Nights of Lights

10 12 2009

If you want to see pretty Christmas lights this year, go to Stone Mountain or Rabbittown.  Seriously.  I think I live in the best place on earth, but I’ll tell you – I’m moving to FL for the winter from now on.  I’ll see y’all in March sometime.

Do not come to Lake Lanier(a quick note about privacy – if you read more than one blog post or look at my Flickr page or even my Etsy page, you know my name.  I’ve been in the phone book since I moved into this house 10 years ago.  I’ve lived in Hall County since I was 3.  It’s not like you have to do detective work to find this bitch right here.)

Here’s what they are selling you.  Here’s what you’re getting, in part 1 and part 2. Not only that, the prices are RIDICULOUS.  For the amount of money you just spent to drive through the biggest electric bill in the South, you could have raided the package (liquor for you yankees) store, gotten shit-faced with your entire family, and watched the YouTube video of the house that has lights synced with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra 500 times.

Otherwise, your now broke ass got this:

Here’s why I’m personally interested.

To get to Lake Lanier Islands, you have to take I-985 to Exit 8, which is Friendship Road.  When we moved there, it was called Exit 2 because it’s the 2nd exit from the beginning of the interstate.  Exit 4, which is now the Mall of Georgia area, was Exit 1 and the only shit on it was a Wal-Mart and an Ace Hardware.

Here’s what it looks like now:

When I was 12, we moved to Countryside Village.  If you read booshy’s posts (and hopefully you did) she talks about the McDonalds.  Directly across the street from that McD’s is Countryside Village.  It existed way back before Friendship Road had shit like grocery stores and fast food restaurants.

Can’t tell what Countryside Village is from the website?  That’s because they don’t want to tell you.  It’s a trailer park with about 700 homes in it. The only entrance or exit is the one that you can see from McDonald’s. Now it has a security gate on it to keep out people like me who are going to see my parents, my grandmother, my siblings, and my auntie who ALL live in the trailer park.  Every time we drive up to that gate and I have to call my mom on their little buzzer phone I need a xanax.

Why?  Because it’s a 700 unit fucking trailer park with a security gate.  Consider that every home has an average of 2 cars (6 in my family alone) AND a classic car AND a motorcycle or three, this is a lot of petroleum fueled product moving in and out of this place.

Here’s a fun game – how to find a drug dealer.  Drive through the trailer park and find the blacked out Escalade parked in front of a mobile home that cost $15,000 brand new.  Odds are that’s a drug dealer.  That drug dealer gets a key card to get in the trailer park and so do the folks that stay with him.  I’m a suburban housewife whose family – the ENTIRE thing – lives inside and I can’t get a key card?

There’s a term for this in city planning:  clusterfuck.  It is a traffic NIGHTMARE 24/7 every day starting at Thanksgiving until the end of the year.

When I was in school, Hall County only had 5 high schools.  I went to West Hall.  Here’s how you get there.  You go all the fucking way up Friendship Road (the nights of lights route, y’all) and take a right onto McEver.  Well, it used to be McEver.  Now it’s Peachtree-Industrial Road.  This is about a 15 minute trip in regular, every day traffic.

7:00 – go crank the Malibu and let it warm up while you finish your hair and makeup.   7:15 – leave the house.  7:30 – get to school, see what your crew is up to, bitch about homeroom.  7:45 – school starts.

The Friday after the Friday after Thanksgiving, here’s how it goes.  7:00 – crank the Malibu and let it warm up.  7:15 – leave the house.  8:45 – arrive at school because the line to the Nights of Lights is ALREADY backed up to the interstate.  The alternative to getting to school late was to ride Bus 712.  You could buy both a crack rock and a crack whore under the age of 13 on that bus.  (Here is the reason I have never even tried an illegal drug – you grow up seeing THAT, you’re not going to want any either.)

Friends, buy some Captain Morgan and put this on repeat.  Enjoy!

Internet superstar

27 09 2009

It’s been an odd couple of weeks since my last post.  It hurts my brain just to think about it!

1.  Shaun and I went to my high school reunion.  In school, we used to say that no one would show up to our reunion because our class lacked school spirit.  Seriously, the student council didn’t give a rat’s ass and neither did anyone else.  It was 1999 and we were all facing going into college or into the work force with little to no money.

There were maybe 50 people at the reunion and I did see a friend who I’ve known since kindergarten.  We didn’t talk much in high school and I think I found out why.  She made a passing comment while we were catching up that stuck with me.  “Of course you’re doing well, you’ve always been perfect.”

I wonder how many people actually know that’s not true.  I screw up as much as anyone, I just don’t tend to dwell on it or get caught in the downward spiral of screwing up.  I’m not even an eternal optimist – I’m definitely not one of those smiley, cheerful people.  It’s food for thought.

2.  Sick kiddos.  Actually, only one was sick.  The other was faking it.  A had a fever and just laid down and stared at the TV.  Her school has had about 50 different viruses going through it, so we thought it was strep at first.  It wasn’t so it may have been a UTI (just a very small amount of bacteria was in her urine) or it could have just been one of those flu bugs.  She’s all better and back to her goofy, normal self.

3.  Ramping up for the “anniversary effect” of the PTSD.  A goes through the anniversary effect during October.  It seems like every time she had to move foster homes, it was right around Halloween.  That stuck with her.  Last year was TERRIBLE so hopefully this year we’ll be prepared for whatever comes.  I’m already stocking up on aromatherapy stuff and reinforcing the fact that she never has to go anywhere again.  She’s home.  She’s already started to panic a bit so we adjusted her morning medications and that seems to have helped.  We’ve also briefed the school and we’re keeping on them about her mental state – it took a while to get them to take us seriously but now it seems like everyone is on board.

With LJ, we’ve just seen more sexual acting out.  He retreats to this fantasy world inside his head and doesn’t seem to realize what he’s doing.  It’s not regression – it’s more like he’s living in a fairy tale.

He’s been talking a lot about “grandmas.”  His favorite kind of pie is the type grandmas make.  Grandmas make sweaters.  Grandmas take care of you and give you cookies.  Grandmas have white hair, wrinkles, and glasses.  Yesterday, I finally got fed up with it (in Goodwill of all places) and told him that he got his grandmas and they weren’t going to change.  Neither grandma has white hair, neither one knows how to make a scrap of clothing, and one of them couldn’t bake a pie if her life depended on it. In reality, there’s no such thing as a “perfect grandma.”

I grew up without grandparents being an active part of my life.  Neither set approved of my parents’ marriage and we most often just made it on our own.  He did spend a lot of time with his bio-grandparents before he came into state care, so I don’t want to ruin those memories but he’s taking them a little too far.  I don’t want him to get older and see them and realize how bad it was for  him.  They loved him – they just don’t have the skills to take care of themselves, much less a child!

We went through this a month or so after he moved in with regards to his bio father.  It got to the point that I had to sit down with him and ask if he wanted to know the truth of the matter or just continue to believe what he did of his dad.  He said he wanted the truth, so I told him.   I may have to enlist my dad to explain it to him.  My dad’s childhood is very similar to LJ’s and they have this great bond.  I think he’d take the truth better from Dad than from one of us.

4.  Sick mommies.  It’s been odd – very odd.  My grandma was sick for a bit, then my great-grandma passed away almost a week ago.  Then grandma went down to FL to bury g-gma next to g-gpa and she got back yesterday.  My sister has been sick and my mom was for a little bit but recovered very quickly.  Then a couple of days ago I started having a fever and today my throat feels like I swallowed some hot sauce.  I must have gotten that strep that was going around.  *sigh*  So, tomorrow I’ll go to the doctor and get more antibiotics.  I’ve only been off the antibiotics from the surgery for a week!

5.  Flooding.  Lots of it.  We live northeast of Atlanta and thankfully in the foothills of the Appalachians so our land is soggy and puddly, but we didn’t get any water inside the house.  Thank God!  Even 5 miles away houses were destroyed and the traffic accidents have been terrible.  We went to an antique store yesterday – it’s about 7 miles from our house – and on the way home saw two accidents happen. My heart goes out to everyone that lost their homes, cars, and in some cases, families.

6.  Big internet sales!  Since we’ve been home bound from the sick babies and the flood, I’ve been on the internet a TON.  We’ve sold a couple of pipes, sent some lace to Japan, mailed  out 6 books on bookmooch, and I’ve started uploading a ton of stuff to flickr.  I’m working on a pipe resource, so hopefully I’ll have that available soon.  I also want to get some pipe related merchandise up in the Etsy shop, but I’m missing my computer parts.  I’m spending time with a hard drive clock today.

7.  Got LOTS of fabric.  I love Goodwill.  Seriously.  I got a ton of fabric for an average of 30 cents a yard and I also got some bed sheets and pillowcases that I can use.  I found some gorgeous blue eyelet cotton that I was SUPER excited about.  Got some corduroy, some raincoat material, a ton of cotton, and some linen.  It’s going to be fun!

This has been a long, long post lacking in cohesiveness, so I’m going to end it here.  Hopefully I can pick this blogging habit back up so I don’t end up with 300 things going on at once.  Good times!

hot hot heat

29 07 2009

How is it 80 degrees in the house but only 74 degrees outside?  This is not good!

I’m going to feed the kids popsicles for lunch.  It’s too hot for anything else.  I feel the worst for Cali, our collie mix.  She’s got on a thick fur coat and is just stretched out panting.

4th of July aka if this neighborhood kid doesn’t stop with that firecracker…

5 07 2009

When I was a little, little kid we lived in Pensacola between the Air Force base and the Navy base.  I’m from a mixed marriage:  Mom was active Navy and Dad was active Air Force.  They met in school while training to be meteorologists for their prospective fields of duty and married over Christmas leave 6 weeks after they met.  So Pensacola is a good a place as any because the bases are only about 70 miles apart and we lived in the middle in a little apartment complex.

Northern Florida is much like southern Georgia: it’s populated by a whole lot of stupid white people.  The whole upper half of GA is metro Atlanta but there’s a line right around the Macon area where you enter the twilight zone of the South.  We’re not just talking gun-toting conservative Christian racists – we’re talking about flatland and swamp folks whose general education level is around the 4th grade.  Around cities or military bases, it’s better, but still – there’s a reason we drive straight through the night when we go to FL (southeastern part.)  That reason is that people from the interstate are only good for two things:  buying pecans and advertising the greased pig festival so that you can sell em more pecans.

I know a lot of people who love south GA and northern FL, but hey, I’m a mountain girl.  I don’t trust flat places and if you’ve got to drive more than 30 minutes to reach the closest Wal-Mart, you’re too far out in the sticks.

Back on topic:  we lived in Pensacola and while base towns are normally more diverse, you still have asshole rednecks with guns and too much liquor.  You get those folks everywhere, they’re just called different things.  At this point, I’m about 3 years old and my brother was a baby and Mom had just sat us all down for dinner on the 4th of July.  Next thing you know, a bullet comes down through the ceiling and lands in the middle of the kitchen table.  Turned out one of our hell-raising neighbors decided to shoot off his .22 pistol in celebration of being free for another year.  This is not a good idea!

I have no idea what happens next.  This is the part of the story where my mom’s voice trails off and you get the idea that my Dad probably returned that bullet to its owner by shoving it straight up his ass.

Every July right about this time of year, we heard this story and as a kid, you start to duck when you hear firecrackers.  This is doubly true when you realize that until 2 years ago, any sort of firework or firecracker was illegal in the state of GA.  People would drive out of state to buy em, but still, it was a precious commodity and you only set em off after dark on the 4th when every one else was too.  Otherwise, setting off a firecracker was about the quickest way to have a handful of cops on your front porch and a whole lot of pissed off neighbors.

Firecrackers still startle me, but now that we live on the edge of some private hunting land, it’s not as bad.  We normally hear a couple of rifle shots a day during hunting season and during the summer, we hear the race cars down at Road Atlanta and Lanier Raceway.  Imports at Road ATL during the day, hot rods at Lanier Raceway at night.  In the spring, you hear the cows making their mating calls from a few properties away.  The mountains have a way of amplifying sounds, so we get it all, and it all becomes background noise.

We moved here exactly 9 years ago over the 4th of July weekend.  It’s a nice little starter-home community where you have an actual piece of land located in between two major interstates but it’s still out in the country enough to not be right on top of people.  It was a quiet little place in the very back of a quiet neighborhood with quiet neighbors who liked quiet things.  Now, there’s a school right across the street and a whole lot of development in every direction.  That means a whole lot of people who moved in around the same time we did either moved out of county or moved into one of the hundred McMansion subdivisions where you could reach out your window and touch your neighbor’s house.   Our direct neighbors are nice enough, but a few houses down some people with teenage boys moved in.

Teenage boys have two paths in life:  they either have something to do or they terrorize the neighborhood.  Apparently, these folks couldn’t find their kids something to do, so we have been terrorized.  Our house and cars have been egged, they’ve thrown stuff at our dogs (after coming onto OUR property where our dogs are fenced in), they ride up and down the streets at all hours on a 4 wheeler, and generally act like little ass-hats.

And now fireworks are legal in GA.

These boys are about to have a Come to Jesus moment if they don’t stop with the firecrackers.  It started about a week ago and they scare the shit out of our oldest dog.  Abbie, our German Shepherd/Lab mix was abused as a puppy with cigarettes so anything that smells like smoke scares the living shit out of her.  Shaun couldn’t even get in the bed last night because she crawled in the bed on his side and glued herself to me and just shook all night, even after she got her puppy chill pills.  Cali and Nola don’t like the firecrackers either, but they’d rather bark at the little shithead than hide behind me.

Last year, they shot off one of those little bottle rocket things and it hit one of our trees during a motherfucking drought!  At least ammo is so scarce these days, none of our local crazies decided to shoot off their guns last night.  The crazies are probably the only ones with ammo since they’re stocking up for the apocalypse, forming a militia, and are ready to defend their homeland from terrorists.

Someone forgot to tell them that their two little teenage twits are the only terrorists I’ve met in our little corner of suburbia.  I ought to just put the dogs on a leash and walk down there to remind them that their good, quiet neighbors would appreciate them not spooking the cattle.

If I get really pissed off, I’ll let the dogs poop in their yard.  What do you think?  It may just be better to invite them over for beer and then throw the cats at em when they least expect it.