Monday, February 28, 2011

Interior Designs, by Mr. Mark

Before I met Mark my home was much like some kind of hippy pad, or as my friend Dennis referred to it, 'early college dorm'. There is a myth out there that the gays know how to decorate, but the truth is much different. My home decorating skills have never progressed past the stage of my teenage bedroom. A big poster of Faye Dunaway, a funky little stereo, some books on a shelf, and I was good. By the time I hit my forties, I had added a floral patterned sofa, framed sports crap, and a television. When Mark moved in, he took one look and said, "This has got to go.".

The first thing Mark did was to paint the living room. In a rush of artistic fervor, he slapped on a coat of ochre colored paint, and then went back over it with a rag to give it texture. It took him almost a week to finish, and when he was done there was ochre paint spattered everywhere, including a bit on my dog Molly. Despite all that it was still an improvement and in fact it looked quite nice.

That was thirteen years ago, and our very stylish, rag painted living room is looking a bit dowdy now. So, Mark has decided that the living/dining room area must be repainted, which I am all for except for the fact that it won't be Mark painting it this time. Remember, he can't breathe. All the labor will fall on me, even though I have pointed out that I'm ten years older than Mark, have tendinitis, and I don't really see what's so wrong with the old worn paint job. Unfortunately Mark is like a runaway train when he starts on these things, and I will have to paint.

So now I have different paint samples dotting the walls, as Mark tries to make up his mind which color looks best. He has picked out a light blue, a light sage, and a darker green. My favorite is the light sage. I don't like the blue because the bedroom and the kitchen are already blue, and the dark green reminds me too much of the puking scene in the movie, The Exorcist. Of course what I like doesn't really matter that much. In fact Mark is at Home Depot right now picking up a few more color samples. If Mark keeps slapping up these different samples, he will eventually cover the entire room, which would be fine by me. I'd just leave it like that and call it my new 'style'. After all, who's going to question a gay man's sense of style.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Adopt a Dog Friday

He is one or two years old, and very, very affectionate.
Kobi was a stray found in Broward County Florida. Obviously Kobi
is a name the shelter gave him so you could name him whatever you want.
Right now I just say 'cookie' and he snaps to attention.
In this photo I was trying to show off his baby blue eyes. Yes, they are
actually baby blue. Kobi thought I wanted to play, so the picture isn't quite the best.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's Like a Bad Dream

I watched in horror as another little kitty got run over by a car. This was the third one, except this time the kitty managed to survive by hiding in a deep pot hole, emerging unscathed after the car had passed. It was relentless, kitty after kitty running out into traffic while I lay there powerless to stop them. Just then a loud siren sounded and the carnage stopped. What was that sound? I slowly awoke, realizing I was in bed having a bad dream.
"Whaaa......hell.... ", the words stumbling out of my mouth as I quickly sat up.
"It's the oxygen machine. I can't breath." Mark rasped.

Mark has problems. He hasn't needed the oxygen machine for a few years now, so I knew it had to be bad. Recent visits from friends and family on vacation, and the reports of a virulent respiratory ailment made me worry. "It's those damn germ infested northerners.", I wailed. Never mind the fact that one of Mark's favorite hangouts is a dance bar where smoking is allowed. Or, the fact that we have dust bunnies the size of actual bunnies under our bed. I was sure he had the northern visitor flu.

Mark is in the hospital as I write this. He says he feels much better now, but he always says that so I won't leave him there. He is under very good care, and getting the medicines he needs including Ambien, which means he won't be calling me in the middle of the night. For that I thank the doctor.

There is one bright spot in this little health crisis. I insisted that Mark cancel his Oscar party on Sunday, and with the backing of his doctor, I prevailed. This has turned out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise. Tonight I will only have to share the bed with two dogs, who will have the whole other half of the mattress to stretch out on, and Sunday night I'll be able to watch the Academy Awards in my big fluffy chair, in my underwear.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And The Winner Is....

Mark is having a party Sunday. It's an Oscar party where each invitee pays five dollars and is given a ballot. At the end of the night, if you have picked the most winners, you win the pot of money. I'm sure it'll be fun for someone, but not for me. I don't give a rats ass about the Oscars, nor do I usually enjoy Mark's parties. That's because while Mark does all the food preparation, and receives the glory for throwing such a spectacular spread, I am the one who cleans.

Before the party I am Mark's slave. I clean the house, and clean the yard while at the same time responding to orders Mark squawks at me. Afterwards, while Mark is recovering from all the festivities, I am the schmuck who again cleans the house and the yard. In fact I am usually already in the kitchen, scraping food off the walls, and scrubbing it all down, while everyone else is getting drunk on my liquor.

Mark has done the Oscar thing once before. It was very nice, and as is his way, he produced a great party. The only thing is, at the end of the night it turned out that Mark had won his own little contest. Mark had picked more winners correctly than anybody else. He was ecstatic. Inside Mark's head the money had already been spent, already been left at the mall. But it wasn't going to be. I explained to Mark, "The host can't be the winner. You have to give the money to the next runner up."

After I calmed him down, and held him until he stopped sobbing, I explained that it just wouldn't look right.
"Be a good host, and do the right thing Mark."
In the end he finally agreed, and awarded the money to the next highest ballot.

I don't know what's going to happen this time. Mark has been studying all the nominees, and watching as many of the movies as possible. I hope he is just doing it for the glory, because I won't let him keep the money. But of course he already knows that, I think.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Neglected Chores

You know that feeling of accomplishment you get after finishing a project around the house? You're sitting there gazing at that lovely thing that you created, be it a freshly painted room, or a newly hung lighting fixture, and there is a swelling of pride in the fact that you did it. That's what I was going through the other day as I sat in my big fluffy recliner, looking out my beautiful new living room windows. From the other side Britney Spears, my little outside kitty was staring back at me, enjoying the clear view into the home she hopes to someday work her way into. It was when I looked past Britney and saw the lovely green tint of the pool that I remembered I'd been neglecting the rest of the house all week. I needed to get to cleaning that pool.

After scrubbing the sides of the pool clean of algae, and emptying the leaves from the vacuum canister, I walked around to where the skimmer basket was. Popping the lid off, I could see it was jammed full of more leaves courtesy of my neighbor's tree, so I reached down, and grabbed for the little handle. What I got was a fist full of dead rat. A large, soft, bloated, dead rat. I let out a little scream, and dropped the thing back in. Not a big, loud, girly scream like Mark would do, but more of a little girly scream. An eek, with just a hint of horror.

It's times like that where I wish I had my video camera running, and Mark was the one with his hand down that hole. Mark screaming, running, and flailing about with a dead rat in his hand would be so entertaining. Maybe next time I'll save the rat, and be ready with the video camera. The only challenge would be how to get Mark to clean out the skimmer.
"Hey Mark! Just stick your hand down that dark murky hole for a second. Oh, and smile."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Adopt a Dog Friday

Shiloh. Nine months old. His mother and siblings were left at Abandoned Pet Rescue when they were the size of your fist. Shiloh is the last one waiting to be adopted, along with Danni, his mom.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

For The Record

I have to set something straight. I know I whine about Mark shopping just for the sake of shopping. I complain about the fact that he drives like it's 1905, and the automobile is some kind of mysterious contraption that he can't figure out. Yes, he has turned our place into one of those clutter filled homes that people laugh at on that Hoarders show. He squeaks when he talks, and squawks when he's arguing. Mark leaves bottles, doors, and drawers open. He cannot seem to figure out that you need to make as much money as you spend, and that I‘m not an ATM. Despite all those things, and the little stories I write about his foibles, I do care about him.

Let's face it, I'm spoiled. No matter what else I say about him, Mark is a great cook. Monday night he made lobster tail, with lobster ravioli in newburg sauce. It was damn good, and tonight he's making jambalaya. The aroma has already spread throughout the house. Anybody who has eaten here can attest to the fact that the skinny guy can cook.

I love my mom, but growing up we did not know of such foods. Mom had to cook for eleven children and had no time for experimentation. That road only led to sneers, tears, and my refusal to eat. My dining experiences were so unsophisticated as a child, that I considered the high school cafeteria food to be gourmet fare. In fact right up until the time I met Mark, I still considered Lancers Wine as good stuff, and fried calamari the height of good eats. Don’t get me wrong, I still cherish the crap I ate before. I crave White Castle hamburgers, and on more than one occasion I’ve scarfed down cold pizza for breakfast while Mark snoozed. I just don’t want to go back to those things as my only options. Yes, that skinny little man sure can cook, and this fat man loves him for it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day?

Valentine's day is one of those holidays that I hate, like Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays, and any other time that I'm obliged to spend money on people. It's not that I don't want to spend the money, which I don't, it's the fact that I feel society, and Mark, are forcing me to do it. I have a budget. I'm not wealthy, and I need to spend no more than I take in. I'm kind of like a Tea Party unto myself, except without the birther theories, and Muslim fears.

Yesterday, when I came home from walking dogs at the shelter, I found a pile of things wrapped in red paper stacked on my desk. Mark had gone shopping, and bought me a bunch of Valentine gifts. With faux enthusiasm I slowly opened each one, giving Mark a little kiss for each shirt, sock, and t-shirt. "Ooooh, a box of Frango Mints!", I exclaimed as I opened the last package.
This was followed by an uneasy quiet as Mark stood expectantly behind my chair.
Finally he squeaked, "Didn't you get me anything?"
"Well, nothing that I have here with me now.", I told him.
Just then the dogs burst into their, 'somebody is at the door', insane barking frenzy. Perfect timing. It was the flower delivery. I had ordered Mark flowers on Friday, for delivery on Valentine's day. I had gone on line to the FTD site, and ordered what appeared to be a beautiful bouquet. Seventy five dollars to mollify Mark, knowing that if I didn't, I'd be eating nothing for dinner all week. I took the flowers from the delivery man, and started back into the house. I realized before walking in the door, that what had been delivered looked nothing like the picture I had seen on the internet. Not as big, and not as many roses. In fact other than five wilting roses all the other 'flowers' and greenery in the bouquet could have been picked right out of my front yard. Schefflera, ferns, and some little white daisy things that grow as weeds all around my house.

In the end I was able to give Mark something he cherishes. A reason to call somebody up and bitch at them. I told him I'd call FTD to complain, but he insisted it would be his pleasure.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It Could Have Been Worse. It Could Have Been a Finger.

I had measured carefully, twice. The piece of bead-board was marked clearly so as not to screw up, and was clamped down for added security. As one final precaution, I had laid one of Mark's kitchen towels under the piece so as not to mar the surface. As I hit the button on the circular saw I thought to myself, I'd better be careful with that towel. Simultaneously, the saw roared to life and the towel disappeared from under the board, sucked into the teeth of the whining saw. Before the saw had even screeched to a grinding halt, I was thinking of how I'd destroyed another one of Mark's things, and how would I get rid of the evidence.

I was in the middle of another one of my home repair projects. A cobbled together window replacement. As is my usual practice, I looked for the easiest, and fastest way to accomplish the task at hand. My thinking for this one was that I'd keep the aluminum window frames of the old jalousies, and use them to hold the new replacement windows. It was a brilliant idea, and in my mind I had the whole thing worked out. Reinforce the old frames with some wood studs, build a little wall under the new windows for support, and then trim it all out so it looked good. The most amazing thing is that I actually did all that. What I hadn't counted on is the fact that it actually was more work, and took much more time to accomplish than if I'd have done it the correct way. The correct way would have been to order the custom sized windows, remove the old windows frame and all, and then install the new ones in their place. Instead I bought off the shelf replacement windows from the Depot, and made them fit into a hole that was much larger than they were. I'm almost done, they actually look good, and I still have all my body parts. All I can say is, I'm a genius, in a weird and sick sort of way.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Photo Friday

Mark and I were on our way over to Home Depot yesterday
and I saw this new bar that just opened.
I think I've found my new place to go drinking.

 I haven't been inside yet, but I assume it would
look something like this.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

There Are a Lot of Assholes in This One

(  * )
The world seems to be divided up between the assholes, and non-assholes. We have assholes driving cars, assholes in our government, and assholes who get drunk in bars and cause trouble. Assholes are everywhere. Then there are the non-assholes of our world. People who let you in when traffic is heavy, politicians who aren't assholes and actually are looking out for the little guy, and of course the non-asshole drunk in the bar. That would be me. I'm a happy drunk who doesn't bother other people.
( * )
We have greedy assholes, celebrity assholes, religious assholes, law enforcement assholes, criminal assholes. It's the many flavors of ass-holiness, and it tastes like ass. Sometimes non-assholes will drift over into ass-holiness, and do something stupid. Then again assholes will suddenly do the unexpected, and act decent. I know, I've been there. In fact we probably all have been there at one time or another, switching back and forth.
( * )
On bowling night I have to walk my dogs much later than usual, and I carry a small flashlight to warn the rare driver that I am in the street. Last week a car came speeding down the street, so I gave it a wiggle with my flashlight. To my horror, the car started aiming towards me, and actually drove up onto the grass where Chandler and I had taken refuge. It sped on so fast that I couldn't get a good identification. Again this week after bowling, I was walking Chandler and here comes the speeder again. This time I just moved well out of the street, but tried to identify the asshole. It seems that this particular asshole speeds down the street at the same time every week, and I will eventually figure out who this asshole is. When I do figure that out, I will then cross over into ass-holiness myself. I will get even, and then return to my non-asshole status. At least for the time being, until I have to call upon my inner asshole again.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Could Turn It Into a Dog and Cat Door

My house was built when air-conditioning was expensive, yet I guess electricity was cheap. How else can I explain the windows in this place. They are called jalousies, three inch slats of glass stacked from bottom to the top of the windows. They're designed to be cranked open so as to catch all of the tropical breezes that blow through Florida. Unfortunately they are very leaky and just as effective at catching a breeze when closed. Because of that and my huge electric bill, I've been slowly trying to replace the windows, one at a time. So far I've replaced one. A small one, and I did a shitty job of it. But things like that don't deter me. On Saturday I started on one of the big windows.

I knew I needed to be prepared to do the job in one day. After all, I couldn't leave a gaping hole in the wall overnight. I'd have cats wandering in and out, not to mention the possums, and the dogs chasing the possums. So I grabbed my tools and got to it.
Right on queue, Mark plunged in with his negativity,
"You don't even have the right tools. Where's the level? Where are the shims?"
I then suggested that Mark leave the house while I did my work.
"I can't leave. You never finish your projects, I'd have to stay away forever." he squeaked.
My spirits quickly rose on that prospect, but instead I argued back, "Just leave and it'll get done Mark. Go!"
But he didn't. Instead he started pointing out the living room floor with the huge gaps between the floor boards, and the baseboards around only half the room. Then he reminded me of the back door that's hung off kilter and allows the morning sun to stream in between the sash and the door itself.

By the end of the day I had the job half finished. My hands were beaten, bloody, and bruised, and my muscles ached. I sat back in my recliner chair and pondered what it would be like to have a good man around the house? Somebody who could help me instead of harangue me. Somebody strong and knowledgeable about tools and home repair. Either that or a good lesbian friend.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another Poop Story (So anonymous, who is so put off by poop stories, you can stop reading now)

Sometimes Mark thinks he is so smart. This past week he used his superior brain power to try and beat our dog at her own game. I think it pretty much ended in a draw. In fact, I think the dog might have actually proved her point better.

As you may know, our little dog Sasha, likes to poop and pee in Mark's shower (Yes, Mark has his own shower. I got tired of trying to wash up every morning in a swamp). Anyway, last Thursday Mark took a stab at outsmarting the dog. He closed the door to his bathroom so she couldn't go in there and drop a load. I don't know exactly what Mark thought she was going to do. I guess he figured that when she went trotting off to the bathroom with a magazine tucked under her arm, and realized she couldn't get in, that she'd find me and announce her need to go. That, she did not do. What she did do was walk through the house to my bathroom, then poop, and pee in front of my toilet (She's short and apparently couldn't actually get up on the toilet).

So instead of having a small mess to clean up in his shower, Mark had a much bigger mess to clean up in my bathroom. That's because Mark had a visitor from Chicago that evening who had to use the toilet. The visitor walked into the bathroom, stood in front of the toilet, and then turned on the light. Of course when he flicked on the light, he didn't immediately realize he was standing in dog shit. Because he had to feel around for the light switch and because he had done a few other things before he looked down, it was every where.

Sasha now has full access to Mark's bathroom. She has her own little roll of toilet paper, a rack with back issues of Dog Fancy Magazine, and a nice spray can of room deodorant in delicious bacon flavor. Smart girl.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Photo Friday

Special note to the folks up north:
No, I am not trying to rub it in.
I just loved the way the light hit the
Spanish moss on the live oak 
in the front of the house.
This photo was taken yesterday
around eight in the morning.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

HELP !!!

Four days ago Mark bought himself a beautiful new set of pots and pans. This morning I fucked up the frying pan. It's not like I did it on purpose, and it's not like Mark paid full price for it. In fact he paid sixty two dollars for the entire set that originally sold for three hundred. Through some kind of coupon manipulation, sale offer, and a half used gift card, Mark got the whole set for next to nothing. But I digress.

I got up this morning as usual, walked both dogs, watched a little news on television, and then made breakfast. Two eggs scrambled, sausage, and a hash brown potato patty for Mark. Same for me, except I like my eggs sunny side up. We were sitting there enjoying our breakfast as Mark opined on the news of the day in his outside voice, when I noticed the room filling up with smoke. I had left the stove on.

After running around opening windows, and doors to air the place out, I took a good look at the frying pan I had made the hash browns in. It didn't look good. In fact it still doesn't look good after scrubbing, and polishing, and trying to grind away the awful stain that was burned into it. That's my problem. Mark has not seen it yet, and I need to find out how to clean it. I've tried everything I read on the internet, to no avail. So if anybody knows how to fix this thing, let me know quickly. Mark has access to large, sharp knives, and I can't run very fast.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Dog Screamer

I don't know how Ceasar Millan, the 'Dog Whisperer', does it. Maybe he has a pact with Satan, or he's some kind of magician, but he can take a crazy bitch and turn it into a sweet little pup just by making a noise. "Fsssst, fsssst", and suddenly Cujoe is slavishly obeying every command. I've tried that with my dogs, and they just look at me with a dumb, blank stare, then go on about their business.

I'd sure like to have the Dog Whisperer stop by my house some day. I have one dog, Sasha the schnauzer, who gives me the dog equivalent of the middle finger when I call her. If she could talk, I'm sure she'd be saying, 'Come to you? Just for that stupid little cookie you're holding? I don't think so.'  Then there's Chandler. Eighty pounds of bicycle hating mutt. If Ceasar Millan could get Chandler to just stop chasing after bicycles I'd be happy. I've tried everything. When I see a bike coming, I get down and talk to him, telling him that it's okay, the bicycle isn't a beast coming to steal his street. He usually tears free of my grip and chases the bike until he hits the end of the leash. I've put a choker lead on him, and gave him the 'correction' that Ceasar always talks about. No luck, the bike comes by, Chandler lunges, barking wildly, and the cyclist pumps away in terror. Oh, the choke lead does work. Chandler is left coughing and choking, but not until he has scared the piss out of the person on the bicycle.

Today, five times bicyclists came riding by Chandler and me. Two of them knew Chandler, and were prepared for him, giving him a wide berth. Two more were lucky because I saw them coming and pulled Chandler into a driveway. The fifth guy I didn't see until it was too late. Suddenly my arm got whipped around as Chandler ran for the bike, and before I knew it he was within a breath of finally catching his first bike. Luckily my grip held as my arm strained at the socket, and the guy on the bike swerved away. Next time I'm sure he'll remember to make a noise before pedaling past us so I know he's coming. Either that or he'll have to change his shorts again.