Can love bugs just be friends?

On the island where I work, the love bugs are back. They’re really in the marchfly family (you care, you just don’t know it yet) and they pair up and just kind of buzz around. There’s thousands of them, though. They get into everything. One child held a pair in his palm and said to me, “Now I know why they’re called ‘friend bugs. See? They’re friends!” His parents are going to have to give him the Truth About Love Bugs Talk.


It’s hot here again. Spent my day off running errands. I bought another watermelon, too.

I slept in for the first time all summer (10 AM is sleeping in for me; the day’s half over at noon, right?). I’ve not been sleeping much at night, then crashing for a couple of hours when I get home. Which means I’m up in the middle of the night when there’s nothing to do.

Read “Angels and Demons,” by Dan Brown. He’s the guy who wrote “The Da Vinci Code.” Found it entertaining, and not much more. I don’t read a lot of fiction (my last book was “The 9/11 Commission Report;” woo-ha!), and it takes more than a lot of cliches to impress me. One of the characters actually said, “So we meet again.” Unbe-freaking-lievable. Next up, “Fast Food Nation.” Maybe “The Da Vinci Code” another time.

Now to decide what to do tomorrow.

On watermelon

I just polished off the second half of a watermelon I bought yesterday. Am I a pig or what? Nah, it’s my birthday. Then again, it was a seedless watermelon. Maybe I am an animal after all. I think there is more aesthetic value to a seedful watermelon. The black seeds on the red fruit look more exciting. A seedless watermelon is just an unbalanced force that needs to be crushed.

Last summer I had a true Mississippi moment: I bought a watermelon from my barber. He was selling them out of the back of his pickup truck. Yeah, barber-truck watermelon…

McLeod will not leave the building

I went to Oxford, Mississippi to visit friends this weekend. Northern Mississippi is very pretty. Rolling hills and rustic farms. I saw an old rusted Dodge pickup driving around, and vultures feeding on the road. Unreal.

I also visited Graceland in Memphis yesterday. We took the regular mansion tour. The house is not as over the top as I thought it would be, but there was indeed an exhibit full of jumpsuits!

Now, the day before Graceland, we went to Graceland Too in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Talk about a truly unique experience. The proprietor, Paul McLeod, turned his house into an Elvis shrine. You can show up any day, at any time, and he (or his son, Elvis Aron Presley McLeod) will give you a tour. In addition to Elvis memorabilia, he collects any reference to his place in the popular media. Anybody not satisfied with the Graceland Too experience is guaranteed their five bucks back.

Fun weekend, especially sitting around Friday night and drinking an effeminate British drink called Pims mixed with apples, cucumbers, and mint.

“Anybody can show up here at any time. This is America.” -Paul McLeod

Whoa! This car has three pedals!

I became a man today. I started learning how to drive a manual transmission. Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. My family never had a car with a stick, so I never learned. A friend offered to teach me in his truck. Hitherto, I was often very shy about asking friends to help me, because I don’t want to be like, “Hey, can I ruin your transmission for my betterment?” I’ve also been thinking about buying a piece-of-junk car to practice on. If I can’t, then formal driving lessions are out. Consider an actual conversation with a driving school instructor:

“I’d like to learn how to drive a manual transmission.”

“And I’d love to teach you. Do you have a car with a stick?”

“I don’t.”

“Neither do I! If you can get one I’ll teach you.”

So far, I’ve only been starting, stopping, and stalling (though with less frequency) in first gear; and a little of second. But it’s a start, and I believe in starts (from “The Committments”).

Put me in, coach…

Went for a drink tonight with a friend. Watched a little baseball on TV. Braves versus Padres. Too many infield errors. Looks like Little League. I want my Yankees. Well, at least the Braves games are always close. And they still have Smoltz.

Mississippi is not baseball country, and I am a little baseball deprived. I can’t wait until October.