Brunch and Brain Damage

Saturday, I did the Pride race in Piedmont park that I had signed up for months ago. Charlie and I took the dogs down there so they could watch me run. At one point we ran back by the spectators after the 1 mile marker and Sadie really expected me to grab her leash and take her with me. She whined and cried while Charlie and the other people around laughed.


I could have probably taken her but it was already getting hot outside.  I thought I was going to keel over at mile 2 in the meadow that was sweltering hot.

Since I had that race we did not go with Katharine, Yvonne and Michale to the mountains to ride motorcycles. I was glad because by the time they left town it was already in the 90’s and they didn’t get back until 9:30 p.m. Charlie and I got invited by Hannah Thomas to a backyard concert so we went to that. It was amazing! The house it was held was just up the street from our little Ujoint bar and we were able to bring a cooler, chairs and things to nosh on. The back yard itself looked like something out of House and Garden and Hannah performed on the deck of this darling little shed that Charlie and I want to build something identical to in our back yard.

IMG_3085 IMG_3088 IMG_3092 IMG_3098

The next day we had planned to ride down to Juliette, GA home of the Whistle Stop Café’ but we decided to bag it because we got in so late on Saturday from the cottage concert. So, we decided to ride to brunch somewhere. As we were riding I kept hearing a call come in on my helmet. I ignored it and suddenly Michale was speaking in my helmet.

Hey, are you guys coming over?

No, we thought you’d still be in bed from getting in so late last night.

Well, I thought we were riding to Juliette?

Nah, we’re riding to brunch- you want to come?

Yes, but I need you to come over here – I have a problem.

I sighed. I had already gone over to her house the previous week to help her pick her jinormous bike up from lying on its side in the backyard.


What happened?

Oh, I was trying to park it and it went over and it’s laying against my car now. I need help picking it up again.

Ok, we’ll be over but we’re down in Candler Park right now it may be a minute to get back your way.

As I turned around and headed that way I hit the intercom button and told Charlie what happened. When we arrived, the bike was indeed leaning up against her [company] car. Fortunately, neither was worse for wear. I grabbed the back sissy bar and helped her right it. Charlie and I had parked down at the curb because Michale has a hellaciously steep driveway that not even I would attempt.  After some discussion of riding over to Katharine’s to see if she wanted to join us I walked down to the street to my bike. Charlie was sitting on hers the whole time. We started and watched Michale roll down her driveway, turn sharply onto the street, almost fall over and hit a car parked at the curb before righting herself, taking off and blowing through the stop sign at the end of the street without even looking.

Oh boy, I said into my intercom

You ain’t kidding, Charlie replied.

I was suddenly teaching at Honda again.

Michale darted across Memorial Drive (4 lanes of traffic, I might add) to Katharine’s street.  We got to Katharine’s and her and Yvonne were literally just getting up and passed on the brunch. They talked about the ride the previous day and I just figured Michale had worked all this stuff out since according to her she was a seasoned rider and they went all the way up to Brasstown Bald. I mean, surely if she could ride all the way up there and back she could ride to brunch. After Katharine bailing we discussed where to go to brunch and I mentioned Henry’s. (I would still like to give the place another shot before I call it quits on major suckage). Both Michale and Charlie said, Whatever. But, as we rode I thought about that steep parking lot at Henry’s and the turn at the bottom to get into the lot as well as all the loose gravel below. I decided on the Brewhouse in Little 5 just because it was close and we could have rock star parking. This turned out to be a good choice – food-wise and parking-wise.

IMG_3099 (this is Charlie’s new Harley in the foreground)

After a delectable lunch of a gyro and so much coffee I was sweating we decided to go to this thrift store so Michale could look for some chaps and a leather vest. I had looked at her skeptically when she explained she was going to start riding in that. Chaps – one thing – that’s fine but just a leather vest? What kind of protection is that? But, I was trying to stay off my soapbox. I had already cautioned her on using her rear brake more after she almost rear-ended Charlie coming up to a light we were stopped at. (I thought Charlie was going to have to stop and clean her pants out one time). I’d also recommended that she take a class on her own bike so she could get used to braking, cornering and operating it. So, I just shut up. I said I knew a great route to take to the thrift store and we took off. The ride over was uneventful and after Michale found some chaps, paid and wore them out of the store we agreed that once we got to Decatur she would peel off and go home and Charlie and I would do the same. At one point we were making our way back and I noticed that Michale was behind me instead of Charlie. I figured Charlie got tired of worrying about her hitting her @ss and let her go. But, later Charlie said that Michale again blew through a stop sign, passing her and that’s how she came up to be right behind me.

I just couldn’t believe this. Who in their right mind blew through stop signs on purpose unless she couldn’t stop?

Once in Decatur, Charlie and I split off from Michale and waved. We were home in 5 minutes and I texted her to let us know when she got home. Twenty minutes went by and Charlie and I were already in shorts sitting on the porch splitting our last beer.

Have you heard from Michale?

Nope. Ima text her again.

More time went by and our beer was gone and I decided to go get more and drive by Michale’s house on the way as she’s about 10 minutes from us. I parked at the street and groaned because I knew I had to run up her driveway to see if her bike was in the back. It wasn’t. I drove by Katharine’s house and she wasn’t there either. I texted Ellen and asked if she was over there and she said she wasn’t.  I told her to let me know if she showed up. As I was pulling into the gas station to get beer my phone rang and it was Michale.

Hey, where are you?

Well, I rode over to Nina’s.

I could sense hesitation in her voice. And?

And, there’s a problem. See my throttle got stuck and I went down. I’m going to need you to come over here.

I wondered when it had become my job to pick her bike up every time she tipped it over.

Here’s Nina, she’s going to give you her address.

Nina: She took a pretty good fall and I’m trying to talk her into going to the urgent care.

I’m not only a bike lift but also a paramedic, apparently.

What’s her symptoms? I guess if I was going to play the part…..

She hit her head pretty hard (I heard Michale in the background saying, But I had my helmet on) and she’s repeating the same things over and over again (hence the background, I thought) and she’s nauseous.

She probably has a concussion call 911.

She probably won’t let me do that.

Well, she has really good insurance. Just call them. If she won’t let you take her to the ER.

Ok, I’ll do that and call you back.

I was hoping she wouldn’t but she called back a second later.

She wants me to take her to urgent care.

Well, if she has a head injury then urgent care is just going to send her to the ER. You’re near DeKalb Medical, right? Just tell her you’re taking her to urgent care and drive there.

I was already back at the house with beer when a text from Nina came in saying that she was taking her to the ER.

Whew! She’s finally relented and took her to the ER.  

Thank goodness!

By this time both Charlie and our neighbor Deb were sitting on the porch. We drank while reports came in from Nina. CT scan: normal, but two cracked ribs and an overnight stay in the hospital. I was glad that Nina was handling it – and from what I’ve been told Nina wants to handle it – and more than that.

Let’s just ride by ourselves for a while.

You got it!

It was turning out to be too much like work.



puttin’ up pickles and salsa

Since I’ve been off this week (well, technically I’ve been in a virtual class for three days and it’s been boring, boring, boring) I decided to play around with my FreshTECH Automatic Canning system.

First up was kosher pickles. With this system you have to follow the recipe book they provide with the unit pretty closely. Apparently, they have all the acidity and cooking times worked out for these specific recipes. I knew this going into it because I went to the website and read a lot of reviews on the product prior to purchasing it. I was ok with this. I have no family heirloom recipes on how to can the perfect pickle, tomato sauce or dilly beans. (Although, I really want them to add a chow-chow recipe) The website has added even more recipes since they published the book and promise to add more. I bought pickling cucumbers at the local farmer’s market and some specific Ball pickling spice, pickling salt and vinegar (they call for 5% acidity) and got started.


One thing to note on the recipes – they usually give you two sizes of jars you can use and you use the amount of ingredients it calls for under the jar size in the book. I had to also purchase some 16 oz. jars as I had only 6 and 12. Pickles require a larger jar in order to fit in there sliced in quarters. Per the 16 oz jar recipe I filled four jars even though I sanitized 5 so they wouldn’t fall over on each other. First, you place the jars in the canning system and hit the programming button to sterilize the jars. This takes 12 minutes. That gave me time to bring to a boil on the stove the vinegar, salt and pickling spice. Once the jars are sterilized you remove one jar at a time and just close the lid (you don’t have to lock it back in place). According to the book you remove one jar at a time, fill and replace in the canning system before removing another empty jar and filling it. What the book doesn’t say is that it’s sometimes a bitch to get ahold of the empty jars if they’re all packed in there together with no room to get the tongs in around the mouth of one of the jars to pull it out. Also, sometimes the jars will fall over if they’re not supported by the other jars being packed in there. I don’t really think this is a big deal. I packed the quartered cucumbers in each jar and poured the liquid spice over it allowing ½ inch headroom.

Once all the jars are filled and replaced in the unit you lock the lid, hit the pickle button (it actually has a picture of a pickle on it) on the side and a number (they give you a numeric number to hit with every recipe) and hit start. For the pickles it took 38 minutes and they were done. I took them out and set them aside to cool. It tells you to let them cool at room temperature for 12-24 hours. While I was boiling the vinegar mix for them the smell was so strong it made me sneeze. So, I hope they are not too vinegary.


Today, I decided to try the traditional salsa recipe in the book. This is the one that calls for tomatoes, jalapenos, green onions, garlic and cilantro. (There’s one called a Fiesta salsa but that is a Ball Fiesta salsa spice pack and tomatoes which, I may try next if this one is meh). This one is a little more involved. I skinned and seeded all the tomatoes. (I went here for an easy way to do that) I boiled water on the grill outside (because it’s really hot here and I didn’t want to heat up the house) and put the tomatoes in it until the skins came away slightly and then put them into ice water so they wouldn’t cook anymore.


Then, I diced up the tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and garlic and brought it to a boil in a pan with lime juice, hot pepper sauce and vinegar. Once it boiled (again, on the grill outside) I put it on simmer for 15 minutes. (I also used 3 large orange tomatoes and 4 red vine tomatoes medium sized)


I was also sanitizing the jars while I did this. Once it was ready I put it into the jars and hit the salsa button, the number 2 button and it started processing. This took 48 minutes. One thing about this recipe. It called for either an 8 oz or 16 oz jars. I used 12 oz jars and went with the 16 oz. jar ingredient amount and still only got 2-1/2 jars out of it. I was really disappointed given the amount of time it took to chop all that stuff up. So, next time I’m going to use more like 9 -10 cups of large tomatoes opposed to 7 cups the recipe calls for.

I haven’t tried the pickles or, of course, the salsa yet but I will let you know how they come out.

IMG_3761   (these little babies were still boiling in the jar when I took this pic)

sorry about your bed – ZOK!

I had a weird dream last night – or should I say this morning between the time when Charlie got up and my getting up. It was stupid. Remember those two women who screwed in our spare room Super Bowl night? And, remember bumping in to one of them at Katharine and Yvonne’s CD release show and her saying, “Sorry about your bed, man.” And me wanting to punch her?


Yeah, it was sort of like that. In the dream Charlie and I had gone to Henry’s – this really gay restaurant/bar in Midtown which everyone raves about, we’ve been there twice and I just don’t get it. Anyway, we’re there getting ready to listen to this band play when a snobby server comes by to take our drink orders. (This is pretty accurate so far as the first time we went there we were greeted by a snobby host). The server asked to see two forms of ID – one a driver’s license and the other in the form of a government ID or a Weapons Carry permit.

“For a Miller Lite?!!” You say?

Yeah, that’s where it got crazy. I scoffed at the server and said, I have all three and pulled out my wallet only to find out that all of them were gone! She said, Well, no alcohol for you then and took Charlie’s order and unfortunately Leslie and the skank that she f*cked in our bed’s order and walked away. I also had the unfortunate experience of sitting in between Leslie and the skank and they kept talking over my head and handing things to each other across my face. Charlie had disappeared at this point and I was looking around for her like, Help. I’m trapped between these two with no alcohol.

Then, the band came on and they all looked like the skank with pink hair. Then, Leslie handed something across my face again to the skank hitting me in the nose and it was about that time I was going to drag her outside and beat the hell out of her –


-that I woke up.

I decided to get up after that. I needed to run before it got a 1000 degrees outside (but only after checking my wallet to see if all forms of identification were in there). I do my best running in the mornings before its hot, however, I have a very difficult time getting up to do it. I’m trying to change all that so I don’t have to be worried about trying to work it in during the hottest point of the day or during my lunch hour on the treadmill – boring.

I’m off this whole week and so far it’s been wonderful! I do have a virtual class that started today and runs through Thursday but, really, it’s still pretty great! I’m hoping to start canning pickles this week with the automatic canner so I will let you know how that goes.

concerts and riding

A blinking cursor followed by an empty document is the worst, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s so hard to break the seal of writing. Last weekend I was able to break the seal and finally start my next book project. I at least eked out a chapter of 934 words. Not bad for not having written anything serious in the last few years. This one is a sci-fi thriller. I’m not really going to go into details as I don’t believe in putting my work on my blog. This blog and book projects are two separate things. But, I will say that if I self-publish this one (like my last one) I will link it in case you want to download it to read. (and, if any of you want to download and read my last book just shoot me a message and I will give you the information.)

I have all next week off – save for taking a virtual class for three days but I plan on making a huge dent on the new book. I can’t wait. A whole week dedicated to just messing around in my home office taking my class, writing and playing the occasional drums. I can’t wait!

Tonight, Charlie and I are going to see The Rolling Stones play. She’s going to take the train to my office and we’re going to dinner from there and then Uber it over to the stadium. I’m hoping this concert will be as good as the one we went to last Friday: Matt Nathanson: The Fray : Train. They were all fantastic and we had incredible seats that were lawn seats that I had scored for $15 each through a Groupon. It was money well spent because all three of them were good but Train just blew everyone away. We asked Michale to go with us and she drove us down there.  The three of us had a ball! She’s one of our few friends that actually do stuff with us. Granted, I feel like I always have to plan stuff – even with the friends who do things with us – I’m always looking ahead and seeing things to do or happy hours to have. Some people just never even ask – ever. It’s frustrating and makes me not want to ask them to do anything, either.

Michale also just got a motorcycle (yesterday) so now our little click is complete – me, Charlie, Michale, Kath & Yvonne all have bikes now. We were trying to get Stacy to get a bike but she stupidly said that until Georgia got rid of their helmet law she wasn’t riding (which, I could see Ellen roll her eyes out of the corner of my eye).

Since I quit the teaching business I don’t lecture anymore I just think, Being stupid is your business, not mine.

I bet you’ll change your mind when you see Ellen riding away on the back of my bike, Michale replied.

Hmm, should be interesting…..

IMG_3702 (1) (Charlie and I at Train concert)

we’ll see – my @ss

Remember that Grey’s Anatomy episode where everyone sang in place of the dialog?



The idea of making a Broadway musical out of them trying to save Callie Torres was about the most ridiculous thing I ever watched. I felt like the singing took away from the storyline and that it didn’t advance as quickly because they were too busy singing. It was one of those things where you wanted to know the answers – will she survive, will her and Arizona get married, will their unborn child be Ok? Very important questions that were taken up with “We’ll see so I’m going to sing this song right now….”

We’ll see might as well be a four-letter word to me. Its’ a I’m not going to take responsibility right now for anything because I’m hoping the stars will line up perfectly by tomorrow and that way I won’t have to make a decision.

We’ll see entails nothing. It’s a sit back and wait type of deal. It’s a hoping that someone else will take care of it kind of attitude or a maybe if I don’t do anything it will go away ideal.

I can’t stand it, to be honest. In my job I am tasked daily to find out answers to the many questions involved in multi-million dollar projects. If my boss called me up and asked me what was the outcome of a question I asked to one of the many department heads on a task and I said that they came back and told me that they said, We’ll see I’d probably be written up. There would be a whole slew of firings if everyone took a We’ll see attitude.

Nothing gets done with a We’ll see attitude.

I heard this quote the other day: If you’re unhappy with your life then quit complaining about it and change it.

Most of the people I’ve ran across that takes the We’ll see attitude probably wouldn’t like that phrase above. They would be like, Well, things are OK. I’m getting by and maybe I’ll think about doing that next week. We’ll see.

It’s really hard to make plans with people that take a We’ll see attitude as well. Other phrases they use are: I’ll look in to it or It’s a possibility. Nothing is ever decided and/or planned and you feel like an ass if you ask them again about it because they never really gave you an answer the first time. Do people who do this have avoidance issues? They don’t want to deal with certain things? If so, then why don’t they say, Oh, I don’t want to deal with that right now. Or  I’ll get back to you next Tuesday on that and we’ll go from there. Those are much better responses than the blowoff of We’ll see.

Today, I decided to take a break from all my We’ll see people who drive me crazy – because my mental health is important.

fitbit murder


(I put this on here because this cat looks exactly like our Theo)

The weekend was almost as perfect as it could be. Saturday, Charlie and I took a short ride – her on the Harley and me on the Triumph. We were trying out our new Bluetooth helmets and had the intercom system paired so we could talk.

After we rode we went to the farmer’s market and loaded up on lots of fruits and veggies since they are 0 points in my diet plan. (I’m finding it wonderful that Becks Premium Light is only 2 points). I’ve been logging in my food, activity and weight via Weight Watchers online. I also got a Fitbit (which, I suspect is trying to kill me) that links the activities to my WW online program. This is a great tool because it seems to be more accurate although it logged only 11 active minutes for sex and I thought that should have been longer   than trying to log in the activities manually though WW.  But I find that I’m not content unless I get my five little lights meaning that I’ve reached my activity goal for the day. So far I’ve lost 3 lbs. It’s nothing to sneeze at but I really thought I’d lose about twice that in one week. At least it’s something and I’m not killing myself for nothing. I ate carbs that weren’t in the form of beer for the first time yesterday – chips and salsa and it was wonderful!

That night, we went out to Red Light café to see Katharine and Yvonne play. As always, it was a great show! Charlie and I sat with Michale (formerly known as Mary Ann and was asked to give her a nickname on my blog so here it is, Michale) and a few of her friends. Later, I talked Charlie into going out to the Clermont Lounge. Unfortunately, it was packed and not its usual quaint place. So, home to bed (and, my fitbit logged only 6 hours and 33 minutes of sleep much to my chagrin).  The next morning, Charlie announced we only had an hour before we needed to ride to her work. She wanted to ride in for her Sunday meeting and I was to go with her. Soon as I dropped her off I headed over to Katharine’s house to look at her landscape. She wanted me to look at doing some mulching for her. I drove up and parked at the street and walked around and took pictures until Yvonne opened the door and asked me in. I didn’t know if they were awake yet from the previous late night. I went in for coffee and we talked about the show, writing music, books and photography and finally what they wanted me to do as far as mulching went. By the time I got done there it was almost time to ride over to Charlie’s work to pick her up. Once I picked her up I was trying to volley back and forth on my Bluetooth between music and the intercom system talking to her and accidently called this women we had met the previous night at the show who wanted to start riding with us. We had a short conversation while I was riding both laughing at my accidentally calling her while I was on the bike. We dumped the bikes off and decided to go have a snack of chips and salsa at Tijuana Garage and watching the women’s softball world series (which, was quite good – I swear you have to have a ponytail to play fast pitch softball). Later, after um – 11 minutes of activity -we hung out on the porch getting ready to grill steaks when Michale stopped by on her way back from Brockett. We sat out there until it was time to grill, went in for dinner and tried to finish the premiere of Aquarius (we have only 35 minutes left to finish). I have no idea how much sleep I got last night because I took the fitbit off for a bath and forgot to put it back on.

I still haven’t gotten my automatic canner – it’s supposed to be delivered today and Charlie’s there to sign for the stupid thing whenever they decide to deliver it. It’s been maddening.