Friday, December 08, 2006

Ichthy's Waterfowling Days

Just thought I would post a few photos I took while out duck hunting recently.
The black lab, Belle, belongs to my dad. I think she has canine A.D.D.
The one photo of the trees in the water came out pretty neat. You can even turn it upside down and it still looks the same.
No ducks were harmed in the taking of these photographs......we did that later.
If you haven't had one of Ichthy's duck dinners, you are missing out!

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Football Time?

I went to the Titans' opening day game. Not much of a GAME though.
But here's a couple pics of the highlights of my adventure.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow...Titans fan? Or just some freak looking for attention? He spoke like the movie character as well as carried on flamboyantly as well. Hmmmmm.....

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Thought this was a neat deal. Pregame 9/11 ceremony.

I'm in Louisville, KY all this week learning all there is to know about State Farm Life Insurance. woohoo! It's Life "Boot Camp". yeehaw.....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

This Olde House

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Welcome to my humble abode. I just moved into this house about 10 days ago. My roommate is a few years younger than me, a guy from my hometown and fellow UTM alum.
Built in 1925, this stone masonry house has a full basement which is curiously sealed off at the moment. It also has a 2nd story and a small attic. Last week I learned that there is an old lady living up there. My roommate, James, says he doesn't know much about her other than she works for Vanderbilt University at night and sleeps all day. Perhaps she is a vampire librarian? The only way you know someone is up there is when she shuffles her feet across the floor above my room early in the morning. This sounds like a job for The Bloodhound Gang! Not to be confused with that band of questionable lyrics and behavior.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Find Another Vein for This Runaway Train

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"O gluttony, it is to thee we owe our griefs!"
Geoffrey Chaucer

Don't you hate it when you get down to the last square? That moment of panic and anger you sense when you start cursing your spouse or roommate for leaving you in such a predicament instead of responsibly putting out a new roll. This country is headed down a track like that. Our country is a machine. A machine that runs on capitalism and oil. The world can be falling apart around the globe but as long as you and I can make it to work and pay our bills, eat to our hearts' desire, and go to the movies we'll keep on truckin'. $3 per gallon?
Well sir, I don't like it, but I've got to go. Go to work. Go to play. Go to Mcdonalds. Go run my jet ski all day at the lake. Go camping. See American. See American go....Go, American, go!

Ever since the automobile was invented we've had a need for oil. Everything we buy gets to the shelf because of oil. Without it, we're as helpless as we are holding the last square of TP in the house. And our suppliers know this. And we pay a hefty price for our drug. Our enablers?....Just look at the name on the back of your vehicle. GMC? Ford? Chevy? They've got that needle stuck so deep in our vein. And there it will stay until the last drop. Why pull it out now? They're, they're lazy and shortsighted. WE are lazy, shortsighted gluttons. Why bother with new technology? Hydrogen power? Eh....that's too much work. Developing the plants, building the cars, who has time? I've got to make my tee time.

What we need now is another J.D. Rockefeller. Someone to step forward and put his money where our mouth should our own back yard. The U.S. is the 4th largest oil producing country in the world. Not 4th largest USER....4th largest PRODUCER.
There's a technology out there that's been used since Hitler and the Germans developed it back in the 1930's& 1940's! It takes coal and converts it into oil. On an equivalent energy basis, the US has a larger energy resource base of coal than theOPEC nations have of oil. Here's the plan that's currently being sponsored by the CEO of JetBlue Airways. China's doing this. South Africa's doing this. Why can't we? Whatever opinion you have of our president, the war in Iraq, the middle east in general, you have to agree that we would be so much better off if we could be more self reliant with our oil needs.

Hydrogen power could be the future. Believe what you want about greedy oil companies like Exxon. Global warming arguements aside, oil is our drug. It's a hell of a drug, dude! I just dream of the day when we can tell OPEC "I think we should start seeing other people."
But most importantly... let's do it for the children.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Thoughts From the Corner

"And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were merry, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire..."
My agent had her official ribbon cutting at our office this afternoon. I had to make sure my desk was in ship shape. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
What'dya think? Notice my very own mini red swingline stapler. I'm not a big coffee drinker so my Redskins mug will have to hold company paraphernalia. You can't have your name on enough stuff in this business.There's plenty of cake & punch left to take home if anyone wants any. The ratio of people to cake wasn't too big. Members of Chambers of Commerce just don't have the belly for sweets. I'm about ready to get out of this shirt and tie and slip on my crocs and go find a pizza hut kiosk.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Sky is Blue

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Sticking with the superhero topic, Captain Obvious should have been the press agent to break the news to the world about Lance Bass this past week. With risk of being cliche, who didn't see THAT coming!? I mean, were you really surprised? If so then you might be interested in these warning labels.
Hot coffee will scald your crotch? Defrost a frozen dinner before eating? Are you telling me I can't blowdry my hair in the shower? A member of N'sync is gay? Well shut my mouth!

I guess it won't be too long before this group will have to modify their signs and add N'sync to God's hate list. This is about the only Christian group the ACLU has stood beside and defended in recent memory, not in support of their irrational beliefs (which their member and spokesman Michael Gross has admitted) but for their right to speak them. They've stood up for these people who proclaim such nonsense with no consideration of civil responsibility, restraint, nor respect. We all have civil rights and the primary right being that of freedom of speech. But just because I have the right to say something does not mean I should; especially in such a close proximity of a fellow citizen's funeral ceremony. My suggestion to the Westboro Baptist Church is if God is going to hate Lance Bass it should be because he was in N'sync....not because he is gay.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sursum, sursum, et absens!

Supervillain Threat Category

I came across an interesting website yesterday while googling. It's called The Government Bureau of Superheroics
It makes for an entertaining read-especially the Top 10 "Most Nefarious Supervillains list. You can also register your very own secret identity: Superhero name, place of origin, secret powers, etc. If you do, make sure you keep it a secret. You never know who is out there looking to take your little old aunt or hot model girlfriend hostage and hold her for ransom!!! muuaahhhaaa-haa-hhaaa!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Case of the Mondays

Today marks the beginning of week #3 at my new job. I'm back in the shirt, tie, and slacks routine again. For those who do not know, I have moved back home and taken a position with State Farm Insurance in Nashville. I will be this agency's Life and Health specialist. Imagine that, me, a specialist. Sounds serious doesn't it? I have my own desk, although it's not in a cubicle, which disappointed me at first. I always wanted to be like Dilbert, or better yet, Peter Gibbons in Office Space. But I kinda feel more like Milton Waddams. I have my own Swingline stapler, black not red. I'm in the back of the office at a desk stuck between 2 filing cabinets. i have a big calculator, a mesh wire cup full of red and white state farm pens, this nifty HP Compaq PC, a HP Deskjet color printer, let's see what else?.....oh a phone and an electric heating base for a scented candle which is curiously absent. I will eventually move into the office presently occupied by Elaina, our Life and Health Specialist. The office building isn't too big; there's only 4 of us here. I am the only guy here and on my 2nd day our toilet pipes backed up....and who gets the blame?....good ole Ichthy! They told me my tampons were the cause.....but I told them I haven't had a period in 30 years. I'm outnumbered though. I DO get to listen to some interesting conversations I got that going for me. I'm still commuting from my parents' house about 75 miles west of here. I plan on doing some apartment hunting this weekend. I'm afraid I will have to seek a roommate to help split the cost, at least for a short while. Overall everything is going pretty well on this side of the river. But, it's monday and I'm, i'm, I'm irritated. I need to wrap my head in some duct tape because the following topic just bothers me so much it makes my head explode!

Remember Mike Iaconelli, the professional bass angler I wrote about last month? He's back in the news, this time Hollywood is in on the deal. Mike says, "The interesting thing is, and this is what I love about the movie, is how stereotypical non-fishing people are about fishing," said Iaconelli. "I had comments from people who didn't know the first thing about our sport: 'Do you wear the rubber boots?' and 'Is it like the crabbing thing on TV?' So they know, but they don't, it's an education. That's what is awesome about this film. If we can create a film and get it to people who don't really know how exciting bass fishing is. That's awesome."
No it's not, Mike! I would rather the public go on thinking professional anglers are just a bunch of rednecks "wearing rubber boots" and spouting off trite phrases such as "nice fish" and "get the net, Bubba!". Mike Ike is, as my Trivia and Blogging peer Fer puts it, "like school in the summertime=NO CLASS". His on the water behavior is nowhere near representative of the traditional, modest, conservative nature of the pioneers of this sport. Even this past spring, Iaconelli threw a temper tantrum during bass fishing's largest event, the Bassmaster Classic (sort of like the PGA Masters of bass fishing). He kicked and broke a light pole on his boat as well as swearing loudly-loud enough for the ESPN camera crew to pick it up on tape. This unsportsmanlike behavior casued him to be disqualified for the first day of the 3 day event. I do not want young kids and adults viewing any show portraying such immature and unrestrained behavior. Thanks, Fox, for jumping in head first right behind ESPN and swallowing this guy's crap "hook-line-and sinker". TV programs and the movie industry in general have gotten so out of hand the last few years; they stink worse than catfish bait left out in the July sun. There's too many reality shows out there just hoping to get some kind of shock value for nothing more than a couple of ratings points. Whatever happened to the good TV shows like The A-Team, The Cosby Show, MacGuyver, and Hill Street Blues? There you have good clean quality entertainment: Action( A-Team and MacGuyver), Family values/comedy (Cosby~Full House), and Cop Drama with integrity (Hill St. Blues) I'm so pissed right now I could spit!


Friday, June 23, 2006

"I yam-what-I-yam"

As some of you know I am a member of the P&H hosted Tuesday trivia team notoriously known as Evil Petting Zoo. Each member is in their own way "EVIL"; my way just happens to be divining and channeling all things Tennessean as well as Roy Acuffian.
But another characteristic of mine would be I am a conservative....and EVIL conservative. I suppose that is redundant since all conservatives are EVIL by nature, right? Nature indeed!!-Mother Nature! I think this short video clip can sum it up for me:

But just to save some face, here's my attempt to help spread awareness of the soon to be end of mankind-Well, the LATEST impending doom at least:

Monday, June 05, 2006

ESPN Killed the Ichthyo Star

Looks like a normal, likeable guy doesn't he? Maybe a little too much on the nerdy side to be a professional bass angler? That trophy nearly outweighs him. Overall, a normal, probably low key guy right?

How about now? Oops, did he lose his balance? Perhaps a big wave caused him to shift his weight and he's bracing himself to keep from going overboard. Nope. He's breakdancing. He does it so much it has become his trademark celebration after catching a big bass. His name is Mike Iaconelli. He's the new face of what professional bass fishing has become- much to my dismay.

Mike is not your grandfather's pro fisherman. He is the embodiment of "unbridled enthusiasm." Breakdancing and trash talking to the bass he catches( in yo face, bass!) he has amassed a huge fan base and ESPN is LOVING IT!

Not too long ago I was a member of 2 bass federation clubs back home. It never was as glamorous as you might see on the weekend fishing shows. I grew up learning how to fish with my dad, my cousin, high school friends, and club members. We always practiced catch & release and we were often involved in efforts to clean up the shorelines along our stretch of Kentucky Lake. Some of the local guys were great fishermen who inspired me to try harder and learn as much as I could about the sport. There were even a few pros on tv who not only had an entertaining show they also made it educational. But ESPN has taken a laid back sport and with the help of Iaconelli turned it into a multi-million dollar entertainment circus...eerrrr bonanza.

ESPN bought(took over) the Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society as well as the rights to televise their tournaments and related shows. As a result the TN bass federation removed itself from B.A.S.S. and basically told them I think we should start seeing other people and joined another large, more conservative organization sponsored ultimately by Wal Mart. ESPN has done all they can to use "Mike Ike" as their poster child for the "new and improved" entertainment industry. Now, I know that today money talks and I don't blame ESPN for trying to maximize their investment in what is becoming an entertainment business almost as large as the fast growing NASCAR world( not to mention the overlap of fan interest). But, I do not approve of that "business" decision. It really grinds my gears to see that sort of behavior encouraged as an acceptable characteristic in this sport. A few weeks ago, during our fishing classic sale at my part time job(Bass Pro Shops) I overheard a young kid tell a Bass Pro staff pro angler that he'd love to meet Mike Ike. Mike was this kid's "Idol".

So that's what brings me to the question "Is it right to have an Idol such as Mike?"
I hope the next generation of bass anglers, professional and hometown alike, do not model their behavior after such "clowns" as Mike. It's bad enough the fishing entertainment world is already seen as a redneck past time. But what do I know? I'm just a small town, laid back guy who is happy enough just to get to go fishing anymore.
Mike, do me a favor, go back to the nerdy look. That's not near as embarrassing.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Grindin' My Gears

"I'VE GOT A LOTTA PROBLEMS WITH YOU PEOPLE!" Well, not you my friends and readers, but with a few people out there. Now that my top 10 list is completed I have to actually come up with topics on my own, from scratch! There's been a few things that caught my attention the last few weeks and some passing ideas I thought might make for good discussion; beacause that's what this blog is all about: talking about issues. Ok, I know some of you are saying "What issues, Ichthy?....All you do is go on and on about your childhood memories, dreams, and curly fries." And you would be correct. That reminds me of one summer when I went to Orlando with my family....nevermind.

Alright, let's talk issues here. You know what really grinds my gears? The Dixie Chicks. They've recently come out with their new cd Taking the Long Way They've gone from being Country Music's bluegrass roots darlings to the black sheep of the patriotic country music family. Specifically, the lead singer, Natalie Maines. After making several anti-Bush/anti-Iraq war, etc comments during concerts and interviews, Fatalie, oops I mean Natalie, the Dixie Chunk, has a lot of her fans' gears ground into a fine metallic powder. Some of their new songs deal with how they're not ready to "make nice" and refuse to apologize for their political criticism. And you know what, Natalie? I don't want you to apologize. I strongly believe and support an American's right to free speech, freedom to protest, to speak out against OUR government...the people WE THE PEOPLE put in the office. They're only there because they work for us. Stand strong Natalie, speak your mind. But please just get over it and go back to entertaining us. The only time your pie hole should be open, as an entertainer, is when you're on the stage singing. You've got a great voice; just use it for singing about Wide Open Spaces and a fed up wife killing her abusive hubby, Earl.

Speaking of female singers who are pissing me off this week: Joan Baez is going out on a limb to protest the destruction of a 14 acre wooded area in South Central LA. Again, I have no problem with someone protesting. It's just agonizing to be constantly bombarded by celebrities these days who feel as if it is their obligation to champion a cause for this interest group or that Politically Correct mainstream ideal. They're entertainers and they're successful for much the same reason OUR government officials are in office, because WE put them there. WE buy tickets to their concerts and their movies, TV shows, etc. They entertain us....that's all I want from Hollywood....entertainment. And don't get me started on the LACK of entertainment at the box office the last 2 years! Wait, here's an idea. We need to convince more celebrities to climb trees...the tallest trees we can redwoods maybe. Tell them we won't cut the trees down as long as they stay up there protesting. And once they settle into their rich and famous arboreal lifestyle maybe we'll get some peace and quiet...but if they try to slip back down the tree trunk somone should be waiting with a chainsaw....just give it a quick "ruurr! ruuurrrr!" rev of the motor to help them scurry back up.

That's enough talking issues for me this week. Next time I think I'll discuss a related topic: American Idol. I hate the show. I'm glad it's over. But there's something...someONE who's been grindin' my gears a lot this year. Check your local listings for more to come.

Ichthyophile, OUT!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Own Wonderland

Finally, my #1 most favorite post from the HypoMatt vault. And of course it has to do with 2 of my favorite icons from childhood and even today: Star Wars and THE St. Louis baseball Cardinals. It's about a dream I had about a year ago. I'm not sure what influenced it. I don't think anyone can be held accountable for the dreams they have and for my sake let's hope it was nothing more than nonsense.

Han Solo is a St. Louis Cardinals Fan
05.25.04 (2:34 pm)
The last few nights I have been having some strange dreams. They all seem to have the same theme, I am involved in a mission to save the planet from destruction. Each dream has contained some kind of alien species yet each species looks and acts differently. But the one I had last night was the most bizarre of all. It can best be described as a cross between Spaceballs and Gumby with a little Star Wars mixed in. The dream begins with me on the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo and some other characters who all seem to be made of clay who claim to be from the Claymation Nation. Aliens are chasing us and we decide to hide the ship inside a deep cave on a huge asteroid (Han Solo mumbles something about experiencing deja vu, I think he was referring to what he did in the very first Star wars movie). In order for us to exit the ship Han inflates a huge air mattress with the St. Louis Cardinals logo on it. It's even autographed by Albert Pujols. So we all slide down the mattress and hit the ground and skid across the slippery surface until we come to rest against the cave wall. As we come to the mouth of the cave we see an alien guard standing watch out in the middle of a large, empty, desert looking landscape. He stands there with an expressionless stare off into space. He is standing in between 2 windows which are suspended in mid air. They are about 4 feet above the ground, 10 feet apart, and each facing the same direction, parallel to each other. Now, according to one of our Claymation Nation sidekicks, who just so happens to be Patrick the starfish from Spongebob Squarepants, the only way to get by the alien guard is to climb in through the widow on the right then crawl over to the other window and crawl back out through it. "But we need a diversion" he says. That's when another interesting person steps forward with a genius idea. I'll call him, in my mind because I don't remember ever speaking to him directly, nor never hearing his name called out, Bread Dough Boy(BDB for short). Try to imagine what a soft pretzel would look like before it is twisted and baked. Now imagine that being 6 feet tall with doughy arms and legs, 2 fish eyes and a mouth. So BDB runs off in the direction of the guard carrying a jump rope. He begins to jump rope and jog erratically. Now friends, to you and I such a sight alone would be enough to divert our attention for at least 5 minutes( no offense Pillsbury dough boy), but BDB saw it fit to go the extra mile and steps it up a notch. He intentionally skips a jump and lets the rope come down and slice him in twain! At which point he crawls over to his bottom half, kneads himself back together, rolls himself out into his original form and continues to go through the motions. Needless to say, the trick worked well and the guard followed BDB away from the windows. So we climb through the first window, crawl over to the next and crawl back through it, expecting to logically end up back on the side we had just came from only 10 feet down. But instead we found ourselves in a wal mart, sitting at a table playing Bingo.

Now HERE is where it gets FREAKY. Today I had to go to wal mart to get an oil change. As I walked around the store I made my way back towards the Mcdonalds corner back near the dairy products. As I approached I noticed the tables were full of senior citizens playing....BINGO. And what was on the shelf across from there? Pillsbury dough in a can. I swear to you I cannot make this stuff up!

P.S. The elderly man calling out the bingo numbers was one of wal mart's elderly greeters. Decked out in full Greeter garb(neatly pressed blue vest attached to which were many welcoming pieces of flair). He even called out, and I quote, " in vitamin B12."

Boy, I can't wait to get to sleep tonight!

Monday, May 08, 2006

The House of my Dreams

#2 has to do with my paternal grandparents' house. I had a lot of fond memories there and occasionally I still have dreams of that place. It must have left quite an impression on me in my youth.

When I was growing up in rural Carroll county west TN I lived in a house right up the hill from my paternal grandparents. Down the road from us in one direction lived my dad’s 2nd oldest of 3 sisters, aunt Karen. Up on the other hill on the other side of the hollow from my grandparents lived at one time my oldest aunt, Sharon, and after her my youngest aunt, Sandra. So it was only natural for me to feel a closer connection to my dad’s family. We all were within a mile of each other and our properties connected for the most part. I would spend many Friday nights down at my grandparents’ house watching the dukes of hazard with my cousin Brian, fishing up at the big pond, playing kickball in the front yard, churning the homemade ice cream contraption in the summer, hunting for box turtles along the creek banks with my blue healer Shannon, and throwing dirt clods at anything that moved out in the field. But the one strongest memory I have overall is the house itself. A wood stove that rest on a brick foundation in the living room heated it. Christmas dinners and gift opening frenzies took place in the adjoining den. The main bathroom door could only be locked by pulling out the closest drawer so it would keep someone from opening it inward too much and give you time to say “hey occupied!” One of the extra bedrooms had red carpet and the other had blue. The couch in the den was almost exactly like the one Tony and Emily have in their apartment. Long, green and screaming of the 60’s or 70’s fashion…but comfy! One of my most vivid memories was watching the 86’ World Series game when Bill Buckner missed an easy ground ball at first base that let the Mets win the worlds series. Brian and I were just 3 feet from the TV screen jumping and high-fiving each other. I used to help my grandmother plant potatoes and green beans and corn in their garden. And I would be once again recruited for summertime black-eyed pea shelling, corn husking and green bean snapping when the time was right. My memory of that house is so strong even to this day. In May 1992, on a Sunday my aunt Sandra called to tell us that the house had burned down. We rushed out there just in time to see the volunteer firemen collapse the last standing wall into the huge pile of white ash. Suddenly that huge house didn’t seem so large. I could still tell where the living room used to be. I could still see the frame of the TV and couch, that ugly green but comfy couch. The only thing they could figure was that my grandma had left the stove on while preparing some food for the church’s fellowship lunch. She took it hardest of all. She sobbed sorrowfully into my dad’s shoulder as he comforted her. He told her, “Cheer up momma, that house was getting old. Now you can get a new house and make it just like you want this time…even better.” And he was right. That fall they finally moved into a bigger and better house. With a nice patio on the back where each summer about 50 hummingbirds swarm around all her flowers and feeders buzzing and squeaking and playing. Plenty of good times and good memories are being established in that new house. But there’s a reason I told you about the old house. Not because I am nostalgic at heart but for a more mysterious reason that will come in the next blog.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Want Curly Fries With That?

#3 is the conclusion of the Ethical Ellis story.
Ethical Ellis Part Deux
01.26.05 (11:51 am)
We last left our hero (or suspect if you will) on the wrong side of the Law. How was I going to break this to my parents? It's a small town and when things like this go down the gossip spreads quicker than Britney Spears's first marriage. By the time I had everything settled back at my dorm room I was already stressed more than ever before. I don't think I had ever been so stressed and frightened since that time I was about 5 years old and got stuck in the mud in my grandparents' garden. I was out there for an hour screaming for help but no one ever came to help me. Or maybe it was the time during my high school freshman year when some friends and I got busted in a test cheat sheet racket. But that's another story for another time. As I was reliving those past scary moments the phone rang. It was my dad. He was asking if I got back to school safely and making small talk. I had this deep down feeling in my gut that he already knew what happened and was just waiting for me to admit it. The longer we talked the more and more I felt like I was living The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe "TRUE! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story." "Dad, I got into a little trouble this morning before I left." (Yeah, I hadn't chopped up someone and buried them under the floor but for drama's sake just humor me).....turns out he hadn't heard about it yet so I spilled the beans. He said he was very disappointed in me and that I would have to get a job to pay the fine. J-J-J-JOB?!?!? So much for focusing on just my classes!

So I told you ALL of that to tell you THIS: I got a part time job at the local Dairy Queen
as a Culinary Artist. Ok, I flipped mini-burgers and burned french fries. I hated the job. HATED? No....Loathed...Resented....I got so sick of fast food that I went on a strict diet and lost nearly 20 pounds that spring. I managed most of my classes. I think I failed whatever math I was taking, but that was true for most math classes during my college career. But that one wrong decision I made that January morning had a much deeper and longer lasting effect on my life and who I am today. I promised myself I would never go back to THAT kind of job again. I was miserable everyday there. To this day Dairy Queen is still the topic of many jokes about me with a few of my old friends. During my short Christmas vacation this winter my brother and I drove by that place where it all happened. It was the first time I remember going by there in 10 years. I looked down into the woods and the creek and wondered if my decoys were still out there somewhere....waiting for me to return. I couldn't believe it had been 10 years but I could still feel how cold my feet were......I was wearing 2 left boots!!!!! It's funny now when I tell people about it, but I still regret being so stupid.

William O'Rourke once said "Regret is an odd emotion because it comes only upon reflection. Regret lacks immediacy, and so its power seldom influences events when it could do some good."

In other words; "Regret is always a day late and a dollar short"

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Hunting We Did Go

Getting up into the final 4 now. #4 is the first part of a 2 part blog I wrote last year. I wonder if this is still on my record?

Ethical Ellis: Part 1
01.19.05 (8:24 am)
I promised I would tell you about my personal anniversary this week. It not something I am quite proud of nor would I ever encourage anyone to follow in my footsteps. But it is something that even to this day my closest hunting buddies still bring up when they feel like having a good laugh at my expense. This story is probably not going to be as enjoyable for many of my friends outside of the hunting world but if you had known me 10 years ago you would get some kind amusement out of it I’m sure. It’ll be a 2 part blog entry since I tend to get long winded every time I tell this story.

The year was 1995. The month was January. The date, at the moment, I’m not able to precisely recall. I will have to go back and find my hunting journal and figure it out but I am certain of the fact that it was the day I was supposed to check back in at Austin Peay Dorm at UT Martin to begin the Spring 95 semester. The pervious evening I had most of my things packed and wasn’t really sure if I would have time to go hunting the next morning. We hadn’t been doing too well at our usual hunting spot and I really needed to sleep in one last time before the dreaded 8am classes and late night library term paper sessions began again. I was a freshman and the new freedom of being away from home and not having my mother force me out of bed each morning to go to class was enough temptation as I could handle. “One more chance to sleep as late as I wanted” was all that was on my mind that eve. Then the phone rang. It was my friend Jamie Patterson. Jamie and I had been great friends ever since I moved to New Johnsonville in 1987 when I entered the 6th grade. When we were freshmen in high school we took Spanish 1 together and did a fishing show skit on video for a special assignment. “El grande pez!” Mucho grande pez, si!” You see, a lot of fishing show hosts only need to know a few lines of dialogue. “Nice one”, “big fish!” “Oh man did you see that?!”, and “Ok, here is a perfect opportunity to show you how to remove a treble hook from your thumb.” I think we got an A for the project and to this day I am told Mrs. Boston still uses our tape as an example of how to come up with a creative Spanish skit. Jamie and I had a lot of fun and interesting hunting and fishing trips. Some would make good stories for another time but I’m digressing. Needless to say when Jamie calls you know it’s not just going to be an ordinary day outdoors. He told me he was thinking about sneaking down to the Refuge to go duck hunting the next morning. He wanted to go to this open marsh area where we had gone a few weeks before and killed a few ducks. It was back behind a guy’s house who was close friends to his family and the guy didn’t mind us sneaking back there as long as we didn’t park in his driveway. I agreed that would be a good place to go and we made plans for me to pick him up the next morning at 8am. Sweet! I would get to sleep in at least a little longer! I normally had to get up at 4:30 to get to the normal spot. Our plan was to sneak in, set up, kill a few, and get out quickly. We’d done it before….no problem right?

Well I pull into his driveway at 8am sharp. Dressed to kill. I’ve got my hip waders on, my thick hunting coat (it had been very cold lately, in the single digits), got my duck calls, my gun, and every pocket full of shells. I even brought a couple decoys to throw out just for luck. Jamie took his time trying to find all his gear. He couldn’t find his waders so I offered to loan him my brother Drew’s. They were just his size too. Just as we pulled out of the driveway Jamie mumbles “oh great”. I looked back to see my friend Chris Patterson driving up. I can’t remember if he and Jamie are related as there are several Pattersons in the rural communities there and some were not related. But I hope for Jamie’s sake he wasn’t a cousin. Chris was a year older than us. He stood about 6’4 and every inch of it country as hell. He was always wanting to tag along on our hunting trips. Most of the time he invited himself along….this time was no different. So we went over to his house so he could get his things and we all squeezed ourselves into my 1989 Isuzu 4 wheel drive pickup truck. Pretty tight fight! Since we couldn’t park in the driveway belonging to the man whose property joined the Refuge, we parked across the street at the end of another man’s driveway. He also knew Jamie and Chris’s families very well and I was fairly confident he remembered me as his frequent pizza delivery boy of the previous year. I mean who doesn’t remember the pizza boy, right?! “Don’t you think this is kind of conspicuous just parking right here in plain sight”? I asked. Jamie agreed and Chris came up with a brilliant idea! “Hay, why don’t ewe opun yur hood and prop eet up lahk yoov gawt veehikle truble and no one will suspect anythang.” “Yeh! That’ll work!” I thought. Problem solved… off we go running across the road and down into the bottomland timber a la Peter and the Wolf. A few minutes into the walk I decided I shouldn’t carry the decoys anymore. So I drop them into the creek and figure I’ll pick them up on our way back to the truck. It’ll be easier to carry all the ducks back anyhow right? As soon as we step through the edge of the woods and into the marsh thousands of ducks get up at once. It sounded like distant thunder or a loud army helicopter passing by in the background. Sweet! “Let’s get set up and wait for them to come back.” I guess we had been there about 15 minutes or so before the first ducks had begun fluttering back in. We hadn’t fired a shot yet and had decided it would be better if we each took turns shooting once or twice as not to arouse the suspicions of any game wardens in the area. As I mentioned the weather had been bitterly cold recently and most of the creeks and ponds had frozen over with about 2 inches of ice. Tree limbs would occasionally crack and break off under the added weight of all the ice. All of a sudden we heard some ice break across the marsh in a tree line area that had a creek running through it. Jamie and Chris were behind me and I was sitting at the point of a row of thick bushes. I squinted to see through the trees to see what made the noise in the tree line. I made out the forms of 3 men stalking in and out of the tangled trees. “Damn it’s the FEDS!” I thought to myself. As I turned around to whisper that thought to Jamie and Chris all I could see were 2 pairs of boots stuck in the mud with no persons standing in them. I looked up to see their backs…..and as the old country saying goes “All I saw was assholes and elbows!” Well, I’m no dummy (yeah right Matt, you’re illegally hunting on a federal refuge AND Chris Patterson is with you) so I take off running too. My feet get stuck in the mud and I run out of my waders also. Now I can’t leave any evidence behind can I? So I run back, grab all 3 pairs of boots and take off in the direction they had gone. Running through shin deep icy water in wool socks is NOT how I imagined my last day of freedom. I catch up with them at the edge of a slough covered with ice at the boundary of the refuge. Across the slough is a small woodland hill with an old family cemetery dating back to the civil war days. I quickly throw Jamie and Chris a pair of boots and we proceed to wade across the waste deep water with only socks on! The waders were only slowing us down filled with ice cold water. We get to the other side and they decide to go around the hill and up the hollow to a friend’s property where they would hide their guns and lay low for about an hour. I decided to take the high road and walk up to the cemetery and lay out there for a while to catch my breath. I have never been this cold before. My feet are numb, my socks are frozen solid, as are my pants and coat. This is not good.

An hour later after my heart had climbed down from my throat and into my chest I was able to walk down the hill onto the road. I crossed the road and hopped a barbwire fence onto the property belonging to the man whose driveway we parked. As I am putting on my boots I hear some guys whispering up the road a little. It’s Chis and Jamie and they’re walking down the road barefoot in their under clothes. Jeans and sweatshirts. I yell out in a deep authoritative voice “HOLD IT THERE BOYS, FEDERAL AGENT!” Hehe….it was funny to see their expression when I stepped up on the road. We walked up the road to my truck and put the hood back down. I locked my gun in the tool box and was about to unlock the door and get the hell out of there when a man across the road yelled out “Excuse me gentlemen, can I have a word with you?” Ohhhhhhh crap! It’s Wilfred Brimley! You know?....the Quaker Oats guy..the guy from the movie Cocoon. Well that’s who he looked like to me. A short, squaty man with a thick bushy mustache and beard and thick northern accent. Quaker Oats….it’s the right thing to do. “You fellas been huntin?” he asked. Before I could gather my thoughts Chris spoke up. By now you’ve probably realized Chris isn’t the most intellectual braintrust of this trio and he did a good job of proving it. “We’ve been lookin fer one of mah coon dawgs I lost last night.” “He ran off after some deer and we couldn’t find em so I called mah buddies this mornin to help me look for him.” The warden looked at me, still dressed in duck hunting clothes, and made the observation that I looked like I had been duck hunting. I told him I had just got back to the house from a hunting trip when Chris called me to come help him look for the dog. About that time I realized I had been wearing 2 left boots. I’m not sure if the warden saw that but it explained why I had so much trouble walking. I just thought it was because my legs were frozen and my feet had fallen off. This wasn’t looking good. It got worse when a jeep Cherokee full of federal wardens pulled into the driveway a few minutes later. The top man over the Refuge management knew me personally and knew my dad fairly well also. He took me aside and asked me what was really going on. He told me the gentleman who owned the property where we had parked called them and told them he saw 3 strangers sneaking down to the refuge….fitting our description. (so much for the beloved pizza boy theory). He also told me that if we didn’t confess he would have to confiscate my gun AND my vehicle and take us to the county jail until we made bail. Well that just wasn’t going to go over well with my college plans…OR my parents so I told him the truth. They decided to just confiscate our guns and write us a ticket for hunting on federal land. It would be a misdemeanor on our record and we could come reclaim our guns after we had paid our fines.This was particularly a setback for me since I was majoring in wildlife biology and looking at a possible future in wildlife law enforcement. Of course Chris and Jamie had to lead them into the woods to find their guns and they received higher fines for not having their guns properly plugged (rigged to hold only 3 shells) and for possessing lead shot (lead shot was made illegal across the U.S. for reasons of being toxic to waterfowl when ingested). So Jamie got a $300 fine and Chirs got $350….I got away with only $250. They didn’t bother to check my gun since it was there at the truck. Of course, being the good law abiding young man that I was even when I WAS breaking the law I was still legal. Hence the soon to be given nickname that I bear even to this day by some of my old friends back home……”Ethical Ellis”.

That’s enough for this post. Stay tuned there’s more to this story than just a nickname.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Up Ya Nose Wit a.....Moth

#5 is one of my fondest memories. No, seriously, it's not something you will forget if it happens to you....but if it does...we can have a laugh together.
Of Moths and Mochas
04.11.05 (1:27 pm)
I may have asked some of my friends this before but have you ever noticed how nervous and jittery turkeys are?
I mean I've never heard of a narcoleptic turkey. Have you?
But if turkeys are so aware, so jittery and nervous, why do we get so sleepy when we eat them??? If nature was consistent we would get hyper by eating snails!

A small fly of some sort just took a dive into what's left of my Sugar Daddy mocha. I wonder if he'll get hyper? Speaking of thrilling life experiences this reminds me of an incident that hppened to me and a moth one night back a few years ago.

From august 1999-august 2000 I worked the night shift at a Schwans Foodservice warehouse in Martin, TN. My job duties included refueling the delivery trucks, striaghtening the items in the freezer compartments, and pulling the next day's orders from the walk-in freezer. One autumn eve we were in between orders so I walked over to our small freezer that held damaged packages of popcicles, ice cream sandwiches, and various other yummies. As I opened the door I spooked a small moth who was resting on the wall. Just as soon as he took off, heading right for my face, I was taking a quick deep breath in through my nose. Next thing I know something gets sucked into my left nostril. Well this is a first for me....and probably the moth too. I tried blowing my nose like there was no tomorrow to get that lil booger out (ha....snot's "snot" funny.....nothing to sneeze at!..ok enough puns)

As hard an effort as I was putting forth the moth was matching me by doing the only thing he could think of.....crawling straight up my nose. When one is in a tight spot one can only think but to strive forth and hope for the best. This isn't going well. Teamwork is crucial here dude!
I could feel him squirming. I walked into the office holding my other nostril closed and blowing out hard as I can. My coworkers got a good kick out of it. Finally I got a good deep breath and blew that fella right out. He didn't miss a beat and flew right out the door. Now that's what some folks call one of those "life changing experiences."....more so for the moth I think than me.

By the way; sugar daddy mochas and flies don't mix too well. Either this one drowned or he's overdosed on sugar and caffeine.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

View Haloo!!!

#6 has to do with ideas, or lack of them in some cases. The last couple of years I've come across some interesting bands who have unique and original sounds. I'm often bothered by my lack of originality so I like to see where others are going....then hope for inspiration. And hopefully the result is something one of a kind.

S.O.S....Just A New Box
01.06.05 (3:20 pm)

Today is the birthday of 2 men who both knew a little something about human nature and being original. Carl Sandburg once said "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude."

He also said "Nothing happens unless first we dream."

But the poet Khalil Gibran once wrote "Should we all confess our sins to one another we would all laugh at one another for our lack of originality."

I think the same could be said about our daydreams and many of our creative wonders. Like I said previously, I've always wanted to have creative and original entries and sometimes I suppose I do. Last night I asked one of my friends why so many songs are about love? She said she had a blog about that last year......DANG! much for writing about that. But why are SO many songs about love? My friend said because they (the musicians) are crap. I think she means they decided to take the lyrical low road and go along with the status quo. Is there anything wrong with singing about love? Certainly not. What more important thing is there on Earth than that!? But it's been done before. It's not original. We've all had some kind of emotional let down with a relationship, or crush, or whatever you want to call it. It took me a few minutes to come up with a song that isn't about love. The first one that came to me was Peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America. Ok, technically i guess you could say it's about the love of peaches but let's not get pitty..I mean picky. Then I thought about an old bluegrass song sung by Granpa Jones (ever seen hee Haw?). It's called Mountain Dew....that's hillbilly slang for moonshine. But there again one could say it's about the love of moonshine.

"Singin' in the Rain"?..nope...Love for being out in wet climatic conditions....speaking of climate...the predicted high for next tuesday is supposed to be 72. I think Mother Nature is going through climatic menopause.

So we sing about love, attempt to relay our jaded, depressed, joyful, lustful emotions, everyone accepts the reality that humans sing about love for those reasons, and we buy the cd's and go on with life thinking Pearl Jam was the first to do Last Kiss....what else isn't original?

Have you ever looked at a scene in a holiday geetings card, or birthday card, or a drawing in a childrens' book and wondered what if that was a reality? What if I could step into that picture and walk to the edge of the card then take one more step? What all exists just beyond what you can see? If you've ever read Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking GLass Alice is able to walk into and through a mirror into the reflected reality. I've sometimes wondered what those characters would be like in drawings if they were in a true reality. Would they have a full range of emotions other than that happy smile on their face? Or would they have a broad vocabulary and intelligence? Do they live a house....are there wal marts there? Are the lines at their wal marts as long as they are here? What else is there to do there? Could I step through and be enveloped by a warm, comfortable feeling of knowing everything is perfect and safe; with no worries, no bills, no evil? tuesday night trivia? Mary Poppins walked around in a chalk painting and went on a fox hunt....VIEW HALOO!!!!

Well, that's not original thought. But that doesn't stop me from daydreaming sometimes when I see the cover of a Dr. Seuss book or walk down the aisle of the Hallmark store at the mall. Perhaps there's an answer. I do it even though I am certain others do too; and I don't mind because it's still fun. What if we did all sit together and share our daydreams and wondering thoughts? We'd probably all laugh and agree how silly we are and how much we lack originality......but we wouldn't change a's good to dream....if we didn't nothing would ever happen.

My friend Carla Jean said one other thing....."Nothing is new under the sun" Yeah, it's all been's all been's all been donnnnnnne beforrrrrrrre.....aren't those lyrics to a Bare Naked Ladies song?....DANG!! that's not original either.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Meow Meow!

#7 isn't too deep or significant except that I thought it would represent the location where I used to hang out and do some "bloggin" from time to time. It was hard to concentrate sometimes, as I explained here.

Otherlands Girls
09.01.04 (6:47 am)

Some sit in the sun and others in the shade. Some lean back on the counter, others choose to lay out on the patio. The rest, the ones that like to read, find the corner sofa a nice place to stay. They all remind me of cats in their own ways. Instead of catnip they prefer coffee. New ones walk in and stroll by the others at the counter. They casually acknowledge each other by walking by and giving a brief exchange of smiles and eye contact and maybe a small hug then they move on to their own spot. Here’s one making her rounds. Checking all the tables, cleaning, making sure everything is in its place. She’s not really paying attention to anyone else, just her own business. Another one now, she can’t make up her mind where she wants to settle. Too drafty under the fan, too warm in the sun near the window. She’s moving around slowly, gliding along….ahhhh…she chose the seat near the potted plants. Cats seem to always love potted plants. Maybe they feel hidden there pretending to be like their bigger cousins who roam the wilderness. Then there’s the playful one. She works here. She’s always hyper and always looking for someone to talk to. If I only had a ball of twine or a string with a feather tied on the end I could have some fun. There are even some that nurse their babies here. Out in the open. Not caring who watches.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rock On, Levi.

#8 comes from an incident I experienced at work one weekend. I meet some of the most interesting and friendly people there sometimes. These 2 were just the beginning.

Unbridled Enthusiasm
07.20.04 (9:02 pm)
I have a part time job at Bass Pro Shops here in Memphis where I am a sales associate in the camping department. It’s a cool job; I get to play around with all the cool camping toys. It’s midsummer now and lots of families are planning vacations so I get to see quite a few young children pass through each day. Sunday a couple came by with their 3 kids, ages between 2 and 8. Before I ever saw the family I could hear the 4 year old expressing great excitement. “OH MY DADDY LOOK!” After his introduction of overwhelming joy he would point to an item and explain to his father what exactly he was so psyched about. Quicker than daddy could say “put that down!” the little heathen would already have acquired his next target and begin to shout OH MY DADDY LOOK! And here we go again.....The 8 year old son was just the opposite....Quiet and more subdued with respect to enthusiastic eruptions. Levi was his name. Levi initiated dialogue with me by saying “hello matt.” He spoke with assertiveness and politeness not common to the contemporary 8 year old. I replied with equal etiquette and asked him how he was doing. He smiled, nodded, and said he was just fine. It appeared everything in Levi’s world was just super. “Did you know boy and girl blue jays look the same?”, Levi asked with confidence. “That’s right”, I said, “just like mockingbirds.” He concurred with a nod...”yeah I was hoping to get a bird book over there (motioning toward the gift department) but did you know it costs $17?” I replied “you like birds do ya?” “Yeah, they’re very interesting.”, he said. Then his mom called him over so we said our goodbyes. “Rock on, Levi.”. I said....well actually I said “see ya.” but in my mind I was saying Rock On! For the next 10 minutes a steady stream of OH MY DADDY LOOK! could be heard in the store. I began to think back to when I was 4 years old. I can remember being so energetic and zealous in everything I did. 4,5,6,7 years old....I don’t remember too many specific events but more like feelings. Memories of not heeding repeated parental warnings....going too far from the house, playing in the fields near the big pond when I wasn’t supposed to....climbing into, onto, over, under, and through trees, creeks, ponds, tractors, and even maw maw’s freshly planted garden. My cousin Brian and I used to jump off a wall outside the church next to the cemetery. We would wait anxiously for the closing prayer to end so we could race to see who got to jump first. We would weave through the aisles dodging hands of adults trying to slow us down. In our world there were no boundaries, no fear, and no consequences. The 4 year old reminded me of all that I have grown out of. Levi reminded me of another part of my when I was his age. A time when I began to first take a deeper interest in the outdoors what things were, what they did, and how they worked. I got my hands on every bird book and nature guide I could. That energy and unbridled enthusiasm that once manifested itself by running around getting into everything I could was now being put to use.

So, where does that inner child go when we grow up? Is it a finite existence? Or is it meant to change and added to as we mature? Could it be likened to a piece of a machine?...Something you start with and add to but is so important that without it the finished product will not function as it is meant to? I believe that it is. But I also believe that sometimes you can turn off that machine for a while and take that part out and play with it on its own....Let it out....Play in the rain, see how high you can go on the playground swing, climb a tree and talk to yourself and the ants, or even roam out past the woods up to the big pond where you can skip rocks and get your new shoes muddy. Don’t ever lose that voice that once said OH MY DADDY LOOK! Let loose with a big ole OODALALY! And roll down a grassy hill.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Cranking Out the Oldies but Goodies

#9 on my top 10 favorite blogs from the Hypolimnetic Days is a nostalgic one. Actually, a lot of my better blog topics were about my childhood or past memories. #10 was certainly in that group:

Maw-maw's Wisdom
05.09.04 (8:34 pm)
*crank....crank...crank....crank....pause....rub my forearm*.
"paw-paw, you think it's done yet?" "No, keep cranking.".."Look here, put some more rock salt over on this side...spread it out more so it melts the ice evenly." *crank...crank..crank..crank*.....5 minutes pass.. i swap hands.....*crank...crank...crank* "hey, get off me lightning bug *flick* "I better not squish him with my fingers, maw-maw said they give you blisters." I'm kneeling on my other knee..the one without the big strawberry(scab) on it from sliding into 3rd base during that last ball game. Jason France told me i should have slid in head first like Pete Rose but i tried in practice oneday and didn't make it to the bag; got a good mouthful of dust though. I can't believe the coaches gave me $5 for hitting my first homerun! I can't believe I hit it either. It bounced off the top of the centerfield fence and went over. I think I was chewing gum when I swung the bat...but somewhere around 2nd base I realized it wasnt in my mouth anymore. Did I swallow it?....what did maw-maw say about swallowing gum?,,,,"It'll stay in your belly for a year, matthew!" :? I wonder when Brian's gonna get here. I can't believe he hit me the other night while pitching. He smiled when I took my base.....I think he was afraid I would have hit that weak curveball. He's the best pitcher that team has. They suck. Mcdonalds is their sponsor. Somehow all the bad talent gets on that team. Always an easy win. "Drew, get back!" No, dont eat that rock salt!" "Mommmm! Drew's eating the rock salt!! *crank.....crank...crank.....crank* I hope maw-maw doesnt see that white shoe polish I smeared on the brick wall next to the carport. The more I wiped it the more it spread! *crank...crank...crank....crank..swap hands*
Me and Brian are gonna try to catch toads tonight and feed them lightning bugs on the porch. They'll eat the bugs and you can see them lighting up inside their bellies! "I wonder if that's why toads have bumps all over them? Eating too many lightning bugs? "hey papa floyd, you think it's done yet?" Paw-paw takes a look......"No keep going...almost there, just a few more minutes." "I hope so, my arms are wore out." "Keep going, it'll make ya strong....and it's worth the work."....*crank..crank..crank...quicker!...crank..crank..crank CRANK CRANK CRANK CRANK!*......"Ok matt, I think it's done now." "Hey Brian! come here it's readyyyyy!"

I went for a walk yesterday right before dark. It was calm, not even the slightest breeze, still rather warm. almost like a pleasant summer night. I could smell someone's grill as i passed by. And I started to think about homemade ice cream. I used to be the official ice cream maker churner for the family. We didnt have one of those automatic, electronic ones. Granddad used to always say it never tasted as good as the old handcranked way. I never really knew what went in that big stainless steel cylinder but I knew what came out of it after cranking away....smooth....vanilla yellow colored, slightly lumpy goodness....MAN ALRIGHTY-O!....OODALALY!
One of those tastes that can trigger a happy emotion or memory of being that little kid who played ball all summer, caught toads and fireflies, and wandered up to the big pond to throw rocks at turtles and catch minnows with a little bent straight pen baited with a tiny ball of wonderbread. AHHHHI sure could go for some homemade ice cream right now. If anyone knows a good recipe let me know!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

New, Yes...But Improved?

Two years ago today I began a blog, Hypolimnetic Thoughts . But, after going through a major creative slump in 2005, as well as having a lot of frustrating reliability problems with Tblog, I've decided to pack up and move to blogspot. Several of my friends use this site and seem to be quite happy with here I am.
I thought a good way to introduce myself to other blogspot users would be to share my top 10 favorite blog posts from Hypolimnetic Thoughts. Today's #10 has to do with one of my favorite places......Beaumont Street, Martin, Tennessee. I sometimes wish I was still living there. So, without further ado:

The House on Beaumont Street
03.30.04 (1:30 pm)
That address has a lot of special memories to a few of us UT Martin folk. Sandra, her boyfriend/fiance/now husband Jason, Emily, and I all lived there for sometime. Emily preceeded me as a tenant there. It was a 2-bedroom house with a basement and a modest backyard. The 2nd bedroom could better be defined as a very large closet with unequal sides and a couple windows and its own tiny closet. Stuck on the ceiling were a bunch of plastic glow in the dark stars. I'm not sure which tenant put them up there, but they decided to leave them behind to bring joy and amazement to the room's future inhabitants. There are so many memories about that house..where do I begin?

I first was introduced to this house through my friend Candy. She was the current resident of the tiny room during spring and summer of 98. I ended up staying there more than in Jackson where I was supposed to be staying that summer for an internship. But my best memories really started in spring of 99 when I took my turn as "the roomie".. Sandra would cook those good meals and that awesome sweet tea. I would play with smokey their mini-dachshund, and jason would lay around and talk about movies, tv, UT vols, Emily and her goofy self, and many other interesting topics. I had a miserable job in McKenzie working at a furniture factory. Every evening when I got home I would go to the fridge and pull out a pop-ice. Each color indicated how bad my day was. BLUE--very bad...leave me alone...GREEN I shot my thumb with the nail gun only once but it didnt hurt that bad.......RED----it must be wednesday because this week is dragging along......ORANGE---ahhh....friday, I got off at 11:30!!! I dont remember what PINK and PURPLE were but I'm sure somewhere in the range of "if I have to make ONE mor eottoman I'm gonna puke!!!!"

Beaumont was host to many a celebration. Sometimes it was for someone's graduation. Once for a wedding. One really great one for halloween. And one, I cant remember what the reason was, but I ended up getting my toes painted by Emily...that's actually my first real memory of MLE....waking up to see her painting my toes pink.....I told her if she's gonna do it..gimme a manly color..metallic green I think. Sandra still has that picture stashed away for blackmail purposes I think. Each party would end with jason getting a picture taken of his Harem on the couch. All the girls would pile onto the couch with him in the center...say cheese!! (insert middle finger and goofy smirk here). I dont know much about the basement other than it smelled kinda funny, had a wet floor, and that's where the laundry machines were.

I remember when the time came to move out. Jason and Sandra got married and moved to clarksville and I was the last person in the house. All of the furniture was gone...trash was laying around in the corners...empty, autographed bottles still filled the cabinets. It felt like I was in some classic sitcom where one of the characters walks around and reminices about the good ole times of a home or hang out and hears the echos of all the people who once were there.....sandra complaining about someone she doesnt like on real world, jason yelling when some wrestler gets slammed to the mat on monday night RAW, smokey and all the other dogs barking at the door whenever someone knocks....the smell of spaghetti or pork chops....loud music doing dishes....ahhh...those were the days. when I packed my stuff up I left a few of those stars on the celing in that tiny bedroom......I wonder if they're still there?