What Carnival Ride Are You???

October 28, 2007 at 10:49 pm (Crazy Shit)

 YOU ARE A ROLLER COASTER!!!!

 You live for excitement, adventure, and the most intense of thrills.

Nothing is better than feeling you’re truly alive, and you’re willing to take risks to feel this way.

In relationships, people often feel a bit nervous about what they’re getting into…

But generally, everyone enjoys the wild ride you take them on. Unless they stay with you too long – then they’re apt to feel a bit nauseous!

Your life has more low points and high points than most people’s lives.

But that’s okay – you love them. You figure that a smooth ride is boring!

Besides, you know that super high highs only come from knowing super low lows.

You cherish every emotion you feel and feel it fully. Why deny what life is truly about?

At your best, you are loving life and sharing your wild times with everyone you know.

You are able to open your friends up to a whole new world of experiences.

At your worst, you feel extremely disoriented and even a bit dizzy.

There’s only so much intensity a human (even you!) can take

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It’s “Too Good” Thursday

October 25, 2007 at 10:11 pm (Crazy Shit, Friends, Work)

In the land of personalities, that would be work, you have those moments that stay with you. Like, knowing your male co-workers think you’re “just one of the guys” by farting in front of you. Only outside, not around the food.

Today, one of the evening servers, Slim, was filling in while Whiny, our daytime bartender, flitted off to be in a play. Jay, our aforementioned sous chef, was raising hell with us because we stole bacon off the line to go with the family meal breakfast of french toast, eggs, and fried potatoes. I actually felt a little guilty, although I love bacon.

Jay comes into the room, leaves, then returns with a cup of coffee. He says, “I had to get a cup of coffee, black, like my heart.”

Slim quips, “Well, in that case, it should also be cold.”

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

I almost peed myself because Jay is very quick-witted but Slim, he beats all of us. I’m not sure if any of you have had friends or co-workers who are gay, but in my experience, they tend to be some of the most quick-witted peeps I’ve come across.

Slim came over to me one day and said, “Did you hear what Slender did? I’m just shocked they didn’t fire him!” Slender is his boyfriend that also works with us. I said that I hadn’t heard anything.

Slim proceeds to tell me of a guest who became quite demanding and ran Slender to death asking for a variety of fruits to accompany her red wine. Finally the lady says, “I’m so sorry, but I just like having a lot of fruit with my wine.”

Slender says, “Well, why don’t you kiss my ass. I hear its a real peach.”

I laughed my ass off, even though it was just a joke. Slim thought that was hilarious.

Later this afternoon, as evening shift was making their way in, Candyman and I were behind the bar talking to a guy he used to work with named Mike. Candyman and Mike are both folliclely challenged and Mike said, “Somebody once told me that the reason I was losing my hair was because my brain was growing and pushing all of the hair out.”

Candyman looked down at the front of his own pants and said, “No, I don’t think he’s any bigger.”

See, this is totally worth being poor.

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It’s Picture Wednesday

October 24, 2007 at 7:43 pm (Alice in Chains, Beading, Cats, Family, General, Memories, Nate, Shop)

As I said, I’m trying to blog more! I’m also beading more. I made a mistake in the ornament I was working on and I had to pull it all out, which sucks.

Did you notice the latest in my beading ventures from the NOLA pics?

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Yes, well, I had to have something to represent! I tried making an Alice in Chains necklace but I just didn’t have the time nor the beads that I needed to do it right. I thought the camo “Boggy Depot” worked just fine, especially considering it was the CD cover I had. That’s hornpipe soaked in coffee for the antique look. Yes, I rock.

The ornament I’m making is the same color scheme, only with white beads instead of cream. Not that you can tell in that photo. It is exactly like this

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except the gold is white and the brown is green and the cream is the same brown that’s in this picture, and the black is the same. Okay, I didn’t realize that until just now. Oh, well.

Work was slow today. I started my period. Its still raining. Its Hump Day. I need to shave under my arms. Ummmm… oh, I have a new picture of Jack. As a matter of fact, I have a lot of pictures that I haven’t shown you. So, let’s have a pictorial.

Here’s my friend Mr. Cicada. He thought it would be cool to hang out on the railing of my porch.

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Nate likes to holler for me when he’s in the shower and then pokes his head out. One day, I caught him with the camera.

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Classic Nate!

Even though Troy and I have known each other for quite a while, we had not one picture of us together. So, the first picture…

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Here’s the place I should have gone to work…

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I wanted to do a pictorial of the shop but it seemed kinda boring. So, be bored.

The thermometer at 9 a.m.

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Why I wear my hair up…

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and

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And while I’m at the end of the 300* dryer, and Rich and Nick (whose photo won’t load) are at the front, Bob is busy getting his tan on…

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Okay, wasn’t that fascinating???  I knew you’d think so, that’s why I posted it so many months ago when I worked at the shop. Next.

Here’s a pic I took from my living room at the apartment on Easter Sunday…

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I went to visit Mom and Dad this summer and took some pics…

Its a flower…

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And woods…

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and a field…

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and a rock…

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and a big tree…

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and another field. You can see the top of the farmhouse’s red roof.

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And because my Momma loves me, my new quilt…

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And a close up…

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Yes, she did all of of that by hand. We’re from the country people! 

Oh yeah, and here’s Jack. I call this his “Dirty Ole Man” picture.

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And Jack and Nate…

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And here I am on my porch. Notice the red dot in the center of my chin and some on my cheek. Yeah, I burned myself when I was cooking. Hurt like a bitch. The sun was bright that day.

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Okay, okay, Cybele wants the chicken pic…

This is Herman, the rooster who owns my parents, and a couple of their moo cows…

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And another…

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Well, guess that was worth waiting a few months for. Happy Hump Day.

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It’s Tuesday

October 23, 2007 at 9:36 pm (Attitude in Overdrive, Crazy Shit, Friends, Relationships, Work)

Hoss wins for the best comment on yesterday’s post… “Yeah, I think you are AZ intolerant. Moving right along……”

In case you didn’t notice, I’m trying to blog more. I remember a little feller telling me I’m difficult to live with when I don’t blog. I got the point when Nate started picketing my bedroom with “Mean Mommy” signs.

I’m not feeling well again tonight. Must be that homemade Alfredo sauce I made with lots of heavy cream and cheese. Plus, it’s almost that time of month and I didn’t sleep well last night, despite the two cups of tea I had. I’ve had one tonight and I’m about ready for another. The washer is spinning out and after the bedclothes dry, Nanner is going to bed with the window cracked. It’s raining, which always makes me sleepy and snuggly. I told the rain it was needed more in CA, except the fact we’ve been in drought conditions here too. CA still needs it more.

I need a beer and a snuggle buddy. And why when I wrote that was there a knock on the door?

Have you heard the old wives’ tale that when a broom falls company is coming? Well, the broom fell this morning. I said, “Shit, company’s coming.” So, company shows up at the door in the form of a man I vaguely recognize. As I said, it’s pouring the rain outside and he’s wet from head to toe. He insists that I know him. That he used to work for the people who lived two doors down, that it was he who was walking down the street last night.

Yes, that I remember. That he once worked for Mr. Webb, no, I don’t recall that, not that it would make a damn bit of difference. He wants to use the phone, which I can’t find (because it’s in the car.) I’m not friendly, nor am I rude but I move him away from my front door. He’s a little drunk, carrying a bottle of alcohol, and he’s actually quite attractive in a very rogue, Jack Sparrow sort of way. He has a nice smile and kind, yet mischievous, eyes. His name is Vince (no, he’s not our Vince, nor Jeff’s brother Vince) and he has a firm handshake.

He references the bottle in his hand as part of a date that was supposed to work out but didn’t. He’s sober enough to realize how all of this looks and he leaves, talking to himself as he walks down the street.

I remember watching him walk down the street last night. He’s lithely built, shoulder length, wavy dark hair, which was in a ponytail at the time. I suppose his girlfriend was with him. She had a rather goth look and frankly, not nearly as attractive as he is. However, I found myself wishing I had a man who walks hand-in-hand with me at night. Then I find myself wishing I had a beer and a snuggle buddy and I’ll be damned if the sonofabitch doesn’t show up at my door with booze. Which is the worst thing he could have shown up with. *Sigh*

Plus, anyone who knows me knows you don’t just show up at my front door. Is this a case of being careful what you wish for??????

Jeff called. Sounds like he’s on the juice again.

In other news, the sun has moved into Scorpio which means my birthday is in less than a month. I’d like to get laid … that’s all I want for my birthday. I think I know someone who could help me out with that. One problem, I work with him. He has not been mentioned as of yet. I did write an entire post about him but never posted it. Actually, I never finished it probably because I was becoming entirely too schmaltzy.

I do adore the Candyman and the feeling is mutual. Of course he’s taken. Come now, did you really think I’d be attracted to someone who wasn’t? In the middle of all the schmaltz, I was able to articulate that he has very kind, encouraging words and he’s very genuine.

The first day shift I tended bar by myself I was behind on everything and actually didn’t learn much about tending bar. I was standing at the cash register counting money, only to find I had left about $50 of MY MONEY in it. I was so tired and confused and he kept telling me not to worry, that he would put the beer in the cooler, “I’ll take care of it, honey.”

I sighed and said, “I really am trying.” He answered, “That’s what I like about you.” Not many men can turn my head by saying something like that, but he did. He doesn’t have to play me nor ply me with sweet words. That’s really just the way he is with everyone.

And yeah, he may be a two-timing SOB, but he’s honest about it. He wants to fuck me and I want to fuck him. Seems like that should be uncomplicated if we both are in agreement and both know its not going anywhere beyond fucking. But nothing in my life is uncomplicated, there has to be a catch somewhere. Something like, don’t shit where you sleep and don’t fuck where you work, which is funny considering we have a married couple, a gay couple, and the chef and his wife worked together before they married. Maybe it doesn’t apply to restaurants.

Maybe it will be determined by how much I trust him.

I think that part of my personality confuses people. As to how I would put myself in a position knowing that it will never morph into anything more substantial. I think some see it, in a way, of settling or even avoiding a deeper emotional connection and continuing to wall myself off from what I may see as an inevitable hurt, especially given my track record. I’ve often over-analyzed this part of my personality as well. If I want something more, then why settle for less? Simple. I want it.

How’s that for honest? And here’s something I read on the subject which put it in perspective for me – It is important to accept who you are and live the life you want to live, and not simply conform to what others want you to be.

Isn’t that what I was just griping about yesterday? Of course I also realize the difference between self-destructive emotional patterns and living the life I want to live. I think many would be surprised as to how downright traditional I can be in some ways. In others, no, I’m not so traditional.

Eh, I’ll leave that for another time. Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!

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Chamomile and Peppermint

October 22, 2007 at 11:46 pm (AZ, Friends, Relationships)

I would ask if possible that you head over to my MySpace page and listen to the song on my profile by a Texas band, Laidlaw. The song is, “Open Up Your Mind.” I hope I can catch these guys the next time I’m in Texas. Frequent readers here will recognize the significance of this song to me.

(Did ya’ll know I’m lactose intolerant? I can handle a glass of milk or a bowl of ice cream, but more than that and I’m a loose cannon. If I drink eggnog, I may as well just drink it while sitting on the toilet because that’s where I’ll be in no time flat. I had two glasses of chocolate milk and a whole vat of brie this evening. I’m not feeling so well. Forget those designer Hollywood enemas, I say, Got Milk?)

I’ve been rather contemplative today. I prefer that over “analytical.” Namely because it involves the root – anal.

Jammie J., who ya’ll should pray for as the fires in Southern Cal inch closer to her, asked how I could pretend to be happy and how she would like to cultivate that trait. I say, nah, don’t do it. I pointed out my own hypocrisy. I detest the way AZ pretends to be happy and all sorts of other things and by doing the same, I am no different.

I’m not certain of his reasons. I am only certain that mine was to hide my pain, hurt, and downright confusion. I wasn’t going to break down or bend at all, because I’m stubborn that way. Plus, I really hated the way he sounded when he told me, like he was waiting on me to do just that. To go off, etc. etc. I’m not sure if he was looking for that or afraid of it, regardless, I refused to bend. I’m just glad he told me over the phone.

I’ve been told I speak with my eyes. Can you guess what they were saying? Well, it wasn’t what was coming out of my mouth.

The reality is, I’m not sure he was in the best place emotionally when he asked her to marry him. He had been under pressure since her twin sister got married, under pressure from his mother and grandmother, that same grandmother who was diagnosed with cancer and passed away earlier this year, he was, yes, emotionally vulnerable because of the sudden and shocking loss of Kevin, just as much as we all were.

I was shocked because we had been together quite a bit between the time that Kevin died and he asked her to marry him, which was the time span of a month, almost to the day. And when I say “together,” I mean in a carnal fashion. Reaching out to each other emotionally and anchoring ourselves… something he should have been doing with her, which I pointed out to him, which he promptly ignored. When I asked him if he loved her, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Yeah, she’s really nice. Her family is yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah.” Not exactly what I would expect when you’ve been dating someone for five years.

So, yeah, the engagement was not entirely shocking, in that I knew he had contemplated it. I didn’t think he would do it. I haven’t said anything – nothing about vulnerability or the emotionally roller coaster we’ve all been on since this time last year. I would have been useless because you can’t tell anyone anything. They have to figure it out for themselves.

I think what really bothers me, is that I wouldn’t tolerate the kind of relationship they have and I think that’s why we’re not together, and more than likely, never should be. I’m willing to impale myself upon pain to ease it, to bleed out the darkness, to sacrifice part of myself to find another part of myself. He’s not willing to do that. He knows he should but he can’t or won’t. He just lets it build up then takes it out on everyone around him, and the closest target is her. He stopped doing that to me a long time ago, because I would tell him to go fuck himself.

I’m all about digging the thorns out of my skin and he’s all about letting them fester and wallowing in the pus. Ew.

I also think it’s because I had seen how far he had come emotionally. When he came to me with his problems, I didn’t tiptoe around and I pushed him further and further toward the direction he said he wanted to go, which only made us closer. I feel as though he kicked that to the curb for someone more emotionally safe or boring. I feel in some ways as though he abandoned me emotionally. As though everything we had faced together hadn’t really meant anything to him.

He was angry that he was fired from the station only after his grandmother’s death. I told him that perhaps he wasn’t supposed to be there, that he wasn’t supposed to have to take that particular burden on his shoulders, that he wasn’t supposed to impale himself upon that particular burning stake of pain. I forgot, he does like to impale himself, he just never bleeds out nor removes the stake. Regardless, he was not impressed with my particular view of the situation, he just wanted to be angry about it, like he is everything.

Why do I want to be with him again??? Do I really want to be with him or am I just angry with him because I feel he took the easy way out? And what right do I really feel I have to be angry about anything? Because he involved me? Doesn’t mean shit, it still doesn’t have my name on it.

What I’m really pissed off about is I feel like I lost my friend. All these years we didn’t have a “real” relationship, maybe under the guise of not losing our friendship… its gone anyway. It will never be the same and I don’t want it to be. I’m not that girl anymore. He has a wife now. I hope it means as much to him as it does to me.

Two cups of chamomile peppermint tea and I’m still awake.

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You Can’t Handle the Truth

October 21, 2007 at 9:22 pm (Attitude in Overdrive, AZ, Crazy Shit, Friends, Relationships)

Ya’ll know I had this little meltdown on Seven about AZ getting married. I really felt a sense of loss that I wasn’t prepared for or that I had erroneously thought wouldn’t exist. I had purposefully disengaged myself from his life after I left the shop. I didn’t call him a lot, I really left that up to him. I was preparing myself, maybe he was too.

He did call me about a week before the wedding and then I called him. They were good conversations, I guess.

With the fire and the aftermath, I never got to tell ya’ll that AZ and I were together the night before. It was our last time. Although neither of us have ever said, “Well, that’s a sign,” I’ll say it, “It was a sign, maybe.” At least we didn’t get struck by lightning. That would have been a little harder to explain.

My problem is, I don’t know how I feel or I just feel way too many conflicting feelings or I just get to the point where I don’t feel anything at all.

He and I and his new wife and a friend of ours had dinner on Friday evening. T-Bird asked if I was fucking crazy. Well, yeah. I had to bite my tongue several times to hide how well I know him. Things that she doesn’t know, things she’s just figuring out, things she should have known before she married him. By the way, it was our friend who invited me. Another friend who has absolutely no fucking clue what our history is.

I still want to bang my head against a wall. Actually, half of the time I want to level him with a ball peen hammer and ask him what the fuck he’s doing. The other half I want to wake up and find this is all a bad dream. And as always, I’d love some fucking answers. Answers I know I’ll never have because he’s incapable of facing any type of truth and I know this, because I know him. Because I’ve asked him and he just hangs his head.

Why I’m even surprised is beyond me. Why I give two shits is even further beyond me. I wish I didn’t care. Feeling nothing is not the same as not caring. I’ve felt nothing off and on for the good part of a year now. It started when Kevin killed himself. Then the engagement, then the fire, the wedding.

I know a lot of it has to do with just the kind of person I am. A warrior who just packs everything up and slings it over my shoulder and soldiers on. I just keep throwing more shit in the pack and no matter how heavy it gets I keep picking it up and I keep moving. Some days I have to remind myself I’m not a refugee anymore. I’m allowed to open the pack and throw shit out of it because a lot of it I probably don’t need, nor want, anymore.

Yet, when someone tries to take something out of it, I fight them for it. And I’m a fierce fighter. No matter how antiquated a feeling may be, by Lord and Lady it’s mine and I want it!

And I would never want anyone to know how much it hurts. And I would never want to admit how much I’ve become like he is. Because I’ve pretended to be as happy for him as anyone could be and in reality I’d rather black his eye. Instead of thanking him for the invitation to his wedding, I should have ripped it into a thousand tiny pieces and written, “Are you fucking kidding me?” and “Have you fucking lost your mind?” all over them, and then sent them back to him.

Yeah, I’m a little bitter and pissed off.

Amazing how much trust he has in me to keep my mouth shut. Amazing how he still doesn’t notice his own body language, while I miss nothing. Amazing how she had no idea that he’s a light sleeper, a fact I’ve known for 16 years and 6 months of the 16 years and 9 months we’ve known each other. Does he not still hide the clock in the drawer with a towel over it so the fluorescent numbers don’t keep him awake? Does he still not cover his windows with aluminum foil to keep every sliver of light out? I believe he does. And how can she NOT know the best, fastest, and easiest way to put him back to sleep?

I’m convinced they didn’t have sex before they got married. Which, hey, is fine, but I know she stayed over at his place. How could she NOT know some of these things? No wonder he went to such lengths to keep me away from the rest of his life. His dirty little secret, right here folks. Yep, the dirty little secret who knows all of his dirty little secrets. (Can you guess the song that was playing on the radio when I got in the car to go to the reception? Yeah, Lips of an Angel. The Lord and Lady have a sense of humor.)

Yes, it is truly amazing how much trust he has in me. I could rock his world, right down to the core. Maybe that’s why he compartmentalized me, just to make sure I didn’t have the motive or the means. Maybe it was so I couldn’t cry foul more than I have before. I gave that up when he got engaged. Regardless of how I feel, I do believe he’s made his bed and he can lie in it, with or without her.

I keep telling myself he’s not worth it. I just wish I’d start believing myself. Or maybe I wish I’d have that same initial connection to someone that I had with him, that spark, that something. Maybe I wish I could just move on past this grieving process… that I’ve been doing for a year, on different levels, for different parts of my life.

The New Year starts October 31st. I’d better open the pack a little wider and really start tossing shit out if I’m going to make a fresh start. I’ve buried my head in the sand long enough. Its time to start getting honest again.

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New Orleans – The Finale

October 18, 2007 at 10:33 pm (Alice in Chains, AZ, Music, My Travels, Nate)

Okay, so I’ve made it up to lunch with Seven. Our timing was impeccable, as he was exiting the interstate near where my hotel, I was actually walking up Canal Street. This is my 3rd meeting with Seven and honestly, he is one blogger I enjoy spending time with. He was kind enough to cart me over to Gretna and feed me the absolute BEST CATFISH EVAH at “Cafe 615: Da Wabbit.”

He pointed out various points of interest along the way, such as a shopping center that had been looted and burned and the point on the bridge where they stopped everyone trying to flee New Orleans. Da Wabbit was hoppin’… har har har. I will definitely be having catfish with Seven there again!

However, due to fatigue, exhaustion, and way too much thinking while walking, I had a little meltdown about Steve (AZ). Not so much that he got married, but more so that I knew things would never be the same and I really felt a sense of loss of my friend. This was further exacerbated by my puny financial situation, (which I haven’t forgotten about), and a call from Nate’s school… yes, the long arm of education is wide and reaching. Seems Jeff had forgotten to give Nate his meds and that is a recipe for detention.

I was the first blogger to visit Seven’s new digs and they are rather sweet. Perfect for him, and an awesome back porch. It’s only fitting as Lisa B. and Seven were the first blogger visitors to the newly refurbished Casa Peach.

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Too soon, Seven dropped me off at the hotel and I went in to take a much needed nap before the concert.

This did not happen. I tossed and turned and finally gave up, got up, bathed, scented, and left for the House of Blues. No pictures, sorry. Everyone I met in line was from out of town. One gentleman in particular, John, was from Shreveport and his hobby is concerts, about 200 a year. (Even as tired as we both were, we got to know each other a little better after the show… *insert favorite dirty thought here*)

So, the first member of Alice in Chains I saw was new lead singer, William DeVall. He’s really sweet and he was very nice and gracious. None of them lingered long because it seemed as though peeps came out of the woodwork if they stopped for 5 seconds. Next was Sean Kinney, who noticed my “Boggy Depot” necklace, he said it was, “Crazy!” Okay.

Then there was Mike Inez, who was the absolute most gracious of all of the guys. When I thanked him for signing my CD cover, his genuine response was, “It was my pleasure.” Very sweet, very genuine, very down-to-earth.

That brings us to Mr. Cantrell, and let’s face it, the reason I went to New Orleans. He came out of the club and went straight to the bus, however, John had heard from friends that more often than not, Jerry stops on his way back into the venue to sign autographs. Well, I was planting my ass there until it happened. Then I wavered, then I decided to hang tight.

Security asked that we line up and give him some space, which to me, only made sense. As he came down the line, I handed him my CD cover and the ballpoint pen that I had been writing all of this down with. He looked at the pen and said, “That won’t work.” Very quiet, very calm. I said the only thing that came to mind (scared he wouldn’t sign my CD cover after I’d stood there for … four hours?)

“I’m sorry.” Yeah, I can come up with the greatest of lines, can’t I?

He responded, “No, it’s okay. It just won’t work as well,” very calm, mellow, laid-back, he looks around, “I’ll just use this one,” and plucks a silver marker from the guy’s hand who was next to me, then signed his “JC.” I thanked him and then watched him as he went on down the line. Never once did he make eye contact. However, he made eye contact with the necklace I had on.

It was the same look he had given me the night before.

Jerry Cantrell does not look at you. At first, it was as though he was looking through me. But actually, it was more like he was looking into me, as though he’s deciphering some great mystery or riddle. He has one of the most penetrating gazes of anyone I’ve ever met.

He’s also very good at side-stepping over-zealous fans, because you know there’s one in every crowd. It wasn’t me. He stopped at the door and thanked us all for being there.

And that was my meeting with Jerry Cantrell. Yes, it was worth it.

How good of a singer is William? He’s excellent… what I could hear over the crowd singing every lyric of every song, other than the cover they did of an Elton John tune. They also covered “Squeeze Box” by “The Who,” which rocked. The whole show was just incredible. In-fucking-credible. Even though I was way in the back, it was like I was front row.

They didn’t stop to chat after the show so John and I went back to my hotel room. I packed and…

Okay, well, I slept three hours, got up, caught a cab, and flew home.

And that was my trip to “The Big Easy.” I can’t wait to do it again.

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Howdy

October 17, 2007 at 8:36 pm (Attitude in Overdrive, Crazy Shit)

Fear not, I will continue my New Orleans trip report in due time. Good things come to those who wait, and wait, and wait…

***

For some reason I’ve been reading the news lately. Perhaps it’s that WV has once again garnered national attention by way of a young man missing in the Monongahela National Forest. This young man is 18 years old but is severely autistic and basically nonverbal.

I have spent a great deal of time in Tucker County, WV, where this is all transpiring and while the beauty is awe inspiring, it is no different than any other patch of woods in the world. It’s isolated and the next tree, rock, and flower look like half a dozen others you passed in the 10 feet you’ve walked. Lucky for him, the bears are getting ready to hibernate and aren’t all that hungry right now and the weather is exceptionally mild, even at higher elevations. I pray for his safe return.

***

I also noticed in the news that more parents are using bogus (or real) religious or philosophical reasons to NOT have their children vaccinated against childhood diseases. Ummmm… that’s stupid. If your older child had a severe reaction to a vaccine then I would understand.

So, tell me, if you use a religious excuse (bogus or real) to not vaccinate your children and then all of them die from diptheria or measles, is that not murder? Could you not be charged with attempted murder if you took your child to an international airport? Really, do you think people from 3rd world countries don’t fly? Do you think people who visit 3rd world countries don’t come back with little nasties on their person? Do you NOT know that even vaccinated individuals can still contract diseases, the symptoms and severity of which are decreased but STILL CONTAGIOUS?

And while I’m at it, and just raring to piss peeps off, if you’re of a religious organization that doesn’t permit vaccinations or blood transfusions or other possible life-saving interventions, and your child is not of an age in which they can make an informed, adult decision as to whether or not they want to trust in the blood of the lamb or in Dr. Feelgood, then I think you should HAVE to provide that care until said child is old enough and of sound mind to determine for themselves whether or not said medical intervention should stop or be administered.

Can you imagine being a hemophiliac born to Jehovah’s Witnesses? Sorry son, but if God had meant for you to live you would have been born a guilt-ridden Catholic or writhing and speaking in tongues with the Pentecostals. Better luck next time.

***

Did ya’ll see where Al Gore (and the IPCC) won the Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change. . . ” I thought Hurricane Katrina did that two years ago? Must be me.

***

Have you all seen Ellen DeGeneres’s plea for the puppy patrol to let her hairdresser and kids keep the dog Ellen gave them? The one they took because Ellen didn’t read the fine print? An estimated 4 to 6 MILLION dogs and cats are euthanized each year in America. Ellen spent an obscene amount of money on this dog, THREE. THOUSAND. DOLLARS. and the puppy patrol said, “Sorry.”

I find something very, very wrong with this.

According to the puppy patrol, they confiscated said pooch because the hairdresser’s daughters weren’t 14 years old. Come on! Britney Spears is allowed to breed, TWICE, but an 11 year old can’t have a fucking DOG!?!

Welcome to America.

***

I have many blessings today but count your own.

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NOLA: Volume III – Monday

October 10, 2007 at 7:47 pm (My Travels)

Our helpful map link is here.

Dawn came early in New Orleans. Although I had set my alarm for 9 or so, my cell phone ringing woke me much earlier, around 8:30. It was a stupid call. I went back to bed but couldn’t sleep. I got up and went down for breakfast and a cigarette. I had a bowl of cereal, two small containers of peach yogurt (of course), and something else. Or several something elses, including a cup of coffee in each hand. No, I’m not kidding.

I got dressed, checked my map, and headed out for St. Louis Cemetery via Decatur, of course. In addition to the 18 wheeler which pulled in after “Haste the Day” made their departure, three large tour buses had pulled up. Sweeeeeet!

Somehow, and I’m not sure how, I overshot St. Louis street or maybe I was just so tired I wandered too far east on Decatur or Bourbon or wherever the hell I was. I know at one point I was back on St. Ann and Dauphine. When I stopped trying to find St. Louis and just went north, I ran right into N. Rampart at Louis Armstrong Park and turned west to follow N. Rampart to Basin. (For future reference, there is a police station right on the corner of N. Rampart and St. Louis.)

St. Louis Cemetery #1 is exactly that, # 1 on the list of creepiest places I’ve ever visited and I live 45 minutes from where the Mothman lives, okay? Broad daylight, sunshine, breeze, beautiful day in New Orleans, place still gave me the creeps. Its like being in a maze and wherever you turn are more tombs. Sometimes you can pass the same spot twice and there’s a new tomb that you didn’t notice before. Just like it popped out of the ground like a dandelion.

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My main reason for going to St. Louis #1 is because it is reportedly haunted by several individuals, including The Queen of Voodoo herself, Marie LaVeau. I did find where she was supposedly buried, although there was another tomb there that had just as many, if not a few more, XXX’s on it. You’re supposed to inscribed three X’s or make the X mark three times in the air, then request a wish, and leave an offering. All of which I did, twice, once at each tomb.

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The eeriest of places within the cemetery was, what I call, Tomb Row.

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As you can see, it was one long tomb, however, the plaster had worn away from the individually bricked crypts, reminding me strongly of “The Cask of Amontillado.” (Not “The Count of Monte Cristo” as I had mentioned to Seven. Wrong period, wrong author, wrong everything. I was tired!) Even stranger given that “Cask” is set during Carnival or Mardi Gras season. If there is one spot in New Orleans where the spirits walk with you, it is along Tomb Row.

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There were three ladies around one tomb with incense and the like. I didn’t bother them. I saw this statue and smiled. Do you know why?

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Two men were working on cleaning the tombs and there were also two tour groups. But again, due to the tombs, you could walk five steps and lose sight and hearing of all those other people. I used this statue as a landmark point to get me back to where I could figure my way out.

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I wanted to stay longer but also knew that Seven would be calling for lunch and I figured I had enough time to swing back through Madame LaVeau’s House of Voodoo again and wander by the House of Blues for the 20th time.

In the midst of my wanderings and travels, I had no idea I did so much shit in such a short period of time, nor that it would take me so freakin’ long to write it all down.

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NOLA Volume II and Addendum (LONG POST)

October 8, 2007 at 10:12 pm (Alice in Chains, Beading, Empathy, Music, My Travels)

Addendum to Volume I:

As my cousin pointed out in the comments, Daniel, our part-time friend from Pat O’Briens, was a spitter. He was definitely enthusiastic. He was on my side but moved to Kama’s side because I was smoking and the smoke was drifting in his face. Score one, Nanner.

Here’s one of the jokes he told once he found out where I was from:  What do you call the moisture between two West Virginians having sex? 

Relative humidity.

Har, har, har, har.  Kama and I found that exceptionally funny, especially since our family is so inbred.

Pandora asked about the necklace I’m wearing. Yes, I made it. More about that later. And this is the third time that Seven and I have breathed the same air. More on that later as well.

If I’m not mistaken, jeebiduss, the hours melted together, I forgot to mention a character that Kama (or was it Pete?) and I met on the street. He was sitting against a building, holding a guitar. He was also wearing a rather large, purple-ish wizard hat. As I walked past I said, “Nice hat.”

He strummed on the guitar and asked, “What hat?”

That cracked me up but also reminded me to be careful who I spoke to and looked in the eye.

NOLA Volume II:

Some of you may not be familiar with New Orleans or the French Quarter, where I spent a great deal of time, okay, almost ALL my time. (Watching Katrina footage does not count). The French Quarter is separated from the rest of New Orleans by Canal Street, which runs north and south on the west border, Esplanade Avenue, which runs north and south on the east border, the Mississippi on the southern border, and N. Rampart on the northern border.

The great thing about the French Quarter is that the blocks are really short. The 13 1/2 blocks from my hotel to the Cafe Du Monde felt like nothing. Of course, I probably walk a mile or more a day at my job, so maybe it was just me. But it also didn’t seem like a very long walk to St. Louis Cemetery, which is about 10 blocks from Cafe Du Monde.

If you would like to follow along via a map, here is a nice one I found.

My hotel was located a block and a half on Carondolet (Bourbon) west of Canal Street. The House of Blues was located on Decatur Street, about two and a half blocks east of Canal. Cafe Du Monde is on Decatur/Dumaine. The St. Louis Cemetary # 1 is on Basin and St. Louis. Jimani is about dead center of Chartres street between Iberville and Canal. I was unable to locate the bar where I listened to music and met Pete, The World Famous Windex Man. It was on Bourbon. 

Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo is located about on the corner of St. Ann and Bourbon and The Clover Grill is on the corner of Bourbon and Dumaine, that would be three blocks north of the Cafe Du Monde. Also, find the corner of Decatur and Canal on the map. This will be important later, there will be a test.

Now that you know where you’re going, let’s get back to the next part of my trip.

It’s 11 p.m. and I’m walking east on Bourbon Street. The police have arrived and barricaded it so you are free to walk in the street. I have purposefully left my camera in the hotel room. My purse is small and non-lumpy. My hair is still in a ponytail. I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt. (This ploy to appear “local” must have worked because one guy stopped and asked me the location of the Renaissance Hotel (I’m assuming he meant the one at 700 Tchoupitoulas, which was a good 6 blocks from where he was) and some ladies asked me the location of the nearest pet store, of which I had no clue.)

I had meant to return to one location in particular. One where I had heard some great music while walking back to the hotel. I think I found it, but again, I don’t rightly know exactly where I was on Bourbon. I know I hadn’t gone far enough to be in the Gay District, which was where the Clover Grill was.

Keep in mind that when I say I’m walking East on Bourbon, this is directly after walking east on Decatur off of Canal. Yes, I haunted the House of Blues in hopes of catching a glimpse of a member of Alice in Chains. A few big tour buses were outside but they actually were for a different band that was playing there. Pete and I found that out later.

I watched the band for a while and growing tired and bored, I headed out for a pack of cigarettes, which surprisingly were just as cheap there as back here. This is when I ran into Pete, The World Famous Windex Man, or so he calls himself. Pete is a self-described salesman and tour guide. He’s been in 46 of the 50 states and according to him, used to wash car windows with Windex for money. He said this continued until the first time he heard the term, carjacking. He was quite familiar with the names of many of the towns near where I live.

Pete is black, about 50 years old, has one bad eye, and a drinking habit. (I tell you this so you can find him when you get there.) However, he was also someone with which I felt an instant rapport and comfort level. As we wandered the streets of New Orleans we shared stories and he pointed out interesting places, regaling me with the vast list of famous people he has met in the city of New Orleans. He also told me where Brad and Angelina live and about a meeting he had with Angelina. It seems he knows everyone and I felt very safe with Pete.

We stopped by Jimani to get him a beer and so I could use the bathroom. The food looked delicious but I wasn’t hungry. The staff was very friendly. I’ll definitely go back there. Pete and I talked about the aftermath of Katrina and just about everything else, including my quest to meet Alice In Chains. This resulted in us making a few more passes by the House of Blues, which also resulted in us seeing, not one, but two members of one of the bands peeing in the street. One didn’t even have his pants on, just a long shirt. Once we made another round, Pete asked one of the guys who they were and they said, “Haste the Day,” which neither of us had ever heard of.

While sitting at Jimani, I turned to Pete and said, “Willy, what…? *Pause* Why did I just call you Willy?”

Pete smiled and said, “You a clairvoyant too. I have a twin brother we used to call Willy when he was a kid.” We made another swing past the House of Blues and Pete and I started making the final trek, or so I thought, back to my hotel room.

Pete is one of the most interesting, congenial people I’ve ever met. He works for tips and he’s not cheap, even though he gave me the “there ain’t nobody else around and you’re cute” discount. My hip was really hurting and I was just exhausted. As we turned the corner of Decatur and Canal, I noticed a couple coming across Canal from the direction of Harrahs, which is located further south on Canal.

The man seemed intent on overshooting Decatur and barreling our direction. So much so that Pete and I both turned. His lady friend had stopped and he stopped and whirled mid-step.

Pete, the ever friendly one with a voice and reason and sense, said, “How ya’ll doin’?”

The man froze for an instant, sizing us up, then mumbled, “All right.” He grabbed his lady friend’s hand and off they went on Decatur. I stood frozen at first, not answering Pete as he jabbered on. I then wandered up Canal, stopped mid-step, turned in the direction of Decatur, turned back toward Bourbon, wandered a few more steps, and turned again toward Decatur.

Pete said, “Nanner, you all right?”

“That was him, Pete.”

“Him who?”

“Jerry Cantrell. That was Jerry Cantrell.”

“Who’s Jerry Cantrell?”

I whipped open my purse and showed him the CD cover from “Boggy Depot.”

“Remember, Pete, that’s why I’m here. I’m seeing Alice in Chains and he’s the guitarist.”

“Well, damn it, why didn’t ya say something?”

“I really wasn’t sure. I’m still not sure but, I’m sure, but I’m not sure, but I think I’m sure. That’s him right here on the CD cover, you tell me. ”

“Hell, I don’t know! I wasn’t looking at him, I was lookin’ at her! Did you see how tight her jeans were?” Score one, Pete.

“No, I was looking at how tight his jeans were, Pete!” Score two, Nanner.

Pete drug me back to Decatur Street as we laughed at each other. We peered into the darkness and found… an empty street. Fuck.

We went back to the hotel where I grabbed a few bucks and then we made another round. The blocks seem much longer when it’s between 3:30 and 4:00 a.m. and you haven’t had much sleep, and, you’re kicking yourself in the ass.

At 4:09, my head hit the pillow and my foot was still kicking my ass. Score one, Jerry.

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