Thursday, September 25, 2008

Really, Really Bad Day

If you think you're having a bad day, just remember it could always be worse. This guy's story gives new meaning to having a bad day!

I will never complain about a crappy day again. I'm not sure if this is an "ouch" or a hell of an "oops."

Edited to add: You have to surf over to Chicago Commuter blog and read the ding dong story. Drinking beverages while reading the story is not recommended as they are likely to reappear through your nose. I'm just sayin'!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Clean Up Around Your Own Doorstep....

...... before you try to sweep around mine! Here is a conversation between myself and a friend about dating. (She is currently waiting for her boyfriend to get out of jail.) She was trying to give me dating advice. God help me.

Friend: You really are going to have to let go of the idea of the perfect man.

Me: I'm not looking for the perfect man, I'm just looking for the guy that will be right for me.

Friend: I just think you're going to have to lower your standards a bit.

Me: You mean like dating guys who are in jail?

Friend: Point taken.

Everybody's a critic!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Questions for Your Soul Mate

Have you ever wondered what kinds of questions you should ask to see if someone is your soul mate? People always say they just knew when they'd met the right person. I've always wondered how they "just knew." Was it the answers to a set of questions or was it just a feeling?

This article gave a few great ideas about questions to ask someone to determine if they are your soul mate. I thought these were pretty good. I've even asked a couple of them myself.

What are some of the questions that worked for you to find that one special person? Or did you just know? How did you know?

Monday, September 8, 2008

In Honor of Grandparents Day.....

I thought I would delight you all with a cute tale about my Grandmother. We'll call it:

Nanny Goes Fishing

My grandmother was always quite a character. She was closing in on eighty years old when this story took place, but she had just as much spunk about her at eighty as I did at twelve. Not to mention, she was a heck of a lot braver and cooler than I was or maybe she was just crazier, you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Fishing was not something out of the ordinary for my family. In fact, for as long as I could remember, my mom, grandmother and aunt were always going fishing and trying to one up each other on their catch. It was always quite the competition every summer. Even when I was a baby, my family would take me with them to the pond behind our house. I can only imagine that I must have resembled a miniature Kojak, complete with a bald head and red lollipops, strapped into my swing-o-matic, happily watching my mom reel in her catch. My mom even made me a fake fishing pole, with a cardboard minnow, so that I could pretend I was fishing too. Fishing was definitely my family’s way of bonding.

The summer that I was twelve was pretty much the same as every other summer except for the buzz going on in our neighborhood about a fish that couldn’t be caught. My family owned a small country grocery store in the tiny community of Beachton Georgia and it seemed that every person that came into the store that summer had a story about having hooked and lost a large bass in the pond behind our house. Even my mom and aunt had their own stories about the “one that got away”. They had gotten into a competition over who could catch the fish earlier in the summer and by August they were still on the hunt and no closer than anyone else to catching the infamous bass. My grandmother (affectionately known as “Nanny” to her grandkids) had listened to the stories from her customers and her daughters with a large amount of skepticism. Nanny wasn’t buying all the hype.

“Miss Maude, I tell you, that was the biggest fish I have ever hooked!” One customer exclaimed to her. “He bit clean through my line!”

“Sounds like you should buy better line,” Nanny quipped.

“You just go down there and see for yourself, I bet you’ll change your tune when you see him in action.” The customer replied. Nanny just pooh-poohed the stories.

The long, hot days of summer seemed to drag on just like the stories of the customers that came into the store. Each fishing tale was slightly different, but yet they were really all the same; they all told of the big fish that no one could catch. The Moby Dick of Beachton seemed to be swimming in the pond just behind my house. From my grandmother’s dismissals of all of the stories, who could have known that she had visions of becoming Ahab?

One afternoon when my mom was gathering up her gear to go fishing, Nanny made a declaration. “I’m going fishing with you this afternoon and I’m going to catch this monster fish everyone has been blabbing on about all summer.”

“Okay,” my mom said, “but don’t be surprised when you walk home empty handed.”

“Humph, I’ve been fishing longer than you've been alive; I think I can catch one little fish.” Nanny snapped.

“It’s not such a little fish,” my mom replied.

“I know, I know,” Nanny said sarcastically, “It’s a whale that can’t be caught!”

Now, by the age of twelve, I had pretty much decided that I didn’t really like fishing anymore, (it was messy) but I loved to take a book and go with my mom just to hang out. Besides, fishing was family time and I always enjoyed going to the pond even if I didn’t partake in the activities. After hearing Nanny throw down the gauntlet, I figured, if nothing else, this fishing trip would be entertaining if not down right comical. The trash talk had already started and we hadn’t even left the house yet. I wasn’t going to miss these festivities for anything. I grabbed a book and followed Nanny and my mom down the path through the woods to the pond.

When we arrived at our destination, I positioned myself underneath a tree where I could both watch and hear the banter between Nanny and my mom. Nanny started out by casting her reel out with her favorite lure on the end.

“Monster fish my foot!” I heard Nanny mutter. “You probably got your line caught on tree stump or something. Maybe you hooked that gator!” She said to my mom.

“I know the difference between a gator and a fish!” My mom snapped, rolling her eyes. I slunk down behind my book and giggled.

The gator Nanny was referring to had been in the pond as long as I could remember. Nanny had even named him “Hog” because he had a huge nose that looked like a pig’s nose. Hog was kind of like a family pet. Every time someone would suggest removing him from the pond, my mom and grandmother would always protest. After all, that would be like stealing someone’s dog. No one could take the gator, he was practically family. He had a name and everything!

“Well,” Nanny continued, “Your big fish doesn’t seem to like my plastic worm. Maybe he would like a little live bait instead.” She laid down her reel and picked up her small cane pole and baited the hook. She put the line out and within a couple of minutes she had a tiny brim on the hook. She removed the tiny fish and proceeded to bait the hook on her reel with it. This was trick I had seen her use many times before. If you want to catch a big fish, she would say, use a little fish. Nanny cast out her line and waited. She didn’t have to wait very long.

I heard the familiar zing of the line when the bass grabbed the bait. Nanny was caught off guard and she actually yelped with excitement. Nanny never yelped, so I knew something was up.

“Get the net!” She yelled. I could tell that whatever Nanny had hooked was pretty big because it was fighting and her reel looked as though it was about to break in two. My mom ran up beside her with the net ready to help her get the fish out of the water once it was close enough into shore. About that time, the fish jumped up out of the pond and we could see just how large it really was. No one had exaggerated about the size of that bass; it was the biggest one I had ever seen. I tossed my book and ran to help, but Nanny had the situation well under control. That fish may have been a fighter, but he had nothing on my grandmother.

Like a seasoned pro, she reeled in the line and then let the fish run a bit. She called this letting him tire himself out. She would reel a little more and repeat the process. Pretty soon, she had the bass almost all the way into shore. The bass jumped with one final lurch and this time, to the horror of all of us, he actually came off of the hook and landed right in the shallow water near Nanny’s feet. Stunned, none of us moved, including the fish. He just lay there completely exhausted from fighting to get off of the line. Suddenly, Nanny did something completely uncharacteristic and a little bit crazy. She literally threw herself down on top of the fish. My mother turned white as a ghost, I thought she might actually pass out. Nanny had just flung herself face down into the water and she couldn’t even swim! My mom and I both ran into the water to help her sit up so she didn’t drown. The fish had regained consciousness and realized that there was a crazy old lady on top of him. He started fighting again. He was too slippery to pick up and put into the net so Nanny just held him down.

In all of the commotion, none of us noticed that the alligator, Hog, had popped his head up out in the middle of the pond. Once he saw the flurry of activity at the water’s edge, he began streaking across the pond toward where Nanny was sitting on top of the bass.

“Uh, Nanny,” I said excitedly, “That gator is coming this way and he is moving fast! You had better get up now!” Nanny was still sitting in the water with the fish between her feet.

“If that gator wants this fish, then he’d better be prepared to wrestle me for him, because I caught this bass and I mean to keep him!” She replied though clenched teeth.

“Mama, let go of that fish and get up out of that water, now!” My mom barked. “That gator won’t wrestle you for that fish; he’ll just eat you both, now get up!”

“Nanny, he is swimming pretty fast.” I warned.

“I’m not letting go of this fish, I caught him and he’s mine!” Nanny yelled back.

“Oh good God!” I heard my mom mutter under her breath. Nanny just sat, holding onto her fish and staring down the gator. The gator kept moving, staring Nanny down. It was like a scene out of a bad western movie. I knew this could get real ugly, real quick, if my mom and I didn’t do something. I frantically looked around for something to throw at the gator to distract him or possibly hit him with if he actually got a hold of Nanny. I didn’t think tossing my book at him would quite do the trick. I picked up the net my mom had dropped in all of the excitement. I figured if we couldn’t get the fish into it maybe I could hit the alligator over the head with it if he grabbed Nanny’s foot. My mom had picked up a big stick and was wielding it like a baseball bat. For a split second, I wasn’t quite sure if she meant to crack the alligator over the head or Nanny. We were a pitiful site, but I poised myself, net in hand, ready for a fight.

Suddenly, as if we both had divine inspiration, my mother and I dropped our weapons, each of us hooked Nanny underneath one arm and dragged her up out of the water’s edge and onto the shore. Nanny was still triumphantly holding onto that damn fish and smiling like she’d won the lottery.

Luckily, getting Nanny and the bass onto land was enough to make the gator stop swimming. My guess was that he didn’t figure Nanny nor the fish was worth actually dragging himself up onto the bank. I didn’t really blame him, I was pretty sure Nanny was ready to go a couple of rounds with him if he decided to challenge her. I was still leery though, so I kept one eye on Hog and one eye on my grandmother as I helped her get to her feet.

“That wasn’t so hard now was it?” she asked. I decided against reminding her she had almost been eaten by an alligator. “Get me that bucket,” she continued. “My work here is done; I’m taking my fish home.”

“There won’t be any more fish around with that gator looming so close,” my mom replied in an irritated tone. “We all may as well go home.”

“You want me to carry the fish for you Nanny, he looks kind of heavy.” I asked, reaching for the bucket in which she had placed him.

“No!” She snapped, smacking the back of my hand. “I caught him and I’ll carry him to the house!” I heard my mom chuckling behind me. I shot her a dirty look and retrieved my book that I had tossed into the bushes when all of the excitement began.
“I’m going to weigh this monster, first thing when we get to the house!” I heard Nanny declare as she walked ahead of my mom and me.

Back at home, we all stood around the scale as Nanny hoisted the enormous fish up on to it. “Eight pounds!” She exclaimed. “That’s the biggest fish ever caught in that pond!”

“Are you going to clean him tonight, Nanny?” I asked.

“Nope, I have a better idea,” she replied with a grin.

The next day, customers stopped and marveled at the site. My grandmother stood behind the cash register and beamed with pride. Nanny, being ever the show woman, decided to place the fish in the big meat cooler that was in our store. She put him in a huge pan and placed it right up front next to the glass, so that everyone walking by the meat counter would see the gigantic fish. She wanted everyone to know just who had snagged the “uncatchable” fish.

“Miss Maude, you bought that fish at the market as a joke. There ain’t no way you went down to that pond and caught that monster we’ve all been trying to catch for weeks!” One customer scolded.

“How did you do it?” Someone else asked. All day long customers came and went in and out of the store and the whole community was buzzing again, but this time it was about how my grandmother had caught the giant fish that no one else could.

Nanny told her story over and over about hooking the bass and fighting him until he was so exhausted he couldn’t swim away even after he jumped off of the hook. She told how she had thrown her body on top of him and held him down until he relented and she triumphed. She conveniently left out the part where my mom and I had to drag her out of the water before the gator got her, but what the heck, it was her story. My mom and I never said a word. We just smiled and winked at each other.

I’m not sure if there really was a lesson to be learned from this fish tale; other than do not mess with a little old lady on a mission to catch a fish. However, if anything, I did begin to see Nanny in a whole other light. I always viewed her as the ever quick witted, but somehow very serious parental figure that held our family together like super glue. After this little excursion, I saw her as the pretty cool chick that she really was and the kind of person I hoped to become (minus the gator wrestling aspirations, of course).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another Day, Another Deal Breaker

Confidence is a must have for me in a man. This little revelation hit me like a bus recently. Apparently, for me, it's one of those hidden deal breakers you don't realize is there until you fall over it. This all became very clear to me while dating Prospect A and Prospect B(AKA "The Cuddler", that's a story for a different post).

If you remember in a previous post, I alluded to the fact that there was something missing with Prospect B that I couldn't quite put my finger on. And even though Prospect A seemed to be less into me, I was still more attracted to him than I was Prospect B, who was completely into me. I finally figured out the difference was confidence level.

Prospect B didn't seem to have much experience with women and even though he did everything "right" (ie calling, showing up on time, etc), he always seemed like he was checking things off of a list.

Hug after the second date: check
Held hands on the third date: check
Put arm around her on the third date: check
Kiss on the fourth date: check

I felt like I was in high school! There didn't seem to be any spontaneity that comes with confidence in yourself. Everything seemed very scripted. He seemed very afraid of making the wrong move too soon. His lack of confidence was not very appealing to me. In fact, it became a huge turnoff.

Prospect A, on the other hand, was full of confidence. No awkward, trying to put this arm around me at the movies, no weird sort of hug at the end of the night. If he wanted to hold my hand, he grabbed it. If he wanted a kiss, he just did it. No wishy washy stuff. That's what I like in a guy. A "just do it" attitude.

If I could only find a "just do it" guy that liked me back, we'd be in business!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Learning How to Live

After my very spontaneous weekend of driving down to Cocoa Beach to check out their annual surfing festival, I can say that I am truly learning how to live! Who needs plans and reservations and crazy stuff like that!?!?! Just get in the car, pick up a friend and drive down to see what trouble you can get into.

I didn't actually get into any trouble mind you, but I did enjoy getting to the beach and checking out the HOTT surfer dudes. If only I were a few years younger. But I digress. The weekend was great and I even got a little sun and some much need time to relax on the beach.

The water was too turbulent to swim much, but the weather was great once the showers passed. The surf was so loud that even the sounds of the Marleys (Bob and Ziggy) pouring through the ear buds of my ipod could not drown it out. (Thank you Tropical Storm Hannah and Hurricane Gustav!)

All in all, even with the crazy weather in the Gulf and the Caribbean, it was a great weekend. Eating amazing food and drinking great beer on a beach can't be beat. Maybe that's why they call it paradise?!?!?

That's living my friends!