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Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Lately I have been appalled and downright ashamed of the conduct of my fellow southerners. Everywhere I go lately it seems that people have lost our gracefulness and hospitality that used to define us. And the best (or worst) example of this total disregard for manners and professionalism was a recent meeting of the Conway City Council.
When I entered the building there were a couple of people moving about setting up things and not one looked up, said hello, or even acted like I existed. Now I understand that they are busy with important matters but it wouldn’t hurt to share at least a nod. As the meeting grew near the council members began to arrive but they weren’t any better. With the exception of Mr. Larry White, Mr. William Goldfinch, and Mrs. Barbra Olds, and Tom Anderson- they spoke to almost everyone and did so in a real, honest, down-to-earth manner. The rest took their seats with only a passing glance and paltry smile at the public.
Then this young man gets up to the podium and proceeds to present the council with ordinances and so forth. This guy didn’t seem to know much about what he was talking about. He used “um” every five seconds and when asked questions could not put together even one straight answer, nor did he say yes mam or no sir. Every time he said “yeah” in answer to a question I wanted to pop him one good and remind him that when speaking to elders one does so with respect-no matter how crotchety those elders might be.
One highlight was the presentation of a plaque to a young man whose football team won the sugar bowl. He was raised here and his whole family and his high school coach Chuck Jordan were present to see him receive the honor.
After this the council announced that they would be taking a thirty minute break and then would return for a “workshop session” that would be open to the public. However this “open to the public” did not extend to the public’s opinion because when the council returned they proceeded to discuss issues (or rather talk in circles about issues) for 4 and a half hours as if the public were not sitting there.
It was infuriating to have to sit there and listen to them go back and forth and not be able to say anything.
The workshop idea may have looked good on paper but failed miserably in action. For one, Larry White, second in line behind the mayor was not sitting beside her even though that would look better. The seating arrangement was clearly set up to represent seniority and came off looking like a table of 8th grade kids at the mall who are all arranged according to their level of “coolness.”
In addition to being unorganized, the council did not seem that knowledgeable about what they were discussing. Mrs. Olds can be understood as she is the newest member, but even she acted like she had more sense of what was going on than the Mayor. For instance, the Mayor did not seem aware that the river front district of downtown Conway was not a part of the main Historic district.
When the council finally got to the Smoke Free Horry proposal I was practically exhausted from all the back and forth. They attempted to hash out the smoking issue, which really should have had its own night of discussion. By the end of it Jean Timbs looked ready to fall asleep and William Goldfinch and Tom Anderson were in a battle with the Mayor.
By the way, the "no smoking" proposal was the very last item of the night. Whoever set that up has no concept of time; it took so long to get around to it that SCnow.com reported on their Facebook page that the council had discussed the smoking issue before they actually did it!
Needless to say I walked out of there feeling very discouraged with our city leadership. However, we are all just human and no one-including council members-gets it right all the time. Plus I have to give them props for trying something new and making an effort to move progress forward. The workshop is a good idea it just shouldn’t be public without letting in public opinion. If they could take care of that bone up a little on their facts and get their presenter fellow to remember to say yes sir and no mam they will be doing just fine.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
There’s a scene in Pretty Woman where Edward tells Vivian, “Very few people surprise me” to which she replies “well…your lucky…most of em’ surprise the heck out of me.” I love that exchange. I think it’s one of the sweetest moments in movie history. It strips away fluffy dialog and delicately shows just how vulnerable each character really is- Edward because he can’t be surprised and Vivian because she can. And yet in a way it shows their strengths-for the very same reasons.
I think that I’ve spent my life somewhere between Edward and Vivian. Sometimes I despair that people will never surprise me. I’ve summed people up in five seconds before and never have them change in my opinion from that first assessment. They are like stoic characters in a story. They change very little over the course of time, whether they are good or bad, they just simply stay the same.
Other times my first assessment has been so way off that I wondered if I had ever read anybody correctly in my decades of existence. These people are like shape shifters. Little by little they morph into something absolutely different. I have to admit that this experience can be extremely interesting. Sometimes you can write someone off as a complete idiot and then come to find out later that they are really actually intelligent. Sometimes it’s the other way around. You start off thinking that you’ve met a pretty nice, sane individual and then…wham!...you’ve got certified nutjob on your hands! Like you literally just bought a ticket on the crazy train and found yourself in Insane-Ville-Iowa.
And then there are those rare times when you meet a once-in-a-life time person. The kind of person that no matter how long they are in your life (5 seconds or 50 years) they leave a massive impression. They might be a mentor that guides you in finding your calling, a friend that is somehow always there no matter if you’re on the ground or on the mountain, a love that turns into life-long -defy-the-odds- devotion, and sometimes it might be that random inspiring stranger that passes on a word or piece of wisdom that you take to heart and never forget.
Those are the people worth waiting for- Worth putting faith in humanity for. Maybe it’s not so bad to be somewhere between surprise and skepticism. Maybe balance is the key here. And maybe just maybe it’s both equally true that people are crazy and you can’t judge a book by its cover……maybe.
Monday, March 19, 2012
I know I just wrote about standing by your man and all but this morning I am just not feeling all that diplomatic. Men are idiots sometimes. And they just aggravate the heck out of you. They don’t ever text back, they constantly forget stuff, and they just tick you off in general.
Like when you’re upset about something and they say something that is just the pure opposite of supportive and caring. And then when you get more upset and clam up, because what can you even say after that comment? Then they get all mad at you because now you won’t tell them what is wrong.
Just once would it be so hard for them to pay attention and know what’s wrong without asking? I mean we do that for them. I always try to gage what mood my man is in and what his needs are. And if he is upset, 90% of the time, I know exactly what he is upset about and why. I can do this because I pay attention. That’s all I am asking for here.
Men: If we're talking and you say something and I immediately get quiet and look down or away. Or worse if I physically turn away from you: this means that what you said hurt. You only make things worse by asking, “what’s wrong.” And you only intensify things by getting mad when I don’t respond.
I am quiet because I need a minute to process what you just said. Our whole history, including everything (good or bad) we have ever said to each other is flashing through my brain. Three seconds later I am ready to talk but this is when you come back with either A) “What’s wrong” or B) “I don’t know why you’re upset, but blah blah blah” This just starts the whole silent, turn away, thinking, cycle all over again.
Or how about when they call you all upset and mad because they can’t find something, and want to know where the heck it is and so you tell them and they get mad at you for moving whatever it was. They just don’t understand why you wouldn’t just leave it where they last had it.
But here’s the thing of it: whatever it was, phone, camera bag, shirt etc., IT was in the way. So you moved it to A) where it is supposed to go or B) a safe, temporary location. A location that should have been be easy for them to find because if they had just thought it about for a second they would have seen the common sense behind the items placement. But no, time they saw that whatever it was they needed was not where they left it, the word LOST enters their brains and all rational thought flies out the window.
Or how about when you just want to spend time with them and for some reason they can’t. Maybe work or a huge project is keeping them extremely busy and you just miss them. But you know that they have to do what they have to do. And you are grateful for the time you do get to spend together. But your human so every now and then you can’t hold in the frustration and their frustrated too so they end up saying something stupid: (See second paragraph)
Sometimes it’s enough to drive a girl pure nuts! But then, just when you’ve given up hope, they take your hand and say their sorry. And you remember that they just aren’t wired the way you are so no, they can’t just instinctively know what’s wrong, they can’t find whatever it is you put up because they wouldn’t ever think to put it there, and they get frustrated when they can’t see you because of something else but they have to focus on whatever it is to get done with it.
Its very easy to get mad and caught up in a tizzy when life is as crazy as it is but, while men maybe infuriating, aggravating, arrogant creatures, they are also problem solvers, ardent supporters, and devoted. They love us, they really do. And at the end of the day that’s all that matters.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Black Water Update: The Horry County Council voted to not shorten the length of bike week. The amended ordinance was voted down 7 to 4. Chair Tom Rice was one of the 4 that opposed and is probably not happy with how things turned out. There seemed to be a little bit of compromising going on in the meeting. With Councilman Gary Loftus (In the “opposed” corner) offering up the idea of an amendment that event tents cannot go up before 9 a.m. on the first day of the rally and they have to be torn down by 9 on the last day. And Councilman Harold Worley (In the “for” corner) proposing an amendment that would change the price of vendor permits originally priced at $800 to $500 and permits priced at $500 would then be reduced to $300. Sounds like a bunch of back and forth to me. What good is a time limit on the tents going to do? Especially when the tents are now cheaper to rent (this is if these ideas pass) so now there will just be more tents! It remains to be seen what will happen. One thing is for sure, the city of Myrtle Beach better watch out. If they continue to handle this thing like they are then all the respectful, responsible, money spending bikers are going to leave and take their vacation elsewhere and all Myrtle Beach will be left with is the rowdy crowd that’s going to break the law no matter what.
Read about the meeting here @ http://www2.scnow.com/news/grand-strand/2012/mar/13/horry-council-continue-discussion-bike-rally-permi-ar-3404213/
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Judging by the weather outside spring is just about upon us. You know how I know? The Conch in Surfside Beach has opened back up. Yes sir, Conway and Myrtle Beach are stretching their limbs and shaking off the cold. And for some, it couldn’t get here fast enough becasue with the warmer weather come people looking to shake off the winter blues and spend some of their hard earned refunds in our stores and restaurants. The first waves of tourist population to hit the area are the Harley bikers that make the annual migration to the shore for the first of two bike week’s during May. This has some more excited than others.
Scnow.com reported that Horry County Council will vote tonight on an ordinance to shorten the bike rally vendor permit period from the regular seven days to five. The council voted on this topic back in February with seven members voting for the change while only four opposed. Council Chair Tom Rice is especially passionate about the potential change while others made comments about how the change would hurt tourism.
(Read the whole article here: http://www2.scnow.com/news/grand-strand/2012/mar/13/horry-council-continue-discussion-bike-rally-permi-ar-3404213/ )
People have a love hate relationship with the bike weeks. Some are ardent supporters, championing the bike week’s positive stimulus to the local economy. Some can’t stand it, saying it’s too loud and anti-family oriented and they want it to disappear completely. Some are on the fence, and take an apathetic stance on the whole issue. And once again, instead of offering some clarity and organization to the madness, the City of Myrtle Beach just adds to the confusion by handling the bike weeks like an utter moron. They pass laws and regulations about it and then repeal them; they try to shorten it, and just add to the general hysteria over the whole thing. They try to take the middle road when none exists. They should both support and nurture it to become something great or they should get rid of it entirely and focus on other things. (Like that decrepit joke of a theme park that litters the side of 501-but that’s a different article all together)
But in reality is it really that big of a problem? A bunch of doctors and lawyers riding in with their wives on 40,000 dollar bikes, eating in the restaurants, paying 300-400 dollar bar tabs, and staying in houses with 5 or 6 of their friends that spend equal amounts of money is not a problem. Of course they are a little loud but we can get over that for just a week. Now I’m talking about the Harley bike week. The second bike week-which I like to refer to as the annual pocket rocket convention-is a major problem. 90% of the people that come for this week have no sense of respect for the area. They’re here to party and they could care less about anything else. Not everyone in this group is like this but you will be pretty hard pressed to find them.
So what should Myrtle Beach do about this? How do they keep from throwing the baby out with the bath water? They stop acting like a bunch of scared whinny sorority girls and take a stand. Stick by the respectful bikers that come here to have a great vacation and get some backbone when it comes to the ones that break the law. Instead they don’t really want to work that hard so they do what the Conway chamber does and do just enough to get by. Like for instance, what is shortening the week actually going to do? Absolutely nothing. Just because they shorten the “official” length does not mean that people are going to shorten their stay. Why would they. It’s not like they are going to enforce the new regulation. I mean look what happened to the helmet law. They passed it and then promptly repealed it. So now they just look like that whipped parent in the grocery store aisle doting on the screaming toddler who knows that mom is just full of empty threats.
Bottom line is this: put good in, get good out. Support the good in the bike weeks and let the bad know whose boss. Encourage people to come and enjoy our area and prosecute the ones that trash it. It’s real simple. But then again, simple isn’t Myrtle Beach’s style. What do you think?
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Dr. Seuss’s the Lorax hit theaters to rave reviews over the last few weeks, delighting children and older audiences everywhere. And, as has become the sad but real custom, people are already picking apart the subliminal (or not so subliminal) messages present in the film and what they say to our “un-suspecting” children.
I pondered this notion in my head for a few minutes before I thought, are these messages really that subliminal and are our children that affected by them? Should we as Americans just chill out already over the subliminal message hype?
Yes and no. On the one hand it is good to watch over what children see in order to ensure that what is going in can be emotional and cognitively handled. I mean you wouldn’t show Texas Chainsaw Massacre to a class of three year olds at the local daycare. They wouldn’t be able to take it.
But as for worrying about the hidden messages, over tones, and subliminal signals in films (especially films aimed at younger audiences) people need to get a grip. For one, movies have been sending messages like these for years.
Look at all the classic Disney characters. Every princess has an impossibly tiny waist, perfect hair (even when wet), and straight teeth among all their other perfect features. Even the guys are perfect. Every prince, king, and lost boy is dashingly handsome, at least 6 feet, (with the exception of Pan who would have been 6 foot had he grown up) and muscular.
Thousands of thousands of children grew up with these characters influence in their lives and yet went on to be mostly normal, functioning, productive adults, despite the subliminal messages that said you had to be perfect, a prince or princess, and either live in Neverland or a castle to live happily ever after. Yes these people grew up, went to war, and raised families and probably never sat down to wonder if Cinderella’s perfect smile subliminally pressured them.
But even in today’s world the hype is just that: Hype. People are constantly pointing out things to make a fuss over. For example, when Barbie met Ken in the recent installment of Pixar’s Toy Story, Ken was so awestruck at the lovely Barbie that he said “Love your leg-warmers” to which she replied “nice ascot.” And people went nuts. They went row for row over the “sexual overtones” that this simple little exchange between toys was broadcasting to millions of innocent children. Give me a break.
When I saw the movie the “sexual innuendo” went completely over my head and I am sure every child’s head as well. You know why? There were no sexual overtones. Barbie and Ken simple just love clothes and what would you say if you had lived your whole plastic sparkly life feeling like you were the only one around that appreciated sequins and then in walked your perfectly plastic-molded counter-part? That’s what the children saw. It’s the dirty minded parents that need to wash out their heads with soap.
I won’t even go into the whole Happy Feet debacle. The funny thing about being a child is this: life is taken at face value. Everything is black and white. It’s only when we start to age that the lines start to blur and the gray areas creep in. So let the children enjoy the movies while they can.
Because after all at that age they see what they saw and they saw what they seen, and that’s all there is to it, you know what I mean?
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Some say loving a man is hard. And in some ways it is. They are so different from us after all. Sometimes they say things that don’t make any sense, they forget, and they can get moody. They worry about their age, their hair, and what they are going to do with their lives. Sounds like we have more in common than we thought eh?
A man needs a cheerleader, someone to back him up every step of the way.
Sometimes we think that our men don’t really care if we’re there or what our opinion is but they do. When your man comes home and he talks about something that happened at work, don’t just roll your eyes and wait for your turn to talk. He is telling you about his day because he trusts you and wants to confide in you. Even though he might not ask what you think he is watching your body language to see how you are reacting, all because he wants you to be interested in his life because you are such a big part of it.
Learn to go with the flow. Men are simple creatures. 95% of the time they say exactly what they mean and they hate complicated plans. So don’t fault them when they call and give you 30 minutes to get ready. They don’t do it maliciously; it’s just part of their nature. Plus they really do not care that you didn’t have time to put all nine layers of your face on. They love you just the way you are.
Now I am not saying be a doormat. By all means, lovingly inform your man (after he has eaten preferably) that even though he can get a shower, get dressed, and get out the door in under half an hour, you cannot do to the fact that you have a process you have to go through to get ready and you just need more time. That’s it. No giant speech on how you feel and why etc. Most guys will appreciate your frankness and honesty.
That’s really all they want. Men are programed to fix things and we aggravate the heck out of them when we come in a fluster with an issue and then expect them to do nothing. Their gut reaction is to fix things when all we want is a sympathetic ear. So then when we shoot down their solution they feel useless and we just get frustrated. This can be avoided by another frank convo. Look your man in the eye and tell him with as much love as possible that sometimes all you need for him to do is listen and while you are so grateful that he wants to fix things for you, sometimes you just need to vent. He will understand this and further arguments will be avoided.
When you’re with your man give him your upmost attention.-Don’t be on your phone. And if your man plays a sport, an instrument, sails, hunts etc. Be supportive. Besides, the things your man spends time doing are part of his life and part of why you fell in love with him in the first place. But don’t cling. Men can feel crowded if all we do is hang around them, wait for them to call, and have no interests of our own. A good couple is one where is each partner is a whole, independent person own their own.
It all comes down to this. When you love someone, you have to love everything about them. Now there will be people who argue me on that but it’s true. If you don’t absolutely love everything about the person you love than way are you even with them in the first place? How would you feel if you found out that your better half loved everything about you, except for your love of art?
That would suck and would jeopardize your trust in that person. Now I am not saying you have to be in total agreement on all issues. Feel free to argue about those topics, but argue (to present reasons for or against a thing) don’t fight. Nobody’s perfect and men can and will continue to drive us nuts but the great Tammy Wynette was on to something when she sang...”Stand By Your Man”