:: Kudzu ::    A tangle of green thoughts taking over the landscape of my mind.


» 7.31.2003

in the crucible, uncrushed...

Every mall needs an indoor waterfall...

Life is a series of trials. The Bible says it plain and clear that "difficult times will come." {2 Tim. 3} Sometimes, it seems life is one specific trial that we keep repeating over and over. Like the standard plot played out in every sci-fi show, we're caught in an infinite loop of history, repeating the same span of time until we decipher the clues and change fate.

In Hamlet's words we "suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." Outrageous fortune doesn't sound to bad, though. Seems to me Hamlet missed something in his wishing for death. Sure life has doles out a measure of difficulties to each of us. To some, it even seems we get a greater portion of trouble than do others around us. But it's those two words that make all the difference. When we're crushed like Job, sitting in a pile of ash that was our life, it's the outrageous fortune, the epiphany, the promise that God won't let it crush us and will lift us up out of ruin, that makes up outrageous fortune and makes all our struggles worth while. There is light at the end of our tunnel vision. Can you see it?

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [2]   ]



» 7.30.2003

a light summer shower...

If you thought the office was cold before, try it with soaking wet pants and shoes...

It was a matter of timing, really. I had breakfast late this morning which pushed lunch back an hour or so. Had I gone to lunch at the usual time, I'd have been fine. But I was late.

As I was leaving the office, I asked a coworker "Is it supposed to rain today?" "Yeah... Later this evening." Later turned out to be the exact moment I pulled up to the second window in the drive-thru. As the kid handed over the bag of undercooked fries and over-warmed cheeseburger, he remarked "Weather's gettin' bad, huh?" An obvious understatement from an overpaid summer school drop out. Lovely.

So it's a little rain... so what? I've got a nice big umbrella in the truck. I"ll be fine. Pulling into the parking lot I think "this can't last long... maybe I'll eat in the truck." Hey... why not? Take in a little talk radio, get a little politics with my #2 combo. Besides, I need a little break from the office now and then. I deserve a little rest, don't I? { Yes, I know you want to answer that question. Resist the urge.}

After the last fry was devoured, the rains had only increased. Rain was no longer falling down. It was falling east. I started wondering just how long it could last and realized it would last exactly two minutes longer than I waited on it to stop. I put my keys in my pocket, grabbed the umbrella, cracked the door and locked it, and got ready for the run. "One... Two... Three!" and I jumped right out in to waist deep water.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [2]   ]



» 7.29.2003

lyrics i can't forget 20 years later...

I wonder why their agent never told them they spelled their name wrong?
Five, minutes of funk, this aint no junk
So pull your bottom, off the tree stump
Ladies real pretty, from city to city
But now we're gettin down to the nitty gritty
From the bottom to the top, the top to the bottom
Im gonna rock em, while I still got em
Our rappin shower has style and power
And this, is our disco hour
I dont know what all of you have heard
So its up to me to spread the word
About the man that we feel has got to be real
Our crowned Prince on the wheels of steel
He goes by the name of Grandmaster Dee
So if its alright with you, its alright with me
We gonna rock you people's minds with ease
With some help from the Maestro, if you please...
Whodini

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [1]   ]



» 7.28.2003

because i didn't have time for a photograph...

Jennifer said that before she started to show, I my wedding band resized and start wearing it again.  I haven't worn it in over a year...

She rides the back edge of a hurricane, like the tragic woman of a Wilcox song, two short inches from the tail lights. Her feet ride high up on the pegs, her thighs locked to the waist of the boy in front as he tips the throttle in quick starts, forcing her to grip tighter. I can almost hear her laughing through her visor, through the glass and metal frame of my car.

The tag is bent upward and unreadable, by accident or by design, I'm not sure. It hides from view, partially, much like the tattoo on her lower back plays peek-a-boo from over the waistband of her too short shorts. The exact subject of the art remains well hidden. The boy knows. They're lost in each other. I scan quickly for wedding bands, trying to gauge devotion, trying to divine love from lust. I'm an old romantic. I cherish devotion.

At the light, he reaches back and wraps his arms around her legs, under her knees. They're locked there for a moment. A man, a woman, a machine all blended into one, all sculpted from a single play of wind, and then: the green light, the engine revs, the gears click, the clutch releases and they're gone.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [2]   ]



» 7.27.2003

only three pieces missing...

This is a game called Carcassonne.  We played two games with a couple of friends tonight who'd never seen it.  Each of them won one game each.  Freakin' beginner's luck...

As of last night, I've collected 23 of the26 Things. Besides several categories I'd like to find a better picture for (Home, and You are kinda boring pictures) I only have Scape, Symmetry, and Communication left to find. If you're observant and crafty, you can find the picture for Sound hiding over in the Autochrome page.

Some of the pictures arn't much to look at, but I thought they'd be something different. I wanted to find shots that wouldn't be repeated in every single other collection out there. I"m banking on Animal, and Numbers to be unique. Hopefully Water will be something no one else has thought considered, a weak attempt at social commentary. We'll see. Amazingly, only three (and a half, really...) are about the baby, though were he here already, I'm sure he'd be featured in every shot.

Despite the idea I had to put kudzu into every frame, only two of the shots feature the weedvine. I had the idea to include it much too late to go back and make all the photos over. Guess I'll attempt that the next time a web wide scavenger hunt pops up on my radar. Truthfully, I'm rather surprised at how much fun this has been. It seemed like a nice idea when the link to the site was first pasted to me, but my decision to participate was one of bordom than excitement. Now, I can't wait to paste these up next Friday and show the rest of the web little pieces of my world.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U   ]



» 7.25.2003

looking for a hero...

Another picture designed to embarass my dad by showing just how old he turned yesterday.

Fool On A Wire {mp3}
(words & music : S. Blake)

You hang with hipsters down at the sushi bar
They've got philosophy rolled up like spring
You'll find an ocean full of flavors there
But wasabi always makes your nose run
And you can't keep from crying...

You've been looking for Superman
In every phone booth in town
But the man you've seen flying around
Is just another fool on a wire
That green screen is just kryptonite
It's just a trick he plays with the lights
To make you think he's flying
So high


You can drown your brain down at the local bar
They'll be your brother while you're buying the beer
Come 2 AM in the morning though
After last call for whiskey
they'll toss you out on your ear...

Don't you go thinking you can fly like that
With just a cape and some tights
Don't you go thinking that life would be easy
That might makes right.
Don't you know the answer that you're searchin' for
They're not so hard to find
Don't you know the hero you've been waiting for
He's been searching for you
With arms open wide
And all you have to do is call His name

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [5]   ]



» 7.24.2003

your birthday card...

Now we know what happened to Nemo...


Happy birthday dad!

{compare}

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [6]   ]


five random thoughts...

A polaroid of my father and grandfather many moons ago.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [5]   ]



» 7.23.2003

time off for good behavior...


Took the night off from the kudzu to work on some songwriting. I'll give you a tease:
You've been looking for Superman
In every phone booth in town
But the man you've seen flying around
Is just another fool on a wire
That green screen is just kryptonite
It's just a trick he plays with the lights
To make you think he's flying
So high

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [2]   ]



» 7.22.2003

a picture at random...

The ever lovely Athena at my brother's wedding last November.  She is _not_ the girl in this story.

She wanders down the street, crowded, moving, bustling. She bounces from shoulder to shoulder of the pinball sidewalks like the shinny metal ball caught in the fierce pounding of the bumpers. Each step she waits for the table to shake, the tilt light to start flashing like the sign in the crosswalk screaming stop, wait, danger.

She rounds the corner, dodges the man with the poodle, the stern woman with the attache, the young couple with the obvious attraction. She steps to her left, throws up her hands and mutters "sorry my fault." but no one hears. She stops to look, realizes she's sandwiched between the mailbox, the hot dog vender, and a phone booth. The booth stands like a relic of some distant past. It shines in the sun, a metal and glass coffin, sorely misplaced in this age of cell phones instant gratification global inter-connectedness.

She looks at it sideways for a moment, much like a dog watches his master eat a meal. She opens the sliding door, drops a sliver of metal from her purse into the slot, and pounds in seven numbers at random.

"Hello."
"Hello?"
"Yes? Who is this?"
"No one..."
"Can I help you?"
"No. Well, yes. You have. I just needed to hear your voice... any voice. Sorry to bother you."
"Huh? Sure... no problem..."


She gently sets the handset in the cradle, draws in a breath, holds it deep for a moment. Then she slides back into the crowd, turns and drifts back home, smiling.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [1]   ]



» 7.21.2003

autochrome



I've just finished the code for a new photo gallery. I've named it Autochrome. Hope you enjoy...

{descriptions for each of the photos will be up soon...}

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [2]   ]



» 7.19.2003

250 yard drive...


After three trips to the range now, I'm starting to get my swing back. I've found the 50 yards off my drives that I'd misplaced, but now I need to work on the consistency and the accuracy. Oh yeah... and the stamina. I don't think I could make it a full round without getting tired, and ladies and gentleman, that's just sad.

On a more positive note, I will be launching a photoblog this coming Monday. I've got most of the code completed. I just need to pick out a color scheme for the page, upload a few pictures with descriptions, and come up with a good name. As much as I love the kudzu theme here, I'm hoping for something completely different with the photos. I'm looking for a name both short and memorable. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [3]   ]



» 7.18.2003

poor impulse control...

Jennifer, Me, Jenna, Jeff, and Teishi

College. Those bleak, beautiful, inconsistent years before you're finally, and forcefully, shoved out of childhood. Most enjoy the experience so much they stretch the four years into five. Some of us detest the experience so intently that we, despite a radical change of major, squeeze the five into four.

My first two years were spent at The University of Alabama, the first locked in the hell known as an all male dorm. On the weekends, when the maid service took their weekend hiatus, the dorms became, well... rat holes. These were nasty places, filled of filth and crud, overflowing trash, and urine in the corners of the elevators. Come to think, I never saw any rats. Not even they'd be caught dead there.

There are a few bright spots in dorm life, however: the onion rings in the snack shop, the ping pong, the ... Well... That's pretty much it. Ok, so the pick-up games of volleyball weren't bad, either.

The way our dorm, Mary Burke East, was set up, there were two buildings of dorm rooms with a long hallway between them. On one side of the hall was the cafeteria, the snack shop, and the common room. On the other side of the hallway was a wall of sliding glass doors that opened out into a courtyard and the two sand volleyball courts.

My friend Jeff and I were brutally bored one gray and drizzly afternoon so we decided to make a game out of his air pistol and the metal volleyball poles. Here's the way it was played. First person to hit the farthest pole with a BB won, but you had to hit them in order, closest pole first, then the next closest and so on until you hit the farthest pole. It was easy enough, even from his third floor window, to know when you'd hit a pole, because the placement of the buildings caused a great echo of the metal on metal Clang!

I'd already hit three of the four poles, and was about to win, when I did it. I'm not sure why I did it, but I did. He walked out of the snack shop and started away from us down that hallway, just on the other side of the glass doors. Just some random kid. I don't know why I adjusted my aim, but I swung the gun site to the right. I have no idea why the glass didn't shatter, but it didn't. In only made a loud noise Crack! just behind this solitary kid, walking down a empty and darkening hallway. I don't know why he looked like a squirrel in the road, trying to decide which way to run before he bolted, but I do know Jeff and I couldn't stop laughing. I don't know why I laughed, but I did.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [2]   ]



» 7.17.2003

fresh produce...

Productive photo safari... Produce department...  There's a pun in there somewhere...

Picked up three more pictures for the 26 Things scavenger hunt tonight at the Lowe's Food. I now have animal, you, and water crossed off my list. That means I have nine items left to go.

I had a great idea for the hunt, but it's a bit late in the month to pull it off now. Here's the deal... my picture for transport has a very lovely patch of green goodness (yes... kudzu...) in it. My thought was this: in every one of the 26 pictures, have kudzu in part of the frame. Whada'ya think? Nifty idea, huh?

You know, I really never was so obsessed with kudzu until I decided to name this journal after the ubiquitous weed. Guess we all have our Boo Radley moments... *sigh* Some nights you write a masterpiece... a tidal wave of emotion and meaning. Other nights you tell the world about your stupid ideas to flood the world with kudzu. Ooo... maybe that should be the dastardly goal of the next Bond villain...

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [2]   ]



» 7.16.2003

second star to the right...

When you wish upon a star...

...and straight on 'til morning.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [1]   ]



» 7.15.2003

fore!...

After two years and surgery on both knees, the swing is a little rusty, the muscles are atrophied, and the back is sore. Getting old is fun.

When I was 12, we lived on the left side of the fairway on the 15th hole of Coldstream Country Club in Irmo, S.C. I was given my own set of clubs and would play from the 15th to the 17th, walk through the woods to 12, then play through to the 15th again. Dad taught me all the rules, the etiquette, the basics of swing, and the importance of walking quickly. "There are people behind you, son. Take your time at the ball, not getting there."

A few years ago, I started working for a company on the other side of the worst stretch of I-40. The guy who hired me was nice enough to let me work a four day week of ten hour days, giving me every Friday off to go play golf. And I did to, until I couldn't play more than a half round, driving a cart no less, without a dull persistent ache in my knees. Seems dad taught me a good swing to make up for the genetically defective sticks he gave me to stand on. Fair trade, I guess...

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [2]   ]



» 7.14.2003

believing in dreams...

Believing in Dreams from Eddie Bauer

Yesterday we decided to fill our our baby registry at both Target and Babies R Us. Running around the store with a hand scanner zapping everything you see that you could remotely ever want is just too much like fun. Of course, we had to try and be funny... had to try to put one item on the list that no one would, or should, ever buy us. Jennifer wouldn't let me scan in the first idea we had (don't ask) but I found something better... See if you can find it.

Babies R Us & Target

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [7]   ]



» 7.13.2003

make it a blockbuster night...

Sundow from the driveway...

Standing in line at the movie store on a Saturday night is no picnic. Forty million eleven people with lives every bit as boring as yours have the same brilliant idea at the same time. There's only one movie left on the selves and you've seen it so many times you feel you wrote it. You've even got the director's Oscar speech memorized even though it was never even nominated for the stupid award.

But there you stand, DVD in hand, trying not to catch wind of the guy in front of you who looks very much like he's spent the entire day in the hot sun digging a grave in the back yard for his next victim as you wait for the kid behind the counter to check out the fat woman renting Sponge Bob for the kids and Jerry Springer Uncut & Uncensored for herself. Your hungry, $6.50 for the tiny box of chocolate goobers is starting to look like a reasonable investment, and it would take the new math to count up the number of people ahead of you in line.

Then it happens... Something so amazing as to make your eyes literally pop out of your head, your jaw drop to the floor in cartoon style as the old car horn arooouga! sounds. You hear Robbie the Robot in your head "Warning! Warning!" Some lone male, sad enough on a Saturday night... the next customer in line... this idiot... decides to abandon his place in line and go look at the selections on the wall again?!? I wonder what his thought process was. "Maybe they have Girls Gone Wild here... Should I go see? I am next in line... But I only waited 30 minutes last time. It might be worth it. I mean... the T.V. ad says they've actually gone wild!!" Moron...

[   link   ]:[   Sez U   ]



» 7.11.2003

grandpa grouper...

68.8 pounds of super duper grouper

Cole's got a good name for anagrams...

Coleman :
calm one here's hoping that's true...

Cole Blake :
Alec Bloke sounds like a name for 003 or something
Coke Label coke classic, to be sure... none of that new coke crap

Coleman Blake :
makable clone no... he's not a clone...
black eel moan great band name
black omen ale official beer of my favorite band, hip by proxy
one black male not that that would be bad, but it would be bad...
aleck on mabel already a pervert... just like dad...
blame on aleck better not be aleck's kid
no bleak camel all camels are happy, right?
bleak coal men i'd say so...
ankle lace mob another good band name
amenable lock not a very good lock then, is it?

Meanwhile, back at the gulf, his grandpa came within 3 small pounds of the world record grouper. My baby brother's throwing a friend a fish fry birthday party this weekend. With the market price of grouper around $17.50 / lb, that better be one good friend.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [3]   ]



» 7.10.2003

home alone...

Ok... she's actually on a work trip...

Jennifer ran off to the beach without me, so I'm running around the house in my underwear, scratching, and making rude noises. No. Not really. But I thought I'd say that because that's what the stereotype says I'm supposed to be doing.

The truth is, I went to practice, stopped off and bought some groceries, fed the dogs, hung some wet clothes, and fell asleep blogging...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [2]   ]



» 7.9.2003

digital scavenger...


Michelle sent me an interesting link a few days ago. The challenge is to take 26 pictures, one for each of 26 categories. Then, at the end of the month, everyone shares what they saw. It's a photographic scavenger hunt, if you will.

So, I decided to take up the challenge. I printed out the categories on a small piece of paper, put it in my camera bag, and started marking them off the list as I snapped my photos. Sunday on the way home from church, I missed my turn and ended up going the long way home. At the Durant Road light, I suddenly started reaching into the back seat and yelling "crap crap crap" as I tried to dig my camera out of my bag.

"What are you doing? Have you lost your mind?"
"I need my camera!"
"What for?!?"
"I'm doing this internet thing and I have to get pictures of 26 things this month and I need my camera to take a picture of that Explorer!" By this time, the light had turned green and I was turning back around in the driver's seat.
"You have to take a picture of a Ford?!?"
"No... One of the categories is Monument." I was becoming more than slightly frustrated, not only at having to explain myself, but also because my prey was getting away.
"How does a Ford Explorer represent monument?"
"Look at the tag!!!"

Look... She had 5 years to figure out I was a moron before she said "I do" and 7.5 years since then to learn to like it...

{ 26 Things website }

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [5]   ]



» 7.8.2003

through the empty glass darkly...

Taken at the CD release party for Claire Holly @ The Six String Cafe.

This is so dangerous, these words on the screen, not so much in the forming of them, but in the impact they could have. I’m in no danger that a tower of words stacked one atop another is going to come crashing down before I lay in the last period, but more that someone will come along, pull out the wrong word or phrase, and watch the whole Jenga tower come crashing down on their toes.

I think of things to write at the oddest times, usually when it’s completely inconvenient or there is just no time to sit at a computer typing out my cathartic ramblings. Take for instance, this morning as I was stepping from the shower and drying off. I was reminded of a moment, many years ago. A moment, an instant, a picture in time. Hey... I could write about that. That would make a good story. That would... oh crap! I can’t write that! I couldn’t begin to talk about that without hurting someone! By the time I finished combing my hair, I’d completely forgotten the whole internal dialog.

So there’s self-censorship in the kudzu. That’s a good thing, because we’ve all got those moments that are not completely ours to share. Moments that so effect us in our youth that we’re forever altered in our world view. Moments that swirl around our subconscious until they bubble over at the oddest times. Just thought you should know.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [4]   ]



» 7.7.2003

extra ordinary people...


I don't quite understand why reality shows engender such raw, emotional responses from people. Some love them, some hate them, but there's not much middle ground. Very few people would say they're completely apathetic to them. Aside from the morally depraved shows, no more than daytime soaps, complete with poorly written dialog and titillation, most of the reality shows I find rather intriguing and several of them are even highly entertaining.

Survivor is, to me, the original and the most interesting. It's fascinating to see how people react to themselves and others when everything that makes them feel comfortable is stripped away. Big Brother III was fun simply because one of the contestants, one of the top 3 contestants, was someone I'd met before... someone Jennifer and I actually knew (wether he'd remember us now or not, who could say.) I also like the new Big Brother type show on NBC and Comedy Central called Last Comic Standing. Take a giant house with a view, 10 comics with over-inflated egos, stir and watch as the hilarity ensues.

My favorite of these, however, is on Discovery Channel, of all places. No, it's not Trading Spaces or Junkyard Wars (though both excellent and bordering on genius.) No, both those shows are on TLC, actually. My current favorite in the reality tv genre is Monster Garage. Sure. It probably has something to do with testosterone, but I've never been much of a car guy, so what's the appeal?

More than the twisted modifications they make to the cars, I think it's the people they choose to be on the build teams that makes the show so good. These are the people most commonly referred to as common people. If ever you wanted an example of Joe Six-Pack, you'll find six prime examples on each episode. And they're more than a little rough around the edges. The latest episode started with a Jesse telling his crew "make a conscious effort not to cuss because a lot of kids watch the show and it ends up sounding lame, like the Ozborns."

But the magic of the show is in the ordinariness of the participants. Jesse James and the producers pick the build crews from a lot of ordinary people who would never be represented on TV otherwise. These are true blue collar heros. They work with grease and metal like other artists work with paint and canvas. They are ordinary people using their unique skills to make extraordinary things. Now that's just good television.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [4]   ]



» 7.5.2003

summer days, driftin' away...

Flowers out front of the building where Jennifer works.
{1600 x 1200} | {1024 x 768} | {800 x 600}

To celebrate the holiday weekend and the joy of summer sunshine in general, I thought I'd give you a copy of my new desktop image. Enjoy!

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [2]   ]



» 7.4.2003

independence day...


Have a happy and safe holiday!

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [1]   ]



» 7.1.2003

coleman lee...

Jennifer was right!


Total guess : 20
Boy : 9
Girls : 11

{ Ultrasound Photos }

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [10]   ]


you asked for it...

Colonial Williamsburg
{ Vacation Photos }

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [4]   ]

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