Friday, August 27, 2010

Singing in High Falls, Part 2

Yes, it’s true. With a population less than 1,000, High Falls has the highest number of karaoke singers per capita than any place in the nation. And, I am proud to say I’m one of them. You can’t throw a stone in High Falls without hitting someone who sings karaoke.

High Falls may be small, but we have something the bigger cities don’t…good karaoke. Currently, High Falls has two karaoke venues within a half- mile of each other, and another two miles away. In the karaoke world, that is very unusual. George and I have traveled to many states and we always look for a karaoke place. Most times it’s like finding hen’s teeth. One would think that Atlanta would have karaoke on every street corner. Not so. So you ask, “Why not?” Because, unlike Highfalls, they don’t have the singers to support the show.

Highfalls also has more KJ’s than any other place, per capital. For those that don’t speak the karaoke lingo, KJ is short for “karaoke jock.” You have the king himself, Larry Hill. There’s Ricky Smith, Earl Hatchett, Sheila, Barry. I’ll even throw myself on the list.
Being a KJ isn’t something you undertake lightly. It requires a substantial financial investment in equipment and CD’s. KJ’s don’t do it for the money….but for the love of singing.

I’ve given this phenomenon a lot of thought. I have come to the conclusion that it’s not that High Falls has more singers than any other place. I think it’s because more people are willing to “try” to sing due to the fact that people in High Falls are non-judgmental by nature. If a singer is “pitchy” or brain-numbing god awful, they get the same applause and “high-fives” as those that sing George Jones or Janis Joplin flawlessly.

So, if you’re a karaoke virgin and you want to try it, come on down to High Falls. I can’t promise there won’t be a singer so bad that it will make you want to douse yourself with gasoline and set yourself on fire, but I can promise that you will meet the nicest people ever, per capita!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Update #2-Farmville Addiction

I was patting myself on the back because I resisted the temptation and did not plant any new crops yesterday. Then I visited my farm this morning. So quiet. Nothing going on, nothing to do. My stalls were empty. So sad. Perhaps now is the time to shut it all down. Wait! I got a special delivery box from Debbie! Never seen that before. I could hardly wait to open it. With excitement mounting, I clicked "open." Out popped a honey bee. A damn HONEY BEE! I am soooo over honey bees! Don't get me wrong, I am not ungrateful for the gift but I would have preferred something useful like a Farmhand. Farmhands are few and far between these days and I have grown weary of clicking on all those pink bubbles. After all, I don't need the money, but I do feel sorry for all those cows that need milking.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Singing in the Falls

The best estimate of the population of High Falls is between 600 – 900. It’s hard to know since there are so many places hidden in the backwoods along the river and in the thick forests. This summer, I felt sorry for the Census workers whose unlucky lot was to count the residents of High Falls. On several occasions census workers ended up in my drive-way, looking frazzled, being very apologetic, and asking the same questions. “Is there anything down that road?” “Do you know where a brown double-wide is with a porch falling down?” That one stumped me because that could be any of a dozen places in the general vicinity. I directed her to the place that I thought she was looking for and she said, “Do I have to go down a driveway?” I knew why she asked that question. There are just some driveways in High Falls that you don’t want to go down.

My estimate of the population was derived by using a complicated mathematical equation. Billy Powell said he and Tom Bass installed nearly 500 water meters when we got county water. I took that number and added 300 for those that live on private roads or who may prefer well water to fancy county water. Then I subtracted those that expired by either accidents or natural causes, and then I subtracted the number now residing in prison. Then I added the number of people living in The Muckenfuss’ new RV park. I bet my count is more accurate than the Census.

The reason I mentioned the population of High Falls is because High Falls has the largest number of karaoke singers per capita than any other place in the nation. Hold that thought. More about this phenomena later.

I Don't Go Barefoot Anymore

I was raised with chickens and in my adult life, I was confined to the city for more years than I'd like to think.  I longed to awake to the melodic sound of "cock-a-doodle-doo" instead of the "honk-honk" of road-raged commuters.  Upon moving to the country, I realized my dream and got some chickens for my backyard.  While encountering the trials and tribulations of chicken farming, I wrote this song.

I Don't Go Barefoot Anymore

I never wore shoes until I got bored
And bought some chickens from the feed store.
So little, so cute, but that didn't last long,
Now they are the reason I wrote this song.
I just don't go barefoot anymore.

I built them a coop; it filled with poop;
I let them roam, but they always come home;
And fill my yard with ugly brown crap,
And sit on my chairs to take their nap!
I just don't go barefoot anymore.

Now I have to watch where I even sit,
Or I'll end up sitting in chicken $#!&.
I have to wash my shoes before I go to the store,
I just don't go barefoot anymore.

The other night I went out dancing,
I thought it was my grace that kept people glancing.
I did a twist, kicked up my shoe,
Saw my leg was covered in poo.
I just don't go barefoot anymore.

I finally knew what I had to do.
I was tired of stepping in all that poo.
I gathered all my friends in the neighborhood,
And they said those chickens were "finger-lickin' good."

(note to PETA members.........I didn't really eat my chickens. They are still alive and well, and I still don't go barefoot anymore). 

Update #1-Farmville Addiction

You'll be happy to hear that even though I arose at 6:00 a.m., I did not log onto Farmville until 9:30 a.m..  I'm making progress.  A few days ago, in protest to Zynga, I planted a 3-day crop.  Cotton!  I figured out the Zynga con.  Zynga created the Bakery so that we farmers would be forced to plant the 6 hr, 8 hr, and 12 hr crops, thus using up all our fuel and forcing us to work longer hours to find the fuel we needed for the next harvest.  I do admit that I felt sad when I logged on and saw that all my stalls were empty.  I felt remorse for my neighbors that have been depending on me to supply the strawberries, wheat, and pumpkins for their Bakery.  I was hoping this would be a hum-drum day on the farm to make my withdrawal easier.  Not so.  I found a stash of rare centipedes!  With excitement like that, it's hard to give it up.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Baby's Birthday

I always told my two sons, "No matter how big you get, no matter how old you are, you will always be my baby."  Today is my baby baby's 23rd birthday!  Even today, 23 years later, I have to pinch myself to believe it's real; that William is my son.  You see, most anybody can get pregnant and have a baby.  Even I did one time. have a baby given to be allowed to adopt a baby you did not conceive, is to be given the greatest gift anyone could give a person.  I recently had the honor of observing a labor and delivery of a precious baby.  There can't be anything more painful than that.  I was taken back to another day I observed a delivery.  This brave, wonderful woman endured extreme pain but when the baby made his appearance, she handed the baby to me.  Like the scripture says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son......"  I know this woman loved her son and I know it takes the greatest love of all to endure such pain and then deliver the child to another person.  She will forever be my angel.

So happy birthday to my baby.  I feel I have been the most blessed person alive to have you in my life.

Farmville on Facebook

I don't know how it happened.  I have been on the Internet since Al Gore invented it.  I never got involved in online games.  I never got addicted to Free Cell or Solitaire.  All my life I felt that time was something you did not squander.  As I worked and raised my family, I felt every minute should be spent doing something constructive.  My only down-time was spent reading a good book which I justified by putting it under the heading of "learning." 

Then came Farmville.  When I left the workforce last November, I had a thousand things I wanted to accomplish with my new found freedom.  But, one day a friend asked me to be her neighbor on Farmville on Facebook.  She said I didn't have to play, just sign up to be her neighbor.  That wasn't asking too much.  So I did.  But it didn't stop there.  The minute I created my little farm, more and more people wanted to be my neighbor.  I was flattered.  What could it hurt?  So I planted a few crops, got a few chickens, a few cows, and the prized party pigs. Then I started wanting more and more of everything.  I felt exhilaration when I would level up.  Early on, someone told me that they had a friend who would set their alarm clock for 2:00 a.m. to harvest their crops to keep them from withering.  I thought that must be a crazy person! I will never be like that.  Now just for the record, I have never set my alarm clock for the middle of the night.  However, I admit to getting up early on occasion and spending time worrying through the night if my crops were withering. 

After a few months of farming, I came to realize that I was addicted.  I guess there are worse things to be addicted to, however, nothing that sucks up as much time as farming.  At first, I justified my addiction as a learning experience.  After all, I was learning all about crops I had never heard of; I was learning about the culture and foods of other countries; I was learning about  money management.  As farming sucked up more and more hours of my day, the one thing I was not learning about was time management.  In addition, if I was addicted to crack, I could keep that a secret.  With Farmville, it's posted on the Wall of all your friends in the world to see......"Marilyn hatched a Mystery Egg."  I get embarrassed just thinking of it. Now when I greet friends in person, they don't ask how I'm doing.  They say, "How's farming?"  Something just ain't right about that........

Just like any addict, I want to quit.  I want to regain my time.  I want to lead a normal life without worrying about digging holes, gathering eggs, my dogs running away, gathering enough bushels of wheat to make pumpkin bread, or searching for fuel.  Each time I decide to sell out and post a sign "Moved to Mexico", Zynga reads my mind and starts an all new challenge.   I am weak. 

And, just like with any addiction, I need to quit for my family.  George has no concept of what Farmville is and he doesn't understand my obsession.  (Neither do I).  But last night he finally said what I have been expecting........."You need to find a new hobby."  In other words, "you need to find something constructive to do instead of living in a land of make-believe."  I don't disagree.  I am a firm believer in making memories.  I don't think that in my end years, I will remember the day I got the "Crafty" Award, or the "MVP" crop award. 

Here is my first step of over-coming my addiction.  "Friends, Neighbors, and even strangers.  My name is Marilyn and I am a Farmville Addict!"