Monday, December 10, 2018

The Gift of the Nagi

Baby Mark, Mom, Sister Rhea

Mark has given me his instructions as to what he wants for his birthday/Christmas. I have already failed. He wanted a new smart phone, so I got him one. His request was for a Samsung, which I got him. Unfortunately I did not get him the model he wanted, I got him the next one below. Mark threw a tantrum, squawking and squealing about how he couldn't use this cheaper model and how he specifically told me he wanted the better model. So I explained how the less expensive model operated exactly the same as the more costly one. All Mark does is text and talk on the phone. He doesn't need all the bells and whistles.
"But it has less memory..."
"It has more memory than you will ever use."
"But, but....waaaaaa "

I realized early on, like when I was around nine years old, that I will never get exactly what I wanted unless I got it for myself. Back then I saw the Deluxe Playmobile Dashboard on television. I lusted after that toy. It was a reproduction of a real automobile dashboard with working lights, windshield wipers, turn signals, and a shifter that shifted. I dropped every kind of hint I could that I wanted one. On Christmas morning I jumped out of bed with anticipation. That Christmas my big toy present was a microscope with glass slides that had tiny bugs on them. No Deluxe Playmoble Dashboard, only a stupid educational toy. Down the street my friend, Arthur Bernhardt, gleefully played with his brand new Deluxe Playmobile Dashboard along with a few other deluxe toys. I was very jealous until Arthur allowed me to play with his new toy. Within three minutes I was bored. It was not a real car, and just how long can a nine year old kid pretend that he's driving a chunk of plastic. But it all turned out just fine. The next year I got a slot car set. Well, I kind of got a slot car set. It wasn't all mine, I had to share it with my brother.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Corn Rows

Thursday night and Mark is watching some movie about an antman. In fact it may be called Antman. All I know is that it sucks. Michael Douglas is in it and they show him as a younger man, and the way you know he is a younger man is the fact that his face looks like it is made of Playdoh and his hair is black. Obviously they used a cheap version of CGI. Besides the horrible script and crappy acting in the movie, the laws of physics are constantly broken. How do the shrunken people breath when a molecule of oxygen is bigger than their lungs? So I left the room. Instead of watching this horrible movie with Mark, I snuck out of the room using the excuse that Chandler needed to go out because he had barked. I took him into the kitchen and gave him a cookie to shut him up. That would be Chandler, not Mark. I do feel a little guilty for leaving the movie. I left my friend of over forty years alone with Mark, watching that movie. Poor Rudy, he's ninety two years old, hard of hearing, his eyesight isn't the greatest, his memory is a bit scrambled, and I left him alone with Mark and a bad movie.

I brought Rudy up to our house for a couple of days just to give him a change of scene. You see he's been rotting out in the suburbs for the last eight months after moving up here from Florida. Horrible, horrible suburbs with those blocks of brick townhouses and brick apartment buildings. Just row upon row of brick boxes. And when Rudy does get out of the house, all there is are miles and miles of strip malls, chain restaurants, and more strip malls. It is boring out there, it is stifling out there, and it is dull. I know this first hand, because Rudy is living where I grew up. Well kind of where I grew up. The actual place where he lives was a corn field when I left town.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Room of Horrors

"Aaaaaah, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit..."
"What happened? What did you do? Oh my god, whaaaaaat..."
I had sliced my thumb with Mark's sixteen inch long carving knife. It really wasn't that much, this time. But it was my bowling thumb and blood was already dripping on the kitchen floor.
"Come in here and help me. I need a bandage."
"Aaaah, no. I can't. You know I can't look at .... "
Mark can't even say the word blood without getting woozy. It got real quiet out in the living room and then my friend Dennis, who lives upstairs, came into the kitchen.
"What are you doing here?" I asked.
"Mark called me. He said you needed help."
By this time I already had a bandage on my thumb and had stopped the bleeding. 

This is the problem with Mark's kitchen. It is filled with dangerous gadgets, knives, and stabby things. Things that will draw blood, which is funny because Mark cannot stand the sight of blood. He can't even look at rare steak. In one drawer in the kitchen, are all of Mark's knives. The drawer of dread. In another drawer are the shredders including something called a box shredder. It's a square shaped thing with a handle on one end and perforated sides that you use for shredding cheese, carrots, and things like that. Also great for shredding knuckles, which I do every time I use it. But the thing that I fear the most in that kitchen is called "The Mandolin". A razor sharp contraption that sits on an angle. You are supposed to take the item you want to slice, thin or thinner, and run it down the face of the thing. It terrifies me and gives me the creeps to even think of it. When Mark has that thing out I won't even go into the kitchen. I don't want to clean it, I don't want to take it out of the box it comes in. And why do they even call it a mandolin? Isn't that some kind of instrument that makes lovely music? The only music this mandolin makes is the sound of me screaming.

Friday, November 30, 2018



When Mark lived in Florida he was the lead system operator for the county court house computer system. Despite having the skill to run that big computer system, Mark finds ordering Chinese food online impossible. Last night, just about the time the evening news came on, Mark tried to order from the China Palace. I didn't pay much attention, but from the periphery I could hear whining and bitching.
"Something wrong?"
"I can't figure out how to order on this stupid web site. I put in a two dollar and fifty cent tip but it won't take it.... Oh, wait.... Okay, it took."
So the hot and sour soup, crab Rangoon, and Mongolian beef should arrive in about forty minutes. One hour and fifteen minutes later I called the China Palace direct and asked where the hell was our order. A lady with a very, very heavy accent answered the phone.
"Indecipherable.. indecipherable.. we no have that order... indecipherable... three hours... indecipherable.."
So I hung up and walked over to Mark's computer. The order was still on the screen with that two dollar and fifty cent tip highlighted in red. The order had not gone through. I clicked on the tip box and changed it to three dollars. The red went away, the screen flashed and the word 'confirmed' popped up. Apparently if you do not tip China Palace enough they will not take your business. Again, I figured that in about forty minutes we'd have dinner. One hour and thirty minutes later I called them again. The same lady answered the phone.
"Indecipherable.. indecipherable.. we no have that order... indecipherable... four hours... indecipherable.. You want to order now?"
No I did not want to order again. I was over it and planned on walking over to Wolfy's for some hotdogs. Just as I was berating the woman on the phone about how horrible their service was, the dogs went insane and the doorbell rang. It was our food from China Palace. It was all there, everything we ordered and it was still hot. So I told the lady on the phone that all was fine. She responded...
"So you want to order now?"

Monday, November 26, 2018

Happy Holidays, The Longest Month

7:45 on Sunday. I took both dogs out to the back yard to go potty. According to the forecasters yesterday, there should be a few inches of snow out there. There is none. Copious amounts of rain, but no snow. So I send the dogs out there and Scout cheerfully does her thing, squat and pee, then run around a bit trying to get Chandler to play. Chandler runs out into the yard, stops, then turns around and runs back to me so he can bury his face between my legs. Chandler hates rain. He hates snow, he hates airplanes rats and garbage trucks. Chandler hates a lot of things, but he loves me and my dry pants where he is now trying to wipe the rain off his face. I'm sure when I wake up in the morning there will be some snow out in the yard, but I'm not so sure we'll have the foot of snow the television people are breathlessly predicting.

What I can predict is that by Monday afternoon I will be so sick of turkey and all the side dishes that go with it, that I will be tossing what's left in the garbage. By the end of the week I will be totally sick of Christmas shopping and the blowing up of my budget and I will put a freeze on spending. I will also become Mark's Christmas servant. I will be forced to drag all the Christmas crap up from the basement and help Mark put up the Christmas tree. Here is the worst part of the coming month. It's not the tree, not the shopping, not the fact that I will eat too much food, or the possibility of snow. No, the worst part is my upcoming birthday. I hate birthdays.