Self Help

One Year Later

 

I thought I knew the day I quit smoking. “September, 21 2012.” I remember the things that happened that day. The Carolina Panthers lost on the road to a 50-yard hail mary thrown by that stupid Matt Ryan and the United States Ryder Cup team lost a huge lead to Europe at home. It’s been dubbed, “The Miracle at Medinah.” Not smoking for an entire day was “The Miracle on Felix Street.” I didn’t sit down. I paced around my living room all day. I said to myself, “If I don’t smoke a cigarette today, I’ll never smoke again.” I didn’t. And I never have since. I discovered I had the date of those events wrong. For six years, I’ve been donning my “Another Year without Cigarettes” party hat nine days early. September 30th, 2012 is my official quit date. But that is not the point. The point is, I have never smoked again.

Today, I’ve gone 365 days without consuming alcohol. Well, there’s a trace amount found in kombucha. The stupid state of North Carolina requires ID to purchase “Gingerade” because of it. I drink six ounces of kombucha a day. That amount of alcohol couldn’t knock a no-see-um on its ass. Continue reading “One Year Later”

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Charleston, Humor, Travel

Jack Hanna Flies Coach

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On a recent trip out of Charleston, I noticed a celebrity on my flight to Atlanta. None other than TV’s Jack Hanna was standing with his wife, waiting for his boarding zone to be called. I didn’t bother him. I like the man and I appreciate his work, but he’s not exactly the Crocodile Hunter. The odd thing about the encounter was that “Premium” was already boarding and I was next in “Sky” (because I foolishly paid more for the extra leg room and the free banana) and Jack and his wife weren’t in my boarding group. They were in coach with all the other people who weren’t international TV personalities or frequent Late Show with David Letterman guests. Continue reading “Jack Hanna Flies Coach”

Charleston, Humor, Travel

Charleston Tourist Season

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Drone picture I took of The Holy City

Charleston, South Carolina used to have a tourist season. Tourism would begin to ramp up during the weekend of “SEWE,” which stand for the “South Eastern Wildlife Expo,” and continued until Thanksgiving. But after major travel publications like Conde Nast and Travel+Leisure named Charleston the “Number 1 tourist destination in the world” (good lawd, y’all) there is no longer a tourist “season” in Charleston; tourist flock here year round. 

I am not one of these “poo-poo the tourists” locals. In fact, I’m not even counted as a “local” by the poo-poo people. Your family has to have lived in Charleston for 2-3 hundred years before you’ll be welcomed at any Battery-addressed soiree without at least one disapproving glare as you walk through the door. I’ve lived in Charleston for 15 years, but in the eyes of the Blue-Bloods, I’m closer to a tourist than a resident. Which is why I believe I am most qualified to offer this list to tourists because, basically, I am one who simply hasn’t left since 2005.

There are hundreds of “Charleston Tourist Guides” on the internet. A few years ago, I wrote a piece called the “Ten Things I Hate about Charleston.” Not my finest work as it was an attempt to be different in the realm of Charleston lists, but worth a look if you’re interested. What I didn’t find on the internet was something that prepared you for being a tourist in Charleston. So instead of telling you what to do and where to go (I’ll do some of that), hopefully this piece will prepare you for being a tourist in Charleston and give you an idea what to expect while you’re here.  Continue reading “Charleston Tourist Season”

Charleston, Christmas, Humor

So This is Christmas

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And what have you done, Yoko?

I wouldn’t say it’s my “favorite” time of year only because a seventy-five degree day in April is pretty awesome; but I do enjoy Christmastime. I realize that I have neglected these pages the last few months, and for that I am sorry. No excuses. I do appreciate those who have enjoyed and supported this blog over the years. My most popular work by far is pieces about the holidays, so I would be remiss if I didn’t disappoint you one more time before 2019 with some thoughts on Christmas. Continue reading “So This is Christmas”

Charleston, Humor, Travel

New Drone Video

I shot this aboard my buddy’s boat in Charleston, SC using my Mavic Pro Drone. Enjoy and Merry Christmas

Charleston, Humor

Meddling Concert Women

I don’t dance in public often. Except for being filled with a rare combination of alcohol and a well-stacked wedding buffet, I can’t say I dance in public ever. Alone in my car or the shower is a different story. There, should the mood strike, I’m pretty good on the fake bass guitar and lead vocals. Sorry you had to see that.

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Anyway, last night I went to see a little ole band from Texas called ZZ Top in a theater in downtown Charleston. It was fantastic. Three guys don’t make it for forty plus years in the music business being terrible. The concert was great and the Top delivered like they always do. The people I was sitting around, however, did not with a capital “Dammit.” Continue reading “Meddling Concert Women”

Charleston, Humor, Travel

Charleston Proper

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I’ve lived in Charleston, South Carolina for almost 12 years. Being one of the oldest cities in the US, it has experienced many changes and boom times. But I doubt it’s ever experienced the influx of tourists and attention that it has in the last decade. When I could still stomach watching “Chopped” on the Food Network, one year a whole season of that show seemed to feature a different chef from Charleston on every episode. By the end of that season I think the only people left off Chopped was the street meat purveyors and a Subway sandwich tech from the King Street location.

I think you get the point. Charleston exposure is nearing overkill. If there were a magazine for dogs they’d be ranking the “Top Ten Places in Charleston to take a Crap.” I’m glad that my city is popular and that people are willing to come here and spend their money. I really am. The traffic is decidedly more horrible, but progress comes with a price.

Being a “local” in a popular tourist destination puts you in a precarious position. On the one hand, you want to share your home and what you love about it with people who are interested. On the other, you want to be able to go to your favorite joints without waiting in line behind giant men in tank tops who saw the place on Rachel Ray.

I pretended to be a tourist for a day to see what it was like. I guess you could call this a “Local acting like a tourist’s guide to Charleston.” Continue reading “Charleston Proper”