glass blows

Today is Charlie’s birthday and as you know we went out last night for a surprise I’d had for her to go to a glass blowing studio and make a ball learn how to blow glass. I’d had this Groupon for a class for two at this local place since last August. She shared this place on my Facebook page twice I knew that she would love going so I booked us a two person class. The week before last I looked at the details of the class and it said [tersely in all caps] that all classes will be booked either via email or on their Facebook page. I emailed them saying I’d had a Groupon for two and would like to book a class and was the 28th either at 6:30 or 7:30 available and if not what other dates did they have and to please let me know? Two days later I get this [terse] email back that read:



Sent from Outlook

So, I looked at the Groupon I had printed out for the class. There was a Groupon number and a bar code number. I emailed Corey back with both the numbers and even attached a pdf of the voucher. Three days went by – nothing. This time I sent a Facebook message on their page stating the same as the earlier email message. Nothing. (I was about ready to choke this guy to be honest). Finally three days later I get an email back of:

you are signed up, thank you, please read your voucher info for all the terms and conditions: note the fine print also you must return to pick up the item you made, the schedule will be posted on our facebook page so anytime you see we are there either through classes or we have posted that we are there please come in within 3 months to pick up

Monday Nov 28th class @ 6:30

Sent from Outlook

I still wanted to choke this guy because he never discussed any other dates and times with me and I thought, I guess 6:30 on Monday is going to have to work.

So, there’s this one glass blowing studio right at the end of the road from us near Decatur that I was sure was it. We got there and no one seemed to be around. There was a sign that said “Check in at the Gallery” but once we tried to open the gallery door it was locked. I finally looked at my Groupon app and pulled up a map of the place and it was another place up the road. We got in the car and drove there just in time to walk into the class.

Or so we thought.

We were the only people there – again. This gallery door had a doorbell so Charlie rang it. I half expected Corey to step out and tell us to go away we were three minutes early. Finally, some woman named Sally opened the door and pointed us to a table to fill out a waiver form and that they were waiting for two more people. I was surprised there were only 4 of us in the class. Sally showed us the gallery and said we could wait there until the other two showed. We heard the doorbell and I was the closest to the door and let in this guy/gal couple that appeared to be in their 30’s. Sally then led us to the studio where there were large ovens firing. We hung up our coats and she directed those without glasses to put some on. I was happy that we were going to have her and not that Corey dude. She showed us the oven – one she even called the “glory hole” which I couldn’t help not having pornographic thoughts and then these long rods that the ends of were currently in the fire. She demonstrated making a ball herself pulling the rod out of the oven and rubbing it in this color stuff all around before sticking it back in the G-hole and doing it over again. I must had still been thinking about porn when she asked for a volunteer of someone who could blow that I accidentally volunteered for. Apparently, someone has to blow in the end of the rod to make the glass ball enlarge and there’s two speeds of harder and softer.

I swear this isn’t about sex.

So, at first I didn’t blow hard enough because no one told me how to give a blowjob to actually put my mouth on the end of the rod and torque down on it and BLOW. Next we had to sign this board on who wanted what color of ball and the order in which we would go. It was actually a good thing you went as a couple because you gave each other blow jobs while they spun their rods of glass. So I gave Charlie one and she I – made sense. I had to turn away to keep from laughing at the straight woman with her guy who actually looked like she was giving a blow job when it was her turn to blow in his rod.

Of course she’s WAY more experienced at that than you, Lanie.

The guy went first and just as Sally grabbed the rod out of the hole this other guy in an old t-shirt and gym shorts walked in pushing a stroller. He looked like he hadn’t shaved or showered in two days. Sally looked at him and he motioned her over. I wondered if this guy was her husband who couldn’t handle the baby for the hour it took to get through the class. She said, Excuse me, and went over to him. They had some kind of exchange and then she came back and grabbed the rod out of the hole again and gave it to the guy in the class to dip in the color. Then, the guy with the stroller came over and grabbed the rod from the guy in the class and stuck it back in the oven kind of dismissing Sally. I had already deduced that this was Corey because I saw him pull something out of one of the lockers behind us and it had a tag on it with his name.

What a slob, I thought.

Corey basically took over the rest of the time it took us to make our balls hurrying us along like he had a schedule to keep. I was sorry that Sally didn’t just continue the class because she was a lot nicer than him. Plus, we would have liked to have had a choice of what to make instead of Here’s your four colors to choose from and you’re making a ball. Aside from blowing and crimping the end we really didn’t actually do anything. I thought it was a big waste. But, Charlie and I would have a funny story to tell and as soon as I go pick up our BALLS I’m going to have an even funnier one to tell on my Groupon and Yelp review of “COREY- Sent from Outlook”

glory (this is what the actual Glory Hole looked like – not our glory hole because Corey was rushing us along so fast that we didn’t have time to take pictures. This is just an image from a class that was actually a class that lasted more than 30 minutes despite the advertised HOUR)

blowjob(See this guy is blowing into the rod. I wonder why he was allowed to wear a cool weird science jacket and stand up – we all had to kneel when we blew.)

glass-blowing(and, Hell no we didn’t have time to make anything like this – this was again, another class that even though you only made a ball you made a detailed and interesting ball – more than 30 minutes long, I imagine)

ornsmix(again, our balls did not look this good – probably wasn’t blowing hard enough anyway to do these)




thanksgiving chex mix

We made it through Thanksgiving without the house catching on fire, someone ending up in the E.R. or something blowing up, clogging or just busting in some way.

Last week I took off to help Charlie get ready for the holiday. Her older son with his wife were coming as well as the younger with his girlfriend. Monday and Tuesday I strapped on a backpack blower and helped with her landscape clients. Along with that we prepped several dishes for Thursday and ran around running errands and booze grocery shopping.

Wednesday evening they all arrived and we had pizza heating in the oven and beer in the cooler. The first night is always the blowout night and we blew it out pretty good. Thursday we took it easy in the a.m. and really the food prep went off without a hitch. I was surprised nothing caught on fire or the oven going out because I come from a family of holiday catastrophe so I was a bit pessimistic this whole time.

They all went zip lining on Friday and I happily stayed home and dog sat (and their dog, Cooper is really good one on one) and hung out. I was thankful everyone made it back in one piece and that we could begin the shrimp boil. The boil consisted of 5 pounds of crab legs, 1 of shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn, Old Bay and PBR. It all came out really well and everyone enjoyed a lighter dinner.

Saturday morning the kids all left after breakfast. Charlie and I spent the rest of the weekend chilling out and taking it easy. I felt like I’d been gone from work so long and was all discombobulated this morning getting ready for work. My routine was shot.

Tonight, I’m taking Charlie out for her b-day (I’m not going to say what we’re doing just yet because it’s a surprise) and tomorrow we’re meeting up with some friends for drinks. Friday, we have Charlie Mars again and probably this weekend we’ll get a tree and decorate it.

I’ll leave you with a video of this guy we saw at Edie’s last week with our friend, Sharon. His name is Angie Aparo and if you ever get a chance to see him jump on it!



advice & new lease

I think I’m going to become a non-social hermit for the rest of 2016. I am so tired of hearing about the presidential election and everyone’s opinion of it that I could scream “NO MORE F*CKING POLITICS! SHUT THE H*LL UP!” And, then no one would like me so therefore why I have to become a hermit because I will develop Tourettes and blurt out cuss words and inappropriate things.

Last night, we went over to Rooster & Shutters house for dinner.

Word of advice: When you’re invited to someone’s house for dinner and they don’t offer up “We’re having [lasagna, Indian food, tacos, hamburgers or pasta]” then eat something before you go.

Another word of advice: Don’t talk about politics ever after dinner unless you want your guests to feel ill afterwards.


Link & Stiletto were there as well as Dino & Martha. I understand the Link & Stiletto connection as Link and Rooster have been friends for years and Stil is Link’s squeeze. But, Dino & Martha I don’t get that. Charlie & I are riding buds with R & S and I’ve known Shutter for years but still – I don’t get the whole D & M connection or how they’re good friends. First of all, Dino says a lot of weird things. Sometimes, inappropriate things in my opinion.

Last night, after dinner everyone went outside and sat by the fire and bitched about politics. After a while I started feeling light-headed. I don’t know if it was from the cigar I just smoked, Dino’s Marlboro light smoke, the politics, dinner or Dino trying to tell me that she wants to set up a camp to convert gays into straights then when you get them there convince them to still be gay? I was trying to understand what the hell it was she was saying until she said the word “evangelist” and always wanting to be one. She lost me at that.

I had so happened to have been doing research that day on the subject of Jim Jones for my next sci-fi series murder mystery (basically, my main character killing him before he makes everyone drink the cool-aide). I was kind of shocked over some of the stuff I read so when Dino said “Evangelist” I just left the fire and went inside and played with R & S’s kitten until Charlie came in and asked me if I was ok. Thankfully, it seemed to be a cue for everyone to come in and hug and say goodbye.

I went home and drank Alka-Seltzer and snuggled up with Charlie to watch TV in bed. Let’s watch This is Us and forget about politics and evangelism for a while.

This morning, I wanted to wake up to a new lease. Despite the dryness and drought I was still happy it was nice out. I drove to work looking at the fall leaves and thankful for my job and my life with Charlie.

Advice to myself: Embrace every day as if it were your last. And, despite dinner last night at least you were invited somewhere for dinner so don’t let politics or anyone else ruin it.



We got back from Tennessee yesterday in time to watch some football on the porch. We had a great time but it was good to get back. It seemed much colder here than it was in Tennessee for some reason.

Thursday evening, we spent in Chattanooga. We went up for the afternoon/evening before going to Nashville. Once we checked in to our hotel we took the local trolley over to North Shore and walked around and shopped a bit. Then, we went down to this little Mexican restaurant for margaritas and nibbles.

After waiting for the trolley to come back to no avail we decided to just hoof it over the bridge to the other side and walk to St. Johns Meeting place that was playing jazz. On the way we passed the Pickle Barrel and decided to stop there for a drink.

Unfortunately, we left the Pickle Barrel (we should have stayed put) and found the jazz place but it was full of people, noisy and they made a weak whiskey drink. We decided not to eat there but go back to our hotel where there was a bar (The Office) and 24hour café attached and have more drinks and order in later. When we walked in to this place I felt like we were transported to a gay bar in 1987. The bartender (Ann) had on a sleeveless leather jacket with a white polo shirt underneath. They were setting up for karaoke night and she asked what I wanted to drink. Amaretto sours, fuzzy navels and screwdrivers came to mind……we ordered lite beers and a shot of Jameson and stayed until someone started attempting rap on stage and we decided to call it a night.

The next day after breakfast we headed to Nashville. Since our Stay America wasn’t ready for us to check in until 3 we headed downtown and parked in a pay lot the closest we could get to the immediate downtown area because there was a Veterans Day parade going on. We wandered around – they said Printers Alley was great but it was uneventful. We were hungry and wanted food. We found a bar called Piranhas – home of put-french-fries-in-every-sandwich. Despite having the fries ON my burger the beer and service was great. Our bartender took care of us except for when we asked her what was around the general vicinity to do she told us to take golf cart over to Midtown and hang out. We walked around the corner and there was Broad Street and millions of people and music playing. We were like WTF? We walked in and out of stores and eventually ended up back at the car to go back to the hotel to check in and change. We were going to see Keith Urban that night at Bridgestone Arena.

I must say the hotel we stayed in left something to be desired. It was clean and all but they only left us 3 pillows (who puts down three pillows instead of 2 or 4?) and one thin blanket that we had to beg for more. Then, there was a stove in there that was about 100 years old that we turned on to heat up a sandwich and the knobs fell off. No ice trays in the freezer (which, they gave us when we asked where the non-existent ice machine was), one roll of papery thin toilet paper and forget there being any paper towels or anything. It was the sparsest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. At least they had coffee in the morning.

That night, we went back downtown and ended up at The Stage listening to live music. The Green Bay Packers were to play in town on Sunday and there was a sea of people in Pack wear – including myself. I think I made more friends from Wisconsin than I actually have currently in Atlanta. Then, it was time to amble over to the Arena to see Keith Urban. We had nose bleed seats and by the time we got up there and sat down the first warmup was playing (Maren Morris) and then the second one came on (Brett Eldredge). We were kind of bored and struck up a conversation with the couple next to us who gave Charlie a couple of guitar picks. They ended up either scoring some better seats right when Keith Urban started or went home – who knows. The concert was great but I doubt if I’d see him again. We left before it was over because we didn’t want to fight 30, 000 people getting out of there. Which, we then ran into a problem trying to get an Uber driver to pick us up. Every time I called I kept getting the same Uber driver who was blocks away wanting us to walk to him. We ended up catching a cab back to the hotel instead.

The next day we went downtown again to wander around in the Music Hall of Fame and later, see our bartender at Piranhas. We got to talking to two guys who [I thought] talked incessantly about their cats. After a while -me trying to change the subject from Maine Coons to a cool place to hang out- found out that Marathon Village is a cool place to check out but also learned that one of the distilleries in there has a cat on staff to take care of the rat problem (of course it was [insert cat story here] to everything).

Marathon Village is made up of a group of 100 year old warehouse buildings that house antique shops, breweries and distilleries as well as the famous Antique Archaeology which is Mike Wolfe’s store made famous from American Pickers. We took one look at the line getting into that place and headed for the distillery hitting the most wooden sign laden stores I’ve ever seen in my lifetime along the way. We ended up at Corsair Artisan Brewery and Taproom (where that cat is, of course – although, we only saw a pic of her because the girl at the desk said she was working and wasn’t on break until 3) which brews beer as well as gin, vodka and whiskey. We had two pretty amazing drinks before heading in to taste some whiskey which we ended up not buying. Had they had the habanero vanilla bean infused vodka that was used to make my drink then we would have probably bought several bottles.

After that, we were craving a steak and baked potato and headed for Logan’s. Not the best choice but since we’d been there we hadn’t had what we considered a good meal (even with the french-fries-on-everything-burger). Mental note to self for the next trip – stay in a Hampton Inn no matter what the cost and get recommendations from friends on where to eat. By the end of that night we were whipped and ready to go home.

After a pretty sleepless night – the stupid room fan kept turning off and on all night and I’m one of those people who have to have the fan on in order to break up the monotony of SILENCE – we got up and grabbed coffee and headed out. We had decided to get out of town a bit before stopping for breakfast. What ended up happening was making it almost to Chattanooga before feeling like gnawing our arms off and needing more coffee and stopping at this scary little place called Jim Oliver’s Smoke House and ordering BBQ for breakfast. The BBQ was pretty good but the coffee came out cold and I walked back in the kitchen and asked them to nuke it for me. I don’t think they were used to demanding city folk like myself. Once finished I said to Charlie, Let’s get out of here. I was starting to hear dueling banjos.

So, we had a great time and it was good to get away and relax. I’ll leave you with some pics from the trip.








Tuesday chex mix

It started out being a relaxing Friday of working from home when – there was a knock at the door and we found the neighborhood code enforcement officer standing on our porch. I knew what this was about, again, it was about debris we had put at the street not being picked up because they suspected it came from one of our landscape customers from outside the neighborhood – which, it didn’t. All the debris we put at the street came from our own backyard we told the officer. She said we had to set up a meeting with the head of public works to review it. I said, Sure, I’ll give him a call right now. Which, I did and we met and I took him and the returning code enforcement officer to the back yard and showed them the fresh cuts off of the crape myrtles we trimmed. After the meeting the city sent the guys down to pick it all up.

The whole thing is just ridiculous and I feel like we’ve been singled out and harassed. I suspect some of this also came from one of our neighbors [who rent, I might add] having an axe to grind and calling the city to complain. Some people just have nothing better to do than to get into other peoples business, I think.  Whatever the case I hope that we don’t have to justify every pile we put at the street to be picked up because I’m going to the Mayor next.

Saturday, we started roofing the gable over the deck. [I was hoping all that nail pounding was driving certain people nuts, too] We got a little over half of it roofed before it was time to get ready and go hear some music in our friends back yard. This was the last back yard concert of the year and we were looking forward to it. I really do hope we can get a similar action going in our backyard but we’ll see. We are going to test out some amp-age pretty soon to make sure we don’t blow a circuit out there. Once we were at the backyard event our friends, Sharon and B. Ferris joined us. It was the first actual chilly night of the fall and everyone was in jackets and standing around the fires.


The next day we finished the roofing job as beef stew simmered in the crock pot. B. Ferris came over later for crusty bread and stew paired with a wonderful Red Brick Ale -Divine Bovine. Since the turn of the weather I’ve been enjoying stouts more and more. Last night, Charlie and I went out to Brickstore and I ordered a Great Divide Oatmeal Yedi that was pretty darn good. Anyone have suggestions on their favorite stout? [And, yes we’re going to decorate the HALE out of this little shed/porch thing. It’s going to get candy cane poles and it’s own little Christmas tree – you can see Charlie has already put up the chili pepper lights]

Thursday, I’m taking Charlie out of town to (2) undisclosed locations for an early birthday present. I’m so looking forward to getting out of town to explore and relax a bit. I told her to pack her boots and sweaters and we’re going. Any guesses on where?

It will be good to get out of town because after this the holidays will be upon us and both her boys and their spouse/girlfriends are coming for Thanksgiving so we’re going to have a full house. Charlie is already putting together the menu and plan.

Hopefully, the rest of today and tomorrow will go fast!




the final hell week and Halloween

Friday morning I made it through the last day of hell week and got my t-shirt.


The following weekend Charlie and I worked on the shed deck roof and managed to get all of the plywood on a thousand nails laying around the yard later.


Sunday, we did the Halloween ride with the Hags. It’s been very warm here so we were sweating by the end. I was thankful I didn’t wear leather that day because I would have been even hotter. We ended the tour at a haunted house in Kirkwood where Links bike died before heading to Grindhouse burgers.


(Rooster starting the tour in front of Oakland Cemetery, Link is in blue, Stiletto in the orange bandana next to her)


(Stop 2 at Underground Atlanta)



(The final stop in Kirkwood, all of us with our bikes – Charlie is right behind the guy in white and I’m behind her in red)

We managed to catch the very last of the Green Bay game against Atlanta when we sat down and it had finally cooled off.

I will leave you with the dogs waiting for trick or treaters: