Friday, October 31, 2008

Photo Friday

Halloween in Tinley Park, Parkside subdivision. Circa early nineteen fifties.

I think I'm the duck, but I'm not real sure. I would have been about 3yrs old.

I am definately the cowboy.

I'm not sure which one is me, or even if I am in this picture.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cool Cat

The weather here has finally broken, and I have been able to turn off my air-conditioning and open the windows for the first time since April. Last night the temperature plunged down to the lower fifties. It's that time of year when I dig through my dresser drawers looking for all my winter clothes. I don't have too much to look for, my winter clothes consist of two pairs of long pajama bottoms, a couple of long sleeve shirts, and a pair of slacks. That's all I need because if a cold snap were to last longer than a couple of days here, you can be sure the end of the world is near. Besides those clothes, I have a jacket for nippy nights, and a heavy coat for the one day a year the temperature drops below forty.

Around four o'clock this morning I woke up freezing, with Fat Kitty laying on my chest trying to suck the heat from my body. She has tried Mark before, but you don't get much heat out of guy who weighs less than one of my legs. One thing I do hate about the cold weather is that my allergies are exacerbated, and my sinuses swell up while simultaneously producing gallons of mucus. The sound of me drowning in my own snot doesn't bother Fat Kitty at all, she just snuggles in closer.

I hope this cool spell lasts a while. It's really refreshing. One good thing about the cooler weather is that the lizards go dormant, and Chandler isn't distracted by them when I send him out to do his thing. It's a pain in the ass when he comes to me in a panic to go potty, and when I take him out he just chases lizards for fifteen minutes instead of taking a leak.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


My ex, Garet, sent me a photo of the grave he put together for the cat that we used to have, Marlena. It is really nice and she deserved it.

I have had four cats and a dog die here over the last fifteen years, and they are all buried in my side yard. When I saw Garet's grave yard I felt like I was derelict, and a bad daddy. That's because I haven't kept their little graves looking very good. The Confederate Jasmine I planted has taken over both Nina kitty and Amanda kitty's grave sites, and Dennis' dog, Kiva, has a Hibiscus bush growing on her spot. A little further down is Roger kitty's grave. The problem with all of this is that the side yard also doubles as a trash holding area and a dog run, which means Chandler is doing his "thing" all over their graves.

In the back yard is Carl kitty's grave. Carl is presently fertilizing Mark's garden, and not doing a very good job of it. Carl is lucky though in one respect, Chandler isn't pooping and peeing on his grave every day.

Being buried in the dog run does have it's good points. I get to see them every day and think of them. I hope that they all understand why they are there, and don't pull a 'Poltergeist' movie thing on me. It would be very scary to be telling Chandler to go poopies and have a little cat claw pop up out of the ground and try to pull him under.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Let It Ride

When I was nineteen, my two second cousins and I took a road trip across America, from Chicago to California. It was the first time I had ever been more than a couple of hundred miles from Chicago. Our trip took us 2,100 miles down Route 66 to Los Angeles. We stopped at every roadside tourist attraction from a cheesy snake zoo in Texas to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon was a little bit more impressive than the snake zoo, and cheaper. When we got to Arizona, we decided to veer off old 66 for a side trip to Las Vegas.

At that time I was a naive kid who had never gambled in his life, unless you count buying those tickets at the carnival to win toys. When I walked into the first casino I had ever been in, Circus Circus, I was dumbstruck. While trapeze artists flew back and forth above, the loud din and gaudy lights of slot machines lured me further into the casino. I dropped my first nickel into a slot machine and a handful more came tumbling out of the bottom. 'Hey, this is great', I thought 'free money'. I loved it. The only problem was that I was under age, and before I could throw every last coin I had left into the slot machine, security zeroed in on me and kicked me out. It was probably a good thing, because I would have spent all my money and been stuck forever in Las Vegas.

I don't gamble much, and I haven't been back to Las Vegas since 1969. I do buy that suckers bet, the Lottery, every once in a while, but I never win more that a few dollars on that. Last week I took a small amount of my savings to try on-line gambling. I decided to try the biggest, riskiest on-line casino in the United States. The New York Stock Exchange. I could have just taken my money and set it on fire, or flushed it down the toilet, but what fun is that? It's more fun to watch your money disappear slowly. So far I'm down a couple of hundred dollars, but I figure the stock market has dropped so far, it has no where to go but up. It's not as glamorous as Las Vegas, but at least I can sit here and gamble in my underpants.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I have been letting Carlotta kitty back into the bedroom because she seems to be over her dispute with Fat Kitty. It was some months ago that Carlotta bit Fat Kitty on the ass, causing her to develop a pus filled abscess that sent her to the hospital. Unfortunately, Fat Kitty has not totally forgiven Carlotta. As long as Carlotta doesn't look at Fat Kitty when she walks by, all is fine. Last night at around three thirty in the morning, Carlotta must have looked at Fat Kitty wrong. I was torn out of a dream about trying to walk through a sponge filled house, by the screams and wailing of two pissed off, fighting kitties. As I stumbled out of bed, and fumbled around for the lights, the cats scattered to the far corners of the house.

I lay in bed for the next hour trying to fall back to sleep and pick up where I had left off on my dream. I really wanted to know why the house was filled with sponges. By this time Fat Kitty had retaken her spot on the edge of my bed, and as I lay there in the dark I could hear the unmistakable sound of a cat getting ready to heave. Again I jumped up, and flipped on the lights, but just as I grabbed Fat Kitty the contents of her stomach spewed forth onto the bed. While I was in the kitchen getting paper towels to clean it up, Mark started screaming, "Oh my god, she's puking again. Alan come quick, oh lord I'm going to be sick.".

Mark does not handle such things well. He is squeamish to the max. In fact one of my favorite things is to watch Mark step, barefoot, into a freshly ejected hair ball. You would think he had stepped on a snake and it had bitten him. He screams and curses, while simultaneously, hopping around on one foot. Then while I pick up the sloppy fresh hairball, Mark is bent over dry heaving. It's hilarious.

I hope all is quiet tonight. I really enjoy my dreams and prefer they just peter out, instead of being forcibly pulled out of them by screaming cats. Even worse is if I am jarred awake by Mark as he makes his way through the dark towards the bathroom, and steps in a fresh hair ball.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Photo Friday

Molly loved to lay on the sofa and watch daddy.

Chandler does too, but finds daddy kind of boring.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Plague Upon Your House

There they are, sitting helplessly behind the wire fence, gaunt and near death. No, it's not a Nazi concentration camp, it's Mark's garden. He tried this time. I helped him build his little raised garden and Mark spent hours out there spreading soil and fertilizer. He started seedlings in flats and transplanted them to the garden, and at first it looked promising, but within a few days it became apparent that some little critters were nibbling on his crops. Soon the nibbling turned into an onslaught. I swear you could hear the bugs munching, and crunching their way through the garden at night. So the promise of fresh vegetables out of the garden appears to be evaporating in a cloud of insects.

It is like we live in some kind of weird biblical vortex, where we are hit by plague after plague. I went into the guest bathroom last week and noticed what looked like dirt laying on the window sill. It was hundreds of dead bugs. When the exterminator that I keep on retainer showed up, I pointed out the bugs, and he said "winged ants". It's not bad enough that I have ants crawling up and down the side of my house, I now have ants that apparently can fly.

When I lived in Chicago, the only problem I ever had were cockroaches. Here in Florida we have roaches, but they are two inches long and fly. We have toads that grow to the size of a hubcap and ooze poison. Lizards dart across the sidewalk as you walk along, and late at night, when I am taking Chandler out for his poopies, I can hear something up in the tree over my head, munching on the berries that grow up there.

I don't know what kind of bugs are killing Mark's garden, but at least they have been well fed for the last few weeks. When I first moved here I was appalled that my neighbors, the Johnson's, had paved over their entire yard with concrete. I am not so appalled by that now. I understand their strategy. If the yard is concrete, you can see the vermin more easily as they crawl and hop towards your house.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who's A Pretty Doggy

When I was a kid, I didn't mind dressing up in ridiculous costumes at Halloween because it meant that we got to go around the neighborhood and collect candy. After an exciting afternoon of trick or treating, we would go back home and start dividing up the candy into categories. Apples, (people didn't put razor blades in them back then), popcorn balls, and anything remotely healthy, immediately went into the garbage. The most prized candies were the rare full sized candy bars, and those were quickly dispatched. As the days after Halloween wore on we would work our way through the chocolates, and into the bubble gums and licorice sticks, until we were down to the crappy hard candy. After all that sugar it's amazing I have any teeth left and I'm not diabetic.

When you get into your twenties, dressing up for Halloween has other rewards. You can go out totally incognito, get drunk, and hit on somebody that you wouldn't even come close to talking to if you weren't dressed up as the Hulk. As you grow older the allure of dressing up for Halloween wears thin. It's just a lot of work for very little reward, people don't even give you candy anymore. Mark still enjoys dressing up, so I humor him and tell him he looks fabulous. This year I told him to stick a mole on the side of his nose and go as Barack Obama.

One thing I won't do, and I won't allow, is for my dog to be dressed up in some kind of inane costume. Mark says he wants to dress Chandler up as a pit bull with lipstick, and despite my objections and strict orders not to, Mark went out and got a wig for Chandler. Chandler's self esteem was already dealt a blow last month when we had his balls removed, and the last thing he needs is to be paraded around town in drag. When Mark tried to put the wig on Chandler, he squirmed and fought it, but Mark persevered and finally got the wig on him. For a few seconds Chandler sat there, then in a brilliant move on his part, he pulled the thing off his head and ate it. So much for Marks idea of making Chandler a doggy drag queen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's News to Mark

Stereotypes exist in peoples minds for a reason. For instance the gay stereotype of the mincing, lisping, effeminate, gay guy. That guy is in peoples minds because he is the most visible of gay men, and for the purposes of television and movie comedy the easiest to parody. Black stereotypes are rampant because for years movies and television ghettoized them, portraying blacks as lazy, stupid, and violent. For most white Americans, because that is all they know of blacks, the stereotype is perpetuated. The fact is that the more you surround yourself with people who are different from yourself, the less prejudiced and bigoted you become. I have found however, that Mark does do one stereotypical black thing. He talks back to the television and movies.

My source for the news of the world has always been quite varied. I watch CNN, MSNBC, and the various network evening newscasts. I read the local newspaper's web site, other cities newspapers on the web, and many foreign news web sites. One other news source I watch for a few minutes each day is FOX News. It is, by their own admission, slanted to the right, but in keeping with my liberal views, I feel it is necessary to hear all points of view. A few days ago Mark discovered FOX News, and has become mesmerized by it. I was in the living room when I heard Mark's loud, squeaky, voice arguing with someone in the bedroom. "Crap, who is Mark berating on the phone now?" I wondered. I stuck my head in the bedroom door and there was Mark, in front of the television, gesturing wildly and shouting at the people on television. "Alan, you should see what these people on FOX are saying. How can they get away with this?", he screamed. So now every day, I can hear Mark in the other room, yelling at FOX News, and I think he is really enjoying it. I'm so glad he got a hobby.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hard Cell

I was just leaving the 7eleven store, and a guy on the way in was talking on his cell phone loudly stating that, "If I didn't love you I wouldn't ......". The door closed behind him so I never did find out what he wouldn't do if he didn't love that person. I am always amazed at the things people talk about in public while chatting on their phones. It's as if people think they are in Maxwell Smart's cone of silence, and can blurt out the most personal things without fear of being overheard.

It really makes me feel old when I think about how telephone technology has progressed in my lifetime. When I was a kid, we only had rotary dial phones, but that was okay because you only had to dial five digits to call your friends, now we have to dial nine or ten. Also, if you didn't want to pay for a private line, you had to share a line with a neighbor or two. It was kind of weird to pick up the phone and hear Mrs. Haas down the street yakking it up with another neighbor. If you were real stealthy, you could listen in for a while, at least until Mrs. Haas caught on and yelled at you.

Last Friday, I relented, and returned to cell phone society after a four year hiatus. Cell phones have progressed quite a bit since I gave mine up four years ago. They now come with tiny keyboards so that you can send text messages, and of course to use the keyboard you would need very, very, tiny fingers. So now I have my new phone and I can join the people who sit at opposite ends of the bar and text each other instead of actually conversing. OMFG I hope I don't get addicted. HAGO ;)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Photo Friday

Sign on Dixie Highway at the entrance to Wilton Manors, Florida.

I live in the gayest town in the U.S.A.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I have chronicled the clutter that Mark has brought into this house more than once. From his unbelievably crowded kitchen, where you can barely find a square inch of clear counter space, to the living room decor, which I think looks like a decorator on LSD was given a credit card to Bombay and Rooms To Go. Now it seems that we are experiencing 'Clutter Creep'.

By clutter creep, I mean that the clutter Meister, Mark, has started to clutter up other areas of the property. A little over a year ago I tore up my deck in the back yard and rebuilt it. I think I did a pretty nice job for a klutz who can't even hang a picture straight. For a few months it looked pretty good, and then Mark started to furnish it, and he hasn't stopped yet. Last week he told me about an outdoor bar he found at the Home Goods Store. "It's only thirty dollars, and it's so cute.", he enthused. So despite my objections about wasting money for something un-needed, the next day as I sat in my big fluffy chair, I spied Mark dragging a large box past the window.

So now we have a bar out on the deck, in addition to all the chairs, tables, and other crap. I don't know who will be going out there and ordering a drink, but we have a bar. I personally am satisfied with getting my vodka in the house, it tastes fine and does the job. That is unless the drinks are cheaper out there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It Must Be Hormones

For thirteen years I had the canine companionship of my beautiful black lab, Molly, and although she was a female, she was not always lady like. She ate cat poop right out of the kitty litter box like it was a gourmet treat, and often she would engage in licking herself in her nasty areas. Always, after these disgusting things, she would want to give me kisses, and even if I hadn't seen her eat the cat poop, her breath would be a dead giveaway.

When I got Chandler, I figured I was all ready for the mischievous escapades of a young dog. Having gone through Molly's puppy-hood and growing pains, I figured I knew all about dogs. I've watched him eat wallpaper off of the wall. He has chased Fat Kitty, only to be slashed by her razor sharp claws, and bleed all over the place (by the way it hasn't stopped him from harassing her). He has eaten my reading glasses, one of Marks shoes, and destroyed more than one roll of toilet paper. But I wasn't ready for what came next.

My friend Dennis had warned me. When I told him that I had adopted a little puppy, a male puppy, he said, "look out, they try to hump everything.". "Not my dog", I said, "he's been fixed. He doesn't even own a pair of balls. Why would he try to do the humpty hump?".

So today, because Chandler has been behaving like a big boy, I pulled out Molly's old dog bed for him. I figured he would be able to lay down next to my big chair comfortably instead of laying on the hard floor. When I put it down he immediately walked over and laid down on it. Great, I thought, he gets it. He got it all right. Within just a few seconds, he had pulled it up under himself and started humping it. It was then that I realized, I had given my adolescent dog, the equivalent of a blowup sex doll.