Bonfire season! The only thing better than smelling wood smoke on my clothes is smelling it on someone's skin. Fire consumes and reduces what feeds it, but when we feed on the flames our souls grow and swell.

Remember that fall that Tyggyr rented a room at Charles Mansion, and we congregated in the backyard to build fires and play baseball with beer bottles and flaming toilet paper rolls? And Jon threw a used up can of spray paint in the fire - twenty minutes later, we'd forgotten it was waiting there and it finally blew up with a bang and we all yelled and jumped back, but no one got hurt.

Remember when Shane built a rickety cardboard shack in back of Deb's work, a straggling affair of boxes with towers and crawlspaces? And we shot it full of bb holes, mostly while he danced around trying to keep it upright, and then lit it up and let the sparks singe the leaves above us.

Remember that New Years Day when my neighbors and I all drifted, hangovers in full effect, out to the little fire circle we hide downtown? And we all brought out what little food and booze leftover from the nights' party and shared it around while the fire crackled and Rob made a bellows out of a pizza box and a garbage bag. And someone dragged in a Christmas tree off the side of the street, and we stood it upright in the middle of the flames and created a 15 foot column of fire for just long enough to blow our minds.

Tomorrow night, I've got high hopes for a conflagration and a crowd of friends. Happy Halloween, everybody. Happy cold weather. Happy bonfire season.


I love you, May!

14 years ago today, a car hit my sister and changed her life.

The main thing I remember is sitting on the floor in the hallway at the hospital, my back against a wall, trying to figure out how the hell to go back and fix it so it didn't happen.

I really suggest you hit that link up there and see what she has to say about it. The car may have knocked her teeth crooked, but it didn't knock the words out of her mind.


out at the dirt mall

Somewhere among the Scarface posters, airsoft guns, glass "incense burners", dixie flag tshirts, Jamaican flags, and knock off Nikes, you'll find me this coming weekend.

That's right, I'll be selling stuff at Flea Market Tallahassee. A friend is supplying the goods, I'm supplying the hours, and we're splitting the profits. I think the offerings will mostly be dvds, videos, music, that sort of thing - plenty of bang for your entertainment buck.

I've been wanting to man a booth there for years. Well, I sort of did a few times - my Aunt Lynn sold scrunchies there back when they were the height of fashion. So many scrunchies, so many patterns - FSU, USA, all different colors, glitter, holiday themes, she had it all. I remember her once looking at me and my shaved-headed friends and saying, "Y'all are no use to me." But every now and again I would ride out with her to keep company and watch the booth when she had to make change, get some food, or hit the restroom.

Since then, I've bought plenty of gear out there but never had the chance to sell. So, why don't you come on down Saturday or Sunday afternoon, meet me, and check out the offerings on display. For people watching, you can't miss it.



One of my best friends - let's call her T-Bone - chefs it up in one of the more expensive restaurants in Tallahassee. When she's done crafting crab cakes and smoking salmon, she generally comes over to my place in the evening to complain about her love life, drink Natty Lite, praise indie rock bands, and mooch my cable tv.

Last night, I asked if she'd be willing to chop the veggies for a chicken soup I've got cooking at home in the crockpot as we speak, to save me some time this morning. Since the only thing she loves more than bearded boys with pot bellies is cooking, she agreed. It's funny; I've spent my time in commercial kitchens and my mama can put food on the table that will bring a tear of joy to your eye, but I'm no expert. When I prep my own carrots and celery, we're talking chunks. T-Bone, more than a little drunk, quickly reduced my ingredients to perfectly sized, nearly identical bits. She disapproved of the sorry-looking yellow squash I bought, but, like a good kitchen worker, she made an obscene gesture with it and then sliced it beautifully.

You'd never look at T-Bone and think, "professional chef". You'd never look at any of my friends and think, "grade school teacher" "published author" "grocery store manager" or "environmental scientist". There's something about hard won, long-practiced skill wrapped in a hooligan shell that brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart. We are more than we appear.



The birthday couple:

From my laboratory in the castle east
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast
The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
To get a jolt from my electrodes

(Not only can May write, but she can also make a hell of a birthday cake.)