Please note that I do not allow anonymous comments unless you inform me who you are. I am continuing to allow you to choose the option of anonymous or "Name/URL" so my family and friends with no log-in can leave me comments. If you choose not to be known to the public when you leave a comment, that is fine, but if you don't email me or let me know it was you, it will not be posted.

The 2008 Year in Review

So, this has been a pretty eventful year. I have painstakingly put together a recap of everything I can think of at this very moment for a "Year in Review" (please click all pictures for larger):

In January, my office basically started over. In December, the guy who had sold his business to our company left--and took all the clients with him. January was a month of getting our bearings, moving forward, and trying to figure out who our new clients might be. Most of the employees in our office left to work for the other guy, and it came down to just my boss and me. We hired a receptionist, but she didn't work out--and we need to just leave it at that.

In February, I started this blog. It sort of started out being more about me and less about what's going on around me. But, I think the "Where are you Batman?" story started changing that for me.

Over the next couple months, March and April, I wrote very few blog posts, and they have since been removed. I was dealing with a very bad situation at work, and I was having a hard time moving away from that and getting it off my mind. It didn't really have much to do with work itself but with something that happened there. Work actually started picking up because our corporate office starting giving us work. Since then, I've been working for a large client and dealing with all the intricacies of them adding more water infrastructure to a military base. I have really liked going to the base. It makes me think of my grandfather who served in the Air Force for 22 years. I still miss him a lot, and the base sort of feels like a safe and happy place for me. I do hate the drive, though. Ugh.

May saw a slight pick-up in my blogging. Things started to improve with the situation, and work was going well with the work we'd been given from corporate. I found out I had hypothyroidism, and thought that I was going to move in this wonderful direction of losing weight. I mean, I just thought it would start falling off. After all, I was eating right and exercising. I was counting every calorie. But, alas, I am still gaining. It is quite a struggle to go from 100 pounds of tiny cuteness to 200 pounds of lard ass. I have a new appreciate for the DUFF--Designated Ugly, Fat Friend--because I am one now. I got out of that soul-crushing apartment and into the house I'm renting now. It was the best decision I've made in a long time. Don't ever rent from AMLI. Ever. Travis and I had our one year anniversary. I can't believe he's put up with me this long! We went to the Melting Pot for dinner to celebrate, and it was AMAZING! That was the first time I'd ever been. I highly recommend it, but unless you are rolling in cash, save it for VERY special occasions.

June was a great month. I got to go to Savannah for the first time in my life--even though I've lived in Georgia the entire time. Fort Pulaski was awesome. I took so many wonderful pictures that I am just insanely proud of. I love taking pictures, and I am trying to get better at it--trying to make them look professional. I really, really want a new camera that is ridiculous, but we'll probably wait on that one. We ate at Seasons of Japan while we were there, and it was amazing. You HAVE to go there if you are ever in Savannah! While in Savannah, we went to Tybee Island and went to the beach for a few hours. I love the beach. We went up into the Tybee Island Lighthouse while we were there, and that was really cool.

In July, I really started getting bummed about the economy. I did get to spend some time with my brother, though, so that was cool. I spent time with a lot of my family in July because I got to go home for the 4th. I took some really cool fireworks pictures. Uga VI passed away. That was sad.

In August, the Bulldogs were predicted to go to the title game. It didn't last long. We went to Pelham to the quarry there to dive. It was amazing as usual. I love that place. It gets cold pretty fast when you hit that thermocline, but it's beautiful and clear--and a very short drive for diving! I freaked out about the Large Hadron Collider a little. I got a Crackberry, and it now ru(i)ns my life. We had a month full of birthdays. Travis' Mom's is on the 10th, Travis' is on the 14th, my Mom's is on the 20th, and my step-mom's is on the 16th. And, sadly, my grandfather had a severe stroke. He wasn't doing super great there for a while, but he's doing decent now. His speech has kind of hit a plateau it seems to me. He isn't slurring, he just doesn't enunciate well. His leg is working pretty normally, but his hand is still giving him the run-around. He's still working on it, though. My grandmother thinks he may have had another mild stroke, and my dad seems to think he isn't getting much better now. I hope it's just a plateau he will overcome soon.

In September, we went to Vortex Spring to dive. It was a little cold, but there were no thermoclines, so it was constant--and much more bearable. Just pee a little, and you'll be warm in no time! (No kidding, don't knock it if you don't dive. There are two kinds of divers: those who pee their wetsuits and those who lie about it.) After Vortex, we went to Fort Walton Beach for a day. It was amazing. I obsessed over the lesser of two evils Presidential campaign--an obsession that would lead up to a great disappointment come Nov 4th. And, tragedy struck again when Larry Munson announced his retirement. I was heartbroken. I love the "Voice of the Dawgs"! But, I got to spend some time at home and have some wild "Muskydines and Scuppendines"! I had to get my wisdom teeth removed, and I'd never had a single surgery in my life. So, I was terrified of being put to sleep. But, all went well, and I got a very nice bouquet of flowers from work. That was so thoughtful! While we were home, we went to Hoschton to see the scarecrows. They were trying to break a Guinness World Record--I think they did!

In October, my step-mom was laid off. She still hasn't gotten a job. Where are you now, Obama? But, we got to go to the Atlanta Botanical Garden and see the Sculpture in Motion exhibit, so at least some good came from the month. Speaking of plants, that was the month the giant mushroom tried to take over my yard. Them little shits are still trying to get me, but I kick their ass whenever they come up! And, of course, we had a fun Halloween. I went as Sarah Palin.

I turned 24 in November. I have to say, that wasn't all that fun. Less fun, though, was finding out that Travis' Dad had colon cancer. He went into the hospital on Nov 6th for surgery. After 22 days and 2 surgeries, he got to go home (that was the day after Thanksgiving). Unfortunately, they readmitted him the following Wednesday, and he has had 2 more surgeries and is now in ICU in a drug induced coma. He has sepsis (blood infection) and is having a really hard time. He is cancer free, but he is having some terrible complications from surgery. But, we had a nice Thanksgiving with my step-mom's family, even though I hate going up there, and I wanted to spend it with my family. And, we spent Thanksgiving evening with Travis' family in the hospital. This was also when someone rear-ended Travis' 1965 Mustang. It still isn't fixed. Ugh. On a lighter note, I got my Chubby Snowman, which I love hugging! And, I got some lovely stockings embroidered with Travis', Pepe's, and my names. And, I put my tree up before Thanksgiving because I was so excited about the holidays. Sue me. Finally, Travis and I got engaged on Thanksgiving Day. It was supposed to be for my birthday, but he didn't ask my Dad for his blessing, so I made him wait until he did. Ha.

December has been filled with trying to get into the Christmas spirit despite a year with a lot of setbacks and sad days. It is especially hard with Travis' Dad being in the hospital. He and Travis' Mom spent Thanksgiving there, their 40th wedding anniversary there, and are now going to spend Christmas and New Year's there. And, Mom's house is where we go all the time--especially for holidays--so we're all really bummed and getting exhausted from that 6+ week ordeal.

But, now, I guess it's time to get ready for a new year. Let's hope it's a good, happy, and exciting one!

"Silence! I Kill You!"

If you have never seen this, it is hilarious. Just watch the whole thing. You have nothing better to do. Trust me. Note that there is some explicit language.

And, this is a little late, but still very funny.

Your Momma Dresses You Funny

If this doesn't say "Man, I'm hating life!", I don't know what does...

Moral of the Story: Plaxico Burress PSA

I saw this a while back (like, way back, when this happened), but someone just emailed it to me again. I figured most of you have seen it by now, but just in case you hadn't, I had to post it. And, hell, even if you have seen it, watch it again. Because that shit is funny. I mean, just f'ing hilarious.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

I had a really amazing Christmas this year. I can't believe the incredible presents I got! Thank you to my parents, (future) in-laws, other family, and, of course, Travis for giving me so much more than I deserve! I just have to share some of the tons of gifts with you. First up, I got this adorable gift set in this cute metal dog. I took out the stuff, and I'm going to use the dog bowl as a catch-all on my counter. How cute is that? (Click all pictures for larger.)

Next, I got this awesome craft kit to make a stained-glass mosaic stepping stone. There are two sets in the kit, so I can make both a left and right flip flop. I am really excited about making this. I'm not super crafty, but this will be so cute to sit outside my door. I like one-of-a-kind things, and I can make this my own.

Next, I got this gorgeous peacock lamp. I don't collect peacocks or anything, I just saw this at Lowe's, and I thought it was so beautiful. Travis surprised me with it, of course.

Travis' Mom and Dad got me this rocking chair. I love rocking chairs. I've been wanting one since I moved. This one is actually wood--it is just painted black. I decided I wanted to keep it inside instead of putting it outside. I think it fits well.

My dad pulled a slick one on me, as usual. I asked for a Creative Zen X-Fi or Mozaic MP3 player. Travis got me an adapter to play it over the car radio. Then, Dad says he isn't going to get it because it is too expensive. So, Travis took back the car adapter. Then, Dad got the damn thing, so Travis and I had to go get the adapter thingy again. LOL. I ended up getting the amazing X-Fi in 16G. Wow!

I love red. I made this enormous list of Fiesta servewear that I wanted. I divided the list among Travis and his Mom and Dad and my Mom and her Mom. I ended up getting everything I asked for, including a large (ham/turkey) platter, two smaller platters, two large bowls, a pedestal bowl, three small bowls, a large oval platter, a bread tray, three small trays, a butter dish with lid, a gravy boat, salt and pepper shakers, a tray with a creamer and sugar bowl, and a slotted spoon, solid spoon, meat fork, butter knife, and sugar spoon.

Oh, and this adorable pitcher.

And, it's all made in the USA!

And, now, for the grand finale. My dad got me this super cool new PC. But, it's not just any PC. It's a Media Center PC. Yep. So, right now, I'm typing this post on my new PC, which is plugged into my huge flat screen TV. Yeah, and I'm watching some old Batman movie on TV. At the same time. I know. I'm amazing. I mean, my Dad is amazing. He really went overboard this year...

So, I had a pretty amazing Christmas. And, this isn't even everything I got! That would take me all day! I want everyone to know that I appreciate them so much. I love ya'll!

"I Know. I'm Amazing."

So, in case anyone was wondering, I'm the most amazing fiancee ever. Yep, that's me. This is what I got Travis for Christmas (among other things, of course):

Yes, that's exactly what you think it is. A UGA football helmet signed by none other than Vince Dooley AND Larry Munson.

I know. I'm amazing.

Merry CHRISTmas to All

And to all a good night.

Please remember the reason for the season.

Give thanks for your blessings.

Have a safe and happy Christmas!

You've Got to be Kidding: "Chad Blue Knows"

"In November, a judge in Dublin, Ga., sentenced Rico Todriquez Wright, 25, to at least 20 years in prison for the 2006 shooting of Chad Blue, who had told police initially that he didn't know who had shot him. Blue later heard a thug-life song on CD, 'Hitting Licks for a Living,' in which rap singer Wright brags, 'Chad Blue knows how I shoot' and realized Wright was the one who shot him that night. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution-AP, 11-19-08]"
Victim - 1; Cocky son-of-a-bitch - 0. Ha. Ha.

Yummy Cobbler, Just in Time for the Holidays

So, I told you I was pretty much the world's worst cook. That's not entirely true. I can't really cook, but I can bake. Many things, actually. Go figure, the fat chick can make cake. And pie. And cobbler. Mmmm...cobbler. I have finally figured that one out. And it is amazingly easy! Here's the recipe for a large batch* (think 9 x 13 pan):
2 LARGE cans pie filling (cherry seems
to work best, but I've done apple and peach, too)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar (give or take, I don't
measure this part)
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (sometimes I hike it up to 450, but you will probably want to cover the edges with foil to prevent burning, sometimes I drop it to 350 if it browns too fast). In a large GLASS pan, cut butter into small chunks. Place pan into oven to melt butter. Do NOT let butter start to bubble, as it will smell burnt, and it will splatter all over your nice, clean oven. Mix the flour, sugar, milk, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed. Pull pan out of oven when butter is melted. Pour flour mixture into pan. Don't worry about how it mixes with the butter. Spoon the pie filling into the mixture. Spread it around gently, but don't stir it into the mix, let it sit naturally. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the center is semi-firm and not too watery. Serve plain or with vanilla ice cream.
It's some good shit. Try it. It's the easiest cobbler ever. People think cobbler is SO hard to make, so when you make this, they will think you are awesome. Because they are ignorant and have NO IDEA. I mean, uh, because you ARE awesome!

*If you want to make a smaller batch, say a 9 x 9 pan, use 1 large can of pie filling, 3/4 cup of flour, sugar, and milk, a little brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon, and 3/4 stick of butter. Baking time will be shorter.

Look What I Can Do! Sausage Balls, A Recipe

OK, so I'm not the world's best cook. OK, I'm probably close to the world's worst cook. But, I'm OK with that. And, so is my "finance" (sic). So, there.

But, anywho, I am having my future-in-law side of the family over to my house tomorrow to do Christmas since we're going home to see my family. I didn't want "my" nieces to have to wait until after Christmas for presents. That's just cruel. Making kids wait until after a holiday for a gift--be it Christmas or birthday--is just completely and utterly wrong. I hated it when assholes did that to me as a kid. Hell, I still hate that shit. Give me my present early if you can't make it the day of. How hard is that? Give. Me. Present! Ugh. I digress. (Sorry, I got excited about presents...)

So, I'm having Mom and Sis and Bro and their kids over tomorrow. We're going to do a finger-food dinner. Sis is bringing chicken tenders and maybe some other stuff, and I'm doing the rest. I was going to make a cheese ball, but let's be real. I am going to make a cheese dip. Hey, that's in a crock pot. That's not actually cooking. I bought a veggie tray with dip, and I'm making a cake and putting birthday candles on it since the kids like to sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus for Christmas (how sweet is that?!).

And, I decided I could make cheese balls. (I think I can. I think I can.) Yes, me, hell on wheels with flour. I know. Lord, help us. But, my Mommy promises me it's the bestest thing ever and soooo easy. Here's my pathetic attempt in the oven:

I know, I know. They are enormous. It's like Elephantiasis of the (sausage) balls. I didn't realize they would get so big! But, they turned out nice and brown (and done). I even ventured to taste them. Gasp! I ate sausage and didn't pitch a bitch. For those who know me, you know what I mean. For those that don't, I'm only about the most picky eater on the planet. I'm worse than a five year old with brussel sprouts. No kidding. I don't normally eat pork because, well, it just kind of grosses me out and makes me want to vomit. Seriously. And, no, I am not vegetarian, OK? So, stop asking.

So, anyway, I don't know if Mom, Sis, Bro, and the kids will like them, but I am leaving a few out for the fiance to try when he gets home. I actually liked them, and if he likes them, they are still on the menu for tomorrow. Here's the recipe (as if you can't find it on google with the first try*):

1 lb. HOT sausage (Regular makes it too bland, or so I'm told. It wasn't very hot with the hot, in case you're wondering, and I hate spicy foods, so if I say that, it's true.)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (don't use that fat free shit, it won't melt)
2 cups Bisquick (pancake and baking mix--found by the pancake stuff, not
necessarily the flour)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a LARGE bowl (No, seriously, I got shit all over the counter). You will have to kneed the nasty pig carcass with your hands. You. Will. Survive. I swear, I did. Mix things very well and squish and squash with your fingers for a good little while. (You will need very strong forearms for this step.) Then, pinch off little pieces--smaller than you think they need to be--and roll into 1" balls. Squish the balls together pretty good. Don't leave cracks because they will open up when cooking. Place the balls on a cookie sheet (I greased with PAM. Use whatever you want. I don't give a shit.) spaced so they aren't touching. They don't need to be very far apart, and this will make a LOT of balls, so unless you want to use two pans, pack them puppies in there. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they start to brown on top. Make sure the meat cooks through--we are talking raw pork here. Gross.
*My Mommy gave it to me, not google. Google is not my Mommy.

UPDATE: Travis did like them. Verdict: they stay on the menu, and they are safe to try for yourself!

All I Want for Christmas... not my two front teeth. But, this will do:

Is Global Warming Real?

My good friend over at Bungalow Bills Conservative Wisdom seems to think global warming is, well, a crock of shit. Being the cool person that I am, I know the State Climatologist. We are best good friends. OK, maybe not, but that guy is just freakin' cool.

Anywho, I went a-searchin' for some temperature data archives, and lo-and-behold, The Stook pulls through. I went to the National Weather Service Forecast Office Website for Peachtree City, GA. I somehow got to the archive page where I obtained the monthly temperature reports for the month of December for 2006, 2007, and 2008 (to date). I copied the data into a text file, and I inserted it into Excel using the Insert Data tool. I took the daily average (average of the high and low) for each day in the month for all three years. I plotted those in a chart (click for larger):

The blue is 2006, the red is 2007, and the green is 2008. As you can see, it is hard to gather a lot from that. However, when I took the monthly average, I was a little surprised (click for larger):

The averages for 2006 and 2007 are very close, but 2008 is several degrees lower. I mean, if we are having global warming, how can the entire month be 3 degrees cooler than the two previous years? AND, in case you aren't in the lower southeast, and you don't know, we are in a freakin' heat wave right now. I mean, I may get to go on a motorcycle ride for Christmas, and I'm a fair weather rider, if you know what I'm sayin'! So, even with the last few days being very uncharacteristically warm for winter (almost winter, according to the calendar), the month as a whole is much cooler so far.

I realize this may not be the case for the entire year, and I'm a little too lazy and have ever so slightly more important things to do with my day than play with graphs (Although, I do admit, I enjoy it very much. Yes, yes, I'm a complete and total nerdy nerd.) But, if I get really bored, I might just go look at November, then October, then September, then August, then... You catch my drift.

Anyway, I still don't know if global warming is really that real or not. But, I think the pollution we are all guilty of is real. We need to plant more trees and grow more green. I'm not saying go out and buy a hybrid or any of that newfangled bullshit. Just be mindful of any wastefulness you may be participating in, and be considerate of our planet.

That's my PSA for the day. Thanks.

You've Got to be Kidding: Kids Having Kids 2nd Ed.

A while back, I talked about Tyra Banks' reaction to a teen survey about sexual conduct. It shocked me, as it did her. Now, it's closer to home, and, for some reason, I'm not all that shocked. Apparently, Jackson County (where I used to live) has the highest rate of teen births in the 10-county Northeast Georgia Health District.

I always thought Jackson County had a lot of pregnant teens. There were lots of them when I was in school. As President of SADD (now Students Against Destructive Decisions, not just Drunk Driving), I was on a panel much like the one described in the second article I've linked to. It was a problem back then (circa 2002), and it's an even bigger problem now. There are 100 births a year for girls 15-19 in a county of less than 60,000 people. As a reference, Cobb County has over 600,000 people.

It all goes back to the issue of teaching abstinence only. We just can't do that anymore. The old way wasn't working, so it's time for a new way. Not only for the pregnancies but for the increases in STDs. Says the high school nurse for the County, “The kids tell me they have nothing to do after school. They congregate at one house and have sex parties. Everyone switches partners.”


"Obama Would Change All That"

You absolutely can't make this shit up. From my ex-hometown newspaper, The Commerce News:

"A Nicholson woman who thinks the election of Barack Obama as president will end racism in Jackson County may need a presidential pardon.

"Commerce police arrested Gail Louise Brown, 51, of 163 Tommy Barnett Lane Dec. 9 after she allegedly cursed loudly and repeatedly as police diffused a domestic incident at BJC Medical Center.

"Barnett* was one of several family members who went to the hospital to see a male 'under protective care' at the facility. Staff called the police after family members refused to leave.

"Barnett*, according to the officer’s account, did not go quietly. She allegedly made repeated and loud obscene remarks. She also charged that 'Jackson County is redneck and racist and Obama would change all that once he’s in office,' the officer said.

"Barnett* was charged with disorderly conduct."

I'm sorry, but that is just funny. But, here we go again with the reverse discrimination. Just because Jackson County is rural and, admittedly, redneck, we are automatically racist. Perfect. Anywho, I won't get on that reverse discrimination bus anymore today. I just hope they realize Obama isn't going to save them. Oh, hell, no I don't. I don't care what they realize. They brought it on themselves. Let them suffer the consequences.

*Note: I think they confused the street name with her last name. I believe the instances where you see "Barnett" you should see "Brown".

Landmark Case of the Year: Brian Nichols

So, I know everyone is tired of hearing about Brian Nichols. I mean, what with all the tons of tax payer dollars spent on his trial. He might have single-handedly caused all of Georgia's economic troubles. I kid, I kid. But, seriously, it's been quite a landmark trial. Not only because of the time and expense it took to convict a man that was SO obviously guilty or the sentence, but the REASON he was sentenced that way.

In Georgia, there is only the possibility of death if the jury unanimously sentences the person that way. So, if only one person holds out, they live. One person. I thought this was the nation of majority rules. I guess Obama getting elected isn't really all that great because, apparently, in Georgia, the minority rules. OK, alright, at least in court cases anyway.

So, now everyone is up in arms to change this law. The way it goes now, a jury must unanimously choose death, or the judge can ONLY sentence the person to life or life without parole. In some states, the jury is mostly for assistance with sentencing, and the judge ultimately makes the decision. They want to make it similar to that here. The newest proposal would allow the judge to sentence death if at least 10 jurors vote for death. (Note that in this case, Nichols would still get life, as 3 jurors voted against death.)

Unfortunately, a similar bill has been shot down in the Georgia Senate more than once (passed in the Georgia House more than once) due to fears of making judges too powerful. But, now, some opponents are reconsidering things. There is even a proposal to allow for death even if 3 jurors vote against it.

I'm not really for or against the legislation, but I do think that when someone is a cold-blooded murderer who is blatantly and completely guilty of killing not just 1 but 4 innocent people, he deserves to die. And, while we have those pesky cruel and unusual punishment laws, he sure as hell deserves punishment as cruel as you can come up with.

And, for the people who held out, refusing to even hear the facts, especially the one who thought listening to music was more important than deliberation ("Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said jurors had told him the three holdouts refused to deliberate and were adamantly against the death penalty. One of the three, he said, was listening to headphones during the closed-door deliberations."), I say, you're a sack of shit who doesn't deserve much more than Nichols. Sure, jury duty sucks balls. But, you are there to do a job, and if you aren't going to do it you're just a good old fashioned son-of-a-bitch. YOU single-handedly let a convicted rampage murderer who escaped from custody before go back to jail. So he can escape again. Smooth move there, Ex-lax. I sure as hell hope he comes for you and not me when he escapes.

You've Got to be Kidding: Religious Persecution

*This is NOT a PG-13 post.

I really thought things were going to change. OK, no I didn't. Obama hasn't even taken office yet, and already I'm bitching about his failures. If he is anything short of a complete failure, color me red, I will be surprised. Very surprised.

What am I going on about? Obama was supposed to make this nation colorblind. He was supposed to erase all hate and prejudice. He was supposed to end racial, religious, and all other forms of discrimination. You see, he was elected the first black President in a nation consumed by white supremacy and religious intolerance. A nation that uplifts whites and oppresses blacks. A nation that uplifts Christians and oppresses any other religion. At least, that's what everyone wanted you to think during his campaign.

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. And, honestly, I probably have. Because this shit happens every day. All the time. To all kinds of people. Reverse discrimination is still fucking discrimination. And, I get really damn sick and tired of the absolute bullshit. Really. Sick. And. Tired.

Here's the story that got me so riled up this morning: A Muslim woman was arrested and held for contempt of court for refusing to remove her head covering, which was a violation of court policy. And, you know, the woman (who was from Connecticut but recently moved to Georgia) had the audacity to say that the incident reminded her of the civil rights-era South. Says the imbecile, "'I just felt stripped of my civil, my human rights.'"

Good for you. Way to make this a civil rights issue. It's a fucking court policy. She wasn't even there for her own court appearance (she was accompanying her nephew for his traffic violation hearing), so she could have easily left. But, instead, she had to be a shit-starting bitch and make a huge deal out of nothing.

Now, in case you think I'm just a racist bigot, let me explain to you why this pisses me the fuck off. Even though you're going to think I'm a racist bigot regardless, if you already do, because, well, if I have to explain it to you, you just don't get the whole post anyway, and, frankly, you are not worth my time. Not by a long shot. The issue I take with this is that, EVEN THOUGH "there have been similar cases in other states, including Michigan, where a Muslim woman in Detroit filed a federal lawsuit in February 2007 after a judge dismissed her small-claims court case when she refused to remove a head and face veil", this had to be about some civil-rights bullshit. Because every single person in the South is racist and discriminatory. She just had to go and play the race/religion/whatever discrimination card.

I realize she is dumber than a box of rocks, but does she REALLY think this was about her religion? Because it wasn't. It was about a court policy. A policy that is in place to protect people from another Brian Nichols-type situation. (Yes, I realize he didn't bring his own gun. But, he did shoot up the courthouse. That's my point here.) And, by making it into a religious issue, due to the fact that we are the "discriminatory South" and everyone here is discriminatory, she is guilty of reverse discrimination. Hell, if the stupid bitch hadn't insulted an officer, she probably wouldn't have even been arrested for the violation--just asked to leave:
"Hall [Valentine's husband] said Valentine, an insurance underwriter, told the bailiff that she had been in courtrooms before with the scarf on and that removing it would be a religious violation. When she turned to leave and uttered an expletive, Hall said a bailiff handcuffed her and took her before the judge."
Honey, really, it doesn't matter if you've worn it in other courtrooms. It is a court's right to make those kinds of policies:

"Kelley Jackson, a spokeswoman for Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker, said state law doesn't permit or prohibit head scarfs.

"'It's at the discretion of the judge and the sheriffs and is up to the security officers in the court house to enforce their decision,' she said."

So, go ahead, call me a racist bigot. She played the religious persecution card when the only thing persecuted was the poor bailiff.

Why the English Language is so Hard to Learn

OK, this really bugs me. Why is it that two words which are spelled the same are pronounced completely different?

For instance, the word "colonel" is just really f'ed up. "Colonel" is pronounced "kur-nl", but "colonial" is prounounced "kuh-loh-nee-uhl". Why? Where does that "r" even come from?!

But, there are tons of words like that. For instance, there and here are pronounced like we're but not like were. What. The. Hell?!

Am I the only one that is irritated by this? I mean, who came up with this stuff? I'm just saying.

Attention UGA Fans!

Calling all UGA fans for a GREAT cause.

Uncle Rick, a.k.a. Mr. UGA, a.k.a. Dad's brother, has some connections. And, he has in his possession an official UGA football helmet worn by none other than Mr. Knowshon Moreno (complete with all the little dog bones and stuff they wear but NOT signed).

Raffle tickets are $20 each. Note that you will not actually get a ticket, but the names will go on a board numbered 1 to however-many we have, and one number will be drawn from a hat at the end.

HOWEVER, if you are absolutely dying to have a UGA football helmet, Mr. UGA may be able to get you one for the not too shocking price tag of $200. Don't faint, and, remember, all profits go to Mom and Dad to help pay for his ongoing medical bills.

As an update, he had his fourth surgery Saturday night (emergency surgery), and he is in ICU. For those of you who don't know about what is going on, here is the short version: Travis' Dad, Charles, had colon cancer. He had surgery to remove part of his bowel, and it was a complete success as far as the cancer goes. The tumor is completely gone, and the cancer had not spread, at all, so he didn't even need chemo. However, he then had another surgery to fix a little leak where they reconnected things. He went home the day after Thanksgiving, after 22 days in the hospital. Unfortunately, the wound wasn't healing, and he was readmitted the following Wednesday. He had a third surgery that Thursday to pull the muscles together for the incision to help it heal. On Saturday, they did an emergency surgery to put in a colostomy bag because the bowel was leaking inside his body. He developed sepsis from this, and has been in ICU in a drug-induced coma since Saturday night. Margaret (Travis' Mom) hasn't left his side for more than a shower since this started, and she is not working. He is improving, and they are slowly removing the machines that were needed to keep things going while he was in the coma and bringing him out. He isn't home free, but he is stable and going the right direction .

If you know us, and you would like to help out our family, please do not send flowers or gift baskets, please buy a raffle ticket! Buy one even if you hate UGA. You can ebay the damn thing and make your $20 bucks back plus some.

If you don't know us, I swear this is legit, and it will make a wonderful Valentine's gift for your man (because we all know Valentine's is not designed for the men) or your sensible woman (since we all know sensible women love football, not flowers that just die).

You may email me at if you would like a ticket or if you have any questions.

"How Dolly Parton Saved My Life"

So, awhile back, I told you I was reading "How Dolly Parton Saved My Life". Well, I FINALLY finished it. I know, I know. You'd think I'd read it over night with my creepy-crush-like fascination with the boobie girl, but I didn't. I got busy. Sue me.

Anywho, it was pretty good. It didn't have a ton of Dolly related material in it, but it was set in Atlanta, which was cool. It is about four women, Jo, Ellie, Daisy, and Cate, who start their own catering busy called Jelly Jar.

Things go up and down with both their professional lives and their personal lives. Jo tries having a baby, even though she has no time. Ellie finds out her husband and Jo had been engaged a while back, and that, along with other things, leads her to believe her marriage is over. It isn't. Cate goes down that I'm-with-a-man-I-love-but-doesn't-love-me road more than once, but finally seems to get it right by the end. Daisy gets to spend more time with her teen daughter (whom she had while still a teen, herself), and they grow much closer.

Dolly didn't come up a whole lot, but Daisy always had those "Dolly always says..." moments, which I liked. I don't know exactly why that is the title. It didn't seem like Dolly saved much of anything. They saved each other. And themselves. I am not usually for the girl-power, love story, bullshit books, but it was an OK read. If you like a quick read about stupid stuff, it's good to take your mind off things, but it isn't all that scholarly.

So, there, I did write that review, after all. And, you doubted me. Ha!

Happy Spa: We Love You Long Time!

From my ex-hometown newspaper The Banks County News*:

The Banks County Board of Commissioners revoked the business license of “Best Health Spa” for 90 days in a called meeting on Dec. 10 and placed the business on probation for an additional six months.

The action comes after several alleged violations, including “a massage of areas prohibited by the county ordinance” and the employee not being property clothed. The violations were cited by an undercover investigator with the Banks County Sheriff’s Office who went into the business on Sunday, Dec. 7. He was sent into the spa after it was noted by the sheriff’s office that the open sign was in place on the business on a Sunday. The county ordinance states that health spas can not be open on Sunday.

The investigator, speaking at the BOC meeting on Dec. 10, said a female, dressed in a bikini and wearing high heels, gave him a massage. He also noted that she massaged his “buttocks.” He paid $40 for the 30-minute massage.

The “Best Health Spa” is located at 152 Dallas Drive, below MVP CafĂ©, and it opened on Dec .1. The violations include the following:

•Massage of specific anatomical areas prohibited. No owner, operator or employee shall intentionally touch or massage or offer to touch or massage specific anatomical regions.

•Proper owner, operator, employee clothing required. Each owner, operator and employee of a spa/massage and bodywork therapy business shall wear clothing of an opaque material and it shall be unlawful for such person to fail to fully conceal his or her specific anatomical regions.

•Patron coverings required. Each spa/massage and bodywork therapy business shall provide to each patrol clean, sanitary and opaque coverings capable of covering the patron’s specific anatomical regions. No massage and body work shall be administered unless the patron is covered by such covering of the specific anatomical

•Hours of operation. A spa/massage and bodywork therapy business shall be closed between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and closed on Sunday.

•Application. The business application must be accompanied by a certificate or diploma from a recognized school as defined for each person working in the business of performing massage or reflexology.

I just think that's nothing but funny shit, right there!

*In case you are wondering why The Commerce News, The Banks County News, The Jackson Herald, The Madison County Journal, The Braselton News, and The Barrow Journal are ALL my "ex-hometown newspaper", it is because they are all owned and run by Main Street News, and many of the stories run in multiple papers. We read most of them, and they are all very closely located cities/counties.

Moral of the Story: You Just Can't Help People

From my ex-hometown newspaper The Jackson Herald:

"Two White County residents have been charged with Sunday’s murder of the youth
minister of Pendergrass Baptist Church.

"The body of Edward Frank Harris, Jr., 44, Clermont, was found off the roadway near a vacant house in Cleveland around 4 a.m. Monday morning.

"William Joseph Dyer, 21, and Jennifer Dawn Lineberger, 29, both of Cleveland have been arrested in the killing. Both suspects have been charged with one count of felony murder. Dyer has also been charged with armed robbery.

"According to published reports, Harris called his family Sunday night around 7 p.m. from the church to say he was giving 'some stranded people' a ride to Cleveland.

"Officers of the Cleveland Police Department are being assisted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland Office, the Office of the District Attorney for the Enotah Judicial Circuit, the White County Sheriff’s Office and the White County Coroner’s Office.

"Harris’ body has been transported to the GBI Crime Lab in Decatur for an autopsy. The investigation continues."

I just want you to realize that the drive from Pendergrass to Cleveland is nearly an hour. An hour. Each way. This man was kind enough to drive two "stranded" people an hour out of his way, just to drive an hour back. (I hope the Lord has a special place for such a man.) And they murdered him. In cold blood. And, for what, exactly? WHAT?! I hope to all things holy there is a special place in hell for these people. A very special place. May they rest suffer (in a fiery pit of venomous snakes, used hypodermic needles infected with AIDS, and rusty razor wire) in peace pieces.