Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Excuse me, Uh...Which Ways Hooter's?"

On June 27, 2007 people from all over the U.S. began to gather in downtown Atlanta, Ga, for the 2007 US Social Forum. This forum is basically a gathering of social justice activists, from all over the US, working on a broad range of social issues. They meet, march, network and share their experiences, strateies and ideas on how to make everything from homelessness to the enviornment better.

It is my experience that most people at these particular types of events are of the communist/socialist persuasion and, while I can say I agree with them on some of the issues that we need to address, I do not agree with them on how to address said issues. For instance, (and this was a big theme during the march) socialized medicine. I agree that everybody needs healthcare. But, turning our current healthcare system into a bureaucratic, red-tape, cluster-fuck, government run nightmare is not the way to address that problem. Just look at the VA system and how our vets returning from war are treated to see what socilaized medicine looks like. No thanks.

So, anyway, I was invited to this event for the first day and the first part of the event was a loooooooooooooooooog march through downtown Atlanta. I met up with Rev. Kenny Glasgow of The Ordinary People Society (pictured below) out in front of the hotel and hitched a ride with him and his crew to the Capitol Bldg where the march began.

Even though I knew I was going to be marching I, for some reason, did not go prepared to march. I forgot my hat, forgot my activist clothing, wore flip-flops and a skirt. I am going to attribute my forgetfulness to about a weeks worth of insomnia and stress related to my husbands back surgery. That will wear you out and come near to making your forget your name.

Anyway, Rev. Glasgow happened to have some extra TOPS shirts, which are emblazoned with
on the front.

And this on the back.

Now, everyone knows I am a devout Atheist, and Rev. Glasgow thought it very comical that I had on his "Get High on Jesus" shirt. He took lots of photos and gathered his whole flock around to bear witness for future testifyin', even got some video tape of me wearing it so that he can forever cherish and relive the moment. I found it rather comical myself. It get's better though.

The march got started around 2 p.m. and, while I was in no position to do a scientific crowd estimate, I'd say at least a couple thousand people marched. There were people there supporting socialized medicine, affordable housing, keeping Grady Hospital open, immigrant workers rights, the environment, prison reform, women's rights, name it and somebody had a sign and a flag for it. There was a large truck with a rap band riding on back providing non-traditional marching music.

Behind the truck were some mimes on stilts. You know, general Atlanta/big city type folks. This was a great event for vouyers.

So, we marched, and marched and marched some more. I believe afterwards someone said it was 15 blocks. Now, you might be inclined to think that 15 blocks is an easy go...I'd beg to differ on that. It isn't so much that 15 blocks is a huge distance to travel on foot and the terrain was level for the most part.... It was just extraordinarily hot on the asphalt in downtown Atlanta. And heat like that will suck the life right out of you. I'd put the temp at close to 100 degrees. I didn't have my hat. There were organizers walking through the crowd handing out water and misting folks down....but it was dreadfully hot. I drank some water...but apparently not enough. I got really tired by the end of the march and rested for about half an hour in the shade before deciding to try and drag my half-dead ass back to my hotel.

It was after I got started walking back to the hotel that trouble began. I had asked for directions and was told to go up Piedmont and take a right at "Hooters" onto Andrew Young Int. Blvd. I set out thinking I would only have to go a few blocks. I started out walking with a friend who had parked in the same direction. She and I parted ways at her turnoff and within a minute I found myself lost in downtown Atlanta and on the verge of a heat stroke. I think I may have actually had a small one. I began to get cold chills and started shivering. My vision started blurring, I got dizzy and I felt like I was going to collapse. My heart was literally about to beat out of my chest and the beat was irregular. I was really scared and had to seek out shade a couple of times and rest.

After the second time I rested I decided it was time to ask for directions. Now, picture this. I had forgotten the name of the street the hotel was on and all I could remember was to turn right at "Hooters." So, looking like I am a crazed, red-faced, sweaty lunatic, hair all wild and tangled and sopping wet, wearing a skirt that the wind keeps managing to undo the buttons on (and you know I wasn't wearing drawers either) and a shirt that said "GET HIGH ON JESUS" I began to walk up to people and ask, "Excuse me, uh....which ways Hooters?"

It didn't occur to me at the time exactly what I must have looked like or what the poor souls I encountered might have thought of me. My mind was far from seeing any humor in what was fast becoming a desperate situation not to pass out on the streets of downtown Atlanta wearing no drawers and a shirt that said GET HIGH ON JESUS. Talk about doing in one's own reputation. Yee Haw!! I can see the headline now, "Drawerless Woman Wearing a Shirt Promoting Gettin' High on the Good Lord Goes face down ass up Downtown. Can you help us identify her?" at which point they would show the photo of me facedown on the asphalt with that crazy shirt and my white ass shinin' (blurred of course) in hopes of getting some leads.

After the fourth or fifth person I queried with "Excuse me, uh... which ways Hooters?" someone finally pointed me in the right direction and after about an hour an a half of being lost I finally found my sanctuary. Needless to say when I got to my room I drew a cold bath and soaked myself for an hour head to toe and drank at least a gallon of water and two 7 Ups.

Luckily, I have some friends in Atlanta and last night I had made plans for dinner with one of them. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it, but didn't want to miss it eitehr so I went. My friend had some very high quality cannabis genetics on hand and I partook like mofo. After all, there is scientific proof that if you smoke pot within an hour of having a stroke or heart attack that it prevents brain I'd have to say that this was a medical necessity and a medical emergency. I felt much better afterwards even though today I feel like someone took a sledgehammer to all of my muscles. I imagine it would have been much worse without last nights relief.

There are a few of things to be learned from this story.

1. Marching in the summer heat....that shit is for the birds.

2. If you are gonna do it anyway....put your damn drawers on and wear pants or else you will get "galded." If you need an explanation of what "galded" means email me.

3. Try to find another landmark for recognizing where your hotel is...asking for Hooters (especially if you are a woman wearing a Get High on Jesus shirt) makes people look at you real funny.

I am glad to be able to see humor in this today...but all joking aside please take extra precautions if you are going to be out in the heat for any extended period of time. That stuff is no joke.

I wish I could have stayed for some of todays events....but after I woke up feeling like the inside of my body was made of sand I figured the very best thing for me to do was get my ass to the house and recover.

Here are a few more shots from the march.

Until my next adventure....y'all be good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Oh! How I do hate it with a fierce passion. I think I'd rather be beaten or perhaps boiled in oil than for my own traitorous mind to deprive me of a good night's sleep. I just got up and slugged back a bunch of Nyquil with a huge hope of knocking myself out. Insomnia makes me want to destroy shit. Just smash, break, pulverize to dust. Not good.

by Green Day

I'm having trouble trying to sleep
I'm counting sheep but running out
As time ticks by
And still I try
No rest for crosstops in my mind

On my own... here we go

My eyes feel like they're gonna bleed
Dried up and bulging out my skull
My mouth is dry
My face is numb
Fucked up and spun out in my room

On my own... here we go

My mind is set on overdrive
The clock is laughing in my face
A crooked spine
My sense is dulled
Passed the point of delerium

On my own... here we go

My eyes feel like they're gonna bleed
Dried up and bulging out my skull
My mouth is dry
My face is numb
Fucked up and spun out in my room

On my own... here we go

Erotic Asphyxiation Anyone?

There is a very odd story coming out of the Montgomery Advertiser about a Baptist preacher at an East Montgomery Church being found dead of asphyxiation while his wife was out of town.

The original story with reader comments is here.

My first thought when I read the original story was erotic asphyxiation (possibly auto...possibly not) and the more I read about this case the more convinced I become that this is how the guy died. That makes it uber-scandalous because he was a BAPTIST preacher.

In the second story out today it makes it look like maybe someone else was involved, but hadn't meant to kill the guy. Perhaps there was a little adulterous sex-play going on while wifey was out of town and Preacher Aldrige popped a vein when he got his rock and his buddy fled in fear?

You know...I generally mistrust preachers more than I do cops. Think about it. They are in a position to learn your family secrets, to gain your trust, to be around your kids unsupervised and never have anyone think ill of them because they are 'men of God." Never have anyone suspect them because they can quote some verses from an obscure book, deliver a eulogy at a funeral and eat Sunday dinner at your table. It's the perfect cover for child molesters and other weirdo's who have such perverse desires and fantasies that if they didn't become a preacher they would be found out and ostracized from the community. Makes me wonder what Roy Moore is hiding in his closet!?

Now, I know of no child molestation connected with this preacher and I do not think ill of people who have strange sexual desires that they act out with other consenting adults....what turns my stomach is the fact that for 15 years this guy more than likely preached against sins of the flesh OFTEN while engaging in that very thing everytime his wife's shadow was out of the door.

I don't know if we will ever get the whole story on this. I have my doubts because if my husband was a Baptist preacher and died while engaging in strange adulterous sex play while I was out of town I would not want anyone to know. And you know the Baptist congregation will be so humiliated that they will do everything in their power to cover up the truth behind this.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Farm Blogging

Not a lot of time to blog today but wanted to share some pictures of the garden this week. Everything continues to grow and add beauty to life on the Nall farm. Enjoy!

Snoot conducting surveillance of his kingdom from the safety of the airconditioning.

Arizona Sun Blanket Flowers


Sunflowers just beginning to open up. Gonna be stunning.


Spaghetti Squash


An almost ripe spaghetti squash

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Senate Ethics Committee to Meet Thursday

According to the Birmingham News

The state Senate committee that could recommend a punishment for Sen. Charles Bishop, R-Arley, who hit Sen. Lowell Barron, D-Fyffe, on the Senate floor June 7, plans to meet Thursday to organize.

Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, who is one of the five members of the Senate Ethics and Conduct Committee, said he expected members to elect a chairman.

The other members are Sens. Scott Beason, R-Fultondale; Kim Benefield, D-Woodland; Zeb Little, D-Cullman; and Jim Preuitt, D-Talladega

It will be interesting to see what kind of disciplinary action, if any, is recommended for Senator Bishop's juvenile actions that, once again, made the great state of Alabama the laughing stock of the nation. I do hope they recommend expulsion.


I have been anxiously anticipating this particular flowers blooming phase all season. It is an Arizona Sun Blanket Flower and I think it is just stunning! Look at those colors. It looks like it was painted. I'll take some more pictures of various blooms later today when the sun comes out and illuminates them. This particular batch of blanket flowers will now bloom until the first frost. I bet there are 20 blooms ready to open on it now.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I Love My Snoot!

I have the best dog in the entire world. And, truth be told, I have spoiled him so completely rotten that most people would think me utterly insane.

Yesterday, my husband had back surgery, so I was at the hospital from early morning until late last night. When I got home the kids told me that all day long Snoot laid in my room and slept, refused food and water and would not even play catch with them. To say that he suffers from severe seperation anxiety would be a vast understatement. I hope nothing ever happens where he has to be seperated from me for any length of time. I think he might dry up and blow away. The first hour after I got home was just a Snoot love fest. He hugged me and hugged me and hugged me and kissed and kissed and kissed and would not let me out of his sight. The dog flat loves his mama.

Yesterday, after surgery, I went and bought my husband a Quizno's Prime Rib Cheesesteak sub sandwich. He could only eat half and wrapped the rest back up and put it on his bedside table. When I went to pick him up this morning and was gathering his things I picked up the sandwich planning to throw it away and he said, "Take that home to Snoot." He pretends to dislike the dog....but I know better.

When we got home I unwrapped the rest of the sandwich and dropped it in Snoot's bowl. When I let him out of his kennel he made a beeline for it. Didn't stop to sniff Dad or anything...but fetched his yummy sandwich straight away. He looked hilarious with a big ol' sub sandwich sticking out of both sides of his mouth. He took it in the living room, dropped it in the floor and proceeded to lick it ever so it was ice cream or something delicate that he didn't want to damage. I mean he savored every single crumb. Then he figured out how to take the bread apart and get at the prime rib, which he promptly devoured. Then he licked all the seasoning off the bread. I picked up the bread and put it back in his bowl and he marched over, took it right back out and buried it under the couch for later snackage.

Not many dogs ever get to savor prime rib. Aside from the occassional treat of that nature he gets vanilla ice cream pretty regularly, eats what we eat more than he eats dog food. He loves turnip greens, green beans, peas, lima beans, okra, bananas, watermelon and canteloupe. And of course cheese of every flavor although he is particularly fond of extra sharp cheddar. He also gets ice in his water bowl and likes to eat ice just by itself on hot days.

So, am I crazy to spoil him like this? Do you spoil your pooch? How?

Fighting Legislators Deserve Students' Treatment

The Montgomery Advertiser ran an LTE I penned a few days ago about the Senate brawl on today's editorial page.

Fighting legislators deserve students' treatment

When Alabama school children get into a fight at school, no matter what the reason, the police are called, the kids are carted off to juvenile hall in handcuffs, dragged through court, suspended, face expulsion, and more often than not they are forced into alternative school, which is a fancy way of saying "prison school."

Quite frankly, if our elected officials are going to act like children settling a score at recess, then they should be treated accordingly. After all, what kind of message are we sending to the children to allow the folks who passed the laws that send kids to jail for striking another person to be exempt from those same laws?

Loretta Nall
Alexander City

Monday, June 18, 2007


Suppose you woke up tomorrow in a strange city with no money, no place to stay, no way to eat and with no family or friends around to help you? What would you do? How would you survive?

Being something of a survivor of many bad situations myself, a new show called USA Network's Burn Notice caught my eye. It's main caracter is a Michael Weston, who claims to be a CIA Operative and he promises to show us how he woould survive in a similar situation.

Here is what I would do. Human beings need a a few basic things for survival.
1. Water
2. Shelter
3. Food

Assuming the city you find yourself stranded in has a homeless shelter then all three needs could potentially be met by going there and asking for assistance. Homeless shelters provide food, shelter, water, clothing, employment assistance, government assistance (in the event you are willing to take government assistance) and counseling. You might very well need the counseling if you suddenly wake up in a strange place with no idea how you got there.

If this place had no homeless shelter then you would need a plan B. I, personally, would look for churches who catered to those in need. If there were no churches that fit that bill then I would hit up the local authorities and ask for their advice. If they said there is no assistance available and that I am basically screwed then I would find my way to the local drag where the fastfood resturants are located and wait for the employees to bring out the nightly food that is considered waste because it was not sold. True, I might have to fight off a few homeless locals, but assuming I could use diplomacy instead, then they could tell me where to stay to shelter from the elements. One of them might even offer their spot under the bridge.

How would you survive?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Alabama GOP Officially Endorses Bishop Punch

My friend and fellow blogger Dan at Between the Links was invited to attend a Republican fund raiser the other night featuring Senator John McCain as speaker.

The issue of the punch was raised and according to Dan 80% of the Alabama GOP endorsed the punch with a standing ovation.

No one should be surprised by the standing ovation. Alabama still has the highest approval rating for GWB anywhere in the country. That says a great deal.

The majority of Republicans in Alabama would rather resort to violence to settle conflict than diplomacy to settle conflict, because diplomacy takes brains and they seem to be in real short supply.

It does disgust me that they think it is cute. This is MY STATE TOO and I am so sick of having to explain myself and make excuses for my fellow Alabamians when I am traveling abroad. God…could we elect some adults to office please?

Not that all Republicans are bad. I give high marks to Cam Ward, who has sponsored some good legislation in this years session and generally acts like a Republican should act. I do hope that he wasn’t one of the ones standing up and clapping for the assault.

Go Read Dan's Post


Today, I harvested the first spaghetti squash from one of the container plants. It was the first one ripen, even though I planted all of them at the same time. It is pictured above getting ready for stem removal and oven placement.

I have always hated squash. It's just too, well, squashy, but spaghetti squash is different. I had eaten it once before when I worked as a server at Five Star Plantation and thought it was tasty.

This year I inadvertently ordered spaghetti squash, instead of crookneck, which is what you normally find in Alabama gardens. After it started to produce fruits I had to look up what I ordered because I knew it sure wasn't a crookneck. Looked more like a watermelon.

Anyway, I harvested the first one today. I had never cooked spaghetti squash before and so I had to look up a recipe that sounded tasty in order to know what to do with it.

I came across this one called Spaghetti Squash with Vegetables and Cheese and I thought I would share it with y'all because I found it extraordinarily tasty. My kids even gobbled it up, and it is a vegetarian dish, so, I know it is good.

First, you have to know how to cook spaghetti squash. I used the baked method..(is anyone surprised..hahaha)

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

Bake It -- Pierce the whole shell several times with a large fork or skewer and place in baking dish. Cook squash in preheated 375°F oven approximately 1 hour or until flesh is tender.

Boil It -- Heat a pot of water large enough to hold the whole squash. When the water is boiling, drop in the squash and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on its size. When a fork goes easily into the flesh, the squash is done.

Microwave It -- Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place squash cut sides up in a microwave dish with 1/4 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on size of squash. Add more cooking time if necessary. Let stand covered, for 5 minutes. With fork "comb" out the strands.

Slow Cooker or Crock-Pot - Choose a smaller spaghetti squash (unless you have an extra large slow cooker) so that it will fit. Add 2 cups of water to slow cooker. Pierce the whole shell several times with a large fork or skewer, add to Crock Pot, cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.

Once the squash is cooked, let it cool for 10 to 20 minutes so it will be easier to handle, before cutting in half (if it wasn't already) and removing the seeds. Pull a fork lengthwise through the flesh to separate it into long strands.

1 spaghetti squash, cooked by your favorite method and separated into strands (follow link for instructions)
1 lg. yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
1 C grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese

Serves 6-8

Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix the cheese together, set aside.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the onion, pepper and garlic. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, basil, and crushed red pepper (if using). Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Mix squash well with the cooked vegetables and put half in the bottom of a large (13 x 9 inch) baking dish. Top with half the cheese mixture, followed by the other half of the squash mixture, then the rest of the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

I substituted vegetable for olive oil and Italian seasoning for the basil and oregano. I also skipped the crushed red pepper.

This dish turned out to be more like lasagna than spaghetti. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I grew this particluar squash, but I'm telling you, it was absolutely divine. Better than either spaghetti or lasagna in their traditional form and not reminiscent of squash in the least. That says a lot coming from a girl who likes pork at just about every meal. It was really delicious and I hope that my readers will try it if they are the type that likes to cook.

Springer! Springer! Springer!

Senator Bishop in today's Montgomery Advertiser claims he is turning down late night talk show interviews. When asked which shows had called him Bishop declined to give the names of the shows that have offered to fly him in for an appearance.

If it were me I wouldn't tell anyone that Jerry Springer had called either.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Is your Politician a CREEP addicted to Incarcerex?

Does your politician suffer from Chronic Re-Election Paranoia (CREEP)? Do you think our nation has an Incarcerex dependence? Tell your elected officials to give up the quick fix and create a new bottom line for the war on drugs.

Take Action by joining DPA Today!!

Snoot the Dog vs. Mohammed Ali the Kitten

It's been a while since I wrote about my favorite dog on the planet, so I thought I'd take a few minutes and catch everyone up on Snoot's wiley adventures.

I tell you I can't really remember what life was like before I got him back around Christmas. My husband says he can though. "Hell, I used to could walk through my own house without being followed and jumped on." A minor inconvenience if you ask me for having such a lovable clown in the house.

My son, who is a large, strappin' boy, has become designated dog walker during the summer break. Snoot, who used to wake me up at 4:30 to take him out, now only tries once to get me up and, if I refuse, he hi-tails it back to Alex's room, noses him and woofs at him til he wakes up and takes him out. He has also gotten into the habit of hurrying Alex up when he thinks he isn't moving fast enough. He is especially vocal when Alex is dilly-dallying on the phone. I'll tell Alex to take the dog out, at which point Snoot will go to Alex's room and park himself outside the door. When Alex keeps talking to his friend Snoot will whine a little bit, then woof and eventually nose Alex as if to say, "Come on man I really gotta go and mom said you had to take me out."

Up until this morning Snoot has only concerned himself with chasing the big cats and not the little kittens that are everywhere. When he goes out on his leash there are baby kittens covering the back steps and while he will stop, sniff and sometimes lick them, he has never shown any agression towards them. He has never really shown any agression towards the big cats either. They like to run from him and he revels in chasing them. Simple as that. He has had many opportunities to eat them up or hurt then but hasn't.

Then, this morning I had my son take him out and put him in his outside pen. Alex didn't tie the gate properly and so Snoot got out and commenced to bounding around the yard. When this happens chasing him is utterly pointless, because he moves like greased lightning. What I do is walk outside and pretend I am not interested in the least that he is out of his fence. The more I ignore him the closer he will come to me. While I was feeding the chickens I heard a huge commotion and my husband hollered, "Hey honey look at this kitten trying to beat up the dog!"

I looked around and there stood the kitty pictured above, who weighs less than a pound, in a very serious conflict with the dog, who weighs every bit of 110 pounds.

Snoot was super-excited, which can be dangerous in a Shepherd, and he was repeatedly trying to box the little kitten with his nose. Darting at him and making strange noises. Tail wagging. Paws tappin'. I hollered at him to stop and started to move over to break up the altercation before it escalated.

That probably wasn't necessary, because the tiny little kitten you can hold in the palm of your hand was all bowed up, hair standing on end, hissing, spitting and, I kid you not, actually jumping up off the ground trying to swat Snoot's nose. It was hilarilous to see this little feller, who the dog could have swallowed whole had he chose to, standing his ground and actually trying to box the dogs nose. It reminded me of the baby chicken hawk vs. Foghorn Leghorn on the old Bug's Bunny cartoons. Remember those?

I was laughing so hard I almost lost my balance and fell.

I managed to get close enough to make Snoot take off (he wasn't ready to be caught yet) and the little kitty just stood there as if to say, "Hey, I was holding my own, what'd you have ta run him off for...I wasn't finished giving him the ol' one...two."

I love animals. They make life more fun.

Friday, June 15, 2007