blank spaces

I’ve been staring at a blank piece of paper for so long. Blank when it comes to writing blog posts, starting a new writing project and finding something else to do other than teaching motorcycle classes in my spare time. I feel like I’ve been talking about this for so long that it’s making me nauseous.

I do want to start a new writing project but I just don’t know what I want. I somehow stumbled into the script writing scene but I have yet to develop anything. Plus, the writing style of scripts is a little disjointed to me. It doesn’t flow like writing a post or short story so I’m not sure I have it in me to produce a script.

Either way, I’m going to try to make a commitment to at least start on something and see where it goes.

As far as teaching goes – my frustration has gotten to an all-time high when it took two months to pay me for a class I did early December.  I started looking around at different things to do. I ran across a Segway tour group and applied. I had my first interview last Monday and my second one is this weekend. I think the interview went well, however, if it wasn’t for my teaching experience I doubt I’d even made it to the next level of consideration as according to them the competition for the 4-5 positions they have open is fierce. Saturday I’m to go down to their office and meet some of the staff and then go along on a tour just to see if it’s something I’d like. I’m thinking, What’s not to like? At least if there’s obnoxious people on the tour I’ll be done with them in 1-3 hours and never have to see them again. 

If I get in then I have a lot of training to do but at least I’ll get paid for it – unlike when I trained to be a motorcycle instructor – I got nothing for my time and even had to pay for my teaching materials. They initially train on their electric car tours first because they are their longest tour. Then, if I want to do walking tours and Segway tours then I train some more for them. I do want to do those, however, they aren’t as long as the car tours and they don’t pay as much. But, unlike the motorcycle classes they encourage tipping the tour guides. So, we’ll see what happens. If this works out then I’m tapering off the motorcycle thing and will eventually resign. I really think I’ll like it so keep your fingers crossed.

In other news, our Super Bowl party has really blown up to a large event. I’m thanking the stars for the 55” LG TV in the living room. But, not for the  LG dishwasher we had to take back. When the repair guy showed up to fix it – it had such old parts [on a new unit, I might add] that he had to back order the part and couldn’t promise it would be in by 15 days. When Charlie heard that she disconnected it, threw it in the back of the truck and drove it back to Lowe’s and got her money back. So, we have to start over. This is so frustrating. I recommend sticking to LG TV’s only.

Yes, we’ll be eating off paper plates for Super Bowl XLIX.


hot chocolate race, appliance hell & annoying neighbors

So, I no more climb into Ellen’s car to go to the Hot Chocolate race when I see I have a voice mail from the neighbors telling me to quit talking in my carport and waking them up.

WTH? I’d only gone out to ask Ellen and Erin if anyone needed coffee and Ellen said she could use a top off and I said, Strong and black like your women? 

I went inside, said goodbye to Charlie, gathered my stuff and coffee and went out the door. I’d been no more than 5 minutes since the time I asked Ellen if she needed a refill. I mean, it’s not like we were shouting at each other in the driveway. I had leaned into her car and asked her after she rolled down the window. We were aware of the time and darkness but apparently the neighbors thought we were talking loudly in the carport.

Anyway, we go to the race. Everyone had to be there by 6:30 even though the race didn’t start until 7:40 for the first heat and 8:25 for the second. This is why I hate doing large races because you get down there and cool your heels for two hours before you can even run. Gone are the days of showing up and pressing a crumpled check for $15 into a volunteers hand, pinning on a number right as the gun goes off to run. Now you have to pre-register, go to an expo and then be put into a staging area like cattle in an auction house before starting hours later.

As we were waiting in our prescribed cattle stalls staging area we happened to have this lady and two boys next to us. The boys were being really obnoxious hitting each other and rough housing. Because we were jammed into a small area their movement was jostling the rest of us. I turned and glared at the woman like, Are you going to do something?

Just then, she grabbed one of them and started screaming at him. I mean, it wasn’t just a plain Stop it. It was her chewing his @ss out and grabbing him really hard. The next look she got from me was of shock and, Sorry kid didn’t mean to release the abuse here. Even Erin and Ellen turned and looked at her. We all moved a little further away from them after that. I was glad the race started so I could get even further away.

So, I took my time. I stopped around the 1 mile and stretched, took some pics and then continued. I wasn’t doing it for time – just to get back into it. Before I knew it, it was over and I went to get my bowl of chocolate and wait for Ellen and Erin. All in all it was a good race despite the cold – but, I guess it wouldn’t make sense to have a Hot Chocolate race in the summertime.

IMG_3341 IMG_3342  IMG_3344 (my little cup of goodness after the race – although, I wished I’d had some bourbon to spike the hot chocolate with)

Once in the car I called Charlie and got a stream of expletives. The dishwasher installation was not going well. In fact, once she got the correct fittings she discovered that the pump was leaking like a sieve. So, a service call was made and I have to manage that tomorrow at the same time I’m taking an online class – ironically, a project management class. Pray that we get it fixed and the nice repair man that comes to fix it throws in a Let me just adjust the legs and screw in the brackets for you. I cannot imagine if we have to wait another two months for one to come over on a boat from China again.

Later that day, after taking Charlie out for a few beers and nourishing chicken wings we came home to let the dogs out and bask in the sun in the backyard. I couldn’t help myself – I ran into the house and turned this song on really loud and sent it to the speakers outside:

Charlie and I were dancing around on the porch – yeah, being loud. It’s on now, M-F-er. Later, one of the neighbors came out – the wife who we like more than the husband who can be a pain – in fact, it was him who called. At first I thought she was coming out to make nice and apologize for her husband calling to leave a message. [Sidebar: I mean, really – you’re going to take the energy at 5:45 to pick up the phone and call instead of just waiting 2 more minutes until we left and falling back asleep?] She asked me about the race and I said it went well and mentioned something about them knowing when I left and she said, Yeah, I mean you have to realize our window is like twelve feet from your carport. 

Which, is a lie. I asked what she had heard and she said that she didn’t recognize the voices.  They must have heard Erin and Ellen talking in the car while they were waiting- with the windows rolled up – in the driveway at least 30 feet from their window. I mean, really?

I felt no guilt playing drums later.




friday chex mix

I still have a few places that hurt and are oozing but for the most part I’m feeling better.

We’re having a Super Bowl party and there’s a ton of people coming for once. Even the people that we always invite who never come- are coming. It’s weird. I think originally we said, Let’s have a few peeps over for Super Bowl and then BAM – we have around 25+ people coming. Who knew?

When this was originally planned I was stoked thinking that my team [Green Bay] would be in it but – no. The whole end of the post season was so screwed up and I don’t like either team playing in the Super Bowl. I think Brady is lying when he says he knew nothing about the uninflated footballs. His ignorant response was a very poorly acted out script as well as the coach referring everything to him instead of stepping up and giving a response. What total BS although it’s hard to work up any support for Seattle, either. So, it’s the Super Bowl I don’t care about but the party that goes on during it.

This weekend I’m supposed to run the Hot Chocolate race here in Atlanta. I’m going to rest my leg until the day of and just do it – which reminds me that I need to go pick up my number today – how could I forget that?  [Slapping head] When I told Ellen that I was leery about signing up for races because it seemed that every time I pre-registered for a race something happened to me [Like, I caught on fire the day I registered for this race] she immediately went out and tried to find someone to buy my number. I don’t know if she was remembering my sprained ankle from last year that put me out of 3 races I’d signed up for or what but I told her I intended to do this one. Hell, I want the jacket even if I have to walk the damn thing.

Are dishwasher was delivered yesterday after a month of waiting. LG dishwasher comes over on a boat from China I swear. I’m praying that Charlie is going to get this thing in without any trouble tomorrow. Pray. PRAY! You know how I feel about these things. Anyway, happy Friday and have a great weekend!

up in smoke

Everything has just sucked this past week and since I lit myself on fire. The healing process for burns is a slow and painful one I’ve learned. I struggled into work on both Monday and Tuesday but Wednesday I was done. I needed to stay home and air out my leg. The burn on the back of my leg is the worst and in a very bad place. I have to sit on the edge of my seat to keep from hitting it. Every time I drop my pants to go to the bathroom I have to be careful not to brush against it. Most times I do accidentally hit it and it hurts. I wanted to stay home again on Thursday but I realized that I didn’t do my timesheet and I had left my laptop at work (which, I won’t do again. With the unpredictable weather and my condition I think I will pack it up every night and take it home) I went into the office only to do it and got slung up in work. By midday my leg was hurting. I felt like puss was oozing down my leg and it throbbed. I had taped it up to keep it from sticking to my pants. I sent an email to my immediate and asked if I could move my telework day to Friday since I didn’t get to take it this past week because he called a meeting on my normal telework day, Monday and told me to suck it up and lose it. I understand the rules but really why does he have to be a complete d*ck about it? Later, I got a reply to my email that he would allow it just this once. Again, what’s with the d*ckiness? I closed up shop and left at 2. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was going to call in sick again on Friday if he didn’t allow me to telework that day. I mean, what is the problem with that? Everyone teleworks one day a week. Some PM’s even move their telework days if they have a meeting that falls on that day they need to attend. They get away with it but our team leader doesn’t want us to do that. I was pissed. I applied for another position in another department. I’m not sure I’d want it but if they offered I’d tell them I wanted 10k more and an office. If I could have that I’d move.

I think the bloom has fallen off the bud finally. Since our team got our new leader he has asserted some misplaced power. We went from having a guy that didn’t do anything to a guy who is trying to micromanage all of us. I can see right now it’s not going to fly. With the type of jobs we have and our roles we will grind him down and make him look like he can’t manage his way out of a paper bag. Looking at it from the outside I realize that I could do a much better job at it than him. (Not that I’d really want his job – unless they paid me 10k more and gave me an office) You are only as strong as your team and if you treat your team poorly then you will eventually end up looking like an asshole.

With all that said, I did work on Friday after going to the doctor and having an additional round of antibiotics prescribed. I’m now on two separate rounds. One I take twice a day and the other 4 times. All I can say from this experience is this – if you suffer second-degree burns – go to the doctor or hospital. Don’t try to deal with this shit on your own. Unless you’re taking antibiotics you probably will get an infection.

Taking the weekend and healing did a lot of good. Today, I finally feel good enough to lay off the ibuprophen. I think I will be able to run the Hot Chocolate race next weekend even though I haven’t ran in two weeks. This week I’m going to try a little light treadmill work and get back into it. This past weekend Charlie had off and we ran around and did errands and shopping. We cooked and watched the unfortunate end to the Green Bay game. (I can’t talk about it). The weather finally got better and the sun came out. We walked the dogs.

I’m off today for the MLK holiday so I think I will take the dogs for another walk later as it’s sunny and nice outside. One more day of healing and I’m back to the grind.



fourscore and……four years since

Some of you who have been reading this blog since 2011 will remember Lee. The last time I had the unfortunate event in running into her was when Ellen, Charlie and I came back to Ellen’s from seeing a concert – right after Charlie moved here and in with me.

Ellen’s two friends, Rhoda and Heidi were in town staying in their Winnebago parked at Ellen’s. Sarah McLachlan was playing at Chastain that night and Ellen and I had decided to surprise Charlie. Lee had also gotten Heidi a ticket to the show and asked her to go, Ellen had told us on the way to the concert. I wasn’t concerned as Lee had tickets that were much further up and there was really only a slight chance in running into her. Which, I didn’t care, anyway. At the time, we all thought it was WEIRD that Lee just gets Heidi a ticket to the show and Rhoda thinks nothing of them going together.

Lee had met the two of them previously when we were going out and they were traveling and performing together. They happened to be in town and Ellen invited us down to a burger/bar joint for dinner one night. When I first met Rhoda and Heidi I couldn’t really see the match – AT ALL. Nothing against Rhoda (other than being a stupid b*tch to let her gf run off with Lee all the time but I’ll get to that) but she is one you would imagine out back, behind the cabin splitting wood in her overalls and not intimate with a razor of any kind- if you know what I mean. Heidi would be one you would see out back cooking meth in a shed. Honestly, I couldn’t see much in either, however, I was trying not to judge until Heidi went into a speal about having medical [liquid] marijuana and that when they went into Canada to play they almost got thrown in jail. I had asked what the medical [weed] was for and she said, Oh, I’m sick. I’m very sick.

Hmm, that weed must be good because it either cured you to sit here and gladly eat hamburgers, fries and drink beer or you must not be too sick to be sitting here eating hamburgers, fries and drinking beer, I thought. I had just gotten out of a relationship with someone who was constantly the later – I’m sick but I can’t pick up my own trash, run a sponge over the counter or push the button on the laundry to turn it on and, oh, can I have $100 to go to a movie and take my kid shopping? Yeah, I’d been there, done that and I was done listening to anything Heidi said the rest of the night. But, Lee apparently was smitten. Her and Heidi were looking at Heidi’s youtube videos and talking about her music.

She’s truely talented, Lanie, truely talented…..echoed in my head.

Later, Lee happened to mention that they had friended each other on FB and that they talked for an hour the other night. I was like, When did y’all exchange numbers?

Oh, the other night at the bar.

That was the thing with Lee. She was always texting and calling other women. There was always someone else in the picture. I realized at the end of the relationship [if you could call it that] that she would never be satisfied with having one person and even so that one person would always be jealous of her always texting and calling other women. She would say, We’re just friends. But, normally one would not be calling and texting their best friend all day long and every evening unless they wanted to get into friend’s pants. Know what I mean? I had this same problem with her and Muscle head which, I’m sure she screwed around with behind my back that one night.

So fast forward 4 years and I get a message from Ellen:

OMG! Rhoda called me this morning.. apparently Lee went to visit Heidi for new years and Lee told Rhoda that Heidi is her soul mate and she knew they were connected from the first time they met at Brockett… Heidi and Rhoda are living together.. Rhoda is more than a little pissed and is getting Heidi out of her apartment hopefully today.. It just sounds like a huge mess and I feel bad for Rhoda.. She needs to be rid of Heidi and maybe Heidi and her soul mate Lee can be happy and crazy together.. I knew it! So did she go out there to bust them up or what?

She went out there for a visit.. Lee says that Heidi didn’t indicate that she and Rhoda were together and that she thinks Heidi is her soul mate and that she is sure Rhoda will find someone that she connects with if Rhoda just puts herself out there or so other random bullshit.. Rhoda is livid.. she and Heidi moved in together in September to a one bedroom apartment.. but Lee didn’t get the impression that Heidi and Rhoda were in a relationship.. Yeah Rhoda sounds done.. I soo hope she is.. Lee came out to visit Heidi and Rhoda but Lee and Heidi needed some one on one alone time so on New Year’s eve they left Rhoda at home and went out and got a hotel at the place that Rhoda wanted to take Heidi for the night.. it sounds pretty screwed up…

Ok, what is wrong with this picture? Is Rhoda so stupid that she’s just ok with Lee and Heidi going off to a hotel somewhere to screw on NYE?

Rhoda said they spend hours on the phone with each other..

This was not surprising as the girl never removed the phone(s) from the side of her head or hand the whole time we were seeing each other. Wait, this conversation seems like it’s in third person so I asked, Was Rhonda the one telling u all this about what Lee said and not thinking they were together?

Yes. Lee sent Rhoda a text, Rhoda read it to me… It is entirely possible that Heidi lied about their relationship to Lee but still… She may have told Lee that they were not in a relationship but Rhoda said before they left for their alone one on one time Rhoda told them to respect Rhoda and Heidi’s relationship and Rhoda’s feelings… It is very odd and kinda shocking to me.. I just kept saying “Wow, Lee?” it has been 4 years… Lee and Heidi have been building this up for 4 years.. its kinda crazy.

That was the thing with Lee – she has Asperger’s syndrome which includes: Obsessive interests.

That’s why I’m relieved that the times we have bumped into one another after the breakup she had a glowing interest in someone else or else I would have gone back onto her radar and she would have blown my phone up with messages and texts and Charlie would eventually had had to go over there and cut her throat.

But, let’s talk about Rhoda being a stupid bitch. Why would you allow your partner to go to a hotel on NYE with someone else and still think you could be in a relationship? What wood cutting, no-shave -body -hair planet is she living on??!!

And, 4 years??!!?

I said to Ellen, Wait? Wasn’t Heidi abusive at one point to Rhoda?

She was and Rhoda said that Christmas she had to call the police on Heidi again… Heidi’s parents live out there nearby.. I can’t imagine Heidi leaving.. but I can’t see Lee moving out there? But who knows.. I really don’t care much as long as Rhoda rids herself of Heidi… It is just so destructive to Rhoda.

All I kept looking at was the line of “call the police on Heidi again..” How many times has she called the cops on her, I wondered.  

What does Heidi do?

Oh, she’s collecting disability.

Right, but obviously she’s not too sick to beat on someone -unless that medical marijuana is miracle marijuana.   

Anyway, the only surprising thing in this story is that it’s still going on 4 years later.

I’m on FiYA

I caught myself on fire on Friday.  No pun intended but because of such our weekend plans went up in flames just like my sweatpants.

It was a hectic, shit week, too. I had a major deadline I had to meet on Friday. There were all kinds of problems associated with it, too. I had this project and we hadn’t submitted final plans yet because of trying to locate a major utility. I’d been moving on the impression of when we locate it, we’ll revise the plans and resubmit and still make our March letting. Wrong.

It was like, No you can go ahead and submit this Friday. In fact, you need to submit this Friday.

Great, this was Tuesday and my consultant was out of town traveling. I felt bad hitting him with it since I’d been telling him all along to wait. Now it was like, Hurry up. Among that I had a bunch of other projects blow up and I had a conference call I had to sit in on all afternoon. I told Charlie, Soon as I turn this thing in I’m gone.

And, I was – I was sitting at my new favorite bar having a drink at about 4:30 Friday afternoon. I had made my deadline, it was Friday the beginning of a great weekend – I was golden. After that, I went to the store to get a few things to make for dinner – burgers on the grill – and home to prep. Charlie wasn’t getting home until almost 8 that night. I decided to get the grill ready but little did I know that I was going to be the main course that night not the hamburgers that ended up being burnt hockey pucks by the time we realized they were on the grill and needed to be flipped.

So much for that.

I lit the propane heaters we keep out in the carport at the same time I lit the grill. It was cold and I was running in and out. I happened to stand too close to one of the heaters and my sweatpants went up in flames. What was scary was that I couldn’t get the flames out. I panicked – the whole stop, drop and roll thing went out of my head and I was just patting my pants to get the flames out. I realized that I needed to just get them off ASAP and pulled them down to my ankles. They were still on fire at my ankles and when I stepped out of them they started to catch the rug on fire. Naked from the waist down I took my slipper and beat out the flames. I’m sure I looked pretty ridiculous  beating out flames with only a shirt on – which, looking back, I’m lucky it didn’t catch on fire, too.

Just then Charlie texted, LVG

I called her back and said, I caught on fire!

Hon, go draw a cool bath and soak in the tub I’m on my way.

I was sitting in the tub shivering when she walked in and I said, Get me a beer please.

Between her and the neighbor lady calling the pharmacist and making a CVS run I got fixed up. But, our Asheville plans were zilch.  We were to surprise Liz and Lina and show up at their going away party. We had the dog sitter lined up, the rental car, everything.

I got lucky with only the minor burns I suffered. Even though I had to pick my burnt sweatpants out of my calf and both my ankles were blistering and I have a place right below my @ss that hurts the worst I didn’t burn my @ss, hands or feet which is miraculous. It could have been a lot worse.

I had to go to my motorcycle update Saturday morning which was rough but after that I was home. We stayed in most of the weekend and watched football. For once I didn’t feel like going anywhere or doing anything. I did trek out with Charlie to do a bandage and farmers market run and we stopped in at the favorite bar for a few beers but that was the extent of the weekend. She made fabulous ribs, coleslaw and potato salad on Saturday (since I drank most of my dinner the night before) and chicken tortilla soup yesterday.

I realize that I’m so over fire this year already. The oven went out, the stupid grill wasn’t working right and I catch on fire. Fire is not my friend this year.


random chex mix

Awhile back I wrote a post about re-friending Yvonne. Well, she and Katherine came over the other night for dinner and Yvonne tuned the new drum kit for me. My new bass pedal comes in this week and then I will be good. I’m really stoked about it!

I’ve had a hard time lately concentrating enough to write. I have a burning desire to write but when I sit down to do so my mind goes blank. I think I need to start carrying a notebook around to write down ideas from time to time.

Does anyone out there listen to Aha radio? I find it way better than Pandora. We went to set up Pandora on our LG TV and it was the most frustrating experience. We kept having to go back and forth between the computer and TV typing in passwords, codes, etc. The remote almost went through the new window of the living room. I had to walk away from it at one point.

We’re in for a bunch of ugly weather here again -cold, rain, then cold again. This is why I hate winter so much. I dream of beaches and sun. I was so ready for the holidays to be over so we can move on to Spring. I always feel like Thanksgiving through the new year to be a huge block in the calendar. I see friends on FB who live in San Diego who constantly whine about it being in the 80’s and beautiful and how can they possibly celebrate Christmas if it’s so warm and nice. I want to say, Then move, mutha….

If you don’t like nice weather, beaches and palm trees in the winter then move to Illinois or something. Honestly, the human condition is whine if you have it and whine if you don’t. I know in August I’ll be whining about it being in the 100’s – I admit, I do it too.

Charlie and I are heading to the panhandle in May and I cannot wait! She’s never been there and it’s been years since I have. This is supposed to be our honeymoon but since Florida has passed same sex marriage we may consider getting married again while we’re down there.

If we get married in Florida in May while we’re there will we have to start over for our wedding anniversary, I asked while she was blow drying my hair.

She shut the dryer off and said, What?

I asked the question again.

OMG, Lanie – I haven’t had enough coffee to discuss this right now, turning on the hairdryer, drowning out my laughter.

What do you think? Two wedding anniversaries?


NYDay race

On New Year’s day Ellen and I ran a 5k together. It was held at a local brewery with a tour afterwards. You know I’m always game to combine running with beer afterwards. Beforehand, we had gone over to her house to start off the year with peas and greens. I was hoping that we wouldn’t be revisiting these later in the day while running up one of the large hills that was on the course.

After eating we hung out awhile and drove to the race. It was lucky we’d gotten there early as later parking was non-existent even though an entire parking lot was roped off that they couldn’t use. It was not the most organized race. It started a bit late because they only had one guy checking everyone in. Then, it wasn’t obvious where the race began. Some guy came out with a megaphone and announced we would be starting at this telephone pole, running down to the arch of the finish line (I presume so we could activate our chip) doing a loop around the cul-de-sac and then proceeding on the course that would take us out on city streets.

Yeah, not the most organized.

It’s funny I never notice the hills until I’m out on the course. Just getting out of the beer complex was straight up a rather large hill. Then, once out on the street for every downhill we did we had to go uphill. The whole time I kept thinking, just finish it don’t worry about time. Because of the hills I felt I never really hit a steady pace, either. Much of the race I was winded and trying to hit a stride to no avail. I had no idea what my time was as my solar watch hadn’t had enough sunlight to charge and I couldn’t time myself. Once back and running towards the finish line I saw my time was 32:30 which, was a lot better than I had originally thought.

Charlie was there with water and we watched for Ellen as I cooled off. It was kind of an overcast, cloudy mid-50’s day. When the sun came out it was nice but when it went behind a cloud it got cold. Ellen was back by the time I went to the car and pulled my fleece out. We went in to get our beer tickets and drink. As we were standing at a table the same man that had checked everyone in came over and announced that they were going to give out awards. We listened as we drank and munched on chex mix they provided as after-race snacks (again, another really strange thing about the race). Suddenly, I heard my name being called. I had placed third in my age group. Granted, it was a small un-organized race that didn’t have a lot of participants but I was still kind of blown over about that.

Anyway, it gave me some inspiration to my starting running again since my ankle has been healed. I think that work on the treadmill paid off more than I originally thought. I think next I’m going to do the hot chocolate race here then on to some 10k’s to qualify for the Peachtree. Then, we’ll see where it goes.

Cheers and happy new year!