As much as I hated him, I have to admit, Billy Mays was a great salesman. Just by screaming at the top of his lungs he could get people to buy the worst crap imaginable. Trust me, Mark has a pile of stupid mops to prove it.
Getting ripped off by the television is kind of embarrassing, but getting ripped off on the internet is even more stupid. Over and over again I've received the famous Nigerian come on that if I help Oogullii Mooguuuli get his money out of a bank in Saudi Arabia, I can keep a million of it. There are thousands of variations on that theme, but if you are stupid enough to fall for it, I say you get what you deserve. So imagine my chagrin when I found out from my mom that I have been screwed by the internet. I ordered a beautiful bouquet of roses on line from FTD, a company that has been around since I was a child, for my mom's birthday. For fifteen dollars more I could include a bottle of Vera Wang perfume. Great, my mom likes perfume, I'll go for it. In the photo on line, the roses looked great, and the bottle of perfume looked to be of reasonable size. If the roses were the size of my fist, the bottle of perfume must be at least an inch and a half tall. Apparently FTD roses are only a half of an inch across. Here is a photo from the FTD web site, followed by a photo of my mom's big toe and the bottle of Vera Wang perfume.
One of them stinks, and I'm sure it's not my mom's toe.
It was forty six degrees this morning when I got up to walk Chandler. I know that for folks who live in Chicago, that is a heat wave at this time of year. For those of us in Florida, however, it is a shock to the system, and we start digging through the closets and drawers for our stylish winter wear. In the case of one of my neighbors it was a Chicago Bears sweat shirt. "How about those Bears last night, beating the Vikings?" I said after spying her shirt. "I don't know about that, this is my ex-husbands shirt. That bastard was always watching football.", she sneered back. At least it makes it easier to spot the tourists among us. While those of us who spend all summer here basking in the steamy glow of the tropical sun are bundled up like Nanook, the tourists strut around in shorts, and flip flops, oblivious to the forty degree wind chill. And you can always spot the assholes from New Jersey, driving around with the top down in their rented convertibles. Often with a couple of bimbos sitting on the back of the seat yelling 'Woo Hoo!'
Last night I watched the Bears on Monday Night Football, and although they tried very hard to lose the game in the second half, somehow they did win it. One thing I always notice when watching football late in the season, is how damn cold it is up north. It makes me feel so cold just watching those guys on the field, running around with no sleeves, or even gloves in many cases. Added to that are the shots of the crowd, and the inevitable shirtless guys screaming and cheering with clouds of steam billowing from their mouths. Monday night it was making me feel so cold that I was thinking of closing the windows. Then I remembered, I forgot to turn off the air conditioning.
I haven't been proficient at a video game since I hung out at a friends bar in Chicago, where I would win at Pac Man on a regular basis. It was 1980 and I was driving a taxi at the time. The only reason I would win at Pac Man is that after I'd drink enough vodka, I could tune out everything else except eating those little yellow balls. When I finally would have too much to drink, and I couldn't even concentrate on Pac Man any more, I'd drive my taxi cab back to the garage and go home.
A few years ago Mark put the Playstation2 at the top of his Christmas wish list. After weeks of whining, pleading, and threatening, I gave in and bought Mark his toy. In the first six months that the Playstation sat on the table next to the television, I think I saw Mark use it three or four times. It continued to sit there for a couple of years, unused and collecting a thick layer of dust, until finally one day it disappeared.
Once again I have been wheedled into buying Mark a toy for Christmas. This time it is the Wii game. One of Mark's arguments for getting this thing, was that you have to actually get up out of the chair and move around to make it work. "It will give your fat ass some exercise!", he cleverly argued. So we now have a Wii attached to our television, and instead of sitting on my ass for hours watching other fat men play football, I am sitting watching Mark and his friends play Wii Bowling. It's all very boring, even when I participate. As for the exercise part of it, I almost immediately proved that idea wrong when I showed Mark that I could get strikes and spares without even getting up out of my recliner chair. At least my wrist will be in good shape.
A television station in Chicago used to play this every Christmas. At the time I was very young and thought it was really creepy. Now that I am an adult and can appreciate it for what it is, I find that I am vindicated. It is creepy.
You may have noticed that I have taken down the poll for naming my two new, outdoor kitty cats. After five days of voting, it has been overwhelmingly decided by a two to one margin over all the others that Iggy and Ratfink, or Ratzo, are the favorites. So yesterday Mark and I went up to Pet Supermarket and got them new collars, and little tags with my phone number, and their names, Britney and Lindsey, on them. That is the great thing about having control of something like my stupid little blog. I can override whatever I don't like. Imagine the fun we would all have if I were the dictator of the United States.
This morning, after fitting them with their fancy new neckwear, I put some delicious seafood supper, and Purina dry food in some bowls for them, just outside the cage. I then left the cage door open, and went into the house for a couple of minutes. When I returned, both cats were nowhere to be seen. 'Damn', I thought, 'they ran away'. But of course I needn't have worried, they're cats, and a couple of hours later they were back wandering around the pool, and stopping by for a little nosh. They weren't even very worried about the big dog barking at them through the window. So I guess I have two new yard cats for sure, and they are young so it may be fifteen to twenty years of cats in the yard. Look out rats, and iguanas, Britney and Lindsey are looking for you!
My mom says I write too many stories involving poop. You know what they say, "write what you know."
I walked into the kitchen this morning and almost gagged. One of the cats had just dropped a load in the litter box and didn't bury it. These crazy cats do something I call air scratching. They go into the litter box, poop, and then start making like they are going to bury it, but they just wave their paws around in the air and then step out. It's like they are too cute and sweet to actually touch that nasty stuff. I quickly reached in there and buried it for them, and then went around opening windows to air the place out before Mark got wise. I didn't need to hear him gagging and puking so early in the day. The problem was that even after thirty minutes the smell was still lingering. 'Did one of those girls poop in a closet, or under that Christmas tree?', I wondered. Around and around I went, through the house smelling and searching. I finally found it. Not cat, but dog poop, caked on my dog walking shoes that I had shoved under the bed after taking Chandler out.
I live such a sweet life. One day I'm enjoying the aroma of Mark baking cookies, and the next day it all goes to shit. I don't care, the cookies still taste great!
Here is the reason I truly do not look forward to this time of year. Not only do I have to put up with my own birthday on Sunday, and buy Mark dinner and a gift for his birthday Wednesday, I also have to deal with Christmas. Mark thinks he is making it easy for me by telling me exactly what he wants, and expects to find, under that tree. The problem is that he also expects me to come up with one great, special gift that I thought up all by myself. So I am now in a full blown panic because I not only cannot think of something special to get Mark, the time left to get such a gift is rapidly diminishing. In past years I have given him jewelry, and tickets to Broadway shows. Then there is the time I gave him love birds, which I found out was a horrible idea because it turned out that Mark was allergic to them, and they reproduced like, well like love birds. We ended up with a dozen of the squawking bastards, and Mark going to the hospital.
No matter what I think of getting him, it turns out that Mark has something like it squirreled away here in the house or out in the shed. It isn't easy to figure out what to get the man who already has a house full of crap, but hopefully I will sort this out by Friday. If, by Christmas morning, I still haven't found that 'special something' for Mark, I may have to resort to some quick thinking. I always could tie a big red ribbon around one of those feral cats I brought home last week. Of course my prime rib Christmas dinner, might turn into a can of cat food if I tried that.
Mark made cookies. It's not enough that he is the best cook I know, now he wants to bake. I think he just might get as good baking as he is cooking, because these things are unbelievable. They are the perfect texture, and sweetness. He says that all they are is flour, sugar, butter, and cream cheese. I have already eaten most of them.
Darlene Love has done this song every Christmas on David Letterman since 1986, except for a writers strike in 2007. I happen to love it and look forward to it. Set your DVR's, she'll be on again Wednesday, December 23.
I seem to be getting sucked further and further into the world of Abandoned Pet Rescue. It's not that I'm complaining, at least it gives me something to do besides surf the internet, and drink. Volunteering also gives me fun experiences, like the one I had yesterday while walking Sandy, the leash eating pit bull. A well tanned and overly friendly homeless guy stopped to admire her, he introduced himself as 'Knuckles'. He informed me that he had just walked from Stuart, Florida over the last five days, a distance of eighty miles. That would explain why he looked so fit. After a few minutes of asking questions about Sandy, Knuckles asked me if he could have her. Unfortunately, as desperate as we are to get dogs adopted, I had to inform Knuckles that we had certain criteria for giving out dogs. Like having an actual home for her to live in. That seemed to dampen Knuckles spirit a little bit, but not so much that he didn't ask for some spare change before saying goodbye. Even more depressing for Knuckles is the fact that I don't carry any money or valuables with me while walking the dogs. It is a pretty sketchy neighborhood.
I help Abandoned Pet Rescue, and now APR is helping me with a problem I have had lately, iguanas and rats. They have received a large number of feral cats that were about to be euthanized by Hendry County, and I was told I could take a couple of them. The best part about it is that I don't have to pay the adoption fee, and I can let them live out in my back yard. I picked the little furballs up today, and I am thinking of calling them Itchy and Scratchy. For the time being, they are living in a cage on my back porch, and I am hoping that I can make friends with them. After a while I will release them and I hope that they will spend their hours hunting rats and iguanas out in the wilds of my yard. If anyone has a better name for the two new members of the family, let me know, I will put the best names up on a poll and the winning names will be given to them. By the way, I don't even know if they are girls or boys. They were a little too irritated when I got them, for me to check.
New info, I had to return the gray kitty because she was declawed. I got a wild kitty, also grayish, in return. There are still two kitties, and further research has determined that they are both girls, so make your name suggestions with that in mind.
I went out to get the mail, and on my way out I got to admire my Christmas decorating expertise. Yes, I stretched a couple of strings of lights down the length of the porch again. This time I changed it up a little, I also put lights on the front gate. The extra added lights caused me to spend a little more time out there being eaten up by mosquitoes, but I think it was worth it. So it took me twenty minutes this year instead of the usual ten, the end result is a beautiful wonderland of lights, or as my tenant Russell said, "It looks like somebody vomited Christmas out there!"
I eventually did get to the mail box and to my delight I saw that Mark had a special letter. Today Mark received the official word that he is no longer a 'Club Kid'. He is no longer a hip and happening thirty something. Mark received word in the mail today that his life is in the final glide path to old age and that he won't be allowed to stay out dancing all night. Today Mark received his invitation from AARP to come and join them. Mark is just eight days away from turning fifty, the official age that you become eligible to join AARP, and you know that I took great joy in handing him that envelope. He probably won't join, and will continue to be in denial for some years to come. I know I denied I was over fifty for years, that is until I realized I was turning sixty in just twelve days. It's hard to keep telling people that you are only forty nine when your hair keeps turning grayer, your balls keep dropping lower and lower, and you've finally begun to understand the appeal of early bird specials.
Mark is so gay he can't even put the Christmas tree up straight. Even as I was laying on the floor, securing the trunk in the tree stand, I told him it was crooked and he needed to move it more towards the window. "No," Mark insisted, "It's just right."
It was just last year that Mark lost most of his favorite, most expensive ornaments, when the tree came crashing down. You would think he had learned something from that experience. I certainly learned from it. I learned to stay the hell away from the thing until it falls, otherwise he'll find a way to blame me. Luckily, Chandler was with me in my office this morning when I heard the crash, and the screams of Mark coming from the living room. We were both in the clear, and there was no way he could say Chandler or I had done it. When the high pitched curses seemed to subside, I ventured out to find Mark sitting at the dining room table with his treetop angel in pieces before him. It seems that the angel had done a header off the top of the tree. "I told you that tree was leaning.", I offered. "Shut the hell up!", Mark said, obviously not appreciating my helpful advice.
The last I saw of the angel, it was laying on the table next to a bottle of glue, still in pieces. The tree continues to lean in a threatening tilt, directly towards my big reclining chair, because Mark insists it will be okay. Meanwhile, I have observed Chandler herding the cats under the Christmas tree, probably planning to blame the next catastrophe on them.
We took a few dogs and cats from Abandoned Pet Rescue to the Children's Winterfest party in Fort Lauderdale two Sundays ago. Two television stations were there and they took tons of video of us and the cute little animals we had up for adoption. We were really hoping the TV exposure would help get them adopted. Later when I watched the news I saw that they didn't run one single second of our dogs and cats. They did however put at least one of us on the news.
Mark refused to make dinner last night because the kitchen has the distinct odor of dead rat coming from somewhere behind the wall. He has sprayed every type of air freshener in there, and has scented candles burning twenty four hours a day. It was bad enough that the dead rat stink was in there, now it smells like a rat died while wearing a gallon of my grandmothers perfume. It has become more than I can stand, so I finally got off my big fat ass to try and do something about the rats, besides poisoning them.
After doing a more thorough inspection of our property, I found the most likely spot the rats were getting into the attic. Hidden up behind one of the awnings, was a vent in the eaves that had been chewed through by the vermin. After repairing the vent with a steel mesh screen, I went up on the roof to check on the stacks that lead down to the toilets. On two occasions we have had a rat pop up out of the toilet, and although it is entertaining to watch Mark run out of the bathroom screaming with his pants around his ankles, I really would prefer not to have to wrangle a rat out of the toilet. I hope that I have blocked the bastards from getting in, but they seem to always find a way. If they do get past my latest defenses I’ll know it, Mark has a very distinctive scream when he sees a rat.
I am so glad that Mark opted for the live Christmas tree this year. It means I don't have to go out to the shed and drag that heavy, bug infested, fake tree back into the house. Of course this being Florida, it is very possible that the live tree we got is also infested with insects, or even a lizard or two. Real trees come with other problems, like prematurely drying out. The trees we get are trucked down to Florida all the way from places like Michigan, then they sit out in the heat and humidity for weeks before we show up to buy one. One year Mark brought home a tree that started dropping it's needles within two days. When he realized that the tree would be naked before Christmas came, he removed all the ornaments, and lights, and then he dragged the thing out to his little Miata. It was off to the Home Depot return department. (Just a note to store owners, and managers, Mark will spend a lot of money in your establishment, treat him right and everybody will be happy. Just don't screw with him, it's not worth it.)
Mark was already angry that he had to un-decorate a Christmas tree, and as he drove over to the Home Depot, his anger built into a rage. When he got there, he dragged the tree in through the door farthest from the return desk, scattering pine needles in a trail all across the front of the store, and past the cash registers. One employee tried to stop him, but to no avail. Mark continued to drag the thing through the store until he reached the return desk with nothing left but a stick and bare branches. It could have been real ugly, with Mark in a full tilt snit, but it all turned out okay, and this is one reason we still go back to Home Depot. The lady at the desk didn't even blink. She said, "Do you want cash or another tree?"
Last Sunday we took some of the dogs from Abandoned Pet Rescue to the Fort Lauderdale Winterfest. The purpose was to let the public see the little darlings in hopes that they will get adopted. As of this time, the dog I brought, a black German Sheppard named Dean, has been tentatively adopted. Hooray!
One of the odder things I saw while at the Winterfest, was a lady walking her two little daughters on leashes attached to harnesses. They were exactly like the rig I had Dean the dog wearing. Now I know that parents have a lot to worry about, but really, kids on a leash? Did they transport them to the park, in a large cage, in the back of an SUV? I was tempted to offer the girls one of the doggy treats I had in my pocket for Dean, but my sense of decorum prevailed.
Sunday was the first time I have ever walked a large dog using a harness, and it was an eye opener. Up until now I have always used a choker chain to walk big dogs, and no matter how much I yanked on the damn thing, the dogs would yank back even harder, often resulting in me ending up splayed out on the ground. Dean is a powerful big dog, yet in the harness he walked by my side with ease and without pulling away. When I walked Dean later in the week, I put him back in the old choker chain, and he dragged me along for two blocks. My dog Chandler pulls the same way, and it was obvious that I needed to get him a harness, so this week he and I went to the pet supply store to fit him with one. After peeing on some shelves, and trying to eat one of the low perching birds at the pet store, Chandler finally settled down and let me put him in his new harness. It was a miracle! Suddenly the beast that has been ripping my arm out of the socket for the last year and a half, became a docile, well behaved dog.
All of this has given me another idea for when Mark and I go shopping. The only problem will be getting Mark to stand still while I put the harness and leash on him.
On the grass in front of the church where Chandler likes to poop are some AT&T switching boxes. Apparently one of the AT&T techs has become tired of stepping in the dog crap and has left a little message for all the dog owners who use that area.
The tech then went one step further, and spray painted circles around each pile of poop.
Now, none of those circled poo piles belong to Chandler. His dumping spot of choice is under the bushes about twenty feet to the south. No, I don't pick up Chandler's turds. They are fertilizing the oleander bushes, and I think the church should thank me.
About eleven years ago I got fired from a job because they claimed I said the word fuck in front of a customer. I was highly insulted and insisted that I would never do that. After watching this video, I now realize that it is entirely probable that they were right. If you had asked me before I played this back, I would have told you that I did not curse while making this video.
By the way, here is what I knocked off the wall with my fat ass. A picture that Mark had hung over the doorway. I only broke out the glass in the frame.
My back is killing me, and I can barely type this. It seems I fell a little harder than usual yesterday while walking the dog, and now my back and shoulder are messed up. I already have a 'Video Thursday' queued up for tomorrow, so come on back tomorrow and see me fight the rats.