Why Are You Thankful?

When I awoke last Thanksgiving, half of my face didn’t work. For those of you with faces, I assure you, it’s weird.

I know I’m not the only one ever to experience facial paralysis. There are millions of people this has happened to and they know how troubling it can be when you’re drooling uncontrollably or you can’t shut one of your eyes.

I can’t tell you how many times something was coming straight for my eye and I fully expected my eyelid to do something about it. But nooooooooooo… It totally let me get poked in the eye. Whatever.

“Chicks dig eye patches,” I’d joke to myself, “I can pretend like I’m in a soap opera. Then when I take off the eye patch, that’s my evil twin who goes around ruining my life, and all he really has to do is wear my eye patch and people think it’s me.” You get what I’m saying.

However, what chicks don’t dig is when food is falling out of your mouth while you’re chewing. And that’s another thing. If I was trying to eat a sandwich or something, which you know is my second favorite thing in the world (after Taco Bell), my lip would be pushed into my mouth, effectively becoming part of the sandwich.  Worse yet, it would also become part of a taco. Everything tasted like lip.

But hey. I’m a half-face full kinda guy. Even though it happened Thanksgiving day, the day of eating all that can be eaten, I couldn’t eat without also consuming my face. Did it suck? Yes. Was I going to let it ruin my day? Yes.

So most of that day I was Googling what happened, when I can expect (if I can expect) a recovery, etc. And luckily, most of what I read turned out to be pretty accurate.

It took about 6 months to recover to about 80% of the functionality it had before. A year later, I’m at about 90. I still have difficulty drinking through a straw, but that makes me giggle. I’m a simple man who is easily amused.

I wrote a post about this around the time I was making my recovery. I didn’t want to make a big deal about it and still don’t, I’m now reminded because Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I just hope the left side doesn’t go.

Oh yeah! I almost forgot. What caused the paralysis was Shingles. I got it on my neck, face, ear and head.

The facial paralysis was called RHS (Ramsey Hunt Syndrome), a rare occurrence in .01% of Shingles… People? Victims? Patients? I don’t know what they call us, as long as they don’t call us late for dinner. (Cymbal crashes)

My point to all of this is the reaction I received when I returned to the park, which was an outpouring of affection and caring. I learned everyone had been really concerned. It just made me remember how awesome the people at the Dip are, and I’m thankful I have a place there.

Speaking of dinner and the Dip (mmmmm… dinner), the annual Thanksgiving dinner will be held on November 21st.

And please don’t worry about my face. It’s fine. This is the face you should be worried about.


(Congrats to Stuart for winning this year’s Halloween costume contest! At least I think this is from the contest.)

Read Very Carefully

Ding dong, the snake is dead. I mean, a snake. A big one.

So big, in fact, I’m moving to Canada. (As soon as I Google their snake situation.)


What you’ll notice about this rattlesnake is that it used to have a complete head where there is now not one. We can thank my neighbor for that. Or as I like to call him, “Braveheart.”

You see, I’m not really a killer. If it’s not attacking me it usually gets to live.

And that likely would have been the case with this snake. Had I come across it, I would have run away and never gone back to that place again. That’s where he planted his snake flag and I respect the law.

However, if you wander across the border into Braveheartia, well, the “live and let live” mantra of Mayoville no longer applies.

The thing I like about rattlesnakes is they’re like, “Hey. Hear that noise? That means you have to go away now.”

And I’m like, “Ok.”‘

It’s this symbiotic relationship with nature that keeps me inside my house all the time.

You know what I’ve never seen at Serendipity Park? A giant rattlesnake.  It’s true. And this is just one of the many things I love about it.

The other thing I’m missing is the beautiful weather, the leaves changing across the mountainsides, the ability to walk through my front door and not run for my life. Lastly, the fun.

I know most of you already plan to come to the Halloween party on Saturday, so for those of you who do not plan on coming, you’ll need to read very carefully.

I don’t mean to get in your business, but I’ll need you to explain to me everything you plan to do between now and Sunday. I’ll re-prioritize your schedule and fax it back to you.

If you don’t have a fax machine, consider that the first thing you’ll need to do.

You also might as well get your costume together.

If you don’t already know what you’re going to be, come as a banana or some other type of fruit. (We don’t have time to get creative here. You might think we do, but I’m the one calling the shots here and you haven’t even got your fax machine or made me pumpkin-shaped cookies yet. Chop-chop.)

Isn’t it so much better when everyone is doing exactly what I tell them to do? I know! This is what I’ve been saying. I have jobs for everyone in the entire world. Really good ones.

The most important thing is that people are happy, and it’s been scientifically proven that people are happier when controlled by me. I have piles of data. All you need to know is the science is there, okay? Just put on your fruit costume and see how much better you feel. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Halloween at Serendipity!

Despite the onset of the chilly weather, friends still gather regularly at the park. Not me, because I’m somewhere else, but I do miss everyone there.

Let’s forget about me for a second. (If that’s possible. I know I can’t.) Let’s talk about… You know what? I can’t. We’ll talk about me some more. This way none of us will be trying not to think about me and we can keep our focus.

So what have I been up to? Nothing. Work stuff. I don’t really feel like talking about it. I think the point I’m trying to make is I’m bored. And why am I bored? Because I’m not there.

The days in Cleveland, GA are beautiful right now. I could be throwing a Frisbee, running through the woods with my dog, enjoying the hot tub, talking with friends… All the stuff I’m not doing right now.

You know what I am doing right now? None of those things. I just told you. Remember, all focus on me. We don’t have time for recaps. There’s a Bruce Lee marathon starting.

I mean, I’m going to dvr it, but I have a lot to do before then. I have to arrange pillows… Ok that’s it but they have to be just right and it takes some time. I’m not just going to sit in a chair. It’s a MARATHON, people. Let’s try not to get all Judge Judy.

No more talking about me. I see this has taken an ugly turn and if there’s one thing I hate it’s people looking at me like I’m not the best ever. I am the Bruce Lee of watching Bruce Lee marathons. (Hi-ya!)

It took me a long time to figure out the pillow thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in front of a tv all day and got up feeling stiff, achy and fatigued. Almost to the point I would regret having sat there all day.

But now that I have mastered the art, I can lie around and do nothing for days. Weeks even. And I feel great.

The trick is in the way you stack the pillows. Most people will… You know what? Visual is so much better. I did a YouTube video. Just click here.

If the link didn’t work it’s because there’s not really a video. I made that  up. Sorry.

Did you really want to see a video on proper pillow placement for marathon-watching? That’s silly. There aren’t any. I looked. That’s why I had to come up with my own system. I’d tell you about it, but it’s proprietary.

The whole reason I’m enveloped in my secret comfort formula to watch the 4 best movies ever made is because I’m not at the park doing above mentioned Frisbee-ing, running through the woods, etc.

If I were to run through the woods where I am now, there’s a fair chance I would be eaten. (Welcome to Florida!)

My neighbor asked me the other day if I would mind if he shot the rattlesnake in my yard.

Not only do I not mind, I won’t leave the house until he does. Will someone bring me a sandwich or something? Just be careful.

If you do see it, remain calm, do not drop the sandwich or use it as any kind of weapon. You can use the 24 packs of Coke for that (bottles please).

If that doesn’t work, throw the big bags of assorted variety Hershey’s chocolates (you should have these in one of your hands, preferably both). The heavier the better. They hate those.

Speaking of candy, Halloween at Serendipity! It’s going to be awesome. And you can be there. Should be. (Unless you’re held captive in your home by reptiles.)

Here Comes Halloween

You see, I used to have a problem. I would state my opinion quite plainly, and people would not like it.

Some would say I still have this problem. I would say they could be right, so when I say “used to have a problem,” I meant since the last time I talked to someone. It might be gone now. I don’t know.

It could be my delivery or the words I choose. For instance, when someone else has voiced his/her opinion, I should avoid phrases like “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard” or “Help I’m slipping into the Twilight Zone” or “Am I being Punk’d?” or “Well we could do that if we were trying to break everything.”

I don’t know. Now that I’ve written it down and read it, I think it’s fine. And the one about the Twilight Zone is funny. Some people need a sense of humor and to stop being dumb about stuff.  Whatever.

And this is why I like the Dip. The friendliness is infectious. The guy they know is laid back and relaxed. This guy is friendly, warm, fun to be around. He doesn’t say things like, “Have you lost your mind? I wouldn’t worry about it. It didn’t seem to be helping us.”

I might be exaggerating a little bit. A lot of times I just think this stuff, then I say it. I don’t know. Maybe it is me. Whatever.

When I get to the park, I think what changes in me is directly related to the environment. I instantly relax. I don’t feel compelled to say things like “I think we should catch that idea and put it in a bag or something before it gains strength and becomes a great fiery eyeball that we’ll need a hobbit and a wizard to destroy.”

And people say I have a communication problem? It’s not my fault I’m right all the time and perpetually speak truths in clever, relatable and insightful ways, while concisely illustrating the point. It’s called “efficiency.” Look it up. I can’t teach you people everything. Whatever.

It’s not that I don’t care, but it’s not that I do. And I think that’s the middle ground you need to find in order to effectively build relationships. I read that in a post once (this one) and have believed it ever since.

Speaking of truths, it might be the most beautiful time of the year at The Dip. The leaves are changing, and as they fall, the colorful Mount Yonah is revealed through the trees.

Most of the visitors to this area (and nearby Helen) will be here over these next couple of months, simply because of the beauty surrounding this place. So if you’re looking for a cabin rental around Helen in October, you’ll get some of the best cabin rates in the entire area.  You’ll also have a lot of fun.

The Halloween party is now a few short weeks away, so don’t make plans (unless they are for that, then proceed). It’s always one of the biggest (if not the biggest) events of the year. You don’t want to miss it.

Beach Ball IV is Here

It’s 9 o’clock on a Saturday. The regular crowd shuffles in.

There’s a nude man sitting next to me, asking me where I have been.

I said, “Dude I am here for the melodies. I’m not really sure how they’ll go. But I’ll bet they’ll be great while the crowd fills their plates and strips off all of those stupid clothes.”

La da da diddy daaaa…

La da diddy daaaaa da da…

Sing us a song, oh Whoever Band! Sing us a song tonight! Cause we’re all in the mood for a melody, and our pants were feeling too tight.

I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist. Consider this to my contribution to today’s music festivities.

Someone asked me last week if I play a musical instrument and, I don’t. Not because I wouldn’t love to, but I’m pretty sure my left hand is operated by someone else. Perhaps by remote control.

Anyway, I doubt you’ve come to hear about my left hand, so I’ll tell you about the right one. It’s easily my favorite.

I use it for everything. Eating, brushing my teeth… It’s really no surprise it’s become so good at a variety of things. Maybe if lefty got his act together we’d give him a little more responsibility.

For example, show me you can throw something without me looking like a 4 year old girl. Just pick up something and do it. You clearly don’t listen to me, so take some damn initiative. What is it with you, guy?

Whatever. I don’t have time for this. It’s a big day here at the park, and it’s not too late to get here. Not even close.

So when you think about what you’re going to do today, or even tomorrow, what’s there to think about? Exactly.

This is going to be good.

The Perfect End To The Perfect Weekend

I came here for some writing inspiration and, as it turns out, I’m now only inspired to write while I’m here.

It’s not that surprising. When I’m not here, I don’t do anything that would inspire.

Sure, I can tell you all about Ancient Aliens. Or my weekly visit to the grocery store. The walks in which my dog and I chase squirrels through the park.

Ok there was this time when we were outsmarted by one and somehow became wrapped around a tree. My dog was choking and I was bleeding. The squirrel was laughing. All the squirrels were laughing.

So my best story from months and months of life is the time I was intellectually bested by an animal that has a 50/50 chance of getting across the street.

I can’t imagine they’re suicidal. Then again, I’ve never seen my friend carried away by a hawk.

Squirrel 1: Where’s Bill?

Squirrel 2: (Lowers and shakes head)

Squirrel 3: Oh man. Roaring beast with wheels?

Squirrel 2: No. Flying claw monster.

Squirrel 1: Poor bastard. What is it with those guys? They are such a-holes.

Squirrel 3: I mean, we’re all just squirrels trying to get a nut, ya know? Sometimes I want to throw myself into a wheel beast stampede.

As you might have guessed, I have an active imagination. It’s like I said when I was 8, “This is the right imagination for me. I think I’ll keep it.”

I would like to take this moment in time to thank God I am not a squirrel and that my chances of being carried away by a bird of prey are strongly in my favor. I’d also like to respectfully request you don’t make birds any larger. Amen.

Oh yes. What I actually sat down to write about.

After a perfect weekend of the perfect amount of social interaction and quiet relaxation, I decided to go get a sandwich. (All of my stories will have a sandwich somewhere.)

As I reached the gate, I was stopped by friends notifying me of the impromptu live jam happening at the pavilion. And of course, I told them I would be there soon.

About 30 minutes later I would pull up to the pavilion in my golf cart and park next to a row of golf carts sitting in front of the stage.

If you’ve never sat in the front row of a live jam session in your golf cart at dusk, that is the spice of life you are missing. Good music, good friends, beautiful weather and all in one of the happiest places on this planet.

I am a lucky, lucky man.

Speaking of good music and friends, the Annual Beach Ball Music Festival is August 8th. If you haven’t made plans for that weekend, don’t, unless you’re coming here. Then it’s fine. Just hurry, though.

The World Is My ___________

Last night was karaoke night, but I didn’t go. I wasn’t feeling great, and I certainly can’t lay down my rendition of “Bad To The Bone” with a tummy ache.

So what did I do? I watched a movie and fell asleep at some absurdly early hour. Which made me wake up at an absurdly early hour. So now I’m bored and thought I would do this. Lucky you.

“Wow, Mayo, we can’t wait to hear the thoughts your boredom inspires.” I know.

It’s not that there’s nothing to do right now. I’m sure there’s a group at the clubhouse having coffee right now. I would be there, but my chair is here.

I also can’t annunciate… what do you call them… “words” before 9 am (PDT) and especially not before I’ve had my weight in coffee.

Anywho. What were we talking about? That’s right. My chair. So comfortable. I might glue it to my back today.

One of the greatest things about this place is whatever your mood, there’s something for you.

Like, if I want to go hang out in the sun today and play games, I can do it. On the other hand,  if I decide to go get some industrial strength adhesive and permanently attach myself to furniture, that’s well within my grasp.

The world is my oyster. So I guess I’m trying to figure out what to do with my oyster today.

Wait. I don’t want to live in an oyster. That’s a horrible reference. It’s like the liver of the sea. I’m coming up with a new one.

The world is my Kit Kat.

Ok that’s good. I’ll be using that one moving forward. I’d advise you to go this way, though you can stick with that oyster crap if you want. It doesn’t even make sense.

I mean, I get the pearl thing, but do you think a pearl is happy living in an oyster? I’d rather live in a shark or something. That’s good eating. Oysters filter impurities from the sea water, or more scientifically, sea dookie. That’s a pearl’s house.

And then its best hope to get out is being sold into jewelry slavery. No, thank you. You be a stupid pearl. I live inside a Kit Kat now. Beat that.

There is a Petanque tournament today and also a possibility I’ll participate. It’s really up to the glue and whatever humidity factors come into play with curing time, etc. I’m not really big on instructions so we’ll just have to see how it plays out. I’m sure the guy at the store will know.

I can be pretty handy, but I’ll admit, this project will test even my skills.