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Thursday, June 30, 2005 No comments

Background info

I didn’t actually write anything on the blog in June 2005, so I’m using June for background information. If you’re new to Tales from FAR Manor — first, thanks for stopping by. Second, you might want to read down the list to get an idea of who’s who and what’s what.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 No comments

FAR Manor’s Denizens and Peripheral People

This post has been superseded by the page, Who ARE These People? — I’ll leave this page up for anyone who has linked to it for whatever reason, but it’s not likely to be updated. Last update was October 2009.

Like any soap opera, Tales from FAR Manor revolves around a core group of people, depicting their relationships, with occasional guest appearances from outside folks. These are all real people, although I’ve changed the names primarily to protect the minors.

FARfetched is, of course, your narrator and correspondent: a particularly handsome and intelligent devil, lurching into middle age and mostly pretending it’s not happening. If only it were easy to trade excess poundage for more rest and more free time. My trade is technical writing, and I’m a bit of a gearhead.

Mrs. Fetched, aka “the wife,” SWMBO, or Wife-o-licious, is... well, my wife. I’ve only been married once and have no intention of repeating the experience. We’ve been married 24 years now. She’s a Type A, and I’m not, and that’s all I think I need to say here. It’s because of her that we live at FAR Manor; the property used to belong to her parents and they went berserk when it went up for sale. So they drove her crazy, and she about drove me crazy telling me we had to buy this place (which happened, over my objections, but I still have to pay the mortgage). Her primary work is her parents’ chicken houses, although she does get some video editing work on occasion (I’m her free tech support).

The Boy, aka “Offspring #1,” is the older of our two children. He turned 21 at the beginning of this year (2009). He’s a Type II diabetic, although they initially thought he was Type I at his onset in March 2004. After losing a good bit of weight (he now weighs less than I do, good job!), the docs switched him from four-a-day insulin shots to pills and one shot per day. He’s very talented in visual and musical art, and plans to be a rock star eventually. At least he’ll be able to design his own album covers. Currently, he’s working night shift in a nearby chicken processing plant (we can’t get away from the $#@!! chickens), cleaning the machines. He’s emotionally a lot like his mom, which I think is the source of a lot of the conflicts between all of us. But I could be wrong.

Daughter Dearest is the second (and last, we made sure of that) child. She’s 20, and a sophomore at Reinhardt College University. Her talents are music (very good soprano, she started singing as soon as she could talk a little), photography (she borrows my camera), and burning up Facebook. She helps her mom at the chicken houses, when she’s home. Emotionally, she’s more like me I think.

We also have two cats and four dogs, which is enough cats and five dogs too many.

The peripheral “cast,” as it were, includes:

SnippetSnippet is The Boy’s current girlfriend. She’s 18 and the grandbaby-mama. She can act mature when she wants to, although she’s quite capable of acting her age (or less) — motherhood seems to be giving her the beginnings of a little perspective, though.

MasonMason is our first (and so far, only) grandson. He’s about six weeks old as I type this, growing like a weed and starting to take an interest in the world around him. His early life will likely be the source of much material for the blog.

DoubleRed is our current boarder. She’s easily the oldest of the non-family who has lived at FAR Manor since we moved here, but in very few respects the most mature. She likes to let her problems become everyone’s problems by dint of freaking out and whining until everyone around her gets tired of hearing it.

EJEJ has been a friend of The Boy’s for a long time, and has always been polite and responsible (attributes we wish most of his other friends had). He was one of our boarders, probably the only one we really wouldn’t mind keeping.

J is a friend of The Boy’s, about the same age, and into many of the same things, unfortunately. However, he doesn’t have as much of a problem being helpful and doesn’t wave his issues in our faces. He had a job, had a car, then wrecked the latter and thus had to quit the former. What is it with kids and lead feet anyway?

M.A.E. (Ms. Almost Einstein) is The Boy’s ex-girlfriend. She lived here from July 2005 to October 2006 — and for all the weird stuff that goes on around here, it’s probably one of the more stable situations she’s been in. She matured some while she was here, and I don’t think she’s as unintelligent as she believes. She’s living with a guy now, has a girl (Emma), and very happy about it all.

Big V is Mrs. Fetched’s younger sister. She lives fairly close by. We mostly have a pretty good rapport, although the events of the Summer of Discontent massively strained it for a while. Her two sons are Cousin Splat, about six months younger than The Boy, and P.O.D. (Prince of Darkness), who is 25 or so, married, and not quite growed up yet. Like The Boy, Big V also has diabetes, and does an even worse job than him of managing it. She will probably loose one or both feet sooner or later, probably sooner.

SPOW (Serious Piece of Work) is M.A.E.’s biological mother. Her nickname should tell you everything you need (or want) to know.

Lobster is a former boarder, our first actually. He and The Boy met at the private school they went to back when. He lives wherever he doesn’t have to follow anyone else’s rules, lost his job at KFC, lost his truck to repossession, lost another job at Wal-Mart, and has mostly dropped off our radar.

Mr. Sunshine is Mrs. Fetched’s (and Big V’s) brother. Like most of his family, he doesn’t have much respect for other people’s opinions, and has led a my-way existence for most of his life that has taken him absolutely nowhere. I’m afraid The Boy is heading down the same road, but with even less going for him because Sunshine finished school and has at least some vo-tech education. This year, he’s a truck driver… Lord knows what he’ll be doing next year. He also has a wife (Jam) and two boys (Brand X and Evil Lad NOT) at home (plus a daughter, long since married off).

There are others who haven’t appeared here too often; I’ll add descriptions as necessary.

Monday, June 20, 2005 1 comment

Planet Georgia

If you Google for "two Georgias," you will find links to lots of articles that contrast Atlanta and the rest of the state. In the over 20 years I’ve lived here, I’ve found a different — more metaphysical than political — pair of Georgias. It’s like one of those Stephen King stories about how the barrier between worlds wears thin in some locales. C.S. Lewis wrote of this phenomenon in That Hideous Strength, where a nation (or state) can be torn by the conflict between two visions of how things should be.

One one hand, there’s the Georgia that gave us progressive heroes like Henry Grady, Jimmy Carter, and Martin Luther King, Jr.; poets like Sidney Lanier, musicians like Ray Charles, the Allman Brothers, Otis Redding... the Georgia that lives up to the words, “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation” on its state seal.

It seems impossible that the same place could inflict upon itself (and the world) a state legislature that is a perennial laughingstock — or worse, the likes of J.B. Stoner, the lynching of Leo Frank, and the sordid events of 1912 in “Historic” Forsyth County. This is Planet Georgia, where the “old times” of Jim Crow and even slavery are not only not forgotten, but held up as an ideal; where there are enough knuckledraggers, who like the old state flag with the Confederate emblem, to swing elections. Here, the only place you can find wisdom, justice, or moderation is on the state seal.

Unfortunately, in the struggle for the soul of the state, Planet Georgia is currently prevailing. I don’t know if things will change for the better in my lifetime.


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