Thursday, December 01, 2016

Last Requests

Tuesday evening after M’s doctor appointment we ate at Jalisco. Marby Rainer and his wife were eating with a couple I didn’t know. Mary Elizabeth Teem was just finishing up, and we had a nice chat. Hadn’t seen her since the choir reunion. Her table was next to a shelf filled with Mexican vases and other trinkets. I posted a picture of the shelf on Facebook, saying that when I die I wanted Mary Elizabeth to sneak my ashes onto that shelf. Bruce, who overanalyzes everything, very humorously commented “That leads to so many questions. I don’t even know where to begin.” True. I could’ve answered, but thought it was funnier if I didn’t.
Answers to unasked questions:
1 Reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated. I am in relatively good health.
2. Ceil and I are happily married.
3. Ceil would have no use for my ashes.
4. In lieu of making my family go out of the way to spread my ashes somewhere (a baseball field?), Jalisco seems like as good a place as any.
5. I “see” Mary Elizabeth on Facebook. Known her since she was 9 and I was 19. We rarely cross paths.  
6. It’s nice that she’d willing to fulfill my last request. I’d like to think I’d be as willing to do likewise.
7. Bruce did not know we’d seen each other at Jalisco. Most understood my comment to be a joke, though the idea would be fun.
Didn’t get home until almost 10 pm. Somehow Ceil beat me home. Watched some Last Man Standing, a PBS special on The Carpenters, and Bernie Sanders on Conan.  
There used to be one of those official putt putt courses south of Macon. It was a long way away, down near the seven bridges area. I’d go there some in high school and college. When I was a kid the only McDonalds in town was way down there, but we’d occasionally make the trip. The one with the huge golden arches that you’d walk up and order, and eat outside. Later they built a Burger Chef closer to home, so we’d go there instead. Before they built Shakey’s Pizza we’d go to this stuffy Italian restaurant. The pizza there was like the Chef Boy Ore Dee we used to get at the grocery store.
There are no dinosaurs to putt around or windmills at the two remaining courses. The holes are pretty standard with some bumps and bank shots to make. Similar to that on line putt putt game (that does have a windmill or two). Both courses aren’t super flat, like that one in Chamblee used to be. In Chamblee that official putt putt place had three 18 hole courses. We used to go there when I was at Tech. I used to think Wayne Price was so cool for using his own putter that he kept in the trunk of his car.
1. Drought: I was out of the loop on the Gatlinburg fires. Someone joked those wax museums better watch out. Longest stretch without rain in 142 years. What? These extreme conditions happened before? Doesn’t that mean the climate is NOT changing – that what’s happened in the past is happening again?
2. Tornados: Not sure exactly where Heather Swilley lives in East Cobb, but a couple of trees near her were sheared off. Slugging catcher Andrew Arasmith’s neighborhood had trees down. Just a few branches down in my yard. I drove home from my focus group in the dark. A wreck in Sandy Springs had an intersection blocked. Saw on Bradford Pear tree down, not quite blocking the road. Didn’t see it until the last minute. Got gas so I took little windy two lane Bishop Lake Road. A crew was working on some power lines – right behind my friend Reid’s house. Turned out their power had been out for over 8 hours. And what’s new about tornados? Our area has been having them for as long as I can remember. And recent memory is all that counts with climate change, right?   
Left work at 5:20 for my focus group on Tetley iced tea. The eight of us all contributed and had a fun time.
1. Big Frank from New Jersey could talk about anything, including a girl’s cell phone texting prowess.
2. Pretty girl in a cartoon T-shirt. Nice smile. Didn’t talk too much but made good points. We may have been in a previous group together. I remembered the T-shirt.
3. Pleasant mother of three children aged 1, 2, and 3. Spoke several languages. Also from Jersey. Gentle manner. Made good points and knew her tea.
4. Woman who lived in a household of nine. Brewed a lot of tea. Bought 100 at a time.
5. Kristin, the mother of a special needs 16 year old.  Brought the same Tetley box as me.
6. Outspoken Randy, retired from the military. A little like Uncle Si with his tea and camo cap. Kept us in stiches. Luzianne man.
7. An older lady who likes ginger in her tea. New Balance sneakers and Fitbit Blaze.
8. Jean the moderator was a fashionable older lady, who laughed along with us. Halfway through the session Frank said her sweater looked like Oreos. Kinda weird moment. Randy dissed corduroys, which she was wearing.
9. I didn’t talk as much as Frank or Randy, but made some good points and jokes.
The consensus of the group was that Iced Tea – aka Sweet Tea – was uniquely Southern. Luzianne and to a lesser extent Lipton were the leaders, based on taste and packaging. Tetley is thought of as an English hot tea, even though their iced tea is produced in Georgia. The cold blue box doesn’t really scream Southern Iced Tea. The tea we sampled wasn’t that good.   
Monday night C ran to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. I went home and crashed. C had made spaghetti using spicy chicken sausage from Whole Foods. Not my favorite.


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