Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Southern Pride and Prejudice

Georgia.  Day 71.

                  Hour 1,680.

                            Minute 100,800.

                                     Second 6,048,000.

                                              Two months, 9 days in and counting...

And I'm adapting well.  So many unspoken Southern rules and necessary Southern survival techniques to learn.  About driving, eating, conversing with strangers, surviving the zombie apocalypse.  (Thank you, Kristal.)

Unspoken Rule #1:  The light isn't red unless someone is looking.

Unspoken Rule #2:  All senior citizens must stop before entering any highway from an entrance ramp.  Especially entrance ramps with long merge lanes lesser, ignorant states  use for accelerating-to-speed in.

Unspoken Rule #3:  Thou shalt not refuse 'to-go' tea from restaurants.

Unspoken Rule #4:  Turning left on red is optional.

Survival Tip #1:  Avoid convenience stores on Sundays between the hours of 8p and  2a.  Quite possibly earlier and/or later pending the store's volume of beer...

Survival Tip #2:  If approached by a person dressed in leather, especially leather chaps, with POW MIA stitched across every inch of their ensemble,  and compliments your butterfly headband you recently purchased at the friendly, neighborhood Target, asking you where you got it, LIE.  Or you could be shot--or severely lectured--for not supporting your troops and veterans.  Because Target is evil.  Apparently.

Survival Tip #3:  Assume all citizens are packing heat.  Because they likely are...  Especially the children.  So mind those P's and Q's!

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Tip #1:  Read the manual.

I am absolutely loving life here.  Sure, starting over has its moments of sheer panic and random bouts of anxiety. It's easy to forget how much is involved with the ABC's of life.  There's you, A.  And your actions, B.  And your goals, C.  And between them all of life's little forgotten bullet points and numerical cause and effects directing your ABC's from one end of the alphabet to the next.

                             Ex:  A: Me
                                         a. Who I Am
                                            1. who or what motivated me to be
                                            2. who or what has created me to be
                                            3. who or what dissuades me from being
                                         b. Who I Think I Am
                                            1. who motivates me to be
                                            2. etc, etc, etc...
                                         c. Who Others Think I Am
                                            1. and so on, and so forth...

But overall I remain mostly excited to be here.  Lately I've been held prisoner by the weather, forced to keep my camera zipped safely away in its bag, my adventuring to a minimum and my stories home to friends and family work related.  It storms.  Every day.  

                                          The storms as they sweep southeast

Not that I'm complaining.  Because I love storms.  Every day.  I'm bummed to have missed out on the improved tornado sirens I single-handedly argued into existence.  Or installment...?  You're welcome, Burleson.  Venus?  Sleep easy now.  At least until the sirens blare.  Then please, PLEASE, at least sleep UNDER the bed...  Venus, Texas is barely considered a 'speck' on the map, Mother.  Any tornado determined to visit town will likely knock right on your door.  So, please do mind the siren.  I say these things because I love you...

 E-Boo is also settling in just fine.  He refuses to leave my room most days and has developed a good case of Kitty Tourette's.  Everything is "Hiss that!"  and, "Hiss you!" and, "Get the hiss out of my room!" but he cuddles when no one is looking and continues to guard my feet at night.  He also prefers the step-monster's lap when she's near and tolerates the pops' friendly pats in passing.  I guess some cats like leashes and harnesses and traveling diapers and fifteen hour road trips more than others, with E-Boo, sadly, being an other...

                  (Can I just add, this video is all my happiness right now...?)

Complaints?  I haven't many.  The local 'news' here is kind'a sad and/or embarrassing.  Watching/reading it makes me feel smart/intelligent, like Corporal Joe Bauers/Luke Wilson in "Idiocracy"   For example, in today's news one could read about--a missing monkey being sought near a Ga. research station.  And that's big news, folks.  Or maybe one would rather read about the Pope tweeting from his iPad...  Oy. I'll say it again, Oy.

And I miss Whataburger.  And Central Market.  But, on a lighter note, I finally found me some Gold Peak Tea!  And some of those Seneca Apple Chips I love so much.  So I can't really complain.

The people here laugh easily.  The neighbors remain neighborly-- even when you don't want them to be...  And despite their driving habits, Georgians HAVE to have driver's insurance.  Or they have their licenses revoked.  Unlike some people I know.  *cough* *Texans* *cough*  So, go ahead and hit me.  I dare you.  I double dog dare you.  Just keep in mind Survival Tip #3, you pesky red light runners...
Love to my friends and family back home.  Be safe and mind those tornado sirens!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

How 'Bout them Canadians, Eh?

Dear Canada,
        Thank you.  Thank you for maple syrup, for Superman, for Jim Carrey and Ginger Ale.  And now...for Jeremy Fisher.  If ever I find myself on the run from the law, I will most certainly now consider running north.  Especially since running south would likely only result in decapitation...  And no one likes losin' their head...

Gratefully yours,

Sunday, June 5, 2011

To Kill a Mockingbird. Or Two.

Day 17: Our sanity is starting to slip.  The end is certainly near.  But whose?

Georgia is known for many things: juicy peaches, Gone With the Wind, Paula Deen, the fantastically fun FX show "Archer", and... mockingbirds!?

Come again?

That's right, Texas-- mockingbirds.  The kind Texas should be known for.  Territorial, aggressive, loud, fearless, and proud.  And wiiiide awake at two in the morning.  Every morning.  Until just before sunrise.  Like a screaming car alarm just outside your bedroom window, with a fully charged battery and a busted 'disarm' button.

Every night he taunts us, hiding in the shadows and screaming his way through the bird kingdom's top 40 chart before hitting the bottom, clearing his throat and starting all over again.

Neighbors started complaining-- shouting and spitting profanities from their porches, flashing branches with industrial grade spot lights, tossing rocks or empty barbecue bottles at anything that moved.

Something had to be done.  Someone had to end all the madness.  And that someone was Mr. Stu Miller.

A good man, Stu, full of knowledge and wisdom.  Why, I love him as though he were my own father.  *nyuck, nyuck*

And he wasted no time with putting an end to everyone's suffering.  Following a quick briefing with a few of the neighbors, a game plan was soon created. We'll call it: Operation To Kill a Mockingbird.  Or Two.

The briefing led to a hasty trip to a local Dick's Sporting Goods, where we soon discovered that Remington air rifles and mockingbirds are a match made in birdy heaven:

I wanted to take it a step further and construct a city of tannerite bird feeders in the side yard as well, but Pappaw stepped in, directing a metaphysical megaphone at my inner conscious to say, "Well, sh*t in one hand and want in another and see which one fills up first."  And I suppose the other birds, who are just as equally tormented as we, wouldn't appreciate accidentally nesting in a house made of explosives....  So just air rifles, it was.

That evening we sat in silence as we waited for the fevered bullfrogs to wind down, which usually signals the calm before the storm. Even the neighbors sat quietly upon their porches, limiting their alcohol intake for a better aim and silently willing the condemned critter to pass into view. 

And we sat.

                         And waited.

                                                 And waited.
                                                                        And two hours later...

...nothin'.  Like a man on the run, he remained hidden and silent in the shadows, as though aware of our combined forces to stop his nightly tyranny. 

The night passed and day came, and with it the mockingbirds.  They flew down in waves, chasing away wild life and screaming at pets and small children, as though outraged by their ring leader's inability to speak his mind.  They perched atop light poles and roof tops and fence posts, threatening all within range to take their best shot. 

Stu Miller didn't even hesitate.  Anyone seen those news reports lately about birds just falling from the sky?  Thousands of them just dropping from the clouds, dead on impact?  Stu did...

Day 18:  It's down to just us and the ring leader now...

He sits hidden in the shadows of a cedar tree, watching as the lights click off one by one by one, waiting for the neighborhood to sleep.  And then:

 *twitches nervously*

SO, aside from helping rid the neighborhood of most of their unwanted pests, my first month here in the Deep South has been filled with marching ducks, all happily stepping into place and directing life back into order again.  I have a job, I have new hobbies, I have a new-found respect for green beans and pork.  And I can't wait to start traveling.  Savannah, Atlanta, local events and historical hot spots, I have these places scribbled down on my "to see and share" list for future posts and updates.  So don't be a stranger.  And rest assured, I still miss my family and friends back home and think of y'all often and even hope to see some of you soon.  Keep me in your thoughts, as I keep you in mine.  -Heather-