What are stickers?

I just had a discussion with my fellow IT workers, and I just dropped a southernism they don't recognize. I stopped to think about it for a second or two, and realized that I don't know the 'real' name for what I'm describing.

Growing up in Arkansas, we were careful about where in the yard we went barefoot, because there was a certain type of grass we called 'stickers.' It was grass, but it has small but definite thornlike parts, and they stuck in your skin (thus the name) and made it very uncomfortable to walk barefoot on grass.

Even I got THAT hint

Dateline: New Westminster, BC.
(Note to self: Go see the old one sometime.)

As I've retold this story countless times in the time since I've returned, I figured the least I could do is share it here as well. I suspect it loses some of its boozy, imperative nature when committed to the written word, though; I think it's probably far funnier in person.

A cultural difference worth knowing: I was raised to hear pretty words, but not to take all of them at face value. An invitation to come stay with someone, if not repeated or mentioned again, was very likely someone just being polite -- not something to be acted upon. It turns out this is not true of everyone: some people issue an invitation only once, really hoping you'll take them up on it, and then shut up if you don't act on it. Ah, North versus South, are there any gaffes this cultural divide can't inspire?



While I wait for today's Godot -- Adobe CS3 -- to attempt (yet again) to reinstall Adobe Acrobat CS3 (of which install, I might add, there are several known problems, especially regarding upgrading) ... well, guess what, kids, you're stuck with me for a little while.

If you want to know how to keep a webmaster from getting anything done, deny her access to her email and her web browser. After a few tumultuous minutes of foaming at the mouth, she will subside into quiet, trailing whimpers while she waits for the pain to stop.

External Independent Familial Unit™

Three hours and fifteen minutes into Thanksgiving, I'm playing a nearly-inaudible set of songs over Winamp, cursing my nocturnal habits, and wondering just when the heck I'm ever going to grow up enough to have holidays at my own house.

Southern families have rules. Nobody bothers writing them down, because why waste paper writing down the obvious? These things are all on the same level of obviousness:

cotton bale, pumpkin October

As days go, not bad.

Fall has awakened the cotton gin near our house, and tipped the edges of a few early-adopter leaves with gold. Each day brings a different number of bales of raw cotton piled up near the side of the road. Bales, not in the sense of man-sized or tractor-sized, but eighteen-wheeler-sized; one enormous bale per truck.

We drove off to dinner, Jeff and I, and he cocked an eyebrow toward the field of bales and wondered aloud how the owners of the cotton gin moved the bales from field to truck. In the four years we've lived here, I've never seen a bale loaded from the field onto a truck, and only in the past couple of days have I seen a bale being deposited onto the field in the first place. They simply appear during the quiet of late morning or late night, when no one is around to see their arrival.

By such things are the seasons marked.

Earthquake Hits Sock Capital Of World. World Yawns.

News agencies (and my husband) are reporting that a 4.9 earthquake delicately nibbled at the toes of northeast Alabama just before four a.m. local time. Initial reports from news agencies contained the phrase "seismic event," prompting many sleepy Alabama residents to call 911 to inform the local police "There weren't no size-mic event - would you please tell my neighbor to quit playing with those damn explosives he stole from work last week? If he don't stop I'm gonna shoot his redneck ass."