On Not Flying to Hawaii

I could be the waitress
in the airport restaurant
full of tired cigarette smoke and unseeing tourists.
I could turn into the never-noticed landscape
hanging identically in all the booths
or the customer behind the Chronicle
who has been giving advice
about stock portfolios for forty years. I could be his mortal weariness,
his discarded sports section, his smoldering ashtray.

I could be the 70-year-old woman who has never seen Hawaii,
touching her red lipstick and sprayed hair.
I could enter the linen dress
that poofs around her body like a bridesmaid,
or become her gay son
sitting opposite her, stirring another sugar
into his coffee for lack of something true to say.
I could be the reincarnated soul of the composer
of the Muzak that plays relentlessly overhead,
or the factory worker who wove this fake Oriental carpet,
or the hushed shoes of the busboy.

But I don't want to be the life of anything in this pitstop.
I want to go to Hawaii, the wet, hot
impossible place in my heart that knows just what it desires.
I want money, I want candy.
I want sweet ukelele music and birds who drop from the sky.
I want to be the volcano who lavishes
her boiling rock soup love on everyone,
and I want to be the lover
of volcanos, who loves best what burns her as it flows.

Alison Luterman


Fire Pit

So this past Saturday I had my long awaited block party. All in all it was a pretty good time. You can't go wrong with cold weather, good friends, good food, and two kegs of beer. My mom came into town for the night and was gracious enough to help me get the house ready, and somehow I got everything done that I wanted to (except for mowing the lawn, but that can ALWAYS wait). My house looked very pretty and I had a lot of people that commented on my new chandelier. :) Unfortunately, after all of the trouble I went to, to make my porch look nice, I forgot to take any pictures. I didn't take any the entire night.

The one thing I was looking forward to the most was the one thing that didn't really turn out as expected. This spring when my parents moved to Destin, I inherited their fire pit. I've always wanted one and was so excited to get it. Even though I have four fireplaces in my house, the house is so old that they have all been bricked in. I'm so jealous anytime someone mentions that they built a fire.
So all year I've been preparing to use the fire pit! Everytime the wind has picked up and limbs have falled, I've gone through the yard collecting twigs and stacking them on the pit to burn later.
Well, this Saturday the time had finally come. I took all my twigs and broke them into small pieces. I placed them carefully in the pit and made a little stack of twigs next to it to burn. My mom had promised to bring some pine cones to make the fire smell nice. It was going to be great! I'd have a nice fire in the front yard for people to crowd around in the cold weather we were finally having. But it didn't work out as I had envisoned.
First of all, the damn thing wouldn't light. I tried my hardest to blow on the fire, add more twigs, burn newspaper, etc. I consider myself a pretty resourceful person, and I have watched other people and made numerous fires of my own. But the damn thing would not catch.
I kept looking to the guys around as if it was their responsibility to get this fire going. Where is Bear when you need him?

Finally, a friend of mine stepped up and had my fire roaring after a few minutes of trying.

Within twenty minutes, I was out of twigs. No more fire. After six months of saving these damn twigs, thinking about the wonderfully warm fire I would have, my "wood pile" had burnt up in twenty minutes. Everyone was laughing at me when they asked where more wood for the fire was, and I would hold up one of my twigs.

My neighbor, being the generous man that he is, brought a bag of charcoal down from his house and we ended up standing around a fire pit burning charcoal. My sweater still smells like a grill.

Christmas Cards

I've decided this year to have Christmas cards made with pictures on them, rather than buy the typical ones. At first this excited me, now it's stressing me out a bit. I feel like I have to tell the story of my life, of the past year, in three pictures. Is that even possible? So much has happened to me. I have the card picked out, but I keep going back and forth trying to decide on which pictures to use. Paris, Germany with Dad, Grayson, Coen, the beach, birthday, etc.etc.etc. How do I narrow down a year into three images?


UAH Interview

I received a call today from the lady in charge of the scholarship that I received this past spring: http://oip.uah.edu/star.php. Apparently my name was chosen out of the group and someone wants to interview me about my project and my trip. I'm pretty flattered about the whole thing and very curious to see how this all turns out. I just pray that I get some positive feedback from my students and this whole project isn't a wash.

If this all turns out like I've planned, I think that I am really going to take all of this to another level. Now that I've found a novel and really connected with the material, the characters, the time period, the author, the movement, etc, I think that I could take all of my research so much further. I'm considering taking a group of students to Spain this next year. From the response I've received from a few students, I think that there would be a large number of kids interested in going. Then I could continue my research and documenting in Spain.

Don't be an idiot.

Big pet peeve, people who reply to all. For some odd reason the alumni center at Auburn's College of Education sent out an email newsletter with a list serve. Now EVERYONE that received the email is freaking out and responding that they want to be taken off the list. Everytime one of these dumbasses wants to respond about receiving this annoying email from Auburn, I get a freaking copy. I want to karate chop someone in the throat.


So last night was the OAR concert. I don't know much of their music, but the few songs I've heard, I enjoy. A fellow teacher at school was grateful to offer me some extra tickets he had. Of course, being the wonderful sister that I am, I asked my brother if he wanted to go with me. Being the typical brother that he is, he already had tickets and was going with friends. I ended up going with another friend of mine. While the concert was good and I don't have anything to complain about, it wasn't the concert that I found fun. But rather, the people that I observed throughout the night.
Things that made me smile:
1) Texting my brother to find out where was sitting, only to look up and find him at the end of my row with a goofy smile on his face.
2) Trying to figure out in the dark, with Nick, whether the twelve year olds sitting next to us were actually drinking Miller Lite. Going on about how we can't believe someone would have bought them an overpriced eight dollar beer, only to find out, it was only Sprite.
3) Watching a woman have terrible fits of excitement over the music where she would wave her arms in the air (almost hitting her husband) and shake her head violently so that her hair would swing back and forth. Only to moments later, relaxing and patting her son on his head.
4) Two little girls (about six and ten years old), stacked from neck to chin in glow in the dark necklaces, screaming, dancing, and singing along to all the songs. I have never in my life seen people so excited to watch a band play as these little girls were. They even had the gruff security guard chuckling.
5) Watching the pitiful attempts of the poor girl in front of us to communicate with her date who NEVER moved an inch the entire night. I'm calling a bad first date.
6) Admiring the swag on the security guard. He doesn't get paid $8 an hour to listen to bad music for nothing.


15 weeks old
35 pounds-gained 7 in one week
Enough Said.

Cable Guy

Recently I read a fellow blogger's post where she talked about living life for the moment and not living with regrets. This past weekend I was faced with one of those moments and decided to tackle it. It didn't give me the desired result, more so just a few laughs, but I definitely can't say that I don't have any regrets.
I've been waiting for weeks to get my satellite fixed. Certain channels (CNN for Headline news with Robin Meade in the morning in particular. I can't start my day without Bob telling me what my flight delays are going to be) weren't coming in because the satellite needed to be redirected. So I made the appointment and they sent out a technician.
Well, they didn't send out any technician, the sent out the nicest looking technician they could find. He was tall, handsome, and could carry a ladder around my yard like it was a stick. My friend and I chose to sit on my front porch and just watch him as he walked back and forth to his truck. He was extremely nice and actually offered to not only fix my satellite, but also to replace it so that I wouldn't have this problem again.
When he was done he had to come inside and check the reception. I was smitten. You know, the kind of moment where you wonder what kind of obnoxious grin you have on your face, and you say stupid things that you look back on and wonder, "What the hell was I thinking?" It got really awkward when he had to go into my room to check the reception in there. Thank god I didn't have my folded laundry sitting around like I normally do, so he could take a gander at my undies. We were standing in my bedroom flipping through channels when he mentioned he's "going to have to get his earmuffs out." I filtered through my mind trying to figure out what he could possible mean. I finally realized he was refering to our sudden drop in temperature from 85 to 45 degree weather. It was obvious he was trying to make small talk and was possibly having one of those "what kind of obnoxious grin do I have on my face" moments as well. As he was leaving he placed a sticker on my reciever so that I had the number to call in case I had any more problems, and then handed me another put "somewhere safe."
After he left and I sat drooling on my porch, I kept commenting to my friend that he was the tallest (being that I am normally faced with a man several inches shorter than me) and hottest man I had seen in awhile. She suggested I should have given him my number, and we went through all the embarassing and silly scenerios that could have ensued. I thought to myself, "I should have given him my number. What do I have to lose?" And the answer to that is, Absolutely Nothing.
I thought back to the fellow blogger's post and decided I needed to live in the moment. I proceeded to call the cable company and try to explain to a guy, probably outsourced from India, that I wanted to speak to the office that had dispatched this technician. The man kept asking me if I had problems and needed teh technician to come back to my house. I finally, and through mass giggles, explained I wanted to give him my number. He sincerely responded, "Oh, you would like give him an appreciative message?" Yes, if you want to call it that. He transfered me to the office and after a few painful moments and a few more giggles, I explained to the woman that I wanted to leave "my technician" my number. She seemed pretty okay with that, and even repeated my number and name to make sure she had it correct.
After I hung up I couldn't stop laughing. Did I think this hottie would call me back? No way. But was it fun to do and consider? Yes. Did I have any regrets? No.
In the end, it gave me a little confidence. When pursuing men, (as they sometimes need to be pursued in today's modern world) there really is nothing to lose. I'll always have my dignity and don't really have a reputation to ruin. And who knows? Maybe someday that "technician" will be on hand to fix my satellite when I yell to him from another room.


What we are willing to give up.

Sleep is very important to me. VERY IMPORTANT. Already, I am dreading coming home tonight after this concert for fear that I won't get into bed at a reasonable hour. I sound like an eighty year old, I know. But without at least seven hours of sleep, I don't function.
So when I booked rooms this year for the Gulf Shores volleyball tournament, I immediately claimed that I would sleep in a bunk in the condo. I did not want to share a bed with anyone. I wanted my own bed to be able to stretch out in, in order to get a good night's sleep. Little did I know that taking a bunk was the wrong idea. Not only did the cover have sand all over it, it was impossible for me to lie flat with my legs stretched out because the bunk was so freaking short. Being a stomach sleeper, this was near criminal. I had to bend my legs at the knee while lying on my stomach. To top things off, the girls left on a TV and put the AC on 65. It was a frigid, uncomfortable night full of nightmares with game show voices.


It was only a week ago that I was praying the volleyball would be over. As much as I love my players and enjoying coaching, it takes all the time I have and leaves none for things I need or want to do. Even the menial things like doing laundry, playing with my pups, grocery shopping, or getting my cable fixed were out of the question. There simply was not enough time in the week for me to accomplish anything. Weekends even seemed drab because I was frantically trying to get things ready for the next week. No down time.
Now that volleyball is over, I'm starting to go through an awkward stage of trying to figure out what to do with my time (hence, writing blogs). Last week I went full force into my free time, using up every spare minute. I had my hair highlighted, cut the grass, took the puppy to the vet, had the satellite fixed, and then jumped into my house projects.
We have our annual block party coming up this weekend. This year, the party is in front of my house. This doesn't necessarily mean that people will be in my house, but just in case.....
First on my agenda was to paint the ceiling in my front room. The woman who lived here before me had painted the entire ceiling a hideous forest green. It completely closed off the room and sucked out any light. Suprisingly, painting a ceiling is not as bad as it sounds.
Next was my artsy project (thanks to Jackie for the idea) of painting an old chandelier my mom had given me. I stripped it of all it's wires and painted it a teal green. Now it's hanging on my front porch, looking spectacular I might add.
Then yesterday I tackled all the rest: framed pictures, worked on my picture wall, painted porch chairs, power washed the house, and planted new flowers. DONE! I must admit my hard work has paid off and on the slight chance someone might ask to see my house, I think I'm ready.
But now, today when I come home from work and am faced with four hours of free time (until I head off to the OAR concert!!) I don't know what to do with myself. It sort of scared me a bit to think of all the free time that is looming in the future. What do I do with all this time? My projects are all complete. Cleaning can't be done every day. The gym is always an option. But I feel like I need to do something productive. I need an end to my means, something to be proud of. What's next?

Wish Bracelets

The June before last I came across these wish bracelets in New Orleans. I have two that have become knotted together over time, purple and green. Each color signifies a wish that I hope will come true.

You can buy them at the tourist/vodoo shops in the French Quarter. For only a dollar, them come in a variety of colors. "Legend" goes that you are supposed to tie the bracelets on your wrist with three knots. As each knot is tied, you repeat a wish to yourself. Then you are supposed to wear the bracelet until it falls off. When it falls off, your wish comes true.

I don't think about the bracelets that much anymore; they've become a part of me. It wasn't until this summer that it finally occured to me how long they have on! When I first got them on I did a little research to find out exactly where they originated from and found out that they can last for over a year( http://travelvice.com/archive/2007/02/salvador-bonfim-wish-ribbons.php). Damn right they can!

I know that some people have aversions to making wishes, but how can you not believe in a wish? If there wasn't something we could all hope for in our lives, what would we have left? Lately I've been noticing my wish bracelets more. I've been focusing on exactly what it was that I wished for when I first tied them on. I think that's their purpose, to remind you what you want out of life. I have a deep feeling that they are going to be falling off soon. I can only hope that they bring my wishes to me.