Archive for April, 2006

All About Perspective

I was sad to see that Nashville attorney Charlie Williams passed away this week.

Years and years ago, I worked a temp job in his law firm over on Woodland St. in East Nashville. I remember being impressed with him because I was quite intimidated being in a law office for the first time and he was very warm and welcoming to me. I did temp work for about a year and it was not the norm for the Big Guy of the company to make an effort to say “hello” and chat.

The big thing I associate with Charlie Williams is that it was in his office that I first used email, Windows and a mouse. I thought it was the most far out thing I had ever seen. The email was only inter-office to send messages, but, it was totally different than filling out the standard office message. I had worked with computers some before that, but, it was the black background with orange letters. This was in 1990.

My 71 year old mother is today, taking a computer class and she was so upset with the mere fact she has to, in order to clock in at her work. She totally does not get the computer age. She also is still coming to grips with the fact that Ike no longer lives in the White House.

Her biggest concern about having to use a computer? Coming up with an 8 letter password.

I sometimes forget that Mom did not come up in the computer age and have to remind myself that email and the world wide web have not always been part of everday life. I can almost compare my first experience with email at Mr. Williams’ law firm with how it probably was back in Mom’s day when she first encountered that thing they call “television.”

Jesus Take The Wheel

I think some of these big ol mega churches in the Greater Nashville area need to offer a ministry that would be most beneficial to their parishoners (as well as the heathen population) and that would be DRIVER EDUCATION. To my knowledge, there is no such bird, but, they oughta be.

Yesterday evening, I get off at the New Shackle Island exit in Hendersonville and nearly got run off the road by this big ol’ van with a woman driving and her young son in the front. I recognized her as the wife of somebody I’ve known all my life..somebody I went to church with for many years. I thought it ironic that her oversized, gas guzzling, family roadster (that nearly pushed my sensibly sized mini-van off the dang road) had this huge bumper sticker on the back that announced “I Love Jesus!”

Last September, the week after Katrina hit, I was coming down I-65 there by Trinity Lane one morning and this big trailer that had something on it how it was New Orleans bound full of relief supplies, and imblazened on the side with “Heaven’s Angels”, just about did the same thing to me as the Jesus van had done.

My shishter, Sherian, tells stories, at least once a week, of a fellow employee who can’t drive. It’s the same scenario every time she tells it and she gets furious just telling it, she tells it better than me….

“it’s always the same story. He gets over in the far, left hand lane…and then waits until the last 40/65 split (right beside the Worlds Largest Adult Bookstore) and then he swerves over. He has worked here over ten years, so he KNOWS that he has to get into the far RIGHT hand lane. Does he think that all of his pro-life and Jesus bumper stickers, give him a pass to cut people off? Does he purposely stay in that far lane, so that he is not tempted to look over at the dirty bookstore? I bet that’s it! But I don’t care what his reason is….it ticks me off. I’m ticked off, just writing to you about it! It’s like he doesn’t even check his mirrors before changing lanes. He will cut so close, that I have to stomp on my brakes. Ugh, I need a valium.”

What is it about being part of the Family of God and you not being able to drive??? I love the Lord, folks, but, thanks to Him and that ol crabby B. Nelson and Coach Danny Chapman at Franklin High School, I have good driving sense.

I suppose people think that the “God Is My Co-Pilot” license plates/stickers mean they can just put it on cruise control and He’ll glide them on in to work since they don’t have brain one when it comes to being behind the wheel of a car. God’s people can’t drive!

I Nominate For Mother of the Year…

The cute kids belong to Cousin Kelly down in Lafayette, LA.

Cousin Kelly had three babies in less than three years, is over 40, works full time and her husband, Joey, is currently working in Iraq. (Not military, but, working over there for a year). During all this baby making, Kelly also dealt with her mother’s illness and death from cancer.

They are so fond of giving people like Katie Couric and Kathie Lee Gifford “Mother of the Year” awards. Mother of the year???? Give me a break. Anybody who employs a nanny should automatically be disqualified from being on the receiving end of anything like that is what I say.

I myself have three children. The first two were 20 months apart, but, when I had them, I was in my early 20’s and stayed home all the time. It was easier having those two close together than the 5 years between #2 and #3. I don’t think I could do it at the ripe old age of 37.

Three kids is a big change from 2 kids, as having 2 kids is a totally different thing than having 1. I think after 4, it doesn’t make any difference. You have a housefull. These people that have these tribes of children on purpose is a mystery to me.

My grandmothers must not’ve known better or maybe they did. My one grandmother had 5 children and always regretted not having that 6th child. WHAT?!?!?!?!??!?! My other grandmother had 8 children…no Pampers, no microwaves… Prozac and other anti-depressants. How in the world did they make it?!?!

Put Your Sweet Lips A Little Closer To The Phone….

Sometimes, I’m just weird. I know this. I know I have some kinks in my personality and psyche that are hard for people to understand, especially me.

I used to have more moments like this when I was younger, but, praise God, they seem to get fewer and fewer as I get older. Moments when you do something, say something and you just feel so stupid later, kicking and hating yourself.

Mr. Smiff and the boys are recording their second cd. They have been looking for songs, which is not as easy as one might think. With a 6 guy band, pleasing everybody, plus the record company, etc. can get a little tricky. I should’ve been an A & R person or a songplugger…I love putting together songs with people and do it all the time, in my mind. I had the bright idea that they should ask Bill Anderson for some songs.

Whisperin’ Bill, as most know, is an amazing songwriter and his string of hits are about a mile long; “City Lights,” “Once A Day”,”When Two Worlds Collide” and the recently named CMA Song of the Year, “Whiskey Lullabye.” Ol’ Whisper’s still got it. He’s hip. He’s happenin.

I’ve known Bill off and on for many years, although I can’t claim to be a close, intimate friend of his. Now, he and my dad shared a nice friendship for many years so he knows me as part of the Biffer and now, as part of the Smiff’s. I doubt he’d recognize me if he saw me at, say, Wal Mart or the Kroger. If I were to say “Hey, Bill, I’m so and so”…he’d be like “Hey Sista Smiff! How are ya…blah blah” (It kinda sucks always being somebody’s daughter or wife and now somebody’s Mom. Most of the greater Hendersonville area somehow knows #2. Everytime we go out, somebody says hi to him and usually, I have no idea who they are)

Anyhow, so Bill and Mr. Smiff have been conversing this week and Bill has a cd for the boys to listen to. Yay. Mr. Smiff calls me this morning and says “Bill can come drop the cd off at your work since he’s down there right now. Call him, here’s his number.”

I can’t call Bill Anderson!! He’s…Whisperin’ Bill! He’s in the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame….he’s a member of the Grand Ole Opry, he’s been on Family Feud, he’s been on “One Life To Live”, he’s been on Tattle Tales! I’m too intimidated and skeered to call Bill Anderson. How lame am I? What is my issue with the phone?? I need therapy.

Mr. Smiff is laughing at me saying “Call him. He likes you.” I just couldn’t. As I said on my 100 Things, I am not much for phone calling no way, but, to call The Whispering One? I just couldn’t. Why in the name of Roy Acuff did Mr. Smiff not give Bill MY number? This went back and forth for about 5 minutes and I was nearly in tears. (I told you I’m odd) Finally, Mr. Smiff says “I’ll call him.” I could tell he was irritated at me.

I felt like such a retard. Kinda like the time when I was about 10 and Willie Nelson called Dad (they had a wife in common; not my mother) and he wanted to put me on the phone and I refused because, dang…it was Willie Nelson! One of those neat opportunities but you’re too nervous to jump at it. Kinda like Chris Farley telling Paul McCartney he wasn’t really dead. “IDIOT!”

Anyway, everything turned out ok. Bill came by my work, making Betty, the Security Guy’s day, and a few others. I had gotten a phone call a little after I returned from picking the package up and this woman says “I saw Bill Anderson downstairs!” Heh. Yeah, me too.

Bill is cool.

Crazy Kin

Everybody’s got crazy relatives. I mean, a family just ain’t a family without the resident wacko who’s had one too many drinks in their time or just fell off the Psycho Truck and can’t hep it. I’ve got quite a few of them in my family tree. (Of course, that description fits NOBODY in this photo!)

My friend, Sherian, has a crazy cousin named Steven. Cousin Steven likes to keep in touch and a few years back while Sherian’s sister, Angie, was serving as a missionary in Africa, he kept close touch with some rather humorous emails. Sherian’s been cleaning out her email box this morning and thankfully, shared them with me. These are just random lines from various emails. I was wishing I’d have worn my Depends today after reading them.

Some of the funnier lines:

I forgot to wish you happy holidays in my last e-mail. I don’t know yet if we’re all going to get together in Pulaski or not. Our family will probably go out to eat and be done with it. I’ve been meaning to ask you, do they have beer in Africa? Ha. Ha.

I’ve been real busy here lately detailing cars and trucks at a car lot in [insert city name here]. A friend of mine works there and he’s been getting me the work. They’re not real demanding so they’re easy to please. I took Dad out to eat Thanksgiving with the money I earned. What will you eat for the holidays, “rump roast of hippo?” Ha. Ha. That was a good one wasn’t it?

I know I brag somewhat but I’m really good at house cleaning.

I’m glad you lived through the stampede. I imagine it was pretty scary not knowing what the situation was. Pretty funny though. I had a big argument at the convenience site on Shelbyville RD recently with two old goats (men)!

As far as the people go who have vices that interfere with them providing for their families, try to encourage them to try to be functional as possible. I drink too much but when there is work, I go for it. Plus I give Dad at least half of my earnings so I won’t blow it all.

One draw back! I rode with a rap music loving redneck! My little nephew Chris, Donald’s boy. I told him before I got in the truck that I wanted to drive slow and to keep the radio down. Just the opposite. I had such a headache that when I was a few miles from home I told him to stop so I could get out and I walked the rest of the way home. He was so disrespectful. I don’t think I’ll ever get in the truck with him again. I think he was intentionally annoying. It was that aggravating. Are you goin to preach when you get home or go into education?

***This one’s my favorite**** Hey Angie! I think you’re beginning to work on me with your religious work. Keep it up and maybe I’ll be able to hold my head up higher and prouder some day. Even though I’m feeling better about myself more and more these days. After all, I haven’t been before the local judge in years. Good boy Steven. I got distracted. My cat was playing these wind chimes I have hanging from a wall light in the dining room. I may have a 35 ft motor home to detail soon.

On the lighter side now. You won’t believe what happened recently. No one had seen this elderly neighbor of ours for a while and I had been trying to call her for a week to no avail. Well anyway, I called the police and they kicked in her front door and the odor was so bad we thought she was in there dead. What we found though was a really stinking, nasty, house with garbage strewn all about. The police called human services and they came out and condemned her house. We found out she was in the hospital the whole time. For some strange reason, she didn’t think it was anyone’s business in the neighborhood to know she was in the hospital. The Department of Human Services got in touch with her son and told him that since he allowed his mother to live in such filth they would give him the job of cleaning the house out and up. So far he has hauled off at least four truck loads of trash out of the house. He has yet to begin cleaning the house on the inside! They’re both made at me for right now but when she is allowed to move back in and she sees the difference they will probably realize that I was sincerely concerned about her wellbeing.

Picked up your latest e-mail today (9/3/02) and was trying to sneak a peek reading it while driving home, but I was all over the road and this cop was in front of me looking back. So I put it down and waited until I got home to read it.

Something to tell you. I was helping this city police officer down the road clean out his storage barn and he and I hauled his garbage to the convenience site out in the county. There’s this stop sign that nobody ever stops for unless something is coming so I just went through it like it wasn’t there. He asked what the sign back there said and I looked at him kinda funny and said it said stop and just kept on driving. It’s a hundred and fifteen dollar ticket. And I said well there are no police around and I don’t stop at them if it’s clear. Well we unloaded the garbage and coming back I went through it again. I looked at him and said well I’ve saved $230 today. pretty good ain’t it. He just shook his head and tightened his seat belt. My driving is pretty bad. I used to smoke that pot hot and heavy when I was younger and it might have slightly altered a few noggin cells. [You think??!?] But I’ll live to tell I did so what the heck. Are you go to be able to have a Christmas tree of any kind this Christmas? I haven’t seen anything in your pictures that resembled anything like that.

Tell all of your new friends in Africa we’re thinking of them. I’ve got some trees to cut up back in the field.
Love, Steven

What’s The Point?

I get my BellSouth bill this morning and you know, what point is there to even have a land line anymore? If we call long distance, we use the cell. I’m not one of these people attached to the cell but it seems to me, we’re paying Ma Bell so our 12-going-on-13-year-old daughter can get calls from her best frien 53 times a day.

Quote of the Day

This is #2 Son. He is quite humorous. He is very much into cuss words of late. He doesn’t really have a potty mouth but he is really learning about how bad words aren’t good.

We’ve been lucky with the kids, considering their dad is a road musician, they’ve not ever been known to spew musician language around, although about a month ago, as #2 and I were leaving the church one night after an activity, he said to me “What time is it?” I told him it was 7:30, to which he replied “Oh shit….now I’m gonna miss my show.”

A few minutes ago, he says “Mom, have you ever heard of a place called ‘Old Hickory Dam?” Why, yes I have.

“Not the bad word ‘damn’, but, ‘dam’ like a fishin’ place.”

Seems he has in his head that Mom can, and will be willing to, make fish sticks out of whatever he catches.

HA! The only fish sticks that come in this house come in a yellow box with “Gorton’s” on it.