Thursday, May 31, 2007

Umbrella ...

Occassionally, and by occassionally what I mean is dailyhourly, I hear a song that I love. And people may say, "Hey, how can you love so much?" And to them I say, "Because I'm all about the love, man!"

But my new favorite summatime song is Umbrella by Rihanna featuring Jay-Z.

It is very flossy, flossy. Give it a listen and spread the love!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Grieving for strangers ...

I read stories like this and I immediately feel guilty for having worries or anxiety - ever. This is a horror that is really unfathomable.

I have to say that the replication of stories like this do lend validity to the reality of post-partum depression (thank you Brooke Shields and piss-off Tom Cruise).

It tears me up to think about those poor little girls, watching their mother - the person they probably trust and love the most - in those last moments, unaware of their fates.

I had this same reaction when Paula Yates drowned her children in Houston. There's no way to comprehend it; it just leaves me feeling vacant and morose.

Oil painting by Sylvia Maier “Mourning Twins”

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Reintegration ...

Every 20 years I have to get a little crazy on the beach. And by get a little crazy, what I mean is drink too much and have to be carried home by generous people. In 1987 that would've been Spring Break, when I funneled too many beers and fell out on the beach. In 2007 it would've been drinking too many Harmonicanes and falling out on the beach.

Is there a correlation? I think that answer is yes. I'm pretty sure my body will not hold out for such abuse by the time I'm 55 so I'm going to go ahead and call Party Foul from here on out. I've had a good run but, damn, this work hard/play harder approach is difficult to manage.

Thankfully I got 9 hours of beautiful sleep last night, and am drinking my green tea and returning to my good at-home practices of vegan-y eating, yoga, Pilates, and cardio.

It was an awesome weekend, I must say. I had a great time hanging out with my dear friends, and had the opportunity to make some new ones as well. And that's what it's all about, isn't it? Well, at least it is for me!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

All Hail Summer!

Either late tonight or very early tomorrow morning I'll be loading up Banzai and heading to the coast. Destination? Pensacola Beach, Florida!

I'm meeting up with my buddies from Arkansas and Nashville and staying through Monday, and God knows I cannot wait. I need a weekend of beach.

Do I need 12 t-shirts for 3.5 days? Maybe. I'd rather be overpacked than underpacked.

Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Identity Theft (Well, Really, Kinda Borrowed ...)

A little piece of advice for everyone reading ... when you run a bar tab with your debit card make sure you get your debit card back. And not just make sure a debit card is in your hands, you need to make sure it's yours.

Last Friday night after a fun time at a party at a local restaurant I apparently walked out with someone else's debit card. Their last name was Johnson and it never even occurred to me to match it up (damn those three martinis!) and I proceeded to go to another bar and spent more of this person's money.

I feel terribly about it because of course I did not do it on purpose. Fortunately I've made some inroads to get connected to the person as this is a small town, and of course I want to give her her money - but I've learned the hard way that my typical practice of only taking cash for my drinkin' dollaz is a good one.

No charges against my debit card (I canceled it as quickly as I realized what happened on Saturday) but must wait a week to get a new one in the mail. Can I just say that life without a debit card might as well be spent on a marooned island?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Back In The Tack ...

OK, obviously this is not me. But look how sweet that horse's expression is. I heart him.

Aside from the trail ride I took in Mexico in November, would you believe I'd not sat on a horse since August 16, when I left The Precious with my coach and subsequently leased, then sold, him? I know! Robby Johnson out of the tack for 9 months? Blasphemy!

Yesterday I got to ride not one but two horses. One is a new project that a friend bought. A really neat Australian Thoroughbred that she found at the military base in southeast Alabama. His owner has been shipped to Qatar. There really is no background on how he got to the US, but he's a good boy and while I wasn't expecting to get to sit on him, I didn't turn down the chance when she offered it.

The other is a very nice Trakehner mare, 5 years old, that a woman in my Pilates class has asked me to do some dressage work with for 90 days. This person is a serious big-A hunter/jumper rider, so I was very flattered that offered me the ride. The mare was positively lovely to sit on, so I'm looking forward to riding her some more.

While I was out at the farm where my trailer lives (and where the Aussie horse is), I also stumbled upon the neatest project horse that has been offered to me to ride. His name is Ben and he's a Thoroughbred on steroids. A former foxhunter, his owner has sent him to be sold so he can buy his girlfriend something smaller and more appropriate. Ben is flash! He's a big bright chestnut with a white blaze and one white stocking leg behind. He's as wide as he is tall, and as fat as a tick! I am going back to ride him this afternoon to see what he's like and, if I think it's worth pursuing, I'm going to spend the summer working with him with the hopes of doing one or two competitions this autumn and getting him sold.

It's good to be back!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

American Idol

Though in this photograph she looks more like an angry victim testifying in court, I am still gobsmacked that Melinda Doolittle got eliminated on American Idol last night.

Sure sure sure, being #3 doesn't always suck. I mean, hello?, Kimberly Locke! Her career is white-hot, no? A record, Celebrity Fit Club. What's next? Infomercials? Stop it, stop it right now, it's making my head swirl with all of the possibilities.

My buddy Pfeff (that's his code name since, as loyal readers know I seldom call someone by their real name) opined weeks back that he would probably not be inclined to go to a Melinda Doolittle concert. It made me think, "would I?" Obviously if there were champagne involved, sure. You know me and the champers. I'd probably go to a NASCAR race if there were some sort of brunch involved. Where was I? Oh, Melinda.

I think she's amazing and I cannot wait to see what happens. Now that the best has been booted, I likely won't watch the finale. I don't like Beatbox Blake because I think he looks constipated when he sings, and while Jordin is OK, she doesn't make me tickle in my special place.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dilemma

I couldn't decide if I wanted to talk about Jerry Falwell's death or Carrie Underwood this morning. So I looked at photographs of both of them and thought, "Young, pretty, talented, amazing skin ... this is really a no-brainer."

So, Underwood it is.

Sister Honey picked up 3 CMA awards out of 5 nominations last night in Las Vegas and I love it that a.) she's amazing, b.) she's from Oklahoma which was our friendly state neighbor when I lived in Arkansas and, uhm, I've been there many times and c.) she's bringing Dallas back.

Because when Underwood gets her party on, she does it at Ghost Bar at the Dallas W Hotel (awesome hotel, btw) and keepz it real.

Yee haw!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gopher Tortoise



I grew up with gopher tortoise roaming about the neighborhood. I know many people know me as Robby The Horseman, but I was also Robby The Reptile Boy when I was a kid. I always had a snake or a lizard or some sort of turtle in my pocket, and my sister and I used to take primitive notes on the range of water mocassins that lived in our lake. The fact that neither of us was bitten is somewhat miraculous or, at least, Divine Intervention.

So this weekend when I was in Mobile it was fun to discover a gopher tortoise roaming about. Actually, we likely wouldn't have seen it had my Jack Russell, Maddie, not found it in the woods. Tortoise tend to drive Maddie, well, mad. It's the fact they're alive yet shut up in their shells that she cannot tolerate.

The gopher tortoise - an endangered species in our area - is actually pretty social and non-chalant. Fortunately I had my camera, and my niece and I videotaped this one feeding on the flowers of a certain type of field weed. My nieces and nephew are growing up on the property where we grew up and are following in our footsteps with a genuine appreciation for flora and fauna.

It's funny how history tends to repeat itself.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Erotica (You Thrill Me)



I love reinvention. This was one of my favorites from "The Confessions Tour."

I hope everyone had a great weekend and remembered their mother in a way that was unique and special to her.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Education Is My Business ...

My company is very involved in our community on many levels. We make charitable contributions through a Donor Advised Fund and sponsor several scholarships. Working in our corporate communications department, I've witnessed the many letters of gratitude we receive from benefitting organizations.

And so I was happy last night to present three scholarships at the graduation for an adult education program at our local two-year college.

My coworker presented the scholarships last year, and had given me the background that this was a very meaningful experience, and I was thankful for it because, indeed, it was quite moving. I was most surprised at the number of graduates - at least 50 - and the span of their ages, gender, race, etc. Each face told me a unique story in the beginning, but by the time they walked across the stage they were singing the same tune: they'd reached for a goal, achieved it, and smiled brightly as they relished in their moment.

I was humbled.

This year we've also undertaken community service projects, as an organization, with each department choosing one or two agencies to assist. My group has already worked on a Habitat for Humanity build, and later this summer will assist in the construction of a playground for the United Cerebral Palsy foundation.

I love being here and being in a position where I can help and contribute. There are so many days in my life when I lament what I do not have, what I have not accomplished, etc., but really I have more than I need and I am learning that there is a great reward in sharing the excess.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

If I Could Save Time In a Bottle ...

So much going on. So little time to process it. I am in Cyclone Mode and, quite frankly, I need to get off this ride. At the end of May, I will have been home a grand total of 4 weekends since the beginning of February. Despite the fact that all of my "chores" are caught-up, and I've had great fun traveling and hanging out, I need the decompression time.

I guess life never really flattens out, does it? I keep clinging to the idea that one day everything will be done, and I can coast a little, but the more I live the more I realize it's really about trading off. I go to the mat with Insert Stressful Situation, either win or lose, then have a few days before the next challenge presents itself.

Oh well, at least I'm not Paris Hilton facing a jail sentence and firing up her three-ring circus of Fuck Up to barrage America with cries of "unfair." Can I just say that if I were in the same room with her I would pull every single hair extension off her head, lash them together to form a cat-o-nine-tails, and beat some humility into her jack-ass?

We all have shit to deal with. Fact of life. I take a deep cleansing breath and remind myself to say "Namaste."

Monday, May 07, 2007

Relax!

I saw an orthopaedic surgeon (oral) last week because I have TMJ. He prescribed me Flexoril (I think that's how it's spelled), to take prior to falling asleep. Apparently I clench my teeth in my sleep, despite the fact that I sleep in a bite guard. I know, ZEXY!, right?

Anyhoodle, combined with my super-intense weekend at a horse show in Georgia this past weekend, I feel like I could sleep for six days straight. Me no likey the drugged feelings. Must decide if agonizing jaw pain is worth the trade for "What's in your hands, it's in your hands, zombie zombie zombie-e-e!"

Friday, May 04, 2007

You Know You Like Tofu ...

I love strawberries.

I love spinach.

I love those strawberry spinach salads one typically gets at a foo-foo brunchy place.

And I even love tofu.

So, last night after yoga (I do yoga now and I'm in love with it) I thought, "Why not combine these three items in a pan and see what happens?"

Looks pretty gross huh? It actually wasn't. Was it as Earth-shattering as when Burger King met Pepsi? Chocolate met peanut butter? Vodka met tonic? Of course not. But I was so hungry I didn't even care.

p.s. Most of my yoga classmates are much older than me. Last night we were doing a pose that is part of the triangle series and is the backwards twist. The instructor had us do it against the wall to really get the full range of the twist and my little classmate pooted. Then the instructor had us doing another pose where we look backward and she said, in her yoga voice, "Look backward, toward the 'jam box.'" I busted out laughing. I hadn't heard that terms in at least 20 years.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

House Hunting

Because my life isn't crazy enough, I have decided to throw my hat into this insane housing market.

And you know what that means? Mortgage pre-qualification which is always sure to spurn some hate. (From my favorite song "This Is Why I'm Hot" by MIMS ... "N-word's start to hate, rearrange they face ...")

But, it is worth it and here's why. I am paying in rent what could be a mortgage and, besides, I am a big boy and I need to own some sort of home. So since property and my horsey feifdom aren't realities in the present, I'm looking at garden homes.

Extreme, huh? I always tell people I love to bush hog but I hate to mow a lawn. So having a little slice of a home with a bat cave single car garage for Banzai and two bedrooms/two baths, isn't a bad solution for a confirmed bachelor like myself.

It's exciting. The creative part of me makes it difficult to shop for a home because I tend to see potential in everything. I can see past white walls and a lighthouse collection on the bar. Do I see bamboo floors and glass tiles? Yes. Yes I do. If I'm going to have a man cave then I want it to look like my Pilates studio. Is that so wrong?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Talking Equine

For a great big laugh, you must click here. I was hanging out with my friend (and former client) John Nunn last Friday at Rolex. John is a marketer's marketer and always has fun and innovative programs in place to help drive sales, raise awareness, and essentially just take horseware marketing to a higher level. He started telling me about a new podcast program he's developed and invited me to participate.

It was really fun to chat with John and Krissy about the competition.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Rolex Wrap-Up

So I'm back from Kentucky and all I can say is, "Damn."

I have never been so tired in all of my life. It obviously has something to do with the fact that despite getting up at 4:20 on Thursday morning to make my 7:40 flight out of Birmingham I still managed to get caught in 2 major wrecks on the interstate, thus rendering my 7:28 arrival at Bham moot, and requiring me to sit in the airport (binge eating of course) until noon. Yes, at that point, you just go through the motions.

The rest of the weekend was fantastic with lots of friends, great horses, great weather ... it was Rolex! This is me and my buddy Costello. I had to buy the houndstooth fedora from my awesome pal Lisa who I met in Dallas in January at the Safari Club International trade show and who was also exhibiting at Rolex.

Houndstooth fedoras are huge around here in Ttown, because Paul "Bear" Bryant always wore one when he was coaching University of Alabama football. The ones you can buy around here though are cheesy and usually have a big red "A" sewn onto them. And, true, while I probably have qualified to wear The Scarlet Letter a time or two in my life, that time is not now.