Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday stuff.....

     Top Chef is fun to watch.  But the lady of the house is going to be upset when I tell her that  I now want some elk with a cherry/beer sauce for supper (as opposed to the planned grilled cheese and tomato soup)   Speaking of Top Chef, I'm sick of folks calling themselves "foodies."  Holy crap, why do we have to give a name to everything enjoyable so that it sounds like a very exclusive club that you're just not quite cool enough to be a part of??   Everytime someone says "we're real foodies!"  I want to say "You think YOU'RE a foodie!?  I used to weigh 547 pounds!  WINNING!"  

     Shocked that I joke about how unhealthy and huge I got at one time in my life?  Don't be - that's been my modus operandi most of my life - laugh and (more importantly) make other people laugh about anything that scares, embarrasses or hurts me.   Since childhood, if you keep 'em laughing, they won't notice that you're the fat kid on the block.  (and, yes - I had to Google modus operandi to make sure I spelled and was using it correctly.  I ain't real bright.)   I joke, but I do keep a picture of myself that was taken when I wasn't even at my heaviest..but close enough to still disgust and scare me.  When I go to bed at night and feel like sleep isn't anywhere close because of the clutter in my brain, I pull out that picture and realize how far I've come and how much better RIGHT NOW really is....and sweet dreams soon follow.

     I don't understand birds.  I've lived my life thinking that birds go south in the winter.  Given that I'm sitting here in north Georgia, shouldn't my backyard be full of birds escaping snow and ice?  However, in the winter, the bird feeder in the backyard sits empty most of the time (as opposed to summer when it's covered.)  Perhaps they go further south because it's still too cold here.  I surely find it so.  Given my druthers I'd be celebrating Christmas with my toes in the sand and a cold beer in my hand, debating oysters or scallops for lunch.  Apparently, what I'm observing is normal....from the "" website:
"Bird feeding was once considered primarily a winter activity. Today bird enthusiasts feed birds throughout the year. In fact, some homeowners attract more birds to feeders in summer than winter."
     When I was a small child, there was an old lady that sang "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" at our church every Christmas, usually at the candlelight service on Christmas Eve (if I remember correctly)   It was really bad and we all found humor at her expense.  I remember, though, that the older she got and the more she leaned on a cane while trying to sing it, the less we laughed.  I think about that every Christmas but, for the first time, I did a little digging on the song.  It was written in 1934 by Robert MacGimsey.  Robert is, himself, an interesting story.  Listening to this Christmas memory and "Shadrack"   (which I'd heard Louis Armstrong sing but didn't know it was written by the same guy that wrote  "Sweet Little Jesus  Boy") one would be almost certain that he was African-American...and you'd be wrong.  I learned this morning that he was a white guy, born in Pineville, Louisiana.  However, most of the folks he grew up with were African-American...and he wrote music in the style that he liked best.  With much respect to the little,old lady at church, I think Natalie Cole nails it:

 To be safe - click this in case I screwed up the video

     I owe Celestine Sibley an apology.  Growing up I never, ever understood my mother's fascination with the woman's writing.  Even as a child I was interested in writing, dabbled in it and read everything I on which I could get my paws.   But, being the baby, most of the written word lying around the house I grew up in was beyond my years.  The same thing happened with music - consequently you're now as likely to find Glen Miller in my collection as you are Ten Years After or Blind Faith.  But I never, ever understood Celestine Sibley.  My mother - probably trying to encourage writing and reading - one time shoved a paper under my nose at the breakfast table and said "Read Celestine Sibley this morning.  It's amazing."  I moved my cereal bowl out of the way and proceeded to read (what I thought was) a mind-numbing column about the joys of MAKING A POT OF VEGETABLE SOUP on a cold winter's day.  Seriously? The Atlanta Constitution wastes that much column space on soup?  I tried very, very hard to not say anything rude about a writer that she loved so much.  I looked up at her after (mercifully) finishing the piece and said "uh, it's about soup...."   She rolled her eyes "no, it's NOT.  One day you'll understand how important very simple things can be."   In retrospect, I guess I owe Mama and Celestine Sibly an apology.  Now I'm nearly 50 years old and fascinated with the woman's writing....on so many levels.  She COULD write about the simple and make it riveting and comforting.   She could also take on the less simple - urban sprawl, civil rights - and make you think.....hard.   "Southern Spaces" says it much, much better than I'm saying it:
 One of the hardest parts of getting old is realizing how much quality you were surrounded with in younger years and ignored.



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