Monday, August 31, 2009

All Along The Watchtower

I once lived on a hippie commune many, many years ago. One of the frequent visitors to our commune were a band of Jehovah's Witnesses, who would show up on sunny afternoons and try to get us heathens to listen to the word of Jehovah. Now if I answered the door, I would just send them away. Not so if one of the other dummies got there first. Let's face it, some of us were usually under the influence of some kind of mind altering substance, from beer to acid, and in that state of mind many of the residents would open the door and invite them in. It was a horrifying experience to come down to our large communal kitchen and find my hippy friends sitting around the table listening in rapt attention to the J. W. spiel. It was a real buzz kill.

My feelings for Jehovah Nitwitnesses knocking on my door are not the friendliest. In past years here at my house in Florida, I have had a couple of J.W. ladies come around. After telling them more than once that I wasn't interested, I finally pulled out the big gun, I told them that I was a Satan worshipper. Before I could get another word out, they scurried away, and never returned. This bought me a few years of relief, until last weekend, when I heard a tap, tap at my door. I opened it and standing there was an old man in his preacher suit, with a younger man behind him. "We'd like to talk to you about the lord Jehovah", the older guy said. This time I didn't wait, I immediately hit him with the Satan worshipper line. His response was, "Is that so?". "Yes, and I'm going to throw a satanic curse at you now.", and with a wave of my hand I sent it their way. Unlike the two ladies however, these guys just stood there and started into the spiel. I didn't know what to do, so I just closed the door and went back inside. Obviously these guys are going to be a harder nut to crack. I think the next time they show up I'll bring Chandler out with me, and give them ten seconds to get to the front gate before I let him loose. Hopefully they won't call my bluff, because the worst Chandler would do is wag his tail, and give them a lick.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fecal Regatta Redux

I had no story for today so I recalled one of my favorite stories that I have already done. I deleted the extraneous parts, that on second read I didn't like, and distilled it down to just the real poop.

As summer up north is winding down, and I see that the kids are all going back to school, it reminded me of summers when I was a kid and the games we played. One of my favorite summer games was the ’Fecal Regatta’. The Fecal Regatta, was a boat race that was held in the creek that ran through my home town. My brother and his friends would build small boats out of two by fours and other wood scraps, then launch them in the creek near the middle of town. I was on my brothers team and my duty was to run ahead and make sure the boat kept flowing freely with the current. Sometimes this involved stepping into the creek and nudging the boat free from what it had been snagged on.

Back in the nineteen fifties, our town had no sewage treatment facilities, no separate sewer line for storm runoff and no separate sewer line for household sewage. Every time you flushed a toilet, your turds and whatever else you threw in there went directly to the creek that flowed through town. Directly to the creek that we played in. Those ‘snags’ our toy boats got caught on, sometimes were not fallen branches but the raw sewage that we had flushed out of our subdivision that morning. There was also the occasional ‘balloon’ floating along with our boats, at least that's what my brother told me. Balloons? They were huge, bloated things, and all I could think was, where do you get such neat balloons? It was later in life that I found out they sold them in a machine at the corner gas station.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hippies, Crack Whores, and Drunks, It's a Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood

I have two neighbors who are moving out this month, the family across the street, and the guy in the building next door. Although I live in an upper middle class neighborhood, the actual street I live on is made up of duplexes and triplexes, and whenever you introduce the variable of renters into the mix, things get a little sketchy. The biggest problem is not the folks moving out, they have all been halfway decent renters. The problem is who will the greedy landlords who own the buildings, rent to next. At various times, we have had an old hippie and his dwarf wife living on our block, crack whores, rowdy drunks, bikers, and of course me. Now just the fact that the hippie and dwarf lived across the street wasn't the problem, I have nothing against hippies and dwarves. It was that they often got drunk and beat the crap out of each other, resulting in cops showing up to break up the loud, profanity laden fight taking place. Besides that bad circus act, just next door to them was a crack whore who used to live next door to me. Every once in a while she would drag her boney ass out into the street to ask passers by for money, mumbling gibberish while standing there with her skinny boobs hanging out. If she happened to spot me walking by, she would come stumbling over, greeting me like some long lost relative. Luckily, I was faster than she was.

So I certainly hope I get quiet, clean, neighbors to replace the ones moving out. If they are drinkers, I hope they are happy drunks and don't drag their fights out into the street. I'm tired of seeing the police out there every weekend. I also am crossing my fingers that they don't have too many junk cars that they want to park out front. It only draws attention to the junk cars I have out there.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Urethra Franklin

If you watch the evening news on any network, you might notice that almost all of the ads are for drugs of some kind. My favorite part of those commercials are the side effect warnings. Today I saw an ad for a teenage acne medicine that included possible side effects of hallucinations, suicidal tendencies, and the possibility of death. I know that sounds like fun, especially to old acid heads, but I think the kids might be better off if they just lived with the pimples and the taunts from the other kids of 'pizza face'.

Is it possible that many of the diseases that they talk about in television ads might just be made up so that the pharmaceutical companies can peddle their pills? Really, who ever heard of 'Restless Leg Syndrome' before seeing that commercial on television? For years I always figured all that jiggling before Mark fell asleep was just a weird, nervous tic. Now I know, thanks to GlaxoSmithKline, that Mark has RLS.

In addition to Mark's RLS, I have been able to diagnose one of my own ills thanks to the medical advice of television ads. Since childhood I have had problems with my pee stream. It has been a weak, thin stream since I can remember, making it really hard to win at pee sword fighting. Now thanks to the great Flomax guys out on that golf course, I can safely say that my prostate has probably been enlarged all these years. I admit that it seems a little strange for a child to have the prostate of a fifty year old man, but just like my older brothers clothes, I have finally grown into my prostate gland. The question is, should I take a pill to shrink the thing down to size, and what will the side effects be? I already hallucinate, and I'm getting the normal amount of sex that a person married for twelve years gets, so the trippy part and lowering of my desire to have sex don't really seem to be a problem. I just hope, 'possible death' isn't one of the side effects. That seems a little extreme just so I can pee like a race horse.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts

Sometimes Mark cracks me up, that is when he's not making me fat or driving me crazy. Today he was trying to keep Chandler from gutting the new toy that he had bought for him. Mark just doesn't understand that it's in a dogs DNA to catch, and gut small critters, and to Chandler the little yellow elephant that Mark brought home is just another critter. No matter how much Mark tries to stop it, it is just a matter of time before the living room is filled with puffy white stuffing, and the lifeless form of yet another kill. I think Chandler might even like his toys better after they have been disemboweled. He has a whole collection of carcasses that he has gutted over the last year, and they aren't just some kind of sick dog trophies, he likes to play with them. Never an evening goes by where he doesn't bring me a saliva soaked hunk of cloth with it's eyes torn out, to play fetch with. Maybe that's why the cats are so wary of him. After all, they aren't much bigger than those toys.

Today's toy is actually a stuffed animal that Mark got out of one of those claw machines that they have in the bars. It is of relatively low quality, and I have given it a life expectancy of just an hour or so. Even when Mark has sprung for the big bucks and bought Chandler one of those toys that are 'made for dogs', he has managed to gut them within a day or two. The funniest part is when Mark scolds him for being the dog that he is. Chandler just gives him a quizzical look, then goes back to the task at hand, ripping the head off his new toy. Sometimes I think that if Mark didn't occasionally give him food, Chandler would probably just look at Him as another critter. Albeit, a very large skinny one, but oh what a trophy carcass he would make.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pizza, Pizza

You must understand, when it comes to cooking and presenting food, Mark is a perfectionist. He not only delivers a meal equal to or better than four star restaurants, he makes it look fabulous. I, on the other hand, am like a hog at the trough. I will eat something right out of the refrigerator, still in its Tupperware container. If it tastes good enough, I won't even heat it up, I'll just stand there over the kitchen sink scarfing it down. before I met Mark many a dinner was eaten that way.

It started as a faint "help!" coming from the kitchen, and quickly escalated to a screaming, cursing, tirade. Before I could make it around the corner, and into the kitchen to see what the hell was up, the banging of the pots and pans started. Mark had a full scale cooking disaster happening. Tonight's dinner was to be homemade pizza pie, and all afternoon I could see, hear, and smell the preparations. Pizza dough on the counter rising into a yeasty ball, followed by the chop, chop, chop of onions, peppers, and sausage. Now, instead of seeing a lovely pizza pie on the counter, there was a misshapen mass of dough, sauce, and toppings, like a three dimensional Salvador Dali painting. Standing in front of it all, was Mark, red faced, and screaming. He was literally vibrating with rage. Mark's pizza had stuck to the large wooden paddle he uses to slide the thing into the oven, and it had folded over onto itself and then continued to slide off over the edge. It was ugly.

It was obvious that if I had been one second slower getting into the kitchen, the whole thing would have been heaved out the back door. It took a few minutes, but I did finally calm Mark down, and between the two of us, we coaxed the disfigured mess onto a pan, and into the oven. Ten minutes later Mark pulled out a bubbling, cheesy, blob and slammed it onto the counter. "It's a piece of shit! It's ruined!" Once again I calmed him down, and after cutting the thing up and plating it, we sat down to eat. It was delicious. Did it look pretty? No, it did not. Did I give a shit what it looked like? Hell no. I've eaten my own leftover cooking out of a Tupperware container over the sink, and Mark's worst is a hundred times better than that.
I could not get a photo of the pizza before it was cooked, and I had to sneak the one I took of the finished product. Obviously, Mark was a little sensitive about it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

For Sale in Beautiful Florida

For sale, lovely Florida triplex, located in the gayest little city in the United States. Lush tropical landscaping, swimming pool, and large deck in the back yard. It would make a beautiful bed and breakfast for some young couple to operate. Live in one apartment and let the other two (with an optional third) pay your mortgage. First 375K takes it.

Why would I want to move out of such a wonderful place? After all, in spite of the pythons, fist sized flying cockroaches, and iguanas that poop in the pool, it is a paradise. My only problem is the months of July, August, September, and October, also known as hurricane season. I'm just getting too old for this crap. As I write this two storms are aimed in our general direction, and the populace is already in a lather, buying up bottled water and canned tuna. (I don't know why, but people who almost never eat tuna, start hoarding the stuff when a hurricane is within three thousand miles of here.) As I close in at the speed of light towards the age of sixty, my knees are starting to give out, and the strength and agility that I used to have are going fast. You need to be hale to own property in a hurricane zone. Besides fighting the hordes trying to fill up their cars with as much gasoline as possible, there is the slapping up of the storm shutters, and clearing the yard of all things that can fly away. Because of Mark's propensity to fill the yard with crap that he 'needs', I now have to find a place to store all of it. Then there is the aftermath if the storm actually hits us. I have blue tarps for the holes in the roof, and a generator for those weeks of being without power, but I don't have a decent power saw for the fallen trees and crap that inevitably fill the yard. Just the idea of clearing all that debris makes me feel winded.

So there it is. If you are young, and adventurous, and enjoy the exhilaration of living through one of natures most impressive displays of power, come on down. In fact, if you bring cash I'll knock 25K off the price.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Photo Friday

Has it been a long week? How about some wet, happy, dogs to cheer you up?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Video Thursday

I found this interesting seeing as how I was born in Chicago in 1949.

Holy crap this makes me feel old.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Can I Be On The Death Panel?

I like to think that I keep myself informed and knowledgeable about things. I read many news sites on the web from Al Jazeera to the Miami Herald. I also watch all the news that cable television and PBS have to offer, including FOX News, or as I like call it 'News for fourteen year olds'.

This morning I was watching one of those town hall meetings, which was carried by all three of the big cable news networks. It was run by Arlen Specter, and unlike most of the town hall meetings I've seen, this one had enforced rules that everyone had to abide by, which resulted in the people actually being heard. Here's the problem. Most of what I heard was breathtakingly stupid. One after another they took the microphone and regurgitated the crazy rantings of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Again and again, I heard the word socialism thrown at the idea of health care reform. "No socialized medicine!", they'd shout "We don't want to pay for other peoples health insurance!". The problem is that these people don't know the difference between socialism and social responsibility.

There was once a time when fire departments were private companies, and if you didn't have that fire departments seal affixed to your house they would just stand around and watch it burn. Seeing what the socially responsible thing to do was, local governments created public fire departments that served the entire community. Now, whether you are poor and live in a slum, or are rich and live in a mansion, the fire department shows up and pours water on your house when you fall asleep with that cigarette in your bed. That is not socialism.

At least these town hall shouters have taken the other crazies, the 'Birthers', off the front page and out of the news cycle. Unless of course they are one in the same, and can only concentrate on one conspiracy at a time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Glen Miller, Now That's Music

My mom hates the kids music. We were talking the other day about my nephew and his mom going to see 'Fall Down Boy', and mom seemed perplexed by just the name. That's nothing new, forty-five years ago she said the same thing about my music, and even mocked a Lovin Spoonful song I was listening to on the radio. "What kind of song is that? Singing about a dirty neck, that's just nasty.”

Every generation thinks their music was the best and has nothing but scorn for the "crap" that the youngsters are listening to now. I myself hate, no, despise, most of the junk that passes for pop music today. It seems that every few months a new Disney discovery is foisted upon us, and we have to listen to some squeaky clean suburban girl or boy sing about their tortured emotions, accompanied by fake electronic music.

The funny thing is that the older I get the more I agree with mom. Forty-five years ago, you couldn't have convinced me that anything that was ever to come out of my mouth would sound anything like my mom or dad. Today I found myself screaming at Mark about not air-conditioning the entire neighborhood. The words I used were very similar to what my dad used to scream at me, although my dad's rant would have been more along the lines of, "I'm not heating the entire fucking neighborhood, close that goddamned door!". In my version, the word 'heating' wasn't used. Another thing my dad used to scream about was my choice of music. It was usually when he got in the car after I had used it, and the radio would be on my station, "Turn that crap off!! NOW!!. I was reminded of this the other day when I got in the car and Mark had some horrible radio station on. My response was almost verbatim what my dad used to say. The only difference was that I inserted the word 'rap' before the word 'crap'.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Coconut, and Vanilla, But I Can't Quite Put My Finger On That Other Scent?

I know I shouldn't compare my dog Chandler with his predecessor, Molly, but they are as different as night and day, and I never know what to expect next. One comparison is their bathroom habits. Molly would not only go poopies on command, but she would do it quickly, and in a nice neat pile. This made it much easier to sneak a load on a neighbor's lawn without having to pick it up. Chandler, on the other hand, finds the most manicured lawn, and takes his time circling the spot he intends to foul. When he has made enough passes, he finally starts pooping, but he doesn't stop walking in circles. This leaves me with a dotted line of dog crap, in a large arc, that I have to clean up.

This morning Chandler threw a new wrinkle into the process. I don't know if it is the coconut/vanilla shampoo I used on him, or if he is just nuts, but after doing his little poopy dance and dotted line of crap, Chandler nose dived into the grass and started rolling around in his own waste. In a panic, I started screaming, and tried to drag him out of it, but it was too late.

Chandlers usual routine after his morning walk, is to run into the bedroom, jump on the bed, and wake up Mark. I know what you are thinking, but No, I am not that cruel. After scurrying home, I gave Chandler a quick wash, and then I let him back into the house. He did his usual morning greeting to Mark, and Mark did ask why Chandler was so wet as he gave him a big hug. “Morning dew,“ I explained.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Photo Friday

I saw this photo of a dogs ass on the internet, and the owner believed that the image of Jesus had appeared on it, with Jesus' face being the bunghole.
So I took a photo of Chandler's ass, and to my surprise, there it was on his butt also.

Although, the more I look at it, the more I think Chandler's ass looks like Yoda.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Video Thursday

Mark has been complaining because Chandler won't leave him alone while he's eating. This might be why.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Face Plant

As a child, I was never very athletic. If you threw a baseball to me, it would be just as likely to hit me in the forehead as land in my glove. I was never the fastest runner, not even when my dad was chasing me down to mete out punishment for my latest offense. My lack of physical prowess is most evident in my bowling game. At one time, I did have a pretty decent bowling average and was welcomed on any team, but since the decline of my vision and the aging of my body, I have joined the ranks of those who are chosen last. It is just like being in junior high school again. In my attempt to return to bowling, I have had one team reject me after bowling with them for some months, and now, as my new team wallows in last place I can feel the pressure to succeed or get the hell out of there. It's a little disappointing.

I have been disappointed before with my lack of athleticism. Back in the seventies, I attempted to master the art of skateboarding. I was in my early twenties and still feeling the invulnerability of youth, so I went out and bought a nice little red skateboard. After some time learning the basics of it, and feeling secure in my abilities, I started to actually skateboard in public. I would carry the thing with me in my car, and if I saw a small hill or incline, I would stop and give it a try. Unfortunately I got cocky, and one day I spied a steeply inclined, paved path, that wound its way down to the banks of a river. While I flew down that path picking up speed, the realization that I wasn't of a sufficient skill level for what I was doing suddenly flashed through my mind. As my confidence waned, the board started to wobble, and at some point the board and I parted ways. I hit the pavement at around thirty miles per hour, face first, and skidded along leaving shreds of skin from my legs and hip imbedded in the tarmac behind me.

That evening I turned my skateboard over to my youngest sister, and the long descent into a sedentary lifestyle for me began. As for my bowling, I think I'll just have to find another, less stressful bowling league. I hear they have a bartender’s league on Monday afternoons. That sounds about right.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pee Dream

I can sleep almost anywhere, and on anything. As a child, I slept on many different surfaces, from my crappy little bunk-bed, to the hard ground when camping out. I even once slept on two motel luggage stands, pushed together, while on vacation with my family. I wasn't to be trusted in one of the motel beds, because all too often in the past, the places I had slept in ended up wet. It wasn't until I realized that the dreams I was having of peeing in the bathroom weren't really dreams (At least not the peeing part) that I finally stopped the bed wetting. I still have those crazy dreams of going to the bathroom, but at least I know enough to wake up and finish the dream elsewhere besides my bed. The good thing is that I almost always find the bathroom, almost. There is one case, many years ago, where I got up out of bed in the middle of the night, and for some reason opened the linen closet door and finished the dream in there. I was horrified the next day when I opened the door to get something out of that closet.

I am now a fully developed adult, and I sleep in an adult queen sized bed, on an expensive adult mattress. The only unwanted thing that finds it's way into my bed anymore are the crumbs that Mark leaves in it from eating potato chips while watching hours and hours of Bravo shows in bed. In addition to sharing the bed with Mark and his multitude of pillows, is Chandler, who can't seem to curl up like other dogs, but spreads out perpendicular to me with his legs straight out. This is all topped out by Fat Kitty, who insists on sleeping above my head, on the pillow, and occasionally giving my hair a tongue bath while I sleep. The amazing thing about this is that I can sleep like a baby almost all night on the six inches at the edge of the mattress that is left for me. At least it makes it easier to roll out of the bed when I have that crazy dream where I'm peeing in Queen Elizabeth's linen closet.