Friday, February 26, 2010

Photo Friday

 Today's photo is more of a snapshot. A snapshot of our lawmakers, and why we don't have decent health care in the United States. All these guys and gals who were elected by voters, are beholding not to the actual voters, but to the folks who 'contributed' money to them. The United States is number 37 in the World Health Organizations rankings. Two above Cuba, and right behind Costa Rica. Yes I know my conservative friends, WHO must be a socialist, commie club. I started watching that healthcare 'summit' yesterday, and I don't hold out much hope that any real change will come from it. People from the United States love to hate France, but they are number one in healthcare, and they've got some damn good cheese.

The following snapshot is from Open Secrets and Crew.

Ranked from highest to lowest, the invitees to the health care summit received the following contributions to their campaign committees and leadership PACs since 2005:

• Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) received at least $2,557,930.
• Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) received at least $2,223,985.
• Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) received at least $1,982,904.
• Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) received at least $1,897,093.
• Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) received at least $1,842,311.
• Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) received at least $1,646,218.
• Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) received at least $1,645,025.
• Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) received at least $1,640,375.
• Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) received at least $1,638,722.
• Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) received at least $1,384,520.
• Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) received at least $1,262,787.
• Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) received at least $1,225,900.
• Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) received at least $1,149,165.
• Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) received at least $1,088,360.
• Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) received at least $1,055,600.
• Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) received at least $1,033,079.
• Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) received at least $817,961.
• Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) received at least $726,434.
• Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) received at least $706,051.
• Rep. George Miller (D-CA) received at least $222,784.
• Rep. John Kline (R-MN) received at least $197,250.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Now I Can Fart In The Living Room Without Being Judged

Well the guest bed has been deflated and put away. I now have my office back, and I finally have control of the television in the living room again. Don't get me wrong, I love Dennis and he is probably the easiest person who ever visits, but thank god he's gone. It's just that I have a routine, and visitors disrupt that routine. Hell it took me years to get used to Mark living here. We get along pretty good now and the house is his home, but at times he still seems intrusive. Now that Dennis has left, I can walk around in my underpants again, and when I run for my bathroom for an emergency dump, the door isn't locked. (Damn, I hate it when I have to use Mark's bathroom) Most of all I will cut down on drinking. I think Dennis and I are a bad influence on each other when we visit, because when he lived here a few years ago, we could go for days without carousing. When we are seeing each other as visitors, we seem to feel obligated to go out every night. It will all start again in a few weeks. I am going up to Chicago for a wedding, and I am staying at Dennis' house. I think my liver will have had time to recover by then.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tourist Crap Trap

Let's see, go out drinking with Dennis, check. Go out for dinner, and drinks with Dennis, check. Go out to breakfast on Sunday for brunch and mimosas with Dennis, check. Repeat the first item on the agenda, a couple of times, and there you have the itinerary of Dennis' visit. I find it gets to be more and more difficult to entertain visitors, especially when the latest one lived here for eighteen years. How many times can you go see alligator wrestling, or take visitors down to the beach before you want to scream? And Mark's suggestion that we go out to the Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall, just isn't going to fly. I'm pretty sure that Dennis could find all the malls he needs in Chicago, and didn't come down to Florida to fight off Brazilians, and Quebecois over things that were too crappy to sell in the real stores.

Yesterday morning I got a brilliant idea for a way to entertain Dennis, I invited him to come along and walk dogs at the shelter. I figured he would be out in the fresh air, get to walk among the beautiful flora of South Florida, and get some exercise. It would give Dennis something to do, and help get all the dogs walked more quickly. For his first walk, we gave Dennis a dog named Tofu. Everybody likes Tofu, and although he has been at the shelter for a number of years, he is still a loving and friendly dog. Next up was Bambi, a very nice pit bull, followed by Pork Chop. All in all, Dennis walked five of the big dogs for us, and he did it without getting bitten, or stepping in dog shit. So, for anyone else who is freezing their asses off up north, come on down, and don't forget to bring a pair of shoes that you don't care about getting poop on. You can't say I don't know how to entertain.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What's The Green Hopper? It's The Free Bus For Drunks.

I was really only joking about being hung over all week because of Dennis' visit, and had no intentions of over imbibing, but sometimes events trump self preservation. Within hours of Dennis arriving, we were out and about revisiting all our old haunts. I do remember stating out loud that the drinks at the Alibi seemed pretty weak, as I slugged down cocktail number three. I also know that I have said that I try to limit my intake to three vodkas, but it was the two for one cocktail hour. That of course means that I still had a drink chip sitting in front of me, so not wanting to waste it I summoned up drink number four. After meeting and greeting old friends and acquaintances at the Alibi we made our way down the street to Matty's bar. It turns out that Matty's had very reasonably priced drinks also, and I am told that I had three vodka cocktails at that establishment. All I know is that the last thing I remember was flagging down the Green Hopper bus. I don't remember getting into the Green Hopper, getting out of the Green Hopper, or even walking Chandler around the block after we got home, but I am assured by Dennis that I did all those things.

What I do know is that I woke up at seven Friday morning with Chandler one inch from my face whining to go out, a wad of cotton in my mouth, and what felt like a giant vice grip clamped around my head. There really was no vice grip or cotton in my mouth, but the whining dog dancing around and begging to go out was for real. Forty five minutes later, I pulled myself together enough to take Chandler walkies around the block, with only one barf stop behind the bushes by the church. I haven't felt that bad in years, but I think it is a good lesson that I need once every decade. Three drinks are enough. One other thing, I found an empty bottle of wine in the garbage. It is possible that I finished off the wine from dinner after we returned home, but since nobody saw me do it, I say I didn't. But it surely would explain the absolute nausea I felt all day Friday.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Video Thursday

 I have 'grown' a little since I last wore a coat and tie. After this incident I swore that I was going to lose weight. That evening Mark put out a nice candy dish filled with M&M's, one of my favorite candies. He definately is trying to sabotage me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Second Coming Of Dennis

The 'guest' room, aka my office, is all disinfected and prepped for Dennis' visit tomorrow. It honestly took two full weeks to clean that mess up, including cleaning the drapes, blinds, and scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing everywhere. Most of the time was taken up sorting through all the papers from the last ten years that had piled up. It was quite interesting, kind of like archeology. Each mountain of papers was like reliving the past, and in the process I rediscovered a lot of crap that I had totally forgotten. Most of it was just stupid things that should have been tossed or shredded the day they came into my life.

Dennis has warned me that I can expect to spend a lot of time drinking over the next week, so in anticipation I have been in training for the last four days. My biggest problem is that I cannot keep up with Dennis drink for drink. He is Irish after all, and can drink me under the table. Hell, he could out-drink David Hasselhoff, and still be able to eat a cheeseburger while standing up. I tell you this so that during the next week, if it seems like I am not putting my all into my story telling, you will understand why. I will be hung-over. And don't give me a lecture about drinking too much, because it doesn't necessarily mean that I drank too much vodka. It only takes three drinks to get me drunk, and three drinks are not that much.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

So Big

I had a traumatic experience at the mall over the weekend. In just one short month there will be another wedding in our family, so that means I have to gather together the appropriate clothing for such an occasion. The last time I had to wear a coat and tie was eight years ago when my brother got married. I haven't pulled a suit or sport coat out of the closet to even look at one of them since. What a shock it was when I tried them all on this past weekend, it was like a sausage maker trying to stuff meat into a casing. Not only couldn't I button any of them up, but somehow my arms got longer, and fatter. I looked like Rush Limbaugh trying to squeeze into Ellen Degeneres' clothes, so it was off to the mall with Mark for a new sport coat.

As painful as it is shopping with Mark, this shopping trip was even worse. I started by trying on sport coats a couple of sizes larger than what I had at home. No luck, they were all too small. I kept on moving down the rack, trying on each size, 42, 44, 46, all too small. I had reached the end of the rack, there were no more sizes. That is when Mark said, “Okay, lets go over to the big and tall section.” Well I know that I’m not tall, just under six feet, so that could only leave big as the operative word. Thankfully the first jacket I tried on fit fine, and I didn’t have to keep working my way up to the coats for the obese. If ever I got the needed impetus to lose weight, it is having to buy clothes in the fat man’s section of the store.

As I write this I am starving. I have limited my intake of food today and when Mark asked if I wanted anything from Wendy’s, I said no. I am so intent on losing some weight that when Mark brought back a sack of smelly, greasy, food from Wendy’s, I didn’t even sneak into the kitchen and steal a French fry. Of course it’s only been one day, we’ll see how it is going by this time tomorrow. Damn I’m hungry.

Monday, February 15, 2010

And This Little Piggy Got A Haircut

I'm sure there are places here in South Florida that have dress codes, I just have never run across them. As badly as I dress, in the eternal shorts, sport shoes and polo shirt, I have never been denied access to any venue. In most cases I almost always find that I have over dressed for the occasion. I have seen folks show up at a funeral in shorts and flip flops, and tank tops are considered formal wear at the local diner. In fact I have seen people in flip flops almost everywhere you can think of, and no one has ever said, "Sorry, you cannot enter without real shoes." The problem is that most of these flip floppers have ugly, nasty feet, so you would think that I could appreciate a place where these disgusting feet could get a good pedicure.

On Thursday afternoon I took a walk over to the little strip mall here, with the intent of getting a haircut at the shop next to the Chinese restaurant. I had never been to this place before, but I figured I'd give it a try. Luckily they had an opening, and I knew the girl who would cut my hair from my old barber shop. What I didn't know is that this beauty/barber shop did pedicures. Directly across from the barber chair I was seated in, was a weird chair with a built in foot bath, and what you could call 'leg rests' connected to it. Seated in the chair was a fat, balding, gray haired old guy, and sitting on a stool in front of him was a middle aged Cuban man holding one of the old guy's fat feet, kneading it like a pile of bread dough. I don't like ugly feet, especially when they are attached to unattractive people, so I quickly averted my eyes and engaged Tatiana, the hair cutter, in conversation. All the while, in the background I could hear the sounds of the pedicurist manipulating, grinding, and buffing away at this guys feet. Halfway through my haircut, the pedicurist finished his job, and I relaxed a little. As Tatiana whirled me around in the chair I saw another fat old man come in and remove his athletic shoes and socks, climb up into the pedi-chair, and put his ashy old feet into the footbath. Thankfully I was whirled around in the chair again and didn't have to watch the rest, but I could hear each 'snap' of the nail clippers as the pedicurist moved on down the line of toes. I'm not sure, but at one point I think I felt something hit me in the back of the head.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Photo Friday

I'm not one hundred percent sure, but I think this is me with my grandmother. I know it is my grandmother, I just am not sure it is me, but seeing how cute the baby is I am going to say it must be me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Video Thursday

Here is a little update on the two feral cats I adopted from the shelter. They are doing fine, and aren't really all that feral. As you can see, Britney will let me pick her up and handle her. Lindsey on the other hand is a little more skeptical of my intentions, thus making it hard to attend that little sore on her side. I did get Russell to help me hold her while I put iodine on it so don't fret about it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

And Don't Pee On The Seat

You can't live with someone and not be ticked off by some of their idiosyncrasies once in a while. I know I'm not perfect, though close to it. If Mark buys a bag of Pepperidge Farm cookies for himself, I will probably eat them all before he even knows the bag is open. The remote and DVR in the living room are my domain, and if Mark starts trying to record one of his stupid reality shows on that television, I will simply delete it.

What Mark does that drives me crazy is that he can't seem to close things, or replace things when they run out. Yesterday he was complaining that the warning bell in the car kept going off, and the dome light wouldn't turn off. I went out and took a look. After spying the rear drivers side door ajar, I closed it tightly and asked "Is that better?". He also leaves toothpaste tubes open and oozing, pill bottles sitting around with the lids off, and empty containers everywhere. It is one reason that I use the guest bathroom and leave the one in the bedroom for him. That and the fact that he leaves the bathroom looking like a swamp every morning. The guest bathroom is my domain, and I try to keep it clean and tidy with everything in it's place, and all the consumable supplies handy and refilled. That is why I was so pissed when Mark scampered past me and closed himself up in my bathroom this morning. "Are you using my bathroom?" I screamed, "What's wrong with yours?". I think the muffled answer from behind the bathroom door, makes my point. "There's no toilet paper in the other one!"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cute, Isn't He?

Who is this beast that I live with? I share my food, my bed, and my home with this guy, yet do I really know him? I'm telling you, sometimes Chandler can do some strange things. Last Wednesday while going walkies, Chandler and I were passing by the same iguana carcass that had been laying out on the street for two weeks. It was squashed flat almost appearing to be part of the pavement, and had left a greasy smear in the shape of the lizard oozing out from it's body. In the blink of an eye, Chandler, who had been coveting the stinking mess for these two weeks, scooped it up. As soon as he realized that I was going to try to grab it out of his mouth, he began gnawing on it and tried swallowing the thing as fast as possible. I wrestled with him for a while in the middle of the street, pulling and yanking on the filthy treat, while cars made their way around us in a wide arc. Finally, with one great tug, I managed to pull a leg and the tail from his mouth. As I flung the body parts across the street Chandler kept chewing away like he had scored a piece of gourmet beef jerky, and then in one big gulp he swallowed. "Son of a bitch Chandler, are you fucking crazy?", I scolded him. Then I got a whiff of the hand I had used to try and wrestle the iguana meat from his mouth. The smell could best be described as a bum's sock that had been worn non-stop for months, and then dipped into a septic tank.

After making it home and scrubbing my hand under scalding hot water for five minutes, I called the veterinarian. “Those iguana carcasses carry botulism, you have to get it out of him right away!", she informed me, "Take a turkey baster and squirt some hydrogen peroxide down his throat. It will cause him to vomit the iguana.” After asking her to repeat that twice and questioning whether that was worse than the iguana, the vet convinced me to follow her advice. So five minutes after administrating the said remedy to Chandler, he barfed a pile of goo up in the back yard. Great, I thought, it worked! Two minutes later, in the bathroom on the pretty little rug Mark had in there, Chandler barfed again. This time the entire iguana, minus one leg and the tail, came up. As I bent over the mess and cleaned it up, the grossest odor I have ever smelled filled my nostrils. Between gags, I just kept repeating, “Who is this beast? Where is my loveable little dog?”

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snow Day

The sky is falling, or at least that is what the news people would have you believe. So a little snow fell on the mid-Atlantic states, it's not the end of the world. Just go out and play in it. I don't care if you are sixty years old, go out and take a sled down the hill. Take a short walk out in the muffled silence and enjoy one of the rare times the city and the countryside are quiet. You know it's only a matter of time before the scraping of the snow plow will break the silence and push all the snow out of the street, requiring everyone to go back to work and school. So enjoy it while you can. Here in our part of the country the weather is perfect, cool but not cold, sunny and clear. Just the right weather for a football game.

If you think the snow is bad in the Washington D.C. area, you should have seen the snow back when I was a kid. Drifts would be pushed by the wind that grew so tall I couldn't see over them. And if you think clearing off the sidewalks and driveway are bad, you should have seen my dad with his crew of offspring out digging for hours until he could get the station wagon out of the driveway. Yep, those olden days were really bad, I remember many times the snow being so deep it came right up to my butt. Of course, if my memory serves me correctly, I was only about three feet tall back then.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Video Thursday

We're going to see John Mayer tonight!

We saw John Mayer, and he was fabulous.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jump! Jump!

Well the office cleanup is proceeding at a very slow rate. It seems that each square foot I tackle contains so much shit that I have to sit and pick through, that it is taking forever. You will all be happy to know that I tossed out all of the old x-rated VHS tapes I had been storing in a drawer. It seems that the older I get, the less use I have for stuff like that. By the way Garet, don't come by and start rummaging through my trashcans, I smashed the things so no little children could stumble upon them and be scarred forever. Another thing I have dug up are old CD's that for the life of me I can't figure out why I bought them in the first place. I'm sure that at some time, in a drunken stupor, I heard Jump by Kris Kross and decided that I absolutely needed that in my CD collection. I have put that one in the trash with the x-rated stuff. One thing I am glad of is that wearing your pants backwards didn't catch on.

Now that I have started pulling things out of corners, and from under the desk, it is clear that I will most definitely have to disinfect. The dirt behind my desk is so thick I think Mark could plant a crop of tomatoes under there. Besides the dirt and grime, there are the cables. Yards and yards of cables, many of which are not even connected to anything, yet were left in place for fear that if I pulled them out, all of my computer equipment would come tumbling after. It's an intricate weave of old cables, dirt, and dog toys under there. I think it is a testament as to how long I have let this room go, the fact that I have allocated two weeks for cleaning it up. By the way, while I was writing this I pulled that Kris Kross CD out of the trash and played it. Maybe I won't throw it out.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Some Claritin Might Help

I think it's time to try and clean up my office again. Yesterday I found tax returns that I filed during the Clinton era when Chelsea Clinton was a child, and being a hedge fund manager was still just a wishful fantasy for her. I know that I often blame Mark for creating so much clutter in our house, but here in my office it is my lack of self regulation that results in such things as old Studebaker parts, obsolete disk drives, and worthless computer books filling up my desk. I need to have a new rule, if my computer cannot read it or use it in any way, it needs to be thrown out. As for the Studebaker parts, I just need to open an EBay account and let 'em go.

I will probably burn out my paper shredder getting rid of all the old IRS forms and receipts from years ago, but it needs to be done. My friend Dennis is threatening to visit, and the only place besides the living room couch for him to sleep, is in my office. I figure if I start this week tossing stuff, cleaning, and fumigating the place, it will be inhabitable for someone besides Fat Kitty, and Chandler by Valentines day. I also need to get a hold of one of those black lights like they use on Dexter to see where all the bodily fluids have been splattered. I'm afraid the area around my computer might light up like times square. I know that sounds awful, but I just happen to sneeze a lot when I'm using the computer.....   why, what did you think I meant?