Thursday, December 27, 2007

Glimmers of Hope

It's difficult for me to go home without thinking of New Orleans, since it was somewhat a second home for me as a young adult. And if one typically dances on tabletops and drinks dacquiris at 9 a.m. at their second homes - you do, don't you? - then I'm sure you'll relate to my feelings of nostalgia.

And since my friends Joe, Allen, John, and Chris reside there now, I'm happy to hear that things are marginally looking up. Each time I've visited since Katrina it's seemed a wee bit better, though there is still much to be done and it certainly isn't like visiting Disney World.

While I was home my mother encouraged me to watch this documentary DVD called "Hurricane On The Bayou." I found it most interesting and very compelling. The stories are all around us regarding the decimation of the wetlands at the mouth of the Mississippi River and what that has done to our environment. And because my company also has a division that sells mitigation banking credits for wetlands, and offers wetlands restoration, I was even more fascinated by the serious role of protective barrier from seaborne storms our wetlands portray.

Get thee to Blockbuster or add to your Netflix list. This is a really worthwhile investment of 45 minutes. Plus, you get to hear Meryl Streep narrate in her not-quite-Miranda-Priestly voice. Everyone wins!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tragic Christmas

I don't want to hear anyone bitching about their Christmas.

This story is downright frightening.

I returned from the Gulf Coast last night, having spent a fantastic morning and early afternoon with the family. In typical Mobile fashion we awoke to a heavy rainstorm and very cool temperatures, only to have it all blow out by noon and reach a really nice mid-60's. My uncle received a skeet thrower so most of the family was on the levee shooting clays when I left. I really wanted to stay and shoot but time was a factor.

Thankfully sugar free Red Bull was in the cards and reversed the effects of my two glasses of red lunch sleepy. My body will likely be in shock this week as it shifts from 4000 calorie-per-day constant grazing to it's usual you-don't-deserve-to-eat steamed veggie and mild protein existence.

I feel terribly for the victims of this tiger attack. Too many of these as of late. Makes me wonder if perhaps the animals are trying to say something to the world?

Friday, December 21, 2007

I'm On My Way, Just Set Me Free ...

... home sweet home!

(Was that Motley Crue or Guns-N-Roses? I don't remember. What I do vaguely remember is being at that concert. Come to think of it, it was the same concert. OMG, now I remember, yes, it was Guns-N-Roses opening for Motley Crue, ca. 1988. Shit. That's nearly 20 years ago. I haven't held a lighter up at a concert in YEARS. Note to file for 2008: catch a reunion heavy metal show.)

I am heading down to the coast tonight for MSJ's birthday party, and staying of course through Christmas. Will return to Ttown on Tuesday evening.

Merry Merry y'all!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

American Apparel

My new favorite place to shop is American Apparel. I thought I'd pass along their special offer for free shipping but the thing is, today is the deadline. I was not intending to buy 3 t-shirts and a tank top on Monday morning but their email offer enticed me and, voila, the next day it was here, no shipping charges! Merry Christmas to Robby Johnson from Ronny Thompson, the package said! Ronny is so thoughtful. I heart him. Really.

So back to American Apparel. I really want that gold lame' windbreaker but fear I might look like a homeless person or, worse, too old, so will respectfully forgo in lieu of something else. You should also know that my new skinny jeans are seriously, seriously, too skinny. I'm so mad I could chew nails and spit screws.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Cocaine

I had a vision come to me yesterday morning after I awoke from a highly-active dream sequence (as I did this morning). My new mantra is "Make My Dreams A Reality." I know, I know, it's not original. It's not even particularly catchy. But it is what it is and it's symbolic to me as it's clearing the way for me to stop thinking about what I want and start claiming what I want. I guess that's a normal part of evolving, right?

So 2008 is going to be about loosening the notch on my perfection belt and accepting that conditions don't have to be perfect or ideal in order for me to make an effort.

My friend TAN - a kindred spirit in this little town of uniqueness - and I had lunch yesterday. She is amazing and an hour flies by when we're together. She gave me a book entitled "Writing Down The Bones: Freeing The Writer Within," and I took it as a sign that my waking mantra was bang-on.

And today's mantra? Just say no to Christmas Cocaine Candy. You guys I'm not even kidding. The skinny jeans I bought at Urban Outfitters on Sunday called me fatty when I tried them on at home. They be like, "OOOOHHHHHHHHH, u ain't fiddina' wear me, Candymama."

Is it my dream to be a little fatty-fat hat? No. And so today I say no to CCC. No. NO!

Monday, December 17, 2007

We Have Got To Get Together ...

This is the photograph I alluded to a few weeks back. If you look to the left in the mirror you can see Derelicte working his magic. Just wanted to share the inspiration for my holiday greeting with everyone who reads my blog.

It's been a really active, interesting weekend. Some people I really love and consider family are going through a surreal experience and are in great need of pure thoughts and intentions, prayers, and commitments by their friends to offer their unwavering support over a horrid event that will not soon be erased from their existence.

I had the opportunity to hang out with many friends and it makes me feel warmth to have people around me who share this journey. As we wind down the final working week before Christmas, I hope everyone will remain compassionate to those whose burdens are heavy, and do whatever they can to make the load lighter.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Cup Runneth Over ...

I was going to post something about how much I have to do, blah blah blah, but remembered something more important that I received from a co-worker via email yesterday.

This is a true story. No need to go investigate snope.com. My co-worker came into my office late last week and confided in me how heavy her friend's story was weighing on her heart and how she wanted to do something to help. I am happy she sent the email out and wanted to share it here.

I am donating my former mobile phone, as well as getting some gift cards for the family this weekend. I have also recommended Dress For Success, which I know about because of my awesome friend KD Reep who does significant work with the Arkansas chapter of this organization.

If you're moved to the point of helping, please feel free to comment here or email me privately. I will put you in touch with my co-worker.

Just remember, no matter how bad we think we may have it, we really are all very blessed.

You might remember a deadly weekend of murders in Birmingham last month. On November 16, 2007, the Birmingham News printed the following:

Birmingham police find man fatally shot in Kingston areaNovember 16, 2007 10:54 PM Birmingham police are investigating a man's fatal shooting tonight in the 4400 block of 11th Court North in the Kingston area.Officers were called about 8:50 p.m. and found a man suffering an apparent gunshot wound. He was taken to UAB Hospital but was later pronounced dead. His name was not available.A green car in which the victim had been an occupant sat in a yard along 44th Street. Residents said a woman was seen screaming outside of the car when police and medics arrived.No further details were available. The death, if confirmed as a homicide, will Birmingham's 80th of the year.

The victim, Ashley Stratton, was a friend of our family. What the Birmingham News failed to report is that Ashley and his fiancé, Shelley, were out for a night on the town just days before their wedding. They left their two children, Dillon (2) and Joseph (8 weeks) with a sitter and were on their way to dinner and a movie. Unfortunately, they were low on gas and made a fatal decision to stop at the Birmingham Airport Exit to fill up. While there were still in the car, two men approached in an apparent robbery attempt. Ashley tried to put the car in reverse to speed away. One of the attackers fatally shot Ashley through the windshield. The car, with Ashley's foot on the accelerator, darted across a busy street before coming to a stop in a yard. Shelley jumped out of the car and ran around to the driver's side to check on Ashley. He took his last few breaths just moments after she opened the car door and he eventually died in the ambulance. Ashley, 30, worked a full-time job and attended college part-time studying electrical engineering. He was set to graduate in 2008. Shelley, 26, dedicated herself to staying home with their two children - Dillon, 2 yrs old and Joseph, only 8 weeks old. Ashley and Shelley were to be married on December 1st. This senseless tragedy has been so heavy on my heart. In addition to losing her fiancé and childrens father, Shelley does not have a job, is going to lose her apartment at the end of December, has no health insurance, no money and is truly in a dire situation. She was in the hospital for several days due to a mental breakdown. Family and friends are doing what we can to help her and the boys. In all honesty, both of their families have very limited resources. Nevertheless, they are helping as they can. I am sending this story to all of my friends and asking for any help you can provide for Shelley, Dillon and Joseph. If this tragedy touches you and you feel led to give, take a look at the list below and please consider helping this family. I am visiting Shelley next Thursday evening 12/20 to take a few presents for her and the children. I would love to give even more from others who share my sympathy and sorrow for the family. I simply couldn't go through this season without asking for help. Thanks for taking time to read this plea for help.

· Prayer - lots and lots of continuing prayer
· Christmas gifts for the boys§ Dillon loves Thomas the Train and cars; § Joseph - baby toys, soft books§ Clothing would be helpful for either (2T and 6-9 mos)
· Shelley will need appropriate clothing for job interviews
· Gift cards for groceries, Walmart, etc.
· Cell phone (new or used) and minutes (The police kept Shelleys for the investigation. They may have it for up to 1 year.)
· Food
· Help with rent, utilities, etc.
· Assistance with finding a job
· Assistance with locating childcare and paying tuition until she gets on her feet
· Any gift or donation, no matter how small or large, would be greatly appreciated

Please keep this family in your prayers.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The C-L

I need to sell Kiwi because he has been in Daddy's garage for 15 months now and you know, he really doesn't deserve that. He sent me a telepathic message last night and do you know what it said? "I know why the caged bird sings!" He did. True story.

So I have put his pics up on Craigslist and someone needs to buy him. I love him, but I am skeert to drive him over the river bridges here in Ttown - land of erratic drivers who would take a brother out while putting on their makeup and talking on their cell phones.

I will pay a referral bonus if you can help move Kiwi along. Email me for details!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday's Child Is Loving And Giving

I was born Wednesday, July 7, 19771.

Learn more about Wednesday by reading this Wikipedia entry.

Happy Hump Day, bitchez!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Wanna Know What Love Is ...



Recipe for Tears

2.5 - Wynonna Judd
.5 - Ashley Judd
1.0 - Naomi Judd
1.0 - Oprah Winfrey

Dim the lights, inject liberally with Botox, sing a cover song about heartache, and bring on the flood baby!

I LOVE me some Wynonna and think this performance was beyond amazing. She kicks ass.

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's Official ...

For me, the holiday season officially begins once I've heard "Feed the World" from Band-Aid. You remember that big charitable effort from 1984, right? Organized by Sir Bob Geldof to aid famine in Africa, it featured all sorts of Big 80's singers, like Wham!, Boy George, Duran Duran, Kim Carnes ... you name them and they were there. So, at my office they pipe in this Christmas music and the other day I was having a slash in the men's and what did I hear but "It's Christmas time, there's no need to be afraid ..."

And thusly it began.

I have also taken another great big step and drug out my Christmas tree and Christmas decorations. That's a long, long story but I have a friend who convinced me I needed to decorate, and I'm now glad I did. I had a brand new tree that I purchased Christmas, 2004, that was still in the box and I didn't want to unpack it because you can never get them back in the box correctly, and that's tough for an OCD like myself. But who cares, it's Chrimma booooyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Archives



As part of my search for my contacts file, I unearthed some Rhodey videos from the vault. And you know you have to watch them. Please people, please, no comments on my buggered up lead changes (or lack thereof). This was actually the first clean SJ trip I produced on him at Novice level and I was just focused on keeping my rhythm consistent and getting him to the right distances. And by right distances I mean pay no attention to the one I left out at the last fence. Granted, of the 100+ people who jumped that day, only the little boy on the pony and me, on my big 17hh+ Thoroughbred, did six in the five on the first line but hey, you start with an add you finish with an add. Those are the rules!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Contacts ...

I'm not even going to lie when I say even though I'm pretty sure I did copy/export my contacts from my PC back in Arkansas to a CD before I moved, I now I cannot find them. Please don't scoff or judge me since that was, in fact, 18 months ago. But it's Christmas and I'm trying to send some bitches a card.

Just email me your address if you're not currently obtainable through internet stalkingAnywho.com.

Muchas gracias!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Yellow Cake Batter

I have this friend who I'll call Ronny Thompson. And Ronny Thompson really does mean well. At least that's what he says. But interestingly, he also says he is a stress eater, and that sometimes he's over-indulgent and obsessive and definitely believes that if a little is good then a lot is better.

Which is why I wasn't surprised yesterday when he told me that he'd mixed up some yellow cake mix - leftover from a homemade Christmas gift project - and ate it for breakfast. And then had some more when he got home last night before dinner. Because Ronny Thompson LOVES him some yellow cake batter. My God, when we go to Cold Stone Creamery - twice each year because it's deadly on the calorie scale - he always gets cake batter ice cream with chunks of yellow cake and strawberries. I have to hand it to Ronny, he has excellent taste.

I did some Googling and found this reference to a yellow cake batter martini. Does anyone know the exact proportions to make this cocktail? I am sure one could/should only consume one of these potentially sick-inducing martinis but damn I, I mean Ronny, would love to try it just once.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Boot Camp

Lord have mercy, child, I have had me some weekendz.

I was feeling a little puketastic on Friday night so I had to regretfully decline an invitation to a performance of The Nutcracker, but am glad I did as a.) sick not good in crowded theater and b.) I felt mo' betta on Saturday morning.

I went to the pilates studio to practice, and the awesome that is Derelicte came by and took a few photographs of me for my Christmas card. Don't worry, it will be revealed soon ... all in good time! I just have to say that Derek is amazing and I am lucky to count him as a friend and creative comrade.

While there I agreed to do a new class that the studio owner is offering with a strength training coach from one of the local colleges. OMG, my butt is so sore, still! We did a pyramid build-up of a squat/shoulder press, from 1-10, so I did 55 squats with a toning ball on my back, then went out and power-walked a mile, doing all sorts of interval work (including hills) with that. We finished off with some plyometrics. Always a good way to shock your hiney into muscular engagement!

From that point on I was a shopping fool. I have effectively licked the holiday shopping - and not that I have much to do, thankfully, but I'm doing homemade gifts for co-workers and had to obtain lots of supplies/ingredients.

One of my friends invited me to a really rad party Saturday night. A huge movie screen set up in the backyard continuously looping National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, great food, including a spoof of the crazy old aunt's Jello salad complete with cat food, and fun people.

Yesterday I fired up the baking machine and finished the evening with my homegirl Nicola at our new Sunday beat, Chipotle. I'm about to burn some calories. If you've not downloaded my new favorite song - "I Want Your Soul" but Armand Van Helden, you're missing out!

Happy Monday and have a great week!

Friday, November 30, 2007

2008 Vacation Plans

Next summer, when your boy is turning what? 37, you can relax knowing he'll be doing it on a cruise ship in the middle of the Mediterranean with several of his very closest friends. That's right, don't hate. If I have to turn 37, then I'm going to have fun. Big numbers deserve big recognition, agree? It's all about scale.

We booked our rooms on the ship on Wednesday, and last night I bought a plane ticket. Which was more like a down payment on a house, but what is it the bumper stickers say these days? "Life is not a dress rehearsal." I'll fly direct from Atlanta to Barcelona on the evening of July 3, arrive in Spain on the morning of July 4, then we'll embark on July 5. The cruise ports in Marseilles, Florence, Naples, then onto Greece where we'll overnight in Mykonos and then spend a day in Santorini before returning to Rome, where I'll catch a plane and return to Atlanta.

And do you know that's only 9600 Delta miles? Dude, I thought it would be like, 25,000. I need more miles so I can get more free tickets. Daddy like a free ticket.

OK, just had to share my glee. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Live To Tell



Just in case you never saw this ...

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Chrimma ...

First things first, let's talk about my wants needs this holiday season. I need me a Springboard. And here's how you can get me one.

I am selling my elliptical machine and my Bowflex (holla! if you are interested in purchasing). My company offers a fantastic health club membership reimbursement benefit and I a.) would like to get a bed for the second bedroom that's serving as my gym so that I can more easily accommodate my family's visits and b.) really want to go to spin class.

It would be rock star awesome to have this Springboard on my wall, howevz.

In this season of giving, please remember those less fortunate than you. Your kind gestures are greatly appreciated.

Now, onto other things. I'm very excited to be decorating, mailing cards, and organizing gifts while listening to my Trisha Yearwood holiday cd this weekend. I have some really fun, neat gift ideas for my co-workers that I'm really looking forward to tackling. I am also going to assemble more care bags for West Alabama AIDS Outreach. I still have some money leftover from the first round, and when I took some clothing by to donate a month ago they said they could use some more.

What are your plans?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Candymama

I am probably going straight to Hell for sharing this story. I've honestly debated whether or not it is even appropriate to repeat. On one shoulder is the nice little white angel Robby (you know, the one that still has the golden halo of blond hair all hanging down into his face). On the other is the little red devil Robby. He's the one with the propensity to don a leather bondage mask at Halloween and raise a little. I'll let you guess which voice won out. Damn that Devil! Damn him!

So last night at tutoring my learner was having a great night. Her skills have really improved in the six months we've been working together. We were talking about our lesson content - a story about a class having a potluck party - and we got off on the sidetrack of Thanksgiving. She told me about her sister - who is big, apparently - and how she has what sounds like a really horrible compulsive over-eating problem. Innocently, my learner referenced her niece, who is the daughter of this sister, by calling her "Candymama."

I couldn't let it go.

"Candymama?" I asked.

"Yes," she said.

"Is that really her name? Candymama?"

The grin in her bright eyes told me she wasn't lying.

"What kind of name is Candymama? Is her first name Candy and her middle name Mama?" I probed.

"No, her middle name Latriece. Candymama Latriece."

I am sure she's a lovely child. But seriously, I am not sure I could call her by her name without laughing.

Could you?

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Time For Thanks

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend. In typical Robby fashion, I spent mine fluttering around like a hummingbird. From Memphis to Little Rock, back through Memphis and then returning to Tuscaloosa, it was a very active 72 hours. I got to visit with lots of my "friend family" and that was very special. I wish I'd had the chance to see more, but will make that a priority for the next trip.

On another sad note, my dear friend Lisa who resides near Roanoke, Virginia, lost her horse Ozzy yesterday in a very freak pasture accident. Ozzy apparently broke his neck right behind his skull and died instantly. Lisa bought Ozzy as a foal and had done a spectacular job bringing him on. She and I were teammates at the 2005 Chronicle of the Horse Adult Team Championships in Lexington, Kentucky. Our team, "Team Tilt," won the Novice division, leading from the dressage and adding no penalty points through the cross-country or show-jumping. It was very competitive but we managed plenty of time to drink sangria and practice drunk yoga on the beds of our mirrored-wall hotel room. My heart is aching for Lisa. Ozzy was special and his loss is great.

I am thankful that Lisa had the chance to enjoy so much success with Ozzy, and I'm thankful I had the chance to rub his soft nose and laugh at his playful shenanigans.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

AbunDANCE

I tried to snag an image from their site but damn that Flash and its little "You ain't fiddina snag me!" self.

Anyway, maybe this link will at least get you there for a minute. Try to refresh until you get to the banner for AbunDANCE.

When the ballet mistress told me about this performance I got really excited. I love creative expression that not only embraces religion, but also pushes the envelope with it.

Combining dance with Islamic, Jewish, and Christian religion, to me, is brilliant. Whether or not the Baptists will agree is a totally different story. I will, however, be there for the performance. I'm already marking my calendar!

I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving. Remember, we all have much to be thankful for, even if we are remiss in recognizing it. There is light in the darkest places.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Oh Snap!

This story makes me bristle.

This story makes me smirk.

Conservative America I have two words for you:

GET RIGHT!

Monday, November 19, 2007

King Of The World

OK er'body ... I am officially trained on teaching the Essential and Intermediate Stott Pilates Method on the Reformer. Now I just have to complete a bazillion hours of observation, physical review, and practice teaching before I can test for my certification.

Here's a pic of me doing back split (thanks Nicola!) during this weekend's training. In this exercise the rear leg stays straight while isometrically engaged, and the front leg bends to move the carriage in and out.

I'm looking forward to being trained to teach the matwork in February (3 weekends in Memphis), then will test (hopefully in June) for certification for both Reformer and matwork. Then I'll be Robby Johnson, Stott Pilates Certified instructor. Yay!

The 2009 goal is to train on the Cadillac/Chair/Barrel. At which time you can bring your broke ass home and I will twist you into a pretzel in the studio and you will love me when I'm done.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Eleanor Brennan: 1986-2007

I was saddened when I read this news.

Eleanor Brennan was my email/online forum/Facebook buddy for many years. I met her in person once, at The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in probably 2004, and she was such a charming, warm girl.

Please visit her site to learn more about Eleanor. She will be missed.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Return To Life

It's my final weekend of training for Essential and Intermediate Reformer via Stott Pilates. I'm really excited about it and continue to get more engrossed with the work. So much so that I have decided to pursue my matwork training in February, then hopefully will be trained on the Cadillac/Chair/Barrel at some point in the next year or so.

The Intermediate work is really fun to do - it's intense and challenging. My new very favorite exercise ever is one of the mermaid series on the box, called "Bow." It's the extreme oblique workout. Lovez it!

I just purchased Joe Pilates' classic "Return To Life Through Contrology" and cannot wait to give it a read.

Speaking of reading, I finished Armistead Maupin's "Michael Tolliver Lives" last night at 11:30 (I forgot that I shouldn't drink a SF Red Bull at 7:00 if I want to sleep), and the new book I'm going to read is called "Bird of Another Heaven." I started reading it at the library last week when I was waiting to tutor. I'll post a review when I finish it.

What are you reading? MSJ and I are always looking for new titles!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sand In My Shoes ...

I have been redonkulously busy since returning from El Mejico last weekend, but my head is still there. Definitely the signs of a good vacation.

This is one of my favorite songs from Dido.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mentor

Now that I live in a university town, with a very active student chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, I have had an opportunity to visit with the chapter on several occasions. Once was last Spring, when a few other professionals and I gave resume critiques, and last night we shared our portfolios with them.

I saw two of the students in Philadelphia last month at the International PRSA Conference, so it's really been fun to move into the role of mentor and I'm eager to help them as they begin to grow their careers. You know me ... I love to tell people what they should think/do/feel/say. And how they should look while they're doing it. I mean, that is The Essential Robby Johnson!

All kidding aside, my new assistant begins today and I'm a little anxious. I always want to make sure I don't fail someone as a boss.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Return Of The Pomegranate ...

I heart me a pomegranate like whoa.

My adult learner couldn't make it to tutoring last night, so I sucked it up and went to the grocery store. Mostly because I wanted to use my Baggu bags again, even though the young punk doing the bagging tried to hate on me, and if you think I didn't bust out my big 36 and give him a friendly-but-authoritative tongue-lashing, you're wrong. Just because you grew up in the ghetto doesn't mean you cannot be - or at least respect - green, my brother.

I was thrilled, however, to see that quality pomegranates were in the hizzouse! I had to buy two, at $2.99 each so they were 10% of my grocery bill, but they'll be worth it, just like I'm worth it, dammit!

I have the Vacation Chubby to sort out prior to Thanksgiving. You can only eat so many guacamole and chips before your PermaBelly v.2.0 is like "Oooooh, my my my, we must be in upgrade mode."

Uhm, no. No, we're not.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hurry Back To The Land Of The Living ...

Greetings and salutations amigos!

I am back in Alabama and marveling at the wonders of modern travel. There it was Saturday, mid-morning, and I was sipping champagne in lovely Puerto Vallarta, only to find myself a few hours later in the washing machine cycle of US Customs in Atlanta.

Because I have the world's most generic name, I got flagged during one part of the process and had to sit in a waiting room for 30 minutes before an agent finally called me up and asked:

Agent: Do you live in Ohio?
Me: No.
Agent: Have you ever lived in Ohio?
Me: No.
Agent, returning my passport: Have a nice day.

I was ready to shiv a bitch but I counted my blessings, endured going through security once more, and finally was able to get my shit, get in my car with my friend who came to collect me, and made it to another friend's house to sofa crash. I was out of Atlanta yesterday morning by 7:15 and back in Tuscaloosa by 9:40 - the miracles of sugar-free Red Bull and an empty interstate - and threw my baggage in the floor, took a shower, and then set about another 1:15 drive to Thomaston where I met my mother and father at the Alabama Rural Heritage Center to pick up Maddie!

I was so happy to see her little fat self. Her MeMe has been feeding her well - I swear she's gained five pounds. We had an awesome brunch at the bistro there, did some browsing at the studio (they have really amazing folk art and crafts), and home by 2:30.

It was a lot to do in a day, but also really fun and while my apartment needs serious Consuela time, the good news is that I actually feel pretty relaxed and chill as we enter the holiday season. Just what the doctor ordered.

I miss my vacation buddies already and hopefully will be in touch with new friends in the very near future!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Estoy en El Mejico!



Greetings y'all.

I am in Mexico and I'm having a fantastic time.

One of my friends shares my strong penchant for Stupid Pool Tricks and yesterday I was giving him a Roblates session on the pool island, when this bloke came up and told us about 90 degree push-ups.

I'm speechless. I do not see these being added to the Roblates essential repertoire. And now I'm off to do the elliptical machine. I will post some pics later.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mexico: II

Just a note to say I will try to blog a little from Mexico next week. I'm taking my laptop so I can get a little bit of quality work done (my office is ridiculous when it comes to distractions), but not to worry - it's not MUCH work. I can devote a few early-morning hours to organizing myself professionally, as I do that every morning anyway.

Look for something next week!

PayPal is Ca-Ca ...

I'm just doing my part to spread the word here ... if you use PayPal I would highly recommend you break-up with them. They're sort of a whore about breaking-up - there's not a really obvious way to do it on their site. No "It's not you, it's me," no "Just quit calling, you sociopath," no splashing of a glass of water in their face after which you storm out of the restaurant or, for that matter, no running through downtown Dallas to a Ramada Inn with only your Exxon card wearing a white leisure suit. But whatever works for you in break-up scenarios, you must do something.

About a month and a half ago I checked my bank account online - something I rarely do because quite honestly, I'd just rather not know. However, upon inspection, it appeared I was getting billed by PayPal $13.90 oh, every 10 minutes, for a Skype related charge. Now look here, I don't even use Skype and I damn sure didn't give anyone access to my PayPal account. I never open phishing emails or anything like that. Fortunately I only had 3 charges but am sure I'd have had 30 had Fate not forced me to check my account that Sunday morning.

I will say PayPal was excellent in resolving the matter for me and put the cash back into my checking account but where stuff like that is concerned I'm very much a once-bitten twice-shy kind of guy. Plus, a few weeks earlier my friend Walt had his checking account completely obliterated by PayPal which was all the more reason for me to say "ahhhhhhhh, feck it!"

I removed both of my attached checking accounts from the PayPal account, causing them to tell me that doing so would make me "unverified" but quite frankly I don't care. Goodbye PayPal. I really do wish you the best and hopefully you'll meet someone one day who will make you happy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Stroke of Luck



If you know me, you know I love Shirley Manson/Garbage. I have loved them since 1995, the very first time I heard "Vow" on the alternative radio station that broadcast from Pensacola. I am sure my BFF T will recall this station since we listened to it day-in/day-out until it switched formats nine months later, rendering us speechless - almost as bad as when they switched the airtime for "Santa Barbara" from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. after the Seoul Olympics and we had to skip school at least once a week to catch up on our story.

But anyhoodle, 1995 was pre-Google and I pretty much kept a vigil around the radio until I heard "Vow" again, and once the song/band was introduced and my ears had recovered from the serious volume blast I made a beeline to Peaches, called my BFF T from my big handheld "car phone" that was mounted in my car with a cord because, you know, I was so kew, and am pretty sure I proceeded to play it at least 600 times in a row. OK, maybe not in a row. It was in my 3-disc carousel with Hole's "Live Through This" and likely something like Radiohead or Seven Year Bitch or Belly just to mix it up.

I love this song and you know I'm going to do you right by including the lyrics as well. Enjoy!

"A Stroke of Luck"
by Garbage

Hanging by threads of palest silver
I could have stayed that way forever
Bad blood and ghosts wrapped tight around me
Nothing could ever seem to touch me

I lose what I love most
Did you know I was lost until you found me?

Stroke of luck or gift from God?
Hand of fate or devil's claws?
From below or saints above?
You come to me

Here comes the cold again
I feel it closing in
It's falling down
And all around me, falling

You say that you'll be there to catch me
Or will you only try to trap me?
These are the rules I make
Our chains were meant to break, you'll never change me

Here comes the cold again

I feel it closing in
You're falling down
And all around me, falling

Stroke of luck or gift from God?
Hand of fate or devil's claws?
From below or saints above?
You come to me now

Don't ask me why
Don't even try

Stroke of luck or gift from God?
Hand of fate or devil's claws?
From below or saints above?
You come to me

Here comes the cold again
I feel it closing in
It's falling down
And all around me, falling

Falling...

Monday, October 29, 2007

It's A Nice Day To Start Again ...

You've heard tale of MSJ, and here is photographic evidence that she does, in fact, exist.

The retirement party was a smashing success and so well-executed ... definitely the result of a lot of hard work and effort by my sister and my cousin Vickie (MCV), who rocked their leg warmers hard core and I know are feeling 10 pounds lighter now that this milestone festivity is behind them.

Our karaoke DJ sucked it on the DJ side of his bidness, but we still had fun singing and, can I just say, offered up a really authentic version of "Love Shack."

My BFF since the 8th grade came, and we had crazy mad fun laughing at each other in our costumes - both of us wearing fake hair that itched like whoa. And finally my brother, and our two neighbors from childhood (also brothers) got down with a great rendition of David Allen Coe's "You Never Even Call Me By My Name."

Fun times!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Miracle ...



I love this song and was reminded of it when we were leaving a bar in Philly last weekend. (The dance remixes are pretty flawless and I don't use the "f" word lightly.)

I love Pet Shop Boys and got to see them in 2002 at a small venue - The Bronco Bowl, who remembers The Bronco Bowl? - in Dallas. I was on the second row and it was like we were in the garage or something. So awesome.

I had a better day yesterday and you know why? Because I freaking wrote a plan and got some shizz done. Looking forward to a fly weekend and wearing my Billy Idol costume. It's pretty hysterical, I must admit.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This Just In ...

I read this article on stress this morning and had to laugh a little.

It's heavy on the bad news, light on the good. If there are so many things one can do to relieve stress, why not focus on those activities? I need all of the help I can get.

I am over-stressed. My job is sorta ridiculous right now and unfortunately my buddy Derelicte had to witness me crack-out yesterday and I feel terrible about it.

I leave for Mexico on 11/3 and I am doing absolutely NOTHING over the entire week I'm there. It's going to be all about my books and my earbuds and many, many naps.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Darfur

Mia Farrow, actress and humanitarian, spoke at the opening assembly at this weekend's PRSA International Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

She spoke candidly about her experiences over six visits to Darfur (Sudan) and eastern Chad, in Africa. To say it was riveting would be an understatement. I have never been moved to tears listening to a third party recounting devastation and tragedy, but I was on Sunday. Mia is right - 500,000 people have been slaughtered in this horrid genocide and the rest of the world has basically done nothing to assist.

This woman, called Hawa as that is what all women who have been victims are called, was fleeing a raid with her baby on her back. Her baby was shot and killed, and the bullet penetrated her back. Mia said she told her, "But it is the wound in my heart that is killing me."

There were many similar stories shared over the 2 hour presentation. I highly encourage you to read www.miafarrow.org to learn more about the serious human rights violations in Africa, and to learn how you can use your voice to bring awareness to these unspeakable crimes.

Friday, October 19, 2007

PR PR Persons' Awards Dinner Of the Month Lunch ...

I will be leaving tomorrow morning for Philadelphia - Pennsylvania, not Mississippi as many people around instinctively think - to attend the 2007 PRSA International Conference. I will return on Tuesday evening but am pretty sure I'll take my laptop so don't discount a blog or two while I'm there.

I attended this conference in 2003, in New Orleans, and was very impressed with the quality of programming, as well as the serious recharge it gave my professional batteries. I made two contacts in New Orleans with whom I've developed friendships and am still in regular contact, and of course hope to meet more this round.

Life in TTown has made a serious upward turn this week. I have met some very interesting new people.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Vital Idol

I had a hard time getting buy-in from mi familia on the "Dallas" cast idea for Mom's party. I personally think MSJ could rock the whole Sue Ellen look but finding a turquoise 70's muchacho leisure suit so I could be Bobby began to be stressful. So I caved and bought a Billy Idol costume because if you think I don't didn't love me some Billy Idol, you're wrong. Honey, I knew every word to every song. MSJ and I would rock out to "Dancing With Myself" every morning on the way to school, before she wrecked The Roach. Then we were car-less and had to ride to school with Michelle Cook who, can I just say, wasn't so much fun, but we were nice because it was a car ride to school and not the cheese. Sometimes, if she wasn't going to drive the next day, she'd say, "I hate to be the barrier of bad news." And I was all Daria-like in the backseat and would just think to myself, "bearer," but that was 20 years ago. 20 years. Shit.

FF to 1995 when vinyl clothing became all the rage. I had some black vinyl pants that I bought in New Orleans when I went to see Alanis Morrisette's kickoff club tour at Howlin' Wolf. A few months later I bought this black vinyl zip-up shirt in Los Angeles and within days I thought, "These are such great costume pieces ... to the back of the closet you shall go!" Mainly because vinyl clothing doesn't breathe. I do think I still have my maroon vinyl Airwalks. Note to file: check shoe box. Good God I'm ADD this morning and this post is all over the place! Anyhoodle, I loaned Black Vinyl to a friend in Texas for her doctor husband to wear to a big costume gala. He went as Billy Idol and was all kinds of glam. Sadly, however, I lost my vinyl clothing when I moved. And by lost I think I threw it away.

And so I have an online cheesy costume, but that is OK. It will still be fun. And I can always accessorize.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

No Speed Limit, This Is The Fast Lane ...

The first album I ever bought was Stevie Nicks' "Belladonna." I was 9 years-old and saved my allowance for a month. My mother thought it was way too mature for me but I had to have it and recall having one or two "But Moooooooooommmmmmmmmm" fits before she succumbed. I was transfixed the first time I heard "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" on the radio and apparently was literate and resourceful enough to determine who sang it, and what it would take to hear more.

While the title track was never released as a single, it's still one of my favorites 26 years later. I constantly wish for things to slow down but that doesn't seem to be intrinsic to my composure.


You can ride high atop your pony
I know you won't fall...
'cause the whole thing's phoney.
You can fly swingin from your trapeze
Scaring all the people...
But you never scare me

Bella donna...
And we fight... for the northern star

No speed limit... this is the fast lane
It's just the way that it is here
And you say... I never thought it could

Bella donna... we fight...
For the northern star

And the lady's feeling
Like the moon that she loved
Don't you know that the stars are
A part of us
And the lady's feeling
Just like the moon that she loved

And you say... I never thought it could
Bella donna
Come in out of the darkness...

You are in love with...
And I'm ready to sail...
It's just a feeling...
Sort of captures your soul

Bella donna...

And the woman may be awestruck
And the woman may truly care
But the woman is so tired...
So the woman dissappears...

Come in out of the darkness...

Bella donna... my soul...

Don't change... baby please don't change
And you say...
And your face becomes thin
You never thought it could
Come in out of the darkness
Bella donna...

You are in love with
And I'm ready to sail
It's just a feeling

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Haute*Nature

As many of you know, I'm often forced to go to the grocery store. And by often I mean sometimes. If sometimes means you're standing in your kitchen wondering if you could boil the contact paper on your shelves, add a little Tony Chachere's, and call it dinner, then you know I'm there twice a month.

However, you'd think I went daily if you saw the volumes of plastic bags I have in one of my tiny cupboards. First things first, I'm an old school grocery bagger. Picture it. Delchamp's. Mobile, Alabama, 1987. At 17 I was the grocery bagger boy. Did I hate that job? Of course. Did I learn how to properly bag groceries? I did indeed. You have to "start with a box," and honestly, today they just put like 1-2 items per plastic bag. I know, I know, I could - could, I say - bag my own groceries but that would take away from me reading InStyle or OK in the aisle, and why should I do their job for them? That's my time, I tell you. My time!

Sorry, a digression and vent there. Point of this post is that Blogger recommended some green blogs today, and I loved the name of this one, Haute*Nature. I totally am buying a couple of Baggu bags.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Seasonal Allergies ... ugh!

Nothing defrays a "Let's get a lot accomplished" plan like seasonal allergies. And if you think I didn't have to break down and take a Zyrtec yesterday, you're wrong. I might as well call them my bitch pills. They make me tired and ornery. Clean up the ol' schnoz? Sure. Is it worth it with all of the funky trippy dreams Zyrtec brings with him? Not really. I'm still tired and I slept 8+ hours last night. Oh well, more lemon tea for me. No rest for the weary.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Songs of Mass Destruction

I highly, highly - no, really, HIGHLY - recommend everyone run out and download or purchase Annie Lennox's new album, Songs of Mass Destruction.

It's truly a gift and I cannot stop listening to it.

I went out and played last night with the stunning and supafly Miss CC, ran into my buddy Coleio and we got our picture snapped by the Zoom! girl at the local newspaper, and am totally shucking off cardio this a.m. I will do it tonight and I will do it for an hour because there are calories to be burned, yo.

Note to self: Transfer Annie to MP3 before tonight.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Grateful Dead and Bleeding Gay Ears

Last Wednesday morning my friend and photographer Derelicte and I were heading out of our hotel in the ATL for Canada to do a photo shoot.

For some reason we were talking about music and he mentioned his late teens/early adulthood and being into The Grateful Dead.

I had a really visceral reaction that included wincing and maybe even an audible groan.

Derelicte said, "I know, Gays hate the Grateful Dead."

Why is that?

I can only admit ever hearing one of their songs. And it was wretched and I hated it in a way that is really unhealthy. It was a song called "Touch of Gray" which I think was some sort of comeback effort for them in the late 80's.

I'm getting the heaves just thinking about it and all I can say is "Jerry Garcia, you may've gotten an ice cream flavor named after you but you are no Siouxsie."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Lexicon

I am constantly attempting to improve my vocabulary. I love words. I especially love having word options. Por ejemplo, I could've just said "For example" but instead I chose to go Spanish because that's the mood I'm in. What fun is a conversation when you can engage in a dialogue? Why do crunches with your spine in imprint when you can do them in flexible bias? (Note: you really should do them in neither ... maintenance of a neutral spine is ideal.) See, it really does pay to enrich your word power.

As part of my ever-expanding vocabulary I've added 3 new words to my lexicon. Feel free to adapt and incorporate them.

Bitchgasm - n. What happens when we lose our patience and get confrontational with an opponent.

When the Delta baggage representative told me my 50.5 pound bag was half-a-pound too heavy and would cost an additional $100 to ship, I had a total bitchgasm.

Suckgasm - n. The culmination of a suck collective.

I am not sure her poor horse could be any less talented, though her ability to fling herself up onto its neck and pray for a distance only increases the intensity of their big suckgasm.

Assgasm - n. sometimes adj. A consortium of bad ideas, individuals, ugly misfit items, etc.

Honey she thought that silk Versace shirt ca. 1997 would work with those 2001 Missoni pants. Wrong. That outfit is a total assgasm.

OK, everyone use these new words in a sentence of your choosing in the comments section. Enjoy!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Leafy Leafy




















I'm back from Canada, eh!

Do you ever read those Visa/Mastercard ads that suggest these really ridiculous things one should do prior to dying? Like, "Run with the bulls in Pamplona," or "Make out with Pam Anderson?" (OK, OK, I made that last one up.) To that list I should add "See peak leaf change in the Northeast." Wow. It was so spectacular and rich with color that I would sometimes find myself wondering if we were really in the present or if we'd been transported to some sort of Willie Wonka world of Technicolor.

Speaking of Willie Wonka - we describe the food at our lodge as "hearty." And by hearty I think that means "heart attacky." What's the one thing you don't offer Robby Johnson? Dessert, I hear those in the know offering up? You're right! Because I don't turn it down. And when you give me three options per meal, guess what ... that's three options this here Leona Helmsley I Want It All homey is going to invoke.

I really wanted to see a live moose while we were there but had to settle for a moose statue in Doak, and saw some moose tracks when we went out wingshooting one morning. My co-workers were awesome as was my photographer. I'll post more on that this week.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

We are having an "80's Ladies" theme party for my mother and her sister, in honor of their retirement(s). It's the last weekend of October when most will be celebrating Halloween, so we're all dressing up in 80's costumes. I still don't know 100% what mine will be, though I think my brother and I might go as JR and Bobby Ewing. Even though "Dallas" was very early 80's, I freaking loved it. I remember being in the 6th grade in like, 1983, and just being glued to the TV every Friday night. Mostly because I thought Lucy Ewing was awesome - I mean, who else gets kidnapped and forced to sing "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" at a Lubbock honkytonk? Lucy Ewing, she who also got engaged to closeted homosexuals! Lucy who was so wild she couldn't live in California with Gary and Val.

OK, here are some inspirational videos. What other costumes might you think of?


KT Oslin


Dallas


Olivia Newton-John

Monday, October 01, 2007

Blame Canada!!

I survived my first weekend of pilates training! We are nearly through the Essential repertoire of exercises, and will begin learning the Intermediate when we reconvene in two weeks. I really enjoyed the training and it's shifted the way I think about the work in a very positive way. I will never get rich being a part-time pilates instructor but I will be happy if I can help people find the joy and connection I find when I exercise. If anything I get to say words like "develope," and "envelope," both 4-syllables and very French. I haven't decided yet or not if I'll take a dressage whip into class with me. Probably not, but don't hold me to that. You know I don't like repeating myself and if I say develope, bitch, you'd better develope. Got it?

As a sidenote, I am training to certify through Stott Pilates, based out of Toronto. I love me some Toronto. I have been there twice and am excited to think that my future may hold other visits as well, though it is my intention to test (by May) at the instructor's studio in Memphis.

I will be leaving for ATL tomorrow night and flying out Wednesday morning to New Brunswick, to do a photo shoot at my company's lodge there. I have a slammed October on the books and am not in love with being out of the office for 3 days but duty calls.

How was your weekend?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Moth Haiku

Brown moth on my bed
I did not hear you come in
Damn I slept really well.

OK everyone, by the time I post Monday morning I will have been through weekend one of Pilates reformer training boot camp. Hopefully my core will be so sore that I will barely be able to walk. I love Pilates. It's so masochistic.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

How Would U Feel?

Over the years I've not really paid attention to who actually remixed the songs that I like. However, I've recently begun to do that and one of my favorites is David Morales.

I highly recommend his album "2 Worlds Collide," and if you're wanting to dig deep into your mid-90's vault, definitely add his mix of Toni Braxton's "You're Making Me High" to your cardio playlist.

Good stuff.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Inner Thigh Connection

ई स्ट्रगल विथ पेर्फेक्शन।

OK, I haven't written in Sanskrit in awhile. I have, however, done a few things in that span of time so I don't feel too badly and, seriously, if I knew that was really full-on legible Sanskrit, I would have it tattooed on my body somewhere because it says, "I struggle with perfection."

And so it is with pre-rollup, an exercise done in Pilates on the mat. What this woman will successfully do is slowly nod her chin to her chest and raise up, carefully articulating her spine so that one vertebrae lifts in sequence beginning with her neck, moving to her thoracic spine, and finishing with her lumbar spine. The motion will be reversed on the way down.

It is very hard to do and I will freely admit that I cannot do it for shit. I get like 1/4 of the way up and stall. I did learn, however, to put a yoga block between my thighs because if you squeeze hard enough and make that inner-thigh connection, you will connect to your pelvic floor and actually be able to use the transverse abdominus to lift yourself up.

Well, a yoga block and 30 lb. dumbbells over your feet, but hey, small steps right?

I will say that with my modifications, I can successfully do pre-rollup and that in just 2 short weeks I am seeing results in my lower abdomen. My goal will be to eventually be able to articulate with no props.

So, right now I have developed upper abs, developing lower abs, then the area I like to call Kansas because it's not New York and it's not Los Angeles. Kansas must go. Kansas is where my Permabelly v2.0 resides. I will smoke the bitches out come Hell or high-water!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Roll Tide ...

I'm going to admit something that, in this town could get you shivved ... I have never really been an Alabama fan. I'm an Auburn guy. I like me some veterinary school and War Damn Eagle. Plus, Tuscaloosa is full of these little sorostitutes and frat boys who drive around in their Range Rovers with big "W" stickers on the back and it makes me want to hurl, considering they're mostly cocaine users on Adderal with Daddy issues. Do I want to support that? No. No I do not.

However, school spirit rubs off on you and, being from a Mardi Gras town, I love an outdoor festival environment. So my two Baby Girl cousins came up Friday and we went tailgating Saturday out on the Quad prior to the UA vs. UGA game. We lost in overtime which was truly sucktastic but, hey, I got to wear my houndstooth so not all is lost.

I am booked every weekend through the end of the football season so this was my only opportunity to show some school spirit. Better luck next time, homeys. Oh, and John Parker Wilson, work really hard this week on a little somethin-somethin we like to call "pass completion." Not judging you, because you're pretty cool, just sayin'.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Properly Pulled Tails

For my peeps at the Chronicle Forums, here are a few photographs of a pulled tail. This is my former horse Rhodes Point, circa November, 2005. I only pull if the horse is cool with being pulled. If there is a slight chance I could get my teeth kicked in, I do the tail with clippers. With that said, I do think pulling looks nicer and, even more so, I like the tail pulled really dramatically (think Ginny Leng and "Priceless") and banged so that it falls about 4-6" below the hock. It most definitely is of benefit if you're doing a gallop across muddy going.

For all the non-horsey readers, I apologize for such a cryptic message. Once a horse person, always a horse person.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

And now an Earthy Message ...

I will be the first to admit that I love my bottled water. It's so easy, and so very integrated and ingrained in my life. I drink more water because of bottled water and I have to say that's not only convenient, but also really healthy. Do I sometimes think, "God, $6.99 for 24 bottles of water every week is crazy!?" Yes, of course I do, but that does not stop me because I am, of course, Robby Johnson. And you know what that means. It means I spend money. Period.

However, in our local paper yesterday there was an article on the significant waste that comes from this industry - like, 38-billion bottles made from 1.5 million barrels of petroleum. I was mortified. My "clean water" is actually creating more waste. And with the revelation that much designer water is bottled directly from a city water supply, the reality that you're getting "more pure" has quickly waned. Fact of life: it's H2O. What gives me the heebie-jeebies about tap water? The funk of the pipe and plumbing system.

Do I still want to filter my water? Sure. I try to minimize my parasitic intake.

The solution? Buy a water-filtering pitcher or install a filter on your tap. (I'm opting for the former since I rent the apartment where I live but, when I buy something, I will go for tap/shower installed.)

Do I need an easy and convenient way to consume my water? Of course! And so I did just what the article suggested and visited www.mysigg.com and in just 7 days, I shall have a glorious new water bottle to carry around. I bought this bottle but added a red top to it instead. Whee!

OK bitches, green-up!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pilatyssey

I'm not sure if anyone has read Anne Rice's "Vampire Chronicles," but can I just say the more I learn about Pilates, the more eerily similar they seem? Between "elders" and "she/he made fill in the blank," it's pretty much the same concept: apex-level creator and propagation of their legacy.

Having spent time on the mat in Arkansas, and now having moved into the equipment in Alabama, I can already recognize my vampires and, can I just say, none of mine are evil like Lestat? They're all pretty special to me!

This photograph is of Romana Kryzanowska, one of the elders trained directly by Joseph Pilates, teaching a mat class. On a whim, I booked a session with a teacher in Atlanta this past weekend who was trained through Romana's Pilates, and it was pretty cool stuff.

It's interesting that in Pilates - also very similar to riding - there is The Method, and the beautiful thing that is recognized is how the individual connects to it, and how they adapt themselves to it. I struggle in certain exercises, but it compels and motivates me to try harder. I hope I'll be a decent instructor one day! And when I am, I promise, no all-night blood binges!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Balance ...

Lately my life has felt a bit out of balance.

I tend to be much more focused on the hedonistic part of myself, and somewhat indifferent to the responsibility dimension. I think much of this has to do with my go-go-go practice, so I'm figuring out ways to just stay home and get some things done.

My weekend calendar is jam-packed through the end of November (some work, some play), and my goal is to spend December at home, as well as prepare for a 2008 that is a bit more manageable.

I still feel like a child sometimes, especially when it comes to my sense of wonder and thirst for new experiences. But lately I've had an underlying need to just "hold" with what I have and what I know, and really begin to perfect it. It's crazy, I know. I definitely am beginning to feel that I'm in a race against time.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Equid Update

Behold! Little Baby Boney has grown up and is looking like a million bucks in this photograph, taken Wednesday in Chicago at the American Eventing Championships, where he was competing in the Young Event Horse Finals. He finished 5th overall but, can I just brag, had the highest jumping scores for any 5 year-old presented. I am very proud, but other than co-breeding him with a dear friend in Canada, don't have much to do with his current success. His owner, Kaiti Saunders, of Alexandria, Virginia, and his Jockey, Allison Springer, bought him from me when he was just turning 3, and have done all of the work to make him a riding horse. Sure, sure, sure, I taught him all of the important things like wearing a bridle, how to be sprayed with a water hose/fly-spray (talk about drama!), getting his mane pulled, eating peppermints, and longeing (talk about drama!), but I have never physically sat on him.

It was my goal in breeding him that he would one day be able to compete in the Young Event Horse Championship, so I'm very pleased with his performance this week, and thrilled for his future with Allison and Kaiti. They are both amazing, amazing women.

On another note, breeding his 1/2 sister Ouisie this year did not go as planned. 2 breedings, an absorbed pregnancy, and about $1200 later, she's as yell as she can be. The plan is to try to breed her again next year, though I don't know if that's going to work out exactly. As much as I love horses and loved my life as an embedded barn rat, my current life really just doesn't allow the time - or the convenience - of owning or caring for them. When I ride, I like to be 100% immersed, and I'm somewhat specific about the conditions in which I like my horses kept. (They always live better than me!) I've not been able to find that around here, and, truth be told, am having a lot of fun on this horsey-hiatus. I know I will ride again, though in what capacity I'm not entirely sure. Horses are in my DNA and have been since I got my first x-ray from falling off our pony Dutchess when I was a little over 2 years old. A year or so later I was kicked in the forehead while chasing our other pony, Suzy, in the pasture. I think I had some sort of delusion, like we were running across the moors in England and it should've been really foggy and everyone should've been wearing long flowing white Celtic-inspired caftans, except it was Alabama and I am fairly sure I only had on a pair of shorts and was barefoot, even. Anyway, her hoof barely grazed my forehead but it knocked me flat on my back.

Alas! The crowning moment of my frontal-lobe injury is revealed!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Gorillas In The Mist

I was appalled and concerned when I read this article yesterday. I feel so badly that we could conceivably see an entire species go extinct in our lifetime. What is even more sickening is the fact that gorillas in Africa are apparently being killed in mercenary fashion to make political and economic statements.

Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but this is an awful set of circumstances.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Facelift

I meant to tell everyone that the other night, Monday I guess it was, I had a dream that I got a facelift. Except I didn't really want one, I just woke up to looking in the mirror and the doctor saying, "A complete success."

Except my skin felt really tight and I looked a bit like Uma Thurman.

However, I know I dreamt it because I read a quote from Brad Pitt that referenced life in the 40's, and he said, "It's not so bad, but your face really does start to go."

I don't think I want a facelift.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Crown Holder

The very last thing I wanted to have to deal with - for the third time in nine years - was the mother f&#cking crown that is on one of my molars in my damned head. I am not even sure I needed the sumbitch to begin with. (OK, as you probably can already tell, this is a sore sport for me ... I've already hurled out three curses in the first sentence and it's not even 6 a.m. Breathe Robby. Breathe!)

The chronology:

1998 -
Dentist: Girl your tooth be cracked.
Me: Say what?
Dentist: You gon' need a crown.
Me: For realz?
Dentist: Mmmmmm hmmmm. Make that dolla. Your part gon' cost $800.

1999 -
Me: Ooooooh my tooth be hurtin' when I be drinkin' cold or hot.
Dentist: Girl you gon' need a root canal.
Endodontist: Hey man I hunt ducks and YEEEEEEHAWWWWWWW drill muthafucka, drill!
Me: Why my porcelain tooth ain't white and got this big cavity fill looking shit up in it?
Endodontist: Oh man, that's composite material, I can't match it back up.

2004 -
Me: Peppermint good. Love peppermint. Must chomp down on another. Ooooh, peppermint weird tasting. Must run look in mirror. Oh Hell, tooth has disintegrated!
Dentist: Girl u gon' hafta stop with the ice and hard candy. Your part gon' cost $700.

2007 -
Me: Gotta get out of town, must run into meeting ... oooh lollipops, must have lollipop ... OMG, did my crown just pop off?
New dentist: Girl you gon' need a new buildup and new crown.

Today -

The new crown gets seated.

Oy vey!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Baby One More Time

Lord have mercy, as we'd say down South.

There are trainwrecks, and then there's Britney Spears.

I couldn't find a video to link on YouTube yet, but I know they'll be circulating today. I really feel sorry for her. She reminds me of Anna Nicole Smith - her "fame paradigm" has shifted in that I don't think people tune in to her with an authentic interest in her as a performer, but as a spectacle. It's really sad, actually.

The buzz on Brit is that she lives in an exalted world with a particularly loose grasp on reality. Maybe Brit should take a trip back to New Orleans, where she might go to work helping rebuild the city. Perhaps she should go back to school. I don't know, she needs to reach down and find herself, because it's obvious she's been nothing but a puppet for her entire career. And now that she is in a decision-making role, she's ill-equipped to make good choices.

But I don't think she can make that connection in her present world. She needs an authentic experience as a catalyst for change.

And on that note, I must hit the elliptical machine. Someone needs to grow a pair and inform Walking Oxycontin Addict that bikinis are for people who are somewhat in shape. I am taking a big dose of my own medicine, y'all.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Osama Bin It's All A Lie ...

I do not understand how "The War on Terrorism," which I tend to translate as "The War for Petroleum," because I've seen "Fahrenheit 911" and I just don't believe it's about terrorism at all, has failed so miserably at locating and capturing Osama Bin Laden.

He may as well be making an appearance on the MTV Video Awards this weekend. Or releasing his own fashion line at the New York shows this week. I mean, does he have a freaking PR machine behind him? What sort of underground terrorist "leaks" information about his next video appearance? And, tell me this, does that seem like the sort of person who would be really difficult to locate?

I would expect this from Lindsay Lohan. But not from the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Blog Fodder ...

You guys, I am all writer's blocked on my blog. I feel like it's gotten flat. I'll get inspired this weekend, I promise. I have been reading Anne Rice's book "The Feast Of All Saints" for, seriously, 12 years. I am now on page 86. It reads really, really slow but I know it will eventually pick up. It's an old book and is based on the mulatto society in New Orleans in the 19th century.

My friend Joe's condo in the French Quarter was built in 1850, and he told me the neatest story about its original owner, who he suspects was a town mistress for a plantation owner. It's such a wonderful story to think about, I don't care if it's true or not.

I loved this door, which belongs to his next-door neighbor. One of the book treatments I'm working on (fiction) is based in New Orleans, so I get inspired when I visit. Maybe I'll share a little bit of the manuscript once it's a tad more developed.

Let me know if you'd be interested in reading it.