Sunday, January 31, 2010


When I was a kid, my mom and dad used to take us to the drive-in movies all the time. I'm sure it was both cheaper and easier to deal with than taking us to a regular theater. Usually my mom would put us in our pajamas before we left for the movies so that when she got us home she could send us directly to bed, or if needed, my dad could just carry the sleeping kid up to bed. The only drawback to this plan was if one of us had to go take a leak. It meant that we had to walk between all the cars to the little shack where the toilets were in our P.J.'s. Maybe that's why I have no problem walking around the yard in my underwear as an adult.

Speaking of having to pee at the movies, it is one of the major reasons I don't go to the movie theater anymore. It is inevitable that halfway through, I will have to pee. At times I have had to go so badly that I have actually considered using the bucket of Coke as a toilet. Not wanting to get arrested for indecent exposure, among other charges, I just wait for the slowest scene and run. During Titanic, which ran more than three and a half hours, I had to go twice. Thankfully there were more than enough slow spots in that one.

Yesterday Mark talked me into going to see James Cameron's latest marathon movie, Avatar. At two hours and forty minutes long, I knew that at some point I would have to make a pee run. In anticipation of the urinary factor, I decided that the super, duper, grande sized soda would be no good, and settled for the smallest Coke I could get, only thirty two ounces. Even at that, about an hour and fifty minutes into the movie, I felt the urge. Unfortunately the movie had no slow spots, and was actually so good that I sat there and jiggled around in my seat for the last fifty minutes. If I were to review Avatar, I would rate it 'Bladder Bursting Worthy'. It is a damn good movie, and I plan to see it again when it comes out on DVD. Of course as soon as the credits started to roll I trampled everybody as I ran for the can.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Video Thursday

I'm sure many of you have already seen this video, but it always makes me feel good to watch it.

Then the kitten grew up, pissed on the living room rug, scratched Mister Ichy Kitchy Goo, and was taken out to another neighborhood and abandoned.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Juvenile Humor

I think it might run in my family. When I was a kid I remember my dad farting. Not just little squeakers, but full blown blasts that would puff out his pajamas in the rear like the Goodyear blimp. As for me, all it takes is the slightest divergence from my normal dietary repertoire, and I am tooting away like a Harley Davidson. I have seen a product on the internet for converting blasters into silent but deadly puffs of gas, and have considered ordering one up. The problem with that product is that it involves sticking a tube up your ass and leaving it there, and it does nothing to alleviate the odor.

My old routine of blaming it on the dog, or if he's not around the cat, just isn't working. What is worse is that for the last week Chandler has had some kind of gastrointestinal problem, and has been releasing some extremely noxious fumes around the house. Mark wasn't buying my claims that it was the dog farting, and kept blaming the rotten smell of sulfur on me. Well yes, I am quite the gas bag at times, but I have never smelled as bad as Chandler's farts have this week. I was finally vindicated last night, when Mark was alone in the bedroom with the dog. With me nowhere near the area, it became quite apparent who was stinking up the room. I'm glad Chandler has finally revealed his guilt. It allows me more leeway in the future for when I need to blame the dog for my indiscretions.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Put A Little Money In The Kitty

I am terrified that I am turning into 'The Crazy Cat Lady' of the neighborhood, or even worse turning into my ex, Garet, who collected cats like some people collect aluminum cans. Last Thursday Chandler started to go crazy at the window, barking and pawing at the screen. When I looked out to see what he was unhappy with, I saw my two cats Britney, and Lindsey, plus another little gray cat all sitting on the lounge next to the pool. My first impulse was to think, “Isn’t that cute”, but upon further inspection I saw that the new cat was severely injured. It had a large strip of fur missing on its back, and one eye was in bad shape. I knew it needed help so I coaxed it into a carrier, and brought it down to Abandoned Pet Rescue. After all, I volunteer there, and I have adopted three animals from them. I should have a positive balance, like a bank account. I take three, return one, and I still have credit for two. Unfortunately they couldn’t take an injured animal, they just don’t have the facilities for that. I was left with two options, return the cat to the streets, where it will probably die, or take it to a vet and have it taken care of.

I now have a little gray cat sitting at the vets office waiting for me to pick it up, and a bill for three hundred and fifty dollars. What is worse is that I have nowhere to put the little guy, who by the way is named Speckles. Yes I know, I have pretty much taken possession just by naming the thing. I may try to take the repaired kitty back to the shelter and see if they will take it now, since I have a two cat and one dog credit coming, or I can put it in Chandler’s crate until I find a place for it. What I can’t see myself doing is letting the little furball back out onto the streets, especially since I have invested all that cash in it’s health.

I hope that in thirty years, my nephews and nieces will not be called down to Florida to identify their dead uncle and help find a home for his one hundred cats. That would be very bad, and they would hate me when they found out that I left everything to the kitties.

The Real, Real World

I swear that sometimes I think I see smoke coming from the TiVo unit in the bedroom. If it could talk I'm sure it would be pleading with Mark to give it a break for just a day. God forbid that Mark should miss any of his reality shows. He spends hours and hours, every day watching that crap, and what he can't watch in real time he records for later viewing. If Mark isn't cooking, or sleeping, he is in that bedroom with the Real Housewives of whatever, Jersey Shore, Launch My Line, and every other show documenting the selfish lives of useless twits. On top of that he watches the shows that come on after the show, where the useless twits sit around and discuss why they behaved in such a boorish manner. Of course they don't consider their behavior out of line, their egos wouldn't ever let a conscience get in the way.

This morning I was passing through the bedroom and I heard one of these narcissistic, silicone implanted, botoxed, airheads on the TV sobbing, "It's so hard to live in Orange County, boo hoo hoo.... waaaa!" It was one of the 'Real Housewives of Orange County', and all I could think of were the thousands and thousands of dead and dying people lying under slabs of concrete in Haiti. Considering the likelihood of a huge earthquake in Southern California, her day may come and then we'll see how hard it is to live in Orange County. "Boo hoo hoo, the clinic where I get my Botox, and cosmetic surgery fell down! Waaaaa.... help, get me out of here, the Mercedes can't make it down the hill with all those bodies in the street!"

Of course reality doesn't always come around and slap people like that in the face. No, sometimes the self-centered and vain live a life of utter luck, and will never know real hardship. I just don't think we should reward it by watching them all day on television.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Video Thursday

Do me a favor and don't tell Mark that you saw this video. He was very emphatic that he didn't want it online. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Blight Of The Iguana

Well it seems that Britney and Lindsey, the back yard cats, have settled in nicely. They come when I call them, and Britney will actually sit on my lap. One thing about them however, is that they have yet to show any inclination towards hunting the various vermin that visit our yard. Just yesterday they sat sunning themselves next to the pool, while just three feet away a pigeon strutted back and forth, picking up the crumbs of leftover cat food. I guess they really are like Britney and Lindsey, and thought the pigeon was just there to clean up after them.

One of the critters I expected the cats to help control were the iguanas. This past summer the yard was infested with them, and while they do look exotic and add to the tropical ambience, they eat the flowers and other plants. Luckily nature sometimes takes care of things. The first two weeks of January took us through the longest cold spell that I can ever remember in the twenty one years I have lived here. Iguanas cannot take more than two days of below forty degree temperatures, and after the first day of such cold they were dropping out of the trees in a semi-conscious state. By the second day of frigid temperatures they were starting to die, and now I am coming across dead iguanas everywhere. Actually I am not finding them on my own, Chandler is finding them in among the bushes, and dragging them out to where I can get them. I don't think Chandler is actually pulling them out for me, as much as he is trying to get them out to where he can munch on them more easily. I just have to be alert, because he can swallow the small ones faster than I can suck down a vodka cocktail.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's a Neighborly Day in This Beautywood

Click on Play

You might think that because I am writing about another neighbor problem that I am hard to get along with. That is not true, I just have a few assholes for neighbors. When I was growing up we had a problem neighbor next door, and I remember my mom chasing the guy out of our yard with a broom when he came over to complain that my sister Susie and I were throwing rocks at his yard. At the time she and I thought it was hilarious to see a gigantic, grown man running from our tiny little mother, but the fact is we were throwing rocks into his yard. Maybe because of the experience of having bad neighbors as a kid, I try very hard to be cordial and respectful of everyone up and down my block.

One thing that I do when new people move in is introduce myself. My newest neighbors moved in last week, and I went over to say hello. Instead of returning the greeting, the woman turned to me and said that our street looked like crack town. I just told her, "Nice to meet you." and walked away.  At that point I knew we were going to have a problem with her.

It turns out that I was right. The first three days after they moved in she kept parking on my property, so I left her a nice note explaining that the spot she was in was reserved for my tenants, and me. Now most people would respect that and do the right thing, not this woman. The next time she saw me, she tore into me, calling me rude and a few other things. The more I tried to explain that I was just trying to point out where it was acceptable to park, the crazier she got. Finally her husband/boy friend stepped in between us, and gave me a threatening look. I just said "Fine", and turned around and walked away, thinking to myself, "He's the one that has to live with her, not me.". By the way, the new no parking sign from the towing company is on order.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Names in this post have been changed (just a little) so as to not cause bad feelings.

I was retrieving the garbage can from the curbside a couple of days ago, and my neighbor from next door stopped me. "Hey Alan, I see your wireless router isn't working anymore. I told the kids not to stay on it too long, but they never listen to me. It didn't cost you any more for our using your internet connection, did it?". Son of a bitch, I thought to myself as I stood there dumbfounded by the sheer balls of this guy. I had seen the lights on my modem flickering madly one night, and I knew that no computers in the house were on. I figured somebody was using my connection. When I did a quick check of the network I saw that a computer with my tenants name on it was connected. I immediately reconfigured the router so that it was now secured, and only the three computers I authorized would be able to use it. Now I find out that not only were the tenants in my own building stealing my internet, but apparently the whole neighborhood was saving on paying for DSL by connecting to 'Alan'. As I stood there mumbling and stuttering, "Ah, yeah, ah that's okay Kelvin, it didn't cost me any more. I ah, ah, yeah, right.......", all I could think of was his unsupervised kids trolling for porn and other things on my internet connection.

The fact that I left my router unprotected cannot be defended, or excused. I knew I was vulnerable, but I was in such a hurry to get everything going I just bypassed the security part, thinking "I'll just do that when I have more time." It is now totally secure, but it has made me quite paranoid. Were there people parked out front, sitting in their cars with laptops, accessing things that could get me in trouble? And what about the neighbor kids? What kind of sick things could they have been looking at? Am I responsible for corrupting them? Whatever the answer, they will now have to go to the library to update their facebook and twitter. I'm not the ISP for my block anymore.

Now that the internet thing has been taken care of, I think maybe I should look into that cable strung across the fence from my satellite dish to the other neighbor's bedroom window.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Photo Friday

One of my favorite actors, Michael C. Hall from Six Feet Under and Dexter, announced that he has been going through treatment for Lymphoma, a form of cancer.

In 1988 I went through twelve weeks of chemo therapy for Lymphoma, and I am still kicking. Here is a photo of me after all my hair fell out. Not an eyebrow, not an eyelash, nor any facial hair. Not a hair anywhere, I repeat, not anywhere.

I wish Michael C. Hall all the best and hope he is back for Dexter this coming season. I am addicted to that show.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Did I Just Hear A Bone Crack?

When I heard the screams and the thud, thud, thud, I wondered, what is happening to those poor little kids next door? I raced outside to see if someone needed help. When I peeked through the fence, and saw what was happening, all I could think of was, what is wrong with those horrible brats? It seems that my neighbor has given his kids a trampoline to play on, and the air was simply being filled with irritating screams of childhood exuberance. We'll see how much fun it is when the paramedics are carting one of them off after they do a back flip into the side of the shed.

I grew up in a suburban subdivision that was crawling with kids, but here on our street children are a rarity. Our block is made up of mostly gay men, trailer park trash, and old farts, or in some cases all of the above. I happen to be the lucky guy that is sandwiched between the only two homes containing screaming, fighting, playing, children. I'm sure that when I was a kid we never caused any irritation to the adults. All our neighbors totally loved the family that had eleven children, the spawn of Al and Lila, living among them. Really, compared to their children, my brother and sisters, and I, were like angels. At least that's what I tell myself when I sit here listening to all the crap going on just over the fence, outside my office window. I suppose it could be worse. My real dread is for the future, when they all turn into teenagers. Hopefully by that time huge sub-woofers in the trunk of the car, and rap music will be passé.
  1956 or so, On the far left is my sister Peggy, with me in front of her. Two over is my little sister Sue with the lovely fur trimmed coat.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Piece Of Cake

When we were growing up, my dad had a strict budget. In that budget his eleven children were referred to as tax deductions, and it had no provisions for my mom to upgrade her home’s décor more than once every twenty years. Mom realized that to get the things she wanted, she had to take things into her own hands. So my mom started her own little business, she baked cakes. Mostly wedding cakes, but she would also do party cakes. One of my all time favorites was her ‘Boob’ cake, basically a sheet cake cut in the form of a woman with two inverted cupcakes in the appropriate locations. Mind you, this is the same woman who chastised me in fourth grade, for drawing a picture in my notebook of a woman with big boobs.

Over the last few weeks Mark has taken up baking. He did a delicious red velvet cake for Thanksgiving, baked some amazing cookies for Christmas, and now he has started baking bread. All these things he does from scratch, there are no box mixes involved. Last night he baked another cake, and a third of it has already been scarfed down. All this has led me to suggest that he follow in my mom’s footsteps, and start his own wedding cake business. Of course if they ever decide to totally destroy all the heterosexual marriages out there by passing gay marriage, Mark would be perfectly positioned for that market. In the meantime he can do wedding cakes, civil commitment cakes, and all kinds of party cakes. There is only one thing I don’t ever want to see, and that is Mark building a ‘Boob’ cake in the shape of my head. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

They're Kind Of Like A Hospital Gown For Eskimos

For the last couple of years I have been snickering at the Slanket, and Snuggie commercials, feeling quite smug that I would never be so stupid as to buy one of those silly things. That was until I spent the last ten days here in sunny, warm Florida, freezing my ass off. Right now I would love a Slanket, and some thermal long underpants to wear under it. I have lived here for twenty one years, and I have never experienced such a prolonged cold snap. Usually it’s one deeply cold night with a couple of very cool nights on either side of that, finished off with a rapid warm up. What really pisses me off is that I was depending on global warming to make moving back to Chicago feasible. Even if Al Gore is right on all counts when it comes to the environment, I don’t think we’ll see palm trees in Lincoln Park in my lifetime.

Another problem with the cold is that it is pointing out to me that my body is really sixty years old. I have been experiencing some totally new aches and pains over the last week that I am convinced are caused by the weather. I think it might even be affecting my mind, because I have had a number of brain farts since the extreme cold has invaded Florida. Last Monday, after bowling, I took off my bowling shoes, pulled my street shoes out of the bag, put my bowling shoes back on, and stuffed my street shoes back into the bag which I then returned to the locker. It wasn’t until I had walked Chandler all the way around the block that night, that I realized I was wearing bowling shoes. I’ll find out how it affected them when I bowl tonight. I’m pretty sure that I removed most, if not all, of the dog shit I stepped in, but it doesn’t really matter, my game stinks anyway.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Photo Friday

Thank You Peggy!
My sister sent me a nice calendar for my office.

But on further inspection, she may have meant it for my bathroom.

It's a monthly tribute to dog shit. For real, each month has a lovely photo of dog shit in a scenic location.

I am not obsessed with poop. I hate poop. I wish I never had to poop. I wish my dog and cats never had to go poop. The reason it shows up on my blog so much is that it is funny. Yes, poop is funny. Stepping in poop is funny. Pooping your pants is funny. Even the word poop is funny. My sister is also funny. Funny like stepping in poop.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Video Thursday

Chandler can be sleeping soundly, yet if he hears the faintest crinkle of food packaging, or the sound of my foot tip toeing out of the room, he wakes up. Nothing seems to get by him. Yet here he is with the surround sound blasting Metallica.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Hard Life

I am dreaming and suddenly the sound of a fire engine siren interrupts, but it is not a fire engine. I open my eyes and there is the face of my dog, six inches from mine, and he's whining to go out. It's time for my first chore of the day, walking Chandler around the block. During his walk, Chandler has tried to attack two spandex clad guys on bicycles, one school bus, and a speed-walking lady who just might have pooped her pants when Chandler charged crazily at her, until he hit the end of the leash.

After dog walking, the next chore on my list is to feed the cats, and then scoop out their litter box. I guess the cats need to pass the food through their systems for nourishment, but from what I see of the stuff that I scoop out of the can, it could just as easily be dumped directly into the litter box. It looks and smells the same as what's in there. After cleaning the cat box, if Mark hasn't done something to piss me off, I will wash my hands and make him his breakfast. If he has pissed me off, I will just make him his breakfast.

This is just the first couple of hours of my day. I still have more cat feedings, dog walkings, and a blog to write. I have a busy, busy day ahead.  But I can't think about that now. I'm pooped, and I have to go take a nap. I'll be able to get a few winks in before I hear that whining again. I just hope Mark doesn't start too soon.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Doggy Style

Last night I woke up with all the covers off me, and only about five inches of room left for me to sleep on. The fact that my ass was freezing, and I was teetering on falling out of bed can be traced back about a year, and blamed squarely on Mark. When Chandler was a young dog, and not yet fully grown, Mark invited him up into our bed so that he wouldn't bother Mark's sister who was staying over. Bad move. Ever since that familial visit, Chandler has been sleeping in our bed. Unfortunately, he continued growing and now rivals Mark for weight and mass.

It got particularly bad early this morning after Chandler wedged himself between Mark and me. Most dogs curl up when they go to sleep, especially on cold nights. Not my dog, he lays full out, top to bottom, and then stretches his legs straight out. My usual ploy is to lift him and slide him over towards Mark's side of the bed. That usually gets me enough room. This morning around four o'clock, I was awakened by four fur covered battering rams pushing me off the side of the bed.

Obviously we have to do something about this. I can't have a dog dictating who gets to sleep in bed and who has to sleep on the floor. So starting tonight I am putting my foot down, and I will be the one sleeping comfortably in my bed. The only problem we will have is finding a place on the floor for Mark where I won't step on him when I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Thank You Baby Jesus, It's Finally Over.

Anybody who has heard Mark go nuts, knows that his shrill, banshee, voice can be heard by dogs miles away. Right now Chandler and I are enduring that shrillness, as Mark goes off the deep end over the fact that one of his Christmas ornaments is missing.

Mark has the uncanny ability to know exactly what piece of crap, out of the thousands that he has filled this house with, has disappeared. Over the years I have surreptitiously tried to get rid of some of the clutter around here. I will identify a piece that hasn’t been used or even noticed in ages, and sneak it into the trash. Invariably, within one month, Mark will come to me and ask, what happened to this or that thing. I usually tell him that it is around somewhere, and that I just saw it a few days before. After a few days of frustrating searching, he gives up and forgets about it.

Today Mark started to un-decorate the Christmas tree. As he removed them, he methodically laid out all the ornaments on the dining room table, while taking mental inventory of each one. It seems that he knows each and every ornament personally, and when one of them goes missing, he goes batshit crazy. “What the hell happened to my Molly Dog ornament?”, he screamed. This is the point where I  should have said that I didn’t know, but for some reason I told him the truth. “It fell off the tree, and Chandler chewed her legs off. I threw it away.” Mark started vibrating, and then exploded, “What, WHAT? THAT MUTT ATE MY MOLLY DOG??”

So that’s why Chandler and I are now hiding in my office. Chandler was the quickest to make it in here, and got the good spot behind my chair. I on the other hand, have taken the full force of Mark’s ire, which is okay because I’m used to it. Chandler however, has no idea what has made the skinny daddy so angry. He only knows that the best place to hide is behind fat daddy.