBE...I'll be awake enough to vent a little.
Monday, January 12, 2004
...I received some really bad information about my grandfather.
-- see, my grandfather had been living in a Retirement Community for about two years now. After a strange readjustment to living with other people (I told him to just think about the fact he and his grandson were both living in dorms; he was not amused), he actually began to thrive in this community. Since he'd been living alone after my grandmother died several years earlier, he had lost a lot of the vim & vigor his youthful older days possessed. He essentially became a social recluse, and by moving to a place where he was FORCED to interact with other people (and people close to his age, to boot!), he began to take on some of the crotchety old goat mentality that I love about him so much.
Hey, when you decide that you're best friend is 92, and you're going to have to live one year longer than HE does just so you'd get to have more birthdays than he did...well, it did my heart good to hear him arguing, and to see him eating again.
However, in the last few months/ten weeks...his health has taken a turn for the worse. He's developed what is termed "Dry gangrene" on his right foot. The doctors would like to amputate, but his body would not be able to recover from the trauma, to say nothing of the fact of his spirit would be crushed.
The most humbling and touching moment we shared recently was over the Winter Break, where I had to go pick him up from the Nursing Home he'd been moved to. ...yeah, due to the fact that this Nursing Home had better PT equipment, he had to forego the cushy little private room he had at the Retirement Center and into a room with two other men in this Nursing Home. Anyway, I went to go pick him up to bring him to my parents' home for lunch on Chrimma Eve, and I had to help him out of the bed, into a wheelchair, out to the car, into the car, into the house, etc. And, poor Jay...he is so physically weak, that he needed help when he had to use the restroom.
And here I thought, here I am with the man who held me and carried me and used to change me when I was a kid...and now, our roles were reversing. I had to carry him. I had to help him to keep him from making a mess. I found it strangely touching. He was mortified. I told him I'd just put it on his tab, and he'd owe me a drink later.
But...Jay's now in the hospital due to complications from pneumonia. And word came down yesterday that it appears his liver is failing.
I know that I should be terrified about losing this man who was such a GREAT influence in my life, who shaped me in ways I can't even begin to explain, who used to let me play with a nail gun as a child...but somehow...somehow, all I can keep thinking is, "He's earned this rest. His time is drawing to a close. He's missed my grandmother terribly since she left, and now, now they have a chance to be reunited. He'll just fall asleep, and wake up in a better place."
...but then, this bastard is so damn stubborn, he might just remove his own liver JUST to prove that he's strong enough to get on without one.
Sunday, January 11, 2004
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
So, I have this friend...now, before I begin this story, I feel the need to provide an EDITOR'S NOTE, in that this is indeed an actual friend and not a pathetic attempt to veil trauma in my own life by claiming that a FRIEND is going through this and not me. I fess up when it's trauma in my life. I fess up when I have wild shenanigans in my life.
Anyway...I have this friend who is going through a REALLY rough time due to a horrid, bad, icky, nasty breakup. She has a track record in the area of the heart that rivals my own -- somehow, we both [until recently, on my part] seemed to make the most jackass style decisions when it came to dating. She attracts the WORST guys, and I [again, until recently] used to attract the WORST women. Many of our respective claims on our bad attraction wasn't that we were shagging Hell's Angels or anything -- both of us seem to be masters of the Bad Timing, as well as masters of Just Not The Best Choice.
But I digress.
She [let's call her Lynn, 'kay] was married for about five years. Lynn and her hubby were never what I -- or most carbon-based life forms -- would deem properly matched: she was the strong, domineering, nigh-manipulative one, and he was the capitulative little mongoose who would have set himself on fire had she asked it. The fought like cats and buffalo, but there was a FORM of love there. Not the type of relationship *I* would have wanted, but hey -- it was their life, so they could do whatever they bloody well wanted to.
Now, at the time, Lynn knew this guy named...Dave. Dave, whose spouse...Bunny..., and Lynn and her hubby were all buddies. The women worked together at the same place, and the men-folk were the bread winning heroes. However, there was a little twist: Dave and Lynn secretly were attracted to each other, and weren't the most subtle about it. -- now, I can't state whether or not they were DOING anything about said attraction (like, say, boinking), but there were always a LOT of raised eyebrows when they were in close proximity to each other.
Fast-forward to 2002. Lynn & Steve divorce, Dave & Bunny divorce. Lynn & Dave being shacking up with one another, yes, BEFORE all papers are finalized and every "I" is dotted and "T" crossed. And they shag like mad puppies until January 1st of this year. But, I'm getting a little ahead of myself.
Lynn states that she does not want a SERIOUS relationship, just a boink buddy. Dave agrees, as he's been out of the dating loop for a while: the last time he just dated? Try 1987. So, they agree to see other people, but still be very joined at the groin to one another. Lynn starts seeing this guy named Joe, and Joe wants to microwave their relationship. Joe wants the 2.3 kids and Till Death Do We Blah Blah Blah stuff. Lynn just wants to spend time with someone who will buy her nice things and boost her ego, touting her as the sexiest thing since time began. Dave's probably out trolling for bleached-blonde, huge boobied ho's right about this time.
Lynn and Joe continue to date (and yes, JUST "date" -- no nookie for the Joe) for months, in SPITE of the fact that she's just leading this poor schmoe on. Joe eventually wises up (I believe his passive-aggressive term he used to describe Lynn was "manipulative bitch") and dumps Lynn, freeing Lynn and Dave to pursue more squishing in the sheets...which, ironically enough, they were both becoming more and more used to doing with one another, and they were developing strong feelings for each other. -- okay, actually, they were ADMITTING to these feelings that blind men in Mozambique could have seen.
So, Lynn & Dave go on a lot of little happy vacations with one another, and they have what Lynne describes as the Best New Year's Eve Ever. She & Dave go out gallivanting about the cityscape, holding hands and frolicking freely in expressing their love for one another. The next morning, after they have breakfast, Dave informs Lynn she needs to leave the house. Lynn, expecting that Dave meant that his kids were coming over and they might not need to see them in a compromising situation, asked him if she could come over later to innocently enough come by and spend part of the day watching TV with him and the kids. -- now, keep in mind that Dave had introduced Lynn to his kids, his friends, and even took a trip to INTRODUCE HER TO HIS PARENTS. This would lead one to assume that Lynn had attained a special place in the heart of Dave.
But, Dave told her that she might not be interested in coming over, as Betty was coming over.
Betty. The other woman he'd been seeing and sleeping with.
Breaking not only the ONE cardinal rule about their relationship, but also pretty much effectively making that comment he made about not seeing anyone else and swearing blindly that she was the only person he was shagging come across as a -- whaddacallit? Oh, yeah -- LIE.
...and thus, trauma/drama ensued, and the relationship is now...well, I'm not sure. Despite the BEST recommendations of people [raises hand], Lynn would still take Dave back, because she can't imagine him out of her life. She'd decided to hold herself to the belief that...ONE day, when they were BOTH ready...they'd settle down and have this idealized life that they both wanted.
Now...she's just in pain, and it kills me to see a friend hurt. Okay, I want to scream "I COULD HAVE BLOODY WELL TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU GAVE YOURSELF OVER TO THAT SMARMY LITTLE PRAT," but...eh.
There are a LOT more details to this, but now you know the gist of it all. And now I have to get coffee.
More ranting later.
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Many of you have asked about the little cartoons based on my inane prattlings, as supplied by "Mitchell Rowsdower." So, for those of you who have complimented and questioned, here's the skinny on this little punka:
- no, he is not a professional cartoonist [and once he reads that, he will be insufferable. He never lacked for an ego before, but once he knows that people think he doodles for cash, he will be a beastie to live with. Sorry, Alley]
- he and I used to combine our talents (he, as the King of Pictionary, and me, as the wordsmith) on a little comic strip/comic book/graphic novel/thing called Damsel, which started off as an almost parody of the Austin Powers craze [God almighty, does that date us] but -- in true "Pop Will Eat Itself" nature -- the characters soon became these friends in this little fun strip with their own lives and backstories. What became of it? What stopped it? Grad School (on my part), mostly. Something about how since I had to write all intelligent papery-things 24/7, the notion of me sitting down at a keyboard for hours coming up with a fictional world and its backstory made me have involuntary muscle spasms. There are still 2-3 little gems of ideas kicking about in my head, and I -- occassionally -- will sit down and write a sentence or two on them. Mitch & I were planning at one time, way the crap back when we were young, foolish, and had disposable incomes, on publishing the silly thing. Maybe one day we might just get around to doing that. [Alley? Stop drooling, love -- it's unbecoming.]
- he currently lives in Knoxville, TN, where he spends his days, nights, and major religious holidays slavin' away at some freakish "real" job, doing advertisements or something. See, I feel justified in mocking his paycheck, because he knows I am nothing more than a glorified Dorm Mom 99% of the time.