Friday, January 31, 2014

Six Snippets

Snippet #1:  I went to the eye doctor on Monday.  Just a regular check up, which is to say, I was out of contacts and it's been nearly two years since I saw him last.  HAHAH YOU CANNOT MAKE ME CHANGE MY CONTACTS IF I DON'T WANT TO.

Anyway, so my prescription is the same as last time, astigmatisms in both eyes, but the left eye's vision is pretty much fine, and the right eye's vision is a piece of shit.  I asked him if that seemed weird to him.  "Yes," he replied.  "I bet you were a forceps baby."

WHAT THE HELL?  I'd ask my mom, but the 70's were good times with the child-bearing-drugs, and I'm pretty sure that she remembers only rainbows and happy little pink frogs from my delivery.  So fuck it.

Snippet #2:  When you buy a house, especially a HUD house, you get what you get.  I've got a big ol' house that needed some work.  I've painted that bitch, a lot, actually, and I like painting, but I'm tired.  I've spackled.  I fixed a bullet hole (which is to say, my dad fixed a bullet hole.)  I've done a LOT of work in the one week I've owned that place, but every day, there's something new.  Oh, the paint is peeling?  Let's poke it.  New hole in the drywall.  Sinks leaking?  Let's cut a hole in the drywall.  New hole in the drywall.  Nobody REALLY wants a home phone jack on the wall in their kitchen, right?  New hole in the drywall.  After spending four days with a paint brush in my hand, I look forward to two more days of the same, this weekend, although I will be taking a break to run an 8 mile race (WHAT AM I THINKING HOLY SHIT I AM UNPREPARED) on Sunday.  At any rate, it's coming along, and I have two more weeks, and it's going to be fine.  Right?  RIGHT?

Snippet #3:  It got icy here, on Tuesday, and being well prepared, our parish closed the school district for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  My boss followed suit, and I got an extra 2 1/2 days off, which absolutely rocked.  I needed that time to paint.  And paint I did, believe you me.  The kid was constantly watching for an opportunity to play in snow, an opportunity which never came.  It was cold.  There was ice.  There really wasn't enough snow to say "snow," and he was stuck inside.  He has been amazing, completely great, completely awesome, but I'd be willing to bet he is ready for this move to be over.

Snippet #5:  I'm getting a cold.  An ear infection, maybe.  It blows.  I'm taking drugs for it.  I need that shit to be gone.

Snippet #6:  I have watched a couple of episodes of this show where this one lady takes girls and helps them be made over into pageant superstars.  It's a cute show, and I'll be damned if one episode didn't make me cry like a little bitch.  Sarah needs to get a boyfriend.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sarie Has a Dream House!

If I were to describe to you my dream house, this would not be it.  I'm not going to lie, I'm sitting here, right now, sighing as I look at my rental's fireplace, remembering how it would smell up the whole house with smoke and drive both children out of the family room...  oh, good times.

But in the end, my dream house actually would cost me, like, a half million dollars.  And I don't have that much money, and nobody is fool enough to lend me that much money, and I wouldn't be able to pay them back, anyway.  So what we have here is me, avoiding foreclosure.  Well in advance.

Barbie never had Chet the Repo Man, did she?  She so should have.  Although we all know that Day Barbie earned supplemental income from Night Barbie, if you get my drift.  Which is to say, Barbie was a whore.  I think I digress.

Here's the thing:  Dreams are stupid.  Reality fucking rocks.  My reality is that the house is mine, officially.  When I broke into it this evening, it was fine, because I was breaking into MY OWN HOUSE.  

Here are some pictures.  

This is Caleb's room:
Yeah, I have a shelf thingee all up in the corner in here, what-WHAT? 
Hall bathroom:
Floors are pretty.  Subway tile backsplash suits me fine, although it looks pretty nassssty.  The sink rocks, though.  And this room has a secret...
Behind the bathroom door, you find:
Oh my god, you guys, seriously.  This is my favorite thing in the whole house.  A built-in, in the bathroom, and see that panel?  You know what that is? A FUCKING BUILT-IN LAUNDRY HAMPER IS WHAT THAT IS.  Jealous?  YOU SHOULD BE.  IT'S AMAZING.
This here is my master bedroom.  Please note, the carpets are all being removed.  Tomorrow.  Not kidding, tomorrow.  Seriously.  Because they are horrifying.  My real estate agent looked into this room and said, "oh, here's where they did the murder."  I'm going to miss him:
Vanity in my bedroom, vanity in my bedroom, vanity in my bedroom!!!
You know who looks awesome in this room?  Or who would, if their seven year old kid was a wizard with an iphone camera?  Me.  That's who.  Whom.  Dammit, I can't even be cool without using correct grammar.
Sometimes, you look at something, and go, now why...  for example... why would someone put trim on the outside of a bathtub.  Yep.  My bathtub looks like a dining room wall.  The bottom half of a dining room wall.  On the other hand, that there's jets in that there tub!  God only knows if they work, but we gonna have a fine time finding out.  See the potty?  I can rest my wine glass on that.  Lord, I think I just overshared...
What you can't tell is that there is a small vanity light over a completely blank space between the toilet and the door, so over nothing, along with an arm-level plug.  Obvs, there used to be a "his" sink in this part of the bathroom, which is no longer there.  What WILL be in that space is either a cupboardy thingee or a big ol' basket o' towels.
What up, walk-in closet.  Not like the rental's "walk-ins," where you kind of have to shimmy in sideways to get to the back parts.  This one has rails on both sides, and guesswhatguesswhatguesswhat??!!
Shelving unit in the closet!  For my...  shelfy things.
This is a pretty room, and it has been decided that it will be the guest room.  The primary reason for this decision is that the window opens onto the screened-in-porch (hereafter known as "la hacienda"), and I figure, if I put the baby in there, I'll be out there knitting drinking wine and talking on the phone to my mom hosting posh fiestas with my loco friends, and we will be appropriately noisy (note:  I've already begun operation-friend-the-neighbor-chick), so I don't want to keep El Nino awake.  Also, I don't want this to be the playroom, because I don't want to hear all the kids making so much god damn noise.  Also, when my friends come visit, I expect them to be drinking on La Hacienda with me!
Your room is pretty close to ready for you to come visit.  Make it so!
Here we have the playroom.  "What the fuck is on the window," you asked?  It's a weird screen with bars built in.  I DO NOT KNOW WHY.  Bitch is coming down.  That's on the "short list."  This room is tiny but it will be awesome for playing Skylanders and acting out plays with finger puppets.  That's what he do, yo.
Or, we could leave the bars on, and make it hard for him to sneak out when he is a teenager!
On  to the family room.
 Note the door to La Hacienda out the back.  Also note, this light fixture is on the short list, too.  Also note, no fireplace (frowny face).  Also note, Vanna is doing a kick-ass job of selling this house!
I get to buy a rug!! YES INDEED.
La Hacienda!  Hola!  Ole!  Tengo Dos Ijos...
At first, I was like, gotta paint that green thing.  Now I'm like, gotta paint the concrete floor so it matches that green thing.  This is going to be the coolest porch ever- all Dia De La Muerta and shit.  
Vanna is just modeling La Hacienda for you:
We have a little strip of back yard.  Right now, it's growing holly as ground cover.  I had no idea that was even an option.  There are also some weird, semi-scary fluffy plant thingees at the base of that tree that may or may not rise from the ground and attack after dark.  Too much Zelda?  Maybe yes.
We don't need a back yard, because I'm a kid who never goes outside!
This is the eating place.  The house has a formal room that can't decide if it wants to be a living room or a dining room, so we are going to call it a living room, so we can stop hearing it bitch and whine.  That leaves this space for the food consumption, a breakfast room that is remarkably like ours in the rental, only with real tile and no linoleum, and fewer dead spiders.  SO FAR.
It's not a boob light!  It's got leaves, but no birds.  WE ARE SATISFIED.
Our kitchen is sucky.  BUT, those holes will be filled with Brand New Appliances, and there is a tile backsplash (GETTING FANCY ALL IN HERE), and the sink is awesome, and the faucet is awesome, and who really gives a shit, anyway, because it's not like I cook, nearly ever.
He looks like a tap dancer.  Also, the cabinets are those french white stained things that are so trendy on HGTV right now, so obvs, I'm moving to Canada, only I'm NOT because it's fucking COLD in Canada.
100% of this picture was to brag to Janie that I get a pantry.  Note, it's pretty nasty, with the old floor, some reddish death dirt, and crappy shelving, but my dad is good at cutting boards to shapes, and I will buy a SECOND rug, if that's what it takes.  It's a pantry.  I am content.
Note to self:  Kitchen gets late afternoon sunlight.
So.  Funny thing about the doors.  First, note the pretty floors.  Try and pretend there isn't an attractive boob right above your head, and notice the doors.  The big door is leaded glass, and I LOVE IT with a big squee girly kind of "can we be best friends and I'll braid your hair" kind of love.  LOVE.  The other door looks awful, it's a storm door, and I don't live in Canada (see above), so this is probably unnecessary, so there's about a 70% chance I will take it down, but...  it's so freaking cool.  It's kitchy, it's orange plastic, and I know, I know, your mamaw had one just like it in 1979, but dang...  It's mod, you know?  I just can't decide...
All in all, though, a nice, welcoming entry way.  Which also seems to get late afternoon sun.  Weird.
This is the formal living room (DECLARED SO AS OF RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE.)  See that cut-out area, back behind Susanna Hoff?  (by the way, if you get that, I just love you so much I want to make out with you right now) Should I put a couch there, or make my dad build me built-ins.  Seriously, what do you think?  The door to your left (Susanna's right) leads to the kitchen, so I just have visions of having fancy grown-ups come over for coffee, and although we will likely sit in La Hacienda, it's possible that we might need fancy time, and this will be the fancy time room.  With coffee.  So it's totally awesome that the kitchen is right there.  Which does sort of make me think Dining Room, but I have declared it, so...
Hey oh, way, oh, oh wayyyyyoh way oh...
With every house we looked at, I tried to find something special about it, in case we bought it.  Something that would make him ADORE this house above all others.  The first offer, he was devastated because he lost a retaining pond behind the back yard and cannot, now, catch tadpoles.  AS IF HE WAS GOING TO CATCH TADPOLES.  But not kidding, devastated.  This house, I sold him the tree.  "That's your climbing tree," I told him.  I bet, by February, he is all the way up to the crook at the top of this picture.  Lucky kid.  I was stuck climbing apple trees, he's got his own live oak.
My mother said that, when she was a kid, she would climb trees and drop acorns and pine cones down on the chickens in the yard, playing Bombs Over Tokyo.  There are so many things I could say about that statement.  
So that's pretty much it.  As I mentioned, I met the neighbor, Nicole, who I hope will come and have a drink on La Hacienda every now and again.  Come to think of it, there isn't a gate on that side of the house, dammit.  She is going to have to come around or come through the house.  That's all right... anyway, I met her, because her brother parked his truck in my driveway tonight, when I needed to unload Round One of the Great Move of 2014.  They were super cool about it, though, and she has a little dog that's, I don't know, a Shih Tsu or something, and it's name is Gismo or Gonzo or something, and that's fine.  It's going to be weird to live directly next door to someone who is younger than 70 and doesn't (so it seems) beat his wife.  I hope we become friends.  On the other side, those people appear (see above) to have a boat, so they are nice people.  Boat people are nice people.

I'm ready to get the moving on the road.

Ready to have a drink on La Hacienda!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Homeowner... almost... ohmygod, It's THIS CLOSE FOR REAL THIS TIME...

We have a closing date!!!  This house will be mine as of one week from today, God willing.  Lord, help us all.

119 Marche Blvd, Slidell, LA

I will be painting the aqua trim on the garage.

Want to come and visit? I have a guest room!!!!

That is all.  I'll get interior pictures... eventually...

Happy times!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

House. Whatevs. I'm over it.

So we are moving.  For real this time.  Remember that time I gave you a bunch of pictures of a house?  The house where I made an offer, and they accepted the offer, then we had an inspection and an appraisal, and all of that went well.  Then, after that?  They do a title search, and the goddamn title wouldn't clear?

Not that house.

The sad thing is, I still *LOVE* that house.  Which sucks.

I don't *LOVE* the house I'm really buying, but it's all right, because it is costing $33,000 less.  YES.  So I'll find a way to love it, don'tcha think?

It's a good house.  It's big.  Dedicated playroom FOR THE WIN.

It has a screened in porch where I can drink.

It has granite countertops.

I'm just trying to ignore the fact that it feels dark (can lights!), that it has no fireplace, and that it has a galley kitchen.  It has a pantry, I can deal with the kitchen.

Anyway.  So it's really happening this time.  I mean, I think.  Supposed to close this week.  Think happy thoughts.  Then pay no attention to my insanity as we approach actual moving date.  Ugh.

Oh- one more thing.  The outside has trim that is teal.  TEAL.  teal.  I shit you not.  Ugh.

Monday, January 13, 2014

1968 Movie Viewer

Things I learned while watching Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang, with my 7 year old son, this last Friday:

1.  Dick Van Dyke was pretty foxy in the 60's.  I'm grateful that there was no fake cockney accent in this particular show.

2.  Russia and Germany and all the little Russia sub-nations (at the time) were VILLAINOUS in the 1960's.  All bad guys had slavic accents, wore black hats and long coats, and looked like Boris Badinoff from Rocky and Bullwinkle.

3.  All women in the 1960's both looked kind of like, and wanted to be, Shirley Jones.  And who the fuck can blame them?  I want to be her, too.  Makes perfect sense to me.

4.  I'm not teaching my son how to be a good father.  The inventor dad, while truly being a very loving father, is clearly a total eff-up in life.  "What do you think," I asked my child.  "Is he a good father?"  C responded, "Yes, and no.  He is very responsible." NO HE IS NOT.  He is nice.  He is the opposite of responsible.

5.  Alzheimer's was pure entertainment back in the day.

6.  There are no children allowed in Bulgaria.

7.  All movies of that decade were musicals.  They could make a musical about nazis.  Oh, wait, they did...

(Julie Andrews also kind of looks like Shirley Jones.  I'm not sure which is the egg and which is the chicken, here, honestly.)

8.  During the last week of school, while I was in elementary school, we were piled onto the cafeteria floor and were force-fed terrible movies to kill time until summer break.  Chitty was DEFINITELY one of them.  Yet, I had zero recollection of the plot beyond the fact that there was a car involved.  What the fuck was I doing during the playing of this movie??  Sleeping?  Talking?  (I'm going to go with talking...)

9.  There were lots of inventions on the plate for this little family that were insanely awe-inspiring at the time, but are definitely being used in the back of the house at McDonald's.  I am pretty sure a McEmployee hasn't actually touched food since 1997.

10.  Ian Fleming liked to hit acid.

11.  Truely Scrumptious is both my dream name and the Best Porn Name, Ever.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Antisocial Office Employee (please can I just work from home?)

One of the things I want to do in 2014 is be a more consistent blogger.  You are welcome.  A result of this will be your being forced to read some of the trivial things that live in my head.  Again, prĂ©go.

Here is a list of things you can do to ensure that I hate having your office within 10 feet of my "office."  I put my office in quotes because, although I do have not one, but three doors, I also have a half-wall-shelf-thingee on the front of my desk, and that makes me look like a receptionist.  Which I am not, but I would completely understand if you think I am.  It's fine with me, really.

1.  Snort.  Please, for the love of all things good and wonderful, please, please God, please don't snort where I can hear you.  Don't clear your sinuses.  Oh, for fuck's sake, please just go in the bathroom and blow your nose.  I do not need to hear your allergies.  Gah.  Ross.

Once upon a time, I had a shared office with two other girls.  It was a big office and really comfortable, but this one lady, Peggy?  (Seriously, that was her name) Peggy had the allergies.  Peggy liked to drain her sinuses in a big ol' loogey kind of way, and it was AWFUL.  The other girl, Lisa?  She cringed for a while, then she took action.  This is how the afternoons were:


Lisa:  BEEEP

Yeah, not joking.  Lisa beeped every time Peggy cleared her sinuses.  AND PEGGY NEVER NOTICED.

Please to not snort.  I swear to God, I'd rather deal with Indians-from-India-that-have-not-acclimatized-to-American-bathing-standards (this is NOT racist, somebody from that place I used to work please get my back on this one) than deal with the snorting.

2.  Music.  'kay, look.  Jam to your tunes to your heart's content.  I do, sometimes.  I get it.  But here's the trick.  Point your everloving speakers right at you, and turn that shit down.  You know what is worse than hearing your office-neighbor's music?  Just barely hearing the tinny sound of a tiny bit of treble, knowing there is music that goes to it, but not being able to hear it, AND said tinny sound being just loud enough to be heard over your own jam.  If YOUR music drowns out MY Humpty Dance, I'm going to be pissed.

All that being said, if you randomly break out into song, particularly in a Billie Holiday - or David Sedaris doing Billie Holiday - voice, I'm all for that.  That's my joy in life.  Please don't stop doing that.

3.  Phone Etiquette  If you call anybody, and I mean anybody, "man" on the phone, I will mentally stab you with a pencil.  If you fail to say "bye" on a phone call, said pencil will meet your eyeball.  If you fail to leave your door open while you are having convos with your spouse or other family members, for my nosy-ass-pleasure, I will cut you in real life.  Don't take away my little joys, people.  I want your personal gossip.  I want to know your dinner plans and what you wore and how your mother said such-and-such.  DO NOT SUCK AWAY MY JOY.

While we are on this topic, here's another little bit of advice from me to you.  When you buzz me to ask a question, and I pick up the line and say "go ahead," don't say, "Question."  I fucking already know you have a question.  And you BEST say "bye" when we are done with this little intercom convo, too.

4.  My shelf-thingee is not a place for you to put your crap.  Don't leave shit on it.  For that matter, don't ever put shit on it.  Don't do it.  Don't stand in front of my desk to talk to your clients.  Take them to your space, take them outside, take them wherever the fuck you want to, as long as it is away from my desk.  If I am feeling particularly nice, I may offer them water or a cup of coffee.  If I do this, and I probably will, I will NOT clean up their cup or throw away their trash.  Your guest, your trash.  If this is left on my shelf-thingee, I will envision carrying it all and putting it on your desk for you to deal with.  All that being said, any candy, cupcake, brownie, bag of chips, alcoholic beverage, or other snack food left on the shelf thingee will be eaten immediately by the gnomes that live in my face, which I call my teeth.  It is also acceptable to leave me jewelry.  I prefer silver to gold.

5.  No prank calling.  Our office is not exactly new-fangled.  Our caller ID works, sometimes, but most of the time it shows "Cell Phone" or "Jefferson Pa."  Not helpful, and also weird, in that we don't work in Jefferson Parish.  Whatevs.  That means that, if you call in to me at work, there's at best a 50/50 chance that I will know definitively that it is you before I answer.  So.  If you call in, and I answer, do not fuck with me.  Don't pretend to be a client.  Don't put on a silly accent or ask me ridiculous questions.  Do not do that.  I'll think to myself, "self, this is probably the asshole whose office is next to mine, but I do occasionally interact with some pretty whack-job members of society, so it's best to not take a chance."  When I do discover that it is, indeed, you, using a semi-Borat accent and asking me about something absurd, my respect for you will fall lower than my respect level for the real crazy people who occasionally call.  They can't help themselves. You fucking can, and you fucking better.

6.  Do Not Ring The Bell.  There is a bell on the shelf-thingee, and it is there to alert me if somebody has walked in and needs help, while I am, say, at the copier, or eating lunch, or in the potty, or in somebody else's office.  If the bell rings, I turn into Pavlov's dogs and come running.  If I have put down my $8.00 Subway Sandwich (toasted!) and it was you just being a dick, I'm going to consider slashing your tires.  I'll state that we have a few clients who are bell-happy, and it grates my nerves, but I will be much more forgiving to them.  They do it a few times a year.  You do it every day, and I'm going to go all crazy-ass batshit yelling at you one day, and you will find it funny, but you will try not to laugh, which will make you want to laugh even more, and that's just going to make me that much madder, and then I'm probably going to end up crying, and I've been wearing a lot of eye makeup lately, so if I cry, it's going to be BAD, so for the love of anything and everything good in the whole motherfucking universe, do NOT RING THE BELL.

That's enough ranting for today.  I feel better now that we've had this talk.  Now go sing me some Billie Holiday and shut the fuck up.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Television Oracle - Spring, 2014- UPDATED!

Sarie Barie gives you 2014 Spring TV Lineup Viewathon LIVE AND IN ACTION (not really).  In which the Oracle Herself predicts what will happen on the following shows, all of which she will WATCH WITH A PASSION AND A SELF-DISGUST.  Delightedly.

1.  Sister Wives:  Meri and her daughter, Meriah (Meri-ugh), will cry a lot.  The family will continue to think it is fun to shock people by announcing their polygamy, and they will continue to be surprised when people think that it is weird that they are polygamists.  And Meri will cry about it.  Christine will be mad that Cody (kody?) (xody?) doesn't spend enough time with her, and will name any children she mothers something earthy and oddly-spelled, but which will nearly constitute a sentence by itself.  Truely.  Which is misspelled, anyway.  Her next kid needs a verb-name.  I'm going to call him Biking.  Biking Brown.  Only it needs to be misspelled, so maybe Bykyng.  Truely, Bykyng Aspyn.  Truely Bykyng, Aspyn.  See?

2.  Dance Moms:  Abby Lee Miller will continue to lose weight on the hush hush (she's been doing it, do your own comparison, see if I didn't call this bitch,) and later on it will be revealed that, remember last year, when Abby was gone-girl-gone for a few weeks?  Lap.  Band.  You heard it here first, kids.  In other news, Blonde Christy will continue to hate Payton's mom, who I don't even think has a real name.  Sayton.  That's what I'll call her.  And they might bitch-slap each other, if we are really lucky.

3.  Sleepy Hollow:  ...  ...


Oh, sorry, I was just fantasizing thinking about the ridiculously fine man talented actor that plays Ichabod.  Dudes.  Oh, not so talented, you say?  WHO GIVES A SHIT.  Have you seen him? 

I think there is a plot to this show, but I really don't know what it is, and that's fine because HAVE YOU SEEN HIM?  My prediction is this:  I'm going to drool while that show is on.

4.  The New Girl:  Jess will continue to be little-Sarah.  Her knitting and wearing of socks will increase, her quanitity of sex will decrease, and she may join a "women's group" at a church.

5.  The Olympics:  Sarah will become an expert critique on toboggan, ice dancing, and luge.  All other sports will be viewed with wonder, and Sarah will turn up the thermostat inside the house to 77 degrees, as watching snow makes her feel really cold.

6.  Post-season Football:  The Panthers will win the Superbowl.

7.  Love It or List It:  Expensive homes in Southern Canada will be remodeled, during which process (pronounced PROHHH-cess) old water/fire/other major structural damage will be uncovered, which will cost 60% of the remodeling budget, thus forgoing having their bathroom/kitchen/basement being finished, resulting in pouty homeowners and a smirky David, who will then show them 1/2 million dollar homes in the area that will meet their needs.  Approximately 55% of the time, OR however often the wife doesn't want to move, they end up staying in their old house, and David is shit out of luck, except his opportunity to wear a bitchin sport coat.  

8.  Dog With a Blog, or Jessie, Which May or May Not Be The Same Show:  Sarah will walk past the bedroom tv playing this show, wherein a precocious teenager talks with the FAKEST FUCKING VOICE EVER.  The end.

(for the record, I just subjected myself to a TORTUROUS ten minutes of Disney Channel - and Nickelodeon - online clips to try to find the FAKEST FUCKING VOICE EVER show for you, so I could prove my point, and it was a huge fail.  Also, I'm at work, so I'm watching Disney clips at work.  How professional, indeed.)

(please note, I'm not troubled at all that I go unprofessional and blog at work, but watch wholesome programs targeted for children?  UNACCEPTABLE.)

UPDATED:  HERE IS THE SHOW.  Go to 9:10 and see if you are not choked with rage by this crazy fake voice.  Props to C-luv Doodlebug for INSTANTLY knowing which show I was talking about when I asked him last night.

I think that's enough television to get you going this season.  If I overlooked something important, let me know.

And if anybody wants to put money on whomever (Seattle) else that might make the superbowl (Seattle), OR on the AFC team to play against Carolina (Seattle), let me know...

In the meantime polish up your remote, let's get viewing!

Friday, January 3, 2014


Once upon a time, I really, really, really loved a man that loved music.  A lot of incredible things resulted from 9 years of loving him, all of which are in a scrapbook of concert tickets or in my iTunes database.  All he brought me was music, and for a long time, I couldn't forgive him for not giving me more, when I gave him everything I had.  

Now, though...  Well, hindsight helps.  As does maturity and a general disdain for fucking holy-martyr-omg-you-amazing-woman-you-gave-up-everything-for-love syndrome.  Because that, friends, is bullshit.  But that is also not the point.

The point is, he gave me music.  A LOT of music.  Most of which I fell in love with, dissected, ate for supper, analyzed, and adored.  He gave me Steve Perry, and Petra, Triumph and Rush.  Oh, Rush.  He gave me Bela Fleck and Steve Morse, Linda Ronstadt and Olivia Newton John and even Sarah Brightman.  He gave me Allison Krauss and Sam Cook, Dream Theater and Queensryche, Reba McEntire and Vince Gill.  I will say it is possible that I might have found some of these myself, but I didn't.  He gave them to me.

We spent our weekends on road trips.  We drove from Charlotte to Jacksonville, Norfolk, Atlanta (many times), Knoxville.  We saw these bands, and Survivor, and then saw them again, then drove to the next stop on the tour and saw them again, again.  We drove to New York to see Pat Matheney, then to Memphis for the hell of it.  All for music.

But another thing he gave me was Kansas.  I'm not talking about "Dust in the Wind," Kansas.  I'm talking about "Bells of St. James," Kansas.  "Miracles Out of Nowhere" Kansas.

While we were together, we saw them, I think, 13 times.  The first time was in a bar that I was too young to get into.  There were festivals and street concerts, orchestral performances and bar gigs.  The last time I saw them, David Ragsdale had joined, and That Guy kind of knew Ragsdale, and we hung out a little.  Steve Walsh handed me the mic for a verse of Carry On My Wayward Son, I shit you not.  It was in a pool hall, maybe 150 people there, and they were STILL PLAYING POOL, but still.  I sang with Kansas.  Boom.

And then I grew up.  Moved to Georgia, and That Guy was supposed to, too, only he didn't.  It took me a long time to realize that he wasn't coming there, not ever.  My Janie went through the meager collection of his things that I had, with Heather's help, and they trashed his stuff.  Gave it away, threw it away.  I just sat there, but I'm glad they did that.

I kept the music, but stopped the road trips.  I still listened, to all of it.  Some really GOOD FRIEND songs, and I was not about to let him steal those away.  But the concerts stopped.  Oh, I went to see Olivia a couple of times, in lovely, refined, wine-friendly settings, but that was it.  Over the years, the occasional notice has passed my way.  "Starship performing This Saturday," and I would think, "Maybe..." But then there would be a little boy who needed attention or a tae kwon do tournament, or $13 in the bank account, and I just let it all go on without me.

Last year, my dad and Sam and I went to see Rush.  Yeah, shut up.  You might cry too if all those ghosts were around you.  But you still love it.

Tonight, some friends took me to see Kansas.  I admit it, I looked for That Guy. It seemed impossible that he wasn't there.  The ghosts were everywhere, from putting on Rock and Roll clothes until I got home, alone.  Happy, oh, the concert was unbelievable, but...

If any of you ever see That Guy, tell him thanks for the music, and that I wish him well.  Tell him Ragsdale has gotten BETTER (if that is even possible), but I didn't go groupie after the show.  Tell him I sing, now, like a lot, and like...  Not bad.   And tell him I saw his ghost tonight, and it was all okay.  I am okay.

I have new friends who are up for an occasional road trip.

Also, I'm fucking smoking hot.  Big mistake.  Huge.