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Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta’

Dear IKEA:

I love you. I hate you. I love to hate you. I hate to love you.

Eddie and I entered you to get stuff to furnish an investment property. Let’s call this place a charming, evocative name — a name like “El Pozo De Dinero.

It will, we hope, be Eddie’s primary source of income this summer.

We had to get so much. But the quantity of necessary items was inversely proportional to my amount of patience.

I lost my will to live in the lighting section.

You didn’t care. You still made me trek through bath fixtures, throw pillows and plants to taste freedom.

I have so many questions:

  1. Why don’t you have the entrance on the main floor?
  2. Why don’t you have carts on the second floor where the showroom begins?
  3. Why don’t you have any staff on the floor?
  4. Why do you have to snake through the entire damn place to get from entrance to exit?
  5. Why can’t you get out of the café without going through the whole place again?
  6. Why won’t you open another register when you have 637 people in line?

Eddie contemplates death in one of only two checkout lanes open.

Even your oft-heralded meatballs are not enough to erase the memory of this torture.

We’re not done, though, so I’ll see you in a week or so.

Your best enemy,
Beth

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United States Olympic Training Center this ain’t.

Dear H2Oldsters,*

Now that I’ve lost the equivalent of nine five-pound bags of sugar (!), it’s time to firm up what remains. Taking on those wobbly bits means I take on water — aerobics in the YMCA pool.

Why that and not some other group exercise class?

  1. I don’t like to sweat.
  2. It’s easier on the joints.
  3. I feel like a badass when I can do all the exercises you can’t.

Sorry. (Not sorry.)

Yes, I’m about 30-40 years younger than you. Wet behind the ears, even. (Yuk, yuk. Sorry. I am sorry.)

But it isn’t that.

Here’s the thing:
I bet you COULD do all the exercises if you would SHUT YOUR BIG YAPPERS and try.

Elderly avengers assemble!

From the moment you get in the pool, you do not stop talking. The class begins, you keep at it. People like me who are there to GET STUFF DONE have to swim around you.

Why you gotta be like that?

For real: Why are you there? Why bother putting on a bathing suit? Just meet the other crones at Starbucks or whatever. Or hang out in the Y lobby and chat. There are comfy couches there. Easy on the bones.

At the very least, go to the other end of the pool.

If you do, all this will be water under the bridge. (Sorry. I can’t help it. It’s too easy.)

Yours through hell and high water,
Beth

* Come on! That’s a little funny, no?

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Dear Dominic,

Yes, I’m writing to you again. Yes, it’s because you are driving me crazy. Again.

Want me to stop writing about you? Stop being a buffoon.

You had your new retainer for exactly a week. Then you threw it away with trash on your lunch tray.

No big deal, right? Call the orthodontist and ask for a replacement.

Oh, it IS a big deal. Here’s a timeline of why:

Friday, April 19: Braces off. There is much rejoicing.

Friday, April 26: The incident. (What were you thinking? Expensive retainer? Who needs that old thing?)

Monday, April 29: I call the orthodontist in Savannah — four hours away — where you completed your braces plan. “Oh, we don’t keep those molds. We need him to come in to get a new impression.” Not happening.

So I call the orthodontist on our health plan in Atlanta at the location that is closest to us. There is no answer. All day.

Tuesday, April 30: Resume calling. Finally get a voice mailbox. Leave message.

Wednesday, May 1: Call again. Get human who says the orthodontist is only in that location on Tuesdays and every other Thursday. What the flock? Human says we can take our chances during walk-in hours early Thursday morning in a different part of Atlanta.

Side note: Shall I remind you that Atlanta traffic is so bad that a five-mile journey might require us to tune up our car and pack a lunch?

Thursday, May 2: Wake up before dawn to make it to the walk-in appointment first. Beg the people to get you in and out quickly so you can make it to school. Your grades are not good enough for a day away from instruction. They make an impression — of your lower teeth. Why didn’t you tell them you needed the top instead? I had to tell them. Come on, Dominic!

They tell me to come back in the afternoon to pick up the finished product. So I battle rush-hour traffic to get there. Yet, they will not give me the retainer. They need to try it out on you.

For the love of God.

Couldn’t someone have told us this during the morning visit? I wasted 1.5 hours driving. Yay for the My Favorite Murder podcast. (Stay sexy, and chain your kid’s retainer to his body.)

Friday, May 3: Wake up before dawn to meet “Zane” at the orthodontist location closest to us. How dare you be cranky because I rushed you to get out the door on time! Don’t make me use what I learned via MFM.

Here you are with your new $200 retainer on your $3,000 smile. The sign indicates my feeling about all this business.

Don’t ever doubt my love for you. The fact that you are still breathing after all this should be proof enough.

If you lose this retainer, I’m going to make you earn the money to replace it by cleaning my car with your toothbrush.

I’m serious.

Try me.

Love and kisses,
Your out-of-patience mother

 

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Dear Lottery God:

My chicken sacrifices to you are getting nowhere. (Granted, they are of the grocery cutlet variety — I’m not a monster — but still.)

So I’m making this public plea.

My family and I need your help.

Our savings have been wiped out as fast as the Dothraki horde in the Battle of Winterfell.

Why? Here’s a short list:

1. A replacement retainer for Dominic. Yes, already. He had the new retainer for exactly a week before throwing it away with his lunch trash at school. [HEAVY SIGH]

2. New shoes for Dominic. He now wears a size 11. 11! At the age of 14. You saw the photos from my last post. Puberty, thou art a bitch to the budget.

3. Income taxes. Effing Pat.

4. Truck-repair expenses. Eddie’s truck is 16 years old. That’s about 112 years in our capitalist, material culture. But I’d rather fix it than take on a car payment and higher ad-valorem taxes. Call me old fashioned.

5. A speeding ticket. Don’t yell at me that this is my own fault. I promise I wasn’t speeding — I was on my way to see some important people perform in Athens but I was driving in heavy traffic! (It’s Atlanta, after all.) I disputed the ticket, but the Chamblee Municipal Court judge was not having it. I shouldn’t have even tried. She tacked on $50 extra to the fine because I had the nerve to go to court instead of paying outright. Harumph.

Those who say “money can’t buy happiness” must already have money. I promise I would do good things with the winnings. I’d send some family and friends on well-deserved vacations, fund important initiatives for others, give money to my four alma maters for student scholarships.

Oh yeah, and buy a villa in Spain on the Mediterranean. You know. As you do.

May the odds be ever in my favor.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter (and for helping me stop wasting broilers),
Beth

 

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Are you there, Readers? It’s me, Beth.*

It’s been more than two weeks since my last post. I’m sorry! To make up for it, I have a really long post today.

Yesterday, the family and I went to the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival. Blackburn Park is about a mile from our place so we walked.

The draw (besides the fact that I had to work a booth for my job for a bit)?

Live music: The Romantics, Spin Doctors and Smash Mouth.

For free!

Side benefit?

People watching. There were plenty of people.

So let’s get this party started.

Festival rules said no chairs (or coolers, which was a literal and figurative buzz kill). So we spread out blankets. As you do. But here’s the thing: The rules of personal space still apply.

Not for some people, apparently. Like this guy who parked himself practically on my lap.

There’s plenty of room. It’s a huge park. So why is he four inches away from me?

And here’s his friend:

My leg. His feet. He actually put his feet under my leg at one point. NO!

The ladies with them were no better. No awareness.

Same group of people, now all up on Eddie.

And then there was this odd girl with those shorts I hate.

There she is with her boyfriend, Hodor (as Eddie called him).

Doesn’t look like a problem here BUT she kept bending over. Constantly. And when I’m sitting on the ground two feet away, well …

Girl, please.

So while she and her ass were harassing us, I was harassing the kids. Gideon liked the music. Dominic likes that thug crap, so he was not interested.

And he certainly didn’t like me trying to kiss him in public.

Look at his face!

Now for the music …

I’ve seen The Romantics in concert three times. I had the hots for the drummer, Jimmy Marinos, but he is no longer with the group apparently.

See? Totally my type.

The rest? Well. The years have not been kind.

I’m not sharing video because they really didn’t sound so great. (It pains me to say that.)

The Spin Doctors made up for it.

Smash Mouth also put on a great show.

Here’s something you’ll know for sure. Sing along if you are inclined.

It was during the Smash Mouth set that my two loves of live music and people watching came together. Check out this girl. I LOVE her!

It’s weekends like these that make me happy we moved back to my hometown.

Anyway, dear readers, I promise to get my act together and publish more.

Love and kisses,
Beth

 

*Apologies to Judy Blume.

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Dear Johnny’s Hideaway:

Until this weekend, I had heard of you, but never sampled your charms. I had no idea what I was missing.

This is a photo from an Atlanta Journal-Constitution write-up. Add 400 people to this photo, and you have a good picture of Saturday night.

Kalen, a recurring character here, made the recommendation.

There was a line to get in you. A line! I haven’t waited in a line to get into a club in … OK, a week, but still. This was the longest. Ever.

Once inside, it was clear why the bouncer had the strict “one in, one out” policy. The fire marshal must be on retainer. Sardines in a can have more fin room.

Also, I am intrigued by the demographics. The swath appeared to be 25 to 75. I’ve never seen grannies grinding grandpas on a dance floor before, but there they were in all their glory.

And what’s happening here?

She looks like she came straight from her son’s soccer game or a book club meeting.

Anyway, anyone who goes out with me knows my nurturing instinct kicks in hard at some point during the night.

A lady has a tag out? Let me help.

Looking sad? Let’s talk.

Separated from the herd? Join us.

Royce and Sarah call this phenomenon, “The doctor is in.”

This occasion was no different. My first stray was Tanya.

Tanya had clearly had too much of a good time. I brought her into our group, where she was able to safely live her best life. She left to go to the ladies room. We continued dancing.

By this time, I had picked up another stray: Mark. We had helped each other bulldoze a path to the bathrooms. He was alone, so he joined us.

We were all dancing and suddenly Tanya popped back into our group. We couldn’t believe it; we actually cheered. And Tanya thought this was a karaoke bar. Here she is with her invisible hot mic.

Finally, we decided it was time to go. Things were getting sloppy around us. And Thankgod our Lyft driver was close. Literally “Thankgod.” Look:

And if that’s not a funny story close, I don’t know what is.

So Johnny’s Hideaway, thank God for an entertaining night. In the words of that great thespian Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back.”

Here’s to your drink-free dance floor. (Now get rid of the cigs.)
Beth

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Jesse’s Divide plays Smith’s Olde Bar

Dear Close Family and Friends:

Have I mentioned how much I appreciate you? You put up with my — how shall I put this — “projects.”

You know my motto as a writer: Bad decisions make good stories.

Take, for example, one of my most notorious adventures: The now-defunct Redneck Games in Dublin, Georgia. My posts about that event still get plenty of hits.

And then there were the chickens. Trish was the best pet, though, and I was very sad when she met her untimely end.

So when I said I was trying to plan a Southeast tour for a U.K. band, Jesse’s Divide, that I had seen and loved, all of you did your thing: a shrug, an eye roll, a sigh — whatever fit your usual shtick. But because you love me, you came out to support these chaps at one of their shows. 

And every one of you said, “Beth! They’re really good.”

YES.

I KNOW.

Why else would I do something so crazy, so outside my comfort zone?

Don’t answer that.

Anyway, thanks to the JD guys and all of you for believing in me. I still can’t believe it really happened.

Here are Nick, Simon and Rob in my house playing Uno with my family and me. Surreal.

Now go listen to all their stuff on Spotify, iTunes, etc.

And just wait for my next adventure.

Your weird friend/relative,
Beth

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