My mom sent this to me and I thought it was purdy awesome.
This was written by Robert St. John, executive chef and owner of the Purple Parrot Cafe, Crescent City Grill and Mahogany Bar of Hattiesburg, MS.
Thirty years ago I visited my first cousin in Virginia. While hanging out with his friend, the discussion turned to popular movies of the day. When I offered my two-cents on the authenticity and social relevance of the movie Billy Jack, one of the boys asked, in all seriousness; "Do you guys have movie theaters down there?" To which I replied, "Yep. We wear shoes too."
Just three years ago, my wife and I were attending a food and wine seminar in Aspen, Colo. We were seated with two couples from Las Vegas. One of the Glitter Gulch gals was amused and downright rude when I described our restaurant as a fine-dining restaurant. "Mississippi doesn't have fine-dining restaurants!" she insisted and nudged her companion. I fought back the strong desire to mention that she lived in the land that invented the 99-cent breakfast buffet.
I wanted badly to defend my state, my region, and my restaurant with a 15-minute soliloquy and public relations rant that would surely change her mind. It was at that precise moment that I was hit with a blinding jolt of enlightenment, and in a moment of complete and absolute clarity, it dawned on me -- my South is the best-kept secret in the country. Why would I try to win this woman over? She might move down here.
I am always amused by Hollywood's interpretation of the South. We are still, on occasion, depicted as a collective group of sweaty, stupid, backwards-minded, racist rednecks. The South of movies and TV, the Hollywood South, is not my South.
This is My South:
My South is full of honest, hardworking people. My South is the birthplace of blues and jazz, and rock n' roll. It has banjo pickers and fiddle players, but it also has BB King, Muddy Waters, the Allman Brothers, Emmylou Harris and Elvis.
My South is hot. My South smells of newly mowed grass. My South was kick the can, creek swimming, cane-pole fishing and bird hunting.
In my South, football is king, and the Southeastern Conference is the kingdom.
My South is home to the most beautiful women on the planet.
In my South, soul food and country cooking are the same thing.
My South is full of fig preserves, cornbread, butter beans, fried chicken, grits and catfish.
In my South, we eat foie gras, caviar and truffles. In my South, our transistor radios introduced us to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones at the same time they were introduced to the rest of the country.
In my South, grandmothers cook a big lunch every Sunday, so big that we call it dinner (supper comes later).
In my South, family matters, deeply.
My South is boiled shrimp, blackberry cobbler, peach ice cream, banana pudding and oatmeal cream pies.
In my South, people put peanuts in bottles of Coca-Cola and hot sauce on almost everything.
In my South, the tea is iced and almost as sweet as the women. My South has air-conditioning.
My South is camellias, azaleas, wisteria and hydrangeas.
In my South, the only person that has to sit on the back of the bus is the last person that got on the bus.
In my South, people still say "Yes, ma'am," "No ma'am," "Please" and "Thank you."
In my South, we all wear shoes.... most of the time.
My South is the best-kept secret in the country.
Please continue to keep the secret....it keeps the idiots away.
So...in my family, we like to scare each other...whether it's waiting in a dark recess in the hallway for some unsuspecting sibling or parent to walk by or wearing panty hose over your head and jumping out of the closet at 3:00 in the morning towards your father, who falls on the floor, gasping for breath (which is what my mom did to my grandfather when she was a teenager). I don't know why, but we all get a kick out of it. It's ridiculous, but whatevs. Which is probably also the reason I scare very easily. I'll jump at anything...like, the other day, iCal chirped up to alert me to something...scared the ever living mess out of me. My friends and family take advantage of this fact...funny, funny people. My mom's parents live right near my parents and my grandfather sneaks into the woods and waits to scare my parents while they're exercising on the driveway (they live out in the country, long driveway, anyway). Sometimes Papaw will fall asleep against a tree while he's waiting for them to walk by, but that's another story.
So, here are my brothers Noah and Peter scaring my parents (just my Mom, really...Dad's kind of immune to it all now) as they're going for their daily speed walk...
I was recently asked by a good buddy of mine, "What do you do all day? Do you just sleep late and sit around and watch TV and blog all day?" After I scooped her up off the floor with a spatula from the beat-down she just received from my wide-open palm, I politely responded, "Au contraire, mi amigo...I am a very busy little bee." This is how a normal Ruthie-Day would go...
5:00 am - Get awoken by David's alarm clock
5:07 am - Get awoken by David's alarm clock AGAIN because he hit snooze
5:14 am - Punch David in the face because his alarm clock woke me up for the third time
5:32 am - Get awoken for the fourth, and final, time by David hugging me "bye" but I don't punch him this time because it's sweet and the last time he'll wake me up for the morning
6:38 am - Wake up with my own alarm clock...no snooze...just get up the first time like a normal person would
6:39-7:11 am - Get dressed, fix hair, brush teeth
7:12 am - Let Seumas out for his morning wee
7:14 am - Have my quiet time
7:24 am - Fix some toast and either hot tea or chocolate milk
7:30 am - Start work
8:23 am - Save Seumas from the inevitable beating he's about to receive from Blue as she's cornered him in the bathroom...again
9:17 am - Chocolate break
9:18 am - Break from the chocolate break
9:19-9:27 am - Catch up on blogs, news, etc.
9:28 am - Back to work
10:18 - Yell at Seumas and Blue to "KEEP IT DOWN!"
11:53 am - Lunch and/or nap and/or meet with friends for lunch and/or extra chocolate break
12:53 pm - Back to worky work
2:29 pm - Chocolate break
2:31 pm - Read some more news, blogs, youtube stuff
2:37 pm - Let Seumas out for his afternoon wee
2:38 pm - Back to work
3:30 pm - Done with work for the day
3:32 pm - Release Seumas from the deathgrip in which he was ensnared by the ever-powerful Blue cat
3:36 pm - Jog outside if it's warm and sunny, bike inside if it's wet and crappy
4:01 pm - Catch up on Lost, whatever I rented from Netflix, Top Chef reruns
5:05 pm - Do laundry, dishes, straighten up house, run errands if needed
5:34 pm - Eat supper whilst listening to the pant pant pant SCREEEEECH tick tick tick tickity HISS SPIT SPIT SLAP DEATHCLAW pant pant patter patter patter ARF ARF HISSSSS of the delicate ballet that is Blue swatting Seumas, Seumas running after Blue, Seumas biting Blue's tail, Seumas running off and Blue dominating him in the face
5:57 pm - Take a shower
6:13 pm - Finish any freelance work...if none, I'll watch something good on TV, read a book, paint, draw, blog, or whatever...if I do have freelance work, I'll sometimes go until about 9:30 pm working on it
9:31 pm - David is usually home by now (this schedule is just for tax season...after tax season, my evenings are a LOT more fun)
9:32 pm - Watch Seumas spaz out because he's so happy David's home...like I haven't been with him all day. We'll catch up on each other's day and while he's taking a shower, I get ready for bed
9:51 pm - Let Seumas out for his night wee and put him up for the evening
9:55 pm - We're usually in bed and will watch an episode of Due South or Friends or something silly and light
10:48 pm - Hugs, kisses, prayers, lights out (like camp...except they won't let you hug and kiss a boy at camp)
And that's my day. It's pretty uneventful. When David's home sans tax season, after 5:32 pm, it's like Cirque du Soleil at the house without all of the creepiness and painted people.
So, this weekend was crazy busy, as usual, but I got the best Valentine's gift of all...a WHOLE weekend with David during tax season! Thank you, Mr. David's boss! They were so far ahead on tax stuff (which is unheard of in Accountopia) that he told everybody to go home at 5 pm on Thursday, Friday and don't come in on Saturday! Yes...when your husband works 70 hours a week for 2 months and then 76 hours a week for one month straight, you get excited about the "normal" things. So, it was the most wonderful weekend. We lazed around, rented some movies (because Netflix didn't get them in fast enough...yes, I'm impatient), fixed a fabulous supper, toured around some houses (I love to look at new houses...I'm a shorter version of my mother), hung out with our dear friends, saw a cute movie, and just enjoyed the time together. David said it felt like a vacation to him. :) OH! I almost forgot...we also bought some Girl Scout cookies...I can't forget those. It's like a double-holiday for me. Thin Mints all the way. Well, and a box of Samoas...close second.
I love love LOVE Valentine's Day. It makes me sad that more people don't. It's so cheesy and romantic and gooey. LOVE IT. We normally try to get each other silly V-tines gifts because it's so sweet and funny and we can't help it. So, this year...he got me my traditional Russell Stover's heart-shaped box filled with joy and delight. It's the only kind I'll like and he's so sweet and never fails to deliver. This is how it was when I opened the box...I can actually eat some of it before I even unwrap it. It's a gift I have.
Then, he got me some beautiful tulips...I love flowers.
He likes to spread candy out around the house for me to find later. It usually takes me about 32 seconds to find it all because I can smell candy from miles away...like a shark and blood...except I'm not a shark and I don't like blood, so...not a good analogy.
He got me a precious card that plays a song for me when I open it. I can't let you read it because you're too young. Maybe when you're older.
These things crack me UP! It's one of those puppets that when you move its mouth, it sings a song...it's so ridiculous. I'll just sit there and make it sing to me. Dance, monkey, dance!
I filled a goodie bag up for him with lots of fun things...a coupon book, a card, some chocolate...I can't post it now, but when you're older you'll understand.
So, it was a fun weekend!
On a completely separate note...I have a huge paper cut and splinter on the SAME THUMB. How horrible is that? It's like, kick me when I'm down, world. Thanks.
Have you ever had kind of a bummer day/week/month and you pray for peace and know everything is going to be okay and you just are kind of settled, but you really haven't had a good laugh in awhile, so even the simplest things make you giggle? Well, it's not been the best week, but it's Friday and I finally gave up and was like, "God, you're in control. You've got this...make me chill out." And He did. And I was running an errand a little bit earlier and on my way back home, I passed by the middle school and the kids were out in the field. It's a fairly large field. It's balmy, it's sunny, it's a great day outside. As I'm driving by slowly, I see a guy (teacher) with an umbrella standing in the middle of the field. I'm like...is it raining? No, it's magnificently bright outside. So, he just looks dumb. Then I flash back to my pre-teen years and remember all of the silly little groups kids fall into....you remember. I could count a dozen different groups. Mostly it was girl and guy groups...you know they don't mix much at that age. The opposite sex has germs or whatever. And they're all just walking around...girls like, "Nah ah....shut up. Oh mah gah and then she was like...shut up...nah ah...are you fah real? She's so like ah...whatever. And then he called and was like shut up, are you serious? I know, right." And as always, their hand movements are an integral part of their conversation. And the boys were like, "Duuuude, my dad let me hold the chainsaw. It was so cool. I totally ate a worm yesterday and Veronica started screaming. Girls are so dumb, dude. Dude, I know. Let's go throw mud on them." A few of the kids were walking by themselves...not wishing to be included in the frivolous palaver of their peers...those few will be our future philanthropists, entrepreneurs and generally smart people.
Then, I realized that the children were ALL walking. Nobody was sitting down. I remember at recess, a group of us would get together and sit down and play M.A.S.H. or the telephone game. But these kids were all walking...in an organized fashion...in a counter-clockwise circle...staying within the invisible boundary enforced by four orange cones that formed a perfect square. It was like the teacher with the ridiculous umbrella had taken the dog out for a walk...except he took out 60 middle school kids for a walk. That's what they do with horses to exercise them...it was as if each child had an unseen harness and rope attached to a stake in the middle of the square and they were monotonously circling...like zombie children. Ooooh, let's hope not, because we only have enough ammunition to take out maybe 50 zombies...not 60. So, were they out for recess or do they regularly exercise the kids at intervals during the day? I don't know, but it was funny. Yes, I know that's not pee in your pants funny, but you had to see it. It made me laugh out loud. And it felt good to laugh...even if it was at a group of middle school kids, imprisoned by the "unfairness" of having to go to school. Just wait, kids...soon enough you'll be done with school forever and then you'll have to get a job.
And yes, all of this happened within the 5 second period it took for me to pass the school. The end.
Y'all, I'm so sorry I've been so lack in posting and most of the posts lately have been laaaame, but it's been insante around here. See, I just typed "insante" instead of "insane" and I'm not even going to fix it. So, I'll just tell you some of the stuff I've been up to.oooo! Gyah, sorry for the extra o's...iCal just scared the living mess out of me. Chirp! This past weekend, I helped host a baby shower for my dear friend, Elizabeth, in Misterssippi. Yes, Misterssippi...I think it's presumptuous to assume it's a girl state. It was faaabulous! We had so much food...and I, as always, ate too much of it. She's having a little boy, Carter. I'm going to spoil him rotten. Yes, Beth, at Aunt Ruthie and Uncle David's...he can do, eat, watch whatever he wants. I wish I had a Cadbury Egg right now. Beth gave me two this weekend (she is an angel), but I ate them both driving home. Look how pretty they are...sigh. I have a headache and I don't know why...probably because it's a Wednesday...which also means LOST TONIGHT! Will they ever stop traveling through time? Will Sun kill Ben? Will the nosebleeds stop? Why did Kate and Jack have to die? Ahhh...gotcha. That's for you folks who were like, "Stop talking about Lost! I haven't caught up yet!" Well, stop reading and go catch up! I really think this English muffin I'm eating is fermented. It tastes like wine smells. Can English muffins ferment? I think they can. I can't stop sneezing. I have been sneezing all morning long. David, you better not have given me your cold...Ewwww gross...Ruth, why did you put that on there??! Well, you looked at it. Ugh, I think I'm going to throw up....yeah, you try to Google "snotty nose" and see what comes up. Aaaand scrolling down.......
I'm working on a book design for a company here and I'm struggling to find inspiration for it. It's been a tough one. So, if you have any ideas, please send them my way. Now, I don't want any questionable photos, you hear. This is a student's Bible study curriculum. All I have so far is blah. That is the grossest piece of clipart I've ever seen. And I hate the word brainstorm.
I'm moody today, if you can't tell. So, as you can see, I've been busy.
The other morning, I told David about a dream I'd had the previous night and he asked, "Where in the world do you come up with this stuff?" And I said, "I don't come up with it. The Dream Fairy brings it to me." I really do have crazy dreams...every single night. For pretty much my entire life. And I remember most of them. So, I decided to start writing some of them down in a journal in which to look back years from now so I can remember how weird I was/still am. I'll share a few of them here and there with you guys. Here's one from a few nights ago.
Me and one other person, I think it was David, were running really fast through a desert. It was a small desert, though. Almost like we were in an exhibit at the zoo. We were running from something. Then, I realized, we were kangaroos. And we kept running and running, but we weren't getting very far. Then, we come upon a system of holes and tunnels...kind of like on Meerkat Manor...and we dove into one of the holes. But they were very small holes and it was a tight squeeze...almost claustrophobic. I turned around and looked back up from where we came and pulled close the oddly-complicated-for-a-desert-tunnel screen door that covered the hole. Yes, a screen door. And lo and behold, the vile creature that was chasing us was an orange tabby cat...and he started pawing at the screen door. He was huge...or maybe we were really small. The cat abandoned his mission and left our door. We creeped out and looked around. We were now in a different place...it was still desert-y on one side, but the rest of it was like an oasis, complete with waterfall, huge boulders, lush vegetation. It was then that I looked down to see that I was a human again...but every other creature in the oasis with me was a cat. All different colors. But there was something a little off about them. Only a few of them had two eyes. Most of the cats had either just one or no eyes...just hollow pits. But they knew their way around just fine. They were swimming and jumping off the waterfall, flowing down into the stream below. One of them kind of slithered down the waterfall...it was a really weird waterfall...it was almost like the acrylic you put in flower arrangements to simulate water. Really slow and smooth. And this one cat had no eyes and I was worried about her. So, I followed her down the waterfall and and landed in the stream with her. It was freezing cold. I scooped her up and took her to the bank, where she happily climbed up and went back to jump off the waterfall yet again. I climbed out and that was it. I woke up.
Crazy, huh? No, I do not have an obsession with cats. Yes, I love cats and I think they're sweet and soft and fluffy. But, no, I do not have embroidered cat pillows or throws on the back of my couch or pictures of our cat on the wall. If it was just me and Blue on a deserted island and we had no food, I would eat the cat. Little bit of thyme...little bit of pepper...delicious.
I don't know why they didn't have eyes, either. And why was I a kangaroo? Anyways.
I'll share more later. That one was a pretty tame one.
A gal pal asked me the other day, "Does your cat have a blog?" Silly question, you may think, but yes, Blue does have a blog. She started it last year. She doesn't write much, seeing as how she's so busy with napping and glaring and loathing. But she does occasionally leave us with wise anecdotes and tales of her adventures afar. If you're really, really, really, really, really bored...feel free to check it out at hermajestyblue.blogspot.com. I apologize in advance for her tactlessness...it's just that, well, she's a cat.
...when you're so full from lunch that you reach down to unbutton your jeans for a little extra give because they're sooooo tight and you look down and realize they're already unbuttoned from when you did it 5 minutes earlier. So, either you ate way too much and have no self-control...or you're a fattie already...or both. And how sad that you didn't remember you already unbuttoned them. It's like life picked up a sledgehammer, grabbed your self esteem and mercilessly squashed it into the cold concrete of realism...bits and pieces splattered about.
...when you can't stop eating the peanut M&M's in front of you. You know those dadblasted M&M's are the reason you have the aforementioned blue jean problem, but you just can't stop...they're peanuty, chocolatey, sugary-shellish and hey, they're fun to look at. Nobody is here to stop me except Blue and Seumas and they don't have opposable thumbs and I definitely don't have the will power, so I guess I'll have to keep eating them (as I reach into the bag and grab a blue, green and yellow...chomp! Sooo worth it....)
...when you think you know all of the words to a song...like, you know it HARDCORE and then, one day, you read the lyrics and realize you were WAY off. It hurts. It's like someone took a part of your soul away, changed it a bit, gave it back...but it doesn't quite fit. And it never will again.
...when you're singing your heart out to Love Song by Sara Bareilles and the cat by the computer screen and the dog at your feet both look at you like, "Seriously?" Wow...they both just got up and walked out...together. Not cool, guys. Thanks a lot.
...when you know waaaaaay too many Disney songs from memory.
...when you're 26 and have High School Musical 1 and 2 coming in from Netflix today...and are SO EXCITED about it!
...when you relate almost every event in life to an episode of Friends..."oh yeah, that reminds me of that episode on Friends when Rachel and Monica did so and so, etc."
...when you call your dad to get your grandma's phone number so you can wish her a Happy Birthday and you get this really weird, creepy static-y squeaking noise and you think "ALIENS?!?!?" Hey, I'm alone by myself all day...my mind wanders.
...when you spend so much of the winter complaining about winter that you miss all of the fun stuff that comes with winter. Like, the cold, the rain, the slushy mud, dry skin, chapped lips, dumb sweaters, shorter days, less sunshine.....see, fun, right? Nope, I hate winter.
...when your main ringtone (Ron Burgundy saying "Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention? I've just been handed and urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you to stop what you're doing and listen. CANNONBALL!") scares the ever living life out of you every time it rings and will probably one day cause your death, but you won't change it because it's so awesome.
...when your favorite part of ordering something for yourself online is not the item itself, but the tracking and waiting for the item to arrive on your doorstep. It's like Christmas all over again. "Where is it today? Let's see....Indiana! Ooooh...my package has been all over. It's a traveler. Estimated arrival date? Thursday! Yay! Two days away. Package out for delivery...oh my gosh, it's ALMOST HERE!" Ahh...love it.
...when the world's most amazing food, Cadbury Creme Eggs (of course), is only available once a year? That's just ridiculous. I'm gonna email Cadbury and have a chat with them. It's worked before...when M&M's came out with their dark chocolate candy for Star Wars and then took them off the market, I emailed them saying how dumb that was and that I demanded they start making them again. I got an email back saying they would take my request into consideration. Three weeks later, dark chocolate M&M's back on the shelf. You're welcome, world. If I have anything to do with it, we'll have Cadbury Eggs all year long.
...when your hair looks like Hermione Granger's in the first Harry Potter movie and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger as the day goes on, but you don't do anything about it because, quite frankly, it makes you laugh.
...when you go through your days thinking "ha, I should write about that on my blog" or "ha, I should take a picture of that to put on my blog" about every moment of every day. You people have created a monster...raarrrrrrrgh!
I wanted to give a little shout out to my great uncle Raymond. He's having surgery tomorrow and I wanted to let him know we were praying for him and we love him! And Uncle Raymond, when they're fishing around in your innards, if they find anything of value in there, I call dibs! Being Papaw's brother, who knows what you've swallowed in your life. There could be Blackbeard's treasure in there and I think we should donate it to some museum and use the finder's fee to take a big trip. I'm gonna start planning.