Archive for July, 2013

My First Day as a Juror

    On a lighter not in the heated blogging of the night…hey I cant do anything else. I cant clean because I’m a minor cripple at the moment. I have no school work, because I have withdraw my involvement with the semester due to other pressing matters. I probably wont sleep until late because-well it is my disposition to have trouble sleeping these days. So I have written a couple of blogs that just may get me hate mail. Oh well, such is the life of bloggers who think allot. Now though, I’ll just write about another interesting day I had. I told you all that I should just start a third separate blog dealing with the random events of my life. Such a blog though, may seem a little self absorbed so I may not do that.

     Yesterday I reported for jury summons. I have never served on jury duty before and had no idea what to expect. I should have, being a resident of Jefferson County…I should have taken all things into consideration. I would have, had I not nearly overslept and almost missed the reporting time.
    My clock was set for 6:30 and my reporting time was 8:30. I only live approximately two miles from the courthouse, but given the fact that it was Monday morning and I generally have a propensity to get lost down town just looking for a place to park…I wanted to be safe and give myself two hours to get ready and be there early. Such is life, I didn’t go to sleep until around four. Why? Oh I don’t know…my mind wouldn’t close down for it. My alarm went of at 6:30 but the next thing I knew I was waking at 8:15….

   I jump out of bed like a ninja and jump into some clothes I had laid out already, brushed my teeth and ran out the door. Waited on my slow elevator and then waited as it stopped twice before letting me off on the first floor. Then I realize…I parked up on that dang hill.
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I tend to walk pretty fast but I did have heels on, so I couldn’t make the same stride. Finally I make it. I find the address on the summons and take off…realizing that I never filled out the form on the summons. It was just a card with blank spaces for current phone number and round mileage from home to courthouse. I get down town after what seems like the longest red lights on earth. I cant find where the parking deck is, so I park in the same lot that ended up costing me sixteen dollars when I went for my astronomically priced truck tag. I hope they are gonna validate my parking..maybe..?

   The “jury management address is what is on the summons…so I dont think it is the courthouse. I use my WAZE app to take off walking down the street. WAZE app stops me in front of the energy building where two people are hanging out outside. I ask them where the jury mngmt. building is, but they have no idea. “It’s gotta be around here somewhere” they say. Well yes actually, it does. Finally I go in the energy building, and ask the nice lady at the desk. “You see that building right there?” she points across the street…”Well the next building over is the courthouse”. Well if I did not feel dumb before….”Thank you mam, I’m sorry it didn’t say that on the card…” “Oh it’s ok”, she says as I walk out. I am now officially ten minutes late. I walk in the courthouse where there is security standing with their big scanning rig, he saw my summons as I was putting my purse and keys in the plastic box. “Mam if you are in jury it would be quicker if you went to the next door and up to the second floor.” I dash back out and down the steps and to the “next door” which has a posting that “this door is no longer in use, please use main door”. Honestly….I’m walking down the street and meet another woman who asks if I’m looking for the jury building too. “Yes, I’m late!” I say. She was too and we both found it…across the street from courthouse..not in the courthouse or “next door” to the courthouse.

   We finally make it to the jury pool room, which is huge and has probably two hundred people in it. We weren’t the only ones late so I knew then I was not gonna be fined or jailed or something. I fill out the info I forgot on the card and sat down between people. Getting in and out of the seats was like being in a movie theater because most people had a chair between them. I am sitting there for about five minutes when the little administrative lady takes the microphone and says that a set of keys were left up front…..oh yes it was my keys so I had to annoy the older couple next to me and go get them. Remember …movie theater. 
   A judge comes in and goes over the upcoming procedure. He introduces a kid, whose name I dont remember, “little mikey” who is here from California and is touring the courthouse and obviously shadowing the judge. He wants to be a lawyer. I used to want to be lawyer. I should have done that. I should have joined the marines. Any time anything has went wrong this year I have had that thought “I should have just joined the marines”. 

The judge goes on about some forms that waive the fees of ten dollars a day and the five cents per mile…wait what? I have to pay to be on jury duty…but its a civic requirement? What? He states that about twenty percent of the pool usually does fill the forms out, and it is a testament being that Jefferson County is considered a poor county. I really started to worry then. He finally introduces two judges that are going to basically sift the pool. If you have a legitimate excuse to not be here line up and they will consider them. The guy next to me got called just last month and was released for his excuse, and they called him back. The woman behind me had been released for her excuse and like clock work they called her back. We just decided to stay, in our individual minds. I was just listening to my surroundings. Half the room lined up and surprisingly most of them were released. 
   Another worker bee came in and went over the basics of jury duty. Dont talk if you are put on a case. If you are not put on the case that you leave the room for you are to come back here. Parking one  for jury duty is in the parking deck we are over….”oh” I thought “that is where the parking deck is”. The overflow parking is at the Boltwell (where the heck is that?) if you parked in the parking right out here it is one dollar for the first hour and four for every hour after that. If you parked there you may want to move when we give you a break. We cannot reimburse you for parking there and they will not let you leave…and on that note there is an ATM right outside this door. All I could think of was moving the car now. Would my car even move? What if my car doesn’t move? My gas light was on on the way down here. I was planning scenarios in my mind and what moves to make if my car ran out of gas right here in the middle of downtown. I should have joined the marines. 

  We get let go for twenty minutes and I got my parking pass for the week and twenty bucks out of the ATM which also charges me two bucks for the convenience and ran down stairs and across the lot. Someone in the attendants window did not hear the worker bee on the inside say “cash or check” nor did they see the various postings that said “cash or check”. God don’t let me run out of gas while I am backing up to let this fool back in. I finally hand the attendant twenty bucks, I’m on the ready to hurry and park this rig in its appropriate place before you charge me another four dollars. She looks at me with the same disgruntled expression she had back in February “GIVE ME YOUR PARKING TICKET!” “Oh, I’m so sorry mam, I raffle in the purse to get the blue ticket. These angry city workers my gosh. Finally out of the prison for charge…I make my way just a few feet down the street to the jury parking deck. I go all the way to the last deck…no parking. Will have to park at the ….whatever that name was. I ask the attendant and he tells me “to the end of this road turn left get int he far lane and turn right, it is right by the art museum. I go. I get behind a nimrod who is just sitting in the middle of deck trying to figure out which way to go. I cant believe this is happening. God is punishing me for being irresponsible with my time I just know that he is.  Finally I park. I’m closing in on my twenty minute break. I take off up the street, remembering the directions to the deck from the attendant and reversing them. “where the heck am I?” …I am walking in the wrong direction…”HAVE YOU SEEN THE ART MUSEUM, DANIELLE?”….oh God. I about face and start the other way, as fast as I can in my open toe heels. My feet are sweating, the soles are plastic and my feet are trying to come out the toe of the shoes. Should have known…what a dumb idea. I thought the process of picking the jury would be in doors in one place for a future dated case…Jefferson County. I get back in the jury pool room and from what I could tell nothing had taken place that I missed. 
    The law clerk comes in calls, in alphabetical order, forty two names. I was in them so we lined up against the wall and then followed him to the assigned courtroom. We stood in the hall until the courtroom was ready. Now we are down to the good stuff. The lawyers asked questions and people raised their hands if the questions applied. Each and every hand raised was addressed and heard….this was going to take a while. We were given an hour lunch break. I made acquaintance with a juror who said she has been called five time-twice in New York and three times in Birmingham, but she has never been assigned a case. Oh maybe I wont be assigned…but they act like you will be here all week regardless. I would rather be assigned then recycled back into the pool, I think. I dont know where to eat and I dont want to walk downtown by myself. The lady says the Alabama Power building has a food court and its awesome. OK-lets go, it is food…I love food and have not eaten. The Alabama Power building is about six blocks away. My steps are getting slower and slower. The lady comments on my shoes “you wore them before and you walking like THAT?” Yes, mam…I can walk in heels..I just dont usually walk in them ALLOT…and my foot is sliding out.” I feel like I have lost my feminine grace card. During lunch I look down and see blood seeping out from under my toe. “Oh God”. I cant take my shoes off and inspect right here in the place of food but from what I could see of my sole it looks inflamed..
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We find a bathroom and I consider walking back to the courthouse bare foot…but when I see that one of my feet has lost skin I think it would be better to not get a air born infection into my bloodstream….I also would like to not leave what remains of my feet on the concrete. So I put some paper towels in my shoes to keep from sliding my feet anymore. We start off back to the courthouse. Which, in normal life is only about a ten minute walk. My steps are getting slower, and my friend who is busy telling off her daughter on the phone has forgot about me. A scrawny man with a plastic bag in his hand tries to stop me and ask me questions. Having lived downtown for a while now, I can sense when I am about to be asked for money and I quicken my pace “sir I am headed for jury duty, I cant stop”. He gets pissed off. He is saying something I cant make out about the white guy ahead of me that I cant see thinking or saying something about him. He takes off the opposite way then comes back. I’m walking as fast as I can to try to catch up with the little lady juror friend. He is walking around me saying something in tense tones, I ignore him. It is broad daylight and the sidewalks have people. There are cops close by for Godsake it is the courthouse square. “WOULD YOU PLEASE STEP OUT OF MY WAY” the guys says….there is plenty of sidewalk beside me, which he already knows because he is burning it up walking back and forth. He takes off ahead “YOUR HEELS AIN’T THAT HIGH!” He goes on about “you people” and finally disappears and I can still see my friend ahead.
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Way ahead. “I thought you were my friend” I thought…”you left me to the hounds”.

  Back in the jury box my feet were pounding. So were my calves and my back. It was cold and I was trying not to doze. Every time a lawyer asked a question eighty percent of the 42 people raised their hands. When the final twelve were chosen, I noted it was the ones who barely spoke the whole time. Interesting. The process was interesting, I don’t have a problem learning and experiencing things so I thought I might actually take something from this. I just needed to live through the day….oh and get my truck home after this. Where is the nearest gas station in the heart of downtown? I determined that if one was close I should suffer the walk to it, and buy a can and get a little bit,instead of chancing my truck stalling during a time of day when everyone is leaving work.

      When we are finally dismissed for the day, it is four fifteen p.m. and I put in my WAZE app for the nearest gas station-bingo! 0.0 miles away. I start walking. Waze app stops…in front of the energy building. I put in again and there is one less than a mile away…I start walking and realize that there is not one down here either and if there was I cant walk that far. I’m gonna have to ask Jesus to take the wheel and let me get to one with me inside the truck. I reverse my steps and by this time I’m limping and thinking “how did I think I would get gas and make it back after four p.m. safely”. I feel skin moving. “I would have shattered my feet in the marines…they would have killed me”. A car slows down alongside “oh no”. The window rolls down “Oh God no…don’t”

   “Hey good lookin”…this isn’t happening. I keep walking, the pain getting to my knees.

   “How about we get acquainted”. The dude looks like he has a pimp hat and gold teeth. I’m limping. Not swaying. Not jiggling. Not even walking with air of confidence. I’m not nice either. 

   “NOOOOOOO !!!THANK YOU!!!!!” I said loudly as the pain and exasperation came through my yell. “Ok” he said quickly and took off faster than a speeding bullet. 

    I get back to the overflow parking deck and wait at the attendant window for way to long then it should take anyone to open a gate, when you are not paying for the parking spot. WAZE app….takes me back to the energy building. Second option…takes me nowhere. Apparently these are not actual stations that WAZE is picking up. I finally make it a mile away to a gas station. Get fifteen bucks worth and a pack of smokes and head home…but first I get gauze pads, rolling gauze and a jar of peanut butter so I can save twelve bucks on lunch the next day, when the actual case would begin.

    Upon arrival I look at my feet and wash them which was even more painful then walking.

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I bind them up just for the cushioned comfort and to press the salve on. On one foot it looked like I had double cushions on each toe…and blister below each toe. Across the arch was blue and red. The foot where blisters had popped already had skin moved around like a bed sheet after its been slept in. It was pretty gross. Feminine card-gone. Sometimes I honestly wish my feet were bigger. They are small and high arched, and they tend to roll inward. The older I get the more foot pain I tend to have if proper measures are not taken. Today was not a proper measure. 

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So I had a glass of wine and went to sleep. Slept until this morning where I got up bright and early, made coffee and got some cinnamon roles from the vending machine downstairs. I made a peanut butter sandwich, redressed my wounds and rocked my moccasins. Those gauze pads saved my feet today.

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Especially bright and early..walking to my now appropriated parking spot..up this hill…

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It was a good day.

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Moral, don’t walk downtown in cheap heels….and watch your six there are crazy people out there.

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Right to Life

    I have written on society and our perspective on life and regard for it before. In the last few weeks I have seen many many articles or comments on articles that further reflect our dying soul as people. In psychology we study many different “personality” disorders, some of them have become more widespread and I wonder if it is a reflection and result from the model of society that we find ourselves in. Maybe it is a compensation for the lack of control in our own lives while government expands in arms into everything having to do with our lives. Our work, love or life means nothing and we a re going crazy and turning on each other. Now there is a thesis that would take years to write. 

    In Frederick, Maryland, a young man with  Down Syndrome died on the floor of a theater, apparently from asphyxiation. The problem is said to be he was sitting in the movie and had not bought a ticket. His caretaker tried to tell the manager not to call the cops, that after given some time Ethan Saylor would understand and leave with her. The cops were called anyway and they paid no mind to the caretaker either. Their tactics, it seems, caused the young man to panic and he died. His mother was on the way to the theater to resolve the situation. The story was more than disturbing to me, I have two special needs siblings. One of them has her own way of communicating and there are times where a few moments is needed, or she may have a “melt down”. Only people who have special needs family members or people who work with disabled people of this variety understand-you cannot communicate with an autistic or DS person as if they were you. More people then I care to admit, do not respect or accept that. The comments on this story reflected that point, not all but some. Many, as I did, wondered how in the world the theater manager and police could not recognize Down Syndrome when they saw it.  DS is one of the more widely recognized disorders. 

    I see it at work too. We have many handicapped people that work in our establishment. They have learned and deemed functional enough to live on their own and hold a job. I think it is great that we don’t discriminate and we employ them. However, I do hear some less than positive remarks about their presence…from other employees. Now, it is aggravating when some of them plow right into me because they are on a mission and just do not process that I am in front of them. There has to be adjustments in conversation, and allot of patience sometimes, and a choice to be understanding. Sometimes it seems that things are said for the purpose of trying to make that person act out or tick. I’m sure it worse other places. It makes me wonder what life will be like for my siblings once they become adults. 

  Now I’m gonna talk about life before actual birth. It is still a hot topic and sensitive issue for many people. I understand that. There has been articles lately about “abortion shaming” and how the conservative news outlets and GOP and church organizations use “shaming” to enslave women. There was an article I read last week encouraging those who have had abortions, and were not sorry for it to proverbially “come out”. It said the only time women who had had abortions seemed to speak out publicly, was when they were sorry or ashamed about their decision. When rape was involved. When they were in their teens. When they had been pressured. It went on to say that many women, were financially fine, and had not been raped. They simply did not want children and never had. They reported feeling like a weight or a tumor had been removed from them after an abortion. A weight or a tumor. I could not find the specific article to quote it here, I thought I had saved it but I didn’t. It isn’t hard to find other comments that are similar though.

   Let me pause here to say, that I am thirty and have never been pregnant. I am not against birth control nor am I someone who takes to the streets holding “baby killer” signs. I have watched the videos of nurses saying they stopped assisting abortions after seeing aborted babies born alive. Or seeing ultra sounds before babies have been sentenced to an abortion. I am a libertarian and I think my generation of women especially have been educated wrongly about life and regard for it, and that an entire other generation will have to be brought up with respect for life…and love and sex and anything else that makes life worth living, before any real change takes place in the realm of Roe Vs. Wade. I’m not into “shaming” women who have had abortions. My issue here is not even with the women or the “choice” as much as it with the definitions of those choices and the arguments I have seen lately.
   When I was younger, there was debate on “when life began”, this is how the courts got deeper into “women” and “womens rights to their own bodies”. If we could legally define when life begins then we could legislate if that life could be terminated. That is not even an argument anymore. This article (another “anti-shame”) article has the headline “No Shame in Aborting Unborn Life”….last two word “unborn life”. The article summarizes that most women have abortions not because they do not care for the unborn baby but because they “care so much”, and it is better for the life to be aborted than to be born to someone “not ready”. It also sates that there are many many children who are subjected to severe abuse and we need not worry for abortion and those who have them, instead we should worry about the ones already here who are skinned, or starved and forced to eat dog food by their evil care takers. Well, yes people who torture children are evil, and they have their place in hell I do believe and I make no bones about saying that. However, as we see those types of stories becoming more and more prominent, does it not also feed the theory that we have no regard for human life? To say that we are better to abort our children, lest they be born to parents not rich enough, not ready enough or too young…essentially saying that we are God and came make that type of call. Are we not buying into the same thoughts that totalitarian states have had (China). Does that type of thinking not then branch into population control and oh yes -further government?
     

  Now that I have haters…on to something even more sinister but from the same seed of disregard and apathy for life in general. Infanticide…or what promoters of making infanticide legal call “post-birth abortion”. Yes -post birth abortion. The child is ALIVE and there is no more dispute about it or when it began…to normal sane people. An MSNBC host Melissa Perry-Smith argued that a baby is not alive until it’s parents “feel” that it is alive. Yes. Fact is stranger than fiction. In fact this sounds like something out of a futuristic dystopia novel…like “The Giver” ( a youth book with profound intellectual thinking points. All ages should read). I had no idea this was even an “idea”. Post birth abortion are being promoted as an idea. It was even surveyed among college students as “fourth trimester abortions” to see if the wording would phase them…they apparently were not smart enough to realize that THERE IS NO FOURTH TRIMESTER THAT IS WHY IT IS CALLED “TRI”. Think this idea is ludicrous and came from “The Onion”…no see here. What amazes me, is that for years it was argued that if we as people could decide when life began and whether it should be born or if that life could be aborted, because of our own rights to our own bodies…then the we would have to reap the consequences of where that “right” and judgement may lead. If we can decide before then can we decide after? As a society, where are we? All of these ideas have been veiled with emotive language for years. For once I would like it to a human argument and not a “women’s argument”. If infanticide is a new idea, that the same circles are pushing for than it was never an argument for women, it was an argument for something deeper and more sinister, even archaic. Women -you were just the pawn.

    There was a post on face book the other day from a women’s lib group. It said in a tongue in cheek way “If men could get pregnant, not only would abortion be legal it would be free and there would be a clinic on every corner”. My question or answer to that is “SO WHAT?” Does that make it any more conscience, moral or right. Feminism was to be equal in voting rights and afforded the same opportunity  in jobs and economy as our male counterparts. We cannot speculate and decide that “because” this is what a man might do…that we would  have to be just as barbaric. Not only that, has it not been argued for a century that “its a mans world” and that we are subject to a “patriarch society”? So going forth with that argument…are we saying that such as we claim man has enslaved us, we should also have the right to abort life as we deem necessary. Such as totalitarian, fascist and communist  factions in history have lost their respect for life, indoctrinated their societies to do the same and tried to extinguish life in different factions, that we should do the same when we decide it is “better and more merciful for the child” or “the child is not well behaved” or…maybe was born with an abnormality. 

  So what? 

  

The Bartender’s View..

 A few weeks ago, I found one of the funniest video’s I had seen in a while. See below for “Sh** People Say to Bartender’s”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McMWRA4Tzw0

and laugh with me..or at yourself if you have ever asked for a “FUUNN DRINK…For REAALLZZ”

  I work at a Country Club,so the clientele is pretty much the same people day in and day out. Except for weekends like the one I just finished where the young members (between 24ish to five years older than me) bring their guests and they pay a fee for open bar and golf all weekend. Fun times…fun times….We the bartenders get to watch them binge drink the night before the game and then give them Bloody Mary’s at six a.m. and all the beer they can drink on the golf course. When the games are over they hit the pool…and clear out whatever is left at the pool bar. Even though it is a different sort of atmosphere then a pub or a bar, the experience provided to the paying party is the same, just in a more posh environment. The girls talk the same, from the time they are ten until they are …however old they get continuing to talk like Kim Kardashian. Sometimes it is more than my ears can stand.

  “Can I getttt a Orange Crushh”?(ten year old)

  “Can I gett….do you havvvv cranberry?? OH FUNNNN, can I get a vodka cranbarry?”
  The tones and added vowel sounds cannot be typed out but any reality show featuring heiresses or uptown girls or valley girls has the same voice. It is like they cookie cut themselves to look alike and somehow in some form of weird osmosis they acquired the same voice. 
  Then there are the medical school reunions or award ceremonies. Ever hear the bar joke that starts “a sailor, a soldier and an airman walk into a bar”? Well I have actually seen that happen…on two occasions. The same event every year. A marine officer, naval officer, and an army officer. The interesting things never really come from them, they just do what they do-flirt and use their super polished manliness to get us to make drinks that we are actually not supposed to make at the country club…and of course we do it. “Honey, I’m serving my country here, you mean I cant get a scotch neat…I wont tell *wink*. A girl would have to be a stone to not give the man his drink. It’s the wives…or girlfriends or fiance’s of those men that always cause the scene. they get drunker,louder and overall just obnoxious while the men are in their circle probably insulting each others branches. I often wonder what exactly is holding those relationships together, then I see the women dancing together in curious ways and I shut my mind down in order to not ponder the thought a second longer.

   Diet Coke. The only non alcoholic drink that the place would fold without. I hear them discuss how it has been proven that aspartame kills, causing Alzheimer, cancer and the like but please give them ten more and their children too…cant have those calories…

Calories…need a fun drink, without too many calories, not allot of juice there are too many calories. Can you make a “skinny” drink? Do you have “Skinny Girl” vodka? The boss finally gets Skinny Girl but he only gets the tangerine flavored for some reason.
 You cut yourself on something every day…opening champagne, opening Grey Goose (aluminum foil wrapper cuts), wine opener cuts-or stabs. If you have natural nails, you cant grow them too long you might lose one painfully after opening five hundred beers at a wedding or ball. Alcohol and soda spill on your hands all the time also dries them out no matter how much lotion you use. I had to break my life long trend of just having great nails and shamefully subjected to paying for a manicure once a couple of months ago. 

   Polishing glasses for the night shift because they pretty much refuse to. I polished glasses for three hours today. The budget wont allow for one of those bar glass steamers that would cut the time to a minimum of…um…never heaving to polish glass wear again..but year after year management tells me we cant have one, yet they come and find water spots on glasses and sigh in desperation…I just stare off in the distance and act like they are invisible. Hey at least I am the bartender that does the glasses..otherwise you would be forced to get a glass cleaner right?

  Then there are the monotonous things that we hear. Every day. “You guys are so great” Thanks you are awesommmmmeee” “What do you have that’s good? “Can I see your wine list? (then they order a wine that they order all the time anyway) “Do you have a drink list?” (Then they order a vodka tonic..the staple of the club). People also have the perception that a bartender gets trashed every weekend. You know,,,because that is how we keep our jobs as responsible bartenders…by getting trashed all the time. If anything, as a bartender my whole perception of alcohol and getting drunk and the “fun” therein is tainted because of my job. As a bartender who sits through classes on how to perceive if someone is intoxicated, and how to slow the process of intoxication and the measures to take if someone IS intoxicated, I very rarely can say that I have actually been intoxicated. As a person who bar-tends for a living, I generally drink wine maybe one-three glasses, after a hot bath at the end of one of these long weekends, only that much if I’m not working. I have only been “out” for drinks three times with my girl friends. Even then, there is that moment that I internally know..if I have one more I will be sick…and I hate being sick. We know the tricks to keep from getting sick. Take a break from the drinks, and drink water for a while. Bar nuts, pretzels etc. If you haven’t drunk an enormous amount, eat something. If you plan on getting drunk don’t drive and again…drink water through the night and you might just wake up with a head ache and dehydration for days after but you wont be hugging the porcelain god the next morning. If you are out with people you don’t know well enough to know how they hold their liquor..don’t drink just watch them..you might have to drive (or maybe that’s just me). Maybe the job of bar tending makes getting “trashed” not seem like all that much fun, we don’t want to look like silly or ridiculous like some of what we see. All though, I have not had to deal with a bar brawl or some of the things I have seen outside of the bubble of the country club scene, where every one is a professional drinker and sometimes I don’t know how they can walk out of the building alive, I have seen intoxication and people oblivious to their surroundings. Once we were hosting and bar tending a non member party, an old man fell and likely broke his hip. People walked around him and the medics to get to the bar. I shut the bar down. 

A side note here…
 A recovering alcoholic told me that alcohol was an amplifier. It is. I don’t know how some people numb or drown their sorrows or regrets with it. I tried that but it didn’t work. Anything you try to forget just gets louder. If I was embarrassed or hurt then whatever had embarrassed me just replayed in my mind…over and over. If I tried to stifle an emotion than that emotion just came out louder. If I just wanted the thoughts in my head to be quiet..they just got louder and found their way to be expressed to people who really did not care to know, and who might have lost respect for me. Never write someone dear to you a drunk email…it might ensure you never see that person again. Thank God that I am not prone to alcoholism, two drinks is really all I can handle and that is the truth. Getting drunk to forget you are sad only makes you sadder. Getting drunk when you are happy just makes you obnoxious.That is what I see too, if people are happy they get happier and they love you (the bartender) If they want to get drunk and that is their goal -they have a mission and just keep coming to you. Once a man was so intoxicated I gave him plain soda water and lime for the rest of the night. He was so drunk he didn’t notice and he kept telling me how awesome I was. That actually was kind of funny.

     Being a bartender is not to be taken lightly, and it’s not a super fun job. We aren’t all rock stars, and in Alabama with all its archaic rules that have nothing to do with preventing intoxication, it can be stressful. Some think that it must be awesome because they think that “I don’t have to do the same thing every day”. Yes I do. See video above. People are the same everywhere.In my environment I often think of the Miranda Lambert song “Only Prettier”, in all honesty some people may hate my thick southern dialect, and given that I work in the end of service industry that is catering to people who HAVE more. I could be anywhere, and they are just having their escape from their monotony…(all though they ARE at the club almost every day) Every job has its monotony. So without further ado, I’m off to have my second Captain and Coke (spiced). Here is to the moments in this year that were not monotonous and to the people who made that so. You know who you are.

    

 

Life For the Direction Challenged…

  There are many screwy ways that I have, which I would rather not blog about. Since this one is a direct hereditary gift from my mother…I shall proceed with glee. I remember when my mother was thirty and I was probably nine and could tell her where she left her keys, her checkbook, and how to get to Grandma’s house…or back home if she had taken a wrong turn. That was before I hit my teens and lost good sense, and before I hit adulthood and had to remember more important things.

     I had a test today at the personnel board of Jefferson County. Jefferson County, like most counties work on a merit system. My friend took a test last year, and scored really high but is still waiting on a call back for that job. I knew this, but since I have applied everywhere from here to Florida and back up to Nashville, and this is the only “go” I have had, I was going to take the test. Was going to…

  I hate driving in Birmingham. I hate hate hate it. Friends in Atlanta would probably laugh that I have problems driving within a mile outside of south side…or 280 for that matter. Even with a GPS, I have difficulty navigating the north side of Birmingham. I drove from Birmingham to the upper most corner of Arkansas without a proper car tag, easier than I drive on the north side of Birmingham. Today was the worst, because I thought since my Verizon account is on suspension that I did not have my WAZE app. Being the industrious woman that I think I am, I googled directions and wrote them down, only nine miles from where I live, if you take the express way. It is before rush hour-no biggie. I took out my compass and made sure I was going east and the first three turns were easy to find. Then I hit the express way north and all the powers of hell took my directional sense, as well as my nerves in trying to read my scribbled directions and drive at the same time. Why am I headed toward Tuscaloosa and how am I missing Elton B. Stephans? NO ONE can miss Elton B. Stephans. I found an exit, and realized I was somewhere called “McCoy”. Where the hell is McCoy? I JUST left my apartment…this is what I get for getting up early and trying to make progress. 

  No problem, I still have fifteen minutes to show up and maybe it is early enough that I will find parking. I cant give up-I’ll never progress from being a bartender to having some other skill that people want to hire, if I don’t put forth the effort…then I got behind a Mack truck who is sitting at a red light, waiting for the green turn arrow. The light turned twice before he got his arrow..then the hunger hit me. I realized I was heading for a test at Jefferson County…the slowest at everything possible. I will be there for at least two hours and have not eaten. That is not a good combination. What was I thinking? I’m not  a breakfast person, but with adrenaline for a test running through my system…yeah no. I went in to the Kangaroo to get a cup of coffee and my directional bearings…I parked by a Chevy Silverado…they are everywhere…”I left my heart in Arkansas” I thought, now I’m cursed and I’m never getting out of this town. As if a government job would help me do that anyway. I should have stayed there, if nothing else they are hiring in Arkansas…I even hear the members of the country club talking about Arkansas. Every job site I get on has at least twenty openings for some business in Arkansas. My brothers’ fiance just got back from a trip to Fayettville, Arkansas. Seriously… 

     I left the Kangaroo, certain that I could just follow the highway back in the direction I came-I JUST left home for god sake. Yeah..that would be easy…for most people. Montgomery exit, Gadsen exit…and Tuscaloosa? AGAIN? Somehow I have absolutely no idea where I am-yet I do. I can SEE downtown, I just do not remember what exit is closer to my home. I have taken wrong exits and ended up by the train tracks…I dont have enough gas to get lost…by…the…train tracks. Somehow I end up going towards somewhere called “Tarrant”. Ok, seriously. I’m not making it to my government job-merit system test thing. Maybe it was a self fulfilling prophecy and I didn’t want to anyway. “If you get in here…you …will ..never…leave Jefferson County and their three hundred dollar car tags with five mile long lines”. 

  I pulled into a creepy looking McDonalds with the tiniest parking lot ever. I cut the engine and had not the foggiest idea how to get back home. I looked at my phone…hmmm maybe…? I hit the waze app and …OMG…even though I cannot make a call nor reply to any text, my GPS works. Would have been nice to know this at the very start of the morning. Only in desperation did I think to TRY. In about five minutes I was home, right at the real morning work traffic started and it was too late to make it to the test. 

  So now I have six hours to kill until the shift I picked up tonight, to make up for the one I gave up this morning. Maybe no one at work will even ask how the test went. 

Stand in the Rain

I was out of cigarettes today. It is that time of the week where I am counting the hours until my paycheck comes in…”OK I have enough gas to last until Friday morning”. The embarrassment of it all. Only smokers can relate to the remainder of the day. OK I have been without all day, I can make it till Friday-heck if I make it till Friday, I can just keep going and quit. I HAVE done it before. Twice I have truly quit-for up to four years the first time, and one year the second time. I KNOW how to quit. Yoga and juice and a listed reminder of the reasons to quit…that was the first time. The second time was sheer will power, along with my list of reminders. This time I know all the reasons…I don’t need a reminder and yoga is frequent part of my life (though not for several months now so I am just scrawny with no muscle tone) . I just really am not in the mood for exerting that kind of will power. I have determined that the next time I quit smoking, it will be with the e-cigarette. Many, many people I know have unintentionally quit using e-cigarettes. It is just water vapor and nicotine. It satisfies the nicotine craving, but that is all. There is no head rush that follows a drag after not having a cigarette all day. I have used one for up to a week and the cravings left, but then when I had ten dollars and needed more groceries than an e-cigarette from the store, I opted for the carbon monoxide poison sticks. Point being…I am gonna quit and I know how…just not today :). I remembered that I have to navigate to the courthouse side of town EARLY in the morning for a test…in fact I have to study for that tonight. This is not the night to quit. So…I did what broke smokers do…I dug for change. I even had some gold dollar coins and then the wanna be investor in me said “That is Collectible stupid”…and I took the six bucks worth of quarters and nickels and went to the store for some cheap BASICS which I have not smoked in about eleven years, and got a single role of toilet paper. Yeah…definitely that time of the week. I was about to have a one of my self hating moments that happen when decade old smokey memories of counting change and being broke and miserable haunt me”…you are a loser -you aint no better than a loser, your brother buys you lunch and then you dig for change for your cigarettes….

It had rained suddenly and forcefully before I had left. Lightening and thunder, the whole works, with flash flood warnings all over the place. It was so fierce that I had unplugged everything. It was the sexy kind of rain. I don’t know why. I’m weird like that. There are different kinds of rain. The aggravating drip dripping kind that doesn’t do anything but mist your windshield enough to turn the wipers on. Then there is the dreary depressing kind, which is just above the rain forecast that never actually happens. Then there is the kind that lets loose and if it isn’t lightening you want to play in it. If it is lightning you wanna curl up with your guy somewhere…ok so that is another blog but you get the picture.

When I got back to my building I lit up my cigarette under the awning that’s over the back door and watched the sky. I thought of my state of affairs and how I had not progressed a whole lot in life. I will be thirty one in two months…ten years ago I divorced an oppressive, manipulative angry jerk who placed no value on life. Here I am, still effected, still just trying over and over. Still making ends meet. Ten years.. People thing I’m real strong and that I have went so far, but today it sure doesn’t seem like it. Still digging for change and still watching rain in a way that no one understands. A voice came to my head that said “you aren’t no different…you ARE special -but you ain’t no different”. A good man and mentor in my life for many years, said those words to me just last week. I think he was saying that I am not above feeling pain or heart break, I’m not above giving into my demons or reacting in ways that I maybe I shouldn’t. But someone who loved me would accept that about me, and not expect me to pretend perfection… So I should also accept that about me and stop judging myself. There isn’t anyone who doesn’t go through these same kinda of feelings. Watching the rain, I equated the conversation to the old saying “it rains on us all” (or something like that) and I accepted these things about myself. Everybody has their demons, every body has their weaknesses and makes their mistakes. I do too. I finished my cigarette and stood in the rain and subsiding thunder. It felt crisp and more refreshing than a shower. We all have rain in our lives, and just like we have to face ourselves-cause ain’t none of us so different that we are not affected, or infected-we sometimes can stand in the rain. I stood in the sexy rain ;). If one solitary person doesn’t think I’m worth seeing through the rain…well somebody else will. Because I ain’t so different that I don’t have it, but I am special enough to stand in it with.

The Moment You Cry Out..

“The moment you cry out to The Lord, your life will change”
I made myself go to a small group meeting with my pastor in Birmingham. At this point in this year I was feeling like a real phony and didn’t want to go. It’s been one of those rough spots. When you forget who you are and where you are going and why you are going there. While others simply and quickly make peace with themselves and for some reason you can’t and you feel like a fool. A real and true blue moron. I was sure walking in the pastor knows I’m a fool. The people around me probably know it. Heck with my work schedule there is no thing what they think when I walk in ” oh she is making her MONTHLY visit to church. Today the topic of the sermon was freedom… Independence Day is this week after all. Pastor Mike makes a visual as only he can… How when he gets to Heaven he hopes God will just take the top off the world so he can see the parts on the inside no one has seen. How he hopes God will let him walk in the bottom of the ocean- after all he will be in Heaven right so he could breathe down there! The things only God has seen…
He want on in his demonstration that even we as Christians get into places where we are not truly free. We pray and feel nothing, we go to the alter and say yes I’m sanctified but we know we aren’t … And then we leave. We leave because we can’t bear to wear the face saying that we are. We live in our own dungeons in our own chains that we are afraid to take off. There was already a sacrifice there was already freedom given to us, but we somehow think its too much… or too little for God to care for. He told a story about a man he knew who couldn’t stop drinking and whatever else he was doing. This man had one of those “ok God if you are real” moments and was physically set free from his addictions. He related this to be as anything else in our lives …God doesn’t differentiate the substance addictions from the anxiety ridden or despair burdened. We all want or need forgiveness – for something…and sometimes that need is even what drives us to to our depths.
I sat there knowing he was speaking the truth. I have accepted anxiety, fear and general self loathing for months now. I have made a moron of myself and became someone I never knew I could be. Deep remorse settled in me and turned to guilt … And the various ways I tried to numb the pain hasn’t helped they just created symptoms in other areas of my life. CRYING….someone make it stop!!! So drink something so you will sleep… Still no sleep. Over sleep and come to work looking a wreck and further feel like a fool. Pray. God doesn’t care about this you are the one who messed up you have to fix it, take responsibility and stop “accepting” the depression. That’s what your psyche book for school says. By the way you are gonna make a crap counselor you fool, look at yourself you screwed your own life up, singlehanded in a matter of three months. What is WRONG with you??
I sat there thinking of the past few months and all the ways I had analyzed and strategized my life and I just got tired. “I’m tired”I thought … How did I get here? I’m a smart person – known for doing the right thing .. The best thing. The example … The older child. “I’m tired…and its ok…Im screwed and its ok…that is what it takes sometimes for us to remember that we were never in control to begin with”. I cried and prayed on the back row at the end of the service and left as soon as it was over, but not before Pastor Mike invited me to small group tonight. I told him I would come but I was internally debating on whether I would make it or not.
I made it I drive thirty minutes to a town I never have visited and watched a video on prayer. The testimony from a member of Brooklyn Tabernacle about a hairdresser who made thousands a day and list his job on moral grounds ( drugs) and cut up all his documents and lived on the street, his sole reason for living was heroine and he nearly died. He went to an ER and had been hearing voices for months. In the middle of the voices that had plagued him he had a memory of another voice, one of a model who he worked with who told him ” the moment you cry out to God will change your life”. He did cry out, it may have been quietly but the voices stopped and his life changed.
God makes no distinction between who he rescues… But He does wait for us to cry out. Sometimes I think it is harder for the ones who claim to be Christian to admit they need Him and to cry out. After all, we are the ones who know He has the world in His hands. It is hard because we already know that He sees everything – like the caverns in the earth that no one has seen. He sees what we are depending on other than Him to get by. He sees the longings and desires we have that we hide. He sees the depth of despair we are in when we are forgotten or hurt and just want the pain to stop. He sees the way we proverbially duct tape our lives into place and smile and say that we are fine. In other words- no matter what chain it is… He already knows. I reached out for prayer tonight and it was an humbling thing to do. I didn’t give details there is not allot of need for it. Just knowing there are people who have your back in prayer. I realized that I don’t owe anyone the face I’ve been playing. I’m not doing great and it’s ok that it is known. God already knows. I’m not fooling Him so why try to fool anyone else?
Moral of the story … It’s time for a reset and restore. Nothing is impossible. Prayer changes things, it really does. The moment we cry out.
This has been a personal account from a Christian blogger.

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