Thursday, January 24, 2008

Financial Obligations

In response to my well-intended invitation to the Tripp Maddux & James G. Ewing, Jr. Memorial Deer Camp Squirrel Hunting Championship of the World Invitational Tournament I received the following email from the spunky wife of one of my favorite invitees:

"Let me warn you VERY STERNLY that I have a child growing in my belly. My husband is NOT to get shot on this little trip. I need his money."

Ahhh. Honesty. Its so refreshing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Normal Year

So, despite 2008 cranking up to an inauspicious start on many levels (and my generalized angst over kicking off a round-number year to a rough start): I have a great amount of faith - faith that in 2008 at least one or more of the following will happen:

1. I will make money.
2. I will eat something when I am hungry.
3. I will make sure the thing eaten in #2 will under no circumstances be "dog".
4. I will go to the beach
5. I will not inentionally burn down my own house
6. I will not increase my love of cubicles
7. I will either gain or lose weight, but likely will not stay the same.
8. I will go to another country
9. I will watch tv and read books
10. I will build something in the workshop that takes me 12 times as long to do as it would a professional.
11. I will unsuccessfully pursue some sort of wild game animal
12. I will successfully pursue some sort of wild game animal
13. I will continue to invest in happy, successful, exciting relationships with all sorts of people.
14. I will be overappreciated and underappreciated. Both will lead to drama.
15. I will wish I could be a fly on the wall.
16. I will realize someone else was a fly on MY wall
17. I will avoid prescription drugs (including tylenol) on principle
18. I will love at least one new movie. It will most likely involve guns.
19. I will laugh until I hurt myself.
20. I will go to a superbowl party and I will not watch the superbowl.
21. I will complain significantly out-of-proportion to my illness in the event I get sick.
21. I will constantly wish someone else washed my clothes.
22. I will constantly remind myself that nobody else is going to wash my clothes.
23. I will avoid malls.
24. I will shop online.
25. I will forget to take my vitamins.
26. I will lose the pill organizer I bought to make sure I didn't forget to take my vitamins.
27. I will shoot at squirrels on my neighbor's birdfeeder when he is not home.
28. I will spend entirely too much money and wonder where it went. When I wonder where it went it will remind me of Granddad who squandered his
money on me.
29. I will pay taxes.
30. I will not gripe about paying taxes. I will make sure I get a refund every year so it feels like THEY are actually paying ME to live here.
31. I will squander the tax refund in #29 on trips, stuff that I ultimately lose, and people who don't realize I'm squandering my money on them.
32. I will, as always, appreciate it if you squander YOUR money on ME.

See, it could still be a normal year after all.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I made a quick run down to the Woodruff the other night to see "Sophisticated Ladies" at the Alliance. Naturally, I didn't bother to look at the program, read up on the performance, or otherwise educate myself ahead of time. I had a general, fuzzy, sort of idea that I was going to see "a play," and I knew exactly how to get there, and where my seats were - so I decided not to stress too much over it. I've learned to give myself some leeway on the tiny details. It’s the little surprises in life, you know.

So, first of all its miserably cold out. We're talking nose-hair-crackling, eyeball-watering, meat-storage kind of cold. I don't mind the cold really, except when it makes ME cold. This time: I was cold, but I get there and manage to guide my lovely, charming, unspecified-non-date-accompaniement-person into the theater without taking any significant down-stair tumbles (quite a feat in the monstrous black buffalo robe she was wearing). Breathless, we plunk down, Nanuk of the North arranges her many robes about her, and we begin to take stock of our situation.

I quickly realize: we're in a nursing home. My generic-unspecified-non-date-individual and I have become literally, the single youngest people in the room. I'd estimate Becca at roughly 32 or 36 and I'm a light, flavorful, 27. Our seat neighbors (Norton and Donna) were in their late 70s and the rest of the crowd would have seated them at the children's table.

The "show" starts and, in a moment of shining clarity I realize: "oh, THAT Duke Ellington." We're quickly listening to jazz music and we're surrounded by geriatrics. Norton, to his credit, is sitting ramrod-straight and, literally, dead asleep before the first dancer skips out. I'm busy checking out the crowd when I hear non-specific-un-date beginning to cackle under hear breath. Upon directing my attention at the stage I realize the dancers are jumping around on stage clawing at each other lasciviously in skirts of fake bananas.

I am, to put it mildly: surprised.

The third banana-shaking pelvic thrust sent poor Norton's eyebrows nearly through the roof and he started furiously unwrapping candies and popping them into his mouth.

I leaned in and said "hey, can I get one of those?" He arched a bushy eyebrow in my direction and said "you want a nitroglycerine tablet?"

Yeah, why not.