Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is that yer ass hangin' out boy?


The Jasper County Council (our neighboring county for the folks reading from afar) passed "on second reading a proposed ordinance Monday that would make it unlawful for any person to wear his or her pants 3 inches below the waist".

Scheduled for a third reading on August 15th, if passed the ordinance would call for a maximum $500 fine and 30 days in jail if violated.

I expect a huge run on belts and string at the local Piggly Wiggly.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm Pissed

I wasn't sure where I should post this ... I consider a Letter to the Editor or a VOX or Blog on the Bluffton Today website, but ... people are idiots and I knew that there would be backlash of the "damn Yankee go back home if you don't like it" persuasion.

So, I'll post it here ... how many people actually read this anyway?

So, let me start again.

I'm pissed.

As I've mentioned, I have been running and/or walking every morning. I walk just as the sun is coming up and the street lights are going off for the day. I walk through my neighborhood and along the new walking/bike paths on Buckwalter Parkway. And, twice in the last two weeks I have been harassed.

The first incident was on Buckwalter, a white contractor's van (yes, I saw the name of the company) slowed down and the passenger felt it necessary to hang out the window and whistle, hoot and holler. It spooked me and I high-tailed it home.

The second incident was yesterday in MY neighborhood. A white mini-van slowed and passed me and then turned around to pass me again ... this time though, the driver and/or passenger made it a point of slowing and sending me a kiss -- you know, a loud, wet, smooch. Disgusting.

And again I was spooked -- I kept my eyes ahead and focused on the house where I knew a Marine lived and most likely would be awake and have a gun. When I passed his house, my Mom's house was in sight and her next-door-neighbors police cruiser was in his driveway. Safety for just a few more houses. Then, I rounded the corner to my house, where two Sheriff's officers live just doors down.

Whew. Home. Safe.

And that is when I burst into tears. Listen, it is easy to piss me of and get me rilled up. But, it is pretty hard to make me cry. I was scared, this was a fear cry.

Once I got over my fear -- and Joe took off in his truck to try to find the white mini-van (not the brightest move)-- I got pissed.

Someone please explain why men feel the need to hoot, holler, and blow kisses. This wasn't broad daylight with neighbors out and about and kids playing in the street. This is daybreak - most of the East Coast is sleeping and I am exercising. It used to make me feel good -- I am a morning person and a morning workout gives me energy for the day. I can only imagine that the perpetrator's (yes, they are now criminals in my mind) intention was to scare me.

Now, I am afraid. And I am pissed.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wood I?

In my never ending search for freelance work, I pitched the idea of a profile on Paul Raines, friend and expert craftsman, to Coastal Antiques and Art and they bit. The story appears on page 13 of the July issue (complete with a picture of moi!).

He's Making Wood Work
As you turn into the driveway of Paul Raines’ workshop the first thing you see is a boat. Stately, proud, and polished the vessel rests there as the unofficial welcoming committee. As you start to talk to Raines you understand why. “I went to sea at 13”, he tells you.

This is a statement that one would expect from a man raised in a small Alaskan fishing town, not Miami, Florida. However, if you dig deeper you will learn that Raines’ mom made the decision to “send him to sea” – her attempt at a scared straight program. Admittedly, he “wasn’t the best kid” and his mom did what she thought she needed to do. Today, Raines sees that decision as one that shaped him and his love for woodworking.

“On the boat, I was lower than a deckhand,” he says. He started out as a mechanic’s assistance, a mere teenager working in the bilge room of an 88 foot tug boat. But, hard work is rewarded and soon Raines found himself working on boats all along the eastern seaboard where he was given the opportunity to refine his skills in woodworking, joinery and carpentry.

In 1990 the Hilton Head based boat he was working on was sold. He was stranded, if you will, on the Island. Raines quickly took his experience and started his own company – Wooden Expressions - restoring boats. Ten years later, his business expanded to private homes where he has been creating inimitable living spaces ever since. “I never copy myself,” he shares. Instead he concentrates on finding interesting design aspects that will suit the needs and personalities of his clients.

On a recent tour of the Beringhause home in Berkeley Hall, Raines showed us the range of his work – spectacular mahogany front doors that make you feel special just walking through them; a wine room built into a converted elevator shaft with a handcrafted hard wood floor; a theatre room that reminds you of days gone by; and a wet bar designed to feel like the galley of a boat but with the smooth lines and craftsmanship of the finest yacht.

Raines is a true artisan but jokingly describes himself as a mediator – between husband and wife who can’t always see eye to eye on what will work best for their home. “Some ideas are born on a cocktail napkin others take months and months of refinement. Regardless, I lay in bed at night and I picture the piece I am working on. I ask myself how will it fit, how will I put this together, what it will look like.”

And then Raines says with a chuckle, “I think about the finances, the schedules, the employees, and the next job … until I fall asleep.”

And the next day, he wakes up and does it all over again.

- Courtney Naughton for Coastal Antiques & Art

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I've Done It

I have finally made the final, final decision that I do not want to (or need to) move back to the ol' homeland.

A week in New Jersey reminded me of all the things I love about the Jersey Shore -- the beach, the boardwalk, the shops of Spring Lake (where I did significant damage), the pizza!

It also reminded me of all the things that I don't miss ... the traffic and the traffic and the traffic. Oh, and that one little detail of snobbery.

I got up most mornings and walked on the boardwalk for almost an hour. That's more than five hours of walking and one, count 'em one, person said hello to me (even when I smiled first!).

To put it in perspective, I walk/jog at home most mornings at 5:30 a.m. and everyone that I see (putting out the garbage, jogging by, walking their dog) says good morning. Everyone. (Did I mention that it is 5:30 a.m.?) Now, I'm not going to jump on the Bash the Yankee Bandwagon, but I have to ask why?

Of course I have also seen my fair share of tongue-lashings in the Lowcountry (see archives of my column) and these folks can be meaner than any Jersey Girl you ever met.

The bottom line is ... I am staying put. This Yankee ain't going home.