“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Those secrets under the kitchen sink ...
Friday, October 28, 2011

I recently had to get new home insurance, and when the inspector from the insurance company came to look at the house (this is at our Florida home) he scrutinized the obvious things: age and strength of the windows and doors; age of the water heaters and air conditioners; slope of the roof.

I thought he'd finished, but then he came into the living room, where I was working, and said this: "One more thing. I need to see under the kitchen sink."

Why would my home-insurance provider need to look under my sink?
I asked him. He evaded the question. "It's just something we look at," he said.

And then I got to thinking. Maybe that space under our sink tells insurers a lot about us. Maybe they use it as a litmus test of some sort. Perhaps that spot under the sink provides a psychological profile of some sort.

Is it dirty and cluttered, like mine? And, if so, does that mean the homeowner doesn't pay attention to details? Does it mean he wouldn't fix things when broken and therefore make the house more susceptible to damage?

I don't keep my trashcan under the sink, as many people do. Would that be a black mark against me?

Was he looking for rat or mice droppings?

Would I be judged for keeping our dead cat's ashes in a box under the sink? (Because that's where they are; I just can't seem to part with dear old Sophie.)

What's under your sink? And what does it say about you?

How to Spot a Good Thai Restaurant
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Anyone who's read my books knows I like to eat. Cooking and good food are a big part of my novels Househusband and Southern Living.

My wife and were driving through middle Tennessee this past weekend and decided that Thai food sounded good for lunch. I pulled out my phone and searched Yelp for Thai restaurants near our location on the freeway, and we were soon led to a shack-like restaurant in the shadow of a grain elevator in Lebanon, TN.

I know what you're thinking: Oh, Ad ... that's pretty risky ... Asian food in Andy Griffith Land ...

But we knew immediately that we'd found something special -- and here' s why:

Lining the outside wall of the store were pots of lemongrass, Thai basil and Thai chilis. Obviously, someone inside used fresh, authentic ingredients.

We were quickly proven right: Take a look at this:

Green curry and a plate of whole crawfish sauteed in basil and garlic. Ain't it pretty?

So keep an eye out for those pots, people!

Alien spotting #5334R2 (at the mall)
Thursday, October 20, 2011

And look at these scary feet. They look like cloven hooves, don't they?
Could it be ... Satan?

Cat = Teenager
Monday, October 17, 2011

In moving two cats from a tropical yard to a 29th-floor Nashville condo, I was worried about keeping them amused. I'd bought this swell, very-tall kitty condo that I hoped the younger cat would take to. But alas ...

Mitchell prefers the sunny spot on the bed, of course, while the ignored kitty condo unsuccessfully tries to pose as art object in the corner.

But not all is lost:

I'm calling it my "butler."

For the man who has everything...
Thursday, October 13, 2011

My only question is this: why?

There once were two tuxedo cats, and two men ...
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'd been paying a petsitter, off and on, for nearly a year ... trying to avoid what I envisioned to be hell on earth: transporting two cats, via minivan, to our condo in Nashville, a 14-hour trip from Fort Myers, Florida.

Finally, I mustered up the courage, largely because my best friend agreed to take the trip with me. I set up a catbox and catfood, even made them a playhouse from a big cardboard box. We would stop every hundred miles or so and let them out and let them play and eat and then put them back in their crates ...

That's not what happened. For more than 150 miles, Mitchell, the younger of the two, scream-meowed in that Oh-Lord-Help-Me-I'm-Headed-Toward-The-Veterinarian's-Office manner ...

We let him out. And, to be fair, we released Thomas as well.

While Thomas, The Elder, responsibly hunkered down, beneath my seat, Mitchell decided he wanted the highest view in the van. And, because he finally shut up after finding this perch, we left him there, like the weak, indulgent parents I've judged so many times before. And this was fine ... until, while driving at 79 MPH, we came upon an 18-wheeler STOPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE INTERSTATE.

Gravity happened. Catbox catapulted against the back seat. Mitchell became airborne.

Yes, those marks on the dashboard are from Mitchell's claws. His rear claws. We know this because he doesn't have front claws.

We were rattled but safe. I shouldn't have let them out, I know. But, hey ... we transport our children in school buses without seatbelts -- don't we?

Something I wish I would have taken a picture of ...
Thursday, October 6, 2011

... at the gala opening of the Nashville Nordstrom, being served in the men's department on silver trays carried by very-tall, beautiful women: small, crystal shot glasses of Woodford Reserve bourbon and, in the middle of them all, a silver bowl filled with erect pieces of crispy bacon.

It was so beautiful I almost cried. If they offered this combination at communion, maybe I'd go to church more often.

If Giant Cats meow in Macon but I can't hear them ... do they exist?
Monday, October 3, 2011

I'd asked my friend's wonderfully smart-ass techy daughter to take a picture of us while we were resting at the foot of some Confederate memorial in downtown Macon. "Can you email the photo to me?" I asked, which she did ...