Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pain in the Brain


Tardigrade, about 1 millimeter in size

I did not watch the original series, Cosmos with Carl Sagan. I think that's because it was on back in the 1980's and I was busy working and drinking. Not necessarily in that order. I am however, addicted to the new Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson. It's fascinating, entertaining, educational, and most of all it is scary. This week he went small, sub-atomic small, while last week he went big, to the outer reaches of the known universe. I find it very discomforting that the world as I know it is surrounded by such violent and disturbing things like exploding suns and tardigrades, infinitesimal animals that live in the water. When Neil deGrasse Tyson starts talking about the vast expanse of the universe and the tiny molecules that make up our bodies, my brain hurts. It literally hurts thinking of all those things. Meanwhile, in the bedroom, Mark is watching The Real Housewives Swap Husbands with Celebrities, or something like that. Once in a while I'll be in the bedroom and I'll be too lazy to get up and leave when one of those shows comes on. I have found myself watching Mark's shows on more than one occasion. Interestingly, they also make my brain hurt from watching them. They also make me just a little bit sad.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Dog's Life



There was a stain on the floor right in front of the big fluffy chair that I always sit in. No, I didn't make it. It was created by dog saliva. It was big and ugly and it went away when I laid the new floor a couple of months ago. Okay, so it might have had a little bit to do with me and my habits. Every time I would have a snack while watching television, the big dog would station himself directly in front and a bit to the right of me as I sat in the BFC. With each movement of my hand to my mouth his big blubbery lips would secrete a bit of dog drool. By the time I was done snacking his mouth was in full waterfall mode.
            If you decide to live with an animal one of the things you must accept is that they will make a mess, they will ruin something you think you loved. Early yesterday afternoon I was taking my daily siesta, I had barely closed my eyes when I heard the screech of Mark. "Waaa... she's puking. On the bed, she's puking." he screamed. Sure enough, Bette had upchucked one of the most foul smelling piles of vomit I have ever seen, right next to me. It was a real soaker, we had to strip the bed and wash everything. Again, I expect such things to happen every once in a while. Mark expects the animals to be sterile animatrons that come when he calls them and go away when he has no need for their affection. He can't cope with whatever they may excrete. Which brings me back to Chandler and the stain on the living room floor. He isn't staining that floor anymore. I pulled the rug under my big fluffy chair, he's drooling on that now. I find that a good upholstery and rug cleaner does wonders.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Woo Woo Girl


Ambrosia Greek Restaurant Fort Lauderdale

Seventeen years ago on a Sunday afternoon I made small talk with another man in a bar. Yesterday we went out to dinner to commemorate that occasion. Mark had the Greek platter, I had the lamb souvlaki, we both shared a bottle of Greek wine. I really can't believe it's been seventeen years. Honestly, I never expected it to last more than a couple of years, but here we are. It is possible that I am experiencing a form of midlife crisis though I am not midlife. More like early end stage. I want to leave this place, I am tired of Florida, and I fully intend to be living back in the city of Chicago by this time next year. One problem, Mark. I have to convince Mark that moving from year round snow free living is a good idea. I already have him half convinced. His doctor isn't helping. She told him that the  weather would kill him. I think that's just a little bit crazy. If the heat, humidity, and hurricanes don't kill him a little chill in the air with a few snowflakes won't do any harm. Besides, I've promised to install a top of the line environmental system in the new house we buy, with humidity control and a hepa air filter. I've also pointed out that Chicago has better health care. Doctors up there aren't sitting in their office thinking, I'd sure rather be out on my million dollar yacht with my mistress and a glass of vodka. Chicago doctors only think of that for a couple of months in the summer. And then there is the culture. Museums, theater, parks, music, and sports. Okay, the sports is for me, but we could go to the theater and see a different play every weekend. Anyway, I'll just keep trying to woo him to my way of thinking. I have big plans for our August trip to Chicago this year. I'm going to try to make it so much fun that Mark will agree, we should move to Chicago. One more tactic I could use, but don't want to, Mark wants a new car. He hates the PT Cruiser that I told him was the last car I would ever buy. I could be persuaded.
Greek Town Chicago

Friday, April 11, 2014

Play Ball... I said, Play Ball.



Woo hoo! It's baseball season again. Another "exciting" season that starts while there's still snow on the ground and doesn't finish until the kids are carving pumpkins. I like baseball, I've gone to games since I was a kid and watched it on television for just as long. But let's face it, the season is way too long. Unless your team still looks promising in August, most people lose interest as soon as football starts. In addition to the fact that the baseball season is a marathon, the individual games can go on for hours and hours with little action. I have always thought that ball games should be cut to only seven innings. Seeing that I usually fall asleep by the second inning, I don't see much need for nine. I mean, how much nap time do I really need? There should also be a rule that says the pitcher and batter can only scratch their balls once per at-bat, and batters can only rearrange their packages in the dugout before going up to bat. This could cut at least thirty minutes from the length of a game.
            So yesterday afternoon I was watching baseball and thinking, how much slower can they make this? Well, they have found a way. Replay! Now every time an umpire is a little unsure of a call, they stop the game and go watch a replay. Not sure if that was a home run? Replay. Catcher blocks the plate, or maybe not. Replay. Besides the umpires discretion to go watch the play they just saw, the managers also have the option of challenging a play. Meanwhile, in the stands, the fans are getting more drunk and more bored. And at home, I've fallen asleep for five hours in the middle of the day.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pooping Tom?



Every dog has its own idiosyncrasies when it comes to toilet habits. The best dog I ever had for walking was Molly. Twice a day I would take Molly for her walk and when we would get to a particular spot where I thought we would not be seen, I would tell Molly, "Go poopies". Molly would immediately squat, drop, and continue on as if nothing happened. It took her less than thirty seconds to unload a load of poo. That was before I became a good neighbor and started picking up my dog's poo, so I appreciated her brevity. Chandler will only go along the fence by the church. He'll walk along that fence line until the urge hits him, and then he'll do the circling spiral of poo as he targets just the right spot. He is not brief, he takes his time, much like a fat man reading a magazine on the toilet. The worst dog for walking is Miss Bette. She's small, easy to steer in the right direction, and her turds are the size of my pinkie finger. So what's the problem? She will only poop near a house. Not just any house, but usually a house with a beautifully manicured lawn. So if I am in a hurry to get her to poop, I have to give her the freedom to go where she wants to go. A quick turn off of the road, up towards some strangers house, and then when she is directly under a window or very close to the front door, she will take a dump. I then have to hurry her back out to the street, hoping that the home owner didn't see that strange man letting his little dog crap on their lawn. Not so bad in daylight. The real problem comes at night. Nothing looks quite so suspicious as a man sneaking up to your house with a flashlight, stopping under your bedroom window, quickly stooping down and then briskly moving away in the dark. I'm not so sure a cop will believe it's not a case of a peeping Tom, but that of a pooping Bette.