Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Oh God No, Don't Look in There!



I was sitting in the living room the other night when I realized that the back yard was totally lit up. The flood lights were on. I haven't turned those lights on in a very long time so it was kind of weird. I thought hard about how those could have come on. The switch is in the sun room and kind of hard to find. Did Mark turn them on, could one of the dogs have flipped the switch? The answer to both is no. Mark denied any knowledge of turning on flood lights, "We have flood lights?" And the dogs couldn't possibly have done it because the switch is four feet up and you have to squeeze between one of Mark's bookcases and Mark's dresser that he uses for storing cookware. Then you have to reach around the bookcase and feel around between the bookcase and the wall for the switch. There is only a few inches clearance, so I know the dogs didn't do it. Then I remembered, we had the real estate agent over earlier with some prospective buyers. That means those people had squeezed in between the furniture and reached around behind that bookcase for some reason. Seeing as the switch is not visible from any part of the room, I find that odd. But this isn't the first time things have been messed with after the real estate agent showed the place. One time we came back and the living room ceiling fan wasn't on. I hit the switch to turn it on, nothing. I tried the light attachment switch, nothing. What the hell did they do? Then I remembered. There is a master switch in the linen closet hidden up high behind stacks of dog towels and toilet paper. Sure enough, that had been turned off. Once again, why on earth were prospective buyers moving my dog towels around and looking behind my rolls of toilet paper? It's creepy to think people are being that thorough when looking through our house. It makes me wonder what else they're looking at, and worries me a bit when I think about the things I hide next to my computer.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Tragically Un-hip



I like the Grateful Dead. I've bought many of their albums over the years, and I've been to a couple of concerts. I'm just not like those nitwits that have spent their entire lives following them around, tie-dying everything they own. I watched the television reports about the Chicago concerts this past weekend. They seemed very intimate, like a big Grateful Dead Family reunion. If your family has like around 300,000 people in it. I don't feel I missed anything though, because I saw the Grateful Dead back in the 1980's at the Uptown Theater. Probably two or three thousand people there, and not a bad seat in the place. The only drawback were the rats running across our feet. The first Grateful Dead concert that I saw was totally unintentional. It was at one of those outdoor festivals that sprung up the summer after Woodstock in 1970. This one was in Wisconsin, and I had no idea what groups were playing. Some friends and I simply jumped in my Volkswagen Microbus and drove up there. So there I was, a nice suburban hippie boy with my long hair, my bell bottom jeans, and my Volkswagen Microbus, all happy to be at one of those hippie music festivals. I was very excited because I had heard about the sex, drugs, and of course the rock and roll music that could be expected. On the way into the festival I had heard that a group called Rotary Connection would be there. I had a couple of their albums, so that was cool. It was when I found myself in the midst of a bunch of tie-dyed, long haired, patchouli oil smelling hippies that I realized just how un-hip I was. As we sat around passing a joint, I mentioned that I was looking forward to seeing Rotary Connection. It was as if I had said that I like abortions while at Mass in a Catholic Church. They all looked at me and started laughing.

"Hell, you can see Rotary Connection any weekend in Chicago. The fucking Grateful Dead are here, man." One of the hippies scolded me as the others continued laughing.

 So I think I saw the Grateful Dead that day. I was pretty stoned, so I don't remember anything else about that music festival. I don't remember seeing Rotary Connection, I don't remember seeing the Grateful Dead. All I do remember are those asshole Dead Heads mocking me. That's why I do like the Grateful Dead, but I hate smug little butt-head's who think they're the cool kids.



Rotary Connection

Friday, July 3, 2015

Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations



The Fourth of July is sure different as a grownup, and by that I mean old guy. Outside my window right now I can hear firecrackers exploding while my dogs bark insanely at the front door. They apparently think somebody is out there, or maybe they think the cats are having a gun fight. I don't know. All I do know is that their barking is louder than the firecrackers and I am quite irritated by it. That's the difference. I am sitting in my big fluffy chair yelling at the dogs to stop barking, while as a kid growing up in the 1950's I would have grabbed a few packs of matches from the kitchen, and been outside with all the other kids playing with the firecrackers that we had purchased legally at the dime store. Yes, back during the Dwight Eisenhower era, firecrackers were legal in most places. None of this namby-pamby, nanny state crap back then. Kids played with fire and explosives. I have to say, it was a lot of fun. Sure, you would sometimes burn your fingers on the matches, or blow off one of those fingers with a cherry bomb. But it was fun. Who the hell needs two eyes. And speaking of eyes, it was always fun to watch one of your friends stick a lady finger in his sister's doll and watch the eyes blow out. But now I'm an adult and I am sitting here fuming at my neighbors who got their hands on some really amazing fireworks. I just wish it would all stop. It's dangerous, it's illegal, and it really gets the dogs upset. Besides, they have their kids out there and somebody could get hurt.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Three Scary Things



We have a water cooler in the little hall in our bedroom that leads to the bathroom. Every night I pass by that water cooler on my way to take a leak in the middle of the night. On the way back to bed in the dark, I usually stop for a quick gulp of cold water. I take the tumbler that I keep on top of the cooler and fill it with a couple of ounces of water and I then drink it up. Every time, every single time as I put that glass to my lips and tip it back, a horrible thought goes through my mind. What if there is one of those giant cockroaches in that glass? I never think about it before I take the drink, or any other time of day. Only at the instant that I've reached the point of no return and the water is rushing towards my lips does it occur to me. Of course there never is a giant cockroach in the glass, but that's no comfort because I know that one of these times it will be there.

Later this month Mark and I are going to Atlanta to attend a Mark family reunion. Once again, I'll be the lone lily in a field of red roses. I have no problem with that. Mark's family is wonderful, I've always felt welcome. My problem is that we have to fly to Atlanta. I not only hate flying, I fear flying. Each and every time I board a plane I have to convince myself that I will die some day, so why not today. I use all kinds of mental ruses to get by the fear. Sometimes I tell myself that it's just a big bus that's being driven down a very bumpy road, albeit a bus that flies. But my best defense against the fear is sleep. For some reason I can fall asleep before the plane even lifts off the ground. I've missed the drink cart going by more than once because of that.

So as of last week any two people in the United States who are of age, can be a party to a government sanctioned contract called marriage. Wooo hoooo... let's all get drunk! My problem is that I don't want to get married. I don't want any part of that contract. For the last forty seven years that I have been old enough to get married, I have been able to avoid it. I've had four people who I've formed partnerships of affection with. We've lived together, shared many things, even owned property together, but we were never married. All I can say is that the divorces were easy. Very easy, except for the time one of my partners and I actually got into a physical brawl. At least it was quick, kind of a gay quickie divorce. I don't see that happening this time. I think number four and I will be together until death do us part. I know that because I would be scared to death to even bring the subject of divorce up in this house. You have no idea just how scary a skinny black man from New Jersey can be.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I'm a Fleabit Peanut Monkey



Well damn it if Mark didn't do it to me again. I  mentioned that I really needed a haircut, so Mark picked up the keys to the car and said, let's go. How long would you think a haircut should take, from the time you leave the house until you walk back in the door? Even if you have to wait when you get there, it shouldn't take more than an hour. It took us three. He does it to me every time. I basically get kidnapped while Mark stops at different stores, sandwiching the haircut in there somewhere between Aldi's and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Despite being Shanghaied by Mark, the haircut itself was fabulous. I really enjoy the barber shop that Mark discovered. You know when you go to the zoo and you see the monkeys in there, one sitting quietly while another goes over every inch of the quiet one's body, picking off vermin, dirt, and other unwanted debris? That's how I feel at this barber shop, pampered like that monkey. I sit there in the chair while a nice looking young man meticulously cuts my hair. He not only cuts the hair on my head, but he trims my eyebrows and all the hair in my ears (He was quite impressed with just how long the hair in my ears were). It's not over with that bit of trimming either. He goes back and takes a straight razor to carefully shave a crisp hair line, giving me a very nice, neat and clean look. When it's all done, he slaps some nice smelling after shave on me and hands me a mirror to admire his work. I get all of this service for only twelve dollars, with the extra added bonus of Family Guy running non-stop on big screen televisions all around the shop. I love that place.