Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Did You Have to Wiggle Inside Too?

I haven’t had time to reflect on anything lately. Correction – I haven’t made time. Life is speeding by faster than a chick can spend a hundred bucks at Target.  Yes, that fast!  I am good at living in the moment, seizing the day, raging against the dying of the light and appreciating that everything is temporary.  But I’m not always good about letting my experiences sink into my heart and soul.  They often float around my brain and then get replaced by the next shiny thing I see before I can truly realize what I have learned, enjoyed or even feared.

It’s like the difference between happiness and meaningful happiness.  Having a fun night out makes me happy, but it is unlikely I’ll have life-long memories of each time this happens.  Being part of something bigger and meaningful is more fulfilling and likely to stick with me forever.  Sometimes the little things are indeed big and meaningful but I don’t give them a chance because I’ve already moved on to a dozen other things.

Writing has always been a good way for me to combat this non-stop revolving door because it causes me to think back and interpret things that happen in my world, whether they are funny, trivial, sad, interesting or whatever.  I haven’t been writing jack lately.  No particular reason.  I just haven’t. 

So today I write and all I can think of at this very moment is that there was a time when I chose my wine at home based on the type, grape, vineyard, accompanying meal and other traditional factors.  Now it’s based on which bottle has a screw top because it’s so much easier. Isn’t that remarkable?  Immediate gratification.  Short term happiness, bruthas and sistahs.

I suppose I thought of wine bottles because I’m craving wine, beer or a stiff drink right now.  I had been lax on visiting the doc and was way overdue for a physical.  I’m 47 years old.  My dad had prostate cancer.  Can you see where this is going?  My last prostate check was over a year ago.  My doc left the practice so I had a new one today.  What a way to meet someone for the first time.  After squeezing my testicles, this tiny Spanish woman ordered me to bend over.   She wiggled her finger.  She was limbering up!! Was that really necessary? She didn’t even give me flowers.  Needless to say, I didn’t shake her hand on the way out.

I also need to get a colonoscopy.  My dad had colon cancer too.  Thanks for the genes pops. I prefer my anus to be a one-way street.  I’m not a fan of fingers and tubes.  And if I’m going to be naked around a camera, I sure don’t want said camera shoved up my ass. That’s not the sex tape I envisioned.

Of course I decide to write on the day I see the doctor and am reminded how old I am and how I need to take care of myself, therefore I write about anus invasions.

The point is it could be over at any moment.  I expect to be around for another fiddy years or so, but I don’t take it for granted.  Which is why I’m going to try to write more, in order to reflect more and to appreciate the everyday things that I profess to enjoy by living in the moment.  It’s one thing to say it and think I’m doing it but quite another to step back, actually stop and let my life process from my brain to my heart and very soul.  I think I can keep up this rapid pace if I take time to think about it and write about it.  So that is my game-plan.  I have that going for me. Which is nice.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sugar Daddy Tom

A few years ago, I was sitting in a bar with my buddy Tom.  Sitting in a bar with Tom is not a rare occurrence.  We were doing what we usually do – talking about politics, global issues, religion, humanity, string theory, the economy, which city has the best symphony, our favorite operas, where to buy a nice pair of shoes, local gossip, PTA, tax code, recipes, daytime television, Pinterest, nail polish, biological warfare, charitable contributions, symbiotic relationships and other typical bar banter.

Or maybe we were talking about sports and women.  I really can’t remember – it was over two years ago.  But I do know sports came up.  It was around this time of year, mid-summer when school is out and basketball season is still months away.  We were talking about the men’s NCAA basketball tournament.  Tom’s theory was that the same old teams win every single year.  The romantic root for the underdog in me instantly said no way – with 64 teams in the tournament and hundreds overall there must be tons of different winners.

So we went back twenty years and found that sixteen of the last twenty champions were from the same eight schools.  At the time, UCONN was on probation and ineligible for the next tournament, so if you take them out, 13 of the last 17 non-UCONN winners were the same seven teams.  I can’t believe this!

Despite the stats heavily in Tom’s favor, we made a bet.  Tom could pick any seven teams. I got everybody else.  He took the usual suspects – Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, Florida, Michigan State and Louisville.  He said he would have probably taken UCONN instead of NC if they were eligible.  I got everyone else.

The bet was for $100 and the winner leaves his wallet at home for a night out on the town.  Cab ride, dinner, drinks, more drinks and then more drinks. 

Unfortunately for me, Louisville won two years ago.  Michigan had them on the ropes in the first half but it played out just as Tom predicted.  I lost.  We did steaks at Capital Grille and had lots of drinks.  I think the whole bet ended up costing me $400+ however I did enjoy half the entertainment.  And I was pleased with myself for paying him the $100 all in quarters.

Since I lost the bet, I got to choose if I wanted the field or any seven teams for this past season.  I stuck to my guns, so of course I took the field.  Tom took the exact same seven teams.  Luckily for me UCONN held off Kentucky and I won this year.  And thank goodness Tom didn’t make a switch to include UCONN or I would have lost again!

The stakes were higher this year.  We talked a lot of trash throughout the season with lots of offers of buyouts.  It would go something like this – I’ll let you out of the bet for $75, five chais, two lunches and a case of beer.  We’d talk smack back and forth and what would happen is instead of a buyout, the bet would go up.  The hundred bucks became $125.  And then the $125 got higher and a couple chais snuck in there.   The final tally this year was $156 (and some change I think), two chais at Starbucks and a night out on the town. 

The night out payoff is tonight.  We are starting at 5p and are doing the Capital Grille again.  Surf and turf baby!  I invited a couple work associated gal friends to join us for happy hour.  Tom will be buying.  I wonder if Cap Grille sells any shirts?  Anybody else want to “unexpectedly” show up?

I’ll make Tom commit to his teams for next season tonight.  I know he is going with any seven again.  We will also set the bet terms again.  I have a feeling the stakes will start out higher from the get-go.  I think the loser should have to walk with a limp and talk with a lisp all night.  Of course, we’d probably end up with a gimp and lispy waitress, but that’s all part of the fun, right?

Find a buddy and try this bet out.  It makes for good conversation with other basketball fans.  Despite history in Tom’s favor, it’s been about 50/50 for people on whether they’d take any seven teams or the field.

And the best part is all the smack talk.  Strike that, the best part is the martinis, wine and steak with lobster tail I’ll be consuming in about five hours!! Cheers and thank you UCONN!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Messing with Mom

My mom called and asked what’s new. 

I said, “I dunno, let me think.  Okay, I bought a used RV with a buddy.  I have no idea how to use it but I’m going to take it to Burning Man (not Birmingham).  The goat bracelets are almost ready.  I’m going on a free trip to Switzerland.  But not in the RV cuz it doesn’t float.  As far as I know.  I was just in Aspen and New York.  The kids are off to Hogwarts.  They made Poop Potion yesterday. I sat next to a midget today.   He had red hair.  We won some new business.  Apparently a lot of pregnant women engage in substance abuse.  We are gonna try to help them.  Not do more drugs or get preggo again, but to stop doing scary things with a bun in the oven.  Will asked me what a gigolo is.  I stopped drinking Diet Coke for a week, but I’m having one right now.  And I went to get extra keys made and the key place was advertising stun guns for sale.  $59 and up.  Do you think the cheapest models stun you extra hard or just enough?  I can’t figure out if the more expensive ones would be more painful or more attuned to the right current flow.  I just don’t think a dude making duplicate keys for a living is probably qualified to talk stun guns.  Is that stuff regulated by anyone? I think that’s about it as to what’s new on my end.”

“Good grief.  I didn’t understand most of what you said.  You are going to Birmingham again?”

“Mom, you are kidding, right?”

“Yes! One of the ladies at Mahjong is infatuated with Burning Man.  Will you send me a couple of those goat bracelets?”

“Only if you promise to give it to her while saying the Caravan of Dreams Proverb ‘if you have no troubles, why not buy a goat,’ but say it with a deep 7-11 Indian type accent while your head is tilted at a 30 degree angle.”


“Never mind.  I’ll send you a couple bracelets.”

“The boys are where?  Woolworths?”

“Hogwarts.  As in Harry Potter.  At a camp.  All week.  They love it.  I had to write them both letters today to be delivered by owls on Friday.  Seems like a blast.  I’d like to go someday.”

“That is so fun!  I remember when they went last year.  Did you say Switzerland?”


“What is up with Switzerland?”

“Well, it’s a landlocked country over there in Europe.  You know, Alps, Zurich, Geneva, offshore bank accounts, stuff like that.”

“Brett! I know Switzerland.  Why are you going there, how did this come up, how long will you be gone?”

“Ha, I’m not falling for your double-talk trickery Mom.  I will not divulge where I’ve routed the money!”

“What are you talking about? What?”

“I dunno.  I just bought a deck of cards that has spy content on every single card.  For example, the ten of spades defines ‘safehouse,’ ‘sanitize,’ ‘shoe’ and ‘sleeper agent.’ Did you know a ‘shoe’ is a false passport?  And a ‘sleeper agent’ is an inactive deep-cover agent?  Do you think Dad is a sleeper agent?  He just sits around all day doing crossword puzzles and everybody knows secret agents hide messages in the answers to the crosswords.  I think he may be up to something.  Do you have a safehouse?”

“Brett.  What are you talking about? I’m having trouble understanding you.”

“I have heard that before. How well do you really know Dad?  I mean, you’ve only been married fiddy-some years, right?”

“When do you go to Switzerland?”

“Mom, I think you should take this conversation more seriously.  Dad probably has a bug on your phone.  Hi Dad, haha, I know you are listening!”

“Hi Brett.”

“Dad! I didn’t know you were on the line.  Haha.  Hey, what is your E&E plan (evade and escape as per the Queen of spades)?”

“I’m hanging up now.”

“Sure, okay Dad.  Mom, you still there?  Keep an eye on Dad.  I gotta jet.”


“Love you!”

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Nashville with Minxy

Who knew Nashville is also known as Nashvegas?  Now I do.  What a cool city.  I’ll go back in a heartbeat.  I was there for an Inc. Magazine conference that ran a Tuesday through Friday.  I’m King of Add a Day (I even have a crown) to any business trip and in this case I added three.

With nearly a full week in Nashvegas and it being my second nature for meeting people and finding adventures, I have quite a few stories to share.  I started writing them down and realized there are way too many for one blog post.  So I’ll start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start.  When you read you begin with A-B-C. When you sing you begin with do-re-mi.  Oops, sorry.  Love that movie.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people from the world of blogging.  Some I’ve only met online, but a few I have actually met in person.  Well, I got to meet Minxy in Nashville.  She was able to swing a two-day visit on the front end of my trip.  I have known Minxy for a crazy long time considering we had never met – seven or eight years I think.  She goes all the way back to the MySpace days.

Check out her awesome and sweet blog post on our two days together in Nashvegas.  Her claiming to have been stalking me for ten years is the best ego boost I’ve had in a long time.  She is a sweet, interesting, intelligent and funny woman that goes with the flow and had the quote of the trip upon late on her last day learning that there is naked karaoke in Printers Alley, “How are we just now learning of this?!”  Oh, and plus she’s hot, but that goes without saying.

It was fun to pre-game text with Minxy as the Nashville trip got closer. I warned her of plans to whoop it up and paint the town red.  She warned me that she is kind of boring.  She is such a liar.

I waited for Minxy at a place called Tavern over in Midtown by Vanderbilt.  She was staying at a different hotel than us so I had to give her explicit directions because apparently her highly skilled job role and supreme intelligence doesn’t translate well to simple geography.  Luckily said directions involved just a two-block walk and one right turn. 

The cool thing about meeting Minxy is she is just what I expected from our years as blogging friends and random texting of nonsense.  There was no catfishing or some huge distracting goiter growing out of her neck.  I admit her little outfit was distracting though!

We met up with my friends Rich and Kelley and headed to a dive bar for dinner that was nearby a live music venue we were going to later that night.  As we were finishing up our meal, we asked the waitress if we could walk to the concert or if we should call a cab.  She said its not walking distance but don’t call a cab either because she’d give us a ride.  Her shift was over in ten minutes.  I think all four of us said, “Really?” at the exact same time.  Nashville people are so nice.  This was just one example of many.

Minxy was a great sport about a relatively lame Zeppelin tribute band so we all took off to see the shit show known as Broadway Street in Downtown Nashville.  This is where all the action is and despite it being a touristy drunken party, it is pretty damn fun. 

Kelley was distracted because she left her iPhone in the cab between the airport and the hotel.  Rich was tracking it on his phone and could see the cabbie working downtown.  As we were heading downtown, it looked like the cab with her phone in it was really close by.  So our cabbie pulled a u-turn and we went on a high-speed chase!  It was like the Amazing Race combined with a treasure hunt.  Rich was yelling out directions and the cab guy was breaking traffic laws left and right.  The problem was every time we thought we were within a block, the GPS would correct itself and we’d be three or four blocks away.  We finally gave up.

At this point, Minxy might have been regretting her decision to meet in person.  So far all that had happened was me making inappropriate comments about her back, a mediocre dinner in a dive bar that came with a ride from the waitress, a bad Zeppelin cover band and then a wild goose chase in a cab.  So what do we do next?  A karaoke bar in the shit show. 

Rich and Kelley left before us to go back on the iPhone chase – apparently it was close by again.  Minxy and I held out a little longer and then called it a night.  On Sunday morning, I found out Rich and Kelley were successful in catching their phone!  We celebrated by going to Hattie B’s for hot chicken.  I called Minxy with very specific directions (just one block down this time and no turns!) and we met there around 11a for Sunday brunch.  Oh. My. God.

Spicy hot fried chicken, bacon and cheese grits, waffles, a fruit cup and a beer.  I ordered a cardiologist on the side, but they were out.  I didn’t know Nashville is such a great foodie city.  Hattie B’s more than made up for the dive bar dinner.  We liked it so much, we went again later in the week!

After brunch, Minxy and I decided to check out Opry Land, the outlet mall and then East Nashville (Five Points).  East Nashville is a small area of shops, restaurants and bars.  Very cool and kind of beatnik.  I found myself trying on pink shirts at the vintage store – I need one for the Pink Party at Burning Man.  As I tried on dirty used clothes, Minxy and I were entertained by the woman explaining in great detail how her boobs filled out various dresses in the shop.  I ended up getting a pink shirt, along with a hot pink tie.   Chicks are totally gonna dig me at the Pink Party and I’ll be reminded of my Nashvegas adventures with Minxy.

We wandered around, checking out shops and street vendors until we found this.

I wanted to camp out all day in order to help all the Nashville women with their Weenery needs.  But this was my last day with Minxy so I abandoned that plan in favor of hanging out with her over beers and BBQ nachos on a deck with a rockabilly band.  One beer turned into four for me.  A few hours later we realized we better head back to meet up with Rich and Kelley.  We had to get ready to eat and drink again!

After lingering at the hotel happy hour, we went to a cool trendy restaurant where we took more pictures and we discussed going to naked karaoke.  Minxy insisted.  But this post is already three pages long, so I’ll save that for next time.

Minxy – it was fabulous meeting you in person and confirming you are as cool (and hot) as I thought.  Next up is New York, right?