Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Year in Wrap Up - Glen

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
I tried to do different things in the kitchen.
For instance I made homemade gravy at Thanksgiving.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t really make resolutions; I did make a to-do list that was not successful with.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Dabney’s brother Bill and his wife Cameron.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Good friend Lauren.

5. What places did you visit?
Birmingham, Al and Jackson, Ms

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
More motivation.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 20, got married

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Pulled the wedding off with little in way of problems.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Did not try harder to get a new job.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Had a bad cold I couldn’t shake but nothing else.

11. What was the best thing you bought
Blu Ray Player

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Dabney’s Mom Polly did so much to help us get married.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The President and the Democrats in congress giving in too early and too often.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Getting married and the cruise for next year.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Spending a week in the Bahamas with Dabney.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Nothing comes to mind

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? a bit thinner
c) richer or poorer? About the same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Tried more kinds of dishes

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Eating too much food that was bad for me.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2010?
Brunch at Dabney’s brother’s house and dinner at her Aunt Mary’s

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
nope already there

22. What was your favorite TV program?
The Walking Dead

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2010?
Had friends over and we played Apples to Apples

24. What was the best book you read?
Y the Last Man series

25. What did you want and get?
Blu Ray Player, Ipod touch, good knives, a cruise

26. What did you want and not get?
Xbox 360 Kinect

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

28. Did you make some new friends this year?
I met some new people but I am not sure about new friends.

29.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Finding someone that makes my life happier and more complete

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Pretty much nothing new

31. What kept you sane?
Killing zombies on Xbox

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Olivia Wilde

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
Trying to keep the wacko right especially the Tea Party folks at bay.

34. Who did you miss?
My friend Lauren

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010
Try to keep things in perspective and not let the little things freak you too much

Monday, December 27, 2010

Year End Wrap Up - Dabney

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before? I got married! I became an Aunt. Hosted my first Thanksgiving.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't even know what my resolutions were from last year. I want to make some for this year, but I haven't finalized anything.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Both My sister in law and stepsister did
4. Did anyone close to you die? My close friend, Lauren
5. What places did you visit? Birmingham, AL and Jackson, MS
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010? A real job that makes me happy and fulfilled
7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? March 20 - the day I got married, November 2 - the day Memphis got it right again
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Keeping my sanity
9. What was your biggest failure? Keeping my insanity
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No
11. What was the best thing you bought? The wedding stuff
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Glen - he is a wonderful husband, the Cohen staff - they are extraordinary, and the voters of District 9
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The Tea Party
14. Where did most of your money go? Staying above water
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Being married to the love of my life
16. What song will always remind you of 2010? The Glee Soundtrack
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter? The Same
c) richer or poorer? Poorer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Enjoy the time I have
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Stress
21. Did you fall in love in 2010? More and more
22. What was your favorite TV program? Glee, Modern Family
23. What did you do for your birthday in 2010? Pool Party at Austin's
24. What is the best book you read? The Bridal Quartet by Nora Roberts (yes, it is cheesy, but I wasn't looking for smart books this year. I needed distractions.)
25. What did you want and get? An absolute rocking wedding
26. What did you want and not get? A Papa Tops poster for our Wedding
27. What was your favorite film of this year? Easy A
28. Did you make some new friends this year? Made good friends into better friends
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010? T-shirts and jeans of the unemployed
31. What kept you sane? Glen
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? No one I can think of
33. What political issue stirred you the most? GLBT issues - DADT, Prop 8 Human Rights are not special rights
34. Who did you miss? The liberals in Congress
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

I am going to get Glen to do one, too. Happy Holidays and here is to 2011.

Project Glen: 12-27

I did not post last week, but in the past two weeks I have gained three pounds. Overall I am still in the positive on weight, but I have stalled some. I need to refocus and start working on making positive progress again. I can't be too down on myself there have been things like Christmas parties and lots of sweets that are not a day to day kind of thing. I just need to do the best I can this week and next week my life will return to a more normal routine. I am glad I started before the holidays but I feel a bit frustrated that I have hit a rough patch. I have a long way to go and in the long run it shouldn't make difference I just can't get so discouraged that I stop trying to lose weight.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Project Glen: 12-13

I am keeping at it and having success. I lost another 3 1/2 pounds for a total of 15 pounds. I can tell I have lost weight and my stomach is a bit smaller now. So far nobody has really noticed so far. I think when I lose another 10 - 15 pounds it will be more noticeable. I am glad I started before the holidays started instead of waiting for January to start. I have been to a couple of Christmas parties but so far have not crazy with that. Usually around the office there is a bunch of cookies and sweets but so far this year there hasn't been any of that. I feel like I am making good progress at eating less. I have been really trying to listen to my body and not eating when I am not hungry. At this rate I will look better when we go on the cruise in March and also when Jacquie gets married in June. At some point I probably need to get some new clothes but I will just see how that goes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Project Glen: 12-6 update

As we enter into the second month of this project I am happy to report that I keep making progress on this. This week I lost 2 1/2 pounds and lost a total of 11 1/2 pounds. I guess the idea is not to lose too much too quickly, because if you do that it becomes too easy to gain it all back. Just to keep working away, keep away from cokes, fast food and other things that are bad for me. I have been working really hard on eating less. I don't do well weighing food or following some kind weight watchers plan. So I have been trying to eat less and not eating as much between meals.

Monday, November 29, 2010

An Iron Bowl for Bama Fans to Forget

The showdown of Alabama schools known as the Iron Bowl took place the day after Thanksgiving. The game between Alabama and Auburn is one of the most heated rivalries in college football. It usually features close hard fought games where the records of the teams don't always matter in the game. There are certain games that stand out above the rest. Some examples are: Punt Bama Punt, Van Tiffin kick, the Bo Jackson games, and last years game winning drive that Alabama put together on the way to winning it all. The 2010 Iron Bowl will join the pantheon of games but it is a game Alabama fans will not want to be reminded of. The game went from a 24-0 Alabama knocking off Auburn kind of game to a 28-27 miracle comeback win by Auburn. Alabama blew some chances, gave up some big plays, and in the end imploded under the onslaught lead by Cam Newton. Alabama won all those close games, but this year came up short against South Carolina, LSU, and Auburn. So now the tables have turned and it is Auburn that has won all the close games and now only South Carolina and probably Oregon stand in the way Auburn bringing back the title to the state. While there is nothing to ashamed off and we still have the glow of the 2009 season the idea of the 28-27 Camback as it is being called now will living on in highlight reels for years to come just like Punt Bama Punt is going to be hard.

Project Glen: 11-29 Update

Checking in the Monday after Thanksgiving, and the news is good. I did not crazy on turkey day, and got bit of help from having a head cold for the weekend and therefore did not eat very much. I lost 4 pounds this week for a total of 9 pounds. It was exciting to have some tangible results, it makes it easier to continue this. It can be difficult and it is easy to get discouraged. Because it is going to take awhile to do this, any progress is encouraging. Just keeping at it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Project Glen: 11-22 Update

I had a good week considering I had an office potluck on Friday. I just ate until I was full and did not go back into the break room. This was tricky because they bought Honeybaked ham and that is some damn good stuff. Overall I did a pretty good job of not over eating or eating between meals and the results were I lost 3 1/2 pounds for a total of 5 pounds lost so far. I have a long way to go but I am encouraged after a rough first week I am starting to show some progress. I just have to remember that is a long slow process and you go for cumulative results not the results from any one week. This is week is Thanksgiving a day you are supposed to give thanks and eat way to much, but I think I have a good handle on that and will try to approach the day in a sane way. We will see next week how successful I was with that.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Update

I am assuming if you are reading this, you have been reading Glen's updates about his project. I am so proud of him, and I am doing my best to support him.

As for me, I have come to realize just how stressed out I am, and have been for some time. For the past year and a half or so, my life has been a mix of highs and lows. I as laid off from my job at International Paper. I finally got a temp job, but it wasn't really paying the bills, so I stayed stressed out. I got married. Got a new job. The campaign kicked into gear. Lost my new job, and now I am working two days a week for almost no money, living off the same couple of hundred dollars for the past six weeks, and I have absolutely no idea when I am going to get some relief.

Money is the thing that stresses me out the most. If I have it, I worry that I am spending too much or that I am not spending it on the right thing. If I don't have it, I panic about when I am going to get it again. I am never really comfortable, no matter what the circumstances, but I, of course, am very uncomfortable now.

I have gotten to the point where I can't reach out. There are friends I have lost touch with, family who thinks I should call more, and networking that I am not doing all because I have just lost the confidence to just pick up the phone and talk to people. I talk to the people who call me, of course. I wait for the phone to ring for that next job interview, and I am so excited when the phone does ring. I am constantly applying for things online, and never hearing back about the opportunities I think should be fairly easy to get.

It is so frustrating because it is an awful circle. I need to get out of my house and do things so that I am not as isolated with my thoughts, but doing things outside of the house tends to cost money, which I don't have, so I end up more isolated and alone with my thoughts. As Glen will tell you, if I have too much time on my hand to think about things, it is not a good thing.

So, that is where I am these days. If I haven't called in awhile, give me a call. I am here, I promise. If I do talk to you on a regular basis, thank you. It means the world to me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Project Glen: 11-15 Update

Week two went better than week one. I lost about 2 1/2 pounds this week for a total loss of about a pound and a half. They say you are supposed to lose about two pounds a week. I just need to keep working at it. I had some people over for my birthday Saturday night. I tried not to eat and snack too much during the day because I knew I would eat a lot that night. I feel pretty good this week about what I have done so far. Overall I have done really well at cutting down on eating between meals, fried and fast foods. I basically have two meals a day lunch and dinner. I know I should probably be eating breakfast every day, but I have just never been a big breakfast type person. The thing I am trying to focus on right now is not eating just to eat and stopping when I am full. So far the not eating just to eat has gone pretty good, but the stopping when I am full has been trickier. I think this goes back to whole food addiction thing. You have that tasty plate of food in front of you and love the taste and sensations of eating it. You override your body when it says you are full and keep going. One thing I have been trying to do to combat that is eat slower. You enjoy the experience and savor each bite and also by eating slower you can get the sensation of being full and stopping when you need to. It is a struggle to do this and constant fight against self sabotage but I think the end results will be worth all the effort.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

45 going on ..........

This particular Saturday morning there has been a convergence of two events that has me in a reflective mood. Last night Dabney and I watched The Social Network about the creation of Facebook, and the focus is on Mark Zuckerberg who was the main creative force behind Facebook and is also the youngest billionaire in the world. This is colliding with later tonight I will be celebrating my 45th birthday with some of my friends. I feel like I am entering the next phase of my life, but do not have a fucking clue as to what that is or what I am supposed to do. I sit and wonder what the fuck happened to the last the ten or fifteen years of my life and that I should be further along towards something by now. However I am not further along and feel a bit lost. The world is largely driven by the Type A personality, the go getters with the drive and passion to get things done. As with The Social Network, even if they took liberties with some of the facts it does not change the fact those guys passion and drive made Facebook happen. I don't think I have had that kind of drive or passion for anything. I guess I am what you call a dabbler there are lots of things I like but there is not that one thing that I feel like if I was never able to do that again my life would not be the same. I don't think I can become a Type A person I think most people that are like that are just wired that way from the get go. However I think I can motivate more to move towards a goal, because there have been times in my life when I have been able to accomplish things, I just feel there is now one overarching this is my life or this is me. Actually in the past few weeks I have been in a pretty good place and feel satisfied where my life, it is just some of the changes that are happening in my life are going to take some time and that is what makes me feel like I have a few lost years where I didn't know what I was doing and just didn't care where my life was going. While you can not go back and beating yourself up too much about something like that is pointless and unproductive, it is hard to avoid sometimes. Maybe the answer just keep working on the things I can work on to make myself a better person. What can I do today to make myself a better person. When Dabney and I working on our wedding, she would get overwhelmed by the scope of everything we were trying to do. I helped her by breaking it down into smaller units of time. We do not have to have all this done, and by taking it one step at a time and working towards smaller goals, it made the big picture easier to deal with. Maybe I just need to work on the things I know I want to change and now worry about being the big picture so much. Like the 12 steppers say One day at a time.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Project Glen: Update

Let's get the bad news out of the way first. I gained a pound, but I know what happened I ate too much over the weekend. It was my birthday weekend, my Mom was in town, and to put it simply I ate too much food over the last few days. Overall I still really good, while I am disappointed I did not lose any weight this week I still feel motivated and I did manage to drink less soda, cut down on sweets, cut down on snacking between meals, and tried to eat smaller portions at meals. I knew when I started at the beginning of last week it would be hard because my birthday this weekend, but that is over so I am just going to focus on the positive and move on from here. I know it is a process and I just need to keep at it.

Caught in a Frame

The gay bar down the street from me Backstreet was shut down again this past weekend. Apparently people had been doing drugs in there, selling alcohol after 3 AM and serving alcohol to minors. ABC 24 came around and talked to people in the neighborhood about what they thought about it. I talked to the lady reporter answered her questions, and then that night Dabney and I watched the 10 PM newscast. It must have been a slow news day in Memphis because that was the lead the story. They framed the story in the most negative way they could, emphasizing the drugs and all the bad things. They did use a clip of me and I was saying they did do drugs down there, but they didn't use where I said they don't bother me and long as it stays in their parking lot they can do whatever they want. Looking back on it, I should have known that is what they were looking for. They asked if I knew about Backstreet getting shut down and when I said it was probably because of drugs the reporter got excited and asked if I would say that on the air. It is very interesting to me that it appears the reporter had already written her story before she left the building, and instead of actually getting reaction from the neighbors, she used video and statements that just supported her thesis.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day Before the Midterms

Obama is facing his first midterm elections and believe all the press out there is not going to be pretty. Unless some kind of miracle happens it looks like the Democrats will the House and barely hang on to control of the Senate. I have no idea what that will look like other than with such a slim majority I don't know how anything will pass the Senate even if does get through the House. I think these next couple of years are just going to be a complete cluster fuck. At some point the Republicans will actually have to do something and not just say to everything. Currently their only option seems to be the same one since Reagan of lowering taxes and deregulate, because taking all the regulations off the of the financial services and energy companies has worked so well up until now. I do know one thing after tomorrow I will not have to see any of those super political ads any more because I am frankly sick of seeing Haslam's face and Fincher's giant inbred clan of freaks saying what good Christians they are all.

Project Glen: Official Start

Today was my first official weigh in. I have a long way to go to reach my goal, but the good news is I lost a few pounds since last week just by cutting down on what I eat. The way I see it now I think I can lose quite a bit of weight just by eating a lot less and cutting out fast food and soda. Other than Subway I did not eat any fast food last week. At some point just eating less alone will not cause me lose weight and I will have to work at more with activity and exercise, but for now that is not as big of a concern. I am really psyched up to start this, and I feel like I have the right mental attitude to start this. I already feel more empowered over food, by saying I have a problem with it. The mental blocks and getting starting are two aspects of weight that for now I have been able to deal with, and I should be able to lose weight, but then you have the real enemy and the one that makes long term weight loss difficult, sticking with a plan. One thing I am trying to do to combat this is not approach this like a diet where I can only eat certain things, but more of portion control and at first not eating really unhealthy things like fast foods and desserts. I would like to make where It's not like I am never going to eat fried food or sweets again, but more of not making them a staple of my day to day menu. In addition to eating less I am going to start working in eating more vegetables and healthy food. I know I can do this, and like I said I have long way to go, but hopefully by the time approaching my 46th birthday one year from today I will be whole new person.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Brunch with a Conservative

I had brunch today with my friend Austin and his dad Lyle who is a hard core conservative. It got a heated in a few places, but I knew there was no way I was going to change his mind about anything, so I simply stated my side of the issues. His basic attitude was this is what is wrong with America and this how Democrats caused that to happen. It was not as much frustrating as informative in that I saw someone who had a completely opposite attitude on the nature of government and the form and function of said government. Many of the things he said seemed to come straight from Fox News, fear of illegal immigrants, Acorn, welfare, and all other abuses of the system, but unlike some people I know, Fox News merely validated his already existing attitudes as opposed to being strictly a source of information. You would think there are a lot reasons for this with generational and life experience being two obvious things that would lead to such drastic differences of opinion. I guess with someone like Lyle he sees America as a vastly different place that what he grew up in. While you could say there have been different programs that have helped equalize inequalities and provided a social safety net to certain groups of people, it has also lead to a lot of abuse of the system. For a lot of people of his generation all they see is the abuse of the system instead of people that have been helped. I guess in a lot of ways this is a microcosm of the national debate that is currently going, and some of the issues we face in the next few years. Right now both sides are dug in and we really need to find a way to work together to come with some solutions long term. It made for interesting conversation and greatly delighted Austin who likes playing devil's advocate with both of us and saw this as some kind of showdown of two people he knows with different views of things.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Project Glen Update

I have been spending the last few days preparing for this year long project. Admitting that I have a problem is freeing, even if it is just admitting it to myself. Denial is a powerful force and it is not easy to deal with. However, I just have to take the bull by the horns and hang on for the ride. I feel like I am motivated and willing to take this on. My first goal has been to eat less and eat when I am hungry instead of eating for the sake of eating. I don't think I am going to every be that person that can just eat veggies and rice cakes, so I have tried to focus on cutting way back on unhealthy food. Right now that means sweets, fried food, and fast food. Dealing with a food addiction is like dealing with any other addiction you have to take one day at a time, keep a positive mental attitude, try to have some kind of support system, and if you do have a bad day or fall of the wagon do not beat yourself up too much. I am trying not to approach this like a diet, which is a short term solution that may succeed but you ultimately fail because you go back to old eating patterns and just gain the weight back. I want to approach this as a lifestyle change, and that changes I make now will serve me well the rest of my life. I simply must do this now, because if I don't I will die a painful and nasty death within 20 years. In addition to being healthier, looking better will give more options in doing acting and improv. I don't just want to be the funny fat guy. I had said I wasn't going to start until the first of November, but in many ways I started with that the blog post the other day. Over the years I have gained and lost weight. With me the mental aspect is crucial. You have to want to, and have you fight your own self destructive tendencies. I need to be able to find joy and motivation in something besides food. I think this will not only help me lose weight, but will improve my life in other ways as well. I just have to stick with this, don't get too down on myself, and don't let the old ways come back. Like they say one day at a time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Project Glen

Occasionally I have a problem insomnia when I simply can't sleep. I am having that problem now. Often at these times I will lay in bed and think about things, I have good ideas, but usually they fade and disappear like a dream the next day. However this time I do not want to let this idea go, so here I am.

To borrow a phrase from the 12 steppers, my name is Glen and I am addicted to food. There I said it and it is out there. I am not a big drinker, I don't do drugs or smoke, but boy do I love food. I think I would rather eat than do just about anything. Greasy, fried, sweet, salty there is not much I do not like. I hear people that are dealing with addiction and they way they talk about it is the way I feel about food. I think about it all the time. How can I make recipe better, what if I added this or that, or wouldn't be good to have some of ________. Now that I have said that I need to move on to the phase of this project and that is change the bad habit. Unlike some addictions I simply can not stop eating, but I want to stop the destructive nature and bad habits that got me where I am today.

Today is Monday October 25, 2010. In a little under two weeks on November 6 I will turn 45. By the time I turn 46 the following November 6 I want to be a different person. Before I met my wife Dabney I just didn't care about certain things, and even though I had lost and gained weight plenty of times in past I had been in a bad cycle that I could not break out of. Being with Dabney has made me a much happier person, and because of the that I am ready to move on and make other changes in my life. Over the course of the next year I want to lose 120 pounds, which breaks down to 10 pounds a month or even further 2 1/2 pounds a week. I am giving myself a week to prepare myself and want to begin the adventure on the first of November. I feel like I am stuck in a rut and there are changes that I want to make in my life and while I am not sure what direction I want my life to go I do know that I want to change the way I look. If I can change that for the better, what else can I do. It is something that I can not postpone any longer. I am not trying to live forever, I want just want to live a longer and healthier life.

I am not going to let this addiction beat me, and like most addictions it will be something I will have to deal with the rest of my life, but I can't just give up because it is hard. I have to change my approach to food. People like me seek solace in food, eat when you are happy, sad, bored, or whatever reason you can think of. To make it worse you feel bad about being overweight and you comfort yourself by eating more. It is the nastiest of vicious circles and one that is very hard to break out of.

I am not sure who will read this but somebody will and I just want to put this out there if for no other reason that to acknowledge this to myself. There will be good days and bad, triumphs and defeats but in the end if I stick with this I will be a better person for it. I will be begin Project Glen this week but right now I am going to try to go back to bed.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Footballn' in Bham

I was in Birmingham this past weekend. Alabama was scheduled to play Florida and Auburn was playing Louisiana Monroe. Both teams won easily Saturday night and the buzz around town for both teams was very high. Unlike Memphis that has its various factions various for several SEC teams and those diehard few University of Memphis fans, football fandom in the Birmingham is pretty cut and dry. In seasons when one or both teams are down or having a mediocre season there is still interest but there is more talk of what is wrong or how can be fixed. This year both teams or good and there is already some talk of two undefeated teams playing each other in late November. Alabama fans are giddy with Sabin at the helm for the foreseeable future and a team kicking butt on the field, life is good. Saturday there were tons of Alabama shirts, car flags, and you could just feel the excitement in the air about the Florida game. The Sabin years have not been as much fun down on the Plains. The Auburn fans are showing their pride as well but unlike the Alabama fans there is more of a quiet confident but hopeful feeling about the team. Nothing would please Auburn fans than to be the ones that unseat Alabama from the top perch and this year Auburn has a pretty good team and relatively easy remaining schedule. Not living there for a while you can forget what a football mad town Birmingham can be, and Saturday I was reminded what it can be like. If both teams keep winning the stakes will be even higher for the Iron Bowl as the eyes of the nation turn to Tuscaloosa to see who will make the trip to the SEC Championship Game the next week.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Celtic Music in Jackson, Mississippi

On Saturday afternoon drove down to Jackson, Mississippi to check out Celtic Fest and it would also give Dabney a chance to show me Jackson and Millsaps College. We arrived in Jackson and checked into the hotel, which was right next to Millsaps. Dabney showed me around the campus and after we drove around the neighborhood a bit. After a brief swim with Steve Steffens and a couple of cocktails we went to dinner at a nearby restaurant called Que Sera' Sera'. It was semi-upscale Cajun place. Dabney got Chicken Alfredo and I go a Blackened Ribeye. There was something Dabney did not like about her's and now she wants to try and make herself. My Blackened Ribeye was juicy and tender and aptly described by Steve as a Fred Flintstone slab of meat. After dinner we went back to the hotel room and saw some of the Alabama vs Penn State and Oregon vs Tennessee games. I was happy with the results of both (Alabama win and UT loss). By this time we had been in Jackson several hours and we had not seen or heard any Celtic music. Steve told us that most of the musicians would be coming back to the hotel and usually a jam session would break out. Sure enough at about 11:30 they all started pouring and started playing. One musician would start a tune and other would join in and would usually play about ten to fifteen minutes. People played, danced, drank, and talked. I got the feeling there was two festivals going on, the official one and the late night jam sessions. Dabney went to bed before I did, but I soon went to bed because tomorrow we would actually experience the festival.

After breakfast we drove over to the festival about five minutes away. Celtic Fest is a festival of Celtic food, dancing, and music held every year. There were several stages for music and dancing and several people selling food and merchandise. Steve and Lauren Hesse went every year, and was the first Celtic music festival they went to together. This is the first year Steve went without Lauren, and he was going to speak at a memorial for several friends of the festival that had passed over the course of the year. Before the memorial we saw a couple of bands and saw many of the people that we had been jamming away the night before. At about 1:30 we gathered at one of the music tents. It was very nice and three different people were memorialized. Steve did a really good job talking about Lauren and her passion for Celtic music and especially Celtic Fest. After that it was time for us to head back to Memphis. After hearing about the Celtic music festivals for a couple of years I finally got to see one first hand. On the good side I met some really nice folks and heard some world class musicians do their thing. On the not as good side I think I prefer my Celtic music a little punkier (Flogging Molly or The Pogues) and after awhile the music got a wee bit repetitive. Overall the good far outweighed the bad and it was overall a very positive experience.

On the way out of town Dabney and I hit a burger place called Five Guys. It is a chain place but there is only handful of restaurants around the country. Really good burgers and hand cut fries. Their basic burger is a double and they use really good meat with a variety of toppings. With the great burger meal finished our Jackson trip was over and it was time to head back to Memphis.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Herb Butter Chicken

I tried making some herb butter. It had basil, rosemary, thyme, and oregano in it. I took some chicken breasts and put the herb butter underneath the skin and baked it. I had the chicken with a wild rice mix. The breast was nice and juicy with crispy skin. The herbs and butter added nice flavor to the chicken, but once you got through the top layer of chicken it does not have as much flavor. I think I need some kind of sauce or something that adds flavor. I made some plum bbq sauce that I had with pork, that might be good with chicken too. I baked it this time but it might also be good on the grill.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Wedding Weekend Part 4 Tunica

After several hectic days and the wedding, Dabney and I drove down to Tunica. We checked at the Goldstrike, went up to our room, and promptly went to sleep. We were going to do something but we just ran out of gas. I woke up before Dabney and watched some NCAA tournament while she slept. About half an hour later Dabney woke and we went downstairs.

We both got Goldstrike cards, which was one line. Then we walked over to the buffet line which was also backed up. They had a seafood buffet that night and that was a sight to behold. They buffet featured whole lobsters and crab legs. All these people were getting two lobsters at a time and big platefuls of crab legs. After we ate we wandered around that casino and gambled a bit. The casino was busy and all the tables were open and a lot of the machines were being played. It was just crazy, there was people everywhere. It had been a long day so we decided to make it an early night.

The next day we slept in, ordered omelets from room service, and got the Jeff Bridges movie Crazy Heart. It was a great way to spend the morning. The food was really good and we both liked the movie. In Tunica they have a small strip malls with what was supposed to be outlet stores, but from what Dabney and I saw there wasn't much savings on the stuff we looked at. We went back to the room for a bit and that night drove over to Harah's and had dinner at the Paula Dean buffet. There were pictures of Paula everywhere and the food at the Paula Dean buffet was really good. If you go I highly recommend the ho cakes which is like a cross between cornbread and a pancake. After dinner we went back to Goldstike and played some video poker at the bar and had a few adult beverages. It was going to be our last night in Tunica but it had been an excellent trip.

Monday morning Dabney had to get back to Memphis for a job interview so we checked and were going to eat breakfast at Waffle House. We drove over and the Waffle House was really busy so ended up going to Paula Dean's again. By the way I am good on the buffets for awhile. We drove back to Memphis and Dabney went to her interview at a non-profit agency called Knowledge Quest. As it turned out Dabney got the job there making it a perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Wedding Weekend Part 3 Sat

Saturday morning I woke up at Austin's house, got dressed, and drove home. Dabney and her Mom had gone to get their hair done so I had the house to myself to get ready. It was in that time that any kind of nerves hit me. The impact of that this was happening after all the planning and hoping that everything was going to work. I checked the internet for a few minutes, took a bath, and got dressed. Austin was supposed to be pick me up because I only wanted one car at the church. He was supposed to be there at 9:30 but had not shown up. A few minutes later Bill and Cameron showed up with the cupcakes so I rode to First Congo with him. When I got there no Austin and Ted had not talked to him either. I was getting a bit nervous when he called and said he was on his way and showed up a few minutes later.

Steve Jones was wandering around taking some pictures of us getting ready. We had decided to try and get some pictures done before the wedding started. Dabney was still getting ready so we did some shots that needed me and not her. After that we did the shots of me seeing Dabney for the first time in her wedding dress. They had me turn around and face the other way and she called me and I turned around. She looked radiant and happy and just full of joy. Steve Jones captured that moment and so far it is everyone's favorite picture. After that we took a bunch of pictures of us with various family members. By that time people were starting to show up so we knew we did not have much time left. Some of the last pictures we took were of the wedding party and the flower girls. Which considering we lost Ted during the service was a good thing. We took the last few pictures, moved off and let the people come in and get seated. Then it was showtime.

The various people walked the mothers and grandmothers in. Then Dabney's Dad Dodson walked her in. It is difficult to describe the mix of emotions I was feeling at that moment. I was overcome with all this pure emotion and I just wanted to explode. We made it through the first part of giving away the bride and readings. During one of the readings I saw Jodi, Ted's girlfriend out of the corner of my eye. next thing I know Jodi and Syd are leading Ted out of the church. We later found out he had a heart flutter and sent his body into shut down mode but seems ok now. Uncle James had a program with the service and a page out of a newspaper with some thoughts written down. It was this bizarre combination of things and other than Dabney reminding him we needed to vows he kept things straight. Dabney and I had written our vows and we wrote them separately. Oddly enough our vows were very similar. I made it through the most of mine but got a bit choked up on the last line of mine which made Dabney a bit choked up for the first part of her vows. But we both made it through our vows. We exchanged rings and we were in the home stretch. There was a couple of more prayers and we kissed. This time when we did the walk out we were married. We stayed at the church for a bit longer, took some more pictures, and then we left the church as people blew bubbles and we left out in Dabney's car to drive to the Hi Tone. It was a massive relief to be through that part because we knew the Hi Tone part would be fun.

We got to the Hi Tone and Steve Jones took some pictures of us outside. We went inside and they were finishing setting up and there was already a mix of friends and family there. I got with the band to work out what time they would start. Once some people got some food, Dabney introduced the band and the Papa Top's West Coast Turn Around who we saw that fateful night at the Hi Tone a couple of years earlier started playing. Dabney and I mingled with the guests and got something to eat. The Papa Top's took a break and during that time Dabney and I fed each other a cupcake, Austin did a toast, and I thanked everybody for coming out. After their break Dabney and I danced to an Ann Murray song we picked out Can I Have This Dance. It was pretty awesome and it was wonderful dancing with her in that moment. A little bit later other people got up and danced and by that time people had started leaving. The Papa Top's said their last was this Charlie Daniel's song called In America but I knew there needed to be one more song. The infamous David Alan Coe song that has the sing along chorus. "Tell em you were Merle Haggard's bitch in prison. Tell em you think Billy Ray Cyrus is queen. Tell em you and David Alan Coe invented country music. You'll be the biggest star they've ever seen." We had the remaining 20 or 30 people singing chorus with us by the end and I knew that was perfect the ending to the party. After that people starting picking up the Hi Tone, Dabney and I went home to get ready to go to Tunica, because my Dad got us a room down there at the Goldstrike Casino. While we were getting ready they dropped some stuff off from the church and the Hi Tone, soon they left and we did too heading to Tunica, MS.

Last installment Part 4 Tunica.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Wedding Weekend Part 2 Fri

Friday was a crazy day because there was a lot of moving parts and people in different places. They day started with Dabney and Polly going off to get their nails and toes done. While they did that Polly's friend Karen and Stacy did some decorating for the Hi Tone. The projects did not take as long as Dabney thought they would and Karen ended up going to the nail place and Stacy went to her place to let her dog out. Polly's husband Greg had been helping Bill with a project that did not take long so he came back to our house and ended up watching some basketball with him. Dabney, Polly, and Karen got back and they left again. A little bit later my Mom showed up. She had a left Birmingham that morning and had come straight to our house. We had lunch with her and then Mom and I went to get our hair cut at Dabble's. When I got back from that Dabney, Katie, and Stacy were doing a makeup trial with the Mary Kay lady that would be doing the makeup for the girls the next day. After that we took some stuff for the Hi Tone and after that Dabney went to the church and I got ready for the Running Gag show, then went to the church for the rehearsal.

The rehearsal was for the wedding party, people doing readings, and the parents that would be seated at the beginning of the service. It also gave the remaining people like the Dads, my sister Jacquie and Dabney's grandmothers a chance to meet. We went through the entrance a couple of times, the readings and what would happen in the service. Dabney's Uncle James ran the rehearsal and got testy a couple of times when people got a bit too silly. However I think it was good because the next day everything went very smoothly. About halfway through the guy was going to play the piano for the service showed up. neither one of us had heard him play and had no idea if he could. I think Dabney and I both were very relieved to find he could not only play but play well. The rehearsal was very exciting because it was the first we saw all the moving parts in action and you got the feeling hey we are really doing this. The most exciting part was when we did the leaving the alter part and walking out. We knew when that happened on Saturday that we would be married. After the rehearsal I went to warm up with Running Gag and most everybody else went to Central BBQ.

Several of the people that went to the rehearsal went to the Running Gag show. My Dad, Sharron, my sister Jacquie and her boyfriend Dan had never seen me perform improv before. So I found that to be pretty exciting. It was for the most part a regular Running Gag show. We had part that dealt with the wedding. We played a game called Slide Show where the idea of going on vacation and taking pictures on the trip. There were two guys talking about the trip while Dabney and I posed with the rest of the Running Gag guys. The guys would turn around we would freeze and they would make up something about what we were doing. The show went well and after that everybody went home. I was spending the night with Austin so I went with him to the Mini Van show at the Hi Tone.

Ted, Austin, Syd and I were at the Hi Tone. the show was pretty uneventful. I got something to eat and watched Scott Banbury get thrown out of for being a jerk. We hung out for a bit and Jonathan the owner of the Hi Tone bought me shot. It was odd being the Hi-Tone the night before knowing there would be a different vibe and different crowd in there about 12 hours from that time. Close one o clock I hit the wall and told Austin I needed to go to bed and said that was fine and we went to his house. He blew up an air mattress for me and we chatted a bit. After that we called it a night.

Once again it was a busy productive day. Next the big day is here.

The Wedding Weekend Part 1 Wed/Thur

While this all still fresh in my memory, I wanted to jot down a few notes about the weekend Dabney and I got married. For me the weekend began when Dabney got off work Wednesday night. I had been off that day but did not do much wedding related that day. I met Dabney out the Hilton to meet my Dad. Up until that time my Dad and Dabney had not met. We had tried a few times, but something came up. My Dad and stepmother Sharron were waiting for us in the lobby of the hotel. We got the initial meeting out of the way and chatted a bit in the lobby bar. We went over what was going to happen over the weekend. After that we all got in my Dad's car and we went to the Belmont Grill to have dinner. Dad and Sharron really liked the Belmont, it is a good place to take out of town guests that want a little local Memphis flavor.

After that we went home because we knew Thursday was going to be a long day. It was at that point Dabney realized she could not find her Social Security card. That meant in addition to going downtown we would have to go to the Social Security Office. We got up early and heading to Social Security. We got there at 8:30 but the office did not open until 9. I went to Chick Fil A to get a biscuit and by the time I got back the office was open. Dabney was one of the first people waited on. She got the paper she needed meaning one government office down and one to go.

Next we had to go downtown to get our marriage license. Our luck held because that there was not a long wait at that office either. The man took our information and our money and made us sign the big book. There was this huge book that people getting married had to sign. I am not sure how old the book was but they had a line for the male to sign but there was no place for a female to sign. We joked that was pretty funny "Don't you worry little lady the menfolk will take care of everything." Anyway we both signed the book and got our marriage license. that meant we were one step closer to getting married.

The next thing was a group lunch at the Hi Tone. It would Dabney's Mom and my Dad a chance to meet. The lunch was supposed to be a chance for people to get together and talk about what would happen during the Hi Tone reception. The lunch was productive and everyone like the Hi Tone's food. The meeting of the parents went well and during lunch Jack and Polly got a good chance to talk.

The only other activity Thursday night was a combined birthday for Sharron and Polly at Saigon Le. Thursday was Polly's birthday and Tuesday had been Sharron's. Saigon Le is one of Polly's favorite restaurants and features a nice mix of Vietnamese and Chinese food. We got some of the lettuce wrapped egg rolls that Polly always ordered when we go there. Dinner went well and everyone had a good time. Dad and Sharron picked us up for dinner so they could see could see our house. After dinner we showed where First Congo Church (wedding location) and CBU (Running Gag Improv location) was so they would know where to go. After that we went and after a long day felt like we got a lot accomplished. We settled in for the night because we knew Friday was going to be a long day.

Part 2 Friday.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dining vs Eating

Sunday Dabney and I ate at Paulette's, a French restaurant near where we live. It is an old and established place in Memphis. I have never eaten there before, but Dabney has eaten there before and really liked it. We ate there to celebrate two years of dating and wanted to go to someplace special. We had brunch there and by the people eating there, it was a group of regulars that have been going there for years and years. I had the spinach souffle crepe and it was amazing. There was the warm gooey spinach ins inside a light and tasty souffle. It was delicious, and when I took the first bite there was this explosion of flavors that combined together in my mouth. It was incredible and makes you realize how special eating can be. Too often we go for the easy or convenient instead of something really good. It's what I enjoy about cooking to be able to create things, and to combine different kinds of food in a way that touches all the senses sight, smell, and taste. It was an excellent way to spend an anniversary.

Two Years

Two years ago, at this very minute, I had come home from work and was getting ready to go and see some friends who were having their cd release party at the Hi-Tone. I was hoping that a certain someone was going to show up at the show, but I wasn't sure if he would or not. I got dressed and ran by Huey's to see Duncan, who was working behind the bar. I grabbed a quick drink and double checked that I was wearing the right clothes.

Little did I know that night was going to change my life. The boy was there. We decided to make the jump from friendship to relationship. We are getting married in six weeks.

However, it is amazing to me how much is different. The house is not the same - we moved in together. The job is not the same - I got laid off almost a year ago, and I still haven't found a new job. I am not the same as I was that night, but I think I am better.

Don't misunderstand - there are days that I am terrified. I don't make the amount of money I need to. I don't have a job with benefits, which means I don't have insurance and I will lose money the days I take off to get married. It is terrifying to me and I have started having panic attacks about money.

What I do have, though, is the love of a good man. He is sweet and loving, and some days I do not deserve him. It has been two years since my life has changed, and I am loving every minute of it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Frustrated and Disappointed

Have you ever had one of those friends you knew the only thing you could 100% count on was that, if given the chance, they would disappoint you?

You know the one I am talking about. The one who when you truly need them isn't there, but saves the day just as you are about to cut them out of your life AGAIN?

I have a lot of friends who are supportive, compassionate, and caring. They sense what I need and they do their best to provide it, even if it is a silly picture to make me laugh. Yet, the one person who can provide the one thing I need more than anything right now is either too oblivious, too selfish, or too arrogant to give it to me. It cuts me to the core. I know I need to walk away and not let him/her be in a position to disappoint me, but I just can't. This person is a necessary evil right now. But the very minute that it is possible, I am going to give the good-bye speech of my life - I have been practicing it in my head for over a year - and I will walk away. Count on it.