Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm Back ...

Bluffton Today Column
November 25, 2009

I’m back.

Perhaps you hadn’t noticed?

But yes, it’s me. The Jersey Girl. The Cranky Yankee.

After a one and half year hiatus, I have returned to the Bluffton Today ring. And yes, I fully expect a smack down via VOX and blog. (In fact, it has already begun. In record time) But, this time will be different. I won’t read the blogs or peruse the VOX comments. No this time, I am only going to take the feedback offered by my Mom. She loves everything I write.

In all seriousness, when offered this opportunity to return I grabbed it without a second thought (ok, I had one second thought). Heck, I even updated my Facebook status to reflect my return to BT. The comments included a mix of “I can’t wait” and “oh, no”. Tell me about it people.
However, I shall prevail. At my first public event since my re-appointment I offered a little smack down of my own. Last month I participated in the “Toss for the Cure” corn hole tournament at Monster Pizza.

In the first round my partner and I were pitted against Bluffton Today publisher Tim Anderson and his wife Jill. We beat them in straight sets … or the corn hole equivalent of straight sets ... successive holes?

Either way, it was extremely embarrassing for Tim. So, I wanted to publicly apologize for publicly humiliating my new (again) boss.

But, while we are talking corn hole. Everyone who is anyone is doing it. And I know this because well, I am someone.

Ryan and Leah McCarthy owners of the Downtown Deli, Downtown Catering and Monster Pizza started a corn hole league over the summer and it has been growing with increasing fervor. More than 30 two-man teams gather each Wednesday night at Monster Pizza on Burnt Church Road for friendly competition. This is a brilliant move on the part of the McCarthys whose Wednesday has become the new Saturday. I mean, they are guaranteed that sixty people will eat pizza and drink beer. That my friends, is brilliance.

But it is more than the food and drink.

In fact, it is the only time all week that I don’t have my Blackberry with me. I disconnect for three hours every Wednesday, which in turn allows me to actually connect with people. Real live people. Standing right there in front of me. And I talk to them face-to-face. And without my right thumb rolling feverishly over the track ball of my Blackberry to see if a new message has arrived.

If you don’t know what corn hole is, I invite you to come and check it out. The new league starts Wednesday, December 2. Stop by Monster Pizza to register and come see what everyone is talking about.

I promise you it is quite a scene, and the place to be seen. And heard. After all, when you get sixty locals together there are bound to be some column ideas brewing there.

Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Let Pooping Dogs Lie

Bluffton Today Column
November 11, 2009

“Pet owners are to have their dogs urinate / defecate in their own lawns prior to taking them for walks. If you cannot control the animal from urinating/defecting while being taken for a walk, then you need to find another place to walk your dog.”

This quote is taken from a recent update sent out by my Property Owners Association. Pardon the pun, but I expect that this may insight a $hit storm.

Let me shed a little light on how dog walking works.

The moment I lace up my sneakers my dog, Darby, begins spinning in maniacal circles. He knows that we are going for a walk. When I open the closet door and reach for the leash, the spinning is joined by jumping and an audible increase in breathing rhythm. So now I have a spinning, jumping, out of breathe dog who if he was a little smarter would realize that we can’t go for a walk until I put on his leash. And, I can’t get the leash on while he is spinning and jumping.

Eventually good sense kicks in and I am able to get the leash around his neck and us out the back door. Where we pit stop in our yard for the first “go”. I hope the POA is watching!

Then, we begin our trek through the neighborhood to the main entrance. Now, because Darby is a dog he does stop at almost every mailbox to take a sniff, each stop sign to take a whiff, and every fire hydrant to take a … well, you get it. In some instances he is marking his territory and in others checking out an already pre-marked locale. I think it is because he is a dog!

Once on McCracken Circle we get moving at a pretty good clip. And undoubtedly each time I hit my stride, Darby hits a mandatory pit-stop and practically separates my shoulder. Again, I think it is because he is a dog.

Believe me I am the first one to complain when I see a steaming pile of poop that someone didn’t scoop. But, I do think the POA needs to be a little more realistic. It isn’t as easy to control a dog’s bathroom habits as they may think.

So, I pose this scenario to Mr. POA. Imagine you just had a huge Mexican dinner. Beer, tacos, salsa, hot sauce, re-fried beans. About half way home you start to feel the rumble in the tumble. You park the car haphazardly in the driveway, fumble with the keys, and race through the front door only to find that your wife is in the bathroom. You dance around outside the bathroom door, holding “it” in agony pleading with your wife to hurry.

And, she says, “honey can’t you hold it just a little bit longer?”

Better yet, she comes out of the bathroom, ties a leash around your neck and tries to drag you to somewhere that she deems better for doing your business.

I don’t know about you, but I’d bite your wife and bust through the bathroom door. When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Proust Interview

I love writing, but was super-excited to have someone write about me. For about a minute. Then I got embarrassed. Then I re-considered all of my answers. Then it was over. Then I emailed the writer to change my answers. All is all, she did a hell of a job ...

Read my "Proust Interview" in CH2/CB2 here ...

And ... is Photography By Anne not pretty darn talented? She made me look good!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

College Life Comes to Bluffton

CH2, November 2009

She laughed. She cried.

She is Kate Torborg, Student Life Director for the University of South Carolina Beaufort.

She is one of the first people students meet when they arrive on campus and it is her job to make sure their college experience is everything they’ve imagined, and for the traditionally-aged student, everything their parents have hoped for.

She is helping to transform Bluffton into a college town and I am pretty excited about it.