Monday, June 30, 2008

Insult Your Boss Day

My colleague Sandra Okamoto, the only person at the Ledger-Enquirer who intimidates and scares me, pointed out today that Insult Your Boss Day is just around the corner. It's July 23.

Of course, Sandra noted that because I call my boss "Pork Chop" that every day is Insult Your Boss Day for me.

According to the e-mail I was forwarded about the event: At 3:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on International Insult Your Boss Day, all workers should insult their bosses simultaneously, followed by a communal drink at the nearest bar. You might want to make sure your coworkers are planning to do this before you commit to it. Like senior skip day in high school, it only works if everyone participates. So, don't let your colleagues down.

You can learn more about Insult Your Boss Day and get handy advice at this Web site.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Interview with Jimmy Buffett

The latest edition of USA Weekend has a good article on my man Jimmy Buffett. At 61, the man has no intentions of slowing down as a performer or a businessman. There's also a good bit about being a father of three kids and how he's managed to stay married for 30 years (to the same person). Always good to see another nonconformist find success and happiness. Guess there's hope for me, too. Maybe.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kayaking adventure

During my vacation this week, I spent a lot of time kayaking alone (unlike the hundreds of folks paddling into Macon County as I'm writing this with Paddle Georgia 2008), but I wasn't alone for long on Wednesday at Whitewater Creek Park just north of my hometown of Oglethorpe. While paddling through the marshy areas like this one pictured, I bumped into a branch sticking out of the water. I didn't notice until the very last second that there was a very large wasp nest on it. It was one of those noooooooo moments where I could see it about to happen but couldn't stop it.

I spend most of my kayaking time watching out for water moccasins and alligators, of which I've seen plenty. But now that I, and my stinging arm, know wasps don't like being hit with a big red kayak, I guess I'll look out for them, too.

As for Paddle Georgia, thank goodness they're bringing attention to the Flint and fighting Reps. Lynn Westmoreland's and Nathan Deal's efforts to screw it up by damming it so that overgrown mess known as Atlanta can get its hands on more water.

New TV classics?

Entertainment Weekly recently released its top 100 "new TV classics from the last 25 years" and nowhere on the list was "Scrubs," which is about the only series released since 2000 that I like. There were a lot I agreed with on there, including "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "The Cosby Show" and even shows I didn't like but recognized the significance, such as "The Sopranos" or "The Real World." But "Pee-Wee's Playouse" and "Amazing Race" over "Scrubs"? Puh-leez!

"Scrubs" has had a long run with an amazing cast and creative scripts and is clearly unique with its quirkiness, comedy and its roundabout route to poignancy. Give J.D., Turk, Dr. Cox and the rest some credit.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Two left legs UPDATE!!!

Cue news alert sound: Do-do-da-do-do-do

This just in: The two artificial left legs mentioned in a post two days ago have been claimed. They apparently belonged to Mrs. Eileen West.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Loveless noodles

While we were eating at a fairly new Italian restaurant in Columbus, my son took one bite of his spaghetti and refused to eat the rest. He wound up sampling some of our pizza, while I finished off his dish.

When the waitress noticed he hadn't eaten it, she asked, "You didn't like it?"

"No, ma'am," he said. "I couldn't taste the love in it like my Mama's."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bet he couldn't dance

Total theft from Monday's Ledger-Enquirer in the "Looking Back" 50 years ago section, here's an item from the Columbus police blotter in 1958:

Police are looking for a person who is missing two left legs.

Officers said they found two artificial left legs Saturday night on the steps of an abandoned funeral home on Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street.

The owner, or owners, may claim the legs at police headquarters.

I'd keep you posted as developments warrant, but I have a feeling the case is just going in circles.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dangerous librarians

Is this a gang sign?

Anytime we run a story about rap music in the paper, some extremely white people in Columbus get very upset. Mainly, they seem to have noticed -- and I don't want to alarm anyone with this, but -- most rap stars appear to be black. Or extremely tan. Seriously, someone actually explained that they weren't racist because they'd met "one or two good black people." Convinced me.

Now, I hate rap music about as much as the next extremely white guy, but, hey, to each his own. I also hate classical music, but I don't complain when Yo-Yo Ma comes to town his big ol' upright bass and the giant fiddle bow.

Most interesting among the complaints was about this photo of Yung Joc, who is one of the rappers appearing along with T.I. at the Civic Center on Friday night. He said we knew what this photo meant and what it stood for. We said, er, no we didn't.

"It's a gang sign!" he said. "There's gonna be a drive-by shooting now."

Well, I never knew that about the "shh" sign. Those librarians back home who flashed this gang sign at me often during my school days must have really shot some folks up around Macon County. So, to Mrs. Etheridge and Mrs. Martin, I apologize for every time y'all had to flash that gang sign at me. I swear, if I'd have known y'all were that dangerous, I'd have kept my mouth shut.

Man, if Columbus would just book more hip acts like Barry Manilow, these kinds of controversies would never come up in the first place.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Friends of the Flint

As a guy who's kayaked and canoed the Flint River more than once and as a guy who grew up on the banks of it, I have a great appreciation for those who've helped protect that beautiful, natural river that flows freely until it hits the dam at Lake Blackshear. When President Carter was governor, he prevented a plan to dam the the river near Sprewell Bluff, which is among the most beautiful natural sites in Georgia.

President Carter will be appearing in my hometown of Oglethorpe on Friday, June 27 for a celebration to mark the end of Paddle Georgia 2008, which will take 325 adventurers on a week-long, 95-mile kayak/canoe voyage down the Flint River from Woodbury to Montezuma June 21-27. The Flint is the only thing between Montezuma and Oglethorpe. I was told that God made the Flint River to keep Montezuma folks out of Oglethorpe, but I'll be danged if those Montezuma people didn't go and build a bridge. I was also told that the Flint River started when someone left an outdoor faucet running somewhere outside of Atlanta, so take that for what it's worth.

The event featuring Mr. Jimmy is a fish fry beginning at 6 p.m. at the old junior high school on Sumter Street. Tickets are $25 and very limited. Click here to get them or for more information.

The menu will include fried fish, french fries, onion rings, hushpuppies, fried vegetables, cheese grits, and cole slaw. The program will be followed with dancing and "foot stomping" along with a local bluegrass band.

To learn more about Paddle Georgia, click here.

Monday, June 9, 2008

For sale: 8-year-old Auburn fan

My 8-year-old son, Saylor, came home from summer day care today with "AU" painted on both sides of his face ... or as I deem it, child abuse. No child should be branded with such a blasphemous combination of letters and those ugly AU colors. Why couldn't they put something classy on his face like a big red or black "G"?

Saylor cares about sports about as much as I care about "American Idol" and reality TV. Yet, he's an Auburn fan, which is my family's greatest shame. Actually, I think he's just an Auburn fan because he knows I'm a Georgia fan, and he loves to be aggravating. He's good at it, too. During football season, he'll run around the house shouting, "Auburn rules, Dawgs drool!"

Must be genetic. When I was a kid, my best friend Shane and I were big Dallas Cowboys fans and my dad would cheer on the hated Washington Redskins just to make us angry. My family has quite the legacy of being aggravating.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

If ya got it, flaunt it!

Normally I wouldn't post a picture of someone getting their breasts autographed, but this one just seemed a little different from most such autographing sessions. I'm not sure why. I took it during the Summer Side Show on Saturday where 50-something bands played in 175-degree heat, which set a high temperature record for Columbus.

It's not really my kind of music. For my kind of music, I went to the Jimmy Buffett concert in Atlanta two days earlier. (See next post.) We kinda swayed and hula danced Thursday as one big happy tacky tipsy family. On Saturday, they slam danced and slung their fists around like they were on "Jerry Springer." And it was an alcohol-free event. I felt old. OK, I am old, but at least at the Buffett show there were old and young alike. At Summer Side Show, there were hundreds of teenagers ... and me. I was there to see Dirty Dirty (pictured below), whose bass player Cody Peaster is a young friend I was corrupting, er, I mean mentoring during his last bit of high school.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Parrothead pilgrimage 2008

Just returned from the holiest day on my calendar, Jimmy Buffett's annual appearance in Atlanta. Here are a few of the pics from the tailgating area where my wife, my friend Bass (now known by his street name "G-Dawg" given to him by a thug on the street, though we just call him "Truck" ... long story) and I parked the truck Thursday. Unfortunately, not a lot of photos from the area are fit to be published here, but it was an awful lot of fun and everyone was just one big, happy, tacky family as usual. For a video and slideshow from the much tamer official Lakewood Amphitheatre parking lot, click here. We preferred the more untamed tailgating area.

Me and Bass, a couple of nuts. Mmm, coconut milk.

Alternative mode of transportation

Multiply this scene by 100 and you get the idea.

Parrotheads finally phlock into the amphitheatre.

The lawn people, of which I was one.

My wife with some Columbusites.

I think this guy likes Jimmy Buffett.

Multiply this by 4,000, and you get the idea.

I think my wife took this picture. I hope my wife took this picture.

More Buffett gals.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Get your ex-girlfriend back

I stumbled across a Web site today selling this $67 course:


How to Effortlessly Make Your Ex-Girlfriend Want to Come Back to You"
Without Begging or Using "Fake" Persuasion Tricks and "Sneaky" Manipulation Tactics and Mind Games


Yeah, nothing "sneaky" about buying a course to get your girl back instead of just changing the jerk or moron that you are. And if you're not a jerk or moron, you don't need the girl. There are an awful lot of ex-girlfriends I've wanted back, and I can honestly say I'm now glad none gave in. Although, I'm surprised daily that my wife comes home. Guess she likes jerky morons.

But, hey, if you're dead-set on getting that loser chick back, here are a few options for you ... free of charge:
  • Quit being like yourself. Be someone much cooler and, if possible, better looking.
  • Don't you dare admit you have actual emotions beyond caring about your favorite football team ... even if you're crying your eyes out every night more than when the Dallas Cowboys tamed the Falcons' Gritz Blitz in the 1980 playoffs.
  • If she's shallow, buy her something shiny.
  • If she's deep, write her a poem. Something sweet like "You spin me right round, baby; right round like a record, baby; right round round round."
  • Stalk her: Not in a sick, scary, very illegal way. Just kind of let her know you care, as Ernest T. Bass did Charlene Darling when he'd throw a rock through her window and sing a purty song:
Old Aunt Maria, jump in the fi-ah,
Fire too hot, jump in the pot,
Pot too black, jump in the crack,
Crack too high, jump in the sky,
Sky too blue, jump in canoe,
Canoe too shallow, jump in the tallow,
Tallow too soft, jump in the loft,
Loft too rotten, jump in the cotton,
Cotton so white she stay there all night.

But, if you don't trust my methods, you can click here and fork out $67 to get the girl back.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Spellcheck's not infallible

From the Associated Press: A computer spell-checker run amok christened several Pennsylvania high school students with new — and in some cases unflattering — last names.
Middletown Area High School’s yearbook listed Max Zupanovic as ‘‘Max Supernova,’’ Kathy Carbaugh as ‘‘Kathy Airbag’’ and Alessandra Ippolito as ‘‘Alexandria Impolite,’’ just to name a few.

Hey, accidents happen. Especially with spell-checkers. My name was once printed as "Christ" in my hometown paper. Still waiting for the lightning to strike.

Coming to my defense,sort of

There's an elderly blind man who calls my work phone before 7 a.m. almost every Sunday morning to comment on my column, praise me or criticize me. He goes to a special Web site to have the paper read to him. How that Web site even knows what some of my made-up words mean, I have no idea.

Anyway, he left me a long message about my latest column yesterday, concerning my upcoming pilgrimage to the Jimmy Buffett concert in Atlanta and how my boss, Pork Chop, is more excited than anybody because she knows I'll be in a good mood for a while. (You can credit the onset of summer for that, as well.) The message began with:

"I disagree with Pork Chop. I don't think you're an idiot. I think you're a bloomin' idiot."

Sucks when you really have no defense for that.