Posts tagged alabama
I started this blog for something to do, and to try my hand at blogging. Even though I never wanted to write a blog completely about me; because honestly, I am a very boring person. So I am trying something a bit different. I am a gay man that has grown up in the south all of my life. I may not have seen or done many things before in my life, but I feel I have opinions to be valued. I feel a change coming; more like a movement similar to the civil rights movement of the 60′s. I want the world to know what it is like growing up and living in the south as a gay man. So stay tuned; this could get interesting.
I certainly hope that everyone remembers April 27th, 2011. This day I have come to call “Day of the Deadly Twisters”. I know, by any stretch of the imagination, that I am not the only EF-5 tornado survivor in the world, United States, or even in the North Alabama region. Mine isn’t a unique story with a twist (no pun intended), or any other literary cliffhangers. However, it isn’t everyday that your home, sense of security, or your safe haven is ripped from you in a matter of seconds. My family and myself are lucky, luckier than most you could say. Since that fateful day in April, we have not been homeless, hungry, or abandoned. We have had a roof over our heads, in not just one place, but two. Our “survival mode” is still engaged, and most likely will be until the day we move back into our home that is in process of being rebuilt from the ground up. I say we are lucky; lucky to be alive. Someone asked me once, why I am rebuilding my home in the same place. That is the easiest question to answer, no where else is home. In the Carter’s Gin community, where I lived, and will live again showed me the meaning of community. Not only were we fed by our neighbors, our neighbors actually came and assisted in the salvage process. Neighbors helped our friends and family put our salvaged items boxes that were sorted in the front yard, strong guys come through the house asking if they could help move heavy stuff outside. Neighbors drove through the streets giving ice, and water, some even brought totes full of supplies that we may need. Others drove by and told us to come to their houses to get food they were cooking on grills. Though the last few months have been a struggle, still having to balance work, health, family, and manage the rebuilding of a home is not easy. So many times I have been asked, “How do you keep yourself together?”. Here is the answer to that statement; I don’t. I have my moments, I fight and I fight really hard, and keep telling myself that it will all be over soon, everything will get back to normal. That is why I keep fighting, because I know it is the truth. There is one major thing that I have noticed, everyone always asks the same questions, in the same order. Somehow in every conversation I have with someone new, it is always asked in some manner, “How were you affected by the storms in April?” I have come to grips with reality and I don’t try to sugar coat anything, and I state, sometimes quite matter of factly “My home was destroyed.” The reaction is always the same, jaws drop to the floor. Sometimes, I am unsure if it was what I said or how I said it. The next question is always the same, “Were you at home?” Yes, we were at home with the tornado come through our neighborhood. The last question is always the same, “Is everyone alright?” Yes, everyone is alright, no injuries at all. Again, I state, we were lucky. Enough time has passed that I am able to talk about the majority of the experience without my eyes filling up with tears. I was interviewed by WHNT about the exprience while doing some cleanup, and I promised myself I was not going to be one of those people that you hear on the news after a tornado talking about how it sounds like a frieght train with the most southern accent they could muster. So WHNT played my interview, and I kept the promise to myself. For the record, when you are inside your home when it is being destroyed by a tornado the only thing you are thinking, is not how loud it is, but if you are going to walk away. People I know, and people that haven’t seen me in a while, always tell me that they saw me on the news, and ask how the rebuild is coming, I very politely respond, most of the time I just state, “not fast enough”.
The Smokehouse in Bridge Street Town Center Huntsville, AL. This is another of our local haunts when we are out on the town and looking for a good meal. My crew and myself love eating at this restaurant. They have great food coupled with great service. The drinks can be a bit on the expensive side, depending on your taste. There is a wonderful variety of food to choose from on their menu, so they can accommodate any type of taste. On Fridays nights, there is live, local entertainment inside the restaurant; however, we normally eat out on their patio, watching the shoppers go by and general people watching. Overall, great place, gets a big thumbs up.
If you are planning a night out, this is another great location that offers online reservations through their website The Smokehouse
You can also find them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/smokehousehuntsville
I just have to share what just happened! Since my gall bladder has been removed, I have been testing the waters figuring out what I can and cannot eat lately. So, I have been on an adventure quest with trying new things. There is a Denny’s at the end of the street that I work on, and decided to go there for lunch. They are apparently having their “Let’s get cheesy” event going on. We go in and sit down, take a look at the menu after delivering our drink orders to the waitress. I find something that I like, and it comes with french fries on the side, well, I can’t have those. Down toward the bottom of the menu, it states that you can substitute mac and cheese for any side item at no additional charge, that is perfect. The waitress comes around again to take our orders, and that is what I get, my sandwich with a side of mac and cheese instead of french fries. It takes some time, but eventually our order comes out, the waitress sits down my bowl of mac and cheese, at this point, I can’t stop myself from giggling. After the waitress walks away, I burst out laughing as I am looking at this bowl of mac and cheese, in utter disbelief that this has happened. Let me clarify here that in the menu, there was a picture of mac and cheese beside the statement about substitutions that looked just like the white shells and cheddar cheese I love. Back to the bowl in front of me, I start laughing again. In this bowl is a serving of the same Kraft brand Mac and Cheese that I can make in my kitchen, straight out of the blue box. I was so appalled at this event, I could not stop giggling through the entire meal. I can understand a restaurant attempting to save a buck, but come on people, really? I was so preoccupied about this bowl of mac and cheese in front of me, it completely slipped my mind to take a picture of it to share.
Recently my entourage and myself have been frequenting Scene Restaurant and Lounge located at the Monaco Theater at Bridge Street in Huntsville, Alabama. Scene Restaurant & Lounge is an indoor/outdoor restaurant and lounge located at Bridge Street Town Centre. Home to Huntsville’s hottest happy hour, Scene offers a variety of drinks, shareables and plates everyone can enjoy. It is great having this type of place at a movie theater. The food is great, especially the sushi. If you love sushi, then you really need to check out Scene. Their specialty drinks are a little expensive, but well worth it. Two of my favorite things about this facility are the lighting they use inside the lounge, and the patio. The patio is my personal favorite, they have it open all year, and when it gets chilly outside, there are gas outdoor fireplaces.
If you live in Huntsville and you haven’t visited, you should. If you do visit there, The Dragon may be there as well.