House of Biloxi

How is it possible that I'd get two invitations to go to Biloxi, Mississippi to go gambling for the weekend by two different men?

Is Venus rising over the first house of Leo, or was the timer set for my implanted chip to start emitting steak-scented pheromones on my 40th birthday?


St. Augustine

Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine, Florida

I drove my car to Hilton Head Island to I could take the long way home, via St. Augustine, Florida, since it was only a few hours out of the way (as an aside: Georgia has more police officers, state troopers, and speed-trap-enforcers per capita than any other state. And yet, I am amazingly ticket-free). Founded in 1565 by the Spanish, St. Augustine is the oldest, continuously occupied community in the United States.

I think the world would be a better place with more cobblestone streets.


Boy Logic

Today I asked Patrick how the new school year was going. He told me it was going okay, but on the first day, he told all his teachers to call him "Rick" so he keeps missing his name during roll call. This from the boy whose cell phone says, "You've reached Rodney - leave a message."

[Why? Why?]


It's an island - how lost can we get?

I didn't imagine we'd learn much at a work conference last week scheduled on gorgeous Hilton Head Island, but, oh yeah, did I care? Turns out, though, that the social events every evening might be more crucial to the future success of our program, as we have many future visitors volunteering to visit and assist. I hope. Unless "bar talk" is similar to our grand family schemes, in which cars and computers are bartered for property.

Oddly, the Marriott Resort offers a fitness center, spa treatments and valet parking, but no free wireless. Geez. I'm too cheap to pay $9.95/day for an internet connection that I can get from any neighborhood parking lot.

The first evening, in the bar at what would become "our" table, the vice president of the hosting company introduced himself, "Hi, I'm the young, arrogant vice president." Ever-so-smooth when inebriated, I replied, "Oh, hi, taste this buttery nipple." (the bartender, for some inexplicable reason wasn't sure about the ratio and I offered to be the guinea pig until he perfected it). Later, Mr. VP told me that he had always been attracted to "crazy". No wonder we hit it off and spent the week together.

A fellow conference attender from Alabama was, unfortunately for his sake, named Reagan. "Oh, no," I said. "I can't, in good conscience, call you by the same name of the worst president in our history! I'm calling you Kennedy, instead." By the end of the week, I'm sure everyone there thought his name was actually Kennedy. I was officially renamed IRISH.

Only a half an hour from the EX in Savannah, I'm quite proud to report that I didn't stalk, call, or Google search his new girlfriend. In fact, I probably only thought about it a handful of times. Baby steps, ya' know.

Highlight: Crabcakes and unbreakable, cobalt blue, aluminum bottles holding 16 oz. of Bud Light on the beach.

Life is good.


Rainy days and cat killers always get me down

I topped off a grueling day at work as I always do, by heading a few streets over to the yard near the warehouse building where my family of feral cats live. There were only a handful there, instead of the usual 15, with three wire cages holding styrofoam cups of dry cat food, chained along the fence. I continued along my merry way, feeding the remaining cats and manually setting off the traps so curious animals wouldn't be tempted, then gave my old boss a call to get the scoop.

"The game warden was here today," he told me, "and said he would arrest anyone caught feeding the cats."

"What is this? Carry-a-badge-and-make-up-your-own-rules day if you hate cats? Arrest someone for being compassionate? That's ridiculous," I said.

"He said he'd put cameras out if he had to, and he does have the authority - and a gun."

I continued my rant, "Well, I'd like to see him arrest me, even shoot me for resisting arrest, because I will go to every newspaper, tv station and animal rights group in the state. I'll be sneakier, if I have to, but Mr. Almighty Game Warden should really be doing something more productive with his time. Cold-hearted redneck."

I'm so endearing when I'm pissed off. Or headed off to jail. Either way.

Basic Training, 1987: the drill sargents were always yelling at me for eating too slowly, "Two hands, private! What do you think this is - finishing school?!" I stubbornly refused, of course, because training to kill people shouldn't mean a complete lack of manners. For three days, they'd throw me out of the mess hall during every meal, but obstinence prevailed and eventually I was left alone to chew and swallow my food.

I'll be in Hilton Head, South Carolina this week (should I tell Ed I'll be in his neck of the woods, just to make him sweat?) for a conference, anyway, but I'll be stashing bags of cat food in every nook and cranny on Ft. Rucker...hopefully we'll win the battle of the cats, but a hunger strike may be on the horizon. Summer diet '07.


Honey darlin' sweetheart

As a strong, independent, no-nonsense kind of Yankee, this is a bit difficult to admit, but...I kind of like being called "baby".


I love my job, part XXVI

The most stupendous part of the federal government employee hiring process is that someone who is a disabled veteran with virtually no experience or particular knowledge has more "points" than, say, a conscientious, diligent contractor with years of experience (and a cute haircut) who's currently doing the job.

Un-generalized afterthought: I'm not just bashing him because he's male; it's because he's a dumbass. The man who has come to me for years with questions is now running the program? Bravo.



The other half of my Apache pilot* induced meltdown in June was caused by Dale. He was everything the EX was not: sensitive, patient, generous and, apparently, a player. We hit it off immediately when we met in November, though it was short-lived because he had to go back to his life in Ohio, 743 miles away. Our friendship grew over cell phones, and eventually we coordinated a rendezvous in Milwaukee before the weekend in Chicago with my sister (et. al). She was even smitten by him.

*Since my divorce, I've gone out with an Apache pilot, a Blackhawk student pilot, a TH-67 Instructor pilot, and a retired Chinook pilot who forgot to mention he was still married. Is it time to move? Seriously.

I thought we had a fabulous time together, even imagining it was the first trip of many, so I couldn't understand why he seemed distant after we returned home. I made excuses at first about why he stopped calling - "oh, he's busy catching up at work"; I'd leave a voice message - he'd call a few days later; I emailed - he ignored. I was tired of being pathetic so I deleted his number and tried not to obsess (haha, do you know me?). He doesn't drink or like the same music and he's allergic to cats - it was doomed from the start, obviously.

I haven't talked to Dale in 6 weeks, but he called to wish me a happy birthday on Thursday. I didn't answer, so he's called an additional two times and left messages. WHY? Can't you just blow me off and move along? I think I'd have more luck understanding quantum physics than men at this point in my life. Please pass the quarks.