Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It pays to be a Georgia fan

Remember a few weeks ago when this had me shedding rare tears? Well, today I went to court over it. I've never been to court before, so for this rule-follower who almost never got in trouble as a child, going to court and publicly acknowledging my fault was about the worst thing I could be asked to do. I woke up an hour early this morning worrying about what I would say, what would happen if I showed up late or if the judge made a snide comment toward me and I had to bite my tongue and simply say, "Yes, your honor."

I hate not knowing what to expect.

A little backstory: I went to the Municipal Court last week to set my court date. While scheduling my date, I asked if I could be moved to the front of the docket since I was a teacher and only had limited time off during the day. To my surprise, the woman said that it'd be no problem.

Back to today. When I arrived, I was one of about 30 people who were all there for "lunch court." I had to go up to the clerk to sign a waiver and while I was there, I decided to check and make sure that I was at the front of the lineup for the day. I was not. So, I relayed how I'd been told I could be one of first, and the woman said, "Who told you that? We don't do that here." And to the lady next to her: "Did you hear what she just said?" To me: "Say it again." Me: "I was told that I could go toward the front of the line today since I'm a teacher and need to get back to my class." Mean clerk with eyes rolling: "I'll see what I can do, but we really don't do that." Me: "Okay, thank you."

Thankfully, they called me first. I walked up to a table in front of the judge's seat where a pleasant and knowledgeable prosecutor was sitting. After explaining my situation to the woman, she quickly agreed that driving school was a fine option and as we were walking up to the clerk's desk to get the paperwork processed, the prosecutor (or so we'll call her since I don't know her actual title) made an off-hand comment about the University of Georgia. I looked at her incredulously. "You're a Georgia fan, I take it? We're few and far between in this state." She returned my amazed look. "You go for Georgia too? (Short pause) Well, what can I do for you?" As I contemplated whether or not to say "Drop my charges" out loud, she beat me to the punch. "I tell you what. I'm going to dismiss this case."

I have never loved Georgia football as much as I did at that moment.

While she filled out new paperwork for the next minute or two, we cheerily talked Georgia football. It wasn't quite the courtroom experience I had imagined. Minutes later, after speaking with the judge and being officially aquitted, I had to approach the mean clerk one last time for my paperwork to be processed. "You're case is dismissed. Have a nice day," she said without looking up. "So, do you need any paperwork from me before I go?" Without looking up again, she repeated, "Have a nice day." With that, I turned around and walked out--hopefully for the last time.

I put two Georgia t-shirts on my Amazon Wish List today. I figured with the $180.00 that UGA saved me today, I owed them at least my t-shirt allegiance.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

me, lately

What I've been reading...
Connie May Fowler's novel, Before Women Had Wings, Language Network grammar book, Real Simple, Cooking Light

What I've been listening to...
José Gonzàlez, sermons from LMPC, and Pandora

What I've been eating...
Virginia's recipe for BBQ ribs, Edy's Slow Churned French Silk ice cream, the last of summer's produce (tomatoes, peaches, strawberries, and blueberries).

BBQ Ribs: Buy a rack or two of ribs. Boil them for 40-45 minutes in a large pot and allow to cool. Place in large Ziploc bag and pour in a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. Marinate overnight. Grill 3-4 min per side to heat through.

Where I've been...
Chattanooga for Labor Day weekend and Atlanta another weekend to see Phil's family, Pepper Place Market, junior high football games, friends' houses, delicious restaurants, two different churches

What's on my to-do list...
Fold laundry, dust, tackle that last stack of boxes from our move, organize my files, exercise, read for fun, call my aunt, grade 67 essays, check the mail, write letters, blog (done)

Deep things I've been thinking about...
Church denominations, women in the church, being a working mom (NO hint about a baby here, just something I've been thinking about), whether to keep our current church community that's 25 minutes away or start over with a church community closer to where we live, how to streamline our lives so that we have a balance of giving our lives away and resting. These could all be blog entries of their own!

What I've been watching...
Confesssion: Glee. I'm blaming my sister-in-law for introducing me to this show.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the most perfect memoir I've ever read

I dare you to take longer than three days to read Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle. My guess is that you won't be able to put it down, that it will keep you up at night, that you will neglect work/children/exercise/dinner to turn as many pages as you can before you get so tired the words blur together and your eyes hang heavy.

Walls tells the story of her bizarre, tragic, and unique childhood, growing up with parents who preferred to run from the law rather than obey it. Her life story is so unusual and unbelievable that I kept forgetting that the book wasn't a piece of fiction. After each chapter, I wondered how the rest of the book could be any stranger, but each chapter brought with it new and bizarre episodes of Walls' life. Despite her alcoholic father, living conditions so bad that she had neither heat/air nor indoor plumbing nor a refrigerator, the book isn't as depressing as you'd expect.

Walls makes a brilliant move by writing the memoir from her perspective as a child, so many of her experiences, which adults would understand as awful and wrong, were simply normal to her as a child. The story, then, has an innocence and resilience to it that gives hope and redemption to an otherwise heartbreaking childhood.

From the first sentence to the last, I really don't think I've ever read a more perfect memoir. I read a lot of nonfiction, so for me to say that this is my favorite is really saying something. If you've read it already, I'd love to hear what you think! If not, pick up a copy as soon as you can. I promise you won't be sorry.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Steal of a Deal

Perhaps you remember my recent raving post about ALDI.

Here's one more reason to love it:

That's right. We bought a 7-piece patio set at a grocery store! 
Patio furniture was way down on our list of home items to purchase, so I'd given up looking until I saw this little wonder.
You'll never guess how much little we paid for it.

It all began four weeks ago when I saw the box leaning up near the checkout. Price tag: $200. A great deal, but I just wasn't ready to drop that kind of cash.
Three weeks ago, it was still there, marked down to $139. Still not ready to commit, but secretly hoping no one else would take it either. 
Two weeks ago: price slashed to $100. Phil is with me. We seriously consider it, realize we have no way to transport it, get busy the rest of the day, and accidentally forget about it. I pine after the table and chairs all week, which tells me this isn't just an impulse.
Last week: We return for our weekly grocery run, fully expecting the patio furniture to be gone. Surprise! Still there, and they're practically giving it away!
Get this:
We drove home, put away the groceries, and then took full advantage of our new and generous neighbor who owns a truck (remind me never to buy a truck). When Phil and our neighbor returned to ALDI to buy the furniture, the manager came out and practically hugged Phil. We should have talked him down to $50. 

So, just in time for fall, we now have a place to sit outside on our deck. You know where to find us during dinnertime for the next several months!