This Southern Belle's Musings

"Darlin', don't ever take a Southern woman for granted!" [tm]

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Friday, October 29, 2004


For all of my e-mail contacts who also read my blog (I know there are a few), I have a request of each of you . . . the computer guru was able to save My Documents which included all of my writing work and photos but, due to the severity of the crash (which turns out to have been caused by the Dell technical support staff!), he was unable to save my e-mails, address book and after-market program files.     So, for all of those who were in my address book, or potentially could have been or may at some point will be -- please, if you would be ever-so-kind as to send me an e-mail, I can start to re-build my address book from scratch (again!).

I will be re-connecting MY computer tomorrow and will have to reinstall my cable connection, e-mail program, and a boat-load of other programs to get me up and running at full throttle again.     At least the computer guru was able to save my work -- something I wasn't able to do (since backing up wasn't a priority LAST WEEK!).

I hope to be back in the swing of things by next week at the earliest but, in the meantime, I hope all of you will fill my mailbox with messages to be waiting on me when I'm back among the cyber-living, so that my address book starts to grow once more.

Thanks in advance, everyone!!     I've missed you all during this mega-withdrawal . . .

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

9 Layers 

Category:   9 Layers

Like An Onion -- peel back the layers . . .

layer one:
-- name:   Susan a/k/a "Kitty"
-- birth date:   November 6th
-- birthplace:   Homestead, AFB, Florida, USA
-- current location:   Georgia, USA
-- eye color:   hazel/teal
-- hair color:   blonde
-- height:   5'6"
-- righty or lefty:   lefty
-- zodiac sign:   scorpio

layer two:
-- your heritage:   Irish
-- the shoes you wore today:   black canvas converse high-tops
-- your weakness:   (es) - Victoria's Secret lingerie, goat cheese with jalapenos, unagi & ebi sushi, Yankee candles, and men in uniform
-- your fears:   bugs, spiders, failure
-- your perfect pizza:   cheese with extra cheese
-- goal you'd like to achieve:   literary fame

layer three:
-- your most overused phrase on AIM:  I don't use AIM
-- your first waking thoughts:   "Five More Minutes, Please!"
-- your best physical feature:   my double Ds
-- your most missed memory:   childhood innocence

layer four:
-- pepsi or coke:   Coca Cola
-- mcdonald's or burger king:   neither
-- single or group dates:   single
-- adidas or nike:   neither
-- lipton ice tea or nestea:   fresh brewed decaf
-- chocolate or vanilla:   chocolate
-- cappuccino or coffee:   neither

layer five:
-- smoke:   not on your life
-- cuss:   can I plead the fifth?
-- sing:   sometimes
-- take a shower everyday:   yes
-- do you think you've been in love:   I know I've been in love
-- want to go to college:   been there, done that
-- liked high school:   not at all
-- want to get married:   been there, done that
-- believe in yourself:   sometimes, but not enough
-- get motion sickness:   no
-- think you're attractive:   no, but others tell me I am
-- think you're a health freak:   no, but I need to be
-- get along with your parent(s):   yes
-- like thunderstorms:   I absolutely love them
-- play an instrument:   yes

layer six:
in the past month...

-- drank alcohol:   yes
-- smoked:   nope
-- done a drug:   nope
-- made out:   again, the fifth, please?
-- gone on a date:   not really
-- gone to the mall?:   yes
-- eaten an entire box of oreos?:   no
-- eaten sushi:   yes
-- been on stage:   yes
-- been dumped:   no
-- gone skating:   no
-- made homemade cookies:   yes
-- dyed your hair:   the sun at the beach did it for me
-- stolen anything:   no

layer seven:

-- played a game that required removal of clothing:   fifth, please?
-- if so, was it mixed company:   see above
-- been trashed or extremely intoxicated:   yes
-- been caught "doing something":   yes
-- been called a tease:   yes
-- gotten beaten up:   no
-- shoplifted:   no
-- changed who you were to fit in:   no, I'm unique and proud of my individuality

layer eight:
-- age you hope to be married:   been there already
-- numbers and names of children:   zero, n/a
-- describe your dream wedding:   the beach at sunset
-- how do you want to die:   at 105, peacefully in my sleep, after a night with my 25 y/o boyfriend
-- where you want to go to college:   been there, done that
-- what do you want to be when you grow up:   I'm never growing up
-- what country would you most like to visit:   Ireland

layer nine:
-- number of drugs taken illegally:   fifth, please?
-- number of people I could trust with my life:   5
-- number of cds that I own: over   400+
-- number of piercings:   six
-- number of tattoos:   one (so far)
-- number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper?:   15+ (not counting by-lines)
-- number of scars on my body:   ten, maybe?
-- number of things in my past that I regret:   a few

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, October 25, 2004


I thought that moving out of the 107 year old haunted Victorian, with shoddy electrical, would take care of the periodic computer crashes but . . . alas, . . . it appears that I may have moved a few unwanted spirits with me.     Last Friday, in the midst of a perfectly beautiful day, the electricity suddenly went off for about an hour - shutting down all of the computers in the house in the process.     My s.o.'s system is fine (which is what I'm posting on now) but, once again (for the fourth time in less-than-two-years) my system has gone completely batty!

I telephoned Dell and the technician walked me through several procedures, the final being one that would take 40 minutes to complete, at which time he would call back and we could continue.     But, shortly into the process, my screen turned blue and up popped an error message.     Granted, prior to calling, although I didn't have a task bar, I could still navigate - albeit, having to use a lot of extra back-door tricks.     Now, after two Dell technicians have been tossed into the mix, my computer will not even let me in through "SAFE MODE" to back up my files prior to doing a complete re-format.     Talk about MAJOR BUMMER!

So, instead of losing all of my hard work and saved data from my hard drive, I've telephoned a local repair shop who is going to salvage my data from the hard drive and re-format my system for $65.00.     All-in-all, a small price to pay to save everything that is on my system right now.     And, before you ask - NO!, I haven't backed up recently . . . isn't that always the answer to that very important question?!?!?

Wish this guy luck tomorrow in salvaging ALL of my data so that I don't lose anything on my hard drive - that would be disaster in a major way.     And, for anyone trying to reach me via e-mail . . . no e-mail except g-mail for the moment.

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Glen, Glen, Glen! 

Okay, I know it's a bit over-the-top but, I love the Starbucks commercial with the band Survivor.     That tune just gets stuck in your head and you can't help but sing, Glen!, Glen, Glen, Glen, Glen, Glen, Glen, Glen, Glen, Glennnnnnnnn . . .

On a search to see if the video was on-line, I found an extended version of the commercial with a full 1st verse of lyrics.    You can check it out here at: Squizzle (registration is free).     When most commercials really bother me as of late, I just love this commercial!

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Way 

All The Pain Money Can Buy (1998)
The Way

They made up their minds
And they started packing
They left before the sun came up that day
An exit to eternal summer slacking
But where were they going
Without ever knowing the way?
They drank up the wine
And they got to talking
They now had more important things to say
And when the car broke down They started walking
Where were they going without ever knowing the way?

Anyone could see The road that they walk on is paved in gold
And It's always summer, they'll never get cold
They'll Never get hungry They'll never get old and gray
You can see their shadows Wandering off somewhere
They won't make it home But they really don't care
They wanted the highway They're happy there today , today

The children woke up And they couldn't find 'em
They Left before the sun came up that day
They just drove off And left it all behind 'em
But Where were they going Without ever knowing the way?

Anyone could see The road that they walk on is paved in gold
And It's always summer, they'll never get cold
They'll Never get hungry They'll never get old and gray
You can see their shadows Wandering off somewhere
They Won't make it home But they really don't care
They wanted the highway They're happy there today , today (repeat)

I've liked this song since the very first time I heard it when it was released and began getting air-play in '98.     I heard shortly after its release the story-behind-the-story, and was reminded of it again a few weeks ago during some VH-1 special.     If you're unfamiliar with the story, here's a brief overview:

The fact that "The Way" exists at all is a study in irony.     Tony Scalzo (lead vocals, bass, keyboards), who had been suffering from writer's block, was inspired after reading a newspaper account of a missing elderly couple who were late for a family reunion and wrote "The Way" as his romantic happy-ending version of the pair's story.     (Real life, as always, was less cooperative, as Scalzo followed the story and eventually learned that the unfortunate couple had been found dead in their car in the bottom of a ravine.)     Tony's account was written before it was ever found out that the couple met their demise at the bottom of an Arkansas cliff and, decidedly his ending was a bit more romantic and carefree.

A live version video clip can be seen here.     Just click on Fastball - The Way.

It gives a whole new meaning to the song when you know the back-story, huh?!?

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Belief System 

Belief systems are an important part of the very core of our beings.     It is our belief systems that give us the desire and will to reach our destiny.     It also gives us the "little voice" that whispers what is right and wrong, good and bad, and how we should proceed.     Some call it judgment, some call it something more spiritual but, regardless of how you view your belief system(s), we are all in possession of a set of strong beliefs about certain aspects of our lives.     Our belief systems are, in fact, a filter through which we view our own reality as it relates to the world around us.

For instance, take Annie Savoy from Bull Durham.     She had a very strong belief system.     Annie described it this way:

Annie Savoy :  I believe in the Church of Baseball.     I've tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones.     I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan.     I know things.     For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball.     When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance.     But it just didn't work out between us.     The Lord laid too much guilt on me.     I prefer metaphysics to theology.     You see, there's no guilt in baseball, and it's never boring ...which makes it like sex.     There's never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn't have the best year of his career.     Making love is like hitting a baseball: you just gotta relax and concentrate.     Besides, I'd never sleep with a player hitting under .250... not unless he had a lot of RBIs and was a great glove man up the middle.     You see, there's a certain amount of life wisdom I give these boys.     I can expand their minds.     Sometimes when I've got a ballplayer alone, I'll just read Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman to him, and the guys are so sweet, they always stay and listen.     'Course, a guy'll listen to anything if he thinks it's foreplay.     I make them feel confident, and they make me feel safe, and pretty.     'Course, what I give them lasts a lifetime; what they give me lasts 142 games.     Sometimes it seems like a bad trade.     But bad trades are part of baseball -- now who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God's sake?     It's a long season and you gotta trust.     I've tried 'em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.

Of course, when Annie met Crash Davis, she was confronted with someone with a belief system just as strong as the one she possessed, and she couldn't manipulate it the way she had been able to with others in the past.     Crash explained his in this way:

Crash Davis :   Besides, uh, I don't believe in quantum physics when it comes to matters of the heart.
Annie Savoy :   What do you believe in, then?
Crash Davis :   Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap.     I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.    I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter.     I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.     [pause]     Goodnight.

This really makes me want to contemplate my belief system as it relates to my interpersonal relationships and my outlook on life.     But, can I really condense such strong feelings and emotions to mere words?     I'm not sure, but I'm going to give it a go . . . soon . . . I mean, I can't just zip it out right this minute -- it's going to take some thought . . . seriously!     Check back for an update . . . I'll keep you posted . . .

Anyone care to join me?

If so, be sure to post a link to your blog here!

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life


Sometimes, words can't convey . . .

So, here ya go -- take a peek for yourself.

It's amazing - sometimes - the things that you can stumble across on the Internet.     I mean, what more is there to say?!?     If you've got a comment, post away . . .

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Soundtrack of Our Lives 

Music is such an intricate aspect of our very existence . . . it is, truly, the "soundtrack" to our lives.     It is there at turning points, and can easily and immediately trigger memories and emotions whether those earliest memories recall LPs, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs, tiny AM/FM transistor radios, or mega-watt stereo surround . . . it is MUSIC that defines every generation with distinctive ebbs and flows.

I can't imagine slipping behind the wheel of my convertible without music from the radio or CD player.     Rainy days, curled up with a good book, still finds some light classical or jazz softly playing on the AV system in the background.     Working in the studio might find the local 80's, 90's and today mix station, or Sirius 70's, or 80's, or even 80's Hair Nation blasting to boost the creativity-factor.

And, we would all have to say that there are definitely certain bands and/or certain albums (I use that term generically, of course) that defined certain milestones or segments of our lives, and are very dear to our hearts.     If someone asked you to name the "soundtracks-of-your-life," what would make your list?

Here are mine:
(of course, I'm probably forgetting some great ones that will *pop* into my head as soon as I post)

Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive;

Metallica - Metallica;

Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill;

Eagles - Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 and Hotel California;

Richard Marx - Richard Marx;

Anita Baker - Rapture;

Nirvana - Nevermind;

The Doors - The Best of The Doors;

Bryan Adams - So Far So Good;

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gold & Platinum;

Aerosmith - Get A Grip;

Don McLean - American Pie;

Pearl Jam - Ten;

R.E.M. - In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003.

Okay, okay . . . I'll stop . . . but, as you can see, I have a widely-diverse "soundtrack" to my life.     Even as I was adding each one, I would stop and remember an event, or a person, or something special that each reminded me of, and they all made me smile.

It's a great little trip down memory lane.     I encourage everyone to give it a go . . . and, be sure to post a comment and link to your blog here when you do!


(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Do You Meme? 

Have you ever been curious as to what rattles around in this blonde little head of mine?     I know that even my friends sometimes say they wonder what's really going on in there.     And, I guess that, at times, I'm a little mysterious.     It isn't that I'm trying to be - really - it's just that . . . well, . . . situations don't often allow us the opportunity to discuss certain subjects that would give us a little more insight into our friends' heads.

That's what I like about memes.     For anyone unfamiliar with memes - and, for anyone blogging, I doubt that could be many . . . a meme is:
meme n (mem):   A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.     From the Greek mimema, something imitated, from mimeisthai, to imitate.

In Blogspeak, a meme is an idea that is shared and passed from blog to blog, like a question posted in one blog and answered in many other blogs.

So, for anyone interested in what's rattling around in this blonde little head, you can check out Good Girls Don't . . . But (Sometimes) I Do . . . to see what questions I'm currently commenting on.     I'd love to read your comments to some of my meme posts, so be sure to leave your best witty ones when you visit!

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, October 14, 2004


What a hectic week it has been!      It isn't that I haven't had good intentions of updating my blog - I honestly have - but, with everything that has been going on, I just haven't had the time it would take to sit down and do a proper entry.      Tomorrow will be no different.      We have a Harley day-trip planned with friends up to Chattanooga, Tennessee to visit Point Park and several of the Civil War sites atop Lookout Mountain, plus lunch somewhere in downtown Chattanooga near the Tennessee Aquarium.

It is going to be a . . . shall we say . . . B-R-I-S-K ride tomorrow, for sure!      With the low temperature tomorrow at 44 degrees and the high only reaching 60 degrees, you'd better be sure that I'll be sporting my leathers on the ride.

At least I hope to have some great photos to share with everyone after the trip.      I'll "see" everyone soon.      Until then, . . . stay safe!

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, October 11, 2004

California Dreamin' 

For those who want a little visual get-away, there are some photos of the Pacific Ocean taken along the Pacific Coast Highway, as well as some photos of mom-and-baby seals taken at the Harbor Seal Preserve in Carpinteria, California.      Check out both at: "A Southern Belle's Expressions."      Choose from the appropriate "Gallery" of photos listed about halfway down on the left-hand side.

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Good-bye to Superman 

Everyone has been talking about the passing of Christopher Reeve.       Not to be one to jump on the morbid bandwagon, but I do have a story that is more personal than most.       To read the national news story, see: here.

As for my personal one, I just moved from Culpeper, Virginia last month.       When I moved to Culpeper, I bought a 107 year old Victorian farm with enough acreage that I could easily have had horses, if I wanted.       And, when I bought the farm, I had seriously considered buying a horse or two since there was plenty of acreage to accommodate them for grazing, as well as riding.       The problem arose when I was purchasing my homeowners' insurance.       I was told by the agent that my rates would be quadruple if I chose to have horses.       When I questioned the exorbitant rate increase for mere livestock, I was told that Culpeper, Virginia was where Christopher Reeve had suffered his equestrian accident, and insurance rates had sky-rocketed after his accident in the township and county of Culpeper.

I decided to wait on the horses (luckily, I did, since I sold the farm in only fifteen months).       But, I didn't realize when I bought the farm and moved to Culpeper that I was moving to the very place that Christopher Reeve had suffered his accident.       I attended a few equestrian events and fox hunting events, but never rode during my time there.

Eerily, one of my most favorite roles of Christopher Reeve's was that of a paralyzed cop in Above Suspicion, which was made the same year as his accident.       If you haven't seen it, you should find it and rent it for a good thriller.

Good-bye, Mr. Reeve.       Farewell as you pass into the gloaming . . .

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Breakfast With Royalty 

I'm curious about something, and I would venture to say that I'm not the only one to be disturbed by the latest marketing ads for Burger King(R).      First of all, I will admit, I've never been a fan of BK foods.      When given a choice of fast-food fare, I'll choose something other than BK every time.

With that said, for those of you living in areas where BK restaurants are located, have you seen the recent television commercials featuring "Wake Up With The King," where some poor Shlimazel wakes up to find himself lying in bed next to an overly-large grinning head attached to a robed body, offering him some croissant or other breakfast tid-bit?      And, the voice-over doesn't help - "You Know You Want It."      Does anyone else find this D-I-S-T-U-R-B-I-N-G?!?

Even if I factored BK into my fast-food rotation, these commercials would make me reconsider.      I find these ads just plain freaky!

(R) Burger King and "Wake Up
With The King" are registered trademarks of
Burger King Corporation


(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, October 08, 2004

Wild About Wilde 

A good friend just sent me the following link: "Oscar Wilde Collection Goes Up for Auction" (article only available for 30 days) because she knows how much I am a fan of some of Mr. Wilde's work - most specifically, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "The Importance of Being Earnest."

When I was young, I saw one of the many movie versions of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and became totally taken with the dark tale.      I've also always joked that I believe there are many that, like Dorian, also have portraits in their own attics (Dick Clark, for one).

I also saw a very obscure version of "The Importance of Being Earnest" starring Christopher Walken in the lead - long before he gained true fame, or became willing to allow himself to let his true range of talent be known, but kept it hidden behind roles that maintained that severe facade.

Sotheby's is expecting the collection to bring more than $1 million.      After I'm gone, will anyone be willing to pay for my trinkets, journals, photos, and memorabilia?      Or, will I just be another (always) struggling writer, soon forgotten?!?

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

A Haunted One-Lane Bridge! 

From Shadowlands Haunted Places Index - Georgia comes the following stories about a bridge just a few miles from my house . . . "Hardin Bridge Road -    Screams and the sound of something splash in the water, have been reported.       Stories from around here say that a couple was driving across the single lane bridge one night when headlights of another car appeared on the other side of the bridge.       Instead of backing up, he turned the car off the bridge and landed in the water below.      If you walk across the bridge, you will hear voices and screams, and you'll get about half way across the bridge and see headlights coming toward the bridge, hitting the bank on the other side of the bridge, but they never make it to the bridge."

If you want to see some photos of the bridge, check them out at A Southern Belle's Expressions, and choose the Hardin Bridge Road, Bartow County, Georgia Gallery.

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Sunday, October 03, 2004

More About Fat Boys 

Isn't "she" beautiful?!?

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Fat Boys 

Okay, before anyone accusing me of being Un-P.C., let me say that I am not discussing someone's eating habits.     I'm talking H-D -- and, since March, we've had a Sportster, but as of last Wednesday, we have now a Fat Boy.     And, there is no better way to explain it than to let the experts -- HARLEY-DAVIDSON -- explain it for me:

XL 883 Sportster 883 (R)

For those who crave a motorcycle that's as easy to own as it is fun to ride, we once again serve up the Sportster 883.      If you've never met this raw and nimble street-eater, step right up.      Get a look at the classic shape of the tank.      Move down to the chrome, staggered shorty duals.      Then let your eyes drop all the way down to the surprisingly low price. Add it all up and you can't help but nod in approval.      Call it love at first sight if you want.      Then introduce your pants to the solo seat, grab hold of the low-rise handlebar and give your newfound friend a good handshake of throttle.      That's when the potent rubber-mounted Evolution engine responds with thunder.      Your heart can't help but rev in unison.      Next, rubber meets pavement and everything is good.      This is Sportster, nothing more, nothing less. (R)


Get an eyeful of this behemoth on wheels.      But be careful your eyelids don't get stuck wide open.      It's the 15th Anniversary Fat Boy motorcycle.      A machine built to have its very own gravitational pull.      Everything here is super-sized.      FL fork tubes like anacondas.      Mammoth chrome headlight and nacelle.      Floorboards as big as surfboards.      Shotgun exhaust pipes that pack a wallop before you ever fire up the engine.      Wide tires wrapped around solid disc wheels like thick, juicy bacon around a filet mignon.      Throw a leg over and it gets even better.      You'll find the counterbalanced Twin Cam 88B powertrain, in traditional carb or refined EFI, is no salad-eater.      It has the Fat Boy gobbling up more than its fair share of miles.      The XXXL feeling you get once you're in the saddle - that's easily the biggest joy of all. (R)

I'm probably going to be accused of exaggeration, but let me offer the comparison of a Yugo to a Caddie . . . that is, there is no comparison, once your bum hits the leather on a Fat Boy!     Black, on black, on black -- and, a sound that is HD-heaven!     Can you tell that I'm definitely into Harleys?!?!?

(c)   2004    A Southern Belle's Life

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Susan Reno-Gilliland, known as "Miss Kitty," an Irish lass, a true Southern Belle; a writer, photographer, animal-lover, dreamer, stargazer, totally tangled (or is that entangled?) in relationships, slightly obsessive iNFp with stories to tell!    . . . (fascinated by forensics, human behavior, pushing all the right buttons of men I find interesting, and seeking utterly-sweet revenge without any repercussions.)     I am a Friday's Child.    Friday's Child is loving & giving.
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   Wish Jar Journal
   To Protect The Innocent

Personal Charities & Causes

   Breast Cancer Research

   Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric
      AIDS Foundation, The

   Leary Firefighters'
      Foundation, The

   Michael J. Fox Foundation
   National Center For
      Victims of Crimes, The

   Rape, Abuse & Incest
      National Network (RAINN)

   Red Cross, The
   Victory Junction Gang, The

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The WeatherPixie

Living somewhere, out there
in the Southeast, US of A