Southern Man

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twelve Days Of Christmas

OK, so Southern Man is kind of a sucker for Muppets vids. Enjoy!

Here is the 2009 edition with Jimmy Fallon...

...and the old classic with John Denver. They didn't change it up much, did they? Merry Christmas!


Happy Christmas Eve everyone!

The winter storm that has more or less paralyzed Southern Man's home city today has now been upgraded to a full blown blizzard. No one can get anywhere (and at this writing Southern Man's sister and SO and stepson are still stuck in a parking lot, so we are all keeping our ears on the phone to make sure they get home [ UPDATE: they have been rescued by two nice guys in a monster truck ] ) so the traditional Christmas Eve at Southern Man's folks is postponed. And it's a good thing, too, as Southern Man barely made it home himself. He took the big Nissan pickup (which was well-nigh unmanageable in this mess) all the way out to The Land earlier today where the Hyundai was and traded vehicles. This was a wise decision*as the little front-wheel-drive stick-shift coupe handles the poor road conditions with fair aplomb, but by the time Southern Man got back home the road conditions were beyond terrible and he was fortunate to make it all the way in. But with any luck all will be home safe and sound soon. And hopefully all of you are as well.

*Actually, a really wise decision would have been to stay home.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Fish Tale

There was a time when Southern Man was a bit of an aquarium enthusiast. This had more or less faded before he and his ex separated, but he still has several tanks and stands and boxes of various aquaria accessories and was a regular poster on the various rec.aquaria groups; his signature tagline was "mostly goldies, guppies, swordtails and bettas" - the last referring to betta splendens, sometimes known as Siamese Fighting Fish.

About six weeks ago Southern Man's ten-year-old daughter acquirred a little male betta and soon tired of it, so Southern Man set up a ten-gallon aquarium with a proper filter and heater and substrate and plenty of live plants so he could rescue that poor fish. And after a couple of days to let the water settle and the heat stabilize, he picked up five little neon tetras from the local pet emporium and fetched that poor betta and brought them all home.

Now the betta is free from that little unfiltered unheated bowl and is king of the tank. He's staked out his favorite corner in a stand of broad-leaf plants, where he lords over the little school of neons and waits for food to fall from the sky. It's fun to have an aquarium again. Someday Southern Man intends to build a house with a room dedicated to aquaria.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Living Arrangements and Dramatis Personae

There have been a few changes in living arrangements in the last few weeks, so for those who actually sort of follow this blog and care about such things...

First, sadly, Southern Man and his new wife separated in late November. We are still a couple and are in counseling and are working to find a way to reconcile our many differences and find a way to live together again. But for now Southern Man has moved into a little apartment back on the north side; she is still in the house on the south side. Southern Man is back and forth a lot; she's already cracking jokes about north-siders and south-siders and reminding me how crazy I was running back and forth while we were dating. Sadly, the craziness just got worse when we lived together...

Second, Southern Man's ex has finally had enough of eighteen-year-old son's behaviour and has told him that he could no longer live with her. His history is such that he's not welcome to live with Southern Man, either, so at the beginning of December we staked him in an apartment here on the north side, just a few blocks from the school he occasionally attends - lease cosigned by his mother, first month's rent and security deposit paid by us, utilities deposits fronted by Southern Man - and it wasn't even a week before the landlord warned him that there had already been lots of complaints and that he was in danger of eviction, and a week after that he was in fact told to vacate the premises by the end of the month or face formal eviction. So in spite of our efforts to get him set up as an independent adult - particularly by his mother, who has gone far beyond the call of duty - he will be pretty much on his own come New Year's Day. As you can imagine, this has us both pretty torn up. But Southern Man is of the opinion that teen son is going to have to live with the consequences of his lengthy history of poor decisions with no more bail-outs from us. This kind of "tough love" is easy to talk about; it turns out to be pretty difficult to actually live.

So here is the current cast of characters and locations in the ongoing saga of Southern Man and his continuing mess of a life:

Southern Man, who lives in the little apartment on the North side and also owns The Land, which is ten acres on a lovely little lake and with a nearly-completed workshop and woodshop and which is 'way north of the city;

Southern Man's wife, from whom he is currently separated and who lives in The House on the south side with the two dogs;

Southern Man's ex, who lives not far from Casa Southern Man but who is currently dating a nice fellow from Kansas and who may (or may not) pull up stakes and move that way sometime in the future;

Southern Man's teen daughter and ten-year-old daughter, who currently live with their mother;

Southern Man's parents, who live in the house Dad built when Southern Man was still a pup, which is about fifteen minutes to the west;

Southern Man's sister and SO and stepson, who live near the center of the city not far from Southern Man's workplace;

Southern Man's brother and wife and one-ish of three sons (the oldest has flown the nest and lives nearby; the middle child is attending college in another city), who live not far from our parents.

Got all that? Good. Stay tuned, it's going to be an interesting year...

Friday, December 04, 2009

Don't Talk To Cops

Southern Man has seen these three videos posted here and there, and they are well worth viewing. The first pair is about forty minutes total, and the third one is about forty-five minutes, so get a cup of coffee (or whatever) and sit back and relax. The more informed you are about encounters with the law, the better off you will be.

Don't Talk To Cops, Part I - The Lawyer (James Duane, Regent Law School)

Don't Talk To Cops, Part II - The Cop (George Bruch, Virginia Beach Police Department)

Surviving Encounters With The Police(Ira Glasser, and the ACLU)