Thursday, August 28, 2008

Where's FEMA?

Here we go again!!

Time to find out if anyone learned anything the last time...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

You Get'chyer Wife Back, You Get'chyer Dawg Back...

I just got home from Sonny's Barbeque, where I ordered too much, ate too much, paid too much, and brought too much food home.

I like Sonny's okay, although it is (in my opinion) a poor substitute for real barbeque, which can apparently only be found within a 50 mile circle of Lumberton N.C. (I am not a big fan of thick, sticky, tomato or molasses based BBQ sauces, except on ribs. Real BBQ is pulled pork, with a Vinegar based sauce. And don't try to give me that Lexington N.C. stuff either. That's just nasty...)

But once I learned to ignore the fact that it says "Barbeque" on the sign, and none is actually available there, I like the restaurant just fine.

We set the baby up in one of the institutional minimalist wooden high chairs from the restaurant, and fed him ham chunks from the salad bar, a grilled cheese sandwich, a handful or two of pulled BBQ chicken, and Nilla wafers while sad Country music played all around us.

And then something dawned on me...

I realized why eating there is not usually a happy memory for me after I leave.

It's the MUSIC!

Now I love Country music (in limited doses...), and I believe that the best songwriters in the world are writing Country music. There are some REALLY great songs out there.

But the music in Sonny's BBQ is a collection of every song you've ever heard that made you want to sit in the floor and cry!

"She fell down on the kitchen floor as the sig-nal died... And the pilot tried to pu-ull out of the dive... One... Last... Time..."

"Would'ja like som'more sweet tea, Darlin?"

"Boo-hoo-hoo, *sniff* Ah- hoo, hoo, *sniff, sniff*, I guess so..."

"An old man knealing all aloooooone... Plants his flowers in a gar-rarden of sto-one... For seven years now she's been goooone... But his devotion is sti-yill going straw-wong..."

"You wawnt som'more napkins, Honey?"

"*Sniff, sniff, snort*... Sure, thanks..."

"Daince little Jeeeeane, a prayer thatch'ya had... Was ainswered to-day, yore Mama's marryin' yore Dad!"

"Honey, them ribs are all ya can eat... Are ya ready for another slab?"

"No, thank you Ma'am... Could you either bring me an Ipod with some happy music on it, or a gun so that I can blow my brains out? Thanks..."


I can't stand it. But then again, maybe my heart is too soft.

I'm sure that there are some people to whom that stuff seems to be the absolute epitome of fan-dadgum-tabulous music, just like there are some people who absolutely love sticky BBQ sauce... But BBQ and music are both very personal things.

I still wonder, though... Would I like Sonny's better if eating there didn't make me cry every time?

We may never know...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

"We're Not Gonna Take It!!"

I was watching television a couple of weeks ago, and I saw a very interesting commercial...

It was for the birth control pill called "Yaz!..."

It was interesting because the commercial depicted a bunch of silly looking women running around singing "We're not gonna take it!... NO! We ain't gonna take it!!"

And I thought, "How effective can a birth control pill possibly be if they ain't gonna take it?"

Then tonight, I saw the new commercial for the same product, and I realized that they had addressed the effectiveness problem...

Tonight, they were singing "Good-bye to you!... Good bye to you-ooh, woh wo-oh, goodbye to YOU!"

That's brilliant!

If you run him off, then you don't have to take it!

I want to know, who is the marketing genius who is running this advertizing campaign?

Where can I send my resume? I want his job. (Or her job, as the case may be...)

I mean, all you apparently have to do is pick an up-tempo eighties song, and make sure that you have enough stock footage of young women shopping and eating ice cream so that the fast-talking announcer guy can get the whole disclaimer in...

(The challenge would be finding an eighties song long enough for the disclaimer... "Side effects  may include Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Mood Swings, Weight Gain, Abdominal Swelling, Water Retention, Headaches, Back Ache, Muscle Ache, Heartache, Tooth ache, Temporary Insanity, Fever, Loss of Energy, Loss of Equilibrium, Irritability, Increased Appetite, Unusual Food Cravings, Spotting, Swelling in the extremities, Insomnia, Narcolepsy, Temporary Tourette's Syndrome, more Mood Swings, Loss of Appetite, Ear Ache, Bleeding from the nose and ears, Hair loss, Hair growth in unusual places, Loss of Teeth, Swamp-Ass, Spontaneous Human Combustion, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Short Attention Span, Autism, Epilepsy, Diabetes, Unreasonable Expectations, Poverty, Deafness, Blindness, Paralysis, Stupidity, Uncontrollable Flattulence, Fungus Nails, Shingles, Suicidal Tendencies, Obesity, Bulemia, Anorexia, Bitchiness, Loneliness, and Death."

( Except for having a baby or two somewhere in there, aren't those the same symptoms as pregnancy?)

Whoever is doing these commercials is waaaaaay overpaid, and I could probably do their job for half the money, and still be better off than I am now...

And obviously, nobody is checking their work...


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Greater Expectations...

My Wife, Caleb and I went to Universal Studios Yesterday along with my brother and his family who are on vacation from North Carolina.

My brother is sixteen months younger than me and has four children, the oldest of which is in college, and the youngest is seven months old.

We loaded up both babies, and all the truck that goes along with little babies, and took them to a theme park in central Florida in August.

And everybody was hot.

Extremely hot.

But surprisingly, the babies got along better than any of the rest of us.

Caleb took a couple of long naps in his stroller, drank one hundred and seventeen sippy cups full of water (before he threw the sippy cup on the ground and we couldn't find it again...) and wet fourteen diapers...

His cousin Rebekah didn't even sweat. All day long, you could not tell that she was not in the living room. She was sweet, happy, and dry. (She didn't even turn red.)

We all had a great time.

I had not seen my brother for several months, and I have missed him a lot. He has been my life-long best friend. Living six hundred miles from him has been hard for me.

But I like it here, and he likes it there, so things are the way they are.

He told me about the first ride that he rode when he got to the park.

"It was AWESOME! First, you get into a little box, about 6x8 feet, and the walls are made of brushed Aluminum and glass, and when you get into the little car, the doors close, and you can't get out!

"Then, without warning, the whole thing suddenly drops like thirty feet!

"And when you get to the bottom, the doors open, and you get out, but when you do, you are in a whole different place than when you started!

"It's called 'THE ELEVATOR!'"

Apparently, it's a very popular ride, because they have signs posted everywhere, directing you to it...

I rode it twice myself, but I wasn't that impressed. Trust me, they have way more exciting rides there than that one.

But that's the thing about hype... If you buy into it, you will always be disappointed.

You see, Caleb doesn't know anything about hype, and his favorite ride at Universal Studios was crawling around on the floor at the Jurassic Park Discovery Center.

He had a great time, and he had no expectations about the experience, one way or the other.

Sometimes, I wish that I could be more like that...

I wish that I could just enjoy what is happening for what it is, rather than building the experience up in my mind before it happens, and then being disappointed when it isn't the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

But I guess with age, we trade our innocence for experience, one little morsel at a time.

I hope that Caleb never loses the ability to be happy where he is, when he is there, no matter what is going on, or what was supposed to happen...

I hope that I can learn from him how to be more like that myself.