Kenny Smith | blog


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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Today was a day for anonymity.

Took the car to the tire place. Had one going bad and time for a balance. Sat in the lobby reading, actually dozed in between blasts of the air-wrench. They finished my car and then the ladies working the desk sat there for about 10 minutes before I am he.

The upside, though, was that my tires got balanced, and a new tire put on for free.

Got home to no lights, no clocks, no computer. Called Alabama Power. Their motto is "Always on." Lately they are more right than wrong. But I guess the wind shifted directions. Called their trouble line (how do you do that if you only have a portable phone?). They called back a few minutes later. "This is the power company?" Which one? "We'll send a guy out." He comes out, shimmies up the poll, waves his magic wand and BEEP! Then he left.

Who needs names, contracts, signatures or invoices with customer service like this?

Made it to Wal-Mart, but not in time for the photo lab. Picked up Newsradio. Finally it is here. Now I have to put off watching for about three weeks. Though, more upsetting was the anguished hunt before finding it. You have Airwolf have you not anything sensible!?

Classes start tomorrow. I'm rebelling by staying up late (for me), eating pizza and watching Enemy at the Gates. This is the epic that wasn't. Still a nice popcorn movie. Though, years later, I still think the girl was laying on a rock or something.

Watch it, you'll see what I mean.

In closing, happy news: Kelly got a new job! Congratulations!

Monday, May 30, 2005

With the end of the holiday weekend I have returned home. Fresh from family fun, food and the matriculation of the younger brother from FCHS to BSU. Alphabet soup. It was inevitable.

On graduation I will say this: their superintendent used the same opening joke mine did a decade ago. And then he made great points that fell on the deaf ears of teenagers anxious to fling square hats into the air. The wisdom of 18-year-olds? The class President and Vice-President were actually quite thoughtful. For 18-year-olds.

I'm not old, but lately I'm pretending to be. What do you think?

On that same subject: I hope my sister's graduation, some five years hence, is a smaller class. Plastic bleacher seats, oy.

The flight home was a lot less interesting. On the way up the woman depending a bit too much on modern chemistry was sitting next to me. Rocking back and forth. Passing out. Coping a feel of me. Spilling her cheap airline wine. It was all around disturbing. But the return flight was much more sedate. Two nice people sat beside me and we marvelled at the sky. Hint: when travelling in the evening always sit on the side of the plane sitting to the west.

God is a painter.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

There is a party going on. A party for my brother. I am the most proverbial sore thumb in the place. Too young to hang out with the adults, too old and uncool to hang out with the no-longer-high school kids. Matt graduates tomorrow. Congratulations to you.

Had a great flight yesterday. The woman who can't really handle flying sat next to me. Here's a study in modern chemistry: take as many pills of as many different types and kinds as possible up to and after lift off and then order wine from the flight attendant. Nervously rock your body around. Make everyone in the back third of the plane alternately sympathetic and then annoyed at you. Spill your cheap airline wine everywhere. Play it off all casual as you leave the plane. Stagger up the jetway. Dear woman in 18-B on Southwest 1290: next time drive.

Brandy just had a birthday. Life is so hectic and scheduled that I wished her well from the airport. And then she called me today, and caught me at another airport. This is life; wherever it is. So, anyway, happy 22 to you. All downhill from here.

Talked to Fin yesterday. Get to see him in a few weeks around City Stages. All of this has to be planned. We may pass each other in a mass of humanity going from concert stage to concert stage. That'll be the easiest of all of the many appointments of life to keep.

Things are so busy I had to book a repairman to come to the house no earlier than three weeks out. Their customer service people weren't happy with me. But then why plan? That's when life is happening.

A lot of great fun. Really. Truly.

And now I'm being pressed into service to make a grocery store run.

Friday, May 27, 2005

In honor of classes -- set to begin next week -- I will now post notes scribbled between myself and classmates last semester. The greatest hits:
Me: Grad school.
Classmate: Home of Rock, paper, scissors.

On Martha Stewart's contribution to society:
Me: Maybe Martha Stewart isn't setting back feminism. Maybe the audience who need her to empower them to change a light bulb on their own are detrimental.
Classmate: I think - like anything - it is what you make it. If you want to taker as an evil woman sending others back to the kitchen you can. If you want to say she's empowering women you can do that too.
Me: I think - like most things - if you take the time to take sides and pursue this then you really need jobs or hobbies.

On a classmate's presentation:
Me: That's my favorite word of hers (a fellow classmate), "duh, duh, duh."
Me: She's in one of her listen-to-herself modes tonight.
Classmate: There's a little room in the back she can lock herself in and do just that. That goes for anyone who's like that. I'm not discriminating.
Me: Gotta love it when the person presenting uses the descriptive phrase "or whatever."

On seating arrangements:
Me: Did you notice how all the serious, educator types sat on that wall and all of us sarcastic screwball types sat on this wall?
Classmate: Are you calling me a sarcastic screwball????
Me: No. The other four of us.
Classmate: I was going to say that was the best compliment I'd gotten in a long time.

On one classmate's shirt, written in French. He would only say "If you can't read it that is kind of the point." The professor, from France, laughed at him:
Classmate: If that wasn't just the most blatant display of "I'm so much better than you."
Me: What? Did it say "I surrender?" How many words are there in French for that?
Classmate: You're just an English speaking peon.
Me: Nope. I speak Merican.

On Esperanto:
Classmate: Nice job. The two of us are keeping our mouths shut, unlike the three of you loudmouths.
Me: You're right, of course. Sorry. But I'm talking about Shatner!

On one fellow classmate's presentation:
Me: Doesn't "In conclusion" mean you're done?
Classmate: Not to him.
Me: This is eating away my brain.
He had six "In conclusions." I counted.
The worst 100 movies ever. What does it say about me that I have seen 45 of these? And even liked most of them.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

A perfectly even day; just right. That's life. Perfectly even with a slice of contentment.

Birthday extravaganza: everything an 80-year-old would hope for. Someone else is now reconsidering a surprise party for their elderly mother. So there was reminiscing -- an every day activity at that point, no? -- and story telling and "Oh my goodness look at that hair!" when it came time to admire the pictures of youth.

Since 1925, what must you have seen? Or been able to see? In the rural setting where the family lives the evolution of entropy is less noticeable. Life is judged by the seasons and the livestock and, eventually, the grandchildren. Everything else is gleamed from afar: newspaper, radio, television. Profound cultural contexts are a little more abstract and blurry from that distance.

So Bo lost on American Idol. This will turn out to be a win-win for everyone. But the jokes in the aftermath have been hilarious. Conan O'Brian, noted that they taped his show before the finale offered, "Congratulations hillbilly." Worked no matter who won. Richard Dixon can't wait to hear the winner's album, "Pitch smitch." Jay Willoughby was so disgusted he couldn't talk this morning. Good stuff.

Went to the library. The public library. For movies and not books. Finally got around to watching Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Not Rodriguez's best work. Frankly I'm not sure what that sentence means.

Went to Firebirds the other night. Good, but slow. Sat in the exterior portion of the restaurant where I said, "Its almost Aspen-y. Except for the strip mall in the background." Only later did I understand the vibe, when I saw the URL. The chicken and the shrimp were good. Someone needs to tell us about the prime rib. Try the peanut butter cake. An excellent recommendation.

Irony, defined.

Tomorrow: notes from class and worst movies ever.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

It is a great day. A day of sleeping in an extra hour. A day where the cashier at the grocery store somehow knows you don't want to talk; and so he doesn't either. A day where the police officer goes to pass you on the interstate, glances down at his own speedometer and then looks over you to mouth the words "Slow down" in an empathetic way as he begins to putter along for a while -- and thinking you've disappeared from behind him -- before zooming off at 80. A day of turning on the microwave for seven minutes and walking back into the kitchen to find that 6:58 has expired. This is today.

Lots of fun yesterday. A company day where we got to knock off a bit early. Enjoying the spring. Very muggy and rainy so I spent a part of the afternoon at the mall reading, trying not to fall asleep in the big cozy faux leather sofas. Incidentally, I love that website. Nice clean code. Fast loading. Attractive design. Nothing about it says "Come shop here."

I wonder how a multi-picture page would work around here. The last time I did that it might have went overboard. Too many pictures according to today's sensibilities. Longtime visitors will remember it was inspired by an album cover. Tighten up the white spaces, put about 20 thumbnails (all my pictures) in the center of the page and there you have it: my online self circa 2001. I wonder what the design-minded folks at work would say. When they discuss lesser pages they always condescend toward fashion. "That's so 1998." We frame everything within the experience of the experience.

I was thinking of that last night watching dads and kids file into Star Wars. I know there were people in there -- in an early showing, just after a storm, right at quitting time the theater was only thinly populated -- that had their lives defined by the brackets of Star Wars. I could be that person, but thankfully I am not.

I remember, very vaguely, seeing the first Star Wars at the theater. My mother says, and the timeline agrees, that it would have had to have been either a re-release or at the dollar theater. That's one of the few memories I have of early childhood. I was in college when the fourth first one came out. I'm approaching middle age now. All this prompts me to ask, "What took so long George?" Actually I couldn't care less.

And despite fears of another disappointing movie, two things stood out to drive home the larger point. Conveniently one was before and one was after the movie. (Brackets within brackets, my old algebra teachers would be so proud.)

I knew better than to worry about whether the movie would live up to the hype. The first five notes of the orchestra, that's all it takes. Always does. To have grown up in a time where those movies are such a pervasive element of society is to have that music transport you to another time and place.

Similarly, at the end of the movie, I was watching a kid examining all of these toys and collectors items these people had on display. A really great display, too. I'm mentally ticking off things in my head. 'Had that. Had that. Remember that. Always wanted that.' When a nine-year-old says, very exuberantly, to his dad, "I could stay here all day."

That sums up the whole experience of the galaxy far, far away. It was a nice closure on the saga (if indeed there are no more movies). So thanks, kid, for believing in the magic of movies and merchandising just as I stood there. Keep on dreaming.

The movie wasn't without its problems. I would have liked the final scene slightly reworked, just for drama. Moviemistakes.com has their list already underway. A thing or two I could add there. Ultimately I wish that this had been a five part story -- with the first two movies made as one, eliminating the fluff -- and shown in the proper historical order. And the dialogue, of course.

And also the guy sitting down the row to me. Captain Obvious this guy. "She's got the hair buns going on!" Really? Thanks for pointing that out, they don't occupy the full movie screen in that shot. "Look at the moles on Obi-Wan's head!" I'm glad you noticed that considering he's been in 65 percent of the shots. Good job there, guy. I'd decided by this point that if he said something about Yoda being green I was going to pick up my umbrella and make like a lightsaber on his head.

I'm not a complete Star Wars fanboy, but I do have a healthy appreciation for its importance and impact. That being said, I also agree with a lot of what Anthony Lane had to say in The New Yorker. That's a great, funny read. Linky appreciation: Outside the Beltway.

Since I worked today I have Monday off. This worked out nicely and allow me to spend time with my mother. She's in-state for a special family celebration Sunday. I can't say more, lest my now 80-year-old aunt decides to buy a computer, gets online and finds my site between now and tomorrow afternoon. Then the suprise would be ruined. Oh what the hey, Happy Birthday Aunt Hazel!

Friday, May 20, 2005

It is company picnic day. So naturally it is going to rain all day. So no golf, but at least I have plenty of books to read.

Anyway, before the picnic begins some of the coworkers brought their babies. Good thing Brian didn't bring Taylor or the cuteness factor in the office would have reached critical mass.

Blog stuff you don't care about: somehow the time stamps came back. Fixed that, but replacing the missing AIM function will come back later. Remember, you're supposed to tell me when you notice things break around here.

Right now it is off to Oak Mountain I go.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Work. Bank. Meetings; it has been a week of meetings. Sat in the sun sipping on ice water reading. Talking. Eating. Wrote about how to pay judges.

Some people saw Star Wars. I avoided hearing about it. (I don't want anyone to spoil it by telling me who Darth Vader is ...) Kelly sent us pictures of the Star Wars fans in Huntsville. Check out the al.com photo gallery. The early favorite is the one with the guy -- yes, the guy -- dressed as Princess Leia.

Overall another day that threatened to be nearly perfect.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Some things in life are challenging to put into words. Its best altogether if they are safely imprinted somewhere in the back of the mind, guaranteed to withstand the ravages of time. Moments that the cheesiest of commercials try to reach. A certain moment or heartbeat or realization. When the wind blows just right or the sun and the shade do just the right thing. A moment where every movement seems perfected in a way that deja vu couldn't remember. I had one of those moments this weekend.

How many of those do you think we all get in life? Surely I've had more than my share, but greedily I want more. The strongest addiction in the world.

Well, after dessert.

Spent Saturday in the yard working. But, since someone says I discuss that too much I'll just say the weekend wrapped up nicely with baseball. How do you beat that?

I had a really nice and long talk with a former professor this week. One of the challenging ones that you can only respect. She's leaving the program and we'll miss her. She's encouraging me to pursue a PhD.
(W)hy I thought you ought to consider it ... to be a doctoral student, you have to be, by nature, a person who loves to learn, and a person who loves to critique. There are many wonderful undergrads who love to learn, but lack the latter part of the requirement. That you can look at the world for knowledge, yet question how it became "truth" or "fact" or even "fancy" makes you an excellent candidate for Ph.D. level work.
This is all very, very flattering, but maybe I should get through this master's degree first. Dr. Mills is leaving UAB (so who knows how long that link stays up). UAB's loss -- and it is a big loss -- is UAT's gain.

I've been busy with the everydayness of life. It feels like I'm trying to pack four months of fun and errands and catching up on things into four weeks off from classes. Sorry. A few links I've meant to share this week:
The ultimate Birmingham story
An open letter to George Lucas
Who's up for blogging all of Star Wars?
Read Darth Vader's blog. Read it now.
And then read my latest screed at Fear, Folly, Politics. I take down teachers and their salaries.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Sun going down, driving and Sweet Baby James. Life never ceases to amaze with its many simple pleasures. Truly I am blessed.

Spring is abandoning us. Maybe it'll head north to our cold neighbors. Summer is coming on with a fury. Forget about me? Here's some heat.

More bowling Wednesday. I'm an extra in the work league. On my eighth game of the week -- three Monday, five Wednesday and my arm is still sore two days later -- I bowled a 171. Not bad for a novice.

Hit golf balls Thursday. The blissful noise of silence followed by "Ping!" Hit about 120 balls with Greg. First time out with the sticks in a long, long time. Good to be out in the sun. Then came the shade, sitting on a porch and talking the night away.

Thursday was the type of day that you hope to remember in the twilight. Friends at work. Ribs at lunch with friends. The driving range. Laughter and stories and odd bits of song filled the night air.

James Rockefeller had this to say:
Friendships are more than just a pleasure to the eye. They take our minds and spin them down a hundred different paths ... They stand for a job well done, a day well lived ... The stuff of dreams ... A bit of magic is a basic need in life, get it where you can.
He was talking about ships, but as he says, get your magic where you can.

Mentioned a few weeks back running into someone organizing the high school reunion. I'd given her my business card, now I'm glad I did. Got the envelope in the mail today. If anyone wants to go pretending to be me, send me an Email. State park picnic lunch, followed later by a civic center evening bash. The catch is that it is going to run you $50 by yourself or $75 as a couple. Actually the catch is you're paying that and bringing your lunch. And dining on hors 'doeuvres that evening. And a pay bar.

So you want me to pay for the chance to bring my lunch, buy your drinks and mingle with people whom I haven't felt the need to keep up with over the course of a decade. OK. Maybe I'll just pay the $3 entrance fee at the park and happen by. I won't, but I could. I already have plans for that day in the late summer. I'll be watching movies.

Actually I'll be doing that in my parents media room. I just realized that the reunion happens to fall on the same weekend as two birthdays. Shoot and darn.

Big Bo Bice fan? Check out al.com's photo gallery. Or, as we're calling it, the Boto gallery. All those pictures -- and there are some great ones -- were taken by Matt.

Hey, I was honorably mentioned in the latest Outside the Beltway caption contest. The days just keep getting better; think I'll start the weekend off with a trip to the library and maybe even the movies.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The excess of accessibility. I just sent my blog an entry from my cell phone. Go to go.blogger for details. I promptly erased that entry though because, really, I didn't have anything to say, other than to marvel at the extent of technological contact.

It begs the question, though, what do I have to say that badly that I must write an Email on my cellphone so that you can read it on my website via your computer? There's two ways we can go with this; 'Wow that's cool' and 'Should I be having something more to say?' It is cool. Inherently so. But is anything I can say also that cool? Should it be? Do I need new routines in life that give me those cool things to say?

I won't be using the go.blogger function often; it probably costs my cell plan more, but it is a neat little feature.

It's even easier than this satire on blogging addiction. I was just discussing this in passing a few days ago with a classmate. She's writing her thesis on something about weblogs, and her survey questions were lacking an addictive quality. It is out there. People can barely tear themselves away to watch television. Good thing there's no more must see tv.

You must also see this Diet Pepsi commercial. Funniest thing on the tube in a good long while. But the author of that piece seems a bit upset by the crass commercialism, the sell out factor of Yoda. The guy, old enough to remember the first Star Wars movies, as do I, and most likely grew up with the toys, as did I, is overlooking the intention of this set of movies: merchandising. The suggested subtitle for the prequels was, after all, "Daddy Lucas needs a bigger boat." Once you settle in with the fact that every store between you and the theater is overrun by action figures, stickers, collectibles, games, legos, cereal, clothing and more (phew) the more fun 30 seconds of diet soda shilling can be. But was Denis Lawson busy?

This should go over well with Terry. He's forever sharing with us his fortune cookies around lunch. Today the numbers are a little more interesting after we learn that in March 110 lottery players got five of the six numbers right, according to The New York Times:
That made them all second-prize winners ...

[...]

The second-place winners were due $100,000 to $500,000 each, depending on how much they had bet, so paying all 110 meant almost $19 million in unexpected payouts, Mr. Strutt said. (The lottery keeps a $25 million reserve for odd situations.)

[...]

"Our first winner came in and said it was a fortune cookie," said Rebecca Paul, chief executive of the Tennessee Lottery. "The second winner came in and said it was a fortune cookie. The third winner came in and said it was a fortune cookie."
All from the same company, who had been picking numbers from a bowl. They say they'll now randomize with a computer.

Here's two random things. Graduation time, invitations come in. College friends, my brother, etc. The long lost sibling sends one. I went and bought congratulations cards yesterday and thought about this for a long while. I think she and I have had one conversation in her whole life. Now she's graduating from high school, so I'm filling out a card full of best of luck sage advice vibes. Hopefully it will go over well. Or I'll just look like a hippy.

Others think I am a different sort of person altogether.
Classmate:The boss wants you.
Me: they all want me when it comes right down to it, don't they? What can I do?
Classmate: Be twisted. Because he thinks you are. He says "We need to get Kenny ... Because he's sick and twisted and creative and that's cool." So I said "I'm sure he'd help...for a substantial fee...."
They know my mercenary personality so well.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Scheduled to go to a baseball game last night, but the rain kept us away. Instead I felt 14, going to the mall, playing video games. The joys of youth. Before spending too much money on the shooter -- it had semi and full automatic even -- bowling became the plan.

On the way talked over there I talked to my sister for a while. About life and growing up and important things like that. Hopefully we'll make that a regular thing. She's fun to talk with when she wants to be. I asked if she had any questions about something -- I forget -- and she said, "Yeah, are dragons real?" Not really what I'd had in mind, but any time you can discuss the kimodo dragons, movie dragons or the Barcelona Dragons you're doing alright.

Got schooled in three games at the bowling alley. Had a good time, even if they children on either side were far better. Of course it took 20 minutes for their balls to get down the lanes, and they had those bumper things. The joys of youth. Got home at a reasonable hour. Tossed and turned for a long time. And today my arm is sore, must be all those spares I left open.

Didn't bowl a turkey, but in another sense I did get three in a row. To my complete and total disbelief my professors felt it necessary to give me more A's. I have friends that goldbrick about their tests and professors and bad studying, but somehow they manage to pull out A's constantly. I am not that person. I was genuinely stunned to see the transcript. I'll take the 4.0 as long as they keep giving them. Where do I sign up?

Monday, May 9, 2005

Classes are over for the semester. If this is repetitious it is because it bears repeating. Finally sank in over the weekend; I'm off until June.

A dozen words reviewing Friday night movie(s):
A Lot Like Love: Cute, if implausible, love story. The formula should be broken more often.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Loved the books, this didn't hurt the books, but left me empty.
Great time out though.

So the weekend was one of fun family frivolity. Went north on Saturday, had lunch with Kelly. Mom joined us. Kelly gave me two beautiful projects she'd worked on for her classes. She gets more talented each time I see her. One is a treatment of a picture she took in Key Largo another is of a statue. She's very creative in ways that most of us dare not dream. She gets more fun too. Except the Rosie Perez impersonation is getting disturbing.

Sat around with the grandparents and watched baseball. Sunk into their new leather coach. Hard to get used to it, as comfy as it is. Always makes me wonder where the old one is. The one older than me. The one with more mileage than me. Some changes are inevitable, no matter how many times the same upholstery comes back in style. I miss it. I have a shirt of the same pattern. I could hide for days in my grandparent's living room.

Church Sunday with the curiously detached relatives seen once ... well, ever. That's always amusing; what to say? A lot has happened since you saw me last, at six months. And what about you? Interesting to see how those conversations start and stop. Is the one thing you bring up the most important? Hardly. And then the nice old man or the nice old lady just walks away. Doesn't even drift, just marches off. There's lunch to be made.

That was at the country-style buffet. Good way to start a new diet. Just happened to glance over as the pie and cake cart drove by. I resisted, my family goaded -- they are great like that -- willpower prevailed.

After that another set of grandparents. Good thing I ate lightly the first time around because then I had to sit down for a second lunch. Just a piece of fish this time. And good.

I was struck by the darkness of that house. Middle of the day, warm, sunny, bright and inside the dark rode through the rooms. The house is its own shadow. Wood panelling and no overhead light in the living will do that for you. I'm sure, if I had ever noticed that before, that the darkness was neat. Now it just seemed oddly stifling.

That's still a kitchen table family. They sit around the table and discuss things. Still a novelty to me after all this time. We've always been the hustle and bustle type; now, for example, I don't even have chairs for my kitchen table. In the kitchen, though, was an embroidered tapestry with a calendar theme. One faux panel for every month. We're surrounded by butterflies and flowers right now, but I was struck by the autumnal months. September was represented by books. October had the Halloween theme. November needed Thanksgiving and there was Christmas at the bottom of the fabric. It moves just that quickly, doesn't it? And then its over in a flash.

From there I went to still another grandparent visit, sitting quietly in the warm air. A different sort of dark. Lighter, more introspective. Big open rooms allow the ticking clock to spread out. The open airiness intensified the frenetic pace of the pendulum, ticking every half second, a reminder of fleeting things. The floors long ago gave up the pretense of caring about styles of the outside world. Walls were warmly beyond retro. Pictures are everywhere, the mark of family-life well lived. Took some more photographs -- maybe some will get added -- and then it was time to head home.

Shrimp dinner. Catching up on the teevee. Catching up on the sleep. The diet is going well today, thank you. Two oranges and a handful of carrot bites. Lots of water. Tonight a sensible dinner. And then baseball.

I now have a list -- did I mention classes are over? -- of things to do this month. A work column and a play column. Later this week I'll do some of the work items and most definitely some of the fun. Because its gone in a flash.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Classes are over. What a week. Turned in 23 pages Tuesday. No telling how many times I re-wrote some of that stuff. Some people put in even more effort though, so I can't even begin to complain. Ten pages turned in yesterday -- literally as the professor was driving home. The semester is over. Off until June. Walked to the library to return some books and about halfway back on the return trip the feeling started descending. Heavy shoulders gave way to a light airy feeling. Today my body just feels whipped. Maybe I need a multivitamin.

So, yeah, no one's been around here in a few days. Starting to get dusty. Its on a long list of things to catch up on. My month off from school is pretty well defined with family trips and catching up on the usual business of living. Who knew so much of that could be put on the backburner while having a life?

Profound, no?

So nothing's been here. But I've been taking notes.

First, who has the worst marketing department in the world? The global warming people. (As an aside: that link is the people out debunking global warming, they got the URL, how brilliant is that?) Anyway, terrible marketing. Why? Because in the first week of May I've walked outside and seen my breath three times and -- I can't stress this part enough here -- I live in the South. Deep South.

Second, the NCAA is moving to a 12-game football schedule. Adding two games for playoffs would be detrimental to the "student-athletes" though. Whatever. This is plainly, clearly about money. So at least the alma mater has it right: make them home games, get that gate (something well over $1M per game). Play cupcakes if you have to. Only one problem here: where to schedule them in? Auburn is considering playing the game after the Iron Bowl. That's just wrong. The Auburn-Alabama should be the last of the year. Well, except for Auburn's bowl game, but it should remain the last game of the season for Alabama. Purists will agree. I'm just saying ...

It just occurred to me that I had several other notes open on my computer, but they were lost in the great afternoon crash. One about all-nighters and the other about the Seventh Circuit Court and more. Be assured they were sufficiently snide and halfway-witty.

Wednesday I took a break from the tiny bit of stress I was enduring from papers and work and sit out in my yard and read for part of the afternoon. Later I woke up to birds chirping and dogs barking. An afternoon nap in the shade. There will be plenty of chances to write papers, I'll never get that day back. It was a good trade.

This weekend is the first family trip of the month. Mother's Day. Reminds me of the old phone company commercial with Bear Bryant. "Have you called your mama today? I sure do wish I could call mine." Best commercial ever made. Hug your mom. Then do the dishes for her. Another good trade.

The pictures from April are up. Savannah, Tybee Island, Barons baseball and fireworks, gymnastics, Auburn baseball, Fin and the obligatory sunrise pictures are among the highlights. Ninety-one in all, busy month.

Sunrises, by the way, are the biggest perk for going to work early. Even better than no traffic. Still another good trade.

Well, more later, now time to celebrate the weekend. Movies!

Monday, May 2, 2005

The upside to working a weekend day is getting a weekday off. The weekday off was today, a Monday. The only downside being I've been sitting in front of the computer trying to write a paper. It is due tomorrow, marking the end to the best class so far in the grad school experience. Even still, May is a month off and not a moment too soon. Time for a break. Summer has two classes, three in the fall and then I'm through with the course work. Assuming all follows that plan, but I repeat myself.

I'm ashamed to admit this, but I finally got around to listening to one song off this CD. Luciano Pavarotti mixing it up with Tracy Chapman. Wow.

Had a conversation last night about growing old. (Since, apparently, I am.) A good friend wants all the things that come with it. Except the aches and the pains and the waking up all night long and ... well better not spoil it for the young ... So yeah, its coming. But age and the stuff we seek aren't necessarily causal. Despite the prevailing humor I am by no means old -- I mean I'm barely pushing 30 -- I just spend a lot of nights tossing and turning, in deep thought for lack of sleep. Surely I can be more productive, even in my old age.

Well, the shadows are getting long. I should get back to the books. Another beautiful day. Wish you could be here. We could have watched the wind blow the leaves and the sun bounce off the chrome from a neighbor's car around the bend. We could have stood in the breeze. We could have ran around in our bare feet in the cool grass.

I might have even talked you into writing on my paper.