Random Acts Of Kindness, A Favor

I know I said I was a Grinch this year and in some ways, I am.  In others my heart is just a big old pile of marshmallow goo and my eyes are misty with unshed tears of thankfulness.

In the last two weeks, three people have done really nice things for me.  None of them were expected, all of them were welcome, and I did nothing to deserve any of them.  These acts of kindness, to me, show the measure of their hearts.  Want to know what they were? 

  1. A kind person donated enough Southwest points to pay for one leg of a plane trip for me.  I was invited to visit some friends and I very much wanted to go, but I could not afford airfare and the bus ride was 17 hours.  I was disappointed but perfectly alright with missing this trip (I am a grownup who understands the power of a budget, after all).  I had mentioned the trip in passing to a friend who had another friend who had a vat of SW points just sitting around.  So the miles were donated and my ticket was booked.  Oh, I ruined my mascara that day.   
  2. Another kind person took me out for a pedicure, their treat.  It’s been a while since I had my piggies done but recently I broke a nail in a bad place.  I was handling the care of that myself with good results but when a friend asked if I would visit the nail shop with her, I said yes.  (She wanted to go, in part, because she heard rumors of how ticklish I am and how it appears that I am having a seizure when they scrub the bottoms of my feet.)  I moved some money around and we made our appointments.  When I went to pay, my pedi was already covered.  Oh, I ruined my mascara that day. 
  3. A final kind person sent me a grocery store gift card, and mandated that it was for things I wanted, not needed.  I have a new method for grocery shopping now. I make a list of things I need and also a list of things I want.  If there is money left over after the list of needed things are in the cart, I can add some of the things I want.  I feel like this is an excellent plan and very budget friendly so I shared it with a friend who in turn sent me the cutest Christmas card with a gift card in it.  Oh, I ruined my mascara that day. 

See?  Do you see why I invest in mascara?  I cannot tell you how many happy tears and sniffles and hugs I’ve experienced these last few weeks.  While I can say thank you and give the best hugs ever, I really feel like the best way to show my appreciation is to pay it forward.  I’m on the lookout for things I can do for those around me but I won’t share them here.  Those things are best done in secret.

So what is it I want from you?  I’d like a favor, please.  Will you share some random acts of kindness with me?  What I’d really like is a story of something lovely that someone did for you once, not something you did for someone.  I’ll also take stories of things you witnessed done to others.  Tell me how you have been affected by an unexpected kindness.  Don’t you think we could use some of those warm fuzzies about now?

Comment here, on Facebook, in an email or even a phone call.  I’ll post the ones you allow me to post so we can all partake.  What do you think? 

I Nearly Forgot!

Way back in April when I found myself in a state of unemployment, I began the laborious process of cleaning out my office space.  I am a firm believer in moving right into a work environment and what I don’t store at work, I like to schlep back and forth on my person or in my car.  I have, at minimum, a purse, a lunch bag, a computer bag and a makeup bag with me every day.  You never know when you might need any of those things.  And in my car I have a bag of clean Ziploc food containers, a Bible, a book, a sweatshirt, an umbrella and some tote bags.  Those are my everyday items.

Currently my non-everyday car items include: a wooden canvas frame, a stereo which is the last remaining gift my ex-husband gave me (we divorced in 2004), school books from when I volunteered at the Adult Literacy Council (have not done that in two years), a bag of towels, a ceramic sheep, shoe cleaner, Tigger’s car seat and some twine.  (I don’t know either.) (I don’t have the toilet handle in my car anymore because we used that.  And my potty still works!)

Also, and this is where this gets important, my car still contains every item I had stored at my last job.  The day that I was delivered the news that they could not keep me (and their loss, btw) was the day I started packing.  What a process that was.  If my car items are any indication, you can only imagine what I stored in my office.  Unfortunately, there was much crying and wailing with cloudy tear-filled eyes as I packed my car so most of that stuff was unceremoniously flung into the trunk with a few curse words but no planning.  I haven’t given it much thought since then, mostly because I don’t want to.  I don’t like reliving that. 

Every now and again I’ll have a vague notion of something I am missing.  I’ll remember having a really nice tape measure or the cutest picture of Pooh, and then I’ll remember that I had it at my former office which will cause me to lose any interest in finding it because I will remember what my trunk looks like. 

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However, Christmas.  It rolled around like it seems to do every year.  I am decidedly not in the Christmas spirit this year.  I do not have a tree decorated.  I do not have snowflakes hung.  I do not have my Christmas baking items out.  I do have some snowmen salt and pepper shakers on the table, though, because they were in a closet and I ran across them one day.  Until Sunday, I had baked no cookies or treats and I only did it on Sunday because I had to for a party.  I am a Grinch.

Two weeks ago I thought I would bite the bullet and dig in the trunk of my car for something.  I have no idea what because as I was digging for it I caught a glimpse of pink glitter. 

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Oh!  Oh I was so excited!  Glitzen!  I dug him out and he is now standing proudly at my desk, bringing Christmas cheer. 

Like last year, my new co-workers are appalled.  My new boss, who needs a name, was discussing Very Important Work Items with me and as we were conversing she kept flicking her eyes from me to my reindeer.  It don’t know how she didn’t give herself vertigo, it was so fast and furious.  Finally she whispered, “What is it?”

I tied a jaunty bow around his neck this year.  His horns are a little worse for wear, being smushed under all that stuff I threw into my trunk in my hissy fit rage.  But he is here, warming hearts and bringing some much needed color.  If I am going to be a Grinch, I will at least do it in style.

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 Merry Christmas, y’all! 

A Memory

In the places where I grew up, 4-H was a pretty big deal. It was something we elementary school kids looked forward to every month.  I always wanted to participate in the poster contest; it was my favorite activity.  I never won which was my greatest disappointment.  The year I was certain I’d made the best poster Dinah Stafford beat me with her “Burst into 4-H” theme and picture of a giant balloon.  I was crushed.   I needed a salve for my bitter heartbreak and lit on the perfect thing when they passed out the forms used to sign us up for the spring activities: farm animals!  The only thing that would soothe me was a bunny rabbit.  I would sign up to raise a bunny rabbit and be healed.  Unfortunately, bunny rabbits were bought at a higher price than I knew we could afford.  I signed up for the next best thing which was chickens.  Actually, a pig was the next best thing but a pig cost more than a rabbit.  Chickens it would be!  They were free!

I rocked merrily along, knowing my chickens would soon arrive. I was pretty excited about it.  Unfortunately my excitement never carried over into a conversation with Madre and Poppa about those chickens.  Their first inkling at my new endeavor came in the form of a note I brought home with the date and time I was to pick up my chickens, a whole week away.  Oh, I learned some new bad words then.

Poppa spent that whole week building a chicken coop for me.  I learned even more bad words during that time.  There was a lot of hammering and huffing and swearing but I had the prettiest chicken coop you ever did see by the time those chickens came home. 

Madre drove me over to the co-op (or wherever I was supposed to go – it’s been a few years) and there we got 25 baby chicks.  Oh, mercy, they were cute.  Little yellow balls of fluff that made tiny little noises and had no equilibrium at all.  They fell over each other and slept on top of each other and got stuck under the water bottle.  They pooped everywhere.  I didn’t mind. I fed and watered them every morning and night, cleaned out the newspaper in the bottom of their box and tucked them in under the warmer for the evening’s rest.  When they were large enough, I put them into their new chicken coop and again, fed them every morning and night.

Those baby chicks grew into the prettiest Rhode Island Reds, if you can call chickens pretty.  They had roosting boxes where they laid eggs.  Have you ever had farm fresh eggs?  The yolks were so yellow they were almost orange.  Also, it takes chickens a while to lay eggs correctly so sometimes you’d get a weird oblong cylinder egg, sometimes an egg with two yolks, sometimes an egg that would barely crack it was so tough.  I collected and sold those eggs and bought my first ten speed bike with that money. 

In the fall, I had to take five of my chickens to the fair to be judged.  I sort of knew this would happen but I didn’t know that those five chickens would be auctioned off to purchase the new chicks for next year.  I gathered up my five favorites, fat little birds with some serious attitude.  We loaded them up and took off for the judging.  When we got there, we watched in fascination as the judges weighed each chicken, measured the breast bone, checked the combs and the feathers and the feet and the beaks.  I didn’t really understand why the judges kept coming back to my five chickens until the winners were announced.  I WAS THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER!  I WAS THE MASTER OF RAISING CHICKENS!  I WAS SO PROUD!  It was probably best that I didn’t tell them that the one chick who got stuck under the water bottle when it was a baby suffered a broken leg that never healed right and was crippled as an adult.

After the judging, they began the chicken auction.  I remember looking at Madre with confusion.  “What are they doing?  Why are they acting like they are going to sell my chickens?”  Madre gently explained that the money would buy chickens for a 4th grader the next year. I got teary-eyed and shy.  Those were my babies.  Madre, a farm girl herself, seemed to understand without me saying a word and so she began to bid on my chickens. Someone kept bidding against us and we ended up paying $40 dollars for those five chickens that I had gotten for free.

With relief I rode home with Madre in her truck, clutching my purple grand prize ribbon and my trophy with the chicken on top, every so often looking in the bed of the truck at my award winning chickens. 

Madre and Poppa still have chickens today.  All that cussing and swearing and hammering Poppa did?  I’ll have you know he is the one who every night wanders out to lock those chickens in the chicken house to keep them safe from predators.  He is the one who collects the eggs.  He is the one who makes sure every scrap that would be remotely appealing to a chicken is saved and tossed into the pen with their nightly dinner.  Big old softie.

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Adios, Amoebas! (Or, Tying Up Loose Ends Before I Leave For A Month)

Well, guys, this will be my final post before leaving for a month.  I’m going to miss you.  I wonder how many times I’ll want to make fun of myself over the next 30 days when I won’t be able to share here.  I’ll try to save them up for my 30 days of blogging in December.

I will check in periodically to post my guest slots and to give you updates on my word count.  50,000 is the goal.  To know me is to know my love of words so you know I can reach the count.  Let’s just hope they make sense.  You know, I signed up for NaNoWriMo two years ago.  I wrote 250 words on November 1, 2010 and then got a phone call from a friend.  We started talking about boys and that was all she wrote, literally.  NaNoWriMo was dead to me.   

Oh, I chose a football team!  I know you’ve all been waiting to hear that.  It took me a while. I had lots of input from you and most especially from Coach, who taught me how to look at stats and how to look up helmets and logos.  What really helped me, though, was Martie.  She said, “You can’t be a fair weather fan.  You pick a team and you support them through the good and the bad.  No waffling and changing to the team that plays better.”  And then Coach chimed in with the same advice.  He’s a long time Alabama fan and a longtime Cowboys fan, rabid even through the lean years.  So, okay.  I have no choice but to be a Titans fan.  Nashville is mine.  The Titans are mine.  They play like doody most of the time, and even though the lean years will last for ages, I will support them.  I was never more proud in all my life than when they beat the Lions and then the Steelers (!).  I realized I really want them to do well.  So call me a Titan. The end.

Except it isn’t.  I also have a secondary team.  I just can’t seem to get over the Ram’s horns.  Seriously.  Those helmets with the horns just slay me, and so those of you who lecture me about perpetuating the stereotype, get over it.  I picked a team because of a helmet that turns me on.  At least I didn’t pick a team because of a hot guy.  For the record, I also read the team’s history and would like to share with you that they were the first  NFL team to add a logo to their helmet (swoon) and also the first NFL team to add black teammates after the WWII era.  Suck on that, haters! (And also, while I’m being Fickle Fanny over here, I really want to see the Texans win the Super Bowl.  The longhorns!  Those uniforms!  It’s Texas, y’all.  I am moved.) (And yes, I realize that the Texans were not even on my nominated list but I hadn’t seen the logo yet.  I had no idea . . .)

And just because I can, because you expect it, and because this is me we are talking about:  

Hottie Titan

Hottie Ram

Hottie Texan

I haven’t talked about my dinners with my seniors in a while either.  I had dinner with them last week and as per usual, had a blast.  I love those people so much.  I want to tell you about a couple more of them.  JoAnne, who has only been two or three times, just embarrasses me to death every time she attends.  She’s adorable. She wears a fall (a chunk of hair you attach to your head to make you look like you have more hair) or a funky hat every time and so you look at her and think, “Well, isn’t she cute. Full of spunk, that one.”  And then she opens her mouth and proves it and you could just slam your forehead into the butter dish, you are so horrified. 

“NO! I don’t want a SALAD!  I have GALL BLADDER issues!  Take it AWAY!“

“This is the WORST coffee I have ever tasted!  I can make better at home! BRING ME more sugar!”

“Those CHILDREN need to be SPANKED!  My meal is RUINED!”

I can honestly say that I agree with her in nearly every instance but I prefer to keep my opinions if not to myself, at least confined to the guests at my table.  Not JoAnne.  Everyone knows where she stands.

The other person I want to tell you about is Bob.  Bob has only missed maybe one or two dinners the whole time I’ve been doing this.  He’s in his 60s, I guess.  He’s never been married.  He purchased his house in one lump sum, no payments, ever.  He’s terrified of being late and being left behind.  He ends every sentence with an “uh?” 

“Hey, Jimmie-uh?  Do I have enough-uh money-uh for dessert? Uh?”  He brings $28 to every dinner and we figure out what he can have for that price and still leave a fair tip.  He’s the gentlest soul and I love him.  He was the first of the group to realize that I knew how to work a standard cell phone and so asked me to program some numbers in for him.  Now we all spend the first ten minutes of every dinner shuffling phones back and forth to me so that I can clear out voice mails and add contacts.  Once a month everyone gets squared away.

I probably have so many other things to share but I’m out of space and time.  A whole month.  What will you do without me?

For those of you who are helping me this month, THANK YOU!  Boss, Prom Date Will, Jonquil, Esteban, Woney, and Studio Bukowski – thank you!  Boss and Esteban have already sent goodies over and I just hee hawed.  I cannot wait to read and post your stuff.  Anyone else in?  I still have a full grown cat up for grabs. 

Pass The Toilet Paper, My Toilet Is Fixed!

What an ordeal.  Have mercy.  The drama is really over.  I’ve waited a whole week before telling you, just to make sure. 

Before I tell you how that stupid ceramic bowl was finally repaired, I have some other stories.  About two years ago, Daddy-O and JiJi came for a visit.  While they were here, the handle on the potty broke so Daddy-O, being handy with the tools and the plumbing, trotted out to Lowe’s and purchased a new handle for me.  Upon taking the potty apart, he discovered that the old handle was merely loose, so he fixed that and gave the new handle to me for return to Lowe’s.  Being the good, obedient daughter that I am, I stuck that handle in the backseat of my car and drove it around for two solid years.  All my friends and my nieces, every time they got into my car, would ask, “Why do you have a toilet handle back here?”  Yet I never felt compelled to take it back.

Also, after I posted that last potty post in which I lost my mind with bad words, I received three phone calls from three very handsome men who tried to tell me how to fix it. 

Zorro called first.  He’s a friend from Alabama who would have come over the very first day to fix it had we lived close enough.  He instructed me to sit backwards on the potty, lid down of course, and take off the back so I could tell him what was going on.  Our conversation went something like this:

Zorro:  “Okay, look at the flusher and tell me what it does when you push the handle down.”

Jimmie:  “What’s the flusher?”

Zorro:  “It’s the mumblemumblemuble in the back.”

Jimmie:  “I go by color.  What color is it?”

Zorro: “Well it could be either white or black. It does mumblemumblemumble.”

Jimmie:  “Right.”

So we got a lot accomplished.

Then Javier called and the conversation went much the same way.  I’m so fun.

Then Daddy-O called, after consulting a real live plumber for help, but since our conversation tanked (haha, I did that on purpose!) due to my lack of knowledge of working toilet parts, we all decided that I probably just needed a new toilet.  Awesome. 

THEN! In one final hurrah, Freddie and her father (both engineers, btw) came to my house last week to fix that blasted thing.  Initially Freddie and I had conversations similar to the one above, and Freddie, who really gets me, said she would just bring her dad over to see what was going on.  It helped that I promised margaritas. 

I won’t drone on about how we fixed it but I will tell you that even the engineers were stumped, at least for a minute.  We did have to take it apart twice and there was much holding of tanks and much screwing in of bolts.  Mostly I stood around and looked pretty but I was there, offering support and reminding them of the single margaritas that I purchased for each of them.

Halfway through the evening, after we thought it was fixed only to be denied as we watched the water, once again, drain completely out of the tank in just a matter of minutes, Freddie’s dad said, “I really wish we had bought a new handle when we bought all the other parts. That would really help.”

I said, “I have one in my car.  I’ll go get it.”

I trotted out to my car and came back in brandishing my (nearly) brand new toilet handle.   Both Freddie and her dad looked at me, eyes huge, like anime characters.  “What? Why?  Jimmie?”

“Viola!” I said. 

Do you know how funny that is?  That I, Queen of all Things Sparkly, had a toilet handle in the back of my car?  I amuse myself.  Never underestimate me, people.  I will always pull through.  When will you learn?

In one final toilet comment, last week I had to purchase toilet paper for the first time in six months.  Between Phranke and my anonymous toilet paper donator (Jonquil!), I haven’t had to buy any in that long.  I have the best friends!

Also, who do you know that blogs about their potty as much as I do?  I should win an award.

P.S. So that no one gets mad at the handy man who fixed it last time, please know that he gave me some money back because it didn’t work.  Aces, man.  That was awesome. 

Coulda Been A Contender

Let’s get ready to RRRUUUMMMBBBBLLLEEEE!  Am I allowed to say that? Is it trademarked?  Don’t any of the 43 of you who read me tell on me if so. 

I got a lot of nominees for my soon-to-be-football team.  I’ve also done a lot of research on my own.  Did you know, by the way, that Googling the term “Hot Shirtless Football Players” will take you to some sexual sights designed for gay men?  Me neither.  Then I learned that Googling plain old “Hot Football Players” would take you to a bunch of soccer websites, and I got all distracted for a while looking at those guys and nearly forgot my mission.  Wow, soccer players are nice looking. 

Anyway, first thing I did on my own was have a look at the NFL site just to get a feel for the teams available to me, and I must say, some of the logos are plumb awful.  Right away I discounted anyone with a stupid logo which meant that the NY Jets & Giants, the Cleveland Browns, and the Buffalo Bills were knocked out.  Then I eliminated poor color choices which removed the Saints, the Buccaneers (any team that willfully chooses to clothe their athletes in pants that are African American flesh colored so that major chunks of the team look naked as they run down the field deserves to be cut), the Packers and again, the Cleveland Browns (how are they even a team?).  THEN I did the Googling which nearly got me arrested/fired and found some cuties which almost put the NY Jets & Giants and the Greenbay Packers back on the list; however, I defined standards and I will adhere to them so those three teams remain disqualified. 

From there, I dutifully studied all the nominated teams which included the following:  Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens.    I’m giving them all a fair look before making a final decision.  Here’s where I stand with my quest thus far: 

STEELERS:  I have a new work friend, the one who gave me the Steelers jersey to wear, and she invited me to partake of a Steelers game with her and her family.  I’m naming her Katniss, primarily because she seems kind of scrappy, like she could do some damage to your guts if you ticked her off, but also because she’s pretty.  Katniss took me over to her brother’s house for the Steelers/Raiders game, and we settled into the Steelers man cave for the afternoon.  I peed next to Troy Polamalu a few times (life size sticker on the bathroom wall),had snacks out of a Steelers helmet and off of Steelers plates, wiped my mouth with a Steelers napkin (which I was afraid would get me hurt as I felt that they might view that as a desecration of Steeler property), and finally, I smacked hands with a giant inflatable football player wearing Steelers gear every time a touchdown was scored. 

I also watched a video of this nature and was pretty enamoured of it:

Steelers Renegade

The logo is fancy, the colors look good on me, and Polamalu has pretty hair.  Also, that coach of theirs, Mike Tomlin, is a lovely man.  Still contenders. 

TITANS:  I had a lengthy discussion with a man I’ve named Thor (because I like the name Thor) about why the Titans would be a good choice for me.  His best argument is that being a Titans fan teaches us patience and perseverance.  This man is a high school teacher so why he needs more things to teach him patience and perseverance is beyond me, yet he was quite passionate about his fandom. 

I will have more chances to see a Titans game live than any of the other teams, plus I like the logo and the colors.  Blue is my favorite color, you know.  Still contenders. 

COWBOYS:  This team was nominated by two men, both of whom I trust absolutely, and that is saying a lot.  Coach has been a longtime fan of the Cowboys and follows them faithfully.  But in traditional Coach fashion, he gives the soft sell so he hasn’t done much to push me.  Quan also nominated this team, noting the appeal of the monstrosity they call a stadium. 

I really dig that Texas star.  The colors are lovely and I have silver eyeliner to match.  Pretty boys play for this team.  Still contenders. 

PANTHERS:  Lynnette and Freddie volunteered this team, simply because the QB is Cam Newton.  I’ve stared at his picture a lot.  It’s quite distracting as it’s my desktop photo now.  He sure is pretty.

Photo credit: GQ, of course

The team colors are gorgeous!  Cam Newton is gorgeous! His teeth are gorgeous!  (You know how I feel about teeth.)  Still contenders. 

RAVENS:  My experience with the Baltimore Ravens consisted of watching the movie “Blindside”, which everyone knows is about Michael Orr, a Ravens player.  Great movie, but I have a policy on all movies I watch: no scary movies, no movies that make me cry and no movies that make me want things I cannot have.  Blindside, unfortunately, violated my movie policy, giving me chapped cheeks because I cried so much. 

The colors are nice, the logo is nice, but the crying did me in.  Sorry, Ravens.  No longer contenders. 

RAMS:  I need to do more research here.  I am quite moved by the horns on the helmets.  Still contenders. 

BENGALS:  This team was nominated by another man that I trust, except he moved away to Atlanta so now I’m mad at him.  He makes the best enchiladas ever.  I like the colors, I like the logo, some hotties play for the team, but I’m going to have to pass.  No longer contenders. 

DOLPHINS:  This team was nominated by an old friend because she thought I would look pretty in the colors.  She gets me!  She understands what I’m going for here!  I’m going to have to do more research on the Dolphins.  Still contenders. 

A final thought or two.  While watching the Steelers/Raiders game, I saw the Raider who got knocked out in the end zone.  You guys, I loved watching this game. I loved the excitement of the fans (Katniss’s family).  I loved their dedication.  Football in general appeals to me. But when that guy got hurt and just laid there, my stomach was all up in my throat and I felt sick.  I prayed and prayed and prayed for him and was a hot mess inside until he gave the thumbs up.  Do I have the fortitude to be a football fan?  Still contending on that one . . . . 

Also, I think someone needs to make me some brackets for all this mess here.  I’m getting confused by my own self.  Coach?

 

My Loyalty Is For Hire

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated College Colors Day at work with a tailgate party, corn hole, game day music and bourbon.  And also, you know, college colors.  I may share more of that story with you later (you did note the bourbon, didn’t you?), but it depends on space and how wordy I feel at the end of the story. 

Anyway, College Colors Day got everyone at work in the mood for football which apparently doesn’t take much. These people are serious about their football, and about one hour after we celebrated our favorite college teams over lunch (UK, all the way, GO CATS!), everyone started clamoring about their favorite NFL teams.  Human Resources, the department I work in, began receiving email after email asking for permission to wear NFL gear on Fridays from now until the end of the season.  My boss, after two whole minutes of deliberation, sent out an email that read:  During football season, you are allowed to wear clothing in honor of your favorite college or NFL team on Fridays.  No Steelers, Gators or Ravens attire will be permitted.

What I know about football is this:  you want to score touchdowns, you don’t want to give the ball away, and football players can be hot.  I’m a fan of Kentucky stuff in general because my heart belongs there but last time I checked they didn’t have a professional football team.  I have never had a strong opinion about an NFL team, although I do remember liking the Cowboys when I was younger because my brothers felt quite emotional about the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders (and in my mind, those brothers were the coolest people on the planet), and my Daddy-O taught Emmitt Smith in high school for one whole day in a photography class.  Otherwise, I’ve never given it much thought.

Now I want to fit in with my co-workers and I most especially want to the chance to wear jeans and sweatshirts every Friday for the next few months as I celebrate my team’s victories.  I just don’t know who to pick.  A co-worker, fast becoming one of my favorites, asked me if I would wear a jersey in honor of her favorite team if she brought it for me.  Of course I would!  You know what she brought me?  A Steelers jersey.  You remember who hates the Steelers?  My new boss.  Oh noes!  I sat at my desk, typing away like mad, when my boss, a raging Titans fan, saw me and said this: 

(indignantly) “Jimmie, what are you wearing?”

Jimmie:  (sheep facedly) “A Steelers jersey.”

New Boss:  (jokingly, I hope) “I’m going to have to write you up for insubordination.”

Jimmie:  (slightly defiantly) “Well, I have no loyalties.  This was the jersey I had, and this was the jersey I wore.  If you bring me a Titans jersey, I’ll wear that next time.”

And thus my job was saved.  

That following Sunday, I was invited to the Titans game.  I happily went.  I purchased my own Titans gear, thinking “You know, I live in Nashville.  We have our own team. These fans sure know how to party.  There is a lot of loyalty here.  Maybe I am a Titans fan.”  But then I watched the Patriots wipe the floor with us, and I watched us let them wipe the floor with us without a fight, plus I got sunburned at the game and we all know how much I love the sunburn look on me, therefore I have decided the Titans do not get my loyalty. 

What I’m saying it this:  I need a team, people.  I need to choose a team, all for me, so that I can have a football purpose.  I’ve kicked around some ideas for what is important to me.  If I want to invest in clothing, I could consider cost per wear and go with the Steelers as they have had more Super Bowl wins than anyone else.  But Ben Roesthenesligersnot is kind of a douchecanoe, so the Steelers may not work for me.  If I want to choose local flavor, I’d be all for the Titans but again, how can I support a team who merely tosses the ball to the opposing team and says, “Here.  You look like you want to win.  You can have the ball.”  Madre is especially partial to Peyton Manning so the Broncos are under consideration.  I do like Peyton Manning.  He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s cute.  But that is Madre’s team and I feel like I need my own.

I had a phone conversation with Jonquil about this, and also Ty, and we all agreed that I need to have some criteria for choosing a team.  This is what I’ve decided to look for:  teams with the prettiest colors (any team using the color brown is automatically disqualified) and teams with a hottie player.  I know that all you men and die-hard football fans (Woney and Kindle, I’m looking at you) will embrace my journey whole-heartedly and really help me determine my best choice.  Please send all nominees to my comments section.  Pictures are very welcome. 

P. S. I think I feel like typing more, so I’ll tell you the bourbon story.  First let me tell you about the CEO I last worked for, the man who was ultimately responsible for letting me go.  (This may not be a warm, fuzzy description.)  Physically, he is an imposing man.  He looks oddly like a human version of Shrek.  I like Shrek, kind of crabby, soft hearted, a bit like an ogre.  CEO Shrek fancies himself an Everyman, always wanting to relate to the little guy while still maintaining his status as “Boss”.  Often his conversations and speeches are peppered with warm anecdotes and “I remember when” stories.  He is partial to the sweater vest.  A nice enough man, certainly, but not one you ever get to know, and not one who can separate himself from the awkwardness of being the stereotypical engineer nor having the same veneer that sticks to all politicians.  He’s like a warm yet firm handshake that leaves you feeling like you just got played.  I don’t hate the man.  I’m not even angry at the man.  I can honestly say that if he were on fire on the side of a deserted highway and I drove by with an exceptionally full bladder, I would urinate on him to save his life and it would give me great pleasure to do so. 

Now let’s talk about my current CEO.  I hear rumors that he genuinely cares about his employees and I believe it.  He’s helped me open mail before, when I’ve been overwhelmed, and twice he’s moved boxes for me.  For our potluck on College Colors Day, he brought the following:   baked beans, O’Doul’s, beer pong, and pickles.  He also brought a bottle of bourbon.  His family makes it so it’s decent stuff.  He sold it for a dollar a shot (after lunch only, one shot limit) and he donated all the proceeds to charity.  He’s never once worn a sweater vest. 

Oh, how different is my life now . . . .

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