Saturday, December 27, 2008

What Are You Doing New Years......


It's a few days before the official beginning of 2009 but I thought I might be kinda busy the next few days so I am posting some end of the year stuff now.

I love watching TV. No big suprise there here is a listing of what I thought was the best stuff on TV this past year.

  • LOST. This show just gets to me in so many ways, some good and some bad. But when LOST is bringing its A game there might be nothing better on TV. My favorite episode of the whole year was "The Constant ". Watching Desmond going back and forth in time with Penny made me cry...

  • MAD MEN on AMC is another show that is so amazing to watch. Watching the lead Character of Don Draper played by Jon Hamm, come apart was breathtaking. Watching the character of Peggy Olsen, played by Elisabeth Moss, become a real character with real depth was wonderful.

  • CHUCK on NBC is a smart, witty show that always entertains. Chuck easily plays the part of good guy trying to make it.

  • The great comeday of 30ROCK. Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin are so natural together. If you are trying to decide between 30ROCK and The OFFICE...take 30ROCK any day of the week. And lets not forget all the guest shots on the show this favorite was the cast of NIGHT COURT showing up ....priceless.

  • JOHN ADAMS on HBO. History never looks so real as when HBO takes a stab at things. David Morse who plays Gen George Washington was fantastic.

  • TRUE BLOOD on HBO. You want to watch a good show about vampires living among us ??? Skip TWILIGHT and watch this gem on HBO.

  • The OLYMPICS on NBC. Specifically the swimming parts....I am an admitted Winter Olympics fan but I even got caught up in PHELPS mania this year. I was on the edge of my seat when he was going for a couple of those gold medals.

  • The magic maps on CNN. John King enjoyed playing with those a tad bit too much but it sure was fun to watch at times.

  • The Presidential Election coverage. Perhaps this type of election only comes once in a lifetime...I dont know but I am so glad I was a part of watching the great folks on CNN and NBC as they sat back after Obama was announced the winner. They let the visuals speak for themselves. Good reporters know when to shut up.

I did not see enough movies this year to really give a good reporting on anything. THE DARK KNIGHT was good though.

On a personal note 2008 was an up and down year in many regards. I deepened my friendships and made some new ones. I also lost some friends along the way ...That saddens me on a level that is hard to describe. I wish those folks the best in their lives and hope that one day we can have a beer or cup of coffee and laugh about the whole thing.

My Nana died in August of this year and it has really affected me more than I orginally thought ....This was my dads mother. Nana was really hard to describe if you did not know her but she was the first person I looked to and realized that "hey, shes a democrat and I like what she has to say about things". She cut my hair till I was 14 years old. She made the best chocolate cake, hands down. She put orange flavoring in her sweet potato casserole. She was stubborn. She was funny. If she liked you , she liked you. If she did not ...then you pretty much knew it. She endured alot. She never gave a wrapped gift. She smoked menthol cigarettes but never inhaled. She loved politics. She was on the city council in Tuskegee for 8 years. She would drink a beer or a glass of wine. She loved her family. She loved new houseshoes and Vicks Vaporub. She hated company to stay too made her nervous. She put granny smith apples in her tuna fish salad....I gotta stop cause it makes me cry but goddamn I miss her.

I had the extreme pleasure of becoming a Godfather this year. My heart and thanks go to N and L for honoring me with this ....I cant wait to watch Harper and Lily grow over the years.

If you did not hear about it ....I went to Alaska this year and it was AMAZING.

So ....What does next year bring for me ?

I intend on stopping smoking, again. I quit for 8 months this year and then started back....its gross and stupid and I will be stopping for the new year.

I intend to finally get serious about my health and weight. No more excuses. I feel like crap and look it also....2009 will be a year of serious changes for me.

I intend to set reasonable sleep routines this year. Its been about 15 years since I had a good sleep pattern and I am sick of it. I vow by March to be going to bed by 11 each night. Goodbye late was nice knowin ya !

I intend to get back right with my monthly budget. I got off track at the end of the summer and have felt it the last few weeks. Budgets are good things and I intend to make a better effort at it starting in January. Brown bagging, less beer and Jack Daniels, staying home all adds up. Think of the travelling I could do at the end of the year with the money saved by being a little more conservative with what I have...

And speaking of staying home more....I intend to do just that, stay home more. I am getting more and more to the age of wanting to slow down and take it easy. I stay in the road. I am not becoming a prude or anything but I vow to slow down in 2009.

I intend to spend more time with my Brother this year.....We dont do enough together.

I am going to England and Scotland sometime this year. I got my passport ordered. In the planning stages right now but its looking like sometime in the spring.

I want to take a few here and mention a couple of yall by name...To Nick and Laura, WOW, there are no words to really express my love to you both. Yall are my heart and soul and I would be lost without yall....and to Nick thanks for being my brother and friend. To Jason, our travels, our stories, our fun together only gets better. Cant wait to see England with you buddy. To Luke,Jackie, John and Laura, our friendship only continues to grow and I love every minute of it...LOST is just around the corner....I love yall.

So that's it for me really .... I hope 2009 is a wonderful blessing to not only me but to all my friends and family. My best wishes to each of you for the NEW YEAR!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gee the Traffic is Terrific.....

A few things on my mind ....
On Saturday we celebrated our family Christmas with my WHOLE family. Aunts, uncles, cousins, yada yada yada ...This event was held at my Grannys house here in Montgomery and in a word it was ....stressfull.
Our family has grown to the point that when we do all manage to get together nothing seems to go right. One family is VERY late, one aunt is upset because the kids dont seem to want to eat, I am stressed because people around me are stressed. Christmas with my extended family is not fun....I hate to say it but its true. Gifts are given because people feel like they need to or have to give gifts...not because they want to give gifts. We decided this year to forgo drawing names and to just focus on my Grandmother. It was decided that the kids would get something but for the most part they get PLENTY at each of their own homes on Christmas and so we would cut back on that also....Yeah well it did not work out quite that way.
We tear through eating....we tear through gifts and then folks leave. Its maybe a few hours and thats it ...we are done....gotta move on to the next thing. I remember when I was younger we would literally spend the whole day at my grandparents on Christmas. I miss those days ....

I am also tired....I dont have a monopoly on being tired. Most of my few readers out there are tired also...we work, we play , some of us raise families.
I want to take it easy for the next few days .....I want to just sit and enjoy the tree, I want to read some.... I want to listen to my Christmas music. I want to go to Christmas Eve service and enjoy that...
I seem to go all the time....I am never at home at night during the week. I blame no one but myself because if any of you know me well enough then you know I sometimes have a hard time with saying no to things.

Anyway ...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

So This Is Christmas .....

So ....
I decided it was about time I posted something new......Last year about this time I posted about things of Christmas that were special to me. It was good enough for then so I think its good enough for now also...

A few of my favorite things ..

  • Watching my nephews in their Christmas play at school.

  • Picking out my tree.

  • Holiday movies. Watching with friends, drinking coffee, laughing, sharing.

  • Going shopping. Yeah, I know many folks complain but for me its part of the season to get out there and be among all those people.

  • The houses decorated with lights. From big displays to small, I always find enjoyment in riding around and looking.

  • Making fudge. The peanut butter kind ...very tasty.

  • Egg Nog.

  • Reading A Christmas Carol.

  • Going caroling with the youths from church.

  • Finding new versions of old christmas songs to enjoy.

  • Seeing the stockings I helped my Granny make when I was a little boy. They still hang on her fireplace mantle each year.

"There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say," returned the nephew: "Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!"

Fred Scrooge's Nephew from A Christmas Carol

And thats my tree up above ...The red ornament used to hang on my Nanas tree and the Santa CLaus is my favorite ornament.

Merry Christmas !

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.- MARK TWAIN

Mary Tyler sent up this assignment
Here's how it works:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline (or make a different color) the books you LOVE - mine are in Orange! 4) Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them ;-)The premise of this exercise is that the National Endowment for the Arts apparently believes that the average American has only read 6 books from the list below:
I would like to add that The Adventures Of Huck Finn was not on this list ....BAD SLIGHT there against Mr Twain.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible(parts)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare(parts)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis(parts of the series)
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (didn't finish it though)
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Change.....

Coach Tuberville left today from AU. In a statement released to the press he said it had been a good run and he truly loved Auburn University and the city of Auburn.
So what does this all mean .....
  • It means that you can have decent seasons and then miss the ring one year and you are out.
  • It means that you can have your program clean and clear in the eyes of the NCAA but none of that really matters cause, well you lost 7 games this year.
  • It means that folks will return next season to root for a team. No matter what ....
  • It means that once again we find ourselves looking at the clock ...stroke of midnight and boom we are a pumpkin again....
  • It means that the professors at Auburn will still be grossly underpaid, cutbacks will occur and programs will be lost. BUT due to football revenue new venues will be built, streets will be widened to accommodate more fans for Tiger Walk, concrete will be poured but you and I cant afford the $60-70 dollar ticket next year.

I am disgusted by the whole football thing actually ....the drama and suspense off the field. Not just at Auburn but at Notre Dame and Washington. The list goes on....

We live in a world where people are losing jobs, tensions are high all across the globe, the world AIDS crisis is entering its 4th decade and we are upset about Auburn football.

Dont get me wrong ...I listened to the radio Wednesday afternoon just like many of you ....I got upset at it all ....I was pissed off

Then I had a chance to speak with a women at church whos companion of 9 years is laying in a hospital bed dying ....He most likely wont live to see Christmas. It hit me that I was being nuts worrying about the coaching job at Auburn. It hit me that if Auburn never wins another game it wont matter to this guy in the wont matter to me either. Some of us live and breath Auburn football...and thats fine. I dont want anyone to take what I am saying as passing judgement in any way...It's just, ..I dont know .

I have literally been an Auburn fan since I was born...Both parents were AU fans and me and my brother really had no choice in the matter. I remember the days of tailgating in front of Drake Infirmary right behind the north endzone scoreboard. Before they took all that space away and provided more parking for "donors".

I will be the first to admit that my fervor for Auburn Football has not been the same since my Dad died....but tonight was the first time that it dawned on me that football just does not matter to me anymore . Will I never watch another game ....of course not . I will watch games but I will never again watch with the interest and zeal of this past year. That chapter in my life ended today.

I am going to try to direct my passion to other things now ....being a better son and brother, being a better friend, being more passionate to causes that really matter, trying to repair friendships and the Auburn Creed says ..I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all. If I put just half the the energy I put into watching Auburn play into these other things ....things will be better.

Just my thought.

Good luck to the new coach're gonna need it!