Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Abridged Print Edition for 05/20/11

        This past Monday would’ve been my dad’s 86th birthday. And I was telling Shelby how, when I was a kid, Dad would read to me and follow along with his finger so I could learn what letters made what words- teaching me to read well before I started kindergarten.
        I really wouldn't mind a bit if he was around to read to me now...

Wally sent along a great quote regarding my comments pondering whether or not to celebrate Osama Bin Laden’s death, passing along Mark Twain’s thought: “I’ve never wished a man dead but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure…”

It’s that time of year- the wedding crowds are coming out in full force. And, at my Saturday night gig, that means they roll in between 12 and 12:30, expecting everyone in the bar to acquiesce to their every whim (because, yeah- we all give a rat's ass about you and your “special day” and your shitfaced friends). 
And, of course, those were Saturday night’s wedding guests. Seeing as it was a crazy busy night (I think I had something like 24 or 25 singers- that’s a lot) I’d already stopped accepting new slips at 11:45 (and said so a number of times). I still had to deal with the incessant “why not? Please? Come on, just one. It’s for the bride and groom.” (If that doesn’t seem too annoying, have a drunken bridesmaid with a high-pitched voice, bad breath and a hideous dress repeat it in your ear 40 or 50 times.) I was also told I was "hateful."
Then, the guys come up and do (basically) the same thing. Except they act like beefheads, puffing out their chests and making vaguely threatening statements (neither of which results in a favorable response from me).
They seem to miss the whole point- the bar closes at 2. Hence, karaoke stops at 1 to allow the folks working there to go home at a reasonable hour by allowing them to get the place cleaned up, collect money for the various tabs from the ill behaved asses and get everyone out of there on time.
So why is it that the wedding parties seem to think we’re going to make an exception “for the bride and groom”? How is that fair to the other 25 people waiting to sing, huh? Or the people working there, who (by that point) really just want your drunken asses to have a tall glass of shut the fuck up and go home?
And it always seems the wedding parties tend to be the most poorly behaved. For some reason, it’s like they put on fancy clothes and then go completely batshit.
It’s nice to be busy and all- and I know the bar gets money out of ‘em- but (sometimes) I wonder if it’s really worth it…

The Reader’s Digest from last month (or was it the month before? I didn’t read it yet, I just saw the front) had a cover story about America’s best restaurants and it got me to wondering whether I could come up with a ten best.
Around our area, we’ve got Ted’s Montana Grill and… um… uh…
There’s RuSan’s, of course- but they’re kind of inconvenient to where we live now. Then again, they take such good care of us, and they’re such good friends, it’s worth the drive. So, there's two.
That “Restaurant” place Shelby and I went to was pretty good, as was Los Laureles- a Mexican joint around the block from us, and Don Pedro’s, just up Buford Highway from us. Are they “best” quality, though? I dunno. I don’t think I’ve sampled enough of their menus to make a good judgment. 
And yes- I noticed that there are a lot of Mexican places on my list. All of them are authentic Mexican, however- not that faux-Mexican stuff you get at Chili’s or El Potro. These places are owned by Mexicans, operated by Mexicans, and frequented by many of the Hispanics in our area.
We’ve also only been to Dreamland Barbecue twice, but I’ll put them on my “best” list anyway, because both things I had were just awesome. Ditto Dominick’s (Italian, in downtown Norcross) and Zapata’s (Mexican- also in downtown Norcross). 
Hmm, I’m up to four now.
Costco’s hot dogs are really good. You can buy them in the store (along with what I hear is some pretty tasty pizza). Does that count? Then we have five. How about a five best list instead of ten?
Years ago, Johnny Harris would’ve made my list in Savannah, but my last three experiences there have led me to put them on a “worst restaurants” list instead. There also used to be an awesome barbecue place in Soperton called Sweat’s (yeah, horrible name). Alas, they’re long gone.
I always enjoyed The Shell House, but I don’t know that they’re in a “best” category. I’m at a loss here.
Which are your favorites? And please, don’t bother telling me about any of Paula Deen’s shitholes. She’s annoying and the food’s overrated. In fact, I’d rather stab myself in the tastebuds that give her my money…

Words can’t express how disappointed I am to have just seen an NBA playoff promo featuring Prince. Not because of Prince, but because it was Prince doing an NBA promo…

Interesting roll the Braves are on- good pitching, just enough hitting and a good winning streak. Nate McLouth still sucks, though- I don’t care if he gets a hit every at-bat for the rest of the year.
Also, Dan Uggla doesn’t seem like he’s going to hit his weight this year. How about that investment?

I’m pretty sure Univision must be remaking “The Partridge Family” because I’m almost certain I saw their bus (painted in the colors of the Mexican flag, plus some yellow) while I was driving home from work today…

That’s it. I’m out of steam. See ya!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Abridged Print Edition for 05/06/11

        The talk, of course, has all been Bin Laden following Sunday night’s announcement by President Obama that America’s most wanted man had been killed in a raid by a US Navy Seal team.
Now, I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the news, but it was kind of hard to miss this one?
Of course, Sunday’s action managed to stir up the political fighting that we deal with far too much already. 
        From all the bitching from the right, you'd think President Obama went on TV and told the world he'd just single-handedly got off a plane in Islamabad, took a leisurely stroll through town, knocked on the front door, beat to death the poor bastard that opened the door and then everyone else in the house with his bare hands, then shot Bin Laden himself. 
        How about shut the fuck up and congratulate the armed forces? And the Seals who got the job done, in particular? 
What's abundantly clear to me, from my online travels, is that people who are ideologically opposed to the current administration will bitch, whine, lie, attempt character assassination and never hand out any kudos for anything that may be accomplished while President Obama is in office- including Sunday’s action against Bin Laden. 
Of course, by the same token, opponents of the previous administration were just as guilty of vilifying President Bush and denying any kudos to his administration. You can go ahead and kid yourself that you weren't, but you're full of shit. 
       And, frankly, the amount of hate speech from both sides that's directed at people who dare disagree with them is appalling.
For better or worse, both Presidents (all Presidents, in fact) are saddled with an incredible burden. And their supporters give them far too much credit, while their detractors place far too much blame.

Monday morning I saw a humorous analogy on Yahoo that I though was a apt description of the situation, likening it to a box score of a baseball game:
“WP- G.W. Bush [1-0] LP- O. Bin Laden [0-1] S- B. Obama [1]”
And to that, I’d add: HR- U.S.N. Seals (1).
Yes, it's far too simplistic, omits the thousands of casualties (on both sides), and makes light of death and war- but I still chuckled. 
Then again, I think we all know there's something wrong with me. But, if I focus on death and war, I'll go more nuts than I already am.

And there were plenty of people who posted a supposed quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. In reality, King was only responsible from half the quote, which reads as follows:
“I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. ‘Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.’ MLK Jr.”
According to Atlantic blogger Megan McArdle, the first half of the quote comes from Jessica Dovey, who posted it as her Facebook status. Somewhere along the way, the quotation marks were removed and people began to attribute the whole thing to King.
Still, it’s a nice sentiment, no matter who‘s responsible.
        Reactions varied widely amongst my friends. I was surprised at some the responses to Allison's posts on Facebook. I mean- c’mon people, this is still a free country, and the right to speak our minds is at the heart of the First amendment for a reason.
Nick from San Diego posted this one: “Down goes Bin Laden!! Down goes Bin Laden!!!” (Inappropriate? Sure. Funny? Fuck yeah- especially when you read that with Howard Cosell’s voice in your head.)
Charles from Piedmont, Alabama was more introspective: “It seems barbaric to *celebrate* something which is essentially a very long, complex tragedy.”
  I’m not really celebrating. Despite my gruff exterior- that’s not how I’m wired. But I’m certainly not going to mourn the guy, either. Justice, in this case, was done. 
        That, of course, is from the point of view of an American who happens to think that criminals should pay the appropriate price for their crimes. And conspiracy to commit homicide on such a mass scale certainly warranted a bullet to the forehead. 
Then again, nothing was solved by that bullet. Bin Laden’s death merely assures that the “war” will go on by inspiring his followers to continue fighting.
They regard “us” as the enemy, just as we view “them” the same way. It’s neither right nor wrong- it’s just how it is.