Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Three Important Lessons

1. While cooking on our indoor grill (attached to the cooktop), I have learned that the exhaust fan does not remove all of the smoke while cooking,

2. The smoke detector in the kitchen is hard-wired into the security system, and

3. The response time for the Hot Springs Fire Department to our home is just under 3 minutes.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Name That Motel

Although the facade has been modified, this motel is still in operation in Hot Springs.
Can you name it?

What to do...?

I'm drawing a complete blank. Tomorrow is our 1st Anniversary, and for the life of me, I cannot think of some special thing to do... This week's been outrageously hectic for Joe, and still very busy for me, too. Chances are, he's already purchased a sweet, sappy card for me to see first thing in the morning. I love 'em.

I'll do the same, but I know I need to have something else in mind.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Let the Madness Begin

Opening Day at Oaklawn_Jockey_Club. Oh, the fanfare! Or shall we call it OJC & Casino? Seems as if that's not too far off the mark. Legalized gambling of different sorts began months ago, but today will be the first day that it will coincide, on premisis, with live horse racing. Word is out that the Cella family, owners of the jockey club, have purchased several acres of mid-town property, with sights of expanding the enterprise. One piece of that property sits just across the street from my office. It's about 15 acres +/-, and even though the original 1960's era K-Mart that anchored the shopping center is long gone, it is still a thriving piece of real estate with amenities from a pharmacy and a 10 screen cinema, to a chinese restaurant and a huge antique mall. At the moment, it's difficult to envision a gambling multi-plex with a high rise hotel there, but I'm sure it's bound to happen. Eventually.
But for today, I DO envision a town of 60,000 bursting at it's seams and morphing back into the vacation capital of the state for the remainder of the year and for which it is so fondly attributed. Today marks the day in Hot Springs, that we call the 5th Season. Winter is officially over here. This is Racing Season! It is also when I find my 5th Season Alternate Routes Through
Town. Only an out-of-towner would be foolish enough to drive Central Avenue or anywhere around the track during these days.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Al

Notorious Al Capone. Born on this day in 1899. Called Hot Springs a second home. Had a permanent lease on room 449 at the Arlington Hotel, or so the story goes....
Many say that Capone came to Hot Springs often to treat his 'condition', which was syphilis. With the knowledge that my and Joe's home was built by a physician who specialized in treating v.d., then I'm thinking it may highly be likely that Mr. Capone has graced our halls. Anything's possible.
Mr. Capone ultimately died suffering from the progressed disease's complications. He is buried at Mount Carmel Cemetary in Hillside, IL.
R.I.P. Alphonse.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's not E-Gore, it's Eye-Gore

Every once in a while, I'll read up on a more obscure football player than the obvious quarterbacks or running backs (bitches think they are the center of the universe, don't they?). One certain play might spark my interest in finding out more about the lesser-known members of an NFL team.

Well, this past Sunday was a good day for watching some great football. While watching the San Diego Chargers, I noticed one player in particular, Igor Olshansky, a defensive tackle. The camera caught him as one play got under way, and though completely unintentional, Igor hit a member of the opposing team, not with his shoulder, but with his arm. Actually, I'm remembering it was maybe just a flick of the wrist, and the contact sent the other player to the ground immediately. I was intrigued.

So, today I did a search for Mr. Igor Olshansky. All 6'6" and 320 lbs. of him.

Did I say 320 jacked lbs?

I'm sure glad these holidays are behind us

One can take only so much of the food, drink and merriment, eh? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being able to celebrate the holidays in every way. I've seen many come and go when I was not nearly as happy and centered as I am now. I just can't begin to say how relieved I am that those lonely old days are over. Nothing quite says 'Crappy Christmas' like having already celebrated the holiday with family days before, eating leftovers from that day, and sitting alone in a half-assed-furnished condo with no other plans but to sit and play solitaire in your underwear, watch some sickening Christmas movie marathon on A&E, and pray that the hours until going back to work will fly by as quickly as freakin' possible. That's when the Vodka can really come in handy.

But even when times are great, one can only take so much... Besides, I'm ready to take aim at the rest of this new year. Later this month, I'll have the pleasure of celebrating a very special anniversary. Year One has nearly slipped-by since I met Joseph and inherited all these wonderful neighbors and friends. Luckily, I am able to consider most of the neighbors as friends, too! This year has also brought my parents into the 'real world', so to speak, by coming face to face with this new world of mine. They did surprisingly well, I must say.

And me, I'm great. I've never been better, and that's the gosh-honest truth. I've certainly learned that life can take us on a roller-coaster ride at times. But if we make certain that we're strapped in properly, and that we don't reach out for passing objects, we'll likely come over those humps w/o much harm. What is especially nice is when life gives us someone to sit beside us on that coaster. The humps aren't nearly as scary. In fact, they're a little fun.

Enough with that. I do want to share a story within this post, as I heard it several holidays ago, and I've always thought it was such a funny story... AND, it just goes to show why it's always better to be honest with the people in your life:

John and Mark are gay. They've lived together as partners for two years. Both of them have neglected to, however:
1) Tell their family they are gay, and
2) that they do in fact have a significant other in their life.
Each of their respective families only know of Mark and John as roommates to each other... or at least that's what they think.

One Christmas, John's mother comes to visit from out of town. With it being Christmas, John thinks of a wonderful idea to cook a big dinner. Mark agrees, reluctantly, and all goes very well. John's mother goes on and on about how wonderful a cook her son is, and how very glad she is that he has such a wonderful roommate like Mark.

While cleaning-up, Mark noticed that John's mother was incredibly interested in the silver gravy ladle that had been used at the dinner table. She wouldn't stop staring at it, whether at the table or at the kitchen sink while helping wash dishes. Thinking that perhaps she was just interested in the silver pattern, Mark dismissed the odd behaviour, and soon forgot all about it.

Several days had passed since John's mother returned to her home, and Mark noticed that the gravy ladle was now missing. Mark mentioned to John what he had noticed at dinner that evening, and he was suspect of her having taken it from their apartment. Of course, Mark delicately approached the subject with John, and John agrees that he will simply write his mother a note to thank her for her visit, then the note went on to say:

" I'm not saying you did take the ladle, and I'm not saying you didn't. But ever since you helped wash the dishes that evening, we have not been able to find that ladle anywhere. If you find it, would you please return it to me? Love you, John"

Several days passed until a reply came in the mailbox from John's mother. The note went on to say how lovely her visit was and how she can't wait to come back again. As for the ladle, all she had to say was this:

"...I'm not saying that you and Mark do sleep together, and I'm not saying you don't. But if Mark was sleeping in his own bed, he would have found the gravy ladle by now. Love, Mother"

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Just Saw This Today

Read it for yourself here. Who woulda thunk it?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I'll Call Her 'Sheeba'

That's short for Toshiba... Okay. Here I sit in front of my new laptop, ready to bang out volumes of seemingly unimportant prose.

Yes, I did opt for the more portable technology while keeping in mind that I would have my equipment at hand,and that ability trumped my other concerns. As I become more familiar with the computing world, I realize that many of the pros of a monolithic desktop PC are available to a laptop user as well. All available, all within reach, if I so desire to add them. I know for certain I will be looking into a wireless mouse, first. Beyond that, probably a separate hard-drive. My Taurean tendencies have me enthralled with all this new technology, and my organizational neuroses will fit right in to being able to copy and catalogue all of our music, photographs and documents. By the time I'm finished ripping all of our CDs, I'm sure a separate hard drive will not only be wise, but absolutely necessary.

I must stop. I'm giving myself goosebumps.

Central Avenue 1907

My heart has always longed for the Dugan-Stewart Bldg to be converted into loft condominiums. Aside from the street-level retail shops, the remaining floors have been left empty and unused. It is second and what seems to be the third building from the right. Connected with a Ground Floor entry, the two 'towers' reach farther upward, with the top floor displaying brilliant sunburst windows.

Today, the Southern Club still stands. Long gone are the gaming tables and slot machines. They've been replaced with human-size wax replicas of several US Presidents, the twelve apostles, and several 'have-been' Hollywood type personas. Aside from the Arlington Hotel, perhaps Josephine Tussaud's Wax Museum is the longest-surviving business on Central Avenue? Perhaps.

The Arlington Hotel in the photo is actually Arlington #2. When Hot Springs later burned, so did this hotel. The current Arlington (#3), now sits at the feet of this photographer, and the old hotel site is a green space. Known by the locals as 'Arlington Park', this half-block was soon reclaimed by the National Park system.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Crashed, baby!

I'm posting this from the office computer. On Saturday, my trusty HP finally died. Now the task will be to find an appropriate replacement. I had been thinking about a laptop, as the thought of running about the home whilst online appealed to some deep inner need. However, upon playing with one in the store and trying to type on one of those buggers with these big fingers seemed ridiculous. Then the mouse pad and I were at odds with each other from the get-go. I'm thinking now that being affixed to one spot with a normal size keyboard and mouse will not be a bad thing a'tall. Especially considering I could get some ginourmous screen, too!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Okay... I got a really cool camera for Christmas.

Within minutes, I had loaded the batteries, discovered it took video, and this is the result! The boys playing their PS3, Joe relaxing, and Lexi looking all cute whilst flipping her hair.

It Was A Stroke

Okay... there, I said it.

I'm still alive and kicking, but now with an altogether different outlook on my life, my aspirations, my real needs, and the sweet precious time I have to make it really count. To have a stroke at my age can bring it all into perspective. It occured in the occipital lobe- in the right hemisphere. Hence the blind spots I have in both eyes, just left of center.

I had carried the weight of that news quite heavily for some time. Joe was particularly helpful in reassuring me and helping me to see how I would best be able to avoid yet another stroke (which is now much more probable). However, the weight lifted significantly one day in particular. It was the Friday before Christmas, and I was affixed to a certain porcelain fixture during my process of getting ready for the work day. I was thinking about all of the ramnifications this discovery had made on my life, lifestyle and outlook.

It was then that I noticed that the roll of toilet paper was drastically low. "Was there more toilet paper in the closet?" I wondered. At that moment, I realized that the fear of needing to purchase toilet paper on one of the busiest shopping days of the year had replaced the concerns I'd been carrying for weeks. The thought of trudging into ANY retailing outlet to purchase only toilet paper seemed as uninviting as anything I could possibly ponder. My face broke into a smile, then finally I began to slightly laugh. I knew then that all would be okay.

And yes, there was plenty of paper stached back in the closet. After all, I didn't need to have a stroke about it, did I?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Follies - Yvonne DeCarlo - I'm Still Here

I AM Still Here!

No, I can't sing it as well as Ms. DeCarlo, but feel it just the same. I AM still here, even though you wouldn't know it by looking at this blog. Truth is... I've been faced with a lot of medical issues that I am just now dealing with in the proper sense, AND the holidays were very busy. I looked so forward to January finally getting here, and well, it has. And it's great!

The medical news I will disclose later, as I want to keep this all positive in nature. What I would like to share, though, is a link to a new blogging friend. Marieke. She and her new husband Thomas shared not only their New Year's Eve with Joe and I and our other company, but it also happened to be their honeymoon!!! Both of them are lovely and sweet, and I think we've made two very good friends. Marieke met Thomas in London, and has moved to Texas to be with her sweet.

Wherever life leads you, Thomas and Marieke, we wish you the most happiness!

The Newlyweds visit with John & Danny.

Oh gee, now I'm all verclempt. Just talk amongst yourselves.... Here's Marieke's blog link.