Monday, October 23, 2006

Vacation? What vacation?

Yes. Allegedly I took a vacation. Want to hear about it? Only I could take a vacation that was so vastly ... well... NOT a vacation.

To start off with, we decided to go to the mountains. I love taking my annual fall pilgrimage to the Smokies. Since last Monday was my birthday *sob, weep* we drove down through West Virginia and Virginia to the eastern border of Tennessee where we'd rented a cabin for a few days in the Smoky Mountains National Park. The drive was gorgeous--the leaves were in peak color, and even though the weather was rainy and a little chilly we didn't really care.

Yep. You guessed it. Hot tub. How else was I supposed to recover from the carnies?

So, we stocked up on wine and snack treats and settled into the hot tub for a relaxing evening, completely unfazed by the high wind advisories posted for the mountains. After all, usually those things were meant for the peaks and not the comfortable valleys of Gatlinburg, right?


Can you say 106 mph winds---sustained --- for about six hours? How about no power for three days? How about hot tub becomes cold tank of water? Ever hear a tree fall on top of a tin roof? Not a pleasant sound, particularly when you're trying to scramble down a tight circular stairway into the lower level clutching a bottle of Moet Chandon White Star and a relish tray of crab and shrimp. *sigh* There was precious little sleep---or anything else --- that night. Happy birthday to me. Of course, it was rather invigorating drinking 45 dollar a bottle champagne straight from the bottle in the pitch dark while listening to what we christened *Hurricane Carnie* bashing against the rocks outside.

It was their REVENGE I tell you--Revenge of the Carnies~! Not content with ruining my week before, they sent some lowlife, carnival barker-instigated voodoo curse after me! Wanna know how I know?

When we emerged into the dawn of the next morning, there wasn't a single damn leaf left.


Damn those carnies anyway.

Friday, October 13, 2006

And the word for the day is....


Three days and counting until the fair is over. At the moment, the score is carnies: 489; mscelina: 2.

It was freaking cold last night--less than 30 degrees farenheit by the time the fair closed so there were LOTS of people in the bar. it wasn't until I started to count down my cash register that I realized it was Friday the 13th. Could there be a more appropriate day? Not in my world. After all, despite my avowed skepticism on the validity of Friday the 13th being bad luck, so far in my lifetime the only thing unlucky about Friday the 13th has been a string of execrable movies bearing that phrase in the title.

*looks around for a dude in a hockey mask*

At any rate, suffice it to say that the only unlucky thing about the day so far is the temperature. I'm the kind of person who likes to ease into cold. The day before yesterday, I spent a good hour in the basement of my new house while the tornado sirens went off. Today? Flurries.


All I have to do is make it through this weekend, and then on Monday I find myself in the Smokies sitting in a hot tub, drinking beer and watching leaves fall for a week. Not a bad birthday present overall. I already scheduled a horseback ride up Clingman's Dome for Tuesday, at which point the hot tub will become a medical necessity. It's been at least four years since I was well enough to ride, so I anticipate paying dearly for the treat.

Today, however, things are a little bit different. Today will be spent preparing for the final push to end fair week. Tomorrow I'll have my regular football crowd in addition to the carnies, and then Sunday--oh blessed Sunday!-- my regulars and I get to watch as the carnies pack up and move out. *does the happy dance*

I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Carnies Are Winning

Ack! They're everywhere! Aside from being subjected to potentially the worse aggregate dental history ever, I have to draw the line at carnie inundation. They're in the bar from 12 noon until 2 am, taking breaks from their rides and games and gulping down PBR and Jack Daniels at astonishing rates. It's totally bizarre. For our regulars, it's a field day. They sit in their customary chairs, discussing the genetic potential for some of the specimens that stagger through the door with terrible accuracy. For example:

"I've never seen teeth like that on a human being in my life. His front teeth are coming out of his gums at such a strange angle that you could stack dominoes on them."

"I wonder what drugs his mother did in the sixties to cause that to happen?"

(Celina, behind the bar, sighs.)

"We should ask him. Whatever she did, we want to make sure that we never take it."

"Maybe it was Agent Orange?"

(Celina, behind the bar, rolls her eyes.)

"So is he a midget, or a half-midget?"

Truly frightening.

In other news, next week I'm headed for the (hopefully) carnie-free Appalachians. Usually, my annual fall trek involves a University of Tennessee football game, but this year I have to go during the week. *pouts* Of course, it will be peak season for fall foliage, so I'll at least be able to have a couple of good hikes and get some great pictures. I'll share them when I get back.

Oh well. Only the thought of my vacation is keeping me going. I have to go get ready for another 17 hour day at work now. After all, the carnies must get their booze. *sigh* Maybe I'll be able to salvage my sanity somehow, but at the moment I think the carnies are winning in their insidious plot to drive me crazy.

Time for a new strategy. *grin*

Friday, October 06, 2006

Confusion in the Ranks

Rank of course is being used in the broadest sense of the word. Darn those carnies.

At any rate, I received an interesting email today from a *fan*. I'm using the term very loosely, by the way. In this email, I was informed that the aforetosaid *fan* was *shocked and horrified* at the *blasphemous* way I changed Greek mythology *which is taught in our schools* to a *pornographic piece of crap.*

I was surprised by the crap too. I thought I'd created pornographic art. At any rate, to continue---

I have now received my first assurance from someone other than the priest who baptized, christened, and confirmed me that I am going to hell. Would you care to see my response? *evil grin*

"Dear (fill in the blank)

I was intrigued by your email. Allow me to point out for the record that I remained quite faithful to the original myth of Eros and Psyche, which was written by Apuleius in his collection of stories "The Golden Ass." As he was a Roman living during the second century A.D., you'd have to address any issues of blasphemy to him. I can assure you, by the way, that "The Golden Ass" is not taught in American primary schools. The novel is sexually explicit without my assistance.

I would be interested, however, to discover how you slapped a *pornographic piece of crap* label upon my work. As you are obviously someone who is offended by erotica, how did you manage to get a copy of my work? If you paid for it, then you are a hypocrite. If you didn't pay for it, then you are a thief. If neither applies to you, then you did not read it and you are a liar.

Thank you once again for your enlightening and ridiculous email. I sincerely hope that boil on your bottom is lanced soon so that your mood may improve. Have a nice day!"

Gee. I feel all important now. I think I should drop a line to J.K. Rowling, the proud author of the world's most banned books, and tell her that I feel her pain. I have a feeling that the email is its entirety will be posted on Isabelle's Mythos Erotica website. Actually, I'm going to create a whole new PAGE for it---if for no other reason that it amuses me.

Okay. Back to the bar and dealing with carnies.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I am apparently a professional multi-tasker at this point. Picture my workdesk at the moment. The desktop pc is stacked with windows: blog, author chat, im chat, wikipedia, my website, and messenger windows.

Oh, and College Football News. Can't forget that.

On the left of the desktop is the laptop, open to the latest story I'm cranking out. I have a roast in the oven, laundry in the washer and dryer, a cat on my lap and the phone to my ear yelling at the roofers to get the hell over here and fix the (%*^#)%(#^ leak in the ceiling of the back bedroom.

Only rarely do I type something in the wrong window. The messenger windows are apt to foul me up quicker than anything else---well, that and my inability to pay attention to what I'm doing. So far today, I've managed to crank out a good 6k on two different projects so I've been fairly productive. *sigh*

Oh, about the carnies. Yep, they are out in full force now. Carnies everywhere. For some reason, when the tornado sirens blew last night the carnies decided they'd rather die in the bar than in their RVs. It was an exodus of oddities streaming across the road that first alerted me to their sinister intentions. Up until that point, I was considering which bottles of booze to take into the cellar with me.

Needless to say, I was immediately so busy that I would probably still have been mixing drinks as the tornado blew me to Oz.

We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Invasion Update

They're getting stronger. The back end of the fairgrounds (basically across the street from where I live) looks like a used RV sale. The influx of bearded, strange-looking people of both genders in teetering on the edge of ewwww. Overnight, the most popular beer at the bar went from Bud Light (allow me to state for the record that I don't really consider Bud Light a beer) to Pabst Blue Ribbon (they still make that shit?).

Surely, these are the unwashed masses that the Statue of Liberty warned us about.

Last year during fair week, one of my cats ran away. Impy is an escape artist. He opens refrigerators and closed doors. He also can open the casement windows. One morning I got up to find the cat gone and the window wide open. So, I walk the street in the pouring rain calling my cat and completely certain that he'd been run over by a car. It was like something from Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Then, I walked by the carnie campground.

As I yelled "Impy!" I saw a grey head poke up from halfway through the camp. (28 pound Maine Coon in case you're interested) He was getting fed by a carnie! So he takes off, running toward me and I rescued him in the nick of time.

This year, I've tied all the windows shut.

At any rate, the bar staff at the Fairview is currently outnumbered 300-5. I think they're winning. *runs off to call in beer order, including 20 additional cases of PBR*

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Terror in Ohio

If nothing else, I'm a compulsive complainer.

The next two weeks are devoted to the fair in real life. The fair normally doesn't affect me. I could give a rat's ass about rides that don't involve speeds of 90 plus miles per hour. Amusement parks, fine; fair, meh.

Unfortunately, this year the fair affects me. The name of the bar I work at: the Fairview. (Hint--the name is literal) That means that for the next two weeks, we have 28 bar shifts that are all Saturday nights. It's huge--both time-wise and money-wise. I'm looking forward to the money.

I resent the time.

Sitting down last night and trying to tweak the schedule, I realized that I will have to work 12 of the 14 days. TWELVE--translated, that's 72ish hours depending on how long it takes to close. All of those 72 hours I will be tormented by carnies. Have you ever served drinks to carnies? Holy crap---those people can drink and most of them spend the money they SHOULD be using for dentistry work on alcohol. It's scary. They are scary.

For the most part they seem like nice folks. That's not the point, though. The point is that my bar is the only bar within walking distance. They are ALL at the Fairview.


I am desperately trying to avoid the Austin Powers line about carnies and cabbage here. Unfortunately, the line is true. They do smell like cabbage. After a couple of hours, they smell like cabbage that's been steeped in whiskey for a few years. Not the most pleasant of smells, I assure you. The regulars won't come in while the carnies are there. Hell, I don't blame them. We're one day in and my back is already killing me. I won't even mention my feet. But then, I stop and consider the daily deposits I'm making in my bank account and I don't hurt as badly anymore. *grin* Ain't that amazing?

At any rate, I've been taking notes behind the bar about carnies. I have a feeling that a carnie story is in my future. A nice, ghoulish tale of horror on the midway.....hehehehe. So, for a while at least, stay tuned for daily carnie updates. Could life be any more interesting than this?